By Dean “The Sportsman Greenaway
Sports returned to life following the ravages of Hurricane Irma in 2017 which decimated most facilities, but the BVI Basketball Federation as well as the BVI Softball, Volleyball and Cricket Associations did not have 2018 leagues.
Among the headliners; Kyron McMaster won the Commonwealth Games, Central American Games, NACAC Championships and IAAF Diamond League 400m Hurdles titles, and had the third fastest time in the world in 2018, after running 47.54 seconds.
Chantel Malone and Eldred Henry, won the territory’s first silver and bronze medals at the CAC Games in the Long Jump and Shot Put. BVI athletes had won all gold medals from 2002-2014.
Rikkoi Brathwaithe won the territory’s first U20 Boys 100m medal in the territory’s 42 years of Carifta Games competition, when he grabbed bronze in 10.46 seconds. He went on to become the territory’s first 100/200m semifinalist at the IAAF World Jr. Championships in Sweden.
Deya Erickson, a Turabo University sophomore won the Liga Atletica Interuniversitaria Justas 100m hurdles, becoming the territory’s first athlete to claim a title in the championships.
Erickson missed the entire 2017 season, after severely injuring her knee days before her final Carifta Games in 2016. She had surgery six months later and was told she might never be able to run again. Erickson, who had the second fastest time of 14.31 seconds in winning her heat to advance to the final, fended off UPR Humacao’s Erika Serrano in a photo finish by .009 seconds as both ran 14.13.
“Winning the Justas makes me feel proud of myself,” Erickson said. “I doubted myself before the race and felt I should settle for second, because coming into the race, I had the second fastest seed time. So I had a little doubt but, at the same time, I felt that maybe if I push, maybe if I fought, I could win it.”
With its program ravaged by Hurricane Irma three years after it was formed and had nowhere to practice after but the E. Walwyn Brewly Softball Park, the BVI Archery Association made its first attempt to get in to a regional game.
Competing in the CAC Games qualifier in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the first time, they came up short and narrowly missed qualifying by one spot.
“Despite all the challenges, in was really a fruitful event,” association president Patrick Smith said of his organization just in its third year and his squad included Ritseenyah Georges, Winnete Lawrence, who shot in the women’s compound 50-meters and Jahmaine Liburd in the 70-meters recurve bow Olympic distance. “It went a lot better than I thought. We didn’t get the qualifying spot that we wanted, but I’m really proud of the team, especially, Jahmaine Liburd. He had some equipment issues but he fought through it and missed qualifying by one or two spots.”
Belgium’s Phillippe Moortgat and his crew on Samantaga, will forever have fond memories of the Virgin Islands.
Moortgat and his team wrapped up their Virgin Islands tour with their fourth award, after putting up five bullets and two second places in nine races, to add the 47thBVI Spring Regatta CSA Racing 1 trophy, to the one they won during the St. Thomas International Regatta a week ago, in the CSA Spinnaker 1 Class.
Moortgat kicked off his BVI leg of the tour by winning the BVI Sailing Festival’s Round Tortola Race and the Nany Cay Cup, then walked off with the inaugural 165 miles Absolut Full Moon Race crown.
Swimmer Elinah Phillip will always remember her 18th birthday. Phillip bagged her third CARIFTA Games swimming medal during the 33rd edition in Kingston, Jamaica, bringing her total to 10—the territory’s first athlete to reach that tally in either track and field or swimming—since she made her splash with four in 2014.
With her three medals in Jamaica, Phillip surpassed Chantel Malone’s seven individual medals from track and field. Keita Cline has won the most CARIFTA Games medals among males with six, including four gold. Phillip went on to compete in the FINA World Cup and was a 50m
While there was no association league, the Flow-Peter Haycraft Twenty 20 Cup took center stage. Grenada overpowered Cavaliers for their first Flow-Peter Haycraft T20 Cup, after letting their opponents back in the game.
“This victory means a lot, knowing that we had Cavaliers 15 for 4 and they came back and put a fighting total on the board,” Captain Derol Redhead, who had 132 not out said. “And seeing that our team fought down that score, means a lot to us and our supporters. It was the final and whatever they put up, we had to go after it and run it down.”
The BVI Is participating in in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League, but won’t be able to host home games because they don’t have a field.
Darel Christopher Jr. made history by becoming the territory’s first cyclist to compete in the UCI World Cycling Championships, 16 years after David Thomas, BVICF president at the time, got the territory into the cycling world governing body in 2002.
Horse racing returned to the Ellis Thomas Downs on Boxing Day with five races, the first action on the track since June 17, 2017. The floods of August 7, 2017 and the destruction of the facility during Hurricane Irma on Sept 6, 2017, destroyed the facility. Horse racing officials worked hard to pull off the five races with the assistance of the St. Thomas Horsemen Association.