The Bahamas Triathlon Association (BTA) will send a 23-member team to Jamaica to compete at the 3rd edition of the CARIFTA Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships at Runaway Bay, Saint Ann, Jamaica, set for Saturday, August 17-18, 2019.
The 23-member team includes 10 boys and 10 girls along with three officials.
Representing the boys 11-12 age group for The Bahamas are Ayden Bain, Jordan Cheetham, Malcolm Menzies, Launy Duncombe and Enea Gervasini.
In the boys 13-15 age group, Jason Cates and Akeil Smith will represent The Bahamas.
Ralph Wood, Joshua Murray and Tristan Rampersad will represent Team Bahamas in the boys 16-19 age group.
The girls 11-12 age group will see Anjaleah Knowles, Taliyah Bowe, Erin Pritchard, Adriel Pratt and Sennen Fitzmaurice.
Kaitlyn Williams, Sienna Culmer-Mackey, Kami Roach and Philena Styles will don the gold, aquamarine and black in the girls 13-15 age category.
The lone competitor for The Bahamas in the girls 16-19 age group is Kathleen O’Brien.
Dorian Roach, president of the BTA, is the head coach. Assisting him will be Cameron Roach. The team will be managed by Lori Roach.
The triathlon race includes swimming, cycling and running. The aquathlon includes swimming and running only.
All the triathletes will do the aquathlon also.
“This year, we are definitely looking to get on the podium. Last year we were not able to and we had two top 10 finishes – the highest that we got. The first year we did get one bronze and got more top 10 finishes. We have 20 kids – 10 boys and 10 girls which is great because it is in line with one of our mandates which is to have gender equality with an equal number of males and females participating. We have athletes in all age groups,” Dorian Roach said.
According to him, the strongest age group for Team Bahamas is the girls 11-12 age group and they have a full complement of five triathletes. He also added that he is looking at having more depth at the girls 16-19 age group in the future.
This is not the first CARIFTA triathlon for Bowe, whose first trip with the team was last year to Trinidad and Tobago. The 12-year-old Kingsway student said that she is looking forward to finishing first place or in the top three in her age category. She is also looking forward to touring Jamaica while there.
Bowe said: “Training and preparation for the CARIFTA triathlon went very well for me over the past year. It was strenuous and intense but I know that it was all for my benefit. This year, I’m going to CARIFTA Triathlon stronger and faster, with new techniques.”
She has been swimming competitively since she was six years old and she is no stranger to travelling with national teams. For four consecutive years, she has represented The Bahamas at the Goodwill Games in Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Guyana and Barbados.
For 11-year-old Pritchard, she is looking forward to representing The Bahamas this year having competed at the championships last year too.
In terms of training, she said, “I have been training hard over the summer months and throughout the year. Training for three sports – swimming, cycling and running – takes a lot of time and dedication. I feel that I have done the best that I can to prepare for this upcoming event and will apply the things that I have learned in training to whatever obstacles Jamaica may throw my way. I hope to do my country proud and become a better triathlete through my experiences that I will encounter while competing in Jamaica.”
For Pratt, this her first time at the championships. She is looking to do her best and to perform at her greatest potential. She has been involved in triathlons since December 2018. She is looking forward to meeting athletes from other countries in order to create a network with them.
She admits that the training has been intense at times but she is grateful for it because she was pushed beyond what she thought she could not do.
Gervasini is going to his second straight CARIFTA championships and wants to do his best. He added that he and the team had good training sessions and he feels more prepared than last year. His favorite part of the triathlon is the bike.
Since last year’s CARIFTA triathlon in Trinidad and Tobago, the first triathlon club was sanctioned in February of this year – the Seawaves Triathlon Club, headed by well-known swimming coach Shirley Mireault. According to Dorian Roach, that club has about 30 triathletes from New Providence and Grand Bahama. The club has helped to boost the program.
Dorian Roach said that The Bahamas had put in a bid to host this year’s event but eventually got outbid by Jamaica. He also said that they will probably bid again this year to have it in The Bahamas next year. One of the problems with The Bahamas bidding for the game has been how expensive it is to have the championships here according to Dorian Roach. They are looking at having a host hotel, lower cost on food and closer to the race site to ease transportation cost.
He is appealing to corporate Bahamas to help bring the championships here in the future.