Mission accomplished! That’s how Coach Gregory Lubin referred to St Lucia’s performance at the recently concluded Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Invitational Track and Field Championships at the Silver Jubilee Athletic Stadium in Bird Rock, St Kitts-Nevis.
Following the arrival of the five member contingent (which included Olympic qualifier Darvin Edwards) at George FL Charles Airport Tuesday afternoon, Lubin
was asked what was the mission? He replied: “The main mission was to work on Darvin to get him to the next level.”
Edwards who holds the OECS record for men’s high jump and has made the A standard for participation in his event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, cleared 2.20m to take gold in Basseterre.
Opening at 2.00 metres (m), the Bocage resident had first-time clearances on his first two heights, passed at 2.08 m, then cleared on his first trials at 2.10m and 2.15 m, with Brendan Williams of the Commonwealth of Dominica his only real competition.
At 2.20 m, Edwards had his first miss, but eventually went on to overcome the height and win the competition. He will now look to turn his attention further afield as he seeks higher levels of competition in preparation for London.
Besides Edwards, St Lucia’s team at this competition included Sandisha Antoine (long jump), Albert Reynolds (javelin) and Joel Jules (200 m).
“Lubin used the
phrase “paid off’ when describing the work and progress of the athletes. However when referring to Jules he said “the sprinter is a work in progress right now. He has a lot of work to do to tighten up his whole presentation.”
In women’s long jump event, Tanika Liburd of St Kitts-Nevis, would have been expected to mount a challenge for the title, but the 2007 Central American and Caribbean Championships medallist in that event was not entered in Basseterre, although she did run the 400m relay. Instead, St Lucia’s Sandisha Antoine, who set a personal record for long jump just last month, cleared 5.95 m on her first trial to take the OECS crown.
Along the way, the Martinique-based 21-year-old surely solidified her contention for a spot, on Saint Lucia’s team to the North and Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation Under-23 Championships next month in Guadalajara, Mexico.
St Lucia’s third OECS title went to Albert Reynolds in men’s Javelin. The 24-year-old from Babonneau flung the spear 71.55 m on his fourth trial, though he had been leading from the opening round with a throw of 71.48 m. The effort was well short of the 72.86m he turned in at February’s Independence Invitational, but well ahead of the 66.45 m from silver medallist Emron Gibbs (Grenada), and the 64.02 m from Andre Basil (Commonwealth of Dominica).
Also representing Saint Lucia in Basseterre was sprinter Joel Jules, who clocked 21.56 seconds to finish fifth in the 200 m. Lestrod Roland of St Kitts-Nevis stopped the timer at 20.95 to win and 10.80 to end fourth in the B section of the 100 m.