By late afternoon, students from the sister isle were already leading the other zones, having seized a large haul that included 12 gold medals.
Day one started one-and-a-half hours late (10.30 am), due to problems with the sound system. Signal Hill’s Tariq Horsford was among the first to stamp his mark for Tobago. Competing in the Under-16 Boys division, the 15-year-old who just recently broke the Under-18 Boys Javelin record at the Carifta Games sent down a couple of huge throws to win gold by some distance, his best effort going a distance of 66.04 metres.
Another leading Tobagonian was Safiya John, last year’s top female athlete. The Scarborough Secondary student won the Under-16 Girls 80m Hurdles in 12.87 seconds, ahead of Schrese Trim (Signal Hill); later, Safiya added the High Jump with a leap of 1.55m.
Signal Hill’s Asha James also completed a first-day double, though in field action. James won the Girls U-18 Discus with a 24.40m throw, and followed with gold in the Javelin (43.40m).
Other gold medallists for Tobago were Tehealia Kennedy (Girls U-14 Shot Putt), Anya Akili (Girls U-16 100m Hurdles), Kimoi Noray (Girls Under-16 Javelin), Chevelle Mc Pherson (Girls Under-18 Long Jump), Anson Moses (Boys Under-16 100m Hurdles), Omari Benoit (Boys Under-18 High Jump) and Aaron Lewis (Boys under–20 110m Hurdles).
Chasing Tobago were Port-of-Spain and Environs, for whom another Carifta standout, Jeminise Parris (St Francois Girls) easily claimed the U-20 Girls 100m Hurdles in 14.55 seconds. Clement Campbell won the Under-18 Boys Long Jump, his QRC schoolmate Shaquille Singuineau added gold in the Under-18 Boys Shot Putt, and Kobe John (St. Anthony’s) claimed the Boys Under-18 110m Hurdles. The 100-metre finals were run off late yesterday. At the end of a long opening day, Tobago were comfortably ahead with 531.50 points; though Port-of-Spain won more gold medals, North-East were second on 326, six points more than Port of Spain.
100m Winners (Zones):
U-16 Girls: Ayla Stanisclaus (Tobago) 12.10.
U-16 Boys: Sylvan Sylvon (South-East) 11.29.
U-18 Girls: Shikyla Walcott (Victoria) 12.37.
U-18 Boys: Akanni Hislop (Tobago) 10.62.
U-20 Girls: Zakiya De Noon (Tobago) 12.10.
U-20 Boys: Xavier Mulugata (POS) 10.87.