The 35th edition of the annual Carifta Games ended in Guadeloupe earlier this week and once more, almost like a stuck record the Jamaicans retained their dominance of these most exciting developmental track and field championships in the world.
At the conclusion of Carifta Games 2006 the medals tally showed Jamaica emerging with a massive 39 gold, 21 silver and 8 bronze. The nearest rival was the Bahamas with 9 nine gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze with Trinidad and Tobago next, having achieved 8 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze.
Jamaicas performance at the Carifta Games this year saw a closure of the gap between the performances of the boys and girls.
The medal haul of the Jamaican girls was 20 gold, 10 silver and one bronze, as opposed to the boys who garnered 19 gold, 11 silver and seven bronze.
It suddenly seems like the advancement of the girls in the region now extends well beyond the realm of academics.
To many present it was like déjà vu. The string of victories by the Jamaicans seemed almost inevitable.
Of course that is not to say that athletes from other countries did not win gold medals at the Carifta Games but there was something almost ominous about the presence of Jamaicans in every event in which they competed.
The continued dominance of the Jamaicans at the Carifta Games begs the question about what is responsible for such successes and what is required of others in the region to be able to compete against them more favourably.
The inaugural Carifta Games were held in Barbados in 1972. Initial discussions relating to these Games took place in Trinidad and Tobago in 1971 under the leadership of Jesse Noel and involved members of the National Amateur Athletics Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NAAA) and Austin Sealey of the Barbados Amateur Athletics Association (BAAA).
Trinidad and Tobago agreed to have Barbados host the inaugural edition of the Carifta Games thereby realising the idea conceived one year earlier.
Of course none of the persons involved in the establishment of the Carifta Games could possibly have envisaged the growth and development of these Games over the years.