St Vincent and the Grenadines faltered badly at the recently concluded Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in the western city of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, in a year when national representative teams seem to have a rather difficult time achieving success on the regional and international scene.
The national women’s Basketball team was the first to arrive in Mayaguez because they were involved in the Centro Basketball Tournament, which preceded the CAC Games and served as a qualifying competition for next year’s Pan American Games scheduled for Guadalajara, Mexico.
The team’s performance in the Centro Basketball tournament was not what one would have expected. Unfortunately for the local team the hammer fell just as hard in the CAC Games where the team suffered one defeat after another. Being lowly ranked the team drew hosts, Puerto Rico, in the first match and lost 24 – 118. The next game was against the US Virgin islands where the defeat was less humiliating, 24 – 80. The third game saw the local girls pitted against a badly wounded Trinidad and Tobago team and again went under, 24 – 74. Mexico showed no mercy and hammered St Vincent and the Grenadines 31 – 143. In the playoff at the conclusion of the competition the team lost to Trinidad and Tobago which had by this time procured some fresh players, 25 – 88.
Athletics fared little better than their female Basketball counterparts. The team suffered an unacceptable setback when medal hopeful, Adonson Shallow, withdrew from the team after the TASVG and the NOC had procured airline ticket, citing an interest in competing in Chicago with his coach one day before he was due to compete in Mayaguez.
Pamenos Ballantyne ran one of his slowest marathons, completing the course in a disappointing 2:43:51.
Courtny Bascombe, running in the 100m could only muster 10.73 in the semi finals. In the 200m he achieved 22.38 while his teammate, Courtney Williams, still a junior athlete, attained 22.31.
Canadian-based, Clayton Latham, leaped to a disappointing 7.15m in the Long Jump.
Lone cyclist, Orand Andrews placed 15th in the Road Time Trial, in a time of 1:02:29.0888. He had to withdraw from the Road Race, having been lapped by the lead cyclists.
The boxing contingent comprised of Barbados-based, Keithland King. Competing in the Welterweight division King was pitted against the burly Mexican world champion, Oscar Molina. The fight went the full distance and everyone marveled at the combative spirit of the young Vincentian boxer. He however lost on points, 2 – 14.
The Tennis players fared little better than the rest of the delegation to the Games. Roxann Williams went under to Guatemala’s Cassandra Escobar 1-6, 0-6 respectively. Teammate, Lerissa Morris lost to Caitlin Gordon of Bermuda, 0-6, 2-6.
In the Women’s Doubles, Williams and Lerissa Morris fell to Bahamas’s Nikkita Fountain and Larika Russell, 1-6, 1-6.
The Men’s Singles saw Kirk Da Silva going under to Venexuela’s Luis Martinez, 1-6, 3-6, while Jannick Task lost to Gavin Manders of Bermuda, 0-6, 4-6.
In the Mixed Doubles, Kirk Da Silva and Roxann Williams lost to Daniel Garza and Melissa Torres of Mexico, 0-6, 1-6.
In the men’s doubles, Da Silva and Tash lost to Puertp Rico’s Alexander Llampart and Jose Perdomo, 1-6, 2-6.
The NOC remains dissatisfied with the performances and hopes that with the Commonwealth Games scheduled for 3 – 14 October this year, the organization hopes that the athletes of the respective sports would raise their performance standards.
The CAC Games is the oldest multisport Games after the Olympics having been established in 1926. Mayaguez played host to the 21st edition of the Games during the period 17 July – 1 August 2010.