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Samuel collects bronze medal at Carifta games

Samuel collects bronze medal at Carifta games

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Winning a Junior Carifta medal is major achievement for any young athlete. But to do so with preparations done on a treadmill makes it extra special.

That’s the story of DeLohnni Nicol-Samuel, who was this county’s lone medallist at the 36th Junior Carifta Games held in Providenciales Turks and Caicos Islands over the Easter weekend.{{more}}

Samuel collected a bronze medal when he placed third in the Boys Under-17 3000M in 9 minutes 11.19 seconds, shaving more than one minute off his first time in the same event at the 2006 Games held in Guadeloupe.

The Canada-based Samuel is the son of former national long distance athlete Dane Samuel.

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT from his Manitoba home last Sunday night, the bronze medallist said “I just wanted to go in and try to medal and do my personal best”.

“Now I will be working to get my time to about 8:55”, the soft spoken Samuel who ran his last year at Carifta at that age grouping.

Samuel who turns 16 in August has his eyes set on returning to the Under-20 category at next year’s Carifta, but to try his legs at the 5000m.

A talented sportsman, Samuel returned to St. Vincent and the Grenadines last year to represent this country at the CONCACAF Under-17 football qualifiers in Trinidad and Tobago.

Following his father’s footsteps, the younger Samuel took to distance running naturally and the proud father also had his say on his son’s achievements.

“I am feeling good, because I knew his chances were good in the 3000; I was pretty impressed with the adjustments he made in two days from the cold into the warm climate”, the elder Samuel said.

“He is not exposed to the outdoors much as here is very cold and there are no indoor facilities for him to train, the nearest training facility is two and a half hours drive from here”, the former Sion Hill resident pointed out.

Explaining the lead up to the Games, the father said that he was always in contact with his sister Bigna Samuel, also a former national long distance athlete and at times used her middle distance training programme along with his knowledge and expertise.

Samuel who participated at the 1987 Carifta Games in Barbados in the 800m, but failed to medal was elated that his off spring was able to achieve what he had not done.

But the elder Samuel is not too surprised at his son’s progress and believed he was destined for this.

“I remembered at the 1999 Panam Games held here in Canada, DeLohnni was selected from among the crowd and given the baton by Donovan Bailey, Dane reminisced.

Bailey is a former Canadian sprint athlete.

Still basking in the family’s success, the Samuels though are working on getting DeLohnni better prepared for more rigorous competitions and seeking the best options available.

Apart from Samuel, St. Vincent and the Grenadines were represented by Courtney Williams and Anneisha Anderson, who both competed in the 100 and 200m events. Neither got past their heats, but recorded their personal best in the 200m.

Williams placed third in the 200m in 22.37 seconds and Anderson finished fourth in 25.18 seconds. They were ranked 10th and 14 respectively

Williams clocked 11.35 seconds finishing fourth in the 100m to be ranked 13th and Anderson was sixth in her outing returning 11.49 second, ended with a 14th placed ranking. The duo made the standards for the World Youth Championships in Czech Republic in July this year.

Samuel finished sixth in the 1500m in 4 minutes 23.95 seconds.

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