Coronavirus: The Bahamas, Antigua to withdraw from Carifta track and field, swimming

By March 12, 2020

The 2020 Carifta Track and Field Championships is under threat of cancellation with The Bahamas likely to withdraw from the meet that is set to run from April 10-13 in Bermuda.

The Bahamas, perennial challengers to many-time champions Jamaica and Antigua, are not likely to be in Bermuda as fears over the spread of the Coronavirus continues to cripple the regional and global sporting industry.

President of the BAAA Drumeco Archer confirmed to Sportsmax.TV on Thursday that the country has cancelled their national track and field championships as a precaution, and raises the spectre of the country withdrawing from Carifta.

He said that while the BAAA has not received any official word from The Bahamas Director of Sports Timothy Munnings, the fact that the internal event was cancelled increases the likelihood of The Bahamas not travelling to Bermuda.

 Phone calls to Munnings’ mobile phone went unanswered on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the situation with Antigua and Barbuda is much more certain as that country has revealed its decision to withdraw from both track and field and swimming.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation announced what they described as the ‘cancellation of National Swim Team Appearance at CARIFTA 2020.’

“The Antigua and Barbuda Swimming Federation (ABSF) confirmed that it is abandoning plans to attend the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Swimming Championships scheduled to be held Easter weekend in Barbados,” the statement said.

“The news follows the Government’s decision to withdraw the nation’s participation in the CARIFTA games, both in swimming and athletics, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the globe.

Citing the safety of the young athletes, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts Hon. Daryll Matthew made the announcement after discussions with Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his colleague ministers, including the Minister of Health.”

ABSF President Dr Derek Marshall in supporting the decision, said: “I would first like to congratulations to all of our swimmers for making the CARIFTA qualification standards. This is one of our largest teams to have ever qualified for the CARIFTA Swimming Championships, so we know that the sport of swimming is moving in the right direction.

“Although this is a very disappointing development, the ABSF is fully supportive of the Government’s decision, as the safety of our athletes is our top priority. Our entire team were in an advanced stage of preparation and I would like to encourage our swimmers to continue their development with a shifted focus on the upcoming CCCAN (Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation) games.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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