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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Bundesliga matches to be played behind closed doors from November 2 Coronavirus: Bundesliga matches to be played behind closed doors from November 2

    Bundesliga matches will be played behind closed doors from November 2 after it was announced Germany would return to a partial lockdown amid a significant increase in coronavirus cases. 

    German chancellor Angela Merkel and the regional leaders of the 16 states decided on a raft of new measures to control the spread of the virus on Wednesday. 

    One of these is to prevent any supporters from attending professional sports in the country.  

    Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Bundesliga clubs announced they would be ready to welcome back fans if public health authorities considered it a safe step to take, having played out the final weeks of the 2019-20 season behind closed doors. 

    The largest attendance under the restrictions was Borussia Dortmund's home clash with Freiburg when 11,500 fans watched on, while other clubs - including reigning champions Bayern Munich - did not reopen their stadiums due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the surrounding area.  

    Dortmund's managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke accepts the decision but insists supporters were safe inside the club's stadium. 

    "In view of the extremely increased number of infections in Germany, the decision by politicians to be able to continue gaming operations without spectators for the time being must be accepted," he told Sky.  

    "Nevertheless, I would like to state that the Bundesliga never posed a threat due to an elaborate, coherent hygiene concept valued by experts. We all at BVB hope that we can play again in front of our great fans as soon as possible." 

    The restrictions do not come into place until Monday, which means Bundesliga fixtures this weekend could still yet be played in front of supporters.  

    The German government is expected to reconvene on November 11 to reassess the situation, but it is believed the new measures will be in place until at least the end of the month. 

    RB Leipzig lead the Bundesliga after five games with 13 points, with champions Bayern Munich and Dortmund sitting just a point behind. 

  • F1 2020: Fans banned from attending Emilia Romagna Grand Prix F1 2020: Fans banned from attending Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

    Formula One has confirmed that spectators will be unable to attend the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after the Italian government banned large crowds.

    It had been hoped that up to 13,000 spectators would be able to attend this weekend's event at the Imola track.

    However, due to a rise of coronavirus cases across Italy, the nation's government has decided to ban crowds at events.

    Though disappointed that Imola – which has been included on the F1 calendar for the first time since 2006 – will be unable to host fans, F1 respects the Italian government's decision.

    "We had hoped to welcome fans to the race this weekend but completely understand and respect the decision taken by the authorities," an F1 spokesperson told Stats Perform News.

    "We hope our fans still enjoy the race from home."

    This weekend's race will be held over a two-day schedule rather than three. One practice session will take place on Saturday before qualifying, with the race itself set to start at 13:10 local time (12:10 GMT) on Sunday.

  • Dodgers defend Justin Turner despite World Series celebrations after positive COVID-19 test Dodgers defend Justin Turner despite World Series celebrations after positive COVID-19 test

    Justin Turner deserved the opportunity to celebrate the Los Angeles Dodgers' World Series success despite contracting coronavirus, according to the team's president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

    Third baseman Turner was pulled from Tuesday's Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays to start the eighth inning.

    It was later revealed the 2017 NLCS MVP had tested positive for COVID-19, with the result only returned after the game had started.

    The Dodgers sealed a 3-1 win in Turner's absence, but the 35-year-old returned to the field to join his team-mates in celebrating their first World Series championship since 1988.

    Friedman suggested Turner should be allowed to take to the field in a mask, yet the player - now a free agent - was pictured among his Dodgers team-mates without his face covered.

    Images also showed Friedman sat next to Turner with neither wearing a mask, although the LA president later insisted he was "definitely wearing a mask" but recognised "if there were people around him without masks, that's not good optics at all".

    "I get the questions, but a lot of this will be for another day," Friedman told reporters, with the majority of questions in his news conference focused on Turner.

    "Post-game, I think having a mask on and staying socially distanced, he wanted to come out and take a picture with the trophy. I can't state strongly enough how big a role he's played in the success of this organisation.

    "For him, being a free agent, not knowing how the future's going to play out, I don't think there was anyone that was going to stop him from going out.

    "At least from my perspective - not watching it super closely with everything that was going on - I think he was mindful of other people, especially other people he hadn't already been in contact with.

    "This is something we're going to wrap our arms around tonight, then in the morning figure out where we're going from here."

    Pushed on the pictures without masks, Friedman suggested Turner had already made contact with those he was socialising with.

    "I think the people that were on the field were people he had been around," he said.

    "From his standpoint, having the chance to take a picture with the trophy was incredibly important and meaningful from him.

    "From our standpoint, the contact tracing and working out who's been around him and the test results are incredibly important from this point moving forward."

    Asked if the team would now have to quarantine, he added: "Not sure yet. We're going back [to the hotel] tonight. We're going to all take tests, figure out what the results are from that and go from there."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.