Tyriq Horsford produced one of the most outstanding performances at Carifta 2015 here in Basseterre, St Kitts. The 15-year-old Trinidad and Tobago athlete established a new record in the boys’ under-18 javelin, his 70.73 metres monster throw earning him gold and the admiration of all who witnessed the Sunday morning feat.
Horsford was among the contenders for the Austin Sealy Award, presented to the most outstanding performer at the Games. The eventual recipient was triple gold medallist Mary Fraser. The Barbadian won the girls’ under-18 800 metres and 1500m events, as well as the girls’ open 3,000m.
Horsford was one of six T&T gold medallists at the 44th Carifta Games. Isaiah Taylor (boys’ under-18 shot put), Portious Warren (girls’ under-20 shot put), Andwuelle Wright (boys’ under-20 long jump), Kayelle Clarke (girls’ under-20 200m) and Akanni Hislop (boys’ under-18 200m) were also in winners’ row.
Jonathan Farinha looked a good bet for another gold, but pulled up lame in Monday’s boys’ under-20 200m final.
In addition to the six gold medals, T&T bagged eight silver and eight bronze, for a total of 22. T&T finished fourth on the medal table, behind perennial champions Jamaica (41 gold, 25 silver, 19 bronze), Bahamas (8 gold, 13 silver, 10 bronze), and Barbados (7 gold, 4 silver, 5 bronze).
Hislop secured his gold medal on Monday, scorching the track in a personal best 20.91 seconds.
“I knew from the start,” Hislop told the Express, “I had to catch my two opponents outside of me. Once I did that I knew I was going to win.”
T&T head coach Reynold Porter-Lee named Hislop among the team’s standout athletes. His list also included Taylor, Horsford, Warren and girls’ under-20 high jump silver medallist Khemani Roberts.
“It’s a satisfactory performance,” Porter-Lee declared, “because most of the athletes lifted their game.”
National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) president Ephraim Serrette was very impressed with Horsford, whose 70.73m throw signalled to the world that another “Keshorn Walcott” is in the making.
“We would have identified that two years ago,” Serrette told the Express, “from our age-group championships. Last year he was here as a 14-year-old, and was fourth. In the ball throw at the age-group championships, they could not measure his throw.
“We want to encourage and support him, and other athletes where we see the talent. We need to have some fund where we would be able to assist those athletes to continue to train, assist them medically and nutrition-wise.”
Horsford told the Express that Walcott, T&T’s reigning Olympic men’s javelin champion, is a source of inspiration.
“Since I was growing up, I was seeing him throwing great distances for his age, and I was amazed.”
Horsford is producing amazing feats as well, and has his sights set on the 74.78m world under-16 record, held by Australian Luke Cann.