Caribbean Countries a Force to be Reckoned with in Track and Field
By Dialogo July 22, 2011
Over the past decade Caribbean countries have shown great potential in Track and Field, especially in sprinting. The 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Jamaica won 11 medals, six gold, and all were in Track and Field. In 2004 in Athens, Felix Sanchez, of the Dominican Republic, won gold in the 400m hurdles.
In the Military World Games, the first results occurred on Thursday (21). The Dominican Republic won two medals, one silver and one bronze. In the 400m dash, Arismendi Peguero, 31, ran the race in 45.95 seconds, coming in third place.
The Dominican soldiers celebrated that result and others and dedicated it to their country’s military. “For me it was very important since the military did all they could to send me here, since our resources are limited. I had to give my best to fulfill my duty,” Peguero said.
The other medal came in the women’s 4×400m relay. Captains Raisa Sanchez, Margarita Manzueta, Marlenis Veras and Yolanda Valerio finished the race in 3 minutes 38.75 seconds and were just beaten out by the Brazilian team of Vanda Gomes, Christiane Santos, Geisa Coutinho and Jailma Lima.
“It’s a medal that should be celebrated too. We achieved what we trained for. We’re really happy,” said Raisa Sanchez shortly after the race. Marlenis Veras states that these are their first Military World Games. “The result is very good,” said Veras, who earlier ran in the semifinals of the 400m individual event.
Icons of the short sprints in the last Olympics, Jamaica has not won any medals in the 5th Military World Games, but on Thursday (21), they ran in two finals – one with Michael Barton, in the 400m, and Marlo Robinson in the 100m dash.
“The pressure on me is the great tradition that Jamaica has in the sport. No medals won, but I liked the result. I’m in the military, so my priority is the Army. I haven’t had much time to train,” said Barton.
On Thursday, the hosts won two more golds in Track and Field. Sergeant Jefferson Sabino won the triple jump, and was also the anchor on the gold medal 4×400m relay team. The Brazilian also won silver with Sergeants Keila Costa in the Triple Jump and Ana Silva in the 100m sprint, and bronze in the 100m with Sergeant Nilson Andre.