Antigua pulls out of CARIFTA Games over coronavirus fears

first_imgHAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) – Antigua and Barbuda has delivered a blow by announcing it has pulled out of next month’s CARIFTA Games to be staged here because of fears over the worldwide spread of coronavirus.Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, confirmed the government’s decision to withdraw from the 49th edition of the Games – the region’s junior athletic showpiece – following discussions with Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other relevant health ministers and officials on Wednesday, media here reported.“We are cognizant of the fact that our young people have been preparing for over a year for these events and having weighed this against the safety of our young people, we made a decision to withdraw from the competitions,” Matthew was quoted by media here.“We have communicated this information to the relevant officials which made up the Antigua and Barbuda team to include president of the Athletics Association, Swimming Association and the director of sports and they are in support of the decision.”Triple- and long-jumpers Taeco O’Garro, Sheldon Noble, Mia McIntosh and Alyssa Dyett, were the only Antiguan athletes who had qualified for events. Antigua and Barbuda has not reported any cases of the virus.Donna Raynor, president of the Bermuda National Athletics Association, said last week she was confident that the Covid-19 threat, which has more than 129 500 confirmed cases and 4 500 deaths worldwide, would not disrupt the staging of the Games.More than 600 athletes and coaches from 27 Caribbean countries, along with supporters from various islands, are expected to converge for the games here.Bermuda will host the event for the fifth time when it is held from April 10 to 13.last_img

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