On the heels of what many are saying was a successful staging of the 48th CARIFTA Games, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) President Lord Sebastian Coe says international track and field could be next for the Cayman Islands.
In an interview with Cayman 27, Lord Coe said his overall impression of the event’s execution held 20-22 April was positive, leading him to believe the country is ready to host a high-level international athletics competition.
“I’ve had some very good tentative discussions at the ministerial level about staging other events,” said Lord Coe. “That’s a good thing because clearly they feel that this is working. The facility itself has been upgraded particularly for the CARIFTA Games. It’s a great partnership, and that’s what our sport depends on.”
With a visible dominance over the regional championships since it’s inception in 1972, Jamaica cruised to its 35th straight title and 42nd all-time. Lord Coe said he isn’t worried about the Caribbean powerhouse’s stranglehold at the grassroots level of amateur athletics within the region.
“It has to be good for regional track and field, and particularly for global track and field,” said Lord Coe. “Jamaica is a massive brand in our sport. It is really important for them to remain as one of the global leaders. They also have programmes that surface the athletes at this level. Every senior athlete that has made it to the highest level in Jamaica, and within the area, has graduated through the CARIFTA Games.”
Without going specifics, Lord Coe encouraged local stakeholders to take advantage of their newfound track surface, reiterating both IAAF and the North American Central American Athletics Association are open for business.
“They will want to speak to NACAC, the regional body, to offer themselves for more events,” said Lord Coe. “They can come and talk to us. We have the World Relays, we have all sorts of things. It would be great to have those here.”
In a letter addressed to both the Local Organizing Committee and the Cayman Islands Government, NACAC President Victor Lopez further endorsed the execution of the games saying “if this wasn’t the best, it ranks among the best ever.”