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#Penns2022 | Carifta record holder chases World Champs berth

Published:Thursday | April 28, 2022 | 12:08 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Keyshawn Stachan competing at the 49th Carifta Games inside the National Stadium recently.
Keyshawn Stachan competing at the 49th Carifta Games inside the National Stadium recently.

THE FIRST big moment of the recent Carifta Games in Kingston came early on April 16.

Unseen by most, Keyshawn Strachan put The Bahamas on the medal table with gold in the under-20 boys’ javelin. Strachan will be in action at the world-renowned Penn Relays in Philadelphia on Friday as he continues his quest for glory.

In Kingston, he jump-started the Games with a record throw in the first round, 79.89 metres. The mark displaced none other than World Champion Anderson Peters from the Carifta record books even though he fell short of his actual distance target.

Asked how the big throw felt, the 6 foot 5-inch giant replied, “It feels pretty great. The plan was for today to try and get 80 metres. Even though I only got 79, still proud of myself and how I competed today.”

Anderson’s record of 78.28 metres was in his sights following a throw taped at 78.63 in March.

Strachan will compete at Penns for his high school, St John’s College, and he’ll see two familiar faces. Fellow Bahamian Kaden Cartwright will throw for Queens College, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Dorian Charles, who was 5th at Carifta, will represent Jamaica College.

Seventh at the World Under-20 Championships last year in Nairobi, Kenya, Strachan will probably try to repeat the match-day preparation he had in Kingston.

Asked there about his record spear throw, he answered, “It felt pretty great, and like I said, I had a good night rest, a good breakfast and just came out and executed.”

As it was at the Carifta Games, the Penn Relays javelin record is in danger. It stands at 72.72 metres, a measure exceeded by Strachan on several occasions at home and in Kingston.

“I want to get the gold medal for Worlds. My goal is to try and get 85 metres,” Strachan declared quietly.

Eighty-five is no random number. It is, in fact, a reference to the World Championship qualifying standard of 85 metres. If Strachan does achieve his goal in time, he will probably line up with Peters and 2012 Olympic champion Keyshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, the first great javelinist from the English-speaking Caribbean.

Ironically, Anderson broke Walcott’s Carifta records when he was competing at the Games, and in 2012, Walcott went from winning at Carifta to gold at the World Under-20 and at the Olympics.

Strachan erased Anderson’s under-17 Carifta record in 2019, and now he wants to go all the way.

“I want to qualify for the 2024 Olympics,” resolved the Bahamian, who will head to Auburn University in the United States later this year.