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Carnival Races Success Sets Stage for Pre-Emancipation Day Event on June 30



Horse racing, focus on horse in background, Canon 1Ds mark III

The recent Carnival horse races at the Clinton E. Phipps racetrack have left a lasting impression, with organizers and participants reflecting on the success and camaraderie of the event. David Edmonds, a representative of Southland Gaming, expressed his delight, saying, “I’m still smiling ear to ear as I look back on photos and talk with everybody about it.”

During a meeting of the St. Thomas/St. John horse racing committee, Edmonds provided an overview of the May 3 event, highlighting the intense preparation that ensured all promised infrastructure was ready for the first official race day in eight years. This effort included a round-the-clock work schedule leading up to race day.

Attention is now shifting to Phase 3 of the project. Edmonds mentioned that after a brief recovery period, the team has resumed work. The next steps involve completing tasks such as finishing touches to the grandstand and jockey and vet areas. Following this, construction will begin on the equipment storage facilities for the isolation barn, with work expected to start in June. Subsequent phases include building the secondary and main barns.

Calvert White, Commissioner of the Department of Sports Parks and Recreation, who acted as the race promoter, described the experience as one of the most challenging of his 17-year tenure. Despite skepticism from some in the community, White felt vindicated by the event’s success, estimating attendance at between 5,500 and 6,000 people. “It honestly went better than I envisioned it going, knowing all the things that had to be done leading up to the opening day,” White said. The search for a permanent promoter is ongoing, with a request for qualifications being drafted.

Looking ahead, industry stakeholders are eagerly anticipating the pre-Emancipation Day races on June 30. Hugo Hodge, chairman of the V.I. Horse Racing Commission, announced several planned races, including the mile and 16th Lieutenant Governor’s Cup and a mile Administrator’s Cup race for mares and fillies. Entries will close on June 21, with gate positions determined on June 24.

Finally, Shaine Gaspard, Southland Gaming’s chief operating officer, noted that three horsemen have yet to collect their winnings. He urged Augustus Raleigh, Lesmore Smith, and Rafael Braithwaite to submit the necessary paperwork to process their payments, while confirming that all other payments were processed promptly.

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USVI Swimmers Shine at CCCAN Championships in Mexico



U.S. Virgin Islands swimmers achieved remarkable success at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation’s (CCCAN) 2024 Championships held at the Centro Acuatico Olimpica Universitario in Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico. The event, which concluded on Saturday, saw USVI athletes adding four more medals to their tally, including two golds and two bronzes, alongside setting two new territorial records.

Rakeem Miller emerged as a standout performer, securing two gold medals and breaking territorial records in the process. Miller’s victories came in the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley, showcasing his versatility and elite skill level. His impressive performance not only highlights his personal dedication and hard work but also places him among the top swimmers in the region. His achievements are a testament to the high level of training and support provided by the USVI’s swimming program.

Meanwhile, Cinthia Sanes contributed significantly to the medal count with two bronze medals. Sanes delivered strong performances in the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter butterfly, events that demand a combination of strength, technique, and endurance. Her bronze medals are a reflection of her consistent performance and ability to compete at a high level against some of the best swimmers in Central America and the Caribbean.

The success of Miller and Sanes at the CCCAN Championships is a significant milestone for the USVI swimming team. The team’s performance demonstrates the growing prowess and competitiveness of USVI swimmers on an international stage. It also serves as an inspiration for younger athletes in the territory, showing that with dedication and hard work, they too can achieve greatness.

The CCCAN Championships brought together top swimmers from across the region, making the competition fierce and the achievements of the USVI swimmers even more noteworthy. The event served as an important platform for athletes to test their skills against some of the best in the region, providing invaluable experience and exposure.

In addition to the medals, the new territorial records set by Miller are a significant accomplishment. Breaking records is not only a personal achievement but also a point of pride for the territory. It shows progress and development in the sport, indicating that the training programs and resources allocated to swimming in the USVI are yielding positive results.

The success at the CCCAN Championships is expected to boost the morale of the USVI swimming community and garner more support for the sport. It highlights the potential of USVI swimmers and underscores the importance of continued investment in sports development programs.

As the USVI swimmers return home with their medals and records, the focus will likely shift to preparing for future competitions. The experience gained and the confidence built from this event will be crucial as they aim for even greater achievements in upcoming meets.

The CCCAN Championships not only provided a platform for competition but also fostered camaraderie among athletes from different countries, promoting sportsmanship and mutual respect. The event was a celebration of swimming talent and a demonstration of the dedication and hard work of athletes, coaches, and support staff.

For further details and updates on the event, visit The Royal Gazette and Swimming World Magazine.

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Four Records Shattered at BVI Track and Field Championships



TORTOLA — Diamante Gumbs and Adaejah Hodge were among the standout athletes at the British Virgin Islands Athletic Association’s National Championships, where four new “all-comers” records were set over the weekend at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds.

Gumbs kicked off the event with a record-breaking performance in the discus throw, while Hodge closed the championships with a stellar run in the 200 meters, setting new benchmarks and energizing the crowd.

The championships, held on Friday and Saturday, saw remarkable performances from various athletes. Tahesia Harrigan-Scott highlighted the track events by surpassing the previous 200 meters mark with a time of 23.30 seconds, breaking Karene King’s 2014 record. Antoine Adams of St. Kitts-Nevis set a new record in the men’s 200 meters with a time of 20.38 seconds, eclipsing the former record of 20.59 seconds held by B.J. Lawrence.

In the field events, St. Lucia’s Levern Spencer set a new high jump record by clearing 1.90 meters, smashing the previous mark of 1.65 meters. Grenada’s Candisha Scott also made headlines in the javelin throw, achieving a distance of 50.35 meters, which broke the existing record of 36.56 meters.

The championships concluded with St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Brandon Valentine-Parris anchoring his team to a new 4×400 meters relay record, clocking in at 3 minutes and 9.41 seconds, setting both meet and all-comers records.

The event was a testament to the growing talent and competitive spirit in the region, setting the stage for future competitions.

For more detailed results and highlights, visit BVI MileSplit and TrackAlerts (BVIAA)​​ (BVIAA)​​ (NAC Track News)​.

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Adaejah Hodge Shines with Dual Medals at New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships



Tortola’s track prodigy, Adaejah Hodge, demonstrated her exceptional sprinting prowess by medaling twice at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championships held in Philadelphia over the weekend. The 18-year-old sensation, a recent graduate of Montverde Academy in Florida and a future University of Georgia athlete, secured bronze in both the Championship Girls’ 100-meter and 200-meter dash finals.

Hodge’s performance was notable in the fiercely competitive environment. She clocked impressive times of 11.39 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 23.45 seconds in the 200-meter dash, showcasing her speed and consistency on the track. These achievements add to her growing list of accolades, including her remarkable performance at the 2022 Carifta Games, where she was named the most outstanding athlete after winning the 100m, 200m, and long jump events​ (SportsMax)​​ (SportsMax)​.

The New Balance Nationals is renowned for attracting top high school athletes from across the United States, making Hodge’s accomplishments even more significant. Her consistent training and dedication under the guidance of her coaches have evidently paid off, as she continues to build a promising athletic career​ (SportsMax)​​ (BVI News)​.

Hodge’s future looks bright as she transitions to collegiate athletics with the University of Georgia, where she aims to further develop her talents and compete at higher levels. Her achievements at the New Balance Nationals not only highlight her individual talent but also bring pride to the British Virgin Islands, marking her as one of the most promising young athletes from the region.

Her next steps will likely involve rigorous training and preparation for upcoming collegiate meets and possibly international competitions, where she hopes to continue her trajectory of excellence and represent her new team with distinction​ (BVI News)​​ (SportsMax)​.

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