Despite not making it through to the second round in any of their heats, Team Montserrat had a very good showing at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
On Saturday morning, the team of Johmari Lee, Julius Morris, Sanjay Weekes, and Tevique Benjamin set a new national record in Men’s 100M relay for Montserrat.
Racing in Round 1 Heat 1, the young men set a new personal best of 41:47 which also became a new national record, ending a 31-year-old record set in 1991.
This is the first time in many years since Montserrat was able to field a team of five athletes to an international meet.
Coach Wilston “Scottie” Scotland of Montserrat Track Alliance which trains the athletes said he was proud of what they achieved.
“This is the first outing for the athletes since 2019 and they did well, despite being unable to train much during multiple lockdowns and no competitive meets,” Scotland told Discover Montserrat.
In Thursday’s Men’s 200m Heats, Sanjay Weekes completed his heat in 23:50. This was not a season’s best or personal best for Weekes. Julius Morris had a season best of 21:57 in his heat and Deshawn Wilkins had a wind-assisted time of 23:12.
Montserrat being without the facilities to host competitive meets means that local athletes will always need to go abroad for racing opportunities. Scotland referenced the sports commentators who noted that for some of the athletes they had already had more than 30 to 40 races for the year leading up to the Commonwealth Games.
More opportunities to travel abroad to compete is hampered by lack of financial resources to handle tickets and accommodations and also that the coaching team and athletes all work and must rally for time off to travel.
“The boys want to stick together and prepare for the Victoria, Australia Commonwealth Games. Before that, they will need a lot more competitive meets, at least 10 races a year to help them improve,” the coach said.
The 1991 national record was 43.31 and set by the team of Queeley, Green, James and Robinson, sporting pundit Stephen Mendes noted online.