Sprinters Delwayne Delaney, Antoine Adams and Jason Rogers were beaming with patriotic pride as they received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from family, friends and well wishers at St Kitt’s VIP Lounge at the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport earlier this week.

(left to right) Sprinters Jason Rogers, Antoine Adams and Delwayne Delaney show off their bronze medals before entering the VIP Lounge at the R.L.B. International Airport.

The trio was part of the St. Kitts-Nevis sprint team that competed at the August 27 to September 04, IAAF 2011 World Championships in Athletics held in Daegu, Korea. The country’s performance at the event was hailed a success by President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Amateur Athletic Association (SKNAAA) Glen Jeffers. He noted that sacrifices by the athletes, coaches and administrators in track and field propelled the Men’s Relay Team in the 4×100 meter finals to a time of 38.49 seconds, and a third place finish on the world’s second largest stage in athletics -surpassed only by the Olympic Games.

Deputy Prime Minister Honourable Sam Condor {Now in a Leadership crisis with Denzil Douglas} informed the athletes that nationals around the twin-island Federation were glued to television and computers screens in anticipation of the big race on Sunday, September 04, which saw Adams and Rogers paired with sprint icon Kim Collins and Brijesh Lawrence. After team St. Kitts-Nevis secured the bronze medal, Minister Condor recalled that he was bombarded by phone calls from residents as well as regional sports personalities such as Kathy Harper-Hall, Regional Coordinator of the Caribbean Healthy Lifestyle Programme (CHLP).

They called to celebrate with us because they see it as a Caribbean achievement and I want [everyone] to understand that. You [athletes] not only did St. Kitts and Nevis proud, but the Caribbean proud,” he stressed, amidst loud applause.

Delwayne Delaney told the gathering which included the Prime Minister, Minister of Sports, local Olympic President and executives from the SKNAAA, that he and the other athletes have not yet grasped the full significance of the accomplishment. “This is not third in the CARIFTA [Games], this is third in the World [Championships],” he stated. “Maybe in a few months we will understand it but for now we are just floating along.”

Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Sam Condor addressing athletes. Also pictured are Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (standing at left), SKNAAA President Glen Jeffers (center), SKNOC President Alphonso Bridgewater (2nd from right) and Minister of Sports Hon. Glenn Phillip (right)

Fellow teammates Adams and Rogers noted that the relay squad was confident going into the races. They briefly recounted the nerves and excitement and shared their gratitude for the support they received from persons back home. Adams noted that the performance was made even more special as he and Rogers had celebrated their birthday on August 31. “It was a good birthday gift,” he joked.

Sports Minister Honourable Glenn Phillip expressed that St. Kitts and Nevis was an emerging powerhouse in sports in the international arena lead by icon Kim Collins who has won several medals at prominent competitions including the World Championships, World Indoor Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Noting that the young men are considered by many to be role models, Minister Phillip, who also holds the portfolio for Youth Empowerment, urged that the athletes “convert what you have gained into a future of youth advocacy …for your homes, your community, your country and further.”

Government has established a task force to consider various ways to acknowledge the performance of the relay team and also the bronze medal earned by Kim Collins in the 100 meter finals at the same event.

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