The Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes (BFIT) was home to the 2023 World Triathlon Development Regional Cup for the Caribbean region. A development event approved by the World Triathlon Executive Board to support developing nations’ racing experience in their continent/region, made it to the shores of Barbados. Situated along one of the calmest coasts, Brandons Beach and the Mighty Grynner Highway course fielded eighteen athletes from the islands of Aruba, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and home team, Barbados.
In the male race, Barbadians, Niel Skinner and Fynn Armstrong secured first and third place respectively for Team Barbados. Skinner, a student-athlete at Queen’s University of Charlotte in the USA, displayed his steady improvement in the triathlon ranks to win in a time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 20 seconds. Skinner, who emerged from the water in second place by a mere second, transitioned into the bike lap where he gained and retained the lead throughout the 5km run to hold second-place finisher Aruban Christiaan Jansen, who followed 20 seconds behind in 01:01:40 hours. 3000 meter CARIFTA Champion Fynn Armstrong rounded out the top 3 for third in 01:10:41 hours. Daniel Lashley, the last of the trio for Team Barbados, performed notably on the bike leg to minimize the separation created by the lead group, and finished with a very steady run for fifth place in 01:11:36 hours.
Barbadian and rising star Isis Gaskin emerged second in a time of 01:16:10 hours ahead of teammate Chara Hinds – a member of the Delaware State University Triathlon program – who finished third in 01:17:03 hours. Zahra Gaskin, the third Barbadian athlete in the race, despite arriving one day before the race due to travel complications, performed admirably to finish fifth, in 01:20:50 hours.
President of BFIT, Darren Treasure noted “all in all we are very happy with the results from Team Barbados. This shows that we are developing our athletes and they are progressing and doing the necessary training to improve their performance and we are very happy with that. The success experienced today demonstrates once again that Barbados triathlon is force to reckoned with in the Caribbean. CARIFTA is on the horizon and most of the athletes who raced today are likely to be with us in Bahamas as we look to retain our title of CARIFTA Champions.”
The Regional Cup was a culmination of a packed-week of events held by BFIT which started with the 2023 Athlete Regional Camp, which saw the 18 junior athletes engaging in a week-long pre-race triathlon camp filled with a number of theoretical and practical sessions facilitated by Treasure and Trinidadian Coach Jonah Camps. Additionally, 10 Barbadians alongside participants from Antigua, Jamaica and Trinidad participated in the World Triathlon Level 1 Officiating Course held at the Barbados Olympic Association and the Wildey Gymnasium, under the guidance of International Triathlon Union (ITU) Technical Delegate Leslie Pujol.