April 23 - Saint Kitts and Nevis have been awarded the 2015 Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Games, an event which helped launch the career of Usain Bolt, while the 2016 event will take place in Grenada, it has been announced.
The two decisions were made during the annual Games' Congress in Martinique which followed the 2014 edition of the Games.
The decision will see the event return to St. Kitts and Nevis for the first time since 2008 as the only rival bid, from the Turks and Caicos Islands, was withdrawn before the decision was made.
The competition is due to take place next year over the Easter period at the Silver Jubilee Stadium in Sugar City, St. Kitts.
Turks and Caicos focused on an ultimately unsuccessful bid for the 2016 event in a contest which had four initial contenders but became a two horse race after Bahamas withdrew to support Turks and Caicos and St Lucia pulled out to back eventual winners Grenada.
The CARIFTA Games is an annual athletics competitions for under-17 and under-20 athletes across the Caribbean nations.
It was first held in Barbados in 1972 after being inaugurated by the island's current International Olympic Committee member Austin Sealy, and has since been hailed by International Association of Athletics Federations President Lamine Diack as "on par with the World Championships."
Among competitors at the Games who have gone onto great things in the sport include Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis and Kirani James of Grenada.
Bolt won the gold medal in the 200 metres at Hamilton in 2004 setting a world junior record of 19.93sec which still stands today.
Grenada last hosted the Games in 2000 but the return of the competition to the "Spice Island" is particularly poignant because the event was due to be held there in 2005 only for it to be shifted to Tobago after the National Stadium was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan the previous year.
"Everyone is excited that Grenada will be hosting the Games again," said Conrad Francis, coordinator of sports in Grenada, as he outlined how the decision is good news for sport on the island.
"We will have to start preparing as of tomorrow for 2016 and I know the Grenada Athletics Association will start putting Committees together for the staging of the Games," he added.
"The rebuilding of the stadium started in November and it supposed to finish in 20 months' time.
"But they will be pushing to finish before that in less than 20 months."
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