Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean has been chosen to host the 2017 CARIFTA Games, it has been announced.

The island was chosen ahead of the Cayman Islands, who had expresssed an interest but failed to submit a letter of support from its Government. 

Sir Austin Sealy, then President of the Amateur Athletic Association of Barbados, inaugurated the Games for junior athletes in 1972 to mark the transition from the Caribbean Free Trade Association to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CARIFTA was meant to enhance relations between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean after the dissolution of the West Indies Federation, but the CARIFTA Games took that idea a step further, including the French and Dutch Antilles.

The Games have produced world record holders, Usain Bolt, Darrel Brown, world and Olympic champions such as Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica, Kim Collins of St Kitts-Nevis and Pauline Davis-Thompson of the Bahamas, Alleyne Francique of Grenada and Obadele Thompson of Barbados.

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This year's CARIFTA Games took place at Sugar City in St Kitts and Nevis ©Twitter
This year's event, for athletes aged under-18 and under-20, finished yesterday at Sugar City in St Kitts and Nevis and saw Jamaica finish top of the overall medals table with 85 medals, including 41 gold. 

The Games have never been held before in Curaçao or any of the other Dutch Caribbean territories, a series of islands administered by The Netherlands. 

Three of the six main islands under Dutch sovereignty are countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten.

The three remaining islands Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba are special municipalities of the Netherlands.

The 2016 Games are due to take place in Grenada.

The Games in Curaçao are due to take place between April 15 and 18 in 2017.