St Lucia is once again represented at the Pan American Games currently underway in Guadalajara, Mexico. Despite having six legitimate qualifiers and one special qualifier for the Games only four athletes will actually compete.
High jumper Darvin Edwards who has already qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and made it through to the finals at the recent World Championships, bowed out of the competition. Edwards lives in England and trains with Belgrave Harriers.
At a recent press conference President of the St Lucia Olympic Committee, Richard Peterkin, stated that because of training requirements Edwards and his coach indicated he would not be able to compete at the Pan American Games.
High Jumper Jeannelle Scheper and Makeba Alcide (pentathlon) who both attend universities in the United States are also unable to compete in Mexico.
Peterkin indicated in their case they were unable to get a leave of absence due to the fact it would affect their studies.
Scheper came away with a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Games while Alcide has been doing extremely well at collegiate meets.
While disappointed by their non appearance, Peterkin said: “Never the less we can still celebrate the ones who are going and hope that we have similar success.”
So who is representing St Lucia at the Pan American Games which got underway following opening ceremonies on Friday? In field events there is world ranked high jumper Levern Spencer and pole-vaulter Rick Valcin. Danielle Beaubrun competes in the 100 metre breaststroke on Monday.
Over the summer Beaubrun finished 19th in the 50 metre breaststroke at the 14th FINA World Championships.
Cyclist Fidel Mangal is the other athlete representing St Lucia. He did not meet the qualifying standards for the Pan American Games, but was allowed to compete under a special invitational slot provided by five countries particularly the OECS. Mangal will compete in a road race.
The contingent at the Pan American Games includes Track and Field, Coach Gregory Lubin; Cycling Coach, Leslie Serieux; and Neil Studd who is Beaubrun’s Coach in Florida where she attends university.
The Pan American Games welcome athletes from all over the
American continent, to participate in an international celebration of friendship and sports. The Games are held every four years in the year leading up to the Olympics.