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Vincentian athlete wins Caricom 10k marathon

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Basseterre, St. Kitts July 03: The CARICOM 10K Run held on Sunday to commemorate the 27th Summit of CARICOM Heads of Government in St. Kitts was won by Pamenos Ballantyne of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The 31-year-old professional athlete has enjoyed numerous successes on the regional and international circuit and has represented his country at the Olympic level. After successfully defending his title on Sunday, he told SKNIS that his family upbringing is a main factor in his domination of marathon events, as discipline was strictly enforced.

He saluted the move of St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean countries to use sports tourism as a contributor to the economy. “Sports brings a lot of income into countries and is very viable,” he stressed, citing the impact of World Cup Football, the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and other sporting events. 

In addressing the numerous countries where he competed, Ballantyne said free movement which comes with the CARICOM Single Market and Economy will be a good thing for the region. He explained that this will allow the region to grow closer and offer persons the opportunity to explore the wonders of each island and contribute to its development.

The Vincentian implored young people to stay away from negative influences and resist the impact of peer pressure. “You have ideas … in terms of dreams and goals, stick to them and work hard to achieve those goals, he said. “You may want to be the next Brian Lara, the next Kim Collins … or even the next Prime Minister but always remember that you have to work hard to get there. The key word is discipline.

Ballantyne also encouraged parents, teachers and the wider community to support children in positive activities.

Ballantyne won US $1,200.00 for his first place finish which was clocked at 35 minutes 52 seconds. Richard Jones of Trinidad and Tobago and Lionel Dandnade of Guyana placed second and third respectively. Aleka Morgan of Guyana won the female division in a time of 44 minutes 12 seconds. She was followed by Kerticha John of Trinidad and Tobago and Kenisha Pascal of Grenada.

Yasmin James (male) of St. Kitts and Josea Dore (female) of Nevis won the Junior category. The participants will receive their trophies this evening at the official opening of the CARICOM Summit slated for the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

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