CHANTOBA Bright will go down as the most decorated Guyanese athlete (to date) ever to grace the CARIFTA Games, with the 19-year-old freshman at University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), amassing a total of nine medals – three gold, four silver and two bronze in her four outings at the championship.
Her three gold medals came in the long jump, while she won three silver and two bronze medals in the triple jump. In 2018, she also won silver in the Girls U-20 400 metres relay, running alongside Joanna Archer, Kezra Murray and Kenisha Phillips.
Speaking exclusively with Chronicle Sport from Texas, Bright said she wanted to go out with a ‘bang’ this year since it was her last time representing Guyana at the Caribbean’s most prestigious track and field event, which started in 1972.
However, despite claiming a third successive gold in the long jump, and silver in the triple jump, the usually candid athlete noted that “this year CARIFTA was not what I expected … there was no energy to feed off; I just wasn’t feeling the CARIFTA spirit for many reasons, nevertheless I went out there and did my best on the given day even though it might not have been my best performance overall”.
“I was a bit disappointed in a lot of things including my performance but I made the best of the situation and came out with gold and silver – the best medals combo I’ve gotten throughout the competition,” Bright said.
Guyana finished this year’s games with a record 10 medals (four gold, two silver and four bronze) and Bright praised the performance of the entire team, telling Chronicle Sport, “I know the struggles we faced at the games and we still went out there and did our best that we had to offer on that day and if we were in a better position we may have been able to perform to the best of our ability overall and bring home more medals.”
When asked what was her best memory of the 2019 CARIFTA Games, the Victory Valley, Linden resident recounted, “Being reunited with my mom and getting to spend time with her, also retaining my long jump title and winning with a six-metre jump and being able to celebrate with my mom and seeing most of my friends after almost a year.”
Meanwhile, Bright said her focus is now on the NCAA circuit and representing Guyana at the senior games.
“For me it’s mostly senior games now, like Pan Am Games, South American Senior Championship, World Championship, Olympics; along with my college meets especially Conference USA, NCAA Regionals and NCAA Nationals. So I have to step up my performance and step up in training for this new level of higher competitions that awaits me,” Bright said.
Breakdown of Chantoba Bright’s CARIFTA Games performance
2016 – Silver (Girls U-18 long jump), Silver (Girls U-18 triple jump)
2017 – Gold (Girls U-18 long jump), Bronze (Girls U-18 triple jump)
2018 – Gold (Girls U-20 long jump), Bronze (Girls U-20 triple jump), Silver (Girls U-20 4×400 metres relay)
2019 – Gold (Girls U-20 long jump), Silver (Girls U-20 triple jump)