March 27, 2008
Deputy Premier and Minister of Sports on Nevis Hon. Hensley Daniel was on hand at the Charlestown Pier to welcome the history making 37th CARIFTA Games silver medalist Ms. Maritza Williams of Ramsbury.
She returned to Nevis on March 25, 2008, two days after the top regional athletic meet concluded in St. Kitts, into the arms of her proud mother Ms. Lolita Williams.
“I have said it several times but congratulations and all the best from the Nevis Island Administration, the Premier and other Ministers of Government extend to you their very best wishes and we look forward to stepping up from silver to gold in the succeeded events. Thank you very much for making Nevis proud,” he said.
A happy Maritza decked in her blouse scripted “Mommy’s Girl” and her silver medals, told the Department of Information that her perseverance had paid off despite the difficulties.
“The experience was great, that was my second CARIFTA I did the 100m and the 200m and I came second in the 100m and second in the 200m. It was a great experience, it was very difficult but I persevered and I got through and got two silver medals.
“Basically I am qualified for World Juniors coming up in July in Poland and I will be attending that Meet and there are other couple meets that I qualified for,” Maritza said.
Her winnings at the Games placed her in the sports annals of St. Kitts and Nevis having set two national junior records in the 100 and 200 meters. She is also the first female in the Federation to win a medal in the 100m Dash in the history of the CARIFTA games.
Maritza was the fists athlete in the Federation’s team of athletes to win a medal at the CARIFTA games when she clocked 11.41 seconds in the U-20 100 meter Dash. On the final day of the meet she won her second medal in the U-20 200 meters when she clocked 23.11 seconds.
Her 200 meter win placed her in the “B” standard in the Olympic Games and has placed her 0.10 seconds outside the qualifying “A” standard. She has also qualified for both the 100 meter and 200 meter at the World Junior Championships later this year.
She thanked Almighty God, the National Olympic Committee and the St. Kitts Nevis Armature Athletic Association, her coaches Mr. Fitzroy Francis of St. Kitts who resided in Texas and Mr. Curvin Wallace, her parents and family and all others who had given her support.
Her mother described her daughter’s achievements as a wonderful feeling.
“It feels good it is a wonderful experience through it all it feels good. It was a lot of hard work but it is a good feeling, a wonderful feeling. I am very, very proud of Maritza, I am very, very proud. Mr. Wallace has been very good with us, he is very supportive. Its good feeling for true, knowing the discipline that Maritza always had from since small and things finally work out now she is a teenager,” she said.
Mr. Wallace Nevis’ first Olympian, who was a part of the welcome group, told the Department of information that he was pleased to have had the opportunity to play a part in her coaching.
“As an Olympian myself, I just want to give Maritza the encouragement I hope that she would actually go to the Olympics later this year, she has already qualified for the B Standard and hope she will be able to qualify for the A standard but regardless of that she is still going to compete at the Olympics from what I have heard and I want to wish her all the best, her mother especially who has been behind her all the way.
“I am so happy that I had a part in coaching her. I am not taking the credit really but I am happy that I had a part in her development. I am feeling so proud this morning to know that somebody whom I coached is making it this far,” he said.
Mr. Wallace was hopeful he would be able to help others parallel the experiences he had when he represented the Federation in athletics in the future
“I hope I can be able to help other people experience what I have experienced traveling all over the world competing representing the Federation and more so Nevis. I hope that in the future I can get more athletes out there,” he said.