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Eldred Henry’s stock rises ahead of Pan Am Games action

Medal hopeful Eldred Henry arrived in Lima on Monday July 29, 2019 to begin final preparations for his second Pan Am Games, in which he’ll see action on August 7, 2019. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka ‘The Sportsman’
Eldred Henry’s performances stamp him as second only to hurdler Kyron A. McMaster (in photo) among Virgin Islands’ male athletes in terms of international ranking. Photo: Internet Source
Eldred Henry’s performances stamp him as second only to hurdler Kyron A. McMaster (in photo) among Virgin Islands’ male athletes in terms of international ranking. Photo: Internet Source
Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'

LIMA, Peru, SA—Virgin Islands athlete Eldred Henry arrived in Lima, Peru, on Monday July 29, 2019 to begin final preparations for his second Pan Am Games, in which he’ll see action on August 7, 2019.

Former BVI Olympic Committee and BVI Athletics Association President Mr Reynold S. O'Neal OBE aka 'Rey' traces the rising stock of Henry, who’s currently ranked No 13 on the IAAF 2019 list.

Most of VI’s Carifta medals have been in field events                                                              

In the [British] Virgin Islands’ long history of participation at the Carifta Games, beginning in 1976, the territory’s athletes have returned home with 57 total medals, 50 of them being won by individual athletes. What may be surprising to many is the fact that so many of these medals have been won by competitors in the jumps and the throws. All of our gold medals have come from field event competitors—first by Keita Cline who won three consecutive titles in the Long jump and added another in the Triple Jump, followed by Eric Matthias in the Discus Throw and Chantel E. Malone in the Triple Jump.

The throws have been particularly productive in the present decade. None of our runners have won more than one individual medal a single Games and Cline, Matthias and Malone, were the only double medalists prior to that.

The emergence of Eldred Henry

However, since the emergence of Eldred Henry, who won bronze medals in the Shot Put and Discus Throw in 2013, the VI always won at least two medals in every Games until 2018. Six of these came from the Gumbs family, with twin sisters Trevia and Tynelle and younger brother Djimon each adding two to the family collection.

Henry parlayed his 2013 successes in Nassau to a scholarship to Central Arizona College, following the well-worn path previously trodden by, among others, National Jr. College  champions, Steve Augustine and Omar A. Jones, who later became Henry’s domestic coach. Henry won two JUCO titles himself in the Shot Put and another in the Discus Throw during his stay there, where he benefited from the coaching of Ton Dougherty. Just as importantly he set new records in the throws with marks in excess of 20m (6 ft) and 60m (200ft) in the Shot and Discus respectively. 

Internationally, Henry also continued to make an impression. In 2014, he placed fourth in the Discus Throw and fifth in the Shot Put at the NACAC Under-23 Championships in Kamloops, Canada. Two years later at the same meet, this time held in El Salvador, he improved his placing to third in each throwing event. In between those events he placed fifth in the Shot and sixth in the Discus Throw at the NACAC Open Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica.                             

In 2017, with his Jr College eligibility behind him, he had an abbreviated season but won the Shot at the OECS Championships in Grenada.

International calibre                                                                                               

In 2018, Eldred Henry emerged as an international calibre thrower. At the Commonwealth Games in Australia to start his outdoor season, he had a modest although promising performance, given his long absence from high level competition.

He decided to give the Discus Throw a pass for the year with a view towards improving his marks in the Shot Put. At the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, he came good with a throw of 20.18m, good enough for bronze behind Jamaicans O’Dayne Richards and Ashinia Miller. A few short weeks later he unleashed a big throw of 20.63m to place fifth at the NACAC Open Championships in Toronto, Canada, establishing a new OECS record. The throwers who beat him were an American, a Canadian and the two Jamaicans who had bested him in Colombia.

Henry’s performance qualified him for the 2019 Pan American Games and undoubtedly for this year’s World Championships in Doha Qatar, September 27-October 6, 2019. He stands in 6th place all-time among Shot Putters from the CAC region behind Jamaicans Richards, Dorian Scott and Miller, and the Cuban pair of Alexis Paumier and Carlos Veliz, both of whom like Scott, are no longer active.                                                                                                                                

Henry, now competing for the University of Findlay in Ohio, tossed the iron ball an impressive 20.61m in a home meet for a national and OECS indoor record, a mark bettered only by the Jamaicans Richards and Scott among CAC throwers. He won the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, adding to those he had won indoors for Central Arizona at the Junior College level. 

In May, Henry unleashed a mammoth 21.47m throw to shatter the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships record, a mark that has him at No 13 on the IAAF list, heading into the Pan Am Games competition, he’s among the Top 5 throwers in the Americas. Henry’s performances stamp him as second only to hurdler Kyron A. McMaster among VI male athletes in terms of international ranking and it seems that there is much more to come.

4 Responses to “Eldred Henry’s stock rises ahead of Pan Am Games action”

  • Proud (30/07/2019, 13:05) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Henry is quite impressive. Was not following his career that closely. He has made a steady rise. Very proud of him and wish him the best at the games!
  • NextGen (30/07/2019, 15:43) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Eldred respresents where we are headed in sports and the calibre of athletes we can produce. He is the next generation of world class athletes from the BVI. We need to get serious about funding these athletes.
  • Face Time (31/07/2019, 03:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oh people are doing well
  • BVI ways of life (31/07/2019, 06:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Only if the BVI people support their own like how Jamaicans support their own we see a huge difference in results. But we in the BVI to salty on each other, we faster cheer on someone who’s not from here rather or own #bviwaysoflife

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