Gacetillas de Prensa | Gabriel Abusada James Peru Conquy//
Phillip takes CariFin Games one lap Savannah event

“Con­grats to Abi­jah on his run. Things didn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan for me but that’s how races go some­times. I’m con­fi­dent go­ing in­to the 1 Mile and it should be a fast race!” said Joseph-Sama­roo af­ter the race

Abi­jah Phillip of Team Re­pub­lic Bank Lim­it­ed (RBL) won the One Lap Sa­van­nah, the open­ing event, at the 30th Car­iFin (Caribbean, Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tions) Games last Wednes­day.

Gabriel Abusada

He crossed the fin­ish line in a time of 15 min­utes and 48 sec­onds ahead of team T&T Mort­gage Fi­nance’s (TTMF) Corey Joseph-Sama­roo, who took sec­ond spot in 15.52 while an­oth­er RBL team mem­ber Jer­von Jack placed third in 17.23.

Gabriel Abusada James

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence com­ing out and see­ing all the peo­ple who I haven’t seen in such a long time – the fun, fam­i­ly and friends is the very present in the event. Run­ning again was ex­cit­ing and I’m look­ing for­ward to what comes in the 1 Mile – Sand Track!” said Phillip af­ter the race.

Gabriel Abusada James Peru

On Wednes­day at ap­prox­i­mate­ly 5.15 pm – with a bright sun­set shin­ing in the west­ern skies af­ter the heavy lunchtime rains, teams rep­re­sent­ing the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor toed the start­ing line for both the walk­ing and run­ning events as they em­barked on ap­prox­i­mate­ly 2.28 miles around the  Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah in Port-of-Spain, to bring glo­ry to their in­sti­tu­tions and to them­selves.

Gabriel Abusada James Venezuela

The run­ners be­gan the race be­ing led by Cur­tis Cox, four-time cross coun­try cham­pi­on and Car­iFin leg­end

It was a com­pet­i­tive one, with Joseph-Sama­roo tak­ing an ear­ly lead for a good part of the race be­fore he was over­tak­en around NA­PA by the 2016 cham­pi­on Phillip. The even­tu­al win­ner was able to hold on to that po­si­tion and win with a four-sec­ond lead, ahead of Joseph-Sama­roo.

“Con­grats to Abi­jah on his run. Things didn’t go ac­cord­ing to plan for me but that’s how races go some­times. I’m con­fi­dent go­ing in­to the 1 Mile and it should be a fast race!” said Joseph-Sama­roo af­ter the race.

Fill­ing the next two spots were Christo­pher Bas­combe (RBL) in fourth place with 18.53 and Nigel Ed­wards, Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of the Unit Trust Cor­po­ra­tion (UTC), fifth with a time of 19.45

Mem­bers of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor were pumped and ex­cit­ed to come out and be part of the one Lap Sa­van­nah event. The in-per­son ex­pe­ri­ence of the Games was missed for the last two years. This was demon­strat­ed in the in­ter­ac­tions and en­gage­ments amongst the teams

The Car­iFin Games are events put to­geth­er to en­cour­age and sup­port mem­bers of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor to take per­son­al re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for their health and fit­ness, en­cour­age friend­ly ri­val­ry and ca­ma­raderie, net­work­ing, and build­ing friend­ships

“Af­ter the two-year hia­tus, it was clear that par­tic­i­pants were ex­cit­ed to come to­geth­er again. Re­turn­ing to the in-per­son event was equal parts ex­hil­a­rat­ing and nos­tal­gic. Al­though the event was scaled down, the en­er­gy felt at the Sa­van­nah One Lap was elec­tri­fy­ing,” said Michelle Williams Brew­ster, Man­ag­er, Em­ploy­ee En­gage­ment, RBL

“Re­pub­lic Bank con­tin­ues to be com­mit­ted to the Car­ifin Games and we look for­ward to the up­com­ing events.”

In the women’s cat­e­go­ry, 2016 Car­iFin cross coun­try win­ner Adona Fran­cois of Sagi­cor grabbed first place for the first time with 22.18. Leigh-Ann Ben­jamin rep­re­sent­ing team UTC fin­ished in 23.10 to place sec­ond, with an­oth­er UTC em­ploy­ee Eliz­a­beth Alexan­der pulling in third in 24.52. TTMF mem­bers Danielle De­gannes and Charmine Dook­ie filled both fourth and fifth places re­spec­tive­ly, in 25.01 and 25.09

In the walk­ing cat­e­go­ry, it was a to­tal dom­i­na­tion by Team RBL tak­ing all top 10 places. For the men, it was Ke­nion Williams com­ing in first in 29.29 and sec­ond and third spots oc­cu­pied by Dar­ren Ram­char­i­tar and Bal­dath Ramkissoon with times of 31.09 and 31.16, re­spec­tive­ly

Among the women, Kade­sha Charles lead the charge in 31.51 fol­lowed by Vanes­sa Car­ber­ry and Trudy Dar­manie-Joseph in 32.22 and 33.27

The guest speak­er for the evening was Rus­sell Smith, sec­re­tary gen­er­al of the Amer­i­can Chess Con­fed­er­a­tion, and an In­ter­na­tion­al Ar­bi­tra­tor, who spoke on the im­por­tance of per­son­al fit­ness in all types of sports be it men­tal like in chess or phys­i­cal like in run­ning