“It’s Been A Fantastic Games For Bermuda”

August 8, 2022

[Written by Stephen Wright]

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham might be Bermuda’s best-ever collective showing at a major multi-sport event.

It began ten days ago when Flora Duffy stormed to the gold medal in the individual triathlon at Sutton Park and finished with Jah-Nhai Perinchief emerging as the island’s next sporting superstar after clinching bronze in the triple jump at the Alexander Stadium yesterday.

Commonwealth Games Medalists gif

The Commonwealths are arguably second only to the Olympics, a unique, world-class sporting event involving some of the biggest countries in the world.

Once again, Bermuda punched above its weight, reinforcing its sporting status as a small but mighty nation.

Duffy might have set the bar impossibly high for any teammate to follow after retaining the gold she won on the Gold Coast four years ago.

It was Perinchief, however, who arguably became the story of the Games for Bermuda after winning the island’s first medal in athletics since the 1990s.

Perinchief’s performance immediately elevates him into an exclusive club of Bermudian athletes to have achieved greatness on the world stage.

Several other members of Bermuda’s 17-strong squad enjoyed notable moments too.

Kaden Hopkins stole the show in cycling after finishing as the top amateur rider in the time-trial in Wolverhampton before producing another scintillating display in the road race in Warwick yesterday, coming fourteenth. Conor White should also take plenty of pride in his fifteenth-place finish in the time-trial.

Swimmer Madelyn Moore is another who enhanced her reputation, reaching three semi-finals and setting two new national records at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Triathlete Tyler Smith also deserves a special mention after his impressive thirteenth-place finish in the individual triathlon on the opening day of the Games.

It was a career-best display by Smith, who has endured his fair share of injury woes, with the 23-year-old improving eight places on his previous finish at the Commonwealths when he came 21st on the Gold Coast.

Spare a thought for cyclist Caitlin Conyers, though – one of the bright hopes for Birmingham – who missed both of her events after testing positive for Covid-19.

Donna Raynor, the Bermuda chef de mission, described Birmingham 2022 as a special Games for the island and said every athlete should be proud of their efforts.

“It’s been a fantastic Games for Bermuda, especially winning two medals!” Raynor told Bernews. “We’ve had the swimmers [Moore and Emma Harvey] reaching semi-finals, and Kaden Hopkins’s performances in the cycling were unreal.

“The team’s camaraderie was the best I’ve been involved in [as chef de mission]. It was a young team, and for some, it was their first international competition. It bodes well for the future.”

Watching Perinchief win bronze was understandably among the highlights for Raynor, the former Bermuda National Athletics Association president.

“It was special for me,” she said. “I’ve had Jah-Nhai with me for a long time, since I was the [BNAA] president.

“I looked at the line-up and said to him, ‘There’s no reason why you can’t get on the podium’.

“It was important he got a good first jump in. I’m always confident when [coach] Brian Wellman is there with him. He seems to bring out the best in Jah-Nhai.”

Two medals, several career-bests and semi-finals – Bermuda certainly left an imprint on the Birmingham Games. A small but mighty one.

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