Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley today led an official welcoming party at the Grantley Adams International Airport as Tia-Adana Belle and Mario Burke returned home from competing at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Much of the spotlight was on Belle after the teenager won the silver medal in the 400m hurdles behind gold medal winner Helene Swanepoel of South Africa last Saturday. Belle ran a personal best of 58.42 seconds and became the first Barbadian female to medal at world championship level.
Burke, who had fitness issues during the meet, finished fifth in the 100 metres.
Lashley congratulated both athletes on their arrival and encouraged them to keep striving for excellence in their respective track disciplines.
In addition to the families of the athletes, also present at the airport was former Minister of Tourism Noel Lynch, himself a former Olympian, and currently the vice-president of the North American and Central American Confederation of the IAAF. He too congratulated and offered words of encouragement to the two athletes. National Sports Council chairman Seibert Straughan and veteran sports administrator Esther Maynard were also among the official welcoming party.