Like many Barbadians across the island early this morning, Minister of Sports Charles Griffith was glued to his television to witness the historic victory of Sada Williams on the penultimate day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Speaking with Barbados TODAY, Griffith expressed high praise for the 24-year-old track star who became the first Barbadian woman to win a gold medal in the 400m and the first woman to win the title in under 50 seconds at the games.
Williams, the 2022 World Championships bronze medalist, clocked a championship record of 49.90 to shatter the previous record of 50.10 set by Botswana’s Amantle Montsho at the 2010 Games in India.
Williams beat England’s Victoria Ohuruogu in a personal best of 50.72 and claimed silver, while her compatriot Jodie Williams clocked 51.26 for a season-best and claimed the bronze medal.
Griffith also applauded the other members of the Barbadian contingent that represented the island well. From Erin Pinder, who created history as Barbados’ first female gymnast at the games; to Jonathan Jones who bagged a bronze medal in the men’s 400 metres; and hurdler Shane Brathwaite who copped a silver medal in the Men’s 110 hurdles.
“I want to congratulate the whole team because you can only represent country if you have reached a certain level in your particular discipline. So, all of the athletes who would have gone to Birmingham would have reached that stage and it is commendable that they share the praises because they represented country and I know that they represented country with heart,” Griffith said.
“I was up this morning at 5.30 watching those athletes carry a whole country across the finish line and at 7.35 I was standing in my house at attention full of respect and pride because of what I saw on the television coming out of Birmingham…. All of the members of the team, they went to compete and I want to make that abundantly clear, that government is fully appreciative of the whole team that would have gone to the games.” (KC)
Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics