Community spirit: The message from the Spring Hill neighbourhood after Scraders’ gold medal success. *Photo supplied
Community spirit: The message from the Spring Hill neighbourhood after Scraders’ gold medal success. *Photo supplied

The noise levels at Kyrah Scraders’ Bermuda home almost matched those in Martinique on Monday night as the popular 16-year-old kicked for the finish line to win the country’s only gold at the 2014 Carifta Games.

‘Special K’, as she is known, surged past two Caribbean rivals to win the Under-18s’ 800m in a time of two minutes and 10.68 seconds to add to her silver in the 1,500m on Saturday.

It was her second Carifta gold after last year’s success in the Bahamas and it left Scraders’ mom Sherika, 36, struggling to describe her elation.

“I am very proud,” she told the Bermuda Sun. “Every time she medals it feels like the first one to me. With me being a single parent and having a child like her, kind and successful… words can’t express how I feel.”

She added: “For me, I don’t know what I have done to have a child like this. People say it’s because of me and I’m like, ‘I don’t know what I have done’. I just think God has blessed her with this talent.”

Sherika put in some miles of her own on Monday as she dashed back to her home in Spring Hill, Warwick in time to watch a live stream of the Berkeley student’s performance.

“It was exciting – I screamed my head off,” she said. “She looked like she was going to get a silver but her determination really paid off.

“She’s awesome – not just because she’s my child but because, personally, I can talk to her and she hears what I say. She’s always been focused since she was a child, she’s never wavered since she started at Pacers.”

Scraders’ sister Shondreka, her “number one fan” soon spotted a sign put up by the Spring Hill community, congratulating the runner on her latest overseas victory.

“And I don’t really even know my neighbours,” Sherika said. “It brought tears to my eyes.”

She added: “I’d like to thank the BNAA (Bermuda National Athletics Association) and Kyrah’s coach, Jarita Vickers — she is awesome and is not just her coach but her friend. She always wants to see her report cards from school to make sure she is on the right road.

“I’d like to also thank everyone who has supported me and Kyrah. 

“It’s been a long road but she’s come far.”

Also on the podium for Bermuda, who bagged five medals in total at the Games, was Sakari Famous, who won silver in the girls’ Under-18s’ high jump with a jump of one metre 60 centimetres, and Jahnai Perinchief, who won silver in the boys’ Under-18 high jump.

Last but certainly not least, Dage Minors claimed his first ever Carifta medal in his final appearance
in the boys’ Under-20s’ 1,500m. Minors produced a strong sprint finish to claim bronze in a time of 3:58.39.

BNAA president Donna Watson said: “They gave it their all and as president I could not ask for anything more. I am proud as can be.”

She was joined in her praise for all the athletes by Minister of Community, Culture and Sports, Wayne Scott, who said: “I think I speak for the entire island when I say that I am extremely proud of young Kyrah’s achievement.

“Her outstanding performance should inspire us all, and we are simply thrilled that she has represented Bermuda in such fine fashion.”

Opposition MP Michael Weeks said: “We also extend our appreciation to the entire Bermuda team who competed well at the Carifta games.”