LIAT, Spencer to honor Kirani

LIAT, Spencer to honor Kirani
Matt Slocum

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has made a call for one of LIAT’s airplanes to be named after Grenadian Kirani James, who won gold in the 400 meters at the recent London 2012 Olympics.

Baldwin made the call during his maiden address to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Assembly hours after regional airline LIAT announced it would give a “fitting tribute” to the 19-year-old athlete.

Spencer, the leader of one of the airline’s major shareholder governments, said James is deserving of the honor, describing him as a bright promise of the future of OECS athletics.

“Kiarani’s performance makes us proud as one people of the sub-region,” he said.

“In order to underscore and to give prominence to the significance of Kirani’s accomplishments and its meaning to the sub-region in particular and the Caribbean in general, I am therefore recommending as fitting tribute that one of the symbols of our unity, LIAT, names one of its aircraft ‘Kirani James.’

In a media release earlier in the day, LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer Captain Ian Brunton said James has brought Grenada together in a way similar to how LIAT has been bringing the people of the region together for the past 56 years.

“LIAT views the win as an extraordinary achievement for a small country like Grenada and for Mr. James and would like to urge young people throughout the region to follow his example and always strive for success,” he said.

On Aug. 6, James became the first man from outside the United States to break the 44-second barrier when he won the 400 meters in 43.94 seconds.

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said one of Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) Boeing 737 aircraft would be named after 19-year-old Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott.

Walcott’s 84.58 meters javelin throw edged out his closet rival, Ukranian Oleksandr Pyatnaytsys to win gold in the event.

The teenager from the fishing village in the rural community of Toco, East Trinidad, brought home gold 56 years after athlete Hasley Crawford won gold at the Montreal Olympics in Canada in 1976 in the men’s l00-meter event.