Jalen Purcell and Che Lara will leave for the United States on JetBlue flight number 8062 at 11.40 this morning.

Purcell and Lara were among the Trinidad and Tobago student-athletes who had signed up for a special Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight to Miami in a bid to get back to their schools ahead of the next semester.

“We didn’t get any update on the flight with CAL,” Purcell told the Express, “but I am going on a JetBlue flight. Only Che and I got through because the flight actually sold out quickly. The US Embassy arranged this flight for US citizens, but as students we could also get on the flight, knowing we have school and have to quarantine.

“The other athletes are still waiting on the CAL flight--which was being organised by the Ministry of National Security--but we haven’t heard anything about it so far.”

At the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor Championships in Virginia, USA, in March, Lara earned sixth spot for Pratt Community College (Kansas) in the men’s 400 metres finals. Purcell, a student at New Mexico Junior College, was 13th in the men’s 60m and 200m events.

Purcell and Lara will arrive in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at 3.25 this afternoon. Purcell will take a connecting flight to Midland Airport, in Texas, before driving to New Mexico.

“I am excited to be going back to school,” said Purcell, “after all the tries and fails to get back to the US.”

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