Cleveland Forde is perhaps the only locally-based athlete to have qualified in three
events for the upcoming inaugural Caribbean Games and according to the leading performer, his preparatory work in still ongoing.
Forde has comfortably qualified for the 1500m, 5000m and half marathon, despite his expressed
displeasure in competing in the latter event at the prestigious competition that is perceived as the Caribbean’s elite
“I am training but not as I had expected because of the uncertain weather. I have
to adapt to what I have here. I think my training has been going fine but I have to step it up a little now,” Forde
told Kaieteur Sport yesterday.
The former South American Championships 5000m Under–23 champion indicated that
he will most likely compete in the 1500m and 5000m races at the Caribbean Games. Forde had complained about cramps over longer
He has a personal best time of 3:46.51 seconds in the 1500m that was done in Avellino
in Italy, June last year where he also ran 14:16.00 in the 5000m. Both marks are well below the 3:48.00 and 14:20.00 standards
set for the Games.
Forde’s profile on the International Association of Athletics Federations’
(IAAF) website recognised his personal best 1500m time in Italy but failed to cite the 5000m time maybe because he has a 14:07.08
leading time in the event.
According to the Games’ rules, the qualifying times must be achieved between January
1, 2008 and June 30, 2009 and the meet used should be conducted or sanctioned in harmony with the IAAF rules and competition
The half marathon has no entry standard but the regionally acceptable mark for this event
is around 1:10:00 and Forde’s best mark in this event is 1:10:20 that was done at the IAAF World Half Marathon in Brazil
“I think I have a good chance if I compete in two events. I am not pushing it,
but athletics is like that, people can come out of nowhere and beat you; I have to be careful with what I do at the Caribbean
Games,” Forde indicated.
‘The Little Kenyan’ as Forde is locally known had undergone high performance
guidance at the Kip Keino Centre in Kenya on a Guyana Olympic Association scholarship. He had left in December 2004 and returned
in July last year.
The exposed athlete has competed at length in Europe, South America and the Caribbean
and believes he has to be clinical at the Caribbean Games. “I give myself a 50/50 chance of getting to the top of the
[medal] podium,” he said.
In addition, his confidence is raging. Forde is backing himself to definitely win medals
in both the 1500m and 5000m races. “As it is right now, I have to ensure that everything is right heading into my competition
training,” he observed.
Guyana’s medal chances at the Games unquestionably hinge on Forde and international
campaigners, Aliann Pompey and Marian Burnett. The Games’ Track and Field contest is scheduled from July 13–15
at Haseley Crawford Stadium, Trinidad.
Guyana’s Aliann Pompey continued her fertile form when she sprinted to the fastest split time on the
World All–Stars team at the 2009 Penn’s Relay Championships at the world renowned Madison Square Garden, New York
Pompey told Kaieteur Sport via email that she was happy with her performance and hope the good form will
continue through the world championships. “I am happy with my run so far this year and I hope it continues,” she
said. Guyana’s only Commonwealth Track and Field gold medallist competed on the universal team with Cydonie Mothersill,
Ajoke Odumosu and Clora Williams. The team placed the All–Star unit in fourth despite Pompey’s heroics.
Pompey completed the anchor leg in 50.79 seconds which was one of the fastest times on the day. Mothersill
came from the Cayman Islands, Ajoke from Nigeria, Williams from a powerful Jamaica squad and Pompey from Guyana.
The team placed fourth in the United States of America versus the World category where the red, white and
blue had two teams among the top three. Pompey continued her rise to the top of the world with her phenomenal run.
USA Red’s Monica Hargrove (51.9), Natasha Hastings (51.0), Allyson Felix (49.64) and Sanya Richards
(50.52) won the event at Saturday’s event with 3:23.08 seconds while a long time foe, Jamaica finished second.
Nichiesha Wilson (53.1), Rosemarie Whyte (50.4), Novlene Williams–Mills (50.22) and Shericka Williams
(50.88) represented Jamaica in a time of 3:24.57. USA blue team was third in a time of 3:26.50 on Saturday.
The USA’s Blue team: Dominique Darden, Shana Cox (51.4), Sheena Tosta (51.07) and Monique Hennagan (52.55) were third
in 3:26.50 while Pompey on the World All–Star unit, anchored to a 3:27.42 fourth place finish with 3:27.42.
Guyanese Aliann Pompey recently
competed at the 115th Penn Relays in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday,
April 25th, 2009. She was a member of the World All-Stats track team which finished 4th in the women’s
USA vs. the World 4x400
Michael Saul came with a point to prove and his
subtraction would have been the absence of rival Rawle Greene, who because of an injury, opted out of the competition and
did not compete in the National Senior Championships yesterday.
CLOSE CALL FOR SECOND!!! Michael Saul (right) points to the media after winning
the Men’s 100m Final at the Police Sports Club Ground yesterday. From left, Keith Roberts, Kenneth Semple and Triston
Joseph lean for second place consideration.
Saul obliterated his opponents and even had time to point to the media when the Athletics
Association of Guyana (AAG) held its annual National Senior Championships, which the Police Sports Club accommodated at its
After Greene decided to not compete following a hip aggravation, Saul blasted to a 10.60
seconds win at the premier facility, leaving Enmore’s Kenneth ‘Beast’ Semple in second with 10.70 and Triston
Joseph third with 10.80.
With the hype surrounding the race and the unfortunate death of his sister, Saul had
much to prove yesterday when he turned up at the facility. Many enthusiasts had hoped that the previous champion, Greene would
have been ready.
By Edison Jefford Triston Joseph continued his impressive season on Sunday at the Police Sports Club with his blistering
performance in the 200m when the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) staged its 2009 National Senior Championships.
The national junior sprinter came off his double gold medal showing at the Inter–Guiana Games the previous day to
win the senior 200m race in 22.00, which was unofficially his personal best time in the marquee half lap event. He shaved
40 split seconds off his 22.40 seconds Guiana Games win, helping junior rival, Chavez Ageday to second with 22.20. Franken
Mercurius was third in 22.50 as the junior athletes completely dominated the senior race. Guiana Games 200m bronze medallist,
Dellon DeAbreu finished fourth in a sub-standard 23.00. Michael Saul, who had won the 100m earlier, eased his advance toward
the front of the race with approximately 50m remaining.
Kaieteur Sport learnt afterward that Saul was not too keen on entering the event. He won the 100m in 10.60 seconds.
Kenneth ‘Beast’ Semple was second in that event with 10.70 while Joseph finished third in a time of 10.80. Junior
athletes with their under–20 years winding down continued their impressive show when Mercedes Forde, Neisa Allen and
Nadine Rodrigues battled for supremacy after the veteran Alisha Fortune comfortably won the 100m. Fortune allowed her track
shoes to do all the talking with her usual dominant run in 12.00 leaving senior debutant, Leota Babb, who had known fantasies
of dethroning Fortune on Sunday, in second with 12.30. Allen was third in 12.80.
With Fortune opting out of the 200m race, the junior female sprinters amused enthusiasts in a closely fought race even
though their talented counterpart, Roxanna Rigby could not participate because of her aggravated ankle injury. Forde and
Allen raced out of their blocks ahead of the field with no sign of regression on a damp track after intermittent light showers
had caused a brief lull. Rodrigues joined the two frontrunners as final hustle intensified. However, at the end of the
race, Forde had a 25.10 seconds time for first place. Rodrigues had to settle for second after her Guiana Games gold medal
in the event, with 25.30 while emerging talent, Allen placed third in a 25.70 time. Forde had previously won the women’s
400m in 1:01.40 with Tiffany Smith second with 1:02.10; Delie Williams was third in 1:06.30. Wayne Harlequin (49.90), Trevor
Scotland (50.80) and Phillip Drayton (51.40) finished in that order in the men’s race. In one of the most anticipated
races of the day, Harlequin, Scotland and a junior luminary Ricardo Martin braced the start line for the men’s 800m
race. The pre–race chat was that Martin had enough momentum to beat the seniors. The junior middle distance star
entered the race against the background of Carifta Games silver medal, Guiana Games double gold medal and qualification for
the World Youth Championships to be staged in Italy in July. However, Scotland and Harlequin had their own ‘beef’
and were not prepared to allow the junior athlete to intervene. The race started with a heated pace but after the first
lap of the now considered ‘sprint distance’ the leaders emerged. Scotland rushed to the front with Harlequin
in second and Martin third. Ironically, by the end of the race the positions of the three athletes were the same. Scotland
won in 1:58.80 while Harlequin ran 2:01.20 and Martin 2:02.90. Ashanti Scott won the women’s version of the race
in 2:30.90 as a loner since there was not other competitor in the event. Stacey Wilson had started the event but dropped out
after the first lap leaving Scott to run alone. Guyana’s current and most successful distance athlete, Cleveland
Forde also impressed a fair sized crowd with his 5000m run. Forde seemed compact and precise throughout the event that
he completely dominated on Sunday. He ran 15:15.20 while Kelvin Johnson completed the course in 16:27.30 for second and
junior, Jonathan Fagundes 16:44.40 for third. Lionel D’Andrade was noticeably absent from the race though he had entered
to compete. Field Events Results Men Javelin Throw: Terrence Johnson (44.73m), Larry Josiah (39.74m) and Royston Ross
(38.23m). Women Javelin Throw: Stacey Wilson (31.30m) and Phillycia Burke (23.28m); there were only two competitors in
that event. Men Long Jump: Leon Bishop (6.38m), Japheth Hackett (6.35m) and Marlon Moshette (6.02m). Women Shot Put:
Anneisa DeAbreu (10.00m) and Lawanda Whaul (7.89m); there were only two competitors in this event. Men Shot Put: Ronald
Payne (14.24m), Ross (13.20m) and Johnson (12.92m). Women Discus Throw: Lashauna Benjamin (26.60m), Burke (26.07m) and
Guyana were crowned the 2009 Inter Guiana Games Track and Field Champions, after dominating both days
of competition hosted at the Eve Leary Sports Complex and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) grounds.
Girl Power! Nadine Rodrigues (wearing 1002) approaches the finish line to take
gold ahead of team-mate Roxanna Rigby (far right) in the female 200m on day two of the IGG Track and Field Championship, Suriname’s
Danielle Clark (2nd r) claimed bronze. (Orlando Charles Photo)
Guyana accumulated a mammoth 299 points in the 28 contested events winning both the male and female
categories with 156 and 143 points respectively.
Suriname finished second with a combined score of 184 points (Female 90p, Male 94p) and French Guiana
third with a total of 149 points (Female 81p, Male 68 points).
A total of 23 medals was claimed from the final 16 events by the reigning champions, who dominated
the second and final day yesterday as they had done on the first.
The track events began with the 800m where Guyana again overpowered the opposition in both categories.
Jevina Straker and Ricardo Martin both claimed their second gold of the championship when they won
the male and female 800m in times of 2:24.70 and 2:04.50s while their team mates Janella Jonas (2:26.30s) and Kevin Bailey
(2:06.90s) picked up their second individual silver medals.
Suriname’s Genelva Diko (2:34.80s) and Xaviero Cleve (2:09.60s) finished third in the male and
female 800m respectively.
Treiston Joseph who ran a time of 22.4s in the male 200m endured a tough race, challenged closely by
French Guiana’s Alan Alias (22.5s) Joseph held on for victory to claim the IGG Sprint Double for the second consecutive
year while his team mate Dellon DeAbreau finished third with a time of 22.8s.
The Guyanese dominance continued on the track when Nadine Rodrigues (25.2s) and Roxanna Rigby (25.4s)
won the female 200m ahead of Suriname’s Danielle Clarke (26.0s).
Guyana stamped their authority in both 4×400m races just as they did in the 4×100m, Suriname finished
second in the female 4×400m and French Guiana third while French Guiana came second to Guyana in the male category and Suriname
Suriname’s Ilsida Toemere outclassed the field in the female 3000m, clocking a time of 12:12.9s
for victory while Guyana’s Tisha Grimes (13:32.6s) and Toshawnna Doris (13:43.8s) finished second and third.
Suriname’s Ilsida Toemere crosses the finish line unchallenged in the female
3000m on the final day of the Inter Guiana Games Track and Field Championship at the Eve Leary Sports Complex Ground yesterday.
(Orlando Charles Photo)
The male 5000m was ruled by Guyana’s Jamal Chisholm who ran a time of 12:14.7s for victory to
defeated Suriname’s Regill Touwslager (17:35.5s) and Xaviero Simison (12:39.7s).
Winston Caesar and Marlon Moshette claimed gold and silver for Guyana in the male Triple Jump but Moshette
was able to reverse the position and defeat Ceasar to win the Long Jump.
In other results Suriname’s Yves Kakie and Romario Doorson won the Male Discus Throw with efforts
of 30.68m and 29.08m and Obie Haddaway (27.82m) from Guyana claimed bronze while Lashanna Whaul (Guy) recorded a distance
of 28.18m to defeat FG’s Samanta Sewgobind (23.92m) and Naomi Mousse (21.22m)
Shinead Emmerson and Whaul with throws of 8.85m and 8.06m won gold and silver in shotput for the hosts,
and French Guiana’s Samanta Sewgobind (6.61m) claimed bronze and Kakie (12.04m) and team mate Eartwin Weekers (11.26m)
claimed gold and bronze while Vallon Adams (Guy) claimed silver for Guyana with a throw of 11.62m.
Guyana took no prisoners yesterday, extending their dominance on the opening day of the Inter–Guiana
Games’ Athletics Championship to retaining the coveted title on the second day of competition at the Police Sports Club
Ground. Guyana amassed 277 points after the tabulation of the points minus the long jump events that were ongoing at another
venue late yesterday afternoon. Suriname ended second with 166 points while French Guiana was third with 141 points.
French Guiana and Suriname made enterprising starts to the day’s proceedings with wins in the
triple jump and discus events. But the early momentum was not enough to stop the Guyanese from pummelling their opposition
later. Consuella Menig jumped 11.54m to help Suriname to its first gold medal of the day in an easy win over French Guiana’s
Sergine Elmo (10.85m) and Larissa Galas (10.74m). The host country did not get on the medal podium. However, in the boys’
version of the event, Winston Caesar sprang his way to triumph in 13.81m to salvage pride. Following that attempt, Marlon
Moshette then landed a 13.57m jump to give Guyana the first two positions. Suriname’s Rondall Napo was third with a
best jump of 13.28m at YMCA, Thomas Lands. Menig followed up her performance in the morning with another gold medal 5.25m
jump in the girls’ long jump event. Guyana’s Natasha Doris finished second with 5.22m while Elmo added bronze
with a jump of 5.06m.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!! Guyana
Guyana’s Moshette and Caesar continued their rivalry in the boys’ long jump event when
they jumped 6.38m and 6.29m for first and second places respectively. Suriname’s Bondi Misasi was third with a best
jump of 6.12m. In the events that were held at the Police Sports Club, Suriname’s Yves Kakie had a best throw of
30.68m to emphatically win the boys’ discus event with countryman, Romario Doorson finishing second with a throw of
29.08m. Guyana’s Obie Haddaway was third in the distance with a 27.82m throw. Kakie returned later in the day to
add another gold medal to his haul in the boys’ shot put competition. The Surinamese threw 12.04m ahead of Guyana’s
Vallon Adams (11.62m) and Suriname’s Earwin Weekers (11.26m) respectively. But Guyana’s Shinead Emmerson then
threw 8.85m to win the female version of the shot put event, defeating nemesis Lashanna Whaul (8.06m) and French Guiana’s
Samanta Sewgobind (6.61m) in that order in the event. The win was much reprieve for Emmerson, who had lost the discus throw
on the previous day of the competition. Whaul took that event with an 18.18m throw with Sewgobind in second with 23.92m. French
Guiana’s Naomi Mousse was third with 21.22m. Suriname’s Ilsida Toemere devastated the field in the girls’
3000m race to win in 12:12.9 seconds ahead of Guyana’s Tisha Grimes (13.32.60) and Toshawnna Doris, who finished a distant
third in 13.43.80. Guyana’s Carifta Games gold medallist, Javina Straker won the girls’ 800m in a time of 2:24.70
with counterpart, Jenella Jonas in second with 2:26.30. Suriname’s Genelva Diko finished third in 2:34.80 in the event. Following
Straker’s double gold medal performance after winning the 1500m on day one, Ricardon Martin in a similar fashion, raced
to his second gold medal in the boys’ version of the 800m event in a blistering time of 2:04.50. Guyana’s Kevin
Bailey was second in 2:06.90 while Suriname’s Xaviero Cleve took third in 2:09.60. Sprinter Nadine Rodrigues, in
her first individual event of the contest, turned the table on local rival Roxanna Rigby in the girls’ 200m event. Rodrigues
flew out of her blocks to complete the distance in a time of 25.20. Rigby, sporting a bandage around her right ankle, was
second in 25.40 while Suriname’s Danielle Clarke was third in 26.00. The race was the only sprint event on the day and
certainly got the attention of most enthusiasts. Triston Joseph completed his famed double when he held off a strong challenge
from the French Guiana’s Alan Alias down the backstretch in the boys’ 200m contest. He won the race in 22.40 while
Alias had a 22.50 time. Joseph had also won the 100m on the opening day. Local Dellon DeAbreu was third in the 200m in 22.80. Guyana’s
Jamal Chisholm won the boys’ 5000m in 17:14.70 ahead of Suriname’s Regill Touwslager (17:35.50) and Xaviero Simison
(17:39.70). The 2009 host won both 4×400 races to bring the curtains down on the event.
Unstoppable Guyana sprint away with IGG athletics title By Storme Moore
No way!! Treiston Joseph denies Alan Alias in the 200m.
once again earned the right to be called champions of the track as they forcefully stamped their mark on the final day of
competition on the Inter-Guiana Games Track and Field circuit.
The local athletes were an unstoppable force yesterday as
they romped to victory in nine of the twelve events that were contested.
Sprint wonder Treiston Joseph did his country proud in the
blue ribbon 200m event as he silenced the threat of French Guiana’s Alan Alias.
Joseph won the event in a time of 22.40s while Alias who
was hot on his trail clocked 22.50s upsetting 400m champion Dellon DeAbreu who timed in at 22.80s.
Guyana swept the event in both the male and female categories
as Nadine Rodrigues sprinted to the finish in a time of 25.20s ahead of teammate Roxanna Rigby (25.40s) and Suriname’s
Danielle Clarke (26.00s).
One of the most impressive feats of the day, however, was
the outstanding performance by Suriname’s Ilsida Toemere in the female 3 000m event. She took an unchanging lead in
the third lap which saw her ultimately finish in 12:12.90s completely obliterating the second and third place Guyanese athletes
Tisha Grimes and Toshawnna Doris, who clocked 13:32.60s and 13:43.80s respectively.
The 800m exhibited a portion of Guyana’s pride and
joy as Carifta medallists Ricardo Martin and Javina Straker stepped up to the plate and proved themselves. Martin who finished
in 2:04.50s beat out Kevin Bailey (Guy) 2:06.90s and Xaviero Cleve (Sur) 2:09.60s.
Straker and Janella Jonas took the race in first and second
places respectively timing 2:24.70s and 2:26.30. Suriname, however, also had a say in this event as Genelva Diko came third
in a time 2:34.80s.
The discus and shot-put were also very competitive as the
wins alternated between the three countries. Lashanna Whaul won the discus throw for Guyana with an effort of 28.18m while
Surinamese Yves Kakie carried it away for the males with his impressive throw of 30.68m. Kakie also claimed the shot-put (12.04m)
while Shinead Emmerson included Guyana in the wins with her 8.85m throw.
Dellon DeAbreu brings home the gold for the 4x400m relay
team (Sonell Nelson photos)
longest race - 5 000m - was won by Jamal Chisholm (Guy) in 17:14.70s while Surinamese athletes Regill Touwslager and Xaviero
Simison copped second and third places in 17:35.50s and 17:39.70 respectively.
Guyana closed out on a high, taking both of the relay races
as the male and female teams were untouchable.
The males, who were Frank Mercurius, Kevin Bailey, Ricardo
Martin and Dellon DeAbreu, clocked a time of 3:35.00s. The female team comprised Nadine Rodrigues, Letitia Myles, Javina Straker
and on anchor leg was Shannah Thornhill. They finished in a time of 4:12.80s.
The final results put Guyana in first place with a total
of 177 points, Suriname took second with 166 points and French Guiana brought up the rear with their aggregate of 141 points.
Guyana got off to a prolific start in track and field when the 42nd Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) kicked
off yesterday at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary as they left their rivals from French Guiana and Suriname
trailing in their wake.
Guyana’s Dellon DeAbreau (R) claims gold for his country after crossing
the finish line ahead of the competition in the male 400m on the opening day of the 42nd Inter-Guiana Games at Eve Leary Sports
Complex ground, yesterday. (Orlando Charles photo)
Led by their three CARIFTA Games medallists, Jevina Straker, Jonella Jonas and Ricardo Martin, the
Land of Many Waters accumulated 99 points after the completion of ten of the twelve events which were carded for the day,
earning 17 medals (nine gold, four silver and four bronze) in the process.
Straker who claimed Guyana’s lone gold medal at the CARIFTA Games in the 1500 metres, repeated
her performance in the event, running 5:07.30s. She was able to hold off a stiff run from Jonas who finished second (5:07.90s)
while Suriname’s Genelva Diko finished third with a time of 5:21.40s.
Jonas and Straker who clocked times of 4:42.89s and 4:45.05s at the CARIFTA Games commanded the race
from the start and coming down to the final 100m Jonas made her move on Straker who had the inside but it was to no avail
as Straker opened her stride to put some distance between herself and her teammate before crossing the finish line.
Guyana’s Dellon DeAbreau (R) claims gold for his country after crossing
the finish line ahead of the competition in the male 400m on the opening day of the 42nd Inter-Guiana Games at Eve Leary Sports
Complex ground, yesterday. (Orlando Charles photo)
World Youth Championship-bound Martin showed his dominance at the games when he and his teammate
Kevin Bailey stamped their authority in the male 1500m and stopped the clock in times of 4:24.30s and 4:29.20s respectively
ahead of Regill Touwslager (Suriname) who finished third with a time of 4:31.20s.
The Guyanese spectators were brought to their feet when the IGG defending male and female 100m
and 200m champions, Treiston Joseph and Roxanna Rigby, who are also considered IGG’s fastest man and woman retained
those accolades with both winning their 100m races yesterday in times of 10.7s and 12.0s.
Joseph was challenged closely by teammate Okene Stuart who clocked 11.0s for the second spot while
Suriname’s Astayo Leeflang grabbed third in a time of 11.4s and Danielle Clark (Suriname) and Deja Smart (Guyana)
trailed Rigby for second and third with times of 12.4s and 12.9s in that order.
A confident-looking Guyana team marching past the main pavilion at the Eve Leary
ground yesterday to a standing ovation. (Orlando Charles photo)
After the race, Joseph stated he was not happy with his preparation leading up to the games but nevertheless
he put his best foot forward. “My preparation was not what I actually wanted to do because of the bad weather but I
did manage to go through the paces and came out and did my best.”
“Me and my coach did get to put in some work but it was not much. I didn’t get much practice
for the 200 metres but tomorrow (today) I just have to stay focused on my race and hopefully it will be enough to come out
on top,” he added.
Host Guyana got their motivation after winning the first two events for the day, which were the 400
metres male and female races. Dellon DeAbreau ran a time of 52.90s to claim the male event ahead of Junior Thallon (54.10s)
of French Guiana and his teammate Frank Mercurius (54.30s).
In the female category, Shaunna Thornhill (1:01.00s) raced ahead of Suriname’s Roma Van de Vloot
(1:01.09s) for the gold while her partner Letitia Myles (1:02.20s) was third. Clean rivalry
Home Alone! Guyana’s Jevina Straker (R) and Janella Jonas (L) storm home
unchallenged in their IGG 1500m race at the Eve Leary Sports Complex ground, yesterday. (Orlando Charles photo)
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony in delivering his charge to
the athletes thanked them for continuing the rich history of sportsmanship and clean rivalry at the IGG games and hoped
that the event can grow from strength to strength over the years.
He also said that from this year onwards, the three sports ministers will play a more active role in
the games which will see the event becoming a bigger affair.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who officially declared the games open, stressed on the cultural
barriers that the IGG event breaks, bringing three countries that speak three different languages together.
What was most important, the Prime Minister stated, was the initiative to ensure that the games have
equal participation from both males and females.
He said that sport within the Caribbean has been dominated by males only in recent years and for the
IGG event to see the females coming onboard shows the growth in the games.
Guyana’s IGG 100 & 200 metres champion Treiston Joseph lighting the
Games torch (Orlando Charles photo)
It’s traditional that before the action begins at the games, the national anthem of the
three countries must be played and the hoisting of the respective country’s flag as well.
However, while the French anthem was played and the flag was gracefully hoisted, the trouble began
when it came to the Surinamese as the French anthem was played instead causing some unease as the Dutch began to speak up
loudly in their native language before resorting to singing their anthem.
And when it came to the host country, the coordinator could not find the anthem and the Guyanese athletes
too became unsettled, but President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Colin Boyce used his initiative and
raced over to the area where the Police Force band was and had them play the national anthem.
In the meantime, Chairman of the National Sports Commission Conrad Plummer who was also the master
of ceremonies downplayed the snafu by ‘cracking a joke’ as Guyanese say in the vernacular. It
was well received by the athletes and their delegations and they got right down to the business of the games.
Led by the Guyana contingent, French Guiana and Suriname (below) take part in the March Past at yesterday’s
opening at the Police Ground, Eve Leary.
By Edison Jefford Shaunna Thornhill, Roxanna Rigby, Dellon DeAbreu and Triston Joseph gave local fans
much to scream about at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary yesterday as Guyana completely dominated day one of the athletics
The first phase of the 2009 InterGuiana Games (IGG) got underway yesterday when a fleet of national junior track and field
athletes stormed the Police Sports Club Ground yesterday following an opening ceremony. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds delivered
the main address and took the salute at the March Past of the teams along with representatives of French Guiana and Suriname
and Minister of Sport Dr Frank Anthony and Director of Sport Neil Kumar. Guyana’s Michael Bowman opened the medal hunt
for the locals when he threw 45.10m to win the boys’ javelin throw ahead of French Guiana’s, Alan Alias (44.30m)
and team mate, Vallon Adams, who tossed the iron ball 42.90m. Thornhill then went into action in the girls’ 400m
when she ran from behind to catch her leading counterpart, Letitia Myles (third in 1:02.20) to win in 1:01.00 while Suriname’s
Roma Van de Vloot finished second in 1:01.90.
The Suriname Contingent
With Guyana winning two gold medals on the trot, DeAbreu kept the country in defence of its athletics title when he easily
disposed of his opposition in the boys’ version of the 400m race with a time of 52.90. French Guiana’s, Junior
Thalon was second in 54.10 while Guyana’s Frank Mercurius was third in 54.30. French Guiana’s Alexie Alais
won the girls’ javelin throw with a toss of 33.10m, giving Guyana its first second place finish of the day when Lisa
Bowman threw 28.10m. French Guiana’s Jocelyne Violanes was third with 26.30m. Rigby raced to a 12.00 time to win
the marquee girls 100m ahead of Suriname’s Danielle Clarke, who clocked 12.40. Rigby’s team mate, Deja Smartt
placed third in the race with a time of 12.90 to continue Guyana’s consistency.
Local star, Triston Joseph gave Guyana a double in the race when he fired to a 10.70 time in the boys 100m race. Joseph
carried his counterpart, Okeme Stewart (11.00) to second place while Suriname’s Astrayo Leeflang (11.40) was third. Joseph,
who has been the most dominant junior 100m sprinter for the last two years and a defending Guiana Games champion, told Kaieteur
Sport that he enjoyed the race and it was what he expected since working on his technique. “I worked on some technical
aspects prior to the event. I am completely satisfied with my run here today and I am looking to continue in this good form,”
Joseph said, adding that he wants to graduate to the Pan American Junior level.
The French Contingent
After Joseph’s heroics, Carifta Games gold medallist, Jevina Straker ran from behind to capture the girls 1500m race
in 5:07.30 ahead of local rival, Jenella Jonas (5:07.90) and Suriname’s Genelva Diko, who came third in 5:21.40. Straker’s
entertaining run was supported when Carifta Games team mate, Ricardo Martin devastated his opponents in the male version of
the race in 4:24.30, leaving counter part, Kevin Bailey to fight for second in 4:29.20. Suriname’s Regill Touwslager
was third with a time of 4:31.20 at the Police Ground. With Guyana taking most of the top medals on the opening day, it
was time for the much anticipated 4×100m relays where the host country again used the opportunity to extend its earlier dominance
in the track and field competition.
Guyana’s team that comprised Smart, Myles, Rigby and Nadine Rodrigues won the easily in 50.00 seconds with French
Guiana in second with 52.00 and neighbouring Suriname in third with a distant 53.20 time in the event. The local male 4×100m
team that included Mercurius, DeAbreu, Stewart and Joseph had an even more convincing win with 43.30 seconds ahead of French
Guiana (46.90) and Suriname (47.80) to wrap up the day’s competition. The second day of the athletics competition
begins today at the same venue from 10am.
Guyana take command on first day of IGG Track and Field
By Storme Moore
By a nose!! Treiston Joseph is seen here taking the
100m for Guyana as Okeme Stewart crossed the finish line just behind him in second place.
lived up to the prestige of defending champions as they asserted their dominance on the Track and Field circuit during the
opening day of competition at the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG).
In the 400m, which was the first event of the day, Shannah
Thornhill stomped to a commanding victory in 1:01 secs as Romona Van Veldt of French Guiana chased her down with her timing
of 1:01.9 secs and Guyanese Letitia Myles closed out the medal contention coming third with her time of 1:02.2 secs.
The Guyanese athletes blew the competition away in consecutive
events as Dellon DeAbreu took the 400m for the males in a blistering 52.9 secs which saw him finish metres ahead of his competition,
French Guiana’s Thalon Junior trailed him with his 54.1 secs as Frank Mercurius of Guyana took the third spot in 54.3
secs. The 100m was no different as Treiston Joseph (Guy) hammered his way down the straight to clock the only sub 11.00 secs
timing of 10.7 secs.
Shannah Thornhill crosses the finish to take the 400m.
(Sonell Nelson photos)
Okeme Stewart ensured a double podium as he placed second, in 11.0 secs ahead of French Guiana’s Astrayo Leefflang who
clocked 11.4 secs. The female 100m ushered in a developing trend which continued throughout the day as Guyana once again took
Roxanna Rigby effortlessly won the event in 12.0 secs followed
closely by teammate Deja Smartt with her timing of 12.1 secs, Suriname’s Danielle Clark’s challenging attempt
was to no avail but clocked 12.4s to take third place.
Carifta silver medallist Ricardo Martin (Guy) took the 1500m,
which brought on a thunderous roar of applause, in a time of 4.24.3 secs as Kevin Bailey copped silver for Guyana in 4.31.2
secs. Javina Straker and Janella Jonas clocked respective times of 5:07.7 secs and 5:07.9 secs to take the girls’ 1500m
in first and second ahead of Suriname’s Genella Diko (5:21.4 secs).
Team Guyana took the 4x100m male and female relays in 43.3 secs and 50.0 secs respectively. The ladies’ high
jump, however, went to French Guiana’s Franceka Money who cleared a height of 1.35m ousting Natasha Doris (Guy) (1.30m)
and Mariel Samuel (Sur) (1.10m). Hamere Alexander redeemed Guyana in the high jump as he claimed gold by clearing a height
Suriname’s S. Boschman took second also with 1.65m,
which was due to his acquiring more fouls than Alexander, and Wusley St Fort included French Guiana in the standings with
his height of 1.60m.
Inter-Guiana Games 2009
begin with rousing opening ceremony By Storme Moore YESTERDAY’S opening ceremony of the Inter-Guiana Games saw
the continuation of a 42-year-old tradition of respect, excellence, fair-play and the all-around healthy competitiveness of
the three Guianas.
Representatives from all three countries expressed their
pride, elation and anxiety at this opportunity to carry the pride of their nations on their shoulders; they also tried their
best to instil the gravity of this undertaking which is believed to be not only a sporting event but also a meeting of friends.
At the ceremony the administrators of sport in Guyana opened
their arms in warm welcome to our neighbours from Suriname and French Guiana. Master of Ceremonies Conrad Plummer, who is
also the Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) expressed his delight at hosting the games this year and, in a bit
of humour, issued the challenge to the opposing teams.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony,
in his address related that these Games, which brings together the three countries, have a broader role to play in our national
development and also in the development of the international relations with our continental neighbours.
According to Anthony the Inter-Guiana Games serves as a
vehicle for cultural cohesion and understanding since the interaction that stems from the collaborative effort of the athletes,
coaches and officials from the three nations will aid in the betterment of all.
Director of Sport Neil Kumar joined him in giving thanks
to Suriname and French Guiana for playing their part in making this year’s Inter-Guiana Games possible. “Enjoy
the sports and have fierce competition,” said Anthony who, in closing, reminded the visitors to enjoy the splendour
that Guyana is.
“It is good to see my old friends from Suriname and
French Guiana,” proclaimed Prime Minister Samuel Hinds who said that in this respect the games serve him personally.
“I bid you a warm welcome to Guyana” were his
words as he gave the official sanction to get the ball rolling. He shed some light on the great strides he has seen in the
IGG over the years and made a reference to Guyana’s first female football team to participate in the games.
He said that this made him nostalgic of his days at school
when girls playing football was not a common sight and so the fact that we now have female footballers representing us at
an international event is evidence of the great advancement since the inception of the IGG in 1967.
The Prime Minister also stated that students were invited
from various schools to share in this experience in order for them to enjoy the camaraderie in sports.
He applauded the National Sports Commission (NSC), the Guyana
Amateur Swimming Association (GASA), the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) and the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) for
their success in coming together as a whole to proudly represent Guyana.
In concluding he remarked that it is his desire to have
a competition free of ‘acrimony and bitterness’.
A representative from the governing body of sport in French
Guiana gave his endorsement saying, “Enjoy these Games and let the best team win.”
This was reinforced by a Surinamese representative who encouraged
all youths to be physically active and to practise good sportsmanship, as in the competition they will have to deal with both
victory and loss.
The National School of Dance hailed the opening of the prestigious
event with a performance which was followed by the symbolic lighting of the IGG torch and the athlete’s oath which was
given by Guyanese team member Roxanna Rigby.
Alika Morgan’s place among the athletes that were selected for an intense training stint in Colorado Springs is now
in doubt following her recent ankle injury, which in essence, led to her underperformance at the Junior Carifta Games. The
National Sports Commission double ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ was named among a four–member team that includes
fellow distance athletes Kelvin Johnson and Cleveland Forde and national sprint queen, Alicia Fortune.
However, when asked at a recent Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) media briefing if she will be attending the training
stint at the facility in the United States, Morgan could not give a definite answer based on her fitness. “My coach
will have to answer that,” she said, following the question of if her injury will heal sufficiently in time for the
rigorous stint. Morgan admitted at the forum, when asked, that she is “not a 100 percent” physically in shape.
Though details of the programme are sketchy, President of the AAG, Colin Boyce stated that it is not in the best interest
of the country to send an injured athlete to the event. As a result, preventative systems will be put it place. “I
will not want to send an injured athlete since the country’s reputation would be at stake at the event that promises
to be intense,” Boyce had revealed at the press conference. He further stated that a medical examination will be done. As
of the time of the media event on Friday, the only information the AAG disclosed was that arrangements were being made through
the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) for the four athletes that were identified for the US stint.
It was also made public that distance athlete, Lionel D’Andrade and national senior sprint champion, Rawle Greene,
were named reserves. Therefore, if Morgan does not participate in the event, one of those athletes will take her place. Boyce
told Kaieteur Sport that much has not changed on the Colorado Springs training activity since the press conference. “I
have to call Juman Yasin (GOA President) to find out about that and the Caribbean Games,” he said. The athletic association
chief executive indicated that systems are being implemented to ensure that Morgan is medically certified fit before Colorado
Springs. He informed that neutral doctors have agreed to do her MRI Scan. Apart from the Scan, it was also revealed that
a doctor at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation is being consulted on the athlete. Boyce said that neutral doctors
are required to have an authentic medical report on Morgan. (Edison Jefford)
While preparations for the staging of the athletics competition of the Inter–Guiana
Games are on stream, President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin Boyce has expressed disappointment over
Following a meeting with Director of Sport, Neil Kumar, yesterday morning, Boyce told
Kaieteur Sport that he was peeved at the discovery that the national athletes will not have the encampment opportunity ahead
of the Games.
“I was campaigning for the athletes to be encamped so that they can be familiar
with each other and gel as a team,” Boyce said, adding that Kumar told him that it was too costly to have all the athletes
encamped for the competition.
The AAG President indicated that he was disappointed because as much as the discipline,
track and field, is one of the most important of the Games, he felt that it should have been treated better at the National
“They [the commission] can depend on track and field to bring home the championship
trophy. They ought to treat the sport better,” Boyce said after revealing that only out–of–town athletes
will be encamped for the Guiana Games.
The encampment phase of the Games is one of the traditional aspects of the event where
the national athletes take time to interact and unite as a team. The previous camps were usually held at the YMCA in Thomas
Guyana will host the initial stage of the Guiana Games including track and field, football
and swimming from Friday. The track and field competition will be the first discipline on display at the Police Sports Club
The other disciplines represented at the Games are basketball, volleyball and cycling.
The second phase is billed for Suriname later this year. Boyce told this newspaper yesterday that systems are being implemented
for the Games.
“We are trying to get things in place. We’ve already cut the ground and we
are preparing to welcome the teams on Thursday [tomorrow],” Boyce said, adding that local athletes should all be present
at the host venue tomorrow.
Initially, the team was expected to undergo
training together with Raymond Daw as their national coach but that did not materialise since athletes were not encamped for
the meet. The team consists of 28 male and female athletes.
Fifteen-year-old Jevina Straker says that even though she was denied a chance of competing at the 6th IAAF World Youth
games this year, she is not deterred and will use it as a motivating factor to do even better in the future.
Jevina Straker posing with a few of her trophies and medals at home yesterday. (Rawle Toney photo)
Competing at the just concluded 38th Junior CARIFTA games in St Lucia, the Tutorial High school student grabbed Guyana’s
lone gold medal at the championships. Along with Ricardo Martin who took silver in his race and Jonella Jonas bronze in Jevina’s
race, Straker made her qualifying time in the Girls under 17 800 metres running 2:14.74 as compared to the games qualifying
time of 2:16.00 She was then the Athletics Association of Guyana’s (AAG) automatic choice after it was explained by
President Colin Boyce that the IAAF had offered Guyana two athletes and one official for the championship because they were
considered a non-qualifying nation.
But Straker received a shock on Friday when she was told that she was too young to compete at the World Youth championship
because she was born in 1994 and had to have been born between 1992 and 1993 to be eligible.
Yesterday, the Meadow- brook Gardens resident spoke with Stabroek Sports. She’s naturally upset and disappointed
because after learning that she had qualified to compete at the World championship, she was overwhelmed with joy. She said
the disturbing news that followed made her feel as though a part of her was lost.
“Well yes I am very much disappointed but even though I am, there is nothing I can do, its not an AAG games, it’s
the IAAF, so if they say I’m too young, then all I have to do is accept and just work harder so that I can make up for
it by making the next youth games” said Straker.
Jonas will be taking the place of Straker at the Games and since the two are friends as well as club mates at the rising
star track club, she wished her all the best. “I know that Jonella will do well because she is a good athlete so I want
to wish her all the best”.
Jevina’s mother Patricia Straker says that she too was a bit downcast after hearing that her daughter was not eligible.
“I know how hard my daughter trained and work before going to that games and myself along with her father, we are
very supportive of her where athletics is concerned and I am very disappointed but then I know that there was nothing the
AAG could have done, it’s an IAAF meet so all they have to do is follow the rule and work harder next time around”
said Mrs. Straker.
According to the fourth form student, this would give her more time to focus on her academics and still keep the focus
of making it next time around.
“I have plenty time and plenty games to come, so I will be aiming at bettering my time because by then I will be
moving up to a tough category which is under 20”.
“I also have to balance my school work and that is very important right now because next year I will be writing my
CXC and nine subjects. But right now I’m looking at doing good at the Inter Guiana Games this weekend and better my
timing and so on” said the soft-spoken teenager.
Her mother also said that it will be a bit difficult on her daughter since she will have to also balance the rigours of
training and her books.
She is a strong advocate of her offspring becoming a balanced student/athlete. “As a parent I try my best to make
her feel comfortable. I would let her know that she needs to be a good student because sports is not all and so far she has
been doing fairly well in school.”
“Presently she attends lessons and she trains from 4:30 am to 7:00 am and when she comes home from lessons or school
I would enquire about what was done and so on you know….and try my best to keep her on the right track….her father
also does his part, he does the same as me because as parents we want her to accomplish both on and off the track”.
Jevina who runs the 400, 800 and 1500 metres races says that apart from becoming one of Guyana’s best athletes, she
wants to become an architect or a pharmacist.
Jevina Straker, Guyana’s lone
gold medallist at the recent Carifta Games won’t be going to the world junior championships in Italy this year after
all as she is too young.
This was revealed yesterday when the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) held a press briefing with
members of the team from the 38th Carifta Games held in St. Lucia to officially congratulate them. The briefing was held at
the Guyana Olympic House.
A squad of nine departed from Guyana on April 7th for the four-day games which ran from April 10–13.
Present at the ceremony was U-17 Female 1500m gold medallist Straker, Janella Jonas and Ricardo Martin
along with Guyana’s premier female middle distance and distance athlete Alika Morgan, a medal hopeful, who was unfortunate
not to land a podium position in this her final Carifta year due to an injury.
At the conclusion of the games Straker and Jonas who grabbed Gold and Bronze in the U-17 female 1500m
respectively and Martin who captured Silver in the same distance in the male category automatically qualified based on their
times for the 2009 IAAF World Junior Championship which is scheduled to be held in Italy in July.
However, Straker suffered a misfortune when the AAG were alerted by the International Athletics Association
Federation (IAAF) that their lone Gold Medalist was too young to participate in the prestigious games.
Straker who won in a time of 4:42.89s ahead of Jamaica’s Petrene Plummer (4:43.65s) and fellow
compatriot Jonas (4:45.05), was born in 1994 and had to be born in 1992-1993 to be eligible to compete in Italy.
Jonas will now take Straker’s spot and she will represent Guyana alongside Martin. At the
press briefing, First Vice President of the association, Cornel Rose disclosed that Guyana had a fourth World Champs qualifier,
Chavez Ageday. He qualified in the male U-17 200m with a time of 22.77s against 22.9s.
However, the IAAF which will be providing the airfare for the qualified athletes gave Guyana a quota
of two athletes, one male and a female, even after the AAG contacted them after making the discovery that Ageday was also
eligible to participate.
Morgan sustained an ankle injury leading up to the Carifta Games and her foot was in a cast for 24
days. When it was removed she had approximately nine training days, according to her coach Leslie Blackman.
“I was not one hundred percent fit because I was not doing the training I was suppose to before
the tournament because of my injury but I wanted to run mostly because it was my final year to compete at Carifta”,
“My injury was the cause for not being able to medal but I performed at my best when I went out
to run. During the races my ankle did not hurt and I thought my performance was good enough although I did not have enough
time to prepare”, she added.
Morgan just missed a podium finish in the 3000m race when she placed fourth and grabbed a seventh place
finish in the 1500m. Even though not fully recovered from the injury Morgan has made it clear that she will be competing
in the Inter-Guianas Games next weekend.
WE'RE BACK!!! AAG President, Colin Boyce (seated, centre) takes a photo opportunity with the 2009
Carifta Games medallists, (r-l, standing) Ricardo Martin, Jevina Straker and Jenella Jonas with Coach Leslie Black. Also seated
(from left) are manger Wendy Doris and AAG vicepresident, Cornel Rose.
By Edison Jefford Alika Morgan said she would not implicate her coach, Leslie Black when President
of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin Boyce held a press conference at Olympic House yesterday to debrief the
media on various issues. “I was not 100 percent. I was not doing the training I should have done due to the injury.
I was at the Games and people were asking me if I am not a former medallist and I told them I have an injury,” Morgan
The current national ‘Sportswoman of the Year’ was referring to the threatening injury of her ankle that almost
left her off the national team. However, her performances were not as dominant as her two previous appearances. Morgan’s
injured attendance at the prestigious meet has raised many questions about the future of the top athlete’s career, which
the aggravation of the serious injury could have easily undermined at the Carifta Games in Saint Lucia. Kaieteur Sport
asked Morgan if she would blame her coach for the oversight of allowing her to compete with an injury and she said: “No,
I would not blame him; this year is my last year as a junior and anyone would want to run”. Boyce reiterated his
previous position that the athlete should have undergone a thorough medical examination. He observed that the AAG missed the
mark in that regard but made it clear that the blunder will not recur in the future.
“If it’s known that a [national] athlete is injured before a major meet, I think it is only fair to put that
athlete through a medical examination to certify whether or not that athlete is fit enough to compete,” the AAG head
told the media. In addition, Boyce said that while steps will be taken in that direction, the association will also require
the medically certified athletes to privately undergo trials, which will also aid the association’s intelligence function
on athletes. “Sometimes a doctor can say that an athlete can run because they are fit but then the time that athlete
would have spent recovering means that they would have lost some physical fitness. We want to be sure on both counts,”
he said. “We knew she (Morgan) was injured but knowing the kind of calibre athlete that she was, we expected her
to perform. I had counted her in the medals for Guyana,” he continued at the picturesque Olympic House in Queenstown.
Arriving at the meeting in time to field a few questions, Black indicated that Morgan did not complain about pain during
training, which gave the impression that she had fully recovered from the recurring ankle injury. “She never cried
out for pains. I asked her during training how she felt and she said good. It was her last year as a junior athlete and up
to two days before we left she did not complain because she wanted to run,” Black said. According to Black, who indirectly
threatened to quit athletics over this furore, the AAG should have said that they were not satisfied with mere speculation
over Morgan’s fitness thereafter requesting medical certification on the injury. “The President of the AAG
[Boyce] should have said that he was not satisfied with what I told him and should’ve gone to consult a doctor,”
Black believed, adding that “he has to decide with his family” if he will continue coaching.
The issues surrounding Morgan’s injury raises ethical questions about the priorities of her management since it was
clearly not in her best interest to compete without fully allowing the fracture to heal and repair before athletic activity. Morgan’s
best performance at the Carifta Games was her fourth place finish in the 3000m under-20 girls’ race where she ran a
terribly off 10:59.81 seconds. The dual Sportswoman of the Year’s personal best time in that event is 10.11.00. Junior
Carifta Games’ gold medallist, Jevina Straker, silver medallist, Ricardo Martin and bronze medallist Jenella Jonas also
attended yesterday’s press conference. The team came into Guyana Thursday after the meet ended Tuesday.
Ricardo Martin and Jevina Straker will both have their dreams of competing among some of the world’s
best athletes come through, after it was announced that the two will be representing Guyana at this year’s 6th IAAF
World Youth Championship (WYC), billed for Italy from July 8-12.
Straker who struck Guyana’s only gold at the just concluded Junior CARIFTA games, made her time
competing in heat three of the Girls under 17 800M clocking 2:15.86 as compared to the WYC time of 2:16.00. Martin also made
his time running in the 800 metres under 17 race.
Initially, apart from Straker and Martin, Jonella Jonas also made the youth games qualifying for the
800 metres as well, running 2:15.
However, according to the President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin Boyce Guyana
is considered as a ‘non-qualifying nation’ by the world governing body for athletics, the IAAF and as such its
quota of athletes is minimal.
Boyce explained that the IAAF had informed that given their position, they would be allowed one athlete
and two officials at the games but after some negotiations Guyana was offered two athletes (one male and one female) and one
He said that the two selectees were automatic since Martin was the only male and Straker was the only
gold medallist for Guyana at the games. However he said that negotiations are still ongoing to see if they can send Jonas
to the games as well. All expenses for the athletes for the games will be paid for by the IAAF.
“I think that our athletes had performed well at the championships in St Lucia and us making
sure that a large contingent was sent to the games paid dividends since we have three athletes qualifying for the Junior World
Athletics Championship”, said Boyce.
This is the first time that Guyana will be sending more than one athlete to the championship. It has
Ever since the inception of the games the land of many waters has always been represented except for
2007. Dax Danns was the last athlete to represent Guyana, competing in the 200 and 100 metres races and placing 4th and 5th
By Edison Jefford An accomplished Lionel D’Andrade returned from Trinidad and Tobago Tuesday
where his outstanding performances helped him believe that he can be among the top athletes at the quickly approaching Caribbean
D’Andrade told Kaieteur Sport that he is back in Guyana for the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) National Senior
Championships scheduled for next weekend and that he is expected to return to Trinidad after that meet. “I have three
5k runs next month and all I am doing with these 5k is trying to improve my speed for the half marathon at the Caribbean Games,”
D’Andrade indicated, adding that he believes that he can perform well at the event. The qualifying time for the half
marathon at the Caribbean Games is 1hr and 20 minutes but D’Andrade is of the view that he can better that standard
by 10 minutes. He said that he don’t have a personal best time in the race.
“I don’t even have to train to run that time. And not me alone, I think Cleveland (Forde) and Kelvin (Johnson)
can run that easily,” he boasted, while stating that the local trio may have to qualify automatically for the event. “We
may have to be automatic qualifiers since there is no half marathon in the Caribbean before the Games. I have to talk with
Mr (Colin) Boyce (AAG President) to find out how he intends to deal with our situation,” he continued. The top distance
athlete believes that his performances in Trinidad, so far, augur well for the future since they were done early in the year.
He said that he will reach his peak form in time for the inaugural Caribbean Games in Trinidad.
In the absence of adequate competition locally for distance athletes, D’Andrade among a host of other Guyanese athletes,
often storm Trinidad to campaign. Other athletes from various Caribbean countries also do the same. D’Andrade placed
second in his first event this year, the TUTA 10km race and returned a seventh place finish at the prestigious Trinidad International
Marathon before topping the field in the Ministry of Community Development 5k run. His decent form continued with a second
place finish in the first race of the Kiss Road Race Series, which was followed with another second place at the 2 ˝ mile
distance race around the Savannah and first in the 5km Bishops run.
Before returning to Guyana, D’Andrade finished fourth in the 5000m at Southern Games and sixth in the 1500m. He also
won the Rodney 5km race. The top athlete had told this newspaper that he prefers road races as opposed to the track. He
thanked his primary sponsor, Yadram Rajkumar, General Manager of General Industrial and Supplies Limited for his continued
By Edison Jefford President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Colin
Boyce has expressed his disappointment over the performances of ‘Sportswoman of the Year’, Alika Morgan at the
recently concluded Carifta Games in Saint Lucia. Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that while her performance was attributed
to the fact that she sustained an ankle injury earlier this year, he had included the top athlete among the medals for Guyana
at the junior competition. “Frankly speaking, I am disappointed that Morgan did not medal. We did not carry out a
proper check to see if she was physically fit to get on the medal podium but I would not describe that as an oversight,”
Guyana depended on new regional stars, Javina Straker, Janella Jonas and Ricardo Martin for more medals
at the Carifta Games after the trio gave the country one gold and two silver medals on the opening night of the event. Boyce
said that he believed that Guyana could have won six medals if Morgan was given adequate medical attention. “I don’t
want to blame it on her coach but I particularly asked about her fitness before she departed,” He recalled. Morgan’s
best performance at the Carifta Games was her fourth place finish in the 3000m under-20 girls’ race where she ran a
terribly off 10:59.81 seconds. The dual Sportswoman of the Year’s personal best time in that event is 10.11.00.
According to the AAG President, Morgan had two weeks’ rest following the Inter-Guiana Games trials
and that he believes also contributed to her poor performance at the Games where she is a defending silver and bronze medallist. “We
should have ensured that we got her certified medical attention. We overlooked that with the perception that she is a former
medallist. We really had high hopes of her getting medals but it did not materialise,” Boyce lamented. Despite attempting
to take the wrap for Morgan’s mishap, the AAG boss was asked if the athlete’s coach, Leslie Black, who is also
an AAG Committee Member, properly undated the association on her availability to compete.
If Black knew that Morgan’s injury was too serious for her to compete but concealed that information
from the AAG for the benefit of exposure and competition, new questions about his role as a club and now national coach will
arise. “I don’t want to blame him but nothing was said. When I spoke to him before the national team departed,
he said the injury would not affect Morgan. It was a learning lesson that we will ensure does not recur,” the AAG head
noted. Asked why congratulatory messages from the AAG to those athletes that medalled were not circulated, Boyce said that
the association was waiting on the results from the other athletes to issue a general statement. The ten Guyanese athletes
that participated at the Junior Carifta Games are expected into Guyana today and a formal press conference is to be held later.
Black had travelled with the team as national coach.
Guyana’s lone gold medallist in the 38th Junior CARFITA Games Jevina Straker is overjoyed about
her victory and proud to have snagged the top prize for her country as well as the opportunity to participate in the World
Youth Championships (WYC) in Italy.
The 14-year-old emerged the winner when she clocked 4:42.89 in the Girls Under-17 1500 metres beating
Jamaica’s Petrene Plummer (4:43.65) and fellow Guyanese Jonella Jonas (4:45.05) at the George Odlum Stadium in St Lucia.
In a telephone interview with Stabroek Sport from St Lucia on Sunday, Straker said she was elated because
“I worked hard to get here and to win gold in my first time at the games makes me feel really special.”
The Tutorial High School student said too, “I feel special by winning Guyana’s only gold
Describing her run, the diminutive athlete said, “When I started I know that I had to run real
hard because I heard about the Jamaicans and so on and then I had two of them in my race, so I know I had to run real hard.”
She said too she had a good start and was full of energy which made it very easy. The champ said, “I know that I had
to run hard against Jonella as well because she is very good but after in the last lap somehow I got more energy and sprint
away ahead of the girl from Jamaica.”
Straker was also high in praise of her coach Leslie Black for providing much needed encouragement.
“I would like to thank my coach because he was there for me and supported me well. He talked to me throughout the race
shouting from the stands….this made me feel great and I listened to everything he said and I was able to win,”
the fourth-former said.”
Meanwhile, Black commended his athletes. He said what was remarkable was that they all listened to
his instructions and executed them well. “I thought our team did well even though we didn’t get plenty medals,
all the athletes performed at their best. I say this because I know how they run locally and to me they have all improved,”
he said. Regarding Straker’s win he said, “she really surprised me because of how she performed…she listened
to me and did exactly what I told her and she came out on top in the 1500 metres.”
Other than Ricardo Martin and Alika Morgan, none of the other athletes have ever competed at the Junior
CARIFTA Games, and this team’s performance showed that they are ready to take on the region’s best athletes. Black
said that the athletes seemed different and more purposeful compared to when they competed on the local scene. Double victory
Guyana finished the Games with three medals from the ten athletes that participated; additionally,
Straker, Jonas and Martin have all qualified for the WYC set for Italy in July. The three all made the required times for
the Under-17 800 meters prompting a delighted Straker to say she feels she has won two medals because she has qualified for
the WYC. Straker also said she hopes the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) can make her dream of attending the games a
Black echoed these sentiments adding that the AAG owes the athletes the chance to compete further afield.
He told Stabroek Sport that since the new executive was installed he has been trying to persuade president Colin Boyce to
allow a large contingent to attend the CARIFTA Games in order to capitalise on the opportunity to enhance themselves. “I
feel with the three athletes making the timings for the World Youth Championship, it would open the eyes of the AAG to send
plenty athletes to games like these because you can never tell when an athlete will have their breakout point as in case of
Ricardo, Javina and Jonella,” Black said, adding “I just hope now that they reward them by sending them to the
games so that they can continue to excel.”
Black said too that more opportunities should be made available to Martin who hails from the Rupununi.
He said Martin should be relocated to Georgetown so that he can participate in more outings abroad, particularly since he
performed so well at the Games. Synthetic track
Guyana was one of the few countries at the Games whose athletes don’t use a synthetic track.
This has been a growing problem for local athletics since many persons believe that the time has passed for competitions on
grass tracks. The AAG has also spent a number of years trying to remedy the situation.
Black, who has been around the sport for about 20 years, said he met the person who laid the track
at the George Odlum stadium and was advised about how it could be done in a cost-effective way. “I was told that we
don’t need a stadium to have a rubber track…we can start by having a few bleachers and then build around that
as time [goes] by,” he said. Black said too he collected the person’s contact information and intends to pass
it on to the AAG to push his efforts to ensure that Guyana’s athletes have the best facility. “I was amazed to
[see] how we adjusted to the track and if only we can have one in Guyana, people in the Caribbean would be amazed at what
we can and will produce,” Black said.
The Golden Arrowhead did not fly from the podium on the fourth and final day of the 2009 Junior CARIFTA Games in St Lucia
as Javina Straker, Jonella Jonas and Ricardo Martin all failed to medal.
Javina Straker will return to these shores happy, following her gold medal run in the girls’
Competing at the George Odlum Stadium, Martin finished fifth in a closely contested boys’ under-17 800 metres (m),
running a time of 1:57.93, while Straker (2:22.10) and Jonas (2:23.70) who were both competing in the girls’ under-17
800m had to settle for sixth and seventh places respectively.
At the end of the four-day regional athletics championship, Guyana’s ten-member contingent mustered three medals.
Straker won gold in the girls’ under-17 1500m), Martin took silver in the boys’ under-17 1500m and Jonas settled
for bronze in the girls’ under-17 1500m.
However, a lot of positives came out of the tour which was led by Coach Leslie Black, as three athletes made the qualifying
times for the IAAF World Youth Champ-ionship which is set for Italy from July 8-12.
Straker and Jonas both qualified for the girls’ under-17 800m after running 2:14:74 and 2:15:86 respectively and
beating the games qualifying time of 2:16.00. Martin made his time in the 800m as well after running 1:57.93 as compared to
the world youth championship minimum time of 1:58.00.
Meanwhile, Jamaica’s athletes accentuated their regional dominance with a sweep of all the 200m and three of the
four 1600m relay titles in a riveting climax to the 38th CARIFTA Games.
In striding to an awesome 25th consecutive medal-topping display at the regional meet, the Jamaicans gathered 67 medals
— 39 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze – well ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, whose team garnered nine gold, 10 silver
and 10 bronze medals.
Guyana’s Under-17 middle distance star, Tutorial’s Jevina Straker, struck gold in the 1500
metres at the 2009 Junior Carifta Games which is being held in Castries, St. Lucia. Straker finished in a time of 4:42.89
to capture the top prize from Jamaican Petrene Plummer and another Guyanese Janella Jonas, who claimed the bronze medal. Guyana
secured another medal this time through U-17 athlete Ricardo Martin, who came home second in the Boys 1500 metres event to
give the ‘Land of Many Waters’ its third medal of the championships.
Boys 1500 Metre Under 17 Finals 1 DA Costa, Waquar Jamaica 4:05.02 2 Martin,
Ricardo Guyana 4:06.05 3 Simons, Trey Bermuda 4:06.56 4 Pamphile, Rolstan St. Lucia 4:12.61 5 Carey, J. Audley Bahamas
4:13.74 6 Wright, Callum Barbados 4:15.65 7 London, Mark Trinidad & Tobago 4:19.33 8 Vidal Jr., Silverius St.
Lucia 4:23.07 9 Landeau, Nicholas Trinidad & Tobago 4:26.85 10 Mouchette, Juma Bermuda 4:33.39 11 Sital, Chavez
First record falls as CARIFTA Games get underway in St. Lucia
Vieux Fort, St Lucia - A record number of athletes registered for the 38th CARIFTA Games, over 500 participants, including
athletes from French Guiana and Haiti, an encouraging sign for territories that have had a less than consistent record of
participation at these Games.
First Games record falls
With two CARIFTA under-17 records and eight gold medals to her name coming into these Games, Jamaica’s
Natoya Goule has a date with destiny at this meet. She might have been hoping to do battle with Guyana’s Alika Morgan
in the under-20 1500m run, but when the gun went, it was only Goule who went out like a bullet, Morgan still feeling the effects
from a recent ankle injury. Had she run within herself, with the 800m still to come, especially considering Jamaica’s
team touched down in St Lucia at 3:30am, none would have begrudged her. Instead, Goule pulled further and further from the
field, stopping the clock in 4:27.48, breaking compatriot Janice Turner’s record of 4:31.33 from 1991.
the under-17 division, Guyana’s team selection bore fruit, as the South American territory earned two medals, through
Jevina Straker and Janella Jonas. In a fairly slow race, Straker (4:42.89) crossed the line first, though South American Youth
Games bronze medallist Jonas (4:45.05) was not far off the pace. Separating the two was Jamaica’s Petrene Plummer (4:43.65)
who Straker overcame with a late surge coming into the home straight.
Defending champ Waquar Da Costa won the under-17 boys’ race for Jamaica, his 4:05.02 just over
two seconds out of WYC qualification. Second and third in that event were Ricardo Martin (4:06.56) of Guyana and Trey Simons
(4:06.56) from Bermuda.
On the opening day, following a colourful opening ceremony featuring music, dance and speeches from dignitaries including
the island’s Minister of Youth & Sports, Lenard Montoute, president of the local Federation, Wayne Burton, and president
of the North and Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (NACAC), Neville Teddy McCook, the Games burst into
life under the lights at the officially renamed George Odlum Stadium.
Perhaps due to the unusual Good Friday start, the opening day was not as heavily patronized as might have been expected,
but the large Bahamian contingent delivered its normal festive Junkanoo spirit, and St. Lucians responded in kind. Perhaps
three thousand patrons were treated to two and a half hours of action that included two medals for the home team, a CARIFTA
record and a tantalizing preview of what is to be expected for the rest of the weekend, especially from a number of the athletes
competing with one eye on qualifying for July’s 6th IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy.
Two for the home team
In the first completed event of the Games, a surprise winner emerged in the men’s open Pole Vault. Never before had
St Lucia entered an athlete in this event, but with only four competitors registered, the home team was virtually certain
of a medal. Verual McIntosh of Bahamas concluded his participation at 3.20m, whilst St Lucians Rick Valcin and Shem Edwards
continued. Egging each other on, the pair stopped on 3.50m and 3.60m respectively. Defending champion and Games record holder
K’Don Samuels started his competition at 4.20m, but he failed in all three trials, leaving 16-year-old Edwards, vaulting
for just nine months and a mere 5cm shy of WYC qualification, as the gold medallist.
Saturday full of promise, eyes on Kirani James
Last year, less than a second separated them after nearly four laps of the track. This year, Trinidad & Tobago’s
Gavyn Nero and Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell could be all but inseparable on Saturday afternoon, when they meet in the 1500m
men’s final, after cruising through Friday’s preliminaries. Add Conroy Crossman (Jamaica), Kendis Bullard (Trinidad
& Tobago), last year’s under-17 silver medallist, Matthew Wright of Barbados and Henry Stevens-Carty of Bermuda,
and surely this race should live up to its promise as one of the Games’ most exciting and certainly one of its most
Meanwhile, 17-year-old World Youth medal hopeful Kirani James marked his under-20 men’s debut by jogging to the second-fastest
time in qualifying for Saturday’s 400m final. Defending champion Rondell Bartholomew of Grenada ran 46.89 seconds to
win his heat ahead of Barbados’ 2008 bronze medallist Fabian Norgrove. But with all due respect to Bartholomew, Norgrove
and the rest, it is Bartholomew’s countryman, James, on whom most eyes will be resting on Saturday, with his coach openly
looking forward to the possibility that Kirani could go under 44.5 this season.
Minus the record-threatening speed of Sandrae Farquharson and Chris-Ann Gordon in the girls’ event, Jamaica has put
their quarter-mile hopes on Shericka Jackson and Olivia James. Both won their heats, but in slightly less impressive fashion
than Rashan Brown, who gave the Bahamas something to cheer about when she ran 55.33 seconds to win the final heat. Amongst
the women, Trefesana Snith ran a breezy race and all four of the final eight qualified for WYC.
Shaquille Alleyne (Barbados, 49.24); Jermaine Fyffe (Jamaica, 49.37); Darvin Sandy (Trinidad & Tobago, 50.24) and Rosen
Daniel (St Lucia, 50.34) all qualified for WYC, as they took the top four spots in Saturday’s boy’s under-17 final.
38th Carifta Games Championship - 4/10/2009
St. Lucia National Stadium
Fort, St. Lucia, B.W.I.
Event 9 Girls 1500 Meter Run Under 17 ===============================================================
World: W 3:50.46 9/11/1993 Yunxia Qu, CHN
World Junior: J 3:51.34 10/18/1997 Yinglai Lang, CHN World
Youth: Y 3:54.52 10/18/1997 Ling Zhang, CHN
Carifta: C 4:32.70 4/15/2006 Goule Natoya, Jamaica W. Youth Qul: % 4:35.00
Finals =============================================================== Finals
1 Straker, Jevina Guyana
4:42.89 2 Plummer, Petrene Jamaica
4:43.65 3 Jonas, Janella Guyana
4:45.05 4 Thompson, Carla Jamaica
4:48.93 5 Adams, Shani
Barbados 4:49.50 6 Collymore,
Dawnel Trinidad & Tobago
4:50.89 7 Bean, Taylor Ashley Bermuda
4:51.63 8 Wilson, Antonia Grenada
4:53.23 9 Lewis, Jewel
Antigua & Barbuda 5:08.73 10 Vitalis, Cassie
St. Lucia 5:12.38 11 Vrolijk, Jennelaine
Aruba 5:14.58 12
Zamor, Charlotte Martinique
5:23.36 13 Bolden, Kyla
5:24.28 14 Pancrate, Aurelia Martinique
6:07.36 -- Phibert, Vanessa N. Antilles
DNS -- Serieux, Darnell St. Lucia
Event 10 Boys 1500 Meter Run Under 17 ===============================================================
World: W 3:26.00 7/14/1998 Hicham El Guerrouj, MAR
World Junior: J 3:30.24 7/19/2002 Cornelius Chirchir, KEN World Youth: Y 3:35.16 9/3/2000
Cornelius Chirchir, KEN Carifta:
C 4:00.04 4/7/2007 Kemos Campbell, Jamaica W. Youth Qul: % 4:03.00
Finals =============================================================== Finals
1 DA Costa, Waquar Jamaica
4:05.02 2 Martin, Ricardo Guyana
4:06.05 3 Simons, Trey
Bermuda 4:06.56 4 Pamphile,
Rolstan St. Lucia
4:12.61 5 Carey, J. Audley Bahamas
4:13.74 6 Wright, Callum Barbados
4:15.65 7 London, Mark
Trinidad & Tobago 4:19.33 8 Vidal Jr., Silverius
St. Lucia 4:23.07 9 Landeau, Nicholas
Trinidad & Tobago 4:26.85 10 Mouchette, Juma
Bermuda 4:33.39 11 SI Tal, Chavez
Guyana 4:37.70 12 MACENO,
4:38.58 13 Firpion, Lukas French Guyana
4:39.95 14 Lacle, William Aruba
4:55.44 -- Henderson, Yannick St.
Kitts & Nevis DNF -- Mascoll, Antonio
The Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) have released the names of the
athletes who will represent Guyana in their two disciplines at the Caribbean Games set for Trinidad and Tobago from July 16-18.
Marian Burnett – Two-time Olympian.
The games which will be held every four years just like the Olympics will have some of the Caribbean’s best athletes
competing in athletics, boxing and lawn tennis.
It was reported in Monday’s edition of the Kaieteur News that since the announcement of Guyana’s participation
to the inaugural event by President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K. A. Juman Yassin the athletes selected for the
three sports was a mystery.
However the two associations have rushed to the defence of the GOA stating that the report was misleading since they
had both submitted their names since late February.
Cleveland Rock - Junior Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist.
Athletics President of the AAG Colin Boyce said that his association has selected the best possible
athletes for the event since his counterparts in the Caribbean would be doing likewise. He however explained that while they
have short-listed six locals in their 14-member team, they unlike the overseas-based athletes are yet to make
the qualifying times for their respective events.
Boyce stated that the locals would have to make their times at any international meet prior to the games in July.
The AAG top official noted that two meets will be held in Trinidad and Tobago - the Falcons Athletics Track Meet
and the Hampton International Games.
Meanwhile, the AAG short-listed the following representatives: Overseas-based: Marian Burnett, Alian Pompey, Adam Harris,
Dian Monroe, Angela Corlette, Jeremy and Deon Bascom and Lee Prowell.
Boxing National coach Clifton Moore said that even though they have submitted the names early,
they are still looking at the prospects of doing some reshuffling but only local talents will be utilized. He said too that
the team is already in training at the National Park under his supervision and that of assistant coaches Michael Paris and
“We have started our preparation very early for the games unlike what was reported. I can’t speak for
the other two disciplines. We have gone so far, that our fighters are presently doing their stamina and physical development
training,” said Moore.
He said the short-listed boxers are no strangers to the type of competition which is expected at the Caribbean Games since
they have fought at much bigger events.
Heading the list of the selected boxers is Junior Sportsman of the Year Cleveland Rock who has written his name in the
local history books by winning Guyana’s first and only medal at the Junior Commonwealth Games which was hosted in India
last year. He won a silver medal in the bantamweight division.
Also on the team is 2007 Pan-American Games bronze medalist and amateur champion Clive Atwell along with his world championship
teammates Markemer Piere, Orlando Allicok and Aubrey Moore.
The GABA short-listed the following boxers for the Caribbean Games: Clive Atwell, Cleveland Rock, Mulchand Sankar,
Aubrey Moore, Bert Braithwaite, Devon Boatswain, Troy Waldron, Markember Piere, Romeo Nerville and Orlando Allicock.
Top junior athletes left here yesterday for St Lucia where they would be representing Guyana at the 38th Junior CARIFTA
Games from April 10–13.
Bon Voyage! Athletes and officials of the AAG posed for this Orlando Charles photo before departing
yesterday for the Junior CARIFTA Games to be held in St Lucia from April 10-13.
Alika Morgan, Ricardo Martin, Johnathan Fagundes, Jamaal Holder, Chavez Sital, Chavez Ageday, Jonella Jonas, Ayanna Graham
and Tiffany Carto comprise the team which will be under the guidance of coach Leslie Blacks and manager Wendy Doris. It is
the largest contingent to represent Guyana at the Games in recent years.
And Blacks said that he’s optimistic that the team will do well since in his view it is one of the better composed
CARIFTA games squad that has ever been put together.
Junior and Senior Sportswoman of the Year Alika Morgan and Ricardo Martin are the only two athletes who have represented
Guyana before at the games with Morgan being the more successful, winning a bronze and silver medal last year in the
1500 and 3000 meters races respectively.
According to Blacks, even though Morgan and Martin are expected to do well, he is certain that the new faces will perform
at their best.
“People always say that Guyana’s best chances of medaling at any games not only at CARIFTA, is through their
distance athletes and it has been proven over the years, but we have some very good sprinters as well, who I think will go
out there and do good,” the team coach said.
He also noted that Morgan who has won five medals in her three performances at the games is not at her best physically
since she is still recuperating from a broken ankle.
Blacks was also adamant that South American Youth Games bronze medalist Jonella Jonas is a strong medal contender in the
Under-17 800 and 1500 meters races since she has been unstoppable on the local circuit.
Meanwhile President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Colin Boyce said that after all the drama that unfolded
regarding sponsorship of the team to the event, he is elated that Guyana could send a large contingent.
According to the AAG President, he is certain that the athletes who were selected will do well at the games.
When Boyce, a Guyana Police Force officer, took office after the AAG elections, he had said that only the best athletes
would be selected to represent Guyana and once an athlete was doing well on the local scene, that athlete would be given a
chance to do so internationally.
The Junior CARIFTA games team, Boyce said, is testimony of the AAG’s mandate and this approach would be continued
across the board.
Twenty-five other countries are expected to join host St Lucia for the games at the George Odlum Stadium.
We may not be top contenders, but I expect a few medals - AAG President
President of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) Assistant
Superintendent Colin Boyce told the media that while he knows that Guyana will not be top contenders to secure the most medals
due to our small contingent, he expects the team to return home with a few.
President of the AAG Assistant Superintendent Colin Boyce (left) and General Secretary Claude Blackmore
(right) pose with the squad and Coach Leslie Black (second from left) at Olympic House yesterday.
“We may not be top contenders, but I expect a few medals.” Boyce was at the time extending best
wishes to the team which departed yesterday morning from Olympic House to participate in the 2009 Junior Carifta Games in
Castries, St. Lucia over the coming weekend.
The ten-member squad will be led by star distance athlete Alika Morgan and also includes (Girls) Jevina Straker,
Ayanna Graham, Tiffany Carto and Janella Jonas, while the (Boys) are Chavez Ajedey, Ricardo Martin, Chavez Sital, Jonathan
Fagundes and Jamal Holder.
Wendy Doris is the Manager/ Chaperone, while Leslie Black will serve as Coach.
Morgan brings a lot of prior experience, having competed on two previous occasions with some success, gaining
a silver and bronze in the 3000 and 1500 metres respectively when the events were held in Turks and Caicos in 2007 and St.
Kitts last year.
The listings of athletes for their individual events are: Under-17 Girls- J. Straker (800, 1500 metres);
A. Graham (100 & 200 metres); T. Carto (100 & 200 metres); J. Jonas (800 &1500 metres); U-20- A. Morgan (1500
& 3000 metres); U-17 Boys- C. Ajeday (100 & 200 metres); R. Martin (800 & 1500 metres); C. Sital (1500 & 3000
metres) and U-20 Boys- J. Fagundes (1500 & 5000 metres) and J. Holder (1500 & 5000 metres).
Carifta Games squad off to St Lucia A TWELVE-member team departed for St Lucia yesterday to participate
in the 38th edition of the annual Carifta Games, to be held from April 11 to 13 at the George Odlum National Stadium.
Seeking Carifta glory! Guyana’s contingent of athletes before they left Guyana yesterday at the Olympic House. (Adrian
Olympic House in Queenstown, Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) president Colin Boyce, encouraged the athletes to perform
to their optimum and implored them to be good ambassadors for their country. He also urged them to listen to their manager/chaperone
Wendy Doris and coach Leslie Black.
Also on the team is Guyana’s 2008 Sportswoman-of-the-year
Alika Morgan, who will be participating in the 1500m and 3 000m in the U-20 category. Meanwhile, over the years Guyana’s
showing at this event in Trinidad & Tobago, especially in the sprint events has been uninspiring.
Over the longer distances however, Guyanese athletes have
been able to give better accounts of themselves. So the likes of Jevina Straker, coming off a Hampton Games gold medal performance
in the 800m, Janella Jonas, Jonathan Fagundes, Chavez Sital and Jamal Holder can create some discomfort for the other athletes
abroad with an upset or two.
However, one cannot rule out the talented Police Youth Club
sprinters Tiffany Carto and Ayana Graham along with the budding Chavez Ageday who have been running fast times on grass.
Therefore, there is the possibility that they will improve
their personal-best times on the synthetic track at the national stadium in St. Lucia.
The twelve-member delegation includes coach Leslie Black
and manager/chaperone Wendy Doris, sprinters Ayanna Graham, Tiffany Carto and Chavez Ageday; middle and distance athletes
Jevina Straker, Janella Jonas, Ricardo Martin, Chavez Sital, Alika Morgan, Jonathan Fagundes and Jamal Holder.
After their rain affected trials on Sunday,
the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has identified 28 junior track and field athletes, 14 males and 14 females, to represent
Guyana at the upcoming Inter–Guiana Games (IGG).
The team was selected immediately after the trials but protocol did not allow the AAG to disseminate the
names of the athletes before yesterday since the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport had to be appropriately informed.
President of the AAG, Colin Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that Guyana is usually dominant in the track
and field events. He said that the strength of the team identified is to help Guyana advance in the point system overall.
“It’s a point system and we want to ensure that our discipline comes out on top. Guyana will
dominate both the male and female events,” Boyce said, adding that 18 points are up for grabs in the IGG track and field
The other sport disciplines represented at IGG are football, basketball, volleyball, cycling and swimming.
Guyana is expected to host the initial stage that includes track and field, football and swimming during April 24–27.
The athletics competition is set for April 24 and 25 at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary. “We
have an entitlement of one additional male and one additional female athlete as the host country,” Boyce informed yesterday.
He pointed out that based on the events that are to be contested, the AAG selection panel had to ensure that
the best athletes suited for more than one event was given the distinct opportunity to represent their country at the Games.
“We had to take into consideration the relay events so we had to kind of perm the team,” the
AAG boss said. He was keen to observe that junior sprint sensation, Triston Joseph and distance queen, Alika Morgan will lead
The male team includes: Joseph, Okeni Stewart, Dellon DeAbreu, Valon Adams, Frank Mercurius, Kevin Bailey,
Winston Caesar, Michael Bowman, Jamaal Chisholm, Chavez Sital, Obie Hadaway, Hamere Alexander, Marlon Moshet and Ricardo Martin.
The female team reads: Morgan, Roxanna Rigby, Deja Smartt, Shanna Thornhill, Letitia Myles, Javina Straker,
Nadine Rodrigues, Jenella Jonas, Teshwanna Doris, Lawanda Whaul, Shinead Emmerson, Lisa Bowman, Natasha Doris and Shebekia
According to Boyce, the national junior athletes are expected to train as a team from next week at the Police
Sports Club Ground. He said they will remain under the tutelage of their respective clubs for the remainder of this week.
Joseph takes controversial 100m at IGG trials … rain hampers athletes By Storme Moore TREISTON
Joseph got what some deemed an undeserved first place in the 100m finals at the Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) trials held Sunday
at the Police Sports Club ground, Eve Leary.
The finish of the controversial 100m at Sunday’s IGG trials.
The finish was
so close that spectators and even some of the officials could not determine who the winner was.
While it appeared that Joseph was beaten by Okeme Stewart,
who dipped a bit too early and was nowhere near the finish line, uproar erupted from the spectators and the judges however
fingered Joseph as the winner while some were still convinced otherwise.
The final time of 10.7 secs got Joseph a monetary prize
of $15 000 and a spot on the IGG team while Stewart clocked 10.9 secs ahead of Delon DeAbreu’s 11.1 secs.
Joseph also won the 200m in a time of 22.0 secs with DeAbreu
once again trailing in his footsteps with his timing of 22.6 secs just ousting Frank Mercurius (22.8 secs) for the second
Roxanna Rigby won the female 100m in 11.7 secs beating Deja
Smartt who clocked 12.2 secs and Tiffany Carto who clocked 12.7 secs.
She also won the 200m in a blistering 25.2 secs completing
a sprint double and copping the two spots for the female sprint events. Nadine Rodrigues clocked 25.3 secs in a close second-place
finish ahead of Nisha Allen (25.8 secs). Javina Straker was the winner of the female 800m race in 2:21.4 secs while her male
counterpart was Ricardo Martin who clocked a timing of 2:03.4 secs.
Johnathan Fagundes claimed the 5 000m which he finished
in 18:20.7 and Alika Morgan won the 3 000m, which was run off during a sudden downpour. She clocked 11:34.6 ahead of her sibling
competition Toshawnna and Leanna Doris who ran 12:45.9 and 13:24.0 respectively.
After the rain the meet continued with the 400m which was
won by Shannah Thornhill in the female category in a time of 1:01.2 while Frank Mercurius, who clocked 52.8, copped the win
for the male category.
A disappointed Carlwyn Collins was forced to discontinue
the race as he was suffering from a bothersome hamstring injury.
The bout of inclement weather rendered the facilities unsuitable
for competition but the event pressed on. Competitors faced hazards such as the soggy track and swampy long jump pit that
lay in the aftermath of the sudden shower.
While there were a few mishaps no serious injuries were
sustained and many of the athletes hold the conditions at fault for the shortcomings in their performances.
In just 68 days time Guyana will hopefully join 25 other regional territories that will congregate in Trinidad
and Tobago to participate in the inaugural Caribbean Games which will be held from July 12-19.
It will mark the first time that many people in the region get to see most of the regional stars in action
since they dominated the last Olympics which was held in Beijing, China and it is sole for this reason that the Organizers
have emphatically stated that individual countries should attempt to send their best athletes to the Games.
Athletes will compete in five sporting disciplines - boxing, netball, tennis, track & field and volleyball
and among those expected to be there are Jamaicans sprint stars Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann
Fraser and Trinidadians Richard Thompson and Darrel Brown among others.
The Organisers have already promised that all the top athletes from the region will be at the Games, come
Sometime ago, Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) President K.A Juman Yassin disclosed that Guyana will be sending
representatives in three disciplines (boxing, tennis and track & field), but with just over two months left, no word on
the likely composition of any of the respective teams has been forthcoming.
Why should the selection of the respective teams remain shrouded in mystery even at this late stage? It is
because there is no intention to pick local athletes.
These are the legitimate questions that need to be answered by those responsible for choosing members to
represent Guyana in the three disciplines.
The selection of teams by certain sports officials seems to always leave latitude for critics to confront
and question their sincerity and of course with merit.
Why can’t they just name a set of probable candidates and thereafter provide the best possible opportunities
for them to qualify to make the Games eligibility guidelines.
Again, there appears to be no effort to select locally-based athletes who’re making the same if not
more sacrifices than those based overseas.
Isn’t Rawle Greene, Alisha Fortune, Kelvin Johnson, Lionel D’Andrade, Phillip Squires, Shelly-Daly
Ramdyhan, Cleavon Rock, all making the same sacrifice as those athletes abroad?
The Games will be held every four years in the year immediately following the Olympic Games.
By Edison Jefford The national junior athletics team that was selected to compete at the Carifta Games
over the Easter weekend in Saint Lucia is lamenting the lack of adequate funding for the event where Guyana has positive medal
chances. Initially, eight athletes were released to Kaieteur Sport that had revealed, on the contrary, that the Athletics
Association of Guyana (AAG) was actually scrutinising ten athletes for the prestigious regional junior track and field event. Apparently,
the other two athletes, Jonathan Fagundes and Ianna Graham had impressed the selection committee subsequent to the AAG Carifta
Games trials and are now part of the official national junior track team.
The other eight athletes include 2008 National Sports Commission ‘Sportswoman of the Year’, Alika Morgan, Jenella
Jonas, Jevena Straker, Tiffany Carto, Jamaal Holder, Ricardo Martin, Chavez Sital and Chavez Ageday. However, while the
medal prospects of the athletes seem favourable, particularly in the distance events, Coach Leslie Black has noted the urgent
need for funding for the team that is expected to depart Guyana sometime next week. “The team is in some trouble. We
need assistance. We are waiting on the Government to see what will happen. My biggest fear at the moment is [the lack of]
sponsorship,” Black told this newspaper in an impromptu interview. Black, who will be travelling with the team as Coach,
said that all the athletes selected to represent the country has the potential to win medals. “We think that all the
athletes have a good chance but we need sponsorship,” he reiterated.
The former coach of national distance star, Cleveland Forde, has five athletes on the team in the form of Morgan, Jonas,
Straker, Fagundes and debutant, Sital. Black indicated that none of the athletes should be left behind. President of the
AAG, Colin Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that the association had received a commitment from Director of Sport, Neil
Kumar, who was to further take up the matter with the minister, Dr. Frank Anthony. “Kumar promise us some money but
we need additional sponsorship because our athletes will be in the island two days before and two days after the meet as a
result of the flight arrangements we got,” the AAG head explained.
According to Boyce, the host country is only covering accommodation for athletes during the event. He indicated that he
had also requested airport tax waivers among other benefit from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. “Once everything
goes well, we will be able to go. By this [yesterday] afternoon, we will be in a better position to pronounce,” Boyce,
who had made his ‘reward for performance’ policy known when he took office, informed. The new AAG head had
made it clear that he will attempt everything possible to deviate from the old paradigm of sending one and two athletes to
major meets. Boyce’s aim is to maximise Guyana’s participation as part of development. One parent, David Sital,
said that he is trying every possible option to ensure that his son, Chavez, makes a comfortable debut at the Games. When
contacted, Sital said that he has gotten some support but not enough to talk about.
“We are trying to see what else we can get. He is going to go. We are looking to see what else we can get for him.
I don’t believe we should stifle our young athletes,” he lamented, while urging Government to support the national
team. Sital said that his son is not the only athlete short of funding. According to the parent, the other athletes have
complained as well. “We are not getting sponsorship and all of us are complaining,” the ardent enthusiast told
this newspaper. With the increase of regional and international meets, local athletes are seeking exposure at those forums
in an effort to increase their general development. However, without the necessary sponsorship those dreams are fleeting.
Guyana’s leading male distance athletes opened their tender toward qualification for the upcoming Caribbean Games
with dominant performances in two separate meets in the games’ host island of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday. Lionel
D’Andrade blistered the field in the Bishop 5k road race early yesterday morning to win in 15:58. His performance left
another national distance runner, Dennis Horatio in second with 16:32 while Nicholas Lando was third in 16:45.
The Guyanese athletes had stormed the island in wake of the qualification requirements for the Caribbean Games. It is hoped
that these regular high level competitions will help them prepare for the prestigious event. The Bishop 5k left D’Andrade
little time to recover for the 1500m at the Southern Games later in the day. However, Cleveland Forde did Guyana adequate
justice in the race when he finished a close second behind Gavin Nero. Forde, who travelled right into the race from Guyana,
was present to collect a local award Friday night. He completed the heated 1500m race in 4:00.53, which were split seconds
behind Trinidadian, Nero’s winning 4:00.02 time. Arguably one of the region’s most successful distance athletes,
Pamenos Ballantyne was third in the race with 4:02.99. D’Andrade merely managed sixth with a distant 4:20.00 while Horatio
was reportedly too tired to compete.
“I could not make it in the 1500m because of the [5k] race this morning and besides, I don’t do too well on
track. I am basically a road race runner,” D’Andrade told Kaieteur Sport from Trinidad and Tobago yesterday evening. He
said that he is looking forward for the 5000m race today where D’Andrade, Forde and Horatio will lead Guyana’s
challenge against Nero, Ballantyne and the remainder of the region’s top athletes when the Southern Games continue.
D’Andrade, Forde, Horatio make the spotlight GUYANA’S top middle distance athletes made the spotlight on Saturday evening at the Annual Trinidad and Tobago
Southern Games being staged at Guaracara Park, South Trinidad.
According to reports, Lionel D’Andrade won the men’s
5 000-metre race ahead of his Guyanese compatriot Dennis Horatio, while Kenya-trained athlete Cleveland Forde settled for
second to Trinidad’s Gavin Nero in the men’s 1500-metre event.
All three locals were down to contest the men’s 10
000-metre race last evening.
Speaking to Chronicle Sport via telephone yesterday, Forde
said he narrowly missed winning the 1500-metre race.
“I think I kicked too late” Forde said, adding,
when the race started, a Jamaican athlete broke away and opened a big lead but with two laps remaining, St Vincent’s
Pamenous Ballentyne went to the front and increased the pace, but with approximately 100-metre before the finish line, Nero
and himself (Forde) overtook Ballentyne, but “I kicked too late and Nero went on to win.”
D’Andrade clocked 15 minutes 58 seconds (15:58) in
winning the 5000-metre race, while Horatio returned (16:15).
Nero’s winning time for the 1500-metre race was 4:00.02
while Forde registered 4:00.53 (Michael DaSilva)
National distance athletes Cleveland Forde and Alika Morgan were named male and female 2008 athletes-of-the-year respectively
when the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) held its annual awards ceremony at Olympic House Friday evening. And for
the first time the AAG had a tie in the runner-up position for the male award with Kelvin Johnson and Lionel D’ Andrade
taking the spot together while Janella Jonas was adjudged runner-up in the female athlete-of-the-year award. Morgan
and Forde enjoyed much success in 2008 winning several events both locally and around the Caribbean. They were both recipients
of the prestigious National Sports Commission (NSC) Sportsman and Sportswoman-of-the-Year awards with Ford winning in 2006
while Morgan secured the double in the Junior and Senior categories last year.
President of the AAG Colin Boyce lauded the two athletes for their achievements over the years and he also charged them
to continue improving.
Nerissa Alleyne (second, right) pips Nadine Rodrigues on the finish line.
National junior athletes Chavez Ageday and Chavez Sital continued their preparations for the Junior Carifta Games in Saint
Kitts next month when the East Coast Sport Committee hosted a track meet at the Enmore Community ground. Ageday won the
under–17 boys’ 100m and 200m races while Sital easily won the 1500m in the same age group. Nerissa Alleyne also
had a good day out with upset victories in the 100m and 200m open races against Nadine Rodrigues. Ageday, a national schools’
multiple record holder, claimed the 100m ahead of Esmon Glasgow and Terry Easton, while beating Andre Josiah and Curtis Fraser
into second and third places respectively in the 200m race.
Sital was victorious in his race against Levi Cornette and Malcolm Walcott respectively. Alleyne won the open 200m, defeating
Rodrigues, and placed second in the 100m behind Alisha Fortune while Rodrigues came third. Deja Smart came out on top in
the under–17 girls 100m with Renetta Isaacs in second and Shemaine Daniels in third. However, Daniels returned in the
200m to knock Smart into second with Kimberly Marshall finishing third. Earlier, national senior sprint champion, Rawle Greene
had won the open 100m ahead of Kenneth Semple.
Royal Youth Movement’s, Phillip Drayton defeated Alton Seaforth and Adrian Ross respectively in the mile event. The
meet, while not well attended, added to the rigorous Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) season that has already witnessed
a Cross Country event, two Development Meets and the AAG Junior Carifta Games trials.
Premier sprinters bemoan lack of attention, support
By Rawle Welch Guyana’s two premier sprinters Rawle Greene and Alisha Fortune are up in arms
about the lack of support that is absent even as they begin to intensify preparations for the upcoming inaugural Caribbean
Games which will be held in July in Trinidad and Tobago. According to the sprinters, who were seen going through their
paces yesterday at the National Park, there seems to be a lack of attention and support from the relevant authorities and
this development has hampered their preparations somewhat.
“We need some more support and attention, especially from the business community as we try getting ourselves adequately
prepared to first meet the qualifying times and subsequently perform to our optimum at the Games,” Fortune told Kaieteur
Sport. She said she felt now is the time for those responsible for the team to start putting things in place to ensure
that the team selected to participate at the Games is both mentally and physically ready to compete against their regional
The pair was seen going through some strengthening and endurance workouts under the guidance of coaches Julian Edmonds
and Sham Johnny and they indicated that the current regimen is to ensure that they are fully prepared for the anticipated
rigorous competition. “Our coaches have worked out a programme for us that will ensure that we do not peak too early,
but have a lot in store if we’re selected to attend the Games,” Fortune stated. The sprint queen said they were
very pleased with the amount of Meets that have been planned ahead of the Games and commended the new executive for putting
together such a calendar.
She, however, called on the sport’s administration to have the prospective athletes encamped very early which could
provide the sort of setting to keep them focused. Fortune bemoaned the fact that they both have to work and train which
according to her is extremely difficult to do, especially when you factor in the magnitude of the Games. Commenting on
the manner in which the sport is seen locally in terms of financial support, Fortune said that many persons are more inclined
to support cricket, but she envisages that in a few years athletics will overtake it. “We have an abundance of athletic
talent right here, but no one is looking in our direction.” “We have to find all the necessary equipment to
prepare for competitions and when you take into consideration that an athlete usually needs at least four (4) pairs of running
shoes, you ask yourself how they can survive in the sport.”
The outspoken athlete who has shown the dedication and commitment over the years, including making huge sacrifices to represent
her country revealed that very often she has to give a few junior athletes running shoes so that they remain in the sport. “It
is hard, but when you see the talent, you are forced to do so to ensure that the potential witnessed remain in the sport,”
she mentioned. Fortune also touched on the sub-standard facility that they have to train on in preparation to make the
qualifying times which she stated was nothing short of terrible. “It is very dangerous for us to train on a track
that is very uneven and every day you risk being injured and having your dreams shattered.”
“We are at a major disadvantage when compared with other Caribbean athletes in every regard, so many things are wrong
with the sport,” Fortune dejectedly commented Among the missing components that she mentioned were a gym to exercise
and do strengthening and a masseur, personnel that is readily available to athletes competing at a certain level. “We
are willing, dedicated and determined to reach the international level, but so many important aspects are missing.” Meanwhile,
Greene echoed similar sentiments expressed by his training partner, calling on the authorities to understand the importance
of ensuring that whichever team is selected get the necessary support which will enable them to do their best. Kaieteur
Sport wishes both athletes the best of luck in their endeavours.
The Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) named an eight–member team yesterday for the upcoming Junior Carifta Games
in Saint Lucia over the Easter Weekend but has also stated that sponsorship will determine who finally attends. Those included
in the squad after the AAG trials two weeks ago are current Sportswoman of the Year, Alika Morgan, Jenella Jonas, Jevena Straker,
Tiffany Carto, Jamaal Holder, Ricardo Martin, Chavez Sital and Chavez Ageday. The eight athletes were named following an
AAG meeting yesterday. The athletes, while identified to attend the prestigious junior track and field meet, will know whether
they will participate at the competition pending sponsorship. President of the AAG, Colin Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday
that he has spoken with Director of Sport, Niel Kumar to garner assistance on the facilitation of waivers of airport taxes
and contribution toward air tickets. “The Director of Sport is supposed to talk to the minister [of Culture, Youth
and Sport Dr Frank Anthony] to see how much assistance we can get. Based on that we will know how much of those athletes will
travel,” Boyce informed. Ever since Boyce came to the fore of the AAG earlier this year, he has been insisting that
they will try to ensure maximum participation at regional meets. He reiterated that yesterday when this newspaper contacted
him for a comment. “The entire focus is to ensure that the entire team goes. Based on the development meets and the
[Carifta] trials, most of the athletes that we have put together stand a good chance of medalling at the Carifta Games,”
he said. Boyce said that the AAG will expose most of the under-17 athletes to the sprint events in an effort to ensure
a balance of participation. He indicated that the team is strong in the middle distance events but the sprinters also need
support. “All of them are good prospects. We are exposing the sprinters to see if they can come good,” he noted,
adding that he expects the seasoned performers like Morgan and Martin to do well but the other athletes must also perform. This
newspaper had learnt from a source that ten athletes were initially identified for the Saint Lucia meeting. However, the
two that were supposedly axed from the squad could not be ascertained as at the time of this interview.
Guyana’s foremost junior male sprinters, Dellon DeAbreu and Triston Joseph
persistently continued an existing rivalry yesterday at the Athletics Association of Guyana’s Junior Carifta Games trials,
which was held at Enmore.
It was all hype and swagger in the under–20 boys 100m and 200m events where the two top athletes resumed
enmity that was brought over to 2009 from the National Schools’ Track and Field competition last year in Linden.
Joseph set the tone for an intriguing battle when he sprinted past DeAbreu in the 100m to win the event in
10.80 seconds. DeAbreu and third placed Okeme Stewart both finished with 11.20 times but DeAbreu clinched second place.
The buzz filled the Community Centre Ground ahead of the 200m finals after Joseph had a more dominant ‘Heat’
than DeAbreu. When the two athletes squared off again in the 200m final, Joseph easily completed his double.
The Royal Youth Movement sprinter won the under–20 boys’ 200m in 22.80s while his main rival,
DeAbreu, finished in a disappointing fourth position behind Timothy Doris (23.20s) and Franken Mercurius (23.00s) respectively.
Rupununi’s Ricardo Martin also had a double yesterday with victories in the 800m and 1500m under–18
races. The national junior athlete defeated his nemesis, an out–of–form, Jonathan Fagundes on both occasions at
Martin won the 800m in 2:06.00 ahead of Fagundes’ 2:06.40 in a closely fought contest while Delon Grandison
(2:11.20) was third. He returned to take the 1500m in 4:45.50 in front of Stevie Petrie (4:46.90) and Chavez Sital (4:47.70).
Tiffany Carto easily won the under–18 girls’ 100m in 12.80 seconds while Deja Smartt finished
second in 13.00s and Maliyka Francois third in 13.30s. Carto did not hesitate to place her name among the athletes that won
She came back and sprinted her way to the pole position in the 200m event in a time of 26:80s ahead of Ianna
Graham and a surprisingly unfit, Shannah Thornhill that had times of 27:10 and 27:40 respectively.
Roxanna Rigby (25.70) won the under–20 girls’ 200m in front of the emerging Mercedes Forde (26.00)
and Nadine Rodrigues (27.00) while Letitia Myles claimed the under–18 girls’ 400m in 1:02.20 ahead of Jevina Straker
However, Straker returned in the 800m event to surprise Janella Jonas for a win in 2:26.0 in a heated sprint
down the homestretch. Jonas notched up 2:27.60 for second while Tisha Grimes finished third in 2:42.30 in the race.
Chavez Ageday was victorious in the under–18 boys’ 100m in 11.00 while Cortez Fraser (11.10)
and Jumoke David (11.40) were second and third. Andre Josiah defeated Ageday and Fraser in the 200m in the same age group.
Josiah ran 23.50 for the win while Ageday and Fraser returned 23.80 and 24.20. The meet was held to shortlist
athletes for the upcoming Junior Carifta Games. The list of potential athletes will be released following deliberations.
Tiffany Carto and Treiston Joseph of the Police Sports and Royal Youth Movement clubs respectively, carted off the female
U18 and male U20 sprint doubles at the Athletics Association of Guyana’s (AGG) National Youth/Junior Championships at
the Enmore Sports Club ground yesterday.
Carto won the 100m and 200m in times of 12.80s and 26.80s ahead of Ruralties Deja Smartt and fellow club mate Maliyka Francois
in the 100m and Ianna Graham and RYM’s Thornhill Shannah in the 200m.
Joseph continued his terrific form claiming his victories with times of 10.80s and 22.80s defeating PSC’s Dellon
DeAbreau (11.20S) and New Amsterdam Track Club’s Okeme Stewart (11.20) in the 100m before coming back to `settle’
Franken Mercurius (23.00s) and club mate Timothy Doris (23.20s) in the 200m.
Ruralites Chavez Ageday clocked 11.00s to win the male U18 100m ahead of NATC’s Cortez Fraser (11.10s) and RYM’s
Jumoke David (11.40s).
NATC’s Roxanna Rigby (25.70s) won the female U20 200m ahead of RYM’s Mercedes Ford (26.00s) and Running Brave’s
Nadine Rodriques (27.00s).
PSC claimed both 400m U18 categories when Letitia Myles completed her race in a time of 1:02.20s while Carlwyn Collins’
time of 52.50s scorched the field.
Jamaal Holder of NATC defeated Ruralites Shemroy Harry in a time of 18:46.10s in the male U20 5000m while Rising Stars’
Chavez Sital was victorious in the male 3000m U18 clocking 10:29.30s.
Rising Stars’ Jevina Straker outdid club mate Jenella Jonas in the U18 800m with a time of 2:26.30s but Jonas reversed
positions in the 1500m, defeating Straker in a time of 5:26.30s.
Enmore Track Club’s Ricardo Martin remained persistent winning the U18 800m and 1500m with times of 2:06.00s and
4:45.50s respectively while premier junior 800m champion Philip Drayton dropped out just about 350m into the 800m race.
PSC’s Kevin Bailey, who pressured Drayton early in the race, won in a time of 2:06.90s while Shebekie Prince won
the female 800m U20event with a time of 2:40.80s.
In other results, Silver Bullets’ Kimberly Doris won the female U18 Javelin with a throw of 16.77m while Ruralites’
Keshon Shepherd won the male category with a throw of 38.45s.
NATC’s Mercurius clocked a time of 52.70s in the male U20 400m and Jamaal Holder won the 1500m U20 in a time of 4:53.80s.
By Edison Jefford The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Junior Carifta Games Trials initially set
for today and tomorrow at the Enmore Community Centre Ground will now be held on the latter date alone following an AAG technical
meeting. President of the AAG, Colin Boyce told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that the decision was made to have the competition
condensed into one day following the rate of registration and the economic constraints of some participants. “We
will now hold the trials on Sunday [tomorrow] alone since it did not look practical to have the teams from Corentyne and Linden
for instance, travel two [consecutive] days to Georgetown to compete,” Boyce said.
In addition to the economic costs attached to travelling, Boyce informed that athletes for the meeting were being registered
at a slow rate, which did not impress the AAG that had set a Thursday deadline for entrants. He said that the association
was forced to extend the deadline to yesterday afternoon and all the clubs were informed of the new development. Boyce also
indicated that the clubs will be notified of the one–day meeting. “Up to Thursday, we had athletes from seven
of the 10 registered clubs. We intend to call the remainder to query about their athletes if we see that they are not registering,”
Boyce, intent on ensuring mass participation, said. The new AAG boss informed that there are another four clubs pending
AAG registration and five clubs floating. He said that these clubs are allowed to participate because they are affiliated
to the AAG until their full accreditation.
The majority participation at the AAG trials makes for interesting competition where a new breed of junior athletes emerges.
These athletes will be given equal opportunities to compete for places on Guyana’s national team. Boyce had indicated
in a previous interview with this newspaper that his administration will be keen to reward performance. He said that steps
will be taken to ensure that the lack of sponsorship does not hinder top athletes. “This is just one of the meets
that will be used as a yardstick for selection. We also have the Inter–Guiana Games and Linwest Games where we will
basically be monitoring the performances of athletes,” he said yesterday.
It was fiery, it was quick and discernible.
The open male 60 metres marked the highlight of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Development Track and Field Meet
that initiated the 2009 Season under new management.
Rhondel Adams (second, left) leans for a thrilling finish ahead of Kenneth Semple (third, left) and
Rawle Greene (fourth, left) respectively after Greene strained a quad muscle on the finish line.
It seemed as though national senior male sprint champion, Rawle Greene did not get the desired start and
found himself struggling toward the end of the race, which climaxed with a left quad muscle strain on the finish line.
Track officials later revealed that Greene was beaten into third place in the steamy race with a time of
6.55 seconds. Royal Youth Movement’s Rhondel Adams won in 6.51s with Kenneth Semple second in a 6.53s time.
“I can’t question the judges but I feel like I didn’t lose the race though I pulled up
before the finish. I expected ‘Beastie’ [Semple] to be ahead of me when I started because he is an explosive starter,”
Greene said yesterday.
The top sprinter, who is looking to improve his times ahead of the Caribbean Games, told Kaieteur Sport that
he was not doing any speed work ahead of the meet since it is improper for him to peak so early in the season.
“This is February, I wasn’t doing any speed work; I am preparing for later in the season. I can’t
afford to peak at this time. My real pressure is trying to get my time down but I am satisfied with my running,” he
Asked how serious his quad injury is, the national sprinter indicated that while it is not as threatening,
he is struggling to walk normally. “It’s hurting me, I hope when I go to the physiotherapist it is not serious,”
In another scorcher on Saturday, Trevor Scotland eased his way to a commanding win in the open male 600m
race after Jermaine Pilgrim and Ryan De Peazer had set a stunning pace for approximately 400m of the event.
Scotland used his experience against that of the other competitors to come away with the win after opting
to remain with the pack while Pilgrim and De Peazer shot to the fore and subsequently dropped out of the race.
Rivalry was endemic on the sunny and ‘fun day’ atmosphere at the Police Sports Club as the leading
athletes and rising stars look to improve their condition ahead of what is to be a very hectic year for local athletics.
Running Braves Athletics Club’s ‘Super Twins’: Shemaine and Shequane Daniels, made their
initial mark in the under–15 girls 60m where they placed first and second in that order in times of 8.29 and 8.40s respectively.
Running Braves’ ‘Super Twins’: too innocent to be so lethal on the track! Shemaine
and Shequane Daniels.
Timica Wilson was third in the female race as Police Progressive Youth Club’s Oladele Manifold won
the male version in 7.88s with Saint John’s’ Laquan Fortune (7.89s) and Stephon Cort (7.93s) taking second and
Continuing in the same race at the under–17 level, Tiffany Carto sprinted away with the women’s
event in 8.01s beating Kimberly Hamilton and Cindy Fraser into second and third places respectively with 8.07s and 8.30s times.
In the male under–17 group, Saint John’s’ Lionel Medford took top honours in 7.07s with
Royal Youth Movement’s Fabian Hall in second with 7.12s and Bedford All stars’ Junior Sobers third with a 7.20s
New Amsterdam Track Club’s Roxanna Rigby won the under–20 female 60m race with 7.65s as Royals’
Mercedes Forde took second in 7.69s and Running Braves’ Nadine Rodrigues a distant third in 8.05s.
Timothy Doris and Delon De Abreu continued their outstanding rivalry in the under–20 male 60m with
the former edging De Abreu (6.70s) with a 6.65 seconds time as Dwayne Massay finished third in a 6.92s time.
Things heated up in the women’s 60m as Leota Bobb almost pulled off a stunning upset against Alisha
Fortune. The early signs are indicating that juniors could threaten the reign of a few top seniors in this defining year.
Bobb was off to a flying start and led the race until about 2m before the finish line where Fortune caught
her for a photo finish. The times could be no closer than 7.54s for Fortune and 7.55s for a noticeably improved Bobb.
In other results, national schools’ record holder, Ianna Graham dominated the under–15 girls’
150m with a 20.20s time while club mate, Shequane Daniels (20.90s) finished second with Timica Wills (20.95) third.
Michael Williams won the male version of the race in 18.97s while Manifold took second in 19.58s as Enmore
Athletics Club’s Pernell Perry took third in 19.92s. Upper Demerara was noticeable absent from the meeting.
Under–17 boys’ 150m: Andre Josiah (17.48s), Junior Sobers (17.68s) and Curtez Fraser (17.83s).
Under–17 girls’ 150: Carto (20.28s), Fraser (21.77) and Hamilton (21.93) in that order in both categories.
Under–20 boys’ 150m: Triston Joseph (16.86s), De Abreu (17.03s) and Massiah (17.39);
Under–20 girls’ 150m: Rigby (19.17s), Rodrigues (19.42s) and Niesa Allen (19.72s) respectively
in both races Saturday.
Adams returned from his 60m win to snatch the leading 150m race in a time of 16.72s as Patrick King returned
16.80s for second place. Royal Youth Movements Ian Bishop finished third in 16.93s to seal the top three.
Under–15 boys’ 300m: Williams (40.84s), Manifold (41.06s) and Belgrave (42.72s) and in the Under–15
girls’ 300m: Shemaine Daniels (44.65s), Melissa Byass (45.35s) and Shequane Daniels (48.95s) respectively.
Andre Josiah placed first in the under–17 boys’ 300m in a time of 37.57s with Fraser in second
with 38.76s and Lionel Medford third in 40.22s.
Phillip Drayton won the under–20 race in 36.54s with Frank Mercurius second in 36.68s and Anthon Sebastian
third in 38.40 while Rodrigues (42.95) won the female race ahead of Tiffany Smith (43.55s) and Allen (45.04s).
Mark Edward came out on top in the open race with a 36.42s time with Derwin Eastman (36.47s) second and Wayne
Harlequin (36.56s) third.
Jamaal Holder (16:47.23s) won the 5000m ahead of Cleveland Thomas (16:50.32s) and Winston Missenger (18:19.72s).
The next AAG Development Track and Field Meet is slated for next weekend at the same venue.
The track and field season got
off to a terrific start yesterday as the Police
Progressive Youth Club (PPYC) hosted the second scheduled Development Meet for the year on the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) calendar of events at the Eve Leary Sports Complex Ground.
The athletes had a taste of the track for the first
time yesterday and made the most of it.
Regular campaigners such as Alika Morgan, Treiston Joseph and Jervina Straker romped to victories while a few had not the best of days.
The action got underway a little after 10am with a few middle distance races then rolled into the 60-metre excitement.
premier sprinter Rawle Greene had to settle for third after finishing with a time of 6.55s in the male 60m behind Rhondell
Adams and Kenneth Semple who ran times of 6.51s and 6.53s respectively.
Adams recorded another victory when he dominated the men’s 150m event with a time of 16.72s ahead of PPYC’s
Patrick King (16.80s) and Royal Youth Movement’s (RYM) Leon Bishop (16.93s).
Alisha Fortune continued her superb record in Guyana winning the women’s 60m and 150m in times of 7.54s and 18.72s
ahead of Leota Bobb who finished second in both events with times of 7.55s and 19.46s respectively.
RYM’s Timothy Doris and Joseph recorded victories in the male U-20 60m and 150m
clocking times of 6.65s and 16.68s respectively.
Dellon de Abreu of PPYC’s placed second in both U-20 events with times of 6.70s and 17.03s respectively while Road
Runners’ Dwayne Massay was third in 6.92s and 17.39s.
New Amsterdam Track Club’s (NATC) Roxanna Rigby won the female U-20 60m and 150m with times of 7.65s and 19.17s respectively
while RYM’s Mercedes Ford and Nadine Rodrigues grabbed second and third places in the 60m.
However Rodrigues, who also won the female U-20 300m finished second in the 150m ahead of Nesia Allen.
Junior middle distance champion Philip Drayton of the RYM walked away with victories in
the Male U-20 300m and 600m clocking times of 36.54s and 1:27.67s.
Twin-sensations Shomene and Shaquan Daniels made their presence felt in the U-15 female races.
Shomene won the 60m and 300m while Shaquan grabbed two second and a third place finish in the 60m, 150m and 300m respectively.
PPYC’s Trevor Scotland won the men’s 600 with a time of 1:24.40s ahead of NATC’s Mark Edwards and RYM’s
Odel Adams who clocked 1:27:47s and 1:28:48s respectively.
Edwards returned to win the men’s 300m in a time of 36.42s ahead of PPYC’s Derwin Eastman (36.47s) and RYM’s
Wayne Harlequin (36.56s).
Also in the winning lane were PPYC’s and RYM’s Ianna Graham and Michael Williams who won the girls’ and
boys’ U-15 150m and Oladele Manifold (PPYC) who won the U-15 male 60m.
Williams also was the winner of the U-15 male 300m.
St. John’s Lionel Manifold won the U-17 male 60m while Tiffany Carto (PPYC) stormed to victories
in the U-17 female 60m and 150m and NATC’s Andre Josiah won the male 300m in the same category as Carto.
- seeks government assistance to use part of Durban Park
If the Vice President of the Bedford All Stars Sports Club, Wayne Walcott, gets his way, local athletes will
soon have a spanking training facility with modern equipment.
This follows a request by Walcott and other sports enthusiasts, to the Minister of Transport and Hydraulics,
Robeson Benn for use of a plot of land on the Durban Park to construct the facility. The request was also carbon copied to
the Minister of Sports, Frank Anthony.
Walcott has since received a reply from Mr Benn informing him that the matter is receiving attention. Mr
Benn has also informed him that he has forwarded the letter to Director of Sports, Neil Kumar, for consideration. The Bedford
All Stars executive is now making an impassioned plea to the sports authorities to expedite matters so that works on the project
can begin as soon as possible.
A plot of land on the Durban Park totaling some 2 acres has been identified for the project. The facility
would be built west of the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU). The area is currently covered with thick bushes but
Walcott said that Minister Benn has promised to clear the area once the relevant approval has been given.
Quizzed on the funding of the facility Walcott revealed that he has spoken with several businesspersons and
they have committed themselves to the realization of the project. He said that works would begin as soon as he receives approval
from Kumar’s office.
The current state of Durban Park, which is overgrown with bush.
Walcott said that his team is currently doing a feasibility study to ascertain the cost of the project. He
said that so far he has been able to procure promises from local as well as overseas businesspersons.
Walcott feels that there is need for a facility of this nature since local athletes are in dire need of a
place to hone their skills. He said that he has envisaged a facility that will focus on all round development of the athletes.
Plans are also in train to launch an academic programme to facilitate the transition of athletes to college life. He said
that most of these institutions are demanding a minimum of five subjects at the CXC Examinations before acceptance.
Walcott said that members of his organization have already drafted a developmental plan and are studying
the logistics. He also disclosed that the central aim of the project is to provide local athletes with a modern facility comparable
to those found in other Caribbean countries.
He plans to install washrooms with changing areas as well as a few bleachers to facilitate spectators. He said that plans
are in train to construct a synthetic track. However, since the cost of the synthetic track may be prohibitive, its construction
will be deferred to a later date. However, Walcott is adamant that the funding for the first phase of the project could be
realized. He is presently awaiting the green light from Director of Sports, Neil Kumar.
To train with Mensfist Pioneer
Athletics Club in T&T for Caribbean Games
P&P Insurance Brokers & Consultants Limited recently made a contribution of $50,000: to Jermaine
Pilgrim, an athlete with the Royal Youth Movement & Sports Club.
Head of P&P Insurance Brokers & Consultants Limited Bishwa Panday (left) handing over the
cheque to Jermaine Pilgrim.
Jermaine is leaving shortly for Trinidad and Tobago to undergo preparatory training for participation in
the inaugural Caribbean Games scheduled to be held in Trinidad and Tobago from July 12 – 19, 2009.
He is Guyana’s leading prospect for selection to compete in the Men’s 800m and 1500m and has
secured membership in the Mensfist Pioneer Athletics Club in Trinidad where the way has been cleared for his training stint.
At the handing over ceremony, Head of P&P Insurance Bishwa Panday said that he was happy to assist young
Pilgrim and wished him all the best.
Jermaine in response thanked Panday for his continued support and promised to do his best.
Apart from athletics, athletes at the games will also compete in tennis, boxing, indoor volleyball, beach
volleyball and netball.
The big showdown in athletics is expected to be the clash between the World Sprint King Usian Bolt and Olympic
Silver medalist, Trinidadian, Richard Thompson.
The race is being dubbed a rematch of the Olympic 100m final and promises to produce another world record.
Boyce ingeniously outlines national selection policy
By Edison Jefford While congratulating sportswoman of the year, Alika Morgan and hinting
that the leading female distance athlete must be given scholarship opportunities, Colin Boyce ingeniously outlined his selection
Boyce, who took over the presidency of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) from Claude Blackmore, told Kaieteur Sport
that Morgan’s performances last year were truly outstanding, which merit national selection.
Morgan also won the junior sports woman of the year award after finishing runnerup in both categories the previous year.
The athlete’s disappointment in 2007 made her more determined to dominate last year.
“Her performances were very outstanding in comparison to other persons. She is eligible for both awards and once
she continues performing she will always merit national selection,” the new AAG President said.
In addition, Boyce generalised the concept of good performance equals national selection when he said: “once you
perform, I don’t have a problem,” in a sublime message to all athletes that dream of representing Guyana.
The policy was a clear break from the traditional penalty that performing athletes faced in the previous administration.
Boyce made it clear that he will be attempting to have the country fully represented at international meets.
He said his first challenge is the upcoming Caribbean Games where he has learnt through the grapevine that eight names
were submitted to the Local Organising Committee for the Trinidad and Tobagobased competition.
If it is indeed a fact, the submission of only eight names is besides the intention of Boyce, who indicated that he would
like to see more athletes participate, including relay teams of which moves are ongoing to ascertain.
“I think it might be a good move to send some local athletes overseas for training prior to the Caribbean Games.
This will help them adjust to the rubber and so on and also help them qualify for the July event,” he observed.
Understanding the challenges of local athletes training and competing at home on grass, Boyce said: “Its going to
be difficult for local athletes to just qualify for the Caribbean Games with just months before the event.”
Therefore, attempts to have athletes exposed overseas prior to the Games, can only serve as crash courses and even Boyce
recognised that point when he argued that the previous administration should have already gone that route.
“What I am saying is that since last year, if they were really serious, they should’ve sent a select group
of athletes overseas to try and bring them up to standard,” the plainspoken AAG boss told this newspaper yesterday.
“Those (qualifying) standards are not easy for us, if we intend to send a strong contingent that includes some local
athletes, we will have to get the support of Government and other major stakeholders,” he pleaded.
Against that background, Boyce said that he intends to pursue sending athletes overseas for training before the Games.
“We are looking at all the aspects,” he said, adding that a bigger contingent is definitely the objective.
– says world leading time a step in the right direction
By Edison Jefford
An early forecast seems to suggest that Guyana’s leading quarter–miler Aliann Pompey is focused
on turning out top performances this year in a lengthy career that was filled with major setbacks including lack of sponsorship.
Pompey’s major achievement to–date remains her Commonwealth Games Gold Medal in Manchester, England
in 2002, but the top athlete believes that her current world leading 400m time is a step in the right direction.
The outstanding Guyanese athlete said that she has set herself new goals, taking timeout from her busy schedule
that included a narrow miss at the 2009 Millrose Games to speak with Kaieteur Sport via email yesterday.
“I have restructured my training and set intermediate goals. How and when I [will] reach those goals
determine how I go forward. My world leading time is something that lets me know I’m going in the right direction,”
Apart from Pompey’s split–second loss in the 600 Yard race at the Millrose Games, there was an
arresting dominance at the New Balance Games in New York two weeks ago in the 400m, which became the best so far this year.
Pompey completely demolished her opponents in a 51.85 seconds victory at the Armoury Track and Field Centre
in a performance that broke her 52.17 seconds national indoor record that was set six years ago in 2003.
The dual benchmark performances were a sort of reprieve for the athlete, who had barely missed out on a place
in the final at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China last year where her disappointment made Caribbean headlines.
“I have been fortunate to have my friends and family, both in Guyana and the USA, who have supported
me emotionally over the years,” she said, adding that she has a “mutually beneficial relationship,” with
the local Olympic body.
Asked what she thinks is primarily affecting the growth of athletics in Guyana and what advice she would
give to national sprinters, Rawle Greene and Alisha Fortune, Pompey pointed to the need for “serious investment”.
“Whether it is monetary or professional, development couldn’t hurt. Jamaica was once in the same
situation as Guyana is now when it comes to athletics. I always wish the very best for my compatriots,” she indicated.
She said that she has not spoken to Fortune very much but is in contact with Greene on a few occasions. According
to Pompey, she has been very busy with work apart from training and taking care of her family.
“In general I [would] like to say that I put 100 percent into everything I do [and] no one can argue
my dedication and effort and that’s enough for me,” the three–time Olympian and national record holder intimated.
Pompey did not say whether or not she will represent Guyana at the upcoming Caribbean Games in Trinidad and Tobago but
based on her ambassadorial record, she has never refused an invitation to represent her country.
PIPPED! Guyana’s Aliann Pompey right is pipped at the tape by American Monica Hargrove.(Photo
courtesy Gary Tim)
- Burnett, Pompey
upstaged by Hargrove at Madison Square garden in special 600-yard event by Gary Tim
New York (SMS) — For
Guyanese in metro New York, it was billed as a showcase of their two foremost athletes
and the first head-to-head clash for compatriots with nearly 34 years track experience.
In the end, they saw their stars
pitch at the 102nd Millrose Games but had them gleamed later with a special honour gesture. Last Friday night total glory evaded Aliann Pompey and Marian
Burnett on the indoor track of
Madison Square Garden as their splendor was snatched in the seldom-run Women’s
Pompey (1:19.51s) lost the gold to American world championships 4×400m medallist Monica Hargrove (1:19.50s) by the crest of a bib while Burnett
(1:22.90s) chased the flock home in the four-person race. However, Guyanese supporters scattered among
the 13,000 crowd cheered wildly for their stars from the time they got onto the track and the Jumbo Trons to the moment they
“I was looking for greater results since we had Aliann running some terrific stuff of late, but, hey! … the
race was good, they were unfortunate with what went on, and it was great to be here to see my people turn up in this place,”
former national sprinter Shadwick Wade commented to Stabroek Sports. The race petered to a two-part rivalry for first
and third places with Pompey and Burnett in both, respectively.
At the starter’s gun, Pompey surged to take the pole position in the 3˝-lapper and had her strides matched
by Hargrove. It was a ding-dong tussle for the lead, especially on the track’s tight
turns. By the mid-point, both front runners were showing their current good form opening up a comfy gap on Clora Williams
(1:22.86s) and Burnett.
Lagging in the rear, Burnett seem contented to bide her time, and use her endurance for
a final burst. At the bell, Pompey grabbed the lead and was pushing for her fourth win this season until the brawny American
unleashed a late burst and ‘some’ to pip her at the tape.
Burnett, herself, was undone at the top of the final turn when she clipped with Williams
while trying to overtake the Jamaican. Afterwards, Burnett said “I really
wanted to see Aliann win this. She is on form and running real good, and a Millrose win would’ve been awesome for all
The half-miler, herself was not too upset with her own showing, saying that she ran gamely though she felt she was “outmatched.” She
declared:“This is my first flat race since resuming training.”
The last major appearance for Burnett was at the Beijing Olympics where she suffered a
spike to her ankle and failed to get out the preliminaries, placing fifth in a heat. But, Pompey was sterling. She ran up
to world number one Sanya Richards of the US, getting to the semifinal to finish 11th overall – arguably the best result
for Guyana in three decades.
A reserved Pompey did not reflect much on her race, simply confirming…“I went out to win and I tried my best.” Her
speech was ‘snuffy’; symptoms of being affected by the ‘dry air’ environment in her third Millrose
run; having had one Open appearance and a collegiate race, previously.
Pompey said a “tactical error cost me the race”, and rued the loss as a bungle that prevented her from joining
June Marcia Griffith and Aubrey ‘Skinny’ Wilson as Guyanese-born Millrose Open champions.
Later in the evening the
Guyanese stars were hosted to an appreciation dinner by Consul General to New York,
Brentnol Evans whose office neighbours MSG. The dinner was co-hosted by Guyanese entrepreneurs Ron and Rico Ramnarayan and Ryan Kublal at their Spice Fusion Indian
Bistro, a kilometer away. There Pompey, Burnett and some of their relatives and friends were treated
to a sumptuous mixture of east and west Indian delicacies prepared by gifted chef Walter D’Rosario, as well as special
words of commendation.
Evans said their appearance on such a prestigious stage was worthy of being lauded by all Guyanese, at home and abroad.
He led by saying…“It was specially proud to see Aliann and Marian promote Guyana tonight, and we are very excited
over the possibilities you are creating.” He referred to the image building Jamaican and Bahamian athletes
have been giving their homelands, and optimistically said “we are digging up, and we’ll get there once we work
commonly and purposefully, so congratulations again, particularly, to the athletes.”
The diplomat also thanked the restaurant and fans, and added, “people need support, and yours is great to help
inspire the athletes to continue to give off the best.”
Immediately, the tracksters were shored-up by Ron Ramnarayan. “You made me proud being a Guyanese knowing the challenges
you face to get to these accomplishments,” he said after having personal chats with them. “I wish you guys only
the best, and all sports people for that matter,” was the yearning of the constantly beaming Ramnarayan who also runs
the popular Metro company in Guyana.
He gave a special invitation to the Louisiana-based Burnett to his distinguished
bistro located just at the corner of Manhattan’s 8th Avenue and 47th Street. Spice Fusion is one of few Caribbean-owned
eateries to be classified in New York’s Zagat Survey, and its food, service, value and atmosphere have been rated at
four or better on the five points scale. It has been featured in the India In New York journal,
the Daily News Best Bites, Crian’s NY Business Table Talk, as well as on Bob Lape’s Dining Diary on WCBS 880AM
In response both Burnett and Pompey were overwhelmed with the gesture to honour them,
and expressed their desire to use it as a further motivation. “Thank you all for inviting us. I enjoyed the opportunity
of meeting you and it was fun getting time to laugh and mingle away from the track with my country people,” conceded
Burnett, in between savouring the mango mousse – probably a more treasured taste than the
one three hours earlier.
Aliann tackles the Millrose Games
Posted by Codgie | February 1, 2009
After a modest start to the 2009 indoor season, Codrington Enterprises’ athlete, Aliann Pompey, has cranked up her
performance a few notches, running a fast 400m at the Armory in New York as well as a fast 500m race. Here she leans for the
line at the Millrose Games in Madison Square Garden on January 23rd.
Flash Results, Inc.
102nd Millrose Games
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY - 1/30/2009
Event 15 Women 600 Yard Run
Name Year Team Finals
1 Monica Hargrove USA 1:19.50
2 Aliann Pompey GUY 1:19.51
3 Clora Williams JAM 1:22.86
4 Marian Burnett GUY 1:22.90
New York (SMS) — It’s been almost a half decade since she raced indoor but Guyana’s superstar athlete Aliann Pompey wasted little time this season in making
her come back count.
The svelte quarter-miler has, again, rewritten the national record books, and in the process, emblazoned her name
onto the international spotlight with a scintillating 400m run.
Last Saturday, Pompey made up for her long absence on the undercover circuit by churning out a world leading
51.85s for the two-lapper at the New BalanceGames in New York’s Amory Track & Field Center –
touted as one of the fastest indoor tracks.
The feat shattered her Guyana record for the event (52.17s
set in 2003), and now Pompey – whose initials, incidentally spells the word ATOP – is doing just that –
sitting atop the world list for the event.
Getting the season’s top time got Pompey a deservingly adorning ‘front page’ appearance on the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) website - www.iaaf.org - titled “Pompey
cruises to 51.85 in New York”.
The January 25th story states: “Aliann Pompey cruised to a 51.85 sec victory in the 400m, an early season
world leader, at the 14th New BalanceGames at the New York’s
Armory’s Track & Field Center on Saturday (24). The three-time Olympian from Guyana torched the field
on her home turf, as she trains at the Armory with former Irish sprint champion, Joe Ryan from Manhattan College.
A former NCAA indoor champion, the 30-year-old physical trainer was an Olympic semi-finalist
in the 400m in Beijing last year. Pompey told the Armory’s Chris Hunt, “I haven’t run indoor in five years. I was wondering
if I could do that. I felt like I could (run a personal best) today.” And, she certainly didn’t leave much doubt.
At the bell she was almost 30 metres ahead of her opponents and showed little sign of fatigue for the final circling to the
tape. Her distant bridesmaids were Sophia Smellie (54.94s), Nicole Dumpson (55.01s) and Alyssa Aiken (57.68s).
With a few early slugs in the barrel during this winter, Pompey was on target to hit her mark. The Pisces-born
athlete easily swam through all her competitions, including a decisive win in Saskatoon, Canada against a star-studded field,
and a smart win in the seldom-contested 500m at New York’s Gotham Cup, two weeks ago. There, she posted a runaway 1:09.37
for the win, and a positive signal for a Millrose Games appearance at 600y, this month. She had
said that really gave her confidence that for the performance.
Her 53.48s in the Canadian meet (Knights of Columbus IndoorGames)
relegated to second place, the defending champion and 2002 African 200m and 400m champion Kaltouma Nadjina of Chad (53.68s).
It was the first of the season for the three-time Olympian who is still seeking a sponsor; and part of her decision to do
the indoors comes from how well she’s training with her long-time coach.
A report from the meet states that Pompey sees the indoor circuit as important to make
the connections with meet promoters and to nail a ‘shoe contract’.
She lost her funding after being injured and was working full-time during her Olympic year, which may have cost her her
goal of making the final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Pompey had got to the semi-finals and finished an eye-opening 11th
(overall) in the 400m in a tough field of 50.
Coincidentally Pompey’s record run at the Armory comes at a time when the famed track facility is celebrating its
centennial with a daily countdown of its 100 greatest moments. Listed at #79, the Guyanese star is honoured for running her
country’s previous national 400m record there on February 28, 2003.
The December 23rd honour plate on ArmoryTrack.com reads: Aliann Pompey sets the Guyanese national indoor
record for 400 meters, running 52.17 at the NYU FastTrack meet. A year later she set the outdoor record of 50.93, a time she
equaled in the Olympic semifinals in Beijing in 2008.
Pompey had an extraordinary record, competing in 3 Olympics and 7 World Championships for Guyana. She
won the NCAA indoor championship in 2000 for Manhattan College and won the Commonwealth Games 400 in 2002. In January 2006 she ran 1:09.55 for 500 meters, setting
an Armory record that still stands
It’s been five years since former Manhattan College star Aliann Pompey raced during the indoor season.
But since she decided to race this winter season, she hasn’t wasted any time in making it count.
Pompey broke her own Guyanese national record in the indoor 400 meters Saturday, winning at the New Balance
Games in 51.85 seconds, topping her own record of 52.17, set in 2003. Her time is the fastest mark in the world this year.
“I felt like I could (run a personal best) today,” she said. “I haven’t run indoor
in five years. I was wondering if I could do that.”
Pompey certainly didn’t leave much doubt. She enjoyed a 30-meter lead 150 meters into the race and
showed little sign of fatigue the entire way. The 30 year-old three-time Olympian is still seeking a sponsor but part of her
decision to run the indoor season came from how well she’s been training.
Pompey will compete in the 600 yards Friday at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. She still trains
at Manhattan College with sprint coach Joe Ryan. Pompey won the 500 meters at the Gotham Cup two weeks ago in 1:09.37.
“That really gave me confidence that I’d be able to hold on today,” she said.
American Rob Myers won a comeback victory in the men’s mile, finishing in 3:59.92, the 39th
sub-four minute mile at the New Balance Track and Field Center. Adrian Blincoe of New Zealand followed his countryman, Max
Smith through the first 1,000 meters then held a 25-meter lead for another lap before he began to fall off pace as the rest
of the field closed in.
“I’m pretty confident in my kicking abilities,” Myers said. “I’m pretty aware
of what’s going on. I was pretty sure that they’d come back to me. So I just kept reeling them in.”
Myers squeezed by off the last curve for the win. Neil Speight of Great Britain finished second in 4:00.31
and Blincoe third in 4:00.33. Myers recently moved to Michigan and is now training with coach Ron Warhurst. He said the change
in his style of training is helping him stay stronger mentally and the result was an early season sub-four minute mile.
“It shows I’m in pretty good shape right now,” he said.
Record breaker: On Friday, Tyron Benjamin of Morgan State University broke his home country Dominica’s
national record while placing second in the shot put in 57 feet, 9.5 inches Friday at the Great Dane Classic.
By Edison Jefford Recently adjudged Sportswoman of the Year, Alika Morgan yesterday expressed elation over the award
while making a case for her coach Leslie Black, who she said has consistently produced outstanding athletes. “I always
feel I am a winner. I will like to thank God for what he has done for me over the seven years,” Morgan, who copped both
Sportswoman and Junior Sportswoman awards, told Kaieteur Sport yesterday.
“With the assistance of my coach, I will get closer to my goals but things cannot be the way I will like it to be
always,” she said, in a direct reference to the fact that the judges did not recognise her coach, Leslie Black. Morgan
was runner–up in both categories last year when Alisha Fortune won the senior prize and Ashley Khalil claimed the junior
award. She returned in 2008 with some truly dominant performances in the region. While she was extremely grateful to the
National Sports Commission for recognising her efforts, Morgan believes that it is really the coaches that make the athlete
perform since they are the ones responsible for training. “I will like the persons responsible for the awardees to
remember that we, as athletes, cannot reach where we want to go without a coach; Black has guided all of Guyana’s top
distance athletes,” she boldly boasted. “Neil Kumar and the other members of the sports commission should respect
what my coach is doing,” Morgan added, while informing that the Sports Ministry should honour their commitment toward
her scholarship. According to the athlete, she had spoken to Minister Frank Anthony about a scholarship two years ago and
he promised to look into it. She indicated that she is still awaiting an official feedback from the minister. “The
Sports Ministry and Kumar should assist young sportsmen and women with local and international scholarships. We have to start
at home if athletics is to reach the top like in other countries,” Morgan succinctly opined.
When contacted yesterday, Black said that he was asked to submit his coaching record to the Ministry but subsequently
learnt that he did so too late, which was one of the reasons for him being overlooked for the Sports Coach award. “What
they need to start doing is to look at more coaches of individual sport and not team sports. It’s harder to produce
top athletes in individual sports,” Black said, adding that he was disappointed with this year’s nominees. National
football coach, Wayne Dover overwhelmingly won the Sports Coach of the Year award in a field that included Rugby’s Sherlock
Sam (Solomon), Squash’s Carl Ince and Table Tennis’ Linden Johnson. “It’s too often that they have
flaws in the nominations. I believe they should have looked at the performances of Alika and other athletes that I have brought
out,” the plain spoken Black told this newspaper yesterday. Under his stewardship, Cleveland Forde, Reona Cornette,
Kelvin Johnson, Delcia Dick, Janella Jonas and Jevina Straker became celebrated and dominant local distance athletes with
successes at various levels of athletics. Interestingly, Black has spotted new talent in Chavez Sital, who placed second
to Dennis Horatio at last weekend’s Cross–Country race. Black is Head Coach of the Rising Star Athletics Club
that is currently being restructured. “I believe it’s because I’m not an AAG (Athletics Association of
Guyana) certified coach that they look at me this way. I can’t understand why they do these things,” an obviously
disappointed Black sombrely related. In an effort to give a clear indication of what landed Morgan and unprecedented double
at awards, Kaieteur Sport presents her 2008 performance profile, which was exposed to the judges for scrutiny and subsequent
voting. Alika Morgan’s 2008 Performance Profile January Event: Suriname 10km Road Race Position: First Place Time:
37:40.00 Event: National Cross Country Championships Position: First Place Time: 18:39 February Meet: AAG Developmental
Meet Event: 3000m Position: First Place Time: 11:26 March Meet: Carifta Games trials Events: 1500m and 3000m Positions:
First Place Times: 5:26 and 11:09 Meet: National Youth and Junior Championships Events: 800m, 1500m and 3000m Positions:
First Place Times: 2:36, 5:20 and 10:59 Meet: Junior Carifta Games (St. Kitts) Events: 1500m and 3000m Positions:
Third Place (1500m) and Second Place (3000m) Times: 4:47 and 10:15 April Meet: Inter–Guiana Games Trials Events:
800m, 1500m and 3000m Positions: First Place Times: 2:27, 5:26 and 11:09 Meet: President’s Invitational Grand
Prix Event: 3000m Position: First Place Time: 11:46.06 May Meet: IAAF World Athletics Day Event: 1500m Position:
First Place Time: 5:50 Meet: Hampton Games (Trinidad and Tobago) Events: 1500m and 3000m Positions: Second Place
(1500m) and First Place (3000m) Times: 4:56 and 11:02 July Meet: Caricom 10km Road Race (Antigua and Barbuda) Positions:
First Place (Overall Female and Junior) Time: 38:19 Meet: Olympic Day Run Position: First Place August Attended
Beijing Olympic Games Youth Camp in China September Meet: Inter–School Championships Events: 800m, 1500m and
3000m Positions: First Place October Meet: South American 10km Road Race Trials Position: First Place Meet:
First Stag–South American 10km Road Race Classic (Suriname) Positions: First Place (Senior and Junior) Meet: Second
Stage–South American 10km Road Race Classic Positions: First Place (Junior) and Second Place (Senior) Meet: Inter–Branch
School Championships Events: 800m, 1500m and 3000m Positions: First Place November Meet: UWI Half Marathon (Trinidad
and Tobago) Positions: First Place (Junior and Senior) Time: 1:27.00 Meet: Suriname Marathon Positions: First
(Junior and Senior) Meet: National Schools’ Championships Event: 10km Road Race Position: First Place Time:
40:06 December Meet: Run Barbados 10km Road Race Positions: First Place (Junior) and Third Place (Senior)
By Edison Jefford Claude Blackmore is one of the most adept politicians in local sport apart
from football’s Colin Klass; it is not a mistake that the former Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) President is
now the association’s General Secretary. Blackmore used skilful lobbying tactics to secure the General Secretary
post at the recent AAG Annual General Meeting and Elections after announcing that he will not be seeking re–election
to the presidency earlier in the year. Kaieteur Sport was reliably informed before the January 18 elections that Blackmore
was interested in the General Secretary position, a claim he denied when this newspaper made contact with him following the
information. Blackmore had said that while clubs have approached him to‘re–consider’ his decision to
not seek re–election, he will think about his options if clubs nominate him on the basis of the need for his services
in the association. In addition, he made it quite clear that he did not speak to any of the clubs about any post prior
to the meeting. He said that he “will not go down that line” and he was right, he didn’t, but someone else
did for him. Given the known nature of Blackmore to misrepresent the truth, this newspaper launched an investigation into
how he was returned as General Secretary. The facts are astonishing and one can only point to his political adeptness. Blackmore
did not lie when he told this writer that he did not lobby for the post. What he did not say is that someone else, a former
schoolmate and coach of a particular club was privy to his intention to contest the post. This individual, as outrageous
as he may be, told this newspaper in no uncertain terms that Blackmore is his schoolmate and as such, he threw his weight
behind him. This man was the emissary that shielded Blackmore. Analytically, it would not be illogical to conclude that
when Blackmore decided to demit the office of presidency, he also aspired to ascend to General Secretary and employed political
tactics to ensure that he gets the nod. Bear in mind, these findings are before the elections. When the emissary approached
one of the most popular clubs in Georgetown, he was met with such hostility that even the now General Secretary despises the
club. The Head Coach of that club said that he was accused of not supporting the cause to give Blackmore the position.
The emissary apparently peddled the idea that a new AAG body cannot function effectively without Blackmore. In fact, the
emissary plainly told this newspaper that the new Executive needs Blackmore for at least two more years. While that may be
technically true, ideologically, Blackmore has proven to be selfish with his acquired knowledge. If Blackmore was selfless,
then the argument that he is needed to support the incumbent president, Colin Boyce could not stand in a month of Sundays.
According to one maxim, “success is not success without a successor”. Blackmore does not have a protégé for
all his years in charge of the AAG. If that is not an essential failure then the concept of success and failure does not exist.
It is, however, explanatory how this particular emissary was lured. Performance was never responsible for the re–election
of Blackmore during his sojourn at the helm of the AAG. He sent uncaring officials on trips, exposed improbable athletes from
supporting clubs and kept training private. The emissary, who knew that Blackmore was inclined toward the General Secretary
post even as the latter told the media he is not interested, did not say whether he was promised a trip to Brazil to upgrade
his coaching. It is a shame that lobbyists’ tactics would encourage clubs to plunge athletics into further chaos
when the evidence of non–performance is rather glaring. But what is the primary reason for this backward and inert step. Is
it to send officials to the Caribbean to abandon athletes for trips to North America? Is it to send athletes that lost to
the best locals on European tours? Is it to refuse exposure of local coaches to prestigious international games? Is it
to refuse hurdles because Guyana has no storing place? Is it to stymie the growth of athletes by not exposing coaches past
level III? Is it to ignore the necessity of a modern track and field facility in Guyana? Those were just a few impediments
that happened under Blackmore. There are lots more that will be saved for the sake of editorial space. What is important is
the fact that clubs still entrusted him another major administrative position. A Princeton University Review article entitled
‘A day in the life of a lobbyist,’ classically captures the character of lobbyists when it stated “lobbyists
must be adept at the art of persuasion, which is the mainstay of their job”. In addition, the article went on to
state that “lobbying can be direct or indirect”. What the personality in question, Blackmore, employed was an
indirect lobbying technique with the use of an emissary to advance his cause. After eighteen years as AAG President and
after not seeking re–election to that infamous position this year, the new AAG General Secretary took his political
schemes to new levels, which should frighten Boyce’s administration.
National athletes, Dennis Horatio and Alika
Morgan won the male and female categories respectively yesterday when the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) held its season–opening
Cross–Country race at Kuru Kururu.
Horatio, representing Progressive Youth Club, clocked 19:27.92 that made him the first athlete to cross the
finish line while Rising Stars Athletics Club, Morgan ran 22:27.28 in the female race to finish 12th overall.
Running Braves Athletics Club, Cleveland Thomas was second in the male category in 19:42.72 while Larry Josiah (21.00.29)
was third. Though Thomas was second in this version, he was not second generally.
Rising Stars’ Jevina Straker (26:57.50) and Jeane Ernest (28.04.00) followed Morgan in that order in the female race.
Newcomer, out of Rising Stars, Chavez Sital was second overall behind Horatio in the race.
Sital also won the junior category in 19:41.60 while New Amsterdam Track Club athlete, Jamaal Holder finished second in
19:45.00 and Kevin Bailey third in 20:52.11 to round off the top performances in the inaugural event.
The race, which spans 5km, started at the Kuru Kururu College on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway and proceeded along a hilly
trail before ending at the College. Some 71 athletes braced the starter’s line for the race.
Noticeably absent from the race were senior national athletes, Lionel D’Andrade, Kelvin Johnson and Cleveland Forde,
whose presence would have certainly made the race more interesting for the upcoming Horatio.
Clubs pleaded with me to assist in new transition - Blackmore
Recently elected General Secretary of the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) Claude Blackmore in a brief exchange with
Kaieteur Sport yesterday said that strong urging from certain clubs was the primary reason for his return to an administrative
According to Blackmore, it was the decision by the clubs to nominate him led to the rescinding of an earlier posture not
to take up any administrative position in local athletics.
The former President of the AAG, who had presided over the much maligned organisation for the past 13 years (1995-2003)
disclosed that contrary to what was reported in the press, he really wanted to call it a day in terms of holding any official
post at the administrative level in local athletics, but because a few clubs felt that with his vast experience, especially
on the international stage, it would not be the right choice to walk away and not provide a new executive with the tools to
properly function at the highest level.
“I had a lot of members from various clubs who pleaded with me to assist in the transition of a new executive, before
I eventually walk away from local athletics,” Blackmore revealed.
He added that one must not forget that he got the post after defeating his opponents 5-2, meaning five clubs voted in his
favour against two.
Blackmore also stated that even though it was reported in the media that new President Assistant Superintendent Colin Boyce
expressed reservations about him, he is willing to share some of the experience he has accumulated over the years and fully
co-operate with the new Body.
The AAG season commences this Sunday with the staging of the cross-country race at Kuru-Kuru, starting from 14:30 hrs.
The event is being sponsored by Woodpecker Trophy and Sports Shop.
GOA boss confirms Guyana’s participation at Caribbean championships
Guyana will join 25 other Caribbean countries vying for top honours at the inaugural Caribbean Games slated for Trinidad
and Tobago from July 12-19. President of the GOA, K A Juman Yassin made this disclosure at a media brief at the Olympic
House, Church and Peter Rose Streets Queenstown, yesterday morning, even as he updated media representatives on issues relating
to the Games. Yassin, just back from a meeting in Curacao, attended by other heads of Olympic Associations in the Region,
said that Guyana would be represented in boxing, track and field and tennis. He also said that two officials from each discipline
would accompany the teams. The GOA boss said that since his organisation would have to provide funding for the team of
athletes, he has approached the Ministry of Sports for financial assistance. He said that the Minister has summoned representative
s of the GOA to a meeting this week to discuss Government’s input. Yassin also disclosed that the track and field
activities would get underway during the initial phases of the games to accommodate those athletes with international engagements. He
said that the submission deadline for the respective disciplines would end sometime in June. Yassin further intimated that
he has already contacted the respective heads of the Associations and appraised them of their participation while instructing
them to start their preparations.
Meanwhile, the qualifying times for the respective categories at the Caribbean Games are as
100m-women-11.50secs, men- 10:40secs.
800m-2.07secs-women and 1.49secs-men.
1500m, women-4.25secs, men 3.48 secs.
5000m-17:00-women, 14:20-men and
10000m-women-35.30, men 29.50.
Meanwhile, Yassin disclosed that while in Curacao he has been able to tie up an arrangement with Head of the Jamaica Athletic
Association, Teddy McCook for local long distance queen, Alika Morgan to participate in a 10km race to be staged in the Caribbean
Island soon. Consequently, she will remain on the Island at the IAAF Centre, as a guest of the Jamaican Federation. While
there, the local athlete will receive expert guidance in athletics and other fields at the IAAF centre. Yassin said that
the training programme is part of the package organised for Morgan in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. He said that he has
already spoken with Morgan’s trainer, Leslie Black, who was delighted with the new development. According to Yassin,
one of the main concerns centered on Morgan’s academic advancement. He added that he is aware that the local athlete
is currently attending classes to boost her academic acumen. Yassin assured that once the GOA receives the necessary approval
regarding Morgan’s sojourn, consideration would be given to her academic exploits.
Record win for Guyana’s Pompey at New
Balance (Guyana Chronicle) NEW
YORK CITY, New York (CMC) – Guyana’s Aliann Pompey ran a national record and world leading 51.85 seconds to win the women’s 400 metres at the 14th
New Balance (Indoor) Games on
Pompey, a 30-year-old three-time Olympian, registered a
lopsided win and was all alone at the finish as she lowered her own Guyana record of 52.17 at the New York's Armory's Track & Field Centre.
“I felt like I could (run a personal best) today,”
“I haven’t run indoor in five years (and) I
was wondering if I could do that,” added Pompey, who won Commonwealth Games gold in 2002.
Pompey enjoyed a 30-metre lead 150 metres into the race
and showed little sign of fatigue the entire way as she came home in front of Sophia Smellie (54.94) and Nicole Dumpson (55.01).
In a star–studded field of regional
and international athletes, local distance champ, Lionel D’Andrade finished seventh overall and bettered last year’s
performance in the CLICO Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon.
D’Andrade, who had to compete with defending champion Simon Sawe, Trinidad record holder, Ronnie Holassie
and seven–time winner, Pamenos Ballantyne, returned 2:35.20 to finish one place better than last year.
Sawe successfully defended his title in 2:24.06, which was slower than his 2:22.19 mark last year while Holassie finished
second in 2:25.11 and Saint Lucia’s, Zephanius Joseph third in 2:27.24
to seal the top three finishers.
Saint Vincent’s, Ballantyne came in fourth in 2:28.47 while Trinidad’s Richard Jones in a time of 2:29.17 was
fifth and Jesus Lirenzo (2:32.46) was sixth. D’Andrade had clocked 2:35.30 for his eight place finish last year.
Kenyan, Sawe was tipped to win the race in various previews yesterday but D’Andrade told Kaieteur Sport that his
intention was to break Andrew Smith’s national record of 2:25.02 in the marquee international race.
“After 14 miles I felt strange in my stomach. It forced me to drop my pace after I realise that it could force me
out of the race,” D’Andrade told this newspaper from the Twin Island Republic just after the race yesterday.
He said after the halfway mark in the 26.2 miles race, he was poised to break the national record after his split gave
him a time under an hour. But as he approached 14 miles, he discovered a cramp feeling around his abdomen.
“The competition was stiff. I was with everybody up to the halfway mark. But after then I went up to 14 miles and
my stomach started to feel funny. I dropped my pace and then I realised I can’t break the record,” he admitted.
Despite the unfortunate discomfort, D’Andrade said that he was happy to at least improve his performance from last
year and hinted at perhaps a better time had he not gone through the abdominal problems.
He indicated that he will be training in Trinidad for the inaugural Caribbean Games billed for the same island in July.
The top athlete said he will return to Guyana around April to compete in the national senior championships.
National athletes, Dennis Horatio and
Alika Morgan won the male and female categories respectively yesterday when the Athletics
Association of Guyana (AAG) held its season–opening Cross–Country race at Kuru Kururu.
Horatio, representing Progressive Youth Club, clocked 19:27.92 that made him
the first athlete to cross the finish line while Rising Stars Athletics Club, Morgan ran
22:27.28 in the
female race to finish 12th overall.
Running Braves Athletics Club, Cleveland Thomas was second in the male
category in 19:42.72
while Larry Josiah (21.00.29) was third. Though Thomas was second in this version, he was not second generally.
Rising Stars’ Jevina Straker (26:57.50) and Jeane Ernest (28.04.00) followed Morgan in that order in the female race. Newcomer, out
of Rising Stars, Chavez Sital was second overall behind Horatio in the race.
Sital also won the junior category in 19:41.60 while New Amsterdam Track Club athlete, Jamaal Holder finished second in 19:45.00 and Kevin Bailey third in 20:52.11 to round off
the top performances in the inaugural event.
The race, which spans 5km, started at the Kuru Kururu College on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway and proceeded along a hilly
trail before ending at the College. Some 71 athletes braced the starter’s line for the race.
Noticeably absent from the race were senior national athletes, Lionel D’Andrade, Kelvin Johnson and Cleveland Forde,
whose presence would have certainly made the race more interesting for the upcoming Horatio.
Sunday, 25 January 2009
Pompey cruises 51.85 in New York
York, USA - Aliann
Pompey cruised to a 51.85 sec victory in the 400m, an early season world
leader, at the 14th New Balance Games at the New York's Armory's Track &
Field Centeron Saturday
The three-time Olympian from Guyana torched the field on her home turf, as she trains at the Armory
with former Irish sprint champion, Joe Ryan from Manhattan College. A former NCAA
indoor champion, the 30-year-old physical trainer was an Olympic Semi-finalist in the 400m in Beijing
The highly anticipated battle for the presidency of the Athletic
Association of Guyana (AAG) boiled down to an anti-climax after Dr Max Hanoman declined nomination, paving the way for former
national athlete, Colin Boyce, to ascend to the helm at the YMCA on Thomas Lands yesterday.
Even as he handed over the gavel, a representation of the symbol of office, Blackmore announced that the ruling
athletic body, the IAAF, has promised to donate US$120,000 towards the installation
of the synthetic surface of a local all weather track. He said that he had received this commitment by the President of the
IAAF at a meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Newly elected President Boyce said that he plans to engage officials of the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture
in discussions towards the realization of this project as well as a banked track for cycling. He said that this would be his
first initiative and he plans to arrange the meeting within the first two weeks in office. He also plans to employ an all
inclusive approach towards the development of the sport.
But even as he prepares to implement strategies to lift the sport from its present dismal state, Boyce nurtures
deep concerns over Blackmore’s election as General Secretary. He said that he was a bit disappointed that the electorate
saw it fit to install the former president in such an influential position.
“Yes, I am disappointed but as a servant of the athletes I will humbly accept their judgment and work
along with the plan”, Boyce said.
One of his main concerns regarding Blackmore’s re-election is in the area of correspondence. According
to Boyce, Blackmore is now mandated to receive all correspondence and he can decide which ones are passed to the executive
and committee members.
“I have the power to implement a system of checks and balances but in the end I have no control over
the way the incoming correspondence is distributed,” Boyce declared. “I firmly believe that Blackmore should not
have sought re-election,” Boyce declared. “We share different ideologies that can have a debilitating effect on
the progress of the organisation,” the outspoken President further explained.
Notwithstanding this setback, the newly inaugurated President plans to carry out his duties as diligently
and honestly as possible, while ensuring that local athletes receive the appropriate benefits for their efforts.
Boyce thanked the athletes for their demonstration of faith even as he revealed that he had also received
the blessings of the top brass of the Guyana Police Force (GPF). He pointed out that he is aware that some persons reluctantly acknowledge change.
He said that he is prepared to deal with criticism provided that it is constructive in nature. He said that he is aware that
many athletes were dissatisfied with the state of athletics but he urged them to continue striving for betterment.
“Do not expect immediate changes,” he warned them. However, he is optimistic that positive changes
will occur in due time. While admitting that the AAG was not as financially viable as he would have liked, Boyce urged all
stakeholders to work assiduously towards the betterment of the sport. “We need to move athletics forward so are calling
on all stakeholders to work towards this goal,” Boyce concluded.
Meanwhile, outgoing President Blackmore in his parting speech
implored the athletic officials to ignore past occurrences and focus on the
future. “We are not looking back at what happened in the past,” he said. “We are looking forward, all those
things have been forgotten,” he said to rousing applause. He also pledged to work ardently in his new portfolio to raise
the sport to an acceptable level.
Earlier, Blackmore had tabled a motion to redefine the position of Assistant
Secretary Treasurer to two distinct portfolios. If this motion is approved the new positions will be Assistant secretary
and Assistant Treasurer.
The other executive positions are: France Welsh (Treasurer), Leslie Ramalho and Brantford Burke (Vice Presidents). The ten committee members are Mayfield Taylor Trim, Amanda Hermanstine, Shirley
Hooper, Leslie Blacks, Linden Wilson, Colonel Rose, Wendy Doris, Robert Chisholm, Fay Norton and Mark Scott.
Secretary of the Guyana Amateur Weightlifting
Association (GAWA), Deion Nurse was the returning officer.
Aliann Pompey blaze to 1:09.37 - 500m dash @ NYC Gotham Cup (1/17/09)
Last week, Pompey won the 400m dash in Canada - See report below.
By Kathryn Willms, The StarPhoenixJanuary 12, 2009
Guyana's Aliann Pompey pulled out a decisive victory in the women's 400m in 53.68, upsetting defending champion
Nadjina, coming off just three weeks of training didn't sound too upset at the loss, saying the two have been friends a long
time and that one of the joys of track and field is the sense of community. Another friend and rival, Carline Muir, took bronze
"Actually I'm happy for my two silver medals. I'm happy with my performance, especially in the 400 because
running 53.9 is not that easy. I'll pray and keep training that next year will be a different one. I never say no to Saskatoon.
I never will until I'm tired of running."
This was Pompey's first indoor meet in many years. After finishing 11th in the 400m in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the New York-based athlete says she "was convinced" she was retired.
"Then I started training again," she says, though she's making no big commitments. "I'm at that age where
I have to take it one year at a time."
Pompey says the indoor circuit is important to make important connections with meet promoters. She lost her
funding after being injured and was working full-time during her Olympic year, which may have cost her her goal of making
the final in Beijing.
Ohio State vs Michigan Dual (1/17 - Ann Arbor, Mich.)
200m - 21.69 - 2nd place
60m - 6.86 - 1st place
Porshe Giddings (Northeastern University)
Husky Winter Carnival (Boston, MA - 12/06/08)
55m dash - 7.38 - 5th place
Harvard Open (Allston, MA - 12/13/08)
400m - 57.30 - 1st place
Dartmouth Relays (Hanover, NH - 1/11/09)
60m - 7.63 - 1st place (7.94p, 7.78s)
Jennifer Chichester (Norfolk University)
Newport Holiday Open (Newport News, VA - 12/6/08)
1 Mile Run - 5:12:45 - 3rd place
Father Diamond Invitational (Fairfax, VA - 1/10/09)
1 Mile Run - 5:13:29 - 3rd place
Virginia Tech Invitational (Blackburg, VA - 01/17/08)
800m Run - 2:14.09 - 5th place
Michelle Gomes (Rutgers University)
Metro Coaches Invitational (New York, NY - 01/09/09)
60m - 8:03p
Dax Danns (University of Nebraska)
2008 Nebraska Intrasquad (Lincoln, Neb. 12/12/08)
60m - 6:82 - 1st place
200m - 21.94 - 2nd place
Dianne Munroe (Bethune-Cookman)
Penn State Relays (University Park, PA - 01/10/09)
60m - 7.73p
Doug Raymond Invitational (Kent State, OH - 01/17/09)
60m - 7.65 - 2nd (7.78p)
200m - 25.07 - 1st
Analisa Austin (Bethune-Cookman)
Doug Raymond Invitational (Kent State, OH - 01/17/09)
60m - 7.69 - 5th (7.75p)
Ashley DeCruise (Mount St. Mary's University)
Academy Quad (Annapolis, MD - 12/02/09)
200m - 25.75 - 3rd
Gulden Relays (Lewisburg, PA - 01/10/09)
60m - 7.90 - 2nd (7.88p)
Naval Academy Quad (Annapolis, MD - 01/17/09)
60m - 7.95 - 4th
200m - 26.22 - 6th
Ashlyn DeCruise (Mount St. Mary's University)
Lid Lifter (Annapolis, MD - 12/02/08)
200m - 25.68 - 1st
Gulden Relays (Lewisburg, PA - 01/10/09)
60m - 7.84 - 2nd (7.84p)
Naval Academy Quad (Annapolis, MD - 01/17/09)
60m - 7.97 - 5th
200m - 25.40 - 3rd
Boyce elected new president
of AAG … outgoing
president Claude Blackmore retained as secretary By Joe Chapman NEWLY-promoted Assistant Superintendent of Police and former national sprint
champion, Colin Boyce, was yesterday given the mantle to head the Athletics Association
of Guyana (AAG) for the next four years after the annual general meeting and elections were held at the Thomas Lands YMCA,
with immediate past president Claude Blackmore who occupied that position for the past 18 years gaining the General Secretary’s
Speaking to Chronicle Sport after being elected Boyce indicated that his first
task would be “more or less to seek an audience with the stakeholders and government with a view to having a multipurpose
If not, we can look at an athletics and cycling bank track for now.”
He, however, noted that administratively “we need
to look at the old policy and see if we can move away from that policy and change it with a view of encouraging athletes to
He has already given the charge to coaches to produce athletes
such as, maybe not like Usain
Bolt, but we can come close to James Wren-Gilkes with a view of achieving international timing.
Questioned on the return of past president Claude Blackmore
as general secretary, Boyce quipped “really and truly at first I was a little peeved, but now that he is elected as
general secretary I will have to work with him.
But I know for sure there may be some conflicts, so as head
I will have to implement my style and they will have to abide with it.
He observed that by way of voting Blackmore into the position
of general secretary by a 5-2 vote the clubs apparently felt they cannot do without him and they have confidence in him.
Boyce remarked that he was not anticipating any problems
or conflicts but warned “they will have to abide and cope with my policies.”
Last evening, reached for a comment, Blackmore observed:
“I wasn’t appointed. All the clubs were there and voted” saying “the clubs got to decide what they
want and everybody vouched that they have to forget the past and we are looking forward and not backwards at what had transpired
in the past”.
He said the perceived fear of him overshadowing the role of the president was
not possible because “I am not a vice-president and I cannot overshadow the role of the president, and that is why I
deliberately did not seek office as a vice-president. We agreed on the role as secretary as strictly admin work.”
In fact he described that function to be one where “the
general secretary is admin. I just propping up the admin, basically it is admin. All the correspondence coming in from the
regional bodies, nothing more nothing less.
The new executive makeup of the AAG is Colin Boyce as president,
Bransford Burke and Leslie Ramalho as the 1st and 2nd vice- presidents respectively, Claude Blackmore as general secretary, Frank
Welch as treasurer, Pamela Phillips as assistant secretary/treasurer, with committee members being Linden Wilson, Wendy
Doris, Mayfield Taylor-Trim, Shelly Hooper, Cornel Rose, Mark Scott, Fay Norton, Leslie Black, Amanda Hermanstyne, and
The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has been making a big splash about the money it says it spent on sports in 2008.
Facilities are integral to the development of any nation in sports and the Ministry seems to have finally cottoned on to
its importance. Hence the building of the National Cricket Stadium
and the funding of international standardlights, which Director of Sports, Neil Kumar and Minister responsible for Sports, Dr. Frank
Anthony were proud to announce to the media at their recent briefing, among other developments.
Kudos to the Ministry for its insight especially the plan to refurbish the decrepit Non Pariel tennis facility, formerly
known as the National Sports Development Centre and construction of
the swimming center complete with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. But 200 million dollars is a sum for which more
could’ve been had, given the explanations by the Minister and his Director. They said improvements were made to the
Cliff Anderson Sports Hall and the National Gymnasium too, but from the media
reports it was not stated whether the $200M was all that was spent or available for the year.
Prioritizing, though, seems a problem for the Ministry. For all of its nice plans in recent times, the alienation
of athletics is nothing short of abominable
These days when a multi- million dollar cricket stadium is built, and an international
standard sized swimming pool is in the works and constant rehabilitation work is being done to the Sports Hall and
Gymnasium, not to mention Non Pariel Park, athletics remains starved of its most basic facility requirement.
In these modern times Guyana is probably the only country of note in Caricom without a single all-weather track. And we
are not referring to a stadium type facility, not even one for training purposes is in existence.
At the very least the National Park track should’ve had a
rubberized track laid there specifically for training by now. It does not cost a fortune nor require extensive foundation work, and more so, the National Park has been the one and only training venue
for Georgetown and out of town athletes from time immemorial.
Thus the underdevelopment of athletics is immeasurable given the time such a basic requirement has been missing from the
sport. The Athletics
Association of Guyana (AAG) has to shoulder most of the blame for the sport’s decline but it does not help that
the Ministry has dealt with the sport via a long spoon.
The AAG’s inept handling of athletics has not endeared it to anyone, nonetheless the Ministry, which has a policy
of not funding any national body, seems disinclined to provide financial statements.
But it does not mean that the sport should be treated as though it doesn’t exist, without even basic needs. The
Ministry has a duty to serve the people and sports of this country and athletics should’ve been one of the least to
be neglected. Over the years it was always one of the major disciplines in the country.
The National Schools Championships were always one of the best organized and attended sports activities in the country. Athletics
was one of the first disciplines to have national representation at the Olympic Games.
The likes of Oliver Hunter , George De Peanna, Harry Powell, Juliet Masdammer
and Myrna Fawcett, who were all good enough to compete at the world’s premier
sports event from the 1950’s, scaling back to the era of James Wren Gilkes and June Marcia Griffith.
Were it not for that unfortunate boycott of the 1976 Olympics, Guyana was sure to have its first gold medal through Gilkes. At the Regional
level, Guyana was well respected at the Junior Carifta Games. Swimming was never in the picture.
In the days of the Guyana Games and the Joint Services and Guystac/Guymine meets, athletics was bigger than football. These
factors should’ve been taken into account by the Ministry even if it meant working along with the odious regime of the
Blackmore administration, to keep the sport relevant.
No way should our athletes be reduced to beggar status to procure funding to compete overseas. Especially when you hear
about the Ministry funding coaches for the Guyana Cricket Board. Now, cricket is the best taken care of sport body financially.
It gets all the sponsorship, not to mention the Stanford bonanzas over the last two years.
Unfortunately the Ministry never exercised its leadership clout for athletics, because a more proactive one could’ve
ended the Blackmore reign of terror on the sport a long time ago. Such interventions happen all the time in countries
with Governments that care more. All it takes is imposing some influence on the clubs that vote.
Now that Claude Blackmore has thrown in the towel on the AAG presidency, the Ministry has no excuse not to kick start an
athletics revival towards its former glory.
Anthony and Kumar can start by refurbishing the National Park with that badly needed rubber track.
Former national sprinter Colin Boyce was yesterday elected
president of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) when the governing body of track
and field held its Annual General Meeting
(AGM) in the YMCA annexe. Boyce, as reported by Stabroek Sports earlier, was a sure bid for the top
post as he was the only candidate nominated prior to the elections and yesterday’s meeting merely ratified his appointment.
Former president Claude Blackmore, who served
in that capacity for the past 13 years, did not seek re-election. After his election the Assistant
Superintendent of Police stated that for the body to work together and make a difference there needed to be changes to the policy of the previous administration
“I’m not totally satisfied with the body but if they are prepared and are willingly to work and produce acceptable
proposals, then I will support them,” Boyce told this newspaper. “My first intention is to push the sport further
and we will be pushing even harder to acquire an all weather track (synthetic) with a cycling banked track because that is
the stepping stone,” Boyce, the second member of the Joint Services to hold the post after Colonel Desmond Roberts,
Boyce, a top sprinter during his heyday, said that athletes suffer a great deal in the wet season due to the absence
of a track adding that there was also need for a proper gym facility.
Boyce said it was his understanding that with the construction of the National Stadium at Providence, a gym for the benefit
of all sports disciplines was to have been established there.
And, in a not altogether surprising move Blackmore was elected general
secretary of the organization while Leslie Romahlo and Branford Burke are the new vice presidents.
Franz Welch was returned unopposed as treasurer while Pamela Phillips defeated Debbie Hopkinson for the post of assistant
secretary/treasurer. The 10 council members including new faces Leslie Black and Faye Naughton are Lyndon Wilson, Wendy Doris,
Amanda Hermonstine, Cornel Rose, Robert Chisholm, Mark Scott, Shirley Hooper and Mayfield Taylor-Trim.
Frustration behind Blackmore’s decision to step down
The news that incumbent president of the Athletic Association of Guyana would not be seeking re-election when that body
stages its annual general meeting today came as a complete surprise.
Blackmore’s decision to step down from leading one of the country’s most important national
associations is in complete contrast to the position taken by some other association heads.
The philosophy of calling time on one’s administrative career is not shared by other heads of national sports associations.
Indeed many have to be voted (one can say booted) out of office as most opt for reigns as long as the PNC’s 28 years.
A prime example is Guyana Football Federation head Colin Klass who, in the face on an overwhelming
rejection of his leadership by the national players he represents or purports to represent, continues to hold on to power.
And although Blackmore says his reasons for stepping down are personal, one gets the impression that his decision might
have been fuelled by several factors.
The lack of support by government, constant criticisms from the media, lack of a hard working executive and his recent
exclusion from the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) hierarchy are just some of the reasons why Blackmore might have been tempted
to pass the mantle onto another.
“I think that athletics is not making the kind of progress I would like it to make,” he says candidly.
And he is right, for in the past Guyana produced a number of athletes who performed outstandingly on the regional and international
Athletes like James Wren Gilkes, Raefield `Pepe’ Beaton, June Marcia Griffith, Jennifer Innis, Thomas Bowman, the
late Elton Jefford, Oslen Barr, Marian Burnett, Clifton Schultz and Myrna Fawcett have represented this country with distinction
in the past.
But lack of facilities and inadequate funding has managed to stifle progress the good intentions of the athletics fraternity
Blackmore admits that he has been frustrated by the fact that the country does not possess a synthetic track. He gave
as an example neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago pointing out that they “have
a wealth of stadia some of which are underutilized.”
Blackmore said he is frequently teased about the fact that Guyana does not possess such facilities and said a famous line
which was oft repeated was,” Why don’t we give `Blackie’ Manny
Every week there is a meet in Trinidad Blackmore says but pointed out that those meets are run not by the National Amateur
Athletics Association of Trinidad and Tobago, but by the various clubs.
“This thing has to be looked at from a macro level people look at this thing in isolation,” he said. BAD
PRESS One gets the impression that Blackmore feels that he has served Guyana’s athletics well and is not going to
stomach the bad publicity he has been receiving from the media any longer.
He pointed out though that most of the negative reports are coming from one area.
“The criticisms are coming from one group of people who seem to be getting support from a section of the media.”
Blackmore questioned whether the athletes in Berbice and Linden did not have grouses only the athletes in Georgetown.
He warned that the new executive would not have it easy…“From Monday the hard work begins”
Blackmore said attempting to make a success sport of athletics would demand a lot of work, honesty, sincerity and co-operation.
He pointed out that frequently athletes call for more competitions then fail to show up.
“The clubs don’t bring the athletes,” he said.
For today’s elections Blackmore has received nominations for two positions.
He is one of eight nominees to contest the post of vice president and one of two nominees for the post of secretary.
Even if he is defeated in both of those categories, which seem unlikely, Blackmore would not be lost entirely to athletics.
He is a member of South American Athletic Confed-eration and last year was elected a vice president of the Pan American
Coach Diallo Jamal Shabazz of the Guyana Road Runners club feels that Blackmore is still needed in Guyana’s athletics suggesting that
Blackmore would be needed until the new president found his feet.
“Blackmore was an honest president, not corrupt,” says Shabazz.
“Due to his standing firm on rules he has become very unpopular among certain sections of the athletics fraternity.
“If Claude Blackmore is nominated for any post he would receive the votes from the Guyana Road Runners Club,”
Shabazz said the new president would need to be guided for at least two years and there was no one more suitable in that
capacity than Blackmore who served previously as secretary.
Shabazz who says he has over 40 years service as an athlete, coach and administrator, blames some executive members for
the state of athletics in Guyana.
“A tree is only as strong as its roots,” he said adding that only four persons presently around the athletics
fraternity could say that they have done much for the development of the sport and that Blackmore was one of them.
For today’s elections which will be held at the Thomas Lands YMCA building from 10.30am, Assistant
Superintendent of Police, Colin Boyce, is almost assured of the presidency of the association as he is the only nominee.
The nominees for the post of vice president, however, are Leslie Romalho, Cornel Rose, Mark Scott, Branford Burke, Brian
Bradshaw, Hugh Denbow, Blackmore and Robert Chisholm.
Blackmore and Rose are the two nominees for the post of general secretary while incumbent Franz Welch is the lone nominee
for the post of treasurer.
The post of assistant secretary/treasurer will be a straight fight between Pamela Phillips and Debbie Hopkinson.
Those contesting for positions of council members are Lyndon Wilson, Mayfield Taylor-Trim, Wendy Dories, Diallo Jamal Shabazz,
Robert Chisholm, Wanda Richmond, Rolston Retimiah, Faye Naughton, Keith Campbell,
Anson Ambrose, Keith Smith, Keith French, Shirley Hooper, Paula Perreira, Cornel Rose, Mark Scott, Petal Lashley,
Yvonne October and Leslie Blacks.
Coach Black speaks out before AAG elections
THE Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) will hold its elections tomorrow to appoint new office-bearers amidst growing
concerns that many stakeholders are not satisfied with the state of athletics in the country.
One such person is accomplished middle and long distance
coach Leslie Black - the coach and guardian of national champion Alika Morgan.
The plain-spoken Black stated that it is time for a changing
of the guard and the time has come to elect people that will mobilise the sport towards the right direction.
He stated: “A change in the administration will do
good for the sport because many athletes are not comfortable with the present administration and some people in the administration
Black is also adamant that the sport needs people with clout
and who have the interest of the sport at heart. He also believes that persons with reputable business footing can also make
an impact especially when it comes to the administration of the sport if they receive the guidance from some “a selected
few” of this current administration.
“This upcoming election should mean a lot for athletics
in this country, the future of athletics and this will depend on the administration’s vision,” remarked Black
Black opines that prominent physician Dr Max Hanoman will
be able to attract the corporate sponsors especially since he seems to be expressing interest in the sport.
He also mentioned that the National
Sports Commission (NSC) will have to play its role in this new dispensation especially since he thinks that the persons
who have committed to serving on the new AAG administration want to see the sport go forward.
When asked who are the persons that would be contesting
for the office of president he noted that there is some talk of former athlete Colin Boyce and Colin Ming but due to some
constitutional problems Ming can be rendered unsuitable to contest the position.
On the other hand, current president of the AAG Claude Blackmore
has indicated that he will not be seeking re-election to office citing that “he doesn’t want the presidency”.
But according to a source within the AAG this decision was
made in light of his not securing an elected position in the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA).
By Edison Jefford Claude Blackmore has made it pellucid that his future with
the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) rests with the local clubs’
confidence (or lack thereof) in him to continue with the organisation he has served for 18 years. The outgoing president said that he will definitely decline a presidential nomination from any of the
clubs but he will be willing to work under any other portfolio even if it is at the basic level of AAG Council Member. “Clubs
have approached me to reconsider my decision (to not seek reelection) and I said to them that I am not runningend of story!”
Blackmore told Kaieteur Sport with some amount of conclusiveness yesterday. “I
definitely don’t want the presidency! If they think that they still require my services at another level then I will
see what they put me up for and make a decision on the morning of the elections,” the current AAG head said. According
to Blackmore, the council was made aware of his considerations to not contest the presidency at last year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in January, so the furore over his departure should not surprise them. Asked
if he has endorsed anyone for the top position, the departing president said that he will not go that route and has even informed
Director of Sport, Neil Kumar about his reservations on endorsing anyone for the post. “I will not go down that line.
I even told the Director of Sport. I believe people get what they elect. They (the clubs) have to decide if I can still make
a contribution. If they feel soso be it!” Blackmore reiterated. The outgoing AAG boss has been constantly blamed
for the underperformance of track and field in Guyana, which is in part owed to the absence of a synthetic track here. His
rebuttal is that Governments provide facilities. On Sunday, national sprint champion Rawle Greene said that the changes should be more broadbased
than just the departure of Blackmore. Greene stopped one breath short of calling on more AAG officials to depart. The general
feeling at the grassroots level of the sport is that Blackmore’s decision to not seek reelection is a welcomed lifeline
for the discipline but that elation could evaporate when the nomination sheets are declared. It would not be an accurate
assessment to negatively query his support among the current AAG Council. Blackmore is responsible for many of their exposure
and the indebtedness could once again elevate him to another top post.
For sports to progress, more coaches
are needed - GOA head By
Michael DaSilva PRESIDENT of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) K. Juman-Yassin is of the view that for sports in Guyana
to progress, the government needs to employ more coaches.
Responding to a question from Chronicle Sport in
an exclusive interview, The GOA head pointed out that at the Olympics those
countries that win medals have full-time dedicated coaches and a degree of infrastructure.
The former Chief Magistrate issued a call for local track athletes to concentrate on long distances such
as those 800 metres
and over, since if they do not, in his opinion, they may be wasting their time.
"Because we don't have the facilities
here for sprints and apart from the facilities, there is much more that is needed, you need committed coaches ... and
I'm not saying the coaches here are not committed, but abroad, those coaches are full-time coaches. We don't have any
full-time coaches in Guyana and that is one of the setbacks.
For me, this is the responsibility of the government.
The government needs to come on board and the National Sports Commission
(NSC) needs to employ full-time coaches who can really play a part, not only spreading the sports around, but to be able
to help those talented athletes so that they can go to a higher level. Unfortunately, when you look at the amount of coaches
that are on the payroll of the NSC there are not more than five coaches maybe.
They don't have a boxing coach and when you
look at the world champions we have in Guyana, when you look at where we hope we'll get a medal, when you look at where the
president built a gym in Albouystown - which to me is being wasted - when you look at all those things and you don't see a
boxing coach, one asks the question why? So for me, if you really want to be serious you have to have coaches."
While lamenting the fact that there are not enough
full-time coaches in Guyana, Juman-Yassin complimented Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, for taking
on the imitative last year in trying to get sports in the schools.
"Dr Anthony went to a meeting in Jamaica where he saw what the structure was. He came back and he had meetings with
Minister of Education Shaik Baksh and they started something, and I hope this continues so that there can be a real structure
in the schools."
He said the GOA is willing to
assist with this since when you look back over the years, you will find that the country's best athletes came out of
the schools system.
"This is why Jamaica is so successful
with their athletics, it's their schools programme. So the reason we cannot be as successful as Jamaica when it comes to track
and field is because we don't have the structure in schools. We don't have tracks and Jamaica has a dedicated school (IAAF-sponsored)
for track and field athletes from around the world who can go there to live, study and train."
"The most important thing for me for
the development of sports, we need to get serious with sports in our schools, we need to start in our primary schools; we
don't have a proper structure of sports in our schools. Years ago schools had sports masters, we don't have that now and we
need to get that," Juman-Yassin lamented.
Asked about Guyana's performance at
the 2008 Beijing Olympics,
the GOA boss said what was disappointing was the fact that Guyana did not get a gold medal.
He was however quick to point out
that there was some degree of success in that US-based athlete Aliann Pompey reached the semi-finals of the women's 400 metres.
"Aliann Pompey was successful and
the reason I say she was successful and why we (Guyana) can say we have been successful is that in her event, the women's
400m from the preliminary she went up to the semi-finals, There were two semi-finals and in the two there were eight athletes
each, so what we have is the best 16 persons from around the world qualified to run the semi-finals and out of the
16 persons from around the world, Aliann was one of them and you had two persons from one country – Jamaica. You had
some Americans, so when you look at it, you will find that out of the countries there, you had about 11 being represented
in the semi-finals, so you have Guyana as one of 11 countries and she didn't qualify to go to the final, but the fact is,
at the end of the day, she went up to the semi- finals and I call that a success."
Juman-Yassin said here in Guyana,
when the GOA selects a team for major Games and nobody wins medals the media and individuals are quick to say it is a
"waste of time ... athletes and officials go and they just go on a trip.
“I don't share that sentiment,
the exposure is good and when you look at the last Olympics I can say that there was a degree of success," adding " let's
examine each one of them, Adam Harris did not do well; he wrote an article saying that he was injured, whether that was so
or not, I don't know, he never told anybody while there, but my assessment of him is he is a very pleasant young man,
he has the physical structure of a good athlete and I'm hoping that in the future he'll do well for us, but the top athlete
who was voted the best in the world (Jamaica's) Usain Bolt, he broke records, but people don't realise that Usain Bolt went to the previous
Olympics and did absolutely nothing, he finished down the line, he didn't qualify and didn't move up, but he told himself
that he has to train hard, he did that and committed himself and has seen the success and so, not because this young man (Harris)
did not do well he must be written off.
"For Niall Roberts, one did not expect
him to do anything because we don't have an Olympic-size pool here ... for a start. Secondly, in order to win at the Olympics
there must be a rigorous training schedule. These guys who win, they train for about six hours a day, morning and afternoon
... swimming is their lives and Niall is not part of that routine. We don't have that routine in Guyana and until we get that,
nothing will happen.
"Marian Burnett, she was disappointing,
she did not qualify for any semi-finals."
Juman-Yassin said what he is hoping
for and what he is looking at is for the other young Guyanese who are abroad, first of all, to see how good they are
and if they can qualify.
He said quite a few of them
are at universities and they are young and they have the potential.
Guyana’s leading national sprint champion, Rawle Greene has stated that the departure
of Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) head, Claude Blackmore, will not change the administration of local track and field.
Greene was speaking to Kaieteur Sport following Blackmore’s revelation that he is set
to bring his 18–year–old reign as AAG President to an end on January 20 when the body is expected to hold its
Annual General Meeting.
Blackmore has stated that he will not be seeking re–election but Greene believes that
real change can only happen in the sport if the entire AAG Council follows Blackmore through the door since they are his protégés.
“I don’t think it (his departure) will effect change in the sport; Blackmore is
not the AAG Council. He will depart but someone I guess that he trained will take his place,” the current national male
sprint champion said.
The outgoing AAG boss has been constantly blamed for the underperformance of the discipline
in Guyana but his rebuttal has been consistent and that is that Governments are responsible for facilities and not associations.
The absence of a synthetic track here has seriously put this nation at a disadvantage, especially
when the inaugural Caribbean Games is just months away and several local athletes are looking to adequately prepare.
“He (Blackmore) has not been doing enough for athletes in terms of priority athletes;
they operate like if the athletes has done them something but I hope that will all change soon or my boots will go into my
cabinet,” Greene warned.
The athlete described this year as a ‘make or break’ year and vowed to quit the
sport entirely if nothing significant happens at both the administrative and competitive levels for him in his eighteenth
year on the track.
Blackmore’s AAG and Greene have not enjoyed the best of relationships during that time
where Greene was overlooked for international meets on several occasions with the AAG opting for foreign representatives instead.
His professional career faced many set backs that range from the lack of a consistent corporate
sponsor to shortage of facilities in Guyana where he is based. The top athlete is however adamant that he will overcome.
Greene hopes that the new AAG head and General Council will have a more professional approach
to local athletes and that senior athletes will be made a priority ahead of the 2009 Caribbean Games in Trinidad and Tobago.
Attorney-at-Law K.A. Juman Yassin was returned unopposed as President of the Guyana Olympic
Association at its annual General Meeting which was held last Tuesday, at
the entity’s Headquarters. According to a release from the GOA, the audited statement and a report of the last four
(4) years was submitted and adopted during the meeting. The other officers elected were Noel Adonis, Charles Corbin and
Dr. Karen Pilgrim as Vice-Presidents, while Ivor O’Brien was returned unopposed as Secretary General; Garfield Wiltshire as Treasurer and Hector
Edwards as Assistant Secretary Treasurer. The release also stated that
Juman Yassin thanked Terry Holder for performing the role of Returning Officer, while complimenting outgoing Vice-Presidents Blackmore and George
Lee Lam for their support and contributions over the years. The GOA also announced the following persons as Trustees: Richard Fields S.C, Edward Luckhoo S.C, Victor Insanally, Terrence Holder and Paul