Nov 23, 2008 Sports
– results awaiting ratification
By Edison Jefford
Credibility issues throughout the 2008 National Schools’ Championships forced officials yesterday to withhold the final result of the overall winner of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and Ministry of Education event.
However, the last point standing that was announced late Friday night revealed that host, Upper Demerara, District 10, had an unassailable lead of over 400 points with Corentyne and North Georgetown trailing distantly.
After the completion of the final track and field event, massive celebrations erupted at the Mackenzie Sports Club ground. Based on the announcement, patrons assumed that the district had won its 12th schools’ title.
But GTU President, Colwyn King told Kaieteur Sport yesterday at the ‘Athletes’ Village’ that the official results will not be released until the conclusion of a meeting with other GTU officers and the sports committee.
He said that the position was taken owing to the behaviour of some GTU Executives and the “credibility compromises” of officials from the Local Organising Committee that was set up to manage the Games in Linden.
“The entire competition was compromised. I don’t want to say much now because I want to meet with my officers first,” King told this newspaper, adding that a press conference will be called to address the issues.
According to the GTU President, the results of the truncated four–day championships will be made available either tomorrow or Wednesday. From all indications, it seem as though the results are more likely for a midweek release.
The issue with the publicity of results cannot be one that includes tallying since recorders were quick in supplying the capacity crowd with regular point updates. Apparently, a few districts are refusing to accept the outcome.
The problem is that the results authenticity is being question based on the complaints and protest that followed throughout the competition. King said that the errors in judgement resulted from the officials’ compromise.
There were complaints that athletes were given foul jumps and throws with stewards at prejudicial positions on the field and that athletes were not allowed to compete in track finals when they had clearly qualified.
Some Districts also nagged about having officials from Linden in important positions on the field like Mayfield Taylor–Trim as Chief Track Judge. Whether these claims will be upheld is to be determined when GTU meets.
The problems reached saturation point Thursday afternoon when the three City districts gyrated onto the field in protest during the 100m finals, prompting an untimely and adverse cancellation of the day’s proceedings.
The effect of the cancellation meant that three–quarters of the finals that remained from a rain–hit Wednesday and short–lived Thursday had to be cramped into Friday, which resulted in the absence of certain events.
The under–20 boys’ 5000m race was chopped out including the remainder of the cycling competition; GTU will find difficulty awarding a winner of the cycling contest with just the completion of less than ten finals.
The overall champion is determined based on districts’ placement in the track and field, cycling and swimming competitions. Defending overall champions, North Georgetown won the swimming title on Tuesday.
East Georgetown placed second in the swimming while Upper Demerara finished third; North Georgetown was also defending title holders in the swimming competition and was precariously placed overall this year.
Despite the challenges facing the determination of a 2008 winner, Upper Demerara is adamant that they have won. The championship trophy, among others, was quietly resting at their village, Regma Primary, Friday night.
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