By Edison Jefford
It was always a war in the making, just that the Guyana Police Force and Guyana Defence Force (GDF) never really accepted the fact that they both wanted sole dominance of the Joint Services Championships that always seem to alternate between them.
The rivalry reached its climax on the opening day and continued on the second day, yesterday, of the 2010 Championships when the Police Force filed protests against the Defence Force claiming that the latter had included athletes that were not soldiers.
This prompted the soldiers to abandon four events on the opening day and react nonchalantly to the event the following day at the Police Sports Club. As a result, the police have assumed what can easily be called a commanding lead heading into Friday.
After 12 Finals, the police have already amassed 231 points as opposed to GDF’s 99 points that prompted serious questions surrounding the authenticity of the points’ system. The Guyana Fire Service is third on 57 points and the Guyana Prison Service fourth on 36 points.
Over the years the Police and Defence Forces have always headed into the final day of the event in a close battle for the lead as last year when the Police merely held a 12-point advantage over the Defence Force. This year the margin is unprecedented.
Track and Field Coach of the GDF, Robert Chisholm told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that all those issues left his team despondent. “We have some ups and downs right now. Our spirits aren’t high right now because of how the police cheating us,” he indicated. “We think that the police are cheating by trying to debar our athletes. They are manipulating everything in their favour. We know that if they do not cheat us anymore we will still have some chance on Friday,” Chisholm told this newspaper yesterday.
The GDF Coach said that all his athletes are authentic soldiers, who are on their pay roll. Police had questioned the inclusion of reportedly five athletes on the GDF team. Chisholm said that the official recruitment of the individuals was done since April.
“They are making a big issue of that because they know that we will beat them again,” Chisholm stated, adding that the decision on whether or not the Force competes on Friday is not his, but if they do, it be “just competing for competing sake.”
Kaieteur Sport was reliably informed that the Defence Force will be meeting with Chief-of-Staff, Gary Best today to deliberate on the matter. Meanwhile, the police are adamant that their rivals are reacting to the fact that they were outclassed this year.
“They knew we did not like the way we lost last year and they also knew that we’re coming back stronger than last year. We were better prepared this year so we went all out,” the Police’s Coach Lyndon Wilson said at the Police Sports Club Ground.
He informed that there was indeed a protest that was lodged and “basically they (the soldiers) are annoyed that some of their athletes were ineligible to compete”. Wilson noted that the police was not the only officials monitoring the systems on the day.
The Athletics Association of Guyana as well as the Defence Force had officials actively involved in administrating the meet. The Police Coach said that he would never allow those things that the police are being accused of to happen under his watch.
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