In responding to the Kadecia Baird, Aliann Pompey controversy, Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) President, Colin Boyce has said that there is nothing he could have done to include young Kadecia Baird, Guyana’s junior 400m record holder and world junior silver medalist, on Guyana’s delegation to the 2012 London Olympics.
He explained that neither he nor anyone from the AAG received accreditation papers for Baird in time for her to represent Guyana at the Olympics.
In an exclusive interview with Caribbean Track Life online magazine, Boyce noted that, “I have made available to Guyanese athletes residing outside of Guyana the requirements to represent Guyana through various sources.”
Boyce identified the three basic requirements: have a valid Guyanese passport; have a variable performance (FAT) time; and submit a registration form by March 23 of the year of the competition in which they intend to participate.
He then pointed out that up to the time of submitting accreditation papers to the IOC (International Olympic Committee), AAG never received documentation from Baird, her parents or coaches.
“In late April 2011, I came to America to attend the Penn Relays, and spent the following week after that meeting with various persons from the Guyanese Diaspora, some as a group and others individually,” Boyce said.
“One of the persons I met was Nicola “Nikki” Martial, a Guyanese and current Head Coach of Medgar Evers College Prep High School Girls Track and Field, and Baird’s coach. I expressed AAG’s interest in having Kadecia represent Guyana in various junior international competitions, including the CARIFTA Games, for the 2012 Track and Field season. Her response to me
among other things was, ‘Kadecia is not ready for that level of competition’,” Boyce said, adding that he was told that Kadecia needed to concentrate on the Penn Relays.
Boyce has said he finds the quotes attributed to Ms. Martial in the media (New York Daily News, article by Mitch Abramson, July 14, 2012) ‘disingenuous and disturbing.’ “Nikki,” he said, “in my opinion, is the major reason Kadecia’s name was not submitted with the others to represent her country.”
The AAG President then referred to an ugly turn of events that has transpired, affecting other Guyanese athletes such as Aliann Pompey, who informed Boyce (during the lead up to the Olympics) of some “very nasty emails” that she was getting.
Pompey had qualified for the London Olympic Games a year earlier and was the clear choice for the AAG since she had done so before the March 23 requirement as opposed to Baird. Pompey released text messages she was getting, allegedly from the Baird camp.
“Good afternoon All,” Pompey had written to Boyce and others, “I hope this correspondence reaches you in better spirits than it leaves me. Over the last few days, I’ve received a series of deplorable text messages and obscene phone calls to my personal cell phone as a result of my (Olympic) selection. As none of them posed a direct threat to my life, (quoting, for example a message: ‘I hope you die’ is not the same as saying I will kill you), and the fact that they’re being sent through the web and can’t be traced, I cannot take specific action at the moment.”
In response by e-mail, Boyce expressed his unease over the situation: “Aliann, I am very concerned about the manner in which Guyanese track and field supporters are behaving. I thought that there was unity amongst the overseas athletes, coaches and supporters, but I am somehow thinking that it may not be so,” Boyce said.
“Yes, Kadecia’s performance is overwhelming to all and sundry, but unfortunately it was done after the accreditation deadline and it’s hard for those who are not aware of the process to accept; but that’s how life is. Please accept our concern and sincerely hope that this ugly situation can be put to rest once and for all,” the AAG President concluded. (By Anthony Gayle reprinted from www.caribbeantracklife.com)
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