By Calvin Chapman
The locally based contingent, who represented Guyana at the South America Games which concluded last week in Bolivia, were present at the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) head office yesterday to engage the media.
Guyana had 14 athletes at the games and finished with a total of five medals inclusive of four bronze and one silver medal with Athletics and Boxing being the only disciplines to medal.
Leslain Baird set a new national record of 79 meters en route to earning a silver medal in the Javelin throw event at the Games which took place in the city of Cochabamba. Guyana’s national 400m record holder, Winston George, won Bronze in his favoured event, while Jenea McCammon also a copped bronze in the women’s 100m hurdles.
Boxers, Keevin Allicock (bantamweight) and Colin ‘Superman’ Lewis (light welterweight) also earned bronze medals; they became the first two boxers to medal for Guyana at the South America games.
Baird had the best chance to win a Gold medal but after setting the South America Javelin record after spearing his second throw, he suffered a hip injury and was unable to complete all five of his attempts. Eventual winner, Colombia’s Arley Ibarguen, reset the record once more with a distance of 80m.
Despite being among the top seeds in South America, Baird held his own and he thanked God, the GOA, the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) and everyone who supported him.
Like his fellow athletes, Baird explained that the thin air and cold temperature from the high-altitude in Bolivia, posed a challenge not only in competing but for something as simple as warming up.
Coach/Manager of the two-fighter boxer team, Terrence Poole, mentioned dissatisfaction after only being allowed two athletes and he mentioned that Boxing should be afforded more athletes in future games since the sport always delivers good results.
Poole expressed great satisfaction with his fighters and noted that winning a medal among Latin Fighters who are notoriously tough was a big feat.
GDF promoted Leslain Baird to Senior Petty Officer after his outstanding performance and Poole called for Minister of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Sport, Dr. George Norton, along with the National Sports Commission (NSC) to start looking at the welfare of athletes and noted that creating incentives for good performances is a good mechanism to develop sports in Guyana.
“I want to see what these medals will bring for our athletes; we are fed up of congratulations… the Government need to create a benchmark for incentives to keep the athletes motivated,” Poole posited, the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA) Technical Director further stated that, “I am tired waiting on the sports policy, we need it now.”
Head of the GOA, K.A. Juman-Yassin added to Poole comments saying that the GOA can’t do everything on their own and that Government support is needed. He also called for the timely completion of the National Sports Policy which had been promised as part of the current administration’s campaign manifesto and reiterated the need for incentives for athletes.
Juman-Yassin also noted that despite promises from Government, Guyana’s Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist, Troy Doris, is yet to receive any tangible contribution from the administration.
Oct 16, 2018By Sean Devers in Trinidad In association with Regal, Vnet, Noble House Seafoods & Cascadia Hotel In murky conditions and played before virtually empty stands, Guyana Jaguars, led by a 79-run...
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