By Calvin Chapman
The Athletics Association of Guyana’s (AAG) Third Development Meet for the year and the Fourth Track & Field Meet in less than a month’s time runs off tomorrow at the Enmore Community Center (ECC) Ground, East Coast of Demerara where over 150 local athletes are expected to compete in odd distances on the 300m track along with the traditional field events.
This year is the year of the Olympics and with Carifta Games a few months away; athletes are using these Meets to gauge their level of preparedness for the busy season ahead.
Guyana is also scheduled to host the South America Under-23 Championships this year which will see a larger contingent of local athletes being able to compete at the continental showpiece.
Tomorrow’s headline will without a doubt be the men’s open sprint battle between Davin Fraser and Akeem Stewart. In the first Development Meet this year at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ground two weeks ago, Stewart and Fraser shared honours in the 60m and 150m races, respectively.
Last week, Stewart didn’t participate in the second Development Meet at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) ground in Linden but Fraser continued where he left off at GDF to win the 150m race in 16.32 seconds.
Senior Athletics Coach, Julian Edmonds, in an invited comment, expressed satisfaction with the busy start to season by the AAG with a track meet each weekend so far. “There are many things we can improve on but this is very good, constant competition is needed to keep our athletes sharp. It builds rivalries and motivates them to keep improving”, Coach Edmonds posited.
Following tomorrow’s event, the fourth Development Meet will be held at the National Track & Field Facility (NTFC) Leonora, on February 1st where regular distances will be contested.
This meet will also serve as the first qualifier for the 49th Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) Junior Games which will be held in Bermuda this Easter weekend. Edmonds noted that Guyana will be without regular medalists the likes of Joanna Archer, Claudrice McKoy and Chantoba Bright who would have all contributed significantly throughout the years, but the Coach believes that the current crop of Under-20 players Guyana has, can continue the upward curve of local athletics.
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