Samuda, Hawthorne laud CAC athletes

Monday, August 06, 2018

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BARRANQUILLA, Colombia — The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) pledged, among a number of goals, to take the mantle in professionalising sports administration to actualise sustained sporting development.

This comes against the backdrop of Jamaica's performance at the just-concluded Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, where the country placed eighth overall with 27 medals — 12 gold, four silver and 11 bronze.

“We will, as the National Association for Olympic and other sports, lead in professionalising the administration of sport and delivery of games. We will provide thought and active leadership in charting the sustainable development of what should have already been Jamaica's sporting industry,” said Christopher Samuda, president of the JOA.

Samuda was present throughout the championships and involved in a number of presentations across the many different venues, oftentimes leading the medals ceremony with presentations, especially when Jamaica won a gold medal.

“The curtain has come down on the 2018 CAC Games — the Olympiad of the region — with our flag hoisted high. It is now history, but our success is still present and must inspire the future,” noted Samuda.

“I witnessed courageous performances by our sportsmen and women and remarkable camaraderie among officials and athletes, which gave all the conviction that we were in Barranquilla on a joint mission with a shared destiny.

“I salute the managers, coaches and athletes for this demonstration of unity and purpose. The JOA will continue its efforts to deepen and enrich the pool of talent across the sporting disciplines as we provide regional and global stages for our athletes to self-actualise,” he added.

Jamaica had won four medals at the previous CAC Games, in Veracruz, Mexico, in 2014.

Another team official, track and field coach Danny Hawthorne, also heaped praise on the nation's athletes.

Hawthorne said: “We performed exceptionally well at this track meet.

“We had a few misfortunes, although we have to face it and move on. All in all, the athletes gave of their best and that is all we ask of them,” he added.

Jamaica placed fourth overall in athletics competition with 19 medals, which included eight gold — both the men's and women's 100m — three silver and six bronze and the track team's head coach said he was particularly pleased with the business-like approach of the country's representatives.

“Given the sort of attitude of the athletes they really came out and performed at their best. The discipline was at its best, we had no problems with discipline … I can't recall reprimanding anybody. This augurs well for Jamaica — we were disciplined, we were determined and we performed well,” Hawthorne highlighted.

“I think that's also a plus; some people regard this as a second, third-string team and they were able to perform so well against the other Caribbean countries, it's good,” he noted.

Cuba topped the athletics competition with 27 medals (10 gold, eight silver, nine bronze), ahead of Colombia 25 (11 gold, five silver, nine bronze) and Mexico 19 (eight gold, four silver, five bronze).

Other medal winners from the English-speaking Caribbean were Trinidad and Tobago, with nine (two gold, five silver, two bronze), Barbados, three (two gold, one bronze), British Virgin Islands three (one gold, silver, bronze apiece), St Lucia and The Bahamas (one gold apiece), Bermuda, Grenada, St Kitts/Nevis (one silver apiece) and Antigua/Barbuda (one bronze).

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