Big first for VCB
MARRAKECH, Morocco: Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown says she is honoured and proud to have been selected as a captain for the Americas team at the second staging of the IAAF Continental Cup here.
Campbell-Brown - one of 15 female Olympic and World Championships medallist on the team and Kenyan-born American middle and long distance standout Bernard Lagat, were yesterday asked to lead the regional outfit at the two-day inter-continental championships set for the Grande Stade de Marrakech, in Marrakech, Morocco, tomorrow and Sunday.
Known prior to the 2010 inauguration of the new-look IAAF Continental Cup as the IAAF World Cup in Athletics, the competition was first held in 1977 before it was given an overhaul in time for the 2010 instalment in Split, Croatia.
The current system sees top-ranked athletes competing on teams based in their regions - the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia/Pacific, with each result contributing to an overall points total, which will be used to determine the victorious 'continent' at the end of the championships.
Team Americas and Team Asia/Pacific will be represented in each event by the top-two ranked athletes (not from the same country) from the respective region, while Team Africa and Team Europe were selected based on results from their recent area championships.
Team Americas will enter this year's competition as defending champions and Campbell-Brown, who herself is coming off a rather successful season, is looking forward to the competition.
"It's an honour to be selected as one of the team captains for Team Americas," said Campbell-Brown yesterday afternoon. "It's my first time coming to the Continental Cup, and I really like the set-up; being on the same team as persons from different countries. It a great joy and I am pleased to have been selected as one of the captains."
Campbell-Brown, who will join her Trinidadian 'continental' teammate Michelle-Lee Ayhe as the region's representative in the women's 100m before teaming up with Tianna Bartoletta and countrywoman Samantha Henry-Robinson on the 4x100m, said it's an interesting twist to be competing on the same team with athletes who would normally be wearing rival colours at global championships.
Lagat is the only individual defending champion on the Americas team after running to 3000m and 5000m titles four years ago.
He also tasted medal success this year, claiming silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. He is a triple World Championships and double Olympic medallist, winning silver (2004) and bronze (2000) in Olympic 1500m.