‘We should have been better prepared’
Head coach of the Jamaican delegation to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Veracruz, Mexico, Edward Hector, believes a lot more should have been done to prepare the athletes for the event.
In general, the performances by the country have been dismal, with only three medals - none of the gold variety - earned in over 11 days of competition.
Widely regarded as the region's standard bearers, the performances on the track have been particularly dismal, with many expressing surprise, unaccustomed to the sight of the famous black, green and gold jersey trotting home in last place.
Perhaps even more of a shock was the fact that the team did not field a representative in the men's or women's 100m, an event with which Jamaica has become famously associated with in the last decade by winning practically all the gold medals at the Olympics and World Championships.
With preparations for a new season in mind, however, the marquee athletes, many of whom just begun background training, have shied away from the event and those choosing to participate will be at a similar stage in terms of preparation.
Hector believes, however, that once the decision was made to take part in the quadrennial competition, the oldest regional games in world, more should have been done to ensure that the athletes were better prepared to represent the country.
"Based on the time of the year expectations cannot be very high; they wouldn't have been very advanced in terms of what the coaches have been able to do with them, so the timing is a little out," Hector said.
"But we have to plan more effectively. Perhaps, find some ways and means to identify people that we think should be going to the meet and allow them to organise themselves in order to give a much better performance at this time of the year," he added.
In eight track events contested so far, Jamaica managed to advance to only one final and finished last in four of the events contested. In four field events, Jamaica earned one podium spot, with shot putter Raymond Brown's third-place finish.
"Other territories have organised themselves to be in much better shape for this meet, while we have not. You can't have your cake and eat it, and I think we should take part. So we have to plan effectively.
"Maybe these athletes could be taken out and prepared to peak twice for the year; start earlier and then come back later on for the heights of our season," he reasoned.
"We have to be fair to the athletes themselves as well, you can't just take them out of general preparation and send them here. We have to give them adequate preparation to give a good account of themselves. If we are going to do it let's do it well," he charged.