Wed | Aug 16, 2017

‘The future looks very good’

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 3:00 AMShayne Fairman
Dr Warren Blake (left), president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, and Olivia Grange, minister of entertainment, sports, culture and gender affairs, hold a discussion at the welcome-home reception for the Jamaica Carifta track and field team on Tuesday, at the Norman Manley International Airport.

Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), says Jamaica's 86-medal haul at the recent Carifta Games comes as no surprise.

Jamaica equalled their record medal haul from the previous year, winning a whopping 42 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze.

They also broke three field events and one track record in the process.

Blake was present at the welcome-home press conference held inside the VIP Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport on Tuesday.

"The future really looks very good; the assign athletes have performed really well, and as usual, we have topped the medal table yet again and in terms of our overall medal performance, this is one of our better performances," said the president, adding that the dominance at CARIFTA is now routine.

"It shows that people respect our brand and value the training that we give to our athletes and that as you see year in, year out quite a number of athletes from other territories come to Jamaica to benefit from the training that is offered here, not just the physical training, but the mental training as well, and I think it's something very good for us here in Jamaica and for the Caribbean," he pointed out.

When asked if it was a concern that no Jamaican athlete was selected for the Austin Sealy Award for the best young athlete of the championships, he said he was a little surprised.

"This year, I was a little surprised at the choice of the athlete. This is not to take anything away from the winner because the winner really did very well in breaking Kashawn Walcott's javelin record, but we had people who broke records as well and won more than one gold, so that is something that we will be bringing up and speaking to NACAC (North America Central America Caribbean Association) about," Blake told The Gleaner.

Grenada's Anderson Peters was presented the Austin Sealy award at the 45th Carifta Games as the most outstanding athlete. The host country's athlete produced a winning throw of 78.28m on the second round on Saturday.

The last Jamaican to win the award was Yohan Blake in 2007.