Let's build on the success - Wilson
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:
Jamaica last night ended track and field competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with 11 medals, including six gold – matching its best-ever gold medal return at an Olympic Games, but technical leader Maurice Wilson is warning that there needs to be continued support to ensure that the country’s success continues.
The island’s 11-medal campaign matches the Beijing 2008 returns and falls one short of the 12 that were won in London four years ago, but Wilson, who hailed the athletes and the support team of coaches and medical personnel here, underlined the importance of proper investment in the country’s track and field development.
“I think the team of athletes and management staff represented Jamaica extremely well. We would have surpassed, in terms of gold medals what we did at the 2012 Games, and that was our primary objective. The fact that we have garnered 11 medals shows the power of our people and of our athletes, and I am extremely pleased,” Wilson told The Sunday Gleaner after Jamaica’s double silver in the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays last night inside the Olympic stadium.
“We need to invest more in terms of the youth camps, in terms of giving assistance to the various institutions that have been turning out the athletes and coaches – G.C. Foster College, University of Technology and the University of the West Indies – and try to improve in our collegiate structure,” added Wilson. “We see where the clubs are playing a great role in providing the athletes, so we have to make investments in those areas. We cannot sit back.
“We see countries such as Japan, China, Bahrain, and so on, investing and doing well, so it’s important for us to build on the success of the past by building a strong path for the future,” he added. “The base has been laid and we have to build on the successes that have been enjoyed over the years.”
Wilson noted that there were some challenges along the way, but that the management team did well to resolve the issues that arose.
“I am here to make sure I resolve all disputes in the interest of the country. Anything that will make the athletes do better, I am here to provide that sort of assistance,” he said.