'We will do well' - Frater expects impressive World Indoors showing
Team manager Micheal Frater said he is expecting an excellent showing from the country's athletes at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, which is set to begin here with the Opening Ceremony at the Arena Birmingham at noon (Jamaica time) today.
Frater, who retired from athletics two years ago, told The Gleaner shortly after arriving in Birmingham yesterday that despite the absence of a number of Jamaica's senior athletes, he was confident that they would win more than the three medals secured at the last World Indoors in Portland, Oregon, two years ago.
"I think that we have a group of young athletes who are eager to go out there and prove themselves," said Frater. "However, we also have senior athletes like O'Dayne Richards and Elaine Thompson, who I expect to medal along with Ronald Levy," he added.
"Natoya Goule has looked excellent in all her 800-metre races this season, and our jumpers, Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Ricketts, have been competing good as well," Frater said.
He added: "I think if all goes well and the athletes are able to compete at their best, then we should surpass the three medals that we won two years ago."
Sprint hurdler Omar McLeod, who withdrew from the championships last week, won gold for Jamaica in the 60m hurdles at the last staging with Asafa Powell (silver) and Elaine Thompson (bronze) also securing podium spots for the country back then.
Frater agreed that the absence of McLeod is a major blow to the team's medal hopes but remained confident that Levy could step up and win a medal in the event.
"It is a blow in terms of it would almost be a guaranteed medal that we would have won, but Ronald Levy has looked excellent in beating a very good field, including the top American in Aris Merritt on Sunday in Glasgow," Frater said.
"I am expecting very big things from him because I am expecting a medal. Hopefully, it is a gold medal," he stated.
The Jamaicans will bow into action on tomorrow's second day competition.
5:00 a.m.: M 60 Metres Heptathlon
5:18 a.m.: W 60 Metres Hurdles Pentathlon
5:35 a.m.: W 60 Metres Heats (Entries: Gayon Evans, Elaine Thompson)
5:40 a.m.: M Long Jump Heptathlon
6:20 a.m.: M 400 Metres Heats (Entries: Javon Francis, Steven Gayle)
6:55 a.m.: W High Jump Pentathlon
7:00 a.m.: M Shot Put Heptathlon
7:10 a.m.: W 400 Metres Heats (Entries: Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Tovea Jenkins, Dominique Blake)
7:55 a.m.: M 3000 Metres Heats (Entry: Kemoy Campbell)
8:20.a.m.: W Shot Put Pentathlon
1:00 p.m.: W Long Jump Pentathlon1:05pm W 60 Metres Hurdles Heats (Entry:Jeanine Williams)
1:50 p.m.: W 60 Metres Semi-Final
2:13 p.m.: M 800 Metres Heats 2:35pm M Long Jump Final (Entry: Damar Forbes)
2:42 p.m.: W 1500 Metres Heats (Entry: Aisha Praught)
2:45 p.m.: M High Jump Heptathlon 3:10pm W Shot Put Final (Entry: Danniel Thomas-Dodd)
3:17 p.m.: W 800 Metres Pentathlon
3:32 p.m.: W 400 Metres Semi-Final