Fri | Dec 14, 2018

One-fifty-one strong ... JOA names largest ever Commonwealth Games contingent

Published:Wednesday | March 7, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Christopher Samuda, president, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), speaks with 100m sprint Para athlete Tevaughn Thomas (centre), while coach Neville Sinclair looks on during a JOA media briefing yesterday at its headquarters.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) will be sending its largest ever contingent of individual and team sports to represent the nation at the Commonwealth Games next month.

One hundred and fifteen athletes and 36 officials, totalling 151 personnel, will represent Jamaica in 15 sports. The announcement was made at an official press conference at the JOA headquarters in Kingston, yesterday.

This will also be the first time that athletics will be incorporated with para-athletics at the Games and there will also be, for the first time, an equal number of men and women's events taking place over the 11 days.

A quota of 68 individuals was originally given to the JOA for individual sports, however, an additional eight spots were made available, taking the total to 76. This includes athletes and technical staff.

JOA president Christopher Samuda said that the trip will present the chance for Jamaica to showcase its values as a country to the world.

"It will be an experience of national pride, pride in the success of our countrymen and countrywomen. Pride in Brand Jamaica," Samuda said.

Commonwealth Games director Garth Gayle said that the event will also be a chance for the track and field athletes to right wrongs of the IAAF World Championships in London, England, last August.

"I know you'll all be glued to your televisions and listening to daily reports coming out of Australia, because it's our intent that we will be coming back with a bountiful of medals. We're going to correct, especially in the case of track and field, some of the disappointments of London, as we look to come back with a harvest of medals," he said.

Team Jamaica's chef de mission will be Dalton Myers, while Antonio Bell, Kaydean Webley and Hamlin Pagon will serve as team managers.

The 21st staging of the Commonwealth Games will take place on the Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15, but some athletes will travel to the team Village from March 24.

Myers said that the official team captains and flag bearer have not yet been named, but an announcement should come by the end of the week.