Wed | Nov 14, 2018

Wilson eyes Commonwealth Games booster

Published:Saturday | April 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence

Noted coach Maurice Wilson had expressed the view that this week's Commonwealth Games will be a chance for the nation's track and field athletes to rebuild confidence.

Wilson believes that the Games and the World Championships next year, will set the stage for a banner performance at the 2020 Olympics. In the meantime, there are predictions of a 14 medal haul for Jamaica at the Games.

"I think 2019 is going to be a crucial year," said Wilson, who is head coach to the Commonwealth Games team.

"I'm not going to overlook Commonwealth because I think Commonwealth will help us build back the confidence", Wilson continued.

"If you want to say build back the love, but 2019 is going to be extremely important because 2020 is the Olympic Games, so what we do from now on will impact those two years."

The esteemed coach was speaking with reference to Jamaica's four medal haul at the 2017 World Championships.

One US track and field website seems to believe that Wilson, who was also Jamaica's head coach at last year's IAAF World Championships, will get his wish for a confidence booster at the Commonwealth Games.

The AllPro Track and Field website has predicted that Jamaica will win 14 medals in Australia.

A successful 400 metre title defense is forecast for reigning champion Stephenie Ann McPherson, with three more gold medals earmarked to World Indoor shot put runner-up Danniel Thomas-Dodd, triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts and the McPherson-led women's 4x400-metre relay team.

The predicted gold medal count could change as the website's pick to win the women's 100-metre hurdles, Australian Sally Pearson, announced her withdrawal due to injury this week. Danielle Williams, Jamaica's 2015 World champion, was listed as the potential silver medal winner.