Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Wilson hails Commonwealth Games performance

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/ Gleaner Writer
Women's Commonwealth Games 100m silver medal winner Christania Williams.

HEAD coach of Jamaica's track and field team at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, Maurice Wilson, is hailing the success of the athletes following their record-breaking performance.

Jamaica won an all-time best 25 medals (7 gold, 8 silver, 10 bronze) in athletics at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, bettering the previous best for track and field of 22 medals in Melbourne, and Glasgow 2014's 19 track and field medals.

On both occasions, Jamaica had ended the Games with 22 medals, also fewer than this year's 27 overall medal tally, with Alia Atkinson, who won silver in the 50m breaststroke, and the Sunshine Girls' bronze in netball adding to the count.

Jamaica ended only behind Australia as the second most successful team in track and field at the championships.

Wilson had particularly high praises for the medals gained in the field events.

"I really want to congratulate the athletes and management staff. The team garnered the most medals at the most competitive Commonwealth Games ever. Athletes have run their season bests and personal bests in April," said Wilson.

"We have now started to see a high level of performance in the field events. This speaks to patience and belief in our coaches and athletes," said Wilson, who also spoke about the importance of relay camps, after the country was only able to pick up one gold medal; this in the Women's 4x400m.




"Relay camps are absolutely necessary. Most times, since 2008 we have had to do minimal and last minute handoffs for practice and this is less than ideal. The one year we really practised we broke the world record," said Wilson.

The well-respected coach is, however, not too worried about the overall poor performances in the sprints.

"The sprinters are just going through a transition. We need to understand that other countries have been studying what we have been doing, so the competition will be even greater," he noted, after Jamaica failed to win a gold medal in a flat sprint event.