Thu | Dec 5, 2019

Wilson: 2019 is big

Published:Friday | February 15, 2019 | 12:15 AM
Maurice Wilson
Maurice Wilson

This is a year for Jamaica to remind the world of its standing in international track and field. That’s the considered view of Maurice Wilson, head of the Sprintec Track Club. According to Wilson, a high performance by the Jamaican team will depend on what he calls conscientious planning.

“It is, if I would say, one of those years where we really need to remind the world what we do best, and it is going to take a lot of conscientious planning on behalf of the coaches and support by the officials to make it happen, but we’re not in a luxury zone, and we must be cognisant that the world has targeted us,” Wilson said at the recent Milo Western Relays at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport.

The coach added, “We have to do our due diligence to make our Jamaican people proud.”

The centrepiece of the season is the IAAF World Championships, which begin on September 27 in Doha, Qatar.

“I see all of our athletes coming out to participate early and it’s going to be a long season. I’m just hoping and praying that all the athletes, not only those that are trained at G.C. Foster, but all our athletes, are able to stay the length of the season without any injuries,” Wilson said.

He believes that Jamaica made progress last year. “I think we did well at the North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships and the Commonwealth Games,” he assessed, “and we want to carry on the same sort of performances into the World Championships.”

Jamaica won 24 medals, including seven gold, at the Commonwealth Games in April last year and 22 at the NACAC Championships, again with seven gold medals. In addition, Briana Williams, Damion Thomas, and Kai Chang combined to win four events for Jamaica at the World Under-20 Championships.

Those performances follow a modest team showing at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Jamaica came home with four medals, with 110 metres hurdler supreme Omar McLeod the only winner.

There were early signs at the Milo Western Relays that Wilson’s Sprintec athletes would be there to help Jamaica at the World Championships this year. One such indicator came at the end with a win in the 4x400 metres relay. World Championships 2017 400 metres finalist Demish Gaye anchored Sprintec to a record time of three minutes 06.45 seconds.

Gaye’s leg took just 44.9 seconds and earned commendations from coach Wilson. “I was extremely happy with the performance,” said the man who also serves as acting principal of the sports college.

He concluded, “I was just really pleased to see him come out and perform the way he did.”