Anthony Foster, Freelance Writer
'Teddy' McCook - Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer
Jamaica's Neville 'Teddy' McCook is the new president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC).
In a close race held in Osaka, Japan, yesterday, McCook edged out Keith Joseph of St. Vincent and the Grenadines - who failed to report for the start - 14-13. Joseph, who it is anticipated would have voted for St. Vincent, was the vice-president under IAAF vice-president Amadeo Francis, who did not seek re-election.
Margin of victory
However, according to McCook, some of his team members were also missing from the start or the margin of victory would have been wider.
Five countries - Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and Haiti - were missing from the voting session held ahead of the World Championships, which gets under way on Saturday.
McCook, who was also returned as IAAF area representative with the same result, said absenteeism also affected him as he went there with 19 to 20 votes in mind.
"Haiti was a part of my team, while Cayman and Nicaragua had assured me that they would support me," added McCook, who also said some country representatives did not follow their leaders' directive to vote for him.
Happy with presidency
However, McCook, a former president of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA), was quick to make it clear that he was happy to be elected as the new president. He also stated why he chose to run for the presidency.
"I was responding really to a request and then almost a directive from the president of the IAAF, Lamine Diak, that I take up this position immediately after president Amadeo I. D. Francis indicated he was stepping down."
McCook said he is now looking forward to moving the sport forward.
"I look forward to moving athletics in the direction where Jamaica has reached because I honestly believe we have the basic ingredients in the region.
"I have the support of the United States, Cuba and Canada, to name a few, in developing the region," added McCook.
He added: "I have no intention of running anybody's programme. You bring a programme to us, show us your needs and we will be able to satisfy and assist you in the best way possible."
Meanwhile, Josť Rubio of the Dominican Republic will be McCook's deputy, while St. Lucian Alfred Emmanuel was returned as treasurer. Robert Hersh of the United States, Juan de Reyes of Guatemala, Esther Mairand of Barbados, Hensley Carford of Trinidad & Tobago and Mike Sands are the council members.
The affiliates of NACAC are: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, U.S.A. and U.S. Virgin Islands.