Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jamaica's 50-member contingent - 40 athletes and 10 officials - to the 14th World Junior Championships departs the island at 11 a.m. today for Barcelona, Spain, where the competition will be staged between July 10 and 15.
The team is slated to travel through Panama and arrive in Barcelona tomorrow.
Jamaica's head coach, Michael Dyke, expects the team to easily better its modest medal haul at the 2010 stage, where three medals were won, but does not believe they will better the country's best-ever tally, achieved back in 2002 when the country mined 11.
"I think we will definitely better the last medal haul," Dyke shared. "To be honest, we have had stronger teams in the past, but I believe this team has character, especially looking at them at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games recently."
Dyke, who is accompanying a team to the World Junior Championships for the fourth time, but first as head coach, is concerned that the athletes might suffer from the rigours of travelling to and from the Central American and Caribbean Junior Championships, which was held in El Salvador from June 29-July 1.
Travelling an issue
"I returned before about 80 per cent of the athletes and I haven't seen them since, so right now I can't say what state they are in," Dyke said when contacted by The Gleaner yesterday.
"It is not the workload at CAC itself, but really the travelling that is going to take a toll on them, but I hope by the time we get into Spain they will have enough time to recover," he added.
Team leader Julette Parkes is grateful to the Spanish Embassy for facilitating the processing of the visas for the contingent.
"We are really grateful to the Spanish Embassy, they worked overtime to help us," she expressed. "I think this is a very good team if we can just ensure that they keep in shape and they remain focused," she added.
MALE ATHLETES: Odeen Skeen and Jazeel Murphy (100m), Julian Forte and Tyquendo Tracey (200m), Javon Francis Lennox Williams (400m), Yanick Hart and Stefan Fennell (110m hurdles), Shavon Barnes and Javarn Gallimore (400m hurdles), Clive Pullen (long jump and triple jump), Christoff Bryan (high jump), Federick Dacres (discus), Emmanuel Onyia and Ashinia Miller (shot put), Senoj-jay Givans and Jevaughn Minzie (apart of 4x100m relay team), Jovan Williams, Omar McLeod Faedian Royes and Jermaine Fyffe (apart of 4x400m relay team).
FEMALE ATHLETES: Monique Spencer and Shawnette Lewin (100m), Shericka Jackson and Jodean Williams (200m) Olivia James and Chrisann Gordon (400m), Simoya Campbell and Desreen Montaque (800m), Chrisdale McCarthy and Samantha Scarlett (100m hurdle), Janieve Russell (400m hurdle), Chanice Porter (long jump and high jump), Kimberly Williamson (high jump), Tara Sue Barnett (discus), Deandre Whitehorne and Christania Williams (a part of the 4x100m relay team), Sandrae Farquharson and Annastasia Scott (part of the 4x400m relay team).
MANAGEMENT TEAM: Julette Parkes (team leader), Neville Myton (assistant manager); Michael Dyke (head coach), Michael Carr, Julian Robinson, Kirk Douglas, Orville Byfield (coaches) and Dr Lincoln Cox.