Athletes begin to arrive for Birmingham camp
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Members of Jamaica's 47-member athletics team for the London Olympic Games began arriving at the University of Birmingham yesterday afternoon, as the country's pre-games training camp swings into high gear ahead of the July 27 to August 12 spectacle.
Particularly designed to serve the island's track and field representatives in their build-up for the games, the Birmingham camp will run until July 26, when the members of the team are expected to leave for London, one day before the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Several of the island's top athletes posted photos on social media platforms, announcing their arrival in the British city and their satisfaction with the facilities at the university.
Triple Olympic champion Usain Bolt posted "Time to go to the Jam Olympic training camp" from his account on popular platform Twitter, along with a photo of himself close to midday yesterday.
Bolt's Racers Track Club teammate and first-time Olympian Warren Weir, who will be competing in the 200m, was already in camp by then and was looking forward to getting his Olympic experience off on the best footing.
"It's an excellent feeling to know that my Olympic journey begins today, given that it's the start of the camp and everybody is coming in and gelling," Weir told The Gleaner.
"I really love it here, although it's just the first day, because it gives an opportunity to mix with everybody; the future stars of Jamaican track and field and the experienced Olympians that have done this before," Weir continued. "It's an excellent feeling just to be among some of the greatest athletes in the world."
Meanwhile, 400m hurdler Josef Robertson was using the opportunity to settle in as quickly as possible and get himself acclimatised to the conditions in England.
"I'm taking it in strides, preparing for the big day and trying to get used to the weather over here," said Robertson. "Seems like everybody is settling in quite fine and I'm excited about this Olympics, which is my first."
"I'm very grateful to be here and I'm expecting to do a lot of work. I want to thank God for his blessing," Robertson added.
"Finally in Birmingham," tweeted 4x400m relay athlete Dominique Blake. "Just got to camp at the University of Birmingham and we have the best camp ever."
Grace Foods, official nutrition sponsor of Jamaica's athletics programme recently shipped a container with 22 different food products to the camp, which was years ago offered to the Jamaica Olympic Association.
Efforts to contact officials of the team to confirm the schedules and arrival of other team members were unsuccessful.