Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Defending champions Jamaica will be aiming for their fifth consecutive triumph at the two-day Caribbean Union of Teachers' (CUT) Biennial Students' Athletics Championship which begins today at the National Stadium, starting at 9 a.m.
Huit Johnson, manager of the Jamaica's team, is confident the 50-member contingent, comprising 40 athletes (20 males and 20 females) and 10 officials will retain their title.
"We are injury-free and they are geared up and ready for the competition," said Johnson. "I am confident because from all indications we are quite optimistic that we will retained our champion-ship," Johnson said.
Johnson, who is also the chairman of the Jamaica Teachers' Association National Sports Committee, added the Jamaicans' preparations going into the championships have been good.
READY TO PERFORM
"All the athletes have been in camp for the past four weeks and so everyone is ready to go out and give their maximum performance for us," Johnson said.
Johnson added: "We are expecting strong competition from the likes of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and possibly The Bahamas."
Among the teams joining defending champions Jamaica are runners-up Barbados, third-place Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda, Nevis, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, St Kitts and Guyana. Guyana have rejoined the fray after an absence at the last five championships.
Competition will take place in boys' and girls' Under-9, Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 age groups in the following areas: Under-9: 80m, 150m, 4x100m relay, cricket ball throw, long jump. Under-11: 100m, 200m, 300m, 4x100m, cricket ball throw, long jump. Under-13: 100m, 200m, 400m, 4x100m, cricket ball throw, long jump, high jump, shot put. Under-15: 100m, 200m, 400m 4x100m, javelin, long jump, high jump, shot put.
Jamaica will be hosting the championship for the second time, having done so in 2004.