Wed | Feb 1, 2023

Excitement fills the air

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe

The 2015 IAAF World Championships is inching closer and it's beginning to feel like the Chinese are really getting into it now.

There are many activities taking place in and around the Bird's Nest; locals hanging around trying to get a glimpse of what's happening, volunteers pouring in and out of the compound, athletes and team officials from all over the world familiarising themselves with the area, and security personnel keeping a keen watch on everything and everyone.

Yesterday, I got my first glimpse inside the stadium since my arrival as the final touches were being added to what seems like a rather elaborate Opening Ceremony set-up. Judging from the 2008 Olympic Games, we already know that the Chinese know how to put on a show, and it's looking like it's going to be another impressive showing this time around.

The thing, though, is that the days become longer, or shorter, depending on how you look at it, as the counter ticks over, and yesterday, with the IAAF Congress, training sessions, and interviews all happening at once and creating a scheduling and logistics nightmare, it was easily the toughest one so far.

Tough luck for Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake, vice-president Deon Hemmings-McCatty, and Alan Beckford, who all missed out on positions within the IAAF.

Massive congrats to JAAA general secretary Garth Gayle, who was elected to the technical committee.

It's imperative that a leading-on track nation like Jamaica also has a strong presence in the seat of power, and though our influence has waned significantly since the passing of giants Neville 'Teddy' McCook and Howard Aris, this is a decent start.

At least, Dr Blake didn't decide to lean on any of the traits we see in our political landscape in his bid for power. I feel he'll have a few more elections to contest, and those will be much closer to home.


Something to offer


Sebastian Coe was, of course, elected the new IAAF president after beating Sergey Bubka in a closer-than-some-predicted contest. I have had the pleasure of talking to and picking the brain of both gentlemen and believe they both have something to offer - if you can believe politicians, that is.

It's welcome that Bubka will serve as a vice-president, and we can only hope that the mountain of issues affecting the sport will begin to be properly addressed.

Coe, who has himself walked the corridors of The Gleaner, seemed to have quietly been the popular choice among media folks here, but no one is expecting miracles.

On another note, the Jamaican media contingent has tripled since our arrival on Monday night. Our cousins from the RJR Group, Kayon Raynor and Oral Napier, have joined us, while Bryan Cummings and Howard Walker from that other place (see what I did there? lol) are also around.

Competitors where news is concerned, but we also know that we have to look out for each other on the road, especially this far from home.

Plus, the reactions gave a good laugh at first, but it's kind of getting boring talking patois to people who don't understand (lol).