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ATHLETICS: NACAC President targets top athletes for regional meetings

Published:Wednesday | September 4, 2013 | 7:34 AM

The President of the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Associations, (NACAC), Victor Lopez wants to see more of the top athletes in the region compete in track and field meets within the confederation.

Lopez says the challenge for NACAC is to ensure that its best talents are available for the regional meets including Area Permit and IAAF World Challenge Meets.

He says that many of the elite athletes such as the Jamaican pair of Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have opted to compete in Europe where the appearance and performance fees are better.

Lopez says one of his targets is to make sure that the top athletes compete in NACAC meetings.

Lopez further says the region develops the athletes so they get to that level where Bolt and Fraser-Pryce have reached.

However, Lopez says Bolt and Fraser-Pryce might run in Jamaica because they might be obliged to be in the Jamaica Invitational, but from there they just go Europe and avoid the region.

In addressing this difficulty, Lopez says NACAC will be increasing the level of one-day meetings in the Caribbean.

He says NACAC will be looking to have its meetings between April and May and then leave June for National Championships and July for the region major championships and then the athletes could go to Europe.

Lopez says the Council and Congress of NACAC have approved a NACAC Senior Championships, tentative to start in 2015.

He says such a championship will be an incentive for regional athletes since the area champion could advance with an A standard to the World Championships.

Lopez was elected president at the NACAC Congress in Moscow last month to serve out the term left vacant by the veteran Jamaican administrator McCook who died in February.

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