24-member squad selected for Islamic Games in May

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By Treiston Joseph

A team of 24 will leave the shores of Guyana to participate in the 2017 Islamic Games set for Baku, Azerbaijan, in May. President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman Yassin, made the revelation on Tuesday afternoon at a press conference held at GOA’s headquarters in Kingston. The squad will feature 18 athletes, five coaches and a Chef-de-Mission, who will be doubling as a coach.

According to Yassin, the event is a good stepping stone for athletes and the GOA will be monitoring the performances of the athletes in attendance in order to have references for future selection to the 2020 Olympics. Mark Scott will coach a four-member athletics team that includes Natrena Hooper, Alita Moore, Winston George and Emanuel Archibald, whom he believes will do well.

“Since I was notified, three of the athletes are overseas and I have been monitoring their training via different forms of social media and it seems that all the athletes are in good shape. Moore, who is here (in Guyana), has been going through a special programme in preparation for the meet and we just need a letter by the GOA or AAG so she could more time off for the training.

“George was able to bring home two silver medals at the last games of this nature and we hope he can get gold and the other athletes follow in his footsteps,” Scott noted. Table Tennis Coach, Idi Lewis, noted that while he is aware of the competitive nature of the games, he believes his squad will give a good account of themselves.

“We have been to the games on a few occasions and I know that it’s extremely competitive, there are players ranked in the top 100 and 50 at the event and it will be good for our players… Christopher Franklin has competed there before and got to the round of 16, while the girls have been exposed to good tennis and have a lot of chemistry so I believe both teams will do well,” Lewis stated.

Boxing Coach Clifton Moore is also optimistic about his two-member team that comprises Joel Williamson and Desmond Amsterdam.

“What I tried to do was identify the weaknesses of the two boxers and we have been working on it in preparation for the games. I looked at the performances of both boxers in the recent year and they have shown great promise, but there is a lot of room for improvement, especially for Desmond, who can eventually do well for Guyana… So I will work with him seriously and the guys should perform well,” Moore mentioned.

Judo Coach, Raul Archer, was happy that his two athletes in Earskine Trotman and Joshua Buchanan were selected and thanked the GOA and the National Sports Commission for their continued support of a sport that continues to see many firsts.

However, Yassin pleaded with the coaches present to supply a list of nutrition for the athletes and the GOA will try their best to supply the athletes with such while noting that all athletes needs to be registered for drug testing in order to be eligible for the games. 

Below is the Guyana contingent for the games. 

Athletics: Coach- Mark Scott; Athletes- Natrena Hooper (jumper), Alita Moore (sprinter), Winston George (sprinter) and Emanuel Archibald (jumper). 

Boxing: Coach- Clifton Moore; Boxers- Joel Williamson (lightweight) and Desmond Amsterdam (middleweight). 

Judo: Coach- Raul Archer; Athletes- Joshua Buchanan and Earskine Trotman. 

Swimming: Coach- Stephanie Fraser; Swimmers- Andrew Fowler and Earlando McRae. 

Table Tennis: Coach- Idi Lewis; Players- Chelsea Edghill, Trenace Lowe, Natalie Cummings, Christopher Franklin, Nigel Bryan and Joel Alleyne. 

Taekwondo: Coach/Chef-de-Mission- Ramjeet Ramphal; Athletes- Adrian Spellen and Jibreel Malik.

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