South American silver medallist Baird earns GDF promotion


Fresh off his South American Games silver medal performance in Javelin, Guyana Defence Force (GDF) athlete Leslain Baird was promoted from Petty Officer to the rank of Acting Senior Petty Officer on his return to Guyana.

Baird was decorated with his new badge of rank by the Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West and the Inspector General Colonel Nazrul Hussain on Monday (June 11).

According to a post on the GDF Facebook page, Brigadier West had challenged the soldier to a 77.5 metres throw, but he pleasantly surprised the Chief-of-Staff by surpassing that mark.

At the Games in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Baird, who had a previous best of 74.71 meters, which was achieved in February this year, threw 78.65 meters in his final attempt to finish behind Colombia’s Arley Ibarguen, who took gold with an attempt of 80.11 meters.

The Chief-of-Staff told the soldier, who joined the Guyana Defence Force in 2006, that he was elated to hear of his achievement and expressed his confidence that he will continue to do well in the future.

“Based on the distance you covered, it exceeds the minimum qualifying requirements for the Olympics and is a good sign. The only thing we want after this is a gold medal at the Olympics. Congratulations for a job well done. We are overwhelmed that you gave us more than we had asked for,” Chief-of-Staff West remarked.

Baird is still coming to grips with his achievement, but said that he enjoyed every moment of his participation.

“I am grateful for all those who stood by me and believed in me throughout career. My coach, Robert Chilsom, training partner Akeem Stuart, my family and last but by no means least, the Chief-of-Staff and members of the Guyana Defence Force. I gave it my all. This medal has now opened my eyes to the larger competitions and I can assure you that more is coming from Leslain Baird. I want to hit the 80 metres mark by the end of 2018 and by God’s grace, I will,” the ecstatic Baird stated.

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