Switch in Carifta dates will enhance quality of competition, says Hutson


President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, strongly believes the rescheduled Carifta Track and Field Championships in July will lend to a better quality of competition.

The 2021 Carifta Games will not be staged on the traditional Easter weekend. Instead, the regional junior track and field championships will take place between July 2 and 4, in Bermuda.

The North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) President, Mike Sands, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for shifting the Carifta dates.

Earlier this month, Hutson told News Room Sport, that the AAG was lobbying for the Games to be moved to July and says he now welcomes the move since they can get to better prepare, given the health situation the world continues to grapple with.

“You will have more rested athletes and they will go into the season a little later, which basically enhances their performance. If you look at the previous year, the number of records that would have been broken for a period that there was not that much competition,” the AAG head contended.

“I think it is going to be better for the sport for it to come this late and gives a lot more time to prepare our athletes for the level of competition we know they are going to meet.

The AAG said they have scheduled a developmental meet on February 6 and 7, which will help them spot talents for this year’s championship.

While the team size has consistently grown, Hutson credited the stiff qualifying standards the AAG has set as the reason behind the increased medal haul.

In 2019, 21 athletes, a record number attending the championships for Guyana, produced a record haul of 10 medals – four gold, two silver and four bronze – which placed them fourth on the overall standings.

It is understood, as of now, no decision has been made to change the usual age group of Under-17 and Under-20.

COVID-19 forced a postponement of the 2020 event, which means some athletes were shifted out of their age group without being able to compete in the final year of that category.

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