AAG confident of larger Track and Field contingent to Tokyo Olympics
President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, said based on the roadmap he is confident Guyana will send a larger number of track and field athletes to this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo than it did in Rio 2016.
In 2016, Winston George in the Men’s 400m, Brenessa Thompson in the Women’s 100m and 200m, Aaliyah Abrams in the Women’s 400m and then top world-ranked Men’s triple jumper, Troy Doris, formed Guyana’s Track and Field contingent.
To date, only Abrams has qualified for the July Games, but Hutson’s enthusiasm is based on the alteration to the qualification process as it regards to rankings.
“I honestly feel we will get even more [athletes] than what we had in Rio. I know we had the pandemic which really and truly set us back, but the qualification system has not really changed much but there is a little bit of alteration that gives us some hope,” Hutson told News Room Sport this week.
He explained that sprinter and long jumper, Emanuel Archibald, was able to attend the World Championship in Doha, Qatar in 2019, on the same format.
“They earmark a number of athletes for specific events, and let’s say they are looking for 48 athletes in the 100m and you may be ranked 50, if six of those athletes are from the same country then automatically you move up three places because only three athletes [for that evet] they can send [to Olympics].”
As such, Hutson hopes that Guyanese athletes can continuously compete at high standards and key meets such as the upcoming South America Senior Championships and the AAG Seniors.
From May 28-30, the AAG will host the Senior Athletics Championship at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.
The event will also serve as an Olympic qualifier and Hutson indicated that top overseas-based athletes will return to compete.
World Athletics has strongly encouraged that Athletes seeking to qualify for the Olympics return to compete at their respective national championship.
Initially set for April, Hutson said track preparation was one reason that forced a rescheduled date, but he has seen promising signs at the three developmental meets.
“The roadmap to the Olympics should have been our Senior Championships, then South American Senior Championships [in Argentina], Aliann Pompey Invitational then on to the Olympics, but we would have to move our seniors until after the South American seniors.”
The reason for the move of the Seniors was due to the need for remedial works on the track.
“Our track is in not that great a state; we still have to put athletes to support [other] athletes in the 100m, 200m, and 400m by standing on the starting blocks, and we can’t do that with athletes coming from overseas, so we want to do some work in getting Leonora and ourselves prepared in a proper way so that we give the athletes the right opportunity to perform and make the Olympic qualifying standards.”
Olympic hopefuls, Javelin thrower Leslain Baird, who is currently injured, and Archibald, have shown good form at the start of the season to be favourites to potentially make the cut.