Hutson hopeful 10-member team can attend SA Championships
By Akeem Greene
President of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), Aubrey Hutson, has outlined that the hope is to send at least 10 persons, along with a Coach and Manager, to the Senior South American Athletic Championships, slated for May 29-31 in Ecuador.
The AAG had shortlisted a group of 12 for the event, which was initially slated for May 14-16 in Argentina, but was moved to due to a spike in COVID-19 cases there.
The shortlisted team comprises Winston George, Quamel Prince, Jeremy Bascombe, Emanuel Archibald, Akeem Stewart, Arinze Chance, Devaun Barrington, Andrea Foster, Aliyah Abrams, Jasmine Abrams, Jenea McCammon and Mark Jhalu.
Hutson on Thursday indicated they have reached out to the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, and the Guyana Olympic Association for assistance.
“Quite a few of the athletes are from the Guyana Defence Force and we thought it prudent to write them as well. So far, we have gotten feedback from the Guyana Olympic Association, and I think they are meeting tonight [Thursday] to decide how many athletes they will look at, but from my preliminary discussions, they should be looking at the top four,” Hutson said Thursday.
The AAG head further stated, “This is a game of reality and athletes must know to themselves where they are and understand that this is a major investment from the Athletics Association of Guyana to get them to Tokyo.”
Hutson felt they must seek to send athletes who stand the best chance of making the qualification mark to the Tokyo Games based on their current form.
“Some of them when we look at their international ranking and there is some question mark as to where they are now at this time in the preparation for those events, but we continue to be very optimistic in listening to them about what they think they can do, but a reality check needs to take place and based on funding I would like to see at least 10 of those athletes going.”
The AAG is hoping at least six athletes can qualify for the Olympic Games, which would be an improvement on the four at the 2016 Rio Games.
Hutson noted, “I believe in growth and if sent four before, and we send less this year, it does not auger well for my tenure as President of the AAG. So, I am looking for growth, and I am looking for at least one of them to be in the finals.”
The South American Championships were last held in Lima, Peru, in May 2019, with Guyana being represented by Devaun Barrington, Akeem Stewart, Emanuel Archibald, Winston George, Jenea McCammon and Leslian Baird, while Robert Chislom served as coach.