Barbados Olympic hopefuls facing a challenge

Barbados is faced with a challenge as the Tokyo Olympics move closer and closer.

With some of the island’s Olympic hopefuls still on the island, the qualifying window is closing and they currently do not have any opportunity to post a qualifying time or mark for their events.

This was revealed at the Athletics Association of Barbados Webinar – Competitive Sports In The Age Of Covid held on Saturday evening and hosted by Dr Rudolph Alleyne.

One of those Olympic hopefuls Kierre Beckles mentioned that those who would have made the team or have the capability of making the team do not have the opportunity to with Barbados currently on shut down and some sports having not resumed for almost a year.

Those who would have made the team or have the capability of making the team do not have opportunities and can only sit and watch as their counterparts in the USA and Europe compete in different events which gives them the much needed preparation and chance to qualify.

National Sports Council director Neil Murrell  mentioned that while they are bounded by the Government’s protocols there is a plan to make a special presentation in concert with the Barbados Olympic Association for athletes who are Olympic hopefuls.

“We understand they have to train and compete and asking for the special provision and indicating that these are the athletes that have to train and this is what has to be done, will be sent to the powers that be,” Murrell said.

Murrell also indicated that while there is a short term and long term plan to deal with the challenges at the National Stadium they have made provision at some of their grounds across the island for the athletes to train.

Some of the athletes have been training at Lester Vaughan as well as the Botanical Gardens and Jerrad Mason who is one of those athletes hoping to qualify for the Olympics said that though they have been able to train, what they want is to compete in order to gauge their progress.

Previously for track and field athletes to qualify for the Olympics they would have to compete at Nationals however this seems unlikely as a return to sports has not been something that has been done domestically.

Will sports in Barbados find a way to resume in this current Covid-19 pandemic? Many international sports have resumed and the pinnacle of multi-sports competitions is on the horizon. (CG)

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