Top athletes home for Stadium meet
BARBADOS’ best athletes have come home and will come up against some of their regional counterparts this weekend in what could be the last major championships on the blue and yellow Mondo track at the National Stadium.The 2010 City of Bridgetown National Track and Field Championships will be held from 4 p.m. Friday, continuing at the same time Saturday and Sunday.World champion Ryan Brathwaite; former world youth octathlon champion Shane Brathwaite; former CARIFTA Games 100 metres hurdles champion Kierre Beckles; national high jump champion Henderson Dottin and challenger Thorrold Murray as well as national javelin champion Justin Cummins, and a whole host of other athletes will be in action this weekend.Esther Maynard, president of the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA), said this meet was of paramount importance, because it was the last chance for athletes to state a case for selection to several major meets on the international calendar.The president said this could also be the swansong for the present track.“We have been promised a new track by the first of December. That has been mooted several times by the Government, so this is the last time a major championships will be hosted on the National Stadium [track],” Maynard said in a Press briefing yesterday at the Barbados Olympic Centre.“The life span of a track is approximately ten years. This was put down in 1999 for the [Central American and Caribbean] CAC Senior Championships. There are bits of it that are beginning to show wear and tear and the Stadium [staff] have made an effort to try and make some superficial repairs to it. It is still competeable on, but these are the dying embers of the track’s life,” Maynard said.Joining the local athletes will be DaCosta Walbrook (high jump) and Oraine Browne (javelin) from Antigua, as well as a nine-member team from Dominica which will compete in events ranging from the 100 metres to the 800 metres and the field events.Coming out of this weekend’s championships, teams will be selected for World Juniors; CAC Games; the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championships and the Commonwealth Games.Maynard thanked the sponsors who made it possible. Joining AAA officials during the briefing were Leanna Small of COB; Cally Boyea of Esso; 8000 Inc’s Jonathan Bryant; John Williams of Williams Industries; Wanda Mayers of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados and Powerade brand manager Clifford Gooding-Edghill.Small presented the sponsorship cheque, while Gooding-Edghill and Maynard formalised an agreement which would make Powerade the official beverage of the association.