Four to follow Forde
Barbados has not had an Olympic representative in cycling since the end of the Barry Forde era.
The Barbados Cycling Union’s (BCU) head honcho is now hoping for the start of a new age.
BCU president Keith Yearwood has revealed that four young cyclists between the ages of 12 and 15 have been identified to carry this island’s flag at the 2014 Youth Olympics as well as the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
In pointing out that the island’s last cyclist to attend the Games was Forde, who represented Barbados at the 2004 Olympics in Greece, Yearwood noted that the talented quartet was being groomed for the big stage.
Despite not revealing the names of the budding talents because their parents had not yet been notified, he said that plans needed to be put in place to ensure that they were ready when the time came.
“The question about Olympics and cycling is that we are always looking to put someone in the Olympics,” he maintained while speaking at a press conference at the National Stadium yesterday.
“Indeed there is the 2014 Youth Olympics in Brazil and the 2016 Summer Olympics also in Brazil, and we have earmarked four young cyclists to put into training to see if they can qualify for the 2014 Games.
“We have the talent, but what we need to do is put programmes in place . . . .” he explained.
Along with those riders, Yearwood also made special mention of Javed Mounter, whom he called the island’s top sprinter.
He said that because of his dominance, there was a need for Mounter to continue his training overseas, where he would be challenged by quality cyclists, which in turn would help him to develop his skills.
He lamented that one of Barbados’ biggest problems in developing their athletes was that they waited far too late to train them in preparation for major events.
This, he claimed, put them at a serious disadvantage considering the fact that in other countries, athletes started training years in advance.
“What happens in Barbados is that we wait a little too late to prepare. There are some people, such as the Chinese, who were preparing before Beijing in preparation for the London Olympics.
“In Barbados, we tend to prepare for tomorrow today, and that is not the formula for developing successful athletes.”