Support our young athletes
During recent times, news of athletics has not been the best and the headlines havenot been sparing with the details of the various findings of positive results from the tests of samples taken from some front line athletes.It has not made for comfortable reading forfans of track and field and who abhordrug cheating.
We hope that those who have protestedtheir innocence of having deliberately ingested banned substances will be able to demonstratetheir innocence in due course.
On a much brighter note, all Barbadians must have been truly proud of our two young athletes who performed well at the 8th IAAFWorld Youth Championships and we particularly wish to encourage young Mario Burke who turned in a personal best in the100 metres and finished fifth while carrying a serious hamstring injury.
Mario is a champion and a clear medal hope for the future and in commiserating with him, we remain clear that he is a special talent whose abilities are of international genre.
Without the handicap of the injury we have no doubt that he would have medalled and we feel sure that it won’t be long now before he is on the podium.
His fellow representative, Tia-Adana Belle, deserves pride of place for taking the silver medal in the 400 metres hurdles. This determined lass is a deserving champion and we must treasure and encourage her in all ways to reach the zenith of her ambitions.
This country needs to provide its promising young athletes with all the emotional and financial help their burgeoning talents need.We note that Tia-Adana’s success was achieved in spite of the National Stadium track beingout of use for a long period, and that her coach had to develop an improvised training schedule for her. Her clipping of the ninth hurdle may have been a direct result of not being able to utilize the track. As a result of that clipping of the hurdle she lost a number of strides at a critical moment in the race.
Perhaps greater things are in store for Tia-Adana; for the observations of her coach seem to bear this out, and he believes that she is the best in the world right now. We accept his word for if he has brought this raw talent to such success he must know what he is about, and his judgment respected.
We are a proud nation capable of producing champions, and the athletic track should not and must not be unconquerable to us. What we need to do is to unearth the talent that is among us and give it a full flowering so that personal advancement of the athlete and national celebration of this young nation can coincide at athletic meetings of a regional and international nature. For this is all part of healthy nation-building and must be encouraged by all levels of our society.