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Lashley praises Akela

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Lashley praises Akela

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THE ACCOLADES JUST KEEP pouring in for Barbados’ newest world champion, Akela Jones.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Stephen Lashley is the latest person to congratulate Jones, who became Barbados’ first ever female world champion when she copped gold in the long jump in the World Junior Champions in Oregon, United States, on Wednesday night.
“I really believe that this is a phenomenal achievement for Akela and for Barbados.
“Akela has been consistently doing well and she has tried very hard. I think that she is a good example of sheer determination,” Lashley told SUNDAY SPORT yesterday.
“She really has everything to be proud of and I believe that what we are seeing is a very consistent performer in Akela Jones.”
Lashley said that her latest performance showed that Akela was indeed a world class athlete and he pledged the Government’s support to ensuring that its newest champion would be ably assisted.
And he maintained that once the former Springer Memorial athlete continued to excel, the sky was the limit.
“I can tell you that from the perspective of the Government, we will continue to work very closely with her.
“Akela has shown that she has what it takes to go to the very top and I know that she has her eyes on winning the first Olympic gold medal for Barbados,” Lashley said.
“I know she is very, very focused and I really want to take the opportunity to congratulate her and to say to her that we stand firmly behind her in supporting her.”
The minister further added that he had seen a lot of growth in Jones over the years, from the Barbados Secondary School Athletic Championships, to CARIFTA, through to her time at the University of Baptist College and now at the World Junior Championships.
He said Akela’s performance augured well for other aspiring athletes, Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean. (RB)