PRESIDENT of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda was left beaming at the completion of the first in the JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny Series at National Stadium in Kingston last Saturday.
The meet started at the scheduled 8:15 am and was completed shortly before 11:00 am, much to the delight of the JOA boss who is of the opinion that the set objects are being met.
“Absolutely efficiently run! The performances are very creditable and the whole organisation and ethos of the meet was exceptional,” Samuda said.
With two more in the Olympic Destiny Series plus the qualifiers for the Paralympic Games to come, Samuda said things are set to take off while answering the burning question of whether or not these meets were just a one-off occurrence based on the current situation in the country.
“This is just the beginning. We look forward to the three others that will come and certainly, next year will be a far greater version of what you have seen here today.
“I am very pleased with the organisational strength, the efficiency, the performances of the athletes,” he said.
Samuda also revealed that the athletes were already providing positive feedback and pledged to support the series fully.
“The feedback from the athletes, is that…this is an opportunity for them. They have welcomed it and they are going to ensure that they support the series,” he noted.
The series, said Samuda, was designed to meet all the needs of the athletes as the Tokyo Olympic Games gets closer and closer.
“We all know the dire consequences of the [coronavirus] pandemic and what we said, we need to put on a series of meets in order to condition our athletes, both physically and mentally. Certainly, after a layoff the performances here have been exemplary.
“What we are hoping is that as we progress in the series they will not only challenge themselves in terms of times and distances, but they will get a sense of what will be the competition environment in Tokyo and certainly the camp that we are going to have.”
Samuda is also hoping that the athletes will begin to build a “Jamaican team spirit” ahead of what is expected to be a very challenging Olympic Games, in Tokyo.
“One of the objectives is to ensure that they build that spirit of competition and get accustomed to the environment,” he stated.
And, after giving the event his seal of approval, the president said that he was looking forward to even better performances going forward.
“So, excellent meet and we look forward to far greater things,” he concluded.
The second meet in the series is set for this Saturday, also at National Stadium.
— Dwayne Richards