You know what bothers me? The Olympics and Guyana’s inability to make any significant mark on this most prestigious athletics meet. Firstly, amateur boxing because that is where we have had our only Olympic medal, never mind our domination of regional amateur boxing. Guyana recently sent three boxers to the World Boxing Champion-ships in Chicago with the bold assurances of none less than the President of the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and the national coach that at least two of these boxers were sure to qualify for the Olympics. None made it to the semi finals, not even our Pan Am bronze medalist Clive Atwell.
In fact he lost his first fight. Hemdrick Pelswijk won one fight but then lost while Markember Pierre did not win a single fight. Now as a boxing fan and sportswriter I try to be optimistic about local sport. Boxing has given Guyana joy over the years and this country remains the Mecca of Caribbean amateur boxing. But stop and think about these results. Not a single fighter into the semis. Now stop and think about the results against the backdrop of Cuba opting out of the games, Cuba being the powerhouse of world amateur boxing. Not there. If Cuba wasn’t there and we couldn’t even make it to the semis then what are we to do about Beijing 2008? I keep hearing about the 2008 Olympics in almost every sporting discipline, but in fact there is little or no hope for any local sport at these games. Call me a pessimist, the bearer of bad news, a naysayer, cup half empty kinda guy but that’s just the reality.
I really don’t see us sending any real hope to these games. In athletics we have been exhausting the likes of Marian Burnette, Allian Pompey and Cleveland Forde. We send them to virtually every meet we are invited to but the Amateur Athletic Association of Guyana (AAAG) never says to the public that there is really no hope of them ‘medalling.’ Instead, we are all made to buy into their participation as if they stand any chance. Pompey did well to bring home a Commonwealth gold but nothing since and athletics is really a ‘what have you done for me lately kind of arrangement.’ Burnette soldiers on, getting to the semi finals of a meet here and there but never really cementing her place as a true contender and while her efforts are commendable, I can’t see her wining any significant meet EVER.
Hold me to that! I’ll eat my hat if she ever does! Forde, well