The three athletes who have been selected to represent Guyana at the Commonwealth Youth Games are now counting down to the September 7-13 event in the Isle of Man, an island of Great Britain in the Irish Sea off the northwest coast of England.
The four-member track and field squad that was selected for the games by the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) will include 800 and 1,500 metres junior athlete Malcolm Walcott along with Letitia Myles and Tiffany Carto who will compete in the 100 and 200 metres, and Linden Wilson as the coach.
The selection of the team was brought under scrutiny by Leslie Black, coach of two-time 1500m gold medalist at the Carifta Games, Jevina Straker who questioned the non selection of Straker.
Black stated that the team should have been picked on past performances.
At the recent Inter-Guiana Games (IGG) Trials, Straker clocked 5:13.4s in the 1,500 metres compared to her 4:42.89s and 4:43.33s gold medal runs at the 2009 and 2010 Carifta Games respectively.
She also lost heavily to Andrea Foster, the daughter of local sprint queen, Alisha Fortune.
Straker’s mother Patricia Straker has defended her daughter’s performance telling Stabroek Sport, “I think she did well, she had a slight injury to her hamstring and this is her first major competition after the injury.”
Straker is now rebounding from an injury but this is something Black probably forgot to mention in his argument for her placement on the team.
On the other hand, while both Myles and Carto has not had any success on the international scene compared to Straker.
They are, however, the top two female junior sprinters in the country this year a fact which was proven yet again at the IGG trials where Myles edged out Carto in both the 100 and 200 metres races.
This leaves Walcott’sd selection.
He too has not been in any type of impressive form the year.
Stabroek Sport recently asked Walcott’s coach, John Martin, about his thoughts on Walcott’s selection on the team.
“Well he has been training with Wilson for about a month now…I don’t know what the criteria for selection is but if the AAG has been looking on current performances and examined his performances they would have seen Walcott was below par.
“He has been missing training and taking part in a community football tournament and what the AAG needed to do was to contact coaches on these things so that we could advise them accordingly but all I will say is that I wish him the best,” Martin stated.
Martin also said his 100 metres sprinter, Keon Lynch, would have been his recommendation for the team since Lynch has been winning in the under-18 category for the year.
This revelation by Walcott’s own personal coach is reason enough to query the selection of the middle distance athlete by the AAG.
Efforts by Stabroek Sport to ascertain the selection criteria for the Commonwealth Youth Games 2011 proved futile.