By Iva Wharton
Distance athlete Alika Morgan says that a breakdown in communication prevented her from competing in the Southern Games in Trinidad and Tobago last week.
“I was invited to the Southern Games where I was to be paid an appearance fee, but when I got there I understood that the Secretary of the Athletics Association (Claude Blackmore) told the people over there that I was no longer going, so I did not get to run.”
According to Morgan she nor her trainer/manager Leslie Black did not communicate to the Athletic Association of Guyana (AAG) that she was not travelling to the twin island republic. She added that the association was aware that she was not travelling with the team.
Morgan said she still had the option of competing in the games, but decided against it as she would not have been paid.
Morgan said that she was disappointed since she was preparing for the games.
However, she competed in the Trinidad and Tobago 5K, the Falcon 10K and the 1500m. The three events were held over the weekend.
Morgan captured two first place prizes in the 5K and 1500m and second in the 10K and clocked 20.02s and 38.57s respectively in the two events.
“I am satisfied with my performance because the course was a little bit difficult in the 10K and in the 5K if I had someone to push me I feel I would have run 18 something.”
She said there was no real competition to push her in the 1500m as in the 10K, but nevertheless she did her best.
Reached for a comment via telephone, Blackmore said he had nothing to do with Morgan not competing at the games. He added that she made the decision to choose the other events over the Southern Games. It was via the radio that he learnt that Morgan was not competing in the Sothern Games but was competing instead in the 5K and 1500m, in which she won gold.
Blackmore also said that he was not in Trinidad as part of any delegation representing Guyana but was a technical officer for both the Southern Games and the Falcon 10K.
Asked about her plans for the rest of the year, Morgan said that she is scheduled to compete in a number of major events internationally. The only competition she would identify, however, is the Caricom 10K which will be held in St. Lucia in July.
Morgan said she is hoping to do better this year than last year when she finished third.
“I won the Caricom 10K four times,” she said.
According to Morgan, since writing the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) she has moved on with her education and is now at Global Technology pursuing Computer Studies.
Morgan said throughout her athletics career a number of sponsors have stuck by her and made it possible for her to compete in a number of competitions, both locally and overseas. Among those sponsors are the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, Stanley Ming of Ming’s Trading, Mark Brandon, Ken Phillips and Director of Sport, Neil Kumar.