Five of the 12 overseas delegations for the South American U-20 Championships arrived yesterday.
Medal chasing athletes from Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay and the mighty Brazilians touched down at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for the historic Championships to be held at the National Track and Field Centre this weekend. The second wave of athletes and officials will arrive today.
This weekend’s event is carded to be a historic one since in excess of 300 athletes and officials are expected to participate in the Championships which are being held for the first time in Guyana since its inception in 1959.
Meanwhile, the green and gold clad athletes of Brazil are gearing up to once again to dominate the championships.
This is according to coach of the outfit, Fernando Reis who spoke through an interpreter.
Reis who reminded that Brazil won the last edition of the biennial Championships in 2015 and much more before that added: “We came for the championship, we have very good athletes and we expect them to succeed and many of them to qualify for the (IAAF) World U-20 Champions.”
Reis who hails from Sao Paulo, singled out his charges competing in the 5000m and the marquee 100m sprint events to dominate their races during the weekend.
In his Portuguese accent, he then added: “We are very happy to be here, it is our first time in Guyana and we look forward to a successful championship.”
Guyana has won eight medals (three gold, one silver, and 4 bronze) at the fixture which started 58 years ago.
Brazil leads the medal table with 1591, followed by Argentina (746) and Chile (608). Track and Field action starts daily at 06:00hr with the 10k walk races. Tickets cost $500. (Emmerson Campbell)