Boxing and Track and Field are expected to be Guyana’s best bet for medals at this year’s South American Youth Games in Chile.
The event, which kicks off on Friday in Santiago, with 14 competing countries, will see Guyana’s representatives going for gold in the sports of boxing, track and field, badminton and table tennis but the pugilists and the runners are the ones that are realistically expected to return with hardware from the prestigious fixture.
There will certainly be pressure on all of the young sportsmen and women to deliver the goods, however, Guyanese have become used to seeing athletes and boxers produce podium worthy performances on the international stage.
Guyana’s representatives at the Games which concludes on October 8 are: Kenisha Phillips, Analisa Barclay, Deshanna Skeete and Jermaine King – athletics, Keevin Allicock and Christopher Moore- boxing, Shamar France, Akeem Crandon, Isaiah Hintzen and Nigel Bowen- basketball and Miguel Wong and Nicholas Romain – table tennis.
Said Track and Field official, Wanda Richmond yesterday “The athletes will be competing from the sixth to the eighth of October so they will have a bit of time to acclimatize. They should be in good shape to perform to their best and I certainly expect them to medal.”
Coach of the boxing outfit, Terrence Poole had this to say yesterday “We have exposed them to several overseas competitions in the last year and will continue to expose them. I don’t want to predict much but overall I think both of them will be medaling, if not gold, the top three.”
President of the Guyana Badminton Association, Gokarn Ramdhani, in an invited comment recently said this of his two-member team….“we stand a good chance.”
Badminton, Ramdhani recalled, won two medals at the 2013 Games with Ambika Ramraj winning a bronze medal in the mixed doubles while world ranked player Narayan Ramdhani, snared a bronze in the individual singles.
According to Ramdhani, the players to watch will be from Peru and Brazil.
“We are hoping to medal,” he said adding that he does not know whether the draws will be done using the seeding or the world ranking system.
Should the world ranking system be used, Priyanna Ramdhani stands to benefit since she is ranked 215 in the world, said the GBA president. GOA vice-president Godfrey Munroe is the Chef-de-Mission while Director of Sport, Christopher Jones is expected to attend the Games in place of GOA president K.A Juman Yassin. The other officials are Wanda Richmond, athletics, Junior Hercules, basketball, Poole – boxing and Idi Lewis – table tennis.
The contingent is scheduled to depart today.