Guyana’s medal hopes at the second South American Youth Games in Santiago, Chile, suffered a knockdown when boxers Keevin Allicock and Christopher Moore were ruled ineligible because of a change in the age stipulation, Chef-de-Mission of the Guyana contingent, Godfrey Munroe reported yesterday.
Boxing was considered Guyana’s best bet for a medal but according to Munroe, at the Technical meeting for the discipline on September 29, Coach Terrence Poole was told that Guyana’s boxers would be unable to participate due to a change in the age stipulation which, apparently, was never communicated to Guyana.
According to Munroe, the stipulated age as outlined in the Technical Manual provided for boxing to the Chef-de-Mission and provided for the games management on the Extranet, indicates that National Olympic Committees (NOCs) can register and accredit six male and two female athletes for the boxing competition who were born between the period 1st January 1999 and 31st December 2000.
Munroe said that Guyana complied with that regulation and subsequently submitted boxers Moore and Allicock.
However, Munroe wrote, contrary to the manual provided, a change was made twice to the age requirement for boxing and was never communicated to the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA).
According to Munroe, he wrote the Organizing Committee outlining Guyana’s position seeking to find out why the change in age requirement was never communicated to Guyana.
Munroe said he engaged the Technical Committee for the games seeking to explore the possibility the boxers participation and also to provide a formal response as to the reasons behind the non-communication of the change.
According to Munroe, he received a verbal apology which indicated that the Technical Committee for the Games will meet and review what transpired and a formal response will be issued.
However, the decision taken at the Technical Congress not to allow Guyana’s boxers to participate stood since, according to Munroe, “it was felt that Guyana’s boxers would be too experienced.”
He said that the boxers continued to train and despite the setback have been very supportive of their team mates
Meanwhile, Munroe reported that badminton players Priyanna Ramdhani and Tyrese Jeffrey will go into action tomorrow after today’s Technical Committee meeting where the draws will be made to determine the groups the players will be placed in and the schedule of events.
Competition will take place daily from 10am to 7pm until October 7 when the competition concludes.
Over 10 teams have registered for the badminton competition and Munroe said Coach Gokran Ramdhani has been putting the players through their paces.
He said Coach Ramdhani feels Guyana has a very competitive chance once the draws are favorable adding that his players are confident and focused going into the competition.
The Technical Meeting for table tennis will be held tomorrow where the draws for the competition will be made to determine the groups the players are placed in and the schedule of matches.
Competition will commence in earnest Wednesday and will conclude October 8, said Munroe.
According to Munroe, who is also president of the Guyana Table tennis Association (GTTA) Coach Idi Lewis has been putting the medal prospects Miguel Wong and Nickolus Romain through their paces daily and indicated that he likes the focus of the players and that their response to the training sessions has been great.
According to Munroe, Lewis said he hopes that they can bring that focus to the actual competition.
Munroe said, however that the weather is a bit of a problem as it takes longer for the players to get warm and the ball is a bit moist.
Wong, he said has expressed confidence ahead of the championships.
Coach Lewis added that he has arranged training sessions with Uruguay and Panama which went well and provided a good measure for the players in getting them game ready and more in sync.
Fourteen countries will be participating in the boys division of the competition
Munroe said the Technical Meeting for basketball (3×3) begins on Wednesday when the draws will be made to determine the groups and the schedule of matches.
Ten (10) teams are in this boys competition which commences Thursday and concludes October 8.
Coach Junior Hercules has been taking the players Nigel Bowen, Akeem Crandon and Isaiah Hintzen, though their paces, Munroe reported.
The team has also been doing scrimmages with Argentina, Colombia and Panama and has proved to be very competitive, Munroe reported adding that
Coach Hercules has indicated that his biggest challenge will getting the players to adapt to the cold and getting the cardio of the team up given the high altitude weather and the fast pace nature of 3×3 basketball which uses a 12-second shot clock.
The team was invited to witness a Chile Professional League match and played Colombia in an exchange exhibition friendly at half time, Munroe reported.
Basketball (3×3) will involve group round robin matches prior to the elimination competition.
The Technical Meeting for track and field will be held on Thursday, Munroe said when the draws will be made and the events schedule finalised.
Guyana quest for honours in athletics will come from the five member team of Kenisha Philips, who will compete in the girls’ 100 and 200 metres,
Deshauana Skeete, who will compete in 200 metres and 400 metres, Annalisa Barclay who will compete in the broad jump, Mark Solomon, who will compete in 100 and 200 metres, Jermaine King, who will compete in 100 and 200 metres.
Competition starts on Friday and concludes on Sunday and Coach Wanda Richmond has been shrewd with her charges in getting them through their paces in the daily practice, said Munroe.
Richmond, he said, indicated that the weather is the biggest challenge.
However the athletes are focused ahead of their competition and eager to do Guyana proud.
The Guyana team arrived in Chile September 27 and attended the flag raising and gift exchange ceremony the following morning.
At the opening ceremony on September 29, the President of Chile Michelle Bachelet Jeria delivered an address at the short gala ceremony with fireworks, music and an interaction of athletes in a kaleidoscope of colors of the national flags ad team uniforms with the region’s best youth athletes, said Munroe.
Director of Sports, Christopher Jones and Secretary General of the GOA, Hector Edwards, in Chile on official games business, took time out to visit members of team Guyana delegation at the hotel after practice sessions to encourage and give the team members well wishes, urging them to represent the flag with pride and to do of their best, said Munroe.