Lofty goals are in the pipelines following a banner 2017 for the discipline of Track and Field in Guyana.
During last year, track and field soared to its highest height, especially in the Youth and Junior category.
In the first international meet of 2017, the CARIFTA Games held on April 15 to 19 in Curacao, the Golden Arrowhead earned its highest medal count, bringing home three gold medals, a silver medal and three bronze medals.
It must be noted in the 46 years of the staging of the most prestigious Regional Games, it was the first time that Guyana would have won the gold medal in the marquee U-20 Boys 100m event. The feat was accomplished by Compton Caesar of Linden in the process, besting athletes from the global powerhouse, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
Other gold medals came from Natricia Hooper in the triple jump and Chantoba Bright in the Long Jump.
At the World Youth Championship held in Nairobi, Kenya, Daniel Williams warmed the hearts of the world with his silver medal performance in the 400m. His time of 46.72s is the new National and South American Youth Record.
Bright placed 5th in the Long Jump.
In the historic 2017, Guyana also hosted the South American Junior Championship at Leonora. At this biannual Championship with a 52-year history, Guyana had accumulated a grand total of eight medals. In the 2017 edition of this championship, Guyana earned 25 medals. Gold medals went to Compton Caesar in the 100m, Chantoba Bright in the Long Jump and the girls 4 X 100m Relay.
Two-time Olympian, Winston George represented Guyana in the South American Senior Championship where he won a gold medal in the 400m.
Later in the year, great performances and success continued to flow with Kenisha Phillips snaring two silver medals in the 100 and 200m, Jermaine King of Berbice, silver medal in the 100m and Deshana Skeete a gold medal in the 400m at the South American Youth Games held in Chile.
Prior to the praiseworthy achievements of the athletes and the Athletic Association of Guyana, the association kicked off its year with an IAAF Coaches Education Certification System (CECS) course, of which 30 coaches from across Guyana were successful.
With the new knowledge, coaches were more equipped to dispense their energies in producing athletes performing at a higher level.
It is anticipated that the programmes implemented will continue to show success in 2018.
These programme include:
1)Coaches Education: Improve coach’s knowledge through IAAF Coaches Educa-tion System of higher levels.
2)Athletics Camp: High-level training for athletes especially from the outer regions with emphasis on diet, nutrition, recovery and physiotherapy.
3)Well structured local calendar of activities: Introducing Inter-regional and inter-tertiary championship. A national athletics league is another great addition to our calendar. This will aid in the preparation of our athletes for international Competition while keeping our senior athletes active.
4) International Competition: The success of athletics in Guyana will be judged based on our performance at international competitions. The exposure of qualified athletes to CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas, World Junior Championship in Fin-land and the South American Youth Championship in Colombia are some of the international competitions on the priority list.
5) Putting up a proposal to host CARIFTA 2020 is also on the agenda.