With the usual suspects standing out in Sunday’s Track and Field meet, President of the AAG, Aubrey Hutson shared some of the challenges the Association is facing in trying to host enough meets and keeping it all within COVID-19 guidelines.
Their biggest one yet, is getting timely and necessary approval from the Country’s National COVID-19 Task Force in order to host track and field meets. Only the second meet of the year was hosted on Sunday last, a stark contrast to the Association’s planned calendar that would have three meets completed by this time.
AAG President Aubrey Hutson, shared that it is an ongoing challenge.
“It is a challenge, we try to satisfy everybody but you know, this sport is about ensuring that we get as many qualifiers as possible for the Olympics,” he said.
“We continue to prepare as though we’re going to get a positive word from the Government of Guyana. So if, we have to cancel the Saturday before, the Friday before, its fine, but we plan every event like its going to happen and hope that the Government sees the importance of us having these events and support us,” Hutson added.
The trick in the trade for the AAG is managing to provide enough meets so as to furnish athletes with adequate opportunities to qualify for the Olympics.
To this end, Hutson shared the AAG mindset when planning meets.
“We have to look at our athletes, we have to look at those that are close to getting to the Olympics and we have to fashion our events to suit them. Not that we’re not taking every athlete into consideration but our focus is primarily on the Emmanuel Archibald’s, the Leslain Baird and Devaun Barrington,” he noted.
He continued saying, “Akeem Stewart, yes he’s here but not giving us the kind of performance we’d like to see as yet but outside of that we’re looking to set our program in such a way that it can benefit these athletes.”
While disclosing that there have been calls for more meets leading up to the National Seniors, Hutson explained that the main focus is keeping the Association’s events within the COVID-19 guidelines.
“Some of our coaches are calling for another meet before we go into our National Senior Championships in April because they said that sometimes the distance between this and what I perceive to be the second developmental meet and the next competition way in April is a little too long,” he disclosed.
He added, “We’re trying to control the people that come into the venue, we’re pleading with our athletes to kindly wear their masks when not competing. And we’re doing as an association, everything we possibly can to ensure the sport is conducted in a safe manner and any event that we hold does not become a super spreader event for COVID-19.”
Meanwhile on Sunday, Emmanuel Archibald clocked 10.24s and 8.07M to cop the top spots in the 100M and long jump events respectively. Devaun Barrington championed the 400M sprint while Akeem Stewart did the same in the 200M. Leslain Baird while surpassing 70M in his first javelin throw, picked up an injury in the second. The severity of his condition is still unknown.