Guyanese contingent ecstatic ahead of Tokyo Olympic Games

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Members of Guyana’s contingent. From left are Godfrey Wiltshire, Julian Edmonds, Idi Lewis, Emmanuel Archibald, Angelica Holder, Aleka Persaud, Shyka Gonsalves and Deon Nurse. They flank GOA President K.A. Juman-Yassin

The Guyana Olympic Association (GOA) has had a timely engagement with Guyana’s 16-member Tokyo Olympics contingent that consists of athletes, coaches and officials. This was done on Saturday morning at the GOA’s Liliendaal headquarters on the East Coast of Demerara.

The engagement entailed updates on their preparation, protocols and expectations, being shared ahead of the Games’ opening later this month.

While disseminating this information, chef de mission Garfield Wiltshire took the time to extend gratitude to Eureka Labs, that are working along with the GOA to ensure the contingent’s COVID-19 tests are up-to-date.

“What is also important is that the team has to be tested 96 hours and 72 hours before (its) arrival in Tokyo, so that is two tests. We’ve been fortunate enough, and we must commend Eureka Medical Labs, who have provided the tests for the delegation in Guyana (two tests each), for the eight persons who are here, free of charge,” Wiltshire divulged.

He added, “And that is a significant contribution being made by Eureka Medical Labs, by Dr. Andy Boyle and his team.”

In sharing the strictness with which the pre-Games Swimming Camp will be conducted, Coach Shyka Gonzalves noted that the Guyanese pair are still optimistic about the event.
“It’s very restricted. They consider the camp a bubble, and our placement within the camp will be one in a room, so (as) to avoid any infections within the hotel. And then we go to the pool and then return, so we will be very isolated. We will have to take a COVID test every day before lunch, and have the results the next day,” she explained.

Gonsalves explained, “But despite all of that, the athletes are really excited. They’re ready and willing to train and have fun, and perform at their very best. And I will do my utmost best to support them.”

Giving an update on Chelsea Edghill, her coach Idi Lewis stated, “She’s at the ICC Training Center, which is one of the best clubs in the US(A). There are a few world- class coaches and players there, so she’s getting good practice. She’s in great spirits, extremely confident and ready to go.”

Angelica Holder, who will act as the group’s physiotherapist and COVID officer, explained some of the protocols that they will need to align with, aside from daily tests and constant updates.

“Everyone in the delegation is required to download two apps before travelling. One is the Ocha app, which is a health reporting app. That’s what they will use to report their status every day.”

Holder, who works at Guyana’s COVID Unit, explained, “When they arrive in Tokyo, they will have to download the Cocoa app. The Cocoa app is an app that everyone in the whole Olympic Village will be using. It operates via Bluetooth, so if anyone reports positive, the Cocoa app will record it; and if you have been in close proximity to the person who has tested positive, the Cocoa app will send you a notification. That notification will tell you, ‘You’ve been in close contact, you need to isolate now’.”

While Athletics Coach Julian Edmonds had much to share about his group, the Coach also had encouraging words for the Guyanese contingent.

“I would like to wish team Guyana much success. You know, if we do not medal, we’re looking forward to personal best and national records,” he expressed.

Guyana’s contingent consists of chef de mission Garfield Wiltshire, COVID officer/ Physiotherapist Angelica Holder, Secretary General Deon Nurse, Athlete Representative Aliann Pompey; Swim team Coach Shyka Gonzalves, Andrew Fowler and Aleka Persaud; Boxing team Coach Sebert Blake and Keevin Allicock; Table Tennis Team Coach Idi Lewis and Chelsea Edghill; and Athletics team Coaches Julian Edmonds and Denzel Abrams, and athletes Jasmine Abrams, Aliyah Abrams and Emmanuel Archibald.

The Olympic Games will run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan. Guyana’s arrival at the games will be staggered, with the swimmers departing today for Tokyo, while the table tennis team is expected to arrive on the 17th, and Coach Edmonds and Archibald depart Guyana on the 21st to arrive on the morning of the 23rd. [Guyana Times]