Confident juniors depart for WJC
Following a very successful six-day training camp which came to an end on Monday at the GC Foster College of Physical Education and Sport, the country's top junior athletes will depart the island in three batches today as they set their sights on the 16th International Association of Athletics Federations World Under 20 Championships in Bydogoszcz, Poland from July 19-24.
"The athletes are very confident going into the Championships and they are very excited and will be hoping to surpass the medal haul of six which was garnered two years ago in Eugene, Oregon," team coach, Danny Hawthorne, told STAR Sports.
"The training camp was very successful as the athletes really showed improvement and it was good also in gelling everyone together especially the relationship between management staff, coaches and athletes," Hawthorne added.
The team suffered one major setback as Kingston College athlete, Akeem Bloomfield, the national junior 400 metres record holder had to be withdrawn from the team after he aggravated a hamstring injury in training.
Only two athletes will be returning 400m hurdles male defending champion, Jaheel Hyde, and female quarter miler, Tiffany James.
Hyde will start favourite to retain his title won two years ago while James is hoping that the experience gained two years ago will help her to be among the medals this time around.
"I expect strong competition once again but my aim is to be on that podium and I will be working hard towards that. I am also aiming for a personal best," he said.
St Elizabeth Technical High School outstanding female Junelle Bromfield, who was absent from the camp, being a part of the MVP training group in Italy, will also join the team in Poland this weekend.
According to the IAAF website, this year's staging will see the second largest participation ever with a total of 1518 athletes (832 men, 686 women).
Only the 2012 edition in Barcelona, Spain with 1566 had more athletes.