Track athletes lead charge at C'wealth Youth Games
ALAN Beckford, secretary general, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), is banking on track athletes to lead the medal charge at this year's Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas.
The championships will be held from July 18-23 at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau.
Track and field athletes accounted for the six medals Jamaica won at the 2015 championships, which was held in Samoa. The tally included four gold, a silver and bronze after competing in only two sports at the event.
This year's contingent of 32 athletes will be competing in seven disciplines - track and field, swimming, volleyball, female beach football, lawn tennis, boxing and cycling.
Beckford said the track and field athletes are in fine form and he is expecting outstanding performances from them.
"We expect a really good performance from the Jamaica team. Coach Michael McIntosh has had the track athletes going through their paces and, of course, being the bulk of the team, 13 individual athletes, we have seen where they are really in good form.
"I have high expectations. We are able to take 13 track athletes, five other individual athletes, plus two team sports, so we think we should be in good stead with the teams," he said.
"We have seen, in particular, boxer Jerome Ennis, and he is doing really well. Brandon Reid, our cyclist, is also training hard and we really appreciate the efforts they are making ahead of the championships," he added.
Meanwhile, JOA president Christopher Samuda said the team's recent eight-day training camp has prepared them well for the championships.
"Everything is in place. We are very strong in having a camp before international games because it allows the athletes to bond and it also allows the athletes to learn from each other. Therefore, this is going to be feature going forward with the JOA," Samuda said.
The team scheduled to depart the island in two batches on Saturday.