Blake: The future looks good
President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake, says the performance of the country's junior athletes at the just-concluded IAAF World Under-20 Championship in Tampere, Finland, shows that the country continues to produce top-quality athletes.
He said that performances of people like Briana Williams and Christopher Taylor proves that Jamaica continues to produce world champions in sprinting. But even more impressive for the JAAA boss were the displays on the field where the boys won medals in discus and long jump.
With the senior IAAF World Championships on next year, Blake says he is looking for a number of these young athletes to break through the ranks and come to the fore at next year's championships in Doha, Qatar.
"The performance (of junior athletes) just shows that sprinting in Jamaica is still quite healthy and the future looks good," Blake told STAR Sports. "If things go according to plan, we will have replacements for the current (ageing) sprinters we now have.
"So I am not worried about the future. We may not be the strength that we were but our sprinting is coming to the fore once again.
"But another thing I noticed at the World Under-20 is that our performance was well rounded, not just in sprinting. We had long jumpers and discus throwers, so overall the team was excellent. We have some of the best field athletes who can compete in throws and if we can compete in shot put and discus, it's only a matter of time before we start doing well in hammer and javelin as well," he said.
"We came second in the medal table and third in the points table, two points behind Kenya. I thought we had a lot of bad luck last year in London (World Championship), which I don't expect to be repeated and some (of the young athletes) may very well be present. Plus, we have other people on the horizon who are looking at competing, so things are keeping up and I think our future is looking good," he added.