Sport

JOA hails Francis on Tokyo qualification

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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Jamaica’s artistic gymnast Danusia Francis has been praised by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) for her efforts in being the country’s first official qualification to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Francis’s achievement came at the recently concluded World Gymnastics Championships in Germany where she placed ninth on a list of 20 qualifiers.

JOA President Christopher Samuda says Francis’s qualification was always expected, as she had, along the journey, performed consistently well and displayed the confidence of a specialist in her field.

“Look back at the journey and you will see commitment and resolve, grit and determination, pride in country and self-confidence, athleticism and prowess, creativity and artistry. That’s Danusia, and this represents what the JOA is instilling in its members and their athletes. You’ve got to get it right from the get-go to claim the prize,” Samuda shared.

Ryan Foster, secretary general and CEO of the JOA concurred, adding that Francis’s ability was what fuelled their solid support, as she pursued her Olympic dream.

“We saw immediately the talent and an Olympic prospect in Danusia and invested in one of Jamaica’s finest gymnasts. We funded her campaign in Stuttgart and have funded others because we had the conviction, and in this case, Danusia gave us good reasons to do so. It was not a guessing game, it was game on,” said Foster.

According to Samuda, the JOA continues its drive to transition talent of the often-termed ‘non-traditional’ sports to the regional and global stage in demonstrating the versatility of Jamaica’s credentials.

“Let’s understand it clearly, each sport has an equal right to place its stock-in-trade in the arena, to be recognised and acknowledged and to fight for a coveted place in sporting history. That’s our (JOA’s) philosophy and approach,” Samuda noted.

Foster also declared the JOA’s commitment to its member associations. “I have said on many occasions, we, the JOA, are not spectators at ring side. We are in the ring, alongside our member associations, creating opportunities for knock-out victories. Once there is merit, the gloves are on and we’ll punch with them,” he reasoned.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Gymnastics Association (JAGA) President Nicole Grant- Brown expressed gratitude to the JOA for their continued support to her athletes.

“The JOA is results driven and we at JAGA would like to thank them for their financial assistance,” said Grant-Brown.


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