MEXICO CITY, Mexico — In his bid to get the Reggae Boyz as close to acclimatisation as feasibly possible in limited time available, Dr Carlton Fraser hit the ground running immediately upon the players’ arrival in Mexico City last evening.
“The main thing is the altitude, which will give the home team the advantage,” was Dr Fraser’s main concern.
Normally individuals would need about two weeks to get fully acclimatised in this sort of environment, 2,240 metres above sea level, but with Jamaica’s opening CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying game slated for 8:30 pm (9:30 pm Jamaica time) on Wednesday, Dr Fraser is being proactive.
He has identified three main areas which he hopes will give the players the best possible chance of performing to their optimum — hydration, generation of vascular pigments and endothelial function, which has to do with the circulation system.
The team doctor told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that research has indicated that individuals should consume 13 to 15 glasses of fluid per day and he plans to aid the process with supplementation of vitamins, including iron, Folic Acid and B12.
Dr Fraser was also contemplating light gym workout for last evening, with emphasis on pressure breathing. However, he faced a challenge as though all players were expected into the North American country last night, their travel arrangements saw them arriving in four groups at different times.
However, it was his hope to meet with the players as soon as they arrived at the team’s base, the Radisson Paraiso Hotel, some 24 kilometres from the Benito Juarez International Airport, to inform them of his plans to get them the best possible chance of combating the high altitude.
Donovan Ricketts, Je-Vaughn Watson, Jermaine Taylor, and Ryan Johnson were scheduled to arrive at 5:20 pm (6:20 pm Jamaica time); Jermaine Johnson, Nyron Nosworthy, Damion Stewart, Adrian Mariappa, Marvin Elliott, Joel McAnuff, Garath McCleary, and Theo Robinson were slated for 6:20 pm (7:20 pm Jamaica time) arrivals, while Rodolph Austin and Dane Richards were booked for 8:20 pm (9:20 pm Jamaica time) arrivals, and Dwayne Miller, Omar Daley, Tramaine Stewart, Demar Phillips and Jason Morrison were in the last batch slated to arrive at 10:15 pm (11:15 pm Jamaica time).
The four local-based players — Jermaine Hue, DuWayne Kerr, Alvas Powell, and Andre Lewis along with the rest of the delegation — arrived in the first batch just after 4:15 pm.
The team is expected to hold its most significant training session today at 4:30 pm at a nearby facility. Tomorrow the Boyz will practise at the Azteca Stadium for 45 minutes.
Wednesday’s game marks the first of 10 for the Boyz in this final phase involving six countries — USA, Honduras, Panama and Costa Rica being the others. The top three teams on points at the end of the campaign in October earn automatic berths to the FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil next summer, while the fourth-placed team earns another shot at Brazil via a home-and-away play-off with the winner from the Oceania region in November.