Wilson wants stronger support system for Rio

BY DANIA BOGLE Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, August 14, 2012    

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HEAD coach Maurice Wilson says a stronger support system will be needed as Jamaica prepares over the next four years for the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Wilson and other members of the Jamaican delegation to the 2012 London Olympics, including coaches Bert Cameron and Maurice Westney, and athletes Traves Smikle, Nickiesha Wilson and Asafa Powell, returned to the island yesterday from the United Kingdom with a best-ever medal haul of 12 — four gold, four silver and four bronze.

Powell, who pulled up during the Men's 100m final on August 5, opted not to wear the national colours and quietly slipped through the airport following surgery on a chronic injury in Europe last week.

"We have to move forward with a stronger supporting cast in terms of resource personnel — chiropractors, press liaison, nutritionist — all the resource persons that are required," Wilson told the Jamaica Observer.

"This is the way forward and... the only way we're going to maintain the level of success we've had over the last couple of years," he added.

While a number of athletes who medalled in Beijing in 2008 missed out this time around, Wilson was not disappointed with the final outcome of 12 medals.

"There is always the possibility (of getting more medals). We had four persons who medalled in Beijing who did not medal this time around, but we are third in the world. What more can we ask for?"

"You can never be disappointed with performances at an Olympic level once the athlete goes out there and gives of their best," he argued.

Meanwhile Smikle, the national discus champion, told the Observer his first Olympics was a good experience and he learnt a lot in preparation for the next four years in Brazil.

"I went into the competition hoping to do well. I didn't make it to the final but I learnt a lot... I didn't feel intimidated by the guys," said the Calabar past student.

"I have to do a lot of new things; get fitter, get stronger and things should be better," he added.

Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio with responsibility for Sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, told the Observer the government may have to revisit its strategy to help athletes from other areas to qualify for the Olympics.

"The associations are doing a fantastic job and I think the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) is requiring associations to submit development plans for the next four five years.

"It simply means we can be involved as a government at the level of the planning and developing the programmes that will lead us to a successful 2016," Neita-Headley said.





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