JOA announces 150-strong Commonwealth Games contingent

Thursday, March 08, 2018

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The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced a 150-member-strong contingent, inclusive of athletes coaches and officials to represent Jamaica at the 21st staging of the Commonwealth Games to be held in the Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15.

This took place at their office at 9 Cunningham Avenue in Kingston on Tuesday.

For the first time in the history of the games, Jamaica will be represented in a total of 15 sporting disciplines, with rugby sevens, gymnastics, lawn bowl, wrestling, female basketball and shooting all making their debut. The other sports to be contested at the event by Jamaica are, athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, cycling, netball, squash, table tennis and triathlon.

As Jamaica is set to field its largest contingent to the Games, there will be another first at the event as Para-Athletics will be paired with athletics, and Jamaica will be sending two Para-athletes — Tevaughn Thomas and Jason Brown along with their coach Neville Sinclair. Athletics as expected, has the largest team going to the games with a total of 58 athletes.

President of the JOA Christopher Samuda promised that the games would be experienced in both sports and culture from a Jamaican perspective.

“It will be an experience of sporting excellence not only in performance, but in attitude towards competition and friendly rivalry. That's what the Jamaica Olympic Association stands for and that's what we will telegraph to the team and the global community.

“It will be an experience of culture — 'yard culture' for which we are known and loved. Jamaica Commonwealth Manor… will be this and more. At the heart of the JOA's vision and central to our mission is our cultural DNA, which speaks to who we are and who we can become.”

Garth Gayle, director Commonwealth Games, and first vice-president of the JOA, promised to return to Jamaica with lots of medals.

“These athletes and teams, once they put on the national colours… will continue to do us proud. I know you will all be glued to the television and listening to the daily reports coming out of Australia, because it is our intent that we will be coming back with a bounty of medals. We are going to correct, especially in the case of track and field, some of the disappointments in London,” he pledged.

The Commonwealth Games will provide an opportunity for many of the nation's track and field athletes who are on the cusp to establish themselves as household names ahead of the World Championships next year. For the other sports, it is also an opportunity to capture the hearts of Jamaican sports fans and the world at large.

— Dwayne Richards

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