Samuda confident of another CAC Games domination
JOA President Christopher Samuda (left) speaks with Sean Pierre, general secretary of the Jamaica Archery Association during Thursday's official launch of Jamaica's CAC Games campaign at the JOA offices in Kingston. (Photos: Karl McLarty)

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda is confident that the country will take home another record medal haul at this month's Caribbean and Central America (CAC) Games in El Salvador.

The championships, which will see Jamaicans competing in 21 disciplines, up from 18 in 2018, will be held from June 23 to July 9 in the Central American country.

Jamaica won 27 medals at the last championships, which was held in Colombia. This includes 12 gold, four silver, and 11 bronze.

The Jamaica contingent is down to compete in netball and chess for the first time in the history of the Games this year.

From left: Athlete Aldean Thomas; CAC Games Chef de Mission Paulton Gordon; JOA Treasurer Nichole Case; and JOA President Christopher Samuda at Thursday's CAC Games launch.

Samuda told the Jamaica Observer on Thursday that based on the strength and depth of the country's teams heading into the championships, he is upbeat that they will put on an excellent showing.

"I have every confidence that we are going to be surpassing that record," said Samuda. "If our athletes keep focus and if they are committed as they are, then we will achieve that result," he said during the official launch of Jamaica's CAC Games campaign at the offices of the JOA on Thursday.

"These games are not only going to be historic for us, but what we are saying to our international partner is that Jamaica is going to be leading the way in terms of ensuring that, across the board, we demonstrate our prowess," Samuda stated.

The veteran sports administrator pointed out that his organisation is committed to helping the lesser sporting associations gain qualification for the next Olympic Games.

"We have already done it in athletics and netball, of course, and I expect to take home the gold, but we have said to our federation that we are encouraging a vision that will make us absolutely competitive in a large number of sports on the international stage and, therefore, these games are dress rehearsals on what we expect to achieve and do in big games," Samuda said.

"Yes, the Olympic qualifications are going to be more difficult than these qualifications for the games, but what we are saying to our member associations is that we are here to help them in whatever way that we can," he added. Meanwhile, coach of Jamaica's netball team Nicole Aiken Pinnock said they are looking forward to putting on an excellent showing at the championships.

"We are still in preparation mode, but the ladies have been working really hard and we have been working on some specific things just to ensure that when we get there we are able to execute and be on top of our game and deliver a gold medal for Jamaica," said Aiken Pinnock.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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