By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) has been forced to postpone its National Track & Field Championships scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the YASCO Sports Complex.
This was confirmed by head of the association, Everton Cornelius, who said the body could meet the requirements stipulated by the Ministry of Health ahead of the meet.
“We had some difficulties meeting the deadline date for the protocols for us to have the nationals so we were struggling along because of the timeframe, but we have decided to postpone the nationals so we could meet all the protocols, meaning the new protocols that have been set for us and, hopefully, sometime next week. I guess we will announce a date by this weekend when we will have the meet; probably the middle of next week if all goes well,” he said.
The former national athlete is however hoping that the association’s marquee event could be held during the coming week.
“Most of our athletes would probably leave here on the 23rd [June] but I am going to try see if we could do something before the 23rd, so at least they can get a chance to participate in whatever we are doing, once it’s possible. I will have discussions with them over the weekend and see how fast we could get the information to the ministry. If I can get it in today [Friday] then we’ll definitely do that so I could get a response from the ministry over the weekend or by Monday morning and see if we could do something Tuesday or Wednesday,” he said.
Cornelius describes the process as frustrating, questioning the need for PCR testing and a bubble as requirements for the hosting of a bubble.
“It has been a stressing thing for me over the last three to four days trying to get all the information together, trying to gather up the things needed and we were just going left, going right, trying to see what we could do to make this happen over the weekend but it just did not work out and we just had to give up,” he said.
A number of the country’s elite athletes to include Cejhae Greene, Joella Lloyd and Priscilla Frederick Loomis are expected to compete during the nationals. The 2001 instalment of the event would be the first in four years.