Poor organising hampered meet: Anthony believes athletes’ efforts stymied by poor planning at Whitsuntide Games

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From left, Geolyna Dowdy, Barak Matthew and Ryanne Small celebrate with their medals at the Whitsuntide Games held in Grenada over the weekend. (Photo courtesy Kesswin Anthony)
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By Neto Baptiste

Despite his athletes’ good performances at the recently held Whitsuntide Games held in Grenada, coach of the Phoenix Athletics Club Kesswin Anthony believes poor organisation of the annual event may have negatively impacted their chances of a higher output going into their individual events.

The official made the disclosure during an interview with Observer media following the success of the club’s three athletes — Geolyna Dowdy, Barak Matthew and Ryanne Small — at the one-day meet held at the Kirani James Stadium on Saturday.

“Some of the races were delayed by an hour or an hour and a-half, and some as much as two hours. In the case of Geolyna, her race was scheduled for 2pm but she did not run until 3:20pm; Barak Matthew’s race was to run at 2:20pm, he did not run until minutes to four. It was the same for Ryanne Small because her race was supposed to be run at 3:10 pm but she did not run until minutes to five,” he said.

“The athletes were warmed up and ready to run at the time scheduled for the event for which they [officials] were constantly making the calls, but there was a delay with what was happening on the main track which was not communicated to the call room officials. So, the athletes warmed up and got cold while waiting there for an hour, an hour and a-half just to run,” he added.

The athletes  won a total of four medals between them as they flew the Antigua and Barbuda flag at the meet.

Anthony, who said the trio and others will now turn their attention to the Antigua and Barbuda National Championships slated for June 25 and 26 at the YASCO Sports Complex, however added that there is work to be done ahead of the anticipated meet.

“In the case of Geolyna Dowdy, her transition phase needs to be a bit smoother and a bit more technical in the middle of her race. In the case of Barak Matthew, I need to work on his start a bit more because he needs to be more aggressive through the first 40 meters of his race, so those are a few things we will be working on in preparation for our nationals in the next three weeks. In the case of Ryanne, it’s just to get fastest and a bit more speed endurance work so that she can get down her time,” the coach said.

“We are still trying to get the qualification time for Geolyna Dowdy for World Junior Track & Field Championships. Barak is still seeking qualifications for the under-23 games in Guadeloupe as well as Ryanne so we continue to work,” he added.

Dowdy won gold in the 100 meters event in a time of 12.07 seconds while also taking gold in the 200 meters with a new personal best of 25.10 seconds. 

Matthew was also on the podium, finishing second in the boy’s open class 100 meters race with a time of 10.59 seconds. Small added to the country’s medal count when she ran a time of 1:02.23 seconds in the girls’ 400 meters open race to finish third and grab the bronze.

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