Jamaica target double-digit medals
Could another double-digit medal haul be on the cards for Jamaica? Technical Leader Maurice Wilson has not ruled it out as the island begins the quest for glory when the World Athletics Championships starts tomorrow from the National Athletic Centre in Budapest, Hungary.
Jamaica accumulated 10 medals at the championships last year in Eugene, Oregon, United States of America (USA), with three on the final day alone, as they barely made Wilson's double-digit target. With laughter, he made the identical prediction, again believing that it is a realistic target once the environment is provided for the athletes to perform.
"I am going to go with the double digits again. The practitioners know exactly what can happen. All we try to do is to make sure everything is in place to facilitate the process of the athletes doing well," Wilson said.
Saturday's morning session opens with the national shot put champion Rajindra Campbell making his World Championship debut in the men's shot put at 3:30 a.m. Jamaica time; the mixed relay heats at 4:05 a.m.; world-leading Ackelia Smith and national champion Tissana Hickling taking part in the women's long jump qualifiers; and national champion Adelle Tracey taking on the women's 1,500 metres at 6:15 a.m.
Wilson says he is pleased about the youth in the team, believing that Jamaica is well poised for future success with that core.
"What I am happy about and confident is that it is a young group. I think their attitude towards the national programme is fairly good, and I think transitioning for the future, we are in good hands," Wilson said.
In the afternoon session, national champion Travis Smikle, 2019 World Championships silver medallist, men's team captain Fedrick Dacres and Roja Stona will compete in the men's discus qualification with Group A beginning at 12:10 p.m. Smikle, Dacres and Stona have all thrown 68 metres this year and are currently among the top 10 in the world.
The men's 100 metres first round will get under way at 12:43 p.m. with coach Glen Mills believing that between national champion Rohan Watson, Ryiem Forde or his charge Oblique Seville, snatching a medal is not beyond them.
"If we are going off the times that are being run, nobody has done anything super sensational. The best time is 9.83 so far. It is in the ballpark of everybody, but who knows what they will do at the Championships? It is so further down in the year that people, maybe just peaking now, so we will see what happens this weekend," Mills said.