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All ready for NAAA Open Championships

Thursday, June 20 2013

click on pic to zoom in

THE FACILITIES at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo are in tip-top shape for the staging of this weekend’s NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations) Sagicor/National Gas Company-sponsored Open Championships.

The premier event on the local track and field calendar will begin tomorrow, but the major events will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

NAAA secretary Allan Baboolal stated yesterday, “everything is good. The outfield is nice, it’s green, it’s well cut and the track is okay.

“We got the finish line repainted by the agents,” he added. “From that aspect, it is ready to go.”

And all of the nation’s top track and field performers will be involved at the Championships, as the NAAA has made it mandatory for the athletes to compete, in order to gain selection for the major international meets later in the year. In this case, it will be the IAAF World Championships, to be held in Moscow, Russia from August 10-18.

So the fans in attendance will get to see the nation’s 2012 London Olympic medallists in action — Keshorn Walcott, Lalonde Gordon, Ade Alleyne-Forte, Deon Lendore, Jarrin Solomon, Marc Burns, Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman and Emmanuel Callender, as well as Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Wayne Davis II, Mikel Thomas, Ayana Alexander, Jehue Gordon and Sparkle McKnight.

Tomorrow, according to Baboolal, there will be heats, “from five o’clock, in the 100, 400 and 800 metres.” The semi-finals and finals, of those events, will take place on Saturday.

With regards to foreign-based athletes who have returned home, Baboolal stated, “there are some of the athletes are here but I can’t confirm who are here and who (are) not here. But I know some of them (are) here.

This is the first time that all the top TT athletes will be back home for a major event since the Olympics and a mammoth crowd is expected. Baboolal said, “we sent out tickets and we have some pre-sold tickets. We hope that people will support the Games. We’ve been advertising the Games and we hope that they will respond.”

As far as the organisation of the Championships are concerned, “everything seems to be in place right now for the Championships.

“We’re working hard to make sure that everything takes place,” Baboolal continued. “It seems that everything is in place at this moment.”

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