When the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships get under way tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the preliminary round of the boys’ Class One long jump, O’Brien Wasome of Jamaica College (JC) will have two targets. As captain of his school team, Wasome will be expecting to advance to the final and to repeat his 2015 victory. He will also be chasing a big goal: a place on the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. To reach that goal, he needs to long-jump 8.15 metres, or further, before the period for seeking qualifying marks ends on July 11. If that were to happen at Championships, it would take him well past the Class One record of 7.87 metres set by Leon Gordon of Vere Technical High in 1993. It’s a task that isn’t daunting for the outgoing JC senior. “I’m looking forward to making the Olympic team,” he said with quiet assurance before a recent training session. He would also need to earn selection through his performance at the National Senior Championships. “My training is going good, so I’m putting in all the work,” said the Ruel James-coached athlete. Signs of the quality of his preparation came at the recent Carifta Trials, where he won the under-20 long jump with a distance of 7.59 metres. That is his best of the season so far. Wasome won both the Class One long jump and triple jump last year and is aiming to repeat. “I’m looking forward to breaking the long jump and triple jump records,” he said. The triple jump record belongs to his teammate, Clayton Brown, at 16.04 metres. Wasome won with a wind-aided jump of 16.24m but had a legal effort of exactly 16 metres. His 2015-winning long jump of 7.71 metres places him in joint second place on the all-time Champs performance list, with Neil Gardner of Wolmer’s Boys’ and Maurice Wignall of Calabar. They were second and third with jumps of 7.71 and 7.68 metres, respectively, when Gordon set the record in 1993. Wignall produced a 7.71m of his own at Boys’ Championships in 1994. One of Wasome’s prime rivals may miss the five-day Championship. Alrick Ottey of Cornwall College did the Class One long/triple jump double at Western Championships and produced a big jump of 7.46 metres on grass at the STETHS Invitational. However, he was injured at the Carifta Trials in the triple jump.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC: CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque has congratulated the West Indies women and men’s teams for winning the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday. Ambassador LaRocque says the victories are evidence that the people of the region have the ability to lead the world, not just compete. The West Indies women defeated the defending champions Australia to win the Women’s World T20 title for the first time, while the men crushed England a few hours later to become the first team to win the men’s World T20 title twice. “Once again, the West Indies cricketers have brought glory to our region,” said LaRocque. “I congratulate the women and men’s teams on their victories in the International Cricket Council World T20 competitions, which demonstrated their ability to overcome the challenges they faced.” LaRocque also praised the teams’ coaching and support staff, noting that their hard work ensured that the players maintained their focus. He also expressed the hope that the victories including the Under-19 World Cup captured by West Indies earlier this year, will inspire the region’s youth in particular. “I also want to congratulate the teams’ coaching staff for their efforts. The teamwork and team spirit in both teams were evident throughout the competition as the hard work of the coaching and support staff ensured that the players, very well led by the captains, kept their focus on the ultimate goal,” he said. “These triumphs underscored the fact that our people have the ability, not only to compete, but to lead the world.”