Sat | Oct 31, 2020

Samuda warns athletes to remain focused

Published:Friday | April 3, 2020 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer -
Jamaican sprint hurdler Orlando Bennett in training at the Qatar Sports Club ahead of the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar last September.

With this year’s Tokyo Olympic Games being rescheduled until next summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, Jamaica Olympic Association president Christopher Samuda is urging Jamaican athletes to use their time wisely to prepare themselves for next year's showpiece.

The International Olympic Committee said in a release on Monday that the Games would now take place from July 23 to August 8 next year. The Paralympic Games have also been rescheduled for August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Samuda told The Gleaner that the postponement of both championships gives the athletes more time to prepare and to correct whatever deficiencies that they may have going into events.

“It gives you a welcome opportunity to ensure that you are ready on the second occasion, and so I would encourage them to continue to keep to their training cycle,” Samuda said.

"But ensure that, of course, when the Games come around, that we are perfectly conditioned in order to achieve the goals that you have set out to attain.

“My advice is to continue training. Don’t lose focus, and ensure that at the end of the day, you are able to deliver optimally and that you can do well for your country.”

Jamaica won 11 medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, comprising six gold, three silver, and two bronze, and according to Samuda, once Jamaica's athletes are better prepared, then he expects the country to surpass that tally next year.

“I expect that the time is going to be used wisely by athletes, coaches, as well as managers, and if it is used wisely, then I am sure that the results would be better than we anticipated, were the Olympics held this year,” he said.

“There will be more time for them to invest in training methodologies. They would have sufficient time to adjust any errors that they possibly made and also to ensure that they have enough time for qualifying events now and really plan for them,” he said.