In spite of the paucity of medals at the World Championships, president of the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette believes there is no need to panic.
T&T won two medals, both in relays in the Championships which ended in Beijing yesterday.
Serrette noted that the T&T women who won their first ever 4x100 metres medal at a World Championships showed that the future was in good hands.
“Our women, based on what we have seen here, can go under 42 seconds and even change the colour of the medal in the future.”
Serrette said while Jamaica will be hard to beat, the USA can be anything at times. “Even though they did not use some of their top runners this time, we ourselves are developing a strong pool with Kai Selvon set to come back.”
Serrette believes that the bronze medal success was a shot in the arm. “We needed something like this for our women athletes. I don’t know how we can explain it but we continue to lose our female athletes particularly the young ones in the under 18 to under 20 group. So we have to see how we can use this to inspire them to stay.”
He said it amounted to the athletes and the Association working together. “We are a listening organisation, we understand the needs of the athletes but there is always some restrictions in terms of funding which together we need to work on. We have a very good relationship with the president of the Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis, who is also athlete driven,” said Serrette.
“We also have to make some of our athletes aware of the need to have patience. There are those that want it all to happen too quickly, they want the success overnight,” noted Serrette, himself a former top athlete in the 80’s.
Serrette was also pleased that the 4x400 metres team stood by each other and broke the national record.
“This was about guts and performance. This was the highest level and we have to fully appreciate what was done here tonight. This was another national record so we have to continue our programmes and progress our athletes further with all the assistance we can get,” he added.
“Our plan is to review our performances and take the necessary action to improve what needs to be and to address other areas of concern that would have arisen at the Championships,” stated Serrette. (AB)