Meagre Guyana team likely for Olympics

Stabroek News
July 27, 2000

Athletics will be the lone sport to represent Guyana at the Sydney 2000 Olympics as middle distance runner Ian Roberts and sprinter Aliann Pompey are the lone two so far to achieve minimum qualifying B standards for the main attraction at the Games.

United States-based 800 metres specialist Roberts made the qualifying time in winning the event at the Central American and Caribbean Championships in Barbados last year June.

Chef- de-Mission of the Guyana team Charles Corbin stated that Pompey qualified for the 400 metres at the Pan American Games in Canada also last year.

Pompey, a student at Manhattan college in the U.S, and Roberts are both presently campaigning on the outdoor circuit there.

Roberts clocked 1 minute 46.92 seconds winning in Barbados last year to get under the 1:47:20 B standard while Pompey went under the 53.20 required for her event.

Corbin said a number of other athletes are on a shortlist of hopefuls for the Games and have up to September 11 to meet the necessary standards.

They include national women's middle distance champion Marion Burnette and Sharon Williams, a sprinter based in England.

Burnette, the current United States junior college 800 metres champion has been campaigning there for the last nine months since joining Essex Community College and has a personal best time of 2 minutes 6.20 seconds. The qualifying B standard is 2:02:50.

Guyana were also hoping to qualify in boxing, cycling and squash but without success so far.

A six-member boxing team failed to win any fights at the North American and Caribbean trials in the United States while a smaller two-man squad was also unsuccessful in a second Box-Off in Argentina.

Top cyclist Godfrey Pollydore who is training and competing in the United Kingdom, specifically for the World Championships, may still have a chance to qualify there for his specialist sprint events between now and August 25, when the entry deadline for team sports ends.

Should Roberts and Pompey be the lone participants for the Games, they will comprise the smallest lineup to represent this country in recent times.

It is a result of new International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules which now require qualification for all of the Olympic sports disciplines.

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