Pompey heads team list for Commonwealth Games By Michael DaSilva
Stabroek News
April 18, 2002

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Track athlete Aliann Pompey heads the Guyana Olympic Association's (GOA) priority list of athletes for the Commonwealth Games, slated for Manchester, England, July 24 to August 4.

According to GOA president and Chef de Mission appointee to the Games, K.Juman-Yassin, Pompey a 400 metres specialist who was a quarter-finalist at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and a semi-finalist at the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada last year, heads the priority list.

The list also includes, in order of priority; Nicolette Fernandes and Luke Fraser (squash), Marian Burnette (athletics), Theophilous Blue and Rudolph Fraser (boxing), Regan Pollard (squash) and Shondell King (weightlifting).

According to Juman-Yassin, the GOA will assist in the funding of the eight athletes named, while the respective associations will have to bear the remainder.

Yassin also pointed out that individual associations have identified other athletes, but their participation depends on funding also.

The team is scheduled to depart for England on July 20, but according to Yassin, some of the athletes will leave before.

According to Amateur Athletics Association president Claude Blackmoore, Nyota Peters who is currently on a training scholarship in Brazil, was selected also once money is available, will be a part of the team.

Peters is a multi-talented athlete who was spotted by a Canadian coach last year who recommended her for the scholarship.

After the World Championships last year, Pompey, an ex-college champion in the United States, started to compete on the professional circuit.

Burnette recently won the women's indoor 800 metres title at the NCAA after a successful two-year stint at Essex College where she completed a diploma in physical education.

Fernandes, Guyana's two-time Sportswoman of the Year and current Junior Caribbean girls champion, enjoyed a successful North American tour during December 2001 and January 2002.

Fernandes also placed second to Jamaican Marlene West in the Senior Caribbean Women's Senior final last year and holds the St. Lucia Open title.

Fraser, the current national men's champion, campaigns in Canada while Pollard represented Guyana at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia and has been very consistent on the local and regional circuit.

Blue and Fraser were champions in their respective weight divisions at the 2001 Caribbean Amateur Boxing Championships. Guyana did not participate in this year's tournament because of flight problems.