PRESIDENT OF the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette is impressed with the gold medal performance of sprinter Kyle Greaux, at the recently-concluded North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships in Toronto, Canada.
On Sunday, Greaux won the men’s 200-metre final in a meet-record time of 20.11 seconds.
This was Greaux’s first gold in a major meet, and it came less than a month after his bronze medal run of 20.26 seconds, in the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games, at Barranquilla, Colombia.
“I was very happy for him,” said Serrette yesterday. “I had challenged him. He got a bronze in CAC. I think he’s coming to his own.” Serrette is hopeful that the 30-year-old Greaux can use this achievement as a stepping stone for greater things, ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
“Some athletes find their form a little late,” Serrette pointed out. “I think this augur well for him and I expect bigger things in the future from him.”
TT returned home from the NACAC Championships with three medals – Greaux’s 200m gold, silver for veteran Cleopatra Borel in the women’s shot put and bronze for the men’s 4x100m relay team (twins Nathan and Jonathan Farinha, Jalen Purcell and Greaux).
“Coming with a gold, silver and a bronze, I thought the athletes had a good showing,” Serrette acknowledged. “The last NACAC Championships in Costa Rica three years ago, we had a better showing (two gold, three silver and five bronze).”
He added, “People should be using these Championships as indicators for their preparations, moving on to the 2020 Olympics.”
On the flip side, Serrette admitted that the NAAA are unable to offer any rewards to the athletes, especially at a financial level, due to their current economic woes.
“We’re catching our tails to send teams (away), much less for rewards,” said the ex-national sprinter. “We’re literally struggling to make ends meet, far less to talk about funding for support. But we have to look at that as well because our product is the athlete. If they’re not performing well, we don’t have anything to sell.” Brian Lewis, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), noted that the medallists would not get rewards from the TTOC since the NACAC Championships do not fall under their purview. “The Olympic Committee is focused on the Games under the TTOC, which are the Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games, the Pan Am Games and the Central American and Caribbean Games, that forms part of the Olympic pathway,” said Lewis yesterday. “As far as I’m aware, I know the NACAC, as well as the IAAF, have their own prize (giving) awards,” Lewis continued. “I know that, in the context of the overall policy, we look at the Games such as the World Championships.” The TTOC president ended, “I don’t know, in such a circumstance, what will be the plans of the NSO (National Sporting Organisations).”