Oba: Expose athletes earlier


PROMISING athletes have a better chance of succeeding on the world stage if they are exposed to quality competition from an early age. Barbados’ fastest ever runner Obadele Thompson made that assertion while using himself as an example in a recent interview with NATION SPORT.

“Having exposure to high-level competition is the only way that athletes perform at their best under pressure,” said Thompson, a bronze medallist in the men’s 100 metres at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

Thompson, who holds the Barbados records for the 100 and 200 metres with 9.87 seconds and 19.97 seconds respectively, said some athletes who are given a chance to compete at meets like the CARIFTA Games ended up winning medals even though they may not have qualified for an event.

“For instance, I qualified at my first CARIFTA primarily for the 200 but they let me run the 100. I ended up winning the 100 (10.5 seconds) and came third in the 200 (22.26),” noted Thompson, while recalling his performances as an Under-17 athlete at the 1991 Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

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