Olympic qualifiers thank JOA, set goals for Tokyo

By Sports Desk June 21, 2021
Jamaica's super heavyweight boxer, Ricardo Brown (centre), celebrates winning the Pan Am Games bronze medal in Lima, Peru, with the man who beat him in the semis, Colombia's Salzedo Codazzi and, coach Gilbert Vaz (right) and Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President, Christopher Samuda (left) and JOA General Secretary/CEO, Ryan Foster (second right). Jamaica's super heavyweight boxer, Ricardo Brown (centre), celebrates winning the Pan Am Games bronze medal in Lima, Peru, with the man who beat him in the semis, Colombia's Salzedo Codazzi and, coach Gilbert Vaz (right) and Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) President, Christopher Samuda (left) and JOA General Secretary/CEO, Ryan Foster (second right).

As they aspire to achieve loftier goals at sports’ ultimate event, the nation’s latest qualifiers for the Olympic Games and sporting associations they represent, have expressed gratitude to the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) for the assistance afforded in attaining their Tokyo goal.

Boxer Ricardo Brown and history-setting diver, Yona Knight-Wisdom, were recently rewarded with qualification spots to the Tokyo Olympics by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), world sports’ governing body.

Results achieved at regional and global events such as the Pan Am Games were used to decide qualifiers. Importantly, sports’ local apex body, the JOA, played a lead role in the participation of Jamaica’s athletes at these events and also other events and training that formed part of their overall preparation, which was geared towards the Olympics.

“I want to say thank you to the JOA because if it wasn’t for them I would still be out there trying to get a chance to qualify,” said Brown. “I want to thank them for the hard work and funding they put out to get me where I am now.”

Knight-Wisdom, who is making it to his second Olympics Games – a first-time achievement for a Caribbean diver - expressed that the JOA has been backing his talent for a long time.

He said: “The JOA’s support along the way has been great, being able to compete at events such as the CAC Games, Commonwealth Games and Pan American Games. They were really important, helping me grow on my level of experience and giving me all the competitions I needed, plus all the other ones that I did separately -  the Grand Prix’s, the World Championships, and it was really helpful. On top of that, being able to receive the IOC Scholarship since 2017, probably I have received 10 instalments of that, not including the current period. That has basically kept me afloat.”

He added: “Payment for rent and bills made everything else more challenging than before Rio and the JOA, making sure I received my IOC money, it was extremely helpful.”

The president of the Jamaica Boxing Board, Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones, said the JOA has been supporting Brown’s progress for years.

“We’re very grateful to those who have supported him. We’re grateful to the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), they have been following him before the Panam Games when he got his bronze medal and they have been there throughout the pandemic,” Jones highlighted. “Even with the pandemic, he has been in Canada training because he has more competition there because there are more people in his weight class that he could compete against. Before the pandemic, he was training there.”

Continuing, Jones said: “He has been at the tip of the tongue for the JOA. They have followed his trajectory and when we realised that there were going to be no more qualifications in the Americas for the rest of the boxers who were supposed to represent us as well they were steadfast in making sure that Ricardo, the fact that he has an AIBA world ranking, they wanted the boxing federation to make sure that his name was at the top of the list to at least have one of us qualify for the Olympic Games. So we’re grateful for them (JOA) in that regard and wish Ricardo all the best.”

As a matter of fact, there are high hopes that the Jamaican boxer will medal in Tokyo.

“We are expecting him to come back with the first medal in boxing that Jamaica has ever achieved at the Olympic Games,” said Jones.

Brown, too, is very confident.

Commenting on his medal chances, he said: “Yes. That is a must. I’m going for a medal so I’m training hard for that.”

Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica President, Martin Lyn, commented on Knight-Wisdom’s historical achievement and the JOA’s contribution.

“I am elated that Yona has made it to another Olympics. It is the first time in the history of Jamaica and the Caribbean that a diver has made it to two consecutive Olympics. That is kudos to the ASAJ,” said Lyn.

“The journey would not have been as successful without the help of the JOA. The JOA has been extremely supportive of our diver and we definitely have welcomed that support. It has definitely increased over the years and Yona himself is very appreciative of the help. He couldn’t have done it without us,” Lyn revealed.

Knight-Wisdom, who finished 14th in Rio, is aiming for a better finish four years on.

“I want to improve on what I did in Rio. I missed out on making the final by eight points,” he said.

“I was disappointed, I knew I could have competed better so as soon as I finished I was already thinking about the next cycle and what I can do and improve on what I did in Rio and make that final,” he added.

“That is what I would love to do this time. It’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be tough because there are a lot of good divers out there,” Knight-Wisdom shared. “I can’t wait to compete and represent Jamaica as best as possible, put Jamaica on the map in the diving world.”

 

 

Related items

  • Parchment, Thompson-Herah named Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021 Parchment, Thompson-Herah named Jamaica's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021

    Sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah and sprint hurdler, Hansle Parchment, were named Jamaica’s National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, at the RJRGleaner Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony held on Friday night.

    The event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Thompson-Herah had a phenomenal 2021 season, which included her winning the 100m at the Diamond League final in Zurich and running 10.54 at the Eugene Diamond League to become the fastest woman alive and second fastest woman of all time.

    Her greatest achievement in 2021, however, would have to be when she became the first woman in history to win the sprint double at consecutive Olympic Games.

    Backing up her exploits from Rio in 2016, Thompson-Herah produced times of 10.61 and 21.53 to win gold medals in both the 100m and 200m at the Tokyo Olympics, in addition to being a part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team, alongside Briana Williams, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who finished as runner-up for the Sportswoman of the Year award, and Shericka Jackson, that won the gold medal in a national record 41.02.

    Parchment shocked the world to win gold in the Men’s 110m Hurdles in Tokyo, nine years after his bronze medal performance at the London Olympics.

    He ran 13.04 to win gold in Tokyo ahead of prohibitive favourite Grant Holloway of the USA.

    The past student of Morant Bay High and Kingston College was also third at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

    His teammate Ronald Levy, who was the runner-up for the Sportsman of the Year Award, took home the bronze medal in Tokyo.

    Other major awards given out on the day include the Chairman's Award to veteran journalist Lance Whittaker; the People's Choice "Performance of the Year Award" to Fraser McConnell; the VM Group Y.O.U.T.H Award to sprinter Tina Clayton and the Gleaner Newspaper Iconic Award to Michael Holding.

  • Another International Partnership for the JOA Another International Partnership for the JOA

    The strength of the brand of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and the value of partnering with Jamaica's governing body for Olympic and non-Olympic sports have not escaped stakeholders of the sporting world.

    The latest global sport organization to initiate a partnership with the JOA is the International Jump Rope Union (IJRU) established in 1973 as the sole international governing body for the sport of jump rope and now with a membership of sixty-two countries spanning the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceana.

    At the recent virtual signing ceremony of a partnership agreement between the two leading organizations in sport, JOA President, Christopher Samuda, remarked that the execution "is more than an understanding and a union for it is a conviction on the part of two recognized sporting bodies that through sport and using sport an inspiring script for brotherhood beyond sport will be written."

    With diversity, inclusion, innovation and excellence as its mantra, the IJRU values are in sync with the JOA which has been broadening its sport agenda in both the summer and winter sports. JOA Secretary General and CEO, Ryan Foster, stated that the "partnership between the Jamaica Olympic Association and the International Jump Rope Union is a testimony that the business of sport has expanded beyond what one considers traditional as the status quo for sport is a thing of the past as the JOA embraces this union which is born in the concept of sport for all."

    IJRU President, Shaun Hamilton, hailed the historic signing and Jamaica's inclusion as "a tremendous moment" and in lauding the JOA said "Jamaica is a very influential space and place and we, the IJRU, are so happy that they will lead the way for other island nations to join us in this amazing community and family."

    The sport of jump rope has seen tremendous growth in the last decade as a competitive and recreational sport among the youth of the global village, an achievement which Samuda acknowledged as giving them "yet another option in a sport that combines, skill, dexterity, flexibility, speed and kinetics with concentration, focus, patience and determination; that marries physical attributes with mental attitudes and aptitudes in such a marvelous way so as to create human symmetry and aesthetics."

    As the JOA continues to fulfill its mission to engrain the values of sport in the Jamaican human landscape, Foster stated that "Sport is a way of life that not only transcends once unbreakable borders but impacts not only lives but livelihoods and the JOA is pleased to be a part of a journey which is rooted in the hallway of legacy creation that will form the basis from which many athletes will benefit for years to come."

    Under the partnership agreement, both sporting bodies will collaborate in developing the sport in Jamaica with IJRU hosting technical webinars and physical workshops for officials, coaches and judges as well as providing sport-related equipment and requisites. Further the parties will co-operate in developing a Caribbean strategy for the sport utilizing Jamaica as a springboard and hub for developmental initiatives in the region.

    "The JOA is determined to transform Jamrock to be a mecca for competition and recreational sport, sport education, sport entertainment and sport tourism," Samuda said.

    The hosts of the ceremony were Novelette Harris, Member Relations Manager of the JOA, and Marsha Bonhart, American television, newspaper and radio and award-winning journalist.

  • JOA Building Coaching Capacity JOA Building Coaching Capacity

    A record number of coaches, who were last year registered by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) for a rigorous hi-level coaches' course hosted by the Pan Am Sports Organization (PASO), successfully completed and are on course to achieve international certification.

    Coaches from several sports including handball, badminton, judo, taekwondo, gymnastics, baseball, chess, volleyball, lawn tennis and track and field, completed, over six months, seven modules covering areas such as Coaching Philosophy and Leadership, Advanced Performance Planning, Energy Systems and Physiology, Strength and Conditioning, Sports Psychology, Advanced Injury Prevention, Recovery Strategies and High Performance Analysis.

    "Capacity, capability and competency are the three Cs in the educational trilogy of the JOA's empowerment agenda for our coaches who are really the starters, drivers and finishers of the assets of sport development which are our athletes" President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, commented on the success of the initiative.

    Participants across the spectrum of sport have lauded the initiative as "groundbreaking and a step by the JOA in the right direction."

    Ryan Foster, Secretary General/CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association, was pleased with the level of support from the sporting federations and remarked "the response to JOA's call was deafening as it was instructive and demonstrates that coaches want to be and have become a part of the transformation being led by the JOA."

    The JOA last year inaugurated its historic, "Olympic Scholars," an athlete scholarship grant, under which several persons benefited from financial assistance in academic and career pursuits. "This is money giving currency and value to athletes and this is an investment the dividends of which are capitalizing sport and the human capital" Foster said.

    With a strong bi-lateral partnership with the United States Sports Academy (USSA), a strategic alliance World Eleven Inc and the Argentine Football Association and protocols of co-operation with regional and international stakeholders, "the JOA is instilling a culture of excellence in sport education and bringing the sciences and technology of sport into the equation of success." Samuda remarked.

    The JOA will later this year make a call for another coaches' hi-level course and it is expected that it will be oversubscribed as stakeholders in the sporting sector continue to seize opportunities which the governing body is creating.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.