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Jul 28, 2004

2 athletes, 3 officials will go to Athens

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The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association today announced the delegation that will represent the jewel at the summer Olympics in Athens. Our hopes of winning will ride on the shoulders of a grand total of two athletes. Emma Wade will compete in the two hundred metres, while Michael Aguilar will run in the four hundred metre hurdles. While Belizeans are used to seeing a larger contingent in the march of countries, Chief of Mission Owen Sonny Meighan says the road to the Olympics just isn?t as smooth as it used to be.

Owen Sonny Meighan, President, Bze. Olympic & C?wealth Games Assoc.

?The athletes have to qualify. They have to make qualifying time. Our female athlete Emma Wade, she has a very good time. As a matter of fact, she has done the qualifying time for the b division. There is also an ?A? division. If she had done an ?A? division or another athlete had done ?A? they could have both participated. But she has done well; she has ran a time that has qualified her in the b division.?

Patrick Jones

?These two athletes, grated they are Belizean, but they reside beyond our borders. Couldn?t we have found local athletes to represent us in Athens??

Owen Sonny Meighan

?Well that very good question. As you know the Olympic Committee does not chose the athletes. The amateur athletic association does this, but their thing is that we must send our best representative. And at this time, the two athletes that live abroad have done their best time in the two hundred metres, which is Emma?s specialty and in the four hundred metres hurdle, Michael Aguilar has done the best time.?

Meighan says a major factor that local athletes face is the lack of proper training facilities, but he is optimistic that the much-anticipated synthetic track and equipment will soon be installed at the Marion Jones Stadium, to give Belize a fighting chance on the world stage. Those improvements, viewers may recall, have been promised as being imminent since the last Olympics in 2000. Other members of the Belize delegation are Head Coach Fred Evans, and Athletics team leader Josephine Flowers. Two other people, Aphane Avila and Densmore Edwards, will also travel to Athens on August ninth to take part in an Olympic youth camp, which runs from August thirteenth to the twenty-ninth.

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