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Oct 30, 2002

Teams set for C.A. and Caribbean Games

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Late breaking news tonight out of the Belize Olympic Association is that Cuba will not be participating at this year’s Central American and Caribbean Games. According to officials, the Cubans have told their counterparts in the host city of San Salvador, that their intelligence agency has learned of a plot to assassinate the President of the Cuban Olympic Association, Jose Ramon Fernandez, and kidnap several of their athletes. Based on that information, and despite possible sanctions, Cuba has decided to boycott the games. In Belize, the news was greeted with disappointment, but the Cuban absence will give other countries the chance to step into the winner’s circle.

Sonny Meighan, Belize Olympic Assn.

“With Cuba not being there, well, I guess that gives us more of a chance for a medal, because Cuba is very good in basketball also. Normally, they rule this particular game. This game in the Pan American Games, the Cubans usually fight with the Americans for gold and silver.”

“Our greatest hope will be with our basketball team. We’re the defending champions for the Central American Games and it’s almost the same team, maybe a little stronger, so I believe we have a good chance. Yes, we’ll be playing against some bigger countries this time, but the boys have been playing together a lot longer now and they’re more used to each other, so they are our best bet. Our cyclists are also promising and hopefully do a good job. Our shooters have been improving ever since they’ve been to the Central American Games, they’ve gone to Manchester for the Commonwealth Games, and they improved there and since then they’ve improved some more. So we expect good things from our shooters also. Our racquetball guy, Anderson, has won two silver medals for us, so we hope he can do well again.”

The Olympic Association reminds all sports fans and especially the employers of the athletes to support these men and women in their efforts. The competition starts on November twenty-third and runs through December seventh. The Belizean basketball players are Gregory Bent, Alex Carcamo, Dwight Mvyett, Darwin Carter, Bryan Grant, Keith Acosta, Claude “Too Tall” Jones, Darren Bovell, Kirk “Shabba” Smith, Roger Favela, Ian “A.C.” Augustine and Edward “Bart” Sanchez.

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