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Jun 1, 2021

Track & Field Athletes Selected for National Team

Over the weekend, the Belize Athletics Association held its national games in track and field to determine which top athletes will compete in two upcoming regional tournaments. The selection process lasted two days and as News Five’s Duane Moody found out, these Belizean athletes have been keeping in top shape despite COVID-19 restrictions.


Duane Moody, Reporting

It was an exciting day as over a hundred track and field athletes converged at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex to compete for a spot on the national team that will be sent to represent the country in two upcoming regional tournaments.


Deon Sutherland

Deon Sutherland, President, Belize Athletics Association

“Every country must have a national championship and from this national championship, this is where you drive your representatives for national and regional competition. From here, the results of these events will be analyse and we will then select our best athletes to represent us first at the…we have a group going to the Mexico National Championships, from the ninth to the eleventh of June and then later on in June from the twenty-sixth to the twenty-ninth, we have the Central American Championships where the seven countries of Central America will compete for the best.”


The two-day meet was intense. Athletes from across the country showed up to claim their spot. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in their preparation over the past year, the athletes stayed ready – physically and mentally – in anticipation of the nationals.


Deon Sutherland

“We usually get two coaches through the Olympic Committee from Cuba and this year, we were not able to have them and those are coaches that work with our senior athletes in terms of the throws and the track events. So our athletes have relied basically on two coaches out here every day.”


Veteran track and field athlete, Trecia Flores, at forty-two, was definitely in top shape as she competed in long jump.


Trecia Flores

Trecia Flores, Track & Field Athlete

“I enjoy competition; I enjoy working out. So I dedicate my time to training and all of that. I just enjoy everything.  I do track and field at the masters level now because I have been doing this since I was fourteen years old. So now I am a master athlete. But while I am training for the master competition, based on how my training goes, I would still go to the senior competitions and help out.”


Like Flores, Ian “Lion” Gordon is one of the older athletes, still active in the sport. Gordon has also kept himself ready, having just recently completely a marathon across the country back in April of this year. The long distance runner is competing in the fifteen hundred meter event, which he describes as a walk in the park.


Ian “Lion” Gordon

Ian “Lion” Gordon, Track & Field Athlete

“Today I was on top of the A game, but like I say – you know by now that I dah long distance guy. This dah like I say – a walk ina di park because that was only four minutes and fifty-five seconds, nothing major. For me to prepare, I normally do my preparation in my mind because that plays a strong role. For example doing that hundred and one mile last December, at one point I was even doubting myself. But then I got a phone call and they said hey your doubters are doubting you and that’s when I questioned myself and I said, “Lion, you did six months of training and all the other years of running and now you gonna doubt yourself? No!” And that’s when I turn into a beast and I start whipping up that hill.”


Being focused and disciplined is what has these Belizean athletes constantly medalling in regional championships. Nineteen-year-old Kerwin Palacio represented Belize back in 2018, as a junior, and got third overall for the region. Fast track to 2021, he is competing in the high jump and long jump, senior division and plans to bring back the gold.


Kerwin Palacio

Kerwin Palacio, High Jump Athlete

“I plan to go out and do my best in representing the country of course and do my best individually. For me, because I live in Belmopan, I do my routine. I try to keep myself in shape cause I play other sports as well.”


Duane Moody

“What are your anticipations going to the international games?”


Kerwin Palacio

“Well like I said, I just plan to go out and do my best.”


Duane Moody

“Bring back gold?”


Kerwin Palacio



Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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