President of the National Athletics Association of T&T Ephraim Serrette has praised the performances of the national squad after it returned with ten medals from the NACAC Senior Championships in Costa Rica.
The team won two gold medals, three silver and five bronze and is looking in solid form ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing from August 22-30.
Serrette said it was a convincing follow-up to last month’s Pan American Games, where T&T won six track and field medals.
“I think it was exceptional to get ten medals and finish third on the table. That was great,” he said.
“Sparkle McKnight ran a personal best in the 400 metre Hurdles. Semoy Hackett broke the national 200m record. They are peaking at the right time.”
He added that based on the team’s current form, he was expecting a strong showing in Beijing.
He said: “The World Championships is a different level than the Pan American Games and NACAC but if they are at their best then they should be competitive… I think that the female sprint relay team is poised to be on the podium with Semoy Hacket and Kelly Ann Baptiste back on the team.”
The squad will next embark on a training camp in Beijing from August 12-21 sponsored by the National Gas Company.
Serrette said it would give the athletes adequate time to prepare and get settled. “Acclimatising to the time zone and shaking off the jet lag is very critical,” he said. “It takes three to four days before they can have a good workout.”
Meanwhile, team manager Durley Lucas was also pleased with the athletes’ showing in Costa Rica.
He said: “I’m satisfied with performance. Not only did we win ten medals, but a lot of the athletes got to the finals and there were lot of fourth place and fifth place finishes. In an overall sense, it was an above average performance.”