Speech

I am truly elated and extremely proud of our young athletes following their outstanding performance at the just concluded 12th IAAAF World Junior Championships in Poland.
It is truly astounding that a tiny island like Jamaica can remain at the forefront in athletics at all levels.
A very special word of congratulation to young Dexter Lee, the world’s fastest Junior male athlete. Dexter can proudly take his place in the “Jamaica Sprint Factory”, which boasts the fastest men and woman in the world in the persons of Usain, Asafa and Veronica.
Congratulations are in order for the entire team, coaching and management staff for taking one gold, four silver and a bronze medal to equal the six-medal haul of the 1998 team in France.
Sharmaine Williams, second in the 100 Metres Hurdles; Nickel Asmeade, second in the Boys 200 Metres; the Boys and Girls Sprint Relay Teams and Keiron Stewart, third in the 110 Metres Hurdles, all did us proud. In fact their performance put Jamaica in ninth place overall.
I know were it not for the injuries suffered by some of our athletes our placing might have been higher. My sympathy to Misha-Gaye, Ramone and Andre who were on the injured list.
As Minister with responsibility for Sports, I encourage all of our athletes to continue to set the highest standards. Let sportsmanship, discipline and determination be your constant guide. If we do this, there is no doubt in my mind that we will have even greater achievements in international sports.
I wish to re-assure our athletes that this Minister and her Ministry are fully behind them.