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JIS News

Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, arrived in Beijing, China, this morning, to head up Jamaica’s delegation to the 29th Olympic Games being staged there.
She was met on arrival by Jamaica’s Ambassador to China, His Excellency, Wayne McCook.
The Minister held discussions with President of the Jamaica Olympic Association Mike Fennell, President of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, Deputy Director of Tourism, Zachary Harding and President of the World Travel Awards, Graham Cooke.
She was updated on the progress of the athletes’ preparations and was advised that things were going well at the Olympic Village.
This evening she watched Alia Atkinson compete in the Women’s 200 Metres Breastroke. Atkinson failed to advance from the heats but the minister was full of praise for the two-time Olympian and seven-time CAC gold medalist who finished second in her heat.
“Alia put on a brave display tonight and we are extremely proud of her. It would have been nice if she had achieved her target of reaching the semi-finals but just getting here is a big achievement and I was happy to watch her compete.”
Tomorrow, Minister Grange will visit the Olympic Village to meet the athletes and team officials ahead of Friday’s start of the track and field competition. She will be joined by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who arrives in Beijing tomorrow morning.
Friday’s first day of athletics will see the world’s two fastest men in action. Usain Bolt goes in heat 1 of the 100 metres while Asafa Powell runs in heat 2 and Michael Frater in heat 4.
Dorian Scott will compete in Group B of the men’s shot put with the finals taking place later that day. Also in action on Friday will be 800 metres runner Kenia Sinclair, who will carry the nation’s hopes in heat 3.
Jamaica is expecting an historic medal haul at these games and Minister Grange says she will be supporting the team throughout.
“Outside of the athletics we have some other events taking place here in Beijing, which we are using to promote Brand Jamaica. We will be making a big statement in China and not only on the track.