Antigua relay team can make podium in Rio, says confident coach

St. John’s (Antigua), Sep 4 (IANS) Despite a disappointing sixth place finish at the recent athletics World Championships, Antigua and Barbuda’s coach Teddy Daley believes the men’s sprint relay team can still rebound with a medal at next year’s Rio Olympics.

He said the team was young and he expected them to improve significantly over the next year to become a force to be reckoned with, reports CMC.

“I strongly believe that we can medal at the Olympics,” he said on Thursday.

“Our guys, they are 19, 20, 21, so physical maturity has not yet been realised. It means, therefore, next year they are going to be stronger.”

Antigua clocked 38.61 seconds in finishing sixth behind eventual winners Jamaica who posted a world-leading 37.36 to win the 4×100 metre relay race easily.

Significantly, Antigua set a new national record in the semi-final rounds, clocking 38.01 seconds to lower the 38.14 set at the Pan American Games in Toronto last July.

The World Championships team comprised Miguel Francis, Jared Jarvis, Cejhae Greene and Daniel “Bakka” Bailey, who is the veteran on the squad at 28.

Daley said Bailey, however, had been struggling with injury but once this was corrected by surgery shortly, he would improve the team.

“He is going to have surgery to fix the problem once and for all. He recognises that if he’s going to be at his best, he has to deal with that problem,” Daley said.

“He’s gonna deal with it shortly, so I’m sure we’re going to see a much improved Bakka by next year.”

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