The National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Antigua & Barbuda has formally announced the team that will represent the country at the Summer Olympic Games in London, England which runs from July 27 to August 12.
Chef de Mission Neville Fenton will head the delegation. Fenton comes with a wealth of experience. He presently heads the Antigua & Barbuda Rifle Association and also holds the position of NOC treasurer.
He is amongst the few persons on island over the past eight years that developed the experience to serve in such capacity.
He first served as Chef de Mission at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, and 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
He will be assisted by NOC executive member and president of Antigua & Barbuda Tennis Association, Cordell Williams, who will serve in the capacity of administrative assistant.
The management of the Olympics team is complemented with the expertise of a team doctor, president of the Sports Medicine Association, president of National Anti-Doping Agency and board member of the Regional Anti-Doping Agency, Dr Philmore Benjamin.
Five athletes will represent the country in two disciplines - athletics and swimming. Antigua & Barbuda’s best opportunity at the Games may come from Daniel “Bakka” Bailey. He will represent his nation in the Games’ flagship event, the 100 metres.
Although no official decision has been made, Bailey could most likely be Antigua & Barbuda’s flag bearer during the opening ceremony.
Brendon Christian will represent at his third Games as he qualified for the 200 metres. The former Pan American champion was also considered to be the flag bearer, but the consideration was thrown out after the US-based athlete stuck to his philosophy of attending the Games only a few days before his event.
The country’s 200m specialist is confident that he will have a great performance at the Games.
US-based Afia Charles will compete at her first Olympics in the 400 metres track event. The daughter of Antigua & Barbuda’s former track & field star, Repurta Charles, represented our nation at the Carifta level where she won bronze for our nation.
Charles was awarded the opportunity through the IOC Universality Places, utilizing the unqualified female spot in athletics. The young University of Central Florida athlete is expected to travel with the team and participate in the opening ceremony.
Calvin Greenaway is the manager of the athletics team. He is expected to manage the athletes, register the athletes in their events, execute their final training programme, and attend the London Olympics IAAF technical meetings.
Karin Clashing is one of two athletes who will compete in swimming. She represented the nation in 2011 at the 14th World Championships in Shanghai, China. This made her eligible and awarded her a Universality Place at the London Olympics.
Clashing will compete in the 50 metres freestyle event. On July 17, FINA informed the NOC of the approval of the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship holder, Orel Jeffery, to compete at the Games.
Jeffery received a Universality Place in the Additional Places category and will compete in the 50 metres freestyle.
He also competed at the 14th World Championships in Shanghai and was submitted along with Clashing for approval to compete at the London Games. Due to the numbers allocated to FINA in the Olympic village, FINA only granted one spot. However, after FINA completed issuing spots to their member nations, additional spots became available.
Edith Clashing will serve as team manager of the swimmers. The Antigua & Barbuda contingent will also comprise NOC President Senator EP “Chet” Greene and Secretary General Cliff Williams, both of whom accepted the usual special invitation to attend the Games as part of the Olympic Family. The
Olympic Family comprises mostly presidents and secretaries general.
Senator Winston Williams will also be in attendance. The IOC recognizes the minister of sports as well as the head of government as the two government representatives to attend the Games.
Joel Rayne, who is also an executive member of the NOC, will also be in London representing local media. The team is expected to leave Antigua on Tuesday, July 24.