Belizean athletes will be representing Belize in the 2021 Olympics scheduled to be held from July twenty-third to August eighth in Tokyo, Japan. Shaun Gill will be representing Belize in the one hundred meters race. Gill was given a Universality Place, since no Belizean athlete qualified directly to the Olympics. Amado Cruz is currently in Spain training to represent Belize for the first time in the Olympic canoe race. He was also given a Universality Place. News Five spoke via zoom with the President of the Belize Olympic Association Hilly Martinez about the athlete’s participation.
Hilly Martinez, President, Belize Olympic Association
“We have two athletes that will be attending the Olympic Games. We have Shaun Gill representing Belize. He will be running the hundred meters. And Amado Cruz who will be representing the canoe association. He will be competing in two events in the canoe races. Those are the two athletes that will be there. Amado left for Spain on Tuesday. He trained there once with his coach. So, he will be in Spain training until he goes to Tokyo for the Olympics games. Shaun is a recipient of an Olympic solidarity scholarship which he has been on, he and three other athletes in Belize. The athletic event will be on the thirty first of July and the First of August. I can’t tell you the specific day that Shaun will be running because they have eliminations before. In the case of canoe, his competition will be from the second to the fifth of August. And both of them will be there for the open ceremony.”
Gill’s best time is ten point five-five seconds in the one-hundred-meter dash. He is currently training in the U.S. ahead of the Olympic Games.
Three Belizean athletes are preparing for the Olympic Opening Ceremony on Friday in Tokyo. News Five has confirmed that at least two of our athletics competitors, Shaun Gill and Samantha Dirks have left for Tokyo already. But, amidst the excitement at the world’s largest sports stage, COVID-19 concerns are mounting. According to international news reports, the Olympic village is on high alert as at least sixty-seven cases of COVID-19 have been detected among those accredited for the games. While reports say that the Tokyo organizing committee has not ruled out canceling the Olympics, the Belize National Olympic Association tells News Five that they have received no word of any planned cancelation, and with only hours left before the opening ceremony, it is already too late to cancel the games. We were also told by the association that our athletes are vaccinated. Additionally, strict testing regimes and regulations have been implemented by the International Olympics Committee, including spectator-free venues and a playbook encouraging delegates to avoid physical contact. The athletic events will be on the thirty-first of July and the first of August. The canoeing events will be from the second to the fifth of August. Amado Cruz is representing Belize for canoeing.
Belizean athletes in the thirty-second Olympiad held in Tokyo have made respectable showings, but unfortunately fell short in the medal department.
Samantha Dirks placed sixth in a field of eight in the 400-meter sprint while Amado Cruz clocked four minutes fifteen seconds in his heat in the canoe sprint. She said she was hoping for a better performance despite setbacks. He was optimistic in his prospects for the future.