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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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The Commonwealth Games are being held this year in Birmingham, England and a delegation comprising of fourteen athletes has travelled to the U.K. to participate in cycling, triathlon and athletics. The athletes arrived earlier today for the first multi-discipline games since COVID in which eleven thousand athletes will be participating. Known as the friendly games for the commonwealth countries, it is a very competitive event. News Five spoke via Zoom today with the head of the Belize delegation, Giovanni Alamilla.

Giovanni Alamilla, Head of Delegation, Team Belize

"The Olympic Committee or the Commonwealth Games Association, we would be notified of which sport we would be able to participate in. We will write the national federations in Belize, notify them - for cycling for instance, you have five males and two females. Then we give them a deadline to submit what we call a long list; it could be a hundred people. And then they would have national championships and different events and from there, they would wean it down to their select. And what we did was we asked them to finalise that list two months ahead of these games so these athletes would know I am going to these games. We sent them the routes and everything so they could prepare for this event. So it is not a week ago that they found out that they are coming. The opening ceremony is the twenty-eighth; triathlon competes the twenty-ninth. Hence the reason why we had them come earlier so they get use to the weather, they have technical meetings, course familiarization prior to the event. So we didn't want them to reach two days before and jetlag and all of that. So the athletes that arrived today, their first competition is the fourth which is the individual time trial so we will have three males and two females do the time trial. Athletics start on the fifth and the sixth and the seventh is the road race where we have the five gentlemen and two ladies race and then closing ceremony is the eighth."

Alamilla spoke of the importance of Belizean athletes participating in the Commonwealth Games, which can serve as a qualifier for other international sporting events.

Giovanni Alamilla, Head of Delegation, Team Belize

"We firmly believe that we need to give our athletes access to these events. Yes it would be great for us to make it to the semis in track or make it to the finals or finish a road race with the pack or even finish a triathlon, have a good finishing time because now if you are to look at cycling, most of the best cyclists in the world are Europeans, are from Commonwealth countries. The same thing with triathlon, some of the top ten in the world are from the UK from New Zealand and from Australia and they are all here. The same thing with track and field. Last week, the world championships, the Jamaicans broke so many records, they swept the podium; they will be here. So this is their opportunity to race against the best in the world. And for us this is an opportunity to show the kids in Belize that being involved with sports, this will open up these doors so you have these opportunities and it is for you to take advantage of that."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Video: Belize has arrived to the commonwealth games!

This year flag bearers are Shaun Gill (athletics) and Alicia Thompson (cycling)

The first competition for athletics will begin August 2th, 2022

The Belize Commonwealth Games team; Opening ceremonies. Photos by Tony Rath

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