George is Guyana's top medal hope

6 May 2017

Guyana are looking first and foremost to athletics for medals at the Islamic Solidarity Games which take place in Baku from May 12-22.

The South American country is sending a delegation comprising 17 athletes and six coaches to Azerbaijan, and will compete in six different sports - athletics, swimming, boxing, table-tennis, taekwondo and judo, team chief Ramjeet Ramphal told.

He said that Guyana had "high hopes" of medalling in all six sporting events but that star 400-metre runner Winston George was their main contender.

George won Guyana's two silver medals at the last Solidarity Games, held in Indonesia four years ago, and he has since then competed at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and the 2016 Rio Olympics where he carried his country's flag at the opening ceremony.

"We have extremely strong feelings that Winston George would get gold in his events," he said. "He was quite impressive in the third Islamic Games in Indonesia gaining two silver medals.

"Next is (long-jumper) Emanuel Archibald, who recently made some impressive results."

Guyana have competed as the only country from South America at the two previous editions of the Solidarity Games in Saudi Arabia (2005) and Indonesia, but they will have company this time in the shape of Suriname.

"We have attended all the other Games as the only country in the predominantly Spanish-speaking South American continent and we are proud of it," said Ramphal.

"Now we are being joined by our neighbour Suriname and I am very happy that they are here with us. Two countries with very similar cultures representing South America."

Ramphal had praise for the Baku games organisers saying there had been "a tremendous and incredibly high amount of professional services that was delivered to us."

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