BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Aug. 25, 2016–The Rio Olympics have come and gone; no satisfactory explanation has been forthcoming from the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) or the National Olympic Committee (NOC) for the exclusion of Belize’s most outstanding active athlete, Kaina Martinez, from our Olympic team roster; but this Saturday’s BAA Annual General Assembly will not be contesting the post of President, held by Deon Sutherland, the man who led the 3-athlete Belize contingent, including Brandon Jones, Renick James and Katy Sealy, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The “Wild Card” choice of Sealy over Martinez has been widely condemned by Belizean sports fans as grossly unfair and inconsistent with the Olympic spirit. A heptathlon athlete, the Wild Card rule required that Sealy compete in a single track event, and, predictably, she was blatantly overmatched in the 110m female hurdles; whereas the reigning Central American 100m female champion and record holder, Kaina Martinez would have been expected to at least be competitive in her 100m heat, perhaps even moving on to the second round.
In its press release earlier this month, the BAA announced that its Annual General Assembly would be held “at Edward P. Yorke Campus, Princess Margaret Drive, on August 27, at 10:00 a.m.”
That is this Saturday; but importantly, the release noted that there are only “three vacancies open, for the election.” Those are “1st Vice President; 2nd Vice President; and a Committee Member.” So, despite everything, it appears that Sutherland will continue for some time as President of the BAA.