THE Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG), in a press release issued yesterday, stated that the entity is not bankrupt but simply experiencing “cash flow issues”, when responding to allegations that the body did not fund a team to the South American Senior Championships because the AAG was bankrupt.The missive also explained that the “AAG did not have to attend” the South American Senior Championships, which was one of several factors being deliberated in deciding on whether to fund a team or not.“Decisions made by the AAG may not find favour with everyone, and that is a fact we are prepared to accept,” the release read.Guyana was represented last weekend at the South American Senior Championship by Winston George, Jenea McCammon and Owen Wilson, after the athletes were able to fund their own air fare to the meet. George went on to win gold in the men’s 400m in a time of 45.42 seconds.Following the discovery that the athletes were paying for themselves, AAG president Aubrey Hutson had told Chronicle Sport that “we don’t have money”.The release said the athletes made a “bold step to represent Guyana”.The press release, issued by the AAG General Secretary, Mayfield Taylor-Trim, was in response to recent claims in sections of the media that the Association was bankrupt after hosting South American Junior Championships earlier this month.“The Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) has found it prudent to respond to the widespread falsehood. There is a big difference between “cash flow issues” and “bankruptcy”. We have made and will continue to make wise and prudent financial decisions in the dispensation of our mandate to our athletes,” Trim said.According to Trim, notwithstanding the Association’s attendance at the meet being expendable, the Association still intended to have representatives present at the meet in a “show of solidarity with CONSUDATLE” since of the 13 CONSUDATLE member federations, 11 attended the South American U-20 Championship in Guyana.“We therefore decided that we should attend to maintain our fraternity and friendship in South America,” she said.“Considering the facts stated, the AAG offered the athletes, who were willing to find their own airfare, the opportunity to compete in Paraguay. Winston George, Jenea McCammon and Owen Adonis took up the offer.”Further he noted that there still remained several upcoming events which were mandatory for the AAG to attend, including next month’s World Youth Championship in Nairobi, Kenya; Pan American Juniors in Lima, Peru, and the World Championship in London August 4-13.“The AAG must maintain funds in the coffers to participate in international competitions.”Notwithstanding, the ensuing financial situation, there remains“The AAG was happy for the opportunity to host the South American U-20 Championship, an event that will be remembered with joy. The IAAF, CONSUDATLE and the Guyana athletics family congratulated us on a job well done.“We would like to take this opportunity to thank President Granger and the Government of Guyana, the National Sports Commission, the Guyana Olympic Association, all of our sponsors, our fans and most of all our athletes for the pride and joy they brought us.”
The dreams of hosts South Africa and the tiny Cape Verde Islands came to a shattering halt on Saturday when they were knocked out of the African Nations Cup by Mali and Ghana respectively in the quarter-finals.Mali, seeking their first Nations Cup title, kept their hopes alive by beating South Africa 3-1 on penalties, after the match finished 1-1 at the end of extra time, while Ghana, aiming for a long-awaited fifth crown, beat Cape Verde 2-0.South Africa tried to repeat their 1996 success when they were crowned champions on home soil but were eliminated after losing in a shootout in Durban. While Cape Verde, described by their coach Luico Antunes as “the best team in the competition”, lost to two Mubarak Wakaso goals in Port Elizabeth.Ghana will meet the winner of Sunday’s clash between Togo and Burkina Faso in next Wednesday’s semi-final in Nelspruit while Mali will play either tournament favourites Ivory Coast or Nigeria in the last four in Durban on the same night.