Athletes confirmed to represent Dominica at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Left: Thea Lafond (competing in Triple Jump event) and Dennick Luke (competing in 800m event)

The Dominica Olympic Committee can confirm that the Commonwealth of Dominica will be represented at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by two athletes: one male and one female. The Games which were initially expected to be held in July-August 2020 were postponed by one year due to the many issues and challenges arising from the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that continues to affect countries globally to this day. Notwithstanding the adversities, Dominican athletes both locally and abroad were able to recommence training throughout 2020 to 2021.

Dominica will compete in the sport of Athletics, with 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Ms. Thea Lafond who hails from the community of Mahaut and is based in the USA securing qualification in the discipline of Triple Jump with a personal best of 14.33 meters in February 2020. Even though already qualified and despite the uncertainties surrounding the Games, Ms. Lafond continued to persevere and achieved another personal best this year with a distance of 14.54m. Ms. Lafond is currently ranked number 12 in the world among her fellow Triple Jump competitors and will be the first female Dominican athlete to compete in two consecutive Olympic Games. Ms. Lafond will be joined by Mr. Dennick Luke who hails from Portsmouth and is currently completing his tertiary education in Jamaica. Mr. Luke secured a universality placement in the discipline of 800m. Despite not achieving the qualification mark, the International Olympic Committee Games regulations, which support the development of participation of all National Olympic Committees, allows for the placement of at least one Athletics athlete in each gender if none are able to achieve the qualification mark which is referred to as the Universality Placement.

After a lengthy process conducted by the Dominica Olympic Committee and the Dominica Amateur Athletics Association, guided by the rules of the World Athletics organisation, Mr. Luke was determined the most suitably qualified candidate for the Universality placement given his ranking in the 800m by the World Athletics body, his vastly improved performance over the past 12 months which saw him not only achieve a personal best but also consistently maintain this mark, along with other factors. Mr. Luke will be the country’s first 800m runner competing at the Olympic Games since 1996.

The Dominica team will be led by Chef de Mission and Covid Liaison Officer Mr. Woody Lawrence, accompanied by: Coach Aaron Gadson; Press Attaché, Garvin Richards; and Physiotherapist, Kala Flagg. Mr. Billy Doctrove, President of the Dominica Olympic Committee and Mr. Brendan Williams, the current Athlete Representative and Acting Secretary general at the Olympic Games, will complete the team.

The Dominica Olympic Committee would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the two aforementioned athletes and extend our full support to them in Tokyo 2020. Despite the restrictions that may be in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic that may prohibit the loud, verbal support we would like to give at the Athletics arena, we would like to assure Thea and Dennick that not only the Dominica Olympic Committee but the entire country, will be supporting you as you step onto the biggest Athletics stage. The Dominica Olympic Committee would also like to thank Panam Sports for making it possible for the athletes and coach to attend a Pre-games training camp to assist in acclimatization and further bolster their final preparations.

The Olympic Games will commence with an Opening Ceremony on July 23 and officially end on August 8th 2021. Both athletes are expected to compete in the first round of their events on July 31st  and more details will be provided in due course as to how the general public can view their performances.

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17 Comments

  1. If we knew better
    July 15, 2021

    Best of luck to our 2 representatives but we have to do better than that. However, what do Billy and them get paid for doing? So many sports in the Olympics these days (33 sports), but our athletes get no play or heads up to determine interest. How about sending out a call for athletes for various sports. Have qualifiers, encourage the full development of sports clubs, use your government connections to source real equipment, seek to develop facilities. What is their real purpose? travel? attend every conference? shake hands and rub shoulders? dictate and conversate? To the Sports people, Sports teams, Sports clubs what is your say on how our Olympic Committee has approached the sector and your representation?

  2. Me
    July 14, 2021

    Memories of Luan Gabriel.

    • %
      July 15, 2021

      @Me
      Where is the once very talked about Luan or even Shanie Angol?
      They have just disappeared below the radar.

  3. Truth Be Told
    July 14, 2021

    Is this a joke? Some people are that desperate to attend Tokyo while top ranking athletes are planning to boycott? This seems like the Dominica Olympic Committee just eager to attend the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but be careful what you wish for, you might get what you are looking for! Don’t cry later that you cannot get a flight back or you stuck due to Covid-19! You people do not seem to know when to stop! There have been demonstrations in Japan against this Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and calls to cancel it but instead of showing support with the people of Japan and supporting the cancelation you all preparing to fly across the world in Covid-19 pandemic?

    • TeteMorne I from
      July 15, 2021

      I agree. Why can’t they SIT THIS ONE OUT? What is the rush to go to Tokyo? This is not a good/safe time. That said, best of luck to you two.

  4. Roseau River
    July 13, 2021

    Best of luck in Tokyo!

  5. Toto
    July 13, 2021

    Six bodies to accompany two of our athletes to the Tokyo Olympics? And one of them does not qualify on performance but can be there because he is a man. Boys and girls have fun but we do not impress Internationally, do we. Still is not as bad when we had two foreigners representing Dominica in the ski team. God knows where they practiced perhaps Morne Diablotin where it have plenty of snow.

    • Bold
      July 14, 2021

      Typically Dominica. Where there is something to be had for nothing…!

    • Tetemorne I From
      July 15, 2021

      God knows where they practiced perhaps Morne Diablotin where it have plenty of snow.
      :mrgreen: :lol: :-D :lol: I crack up in dem people office. They must fire me today. That was funnee.

  6. July 13, 2021

    Good luck to you guys all the best stay safe.

    • Pipo
      July 14, 2021

      We have no proper training facilities for athletics in Dominica, and my heart goes out to our young people. However we have a six man Olympic delegation to go to Tokyo with two athletes, who study and train abroad but have little chance of appearing among the winners. Forgive me for saying that while the world will see our flag at the opening ceremony many will also think it is a junket with a government sanctioned press attaché to espouse the marvels of our regime’s dreamland.

  7. Garcon
    July 13, 2021

    Where are you all going with this young lady again. I guess its just a free trip to Tokyo.

    • %
      July 13, 2021

      @Garcon
      What do you mean?.What is wrong with the young lady?. My little research shows that she is 27 yrs. I see absolutely no problem with Thea at all.
      Shelly-Ann Fraser -Pryce is 34years Jamaican
      Elaine Thompson Herah is 29 years Jamaican
      Natasha Morrison is is 28 years Jamaican
      Sherica Jackson is 26 years. Jamaican
      So Thea can still compete in another Olympic.
      Nothing wrong with her.
      Go for it Thea!!!

      • Garçon
        July 15, 2021

        I do not comment on this platform to say what people want to hear. This is our problem in Dominica, we would condemn something based on who does it. What we need to do is pressure the government to develop facilities where our young athletes who are bursting with potential can go sharpen their skills instead of importing these loosely connected people from their homes abroad; people who we have expended scarce funds on time and again with no or minimal results.

        • %
          July 15, 2021

          @Garcon
          You are partly right and partly wrong through no fault of yours. I am in for pressuring the government more than you are sir/madam..but you are rude and out of place to make your insultive statement re the young lady..And for your knowledge, because i suspect you are ignorant about most sporting disciplines. Even if we have facilities here, it is always important for those athletes in any sporting discipline to have stints abroad…Jamaica, the worlds boss in track and field has athletes abroad..In fact Briana Williams age 19yrs old, who should be on the wemens 4×100 metres together with Shellyan Fraser, Elaine Thompson and Sherika Jackson, has her home in Florida and lives there. Kevona Davis is given a sports scholarship to the US, etc,etc..So yes i have no problem with overseas Dominicans, My problem is the facilities we need here to develop ours…

          • Garçon
            July 15, 2021

            I am done because you don’t seem to understand the level of my English. You don’t know me so don’t try to tell me who I am. I was in sport administration prior to leaving Dominica. I know exactly what I am talking about. As I said I am not seeking your endorsement of my thoughts.

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  8. %
    July 13, 2021

    I wish the two athletes well….It’s just sad that since 2004 a war against sports in Dominica began and it is still going on…Just review the people who have been our sports ministers..Those clueless ministers planted buildings on many of our playing fields, hence rendering them smaller rather then improving them..In 2021 liar in chief, Skerrit, boast of monies that the country is awashed with, but he cannot see the need of a synthetic track…I guess egregious liars like him are blind people too!!!. Every other Caricom country has left us behind in sports. I look at track and field in Jamaica daily. Those track are in almost every parish, producing more Shellyan Fraser, Elaine Thompson, Sherica Jackson, Briana Williams, Ashanti Moore, Kevona Davis, Veronica Campbell etc, ….If the liar decides to build one, he has to ask his unsuspecting people to come in red.
    The Olympic Association has been in hibernation for too long.. This is also incompetence, and you all also need to GO.!

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