Oba, Welch on board

This country’s only Olympic medallist, Obadele Thompson, last night found esteemed favour when he, along with Trevor Welch, were elected by the island’s sporting bodies to serve on the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) board of directors.

Thompson, 47, a former world-class sprinter and lawyer, and Welch, 65, beat out five other candidates in a fiercely contested election at Hilton Barbados.

Welch proved his worth as a clear winner with 19 votes, but only a tie-break could separate Thompson and former national player, Dominic Hill, who received 13 votes in the first round.

After a second journey to the ballot, associations made Oba their man with a 20-16 triumph over Hill who was gracious in defeat.

Surprisingly, neither of the incumbents Ytannia Wiggins and Craig Archer were able to retain their seats, narrowly missing out with 12 and 11 votes, respectively.

Barbados Chess Federation president Allan Herbert received three votes, while Nicholas Branker of the Barbados Volleyball Association could only muster a solitary X.

After the verification of ballots, Thompson spoke to the Weekend Nation.

“I’m excited that I now have the opportunity to serve on the BOA executive. Hopefully, while I’m a member we’ll be able to do some innovative things to help our athletes perform much better regionally and internationally,” said the Texas-based sports administrator who will continue to live in the United States.

“I’ll still be living overseas. I know that’s one of the questions that came up, but I think the pandemic has proved that people can conduct business from abroad so we will be using Zoom and Whatsapp. When necessary, of course I’ll touch down here in Barbados; it’s home for me still.”

The 2000 Sydney Olympics 100-metre bronze medallist quelled any concerns about a possible bias to athletics, given his track and field background.

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