World Championship silver medallist Fedrick Dacres is all for the cancellation of the ISSA Boys’ and Girls’ Athletic Championships in favour of social distancing and helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has already claimed one life in Jamaica.

Despite the paramount importance of keeping healthy, Dacres understands the sacrifice athletes make to attend the high school showpiece event and is especially saddened for those who are in their final year of eligibility.

“I definitely feel it for them because they will never experience this again but I guess it’s in precaution for the whole corona situation but I know, if it was me, I’d be really hurt and they won’t have the experience so they can talk about it and everything but I guess, you know, it’s for the best,” said Dacres.

The athlete was speaking last week at the UWI Invitational after the event was controversially cancelled when the country announced its first Coronavirus confirmation.

That controversy has died a natural death however, as Jamaica has since seen that number balloon to 13 with one death, a 78-year-old man who travelled from New York.

Dacres, interestingly, was a lot less worried about the status of the Olympic Games, saying there isn’t much he could do but continue to prepare for the Games as best as possible.

“I’m a soldier. It’s not really for me to think about my programme and anything like that. It’s more for my coach. Once he has everything down, we’re good to go. Whenever it comes, it comes. We’ll just prepare properly,” he said.

To date, despite the increasing spread of the Coronavirus with more than 200,000 having been afflicted and almost 9,000 deaths, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has continued to play a wait-and-see game regarding making a decision about the Games.

“"The IOC remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive,” read a statement from the IOC.

That statement went on to implore athletes to continue preparations for the Games in earnest.

Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has a Coronavirus problem on his hands as well, but insists preparations for the games will not miss a beat and the hope is that the efficiency the country uses to, not only get the virus under control, but to get the venues ready, would convince the IOC that the show must go on.

"We will do our utmost to prepare as scheduled so that the International Olympic Committee will be convinced we are capable of hosting the games," said Abe.

Japan now has 899 cases of COVID-19 with 29 deaths.

A number of World Champions from the 2019 World Championships in Doha are reportedly being lined up for the Jamaica International Invitational set for May 2, 2020.

Fedrick Dacres, the 2019 World Championships discus silver medallist and Olympic swimmer Julian Fletcher, are the two Caribbean athletes among 30 vying for four spots on the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes Commission.

Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres just missed the automatic qualification mark for the final of the discus at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics on Saturday in Doha, Qatar but looked every bit like a medal contender. 

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