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General News 2 February 2009 – Havana, Cuba

Preparations continue for the 2009 CAC Championships in Cuba

Havana, CubaCentral American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (CACAC) President Víctor López commended the ongoing preparations towards the 22nd Central American and Caribbean Championships, to be held in this capital, 3 - 5 July 2009.

In a press conference here, López showed his confidence in Cuba's organizing capabilities after meeting the National Federation President, two-time Olympic champion, and IAAF Council Member Alberto Juantorena and Secretary General Esteban Brice.

"The new track is as good as the world's best and I hope to see a 100m final run under 9.90 seconds", the Puerto Rican official added, referring to the new blue Mondo track assembled at the Panamericano stadium in 2008.

Lopez, who also chairs the IAAF Coaches’ Commission, urged the national federations to send their best athletes and the IAAF to make the biannual event a qualifier for the World Championships.

"We have to make sure that the best athletes of our region also compete in our area championship," he stated.

"Cuba is an exception in this regards and Olympic gold medallist Dayron Robles and world champion Yargelis Savigne should be two of the many local stars to highlight the CACAC champs in Havana," Lopez, who heads the CACAC since 1998, commented.

Havana expects the attendance of the 35 member states. A day before the opening, the North Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation (NACAC) Congress will be held on July 2. IAAF President Lamine Diack is also expected to attend.

The CACAC Assembly will be held on July 5. The Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) will broadcast the event.

Cuba already hosted the event in 1969 and 1983. The event was inaugurated in Xalapa, Mexico, in 1967. The 21st edition was held in Cali, Colombia, in July 2008.

The CAC region won 21 medals (eight gold, eight silver and five bronze). Jamaica, Cuba, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Bahamas claimed the medals.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF