The North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Area Association is “very happy” with the performance of their athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
NACAC led by powerhouse team, USA, won 55 medals – 21 gold, 16 silver and 18 bronze.
USA topped the table with 32 medals – 13 gold, 10 silver and nine bronze.
Victor Lopez, NACAC’s president, said “the NACAC Area performance surpassed our expectations.”
“Honestly, we thought that Europe would have been closer to us in the medal race but, USA alone got more medals than Europe,” he noted while taking Russia’s absence into consideration.
“Even with Russia, NACAC would have come on top. Our athletes performed to their best and they shined in Rio and put on a show. Therefore, we are very happy and looking forward for a very exciting future,” the President said.
Jamaica was the next best-placed NACAC team with 11 medals – six gold, three silver and two bronze. They were followed by Canada (1G, 1S, 4B), Bahamas (1G, 1B), Grenada (1S), Mexico (1S), Cuba (1B), Trinidad and Tobago (1B).
“The performance of the NACAC Area in Rio showed that our development program from Canada all the way to TTO is the best in world and the future is bright, since a great number of our athletes that participated in Rio were under 25 and many under 23 years old,” added the Puerto Rican.
Lopez said part of the success was due to the increase in the number of Area Permit meetings in 2016.
“Our NACAC Area Permit Meetings Circuit has increased 100% from last year and we hope to have our top athletes competing in our International Circuit in 2017 and beyond and to sign a marketing and television deal, hopefully no later than November.
Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson were the star performers for the area. Both won sprint double titles.
Bolt was winning his third straight sprint double title.
“We would like on behalf of the NACAC Council and the NACAC Athletics Family to congratulate all our Athletes, Coaches, Leaders and Officials that, year in year out, work very hard to make sure that the sport of Athletics (Track and Field) in the NACAC Area is the best in the world. Finally, my respect and admiration to the Area Media for their support and for keeping everybody informed. Thanks to all,” Lopez closed in an email interview with Trackalerts.com.