National Address by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas on the occasion of Kirani's gold medal performance at the IAAF Championships 2011 in Daegu, South Korea

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:50 PM - St. George's, Grenada
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Fellow Grenadians and specifically my brothers and sisters from Gun Battle and the parish of St Johns, I greet you on this joyous occasion and defining moment in our country’s sporting history.

It is with deep national pride that I observe that today’s victory by Kirani James makes him the youngest athlete to win the men's 400 metre race in the history of the IAAF World Championships.

We were all expectant and optimistic about our medal chances at this IAAF championship.  This expectancy was buoyed by the outstanding performance of our national athletes specifically Kirani, Rondell and Janelle at the world level. In the case of Kirani and Rondell, they entered this championship with the top best times in the world this year over the 400 meters.

They did not disappoint us. They have so far performed admirably. They demonstrated tremendous heart, motivation and character. To have two finalists in the 400 meters was indeed a remarkable achievement for a small country as Grenada.

In the case of Kirani, the strength and determination displayed to achieve his victory was exemplary. He demonstrated the true Grenadian spirit of doggedness, tenacity, endurance and will.  They have made us extremely proud. They have demonstrated in a very real way, what is necessary for national achievement at the world level. This is the standard and performance levels that all Grenadians should aspire toward.

 As a nation, we need to emulate these outstanding Grenadians.  This performance clearly points to what we can achieve as a nation, only if we are disciplined, focused, hard working and committed towards achieving our goals and building a better Grenada.

So, on this patriotic moment, when we are all inspired and motivated as a people, I urge that we use this occasion to unite and commit towards making Grenada a better place for all.

In keeping with our new sporting policy, which speaks to the appropriate recognition and reward our sporting icons, your government will shortly be taking and announcing tangible actions in this regard.

At the appropriate time, on the return of our athletes we will be hosting a national celebratory event. So I wish to congratulate our athletes and all those who have worked hard and diligently over the years to bring glory to Grenada.

I must also especially recognize and pay tribute to the parents of Kirani and of all of our other athletes.  They have invested in the education and development of their children. We celebrate with them today.

May God continue to bless all of us.

I thank you





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