Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, has lauded Barbadian athlete, Akela Jones, for qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In a statement, Mr. Lashley praised the young athlete for her performance in the National Collegiate Athletic Association???s (NCAA) Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in the United States of America.

The Minister cited that such an achievement ???did not come as a surprise???, as Ms. Jones??? stellar performance has been a constant throughout her athletic career.

???I would like to encourage her and assure her of the continued support of the Government and the people of Barbados. This is wonderful news and I really would like to ensure that she understands that Barbados stands behind her in her quest for gold at the Olympic Games,??? he stated.

Stating that he had high hopes for the young athlete, he continued: ???She is going to bring even further glory to Barbados???She remains the best chance for Barbados bringing home a gold medal at the Olympic Games.???

Ms. Jones, who won the heptathlon at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, not only placed first in the high jump, shot put, and long jump, but also broke a record previously held by US athlete, Olympic gold medallist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

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