Leslain Baird created history by winning a bronze medal for Guyana in the Men’s Javelin Competition on Saturday, 4 November 2023, at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
On his fourth attempt, he produced his best throw, the best of 78.23 metres. Earlier, Baird has served his services in the Guyana Defence Force.
This is for the first time that any Guyanese has won a medal in the Javelin throw in such a huge event.
Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the President of Guyana, also extended his congratulations to Baird on his historic win.
The President, on extending his wishes to Leslain Baird, the Guyana Defence Force’s Coast Guard, stated that he is very happy to witness the history being created by Baird in the Pan American Games.
He added, it is the first time that Guyana has won any medal in the javelin throw since 1959, the inception of the Pan American Games.
Moreover, two years ago, Leslain Baird suffered intense pain after he faced a meniscus knee injury at the National Track and Field Centre during an AAG developmental meet.
However, Baird didn’t lose hope and overcame this toughest phase of his life through his unwavering commitment. He did not just recover from his injury but also revived his competitive spirit.
He always wanted an opportunity to win a medal for his nation at the Pan American Games 2023. Now, when he got blessed with an opportunity, he grabbed it and made the best use of it by not just winning a medal but also becoming the first Guyanese athlete to secure a Javelin medal at the Pan American Games.
This was Leslain Baird’s third attempt at qualifying for the Pan American Games. On his first attempt, he couldn’t even qualify for the games. Due to a severe injury, he had to skip the games on his second attempt as well.
Baird, with his sheer determination and precision, took Guyana to new heights and etched his name in the list of sporting legends.
Furthermore, Brigadier Omar Khan, the Chief of Staff, Officers and Ranks of the Guyana Defence Force, also congratulated Leslain Baird, the Senior Petty Officer of the Coast Guard on his remarkable victory.
Leslain Baird was given the training by his coach, Johnny Gravesande, and this duo created a magic in track and field by bringing laurels to their nation, Guyana.
All in all, Guyana has won three medals in total, one silver and two bronze; the medals have been won by namely:
- Silver medal: Jasmine Abrams in Women’s 100m
- Bronze medal: Emanuel Archibald in Men’s 100m
American Curtis Thompson and Brazilian Henrique Nunes took gold and silver medals in Javelin with their best throws of 79.65 and 78.45 metres, respectively.