THE Guyana team in the South American Junior Championships will be without CARIFTA Games gold medallist Natrena Hooper, after it was confirmed yesterday that the US-based athlete will not be travelling home for the June 3-4 event.Officials said that the 18-year-old was injured during training, and has therefore decided to end her season. A South American Youth Championships silver medallist, Hooper was expected to be one of the leading athletes for the Guyana side.“She’s carrying an ankle injury that she picked up in training. With such a close time to the meet we weren’t quite sure that she would be able to recover from it in time,” said Hooper’s former local coach Julian Edmonds, who is also one of the coaches currently training the Guyana team.The news comes as a blow to the team, with high hopes for Hooper, who clinched her first CARIFTA Games gold medal only two months ago, when she performed in the Girls’ Under-20 triple jump. This was marked improvement from the silver medal she copped at the Games last year.Hooper won the gold with a distance of 13.08m, enjoying a season-best of 13.20m. The lanky athlete is also a competent quarter-miler, and was also expected to lend support in the Girls’ 4x400m relay.“Obviously it’s going to be a big loss to the team, because definitely she was a medal prospect for the triple jump. But I guess now it’s an opportunity for someone else to come to the party,” Edmonds conveyed.Outside of Hooper, however, there will still be youth jumper Chantoba Bright, who has been clearing as far as 12.59m this season. With Guyana allowed two athletes per event, Bright was already being considered to be in this event.To fill Hooper’s void, manager Cornel Rose, has noted that possible back-up athletes include Ruth Sanmoogan.In the 400m, the team will be buoyed by the return of National Schools Championships record-holder Avon Samuels, who has been off the track for the past few months due to injury. However the Running Brave Athletics Club athlete is excited to return with a bang at the Championships.
Pipes being replaced at Sheriff StreetThe Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has commenced activities to update its archaic pipe network in Central Georgetown in order to meet the service demand of the population.For many months, there has been talks by officials of the utility company about the need for works on the outdated pipelines, which cannot support water at high pressures, resulting in constant ruptures. The iron pipes have also released sediments into the water, compromising the water composition.Presently, the cast iron and asbestos cement pipes are being replaced by Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) which has a higher resistance to encrustation. After these works are completed, persons will be subjected to better services.“The cast iron and asbestos cement pipes which are being replaced have become encrusted over decades and have exceeded their lifespan. Many of the pipelines are over 100 years old, and due to this, there is also a high iron content being released, thereby compromising water quality. They are being replaced with Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes which present a much lesser chance of encrustation,” the company stated.According to the utility company, some 500 metres of pipes were replaced at Sheriff Street and the East Coast Demerara Public Road to Alexander Village. A section of James Street was also addressed and a new phase will commence next month to finish the remainder of the roadway and adjoining streets.Albouystown is also on the agenda, having displayed signs of tuberculation, which is a development of corrosion on the inside of iron pipes.Apart from the aged network, new transmission and distribution mains were installed in a number of areas between Lamaha and Vlissengen Road. They are working to replace the transmission mains at Church Street, with the installation of 2000 metres of water channels.However, when works are in progress, there will be a reduced level of service. It was indicated that new pipes will be placed closer to fences for easy accessibility for future repairs. For this, the Geographic Information System (GIS) will be used to map gate valves and all pipelines for location information.Citizens were warned that the integrity of the water quality can be compromised following the completion of this operation, since excavation will provide a medium for contaminants to enter the watercourse. To rid this issue, the pipelines will be flushed along with the shock chlorination process. This entails filling the lines with a high dosage of a chlorinated solution and leaving it for up to one day. The solution is flushed until one milligram per litre chlorine residual is achieved.Last year, Managing Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles addressed the situation where there are frequent ruptures in the archaic water system, stating that there is the possibility where the pressures can be raised during emergencies. However, this causes leaks and blowouts along the larger transmission lines.“It takes time and also it costs because it’s an aged network. We are going to be seeing a greater frequency of leaks but we are prepared to arrest them as we find them.”