JAAA blames late withdrawals, 'unforeseen' challenges for World Relays failures

By Sports Desk May 08, 2024

Following Jamaica's underwhelming showing at the World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) has released a statement addressing the significant hurdles that impacted the team's performance, including unexpected athlete withdrawals and other challenges leading up to the event.

Only Jamaica's men's 4x100m relay team qualified for a final and an automatic spot in Paris this summer. However, the mixed 4x400m relay team, women's 4x100m relay team and the women's 4x400m relay team were forced to qualify through a second-round of heats that got them into the 14 teams that automatically qualified for the Summer Games.

 In their official statement Wednesday, the JAAA acknowledged the concerns of Jamaican track and field supporters and highlighted the challenges faced leading up to the event.

 "We share the consternation of the Jamaican Track and Field supporters at the showing of our athletes at the recently concluded World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas," expressed the JAAA.

 They emphasized the standard procedure of contacting athletes, coaches, and agents to confirm availability before selection, with a specific deadline in place. Despite meticulous planning, the team encountered significant withdrawals, compelling them to proceed with the athletes who were available.

 "After selection and team entry, we were plagued with withdrawals and had to continue with those available," stated the JAAA.

 While Jamaica eventually managed to qualify all other teams, the men's 4x400m relay team has been left with the daunting task of running a time fast enough by the June 30 deadline to get into Paris.

 The JAAA acknowledged that the team faced unforeseen challenges that impacted their usual level of performance.

However, specific details regarding these challenges will be forthcoming once the JAAA receives comprehensive reports from the management team, including medical and technical assessments from the ground.

"Heartiest congratulations to those who represented us as we strive to keep Jamaica's flag high," concluded the JAAA in their statement, recognizing the efforts of the athletes who competed under challenging circumstances.

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