Jamaica to make final push for Olympic 4x400m relay qualification at National Championships

By June 24, 2024

In a last-ditch effort to qualify its 4x400m relay team for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Jamaica will stage a special race on the final day of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston on Sunday, June 30. This follows three previous attempts, the latest of which took place on June 16 at the New Life Invitational in the Bahamas. There, the team of Reheem Hayles, JeVaughn

Powell, Kimar Farquharson, and Tarees Rhoden clocked 2:59.75, just shy of Zambia's 2:59.12 mark set in March.

JAAA Vice President Ian Forbes cited a lack of competition as a key factor in the previous failure but expressed optimism about the upcoming attempt. "We have been looking at the possibility of staging a race at our championships and I am happy to report that there will be a 4x400m race at the national championships to facilitate qualification," Forbes announced at a press conference on Monday.

JAAA Vice President Ian Forbes

Forbes elaborated on the necessary conditions for the race to be considered a legitimate qualifier. "For the record, at least two countries must be present in the race for it to be ratified as a bona fide race and will count towards qualification," he explained. “I am happy to report that Jamaica will be represented and we have a team from St Vincent and the Grenadines. Jamaica’s representation will not be only one team, we’ll have a number of teams and we are also working on another country and an international team as well.”

In anticipation of the relay, the championship schedule has been adjusted to give the 400m runners the best chance to achieve the qualifying time while ensuring their safety. "We have consulted with stakeholders, athletes, coaches, agents; and we would have had at least two meetings, heard recommendations and we can now confirm that race will be run the final day of the championships, the 30th of June at 8:05 pm at the national stadium," Forbes stated.

To prevent overburdening the athletes, the schedule has been crafted meticulously. "On Thursday, the 27th at 10 am, there will be a preliminary round for some of the athletes in the 400m. So the top-ranked 16 athletes will be advanced to the semi-finals," said Forbes. “The remaining athletes will compete in the preliminary round at 10 am on Thursday morning. From those preliminaries, the top eight will join the 16 and be placed in one of three semi-finals which will be run at 6:50 pm on Thursday.

“In the semi-finals, the top two from each heat and the next two fastest losers will be advanced to the final that will be run at 8:50 pm on Friday. On Saturday, the 400m runners will be free so they will have time for recovery.”

Forbes continued: “Initially, the final was set for Saturday. Their (athletes) health, safety and well-being must be at the forefront of everything so they will be resting on Saturday and I am happy to announce that the JAAA will be assisting in their recovery in respect to equipment, technology to help them recover and be fresh for the race on Sunday.”

The effort has garnered financial support, with two companies pledging a combined total of one million Jamaican dollars towards the participants in the race. "It will be a tiered approach and once the qualification time is attained the full million will be allocated to the participants in that race. Those two companies are Fleetwood Jamaica Limited and Tile City," Forbes announced.

Forbes expressed confidence in the athletes' ability to qualify. "We are confident that our athletes will be successful. They have given their commitment to participate, we have worked together and some of the critical recommendations were put forward by the athletes," he said.

As the final day of the championships approaches, the Jamaican team and its supporters remain hopeful that this last attempt will secure their place in the 4x400m relay at the Paris Olympics, continuing the nation's rich tradition in the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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