JAAA stands firm on championship dates

By February 15, 2019

President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association Dr. Warren Blake said the dates set for the national championships will not be changed as it serves the best interests of the majority of Jamaica’s athletes.

The JAAA had initially set end-of-July dates for the national championships to select the team to the 2019 IAAF set for late September in Doha but moved the dates to June 20-23.

However, the new dates are proving to be of major concern for a number of the country’s top athletes as well as meet international meet organisers. They argue that the trials clashes with dates for the Adidas Boost Games in Boston set for July 16, the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

That (the June dates) would make it unlikely that the coaches of some of the top Jamaican sprinters would let their athletes compete at Pre and risk serious injury or sub-par performances,” said Prefontaine meeting director, Tom Jordan in an interview on the issue.

The IAAF also wrote to the JAAA expressing their concern over the dates for the national championships. However, Dr Blake said they are sticking with the current dates.

He also acknowledged that the JAAA did receive a letter from the IAAF concerning the matter.

“We got a letter from an individual from the IAAF requesting that we consider moving the dates,” Dr Blake said.

“The letter came a few days before our executive meeting. We considered the request and the reasons put forward and decided unanimously that the dates would not be changed.”

Dr Blake said the Adidas Boost Games set for Boston are on June 16th, four days before the start of the championships and was more a carnival rather than real athletic competition. Yohan Blake, Warren Weir and Natoya Goule, all Adidas athletes, are expected to compete at the games.

He said also the Prefontaine Classic is a week later. ‘Pre’ is a Nike meet that will require participation from the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod.

He said athletes who compete at the World Championships every two years often compete at the Diamond League meeting that comes a week later.

He agreed the dates were not ideal but given the nature of the schedule this season with the Championships coming later than usual, the dates set serve the best interests of the majority of Jamaica’s athletes.




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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