Winning college athletes at Jamaican trials could miss out on World Champs

By May 29, 2019

Jamaican athletes attending US colleges could find themselves in a bit of a predicament if they manage to qualify for the IAAF at the Jamaican national championships set for June 20-23.

Should they finish among the top three in their events their selection to the national team would only be provisional and dependent on whether their colleges would release them for four weeks, and if they manage to maintain their form for the championships in Doha at the end of September.

Ludlow Watts, Chairman of the organising committee for the national championships, made the disclosure on Wednesday at the launch of the 2019 JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior and Junior Championships at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.

The championships will help select athletes for teams going to the NACAC U23 and U18 Championships in Mexico, the Pan Am U20 Championships in Costa Rica, the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru and the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar.

The latter event has created this challenge for the JAAA and the overseas-based athletes. Following the end of the current collegiate season in early June, the college athletes will be in peak form for the national championships.

However, by the time the World Championships rolls around in late September, these athletes will have been back at school by August and beginning pre-season training for the indoor season. According to Watts, it is not clear whether the schools and their athletic coaches would be willing to release the athletes for up to a month for a camp and then the competition.

As such, qualifying for the World Champs could present a problem.

“What we are going to have to do with those athletes is we will have to meet with them after the national championships and say you are being selected provisionally subject to you being in a position to compete effectively,” Watts said.

“So, we will have to monitor their programmes.  And, if they say they are doing in an indoor programme or the coach is not facilitating that (World Champs participation), or the university will not allow them to be off for four weeks, or they can’t go off for four weeks for what it would mean for their studies we will then have to make the determination about who came third, fourth and fifth.

“So those who come fourth, fifth and sixth would have to keep sharp because it is possible they may get the opportunity.”

Watts said the JAAA will have to be in constant contact with the college coaches “and say Harry Brown is in your college. We want to ensure that Harry Brown will be a sharp condition for the championships. Will you participate in helping us prepare this person’. So, we will have to have that collaboration, but at the end of the day if the person is not in a position to compete effectively for Jamaica, we cannot take that person.”


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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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