'Big changes coming for Champs sprints' - ISSA president Wellington reveals100m, 200m events likely to be split apart

By Ricardo Chambers and Donald Oliver May 22, 2021




Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) president Keith Wellington has hinted that future changes to the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships could see the finals of the blue ribband 100m races moved up to the third day of the event.

In recent times, the finals have held on a Friday night, with the 200m held the following night.  However, the proximity of the races, and the propensity of young sprinters to attempt the 100m-200m double has meant competing at high levels of intensity for both events over a matter of days.

With concern for athlete safety and injury prevention increasingly a vital part of the high school track and field governing body's mandate, Wellington has admitted that ISSA is considering major schedule changes; particularly in light of the success of some measures that were enforced due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  The 100m events were staged on Thursday this year, but one suggestion has been to move the events even further apart, with the final of the 100m taking place much earlier in the Championships and completed before the start of the 200m.

“I am open to it, and I think it is very likely to happen, where both the 100m and 200 will be completed as a block of events separate and apart from each other,” Wellington told SportsMax.tv’s The Commentators podcast.

“Whether it is going to be a Wednesday 100m final and Saturday 200m final or some other way, I could not say now, but I think there are likely to be some changes along those lines,” he added.

The matter of scheduling for the perennial powerhouse local track and field event has often proved a sore point, with some coaches and athletics stakeholders concerned about the workload shouldered by the young athletes.

The continued presence of the coronavirus pandemic, which saw the cancelation of the event last year, prompted some changes to both the qualification and scheduling process this year, including the changes to the 100m, 200m placement, and a few other events.  Wellington pointed out that for the most part feedback was positive, but that the issue remained a work in progress.

“For the most part, the feedback was positive, except for the last moment when some coaches looked at it.  There was an issue with the 400-800 double, in particular, I think that was the biggest complaint but there was also the issue of the 200m starting on Wednesday and then not competing again until Friday, Saturday.”



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