JAAA clears air on Bolt, sprinter to see top doc this weekend
Andre Lowe, Special Projects Editor - Sports
Usain Bolt is in the race of his life, as he not only looks to regain fitness after suffering a hamstring injury at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships, which forced him out of Jamaica’s Olympic trials, but he also must prove his form before the qualification deadline of July 11.
National Olympic Committees have until July 18 to submit their list of entries with the athletic administrators able to submit up to four names per event.
Meanwhile, JAAA General Secretary Garth Gayle has denied statements attributed to him, which appeared on the website of another local newspaper where it was stated that Bolt would, however, not qualify for medical exemption in the 200m having not competed in that event all season and met the 20.50 seconds qualifying mark or having a top three rank.
This has caused some amount of confusion as the IAAF’s qualification period for the 2016 Olympic Games does, however, run from May 1, 2015 to June 11, 2016 with Bolt’s best time in that period being the 19.55 he ran on his way to winning World Championships gold – the fastest time by any athlete within the period.
“It’s a clear process, we have a selection committee and we make recommendations and our Executive then ratifies that. We are governed by the rules that govern all competitions. Only the governing body can make adjustments to their rules and the rules are clear,” Gayle told The Gleaner this morning. “The wish of the Executive is that we have the best available athletes represent us at all times.”
The JAAA’s selection policy states that all athletes must compete at the championships in order to be considered for selection but there is a provision for those, who are injured or ill at the time of the event, to prove their competitive fitness and be considered for selection ahead of the outlined deadline.
Bolt won his semi-final in 10.04 seconds but withdrew from the last night’s 100m final, which was scheduled to run two hours later, after aggravating a hamstring injury that first bothered him in Thursday’s preliminary round of the event.
The two-time defending Olympic champion in the 100m and 200m was examined following his 100m semi and confirmed injured by medical personnel at the championships before leaving to receive immediate treatment on the injury.
We have been made to understand that Bolt and his team are hoping to see his doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller Wohlfahrt, who is currently engaged with the German national football team at the European Championships in France.
Their result against Italy in today’s quarter-final at 2:00pm (Jamaica time) will determine where the sprinter meets up with his long-time mender.
If the Germans are eliminated by the Azzurri today, Bolt will fly to Germany to see the well-known doctor, with a German progression meaning that the sprinter will instead travel to Paris to receive his treatment there.
Bolt took to social media late on Friday to state:
“After feeling discomfort in my hamstring after the first round last night and then again in the semi-final tonight I was examined by the Chief Doctor of the National Championships and diagnosed with a grade 1 tear. I have submitted a medical exemption to be excused from the 100m final and the remainder of the National Championships. I will seek treatment immediately and hope to show fitness at the London Anniversary Games on July 22 to earn selection for the Olympic Games in Rio.”