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Jamaican 400m runner Ricardo Chambers gets late call to join World Champs team

Published:Thursday | August 13, 2015 | 8:34 AMLeighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Chambers ... "I am really, really happy that I am on the team now.” On Wednesday he had posted on Facebook that he had hung up his spikes for the season after not being selected.

NACAC Senior Championship 400-metre bronze medallist Ricardo Chambers could represent Jamaica in the mile relay team at the IAAF World Athletic Championships which gets underway in Beijing, China next week Friday.

The 30-year-old quarter-miler was surprisingly left off Jamaica’s team to the championships even though he is the third fastest Jamaican in the world this year.

He told The Gleaner Thursday morning that he was notified today that he will be joining the team within the coming days.

"I am really, really happy that I am on the team now,” said an elated Chambers from his home in Florida after posting on his Facebook page on Wednesday that he had hung up his spikes for the season after not being selected.

"I actually got a notice this morning and I am really happy. All I want to do is focus right now on going to represent my country," he said.

He is expected to travel to Jamaica by Friday to sort out his visa arrangements and then depart to join the team.

It is not clear whether Chambers will join the team that is already in camp in Japan, or later on in Beijing.

What is certain is that his presence will certainly boost Jamaica’s chances of a medal in the mile relay in Beijing.

The mile relay squad already includes Javon Francis, Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele, Peter Matthews and Dane Hyatt and Jonia McDonald.

Chambers' season-best time of 44.93s that was run in the semi-final at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica ranks him third behind Francis (44.50) and Rusheen McDonald (44.60).

He had felt that his performance at the NACAC championships was good enough to earn him a spot on the team.

"I am really puzzled why I am not on the team. Because of my performances during the last part of this season I would have assumed that I would have been selected for the four by four,” Chambers said Wednesday. “I know that I was disqualified at the national trials for stepping on the line but according to the rules, the first four are selected but the next two are at the discretion of the selection committee so I am not sure."

 

Team manager Ludlow Watts explained that under the rules there was simply no room for Chambers on the team.  "In the case of (Ricardo) Chambers, there was no scope for him to get in because they already selected six athletes for the 4x400m pool, so he could only have been named to the squad if someone withdrew," Watts explained to The Gleaner Wednesday.

The JAAA selection policy states that athletes placing in the first four positions in the 100m and 400m will be named to the relay pool. The remaining members of the relay pool will be selected by the JAAA Selection Committee.