Bolt flies out tomorrow - JAAA to decide his fate this week
Jamaica's sprint star Usain Bolt is expected to leave the island tomorrow for France, where he will meet with renown doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller Wohlfahrt, for treatment to a hamstring injury which forced him out of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)-Supreme Ventures National Senior Championships on Friday.
JAAA officials confirmed that the six-time Olympic champion is still in with a chance of being selected to compete in the 100m and 200m at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with the matter expected to be discussed when its selection committee meets later this week.
The sprinter had received a medical exemption and must now prove his fitness to the committee for a chance to be named among the three athletes to represent Jamaica in the 100m and 200m. The JAAA's selection policy allows top-three ranked athletes, who are examined and confirmed to be ill or injured, to miss the trials and prove their fitness at a later date, with the JAAA reserving the right to then name that athlete in place of the individual who finished in third place in the event at trials.
Bolt, who is hoping to defend the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m gold medals he won at back-to-back Olympics in 2008 and 2012, won his semi-final in 10.04 seconds on Friday, but withdrew from the 100m final after aggravating a hamstring injury that first bothered him in Thursday's preliminary round of the event.
The 100m and 200m world record holder was examined following his 100m semi and confirmed injured by medical personnel at the championships before leaving to receive immediate treatment on the injury.
He is now in a race to prove his fitness to the JAAA Selection Committee before the games, something he hopes to do at his next scheduled appearance at the IAAF Diamond League stop in London, where he will run in the 200m on July 22.
"The selection committee, when it meets, will consider all the situations and the rules of the selection process and make the appropriate decision," JAAA boss Dr Warren Blake told The Sunday Gleaner.
There has been some question as to the correct interpretation of the selection policy criteria that the athlete be ranked in the top three in the event and whether that ranking speaks to the current IAAF Top List, which ranks performances this season or a ranking based on the IAAF's qualification period for the Olympics of May 1, 2015 to July 11, 2016.
Bolt has not competed in the 200m this season and is not listed on the IAAF's Top List for the event, but his 19.55 seconds, ran at the World Championships last year, makes him the fastest in the event over the entire Olympic qualification period.
"It is, therefore, up to the selection committee to decide on the interpretation of that rule," Blake added. "We will decide appropriately on how to interpret that when we meet."
"The JAAA's Selection Committee is headed by Glen Mills, who, incidentally, coaches Bolt, with general secretary Garth Gayle, director of records Ewan Scott, technical leader Maurice Wilson, along with senior coaches, including Paul Francis and Hamlin Pagan, also on the panel.
Blake noted that Mills' involvement in the process and any possible conflict of interest will be discussed when the committee meets.