Tue | Jan 23, 2018

We're not selecting right teams ... Blake blames technical team for baton mix-up at World Relays

Published:Sunday | April 23, 2017 | 8:46 AM
A disappointed Yohan Blake leaves the track after the baton mix-up by the Jamaican team - Gladstone Taylor photo

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

NASSAU, Bahamas:
Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake is blaming the coaching staff for the team’s baton exchange mix up in the men's 4x100m heats at the IAAF World Relays on Saturday's first day of competition.

The mix-up happened when Kemar Bailey-Cole failed to successfully pass the stick to Jevaughn Minzie on the second exchange during the opening heat of the event at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium.

As the baton fell to the blue track, Jamaican fans slumped in the stands, stunned.

And Blake said the Jamaican technical team should shoulder the blame.   

"I think Jamaica are making some big mistakes, some terrible mistakes, we are not picking the right teams and so everything is just atrocious," said Blake.

IN PHOTO: Jamaica's sprint relay quartet (from left) Everton Clarke, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Jevaughn Minzie and Yohan Blake, entering the track ahead of the start of the 4x100 metres heats.

"It is hard luck for the younger guys, I just don’t know how to describe it," Blake said.

He added: "I came here to get my season relays on the way and this set me back a lot because we have been looking forward to get back our title. I am in excellent shape and I was raring to go."

However, the former World 100m champion, though clearly upset, said he was thankful everybody was healthy.

Earlier, the Jamaican quartet had got off to a brilliant start when Everton Clarke out-sprinted his rivals to hand over to Bailey-Cole. 

Jamaica won the event at the first World Relays  in 2014 but placed second in 2015 behind the United States, which also went on to win the final yesterday.