Selection panel to pick Games, World Indoor teams
Jamaica's track and field team to the Commonwealth Games, set for April 4-15, will be picked by a selection panel.
Dr Waren Blake, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president, is confident that the panel will make the right decisions since the selectors have in the past picked teams for meets for which there is no National Championships.
The first step will be for athletes to alert the JAAA to their interest in contesting the Games and the IAAF World Indoor Championships which will be held in Birmingham, England, March 1-4.
"The athlete must indicate in writing their availability and the event in which they desire to compete. We're going to be using the comparative ranking system for their event," said the local athletics boss in a reference to the recently revamped IAAF ranking system.
"We're going to be looking at their recent performances and their last performance in the event," he explained further.
With regard to the 4x100 and 4x400 metre events, he said: "In terms of the relay pool selection, we're going to ask the technical committee to make a recommendation to the executive body. All athletes must prove fitness and will be subject to medical clearance, and their performance in their event must be in the qualifying period."
For the World Indoors, such marks must be attained between January 1, 2017, and February 19, 2018. The organisers allow athletes to use outdoor performances to qualify. For example, a female sprinter can qualify to compete in the 60 metres with a time in that event of 7.30 seconds or better, or with a 100 metre time of 11.15 seconds at the very least.
Blake noted that the JAAA selects teams to the World Indoors and World Relays without staging a National Championships.
Mindful that the Commonwealth Games arrives in early April when the usual outdoor season has just begun and more than three months before the Nationals, he remarked, "So we're going to have to be able to use some historical data in going forward, but the selection committee has selected teams based on this already, so I think they can navigate the ups and downs and make the right decisions."