Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Blake expects grand show in Birmingham

Published:Friday | February 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/ Gleaner Writer
Blake

Having selected one of the strongest teams ever for the IAAF World Indoor Championships, Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), says that he

is expecting outstanding performances from the country's athletes at next month's meet in Birmingham, England.

Jamaica's team will be led by Omar McLeod, who is the defending 60m hurdles champion, and Elaine Thompson, who won bronze in the 60m at the last championships two years ago in Portland, Oregon.

Blake told The Gleaner that he was confident that Jamaica could surpass the three medals - one gold, one silver, and a bronze - it won two years ago.

 

A LARGE TEAM

 

"The team that we are sending to the World Indoor Championships this year is one of our largest in terms of the number of people and range of events," said Blake.

"I think that we will do better than we did in Oregon\because, interest from the elite athletes has been great, and I believe that everyone is focused and ready for this championships," Blake said. "I know that they are going to give of their best, and I am confident that we will perform extremely well."

McLeod will be joined by shot-putter O'Dayne Richards, 400m specialists Javon Francis and Rusheen McDonald, middle - distance runner Kemoy Campbell, hurdler Ronald Levy, triple jumper Clive Pullen, and sprinter Everton Clarke.

Thompson will carry strong medal hopes in the women's 60m and will have the likes of middle-distance runner Aisha Praught, triple jumper Kimberly Williams, shot-putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd, and 400m runner Janieve Russell for company on the female team.

Jamaica's 30-member team, which comprises 14 males and 16 females, is scheduled to leave the island on Tuesday for the championships, which will be held from March 1-4.

The coaching team will be led by technical director Maurice Wilson. The other coaches are Fitz Coleman, Danny Haughton, Michael Vassell, and Paul Francis.

Former top athletes Michael Frater and Deon Hemmings-McCatty have been named managers of the team.