Fri | Apr 19, 2019

JAAA concerned about temperatures in Doha

Published:Friday | April 12, 2019 | 12:17 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
JAAA president Dr Warren Blake
JAAA president Dr Warren Blake

President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Dr Warren Blake says that his organisation is very concerned about the possible low temperatures, which Jamaican athletes could experience when they compete at this year’s IAAF World Championships in the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The venue, which was refurbished in 2017, has a 48,000 seating capacity. The stadium is part of the Doha Sports City, which also includes the Aspire Academy, the Hamad Aquatic Centre, and the Aspire Tower.

Blake told The Gleaner that his ­association is very worried about the low temperatures that the athletes are likely to face inside the stadium, and they have since expressed their concerns to the organisers of the event as well as the sports’ governing body, the IAAF.

“This World Championships is a bit complicated in that sense because inside the stadium is going to be cool, and it is something that we will have to negotiate and argue about,” said Blake.

“They can set the temperature of the stadium to any temperature that they want, and that is how advanced the cooling system is that they have in the stadium, and they are looking at temperatures of 25 degrees,” he said.

“But if you are in the stadium and you are going to be running in that temperature and you are acclimatised to 29 and 30 degrees outside, then you are going to have a problem acclimatising to the temperature inside the stadium,” Blake said.

“It is something that we will be negotiating – that they don’t turn the stadium temperature down too cold that it creates a problem for our athletes. It is an issue that I have already raised with the organisers and the IAAF,” said the JAAA boss.

Meanwhile, Blake noted that they are yet to decide on a venue for the training camp for the athletes ahead of the September 28 – October 6 championships.

“We are working on a location and our gear sponsor is assisting us in finding a location for the camp,” said Blake. “It will not be in Doha, but it will be somewhere that has ­similar ­temperatures to Qatar.

“The camp is very important because it helps the cohesion of the team, and it helps the ­management and technical staff to see how fit the ­athletes are and the type of shape they are in,” Blake outlined.