Fri | Jul 10, 2020

Tonight’s the night! - JAAA meets to select team for IAAF World ­Championships

Published:Monday | September 9, 2019 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Akeem Bloomfield (right) on the way to winning the men’s 400m during the London leg of the IAAF Diamond League at London Stadium in London, England, on Sunday, July 21.

A Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) selection committee will meet this evening to finalise the national team to the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Speaking in Kingston on Friday, September 6, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association President Dr Blake struck an optimistic note on the women’s 100m hurdles, in which where a Diamond League win by Danielle Williams that day has given Jamaica the right to select four competitors.

“It’s a good thing for the country,” Blake said.

At the National Championships in June, Williams was initially disqualified for a false start and the race declared null and void. At first, the 2015 World champion was barred from selection, but she has since been reinstated to the pool of eligible athletes.

Among the other selection issues to be decided will be the possible inclusion of 400m runner Akeem Bloomfield and the composition of Jamaica’s mixed 4x400m relay team. Blake indicated that the deliberations on the mixed relay are likely to differ from those concerning other relay teams.

“It’s not like the rules regarding that if you’re entered for the flat race in the 100m and the 400m, you must be part of the relay pool for the 4x100m and the 4x400m,” he posited.

“There’s no rule to say that if you’re part of the flat 400m, you must be part of the pool for the mixed relay because we have no rules governing how the selection for the mixed relays is made no stipulations from the IAAF – and nothing in our rules – because when we crafted our rules for selection to these championships, there was no mixed relay.”

Introduced at the 2015 World Under-18 Championships and at the 2017 World Relays, the new baton race is being run at the World Championships for the first time.

The schedule might prove restrictive for 400m runners who prefer to be fresh for their individual event. According to a schedule ­published on IAAF’s website, the heats of the women’s 400m start on September 30, the day after the final of the mixed relay. The men’s 400m heats start a day later, on October 1.

In July, American publication Track and Field News predicted that Jamaica would win 10 medals at the World Championships, and Blake agrees with that general assessment.

“I think it’s a possibility that we can do 10 medals,” he said. “I looked at how they arrived at their 10, and I might not agree completely with them and where they have put some people, but I think we can manage 10.”

The publication gave Jamaica gold in the women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m.