Tue | Sep 22, 2020

JAAA considers desirability of 2020 National Champs

Published:Friday | May 22, 2020 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Orlando Bennett (right) clears a hurdle ahead of Hansle Parchment while competing in the men’s 110m hurdles event of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s National Senior Championships on Sunday, June 23, 2019.
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When members of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) meet in a couple of weeks to decide if it will host its annual National Senior Championships this year, it will have to determine if athletes will still want to take part in the meet because of fears of the coronavirus pandemic.

JAAA President Warren Blake said that he and his colleagues will have to figure out if it is still desirable to have the meet as it will only be used to select the 2020 national champions since there are no international meets on the calendar for it to be used to select athletes to represent the country.

“The committee will meet and see if it is feasible and desirable to, in fact, have the national championships,” Blake said. “There are no major meets to use the trial to select people for. Apart from choosing the national champions, one of the main reasons for the national championships is to select teams.”

Blake, a medical doctor, said that even though lockdown restrictions have begun to ease in Jamaica and other parts of the globe, he is not sure that the world has controlled the pandemic and is concerned about potentially infected athletes travelling from the United States of America, which has the highest number of active cases globally.

“The numbers now are saying that it is less than one per cent of the world population that has been affected, which leaves plenty of room for a lot more people to die,” he said. “I am not quite certain that we are on top of this pandemic globally, especially in the United States, where a lot of our athletes are based. So we still have about a month to go to see if the numbers keep going down.

“It seems that the country, and the world, for that matter, is opening back up, but what I would want to see first is that it is actually safe to lift these restrictions. If you remember what happened in the 1918 pandemic when people started coming out, there was a second wave that was even deadlier than the first.”

The tentative dates for the JAAA National Senior Athletics Championships are August 8 and 9.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com