Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Having Trials this year not in the athletes’ best interest – Wilson

Published:Sunday | May 31, 2020 | 12:32 AMAkino Ming - Staff Reporter
File 
Elaine Thompson (right), getting home by the narrowest of margins, ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in last year’s women’s 100 metres final at the JAAA National Senior Championships. Briana Williams (left) was third. The winner and runner-up both
File Elaine Thompson (right), getting home by the narrowest of margins, ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in last year’s women’s 100 metres final at the JAAA National Senior Championships. Briana Williams (left) was third. The winner and runner-up both clocked 10.73 seconds.

If it were left up to veteran athletics coach Maurice Wilson, the 2020 Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) National Senior Championships would be cancelled.

Wilson told The Sunday Gleaner that he does not believe the annual meet would serve the interest of athletes this season as the coronavirus pandemic has reduced their earnings significantly.

“Presently, I am not sure why we would have a national trials, because if the shoe companies will not honour the performances and there are no international meets for people to be selected for, then I don’t think it adds any value,” he said.

“The athletes are suffering financially right now, and if there are any meets that they will compete in, it should be a meet that they will be able to recover some amount of money and it can be locally.”

The JAAA is looking to host the championships in the second week of August.

“I am not sure the JAAA can secure funding to compensate the athletes to put on a show. It is going to be difficult to get the athletes to perform without any form of incentives,” Wilson said.

The principal of G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport said that it would be best for athletes to concentrate on running on the circuit to make up for the losses they have accrued because of the outbreak of the virus.

President of the JAAA, Dr Warren Blake, said that the hierarchy of the association will meet in the coming weeks to consider the desirability of the meet.

“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.”