On JAAA, Francis and media race
What a start to the 2015 World Championships.
An amazing opening ceremony - especially by World Championships standards - huge crowd inside the Bird's Nest, great action already in the men's 100m as the top dogs sounded their barks ahead of what should be one of the best races in a while.
The first day covering these championships is always such an adrenaline rush. After days of build-ups and previews, long drives to interviews and all that kind of stuff, it's always, such a release to get the real thing started -the emotions, the thrill of competition, the sights, the sounds, and the wanton joy of capturing it all.
There has certainly been enough happening to keep me busy for almost all 24 hours of each day since I've been here.
From the Stephen Francis vs JAAA situation, the Nesta Carter debacle, Bolt vs Gatlin, Asafa and his chances, Shelly-Ann, Elaine, and the list goes on and on.
TOUCH OF DRAMA
The truth is Jamaica's track and field has always had a touch of drama about it. It's a maze of politics, alliances, and relationships - all the ingredients for a good daytime series. I don't always see eye to eye with Stephen Francis, or the JAAA, but in this case - in both cases - I think he has some solid points.
Was the camp in Tottori fashioned to ensure that every athlete received optimal levels of preparation? How could a 5000m athlete possibly benefit from being at that camp, for instance? Has the JAAA management team done a good enough job? Is there enough accountability? No!
Anyway, that's for another discussion.
So, I decided after my last 800m media race heroics at the World Championships in Moscow that I would hang up my spikes and go out in glory. I retired from the IAAF media race as the two-time Caribbean champion and with a personal best despite a back injury. Please note, I said 800m. As a Jamaican, I'm not wired for anything over 400m, so this is new frontier, people.
Anyway, I decided to retire also to make a statement, having failed in my bid to get the IAAF to stop its prejudice against Jamaican journalists like myself and add a shorter race to the schedule ... say a 100m ... or 50m, so we can accommodate the ... 'not so fit' among us.
But I've received so many questions about whether or not I'm going to be competing - from colleagues, IAAF friends, fans - (laughs). I haven't decided if I will change my mind about not competing yet, but I did take up an entry form and filled it out, just in case. After all, I can't allow Jamaicans to go through another non-registration crisis after that Nesta Carter mess up! This is how it's done JAAA.