JOA announces cancellation of pre-Olympics training retreat, JAAA seeks alternative
Following the Jamaica Olympic Association’s (JOA) announcement yesterday that it has cancelled the country’s pre-Olympic Games training camp, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) official Ian Forbes says that his organisation will...
Following the Jamaica Olympic Association’s (JOA) announcement yesterday that it has cancelled the country’s pre-Olympic Games training camp, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) official Ian Forbes says that his organisation will now be seeking alternatives in order to ensure that the athletes arrive at the championships in the best possible shape.
“Well, after the completion of our National Championships, I guess we will have to at least, at the local level, provide some competition for our athletes,” said Forbes.
As is customary, Jamaica’s Olympians were expected to gather ahead of the Olympics, this time in the Prefecture of Tottori, Japan, to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the June 24 - August 8 Games.
In fact, JOA President Christopher Samuda only recently told The Gleaner that plans were still in place to stage a camp ahead of the event despite the COVID-19 challenges in Japan.
However, according to yesterday’s release, the Tottori Prefectural Government has advised the JOA that due to the pandemic, the Japanese Government is imposing strict measures on all local governments hosting pre-Games camp.
It was also noted that although the current COVID-19 situation in Tottori is not as serious as in other regions, the increasing cases of highly infectious mutant variants and the ongoing state of emergency in Tokyo and in eight other prefectures are raising public sentiments nationwide, which has also increased concerns locally among citizens, healthcare providers, and health authorities with regard to hosting pre-Games camp.
Tottori has recoded 467 COVID-19 cases and two persons have died from the virus.
Forbes stated that although they are disappointed with the cancellation of the camp, they are aware that it was done in the best interest of everyone’s health.
“I am sorry to hear that it has been cancelled, but I would think it is pretty much done due to possible health reasons,” said Forbes. “I think that they would have done their due diligence and taken the necessary guidance from the doctors and the scientist, and I would assume it was in the best interest of all parties.”
FOCUS ON THE WAY FORWARD
Forbes stated that the JAAA will be holding a series of meetings to look at the way forward in terms of preparation for the Jamaicans athletes for the Olympic Games.
Athletics accounts for well over 90 per cent of Jamaica’s team’s to the Olympic Games. The country will also be represented in swimming, diving, gymnastics, boxing, and tae kwon do at the Tokyo 2020 Games.
“There might be a number of them who might be engaged in other endeavours in terms of maintaining their fitness and staying in good condition in respect of preparation for the Olympic Games,” Forbes added.