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National trials set for four days

Published:Thursday | May 26, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Ludlow Watts

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

With an influx of entries flooding the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) ahead of this year's trials and several athletes expected to 'double up', this year's Supreme Ventures Limited/JAAA National Senior Championships will for the first time be contested over four days, as opposed to the customary three.

The event will now start with a number of heats on the morning of Thursday, June 23, and will end on Sunday, June 26, at the National Stadium.

With spaces on Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Championships in Daegu up for grabs and unlike last year's low-keyed championships which was void of some of the island's top athletics stars, this year's trials is promising a lot of fireworks, with preliminary entries showing a number of top athletes already registered to compete.

"Things are going quite well and this year the event will be staged over four days and not the traditional three days," said chief organiser, Ludlow Watts.

In addition to the higher-than-normal number of entries Watts, who is also the first vice-president of the JAAA, further explained that the need to afford enough recovery time for athletes who are competing in multiple events was also a major factor in the decision to extend the meet to four days.

"This extension is due to the number of athletes who are now competing at a very high standard in each event, and also due to the number of athletes who are likely to compete in multiple events this year," Watts explained.

"We want to give them the best opportunity in terms of preparation and recovery. Athletes won't necessarily have a day off, but they won't have to compete in more than one event on a particular day," he added.

It's a move that the long-time administrator is hoping will have a positive effect on the performances of the athletes at the trials, and also at the August 27-September 4 IAAF World Championships in Athletics.

"We are looking out for the country and the medal prospects and we believe by doing this we will get the best result. We know that the commercial aspect of the meet will be reduced, but we are looking at the broader picture in terms of what is best for the country and to ensure that we have the best representation for the World Championships," Watts noted.