'It's a tragedy!'

JAAA gen-sec laments events that led to youth athlete being left behind

Paul Reid

Monday, July 08, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Garth Gayle, General Secretary of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), has described as "real sad" the situation that led to 400m hurdler Daeshon Gordon being left behind while the Jamaican team headed to the IAAF World Youth Championships in Ukraine last week.

The 16-year-old American-born Gordon was unable to join her teammates, as she did not have the required documents that would confirm her Jamaican nationality to the satisfaction of the IAAF regulations, Gayle told the Jamaica Observer on Sunday.

Gordon, whose parents are Jamaicans, is ranked third in the girls 400m hurdles after she ran a personal best 58.92 seconds to easily win the event at the recent JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Junior Championships at the national stadium almost a month ago.

South Africa's Helene Swanepeol's 58.48 seconds done at altitude and Canada's Lexi Aitken (58.89 seconds) are the two athletes with better times so far this year.

Gayle said that the JAAA had done everything they could to ensure the athlete's documentation was in order, well before the Trials.

OnE of the hitches, he said, was that a Jamaican friend of her family had taken what he thought were the documents in a sealed envelope to the US consulate in Miami, only to find out the documents were not originals, but copies and that set the entire process back.

"This is a real tragedy," Gayle said, "this is a very talented athlete and we can only hope we can hold on to her as it would be a shame to lose her."

Meanwhile, there was no replacement for her, Gayle said, as given the efforts to ensure she would be on the trip, it would have been too late to name a replacement.

After several hold-ups, the full team finally arrived in Donetsk over the weekend and are getting ready for the competition that starts on Wednesday.

Twenty-five athletes will represent Jamaica in the five-day championships that ends next Sunday.




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