Sport

Discus mark setback rouses Morgan

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Sunday, October 14, 2012    

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DESPITE his disappointment after hearing on Friday that his 67.15m throw set in May this year would not be recognised as being official or as the Jamaican national record, discus thrower Jason Morgan is vowing this will not set him back.

"There are a whole range of emotions going through my mind right now," he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. "I feel robbed, I feel disappointed and it's as if all I have worked for has been snatched away from me."

If his plans to appeal the decision falls through, then the 67.12m set by 20-year-old Traves Smikle at the National Senior Trials in June would be the new national record.

But Morgan, who competed at the Olympic Games in London in August where he had a best of 57.46m for 38th overall after finishing in the top 13 at the Daegu World Championships last year, said the setback will only serve to make him more determined and he says plans for retirement have been shelved for the time being.

Morgan threw the distance at a USTA sanctioned meet, Peak Performance Invitational meet at the University of Louisiana Monroe on May 12, weeks after he had thrown 65.61m at the Leon Johnson Invitational at Walter P Ledet Track Complex on the campus of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches on Good Friday.

News broke on Friday, however, that the local governing body, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), had received communication from the world governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), that Morgan's mark would not be recognised.

There are, however, conflicting reasons why the mark was not recognised. The Sunday Observer learned that a letter sent to Charles Fuller, the JAAA's director of records from the IAAF, said the reason the mark has not been recognised is that "This discus competition was not in the official programme, and it was

added at the last minute", and this was

not permissible.

Also Dr Warren Blake, the president of the JAAA, was heard on a radio sports programme saying that since Morgan was not drug tested at the meet, his distance could not be used as a national record.

Morgan, who is in the island to take part in the official celebrations of the Olympic Games tomorrow, is disputing the IAAF's reason and said he had earmarked this meet from as early as April as one he intended to compete in given its close proximity to his home base and his inability to travel to meets outside of Louisiana.

Morgan's mark had been listed in the official JAAA programme for the Senior Trials as the national record and also in his bio for

the Olympics.

The former Calabar High and Louisiana Tech athlete who is still based in the United States where he works at a hospital, says he has contacted Dennis Groll, the meet director for the Peak Performance Invitational and said he would be getting involved to try and straighten out the details.

Morgan, who had told the Sunday Observer earlier this year he had plans to throw in the towel after the Olympics, says this new setback has only served to make him more determined to move forward.

"This gives me a new drive, a new hunger a new determination and a passion from my heart," he said. "Now 70m will not be my aim anymore as I am fuelled to do something very special and I will be training three times as hard," he said.

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