Sport

Jamaica expected to send ‘strong’ team to World Relays

BY HOWARD WALKER Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 05, 2014    

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JAMAICA is expected to send its strongest team to the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas despite not having a trial prior to the event set for May 24 and 25.

Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), didn't envisage any problems in team selection when he spoke with the Jamaica Observer.

"We will be selecting the team the same way we have done with the Penn Relays teams that comes on a month before and the World Indoors," said Dr Blake.

"We write to the coaches and the athletes' reps and get in touch with them and they will recommend which of their athletes will be available and then we choose the best team out of what is available at the time," he noted.

The first edition of the 2014 IAAF World Relays will serve as a qualifying competition for the 2015 IAAF World Championships and is expected to have more than 1,000 athletes and team officials from 40 nations for the event.

The top-eight teams to place in the 4x100m and 4x400m events at the IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 shall automatically qualify for the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015.

If one or more teams in the A Final are disqualified or do not finish, their qualifying places will be taken by the top-placed finisher(s) in the B Final.

Jamaica, with the incomparable Usain Bolt, have swept the 4x100m relays at the Olympic and World Championships since 2008 and are expected to dominate once again regardless of the composition of the team.

Meanwhile, fans will have the chance to have a preview of the upcoming IAAF World Relays Bahamas 2014 during a test event scheduled to be held prior to the IAAF World Relays. On May 9 & 10, young high school athletes from around the Bahamas will test the readiness of the newly built Thomas A Robinson Stadium by competing in the replica of events that will be run at the Relays.

The participating teams will compete in the following test events -- 4x100m, 4x200m, and 4x400m, along with a sprint medley that will include 400m, 200m, 200m, and 800m legs for the boys and 100m, 100m, 200m and 400m legs for the girls.

A maximum of one team from any one member country can compete in each relay event and a maximum of six athletes may be entered for each relay team. Any four athletes among those entered for the competition may then be used in the composition of the team for the first round.

They will target an ideal number of approximately 16 teams to qualify.

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