Jason Morgan will not be chosen, says Dr Blake

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Friday, July 26, 2013

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — It is highly unlikely that former national discus throw record holder Jason Morgan will be part of the Jamaican delegation to next month’s 14th IAAF World Championships, according to president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake.

The list of athletes who made the team is expected to be released next week. "At most two days," according to Dr Blake, after the July 29 deadline for athletes to make the qualifying standards, but it is unlikely the USAbased Morgan will compete at his third IAAF World Championships after participating in Osaka, Japan, in 2007 and Daegu, South Korea, in 2011.

Morgan, a multiple national champion, missed the JAAA National Senior Trials as he was to be sworn in as an American citizen that same weekend, and did not have his travel documents for the June 20-23 event held at the National Stadium.

In an email to the JAAA pleading his case, Morgan wrote: "I don't have my travel documents at this moment. Unfortunately, I cannot travel without my American passport. It won’t be in my presence until a later date. My other travel documents, eg, Green Card that I used to come home for the May Invitational had to be turned to the US Homeland Security.

"I am still ranked top five in the world at this moment. Also, I am the only Jamaican discus thrower so far who has achieved the World Championships standard."

Morgan told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday he got the letter from US Homeland Security on June 15, and the swearing-in was on the 19th at a location which was a five-hour drive from where he lives.

Dr Blake, however, told the Observer on Tuesday that Morgan does not have any chance of being named. "There is no case to be made for him, he must come to Trials and he did not, so we can’t choose him."

The JAAA boss said Morgan’s reasons for not coming to Jamaica for the Trials were not sufficient for him to be included. "There are exemptions from the JAAA if an athlete is not able to compete at Trials, but his reason does not fall into the criterion and the rules are clear."

Morgan was at a loss for words at the decision. "The only reason I did not show up to compete at Trials is because at last minute, I didn't have travel documents to do so. I register and fill out the application for trials, even packed (my bags) to travel home."

He said given that he has thrown past the ‘B’ standard three times already this season and is the only Jamaican qualified, his non-selection was "a plain slap across my face from my country saying, ‘I don't appreciate all you have done for me Jason ‘Dadz’ Morgan’".

The former Calabar thrower said he was "very disappointed" as he was trying to pave the way for young throwers coming after him.

With the suspension of national record-holder Traves Smikle after he failed a drug test at the National Trials, and national champion Chad Wright not making the ‘B’ standard, Morgan, who threw a personal best 65.94 metres at a meet in Ruston, Louisiana, in March, well over the 64.00m ‘B’ standard and just short of the 66.0m ‘A’ mark, has the best mark by any Jamaican male and is ranked at number 11 in the world, after not competing since the Jamaica International Invitational in May.

Morgan said he was still hoping the JAAA would accept his explanation and take him to Moscow where he says he expects to do well.

"I am training well these past few weeks and I know I have it in me to throw over 67.00m in Moscow.




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