VCB, Shelly-Ann, Carter headline World Indoors 23-strong team
MONTEGO BAY,St James — The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has named a strong 23-member team to compete at the March 7-9 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland.
Twelve women and 11 men were named on the team that will see Maurice Wilson as the technical leader, and Fitz-Albert Coleman and Paul Francis as the coaches.
The team that was named yesterday after being ratified by the JAAA's executive a day earlier will include two-time women's 60m defending champion Veronica Campbell Brown, a day after she was cleared of doping charges by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS); triple outdoors World Championships gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Nesta Carter, a silver medallist in the men's 60m two years ago in Istanbul, Turkey.
Olympic and World Championships triple jump finalist Kimberly Williams, who was fifth in Istanbul, and World Championships long jump finalist Damar Forbes, were also named.
Maurice Wilson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that he thought the team was well balanced and one of the better teams to have been named to represent Jamaica at the indoors in a long time.
"Based on what we have seen this is a strong team, certainly one of the best we have had in a long time for the World Indoors," Wilson said. "It is a good all- round team and well balanced."
Wilson, who was head coach of the Jamaican teams to the Daegu, South Korea World Championships in 2011, and the London Olympics in 2012, and was the technical leader of the team to the Moscow World Championships last year, said "even without a trials to select this team we have seen some very good performances, both locally and internationally".
He cautioned, however, by saying that a number of coaches would not have been preparing their athletes specifically for the World Indoors, but added they were still expecting "good results".
Campbell Brown, who was cleared of doping charges after she tested positive for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide at the Jamaica International Invitational held at the National Stadium on May 4 last year, had only indicated her availability 24 hours earlier after the Lausanne-based CAS handed down its decision after the expedited hearing in London last Friday.
Fraser-Pryce will be contesting her first World Indoors and is currently ranked number four in the world over the 60m after running 7.10 seconds at the Birmingham Indoors two weekends ago.
Carter's 6.53 seconds, which he ran in Birmingham, has him ranked at number 12 in the world currently.
Triple jumper Kimberly Williams, who has consistently been among the best in the world over the past three years, and who was fifth in Turkey, has been named along with middle-distance runner Natoya Goule.
Damar Forbes, who made the final of the men's long jump at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last year, is on the men's team along with sprint hurdler Andrew Riley, shot putter O'Dayne Richards, as well as quarter-milers Akheem Gauntlett, Allodin Fothergill, Dane Hyatt and Errol Nolan.
Gauntlett had withdrawn from the Jamaican team to Moscow last year, while injury had ruled out Nolan after he had made the team to the London Olympic Games to run the relays.
Team: Women — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell Brown, Kaliese Spencer, Kimberly Williams, Stephenie Ann McPherson, Patricia Hall, Natoya Goule, Anneisha McLaughlin, Monique Morgan, Indira Spence, Sophie Smellie, Verone Chambers.
Men — Nesta Carter, Edino Steele, Kimmari Roach, Akheem Gauntlett, Andrew Riley, Damar Forbes, O'Dayne Richards, Jermaine Brown, Allodin Fothergill, Dane Hyatt, Errol Nolan.
Management team: Ludlow Watts, manager; Dena Davis, assistant manager; Maurice Wilson, technical leader; Fitz Coleman, coach; Paul Francis, coach; Michelle Depass, physiotherapist.