'We are not quite ready'

Athletics

'We are not quite ready'

JAAA boss gives reasons for excluding multi-event disciplines at trials

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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Track and field coaches and fans who have been calling for multi-event disciplines — the decathlon and heptathlon — to have their own competitions outside of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Boys' and Girls' Championships might have to wait a few more years according to Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association.

The events are only contested at the ISSA Boys' and Girls' Championships and the results are used to select participants for the Carifta Games and, at times, World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Championships. But fans have, for a few years, called for these sports to be contested at other events, the Carifta and National Trials, for example.

In a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer, Dr Blake said given the low number of athletes participating in the multi-event disciplines it would be impractical. “We are not quite ready as yet as we don't have enough people doing the multi-events and entering Carifta Trials, as what we usually do [is to] use the results from Champs to select the people for Carifta.

“Having a competition before Champs would be ideal, and it is something that we are looking at as it would be ideal to be able to choose the full team from 'Trials' and not have to wait until Champs to do it.”

There are a number of Jamaicans who have contested the multi-events in the NCAA competitions, mostly females in the heptathlon including former St Andrew Technical High School standout Ayesha Champagnie, now at the University of Minnesota; former Convent of Mercy Academy 'Alpha' athlete Zinedine Russell now at Rice University; and Herbert Morrison Technical High School's high jumper Sashane Hanson, who took up the event in her senior year at Texas A&M University — Corpus Christi.

— Paul Reid


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