JAAA clears path for Danielle Williams' selection to Doha 100m hurdles team

Observer writer

Friday, August 16, 2019

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The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has reversed a decision made in June to exclude former World Championships 100m hurdles gold medallist Danielle Williams in the team that will represent the country at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, which starts in just over five weeks.

A release from the JAAA yesterday said the governing body had adhered to “international expert advise and a review of the selection policy” and its “main consideration was fairness to all athletes and compliance with both JAAA and IAAF rules”.

Yesterday's release said in part it “announced that sprint hurdler and former World champion Danielle Williams has been deemed eligible for selection to the Jamaica team to the 2019 World Championship to be held in Doha, Qatar next month”.

The widely circulated release went on to say that the JAAA “announced that following international expert advise and a review of the selection policy, the association said that the fairest way to proceed is for the JAAA to make its selection decision based on the multiple criteria listed in published policy. Although the specific case is not”.

“The 100m sprint hurdle race at the National Championship had been ruled null and void and Ms Williams' disqualification could, therefore, not stand given that the race was never completed and has been declared null and void.”

The decision is a complete reversal of one taken on Monday, June 24, the day after the four-day National Championships and which was sent out in a release two days later.

The first release that was sent out after 9:00 pm on Wednesday, June 26, following the end of the Trials, over the signature of president Dr Blake, announced that while Williams would not be eligible for selection given her disqualification from the event and the impracticality of having a rerun, “The athletes to represent Jamaica in the 100 metres hurdles for women at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar will be selected based on the IAAF Ranking as of August 16, 2019.”

The three, the release went on to say, would come from the seven runners left in the race following Williams' disqualification. “The three (3) of the seven (7) competitors with the highest ranking in the 100 Metres Hurdles for Women at that time will, therefore be selected to represent Jamaica,” it stated.

As of August 13, the last time the IAAF Ranking System was updated, Tapper was ranked number 15, Brown was at number 17 and Thompson was at number 35.

Ironically Williams, who broke the national record after she ran 12.32 seconds at the London Diamond League meeting on July 20, beating the 12.40 seconds set by Brown at the NCAA Outdoors championships on June 8, is now ranked number one in the world.

The release from the JAAA in June also stated that based on the meeting held on Monday, June 24, there were several determinations:

1. An IAAF certified Start Information System (SIS) was in use for this event and that the Starter acted appropriately and within the rules of the IAAF.

2. The Competitor, Danielle Williams, who was disqualified from the race,remains ineligible to be selected to represent Jamaica at any of the events for which competitors in that race were vying for selection.

3. That it is not feasible at this time to have a re-run of the event.

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