'Briana should never have gone to The Bahamas meet,' says BoldonMonday, January 04, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
World Under-20 double sprint gold medallist Briana Williams was scheduled to open her season at the Christmas Classic All-Distance Meet in Freeport, The Bahamas, last month, but the Florida-based Jamaican sprinter and her coach Ato Boldon ended up returning home without her lacing up her spikes.
The two-day meet that was due to be held December 18 and 19 was eventually cancelled due to the organisational blunders, Boldon told the Jamaica Observer a week ago, saying they should never have gone there in the first place.
After a year of almost no racing due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Williams, who is eyeing a spot on the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next July, was ready to start her season, but Boldon said a number of the other professionals who were due to show up never did and they packed up and left.
“We should never have gone to the Freeport, Bahamas, meet,” he said. “He (the organiser) sold it to me that I should bring Briana, that Yohan Blake and his group were going; [they didn't], and the Gary Evans group [from central Florida], including several pros were going. [They didn't.] Once I started to realise as the days passed that the organiser was incapable of putting on a proper meet, including the first day of the meet being cancelled after we arrived to compete, we left Freeport immediately.”
The coach said Mike Sands, president of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) and the former president of the Bahamas Association of Athletics Associations (BAAA) apologised to them and “has assured me that the individual in question would not be able to promote any future meets, and Mike was very apologetic to Briana and to me for the extremely poor experience we had in Freeport.”
— Paul Reid
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