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Jamaica withdraws from World Relays

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has withdrawn the Jamaican team from the World Relays just days after they named a 39-member team for the two-day championships set for Silesia, Poland, May 1-2, it was announced yesterday.

The press release cited “existing travel restrictions, routing” and also the “SARS COVID-19 pandemic”, saying “it has become extremely challenging for the Jamaican team and officials to participate.”

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was named as part of the 39-member team, expressed disappointment with the decision but outlined her own issues with travelling during the pandemic last year.

“The cancellations are disappointing but beyond our control,” she said on social media. “Last year we had similar issues with travel. I remember our return flights took us to London then Barbados then back to Jamaica which was very hectic because of the pandemic.”

When contacted by the Jamaica Observer yesterday, JAAA President Garth Gayle declined to be interviewed about the situation and referred to the release.

It is the first time that Jamaica will not be represented at the World Relays, having taken part in the four previous editions, in The Bahamas in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and Yokohama, Japan, in 2019.

The release said also the withdrawal was in the best interest of “our athletes and stakeholders”.

The Jamaicans were set to contest seven events, the men's and women's 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m as well as the shuttle hurdles.

— Paul Reid



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