JAAA has a problem to solve
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Friday | August 31, 2012
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) will have a decision to make in a matter of months, after Nickel Ashmeade joined defending champion Usain Bolt as 200m wild card entrants to next year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
At its last general assembly in November last year, the IAAF Council ruled that the overall event winners of the 32 Diamond League events will benefit from a wild card entry at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, in the same way that defending world champions benefit.
So who will it be, the defending world champion and world record holder or the upcoming Diamond League winner?
It's important to note that each country is allowed a maximum four entries into any one event at the World Championships, and so in cases where the defending champion and Diamond League winner are from the same country, only one will be allowed to participate as a wild card entry, with the national association left to determine who gets this privilege.
JAAA Secretary Garth Gayle noted that the organisation will make a decision when the time is right, and hinted that there may be amendments to the JAAA selection policy to accommodate the IAAF ruling.
"When the time comes we will make that decision in the best interest of the country," said Gayle. "We will abide by the IAAF rules and will also apply the JAAA selection policy in regard to both the IAAF ruling and our rules, and we would put the best persons forward into the field to represent Jamaica when the time comes.
"At the selection committee level, there is a review each year accordingly, and that is always placed or made available to the track and field public," Gayle added. "Our rules are known to all, thereby it reduces any misunderstanding and allows for all who wish to participate a fair chance."
"The IAAF in its wisdom has decided to grant the IAAF Diamond League winners a similar franchise in making it into the World Championships. We will continue to recognise and abide by such rulings, and I know it will be in Jamaica's best interest as we put more able-bodied and capable athletes in the field to bring us glory," Gayle added.
With Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100m) and Kaliese Spencer (400m hurdles) also winning their respective events on the Diamond League circuit, Jamaica will be able to enter up to four athletes in those events, given that IAAF qualification standards are met in accordance with the JAAA's selection policy.
The JAAA policy facilitates the top three finishers at the National Senior Championships unless there was a medical exemption of a top athlete, who is then expected to prove their fitness and form before the start of the competition.