World Juniors too rich for Jamaica’s blood

December 09, 2015
Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after winning the men's 200 metres during the 2002 World Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jamaica has decided to forego its interest in hosting the 2016 International Association Athletics Federations (IAAF)World Junior Championships that was originally set to be hosted in Kazan, Russia.

Citing financial constraints imposed on the country by the International Monetary Fund, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake said yesterday, that Jamaica has decided not to submit a bid.

The championships were shifted from the Russian city following an IAAF-imposed ban on that country's athletic federation.

Yesterday, Blake said that despite the initial interest expressed by the JAAA when the opportunity first came up for Jamaica to bid for the championships, it was eventually decided, after further deliberations, that the country would be unable to afford such an expensive venture.

"It requires in excess of US$10 million (approximately J$1billion). The Government would have to issue a bond to cover that amount and with the IMF constraints, it really was a non-starter," said Blake following the announcement of this year's Athlete of the Year candidates at Scotia Centre in downtown Kingston.

"It was really a preliminary wish of the association, but after further discussions we decided not to put in a bid."

Jamaica hosted the World Junior Championships in 2002, considered to be one of the most successful in the history of the event.

Last month, Blake said he was confident the country would have been able to do a good job hosting the event for what would have been a second time.

He said Finland, a country that has more available cash than Jamaica, was also bidding to host the championships. With that in mind, Jamaica's best bet was to raise the money needed as quickly as possible.

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