Change that date - IAAF tells Ja Invitational
Rio Olympics women’s 4x400 metre relay silver medallist Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby has welcomed the shift in date of the Jamaica International Invitational (JIII), which sees it no longer competing with the International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League meet in Qatar.
“It’s a good thing for athletes, in general. It would be good for us because we have an opportunity to compete at both meets,” McLaughlin-Whilby told STAR Sports yesterday.
Since its inception, the JIII has been staged on the first Friday or Saturday in May, which this year would fall on Saturday, May 6. However, the event has been moved to the third Saturday in May.
Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association president, Dr Warren Blake told STAR Sports yesterday the local body had been instructed by the sports’ world governing body, the IAAF, to shift the Jamaican meet because it was in direct competition with the Diamond League meet in Doha, Qatar on Friday, May 5.
“The IAAF decides on what dates their meets are held. Once the meets are of a certain level, they tell you when you can hold it, and they said it was too close to the Diamond League Meet in Qatar, and it was creating problems with the Diamond League meet in Qatar and they changed it,” Blake said.
“The athletes that go to the meets are the same. That’s the exact reason why it creates problems. If you compete in Qatar one day you couldn’t compete in Jamaica, and when you’re competing for the same pool of athletes in the premier meets, they try to create spaces between them,” he added.
McLaughlin-Whilby said she was not sure if she would be competing at either meet.
“I’m not as sure as yet. I don’t know what my schedule for competing outdoors is as yet,” she said.