We worked with what we had, says JAAA head

April 25, 2017
Members of Jamaica's team to the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas (from right) Kemar Bailey-Cole, Yohan Blake, Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade (partially hidden) p during a training session at the Thomas A. Stadium warm up track on Friday.
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Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake said Jamaica competed with the best athletes it had at last weekend's World Relays in the Bahamas, countering Yohan Blake's complaint of the best team not being available.

Blake blamed the technical team for not selecting the right teams after a botched baton exchange between Kemar Bailey-Cole and Jevaughn Minzie in the 4x100 metre relay heats saw the Jamaican team being disqualified.

However, yesterday, the JAAA boss told STAR Sports that the national association chooses the athletes who make themselves available for selection.

"When we choose a team, we choose the best team that is available to us. We can't force people to come and run for their country, and we can't force coaches to break their training for their athletes, so we work with what we have and the time frame that we have," Dr Blake said.

The men's sprint relay team finished second at the last World Relays in 2015 with Usain Bolt, Nester Carter, Nickel Ashmeade, and Bailey-Cole.

Bolt did not run last weekend, while former 100 metre world record holder Asafa Powell, who has been a member of Jamaican world record relay teams, was a late withdrawal from the squad.

The team to the World Relays is selected based on the number of athletes who respond to an open invitation as there is no national trial to select a team.

"We can't make people practise baton changes before because we don't know what we are working with. It's based on who is available," Blake reiterated.

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