Wilson calls out uncooperative 4x100m athlete

April 27, 2017
Members of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team (from left) Yohan Blake, Jevaughn Minzie, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Everton Clarke practise baton changes during a training session ahead of the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas.

Maurice Wilson has called out an experienced unnamed athlete who refused to run the third leg of the heats of the men's 4x100m relay at the World Relays on the weekend.

Jamaica was disqualified for a botched baton change on the third leg between Kemar Bailey-Cole and Jevaughn Minzie.

Wilson said head coach Michael Clarke intended to have an experienced runner on the third leg.

"Michael Clarke, who is head coach, felt he needed someone with experience to run the third leg but he was not able to get the cooperation from the person he wanted to run that leg," he told STAR Sports yesterday.

The quartet included Everton Clarke, Bailey-Cole, Minzie, and Yohan Blake. Of the four, Clarke was the only unproven athlete and the only one not a member of the Racers Track Club.

 

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"The consensus I'm getting (because I was not there) was because three of the runners are from the same organisation, the young man who has run the second fastest time of all the guys, Everton Clarke, was put on the first leg and then it would be Clarke to Bailey-Cole to Minzie to Yohan as all three are from the same camp," he explained, adding that Bailey-Cole was determined to be too tall to run the third leg.

"At that point, he (Clarke) had to make the most reasonable call that he could based on the options that he had. This is a regular thing we have had to deal with over the years; people wanting to run certain legs," said Wilson.

"A lot of these athletes are professional athletes and when you elect to represent your country you can be called on to do various different tasks and they must equip themselves. If there is a problem there should not be a blame game. Athletes must take responsibility," Wilson reiterated.

Wilson noted that the team has worked well together in the past and that it was the first time a baton had been dropped by the men's relay team since 2008.

"And the problems we had prior to 2008 was that athletes felt their job was to select teams. That's the coach's responsibility. We as coaches have averted a lot of problems at the last minute before the team is put out there and a lot of people don't know that," Wilson said.

Wilson noted that the USA men's team practise twice as much as Jamaican teams yet also drop the baton twice as much, and did not wish to point any fingers as to the cause for the dropped baton.

"The baton could have fallen on any leg. That's the risk that you take," he said.

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