Jamaica, IAAF relations still strong says Coe

August 12, 2017
@Normal:IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe engaging in discussion with JAAA President Dr Warren Blake on his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport earlier this year.

Athletics boss Sebastian Coe underlined the void that will be left when Usain Bolt runs his last race today at the World Championships in London and insisted that the IAAF's relationship with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) remains strong despite their recent differences around Russian athletics' return to the fold.

Bolt will feature in the 4x100m heats this morning and - all things being equal, will return later to compete in the final in what will be his final race after a career that saw him become the most dominant sprinter in history and the face of the sport.

"He (Bolt) has been an anchor in our sport for a decade and he has had an extraordinary influence. We are going to miss him. There will be great athletes coming along and Jamaica will have great athletes coming along but you don't replace people like Usain," Coe told STAR Sports.

anti-doping elements

Last week at the IAAF Congress, Jamaica was among 21 countries which voted in support of Russia's athletics ban being lifted.

This comes eight months after the JAAA abstained from a vote on a number of reform issues which included several anti-doping elements geared at lifting athletics from a series of major corruption and credibility scandals, which deeply involved evidence of State-sponsored doping by Russian athletes.

Coe, however, underlined that there is no hard feelings towards the Jamaican administrators and that he looks forward to continuing their rich relationship.

"As long as I am president the relationship with the Jamaican athletics federation will be very strong and it's cemented in affection. I work closely with them, I have worked closely with them in the past and will continue to do so."

"They (JAAA) now have to figure out life without Usain so have we and if we figure it out together we can be very helpful to one another. My relationship with Warren (Blake) and the JAAA is really very strong," Coe added.

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