Sturrup gets green light for World Championship
Thursday, July 24, 2003
NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – World sprint star Chandra Sturrup has been given the green light to pursue the IAAF Golden League US$1 million jackpot without jeopardising her place in the Bahamian team to the World Championship this summer.
The Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (BAAA) had been insisting that Sturrup competes at the Pan American Games to be eligible for the Paris World Championship, but softened its position yesterday.
At a press conference yesterday morning, BAAA President Senator Desmond Bannister, said the association’s members agreed at a meeting Tuesday night to allow Sturrup to miss the August 1-17 Pan American Games, which conflict with two important Golden League dates.
“Upon the recommendation of the (BAAA) President, the members in attendance unanimously agreed that in the circumstances, the BAAA would permit Miss Sturrup not to compete in Pan Am Games, if that’s her wish,” the BAAA said in a release.
Sturrup has won three of the Golden League 100 metres so far this season and is preparing for the remaining events in the series – Berlin on August 10, Zurich on August 15, and Brussells on September 5.
If she wins at all six events, she will collect a US$1 million bonus.
“We wish to express our sincere wishes to Chandra as she seeks to win the jackpot,” the BAAA said.
After a tremendous start to the 2003 season in which she has scored five big international wins, Sturrup has won Golden League races in Oslo, Paris and Rome, where she ran a 2003 world best 10.89 seconds.
The BAAA discussed a letter Sturrup had written to them, asking the association to reconsider conditions outlined by Bannister in a letter to her, which would rule her out of her jackpot bid.
Already annoyed that Sturrup skipped the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championship earlier this month in Grenada for which she was selected, the BAAA had told Sturrup she must compete in the 100 and sprint relay events at the Pan Am Games, and make herself available for pre-Pan-Am and pre-World Championship camps to be eligible for the Paris World Championship from August 23-31.
Bannister denied that the BAAA and the Bahamas Olympic Association had been threatening athletes that if they did not compete in certain meets they would not be allowed to compete in bigger meets.
“The BAAA tries to get the best teams possible to represent the Bahamas as the BOA does. They spend their money on teams and athletes to get scholarship and would like to see the prime athletes in meets such as Pan Am and Olympic Games so that they could get more sponsorship to fund these athletes,” Bannister said.