JAAA names weakened team for Commonwealth Games
BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer email@example.com
Saturday, September 18, 2010
There is guarded optimism in the Jamaican camp following yesterday’s release of the 46-member team to represent Jamaica in track and field at the 19th Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi, India next month.
With the unavailability of the nation’s top track stars including double World Record holder Usain Bolt, World and Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser and Melaine Walker, the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association’s selectors have had to name a below-strength team to the championships that starts on October 3.
Jamaica dominated the sprinting events at the previous Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, winning every thing from the 100m sprint to 400m hurdles.
There was a major blow to the 4x400m team, however, after two members — quarter-miler Allodin Fothergill and intermediate hurdler Roxroy Cato — withdrew yesterday.
Judith Ewart, manager for the team confirmed that both athletes had school obligations and would not be able to participate in the event that is being held well outside of the traditional track and field calendar.
The withdrawal leaves just six men in the mile relay pool, which includes former national senior 400m champion Lanceford Spence, who has been named to run both relays as well as the 200m, and 800m specialist Ricardo Cunningham.
Both Ewart and head coach Maurice Wilson agreed Jamaica’s main chances for medals will come form the field events where national record holders Maurice Smith (heptathlon), Dorian Scot (shot put) and Jason Morgan (discus) have been selected.
Wilson told the Sporting World yesterday that he was still evaluating the strength of the team and would not be able to come to a reasonable conclusion until the team was assembled “and we see what we have to work with”.
The Holmwood Technical girls’ coach, who will be assuming his first head coaching duties for a senior team after several trips to the Olympic Games and IAAF World Championships, said he was hopeful the field event athletes who were named would be able to come through.
Ewart echoed Wilson’s sentiments, saying she expects goods showing from triple jumper Trecia Kay Smith, Scott, Maurice Smith and Morgan.
There were a number of surprises in the team, including IAAF World Junior Championships 100m bronze medallist Remaldo Rose, who is coming off injury and ran sparingly this season; 400m hurdler Josef Robertson, who also ran sparingly with little success and former decathlon national record holder Claston Bernard, who has been out of the sport for several years.
Jabari Ennis, who retuned to the pole vault this year after several years away, was named to the team along with the US-based Christopher Smith.
Kenia Sinclair, national record holder in the 800m, IAAF Continental Cup double gold medallist Nickesha Wilson, Scott and Smith will lead the team.
In addition to track and field, Jamaica will be represented in eight others disciplines — badminton, boxing, cycling, swimming, netball, table tennis, shooting and squash.
WOMEN — Yanique Boothe (100m, 4x100m), Shanna Thomas (100m, 4x100m), Audra Segree (200m, 4x100m), Davita Prendergast (400m, 4x400m), Dominique Blake (400m, 4x400m), Nadia Cunningham (400m), Tanice Barnett (800m), Kenia Sinclair (800m), Twishanna Williams (1500m), Andrea Bliss (100m hurdles, 4x100m), Nickeisha Wilson (400m hurdles, 4x400m), Sheree Francis (high jump), Nickiesha Beaumont (long jump, 4x400m), Nickevea Wilson (long jump, 4x400m), Trecia Smith (triple jump), Zara Northover (shot put), Nadia Alexander (shot put), Natalie Grant (hammer throw), Tammilee Kerr (javelin, Heptathlon), Kateema Riettie (javelin), Peaches Roach (Heptathlon).
MEN — Oshane Bailey (100m, 4x100m), Lerone Clarke (100m, 4x100m), Rasheed Dwyer (100m, 4x100m), Lansford Spence (200m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Steve Slowly (200m, 4x100m), Remaldo Rose (4x100m), Ramone McKenzie (200m, 400m), Oral Thompson (400m, 4x400m), Ricardo Cunningham (800m, 4x400m), Aundrae Drummond (800m), Rayan Lawrence (1500m), Shawn Pitter (1500m), Hansle Parchment (110m Hurdles), Eric Keddo (110m hurdles), Adrian Findlay (400m hurdles), Josef Robertson (400m hurdles), Nicholas Thomas (long jump), Darrel Garwood (high jump), Wilbert Walker (triple jump), Dorian Scott (shot put), Raymond Brown (shot put), Jason Morgan (discus), Jabari Ennis (pole vault), Christopher Smith (pole vault), Maurice Smith (decathlon), Claston Bernard (decathlon).
OFFICIALS — Judith Ewart (team manager), Corinne Clarke (assistant manager), Dennis Gordon (assistant manager), Ravi Rochlani (assistant manager), Maurice Wilson (head coach), Michael Clarke (coach), Kirkland Douglas (coach), Maurice Westney (coach).