Jamaica assembles 4x400m relay squad for New Life Invitational in final push for Olympic qualification

By June 12, 2024

In a final bid to secure their spot at the Paris Olympic Games this summer, Jamaica's Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) has announced a six-man relay team set to compete in the 4x400m relay at the New Life Invitational in the Bahamas on Sunday, June 17. The squad aims to surpass the qualifying mark of 2:58.45, a time that would move them ahead of France and Zambia, who have clocked 2:59.12, in the global rankings.

The selected athletes, Tarees Rhoden, Kimar Farquharson, Raheem Hayles, Jevaughn Powell, Shevioe Reid, and Malik James-King, bring a wealth of recent performance successes, particularly from the NCAA National Division 1 Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Powell, who ran a season-best 44.54 seconds to place third in the 400m final, demonstrated his relay prowess with a blistering 44.34-second split for the Florida Gators, contributing to their third-place finish in the 4x400m relay. Meanwhile, Farquharson, primarily an 800m specialist, demonstrated his versatility with a 44.38-second split on the third leg for Texas A&M, securing the gold medal.

Hayles also put in a solid performance at the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh in the 400m final with a time of 45.58 seconds. James-King, who ran 45.59 seconds earlier this year, rounds out the team, bringing additional depth and speed.

This upcoming race in the Bahamas represents Jamaica's last opportunity to qualify for the Olympics, as the national championships scheduled for June 27-30 at the National Stadium in Kingston fall within the Olympic qualification window, which closes on June 30.

The urgency of this attempt is underscored by Jamaica's disappointing performances at the World Relays in May, where the team failed to crack the top 16 globally.

In the preliminary round of the World Relays, a team consisting of Assinie Wilson, Zandrion Barnes, Demish Gaye, and Malik James-King posted a time of 3:02.48. The second-round team, which included Rusheen McDonald, Wilson, Gaye, and James-King, fared even worse with a time of 3:05.09, highlighting the need for a revitalized and more competitive squad.

Accompanying the athletes to the Bahamas are Team Manager Brian Smith, Head Coach Mark Elliott, Coach Lamar Richards, and Massage Therapist Oral Thompson, all of whom are integral to ensuring the team's optimal performance.

On paper, Jamaica's new lineup boasts the credentials to make a successful bid for Olympic qualification. With key athletes hitting peak form at the NCAA Championships, there is a renewed sense of optimism and determination within the team. As they take to the track at the New Life Invitational, the eyes of a nation will be watching, hopeful that this talented group can deliver a performance worthy of Olympic contention.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Olympic dream in jeopardy, attorneys to file urgent appeal for hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis Olympic dream in jeopardy, attorneys to file urgent appeal for hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis

    Attorneys representing Jamaica’s hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis are set to file an urgent appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ad hoc committee if the uncertainty surrounding her participation in the 2024 Olympic Games remains unresolved by 5 pm today, Wednesday, July 16.

    Despite achieving a National Record of 71.83 metres in May, ranking her in the top 32 in the world this year, Clunis's dream of competing on the world’s biggest stage is now hanging in the balance due to a blunder from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).

    The 28-year-old, who placed second at the JAAA National Senior Championships, initially believed she was on her way to the Olympics. However, her excitement turned to dismay when she learned that her name was omitted from the JAAA’s official list submitted to World Athletics.

    “Following the Jamaican Olympic Trials, I was elated to receive notification of my official selection to Team Jamaica. Unfortunately, I have since found myself in a difficult position. Due to an omission made by the Jamaican Athletics Administration Association, my name was not officially submitted to World Athletics. As such, I do not have a position in the Olympic Games,” Clunis shared in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

    However, after no word forthcoming from the JAAA, attorneys representing the frustrated athlete - Dr. Emir Crowne and local attorney Sayeed Bernard – have written to the JAAA informing of their intended action.

    "Mr. Bernard and I act for Ms. Nayoka Clunis, an athlete who should be well-known to you by now. As is also common ground, the JAAA’s admitted negligence (gross negligence, in some jurisdictions) has put Ms. Clunis’ Olympic dreams in jeopardy. In the absence of any updates as to Ms. Clunis’ situation by 5 p.m. today, we have been instructed to file an emergency appeal to the CAS’s ad hoc division."

    The letter continued, "Indeed, we are hopeful that an appeal to the CAS is not necessary, but the JAAA’s negligence and radio silence since July 7th has left our client with few options, not to mention the irreparable damage this has done to the mental and emotional well-being. Athletes deserve better."

    While Clunis awaits a resolution, her plight underscores the importance of strong administrative leadership, as the oversight by the JAAA could potentially rob an athlete who has shown remarkable dedication in her sport of the opportunity to achieve her dream on the global stage.

     

     

  • KFC inks brand deal with Jaydon Hibbert ahead of Paris Olympics KFC inks brand deal with Jaydon Hibbert ahead of Paris Olympics

    Quick-service restaurant giant, KFC Jamaica has inked a brand partnership with one of Jamaica’s most dynamic and exciting young athletes - triple jump sensation Jaydon Hibbert. The partnership with the world under-20 record holder begins on the eve of the 2024 Paris Olympics, where Hibbert will represent Jamaica on the world stage.

    Excited for the partnership and the Olympic games ahead, Hibbert celebrated the support from KFC, noting, “I’m really excited to be partnering with KFC for this Olympic season. It is an honour to be named the first track and field brand ambassador for KFC. Whenever I land in Jamaica, KFC is always my first stop, so this opportunity to represent the brand is truly special to me. I'm excited to see what the future holds. Without question, it's a big deal!”

    Andrei Roper, Marketing Manager at Restaurants of Jamaica also expressed his elation at the deal with the strong Olympic-medal prospect.

    “KFC is a long-time supporter of Jamaican sports and athletes. We believe in investing in our nation’s talented youth, and so we are extremely excited to partner with one of Jamaica’s brightest young sporting talents. We are pleased to welcome Jaydon to the KFC family, and we are delighted to be a part of his journey,” Roper shared.

    In addition to being the current world under-20 record holder in the triple jump, Hibbert will now lead Jamaica’s medal hopes in the event at the Paris Olympics. Hibbert is also set to represent Jamaica at the World U20 Championships in Lima, Peru later in August.

    Roper continued, “Jaydon’s attitude and dedication towards track and field has been commendable. He aligns perfectly with everything we hold dear at KFC – leadership, discipline, commitment, dedication, community, nation-building, and all-around Jamaican excellence. He is a great role model for young athletes.  We look forward to what will undoubtedly be a great partnership and are confident he will represent us, both KFC and Jamaica, well at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics.

    Hibbert will appear in upcoming KFC brand and retail marketing campaigns as he continues to excel on and off the field and help lay the foundation for the next generation of talented Jamaican athletes.

     

  • Trinidad and Tobago's storied Olympic journey and prospects for Paris 2024 Trinidad and Tobago's storied Olympic journey and prospects for Paris 2024

    Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic history is rich with moments of triumph and perseverance. The journey began in 1946 when the twin-island nation formed a committee, eventually gaining full recognition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Since then, Trinidad and Tobago have competed in every Summer Olympic Games, making their mark on the global stage.

    The first notable participation came in 1948 when Rodney Wilkes won the nation’s first Olympic medal, a silver in the men’s featherweight division in weightlifting at the London Olympics. Wilkes continued his success by securing a bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Trinidad and Tobago's first gold medal came in 1976 when Haseley Crawford won the men’s 100m in track and field athletics at the Montreal Summer Olympic Games. This historic victory was a monumental achievement, putting Trinidad and Tobago on the map in the athletics world.

    Ato Boldon stands out as one of Trinidad and Tobago's most decorated Olympians, having won four medals in his illustrious career. Boldon claimed bronze in both the 100m and 200m at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and followed up with a silver in the 100m and another bronze in the 200m at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. His achievements cemented his status as a track and field legend for the nation.

    In more recent history, Keshorn Walcott brought home gold in javelin at the 2012 London Olympics, adding to the country's illustrious track and field legacy. Walcott continued to shine by winning a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and now, he aims for a third Olympic medal in Paris. Additionally, the nation received a gold medal in the 2008 men’s 4x100 relay after Jamaica was disqualified due to a doping violation by Nesta Carter.

    As Trinidad and Tobago prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, the nation has much to look forward to. Securing spots in the 4x100m and men's 4x400m relay teams at the World Athletics Relay Championship in Nassau, Bahamas, on May 5, 2024, highlights their continued strength in athletics.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee has announced a team of 17 athletes, including seven women and 10 men, who will compete in athletics, cycling, and swimming. Among the notable athletes is Michelle-Lee Ahye, a seasoned sprinter known for her speed and competitive spirit. Jereem Richards, another formidable contender over 200m and 400m, will join her on the track. In the pool, Dylan Carter is an accomplished swimmer with a history of strong performances. Keshorn Walcott, the Olympic gold and bronze medalist in javelin, is looking to add a third Olympic medal to his collection. Nicholas Paul, a world-class cyclist participating in his second Olympic Games, will be joined by fellow cyclist Kwesi Browne, adding depth to the team’s cycling prospects.

    The team will be supported by a dedicated group of officials and coaches, including manager Dexter Voisin, Chef De Mission Lovie Santana-Duke, Chief Medical Officer Rudranath Ramsawak, and Olympic medalist Keston Bledman.

    With a total of 19 Olympic medals—15 in track and field, three in weightlifting, and one in swimming—Trinidad and Tobago have a proud history of Olympic success. The 2024 Paris Games represent another opportunity for the nation to showcase its athletic prowess and continue its legacy of excellence on the world stage.

     

     

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.