Jamaica to make final push for Olympic 4x400m relay qualification at National Championships

By June 24, 2024

In a last-ditch effort to qualify its 4x400m relay team for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Jamaica will stage a special race on the final day of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston on Sunday, June 30. This follows three previous attempts, the latest of which took place on June 16 at the New Life Invitational in the Bahamas. There, the team of Reheem Hayles, JeVaughn

Powell, Kimar Farquharson, and Tarees Rhoden clocked 2:59.75, just shy of Zambia's 2:59.12 mark set in March.

JAAA Vice President Ian Forbes cited a lack of competition as a key factor in the previous failure but expressed optimism about the upcoming attempt. "We have been looking at the possibility of staging a race at our championships and I am happy to report that there will be a 4x400m race at the national championships to facilitate qualification," Forbes announced at a press conference on Monday.

JAAA Vice President Ian Forbes

Forbes elaborated on the necessary conditions for the race to be considered a legitimate qualifier. "For the record, at least two countries must be present in the race for it to be ratified as a bona fide race and will count towards qualification," he explained. “I am happy to report that Jamaica will be represented and we have a team from St Vincent and the Grenadines. Jamaica’s representation will not be only one team, we’ll have a number of teams and we are also working on another country and an international team as well.”

In anticipation of the relay, the championship schedule has been adjusted to give the 400m runners the best chance to achieve the qualifying time while ensuring their safety. "We have consulted with stakeholders, athletes, coaches, agents; and we would have had at least two meetings, heard recommendations and we can now confirm that race will be run the final day of the championships, the 30th of June at 8:05 pm at the national stadium," Forbes stated.

To prevent overburdening the athletes, the schedule has been crafted meticulously. "On Thursday, the 27th at 10 am, there will be a preliminary round for some of the athletes in the 400m. So the top-ranked 16 athletes will be advanced to the semi-finals," said Forbes. “The remaining athletes will compete in the preliminary round at 10 am on Thursday morning. From those preliminaries, the top eight will join the 16 and be placed in one of three semi-finals which will be run at 6:50 pm on Thursday.

“In the semi-finals, the top two from each heat and the next two fastest losers will be advanced to the final that will be run at 8:50 pm on Friday. On Saturday, the 400m runners will be free so they will have time for recovery.”

Forbes continued: “Initially, the final was set for Saturday. Their (athletes) health, safety and well-being must be at the forefront of everything so they will be resting on Saturday and I am happy to announce that the JAAA will be assisting in their recovery in respect to equipment, technology to help them recover and be fresh for the race on Sunday.”

The effort has garnered financial support, with two companies pledging a combined total of one million Jamaican dollars towards the participants in the race. "It will be a tiered approach and once the qualification time is attained the full million will be allocated to the participants in that race. Those two companies are Fleetwood Jamaica Limited and Tile City," Forbes announced.

Forbes expressed confidence in the athletes' ability to qualify. "We are confident that our athletes will be successful. They have given their commitment to participate, we have worked together and some of the critical recommendations were put forward by the athletes," he said.

As the final day of the championships approaches, the Jamaican team and its supporters remain hopeful that this last attempt will secure their place in the 4x400m relay at the Paris Olympics, continuing the nation's rich tradition in the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

     

     

  • Jamaica tops inaugural Ice Hockey Challenger Series Jamaica tops inaugural Ice Hockey Challenger Series

    Jamaica’s Ice Hockey team emerged victorious in the final match of the Challenger Series after beating a very strong Lebanon team 12-8 at the College Ice Arena in Toronto on Saturday evening.

    In a pulsating match played before hundreds of cheering supporters, Jamaica took the early lead in the first period but fell behind after Lebanon scored three unanswered goals over the next 15 minutes of the first period. During the second of three 20-minute periods, Jamaica regrouped and fought back to take a 6-4 lead, before Lebanon pulled level at 6-6.

    Buoyed by the enthusiastic support from the massive crowd, Jamaica asserted their authority on the contest to end the period at 9–6. With victory in sight at the start of the third and final period, the Jamaicans applied pressure on their Lebanese counterparts and extended their lead to 11-7 with four minutes left in the game.

    Tight defensive work then ensured Jamaica added to their tally, though they also conceded another goal in the latter stages of the encounter. Reggie Millette and Givani Smith both scored a brace, while Maleek McGowan, Captain Taos Jordan, Amari Sellers, Tyler Drummond, Dante Sheriff, Avery Grant, Josh Mitton, and Marquis Grant-Mentis got the others.

    The Challenger Series is a new tournament involving Puerto Rico, Lebanon, and Jamaica, who are all associate members of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

    The Challenger Series began in Chicago in April, continued in New York in June, and culminated in Toronto on Saturday.  At the end of the second leg in New York, Jamaica was in pole position and, as such, earned the automatic right to the final by virtue of the accumulation of points over the first two legs.

    Lebanon defeated Puerto Rico 9-3 in the playoff for a spot in the final.

    Across the three legs, Jamaica won six of their nine matches and now has an overall tally of 22 matches since it started to play competitively in 2019. Their record currently stands at 16 wins and six losses, with over 100 goals to their tally.

    Don Anderson, president of the Jamaica Olympic Ice Hockey Federation (JOIHF), said the Federation is now setting its sights on establishing an ice rink in Jamaica as well as building a strong local program that will facilitate the team playing in qualifying tournaments for the Olympics. He added that expert opinion is that this team could be highly ranked globally if it had the opportunity to play at the next level amongst countries with Ice Rinks.

  • Young Sunshine Girls top Americas Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers; T&T, Barbados also secure spots for 2025 showpiece in Gibraltar Young Sunshine Girls top Americas Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers; T&T, Barbados also secure spots for 2025 showpiece in Gibraltar

    Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago are set to represent the Caribbean at next year’s Netball World Youth Cup, after securing the top three spots at the just-concluded Americas Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers in Guadeloupe.

    The young Sunshine Girls, who went unbeaten in the tournament, were crowned overall champions following a 54-29 win over Barbados young Gems in Sunday’s final, while Trinidad and Tobago young Calypso Girls downed Grenada 61-39 in the third-place playoff to take the final qualifying spot.

    Jamaica’s Head coach Phyllis Thompson lauded her team’s gritty showing, particularly in the semi-final where they produced a late rally to top their young Calypso Girls counterparts 40-33.

    “I am super excited and elated for the girls. They did the hard work coming into the tournament and it showed on the court. Of course we weren’t always flawless, we made our fair share of mistakes along the way, but the most important thing was to secure the win here and then work on tighten up our play going forward,” Thompson said.

    “We have a very talented and determined group of girls and it showed in the semi-final against Trinidad when we were down two goals, I reminded them that we are still in the game and they went out and gave it their all to come out victorious. So I am very proud of them and like I said we will go back to the drawing board and work on what we need to for the World Cup next year,” she added.

    While they were unable to upstage Jamaica in the final, president of the Barbados Netball Association, Dr. Carmeta Douglin struck a positive tone.

    She admitted that closing the gap with world class teams like Jamaica is no easy task but, in the same breath, insisted that improvement is possible with the right structures.

    The young Gems brushed aside Grenada 63-45 in the semi-final.

    “Our Under-21 is not a bad team, but they still need a lot of work to get to the world-class level, as you can see. So we are looking to build on Under-14, to move to Under-16, to move to Under-21, to move to seniors. So we are looking at an Academy, where we have players in training all year round, and moving up through the age groups. So this is something we are planning,” Douglin said.

    “Jamaica has been there, they have done that, and they are getting a lot more practice, a lot more exposure, because this Jamaica Under-21 team would obviously be playing in their Super League and playing with their seniors, who already have a really good start. So we need to get there, and it’s a building process, and we are working towards it,” she noted.

    Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago’s Head coach Kalifa McCollin-Lopez welcomed the third-place finish by her team.

    “I am very excited for the girls. They would have worked hard to reach here and I know they are really happy right now,” she said.

    Though the losses against Barbados, earlier in the tournament, and Jamaica in the semi-final, were hard to take, McCollin-Lopez said they served as lessons for their improved performance in the third-place contest.

    “Through those losses, we would have had to learn and grow from them; not to put themselves down too much because we had the game following, but to tidy up the mistakes (and) stick to (the) task. I think that is what we went out there and tried to do,” she shared.

    The three Caribbean teams now join pre-qualified teams New Zealand, Australia, England, Fiji, and host nation Gibraltar for the Netball World Youth Cup, a competition for emerging Under-21 players, scheduled for September 19–28 next year.

    A total of 20 teams will compete in the event. South Africa, Malawi, and Zambia qualify from Africa, and Malaysia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka qualify from Asia. The remaining six teams are yet to be decided.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.