JAAA selection policy unfair to Yanique Thompson says coach Maurice Wilson

By July 17, 2019

Maurice Wilson, head coach of the Sprintec Track Club, has come out against the proposed method for selecting Jamaica’s female sprint hurdlers for the team to compete at the IAAF World Championships in September.

His position stems from the fact Yanique Thompson, the athlete he trains, got hurt on the final day of Jamaica’s national championships on June 23 and has been unable to race ever since. She is now in a race against time to get the competition she needs so she can move up in the IAAF rankings.

The Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) was unable to select the top-three sprint hurdlers at the national championships.

Danielle Williams, the 2015 World Champion, was determined to have false started but she refused to leave the track, delaying the race for more than 20 minutes. In the subsequent re-start, some runners did not hear the callback gun until they were well into the race during a faulty start.

One runner, Janeek Brown, ran the entire race.

The JAAA abandoned the race citing that some runners suffered injuries during the restart. Among them was Thompson, the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist.

“Something happened and she stepped back and twisted her ankle so we had to do extensive rehab to remedy the situation. It took a week to get her ankle functioning in a way so she could start training and slowly, she is getting back there,” Wilson said.

The JAAA subsequently issued a statement saying it would select the top three Jamaican hurdlers on the IAAF world rankings by August 16. Thompson is currently the fourth-best Jamaican in the rankings with 1194 points.

It is in that context that she will take on a world-class field that includes fellow Jamaicans Danielle Williams and Megan Tapper, at the Diamond League meeting this weekend without having raced since the national championships.

“Her first competition will be the Diamond League in London. We would have preferred if she had gone at a lower level of competition but there are no races available so we didn’t have much choice,” he said.

She trails Megan Tapper, ranked 20th with 1224 points, Janeek Brown, ranked 13th with 1257 points, and Danielle Williams, ranked second with 1369 points. However, Williams will not be considered for selection because she was disqualified from the original final at the national championships in late June.

However, Wilson sees the criteria as being unfair to Thompson, the 2013 World U18 champion and former U18 world record holder, who is only six points ahead of Jeanine Williams who has 1188 ranking points and could potentially overtake Thompson.

“I don’t understand this August 16 deadline, unless there were races provided for these athletes. Not every athlete has the set up to get into races. So I don’t know about this August 16 deadline and especially since she got injured at the trials,” Wilson said.

“If we had gone with the times at the trials she would definitely be in the top three.

Everybody knows that she performs extremely well in competition. She is an animal at heart, she is a competitor.”

He suggested that the JAAA would be better served if they selected the athletes who had the best times at the cut off point in the season.

 

 

 

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.

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