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Monday, September 10, 2018
Could Bermuda Host the IAAF World Relays?

Bermuda's 2014 Team
President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Warren Blake, has confirmed to The Gleaner, that Jamaica has failed in its attempt to host the 2019 IAAF World Relays.

The question is could Bermuda host this event, the IAAF World Relays is an international biennial track and field sporting event where teams from around the world compete in relay races, some of which are not part of the standard Olympic programme.

The first three editions took place in Nassau, Bahamas at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in 2014, 2015 and 2017. Originally intended as an annual event, it was later decided to happen every odd year, the same as the IAAF World Championships in Athletics for which it serves as a qualification stage.

Top countries take part upward of 600 athletes have been involved in the past, throw in coaches and trainers more than 1000 people directly involved would descend on the island for a five day period.

Blake said the Government was not able to provide a written financial backing to the IAAF, despite the world governing body extending the period, which was given for the country to provide the financial statement.

“The decision was for Jamaica to say we could afford to host the event and we needed the Government to say they could come up with the financial backing. We were not able to secure a written financial backing from the Government in time. They gave us a deadline and when the deadline passed they extended it and we still could not come up with a written financial backing,” Blake said.

Jamaica became the preferred destination to host the event after The Bahamas, which hosted the first three editions of the meet, relinquished their hosting rights saying that it has become a financial strain.

It is reported that it would have cost the country over US$5 million ($687 million) to host the relays as major renovation would have to be done to the National Stadium.
Friday, August 31, 2018
Bermuda Olympian Proposes During Diamond League

Bermuda Olympian Tyrone Smith flew in to Zurich to surprise his girlfriend American Olympian pole-vaulter Sandi Morris who was competing in the Diamond Leauge Track and Field Final.

Smith tweeted, “She thought that was the whole surprise but then, I proposed.”

Morris later tweeted, “I said yes, I may have gotten second in the Diamond League, but I’m going home with a REAL diamond and the most amazing man I’ve ever met.”
Saturday, August 18, 2018
Confusion Abounded After NACAC Championships

In the wake of last weekend’s North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Championships in Toronto, Canada, confusion has abounded regarding whether or not first-place athletes from the event would receive 2019 IAAF World Championships “A” standards as a result writes Lincoln Shryack from Flotrack.org

In the past, the IAAF has granted winners of area championships like NACAC the “A” standard for the next world championships, but with the athletics governing body planning to alter the qualifying system for which athletes will achieve the standard in 2019, this is no longer the case.

Below is a statement from IAAF Head of Communications, Nicole Jeffery, on the controversy.

“In the past the winner of the area championships was deemed to have achieved the entry standard (not a wild card) for the next world championships, but that will no longer apply under the new world rankings system, as the world rankings will decide qualification.

An athlete’s world ranking will be decided based on an average of their best five performances, and the area championships will be counted as one of those performances. So the area championship will contribute to the world ranking but it won’t be the only factor.”

Adding to the confusion, the 2018 NACAC Championships committee released a technical manual for their event on June 30 that indicated event winners, in part, would, “qualify with the A Standard for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar…” The section reads as follows:

“The winner of each event will qualify with the A Standard for the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Qatar and 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru. It is the National Federation who will decide if they enter or do not enter the athlete.”

Jamaican Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who competed this past weekend at NACAC, reiterated this to the media: "What has definitely led to the fact of a lot of athletes coming here (NACAC Games) is also the fact you have a bye once you win."

This change was not apparent to at least two American athletes who competed last weekend in Toronto and FloTrack spoke to on the matter—they believed a victory would mean they achieved the "A" standard.

Additionally, FloTrack has obtained the following USATF document provided to the athletes that incorrectly states event winners receive an “A” standard

"Note that the winner of each event will qualify with the A Standard for the 2019 IAAF Championships in Qatar and 2019 Pan Am Games in Peru. As with previous World Championships team selection, final athlete selection to the team will be determined according to the selection procedures as written by USATF."

As made clear by the IAAF’s release, we know now that this is no longer the case.

This is all particularly notable for these athletes as the 2019 IAAF World Championships “A” standards are expected to be much faster than in years past. Entry standards for 2019 won’t be released until November 1, 2019, but the IAAF states in the Doha 2019 qualification manual that the IAAF World Rankings— a new rankings system based on meet performance— will serve as the main selection criteria for athletes without an entry standard or a bye into the meet.

The 2018 NACAC Championships will be one of the meets that will factor into an athlete’s world ranking.

We have reached out to both NACAC and USATF to comment on the issue, and will update when we learn more.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
King Elected NACAC Athlete Commission Chair Person

During the NACAC Championships this past weekend held in Toronto, Canada, elections were held for the Chairperson for the NACAC Athlete Commission. As noted earlier this year Arantxa King was selected as one of the females on the Athlete Commission when we sent in her nomination.

Arantxa was voted in as the Chairperson of the NACAC Athletes Commission. She will be working very closely with the IAAF Athlete Commission's Chairperson.

I received a text message from the IAAF President, Lord Sebastian Coe who advised me Sunday August 11th, that Arantxa was elected. He stated "I think she'll be a great asset". I told him I have no doubt that Arantxa will be a great asset and will give 100%.

I also received a call from the NACAC President, Victor Lopez who also advised me of Arantxa's success. He stated that they were very impressed with Arantxa, her demeanor, attitude, knowledge and communication skills. He stated there were 2 other lawyers on the Commission as well. The chairperson of the IAAF Athlete Commission is also a lawyer.

I emailed Arantxa to send the BNAA's Congratulations and she stated "It came quite unexpected, but as they say: sometimes you must be the change you wish to see! I will keep you all posted on any major updates!"

This is a great step for Arantxa and a great opportunity. With her being a past athlete she has the knowledge of what athletes need to be successful. I have no doubt she will make sure decisions that are made at the top level do not have an adverse affect on the athletes.

I am excited and proud of her and had no doubt she would represent herself well at the first NACAC Athlete's Commission meeting.

This is a big step for Bermuda and shows the respect these organizations and countries have for Bermuda in Athletics.
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Minors Honored by the USTFCCCA

Graduate student Dage Minors has earned All-Academic honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, as announced earlier this summer by the USTFCCCA.

For his part, Minors wrapped up the most-decorated career in the history of Franklin Pierce Track & Field this spring, with his sixth career All-America selection, as he finished fifth in the nation in the 800 meters at the Outdoor NCAA Championships.

Minors was also a three-time All-Region selection during the Outdoor season, as he was honored in the 800 meters (1:48.99), the 1500 meters (3:52.22) and the 4x400-meter relay (3:15.63).
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