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Track and Field
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.
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