ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Athletes who are hoping to qualify for the World Juniors slated for July 10 to 15 in Barcelona, Spain when they attend the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games this week, are still not guaranteed qualification even if they post the required times.
This is according to PRO of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletic Association (ABAA), Randy Allen, who said that based on the fact that the CAC Games happens so close to the July 1 deadline for the submission of names to the IAAF, the athletes’ times may still not be accepted by the governing body.
He added, however, that the ABAA is in negotiations with the IAAF seeking to have the rules relaxed in the event that the athletes post good times.
“Unfortunately, you had to send in your information early and ahead of time. Tahir Walsh has made the qualifying time for the World Juniors but we are still trying to get Jared Jarvis qualified too, but he (has) to put on a very good performance at the CAC Games for us to even say that we are going to try and get him in at last minute; but we have been able to communicate with the IAAF and see if we can get something sorted out to try and get him there,” he said.
“Because of the late notice (they may not be able to compete) but as I said, we have been in contact with the IAAF and were able to notify them of the situation, and they are going to be lenient with us if he performs well at the CAC games,” Allen added.
A four-member team will represent Antigua & Barbuda at the CAC Games which is slated to run from June 27 to July 1 in El Salvador.
The team includes Tahir Walsh, Cejhae Greene, Jared “Shark” Jarvis, and Kenneth Benjamin. The team, which leaves on Tuesday, will be coached by Everton Cornelius.
“Those are the four athletes that we thought made the standards to go; Kenneth Benjamin is a Carifta medallist, Jared Jarvis, Cejhae Greene and Tahir Walsh have been showing prominence in terms of their performances from since Carifta up until now and they are the only ones that are able to make it; plus, due to financial constraints, we have decided that they are the ones who are contenders to probably make the finals for some of these events or us,” the PRO said.
Despite the challenges however, Allen said he expects the athletes to do well at the competitive meet.
“We expect the athletes to do very well. As you know, we had Cejhae and Tahir make the finals at the Carifta Games and Kenneth Benjamin won a medal and Jared Jarvis was part of the relay team that made the finals so we expect very good performances from these athletes,” he said.
“In terms of the sprints, they will be competing against the same athletes that they competed against at Carifta with the exception of the Central American countries but we expect them to hold their own at the Games and do well for us.”
The absence of a working wind gauge at YASCO Sports Complex has left the young athletes desperately seeking qualification for the World Juniors after the IAAF rejected the times posted during the National Championships.
Walsh is the only track athlete who would have posted a qualifying time when he clocked 21.26 at the OECS meet in St Kitts a couple of weeks ago.