St. John’s Antigua- Hopes of having an Antigua & Barbuda 4X1 relay team at this summer’s Olympic Games in London seems in doubt after the athletes missed their first chance to seek qualification at the Trinidad National Championships over the weekend.
This is according to well-placed sources who told OBSERVER Media that Antigua & Barbuda was forced to pull out of the Trinidad championships due to the unavailability the nation’s two top sprinters Brendon Christian and Daniel “Bakka” Bailey.
Christian is nursing an injury and sources said Bailey was unable to get to Trinidad in time for the meet.
The 4X1 team would have to register 39 second or less at two separate meets in order to qualify for the event at London’s summer Olympics.
This is however not the only issue plaguing the national athletic and Antigua & Barbuda Olympic associations as a number of young athletes who would have already achieved qualifying times at home for next month’s World Juniors in Barcelona have had their times rejected by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Vice-president of the Antigua & Barbuda Athletic Association Calvin Greenaway said the IAAF rejected the times because the lone wind gauge at Yasco Sports Complex, which is used to determine whether the times were wind assisted or not, has been out of operation.
Greenaway said therefore the times recorded at Yasco Sports Complex as qualifying times are not been accepted and the only solution is to have the athletes qualify at recognise meets outside of Antigua.
“That is the major issue we are facing, the unavailability of the wind gauge, and what they are saying is that, the times can not be accepted without that,” Greenaway said.
“The athletes still have some time to try and qualify but that would probably have to be done outside of Antigua. We also need to look at having the track resurfaced, which is another requirement by the IAAF,” the former coach added.
Young sprinter Tahir Walsh, who clocked 21.26 in the boys 200 metres at the OECS meet in St Kitts a couple of weeks ago, is listed as the only recognised time to date.
Other athletes, including Jared “Shark” Jarvis and Cejhae Greene have all had their local qualifying times rejected.
The duo will, however, have an opportunity to qualify when they attend the CAC Championships in El Salvador from June 27 to July 1.
The World Juniors is slated for July 10-15 in Barcelona, Spain.