World Relays to provide Doha test – Wilson

Jamaica will seek to answer some questions about its prowess in sprinting at the fourth staging of the IAAF World Relays, which gets under way here tomorrow.

The retirement of sprint legend Usain Bolt and the absence of the never-ageing Veronica Campbell-Brown have raised many questions as to whether the black, green and gold dominance on the global athletics stage is fading.

But the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has selected a strong team, with the hope of giving a glimpse of what can be reaped at the World Championships scheduled for Doha later this year.

“We have started preparation where we ran two 4x100m teams at the recently held Penn Relays to see how best we can put together a good team. This meet is to see how best we can get, especially the relay teams, to gel and then to take it to Doha,” head coach Maurice Wilson told The Gleaner during yesterday’s training session.

“For these meets, it is very difficult to predict how we will perform because we didn’t have a National Trials. Some of the athletes are bringing their best performances forward from last year. We don’t have our fastest man ,Yohan Blake, here and a couple other athletes, so that affects the team,” added Wilson.

Ronald Levy, Megan Tapper, Andrew Riley, Amoi Brown, and Yanique Thompson will hit the track first to contest the preliminary round of the mix shuttle hurdles, a new event on the World Relays cards, at 4:38 a.m. tomorrow morning. Levy, the breakout hurdles star from two seasons ago, is excited about the new event.

“It is my first time doing it, so, hopefully everything will go well,” he said. “The girls we have running are very good, so, hopefully, we can go out there and give a show.”

The final of the event will be contested at 7:55 a.m.

The preliminary round of the women’s and men’s 4x400m will also be contested tomorrow at 5:05 a.m. and 5:40 a.m, respectively.

At 7:00 a.m, Jamaica’s speedsters will be looking to correct their recent misfortunes in the 4x100m on the world stage. The men’s team failed to carry the baton around the track on their last two international outings, including sprint legend Usain Bolt’s final race, where he pulled up halfway down the home ­straightaway at the World Championships in London two years ago.

The women’s team are is ­looking to better their 2017 performance, where they were surprisingly beaten by the Germans. This year’s team of Jonielle Smith, Sherone Simpson, Natasha Morrison, and Jura levy will seek to qualify for Sunday’s final at 6:37 a.m. to make amends for what happened two years ago.


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