PHILADELPHIA, USA – The Jamaica
Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) has named a strong squad to take
part in this weekend’s USA vs The Rest of the World Relays at the 113th
Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field, Philadelphia.
They will, however, have to find a
suitable replacement for world record-holder in the men’s 100m, Asafa
Powell, who was sidelined with what is being described as a minor
injury and will miss the meet.
Powell, who won the 100m here last
year, was down to run the 4x100m, along with MVP teammate and IAAF
World Championships 100m silver medallist Michael Frater, many-time
national representative Dwight Thomas and former William Knibb Memorial
sprinter Lerone Clarke.
Powell, who is yet to run outside
of Jamaica so far this season, had withdrawn from the Mt SAC relays in
California last week, citing the cooler than normal temperatures. The
weather is expected to be rainy and cool at the Penn Relays that will
start tomorrow morning.
Sherone Simpson, the fastest woman
last year, will headline the Don Quarrie-managed team that includes a
good blend of youth and experience.
Based on the composition of the
five teams submitted by the JAAA last week, the women’s Sprint Medley
team appears the best bet to give Jamaica their second win in the
series that is about seven years old.
Simpson will run one of the 200m
legs, along with former Holmwood Technical and current University of
Florida senior, Nadine Palmer.
The veteran Noveline Williams will
lead off on the 400m leg, while Kenia Sinclair, who has lowered the
national 800m record several times in the last two years, will run the
The only event the Jamaicans have
ever won was the Men’s 4x400m in 2005 when the team that included
Michael Blackwood, Sanjay Ayre, Germaine Gonzales and Davian Clarke
crossed the line first.
Clarke will make way for former
Kingston College quarter-miler Leeford Green in this year’s team that
hopes to turn back the challenges of the other teams.
Olympic relay gold medal winner
Aleen Bailey, Commonwealth Games double gold medal winner Brigitte
Foster-Hylton, Palmer and former NCAA champion Peta-Gaye Dowdie will
make up the women’s 4x100m team.
Former national 400m champion
Shericka Williams will join an experienced crew, including Ronetta
Smith, Nadia Davey and Michelle Burgher on the women’s Mile Relay team.
The series, which is sponsored by
sports gear manufacturers Nike, features teams from several other
countries, including Canada, Great Britain, Nigeria and some all-stars
combinations. The greatest rivalry, however, is between the Jamaicans
and Americans and only the Jamaicans have ever won a relay other than
the home team.