Smith in Olympic squad Triple jumper late addition to Jamaica’s Olympic squad
Posted by Dresonic on July 3, 2008
SMITH… initially omitted from Jamaican squad
The Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) added 2005 World triple jump champion Trecia Smith to the Olympic team yesterday after initially omitting the former Sportswoman of the Year.
“Please be informed that Trecia Smith is a member of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association’s Track & Field team to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing,” a terse JAAA release stated yesterday.
“The team departs on July 29 and returns August 25, 2008,” the release added. Smith’s inclusion takes the number of athletes in the track & field delegation to 52.
Earlier, the Observer contacted Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, a member of the JAAA’s Selection Committee, who revealed that their information suggested that Smith had not attained the ‘A’ (14.20m) or ‘B’ (14.00m) qualifying standard for the Olympics, prompting her omission from the team to the 29th Olympiad.
“Miss Smith hasn’t got a qualifying mark, either ‘A’ or ‘B’ standard, and as a result of that there is no way that she can be selected,” McCook said.
The former JAAA boss, however, indicated that Smith would be considered for selection once she attained the qualifying mark before the prescribed deadline set by the world track & field body (IAAF) of July 23, 2008.
“Yes, definitely, she is somebody that has world standard marks in the past and she’s been plagued by injuries, but if she can overcome this before the closing date, certainly she will be considered for the team,” McCook said.
However, a check of Smith’s records via the IAAF website, indicated that the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist had indeed produced the qualifying mark of 14.35 metres from June 23, 2007, within the time allowed by the IAAF.
“Athletes must reach the qualification standards as set by the IAAF for each event from 1 January 2007 (1 September 2006 for marathon events, combined events and race walking events) until 23 July, 2008, for individual events and from 1 January 2007 until 16 July 2008 for relay events in order to be eligible to participate in the athletic events of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” according to the qualification system of the IAAF.
When contacted by the Observer yesterday, JAAA president Howard Aris declined to comment on Smith’s initial omission.
Prior to last weekend’s National Senior Championships, Smith – who sustained a back injury on August 29 last year while competing in the qualification round at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan – had not competed.
Incidentally, it was the second time in a week that the JAAA appeared to have got it wrong as far as Smith was concerned. Last Wednesday, Ludlow Watts, who chaired the Organising Committee for the National Championships, indicated that the former Mannings High School star had not registered to participate at the meet.
The Frank Attoh-coached Smith won the women’s triple jump with a leap 13.61 metres on Saturday.
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