Kingston: Athletics powerhouse Jamaica has
named an understrength 46-member squad sans some of the
biggest stars in the world, including top sprinters, for next
month`s Commonwealth Games in India.
Apart from double world record holder sprinter Usain
Bolt, Asafa Powell, world and Olympic champions Shelly-Ann
Fraser (100m) and Melaine Walker (400m Hurdles), whose absence
are already known, Jamaica has named second string sprinters
for the October 3-14 Games.
In the men`s 100m race, Lerone Clarke and Oshane Baily,
who both have more than 10 seconds timing this season, are
leading the challenge.
There is no Yohan Blake, no Nesta Carter -- the leading
Jamaican this season (9.78s) -- and even Michael Frater, who
all are sub 10 sec runners this year.
In men`s 200m also, in the absence of Bolt, Powell and
Blake who all are sub 20 sec runners, the responsibility of
leading the Jamaicans has fallen to Lansford Spence, who has a
season`s best of 20.63sec.
In women`s 100m, Jamaica has named mostly unknown names
without season`s world leader Veronica Campbell Brown,
Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart and Sheri-Ann Brooks.
There is no Melbourne Games gold medallist Sherone
Simpson either in the 200m race, who clocked 22.65sec in July
Jamaica dominated the sprinting events in the previous
edition in Melbourne, winning gold in both men`s and women`s
100m, 200m, 4X100m relay, men`s 110m hurdles and women`s 100m
In the absence of the big stars, prominent members of the
squad are top woman 800m runnner Kenia Sinclair who won silver
in Melbourne, IAAF Continental Cup double gold medallist woman
400m hurdler Nickesha Wilson, and two other 2006 Games silver
medallists -- men`s shot putter Dorian Scott and men`s
decathlete Mauruce Smith.
There was a major blow to the 4x400m team also after the
withdrwal of two members -? Allodin Fothergill and Roxroy
The withdrawal leaves just six men in the mile relay
pool, which includes former national senior 400m champion
Lanceford Spence, who has been named to run both relays as
well as the 200m, and 800m specialist Ricardo Cunningham.
There were a number of surprises in the team, including
IAAF World Junior Championships 100m bronze medallist Remaldo
Rose, who is coming off injury and ran sparingly this season.
400m hurdler Josef Robertson, who also ran sparingly with
little success and former decathlon national record holder
Claston Bernard, who has been out of the sport for several
years, have also been included in the sqaud.
Jabari Ennis, who retuned to pole vault this year after
several years away, was named to the team along with the
US-based Christopher Smith.
Both team manager Judith Ewart and head coach Maurice
Wilson agreed Jamaica`s main chances for medals will come form
the field events where national record holders Maurice Smith
Dorian Scot and Jason Morgan (discus) have been selected.