Bolt will bypass Jamaica athletics meet

Kingston: World and Olympic double sprint champion and world record-holder Usain Bolt will not compete in this weekend`s Jamaican National Track and Field Championships.

Ludlow Watts, Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) treasurer and chairman of the meet organizing committee, said that Bolt is not down to run in the meet.

"He is not entered," Watts told a Jamaican television station.

Bolt`s manager had issued a statement saying that the superstar sprinter`s next meet would be in Paris on July 8, but many athletics fans believed Bolt might make an appearance at his homeland`s national meet.

Bolt won both 100m and 200m titles in world-record runs, 9.58 seconds in the 100 and 19.19 seconds in the 200, at the last IAAF World Championships staged two years ago in Berlin.

Because the world governing body gives wild-card entries to defending champions, Bolt has no need to run in the Jamaican meet to book his place on the Jamaican team competing in this year`s World championships in South Korea starting August 27.

Jamaica does not have a rule requiring world team members to have run in the national meet like the United States, whose top sprinters were humbled by Bolt in world and Olympic showdowns.

Howard Aris, the JAAA president, said earlier this month that since IAAF rules allow world championships a chance to defend their crowns, "Jamaica`s athletes who are defending titles fit in that category, so automatically they are eligible to compete at the next World Championships."

While Bolt`s record-setting speed will not be on display, the Jamaican meet will serve as the world team trials for other athletes and the sprints are expected to bring the most excitement.

The men’s 100m dash sees three world spots available for a field with seven Jamaicans with times below 10 seconds this year -- Steve Mullings (a 9.80 personal best), Nesta Carter (9.92), Asafa Powell (9.93), Michael Frater (9.94 personal best), Yohan Blake (9.95) and Nickel Ashmeade (9.96).

Add to that Mario Forsythe and Lerone Clarke, who both achieved sub-10 in 2010, and newcomers Dexter Lee (10.09) and Jacques Harvey (10.09) plus defending champion Oshane Bailey at 10.11.

On the women’s side, it remains unclear if World and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will run.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson will add some punch to the women’s sprints.

Melaine Walker faces Kaliese Spencer in the women’s 400m hurdles while Novlene Williams-Mills and Shericka Williams are set for a women`s 400m showdown.

Bureau Report

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