Jamaican athlete pleads to be included in World`s team

Kingston (Jamaica): Former national discus record holder of Jamaica Jason Morgan remains optimistic that he would be given an opportunity to represent the country of his birth in Athletics at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, even though he didn’t compete at the National Championships last month.

The former Calabar High School standout said his absence from the June 20-23 trials at the National Stadium in Kingston was as a result of not having his travel documents because he was about to be sworn in as a United States citizen.

In an email Morgan said he sent to the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) prior to the start of the championships, he stated: "I don`t have my travel documents at this moment. Unfortunately, I cannot travel without my American passport. It won`t be in my presence until a later date. My other travel documents, for example, Green Card that I used to come home for the May Invitational had to be turned in to the US Homeland Security.

"I am still ranked top five in the world at this moment. Also, I am the only Jamaican discus thrower so far who has achieved the World Championship standard."

However, he said he didn’t get a response from the JAAA and sent another letter enquiring about his situation.

But according to JAAA Executive Member Garth Gayle, he spoke with Morgan last week and explained to him that he was not recommended for selection to the team to Moscow by the JAAA`s selection committee.

Morgan, meanwhile, remains despondent. Morgan recorded a mark of 65.94 metres while competing at a meet in Ruston, Louisiana March 16. It is by far the best mark by a Jamaican thrower this year bettering season best marks by Chad Wright, the national champion, of 63.74m and Traves Smikle`s 63.48m.

Bearing in mind that his season`s best throw is still among the best, ranked 11th in the world, Morgan is hoping that he can somehow convince the selectors to change their mind.

"I have worked hard all year honestly and consistently to represent Jamaica in Moscow. I had to overcome a lot of challenges and struggle to be where I am," he said.

"Don`t deny me an opportunity to represent my country because of a travel circumstance that was beyond my control at the time of the trials."