The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has announced the withdrawal of a team to the World Athletics Relays set for May 1-2 in Chorzow, Poland.

In a release issued on Tuesday evening, the JAAA cited the difficulty of travelling during the pandemic and existing COVID-19 protocols as the reason for its decision.

“Based on existing travel restrictions, routing and possibilities since then, caused by the SARS Covid 19 Pandemic, it has become extremely challenging for the Jamaican team and officials to participate,” the release read.

Last week, the JAAA announced that an experienced team had been selected to take part in the event.  Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic and World Championships 400m bronze medalist, and former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell were among the headliners selected for the Jamaica squad.

Thompson was expected to be part of a 4x100m relay squad that included Natasha Morrison, Natalliah Whyte, Remona Burchell, Kasheika Cameron, and Shashalee Forbes.

She was also down to compete in the less often contested 4x200m, with Whyte, Forbes, Candice McLeod, Tiffany James, and Anastasia LeRoy.

Powell would have led a 4x100m team that included Oshane Bailey, Nesta Carter, Julian Forte, Nigel Ellis, Romario Willams, and Kadrain Goldson.

The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has received approval from the relevant government authorities to stage a series of competitive meets in order to allow junior and senior athletes the opportunity to sharpen up.

In the main, local track and field events have not been held on the island since March of last year, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.  The government recently announced plans to re-start sporting events on a case by case basis and the event, called the JAAA Qualification Trial Series, will be the first approved for the track and field local governing body.

The trials will be on February 27, held across several venues across the island, and have specific events on offer.  Among the events on offer will be the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 2000m SC, 3000m, 5000m, 70mH, 80mH, 100mH, 110mH, 400mH, 4x100m, 4x400m, 4x200m, 1600m SMR, Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump, Pole Vault, Shot Put, Discus and Javelin.

Athlete’s wishing to compete in the meet must sign a COVID-19 waiver, with waivers signed by parents for athletes under-18.  The meets will feature no spectator with strict COVID-19 protocols in full effect at all the venues.

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