Jamaica is to submit a bid to host next year's IAAF World Relays. President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Dr Warren Blake says his executive will be meeting with Sports Minister Olivia Grange within the next 72 hours with the aim of solidifying a bid to submit to track and field's world governing body the IAAF.
The move by the JAAA comes after the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations revealed last Friday that it has given up the right to host the event for a fourth straight time in 2019, due to financial constraints.
“Time is really of the essence. We have a tentative meeting set for early next week with the Sports Ministry to discuss the matter in its entirety and for a decision to be taken. I suspect the IAAF will need a decision certainly before the end of this month because as you know the World Relays are held late April or early May so that would give us just about six months of planning,” said Dr Blake.
The World Junior Championships in 2002, was the last international athletics championship to be staged in Jamaica and the JAAA’s boss is hoping to change that despite the huge prize tag. ”We are thinking about somewhere in the region of US $7 million in terms of the bond that the Government would have to put up to the IAAF but the IAAF is putting a package together to see if Jamaica can host it because they would like it to stay in the region,” noted Dr Blake.
Three months ago Sports Minister Olivia Grange revealed that the Government was focused on bringing several major sporting and cultural events to Jamaica. The Bahamas previously hosted the World Relays in 2014, 2015 and 2017.