Jamaica's head coach bemoans ill-treatment by officials at 'Carifta 2018'

Report by RJRGLEANER Communications Group Sports Reporter Spencer Darlington

Despite yet another outstanding performance at the Carifta Track and Field Championships, a number of Jamaica's athletes and officials returned to the island on Tuesday upset at the treatment from the Bahamian officials at the three day event. The team returned with the expected outcome of Jamaica finishing comfortably atop the medal standings for yet another year, but coach Machel Woolery could not ignore what he regarded as the unprofessional behaviour of the Bahamian officials towards Jamaica's team.

“Their aggressiveness towards us made us wonder if we are really a Caribbean Community. It was really difficult for us to overcome the officials and the way they operated,” said the head coach. One of the issues Woolery outlined was the shortage of medals at the championships which was also regarded as disappointing from triple gold medallist Christopher Taylor who was affected. 

“It was my last Carifta so I was hoping to come back to Jamaica with three gold medals,” said Taylor. Meanwhile, outstanding sprinter Brianna Williams was no doubt the performer of the championships becoming the first Jamaican to win the Austin Sealy Award since Yohan Blake did so in 2007. Williams won the under-7 100m in a championship record 11.27 seconds, clocked a personal best 23.11 to win the  200 meters  and was also a part of the record-breaking sprint relay team which clocked 44.95. 

Three weeks ago Williams sped to world Under-15 best of 11.13 seconds in the 100 meters. But despite her outstanding performances, Williams says she is aiming to be even better at this summers World Under-20 Championships. 

Meanwhile, coach Woolery is hoping the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) will resolve the matter relating to the non-allocation of medals shortly so the athletes can receive their medals.

It was the 34th straight year Jamaica were topping the medal table at the championships having done so in every edition since 1984.

In the meantime, the Jamaican team returned home on Tuesday  with a table-topping haul of 84 medals including 45 gold, 29 silver and 10 bronze.



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