Positive COVID-19 results at senior championships could mean no Olympics for some J’can athletes

JAA President Garth Gayle

President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAA) Garth Gayle has said that a positive COVID-19 test result at the National Senior Championships could put a damper on some athletes’ dreams of taking part in the Olympic games.  

According to Gayle it would be highly unlikely for an athlete to meet the deadline for selection for the Olympics if they should miss the National Championships due to a positive test result.

The results from the National Senior Championships which  got going on Thursday (June 24) will be used to determine the athletes that will represent the country at the postponed Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan.

This year’s staging of the championships will see aathletes competing in front of empty stands, as no spectators were  be allowed to participate in the event.

The spectator-less event came as a huge disappointment to many who had anticipated that they would be allowed in the stands, following the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) announcing on Wednesday (June 23) that they had given approval for up to 560 attendees to be present at the National Stadium.

The JAA in a late evening release noted that while it had received a letter from the MOHW which allowed for 5,600 spectators to attend the four day championships, it decided against allowing spectators due to logistical challenges.

The JAA further shared in its release that all athletes participating would be required to present a negative PCR test before the events begin.

 “All senior athletes, local and foreign-based, who are desirous of participating in the JAAA Junior and Senior National Championships, present a negative PCR test before their event begins. These tests will be free of cost to the athletes and results will be available in 24 hours,” read the release from the JAA.

The release also shared that testing facilities had been temporarily installed at the JAA offices.