MOSCOW, Russia, CMC- Sprint powerhouse Jamaica is anticipating a good showing at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow despite the presence of 16 new comers to an event of such nature on the squad.
Team Leader Trevor Campbell is reporting that while expectations are high, the first timers are relaxed and every effort is being made to ensure they are not pressured.
They include National champions Javere Bell (400m), Danielle Williams (100m hurdles), O’Dayne Richards (shot put), Natoya Goule (800m), Francine Simpson (long jump) as well as the fastest Jamaican and fourth-fastest woman in the 400m this year, Stephenie McPherson, along with schoolboy quarter-miler Javon Francis.
“Yes, we do have a lot of first timers but they seem to be quite relaxed and comfortable. They are good, so it doesn’t take much to move from one stage to the next when you are at this level,” said Campbell, in an interview with The Gleaner from the team’s base at the Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel and Business Centre.
“And so the expectations are high. I know they will do well, but we are not pressuring anyone”.
The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association named a 45-member team to represent the country at the championships with 400m athlete Ahkeem Gauntlett withdrawing a few days ago.
Campbell, who competed at the 1972 Olympics as a member of Jamaica’s 4x400m relay team, says that there have been no reported injuries as athletes prepare for the August 10-18 championships.
“So far, so good; most of us have settled in already. The vibe has been good. Apart from a few hiccups here and there, everyone has been gelling very well and getting along very well,” said Campbell.
“The training facilities have been great and the support staff has been cooperative and has provided everything that we have asked of them, we really can’t complain”.