Mon | Mar 27, 2023

We had to protect our athletes – Francis

MVP coach explains the reason he pulled athletes from Queens/Grace Jackson

Published:Sunday | January 29, 2023 | 2:07 AMDaniel Wheeler - Staff Reporter
PHOTOS BY 
MVP athlete Stephenie Ann McPherson (left) speaks with Tia Clayton at the Queens/Grace Jackson Meet, held at National Stadium in St Andrew yesterday.
PHOTOS BY MVP athlete Stephenie Ann McPherson (left) speaks with Tia Clayton at the Queens/Grace Jackson Meet, held at National Stadium in St Andrew yesterday.
Elaine Thompson-Herah on her way to winning the women’s 60 metre at the Queens/Grace Jackson Meet at National Stadium in St Andrew yesterday.
Elaine Thompson-Herah on her way to winning the women’s 60 metre at the Queens/Grace Jackson Meet at National Stadium in St Andrew yesterday.
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MVP TRACK Club head coach, Paul Francis, says while his athletes had every intention of competing at yesterday’s Queens/Grace Jackson Meet inside the National Stadium, a decision to pull them was in their best interest.

A 30-minute delay yesterday, meant the 200m senior events had to be scrapped and only two 60m heats were completed.

All athletes were on the track ready to compete but Francis said they could not in good conscience put their athletes in a position to do their preparation routine and not compete at the designated time.

“They (would have warmed up) and got cold and then you would have asked them to do sprints and that is not in their best interest,” Francis told The Sunday Gleaner.

“We had every intention of competing which is why we were here from 8 this morning.”

Francis added that while there was a consideration in the past when the meet was behind scheduled to move up the senior events, he was displeased that there was no accommodation in this case.

POLICY CHANGE

“In the past, this meet has accommodated our seniors because of the awareness of what was required and they have allowed them to compete on time. But I guess there has been a policy change this year where they have decided that they won’t. We are just going to have to do without,” Francis said.

Meet manager Rolando Peterkin explained the reason for the late start, which involved the late supply of equipment for events.

“We did not have all our implements to start with for the field events. We did not get those in time. After that, the time for starting each event was a little bit longer than anticipated as well as the overload of athletes that we had per event. So that helped to push us back,” Peterkin said,

According to Peterkin, while there was consideration given to bringing certain events up the order, the organisers had to ensure the juniors that were already down to run, could do so. Peterkin said the organisers regretted not having the seniors on show.

“There was a consideration but our juniors have to be taken into consideration as well because they are our future. We tried our best to fit in everybody in a comfortable space. At the end of the day, we wanted to see everybody perform, but unforeseen occurrences happened and we hope for next year that it would definitely not happen again.”

In the meantime, there were wins for Shericka Jackson in the 400 metres, which took place earlier in the afternoon, as well as Elaine Thompson Herah in the 60 metres.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com