Simone Facey is now a USATF certified coach

“Cancelled” was the word which greeted Simone Facey when she sought confirmation on an e-ticket most comfortable to her to travel to April’s Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018 in Australia.

That was just one of the reasons which led to Facey’s withdrawal from Jamaica’s team to the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

On Friday, March 23, Facey started communication with the travel agent about her arrangements. However, despite being promised that itinerary would be sent on the same day, Facey didn’t receive such until 9:02pm on Sunday, March 25th.

Facey found her itinerary which was Orlando to LA (5 hours) and LA to Sydney (15 hours) acceptable, especially since she would be meeting up with many of her teammates in LA.

However, 40 minutes later at 9:42pm, she received another email, which stated, “please see ticket for travel to Gold Coast. Please ignore previous itinerary.”

“I was surprised when I saw it Sunday night because the agent promised to send the E-ticket on Monday,” said Facey.

This new flight arrangement would see Facey traveling almost 40 hours to get into Australia. It would mean 14 hours from Orlando to Dubai, almost 10 hours layover and another 13 hours and 50 minutes to Brisbane.

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But when Facey expressed her discomfort with the new itinerary and asked for them to revert to the previous one, she was told that the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) did not approve the original one.

Facey quickly made contact with Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) officials to help remedy the situation and during this time spoke to two persons within the Association.

She got an email from a senior JAAA official on Sunday night, March 25th at 11:45, congratulating her on making the team and a message below “please see ticket attached”

This E-ticket carried the same details as the first itinerary that Facey was lobbying for to remain. She said even the JAAA official was telling her to stick by this E-ticket, but she kept reminding that a new one was issued.

Double checks by the official found out that the ticket was changed.

Facey took it up on herself to go on the airline’s website to check the record locator of the very first E-ticket and was shocked to see “your trip is canceled”

Now she is asking, “if JOA didn’t approve the ticket, why was it canceled?” which she believed was an indication that it was purchased.”

Facey also ran up in another disappointment this time with the event she was down to run.

“I was told on March 1 that I will be running the 100m and 4x100m, but on Monday, March 26th, I found out I was down for the 200m and 4x100m.”

“I have been preparing for the last month to run the 100m and if I didn’t asked someone at the federation to check what event I am down to run, I wouldn’t know.”

But what prompted her double check on the events she was down to run, was when she repeatedly stated in her travel arrangements ‘I am running on the 8th and should be there already’ the agent replied ‘you are not running on the 8th’

Up to that point she was wondering why the agent kept saying you are not running on the 8th.

On the same Monday, Facey said she voiced her disapproval and made it clear “I don’t deserve this kind of treatment”

All this she said “was what led me to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games”

Kirk Finnikin, Business Development Manager at the JOA, told Sportsmax that Facey apparently withdrew while they were making an adjustment to her itinerary.

However, Facey said at no time between March 25 and 26 was there any confirmation that the JOA was looking into changing her ticket.

JAAA President Dr Warren Blake, told Sportsmax, he understands the athlete’s position to withdraw but added that it might be too late for a replacement.


By Anthony Foster

Is a two-time Jamaica sports journalist of the year (2004 and 2005) and world-renowned journalist. One of his award-winning articles was on Usain Bolt, 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion and sprint double record holder, was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony has covered Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016; Six (6) IAAF World Athletics Championships between 2007 and 2019 and several other international sporting events, including the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his favourite football team, Argentina vs the USA in 2004.

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