Sprinter Samantha Henry-Robinson has expressed her ‘displeasure’ of not being selected to Jamaica’s team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland – March 7-9.
Henry-Robinson, in a letter to members of JAAA, included secretary Garth Gayle, third vice president Michael Frater, team manager Ludlow Watts and chairman of selectors Glen Mills, wrote “at the beginning of the year, I inquired as to what were the criteria for selection and was told that the two fastest times barring injury would be used to select participants.”
“This was the way it was always done for any Indoor Championship selection. I thought this was a fair and reasonable process since Jamaica does not have an indoor National Championship. I expressed my interest for selection to the JAAA's, and with the criteria clear cut or so I thought, I pursued week after week to be in the top two. With my own money – close to $1,500 US – I traveled to track meets in Gainesville, Florida; Houston, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and as recent as February 20, Baton Rouge LA in an attempt to ensure I met the selection criteria,” stated Henry-Robinson’s letter, which Trackalerts.Com got copy.
Henry-Robinson, this year recorded times of 7.30 and 7.25 in Houston, 7.33 in Birmingham and 7.26 in Baton Rouge. She also recorded 6.84 over 55m in Gainesville, Florida. Her personal best is 7.18 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who ran 7.10, as expected was selected, but the selection that raised eyes brows was that of Veronica Campbell-Brown, who just Monday was cleared by the Court of Arbitration for Sports after more than eight months out of the sport. Campbell-Brown last Indoor meet was March 11, 2012.
Henry-Robinson’s letter noted: “I met the IAAF's entry standard and have the second fastest 60m time among Jamaican females for this year. I am healthy, in great shape and was contacted as recent as Friday, February 20 by the JAAA's to cite my provisional selection to the team. Surely, I was on pace for one of two spots on the team with all criteria being met. In a twist of events, I was informed by a third party that I was not selected for the team. Professionalism would have dictated that a member of the JAAA would have informed me of my non selection but this was not the case.
"As such, I am writing to inquire on what grounds was I not selected for the team? " she questioned
Gayle, in response to Henry-Robinson’s letter on Tuesday, said, “in keeping with the policy of the JAAA, the best available athletes are selected for the Championships based on performance.”
While making no mention of the period for the performances that were taken into consideration, Gayle added: “In the case of the IAAF World Indoor Championships scheduled for Sopot, Poland, the two best ranked athletes in the 60m event were selected to represent the country.”
“We wish for your success for the rest of the 2014 season,” he ended his letter by saying.
A clearly upset Henry-Robinson also asked, “it leaves one to wonder if I were a 'high profiled' athlete, would I have been dealt this injustice? I eagerly await the response of the JAAA on this matter.”
Jamaica’s team to Poland:
Women’s Shelly Ann Frazer-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kaliese Spencer, Kimberly Williams, Stephenie Ann McPherson, Patricia Hall, Natoya Gould, Anneisha McLaughlin, Monique Morgan, Indira Spence, Sophie Smellie and Verone Chambers
Men's team: Nesta Carter, Edino Steele, Kimmari Roach, Akheem Gauntlet, Andrew Riley, Damar Forbes, O’Dayne Richards, Jermaine Brown, Allodin Fothergill, Dane Hyatt and Errol Nolan
Ludlow Watts Manager
Dena Davis Assistant Manager Maurice Wilson Technical Leader
Fitz Coleman Coach
Paul Francis Coach