By Clayton Clarke, TrackAlerts.Com Writer
Trinidad and Tobago’s Pan American Games track and field contingent, is set to be reduced by six athletes following efforts by the Games organizers to limit the numbers of track and field competitors to 680.
The identity of the athletes, set to be affected, is not yet known, but T&T’s track and field team manager, George Comissiong confirmed the cut request on Saturday, as the organizers issued revised qualifying standards, even before the National Open Championships held on June 26-28.
Comissiong said the six athletes identified were ones who would not have met the standards in their event in the revised qualifying marks, issued by the Games. However, Comissiong added that the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA) and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) have been liaising with the Pan Am Games officials, in an attempt to have the six remain on the team.
The NAAA first vice president added that he is hoping that the situation will be resolved ahead of the T&T’s athletes meeting on Tuesday (July 14) and before flying out on Friday (July 17). Comissiong said despite the NAAA being aware of revised Pan Am Games standards, the local athletic body went ahead to select a team, based on the previous competition requirements and is confident that the six athletes in question will remain on the team.
Trinidad and Tobago is not the only delegation affected by the change in standards, as according to media reports Jamaica, US Virgin Islands (USVI, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Haiti have also been affected. Jamaica’s team was cut by eight athletes while the Virgin Islands Daily News reports that six USVI and nine BVI could be left at home.
The Games set new barriers in order to trim the amount of track and field athletes to 680, according to the Association of Pan American Athletes. The original standards, set more than a year ago, had more than 1,100 qualified athletes, many of whom, thought they were bound for Toronto as of last week.