By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) will not be placing emphasis on the country’s relay hopes any time in the foreseeable future.
This is according to President, Everton “Mano” Cornelius, who said the country was fortunate to have had four or five outstanding sprinters when it set a new Pam American record of 38.14 in the semifinals of the games held in Toronto, Canada.
“We keep harping about relays and I’ve been through a lot of details with people who are asking why we don’t put a relay team together, but that is not how it works. We were in a position because at the time we had Bakka [Daniel Baily] running about 10.2 seconds; we had Cejhae Greene running about 10.3; we had Chevaughn Walsh running 10.3 seconds; and we had Jared Jarvis running about the 10.3 or 10.4 seconds. We had Tahir Walsh running about the same 10.3 or 10.4 seconds and so we knew that once we went out there and we executed because the only person they had to depend on to run that 10.3 is our starter and anything after that everybody is going to move faster because they are coming from a moving start,” he said.
The 2015 team comprised of Daniel “Bakka” Bailey, Chevaughn Walsh, Cejhae Greene, Miguel Francis and Jared Jarvis.
Cornelius, however, admitted that the team was a formidable one and could have gone all the way with a little more luck.
“When we looked at the world rankings in the relay and we realise that you’re picking the top 16 teams in the world, we’re ranked number 11 and some of them are just barely creeping in and we blew out quite a number of them easily when we went to the Pan Am Games so we knew they were no threat to us. A lot of the European team were no threat to us and we knew that,” he said.
Antigua and Barbuda was disqualified from the 2015 finals following an infringement while attempting to hand off the baton.