President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) Everton “Mano” Cornelius dismissed claims made by Assistant Director of Sports and athletics coach, Evans “Jowakie” Jones, who stated that he and his athletes were being victimised by the association.
Jones’ claims were geared towards the selection of athletes to the Youth Olympics Games and the appointment of a coach.
Cornelius however, in speaking on the Good Morning JoJo show, refuted those claims and went into details about the selection process, where he noted that the ABAA had no control.
“As it pertains to the Youth Olympics there was a ranking. You weren’t given the chance to select anyone. The only way we could have is if we did not have anyone qualify for the meet then you are allowed one male and one female selection under the Olympic ruling.
“In our case, we had four athletes in the ranking, and once we did, we were now out of the picture in terms of selecting anyone.”
The former Olympian went even further identifying the two athletes chosen by the IAAF due to the unavailability of the only qualified athlete, Taeco O’garro, who recently enrolled at a university in the U.S.
“Now Soniya remained in her position as being the person within the top of the rankings and held her position all the way through to the final selection.
“I then wrote to the IAAF concerning adding someone because Taeco was going to university, they responded and said I needed not to because both Soniya Jones and Dahlia Barnes were chosen.”
Cornelius also spoke on the issue of the appointment of a coach where he said that all coaches in the association need equal opportunity to develop themselves.
“We look at the people that are there and we give all our coaches a chance to go to international games because they all have to develop themselves, whoever the executive selects, that’s the end of it, it is done, move on.
“If he [Evans Jones] is being victimised then why would he have just come back from Finland? Why should I then send him to South America…there are other coaches who contribute to the development of athletes.”
The Youth Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina from October 6 to 18.