Cornelius: Relay efforts stifled by unavailability of athletes

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By Neto Baptiste

The unavailability of the country’s top athletes at critical junctures has been one of the major hurdles faced by the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA) when trying to put a men’s relay team together.

This is according to president, Everton Cornelius, who said during a recent interview, that the unavailability of key sprinters at pivotal junctures, has left the association with little or no options when seeking to enter relay events over the past months.

“We tried to put a team together to go and compete and see exactly what we can do, and most of the times we’ve tried to do that you find a situation where Cejhae is not available, and the last time we tried that some other athlete was not available and then we just couldn’t send a team any place to compete in a relay,” he said. 

Antigua and Barbuda currently holds the Pam American Games record for the men’s 4X1 relay at 38.14 seconds, a time they achieved in July of 2015. The team comprised Daniel Bailey, Cejhae Greene, Chevaughn Walsh and Miguel Francis.

The country has however, not competed in that event at the Pan Am Games since then.

Cornelius said some athletes have not been putting out impressive enough times on the track that would encourage the forming of a string relay team.

“You must have athletes running a particular time and everything is done by time and distance, so without Cejhae we would find it very difficult to run the kind of times we want, and the only two athletes at this point in time that is performing to any level so that we can put a real relay team together would probably be Cejhae and Tahir, as it stands now when I look at the times they have run so far for the year,” he said. 

A nine-member team is currently in Lima, Peru representing Antigua and Barbuda at this year’s Pan American Games.

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