FORMER NATIONAL quarter-miler Alvin Daniel is urging Commonwealth Games women’s 100-metre champion Michelle-Lee Ahye to reconsider her decision to opt out of the women’s 4x100m relay team.
The women’s 4x100m relays will begin tomorrow with the first round heats, while the final is set for Saturday – all at the Carrara Stadium, Gold Coast, Australia.
In an interview yesterday, Daniel said, “(Ahye) opting out of the 4x100, I think that’s a big blow. I don’t think that’s something that should be happening unless an athlete has a major injury.”
Daniel continued, “I think we have an opportunity now to showcase and to leave a good mark, coming out of the Commonwealth Games and, also, for the (2019) World Championships and the (2020) Olympics. I think she should run the 4x100. They have a very good chance for the gold. I would hope that she and our administration reconsider that move, especially in a time like now.”
A few weeks ago, quadruple Olympic medallist and former Commonwealth Games men’s 100m champ Ato Boldon openly expressed his frustration over the alleged exclusion of his protégé, ex-CARIFTA sprint queen Khalifa St Fort, from the initial squad named for Australia.
There have been reports that Ahye did not take kindly to certain comments made by Boldon which may have influenced her decision not to run the relays.
Daniel said Ahye should stay focused on the sport itself and not be distracted by Boldon or anyone else. “Boldon is a past athlete. If he and the administration have their problem, I don’t think that Michelle-Lee Ahye or anyone of the competing athletes should get involved in that. They go there to represent Trinidad and Tobago and that’s what they should be concentrating on.”
He added, “We are a small country and we have an opportunity to do something. Ato has his opinion and the Association has their opinion. And I think that it’s something that athletes should not get themselves involved with, especially the competing ones. Let the Association do their work and let Ato do his work. They’re out there to represent Trinidad and Tobago and therefore we have to put our best foot forward.”
Daniel, commenting on the historic gold by Ahye in the 100m final, congratulated the 26 year old along with Khalifa St Fort and Reyare Thomas for making the final. He said, “I’ll also like to say too that it has been the first time that we’ve ever had three women in a major (100m) final.”
Turning his attention towards the men’s 4x400m team, Daniel called for the inclusion of both Jereem Richards and Kyle Greaux in the squad. Richards was part of the TT mile relay team who copped gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, England.
“When I looked at the heats with the 200 and the 400, it seems like some of our quarter-milers looked short (of form). I would like to suggest to them that they use Richards and (Greaux) in the 4x400,” Daniel said.
According to the former Olympian, “Sometimes you can’t judge things on the individual basis, (there are) people that operate different with that baton stick in their hands. We should look at those guys, our quarter-milers (are not) up to par right now. We all need to put our best foot forward and really put our best team.”