THE National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) will not send a Trinidad and Tobago track team to the 2021 World Athletics Relays in Poland on May 1 and 2 because of the covid19 pandemic.
An NAAA media release on Wednesday said, “It is with regret that NAAA announces that it is withdrawing its team to compete at the 2021 World Athletics Relays, to be held in Poland on May 1 and 2. This decision has not been taken lightly but after careful consideration of the various challenges posed by the covid19 pandemic, the potential risk to participants and the significant difficulties with travel arrangements (NAAA decided it was best). NAAA is particularly concerned over the welfare of our athletes.”
TT athletes have performed admirably at the event. “TT has enjoyed considerable success at the relays and is the defending champion in the men’s 4x400m event.”
At the 2019 World Relays in Yokohama, Japan the quartet of Deon Lendore, Asa Guevara, Jereem Richards and Machel Cedenio won gold.
The NAAA wanted to have two teams represent TT at the 2021 World Relays.
“Preliminary arrangements were made to enter a men’s 4x200m and a men’s 4x100m team. In the case of the latter, participation was seen as a means to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The top eight teams at the relays automatically qualify for the Olympics. In light of this, NAAA will now have to explore other options to have the men’s 4x100m team qualify.” Lendore, Richards, Cedenio and Kyle Greaux were among those expected to run for TT at the World Relays.
Jamaica and USA, two powerhouse countries in track and field, have also decided to withdraw from the World Relays.