THIS weekend’s curfew, implemented by Government to curb the spread of the covid19 virus, has forced the cancellation of Sunday’s first scheduled trial meet at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, organised by the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA).
On Tuesday afternoon, the NAAA issued a media release, indicating that they “received approval from Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh, to host two Olympic trials on June 20 and 27 respectively.
“These events are intended to provide our Olympic hopefuls with final opportunities to attain the relevant standards for the Tokyo Olympics,” the media release continued. “The qualification period for the Olympics end on June 29.”
Hours after that media release was issued came news that the curfew period for Sunday will take place from 10 am until 5 am on Monday.
Acting NAAA president George Commissiong said on Wednesday, “Given the fact that the curfew kicks in at ten o’clock on Sunday morning, we can’t have it on Sunday. So we’re trying to see if we can reschedule.”
Asked if there was any confirmed date for the first trial meet, Commissiong replied, “No. We have to go back (to the Health Ministry) for approvals. The event is in breach of the covid regulations because we’re asking for more than ten people present. We need to go back to get approval for the change of date.”
Commissiong outlined two options for the local track and field’s governing body.
“One is to cancel (the first day) altogether and just do the 27th because there is no curfew so far for the 27th, or we can try to see if we can get the date that was approved, the 20th, (shifted) to the 21st,” he said. “But that has implications as to whether we can get officials and athletes.”
Commissiong continued, “I don’t want to say we’re going Monday and we end up with another false start. I’m trying to ensure that I cross my ‘t’s’ and dot all my ‘i’s’. We also need to ensure that we get the stadium. We’re working on that.”
According to the NAAA, “In order to ensure maximum control and compliance with the covid19 measures that are being implemented, participation is being restricted to only those athletes who still have a possible chance of attaining the respective standards. The events will be by invitation to eligible athletes only and no spectators will be allowed.”
With regards to athletes from Tobago, Commissiong said, “I communicated with Shakeil Waithe and he indicated that he brought his season to an early closure. There is only one other athlete, from what I could recall (Shaquille Benjamin), who is likely to attain the standard for the Olympics, who has been invited.”