media_artricles :: 2016
NAAA to probe relay issuesMark Pouchet :: Trinidad Express :: 25.08.2016
Ephraim Serrette, president of the National Association of Athletic Administrations (NAAA), said his organisation would look into issues concerning the men's 4 x 100m relay team following comments from four-time T&T Olympic medallist Ato Boldon that they failed to engage in adequate practice during the pre-Olympic camp in Sao Paulo.
Serrette said he would be in a better position to comment when he meets for a de-briefing with the coaches and technical officials who started returning yesterday and today.
That de-briefing session should take place next week, Serrette said.
But he did say: "That was the reason for the camp (pre-camp). They (the athletes) were supposed to be there for a particular time where they would have worked that out, but people didn't get there on time as required and I don't know if that is what Keshorn (Walcott) was talking about."
Serrette said at the 2012 Olympics in London more of the athletes were at the pre-Olympic camp at the same time.
He added: "It gets a little messy", when athletes arrive and have their personal foreign-based coaches and it is difficult to co-ordinate with the national coaches.
Former Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Niconnor Alexander was the coach responsible for the men's 4 x100 team.
"So I can't answer that at all right now. I wasn't in the camp. I could share info when I have a de-briefing with them, some of the coaches and technical officials, so hopefully by next week I can meet with them and get that information," Serrette said.
In an interview after his Olympic Men's javelin bronze-medal effort, Walcott had complained about a lack of cohesion in the T&T pre-Olympic camp.
But Serrette, said this issue was indicative of the type of issues and challenges a national team experiences with athletes based away from home.
"It is the same thing I am talking about," Serrette said about his call for a national training system.
"People have to commit and remember we have challenges. If we decide we want to use Penn Relays or we want to use other competitions as part of the preparation going forward, everybody is sometimes not available, so then you end up with a B or C team."
He said some athletes have commitments to their schools who have offered them scholarships or are obliged to prioritise participating for their school over their country when their university competes in the same meet.
"If we try to develop home-grown, locally-based athletes, it would be easier to control the co-ordination of relay teams and national athletes.
" If you go to our website we have a development plan. But other than that it will be difficult when we have people here, there and everywhere and to synchronise the availability of everybody and that is the challenge,"
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NAAA president: Ephrain Serrette