Jamaica lobbying for World Relays bid

Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo during the mixed 4x400m at the IAAF/BTC World Relays Bahamas 2017 (Getty Images)

Less than a week after the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) revealed that it had relinquished the right to host the 2019 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays, Jamaica has stepped up as a frontrunner for the event.

According to Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) President Dr. Warren Blake, the country, this week, is looking to submit a bid to the IAAF to host the event.

“Time is really of the essence,” Blake said in an interview with RJR News.

“We have a tentative meeting set for his week with the Sports Ministry to discuss the matter in its entirety and for a decision to be taken. I suspect the IAA will need a decision certainly before the end of this month because the World Relays are held late April or early May, so, that would give us just about six months of planning.”

The news about withdrawing from hosting the event drew mixed reactions locally. Some circles expressed that the event was too expensive for the country to host at this time, while others emphasized the exposure the country got from hosting the event in the past. The Bahamas government ultimately decided to withdraw from the event due to financial constraints.

The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture released a statement on the matter stating:

At this juncture and having regard to the Government’s commitment to fiscal discipline, and the commitment being sought from the Government for the event, the Government has determined that it is unable to host the event.

The Government of The Bahamas maintains and has communicated to the IAAF its continued interest in national and international sporting initiatives and wishes the IAAF every success in its endeavours.”

The Bahamas previously hosted the World Relays in 2014, 2015 and 2017.