Jamaican keen to don British shirt – sadly it is not Bolt
Wednesday 22 June 2011
UK Athletics confirmed yesterday that another overseas athlete has applied to switch allegiance to Britain, making it four in 12 months as the London Olympics loom on the horizon. He is a member of the Jamaican team, though sadly not the world's fastest man.
Julian Reid, a 22-year-old triple jumper and long jumper, is not exactly in the Usain Bolt class. A student at Texas A & M University, Reid stands 35th in the world rankings in the triple jump with a season's best of 16.77m and joint 43rd in the long jump with 7.98m. He has had a British passport since birth but would need approval from the International Association of Athletics Federations to switch nationality and follow in the footsteps of Tiffany Ofili-Porter, Shana Cox and Shara Proctor, who have all been blooded in the British team this year.
"UK Athletics doesn't recruit athletes," Charles van Commenee, head coach of the domestic governing body, insisted. "We're not searching actively across the globe for people who may be interested to compete for the British team. There are lots of people with a British passport and at one point they knock on the door and ask, 'Can we compete for Britain?' I say, 'Of course. If you have a British passport, you're welcome."
Tiffany Ofili-Porter American-born hurdler who has a British mother. Won European indoor silver on GB debut in March and has set British records indoors and out.
Shana Cox American-born 400m runner who has British parents. Made GB debut at European Team Championships in Stockholm on Saturday.
Shara Proctor Long jumper who qualifies for Britain because Anguilla is an overseas British territory. Also made her GB debut in Stockholm.
Julian Reid Jamaican triple jumper and long jumper. From same school as Germaine Mason, high jumper who switched to GB and won Olympic silver in 2008.
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