Jamaican preparations marred by protest
Thursday 07 August 2008
While stormy weather kept British athletes indoors at their training camp in Macau yesterday, it emerged that the Jamaican sprint team, which is expected to dominate competition on the track, has been experiencing some inner turbulence, with former world record holder Asafa Powell at its centre.
Jamaican team manager Ludlow Watts confirmed that Powell and his two fellow members of the MVP track club, former world silver medallist Michael Frater and Shelley-Ann Frazier, had refused to take part in relay practice sessions and had handed over a letter of protest to the management team.
The problem is believed to be rooted in a dispute between team management and MVP's head coach Stephen Francis – who has not gained accreditation for the Games – over the need for all athletes to attend a mandatory training camp.
"The way that the JAAA are forcing us to prepare for the Olympics that is not what we had in mind," Francis was quoted as saying recently. "We believe the people who are doing this preparation have no clue about what they are doing."
With world 100m record holder Usain Bolt in uncharacteristic discord with his own coach, Glenn Mills, over the announcement that he will double up in Beijing, all is clearly not well within the Jamaican camp.
Macau was lashed by heavy rain and strong winds as a severe tropical storm also hit Hong Kong, where the preparations for the Olympic equestrian competition had to be halted. A category eight typhoon warning was issued which, by law, means all offices and shops are forced to close while public transport is also suspended.
"We can't leave the hotel because when there's a typhoon at this level eight all the transport is cancelled, so unfortunately we are all holed up in a hotel," said heptathlete Kelly Sotherton. "I'm not too bothered about it. It's similar to a hurricane and it's not as bad as it has been but it's torrential rain and high winds. We are right by the coast so the sea is very rough."
Meanwhile, Paul Deighton, chief executive of the London 2012 Games organising committee (LOCOG) has described the Beijing facilities as "inspiring" in his progress report here to the International Olympic Committee. LOCOG chairman Seb Coe has had to remain in England because his father, Peter, is unwell.
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Hector Bellerin opens up on switch from Barcelona to Arsenal
Manchester United's Angel Di Maria sells more shirts than Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and every other player in the Premier League
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania 31: Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans