News day / JELANI BECKLES
PRESIDENT of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette, encouraged national athletes to not use social media to address their concerns as there are procedures in place.
A rift between some of the athletes and an official has come into the light, just days before the start of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4-15. The feud began when Khalifa St Fort’s coach Ato Boldon was under the impression that his athlete was not selected for the Commonwealth Games. Earlier this week on Twitter Boldon, the four-time TT Olympic medallist wrote, “Take a bow, NAAA. The BEST way to secure the future of the sport is to NOT select @khalifastfort to go to the Commonwealth Games. She has won more medals for #TTO internationally than anyone else since 2015, and last year was the fastest 100m junior on earth, at 11.06. Brilliant!”
On Tuesday, when the Commonwealth Games team was released St Fort was on the squad. After it was revealed that St Fort was included as a replacement for Kelly-Ann Baptiste, who excluded herself due to fitness concerns. Fellow women’s sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye then seemed to respond to Boldon’s tweet saying she won’t be running the 4x100m women’s relay. On social media Ahye wrote, “So I definitely won’t be running the relay since Home girl is future of female track and we other athletes just keep getting disrespected smh… so my main focus for the Commonwealth Games is my individual event.”
It is now uncertain who will run the 4x100m relay as the team includes Ahye, St Fort, Reyare Thomas, Semoy Hackett, Kai Selvon and Kamaria Durant.
Yesterday, chef de mission of the TT team Diane Henderson, denied the rift between the athletes and Boldon.
“Me, personally, (I don’t) see no rift. I have seen one athlete who has had to withdraw for whatever reason and another one replacing that person. That’s it,” Henderson said. Serrette said he would rather athletes refrain from airing their concerns on social media, saying, “They would have been tweeting and we are not around them so we can’t comment on that. We need to talk to the athletes to understand what is really happening…we have federations, we have procedures and policies.
I don’t know why people choose to go to social media to air whatever it is, that is the era we living in now but there are certain ways that we deal with certain things.”