KINGSTON (Reuters) - Usain Bolt is still in contention to compete in the 200 meters at next month’s Olympics in Rio despite missing his country’s trials through injury, the Jamaican athletics team boss said on Saturday.
Bolt, the six-times Olympic gold medalist, pulled out of the 100 meters final at the Jamaica Senior Championships on Friday after tearing a hamstring.
Although his place in that event in Rio is assured if he is fit because he has posted the required time, there were concerns that, having not run the 200 meters this season, the double sprint world record holder would be ruled out of the event at the Games, which start on Aug. 5.
But Jamaica team manager Ludlow Watts said the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) selection policy allowed for exceptions.
“The rules say if you’re ranked in the top three in the world, whether by ranking or time, it can be ranking or fastest time,” Watts said.
“And (if) you’re unavailable because of medical reasons, as confirmed by the JAAA medical panel, and if after you have recovered you regain your pre-injury form, you may be considered for reinstatement in the event, provided that is done before the qualifying final entry date.”
Jamaica Olympic Association President Mike Fennell told Reuters he expected to receive the team list from the JAAA within the next seven days.
“The deadline for entries is set for Thursday of next week because we have to meet a deadline in Brazil by early the following week,” Fennel said, noting that athletes can be entered, withdrawn and substituted based on the IAAF and Olympics rules.
Watts also indicated that entries could be finalised as late as early August.
Bolt, who wrote on his Facebook page on Friday that he had suffered a “grade 1 tear” to his hamstring, will be heading to Europe on Sunday to see his doctor and continue the healing process, according to his management team.
On Friday night, Bolt said he would “seek treatment immediately and hope to show fitness at the London Anniversary Games on July 22 to earn selection for the Olympic Games in Rio”.
Editing by Neville Dalton