Morrison approved for 4x100m relay heats
The Gleaner has been reliably informed that the Natasha Morrison has been added to Jamaica’s women’s 4x100m relay pool, with Tiffany James replacing her as an alternate.
This means that Morrison can now compete in the women’s 4x100m relay heats, easing workload concerns for Jamaica’s 100m and 200m trio of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson Herah and Shericka Jackson.
Veteran coach Stephen Francis had warned that Jamaica could possibly be forced to withdraw its women’s sprint relay team, pointing out that Thompson Herah, Fraser-Pryce and Jackson doubling in the 100m and 200m and then returning two days later to run in a relay heat, would create workload issues for the athletes.
Francis describe that scenario as “stupid” and blamed the make-up of the team for the issue.
Fraser-Pryce, Thompson Herah, and Jackson are joined in the women’s 4x100m relay pool by fourth and fifth-place finishers at the National Senior Championships, Briana Williams and Remona Burchell, with Natasha Morrison, who finished sixth at the trials, originally listed as the alternate for the event.
The issue arose over the fact that two of the competitors in the individual events would also have to run in the heats of the women’s 4x100m, which start two days after the 200m final. This could see the trio in the individual sprints running a potential six rounds and two relay legs in eight days.
Only five athletes are allowed in relay pools at these Olympics, one fewer than what was allocated for previous Games. Teams can also name alternates, but these athletes can only be used in the event that there is an injury to a member of the relay pool. And once an alternate is used, the person who is replaced in the line-up cannot be added in the final, for instance.
However, according to our information, Morrison’s addition the relay pool as been approved by organisers, with another athlete, Tiffany James, who was originally selected to feature in the 4x400m Mixed Relays, replacing her as an alternate.