July 8, 2016 By Sahr Morris Jr.
Sierra Leone Athletics Association (SLAA) has named the country’s national 100 and 200 metres sprint champion, Ishamail DM Kamara, as the only athlete for the IAAF World U-20 Championships, penciled for Bydgoszcz, Poland, from 19-24 July.
According to the SLAA public relations officer, Abu-Bakrr Baraka Sparky, unlike most of the participating nations for the games, Sierra Leone would only have Kamara, due to the disappointment of having qualified athletes.
He said like the Olympic Games, the World U-20 Championships also have qualifying standards and athletes must secure qualification.
“We are only having Kamara for the championship because as per the IAAF regulations, members who have no male and/or female qualified athletes whom they wish to enter in any Championships event, may enter one unqualified male athlete or one unqualified female athlete in one event of the Championships, except in field events and combined events like 10,000m, 3000m Steeplechase and 5000m Women.
Also, the IAAF World U-20 Championships rules state that members who have no male and/or no female qualified athlete, but whose best athlete excels in a field event, may submit to the IAAF, by the time of the Preliminary Entry deadline, the name of their athlete plus performance they would like to enter in the Field Event. The Technical Delegates will make the final decision and, to do so, may seek the opinion of the relevant Area Association.
Kamara retained his national 100 and 200 metres sprint title in May this year at the Bo City Stadium after running a time of 10.58 seconds and 21.63 seconds in the 100 and 200 metres respectively.
The 19-year-old sprinter, who hailed from Makeni, recently won silver medal in 100m at the Western Regional Junior Athletics Championship in Banjul, The Gambia.