The world’s best sprinter is not going to the first IAAF World Relays, but just about every other top Jamaican man is.
Jamaica’s track and field association announced its team Wednesday for the Nassau, Bahamas, event from May 24-25.
It includes every member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay teams that won gold at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships, except Usain Bolt, who is not expected to make his 2014 debut until June.
Jamaica should still be favored to win the 4x100m and perhaps the 4x200m at the IAAF World Relays without him. Their arsenal includes Olympic 4x100m relay champions Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade, Oshane Bailey and Warren Weir, who were on the 2013 World Championship-winning 4x100m team.
Blake, who missed much of last season with hamstring problems, said the injury is behind him. He looks like his “old self,” his coach says. Blake beat Bolt at the 2012 Jamaican Olympic Trials in both the 100m and 200m but took silver in the Olympic races.
The U.S., silver medalists at the Olympics (pending the Tyson Gay issue) and World Championships, will be without Gay and Olympic 100m bronze medalist Justin Gatlin at the IAAF World Relays.
The World Relays consist of 4x100m, 4x200m, 4x400m, 4x800m and 4x1500m races for men and women.
The Jamaican women’s team, also the reigning world 4x100m champions, includes the top active sprinter, triple 2013 world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. She’ll be joined by every member of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team at the 2013 World Championships that beat the U.S. by nearly 1.5 seconds.
Missing is Olympic sprint medalists Veronica Campbell-Brown and the suspended Sherone Simpson.
The U.S. women’s team is without its top 100m and 200m runners from the 2012 Olympics — Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix.