GO GET 'EM JA: Defending triple champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce head 53-strong team to World Champs

By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com  Tuesday, August 11, 2015    
Defending triple champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce headline a list of 53 athletes named to represent Jamaica at the 15th staging of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, from August 22-30.
BOLT…defending his titles in the 100m, 200m and 4X100m relay.
Bolt and Fraser-Pryce won the identical 100m, 200m and 4x100m relays gold medals at the Moscow World Championships in Russia two years ago.
The team will comprise of 27 men and 26 women and will include for the first time in Jamaica's history, three men discus throwers in Fedrick Dacres, Jason Morgan and Chad Wright. There will also be two women triple jumpers in Shanieka Thomas and Kimberly Williams.
Newcomer Aisha Praught will compete in the steeplechase, while Salcia Slack is down for the heptathlon.
Interestingly, Rusheed Dwyer, who finished fifth at the National Championship in the 200m, was included in the team, having recorded the second fastest time this year of 19.80 seconds at the Pan American Games in Canada recently.
Bolt, Asafa Powell, Nickel Ashmeade and Kemar Bailey-Cole are expected to line up in the blue ribbon 100m event.
Fraser-Pryce leads Veronica Campbell Brown, Elaine Thompson, Sherone Simpson and Natasha Morrison in the sprints.
Jamaica won nine medals, inclusive of six gold, two silver and one bronze to finish third in the medals table behind Russia with 17 medals (seven gold), and the United States of America with 25 medals (six gold).
FRASER-PRYCE…won all three sprint titles in
 Moscow two years ago.
Jamaica's six-gold-medal haul placed them ahead of countries likes Kenya (five), Germany (four), Ethiopia and Great Britain with three each.
Outside of Bolt and Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica have two wild card entries in Kaliese Spencer and Novlene Williams-Mills, the Diamond League winners in the 400m hurdles and 400m, respectively.
In 2011 at Daegu, South Korea, Jamaica selected 51 athletes and in 2013 the JAAA took 45 athletes to the Moscow edition.
Meanwhile, five reigning world champions will lead 130 athletes on the US team to the Championships. Returning to defend their individual titles are Ashton Eaton in the decathlon, LaShawn Merritt in the men's 400m, David Oliver in the men's 110m hurdles, Brittney Reese in the women's long jump, and Brianna Rollins in the women's 100m hurdles.
In addition, seven more US athletes received wild card entries by virtue of being the reigning Diamond Race champions in their events. Those athletes include Allyson Felix in the women's 200m, Justin Gatlin in the men's 100m, Reese Hoffa in the men's shot put, Jenny Simpson in the women's 1,500m, Christian Taylor in the men's triple jump, and Michael Tinsley in the men's 400m hurdles.
Gatlin is down to compete in both the 100m and 200m events, while Felix is listed in both the 200m and 400m events despite the close scheduling of each event.
Meanwhile, Nick Symmonds will be absent after the 2013 silver medallist in the 800m refused to sign a mandatory USA Track and Field (USATF) contract that instructs athletes to wear Nike clothing. more

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