Nayoka Clunis faces Olympic uncertainty despite selection

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis, despite being selected for Jamaica’s 57-member track and field team for the Paris Olympics, faces uncertainty regarding her Olympic debut. The national record holder’s situation emerged after it was discovered that her name was not included in the list submitted to World Athletics.

Clunis shared the news on X, formerly known as Twitter, expressing her disappointment. “Following the Jamaica Olympic trials, I was elated to receive notification of my official selection to Team Jamaica. Unfortunately, I have since found myself in a difficult position,” Clunis stated. “Due to an omission made by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, my name was not officially submitted to World Athletics. As such, I do not have a position in the Olympic Games.”

Clunis reported that she has been informed of a possible chance to participate in Paris. “I have been assured that all possible remedies are being explored and that there is hope this issue may soon be resolved,” she said.

She further thanked those advocating for her inclusion. “I thank those who are fighting on my behalf for my rightful inclusion. I am a proud Jamaican. To wear our nation’s colours at the Olympic Games will be the pinnacle of my athletic career. I pray for a swift and positive resolution.”

The 28-year-old Clunis secured her place for the Paris Olympics as one of the quota athletes.

The quota system in track and field refers to a method of selecting athletes for major competitions, such as the Olympics, based on a predetermined number of spots allocated to each event. This system is implemented to ensure broad international representation and to fill the remaining slots after those meeting the automatic qualifying standards have been selected.

If not enough athletes achieve the automatic qualifying standards to fill all available spots, additional athletes are chosen based on their world rankings, as in the case of Clunis.

The quota system ensures that high-performing athletes who might not meet the automatic qualifying standards can still participate. However, national federations establish specific criteria for selecting quota athletes, which may include performance at national trials, consistency, potential for medal contention, and adherence to training and competition protocols.

Jamaica’s local governing body stated that “selection of athletes who qualify via quota is entirely at the discretion of the JAAA. If quota athletes are selected, it will be up to a maximum of five and based on specific criteria.”

Clunis is ranked 27th globally after setting a national record and personal best of 71.83m at the Tucson Elite Classic at the University of Arizona on May 4.

At the Jamaica Olympic trials last month, she finished second with a throw of 66.63m, well behind the Olympic standard. Erica Belvit won the national title with a throw of 68.28m.

At the Jamaica Olympic trials, the top three finishers in each event earned spots on the plane to Paris, provided they met the Olympic qualifying standard for their event.