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Why so many MVP athletes injured? fans still searching for answers

26 June 2007

By Gary Smith

The Maximum Velocity Performance (MVP) track has been criticism somewhat by some of the Jamaican track and field fans, who are still stunned by the number of the islands top athletes who are injured.

The club which is based in Kingston, Jamaica, has several world-class athletes, which includes World 100-metre record holder Asafa Powell, 2006 fastest woman Sherone Simpson and World medallists Michael Frater and Brigitte Foster-Hylton.

The athletes are coached by one of the top sprint coaches in the island in Stephen Francis, who was recognised as one of the top sprint coaches last season.

However, after a fantastic year in 2006 where the camp’s best cemented themselves among the elites, more than half of the top runners are now out injured, one year later and the fans and even media personalities are asking “what is going on.”

“Let out the story, the fans need to know what is going. This shouldn’t be a secret,” said a local television commentary host on Monday.

Potential medal prospect Simpson, who at the start of the year was seen as one of the sprinters in line to win the sprint double at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan, this August, was forced to miss the Jamaica Championships with a hip injury.

However, but the biggest low point at the championships came when Powell showed signs of discomfort, immediately after winning the national title in 10.04 on Saturday.

Two more athletes, Foster-Hylton, the world bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games champion failed to show for the women’s 100m hurdles because of muscle problems and Frater, the reigning world silver medallist failed to get beyond the semis of the 100m.

Speaking to the media in Indianapolis from the U.S. Championships, Powell agent Paul Doyle said he was unsure about the state of the world’s fastest man’s injury, but had the feeling he was not seriously hurt.

“From what I have heard, he came across the finish line holding his groin, then walked off the track with no limp,” Doyle was quoted as telling Reuters.

Another sprinter from the MVP camp with injury scare is world junior record holder Darrel Brown, who said his disappointing run at the IAAF Golden League meeting in Oslo, was because of a tightened hamstring.

He, however, seemed to have recovered from the problem as he sped to a breezy 9.88w at the weekend to win the Trinidadian 100m title.

“I felt my left hamstring tighten up on me. Coach told me to come down here and just do enough to win but I had to go down a little more,” Brown said after the race.

Meanwhile, track and field supporters from all over the world will be hoping that the Jamaican trio recovers in time for the worlds.

Although not competing at the championships, Foster-Hylton and Simpson both have chances to prove themselves in time for a place on the Jamaica squad.

In accordance with the Jamaican Amateur Athletic Association’s (JAAA) selection policy the pair can make the team if they can prove that they are back in form.

“Athletes with top three world ranking who are ill or injured at the time of the National Championships may still be considered for selection, but they must prove their world ranking form prior to the final submission of the entries for the competition.”

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