The Jamaican Track and Field Team will return to the University of Birmingham this month for their World Championship final preparation camp.
Following the highly successful pre-Olympic camp before London 2012, the team of 50 athletes will return to make use of the outstanding facilities available, ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in London in August.
In 2012, the University hosted the powerhouse that is Team Jamaica for 12 days before they competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games – which saw the team achieve record-breaking success, including four Gold, four Silver and four Bronze medals, and the iconic smashing of the Olympic world record for the men’s 100m by Usain Bolt, in 9.63 seconds.
The facilities used in 2012 have been replaced, so the Jamaican team return to a brand new eight-lane athletics track and the University’s extensive new £55million Sport & Fitness Club, which opened in May.
The IAAF World Athletics Championships in London will be the swansong for the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, who personally thanked the University for the support and facilities that helped him win a ‘triple’ gold medal in London, including a new world record for the Jamaican 4 x 100m relay team. The University of Birmingham is proud to be hosting Bolt prior to his final Championship.
For Zena Wooldridge OBE, Director of Sport, the return of the Jamaican team coincides with an historic milestone for University of Birmingham Sport, the opening of impressive new facilities.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such amazing new facilities on campus, and very excited to have the opportunity of the World Athletics Championships in London to share our new track and indoor facilities with our Jamaican friends. We know how important this Championship is to Jamaica, and we hope we can contribute in some small way to their success in London by creating an ideal preparation environment here in Birmingham.”
The preparation camp also coincides with Birmingham’s bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, in which the University’s campus could provide a range of training venues, and competition venues for hockey and squash.
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader for Birmingham City Council, said: “I welcome the University of Birmingham’s announcement that Jamaica’s track and field athletes are returning to the city to make their final preparations ahead of the IAAF World Championships in London.
“Clearly both the Jamaican and USA teams enjoyed their time here as they prepared for London 2012, and their decision to return shows how Birmingham can support elite athletes with the world-class sports facilities available here.
“The training camps will provide an economic boost to the city but, more importantly, I hope they will inspire many young people across Birmingham and beyond.”