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Ballantyne blames ‘spite’ for his omission

Ballantyne blames ‘spite’ for his omission

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Pamenos Ballantyne has put it down to “spite” for his non-selection for the St Vincent and the Grenadines team for last Sunday’s NACAC OECS Invitational four-leg road relay classic, organised by the Road Racing and Cross Country Commission of Team Athletics SVG.{{more}}

Ballantyne opined this to SEARCHLIGHT last Sunday afternoon at the event, staged around Kingstown.

“I strongly believe that the athletics association, they are very much spiteful. I know they [are] trying to spite me because I am not their friend and we have had many issues over the years and the issues continue,” Ballantyne said.

The genesis of another fallout was the decision of the selection committee to stage a trial run on September 30, a decision that Ballantyne opposed.

“Before the race (the trial), I spoke to [Leroy] Llewellyn and Cornel Forbes. I told them that last year, we had many problems in terms of getting transportation into Kingstown, so why not put the race in the afternoon, which is in similar conditions,” Ballantyne said.

He said he further told them several of the prospective athletes live in the north of St Vincent and it would have been difficult for them to attend the trial, which was set for 7 a.m.

Ballantyne said Llewellyn, who is the chair of the Road Racing and Cross Country Commission and Vice President of Team Athletics agreed, but Forbes, who is the vice-chair and a member of the selection committee, objected.

“I believe as an athlete I have a say as I represent not only myself but the other athletes,” Ballantyne said.

Ballantyne, the most successful Vincentian athlete in road races across the Caribbean, said he did not attend the trial on September 30 and again contacted Llewellyn the following day and reaffirmed his willingness to represent St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Ballantyne said Llewellyn questioned his fitness.

Ballantyne said he thought Llewellyn’s comments were incongruous, since he is in training, having been selected by Team Athletics SVG for a road race in Guadeloupe later this month.

Llewellyn, who also spoke to SEARCHLIGHT on Sunday, said Ballantyne did express his dissatisfaction with the timing of the trial.

“Pamenos cannot dictate to us when we should have our functions; we are the administrators, he is the athlete,” he, however, said.

Llewellyn also dismissed Ballantyne’s claims of persons in the executive spiting.

Llewellyn likened the situation involving Ballantyne, with that of world sprint king, Jamaican Usain Bolt.

“Bolt, although he is Olympic and world champion, still has to run in the Jamaica trials,” Llewellyn said.

With Ballantyne not selected, the Vincentian team which participated in last Sunday’s relay comprised Brandon Paris, Casique Olliver, Keron Arthur, and Keron Cottoy.

But Ballantyne believed that he, Paris, Olliver, and Josnel Ashton should have made up the Vincentian team.

Ballantyne, however teamed up with Cyron Lewis, Caswin Prince and Junior Ashton to lead Chatoyers to victory in the open male category.

Incidentally, Ashton was part of the St Vincent and the Grenadines team, but opted out. (RT)

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