So, I decided after my last 800m media race heroics at the World Championships in Moscow that I would hang up my spikes and go out in glory. I retired from the IAAF media race as the two-time Caribbean champion and with a personal best despite a back injury. Please note, I said 800m. As a Jamaican, I’m not wired for anything over 400m, so this is new frontier, people. Anyway, I decided to retire also to make a statement, having failed in my bid to get the IAAF to stop its prejudice against Jamaican journalists like myself and add a shorter race to the schedule … say a 100m … or 50m, so we can accommodate the … ‘not so fit’ among us. But I’ve received so many questions about whether or not I’m going to be competing – from colleagues, IAAF friends, fans – (laughs). I haven’t decided if I will change my mind about not competing yet, but I did take up an entry form and filled it out, just in case. After all, I can’t allow Jamaicans to go through another non-registration crisis after that Nesta Carter mess up! This is how it’s done JAAA. Wow! What a start to the 2015 World Championships. An amazing opening ceremony – especially by World Championships standards – huge crowd inside the Bird’s Nest, great action already in the men’s 100m as the top dogs sounded their barks ahead of what should be one of the best races in a while. The first day covering these championships is always such an adrenaline rush. After days of build-ups and previews, long drives to interviews and all that kind of stuff, it’s always, such a release to get the real thing started -the emotions, the thrill of competition, the sights, the sounds, and the wanton joy of capturing it all. There has certainly been enough happening to keep me busy for almost all 24 hours of each day since I’ve been here. From the Stephen Francis vs JAAA situation, the Nesta Carter debacle, Bolt vs Gatlin, Asafa and his chances, Shelly-Ann, Elaine, and the list goes on and on. TOUCH OF DRAMA NEW FRONTIER The truth is Jamaica’s track and field has always had a touch of drama about it. It’s a maze of politics, alliances, and relationships – all the ingredients for a good daytime series. I don’t always see eye to eye with Stephen Francis, or the JAAA, but in this case – in both cases – I think he has some solid points. Was the camp in Tottori fashioned to ensure that every athlete received optimal levels of preparation? How could a 5000m athlete possibly benefit from being at that camp, for instance? Has the JAAA management team done a good enough job? Is there enough accountability? No! Anyway, that’s for another discussion.
Pointing towards his ears, the former AC Milan and Manchester City striker then tried to leave the pitch, only to be stopped by his teammates and Verona players, some of whom hugged him.The match was suspended for a few minutes before a message was read out of the stadium loudspeaker threatening both teams would all leave the field if there was a repeat of any abuse.The message was whistled loudly by a large number of the home fans, who have a notorious reputation in Italy for hard-right politics and open racism.With the game back underway Matteo Pessina doubled the hosts lead when he squeezed home a neat finish with nine minutes left before Balotelli pulled one back with a superb curling long-range effort.Balotelli’s side remain in the bottom three after the defeat, while Verona jumped up to ninth, level on points with Fiorentina ahead of their match with Parma.A number of black players have been racially abused by supporters in Italy in the opening weeks of the season, with Milan midfielder Franck Kessie targeted by Verona fans in September and Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku abused by Cagliari fans, also serial offenders.Balotelli has a particularly hostile relationship with Verona fans, who six years ago targeted him with ironic cheers after then-mayor of the city Flavio Tosi called him a “troublemaker” who brought racist abuse on himself.0Shares0000(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Mario Balotelli has been a frequent target for racist abuse during his three spells in Italy © AFP / Marco BertorelloROME, Italy, Nov 3 – Mario Balotelli threatened to leave the pitch on Sunday after apparently hearing racist abuse by Hellas Verona fans before scoring for Brescia in their 2-1 Serie A defeat.With his side a goal down to Eddie Salcedo’s powerful header Balotelli, who has been a frequent target for racist chants during his three spells playing in his home country, booted the ball into the crowd after around an hour and charged towards Verona fans.