KINGSTON • Six-times Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt headlines Jamaica's squad for athletics' World Championships in Beijing later this month.
Fifteen individual and relay world championships medallists have been included as the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) on Monday named the country's largest team ever assembled for a world meet.
Fifty-three athletes, 27 male and 26 female - many of whom are already in Tottori, Japan, for the team's centralised training camp - have been handed tickets to Beijing, bettering the 51 selected to represent the country at the 2011 Daegu showcase.
"We are taking the biggest team we have ever taken to the world championships, and also the most diverse team," JAAA president Warren Blake told Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner. "This is something we are quite happy about, and something we have been encouraging over the years."
Three male discus throwers, two female 800m competitors, a male 5,000m competitor, a female steeplechase runner and a heptathlete give the island its widest range of competitors at the world championships.
Nickel Ashmeade, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt, Julian Forte, Warren Weir, Peter Matthews, Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele, Javon Francis, Kemoy Campbell, Omar McLeod, Hansle Parchment, Roxroy Cato, Leford Green, Annsert Whyte, Damar Forbes, O'Dayne Richards, Fedrick Dacres, Jason Morgan, Chad Wright, Tyquendo Tracey, Rasheed Dwyer, Jonia McDonald, Dane Hyatt, Nesta Carter, Andrew Riley.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Natasha Morrison, Elaine Thompson, Sherone Simpson, Christine Day, Shericka Jackson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Novlene Williams-Mills, Simoya Campbell, Natoya Goule, Aisha Praught, Kimberly Laing, Danielle Williams, Shermaine Williams, Janieve Russell, Kaliese Spencer, Shevon Stoddart, Ristananna Tracey, Shanieka Thomas, Kimberly Williams, Danniel Thomas, Salcia Slack, Kerron Stewart, Chrisann Gordon, Anastasia LeRoy.
However, all eyes will be on Bolt, who after an insipid start to his season, seemed to have regained some form ahead of his Beijing assignment, twice clocking 9.87sec in less than an hour at the Anniversary Games in London last month.
Bolt will return to the site of his double world record exploits at the 2008 Olympic Games, but will perhaps face his biggest test with world leader and 100m silver medallist in Moscow, Justin Gatlin, setting the pace this season.
Asafa Powell will be looking to add to his two world championships bronzes in the 100m, with Kemar Bailey-Cole seeking an upgrade to his Commonwealth gold, while 2013 silver-medal winner, Warren Weir, will be hoping to find form in the 200m.
Rasheed Dwyer, who set a career best time of 19.80sec over 200m at the Pan American Games, also makes the squad.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the reigning sprint double champion from Moscow two years ago, tops the list of female athletes.
Elaine Thompson, the national champion, has been handed the reins in the 200m, where stalwart Veronica Campbell-Brown will also feature, in addition to the 100m.