The country’s lone shot putter Jess St. John says she is “tired of the disrespect” and “lack of support” from the relevant officials in Antigua and Barbuda and because of this she will no longer represent the country.
St. John who is a former sportswoman of the year while speaking on another media house on Wednesday aired her frustrations and is now looking to represent either the United States or the U S Virgin Islands-her country of birth.
Since graduating from Kansas State University last year, St. John has been trying to attempt to gain funding from the NOC to assist in her training but after months of attempting to acquire the support she is throwing in the towel.
She says she has been trying to remain professional and understanding during the process of acquiring funding by the National Olympic Committee but after a recent article and interview with the President of the NOC Chet Greene “enough is enough”.
“I have been thinking about it for the last few months, honestly but I am just tired,” said St. John.
“I love Antigua and Barbuda and I do appreciate all what they have done for me but I cannot continue on this way. I have to just start depending on myself and just try to ind another way.”
The Princess Margaret School (PMS) graduate says she does believe that she has “been targeted by the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA)” and treated unfairly since that fiasco at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia where she publicly scrutinized the ABAA for their lack of preparation in providing adequate uniforms for her.
Since that time, St. John believes she has “been put on the back burner”. It is for all these reasons that St. Joh says she is walking away and has no intention of changing her mind.
St. John, 24, is only the third athlete in recent times who have stopped representing Antigua and Barbuda at track and field meets. The most recent was Miguel Francis who now represents the United Kingdom and Rai Benjamin who runs for the USA.