BEIJING, China:When Sanjay Ayre slipped from the silver-medal spot to fourth place in the men’s 4x400m final in the space of a few metres at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan, it hurt.Not even that colossal anchor leg failure could have given as much grief as Jamaica’s agonising fourth-place finish on the final day of the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, yesterday.The team of Peter Matthews, Ricardo Chambers, Rusheen McDonald, and Javon Francis clocked 2:58.51, the same time as bronze-medal winners Great Britain and Northern Ireland, with the USA running away with the gold medal in 2:57.82 and Trinidad and Tobago getting the silver in 2:58.20.The Jamaicans were in a good position up to the third leg, when McDonald slipped to almost sixth, before handing over the baton to Francis.FAst moveFrancis wasted little time in moving to the front of the pack, showing his 20.58 200-metre speed at the first opportunity. It looked familiar, as his 44.00 split from the Moscow 2013 World Championships, which dragged Jamaica from fifth to second in the event, looked like it was about to repeat itself.As brave as he was, Francis faded towards the end and was caught on the 100m stretch. Clinging for dear life to the bronze medal now, the Jamaican stepped across the line as Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Martyn Rooney clipped him for third, despite both times being rounded up to reflect 2:58.51, as was confirmed by the photo-finish camera.It was a heart-crushing defeat. Francis was devastated.”From I have been losing races, this is one of the most hurtful losses I have ever experienced,” lamented Chambers. “But we came out here as a team, and we fought as a team, but today we didn’t have enough to win.”We got the same time as Great Britain, but we just have to accept the result and move on to next year and different targets,” added Chambers.disappointedThe Jamaican team management didn’t readily accept the result, as they had the tape reviewed to see if they could have gotten a share of the bronze medal.”To be honest, I am really disappointed that we didn’t make the podium, but we are thankful at the same time,” said Peter Matthews. “I am really feeling hurt, and I’m sure the other fellows are as well; we really wanted this.”Matthews is hoping that the team can stay together and believes that the capability is there for a medal at next year’s Olympic Games.”With everyone, healthy next year, we have a good chance of even winning the 4x400m in Rio. We had a good side this year, but the competition was also very good, too,” Matthews said.
The Government of Guyana is being accused of violating the labour laws by issuing contracts to firms which pay persons below the minimum wage.The Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) is asking that the Administration address the issue where security guards and being paid below the minimum wage while they perform duties at Government locations.Addressing the RDC, People’s Progressive Party Councillor Zamal Hussain criticised the Administration for awarding contracts to security companies at rates which makes it impossible for firms to pay guards wages at the minimum level or above.He told the RDC that Government is contributing to the company breaking the law.“The persons working with the company are being paid below the minimum wage, they are not being paid overtime and they are not given proper treatment. In fact, some of them are in arrears with their creditors,” he pointed out.Hussain said some of the underpaid guards perform duties at the compound of the RDC. Others, he said were at schools health centres and hospitals in the region.“The blame is coming to the region. I am pleading to the RDC and the Government that when they make out these contracts they have ground rules that persons must at least receive the minimum wage as stipulated by the Government.”This publication was told that the guards are paid at a rate which represents two-thirds of the stipulated minimum wage.Meanwhile, at a recent meeting held with the guards and the company which has the contract to pervade security services to Government buildings in Region Six, the guards complained of poor working conditions and also of the low wages.The Chief Executive Officer of that company allegedly told the guards to take him to the Social Protection Ministry, which holds the responsibility for labour, and if they were not successful with the New Amsterdam office they should take the matter up with the head office in Georgetown.