Blake-Asafa clash for Ja Invitational

Blake-Asafa clash for Ja Invitational

Ian Burnett

Thursday, April 26, 2012

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DOUBLE world record holder Usain Bolt has been confirmed to contest the 100-metre sprint at next month's JN Jamaica Invitational Meet at the National Stadium, but it is the clash between 100-metre world champion Yohan Blake and former 100-metre record holder Asafa Powell in the 200 metres that will take the spotlight.

The meet, now upgraded from an International Assocation of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Area Permit event to World Challenge status, is slated for May 5 and will also see world-class athletes such as Nickel Ashmeade, Mario Forsythe, Marvin Anderson, among others taking part in the half-lap sprint.

Meet director and Jamaican Olympian great Donald Quarrie gave the update during a press briefing yesterday at Wyndham Kingston Hotel.

Quarrie, the 1976 200 metres Olympic gold medallist, advised that athletes still had time to request switching from one event to another. He suggested that the organisers would give another follow-up early next week, before finalising entries next Friday, when all the athletes would have arrived in the island for the meet, which has a budget of $118 million.

Bolt is expected to get competition from compatriots Nesta Carter, Dexter Lee, Lerone Clarke, Michael Frater, along with Antiguan Daniel Bailey, Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago and Darvis Patton of the USA in the 100 metres sprint.

On the women's side, world champion Carmelita Jeter of the US will be pitted against Jamaica's Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson, along with Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago and Debbie Ferguson of The Bahamas in the 100 metres sprint.

In the half-lap sprint, Olympic 100 metres champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will oppose Bianca Knight and Sholonda Solomon of the USA, as well as compatriots Simone Facey, Shericka Williams and Anneisha McLaughlin.

The women's 400 metres should also be competitive with world champion Sanya Richards-Ross, Novelene Williams, Shareefa Lloyd, Kaliese Spencer and Christine Ohuruogu from Britain taking part.

The 400m hurdles will have Olympic champion Melaine Walker, Ristannana Tracey, Shevon Stoddart and Christine Spence among others, while Brigitte Foster-Hylton will oppose Delloreen Ennis-London, Vonette Dixon, Tiffany Porter and Priscilla Lopes-Schliep.

On the men's side Jermaine Gonzales, Ricardo Chambers, Allodin Fothergill, Oral Thompson, Renny Quow and Calvin Smith are down to contest the 400 metres, while Dwight Thomas, Hansel Parchment, Maurice Smith and Richard Phillips will contest the 110m hurdles.

Outstanding American Bershawn Jackson, Danny McFarlane, Isa Phillips and Markino Buckley will compete in the 400m hurdles.

Kenia Sinclair, Korine Hinds, Mardrea Hyman, Brittany Reese are also down
to compete.

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