Sport

Carter, Gatlin showdown to highlight JII meet

BY SHERDON COWAN

Saturday, March 22, 2014    

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THE 100-metre battle between Jamaica's World Championships bronze medallist Nesta Carter and American Justin Gatlin will highlight this year's Jamaica International Invitational Meet (JII) at the National Stadium on May 3.

The meet, which is an IAAF World Challenge-designated event, was officially launched at the Jamaica Pegasus yesterday.

The 28-year-old Carter, after a disappointing performance at the recently concluded World Indoor Games in Sopot, Poland, said he is back in training and recouping.

"I don't really dwell on the past, so I try to get over it as fast as possible and take whatever positives I can from it and look on to further competition ahead," he said.

The double Olympic relay gold medallist outlined that he is getting ready for the lengthy 2014 outdoor season, with his main objective being to remain healthy for the season.

"The main objective is to stay healthy, run some fast times and get some rest for 2015. This year is a long season as well, so I am definitely looking forward to the three back-to-back World Championships, Olympics coming up and try to get as much rest as possible at the end of this season to get ready for it," said the MVP track club athlete.

Carter also said he is looking forward to the showdown against Gatlin, as both athletes will go at it in the men's 100 metres.

Former Olympic Games 100m champion and silver medallist Gatlin, speaking at the launch via Skype, said his preparations are going well.

"My preparations have been really good, I just want to make sure that I will be able to finish the season strong. I am just focusing on a lot of basic work, and just trying to go back to the root of Justin Gatlin from college."

He added that he is always looking forward to competing against Nesta Carter, as he is a great athlete with some really good times.

Felix Sanchez of Dominica Republic will also compete at the event. The 36-year-old 400-metre hurdler told the launch via Skype that he is looking forward to visiting Jamaica.

A list of glittering stars led by Jamaica's Olympic, IAAF World Outdoor and Indoor gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix, Olympic and World Championships gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross, World Championships men's 400m gold medallist LaShawn Merritt, as well as Francena McCorory, who won the World Indoors 400m in Sopot, Poland, recently, are expected to compete.

Jamaicans Kaliese Spencer, the silver medallist in the 400m in Sopot behind McCorory, World Championships 400m finalist Stephanie McPherson, the defending champion for the JII meet, and World Championships relay gold medallist Nickel Ashmeade, who won the 200m race last year ahead of Warren Weir, have also been listed as confirmed for the meet.

Nigerian World Championships 200m/long jump medallist Blessing Okagbare, Americans Curtis Mitchell and Briana Rollins are also named.

The meet will see events such as 100m men/women, 200m men/women, 400m men/women, 1,500m men, 3,000m women, 110m hurdles men, 100m hurdles women, long jump men, shot put men, discuss throw women and pole vault women.

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