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'More development track meets needed,' says Elaine Thompson

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is lamenting the limited number of development track meets for young athletes in Jamaica.

Commenting after her win in the 60-metre event at the recently held Queens/Grace Jackson Meet, the sprint star emphasised the importance of these meets for youngsters.

“The Queens/Grace Jackson meet is very special for our athletes. It's a starter and we don't have a lot of development meets in Jamaica,” said Thompson who retained her title as the 60-metres champion, clocking 7.18 seconds. “Boys' and Girls' Champs is early this year, so coming out to this meet is also a great start for our young athletes.”

The Malta-sponsored Queens/Grace Jackson Meet came to a successful close last Saturday, with impressive performances from high school athletes from across the island as well as the MVP and Racers Track clubs. It is one of the first major track meets on the 2018 JAAA calendar.

“There is need for more investment in track and field and we definitely want to see more opportunities for our athletes to gain competitive experience in a relaxed environment,” said Nathan Nelms, assistant brand manager for Stouts and Malta at Red Stripe. “As a corporate sponsor of several track events, we try to make the meets enticing for athletes on the amateur and professional circuits with creative prizes. It is hoped that more companies will support track and field meets in this way so that Jamaica can continue its legacy of excellence in the sport.”

Malta will also sponsor the Digicel Grand Prix, Youngster Goldsmith Meet, Jamalco Meet, Camperdown Classics, Western Champs, Gibson Relays and the G C Foster Classics this year.