Sport

New start time for Milo Western Relays

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Sunday, February 04, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — The 40th staging of the Milo Western Relays, to be held at Montego Bay Sports Complex on February 10, will start two hours earlier than usual at 10:00 am, as was announced at last Thursday's media launch at Holy Trinity church hall in Montego Bay.

Meet Director Ray Harvey explained that the state of pubic emergency currently in place in sections of the parish of St James, and which was extended to May 2 earlier last week, had forced a change in the time the meet was allowed to be held.

Despite this, however, Harvey promised that the high standards of the meet will not be affected. “Based on communications from the authorities, we have to finish the meet by 6:00 pm. And as such we have no alternative but to start earlier and we will get under way two hours earlier,” Harvey said. “This is a big task and what this means is that we have to pack nine hours of competition into eight hours.”

As a result, there will be changes to the competition schedule, with the 1500m Open for women and 3,000m for men moved back to the top.

Over the past few years after the meet was moved to a midday start time, the middle distance races had been shifted to the late afternoon, but these will move back to the top to make use of the cooler climate, he explained.

Meanwhile, Harvey said all of last year's winners had indicated they would be back to defend their titles and this included some of the top schools, clubs and athletes from all levels in the island.

Defending girls' champions Edwin Allen and Hydel High, who dominated at the recent STETHS Invitational, are set to renew their battle in the high school girls' section that will also see Holmwood Technical, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Mt Alvernia High, Rusea's High, Herbert Morrison and Manchester High competing.

Kingston College, STETHS, Petersfield High, Cornwall College, Munro College, Excelsior High and Green Island are expected to feature among the boys' high schools.

Harvey said they expected the usual high level of competition at the club and institution levels, where MVP, G C Foster, UWI, UTech, Knox Community College and Exed Community College are expected to battle for the prizes.

Over $300,000 will be on offer to the top four teams in the 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays, with the winners getting $30,000, second place $15000, third place $10,000 and fourth place $5,000.

Meanwhile, Milo, the title sponsor, reaffirmed its commitment to the development of track and field, with its western initiative that sees high schools in the region's national team representatives sharing $200,000.

Chris-Anthony Salter, consumer marketing manager (beverages) Nestle Jamaica, whose company is in its 24th year of sponsoring the event, said they would also be awarding the top coaches from the relays.

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