Three development meets on today

Athletics

Three development meets on today

Saturday, January 11, 2020

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With the track and field season steadily building up, athletes will once again have a slew of development meets to choose from today as they continue preparations for the season ahead.

A number of the Corporate Area's top schools are expected to be on show at the 15th staging of the Douglas Forrest Invitational development meet, while those in the rural area will have the 37th staging of the JAAA Puma Fuller/Anderson Development Meet and the Manchester High School/Charlie Fuller field event meet within their reach.

The Douglas Forrest Invitational, which started in 2005 in honour of the second principal of Kingston College (KC), takes centre stage at G C Foster College starting at 8:30 am.

Forrest joined KC's teaching staff before his 18th birthday in 1926, one year after the school was formed, and became principal in 1935. He was a beloved French teacher and a lover of music until he retired in 1971.

Brian Smith, chairman of the meet, has high expectations for this year's staging, with 62 schools and over 2,000 athletes down to take part.

Top athletes from KC, Calabar, Jamaica College, Wolmer's Boys' and St Jago High are expected to be in a fierce battle on the boys' side, while the girls' side will be made interesting by the likes of Vere Technical, St Andrew High and Immaculate Conception, among others.

The events to be contested are the 400m hurdles; 5,000m male; 3,000m female; 200m; 800m; 1,500m; 4x400m relays; long jump; high jump; shot put; triple jump and discus.

In central Jamaica, the JAAA Puma Fuller/Anderson Development Meet will be in full swing at Kirkvine Sports Complex in Manchester, starting at 8:00 am.

The event in honour of two outstanding athletics administrators of the sport — the late Charlie Fuller and Pat Anderson — is expected to lure a number of the top rural area schools such as Edwin Allen, Holmwood Technical and St Elizabeth Technical High School, among others.

The event has stayed with five events — 200m, 400m, 800m, 3,000m and 5,000m.

Meet director Jerry Holness said organisers will endeavour to be flexible in allowing each school 10 athletes per event.

“I am proud of this meet, especially the fact that I was one of the working members of the first edition of this track meet,” Holness pointed out, during the event's launch earlier this week.

“This meet is one which a number of athletes and coaches look forward to, year after year, to leave the city and get some fresh air.

“This meet, coaches are given a wider opportunity in order to enter athletes more than the norm. Most of the meets, the maximum number of athletes is four, and we are lenient over the years and allow six athletes. This year, we are going to be even more lenient and move from six and will allow coaches to enter 10 athletes per class, per event,” Holness revealed.

The Kirkvine meet played host to a number of young stars in their development to world-class status starting with the inimitable Usain Bolt, Jermaine Gonzales, Nesta Carter, Deon Hemmings, Elaine Thompson, Sherone Simpson and Lorraine Fenton, to name a few.

Meanwhile, the Manchester High School/Charlie Fuller field events will be staged in Mandeville.

Events to be contested by males and females are discus, shot put, high jump, long jump, triple jump and javelin.

Athletes will be using all three meets as preparation for the soon-to-be-launched Digicel Grand Prix series, as well as qualifying for the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships.


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