Sports

Bloomfield, Shelly to sizzle at Grenada Invitational

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, April 13, 2019

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Several Jamaicans will descend on the “Spice Island” for what promises to be an exciting third staging of the Grenada Invitational inside the Kirani James Stadium today.

The event will be broadcast live by ESPN starting at 5:00 pm Jamaican time.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who became the first Caribbean woman to win 100m gold at the Olympics in 2008, and successfully defended her title in 2012, will be in action in her pet event along with the promising Jonelle Smith.

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, national champion Tyquendo Tracey, Julian Forte and Nesta Carter will compete in the 100m.

As mouthwatering as the 100m event is, all eyes will be on the men's 200m where Jamaica's rising star Akeem Bloomfield will match strides with American World Champion Justin Gatlin, Canadian star Andre DeGrasse and the Great Britain pair of Miguel Francis and Adam Gemili.

The 21-year-old Bloomfield, who has the world-leading time of 20.24s and a personal best of 19.81s, is said to be flying in training and will be severely tested by Gatlin, DeGrasse and the improving Francis. Former Calabar High star and 2013 World Youth 200m champion, Michael O'Hara, now at Racers, is also in the lineup. He has a personal best of 20.45 seconds set in 2014.

The 37-year-old Gatlin has a personal best of 19.57s, while DeGrasse and Francis, both 24 years old, have bests of 19.80s and 19.88s, respectively. Gemili is no slouch either with a 19.97s best.

Meet director, Marvin Anderson, told the Jamaica Observer that the 200m will be the highlight of the meet and will bring the curtains down on the event.

“That should be a good match-up and will (fittingly) close the show,” said the Jamaican.

Anderson himself was no slouch with best times of 10.11 and 20.06 and was sixth in the 200m final at the 2007 World Championships where he also won a silver medal in the 4100 m relay for Jamaica, alongside Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter.

“It should be a good competition and overall it provides an opportunity for people in the region to get a chance to see good competition and that's the aim of it. The feedback is great and a lot of persons have reached out trying to be a part of it and we try to accommodate as best as possible,” Anderson pointed out.

“It's also a chance for the developing athletes and the elite superstars to showcase their talents to the region and the fact that ESPN will provide coverage, we can send it out to our global audience. It's a win-win for everybody,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Jamaican Powell will continue his quest for his 100th sub-10 clocking and will line up against Carter, American Isaiah Young, and fellow Jamaicans Tracey and Forte.

Commonwealth Games 200m gold medallist Rasheed Dwyer is in the 400m with Grenadian star Bralon Taplin. Olympic 400m champion Kirani James will not be in action.

Sherone Simpson and Anastasia LeRoy will compete in the 200m, while Christine Day and Keliesha Spencer are down for the 400m. Demar Forbes and Tajay Gayle will compete in the men's long jump.


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