BRUCE James, chairman of the organising committee for the series of Velocity Fest track and field meets, has welcomed their inclusion in the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Challenger level for the 2023 season.
Two of the meets, to be staged at the National Stadium on March 25 and April 22, are part of the World Athletics Continental Tour calendar, featuring more than 180 meetings around the globe.
"We are excited and humbled to be included in the World Athletics Continental Tour at the Challenger level. [The year] 2023, being a World Athletics Championships year, gives us even greater impetus to provide these two globally recognised meets right here in Kingston, Jamaica," James, who is also the president of MVP Track and Field Club, said.
The Velocity Fest meets are to be part of what is expected to be a packed track and field schedule that should see the return of the Racers Grand Prix as well as the Jamaica International Invitational Meet.
The Continental Tour, which started recently with events in Australia, "is divided into four levels – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Challenger", a release from World Athletics said.
The schedule of Gold meetings has increased by two, with the tour's top tier now comprising 14 events spread across five continents. New additions to the tour include Melbourne, Australia (February 23); St George's, Grenada (April 22); and Gaborone, Botswana (April 29). The tour concludes in Zagreb, Croatia, from September 8-10, World Athletics also said.
"The feedback we have received from athletes and coaches is that they love competing at Velocity Fest meets based on our unique style of meet delivery. Spectators will be thrilled by the performances they will witness on Saturday, March 25, and Saturday, April 22 at the National Stadium, starting at 5:00 pm both dates," James told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.
— Paul A Reid