Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Women's 400m to highlight JII

Published:Saturday | May 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham
Sanya Richards-Ross
Francena McCorory
Stephenie McPherson
Novlene Williams-Mills

THE National Stadium will be buzzing with excitement today as a galaxy of local and international stars will be on show at the 2015 Jamaica International Invitational (JII) meet, an IAAF World Challenge event.

Several world stars, including America's 2013 World 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, the Borlee brothers Kevin and Jonathon, Trinidad and Tobago's Richard Thompson and Britain's Christine Ohuruogu, had their final workouts at the National Stadium yesterday.

Ohuruogu is expected to line up in the women's international 400m and has attracted a star-studded field.

Jamaica's best two women in the one-lap event, Novlene Williams-Mills and Stephenie McPherson will face the United States' duo of Francena McCorory, last year's World Indoor champion and Jamaica-born Sanya Richards-Ross, the 2012 Olympic champion.

McCorory won the event last year and is seeking a repeat while Richards-Ross will want to improve on her fifth place

finish. Another good run is also expected from the ever improving McPherson.

After losing out to the Dominican Republic's Lugulin Santos a year ago in a very close finish in the men's 400 metres, American States LaShawn Merritt is expected to run a fast race. He has promised a season's best performance and his quality is such that he could go below 44.5.

It should be a welcome return for Asafa Powell when he lines up in the men's 100m International. Powell will be making his first appearance in over two years on local soil, and, following a good win in Guadeloupe a week ago he will want to send a strong message to former training partner Nesta Carter, Thompson of Trinidad and American Ryan Bailey who anchored the United States Men's 4x100m team to victory a week ago.

Preceding this event at 8:10 p.m. will be the women's 100 metres where local star, Elaine Thompson is expected to face the starter. Thompson posted a world leading 10.92 recently at the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships and the MVP star is expected to put on another fine show today .

World Championships double sprint champion, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser--Pryce, will grace the track at 8:53 pm in the Women's International 200 metres while rising sprinter , Julian Forte of UTech goes in the men's event at 9:03 p.m.

An athlete to watch will be women's 100 metres hurdles world leader, Jasmine Strowers of the United States. Strowers clocked a sensational 12.40 seconds at the recent Drakes Relay. She defeated a world class field which included the likes of fellow Americans 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper, Brianna Rollins, the 2013 World Champion and Queen Harrison.