Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Bolt's big farewell - Several world stars on show at Stadium

Published:Saturday | June 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham

Track and field fans are expected to flock to the National Stadium in droves tonight to get a glimpse of the great Usain Bolt competing on home soil for the last time.

The feature race of the second JN Racers Grand Prix, the Salute To A Legend 100 metres will be on track at 10:10 o'clock. The meet begins at 6:15 p.m. with the opening ceremony.

Several World and Olympic champions have flown into the island to compete and help make Bolt's final performance in Jamaica a memorable one.

America Allyson Felix, a many-time World and Olympic 200 metres medallist, says she just wants to enjoy herself and take in the atmosphere.

"I love competing here. It's always so much fun and I know it's going to be a special night," Felix told The Gleaner on Thursday.

At an emotional press briefing on Thursday, Bolt said today's meet is all about the home fans.

"I just want to go out there for the final time and put on a show for my fans in my final race and it is not about setting records, but just to go out there and continue winning", said Bolt who stated that despite several hitches in his preparation this season fans can still expect a great performance from him.




In his event, Bolt will face Nickel Ashmeade, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Jhevaughn Minzie and Daniel Bailey.

There will be two men's 100m races. Bolt's training partner Yohan Blake is the star attraction in a competitive second 100m field. He will meet the very consistent Akani Simbine of South Africa who has been on a roll this season, clocking several sub 10 seconds. Also in the line-up are Jamaica's Kemar Bailey-Cole; Keston Bledman and Emmanuel Callender of Trinidad and Tobago and Antoine Adams of St Kitts.

Fans will also get a chance to see 400 metres world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa in action. He will line up in the men's 200m against Jamaica's Rasheed Dwyer, Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes, Nigel Ellis and Warren Weir.

The men's 800 metres will be hot. Heading the field is Kenya's world record holder David Rudisha. Also in the line-up are his teammates Willy Tarbei and Edwin Melly.

In the 3000 metres, the star attraction is the incomparable Mo Farah of Great Britain the double long distance gold medallist from the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

The men's 110 metres hurdles field includes Jamaica's inform Ronald Levy against compatriots Hansle Parchment, Deuce Carter and Andrew Riley. American Devon Allen will be hoping to topple the Jamaicans.

Following his good run at the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) Jaheel Hyde will get another chance to do well on local soil when he competes in a very tough 400m hurdles. , Roxroy Cato, the USA duo of Quincy Downing and Johnny Dutch along with veteran Javier Culson of Puerto Rico are the other leading contenders.

In the field, American Christian Taylor will be aiming for another 18 metres mark in the triple jump.

Felix lines up in the 200m and her main competition should come from her countrywoman Jenna Prandini, Antonique Strachan of the Bahamas and Jura Levy of Jamaica.

After skipping the recent Diamond League meet, American English Gardener will be hoping for a big run in the women's 100m. She will have good competition here from her compatriot Barbara Pierre, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaicans Gayon Evans, Sashalee Forbes and Natasha Morrison.

World champion, Danielle Williams will be hoping to go all the way in the women's 100m hurdles and improve on her third place finish at the JII meet. The formidable field includes veteran and former world record holder, Sally Pearson of Australia and American Sherika Nelvis.

Olympic 400m hurdles champion, Dalilah Muhammad, will set her sights on a big win and a fast time but could be upstaged by her countrywoman Shamier Little who ran a blinder in Eugene two weeks ago to finish a good second. Jamaicans Ristananna Tracy and Leah Nugent who were both finalists in Rio de Janeiro last year will lead the local charge.