Bolt heads field for Jamaica Invitational
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
Double sprint world record holder Usain Bolt will headline the plethora of track and field stars who will grace the National Stadium for the seventh staging of the JN Jamaica International Invitational track and field meet on Saturday, May 1.
The double Olympic and World champion did not participate at the Invitational last year as he had met in a car accident on Highway 2000 just days before.
He will renew his battle this year in the 200 metres with long-time friend and rival, Wallace Spearmon of the United States. Spearmon had to settle for third place at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, while Bolt romped to victory in a new world record time of 19.19 seconds.
Top MVP stars Missing
Missing from the meet will be some of MVP's top athletes, including 2009 World Championship silver medallist Asafa Powell and World and Olympic 100m women's champion Shelly-Ann Fraser.
In a correspondent that was sent to the JAAA, a representative of some of the MVP athletes stated: "Regarding Asafa, Brigitte (Foster-Hylton), Shericka (Williams) and Sherone (Simpson), I received a schedule of requested meets for the athletes from coach Francis and the Kingston meet was not included for these athletes. The first major international meet for any of these athletes will be the Diamond League meet in Doha on May 14."
Executive member of the JAAA, Donald Quarrie, was visibly upset by their unavailability.
"We are sort of tired of this; three years in a row and Stephen (Francis) does this to us every time," said Quarrie.
"It was this morning that we got news that all the top athletes from MVP will no longer be competing in the meet. What is strange is that we were talking and everything was going well and suddenly they are just not (coming)," he added.
While Fraser will be missing from the line-up in the 100, the organisers are very confident that they will have a matchup between World Championship silver medallist Kerron Stewart and last year's fastest woman over the distance, American Carmelita Jeter, who was confirmed late yesterday.
The 100m for women will also feature Aleen Bailey, American Marshevet Hooker, Simone Facey and possibly Muna Lee, the American sprinter.
something special for women's 200m
The 200m for women also promises something special as Veronica Campbell-Brown will line up against the reigning Female World Athlete of the Year, Sanya Richards, her US teammate Bianca Knight and The Bahamas' Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie.
The 400m hurdles for men will feature the current Olympic and World Champion Kerron Clement, along with Danny McFarlane and Isa Phillips.
In the 100m for men, last year's winner Darvis Patton will be hard- pressed to repeat the feat as he will be challenged by Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake.
The 100m hurdles will feature American Dawn Harper and Delloreen Ennis-London, while the 110m hurdles for men will feature David Pan, Maurice Smith, Dwight Thomas, Richard Phillips and Maurice Wignall.
Novlene Williams-Mills, Rosemarie White, Monica Hargrove and Dee Dee Trotter, who is coming off injury, will line up in the 400m, while the male equivalent will feature Ricardo Chambers and Jermaine Gonzales.
Spectators will be required to pay $300 to sit in the bleachers, while there are four price categories for the grandstand - $2,500, $2000, $1,500 and $1,000.