Shelly back on track Jan 29
Ryon Jones, Gleaner Writer
World and Olympic 100 metres champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, will make her much-anticipated return to competitive running as she leads a number of MVP (Maximising Velocity and Power) Club athletes who will be participating at the 10th staging of the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track meet.
The meet, which is run in honour of Olympian and past student Grace Jackson, will be the first to be staged at the new UWI Usain Bolt Track on January 29. It will feature two new events in the shot put and the 1500 metres for men.
The 24-year-old Fraser-Pryce who got married on January 7, tested positive for oxycodone, a prohibitive substance, at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai in May 2010 and was subsequently banned for six months. This ban expired on January 7.
"Shelly-Ann Fraser is scheduled to run the 400 metres and she is looking forward to it because it is a big challenge for her, and if she does well she might not have to do anymore 400s for the year," MVP president and meet manager Bruce James shared at a press briefing held yesterday at the The Queen's School to launch the meet.
Defending World 100m hurdles gold medallist, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, who suffered a severe hamstring injury in April, is also slated to make a comeback at the meet. Other females from MVP who will be on show include: sprinter Sherone Simpson, 400m runner Shericka Williams, Olympic and World 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker, and Kaliese Spencer who topped last year's Diamond League women's 400m hurdles champion.
On the male side, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater, once healthy, should compete. Nesta Carter will not be in attendance, however, as he is scheduled to participate in the Millrose Games (indoor) in New York on the same weekend. Former Jamaican high jumper, Germaine Mason, who switched allegiance to Great Britain in 2006, is also likely to compete.
Due to the absence of lights at the facility, chairman of the meet's committee, Olive McNaughton, has urged participants to be on time for the meet, which is set to commence at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 6 p.m.
"We expect that we will have over 2000 participants; this will bring new challenges, as there are no lights at the facility," McNaughton stated.
"Therefore, we are going to be running a very tight schedule and we are asking persons to be on time because if you don't come on time you are going to miss your event," she added.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the meet, 10 scholarships were granted to 10 students from The Queen's School who are excelling both in the classroom and in various sporting disciplines.
Jacqueline Jackson, customer manager at GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturers of Lucozade, which is the title sponsor, explained why her company has stuck with the meet for a decade.
"The meet has been trying to develop young athletes over the years, not only for the Boys and Girls' Championships level but further, and as a result of that we found it necessary to partner with them because our hydration fluid is what will help to add to their performance on the day," Jackson said.