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Bolt set for Valentine's Day 2015 opener

Published:Thursday | February 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Shayne Fairman, Gleaner Writer

Valentine's Day (February 14) 2015 might turn out even more bedazzling, with six-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt expected to make an eagerly anticipated first appearance on the track and open his 2015 season at the Camperdown Classic, at the National Stadium.

Organisers of the meet, who are connected to the Bolt-led Racers Track Club, announced that the star sprinter and his clubmates will be competing, barring injuries or unavoidable engagements.

"All Racers athletes who are in the island and who are fit and well will be running," said meet chairperson Cynthia Cooke at yesterday's press launch at the Spanish Court hotel.

Cooke, Racers' general secretary, also served as principal of Camperdown High for more than 20 years.

Racers Track Club is arguably the home of the world's top international athletes and is coached by legendary guru Glen Mills. As this is World Championship year, the athletes will be using the meet to test their early season form.

Bolt, the legendary Jamaican sprinter, has not run since last year, having called an early end to his season. He withdrew from the Weltklasse Zurich 100-metre race in Switzerland, to the dismay of millions of adoring fans, due to a foot injury.

Other members of the star-studded Racers cast include double Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake and Olympic medallists Michael Frater and Warren Weir, who will also open their season, along with Daniel Bailey of Antigua and Commonwealth Games 100m and sprint relay gold medallist Kemar Bailey-Cole.

On the female side, Olympic stars Kerron Stewart, Rosemarie Whyte and Schillonie Calvert are also expected to feature.

"There is a buzz; everybody looks forward to Camperdown Classic, because that is where the big stars open their season," Cooke noted.

Anniversary Celebration

Now in its 11th renewal, the organisers are promising a world-class event, which would aptly commemorate the school's 85th anniversary.

A first-place prize of $60,000 will go to class-one boys and girls, second will get $25,000 and third $15,000.

Entry costs for competitors range from $100 for Camperdown students, while co-ed school teams will pay $7, 500, single-sex teams $5,000 and individuals $500.

The event is boosted by sponsors Digicel's Grand Prix Athletic Programme, which will see top male and female school teams vying for a top prize of $1 million in training equipment for their school.

They will compete in the sprint, long distance, relays, throws and jumps and will culminate on March 14.

Rainford Wint, vice-president of the Camperdown Alumni St Andrew Chapter, lauded all new and returning sponsors for their support.