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Milo Western Relays heads back to MoBay

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Adrian Frater, News Editor

Harvey ... we are quite happy to be back home.

Western Bureau: The Milo Western Relays, which was staged outside of western Jamaica for the first time last year, is set to return to the west with its 32nd staging on February 13 at the unfinished Catherine Hall Stadium in Montego Bay, which was unavailable last year.

"The UDC (Urban Development Corporation) has given us permission to use the Catherine Hall Stadium once again, so that is where we will be this year," said Ray Harvey, meet director for the popular one-day championship.

"Naturally, we are quite happy to be back home in the west," added Harvey. "We are now preparing what we expect will be another wonderful Milo Western Relays."

premier track event

Because of the unavailability of the Catherine Hall Stadium, which was undergoing construction last year; and the absence of another quality track and field facility in the west, the organisers had no choice but to switch the event to the G.C. Foster College in St Catherine.

However, with the Catherine Hall Stadium now 85 per cent ready, the west will once again embrace its premier track event in arguably the most spectator-friendly conditions it has had since it was first staged on a grass track at Cornwall College in the late 1970s.

"The seating, changing room facilities and parking area are now in place and will be available to us," said Harvey. "We are now in the process of putting in a grass warm-up track, the area is now being graded and we are putting in grass seeds."

While it is still early days, Harvey said that the MVP Track Club, which is home to athletes such as superstars Asafa Powell, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Melaine Walker and Shelly-Ann Fraser, has already confirmed that they will be at the championship this year.

"I can't say at this time which of the MVP stars athletes will be here, but MVP will definitely be here," said Harvey. "Over the years, we had Asafa (Powell) and all the other stars participating here at the Milo Relays."

Although Harvey and his team are still in the early planning stage for the event, a decision has been taken to add the 4x800m to the 4x400m special events, which will offer a lucrative cash award to the winning team.

"We have staged the 4x400m as special event over the past two years and its popularity has increased significantly," said Harvey. "We have now taken the decision to add the 4x800m to that category."