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MVP stars to open up at Queen's meet

Published:Wednesday | January 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Elton Tucker, Assistant Editor - Sport

( l - r ) Powell, Foster-Hylton, Walker

Sportswoman of the Year Brigitte Foster-Hylton and her MVP teammates - Melaine Walker, Shericka Williams, Sherone Simpson, Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter, will head the competitors who will be on show at Saturday's ninth staging of the Queen's/Grace Jackson Track meet.

This is the usual season-opener for the Stephen Francis-coached MVP athletes and all except Carter will be competing in the 400 metres. Foster-Hylton, 100m hurdles, and Walker, 400m hurdles, won individual gold medals at the last year's Berlin World Championships. Williams was a silver medallist in the 400m and Powell won bronze in the 100m. Carter and Simpson were both injured.

President of MVP, Bruce James, said Carter is planning an indoor campaign this year and will run in an invitational 100 metres at the meet.

"Nesta (Carter) started the Jamaican world record relay team (Beijing in 2008). He really has a good start and is the third fastest Jamaican in history behind world 100 metres record holder Usain Bolt and former world record holder Asafa Powell and we believe Carter can have quite an impact on the indoor circuit," James, a member of the technical committee for the meet, said yesterday.

Events for the Queen's/Grace Jackson meet will be held at both the Stadium East and inside the National Stadium.

Morning session

The morning session starts at 9:00 a.m with the registration of athletes and will include the 1500 metres for boys and girls, 200m for the lower classes and long jump for under-17 boys and girls and senior men and women. These events will be hosted at the Stadium East while the afternoon session, set to begin at 3:30 p.m., will move to the National Stadium.

Chairperson of the organising committee for the meet, Olive McNaughton, said events had to be divided across two venues because a Jehovah's Witnesses function was previously scheduled for the National Stadium. This function is due to end in early afternoon in time for the 3:30 restart of the meet.

Making presentations

McNaughton also announced at a press briefing held at The Queen's School yesterday that the Asafa Powell Foundation will make a presentation to the most outstanding male and female athletes at the meet.

A special presentation will also be made to Usain Bolt, who competed at the Queen's/Grace Jackson meet prior to his record-breaking performances at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

An overseas team from the Cayman Islands has been confirmed for the meet, while a Penn State University contingent which is now training at the University of Technology will also compete. Local schools down for the meet include St Jago High, Foga Road High, Jamaica College, St Catherine High, Ocho Rios High and Calabar High.