Cayman Invitational confirmed for 2 June

Rasheem Brown, Kemar Hyman and Jamal Walton are among the local stars slated for the meet.

Meet organisers have confirmed the sixth staging of the Cayman Invitational track and field event featuring Olympic and world champions along with some of the top local athletes.

On Saturday, 11 May, long after international media announced that former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and American LaShawn Merritt would headlines the 2 June meet, confirmation was sent to the local press.

As many as 80 overseas athletes and more than 20 local runners, including 400m specialist Jamal Walton, 100m Olympian Kemar Hyman and 110m hurdler Rasheem Brown, are expected to compete in the one-day meet at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.

The meet will also welcome Trinidadian 200m and 400m World Championships medallist and Olympic sprinter Machel Cedenio, 2017 World Championships 400m hurdles bronze medallist and Rio Olympian Ristananna Tracey (JAM), World Championships medallist Rasheed Dwyer (JAM) and Olympic and World Championships relay medallist Nesta Carter (JAM).

New this year is the categorising of the events into Premier and Classic. The Premier events will feature the men’s 100m and 400m and women’s 100m and 200m while the Classic events will be the men’s 200m, 110m hurdles and long jump and the women’s 100m and 400m hurdles.

Asafa Powell has the most sub-10 times in history. (Photo: LA Times)

“We have another group of world class athletes on tap this year, a good mixture of seasoned professionals and up and coming stars who are making their mark on the international circuit. A lot of them went to Rio and had strong showings so it will be exciting to see them compete on Cayman soil,” said Meet Director Cydonie Mothersill.

“As always, our goal is to build a brand that is known for bringing the best athletes in the world to Cayman, not only to entertain the fans but also to inspire and motivate our local athletes. We believe this group will do just that, and we look forward to welcoming them to the Cayman Islands and showing them some Caymankind hospitality.”

35-year old Jamaican Asafa Powell specialises in the 100 metres event and is the fourth fastest male 100m athlete of all time (9.72).  He has broken the 10-second barrier more times than anyone else – a whopping 97 times – and is on a mission to reach 100. His former teammate Usain Bolt is second with 35 sub-9.90 races. Powell has represented Jamaica at the last four Olympic Games, taking 4x100m gold in 2016. He has earned outdoor World Championships medals in the individual 100m and 4x100m relay, including two relay gold medals.

American LaShawn Merritt is a three-time Olympian (2008, 2012, 2016) and four-time Olympic medallist (3 golds, 1 bronze) who competes in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m events. He holds the record for winning the 400-meter gold medal in the Beijing 2008 Olympics by 0.99 of a second, the largest margin of victory in an Olympic 400 final since 1896.

Tickets for the Cayman Invitational are on sale and available from Funky Tang’s at a cost of $25 for the grandstand and $35 for the finish line.

 

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