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Sprint stars line up in Jamaican Invitational

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Sprint stars line up in Jamaican Invitational Kerronstewart
Jamaica's Kerron Stewart winning the women's 100 metres ahead of the United
States' Carmelita Jeter, at the IAAF Golden Gala in Rome's Olympic Stadium in
August, 2009. Both athletes, along with Jamaica's Sherone Simpson, willl be
involved in a 100m showdown at Saturday's JN Jamaica International Invitational
track meet at the National Stadium. - AP

Stewart relishing Jeter, Simpson showdown

Jamaica Gleaner
Thursday | May 5, 2011

Last year's 100m showdown between Olympic and World silver medallist Kerron Stewart and American Carmelita Jeter was one of the highlights of the JN Jamaica International Invitational track meet at the National Stadium.

With the two set to lock horns again at this Saturday's eighth renewal of the recently upgraded meet - which now forms part of the IAAF World Challenge Series - Stewart is relishing the clash and is keen to get a peek on the preparation of one of her major rivals.

The highly anticipated race is also expected to feature 2008 Olympic co-silver medallist Sherone Simpson, Trinidad and Tobago's Kelly-Ann Baptiste and American Marshervet Myers.

Jeter, the second-fastest woman in history, with a personal best of 10.64 seconds, led from start to finish at last year's meet, but had to hold off a late rally from Stewart.

Change expected
However, the Jamaican is looking to turn the tables this time around, as she gears up for her first 100m showing of the season.

"It's always good to compete with your rivals early in the season," said Stewart yesterday, minutes after her final training session in Atlanta, United States, before departing for Jamaica. "This will also give me an opportunity to see where I am in my own preparation, and no matter what happens on Saturday I cannot control what nobody else does, I can only control what I do and work on myself always improving."

Stewart added: "It's always fun when I get to compete in front of my home crowd because they don't get to see us in person a lot, so I always look forward to coming home and competing."

While not willing to speak publicly on her target in terms of the time she is hoping to run on Saturday, Stewart promised to give it her best shot and is expecting feisty competition.

"I'm not putting any time outthere, I'm just going out there to compete and have fun. It's still early and as you know it's my first 100m of the year, so I just want to get through that with the best result," said Stewart. "I am going out there to compete, I always try to compete as best as I possibly can. I'm going to be at home, but I know it will not be an easy race, but I am really expecting it to be a good and close race.

"The fans can always expect me to give them 100 per cent, no doubt about that. I compete with my heart and I know that God will do the rest," Stewart noted.

Stewart, who also has a 200m bronze medal from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, reported that things have been going well in training and noted that her coach, Henry Rolle, and herself have been working on sorting out the kinks with her notoriously poor start.

"I'm working on every aspect of my race. I try to do better at the start, I won't place all my emphasis there, but I do know that I have to improve in that area. Also, I cannot just run 40m or 50m, I have to run a good, full 100m and the start is critical. But so is the end," she reasoned.

Last edited by Admin on Sat May 07, 2011 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total



Stars set for sizzling showdowns

By Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaican Gleaner
Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another massive crowd is expected at the National Stadium this evening, as the upgraded JN Jamaica International Invitational track and field meet makes its eighth stop, with a battery of international athletics stars and the promise of exceptional performances set to blaze the track.

Five world champions will be strutting their stuff on the recently certified International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-Class One track, with a few interesting arguments expected to be settled along the way.

Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Melaine Walker, along with Americans Sanya Richards-Ross, Kerron Clement and Barbados' sprint hurdling star Ryan Brathwaite, will look to get their preparations for their respective title defences at this year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics off to a good start at the meet, which now forms part of the IAAF's World Challenge Series.

Olympic and World 100m silver medallist Kerron Stewart will renew her rivalry with United States speedster Carmelita Jeter - the second-fastest woman ever. Jeter out-powered the Jamaican last year and will start as favourite once again, she being the only woman to dip below 11 seconds so far this season.

Simpson to stake claim
Not to be forgotten, joint Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson is reported to be in good nick at training and she will be keen to stake her claim, along with Trinidad and Tobago's hotshot Kelly-Ann Baptise and American Marshevet Myers, who both have sub-11 speed, with PBs of 10.86 and 10.93, respectively.

An interesting battle also looms in a highly competitive men's 100m field. MVP's Nesta Carter will be looking to build on his impressive 2010 - when his 9.78 was the joint fastest time for the year - when he faces Racers' Yohan Blake, the fourth-fastest Jamaican ever.

The latter will take a break from his strength work to line up in his first 100m of the season. The American trio of Mike Rodgers, the second-fastest man this year, Darvis Patton and Trell Kimmons, along with Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson, Daniel Bailey from Racers and Antigua and Barbuda and hometown stalwart Michael Frater - a former World Champs silver medallist, who says he is "much stronger" this season, will make this one of the most difficult events to call.

World champion Richards-Ross, who will be running her second 400m of the season, will feature in one of the most-anticipated races of the meet, along with Beijing Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu, Jamaican 400m hurdles specialist Kaliese Spencer, who is responsible for the fourth-fastest 400m time this year, 50.95 (fastest in the field), and US indoor champion Natasha Hastings, who has been marginally slower than Spencer so far with 50.98.

Fraser-Pryce is best known for her ability in the shorter sprint, but with a season-best 22.69 in the 200m, the Olympic and World 100m champion will be looking to test Olympic 200m queen Veronica Campbell-Brown (22.95 this season) in her pet event, when the two square off at 9:15 p.m.

World Championships finalist Anneisha McLaughlin, Olympic finalist Cydonie Mothersill, former Olympic bronze medallist Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, and American Bianca Knight complete a strong field.

In the men's 200m, former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell enters the event with the best time so far this year, 20.55, among the entrants.

However, he will do well to beat Americans Wallace Spearmon who, with a personal best of 19.65, is expected to start his 200m account with a win here.

Steve Mullings has been promising big things this season, having registered the fastest 100m time this season, 9.90m, and should add some extra oomph to the contest.

Jermaine Gonzales, the national 400m record holder, will start his season in his pet event but, given his recent injury, may find it hard to better World Championships bronze medallist Renny Quow.

Clement is expected to make light work of the opposition in the 400m hurdles, as well as Melaine Walker in the female equivalent.

Action starts at 4:30 p.m. with a pre-game concert, while action on the track will get under way with the high school girls' 4x100m relay at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the grandstand will range from $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500, while bleachers tickets will cost $500.



Sprint Event fields for the Jamaican Invitational

Jamaican, unless otherwise stated....

Womens 200
Veronica Campbell-Brown
Shelly-Ann Fraser
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie (Bahamas)
Cydonie Mothersill(Cayman)
Anneisha McLaughlin
Shericka Williams
Bianca Knight (US)
Porscha Lucas (US)

Mens 200
Asafa Powell
Steve Mullings
Wallace Spearmon (US)
Lansford Spence
Jared Connaughton (Canada)
Marvin Anderson
Nickel Ashmeade

Mens 100
Trell Kimmons (US)
Mike Rodgers (US)
Darvis Patton (US)
Richard Thompson (Trinidad)
Daniel Bailey (Antigua)
Yohan Blake
Michael Frater

Women's 100
Carmelita Jeter (US)
Kerron Stewart
Sherone Simpson
Mashevet Myers (US)
Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Trinidad)
Aleen Bailey
Simone Facey
Carrie Russell

Women's 400
Christine Ohuruogu (UK)
Sanya Ross-Richards (US)
Kaliese Spencer
Novlene Williams
Deedee Trotter (US)

Mens 400
Jermaine Gonzales
Chris Brown (Bahamas)
Calvin Smith (US)
Renny Quow (Trinidad)
Ricardo Chambers
Allodin Fothergill



Unpredictability shrouds sprints at Jamaica Invite
By Anthony Foster, Special to Universal Sports
6th May 2011

KINGSTON -- Jamaica is dubbed the sprint factory of the world, and come this Saturday, the country's main city will play host to the Jamaica International Invitational, an IAAF Challenge Meeting, the first of its kind in the Caribbean.

For almost a decade now, Jamaica has hosted a track meet that has attracted and had success competing against foreign super-sprint stars, the likes of Tyson Gay, Gail Devers and Marion Jones.

This year, however, Jamaicans, for various reasons could find difficulties producing wins in their own factory and here are some of the reasons why.

Firstly, quite a few of their top sprinters are straying from their pet events.

For example, the men's 100m dash will be without Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter, the third- and fourth-fastest runners in the event's history. That leaves young Yohan Blake and veteran Michael Frater leading Jamaica's charge. American Darvis Patton, a former winner in Jamaica, and Antigua & Barbuda's Daniel Bailey, who finished fourth at the Berlin World Championships, will be formidable opponents.

The women's equivalent will feature Jamaica's Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson, joint silver medalists at the Beijing Olympics, but based on present form, America's Camerlita Jeter, the defending champion in the 100m, figures to be hard to beat.

Battling the curve in the men's 200m, will be the aforementioned Powell and Carter, who will be stepping away from their specialties. They'll be trying to beat American Wallace Spearmon to the finish line. Spearmon is the fifth-fastest man ever to run the distance, with a PB of 19.65 seconds, and based on his form over the years, will be the clear favorite to win. Powell, who is coming off a 200m defeat to Blake last month, has a personal best of 19.90 seconds, while Carter's PB of 20.31 should not frighten anyone.

In the women's 200m, Jamaica's sprint queens, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are the headliners. Campbell-Brown's 22.95 and Fraser-Pryce's 22.69 season bests should be enough to hold off America's Bianca Knight and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas.

In the 400m, Sanya Richards-Ross will be battling Jamaicans Kaliese Spencer and Novlene Williams-Mills, who are both in top form. Richards-Ross clocked a 52.00 in her lone 400m race this season while Spencer has run 50.95. This will be the first outdoor 400m for Williams-Mills, who went 51.87 indoors.

The men's 400m will have Bahamian Chris Brown and Trinidad & Tobago's Renny Quow going up against Jamaicans Jermaine Gonzales and Ricardo Chambers. Gonzales has yet to touch the track this year because of knee surgery late last year. Chambers has also been absent from the track.

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