By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.Com 

The Jamaica International Invitational Meet which gets underway on May 9, 2015 has attracted several top athletes from all over the globe. A number of scheduled events will feature athletes who are favourites to make their respective finals later this year at the World Championships in Beijing, China in August. The International men's and women's 200m in Kingston, Jamaica this weekend barring a few absentees provides a sneak preview into a possible half-lap final in the Bird’s nest. Here are the line-ups.


Jamaica’s sprint queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be competing in her second individual 200m race this season. Fraser-Pryce won this event at the meet last year and will not relinquish her crown that easily. She was involved in a spirited showdown with former training partner Sherone Simpson at the 2015 UTECH Classics in April which went down to the wire. Both athletes will renew that friendly rivalry  on  Saturday in this event. Fraser-Pryce has a season best of 22.96 and Simpson 22.97.

Last year, the world got a glimpse of possibly the U.S.A’s newest sprinting prodigy, Tori Bowie, who ran personal best times of 10.80 in the 100m and 22.18 at 200m. The former long jumper will need to replicate those performances to prove that she is the real deal. She looked majestic on her way to victory in the 100m (11.13) at the Guadeloupe meet last weekend. So far Bowie has registered the 6th fastest 200m (22.61) clocking this season.

Rising Bahamian star, Shaunae Miller, will want to make her first appearance as a senior on Jamaican soil count. The 6ft 1 inch athlete is in great shape this season registering the 2nd fastest 200m time of 22.50 seconds just five hundredth of a second outside of her personal best 22.45 seconds. Miller is a former World Youth and World Junior 400m champion and currently has the second fastest 400m time (50.17) this season as well. This means at present she has the requisite speed and stamina and should be very difficult to beat on Saturday. The Bahamian sprinter is without doubt one of the athletes to watch this season. She will be hoping to make a big statement in Kingston.

Twenty three year-old American sprinter Kimberlyn Duncan will also feature in this event. The 7-time NCAA champion and 2013 U.S.A outdoor 200m winner has a personal best of 22.19 seconds. Duncan ran a season best 22.83 seconds for fourth place at the 57th annual Mt. SAC Relays in California on April 18, 2015.

It should be a very exciting race with Bowie, Miller and Duncan coming up against the never say die attitude of the Jamaicans who are hoping to put on a great show in front of their fans and families. Who will win?  This event goes off at 8:53 p.m.

MEN’S 200M

Definitely, this is one of the races of the night. Tyson Gay, a crowd favourite amongst Jamaicans, comes into this meet on the back of a scathing statement from track superstar Usain Bolt. His every move, which includes his mannerism towards the crowd and performance on the track, will be monitored like a close circuit camera. 

He will match strides with Commonwealth champion Rasheed Dwyer who won this event last year in one of the closest finishes ever. The promising Julian Forte has been having a breakout season and seems poised to challenge for a spot on Jamaica’s squad to Beijing. On April 1, 2015, he registered a personal best of 20.19 seconds which is the fourth fastest 200m time this year. Many of his fans are hoping that he will soon join the sub-20 seconds club. 

Two time  World Championship finalist and 2012 Diamond League winner, Nickel Ashmeade will ensure this event remains competitive throughout. Ashmeade, will be hoping to carry forward his impressive showing at the World Relays in Bahamas. The post-race discussions after this event will be passionate and lively. Will Tyson Gay survive the onslaught of the young hotshot Jamaican sprinters? This event goes off at 9:03 p.m.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here