Two-time Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott will lead a stellar group of local athletes that will be competing at the Grenada Invitational carded for April 8 at the National Athletic Stadium in St George’s.
Walcott, who caused a sensation at London 2012, winning javelin gold at the age of only 19, and then repeated as a medallist at the Rio Olympic 2016, bagging bronze in the same venue, will look to dazzle at the first major track and field meet of the 2017 outdoor season.
It will be a momentous occasion for another Olympic medallist as the venue where the event is being hosted will be renamed in honour of the island’s lone Olympic medallist Kirani James who is also leading the Grenadian athlete contingent .
Also confirmed from T&T for the inaugural meet are sprinters Emmanuel Callender, Reyare Thomas, quartermiler Jarrin Solomon, hurdlers Jehue Gordon, Sparkle Mc Knight, middle-distance runner Samantha Shukla, high jumper Deandra Daniel and another javelin thrower Shakeil Waithe.
Callender has made a successful start to his season, picking up a number of medals along the way. On February 28, the double Olympic sprint relay medallist clocked 10.25 seconds to win gold in the men’s 100 metres at the Gibson McCook Relays, in Kingston, Jamaica.
This followed up his impressive performance at the Camperdown Classic also in Jamaica, clocking his fastest ever 400m run in 46.85 to place second and ran a personal best 6.65 in the 60m dash at a meet in New Mexico, USA.
The Grenada meet has also attracted a number of track and field stars from the Caribbean and internationally including Americans Justin Gatlin, LaShawn Merritt, Brianna Rollins, Ashley Spencer, David Oliver, Queen Harrison and Kristi Castlin, Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, Levern Spencer of St Lucia, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson and Great Britain’s Martyn Rooney.
They will be joined by a large Jamaican contingent including Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kaliese Spencer, Christine Day, Javon Francis, Andrew Riley, Roxroy Cato, Michael Frater, Remona Burchell, Novlene Williams-Mills, Yanique Haye, Jason Young, Nigel Ellis, Romel Lewis, Nickiesha Wilson, Danielle Dowie, Jura Levy, Saniel Atkinson-Grier, Dexter Lee, Jason Livermore, Fitzroy Dunkley, Natasha Morrison, Damar Forbes, and Dominique Blake.
Jamaican-born Jacques Harvey, who now competes for Turkey is also confirmed for the Grenada Invitational.
Alonzo Russell, Ivanique Kemp, Steven Gardiner, Leevan Sands, Jeffery Gibson and Tynia Gaither from the Bahamas and Barbadians Kierre Beckles, Jade Bailey, Gregmar Swift, Levi Cadogan and Shane Brathwaite will also participate.
Nigeria’s Regina George and Patience George; Phylicia George of Canada and Panama’s Alonso Edward are among the confirmed athletes.
T&T’s four-time Olympic medal winner Ato Boldon will join Lewis Johnson on the broadcast commentary team.