It took a leap of faith to set up

Aficionados of the long jump will be in for a treat at the Cayman International with the anticipated participation of a few of the world’s best long jump and triple jump competitors.

The Cayman Invitational is the first in what will be an annual meet at the Truman Bodden Complex on 9 May featuring some of the world’s best track and field athletes. Organised by Cayman’s track champion Cydonie Mothersill, over 80 professional athletes mainly from the Caribbean and North America will be competing, including World Champion sprinter Carmelita Jetter in the 100 metres and Cydonie in the 200m.

The event is sponsored by the Cayman Islands Government, DART, Cayman Airways, DMS Broadcasting, LIME, the Department of Tourism, Cayman National Bank, Water Authority and the Caymanian Compass, all who showed a leap of faith in Mothersill to persuade so many big names to commit.

Will Claye of the United States won the triple jump and placed fourth in the long jump at the recent World Indoor Championships. He set a personal record of 17.70m in winning.

Last year Claye placed third in the triple jump and ninth in the long jump at the world championships. He came close to his personal best ever long jump of 8.29m with an 8.24m leap indoors earlier this year.

Bahamian track and field supporters have dubbed Leevan Sands ‘Superman’ and the veteran jumper has certainly gained enough accolades to give serious consideration to such a designation.

Sands, the Bahamian national record holder in the triple jump at 17.59m has posted a best of 8.13m in the long jump.

Sands has competed in five world championships, earning a bronze medal in 2003 and has participated in six world athletics finals. A two-time Olympian, he produced a bronze medal-winning performance in Beijing.

Jamaica’s Nicholas Gordon was a three-time first team All-American at the University of Nebraska in the long jump. He captured the gold at the NCAA Division I indoor championships in 2009 and placed third in the outdoor event, later competing in the world championships. His top all-time performance is 8.11m.

Nafee Harris has enjoyed an extraordinary career at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, participating in the sprints, relays, long jump and triple jump.

In 2009 he won the NCAA Division II Outdoor National Championships in the long jump, following that up the next year with both the indoor and outdoor Division II titles. Nafee is a fierce competitor, with a best long jump mark of 7.97m.

Carl and Carlos Morgan have been household names in the Cayman Islands since their all around prowess in various sports at the local level, international competition at junior and senior events, outstanding performances in both track and field events at Lindsay Wilson University which earned them NAIA national honours, and finally at Middle Tennessee State University for completion of study for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Both ranked high in NCAA Division I long jump rankings while at MTSU.

Recently Carl accomplished an enormous breakthrough with an 8.02m jump at the Georgia Relays. More recently, he captured the gold medal at the Auburn Invitational.

Carlos has not enjoyed the same success so far this season, but will have several opportunities to improve before returning for competition before the home town fans.

To appreciate Cayman’s Olympians and other local international representatives in action against world-class opponents everyone is urged to come out for this meet.

A feature on the women’s 400m hurdles at the Cayman Invitational is on page 15.

Event tickets are available at all LIME retail store locations, Funky Tangs and JN Money Transfer.

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