Bolt’s presence gives Cayman meet kudos

Having the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, at this year’s Cayman Invitational certainly helped place the meet highly in ratings for the world’s best one-day events.

An evaluation by of 650 one-day invitational track meets for 2013 placed the Cayman Invitational at No. 45.

Consideration of the level of athletes participating and their actual performances at the meet are among factors determining ranking.

The Cayman Invitational in May attracted Bolt, who had heard positive things about the inaugural meet the previous year from fellow Jamaican internationals and particularly from Racers Track Club teammate Yohan Blake and coach Glen Mills.

Bolt opened his 100 meters season here, and although he only won by a slender margin, he went on to win three golds at the world championships in August. Bolt so enjoyed his first Cayman experience that he said he intends to come back.

The only Caribbean meets above Cayman were the longer established Jamaica Invitational (No. 23) and Puerto Rico’s Ponce Grand Prix (No. 36).

Meet founder Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens is delighted that the Cayman Invitational rated so highly in only its second year.

“The Cayman Invitational team has worked hard in the two years of its existence,” she said. “The ranking is a testament of the hard work and dedication of the meet organizers. We are grateful to the sponsors for taking this journey with us and for trusting us to deliver a first-class product.

“We are anticipating a bigger and better meet next year and we, of course, are very proud to be a part of this accomplishment.

“The Cayman Islands people should be proud of this accomplishment and we will continue to work diligently to make them proud.”

Top of the standings was the United States meet the Prefontaine Classic, in Eugene, Oregon.

Performances at that event included five meet records and 11 world-leading efforts.

It topped the best European meets in Zurich, Brussels, London and Monaco.

Preparations are under way for next year’s third Cayman Invitational, scheduled for Wednesday, May 7.