Emphasis shifts to speedy kids

The Cayman Invitational track and field meet takes on a new format with more juniors to be involved when it is staged for the fourth time. 

It is scheduled for a Saturday this year – not the customary Wednesday – and will be on May 16 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. 

Having attracted the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt two years ago and Yohan Blake the previous year, expectations are high that meet organizer Cydonie Mothersill will bring in more big names, but confirmation of which world-class athletes will compete are yet to be finalized. Carmelita Jeter, Novlene Williams-Mills, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Chris Brown, Kim Collins, Hansle Parchment and Warren Weir have also competed at this meet. 

“Within the coming weeks, we will announce our professional athletes lineup, as well as when tickets will be on sale,” Mothersill said.  

She added that the aim for this meet is not solely to focus on inviting world-renowned athletes but also to introduce some of Cayman’s top youth and junior athletes to the audience, who rarely get an opportunity to see local budding stars compete.  

“Therefore, this year we will be inviting a few high schools from Jamaica and possibly Miami to compete against our athletes,” Mothersill said. “Hopefully, the general public will come on board and be supportive. We want to showcase the young girls and boys to watch out for in the future.” 

She said that by changing the meet to a Saturday, it will make it easier for people to attend. The stadium was sold out for Bolt’s appearance in 2013 and Mothersill hopes for another big turnout.  

Jamal Walton, the 16-year-old 400 meters sensation and a medal contender at next month’s CARIFTA Games, is likely to be the star youth competitor at the Cayman Invitational.  

Mothersill said that established Cayman athletes like sprinter Kemar Hyman, hurdler Ronald Forbes and long jumping twins Carl and Carlos Morgan will also be invited to compete if they want to.  

“We also will continue the corporate race which was introduced to the meet last year and was a success.” 

Instead of the 4 x 400 meters, there will instead be a 4 x 100 metres and an individual race. 

“As we continue our preparations for the event, I would like to thank the sponsors who have already come on board. Without you, this event would not be possible,” Mothersill said. “There are still many sponsorship packages available.”  

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Jamal Walton is a CARIFTA medal prospect.
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