Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be joining countryman Asafa Powell and American LaShawn Merritt in the lineup for this year’s Cayman Invitational, which will be held Saturday, June 2, at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
The runners will be among 70-plus international athletes and at least 20 local participants, organizers said Sunday.
Fraser-Pryce first caught the attention of the world at the 2008 Olympic Games when, at the age of 21 and relatively unknown, she became the first Caribbean woman to win 100m gold at the Olympics. In 2012, she successfully defended her 100m title, becoming the third woman to win two consecutive 100m gold medals at the Olympics.
Then, after winning bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympics, she became the first woman to win 100m medals at three consecutive Olympic Games. She has also won seven World Championships gold medals across the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay events.
Fraser-Pryce’s appearance at the Cayman Invitational marks the start of her return to the international track and field scene. She missed the 2016-2017 season to have her son Zyon and also recover from a nagging toe injury.
Her first competitive race in over a year took place less than a month ago in Kingston, where she won her section of the JAAA’s All-Comers Meet women’s 100m dash in 11.52s.
“We are so excited to have the great Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with us at this year’s Invitational. She announced in February that she intends to have the greatest comeback ever and we hope this meet will help her as she prepares for the upcoming season,” said Meet Director Cydonie Mothersill.
“The consummate professional and sportswoman, Shelly is so gifted yet so humble with such a warm personality. Fans are definitely in for a treat, and we wish her all the best in her mission to return again to the top spot in women’s track and field,” she added.
Other athletes competing include Nesta Carter of Jamaica, Jeff Demps of the USA, Cayman’s own Kemar Hyman, Jason Rogers of St. Kitts, Schillonie Calvert-Powell of Jamaica, Sherone Simpson of Jamaica, Jenna Prandini of the USA, and Ristananna Tracey of Jamaica.
The Calabar High School team from Jamaica will also be participating, as well as athletes from the Special Olympics.
Tickets for the Cayman Invitational are available from Funky Tang’s, $50 for VIP, $30 for the finish line and $25 for the grandstand. For more information, email [email protected] or visit www.caymaninvitational.ky.