KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – World and Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will showcase her talents before an adoring home crowd when headlines the Jamaica International Invitational at the National Stadium here today.
The pint-sized powerhouse, who also won the 60 metres title at the World Indoor Games in March, will no doubt have the spotlight for herself, as she pits her speed against a competitive field in the 100 metres.
Meet Director, sprint legend Don Quarrie said organisers were expecting the one-day championship to be of the highest quality.
“We anticipate a good turn out from the crowd and good performances from the athletes, which we hope will include world-leading times,” he said.
“The sprinting events are our major events, which everyone anticipates, but there are other major events. The shot put is filled with talents, which shows we are hosting field eventers in Jamaica.”
Fraser-Pryce should find challenges from Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, fellow Jamaican Kerron Stewart and the American pair of English Gardner and Alexandria Anderson, who both ran under 11 seconds last season.
The Invitational, an IAAF World Challenge Meeting, will be important for Fraser-Pryce as it will also serve as a warm-up to the opening Diamond League meet of the season next Friday in Doha.
In the men’s 100m, Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Warren Weir will square off against American Justin Gatlin. The 24-year-old Weir, who shot to prominence at the London 2012 Olympics with a surprise bronze in the 200 metres, will test his mettle this time over the straight sprint.
Gatlin, meanwhile, took bronze in London in the 100m and followed up with another third place finish at last year’s World Championships in Moscow, and will too be champing at the bit on Saturday.
His United States counterpart Walter Dix will also line up at the start along with Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole.
The men’s and women’s 400 metres are also expected to serve up some excitement with Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross of the US facing a challenge from Jamaican Stephenie McPhersonin the women’s section.
Meanwhile, reigning men’s World champion LaShawn Merritt will go head to head with Olympic bronze medallist Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic.