History will be created in Guyana on June 18 at the Aliann Pompey Invitational when for the first time in the nation’s history, local and international athletes will have a chance to qualify for the prestigious Olympic Games.
These and other details were discussed yesterday at Olympic House by the four-time Olympian, Pompey and the principals of the fixture which runs off at 15:30hrs at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora.
Pompey, the Commonwealth gold and silver medalist and the national 400m record holder told media operatives that in excess of 30 international athletes will invade these shores with the sole purpose of punching a ticket to this year’s Olympic Games slated for Brazil in August.
The 38-year old stated that Guyanese athletes, based here and abroad will match strides with athletes from Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Haiti, Ireland, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America and the U.S.V.I.
Pompey added that “the sponsored events are the Fly Jamaica’s women 100m, the GOA men’s 400m, the Ramada Princess Hotel 110m hurdles, the Quality Plus Men’s 200m, the GUYSUCO Men’s triple jump and the Digicel men’s 100m and women’s 200m.
All events will have cash incentives but according to Pompey, the 100m and 400m (the premier races) will have the most, with US$1000, US$600 and US$300 going to the top three finishers.
Meanwhile, President of the Athletic Association of Guyana, Aubrey Hutson, stated that he is happy to know that international competition has returned to Guyana after so many years. Hutson then disclosed that the meet is funded by track and field’s governing body, IAAF.
“We are very happy to know that the IAAF is supporting this meet here which gives our local athletes a chance to match strides with international athletes.”
Director of Sport, Chris Jones told the media that “the National Sports Commission is proud to be associated with the AP Invitational.”
He added that “this as a tribute to not only ‘AP’ but our local athletes.” Jones then encouraged all and sundry to come out and support the event.
Representatives of Digicel and Fly Jamaica along with president of the GOA, K Juman-Yassin also echoed similar sentiments. Yassin also pledged the GOA’s support to make the AP Invitational an annual event.(Emmerson Campbell)