The countdown to one of Guyana’s most popular sporting and social events starts today with the second edition of the Aliann Pompey (AP) Invitational set to run off at the National Track and Field Centre on July 15.
Proven to be one of the nation’s premier track and field event since its inauguration last year, the AP Invitational will once again provide spectators with a day of first class action on the track and a feast of entertainment off it as organizers look to raise the bar yet again in creating an athletic experience unlike any other in the 592.
According to an email sent out by Pompey, a Commonwealth Games gold and silver medalist and the national 400m record holder, the key elements that made last year’s fixture a success will be present this year as well. They include an international field of competitors, a comprehensive list of events, dedicated sponsors and a spectator friendly schedule of events.
Pompey said in a statement “I am excited for this year’s edition of the AP Invitational. Last year I committed to making it an annual event and this will be a true test of the ability to do so. I am grateful for the sponsors that have already committed and finalized their contributions. I am still working out the details with a few others, but I am confident that we’ll complete those shortly. It’s with great pleasure that we’ll be working with companies and organizations that will share the vision for sports, and recognize the different layers that are affected here. It’s a great way to continue to bring international exposure to Guyana’s shores. I got a bit emotional watching Kadecia (Baird), Brenessa (Thompson), Devaun Barrington and others win on their home turf with commanding efforts. It should be the norm. We have such a talented group of athletes in the pipeline, we owe them and all of Guyana to ensure that this is a tradition. One hundred per cent of the athletes that competed last year want to come back this year (except the two who have since retired). A lot of that was due to the amazing atmosphere the spectators created. The crowd was great and I hope even more people come out to support the event this year. To aid that, the cost of general admission will remain the same ($1,000) and VIP admission will be $5,000.”
Eddie Lovett (USVI), Kenike Alexander (St. Vincent), Brycen Spratlin (USA) and Ashley Kelly (BVI) – to name just a few of the athletes returning to this year’s event. Expected to return are also Guyana’s best from last year – 400m women’s champion Kadecia Baird, last year’s Fly-Jamaica women’s 100m champion Brenessa Thompson and GOA men’s 400m runner-up Winston George will be there. George will be challenged by Stephan James and Jermaine Griffith who battled back and forth this season, each breaking the 400m indoor national record. James while attending Mississippi State University, and Griffith while at Rutgers University. Natrena Hooper, Natricia Hooper, Andrea Foster, Akeem Stewart, Andel Perry, Chantoba Bright and others will join in raising the Golden Arrowhead high.