Track and Field athletes from in excess of 25 territories are expected to compete at the third edition of the Aliann Pompey Invitational (API) scheduled for June 30 at the National Track and Field Centre.
These and other details were disclosed during the formal launch of the marquee event on Thursday at the Sleep In Hotel and Casino.
According to Pompey, the 2002 Commonwealth Games 400m gold medallist, she is overwhelmed with the support the flagship event on the AAG’s calendar is receiving and stated that June 30 will be memorable for fans.
The fixture continues to evolve and attract superstars in the track and field arena. This year’s Invitational is scheduled to be headlined by Grenada’s 400 metres Olympic and World Champion, Kirani James in action after the 25-year-old confirmed his participation recently.
The meet will also see Guyana’s 2018 Commonwealth Games triple-jump gold medallist Troy Doris, competing for the first time at home.
James had always been regarded as one of the Caribbean’s best talent over the 400 metres, though he has competed over the 200 meters with considerable amount of success, racing to a personal best of
20.41 seconds in 2011.
Also known as the ‘Jaguar’, James had won gold in the 400 metres at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – Grenada’s first and only medal at the Olympics.
However, four years later in Brazil, the Grenadian (43.76 seconds) crossed the line second, relinquishing his Olympic title to South African Wayde van Niekerk who won 400 metres gold and also set a new world record in the distance, a time of 43.03 seconds; erasing American Michael Johnson’s 43.18 seconds which he clocked in 1999.
Meanwhile, Doris, who has been representing Guyana since 2015, will face Cuban Jordan Diaz, touted by many in his country, as the next World triple jump champion. Quite a technician, Diaz is the World U-18 Champion and junior World record holder at 17.32 metres.
Joining Diaz will be last year’s champion from Suriname Miguel Van Assen who holds his country’s national record in the event, as well as the CARIFTA and South American title.
Van Assen’s personal best is 16.94 metres. The Surinamese is also the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games champion.
The triple jump at this year’s Aliann Pompey Invitational, could steal the show, since also confirming his participation is The Bahamas’ Leevan Sands.
Sands won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as bronze at the World Championship and Commonwealth Games. He’s a Pan Am Games silver medallist and multiple times gold medallist at the CARIFTA Games.
The Aliann Pompey Invitational the only event of its kind in Guyana where athletes from across the Caribbean, Central and North America, converge on Leonora for what has been the best showing of track and field in Guyana.
Fly Jamaica, E-Networks, Quality Plus, Banks DIH, the Ministry of Communities and SleepIn International Hotel and Casino are some of the sponsors onboard so far.