When the third edition of the Aliann Pompey Invitational (API) is staged at the National Track and Field Centre on Saturday, a never before seen showdown will be witnessed by thousands.
Guyana’s 400m record holder, Winston George will face Grenada’s 400 metres Olympic and World Champion, Kirani James.
According to the start list, US based Guyanese quarter miler, Stephan James and 2017 World Youth silver medalist, Daniel Williams will also face the starter’s orders.
\The 400m may arguably be the most star studded and anticipated race on the programme.
Kirani 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, two years 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 setting 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.
George is currently in form after earning bronze at the South American Games last month in Bolivia.
The 2012 and 2016 Olympian has a personal best time of 45.16s recorded at last year’s API. He has been unbeaten in the 592 for almost half a decade in his pet event and come Saturday, he will aim to stay unbeaten.
The meet will also see Guyana’s 2018 Commonwealth Games triple-jump gold medallist Troy Doris, competing for the first time at home.
Doris, who has been representing 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 API, 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.