-promises to put on a show for the fans
Athletics fans get ready, Kirani James is here to set the National Track and Field Centre ablaze.
Never before has a Track and Field Olympic gold medalist and World Champion competed on these shores.
That will change today when the man known as the ‘Jaguar’ hunts victory in the 400m while putting his talents on display in the third edition of the Aliann Pompey Invitational (API) set for a 15:00hrs start.
During the final press conference of the meet yesterday at the SleepIn International Hotel and Casino, the 25 year-old Grenadian, who will headline the event, told those in attendance that he is here to put on a show.
“I am very excited, it’s my first time in Guyana, so I’m excited to compete and to see the crowd and learn about the Guyanese culture and everything like that,” he said.
“I hope everyone comes out to the meet and support the athletes and as long as you guys come out, I can guarantee that we will put on a good show for the fans,” he added.
Saying that he was “very happy to be here,” James thanked Pompey “and the sponsors and everyone that made it possible for me to be here.”
The 6 foot, 4-inches phenom also pointed out that he was looking forward to the challenge today at the Leonora venue, adding that he hopes that his presence inspires an upcoming athlete in Guyana, but warned that he is also here to compete, throwing down the gauntlet to those desirous of a challenge.
James, who has a personal best of 43.74s recorded as a 21 year-old, had always been regarded as one of the Caribbean’s best talents over 400 metres, though he has competed over the 200 metres with considerable amount of success, racing to a personal best of 20.41 seconds in 2011.
James won gold in the 400 metres at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
Meanwhile, Guyana’s 2018 Commonwealth Games triple-jump gold medallist Troy Doris, was also excited to be competing for the first time on local soil.
The USA born Doris (17.18 metres, his personal best) will come up against Donald Scott, the Outdoor USA Track and Field Championships triple jump champion, who leapt to that victory with a distance of 17.37 metres, which was also a personal best.
Suriname’s Miguel Van Assen, who holds his country’s national record in the event, as well as the CARIFTA and South American title, also arrived in Guyana.
Van Assen’s personal best is 16.94 metres. The Surinamese is also the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games champion.
Sands won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games as well as bronze at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. He is a PanAm Games silver medallist and multiple times gold medallist at the CARIFTA Games.
The API is 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.
Action is set to start at 15:00hrs and tickets cost $1000 (stands) and $5000 (VIP).