The 15th staging of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Track and Field Invitational Meet, which will have an overseas flavour to it, will be contested today at the Usain Bolt Track at the Mona Campus, starting at midday with field events, followed by the opening ceremony at 2:00 pm.
Jamaica’s top clubs and universities, such as Racers, MVP, UWI, Akan, Sprint Tech and Cameron Blazers, are set to go up against teams from Guyana, The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago in what is expected to be approximately four hours of intense competition.
The meet is one of many that will give Jamaica’s athletes a chance to fine-tune their preparations ahead of the National Senior Championships in June, and by extension the Rio Olympic Games in August.
Three individuals will be honoured during the ceremony. They are Olympian Federick Dacres and Trevor ‘TC’ Campbell, while Beverley Bogle, who works on the organising committee, will also be honoured for being a faithful volunteer at the meet over the past 13 years.
Jamaica’s 1988 Olympic 200m silver medallist Grace Jackson, is the Meet’s director and she pointed out that she expects a stellar event, despite the clash with the two-day Intercollegiate Championships that come to a climax today.
“We have a lot of overseas teams that are going to be here from Guyana, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago — both as teams or individuals — so we have approximately 50 persons that will be coming in to compete in the meet,” said Jackson at the launch of the meet.
“What we have done is balance it with ensuring that our overseas guests are here, and this is going to be the club’s first opportunity to run a Meet which is dedicated to them.”
Since its inception in 2001, the UWI Invitational has, over the years attracted top names such as Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
A check on the entry list shows several local elite athletes down to compete. They include world champion Yohan Blake, Olympian Warren Weir, Commonwealth champion Kaliese Spencer, World Relay champion Christine Day, her sister Jonique Day and Ristaanna Tracey and Nita Day
The top athletes will clash in the 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m, along with the 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays. High jump, long jump, discus and shot put will be the field events contested.
There will be 4x100m, 4x400m and 4x800m relays for high school teams that will be aiming to participate at the Penn Relays later this month.
Patrons will be charged an admission fee of $500; students with ID will pay $300, and VIP $1,000.
(Jamaica Observer -Howard Walker)