Photo: (from left to right) - Tovea Jenkins, Ronda Whyte, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Stephenie-Ann McPherson will all feature at Velocity Fest 9 at the National Stadium today.
Velocity Fest 9 will mark yet another restart of local track and field today at the National Stadium in Kingston. The meet which is put on by the MVP Track Club will feature a number of the nation’s top athletes, who were only this week named to represent Jamaica at the World Athletics Relays is Chorzow, Poland on May 1 & 2 and is set to last for two hours.
A three week weekend lockdown derailed the track and field season after a late start and with a global event just two weeks away, this second restart could not have come at a better time.
The meet will begin on the track at 9:00am with the Men’s 400m hurdles but surprisingly, with only four athletes registered.
The women’s and men’s 400m will then be followed by the women’s and men’s 200m. The Men’s 110m hurdles and women’s 100m hurdles will then preceded the final track event, the women’s and men’s 100m in a short and compact meet.
The women’s 400m will have two heats, with a number of the ladies selected for the World Relays team down to contest section two. Tovea Jenkins, Candice McLeod, Janieve Russell, Ronda Whyte, Shericka Jackson, Christine Day and Roneisha McGregor will all represent Jamaica next month and will feature in what is sure to be an exciting race.
The women’s 200m is also expected to deliver something special. Section one will feature some top young talent from central Jamaica, including Tia and Tina Clayton and Brandy Hall from Edwin Allen High, Joanne Reid and Thennelle Williams from St. Jago High and Brianna Lyston.
Section two will feature Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who will miss the World Relays as well as Anastasia Le-Roy, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Tiffany James-Rose and Jodean Williams, who are all set to represent Jamaica in Poland.
A number of familiar names will feature across the three men’s 200m heats. Terry Thomas who is known more for his 400m exploits, Rasheed Dwyer, Michael Bentley, Anthony Carpenter, Romario Williams, schoolboy Antonio Watson and British athlete Zharnel Hughes are all down to face the starters.
Defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, will headline the women’s 100m and she will battle the in-form Natasha Morrison, Yanique Thompson and Jura Levy in section two of two.
There will be six heats in the men’s 100m with former World Champions Yohan Blake, former world record holder Asafa Powell, former schoolboy standouts, Jazeel Murphy, Tyreke Wilson, Nigel Ellis, Oblique Seville and the Briton Miguel Francis among those set to feature.
The Men’s 110m sprint hurdles is expected to be a cracker with Ronald Levy, Deuce Carter, Tyler Mason and Orlando Bennett among the starters.
Only three ladies, Oneka Wilson, Shimayra Williams and Gizel Clayton will contest the women’s 100m hurdles.
In the field events, Tajay Gayle who established a world lead last weekend at the inaugural staging of the Miramar Invitational will headline the men’s long jump, while Shawn-D Thompson of GC Foster will look to challenge the world leader.
Tissanna Hickling will lead the women’s long jump field as she continues on her journey towards the Olympic Games.
Some of the top local discus throwers, including World Championship silver medalist Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle, Chad Wright and the improving Kai Chang will start off the field events at 9:00am.
Samantha Hall and Tamara Thompson are the top two in the field in the women’s discus, which will follow the men’s event.
MVP teammates Raymond Richards and Damar Marshall will continue their duel in the men’s high jump.
Shanieka Ricketts established a world lead in the women’s triple jump recently and will be challenged by her Ricketts PC teammate, Sandisha Antoine and Ackelia Smith of Edwin Allen.
Javier Lowe of Legacy Athletics leads the field in the men’s triple jump.
Former World Championship medalist O’Dayne Richards is working his way back into shape and will be looking for a good performance in the Shot Put today, while Elvis Graham is the only athlete listed to contest the Javelin throw.