Athletics

Racers humbled by Grenada's vote of confidence

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior Staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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The third staging of the JN Racers Grand Prix has drawn praise from Caribbean neighbours Grenada, not just because of Kirani James' outstanding performance, but what it means for the region.

Journalist and sports administrator Michael Bascombe, the conceptualiser and organiser of the Grenada Invitational meet, extended congratulations to the Racers Grand Prix management team.

“As a new meet organiser and the person behind the Grenada Invitational, which started in 2017, I thought that Racers Grand Prix has created a model for track and field meets in the Caribbean,” said Bascombe.

“I dubbed it the Diamond League of the Caribbean,” he said.

“Jamaica has not only demonstrated itself as the 'house of sprints', but also its ability to stage world-class events as the Racers Grand Prix,” Bascombe added in an email to the Racers Track Club.

“I believe, as organisers in the Caribbean, there was a lot to learn from the Jamaicans, and I applaud Dr (Glen) Mills, Dennis Gordon, Nugent Walker and the rest of the team for this splendid job last Saturday,” he continued.

Dennis Gordon, Racers Track Club director who is in charge of promotion and communication, responded.

“It is really a good endorsement coming from an external promoter,” said Gordon.

“It's an endorsement that we are doing something right and it is good that other Caribbean territories want to emulate what we are doing. and we are ready and prepared to assist or even work towards that Caribbean circuit, because that is the way to go because of our weather and how close we are to each other,” he added.

The JN Racers Grand Prix is in its third year, while the Grenada Invitational completed its second year on April 21, 2018 at the Kirani James Athletics Stadium.

In fact, James opened his stadium by winning the 400m in 45.44 in 2017, while Jamaica's former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell won the 100m in 10.18. American Justin Gatlin won this year in 10.05.

American 400m Olympic champion Lashawn Merritt won the 200m twice — with 20.42 in 2017 and 20.57 in 2018.

“It also highlights the argument that the Caribbean has the potential to create its own 'Diamond League' in the region.

“My hope is that Dr Mills could use his influence and experience to share with other meets — Grenada Invitational, Bermuda Invitational and Cayman Invitational, among others,” said Bascombe.

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