Once again a galaxy of stars will converge on Jamaica for the fifth staging of the Racers Grand Prix set for June 13 inside the National Stadium.
Over 200m athletes—including freshly-minted 200m World champion Noah Lyles of the United States of America (USA), who believes he is the man to take over from Usain Bolt—has confirmed his participation along with world record 400m holder and Olympic champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa.
South African Commonwealth 100m champion Akani Simbine and American sprint hurdler world record holder Kendra Harrison are also booked for the event that has been upgraded to Gold Status by the world governing body World Athletics.
Jamaica will be well represented by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, along with Elaine Thomson-Herah, the last woman in 28 years to have won the Olympic 100m and 200m double at the same Games in 2016. Jamaica’s World long jump champion Tajay Gayle and compatriots Yohan Blake, Danielle Williams, Rushell Clayton, Christopher Taylor, Akeem Bloomfield, and Demish Gaye are among the others who will make this meet unforgettable.
Dr Glen Mills, chairman of the organising committee, pointed out that there will be 14 events to be contested, seven classified as core events, and seven as discretionary. The core events are 100m, 200m for men and women; discus throw for men and women and triple jump for women.
“They [World Athletics] sent us the core events, which are the events that they have removed from the Diamond League. But because they want to add it to the finals, it is mandatory at all the meets to put it on so that the athletes have the opportunity to compete in those events,” said Mills during the recent launch of the event at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew. “The rest of the events are up to us, so we set the other events around the core events to come up with a package.”
While the 200m, discus and triple jump have been dropped from the Diamond League series, competitors in these events will earn points towards competing at the Diamond League final. Other events to be contested at the spectacular one-day event are the 400m, 400m hurdles for men and women, 100m hurdles for women and 110 metre hurdles and long jump for men.