The third edition of Guyana’s premier track and field meet, the Aliann Pompey Invitational, will be graced with the presence of Kirani James, Grenada’s 400 metres Olympic and World Champion, after the 25-year-old confirmed his participation.
Set for the Leonora Track and Field Centre on June 30, the Aliann Pompey Invitational will also see Guyana’s 2018 Commonwealth Games triple-jump gold medallist Troy Doris, competing for the first time at home.
“This is all round a great thing. To have an Olympic and World champion competing at the event while he’s still in his prime is a testament to where we want to take this competition,” said Pompey.
According to the 2002 Commonwealth Games 400 metres gold medallist, James’ opening run after a year off is in the top 10 times in the world, while stating “I am a huge Kirani fan and I know that Guyana will be an amazing audience for the ‘Jaguar’. I know he’s interested in seeing some of Guyana so I’m hoping our Ministry of Tourism can show him a few of the many reasons Guyana should be a destination.”
James, at the JN Racers Grand Prix on June 9 in Jamaica, clocked an impressive 44.35 seconds to win the 400 metres in his first race in over a year after recovering from Graves’ disease (an immune system disorder that results in the overproduction of thyroid hormones).
The Grenadian’s time of 44.35 seconds is the eighth-best time in the world this year. James’ personal best in the 400 metres is 43.74 seconds, set in 2014.
James had always been regarded as one of the Caribbean’s best talent over the 400 metres, though he has competed over the 200 meters with considerable amount of success, racing to a personal best of
20.41 seconds in 2011.
Also known as the ‘Jaguar’, James had won gold in the 400 metres at the 2012 Olympic Games in London – Grenada’s first and only medal at the Olympics.
However, four years later in Brazil, the Grenadian (43.76 seconds) crossed the line second, relinquishing his Olympic title to South African Wayde van Niekerk who won 400 metres gold and also setting a new world record in the distance, a time of 43.03 seconds; erasing American Michael Johnson’s 43.18 seconds which he clocked in 1999.
Meanwhile, Doris, who has been representing since 2015, will face Cuban Jordan Diaz, touted by many in his country, as the next World triple jump champion. Quite a technician, Diaz is the World U-18 Champion and junior World record holder at 17.32 metres.
Joining Diaz will be last year’s champion from Suriname Miguel Van Assen who holds his country’s national record in the event, as well as the CARIFTA and South American title.
Van Assen’s personal best is 16.94 metres. The Surinamese is also the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games champion. The triple jump at this year’s Aliann Pompey Invitational, could steal the show, since also confirming his participation is The Bahamas’ Leevan Sands.
Sands won bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, as well as bronze at the World Championship and Commonwealth Games. He’s a Pan Am Games silver medallist and multiple times gold medallist at the CARIFTA Games.
The Aliann Pompey Invitational 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.
Jul 15, 2018It was a repeat of last year’s CASA tournament held in Guyana when Barbados ended Guyana’s 12-year dominance of Caribbean Junior Squash. The Guyanese had to settle for the runner-up spot as...
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]