Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bolt Will Run 400m

February 3, 2010

Kingston, JAmaica - JAMAICAN superstar Usain Bolt will open his 2010 season as he did last year, running the 400 metres at the sixth Camperdown Classic on February 13 at the National Stadium.

Dubbed the "Showcase of Sprinters" as the Boys and Girls Championships celebrate 100 years, next week's Classic will as usual bring something new

While Bolt, the world record holder over 100 and 200 metres, will try to better the 46.35secs he ran at last season's meet, his Racers Track Club teammate Remaldo Rose, the 2004 World Junior Championships bronze medallist, returns to competition after three years.

Camperdown High principal Cynthia Cooke, who chairs the organising committee, said at press conference yesterday at the Spanish Court Hotel that "Rose is in form".

A Camperdown past student, Rose will also run the 400m, along with other members of Racers, most of whom will also be opening their season next week.

Cooke noted that in addition to the 100 and 800 metres that have become a feature of the meet, the meet will offer 1500m for Class III Boys (a new event at Champs), 400m for clubs only, and distant medley relays for schools participating in the Penn Relays, whose costs the Classic has defrayed for winning schools at the meet.

Cooke also noted that Adidas and Courts had sponsored the Class I Boys and Girls 4x100m relays, and a special 4x200m relay for girls.

The top three in the 4x100m relays will receive $60,000, $25,000 and $15,000, respectively, while for the 4x200m relay girls, the first three will pocket $30,000, $15,000 and $5,000 respectively.

"This year we tried to make the medals look a little more sophisticated. This will make our athletes feel accomplished even if they never made it champs," she pointed out.

Because of "gym time", she added, none of the Racers athletes made it to the press conference yesterday.

A team from Cayman will also attend the meet.

Andria Lloyd, Camperdown's first female athlete to receive an Olympic medal, will be the honouree this year.

Lloyd ran the anchor leg in the first round of the 4x100m relay at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, after Michelle Freeman, Gillian Russell and Nikole Mitchell.

Jamaica, with Juliet Cuthbert and Merlene Ottey in the final, captured the bronze behind the United States and The Bahamas.

Sponsors of the 2010 edition of the Classic are Adidas, Dixie Lee chicken, Courts, Tru Juice, Ensure, Megamart, AAMM Credit Union, Grace Kennedy, Versair, PTA, Uriel Walker EPN Consultants Ltd, Sammy Shoes and Spanish Court Hotel.

Guest speaker and Olympian Grace Jackson, who received a rousing introducting from Camperdown's Class I athlete Zannia McLeary, made the case for the holding of more meets on the weekend, saying she had done a poll which revealed that the meets were "over-subscribed".

She called upon elite athletes to be role models for those to come after them, respecting self and others as representatives of their country.