09 APR 2008 General News 9 April, 2008

Gay, Campbell-Brown, Clement set for Kingston

Veronica Campbell celebrates winning gold in the women's 100m final in Osaka (Getty Images)Veronica Campbell celebrates winning gold in the women's 100m final in Osaka (Getty Images) © Copyright

Kingston, JamaicaThe Jamaica International Invitational, an Area Permit Meet, has attracted a plethora of star athletes including three reigning World champions – Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, and Americans Tyson Gay and Kerron Clement.

The Jamaica International is one of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 13-14 September in Stuttgart.

Americans Sanya Richards and Wallace Spearmon, and Jamaican Usain Bolt are also listed for the meet, which will be held at the National Stadium on 3 May.

Gay, Campbell-Brown to contest 200m

World sprint double champion Gay, Campbell's training partner, is down for the men's 200m where he will face Jamaicans Marvin Anderson, a finalist in Osaka, Chris Williams, the 2003 World Championships silver medallist and Clement Campbell, along with Brendon Christian of Antigua and Barbuda.

Campbell-Brown will run the women's half lap event against Americans Shalonda Solomon (22.36 PR) and Bianca Knight, who earlier this year, broke her American 200m indoor college record, along with Olympic sprint relay gold medallist Aleen Bailey.

The other World champion, Trinidad and Tobago-born Kerron Clement, will take on Jamaicans Danny McFarlane, the Olympic Games silver medallist, Isa Phillips, Adrian Findlay and his American counterpart, Derrick Williams in the men's 400m Hurdles.

Bolt v. Spearmon in the 100m

However, the race of the meet pips Spearmon against Bolt in the men's 100m.

The athletes have a running battle that hit high gear last year. Bolt won their only 100m showdown at Rethimmo, Greece, in 10.03 seconds, with Spearmon behind in 10.20. Overall, they have met 14 times with Spearmon winning the vast majority of those races - nine times.

Bolt, who opened up with a 10.03 dash at GC Foster College earlier this year and Spearmon, a World Championships silver medallist, will face-off against 2003 World champion Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis, American Darvis Patton and Churandy Martina of the Netherland Antilles in a quality 100m field.

Richards in her specialty

Richards, a Jamaican-born who competes for the United States, will feature in the women's 400m where she will face Jamaican Novlene Williams and American DeeDee Trotter.

In the men's 400m, Jamaicans Ricardo Campbell, Sanjay Ayre and Michael Blackwood will match strides against the United States' Andrew Rock.

American Marshevet Hooker will head the women's 100m field, while Jamaican Kenia Sinclair and Hazel Clark of the US are leading contenders in the women's 800m.

The women's 400m Hurdles event will see Lashinda Demus of the United States, her compatriot Markita James, along with Jamaicans Walker and Shevon Stoddart as the main contenders.

Olympic long jump silver medllist James Beckford is the start attraction on the infield.

Meanwhile, Asafa Powell, the world's fastest man and other members of his world class MVP Track Club, will not be competing at this year's event.

According to Donald Quarrie, the meet's liaison official who negotiates with the athletes, the MVP group has prior engagements.

The high-profile MVP team also includes Olympic relay gold medallist Sherone Simpson, the top female sprinter in 2006, World Championships silver and bronze medal sprint hurdler Brigitte Foster-Hylton, World Championship 1600 metres relay silver medal winner Shericka Williams and Trinidad and Tobago's Darrell Brown, the 2005 World Championships 100m silver medallist.

Anthony Foster for the IAAF