Thompson to headline JIIM
Olympic Champions Elaine Thompson and Kerron Clement have been named as headliners for this year's Jamaica International Invitational Meet (JIIM). The announcement was made at the meet's launch yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
In the women's 200m, Thompson will be looking to turn the tide on her training partner, Shericka Jackson, who beat her into third at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games. The MVP duo will get strong competition from Americans Kimberley Duncan, Kyra Jefferson, and World champion in the 400m, Phyllis Francis.
Clement, who is at the back end of his career, will be looking to continue his record at the meet when he lines up against Jaheel Hyde, who won his first medal at the senior level at the Commonwealth Games last month.
The women's 100m should be equally entertaining as Kerron Stewart, who announced recently that she would be walking away from the sport at the end of the season, will go up against the young Jamaican charges
of Christania Williams, Natasha Morrison, and Gayon Evans. Outstanding Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare is also confirmed for the race.
In the men's equivalent, Julian Forte, who is among a few Jamaicans who have run the coveted sub-10 and sub-20 seconds in the 100 and 200m, respectively, will take on seasoned campaigners Mike Rodgers of the USA and the never-ageing Kim Collins.
Javon 'Transporter' Francis, Rusheen McDonald, and Demish Gaye will continue their friendly rivalry in the 400m. But Bralon Taplin, the in-form Grenadian, and Belgian Kevin Borlee will have them on their toes.
In the women's 400m, Stephenie McPherson and Chrisann Gordon will take on rising star Quanera Hayes, who is the current American champion.
Janieve Russell will be looking to build on her gold-medal-winning performance at the Commonwealth Games in the 400m hurdles. The former Holmwood Technical High School standout will go up against World Championships bronze medallist Ristanana Tracey, Leah Nugent, and American Ashley Spencer.
While she has confirmed that she will participate in the meet, Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson has not said whether she will be running the 100m or the 200m.
"My coach has not decided which of the events I will be running, but I have been training very well, and I am really looking forward to competing at this meet, and with how my training has been going, I should be running a pretty good time," Simpson said.