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Bolt eager to show speed at Racers Grand Prix

first_imgSpeaking at the launch of the inaugural Racers Grand Prix yesterday, club patriarch Glen Mills is promising a meet with a difference, while his top draw, Usain Bolt, says he will be using the June 11 event to show his readiness ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”I’m looking forward to it, I am excited. I don’t get to compete here that often, so the fact that I will be competing this year is a motivation to work even harder to make sure that I will be in top form and run fast times to show the country that I am ready to go to Rio and do big things,” Bolt told The Gleaner after yesterday’s launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.”This helps a lot of athletes; a lot of athletes really want to compete here. I think it’s a well-positioned meet because it’s just before the trials, so they can go out and compete and know where they are just before the trials, so it will be the right time for me,” he added.A long-time ambition of Mills, the IAAF Area Permit-certified Racers Grand Prix – which gets under way at 6:30 p.m. inside the National Stadium just a few weeks before the National Senior Championships, the Olympic trials – will boast some of the biggest names in local and international track and field, including Bolt.Mills, the driving force behind Racers Track Club, promised that the meet will bring together the largest collection of Olympic and World Championships medallists ever to compete on our shores, and believes it will serve as a catalyst for the formation of a regional circuit of international athletics meetings.EXPECTED PARTICIPATIONOrganisers are expecting the participation of 112 athletes in 15 events – the 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, javelin, and discus for male athletes, and the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, high jump, and triple jump for females.In addition to local stars Bolt, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell, Danielle Williams, Warren Weir, Hansle Parchment and Rasheed Dwyer, several international standouts such as 400m World Champion Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa); American stars LaShawn Merritt, Jason Richardson, Queen Harrison, Lolo Jones, Tori Bowie and Isaiah Young; Caribbean standouts Shaunae Miller, Michelle-Lee Ahye, and Kelly-Ann Baptiste; plus Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, are among the confirmed athletes.”We are currently having negotiations with several other big names in the sport and are awaiting confirmation from others who have expressed strong interest in competing at Racers Grand Prix,” Mills shared.”I am excited, I’m very excited about it,” Mills added. “This region is the most powerful in the athletics world and boasts a number of world stars and emerging future champions in the sport. The potential of success is great and will bring meaningful benefits to the region.”BROADCASTING MEETMills mentioned plans to broadcast the meet in the European, North American and regional markets, and hopes that its growth will help the club to secure much-needed technical equipment and facilities such as electronic starting systems, high-speed cameras for biomechanics analysis, and a treatment centre to aid in its continued success.Newly returned sports minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, welcomed the meet and believes it presents several benefits to the country’s sporting brand.”We are delighted and extremely proud that our country is staging another major track and field event of international repute,” Grange said.”The inaugural Racers Grand Prix is testimony as well as further proof that we are a major force in global athletics. It provides yet another opportunity for brand Jamaica as the world will be watching some of the best athletes on show,” Grange added.Organisers have promised to confirm ticket and entertainment package information at a later date.last_img read more

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Ivory Coast star Zaha commits to Palace

first_img0Shares0000Ivory Coast star Wilfried Zaha boosted Crystal Palace by signing a new contract which ties him to them till the end of the 2022/23 season. © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 15 – Wilfried Zaha gave Crystal Palace a huge boost on Wednesday by signing a new contract which will see him tied to the Premier League club till the end of the 2022/23 campaign.The 25-year-old Ivory Coast forward — who is Palace’s joint highest Premier League scorer — has been a transfer target for several higher profile clubs. However, Zaha, who has been with the Eagles since he was 12, has committed himself to Palace.“Crystal Palace are delighted to announce that Wilfried Zaha has pledged his future to the club by signing a contract extension, which will see the Ivorian forward remain in south London until the end of the 2022/23 season,” read a club statement on their website.Zaha, who played a pivotal role in Palace retaining their place in the elite last term scoring nine goals as they recovered after a woeful start to the season, said he was delighted to have the contract discussions out of the way.“I’m very pleased,” he said.“Obviously, I just wanted to get it over and done with, so I can just focus on the season. I’m buzzing that we managed to get it sorted.”Palace chairman Steve Parish — who also persuaded manager Roy Hodgson to extend his contract last week — said it reflected Zaha’s loyalty to the club and the area of south London he grew up in.“This agreement is yet another example of his lifelong commitment to the club, and our commitment to him,” said Parish.“This is an amazing day for everyone here at Palace, our supporters and of course Wilf – and is richly deserved.”Zaha, who played a couple of times for England in friendlies which still allowed him the leeway to opt to play for the country of his birth Ivory Coast, has been at Palace all his career save an unhappy two year spell at Manchester United but he attracted interest in the close season from reportedly the likes of Everton, Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more