KINGSTON – American hurdler Jasmine Stowers and Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse are the latest stars to pull out of the Jamaica International Invitational meeting at the National Stadium in Kingston, on Saturday.
The trio joined USA’s Sanya Richards-Ross, who was forced to withdraw from the IAAF World Challenge meeting earlier in the week.
Despite the late withdrawals, which is understandable, given that this is an Olympic year, meet director Donald Quarrie believes this season’s event will still be a success.
“We have had a few that have dropped out but that’s the way it goes,” Quarrie, the 1976 Olympic champion over the 200m, said.
“This is the Olympic year and if athletes have a problem with their fingernail, they are not going to take chances.
“But we are still going to have an outstanding event and we are looking forward to some meet records and stadium records,” he added.
Jasmin Stowers, who won the women’s 100m hurdles at last year’s meeting on her way to setting a Caribbean all-comers’ record of 12.39, was hoping to deliver another positive performance this term, but has decided not to compete.
Stowers ran 12.81 secs at the Drake Relays in the cold and wet conditions and might have picked up a niggle.
Meanwhile, IAAF World Championships 100m bronze medallist De Grasse was down for the men’s 200m where he was slated to take on Asafa Powell of Jamaica.
De Grasse is the Canadian 200m record holder with a time of 19.88, which he ran last season.
He had already posted a seasonal best of 20.23 secs.
Sanya Richards-Ross pulled out of this year’s meeting with a big toe problem, which she aggravated at the Penn Relays last week.