Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah is among a host of Jamaican senior athletes down to open their 2021 season at the National Stadium in Kingston, on Saturday, Feb. 27. The competition is set to start at 3:00 pm with Trackalerts.com providing updates.
Track and Field Gets Green From Government
Also on the list of featured athletes set to compete this weekend are world champion Tajay Gayle, former world record holder Asafa Powell, and world bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.
Track and field events were given the green light to resume in the country, following an approval from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Sport, and the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development, on Tuesday, with “very strict” COVID-19 protocol guidelines.
“We were clear in our message and in our reporting to the ministries. We kept one focus, which was to reduce the likely spread of the SARS-COVID-19 and so we did all the things as we had set out in a letter to our athletes last week,” Garth Gayle, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), said in the Jamaica Observer.
Thompson-Herah To Open Season In 400m
Thompson-Herah, who will be hoping to defend her 100m and 200m Olympic Games title from Rio 2016 at the Tokyo Games later this summer, is scheduled to compete in the women’s 400m at the JAAA Qualifying Trials.
The 28-year-old owns a personal best of 55.88 seconds in the event, set in 2019.
She is set to face quatermile specialists Christine Day and Roneisha McGregor, as well as short sprint specialist Jura Levy. Bahamian Anthonique Strachan and Srabani Nanda of India are also down to contest the event.
Meanwhile, Shericka Jackson, a two-time World Championships 400m bronze medalist and the Olympic Games third-place finisher at Rio 2016, will step down in distance to take on the field in the women’s 200m.
Jackson, who usually focused on the shorter sprints during the opening part of her campaigns, will be aiming to shake off some of the rust from training when she battles against the likes of Natasha Morrison, Shashalee Forbes, Remona Burchell, Candice McLeod, and Anastasia Le-Roy.
Long hurdles specialists Ronda Whyte and Janieve Russell are also listed among the starters.
Strong Men’s Field To Open Season
The men’s 400m will include the likes of Julian Forte, who is stepping up from the 100m to test his endurance, as well as fellow short sprinters Nigel Ellis and Michael Bentley.
Denar Murray, Malik James-King, Delano Williams (Great Britain), Antonio Watson and Andel Miller are also entered to complete in the event.
Meanwhile, former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell will race in the men’s 60m, with Ashanti Moore headlining the women’s field.
Elsewhere, Zharnel Hughes of Great Britain, talented Jamaican sprinters and Boys Champs recent standouts Oblique Seville, Michael Stephens, and Tyreke Wilson are among the athletes listed for the men’s 100m.
In the field, Tajay Gayle, the 2019 World long jump champion will open his season in his primary event, while O’Dayne Richards will take part in the men’s shot put.