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World Athletes CI Bound

Premier the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, addresses a press conference at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Saturday (17 March) morning, along with (l-r) star athlete Ms Cydonie Mothersill, CI Athletic Association first vice president  Mr. Harcourt Wason and Sports Minister the Hon. Mark Scotland, JP.

Cayman Invitational, a professional track and field meet featuring world-class athletes, will take place in May on Grand Cayman.

Announcing this first for the Cayman Islands, Premier and Minister of Finance, Tourism and Development, the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, noted the event will mark a new sporting era in the Islands.

With the high visibility that international star athletes bring to any sports event, sports tourism offers a big boost to the Islands' tourism product, Mr. Bush said. This event will take signature status in Cayman's sports tourism roster as well as give local athletes the opportunity to see world-class pros in action, he said.

Based on an idea developed by Cayman's international gold medallist Cydonie Mothersill, the event is organised by the Ministry of Finance, Tourism and Development with a host of other sponsors, notably Dart without whose contribution the event might not have become a reality, he said. Thanking all the sponsors, he added the ministry's "$75,000 invested is money well spent."

To be held for one-day at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on 9 May, the event will feature over 80 professional track athletes, including US 100/200m sprinter Carmalita Jeter (world number one in 2011); Dylan Armstrong (current world number one in shotput); Novlene Williams (Jamaican semi-finalist at the Beijing Olympics in women's 400m); Michael Frater (4x100 meter world record holding Jamaican team member) and Bahamian Olympic medallist Chris Brown (current world number four in men's 400m).

Joining them will be 2010 Commonwealth Gold medalist Mothersill; middle distance and CAC medalist Jon Rankin; sprinters Kemar Hyman and Tyrell Cuffy; hurdler Ronald Forbes; and long jumpers Karl and Carlos Morgan, Mr. Bush said.

The aim is to make Cayman Invitational an annual event and form a trio of regional pro track and field meets with the Jamaican Invitational, which takes place in early May, followed by a meet in Puerto Rico, Ms Mothersill said.

Other participants in the Jamaican Invitational would also be invited to attend and compete. All pro-athletes who participate would have to be paid to take part, she explained.

Noting that sports is on the move in the Islands, Minister of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Mark Scotland, JP, said Cayman could look forward to Cydonie competing at home with other world class athletes.

Cayman Invitational Features

Cayman's first ever world professional athletics meet will comprise 11 track and two field events, according to a release from Fresh Image Public Relations and Marketing.

Races featured will be the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1,500m running events and the 100m, 110m and 400m hurdles.

Sponsors are Cayman Islands Government, Dart, Cayman Airways, DMS Broadcasting, LIME, Cayman National Bank, Water Authority and Cayman Free Press.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani




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