Amusan, Alfred, Steiner confirmed for Jamaica Athletics Invitational


Global athletics stars, including , Julien Alfred, Steiner, and Fred Kerley, are among the prominent names confirmed to participate in the inaugural Jamaica Athletics Invitational (JAI). The event is set to take place on Saturday, May 11 at the National Stadium.

This announcement was made by , the athletes’ liaison officer, during the launch event held this morning at the AC Hotel by Marriott Kingston.

Amusan, hailing from Nigeria, ended last season on a high by winning the Diamond League women’s 100m hurdles title in Eugene, Oregon for an astonishing third consecutive time and silencing critics following a disappointing performance at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Interestingly, it was in Oregon where Amusan won the world title last year and also set a world record in the process.

Leading up to the Budapest 2023 event, Amusan’s preparations were marred by controversy. In July, she faced provisional suspension from the Athletics Integrity Unity (AIU) over alleged “missed three tests in 12 months.” Consequently, the world champion was initially excluded from the 26-athlete team submitted by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria for the championship. However, just three days before the competition’s commencement, Amusan was cleared of all charges, and her suspension was lifted.

Alfred of St Lucia will be making her return to Jamaica to compete for the first time since completing her secondary education at St Catherine High School in 2018.In March, she won St Lucia’s first-ever global gold medal, winning the 60m dash at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow.

Following her historic achievement in Glasgow, Alfred is aiming to secure St Lucia’s first Olympic medal at Paris 2024 later this year.

American sprint sensation Steiner made a triumphant return to the track by securing a comfortable victory in the women’s 400 metres at the 2024 Gamecock Invitational last Saturday. This marked her comeback from a challenging heel surgery.

The 24-year-old athlete, competing in her first race since the USA Championships last summer, clocked 51.58 seconds, the fastest time recorded across all sections of the event.

Steiner is renowned for capturing three NCAA 200m titles and holding an outdoor personal best of 21.77 seconds in the half-lap event. Her 2023 season was cut short due to an Achilles tendonitis issue.

This setback prevented her from securing a spot on the U.S. team for the World Athletics Championships and achieving back-to-back U.S. 200m titles at the 2023 U.S. Championships, where she finished fourth in the event behind the likes of Gabby Thomas, Sha’Carri Richardson, and Kayla White last summer.

Kerley of the USA is striving to regain top form after a disappointing 2023 season, during which he failed to advance past the semi-finals in the men’s 100m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. Kerley, the reigning world champion, had claimed victory in Oregon in 2022 with a time of 9.86. He also secured the silver medal in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics.

Among the other international athletes confirmed for the meet, which has been granted World Athletics Continental Tour Silver status, are Americans Aleia Hobbs, Nia Ali, Daniel Roberts, Marvin Bracy, , , and Donald Scott, as well as Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown of Japan.

Promising young athletic talent, Jaydon Hibbert will headline the Jamaican athletes. Hibbert, a standout in men’s globally, was expected to clinch gold at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last year. However, a hamstring sustained on his first attempt in the final of the event saw him miss out on a possible podium finish and even a gold medal, having qualified for the final with the largest jump in the event.

The former Kingston College and Arkansas University stand-out recently turned professional after signing a contract with global sportswear giant Puma and is looking to make quite a mark in the sand in the event at the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

Other local athletes slated to compete are Fedrick Dacres, Rushell Clayton, , Stacey-Ann Williams, Charokee Young, Danielle Williams, , Hansle Parchment, and Rasheed Broadbell.

Ludlow Watts, chairman of the local organizing committee, stressed the significance of the meet in spotlighting international talent in Jamaica.

“Those who might have thought that the days of staging international events by the JAAA are over, you will now know we jus’ a come,” said Watts.

Ticket pricing has been structured to ensure the National Stadium reaches full capacity for the meet. Finish-line tickets for the Grandstand will be priced at $3000, while seats in all other sections of the stand will cost $2500. Bleacher seats will be available free of charge.

Tickets for the event will be purchasable online from April 22 to May 4, and can also be acquired at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston and ticket office at the National Stadium from May 8 to 11.

The track event is set to commence at 7:35 pm with the women’s 400m hurdles.

The meet will showcase 14 events packed into an exciting schedule.

Confirmed events include:

Women’s: 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 100m hurdles.

Men’s: 100m, 200m, 400m, 400m hurdles, 110m hurdles, high jump, discus, .





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