All systems ready for sixth Racers Grand Prix on Saturday

By Sports Desk May 30, 2024

As the sixth edition of the Racers Grand Prix ticks closer, preparations are in full swing to ensure a seamless, world-class experience for athletes and spectators alike at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Racers Grand Prix CEO Devon Blake shared his vision for this year’s event, as the team behind the event is executing meticulous planning and coordination. 

“The goal is to produce a world-class meet showcasing Jamaica’s capacity to develop and attract premier athletes in track and field. We actively maintain the best team of professionals, engage with invested sponsors, focus on athlete comfort, all in order to create an amazing fan experience," Blake said.

Despite the economic challenges, the meet that started in 2016, has retained inception sponsors like Adidas, Television Jamaica, KFC, and Digicel, while also attracting new sponsors.

Blake highlighted the importance of community engagement, stating, “There are advanced plans for fan engagement and a fan experience ensuring the meet positively impacts both the athletes and the local community.”

Swaneka Phillips of Main Event Production provided insight into the logistical efforts and the importance of high-quality production elements.

“Set-up begins a week prior to the event. Our trucks leave our warehouse laden with equipment, materials, a sizable crew and a number of co-ordinators to ensure everything goes smoothly. Once on site, our team springs into action like a well-oiled machine, completing tasks in tandem according to our worklist,” Phillips explained.

“We pride ourselves on our top-of-the-line inventory of world-class equipment, as well as our highly trained and skilled technicians. To enhance this year’s experience, we are implementing enhanced 4mm LED screen technology, which allows for higher definition, crisper images with better contrast and lighting," she added.

Meanwhile, Bruce James, chairman of World Class Athletics Limited, discussed the critical role of the Roster Athletic system that will be used on Saturday night.

“The combination of the Roster Athletics data processing system and our FinishLynx cameras is crucial to providing fast, accurate results. We use a three-camera system for track meets like the Racers Grand Prix to capture the athletes as they cross the finish line. The system integrates directly, making it seamless from start to finish,” James outlined.

James said the rigorous preparation starts well before any athlete reaches the track.

“Before the meet, we ensure all athletes are entered in the correct heat and lane, with all their statistics available. This data is loaded into the Roster Athletics system well before the event, so athletes, coaches, and spectators have all the necessary information readily available," he noted.

The Racers Grand Prix will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2024, at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica starting at 7:00 PM. Tickets are available for purchase online and at select outlets.

Other sponsors for the event include Adidas Sports Development Foundation, Gatorade, JN Bank, and the Airport Authority of Jamaica.

Related items

  • Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year

    The University of Arkansas celebrated a stellar year in track and field with significant South Central Region honours for the 2024 outdoor season. Senior sprinter Nickisha Pryce was named Track Athlete of the Year, while first-year head coach Chris Johnson was recognized as Coach of the Year, capping off an extraordinary season for the NCAA Division 1 Women's Champions.

    Pryce, a standout athlete from St. Mary, Jamaica, entered the outdoor season with a personal best of 50.21 in the 400m. She made remarkable improvements, culminating in a collegiate and Jamaican record of 48.89 seconds, which she set while winning the NCAA 400m title. Pryce's victory spearheaded an unprecedented Arkansas sweep of the top four spots in the event, earning the Razorbacks a crucial 29 points towards their team total.

    Throughout the season, Pryce demonstrated consistent progress, achieving career-best marks of 50.13, 49.72, 49.32, and finally 48.89. Her extraordinary performances were pivotal as Arkansas amassed 61 of its 63 championship points on the final day of the NCAA Championships. This remarkable achievement allowed Coach Johnson and his team to complete a sweep of the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor team championships in his debut season as head coach.

    In addition to her NCAA title, Pryce also secured the SEC 400m title with a time of 49.32, which at the time ranked third on the collegiate all-time list. Her dominance in the 400m was instrumental in Arkansas's 1-2-3-5 finish at the SEC Championships, contributing 28 points to the team’s total.

    Pryce's achievements have cemented her place in history as the first collegian and first Jamaican to run under 49 seconds in the 400m. She surpassed the 22-year-old Jamaican record of 49.30 set by Lorraine Fenton in 2002.

    Her time of 48.89 also eclipsed the previous collegiate record of 49.13 set by fellow Razorback Britton Wilson in 2023. On the 2024 world list, Pryce ranks second behind Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who recorded a time of 48.75. Pryce’s time also ties her for 13th on the all-time world list alongside Mexico’s Ana Guevara from 2003.

    The culmination of Arkansas's season was highlighted by an emphatic victory in the 4 x 400m relay at the NCAA Championships, where the Razorbacks set a collegiate record and world-leading time of 3:17.96. Pryce's impressive third-leg split of 49.19 was crucial in securing the title. This performance broke the previous collegiate record of 3:21.92 set by Arkansas at the NCAA West meet, narrowly surpassing Kentucky’s 3:21.93 from the 2022 SEC meet.

    Coach Chris Johnson's leadership was instrumental in guiding the Razorbacks to these historic achievements. Under his guidance, Arkansas scored in eight different events to capture the NCAA outdoor team title, edging out Florida by four points. This victory followed their triumph at the NCAA Indoor meet, where they won by five points.

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opens season with 11.15 sprint at French Foray meeting Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opens season with 11.15 sprint at French Foray meeting

    Three-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made a triumphant return to the track with a controlled sprint of 11.15 seconds at the French Foray Meeting held at the National Stadium on Saturday night. This performance comes less than two weeks before the start of the Jamaica national championships, which will determine the team representing Jamaica at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

    The 38-year-old sprinting legend, who boasts a lifetime best of 10.60 seconds, was making an extraordinarily late start to her season. Despite this, Fraser-Pryce, running with her right knee and lower-thigh strapped with kenisio tape, demonstrated her enduring talent by shaking off the rust and securing victory against a competitive field. Jodean Smith, clocking in at 11.20 seconds, finished second, while schoolgirl Sabrina Dockery took third place with a time of 11.46 seconds.

    In the men's sprints, Bouwahjgie Nkrumie emerged as the fastest athlete of the night with a time of 10.21 seconds. Sandray Davison was close behind, recording a time of 10.25 seconds, while De Andre Daley achieved a season-best of 10.26 seconds to finish third. Notably, Ackeem Blake, despite stumbling out of the blocks in Nkrumie's heat, managed to recover and post a respectable time of 10.30 seconds.

     

     

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to kick off final Olympic campaign at JAAA's French Foray meet on Saturday Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to kick off final Olympic campaign at JAAA's French Foray meet on Saturday

    Four-time Olympic 100m medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is set to open her 2024 season this Saturday at the JAAA's French Foray meet at the National Stadium in Kingston. The 38-year-old sprinting star will take on a relatively weak field of athletes as she tests her readiness to challenge for an unprecedented third Olympic 100m title in Paris this August.

    Fraser-Pryce, who last competed in August 2023 when she ran 10.77 to win the bronze medal at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, is gearing up for the Jamaica National Championships, which begins in less than two weeks on June 27. To secure her place in the Olympic squad, Fraser-Pryce will need to finish in the top three at the national trials.

    In an interview with Sportsmax.TV last October, Fraser-Pryce revealed plans to run more races leading up to the Olympics in 2024. However, for reasons unknown, she has not been able to compete before Saturday. As one of the most decorated sprinters in history, with five World Championships 100m titles to her name, Fraser-Pryce has faced a series of injuries since 2016. A toe injury in 2016 hampered her chances of winning a third consecutive Olympic 100m title, and she finished third.

    After nearly two years off due to the birth of her son Zyon, Fraser-Pryce made a triumphant return by winning her fourth World 100m title in Doha in 2019. She followed this with a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics and a fifth world title in Oregon in 2022. During an injury-hit season in 2023, she followed up with a bronze at the World Championships in Budapest.

    On Saturday, Fraser-Pryce will gauge her readiness for what she has indicated will be her final Olympic campaign. Fans and athletics enthusiasts will be watching closely as she begins her journey towards making history once again in Paris.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.