Lewis, Houston and Smith to star at Permit Meet
Para events involving Jessica Lewis will be among the highlights of the third Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet at the National Sports Centre on Friday, May 11.
Donna Raynor, the Bermuda National Athletics Association president, confirmed that Canadians Iana Dupont and Jess Frotten, will compete with Lewis in the 100 and 200 metres.
Three men, including Alex Dupont, who won the gold medal for Canada in the T53/54 1,500 at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, will compete with compatriots Curtis Thom and Isaiah Christophe in the 200 and 400.
Thom is Lewis’s coach, taking over from his father Ken who died in a scuba diving accident in South Africa last September.
“Racing in front of a home crowd last year was a real highlight of my racing career,” Lewis said.
“I’m so excited to be sharing wheelchair track with Bermuda again this year with even more of the incredible athletes I get to train and compete with.”
The final list of competitors for the event is still being finalised by the BNAA, with Raynor confident of good support for the event which clashed with the 35th America’s cup when held last July.
“We are also firming up our athletes as we have had several requests from athletes who competed at Commonwealth,” Raynor said.
“We have confirmed so far Lalonde Gordon from Trinidad and Tobago who competed in the 400 and won a bronze medal and was on the bronze medal relay team at the 2012 London Olympics and won gold at the 2017 World Championships [in London] the 4X400 relay.”
Also confirmed is Renny Quow, a gold medal member of Trinidad’s relay team, who will compete in the 400, as well as Winston George, of Guyana, who competed in the 400 at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“This year we are looking to include the men’s shot put and have three confirmed,” Raynor added. “This year we will be including, along with the shot put, the men’s 100 metres, 110 metres hurdles, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres and long jump; the women’s 100 metres, 100m hurdles, 200 metres, 400 metres and high jump, featuring our own Sakari Famous.
“Tre Houston will be in the 100 and 200 with Tyrone Smith in the long jump along with some of the top jumpers that Tyrone has been competing against. Unfortunately due to the date our university students will not be able to compete.”
Houston, now based in Bermuda after parting with his coach in the United States, placed fourth in his 200 heat at the Commonwealth Games. He, too, is looking forward to competing again on home soil.
“Be great to see the grandstand full of Bermuda flags waving and supporting us,” Houston tweeted.
Raynor admits last year’s crowd was disappointing but is confident the event will continue to grow. This is the third different month it has been held, after the inaugural event in 2016 was held in April.
“We are very excited as this event is really catching on and since we have moved it back to an earlier date we have a lot of interest from top international athletes wanting to compete in this meet,’ Raynor said. “Of course we will have repeat athletes who loved it here and keep coming back and are bringing family and friends with them.
“I even met a few people when I was in Bahamas at the Carifta Games who told me they were coming as spectators to the meet so it is really becoming a known event. This event will be viewed worldwide as it will be live online.
“We are looking for athletes coming from Jamaica, the US, Canada, Bahamas, Barbados, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Haiti, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago. We should have all athletes confirmed by April 27th and be able to provide a full slate of athletes for all of the events.”
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