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Merritt the star turn at Permit Meet

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Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal-winners have been confirmed for the Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet at the National Stadium next Friday.

American sprinter LaShawn Merritt, who won gold in the 400 metres and 4x400 relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, will be the star attraction. He will go up against Bermuda's Tre Houston in the 200 and 400. Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, who won the bronze in the 4x400 metres at the 2012 London Olympics, will also feature in that race.

Jeff Demps, a former NFL running back and only athlete to win a national championship in two sports while attending the University of Florida, will perform the 100.

Demps won a silver as part of the United States' 4x100 relay team at the London Games. Leo Manzano, the first American athlete to win an Olympic medal in the 1,500 since 1968 when he claimed silver in London, will compete in the 800. A total of 70 athletes have been confirmed so far.

Bermuda will have five athletes competing, with three-times Olympian Tyrone Smith, competing in the long jump along with Bruce DeGrilla. Paralympic wheelchair sprinter Jessica Lewis will be in action in the 100 and 200, while Sakari Famous, a multiple Carifta Games medal-winner, will perform the high jump.

Organisers are hoping to feed off the excitement of MS Amlin World Triathlon Bermuda won by Flora Duffy last weekend.

“Now that we've witnessed the fantastic performance by Flora Duffy and watched the international triathletes compete, Bermuda has a chance to see even more international athletes at our event,” Donna Raynor, the BNAA president, said.

“We would have liked to have more Bermudian athletes compete but due to the timing of the event, which is not entirely under our control as we have to fit it in with the NACAC circuit, several of our university students are unable to participate.

“It's about 90 per cent complete, we're just waiting on the final few confirmations.”

Raynor added: “We will be having, for the first time, the men's shot put. This event will feature Josh Freeman from the US, Dillon Simon from Dominica, Chad Wright of Jamaica and Garrett Appier of the US.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.PTix.bm. The BNAA will also be selling tickets at the Washington Mall on Saturday. Tickets are priced at $15 for uncovered seating, $30 general admission and $55 for VIP patrons, which includes food and parking. Additional parking will be available at the Arboretum.

United States' Lashawn Merritt anchors his team to gold in the men's 4x400 relay at the World Athletics Championships at the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing in 2015 (Photograph by Andy Wong/AP)
Donna Raynor, the BNAA president, announces some of the overseas athletes who will be competing in the Bermuda Invitational Permit Meet next weekend (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published May 03, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated May 03, 2018 at 10:50 am)

Merritt the star turn at Permit Meet

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