World stars to salute Bolt at Jamaican farewell meeting


Bolt All Stars team captain Usain Bolt of Jamaica entertains the crowd during the Nitro Athletics meet in Melbourne on February 11, 2017.

Bolt All Stars team captain Usain Bolt of Jamaica entertains the crowd during the Nitro Athletics meet in Melbourne on February 11, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG – A constellation of global athletics stars will be present to pay homage to Usain Bolt as he runs his last race on Jamaican soil during the second staging of the JN-Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

At a press conference on Friday, Bolt’s coach Glen Mills explained that Bolt had been the flag-bearer for the Racers Track Club for the past decade, and that it was only fitting that he be honoured by the club before he takes his leave from competitive athletics.

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“It will be my last competition on home soil,” said Bolt, whose first international success came in Kingston at the 2002 IAAF World Junior Championships. “I might shed a tear even though I’m not an emotional person as I close out where it started on Jamaican soil.”

The meeting – dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend’ – will feature appearances of three world record-holders, four Olympic champions and six world champions, in addition, of course, to Usain Bolt himself.

World 400m record-holder Wayde van Niekerk – who last year set an African 300m record at the Racers Grand Prix – will be back in Kingston for this year’s meeting. Fellow world and Olympic champions David Rudisha, Mo Farah and Christian Taylor will join him.

Other athletes set to compete in the men’s sprint events at the meeting include 2011 world 100m champion Yohan Blake, former world 100m record-holder Asafa Powell, world leader Akani Simbine, world 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell, Commonwealth 100m champion Kemar Bailey-Cole, 2012 Olympic 200m bronze medallist Warren Weir, 2005 world 100m silver medallist Michael Frater, world 200m finalist Zharnel Hughes, world 110m hurdles silver medallist Hansle Parchment, two-time world 400m hurdles silver medallist Javier Culson, world U20 400m hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde, Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Annsert Whyte and Jamaican 400m champion Javon Francis.

The line-up for the women’s events includes Olympic 100m silver medallist Tori Bowie, Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad, world 100m hurdles champion Danielle Williams, 2013 world long jump silver medallist Blessing Okagbare, 2014 world indoor 400m champion Francena McCorory, Commonwealth 400m hurdles champion Kaliese Spencer, Olympic 400m hurdles finalist Ristananna Tracey, 2015 US 200m champion Jenna Prandini, World Indoor Tour 60m winner Gayon Evans, world U20 400m champion Tiffany James and 2011 world 4x100m silver medallist Jura Levy.