CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. April 29, 2009: Jamaican Olympian Asafa Powell is vowing to make it up to fans he disappointed last Saturday at the Penn Relays, when he returns to the New York track of Icahn Stadium for the Reebok Grand Prix next month.
Via phone, Powell told a group of Caribbean American media from New York and Jamaicans gathered at the New York office`s of the Consulate General of Jamaica Tuesday evening, `Don’t expect anything like Saturday.`
His comment was in direct response to the hush that fell over the thousands of Jamaicans on April 25th, after the world`s second fastest man pulled up and dropped out of the 4×100-m of the U.S. versus the world showdown at Penn.
`Prepare for some real fireworks cause I’m coming at my best,` said Powell, whose manager said Saturday the top athlete dropped out of the race due to an ankle injury.
On Tuesday, Powell told the receptive audience of mostly Jamaicans that he `is good` and took time out in the past few days to rest and recuperate and visit some relatives. He also insisted he is looking forward to the May 30th Grand Prix, which will come following his performance in Doha on May 8th. `Expect me to come and do my best and mek the people dem happy,` said the 27-year-old in a live telephone call with emcee Irwine Clare, who chaired the Reebok Grand Prix kick-off for Irie Jam Media Group.
Powell also told the audience that he is looking forward to the World Championships since he is confident that Jamaica will shine again, much as they did in Beijing at the 2008 summer Olympics.
Michael Frater, who is often overshadowed by Powell and triple Olympian and world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, also promised fireworks at the Grand Prix.
`I am really excited to come to New York and you should expect fireworks,` he told a delighted group that watched him via video conference.
But Bolt, who put the Reebok Grand Prix in the record books last year, when he shattered Powell’s record for the world’s fastest time in a 100-m, is not on the 2009 line-up. Asked for a reason by CWNN, Rich Kenah, director of Global Athletics, presenters of the Grand Prix, said Bolt is in high demand. `Unfortunately he’s in demand but if there’s a chance he can fit it in to his schedule, we will be happy to have him back,` said Kenah.
Considered one of the premier outdoor, invitational meetings, the Reebok Grand Prix is the fourth stop of the USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series and will be held at 3:00 pm., on Saturday, May 30, 2009, at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, New York City.
Other top Jamaicans on the bill are Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kenia Sinclair, Novlene Williams, Shericka Williams, Melaine Walker, Marvin Anderson, Richard Phillips, Shereefa Lloyd, Maurice Wignall, Dwight Thomas, Sonita Sutherland, Kerron Stewart, Korine Hinds and Marking Buckley.
Meanwhile, Jamaican fans are being advised that there will be a Jamaican section at the stadium. Tickets are priced at between $60, for high end seats and $20 for the back stretch seats and officials say they will be adding more seating to the stadium this year. Jamaican fans will also be able to secure a 10 percent discount when purchasing online by using the promo code: Irie Jam 09. For more on the event log on to: http://www.reebokgrandprix.com/. – By Felicia Persaud/CWNN NY