‘Aliann brings a certain sophistication to our sporting culture’- Bowen

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By Avenash Ramzan

The diligence of Aliann Tabitha Pompey in providing avenues for Guyana’s athletes to develop and prosper has come in for high praises from a senior functionary of a major airline.

The former national athlete has received accolades for her tremendous contribution to the sport, pre and post-retirement from Carl Bowen, the Commercial Manager of Fly Jamaica.

The airline is teaming up with Pompey, Guyana’s four-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games 400m gold medallist, to stage the third annual Aliann Pompey Invitational, billed for June 30 at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora.

Bowen was on hand at the official launch of the event on Thursday (June 21) in Georgetown, and made known his thoughts on the event and its brainchild.

“Aliann brings, along with her overseas athletes, a certain sophistication to our sporting culture that is very necessary for Guyana to grow,” Bowen asserted.

It is for this reason Fly Jamaica has partnered with Pompey to ensure the overseas athletes reach Guyana safely for the one day event. Top athletes are expected from over 25 countries, with close to 100 set to light up the track on race day.

“That sophistication that I speak about, it is very necessary for our sporting culture and our society as whole to grow, and I’m pleased that Aliann has taken this initiative and is able to continue for three years. I can assure her of our support for as long as she handles this event,” Bowen emphasized.

Aliann Pompey (centre) with LOC members and sponsors representatives at the launch on Thursday

Other sponsors represented at the launch were Banks DIH by Water Beverages Brand Manager Clive Pellew, Quality Plus by Patrick Britton and Ministry of Communities by Public Relations Officer Danielle Campbell Lowe.

They all expressed a great sense of pride to be attached to the event, which is set to feature two top figures in athletics, 400m specialist Kirani James of Grenada and USA-based Guyana Triple Jumper Troy Doris.

Doris copped gold at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, this year, while James is a World and Olympic 400m gold medallist.

There will be a total of 17 track and field events, the marquee of which, Pompey pointed out, would be the 400m showdown between James and Guyana’s best at that distance, Winston George.

Clive Pellew (centre) presents Banks DIH sponsorship to Aliann Pompey

The Men and Women Triple Jump are also expected to attract intense rivalry with Doris set to compete on local soil for the first time. According to Pompey, Doris will face stiff competition from Jumpers from Cuba, the Bahamas, Suriname and USA.

“So those are two of our main events. We have some really good match-ups in the Women’s 400m, which is by the far the (biggest) international event. We have two heats of about 15 competitors, and in the main race I think there are about six countries represented,” Pompey indicated.

In the Women’s Triple Jump, there will be competitors from Cuba, the Bahamas, USA, Jamaica and Guyana, while in the Women’s 400m Hurdle, athletes from Jamaica and Puerto Rico are confirmed.

Among the events featuring purely local athletes are Men’s 5000m, Men’s Javelin and Women’s 800m.

The event is IAAF-accredited and sanctioned by the South American Federation CONSUDATLE, which ensures “the performances are valid and are part of the international standards”, Pompey pointed out.

Action will commence at 15:00h and admission to the venue is $1,000 (General) and $5,000 (VIP).

Other corporate partners are Star Party Rentals, Puma, E-Networks, National Sports Commission, Guyana Olympic Association and SleepInn International Hotel and Casino.

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