Caribbean Athletes Kick Off Caribbean Heritage Month, New York – June 3rd, 2006

Bolt Plans to Set New Record at Reebok Grand Prix on June 3rd

NEW YORK CITY (May 30) – The 2006 Reebok Grand Prix track & field competition kicks off a month-long celebration of Caribbean culture in the United States with an ensemble of the Caribbean’s best track & field athletes. Now named “Caribbean Heritage Month,” June will witness champion runners such as Jamaican Olympic gold medalist Veronica Campbell, and 2005 400m World Champion Tonique Darling of The Bahamas in head to head competition with runners from all over the world for the 2nd Annual Reebok Grand Prix, taking place on June 3 rd at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York City.

Recently passed by the United States Senate, House Concurrent Resolution 71 declares June the month to celebrate the contributions of Caribbean nationals to the United States. One of the first of dozens of events in the New York area to showcase the best of the Caribbean basin, The Reebok Grand Prix —the only outdoor East Coast meet that offers head-to-head competition among world-class athletes—includes over 20 Caribbean athletes.

Creating extra excitement for the event, Jamaica’s Word Junior Record holder Usain “Lightening” Bolt revealed his plans of setting a new world record for the 200m race at the Reebok Grand Prix Press Reception in New York City last week. The Reebok Grand Prix, is also billed to be a matchup between Bolt and 2005 World Championship silver medalist Wallace Spearmon, who with a time of 20.06, broke Bolt’s record at the adidas Track Classic in May.

“I plan on running in under 20 seconds, the fastest time for the year,” Bolt declared to members of the press via teleconference at last week’s event.

Bolt, just 19 years old, had the fastest time in the world (20.08) for 2006 until Spearmon, the 21-year-old American indoor record-holder, bettered it at the adidas games in Los Angeles.

Although Bolt sees Spearmon as “a good athlete,” he declared that “this year is a different year,” in terms of competition. He also stated that he is looking forward to a great race and great competition from Spearmon, but he is confident in his ability to emerge victorious.

The other Caribbean athletes expected to compete are 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sheri-Ann Brooks, 100m (Jamaica); Tiandra Ponteen of St. Kitts & Nevis; Dion Crabbe of the British Virgin Islands; and Sheridan Kirk of Trinidad and Tobago.

Tickets, at $30 and $20, are now on sale at or by calling 1-877-TIX-TRAC– Call-in using the promotional code JAMAICA and receive a $5 discount . Children under 12 receive a $10 discount. Group discounts are also available. Tickets are also available at Super Power Records in Brooklyn, VP Records and Genesis Restaurant in Queens, and Moodie’s Records in the Bronx. The event, managed by Global Athletics & Marketing, Inc., begins at 5:30 p.m. June 3 and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. ET. It is the fourth stop in USA Track & Field’s Visa Championship Series.