Last week on April 8, 2017, the country of Grenada hosted the Grenada Invitational, a major international track and field meet at Kirani James Athletic Stadium. The Grenada Invitational was sanctioned by the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Associations (NACAC).
Some of the biggest stars in the sport of track and field turned out to participate in the meet. Athletes such as Asafa Powell of Jamaica, LaShawn Merritt of the United States, and of course Kirani James of Grenada.
Kirani is only 24 years of age but very accomplished in the sport of track and field. He has an Olympic gold medal in the 400 meters from the 2012 London Games, a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships, a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games, and was a 2-time NCAA champion at The University of Alabama. He now has a stadium named after him (Kirani James Athletic Stadium).
The Grenada Invitational was broadcast on ESPN 2 and was a well-organized event. Lewis Clark and Ato Boldon were the commentators calling the meet. Both men spoke well of the event with hopes that it will continue for years to come. Chris Brown, 400 meter specialist from the Bahamas also had some good words to say about the meet. Brown, who is currently pushing for more major track and field meets in the Caribbean, plays an integral role in assisting with the organization and execution of events such as the Grenada Invitational.
Here is a statement from Kirani James about the event:
“Yesterday was a dream come true for me, to compete in front a Grenadian crowd for the first time since 2009 and first as a pro. It was an honor to represent all of you and I’ll try my best to continue to do so in the future. Thanks to everyone for your unconditional love and support and I love you all very much.”
Congratulations to Kirani James and the country of Grenada on hosting a world-class track and field competition.
Check out the video of Kirani’s first run as professional in his home country
By Dr. Brandon Spradley
Dr. Spradley is the Director of Sports Management at the United States Sports Academy, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.