Some of the brightest stars in the sport of track and field have gathered in The Bahamas this weekend to compete in the second Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational (CBBI).
The single-day meet is one of the first major international meets of the year, and this year, it holds a little extra significance, because the athletes will use it as a marker to track their progress up to this point, with the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics right around the corner.
Some of the names on the bill include- Justin Gatlin, Lashawn Merritt, Shaunae Miller, Kirani James, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Christian Taylor and Bianca “BB” Stuart.
A number of the athletes participating this year were in town for the first edition of the CBBI back in 2013, and they’re excited to be back once again.
One of those athletes is Justin Gatlin.
Aside from the inaugural CBBI, the two- time World Indoor champion over 60 meters (m) also participated in two International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) World Relays.
“Chris is a really good friend of mine and I’m glad that I could be here once again to support him,” he said. “Right now I’m just getting a feel, without being too concerned about the Olympics or the Olympic trials. Off the track, I’m looking forward to some good food and I’ll just be looking to take in some sights around the island.”
Olympic gold medalist Lashawn Merritt is also very familiar with The Bahamas, after taking part in both events as well.
“Chris is a good friend of mine and any time he’s hosting a meet, I’ll be here,” he said. “Although the 400 is my specialty, I’ll be running the 200 this weekend. I ran it about two weeks ago and had a pretty fast time and I’ll be looking to lower that and run a competitive race.”
Hometown hero and Bahamian women’s 400m national record holder Shaunae Miller is also back in town for the CBBI and ready to compete in front of her home crowd.
“We’re just using the meet to see where we’re at right now. Practice has been going extremely well and we’re looking to run some decent times here,” she said. “The first race is always a bit shaky, but I look forward to competing in front of the home crowd.”
The second CBBI will be held at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium and gets underway at 6:30 p.m.