NACAC Logoby Michael Bascombe

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, December 28, 2015 – Track and field athletes in the region will have more competitions to gain qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.

There will be three new athletic meets in the Caribbean in 2016 for a total of nine North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) Area Permit Meets for the region.

President of NACAC, Victor Lopez said that new meets will be held in Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda and Jamaica with the possibility of more to be added.

“We just gave the certification recently for a meet in Trinidad & Tobago and it will be the Trinidad & Tobago Grand Games and it will be held on April 30 in Port of Spain. It appears to be a good event with a good budget. The details are preliminaries but it has been approved by the local federation and there’s a local organising committee already in place,” said Lopez.

“There is also a new meet in Bermuda on April 23, the Bermuda Invitational.”

Lopez said that Racers Track Club of Jamaica also applied for an Area Permit Meet and despite some initial concerns about the date clashing with Diamond League Meets in Europe the Racers Grand Prix will be held in Kingston on June 11.

“We start with Chris Brown Invitational in the Bahamas on April 16, Bermuda Invitational on April 23, T&T Grand Games on April 30, Jamaica International and St Maarten International on May 7, followed by meets in the Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Cuba, and Tortola,” said Lopez.

“Unfortunately there will be no Ponce Meet in Puerto Rico in 2016 because of the financial crisis but athletes will find a host of meets to compete and gain qualifying times for the Olympic Games.”

The athletics component of the Rio Games will be held from August 12-21, 2016.

Lopez said that there are more competitions available for athletes in the region and NACAC is working on a Caribbean circuit for 2017. He said the junior athletes also have the CARIFTA Games in March as a dress rehearsal for the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in July.

“So there will be a good amount of events and quality world class for athletes in the region. There are also opportunities for our athletes to compete and qualify for the Olympic Games. It’s important because a lot of our good athletes can’t get into Europe so we have answered the call by our coaches and athletes and will be doing more.”

He said that NACAC will also be working with Grenada for the return of the Whitsuntide Games on the schedule, now that the stadium has been completed.

“Grenada now has a class one track so we are working with them to get the Whitsuntide Games back on the schedule.”

See the Full Athletics Calendar here.

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