After the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020, organizers of the Aliann Pompey Invitational are hoping the annual showpiece can return this year.
Meeting founder Aliann Pompey, the four-team Guyanese Olympian, said the goal is to have the event in Guyana on June 19.
He highlighted that every effort would be made to ensure that the event met all safety protocols, once the necessary clearance had been granted by the relevant authorities.
The fifth edition, which was due to take place last year, was canceled after a global rise in coronavirus cases brought a screaming halt to sports activities.
“We’re excited about the date. I have met and talked to the President of the RPA, Mr Aubrey Hutson, so everything is set. We have to play it by ear and be very careful and make sure all security measures are carried out, because we’re still in a very uncertain time, ”Pompey said on Friday.
“As long as it’s an Olympic qualification, I think this year is more critical than it was in 2016 (Olympics) or any other World Championship qualification year, just because of how 2020 played out with a postponement the Olympics and the cancellation of many competitions thereafter, even in 2021. ”
“The opportunities for athletes to be able to quality for the Games have been reduced, so the attractiveness and importance of the API is becoming much more critical I would say because we want to continue to reach the highest standards, especially now as it is a kind of meeting for our athletes, as well as the South American and Caribbean region to be able to get to the Games, ”explained Pompey.
In February 2020, Pompey and the World Athletics had announced the inclusion of the Aliann Pompey Invitational on the 2020 Continental Tour. The inaugural meeting hosted 11 athletes who went on to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
“It’s a huge opportunity not only for the Aliann Pompey Invitational, but for Guyana and athletics in the region,” said Pompey.
“We are one of two events to be held in South America. I think this speaks to the commitment of the meeting sponsors. For the past four years, they have supported the vision for the meeting and its importance to the development of sport in the country and in the region. This is a collaborative effort with so many pieces. ”
The tour will span six continents and offer athletes the opportunity to receive world ranking points that will count towards the 2020 Olympics and World Championships.