RAIN OF OLYMPIC STARS IN THE INTERNATIONAL ATHLETICS CLASSIC OF PUERTO RICO
Updated: Mar 24
Date: March 17, 2022.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico.- Four Olympic champions lead the group of stars that will compete in the first edition of the Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic, which will take place on Thursday, May 12, 2022 from 6:00 p.m., in the new athletic track of the Francisco “Paquito” Montaner de Ponce Stadium.
The event is part of the World Athletics Continental Tour – Silver Level, organized by the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Development of Athletics Sports (FUPPDA), owner of the franchise of this competition. Since its founding in 2006, FUPPDA has brought international athletics activities to the Island. On this occasion, it partnered with the American Track League (ATL) for the event presented by Puerto Rico Events.
“The International Athletics Classic is an excellent opportunity to promote local sports tourism, attract international tourists and project Puerto Rico as a highly qualified destination to carry out this type of first-class sporting events. In addition, the celebration of this event promotes a boost to the economic development of the Porta Caribe Region and Puerto Rico due to the increase in hotel occupancy that it causes and the creation of jobs such as ushers, security personnel, social media, marketing, bartenders, cleaning, among others; which means the contribution of an estimated economic impact of $2.2 million for the island's economy,” said the executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Carlos Mercado Santiago.
Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Olympic champion in the 100 meter hurdles at Tokyo 2021; the American Ryan Crouser, Olympic champion (Tokyo 2021) and holds the world record for the shot put; Steve Gardiner, from the Bahamas, Olympic champion in the 400 meters (Tokyo 2021) and world champion in 2019; and Christian Taylor Sweet (United States) will be present at this competition, which will feature nearly 100 athletes.
Puerto Rico will also be represented by Olympians Wesley Vázquez (800m), Ryan Sánchez (800m), and Andrés Arroyo (800m).
“As director of the competition I am very happy and rejoiced because world-class athletics returns to Puerto Rico, this time in Ponce, where an international competition was held for 10 years in which we had our star, Javier Culson” , said Víctor López, director of the event, during the press conference held today, Thursday, at the Tourism Company in Old San Juan. “This time with the Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic, we not only have a group of world-class athletes, but also a large number of Olympic and world medalists, and they could confirm much more,” he added.
"I want to thank the Municipality of Ponce and Puerto Rico Events because they have joined us, the American Track League, to bring this event that will be broadcast live on ESPN2," said López.
For her part, the gold medalist was excited that she will return to the island next May to compete in such an important event.
“I am excited to be back and to compete in the event on May 12 in Ponce. I hope I can break the record,” Camacho Quinn said of the 12.26-second mark set at the Olympics last year in Tokyo for the 100m hurdles event.
The competition will be dedicated to the bronze medalist in the 400 meter hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games and twice world runner-up (Berlin 2009 and Daegu 2011), Javier Culson from Ponce.
"I am extremely happy that the cream of athletics returns to Ponce," Culson said at the press conference. “I am going to enjoy this dedication in life. We are going to support this new generation (of athletes), where Jasmine came from. Thanks to them there are many enthusiastic girls”, added the Olympian, who also allowed the use of his image for the logo of the event.
“The Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic represents for Ponce a return to the great sports scene. We resume our leading role in events of this category, which not only serve as a platform for our athletes to measure themselves against the best in the world, but also put the eyes of the world on our City. Athletics is the king sport; It is the universal sport, since it has been practiced since the oldest civilizations. And in Puerto Rico, he had to return to his home, the Francisco “Paquito” Montaner stadium. I assure you that Ponce will present a world-class show!” said the mayor of Ponce, Luis M. Irizarry Pabón.
“At Puerto Rico Events we are extremely proud to work hand in hand with Víctor López to bring this world-class event to the Island, in which great Olympic medalists will participate. Once again, Puerto Rico will be in the eyes of the world and the excitement of each race will be broadcast live from Ponce to the entire United States on ESPN2,” said Anaymir “Tuti” Muñoz, vice president of Puerto Rico Events.
“We know that athletics fans in Puerto Rico are excited to return to “Paquito” Montaner and will do so to see a world-class competition live. We want to see the Montaner full again and vibrate with emotion. We want to see the “Paquito” Montaner full again”, concluded Muñoz.
For more information about the event you can visit www.purclassic.com. Also, closely follow the latest updates on our social networks on Instagram and YouTube as @purclassic, and Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic on Facebook.