US track star Justin Gatlin plans to make the Grenada Invitational track meet a major part of his early season schedule next year.
The reigning world 100 meters champion was forced out of this year’s showpiece with injury but said his focus was already on making up for that disappointment in 2018.
Wants to show love for Grenada
“I want to be able to come back and show my love to and for Grenada,” the often controversial sprinter said last weekend.
“I was unable to run and obviously showed that throughout my season because I wasn’t at my top shape and form because of injury.
“I want to start the next season off with a bang down there in Grenada and have the stadium rocking and have the people cheering. That’s what I wanted to do in 2017 but I know I can do it in 2018.”
The 35-year-old had been expected to be part of a star-studded line-up for the inaugural Grenada Invitational last April but failed to participate because of his injury.
Added status as World Champion
If Justin Gatlin does take part in the event next year, he will be doing so with the added status of being a World champion after surprisingly toppling legendary Usain Bolt last month at the London World Championships, to win the 100 meters title.
The 2017 Grenada Invitational was headlined by the likes of former World and Olympic champion, LaShawn Merritt of the US; another former 400m World champion, Kirani James of Grenada and Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown, a former World and Olympic 200m title-holder.