A number of World Champions from the 2019 World Championships in Doha are reportedly being lined up for the Jamaica International Invitational set for May 2, 2020.

Repairs to the track at the National Stadium in Kingston will commence later this year following the correction to the throwing circle set to get underway this Thursday, February 27.

If all goes according to plan, construction of a new throwing ring at the national stadium in Kingston should begin later this week.

Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas smashed the world indoor triple jump record at the Meeting Villa de Madrid, the final World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting of the season, on Friday.

Rojas set a mark of 15.43m eclipsing the mark of 15.36m set by Russia's Tatyana Lebedova in Budapest in 2004.

The two-time world champion opened with a foul but then registered a valid 14.65m in round two to take the lead.

She fouled again in round three before sailing out to 15.29m in round four, breaking her own South American indoor record and moving to second on the world indoor all-time list.

Then on her final jump before a packed Polideportivo Gallur, Rojas achieved her world record mark, adding seven centimetres to the world indoor record that had stood since 2004.

It was also two centimetres farther than her outdoor PB and is the absolute second-best triple jump performance, indoors or outdoors.

After an absence of a year, the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) will return to the track and field calendar in 2020 as a part of the World Athletics Continental Series.

 However, the meet will carry a silver designation in the World Athletics Continental World Series launched earlier year.

The Continental World Series will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

The JII meet was first held in 2004 and for eight years was a World Challenge meet, one tier down from the prestigious Diamond League designation. However, in 2019, due largely to financial constraints, the meet was cancelled.

“It is with regret that we inform you that due to budget issues the 2019 staging of the Jamaica International Invitational IAAF World Challenge Meeting has been cancelled,” a statement on the meeting’s website said.

However, Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said then that he was confident the meet would return in 20020. On Friday, he confirmed that the meet would be back.

According to the JII website, the meet is set for May 2, 2020.

 “There will be a meet this year,” said Dr Blake who added that Athletes’ Liaison Donald Quarrie has been assembling a quality field of athletes to participate at the meet.

However, the meet will be taken down a peg, as it will only have a silver designation among the meets that fall under the umbrella of the Continental World Series.

Dr Blake explained that following the debacle that led to the cancellation of the meet in 2019, earlier this year, World Athletics had sought assurances that there would not be a repeat of what occurred in 2019. They demanded a written guarantee that funding would be in place for this year’s meet.

However, the local organisers missed the deadline by a few days, which resulted in the meet missing the gold-level designation now enjoyed by the Racers Grand Prix set to run off in June.

Dr Blake said World Athletics will be reviewing the Continental Series at the end of the season and they are hopeful that the JII will obtain a gold designation going forward.

A press conference to announce details pertaining to the 2020 Jamaica International Invitational is set to be held sometime in March.

 

 

 

 

A world-class cast of athletes including double-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah, world-champion Anderson Peters and fast-rising teen star Briana Williams, have been confirmed for the 2020 edition of the Grenada Invitational that was launched on Wednesday at the Radisson Beach Resort, St. George’s.

Jamaica sprint queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, believes compatriot Usain Bolt may have stepped away from the sport of track and field too early.

Bolt and Fraser-Pryce were the biggest stars in a decade of sprint dominance for Jamaica.  Between them, the duo racked up 20 World Championship gold medals and 10 Olympic gold medals.  However, while the evergreen Fraser-Pryce continues to dazzle the world with her prowess on the track, Bolt hung up his spikes in 2017.

At the age of 33, Fraser-Pryce created history by becoming the first athlete to claim four 100m World Championship titles, in an event not known for its longevity and consistency.  Bolt has three and Fraser-Pryce who took two years off after having her first child before returning to the top of sprinting, believes it could have been more.

“I don’t think it was ok for him to quit just yet.  I think he had more time in him, but I think he was a little tired and doesn’t like the training that much,” Fraser-Pryce said in a recent interview.

“I definitely think he misses it because he can see what I’m doing.  He messages me all the time and says it’s amazing to see what you are doing and I tell him you could still have been doing what I have been doing.”

Rising sprint star Kevona Davis and the ever-impressive Clayton twins – Tia and Tina – were among the star performers as Edwin Allen defended their girls’ title at the annual Central Championships held at the GC Foster College in St. Catherine.

Jamaica track and field superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce already has one eye on defending her World Championship title on home soil, so to speak, with the 2021 edition set to be held in the North American region.

The 32-year-old created history at the last edition of the event in Doha, where she became the first woman to win four 100m world titles.  Fraser-Pryce has captured the world title at the Berlin (2009), Moscow (2013), Beijing (2015) and Doha (2018) World Championships.

Even though it is the Tokyo Olympics that is on the immediate horizon, the diminutive sprinter admits it is hard not to try and take a peek a little further ahead, an event that is likely to be her last major games appearance.

“After Tokyo, I am the defending champion at the world championships in Eugene and that is so close to home,” Fraser-Pryce told the AFP.

“It’s a few hours [flight] from Jamaica and to be able to end a career close to home, where I can have most, if not all, of my family in attendance, would be the highlight of my career,” she added.

“I am taking it a year at a time. After Tokyo, I can make that decision.”

Fresh off his new national indoor 400m record set at the Tiger Paw Invitational on Saturday, Kyron McMaster said he will focus on maintaining good health this season and he prepares to match strides with the world’s best at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.

Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

Sportsman of the Year

Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
Lionel Messi – Football
Marc Marquez – MotoGP
Rafael Nadal – Tennis
Tiger Woods – Golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Allyson Felix – Athletics
Megan Rapinoe – Football
Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
Naomi Osaka – Tennis
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
Simone Biles – Gymnastics

 

Team of the Year

Liverpool – Football
Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
South Africa – Rugby Union
Spain – Basketball
Toronto Raptors – Basketball
United States Women – Football

Breakthrough of the Year

Andy Ruiz – Boxing
Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
Coco Gauff – Tennis
Egan Bernal – Cycling
Japan – Rugby Union
Regan Smith – Swimming

 

Comeback of the Year

Andy Murray – Tennis
Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
Liverpool – Football
Nathan Adrian – Swimming
Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Alice Tai – Swimming
Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
Jetze Plat – Triathlon
Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
Omara Durand – Athletics

 

Action Sportsperson of the year

Carissa Moore – Surfing
Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
Italo Ferreira – Surfing
Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

Janieve Russell and Stephenie-Ann McPherson’s Muller Indoor Grand Prix experience was something they would both want to forget.

On Saturday in Glasgow, McPherson had a stumble and coincidence would have it that she clipped her Jamaican teammate, Russell, leaving neither with a chance of earning a podium finish in the 400 metres at the Grand Prix.

McPherson did not finish the race, while Russell would end fifth in a pedantic time of 60.87 seconds. There were six entrants.

The race was won by Great Britain’s Jessie Knight, who clocked 51.57 seconds. She finished ahead of Poland’s Justyna Święty-Ersetic, who hit the tape in a time of 51.68.

The Netherlands’ Lisanne de Witte was well back in third, clocking 53.25 seconds, while Polish runner, Iga Baumgart-Witan was fourth in 53.97 seconds.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has taken her good form from last season when she won the women’s 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics indoors, winning the Muller Indoor Grand Prix 60-metre in Glasgow on Saturday.

Fraser-Pryce was in good company when she won the event in 7.16 seconds ahead of Côte d'Ivoire’s Muriel Ahouré, who hit the line in 7.22.

Also lining up in Glasgow on Saturday was Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison, who after showing some potential, has gone through two very lean seasons.  

Morrison was well back in third, finishing in 7.30 seconds. The Jamaican hit the tape ahead of Great Britain’s Amy Hunt, 7.36.

Hunt’s countrymate Ama Pipi was fifth in 7.42 while Katarzyna Sokólska of Poland was sixth in 7.44.

Rounding out the eight were Slovenia’s Maja Mihalinec, 7.46, and the Netherland’s Naomi Sydney, 7.52.

Two Jamaicans, Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen, had contrasting outings at this weekend’s Muller Indoor Grand Prix meeting in Glasgow over 400 metres.

Bloomfield was an easy winner, clocking 46.20 seconds, to get the better of the United States’ Obi Igbokwe, 46.41, and Kuwait’s Yousef Karam, 46.49.

Allen, however, who is returning from an injury that stopped him from finding his way to last year’s IAAF World Championships of Athletics, found the going tough and rounded out the eight-man field in 47.89 seconds.

Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslák, 46.51, and Great Britain’s James Williams, 47.26, were the other athletes to finish ahead of Allen.

Retired Jamaica sprint legend Usain Bolt admits to missing the sport of athletics and once mulled the idea of coming out of retirement but was convinced he had made the right decision by his former coach Glen Mills.

Bolt, considered in many arenas as the greatest sprinter of all time, amassed stellar achievements in a career that lasted well over a decade.  In addition to holding the world record over both the 100m and 200m sprints, the Jamaican claimed 8 Olympic gold and 11 World Championship medals.

His soaring career might, however, be said to have ended on somewhat of a low after finishing third at the 2017 World Championships and failing to finish in the 4x100m relay. 

 "I talked to my track coach," Bolt told CNN Sport's Coy Wire. "And he was like, 'No, you're not doing it. People that retire and come back -- it doesn't always work out.'

The sprinter, who suffers from scoliosis of the spine, was quick to admit that he also did not miss the grueling training needed to compete at the highest level.

"For me, at the end I knew it was time because the drive wasn't there. But every time I watch track and field I miss it. And every time I go to the track to see my coach and I watch him training I go, 'Did I make the right decision?' ... But every time I train with them I think, 'Ah yeah I made the right decision. I don't miss this.'"

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