Khalifa St. Fort gets a passing grade from coach Ato Boldon for her performance at the Guadeloupe International on Saturday.

 Briana Williams’ loss in the 200m to her main rival Tamari Davis on the weekend, was a wake-up call for the talented young sprinter that she needs improve significantly over the half-lap sprint.

Omar McLeod won the 110m hurdles in Doha in 2016 in a world-leading 13.05s and set the tone for the year in which he won the Olympic title in Rio, Brazil.

Jamaica’s junior sprint star, Briana Williams, faces her first big test of the season this coming weekend when she races at the Florida High School State Championships at Hodges Stadium on the campus of the University of North Florida.

The awards just keep rolling in for Jamaica’s newest sprint sensation Briana Williams.

In March, the Florida-based teen became the fastest 15-year-old of all time over the 100m courtesy of her 11.13s run at the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville. She followed that up with three gold medals – 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay – at the 2018 Carifta Games in the Bahamas and claimed the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the meet’s most outstanding athlete.

On Saturday, at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, she picked up another award and she wasn’t even competing.

The United States Congresswoman Yvette Clarke presented the talented teen with the Certificate of Special Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community for her standout performances as a young athlete.

“It was a great feeling and everyone else was watching knowing it was a big thing here, so I was happy,” said Williams, who revealed that she had no idea that she was down to receive the award.

No, I didn’t know. They told me to sit down and that they are going to have a presentation then my name was called, but I never knew.”

Sharon Simpson, Williams’ mother, was a proud mom on Saturday watching her daughter receive the honour.

“I was filled with joy for her seeing that she was being recognized at this level and I thank Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) for reaching out and making this happen for her,” Simpson said. “I was happy for her because she works very hard and it wasn’t expected. It was really a surprise. Wow. I was in awe.”

Irwin Clare of Team Jamaica Bickle made the request to Congresswoman Yvette Clarke that the US-born Williams receive the honour at the Penn Relays seeing that she had planned to attend.

“This was a request by me on behalf of TJB. This serves to highlight the Diaspora. Jamaica must recognize that there are a growing number of our children who are born in the USA who want to represent Jamaica,” he told SportsMaxTV. “We are very proud of her achievement but more importantly that she chose to represent Jamaica.”

Williams’ coach Ato Boldon said for him, personally, it was very satisfying to see his young charge being honoured in such a fashion.

“I had a similar situation with Khalifah (St. Fort) in that when you have a foreign-born athlete I am always a little worried about how they are going to be received back home,” he said.

“It’s really a pleasant surprise for me to see how Jamaica has embraced Briana. So to see this kind of award, this kind of commendation coming from the Congresswoman was very satisfying because it further reinforces that Briana has been fully embraced by all sectors of the Jamaican community.”



Ato Boldon takes a look at the performances of Michelle-Lee Ahye and Yohan Blake in the 100-metre final.

Briana Williams ran her way to the Austin Sealy award at the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda but her coach Ato Boldon wants her to be more patient about beating the world.

Ato Boldon, coach of Briana Williams, the three-time 2018 Carifta Games gold medalist, was full of praise for the sprinter who on Monday was presented with the Austin Sealy Award for her standout performances at the Games held in Nassau, Bahamas.

Khalifa St Fort was not originally picked to run for Trinidad and Tobago at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, but was later offered a place after Kelly-Ann Baptiste excused herself from participation. Is the Twin-island republic a big enough track and field locale to make a decision like that?

Rising star Khalifa St.Fort was on Tuesday named to Trinidad and Tobago’s team to next month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia after initially being told on Monday that she was not selected.

Four days before Jamaica’s Briana Williams set an age-group world record at the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday, her coach Ato Boldon all but predicted what would have happened.

Ato Boldon, coach of rising Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Khalifa St. Fort expects her to do well at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month but believes she will do even better in the summer.

In the wake of the rash of disqualifications at the just-concluded World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England, Ato Boldon, the former world-class sprinter who is now a broadcaster and coach, warns that if such unusually large numbers of DQs continue at championships, it could potentially cause further harm the sport struggling to stay relevant.

According to track and field website, Flotrack, there were more than 24 disqualifications during the four-day championships, far more than in any year since the championships began in 1997. In fact, figures show that the other occasion on which there were as many was in Birmingham in 2003.

The last time the world indoors was held in Birmingham in 2003, there were a similar number of disqualifications. By comparison in Portland in 2016 t, were only 4, Sopot in 2014, 6; Istanbul in 2012, 5. There were none in 1999 in Maebashi or in Paris in 1997.

“Numbers don’t lie. Not only have the two editions of world indoors hosted in Birmingham led to the most DQs by far, but a look at other hosts shows it’s more than double the third most ever,” Boldon told SportsMax.TV on Monday.

In 2018, Caribbean athletes featured heavily among the casualties.

Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell was disqualified in his 3000m heat for a curb infringement while their 400m runner, Steven Gayle, was disqualified for a lane violation. So, too, was Stephenie-Ann McPherson in the women’s 400m.

Gayle was in a heat, Heat 3 of the 400m that made history as the first ever heat at a major championship in which every single runner was disqualified. Also, in that heat were Grenada’s Bralon Taplin, a medal favorite, and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas. Cayman’s Kemar Hyman was disqualified for a false start.

Jamaica was denied another silver medal on the final day when their women’s 4x400m relay team was disqualified after crossing the line second.

“These DQs this past weekend almost ruined what could have been one of the best world indoor championships ever. The IAAF has to rectify this because a sport fighting for relevance does not need self-inflicted wounds,” Boldon said.

Former 400m world record Michael Johnson was in agreement.

“I believe the IAAF will have to do something about this,” Johnson told the Reuters news agency. “The problem will continue with lane infringements. This was on an absurd level.

“If you step on the line one time, you don’t get much advantage. When it amounts to this number of disqualifications and confusion, I think fans get to a point where they zone out, thinking they don’t know who won. That’s no fun for the fans.”

Boldon reveals that the lanes in Birmingham are not as wide as other indoor facilities but he believes that had little to do with the chaos that unfolded in Birmingham.

“They (lanes) are slightly narrower, but not illegal. I don’t think that’s the problem. I think it’s the combination of narrow lanes, tough competition and over-zealous officiating,” he said, adding that athletes were not given access to the track prior to competition.



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