Jamaica triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts contends she is encouraged by the consistency of recent performances, after claiming the women’s title at the ISTAF Berlin World Challenge Meeting, in Germany on Sunday.

Fresh off claiming the Diamond League title with a leap just under 15m, Ricketts cleared 14.63m to take top spot in the women’s triple jump in Berlin.  Patricia Mamona of Portugal claimed second place with a leap of 14.18 and Dovile Kilty of Lithuania placed third with a leap of 14.15.   Kimberly Williams, the other Jamaican in the event, finished 5th with a leap of 13.96m.

“I feel great. My best jump was 14.63m, that shows that I have a lot of consistency,” Ricketts said.

“This was my final rehearsal for Doha. Achieving such a result after the DL final a few days ago is great, incredible. I was hoping to jump further, but we had a negative breeze (wind), and I was tired from the DL final. I really like it here, the crowd was electric and gave us a lot of support,” she added.

In another result, Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.02m for 4th in the women’s shot put. Canadian Brittany Crew won the event with 19.28m.

Jamaica Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod expressed delight with his conditioning as the clock counts down to the IAAF World Championships, in Doha later this month.

The sprint hurdler clocked a comfortable looking 13.07, well clear of France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who was second in 13.25, to claim top spot at the ISTAF Berlin World Challenge Meeting in Germany on Sunday.  Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite was third in 13.36.

McLeod will have plenty of reason to feel encouraged following a tough start to the season, which was perhaps fueled by somewhat of a ride on a coaching carousel of sorts early on.  The 25-year-old had trained with Eldrick Floreal up until late 2018 but then moved to Gary Evans at Empire Athletics in Florida.  Tony Ross at World Fastest Humans was his hurdles coach. 

Following early struggles, however, the athlete joined Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville.  His performances seem to have since improved as he claimed the top spot in Birmingham two weeks ago, before winning again in Germany.

“Everything was coming together perfectly. I ran so smooth, tight over the hurdles. This was like a final rehearsal for Doha,” McLeod said.

“I did it! Like my coach told me, I just got out and took control. Everything was good – the start, the finish and every hurdle. You could say it was a perfect race,” he added.

Fellow Jamaicans Orlando Bennett, 13.54 and Ronald Levy, 14.24 were 8th and 9th respectively.

 

Former Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission Renee Ann Shirley admits that she does not share the optimism of Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Warren Blake regarding the situation facing rising star Briana Williams.

The 17-year-old athlete recently returned an adverse analytical finding, following her participation in the Jamaica National Championship.  The athlete blamed the finding on a contaminated batch of Pharma Cold & Flu medication, which she had used to battle the effects of a cold. 

The claim that the batch of contaminated medication contained the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, was verified by an independent laboratory.  Based on the circumstances, Blake had previously suggested that he was confident that Williams could be cleared, even without a hearing.  The sentences possible for the young sprinter range from a reprimand to a 4-year ban.

Anything other than a reprimand for Williams, who booked a spot on the World Championship team by finishing third at the trials, could see the athlete miss out on taking part in the event.

“I don’t see it. I don’t see that being possible,” Shirley told SportsMax Zone in an exclusive interview.

“He was giving the most optimistic scenario.  What I want to caution everybody is that we are not dealing with an athlete that’s just running as a junior, this is someone that’s considered a senior athlete,” she added.

“I think that there are going to be questions that need to be answered and the IAAF’s AIU teams and their investigative panel, even if Jamaica decides not to do it, I think that we will find out that they are paying close attention to this case and so is WADA.”    

 

  

Areita Martin and Henry Thomas emerged as winners in the women’s and men’s senior categories, respectively, as the curtains came down on the 8th staging of the 2019 Good Samaritan 5k Health Run/Walk.

Martin, who represented Rainforest Seafoods, finished the charity run in 22.39 to top the Female 14 and Over section.  The runner finished well clear of her closest competition, Alison Sutherland, also of Rainforest Seafood, who was second in 24:09.  Ingrid Blackwood of UCT Steppas was third in 24.30. 

Thomas, who represented UCT Steppas, also dominated the competition but enjoyed a narrower margin after finishing first in 16.22.  Kemar Leslie of Rainforest Seafoods was second in 16:52, with Kosiani Dunkley of Riot Squad third in 17:36. 

The race route took competitors from the Andrew Hospital on Hope Road, through New Kingston along Dominica Drive back to Trafalgar Road, before returning to Hope Road to finish the race. 

The charity event has targetted raising money to purchase two sets of life-saving dialysis machines, whose use will be offered at a heavily discounted rate to the less fortunate in need of the service. 

The event was attended by some 500 patrons and by all accounts was once again a rousing success.

 

Rising Jamaican sprint phenom Briana Williams has admitted the country’s reverence for the sport of track and field made it an easy decision to choose the tiny Caribbean island over the United States.

The 17-year-old Williams is considered one of the brightest up and coming prospects in the sport of athletics. In fact, the sprinter is expected to follow a long line of exceptional Jamaican sprinters, the likes of which include Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson and the legendary Usain Bolt. 

Williams was, however, born in the United States, a country that has a proud track and field legacy of its own.  For the diminutive young sprinter, however, the choice between the track and field rivals was always a straight forward one.

“I was grown up in the Jamaica tradition way.  All the time when I was watching the Olympics, I would see Bolt and Shelly-Ann winning and think I want to be like them,” Williams said recently, in a podcast with the Olympic Channel.

“America has football, baseball they are more fans of that. In Jamaica, they show support to their track athletes and I like that.  In America, there is track but it's not at the same level.  When the Jamaica athletes are at the Olympics or World Championships, there is screaming in the middle of the streets and people cheering them on.  I like that culture more,” she added.  

Boldon, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic bronze medalist, was in complete agreement.  Like Williams, Boldon could also have represented Jamaica as he was born in Port of Spain to a Jamaican mother.

“Even me being from Trinidad and Tobago, sometimes track and field athletes, despite us having the bulk of our Olympic medals, are not as revered in Trinidad and Tobago, like it is in Jamaica,” Boldon said.

“Many times during my career, when I saw the support for Jamaican athletes, I used to saw wow maybe Jamaica should have been the place I ran for because it just matters more," he added.

Williams, the World U-20 sprint double Champion, will represent Jamaica at the Doha World Championships later this year.   

Many-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce achieved yet another milestone, after passing compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown for the most sub-11 clockings recorded by a Jamaican female sprinter.

The 32-year-old track star recently pulled level with the legendary Campbell-Brown at 49 apiece when she clocked 10.95 seconds in the heats at the London Diamond League.  The duo, however, did not stay tied long as Fraser-Pryce then went on to move second all-time when she clocked a breezy 10.78 to blow her opponents away in the final.

The result moved Fraser-Pryce to second all-time list behind the ageless sprint wonder Merlene Ottey.  Ottey achieved the feat some 67 times.  Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, currently the sprinter’s teammate and biggest rival in the event has achieved the mark 28 times.

The two are scheduled to face off at the Doha World Championship, in which both women seemed certain to add to their tally of sub-11 times.

 

Reigning double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is confident she remains on target to hit her best form in time for the Doha World Champions.

The 27-year-old recently looked in superb form as she coasted away from the field down the stretch to post a relaxed-looking 22.13, in the women’s 200m, at the London Diamond League.  The time was the athlete’s second quickest this season, with her season’s best of 22.00, clocked at the Jamaica National Championship in June, the fastest time run over the distance this year.

After struggling with an Achilles injury for the past couple of seasons, Thompson is increasingly certain she is on track display the type of form that made her unbeatable over both the 100m and 200m distances at the Rio Olympics.  At her best, the Jamaican clocked a sizzling 21.66, the fifth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

“It’s a long season, I just listen to my coach (Stephen Francis).  I know he is a genius.  I know what he has in store leading up to the World Championship and I just have go out there and put it on the track. Every race is a work in progress,” Thompson told Givemesport.

“To come here and get this type of 200m performance and in the type of place I want to be, I think I’m in just the right position. I just need to continue to put in the work and execute.”

 

Rising United States sprinting talent Noah Lyles has admitted legendary Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt was right to question his championship mettle but hopes to silence all doubters at the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

The 22-year-old Lyles has recently featured prominently among the handful of names labeled as potentially next in line to inherit the throne vacated by the big Jamaican.

 To add fuel to the fire, Lyles recently clocked an impressive 19.50, the fourth-fastest time in the event’s history, in Lausanne, Switzerland last month.  While admitting that Lyles was unquestionably a huge talent, Bolt insisted he was waiting to see such performances replicated on the big stage.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him run, I’ve seen him compete,” Bolt told the New York Times.

“Last season he was doing a lot of good things, this season he has started off good. But as I said, it all comes down to the championship. Is he confident to come into a race after running three races and show up? For me, he has shown that he has talent, but when the championship comes, we will see what happens,” he added.

Lyles is yet to compete at a major championship and is also a threat over 100m but dropped the event from his schedule at the United States national championship to ensure full focus on the 200m.

“Sounds about right to me, sounds like my thoughts exactly,” Lyles said when shown the Bolt’s comments.

“It’s why I decided to run one event this year.”

Jamaica sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made light work of the field to claim the women’s 100m at the London Anniversary Games on Sunday.

All the pre-race talk surrounded a possible competitive match-up between Fraser-Pryce and upcoming star Dina Asher-Smith the hometown favourite.  In the end, the race proved to be very one-sided.  Fraser-Pryce showcased a trademark bullet start before showing the rest of the field a clean pair of heels.  

The Jamaican stopped the clock at an impressive 10.78, well ahead of Asher-Smith who was second in 10.92.  The Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou picked up the bronze medal with a time of 10.98.  Holland’s Dafne Schippers was disqualified after registering a false start.  The time was Fraser-Pryce’s third-fastest run this year and the third time the athlete has clocked a time in the 10.7s range.  Her best time this season remains a sizzling 10.73, which was recorded at Jamaica’s national trials in Kingston last month.

"It's a long season and I've been training and training," said 32-year-old Fraser-Pryce, who won Olympic 100m gold in 2008 and repeated the feat on the same London track four years later.

"To come out here and run 10.78 is a fabulous time. I feel good. The aim is to make sure when I get to Doha (world championships) that I'm on point."

 

The United States closed the XX Panamerican U20 Championship with more dominant performances to leave Jamaica battling for the minor positions in both the men’s and women’s 4x400m.

On the women’s side, the USA quartet of Alexis Holmes, Kimberly Harris, Ziyah Holman, and Kayla Davis scorched the track with a time of 3:24.04, well ahead of the second-placed Canadians who were next to cross the line in 3:30.68.  The Jamaicans led by the foursome of Daniella Deer, Shaqueena Foote, Lashanna Graham, and Kavia Francis got the bronze medal in a time of 3:31.34.

The Caribbean team fared better in the male equivalent but the quartet of Evaldo Whitehorne, Jeremy Farr, Bovel McPherson and Anthony Cox could only manage to chase the US to the line in 3:00.99.  The USA four of Frederick Lewis, Matthew Boling, Matthew Moorer and Justin Robinson crossed for gold in 2:59.30.  The Brazilians were third in 3:02.84.

Elsewhere, the Jamaicans managed to secure a bronze medal in the triple jump, where Terrol Wilson finished third with a leap of 15.99.  The event went to Colombia’s Geiner Moreno, with Cuba’s Andy Hecheverria second in 16.33.  Rovane Williams also secured a bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s 400m hurdles.  Williams crossed the line in 50.29, behind James Smith (49.84) and Brasil’s Alison Alves who won the event in 48.49.

The United States ended on top of the leaderboard with 16 gold, 12 silver, and 7 bronze medals. Canada were next with 4 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals with the Jamaicans third with 3 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze.

 

 

Jamaica junior jumper Lotavia Brown captured the country’s third gold medal after claiming the women’s triple jump title at the XX Pan American U-20 Championships on Sunday.

In a stunning upset, the young Jamaican defeated favourite Leyanis Perez of Cuba but certainly had a huge slice of luck fall her way. 

Brown recorded a distance of 13.22m to take first place but was assisted by a wind reading of +4.3.  Even so, the second-place Perez, who consistently went over 13m, was just behind with a jump of 13.21 with a +0.5-wind reading. Another Caribbean athlete, Saint Vincent’s Mikeisha Welcome was third with a distance of 13.15m.  Rhianna Phipps a second Jamaican in the event was fifth after registering a best of 12.98.

Another jumper Lamara Distin also added to the tally after securing silver in the women's high jump.  Distin registered 1.81m just behind gold medal winner American Sanaa Barnes' 1.83m. Shelby Taylor of the United States took the bronze medal by clearing 1.78m, while Jamaica's Janique Burgher, also cleared 1.78m for fourth place. 

Jamaica sprint sensation Briana Williams also added to medal tally as part of a women’s 4x100m team that finished behind the United States.  The Jamaican team of Williams, Shakiera Bowra, Michae Harriot and Brandy Hall clocked 44.36 for second place as the United States took the gold medal by a wide margin with a 43.51-second clocking.  Canada clocked 44.42 for third place and the bronze medal.

 

Jamaica long jumper Tissana Hickling insisted she was far from surprised, after leaping to the best distance set in the event by a Jamaican this year, at Saturday’s All Comer’s meet.

Hickling leapt an impressive 6.82, which was not only good enough to confidently claim top spot at the event but also overtake Chanice Porter with the previous best distance recorded this year.

Porter previously held the top mark of 6.73, which was registered in Guadeloupe a few weeks ago.

“I’ve been working for the several weeks and it (the result) was expected this evening,” Hickling told SportsMax.tv, following the event.

“Basically I’ve improved my running off the board and aggression in the run-up. I’ve been making a big mistake for the past two weeks but I did my homework and came back and did it perfectly tonight,” she added.

The performance also secured Hickling a place at the World Championships, which ticked off one of the targets she had set for herself this season.  With that settled, Hickling will now her attention to another, possibly beating the national record of 7.16, which was set by Elva Goldburne in 2004.

“It (the record) is one of our goals this year to see if we can try and improve the mark,” Hickling said.

 

Jamaica discus thrower Shadae Lawrence has broken the country’s national record for the second time in less than a month.

The 23-year-old Jamaican set the new national best of 65.05 after claiming top spot at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships on Saturday.  The distance was also a Colorado State collegiate record, the time the athlete is re-writing that mark in less than a month. 

Lawrence finished well clear of schoolmate Kelcey Bedard, who threw 55.82m for second spot, with Utah State’s Brenn Flint third in 53.47m.

At the SAC Relays a few weeks ago, Lawrence pushed past the previous Jamaica national best of 62.73m, set by Kellion Knibb two years ago.  On that occasion, the Jamaican was, however, forced to settle for second spot behind Brazilian Fernanda Martins who threw 64.16m to claim the top spot. 

Lawrence’s new record is the fifth best throw in the world this year.  The list is led by the USA’s Valarie Allman (67.15), who is followed by Cuba’s Yamie Perez (66.75), Claudine Vita (66.64) and China’s Bin Feng (65.45).

The Jamaica International Invitational, the local meet where retired sprint king Usain Bolt once thrilled fans with outstanding performances, will not be held this year.

The meet, which has been held every year since 2004, often brought some of track and field’s biggest names to Jamaica soil.  In addition to Bolt, who set the meet’s respectable 100m record of 9.76 seconds in 2008 and 19.56 in the 200m two years later, Americans Jasmin Stowers, Carmelita Jeter and Kerron Clement have set some eye-popping marks.  In 2011 Jeter stopped the clock at 10.86 in the women’s 100m, Clement thrilled fans with his brisk 47.79 400m hurdles run in 2008 and Stowers set the mark of 12.39 in the women’s 100m hurdles in 2015.

Despite those glowing performances, the meet which was upgraded to an IAAF World Challenge event had struggled to secure funding in recent years.  According to organizers, the issue has led to the cancellation of the 2019 edition of the event, which was originally scheduled to take place at the National Stadium on May 4.  A message posted on jainvite.com the official page of the event confirmed its cancellation.  At this stage, the future of the Invitational remains unclear.

 

Budding Jamaica sprint star Briana Williams stayed on course for a sprint double at the 2019 Carifta Games after progressing easily from the preliminary round of the U-20 200m on Sunday.

Competing in heat 1, Williams motored away from the field to stop the clock at 23.38, well ahead of second place Beyonce Defreitas (23.91) of the British Virgin Islands.  Third place Deshana Skeete (23.92) of Guyana was also through to the next round after qualifying as one of the fastest losers.

William’s compatriot Joanne Reid was also safely through to the final after claiming top spot in heat 2.  Reid clocked 23.61 to claim first place, comfortably ahead of Alya Stanisclaus who was second in 23.72.  Kayon Stubbs of the Bahamas was third in 24.07 but also qualified as one of the fastest losers.

Bahamas’ Jaida Knowles triumphed in heat 3 after stopping the clock in 23.44, with Akila Lewis second in 24.03.  The final of the event will take place at 8:30 pm on Sunday night.  Williams will head into the event with the fastest time.

 

 

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