Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots secured their 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) playoff spot in dramatic style as Dominic Drakes bowled Harry Gurney with the final ball of the night to seal a thrilling one-run victory over Barbados Tridents, who now face a winner-takes-all clash with St Lucia Zouks on Sunday after a dramatic batting collapse when victory appeared in their grasp. 

Tajay Gayle’s gold medal for Jamaica in the long jump at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar was a surprise to everyone – except for Tajay Gayle.

Gayle knew he had big jumps in him even as he just barely made it into Saturday’s long jump final, registering 7.89 to be the last competitor to book a place.

He knew what he had to do, run faster.

On Friday during the qualification round, there was much more swirling through the 23-year-old’s head. He was overthinking. Gayle was worried about getting the mechanics right after he took off toward the pit, making sure he extended right, lent away at the right time, got the most out of his run up. But that was dragging the cart before the horse, it did not work.

“Yesterday I made a small mistake and I worried about the jump,” the history-making Jamaican told a press conference after he claimed gold on Saturday.

But Saturday was different, on Saturday, he focused on the horse.

“Today I was focused on only one thing. That was the run-up and it was working perfectly,” he said.

Gayle would put the field under pressure with his first jump, the Jamaican reaching out to 8.46 metres, a big improvement on his 8.32 personal best.

The field would never get there, but Gayle, who had two fouls after that, was not done yet.

He would reach out towards the pit on his fourth jump and find he had gone even farther, farther than anyone in that field had ever gone.

“I’m not sure what happened, but in any case, I’m very grateful. I just was faster doing my run-up,” he said simply, as if running faster could explain the heady heights he was able to reach.

But the achievement has not been lost on the young man.

“I got here, did a personal best and a Worlds’ gold” he said, indicating that his World Championships experience could not have gone any better.

“I would have loved to put a personal best under my first victory at the World Championships.”

Gayle bested a crack field, including Miguel Echevarria of Cuba, who achieved some big wind-aided results this year and should have been a shoe-in for gold. He also dethroned Luvo Mayonga of South Africa, all while jumping to a distance they had never legally done.

But to do that, Gayle had to forget his competitors, their accolades and previous achievements, and focus on being the best Tajay Gayle he could.

“I have never worried about anything else, but myself,” he said, again, simply.

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule, who has a big chance at an IAAF World Championships of Athletics medal this year, had a few anxious moments on Saturday, as a bump from Uganda’s Halimah Nakaayi threatened to keep her out of Monday’s final.

Goule, looking comfortable for the first 600 metres, rounded Nakaayi, Kenya’s Jepkoech Sum and had been taking aim at the United States’ Ce'Aira Brown when she was bumped by the Ugandan, who wanted to make a hole after being boxed in.

Nakaayi had earlier interfered with Brown as well, trying to pass her on the inside of lane one but found no way through.

Her frustration boiled over and she lashed out at the surging Goule at the top of the final corner. Goule lost her rhythm and was not able to cash in on the momentum she had built from 150 metres out, but she did manage to stay with the leaders to finish fourth in the race in a time of 2:00.33 seconds. That time was quick enough to earn her a place in the final as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers.

Nakaayi leads all qualifiers with her season’s best 1:59.35, while the United States’ Ajee Wilson, 2:00.31 was comfortably through, in her heat, as was her teammate Raevyn Rogers, 1:59.57.

Kyron McMaster almost failed to put his talent on full display on the world stage for the second major meet in a row after he was disqualified from the 400 metre hurdles in Doha, Qatar for a hurdles infringement, only to be re-instated later.

McMaster, one of the five or six best 400 hurdlers in the world at this point, seemed to want to make a statement in his semi-final heat on Saturday and stormed out of the blocks so quickly he slammed into the first hurdle and almost did not recover.

The US Virgin Islands athlete still managed to finish third in the heat, clocking 48.40 behind the fast finishing Brazillian Alison Dos Santos, 48.35, and Turkey’s Yasmani Copello, 48.39.

McMaster had initially been labelled with a disqualification but successfully appealed the decision.

In a previous World Championships, McMaster, then the quickest in the world with some mid-47-second runs, failed to negotiate a hurdle properly and was deemed to have breeched the same rule. On that occasion there was to be no reversal.

In the meantime, McMaster’s rivals over the distance have all made it to the final.

Karsten Warholm, the man who has gone fastest this year and is the second fastest 400 hurdler in history won his heat comfortably in 48.28, while Rai Benjamin showed he was in better shape than Abderrahman Samba, beating the former world number one to the line in 48.52. Samba would stop the clock at 48.72.

The other man from the Caribbean in the event, Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt, struggled in the semi-final, finishing seventh in 49.32 to bring an unwelcome end to his World Championships experience.

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Frazer-Pryce looks in ominous shape ahead of the women’s 100-metre semi-finals trotting to a 10.80-second clocking in Doha, Qatar on Saturday.

Running in heat one, Frazer-Pryce led from start to finish to stay ahead of Murielle Ahouré of the Ivory Coast, who finished in a smart 11.05.

Germany’s Gina Lückenkemper (11.29) locked up the third automatic qualifying spot while Poland’s Ewa Swobada, also 11.29, finished fourth for one of the non-automatic qualifying spot.

There were two other qualifications to the semi-finals for the Jamaicans as Elaine Thompson was fairly comfortable in winning her heat in 11.14 seconds ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (11.21) and the United States’ Morolake Akinosun.

Another Jamaican, Jonielle Smith, is also through to the semi-finals, running 11.20 for third in her heat behind Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, 10.96, and the United States’ English Gardner, 11.20.

The Bahamas Tynia Gaither is also through to the final after her 11.24 seconds fourth place in that heat gave her a non-automatic qualification spot.

The Netherlands Dafne Schippers, who has always been there or thereabout, won the final heat in 11.17 seconds, with the United States’ Teahna Daniels (11.20), Gambia’s Gina Bass (11.25) and Great Britain’s Imani Lansiquot (11.31) joining her.

Defending champion, Tori Bowie (11.30), has struggled this season but she too is through to the semi-finals after finishing third in a heat won by Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji (11.17). Xiaojing Liang of China (11.18) was second in that heat, leading until the last 10 metres.

Marie-Josée TA LOU also showed she was in good form, running a personal best to win her heat in a very handsome 10.85. She finished ahead of Daryll Neita of Great Britain ((11.12), Germany’s Tatjana Pinto (11.19), China’s Yongli Wei (11.28), and Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel (11.30), who will all line up in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

For all its achievements on the track, the Island nation of Jamaica has never produced a World title in the long jump – until now, until Tajay Gayle leaped out to 8.69 metres at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar. 

Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres just missed the automatic qualification mark for the final of the discus at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics on Saturday in Doha, Qatar but looked every bit like a medal contender. 

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was the second quickest athlete into the semi-finals of the women’s 800 metres in Doha, Qatar. 

Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle is through to the final of the long jump at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar after only just making the list of 12 who would continue after Friday’s qualification event. 

Tajay Gayle’s third place finish at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich, as well as his win in Shanghai prove one thing, that nothing is impossible in the long jump with the IAAF World Championships of Athletics set to start in Doha Qatar on Friday.

Gayle, a Jamaican, is not expected to figure among the medals, with Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echeverria impressing with a wind-aided 8.92 metres this year, as well as a Pan American title where he leaped to 8.65, and South African Luvo Manyonga, who, while not at his best, has jumped 8.37 metres.

If those two are among the medals, then it is likely that Gayle will have to fight with Mitiadis Tentoglou of Greece, the European champion, and Manyonga’s teammate, Rushwahi Samaai.

Gayle has a personal best of 8.32 metres and could find other challenges for a podium finish in the way of World U20, Asian and World University Games gold medallist Yuki Hashioka, who has the same personal best as the Jamaican this year.

Malick Secondary have finally made a misstep, slipping to their second defeat in as many games in this year’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division.

On Wednesday, Malick, promoted to the Premier Division just this season, lost 2-1 to St Mary’s College, the team with the worst record in the league after five games.

While they had lost the week before by the same margin, that was to the defending triple champions Naparima College and no shame can be found in that, however, maybe the pressure of staying consistent with the top teams like Presentation College is a bridge too far.

That result means Malick, on six points, have now been overtaken by Carapichaima East Secondary, who moved to eight points after their 1-0 win over Pleasantville Secondary.

Naparima College (12 points) have continued to hold onto their one-point lead on the table after a 3-2 win over St Augustine Secondary.

Keeping pace with Naps are Presentation College, who beat East Mucurapo Secondary 3-0.

St Anthony’s College have also maintained their third place standing, sitting in striking distance of Presentation and Naparima on 10 points from one game fewer.

Pleasantville Secondary, after their defeat to Carapichaima, lie sixth on the table with six points, the same as Queen’s Royal College, who are seventh.

East Mucurapo’s loss leaves them eighth on five points. Also on five points are Trinity College East, who were hammered 3-0 by St Anthony’s.

San Juan North finally notched three points from a game this season, moving from 14th to 10th. Their jump up the tables was almost as massive as their 5-0 win over Trinity College Moka, who now sit 12th.  

The game between Speyside secondary and Queen’s Royal College was not played with the two lying 11th and seventh respecitively.

 

 

 

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Naparima College

5

4

1

0

13

5

8

13

2

Presentation College

5

4

0

1

17

2

15

12

3

St Anthony's College

4

3

1

0

13

3

10

10

4

Carapichaima East Secondary

4

2

2

0

6

4

2

8

5

Malik Secondary

4

2

0

2

9

5

4

6

6

Pleasantville Secondary

5

2

0

3

6

7

-1

6

7

Queen's Royal College

4

2

0

2

8

11

-3

6

8

East Mucurapo Secondary

4

1

2

1

9

6

3

5

9

Trinity College East

4

1

2

1

5

7

-2

5

10

San Juan North Secondary

4

1

1

2

7

4

3

4

11

Speyside Secondary

4

1

1

2

5

15

-10

4

12

Trinity College Moka

5

1

1

3

5

16

-11

4

13

St Augustine Secondary

5

0

3

2

8

11

-3

3

14

St Benedict's College

4

1

0

3

5

11

-6

3

15

St Mary's College

5

1

0

4

4

13

-9

3

Waterhouse FC face the uphill task of not just turning over a 2-0 deficit in their CONCACAF League quarterfinal tie against Montagua but doing so away after a defeat at the National Stadium in Kingston on Monday night. 

The Trinbago Knight Riders have announced that Chris Jordan will be joining the team for the remainder of the 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Jordan will be replacing Mohammad Hasnain who has returned to Pakistan for domestic and international commitments.

Barbadian born Jordan has played eight Tests, 31 ODIs and 39 T20Is for England, picking up 111 international wickets in those matches.

He has played T20 cricket in the T20 Blast in the UK, the Big Bash in Australia, the Pakistan Super League and the Indian Premier League.

When it comes to the triple jump there were two women who stood head and shoulders over everybody, now there are three.

Shanieka Ricketts has emerged this season as a serious medal contender in the triple jump and should be one of the three to take home silverware from Doha in Qatar.

This season, Ricketts has taken her personal best from 14.61 metres to 14.93 metres when she won the Diamond League trophy last month.

But more than just having those one-off leaps, Ricketts has maintained a level of consistency she hasn’t in seasons past, landing in the sand at more than 14.5 metres with some regularity.

That movement means Ricketts can challenge the relative dominance of Yulimar Rojas and the potential comeback of Caterine Ibarguen.

In truth, Rojas stands on her own if she’s really feeling it.

Only one woman, world record-holder Inessa Kravets, has ever triple jumped farther. Considering the company the 23-year-old Venezuelan is now keeping on the world all-time list, she'll be difficult to stop as she seeks to successfully defend her title and join Caterine Ibarguen, Yargelis Savigne and Tatyana Lebedeva as a two-time (and back-to-back) world champion.

Rojas has won six of her eight outdoor competitions this year, sailing beyond 15 metres in half of them. Her most impressive performance came in her most recent outing when she bound to 15.41m in Andujar, Spain, on 6 September, the second farthest leap of all time. She went beyond 15 metres twice in that competition, shaking out the rust out with a 15.03m effort in the second round.

Rojas has struggled with her consistency in the past, but has improved on that front as well this season, adding to the difficulty her competitors can expect in Doha.

She has lost twice this season, once to Ibarguen, whom she succeeded as world champion in London two years ago, and to Jamaican champion Shanieka Ricketts at the IAAF Diamond League final in Zurich. Both have the capabilities to throw serious challenges at the Venezuelan.

Ibarguen, the 2018 World Athlete of the Year, has competed sparingly, choosing to divide her attentions between the long and triple jumps, competing four times in each. She reached 14.79m in Oslo and a season's best of 14.89m in Lausanne to secure a pair of Diamond League circuit victories, but she hasn't contested the triple jump since 11 July when she finished a distant sixth in the port-side competition in Monaco, reaching just 14.33m. But considering her war chest of medals, we can expect she'll arrive in Doha ready.

After the season's big three, others will have to spring a fairly big surprise to figure in the medal hunt.

Leading that charge is rising Cuban star Liadagmis Povea who improved her lifetime best to 14.77m to finish third in Lausanne. She also finished second in Monaco with 14.71m and third at the Pan-American Games and the Diamond League final.

US champion Keturah Orji improved her career best to 14.72m to finish third in Paris but more recently was a distant fourth in Zurich.

Spain's world indoor bronze medallist Ana Peleteiro leads the European charge. But the 23-year-old will need to do considerably better than her 14.59m season's best to challenge for the podium. Likewise for Jamaican Kimberly Williams, the world indoor silver medallist and finalist at this championships in 2013, 2015 and 2017, who has reached 14.56m this season.

Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd is one of the three best shot putters in the world but this season she has struggled for consistency.

The same cannot be said of the two women who are likely to battle for the number-one spot in Doha, Qatar this weekend.

Gong Lijiao of China has been on top of almost every podium this season, only failing once, when United States star, Chase Ealy usurped her on debut in the 2019 Diamond League.

That blip meant Gong won 12 of her 13 competitions in 2019, producing the four best throws this year, capped by her 20.31m effort to win another IAAF Diamond League title, her third straight, in Zurich last month.

With a gap of more than 60 centimetres on her nearest competitor, Gong will start as one of the heaviest favourites at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics. A medal of any kind will be her sixth at the World Championships, a record for the event.

Thomas-Dodd, on the other hand, despite throwing 19.48 metres in April, a national record, before erasing the mark in August with 19.55, cannot say she has been in the best form heading into the championships.

Ealy’s statistics puts her ahead of Dodd, the World Indoor silver medallist, after she blasted onto the scene in April this year, throwing 19.67 metres and going on to show it was no fluke with nine of her next 12 competitive marks going over the 19-metre mark. Her best this season and over the course of her career, came in Zurich during the Diamond League final, which suggests she’s peaking at the right time. She threw 19.68 metres for second at the Diamond League final.

Behind that trio, the picture is less clear. Five other women have thrown beyond 19 metres outdoors this season, Maggie Ewen, another US thrower on the rise, the most recent. The 25-year-old produced the best throw of her career, 19.48m, to win the US-Europe match on 10 September. But that was the only 19-metre-plus effort of the season for the multi-talented thrower who won NCAA titles in the shot put, discus and hammer during her collegiate career.

Christina Schwanitz, the 2015 world champion, is still showing solid form, and can't be discounted in the chase for podium spots. The 33-year-old German has reached 19.37m this season.

Brittany Crew (19.28m) of Canada, Aliona Dubitskaya (19.21m) and Sweden's Fanny Roos (19.06m) have also breached 19 metres this season but will have to produce breakout performances to be a factor.

Others to watch include Hungary's world indoor champion Anita Marton, European champion Paulina Guba of Poland, and Olympic champion Michelle Carter of the US.

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