Yohan Blake faces Trayvon Bromell and fast-rising sprint hurdler Rasheed Broadbell confirmed for Saturday's New Life Invitational

By Sports Desk June 04, 2021

American Trayvon Bromell will square off against Jamaican Yohan Blake in the men’s 100 metres dash at the inaugural North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC) New Life Invitational.

Bromell, who leads the world this year with a 9.88 seconds run, is tipped for Saturday’s short sprint title at the World Athletics Continental Tour – Silver meet, to be held at the Ansin Sports Complex, Miramar, Florida, USA.

Blake, the 2011 100m world champion, would be hoping to challenge the in-form Bromell for the top spot. Among the other key contenders are American Christopher Belcher and St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Jason Rogers. Trinidad and Tobago’s 2008 Olympic 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson is on the comeback trail and will test himself in Saturday’s century.

Thompson is also expected to feature on one of two Trinidad and Tobago teams entered in the men’s 4x100m relay. Jamaica, Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana are also listed for sprint relay action. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago will try to improve on the times that currently have them in qualifying spots for the Tokyo Olympics.

Among the entrants in the men’s 400m event is 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt. The American quarter-miler will be challenged by Trinidad and Tobago’s Deon Lendore and Jamaican Akeem Bloomfield.

Jamaica’s reigning Commonwealth Games champion Fedrick Dacres will seek revenge on Samoa’s Alex Rose in a mouth-watering men’s discus clash. On May 22, in Arizona, Rose produced a 67.48 metres national record throw to capture the USA Track & Field (USATF) Throws Fest crown, forcing Dacres (65.20m) into second spot.

Marquis Dendy of the United States would fancy his chances of topping the men’s long jump field. Among his challengers will be Trinidad and Tobago’s Andwuelle Wright.

Canadian Marco Arop is the favourite in the men’s 800m event. Jamaican Kemar Mowatt and Americans Quincy Hall, Kenny Selmon and Amere Lattin will be in the hunt in the men’s 400m hurdles. And on current form, Jamaican Rasheed Broadbell is the man to beat in the men’s 110m hurdles.

Reigning Olympic champions, Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Tianna Bartoletta are among the female stars on the entry list.

Some 200 athletes from 27 countries are expected to be on show at the NACAC New Life Invitational. Saturday’s meet starts at 2 pm (Eastern Daylight Time).

 

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     In just two days, team Jamaica has received news of two unexpected injury blows to start the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

    2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase champion, Aisha Praught Leer, has revealed via social media that she injured her left knee in training on Sunday, which later turned out to be a torn meniscus.

    The athlete will, however, still attempt to compete at the Games after taking an injection to the joint.

    "I will line up in Tokyo.  When I arrive I will get fluid drained from my knee and take a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this)

    The unfortunate injury occurred during what she described as one of the ‘best workouts’ of her life.  The athlete explained that she felt excruciating pain as if something had torn.

    “I tore my meniscus (a complete, off the bone root tear) on Sunday at training—a freak, shocking accident. I heard and felt a painful pop doing a drill but then proceeded to do one of the best workouts of my life. On Wednesday I got an MRI, then sat in quiet disbelief with Joe Bosshard as the doctor told us I need surgery ASAP.”

    The always-smiling athlete is scheduled to compete in the 1500m that is set to get underway on Sunday, at 7:35 pm.  Naturally, she is heartbroken because she will not be able to compete at her maximum ability.

    “I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart. The reality is they will not happen in Tokyo—running to my ability is simply not possible on a knee without stability. This is the most challenging reality I have faced in my career,” Praught Leer said.

    “We did nothing wrong. As I said, this was a freak accident. But now all of my silent work, the beautiful, hard-earned fitness, does not have a chance to see the light of day. The triumph I have visualized so vividly is—poof—gone in one step,” Leer lamented.

    Although she understands that unexpected injuries are a part of sports, it is still a tough reality for her to accept.

    “I understand this is sport—just sport. I know the truth that I am more than an athlete. But this sport means everything to me. This is my life’s work, my purpose, and my first true love. I am heartbroken.”

    The athlete, who created history, being the first Jamaican to win gold in the steeplechase event at the Commonwealth Games, insists she will be proud to represent the country despite not being in top shape. 

    “You will see me smiling in Tokyo with Jamaica on my chest because the honour of representing my country is one of the greatest I’ve had in my little life.”

    On Thursday, news broke that gymnast Danusia Francis had suffered an injury to her left knee, which later turned out to be a torn ACL.  Francis will not be able to compete in her events.  She will, however, symbolically take part in the Uneven Bars event but will not attempt a dismount.

     

     

     

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    Jamaica sprinter Yohan Blake will have his hands full at the Tokyo Olympics not just taking part in two events on the track but also serving as a panelist for India Broadcasters Sony Sport.

    The 31-year-old, who will be competing in his third Olympics, will participate in the 100m and 200m sprints.  Blake was once thought to be the heir apparent to illustrious compatriot Usain Bolt and holds the seconnd fastest times ever recorded over both events.

    Following hamstring injuries in 2013 and 2014, however, he has failed to replicate that kind of form in recent years.  In fact, in Tokyo, he will be looking to make it on the podium at major games for the first time in nine years.  Whether he gets among the medals or not, however, the sprinter could already be considering what’s next.

    “I am very excited to associate with Sony Sports as an expert panelist on their live wrap-around studio show, SPORTS EXTRAAA, and take fans closer to the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.  Not only will the viewers in India watch me proudly represent my country at the Games but they will also watch me provide insights on the performance of the world's finest on the grand stage,” Blake told South Asian news agency ANI.

    The programs will be broadcast all across India.

     

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