Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Reggae Girlz striker Khadijah Shaw could be making a move to England next season based on reports that she is to sign with Manchester City.

It is the clash the world has been waiting for and it comes May 23 at the Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, the first Wanda Diamond League meeting this year.

The University of Minnesota’s Abigail Schaaffe emerged from last weekend’s Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays with two gold medals but armed with the knowledge that she has to work on being more consistent before the conference championships in mid-May.

Following his impressive win over 200m at the USATF Grand Prix Oregon Relays at Hayward Field last weekend, Jereem Richards feels his move to Pure Athletics has helped bring the best out of him.

The 27-year-old Trinidad stormed to victory in 20.26s leaving Josephus Lyles (20.46) and Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor (20.73) in his wake.

It was his second win from three 200m starts this season following his victory at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational in Clermont, Florida on April 4 and a second-place finish at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida on April 16.

On each of those two occasions, he has run faster – 20.37 in Clermont and 20.30 in Gainesville - but his victory on the weekend was even more impressive considering the -1.3m/s wind he was running into.

“I’m very pleased with my performance last weekend. It gives me a lot of confidence going forward and I’m just trying to keep on building on my progress thus far,” he told Sportsmax. TV.

Richards moved from the University of Alabama under coach Blaine Wiley, who was his coach in 2017 when he won 200m bronze at the World Championships in London and then ran a 43-second relay leg as Trinidad and Tobago upset the USA to win the 4x400m gold medal.

He won the 200m Commonwealth Games title in 2018, silver at the Pan Am Games and then gold in the 4x400m relay at the World Relays in Japan in 2019.

However, moving from Alabama to Florida, he said, was down mainly to the impact of the pandemic.

“With the things that are happening in the world and not being able to train sufficiently with regards to COVID-19 and let’s say it gets back bad and we wouldn’t be able to use the facilities in the College (University of Alabama), I didn’t want to take chances and I decided to put myself in a position where, in the event that this happens, I’m somewhere that I will be able to train, somewhere where I have other professional athletes that might be going through the same struggles,” he told the Trinidad Guardian.

At Clermont, he rubs shoulders with the likes of World Champion Noah Lyles and his brother Josephus and several of the world’s elite sprinters. Training with them each day, he said, has allowed him to bring out his best.

“An improvement that I’ve seen since I moved is being around a lot of talented athletes from all around the world which motivates you to always be your best and push you beyond your limits,” he said.

Jamaicans Andre Russell and Fabian Allen are among five West Indies players who were picked up yesterday’s Pakistan Super League Replacement Draft that is expected to resume. However, one player is on the way out.

Natoya Goule says she feels she has a lot more left in the tank following her fastest 400m in a decade at the UCF Knights Invitational in Florida on Saturday.

Leon Bailey scored his ninth Bundesliga goal of the season and assisted in another as Bayer Leverkusen defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 at the Bay Arena on Saturday.

Despite the intense rivalry they shared on the track during the 1990s, two-time Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers said she always admired and respected Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey for her talent and longevity.

The rivals met in a number of major finals that were talked about for years, especially the epic 1993 World Championships 100m finals in Stuttgart, Germany and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, three years later.

Prior to those two years, Devers and Ottey met in the finals of the 100m finals at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 when Devers won her first Olympic 100 title in 10.80s. Ottey was fifth in 10.88 in one of the closest finals in history. 0.08 seconds separated the first five places.

That race marked the beginning of a tense rivalry between Devers and Ottey that would only intensify over the next four years.

In Stuttgart, Devers got off to a flyer and was ahead midway the race but she was being reeled in by a fast-closing Ottey, who with her final strides appeared to have caught the diminutive American as they crossed the line together.

Unsure of who won, the finalists stood around looking up at the scoreboard for what seemed like an eternity. Officials eventually announced that Devers had been awarded the victory even though both she and the Jamaican icon were given the same time of 10.82.

Jamaican protested the result but the decision upheld, handing the American.

By 1996, the 36-year-old Ottey was at her fifth Olympics, Devers her third, and once again they came face to face in the 100m finals and once again, history repeated itself. Devers got off to a great start only to be reeled in by Ottey and sure enough, they crossed the finish line together.

Both were timed in 10.94 but like in Stuttgart, the American was given the nod. The circumstances created tensions between the two countries and their athletes. However, Devers said those tensions were simply about competition.

“You just get caught up in ‘this is competition and you got coaches who say we’re going to protest this,” Devers told Ato Boldon on his Athletics Live show on Instagram last week.

She said she had no idea why things turned out the way they did, why it always seemed to come down to her and Ottey.

“It keeps coming up that it’s these two every time. I don’t know why it was always us but we were always willing to go to the wire,” she said.

Devers explained that in the early days' everyone kind of kept to themselves, leaving little to interact with her rivals.

“When we were competing, it was (Irina) Privalova, it was me, it was Gwen Torrence, it was that four that you could not pick who was going to win on that day,” she said.

“And we can’t duck each other, we gotta go, we gotta run, gotta bring you’re A-plus game because they’re bringing their A-game. So with Merlene, I always knew she was a great athlete and I would always tell her ‘You still running, shoot…”

She said that as time passed, they both got the chance to get to know each other and the tensions cooled.

“While you’re competing everybody is in their own camp, you don’t sit there and socialize anyway, but as we got older, going to awards ceremonies or even with social media, we were able to talk to each other,” she said.

“She knows that I have always admired her because I don’t care at what age, if she steps out there now I am concerned. You might want to be worried because if she is in the lane, she is ready to go.”

Jamaica’s Olympic hopefuls Charokee Young and Chrisann Gordon-Powell won their respective 400m races in contrasting fashion at the 2021 LSU Alumni Gold meet at the Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Saturday.

 Shaunae Miller-Uibo believes she and her training partner Chrisann Gordon-Powell are in a good place following their respective season-opening races in the 400m yesterday.

Track and field legend and coach, Olympian Dennis Johnson, died on Thursday night after a month-long battle with Covid-19.

He was 81.

Considered the architect of the modern Jamaica track programme, Johnson started a sports program at the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) now the University of Technology in 1971. It was a programme that yielded Anthony Davis, Jamaica’s first home-grown Olympic athlete.

As head coach at CAST, Johnson, in the 1980s created the famous Bolts of Lightning 4x100m relay team, the first club side to break 40 seconds for the sprint relay. He also led CAST to a more than decade-long dominance of the Intercollegiate Championships.

It was Johnson in partnership with UTech and Stephen Francis that saw the world-famous MVP Track Club having its base on the college campus and producing a number of world-beating athletes like Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Melaine Walker, Michael Frater, Shelly-Ann Frater-Pryce and Elaine Thompson.

Johnson, who was also Sports Director at Utech, was also an outstanding athlete. While attending San Jose State University in the United States, equalled the 100-yard world record of 9.3 seconds three times over a six-week span from March 11- May 5 that year.

Unfortunately, injury prevented him from competing for an NCAA title that year.

He was a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that finished fourth at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Fifth in the 110-yards at the British Empire Games of 1962, he was forced to withdraw from the 220 yards with a groin injury.

Johnson, who was affectionately called ‘DJ’ was inducted into the San Jose State Spartans Hall of Fame. In 2001, the same year he was awarded the Order of Distinction (OD) by the government of Jamaica. He was awarded the UTech Chancellor’s medal in 2009 and in 2012, UTech renamed its athletes’ residence, previously known as the Track House, in Johnson's honour.

Mark Elliott, the Director of Track and Field and Cross Country at Clemson said there is an all-around excitement in response to the news that the university will no longer discontinue its men’s track and cross country programme.

Is Florence Griffith-Joyner, the greatest female sprinter of all time?

It depends on who you ask.

For many Americans, the late flamboyant American woman who holds the world record in both 100 and 200m, and also won three gold medals at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, is the one. Outside the US, the answer is not as clear as many believe that a certain Jamaican, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion, is in fact the greatest.

This week, Olympian turned coach and broadcaster Ato Boldon might have changed one iconic American’s mind about who is truly the greatest female sprinter of all time.

During his Athletics Live interview on Instagram with Flo-Jo's best friend and two-time Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers on Wednesday, Boldon asked Devers, who she thought was the greatest female sprinter. It was a question posed by a viewer.

‘I’ve got to go with the world-record holder,” said Devers matter-of-factly, after a brief pause. 

Boldon, a big fan of Griffith-Joyner, replied: “I get into trouble with that because I have to broadcast with my head and not my heart. I can’t have any allegiance and I look at what Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has done. Two gold medals and a bronze in back-to-back-to-back; the four world titles, more than anybody else, male or female. I know she doesn’t have the world record, obviously, but if you go ‘Tom Brady is the greatest or (basketball legend) Bill Russell or whoever is the greatest; it’s based on the championships,” Boldon opined while Devers nodded in agreement.

Boldon, who like Griffith-Joyner attended UCLA and admitted that he worshipped the ground she walked on, also reasoned that Flo-Jo only had one great season when she set world records in both the 100m and 200m and then went to the Olympics and won the sprint double and the 4x100m relay and picked up a silver behind Russia in the 4x400m.

“Yes, it was the greatest year ever, but it was the one year,” he said.

Devers then responded saying “I get what you’re saying” but Boldon continued to reinforce his point pointing out that if anyone asked Mike Powell, who has held the long jump world record for 30 years now, who is the greatest long jumper, he would say Carl Lewis “without even thinking about it.”

Lewis won long jump gold in four consecutive Olympic Games – 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996.

But the Trinidadian was not done. He added that most people would never consider Wayde van Niekerk, the 400m world record holder, the greatest 400m runner of all time over Michael Johnson.

“You have to apply the rules the same way,” Boldon said. “Most world record holders aren’t necessarily the greatest.”

Confronted by the veracity of the points Boldon made, Devers relented.

“You’re right, you’re right,” she agreed. “It’s as you said, it’s the consistency, it’s how many titles, can they come back-to-back. I have to give some second thought to that. You’re right.”

 

 

 

 

Shadae Lawrence is unbeaten in the discus competition in 2021 and has already achieved the Olympic qualifying standard but according to her coach, Julian Robinson, there is still a lot to be accomplished if she is to be competitive at the Olympic Games this summer.

Akeem Bloomfield, the 2019 World Championship 400m finalist has started a gofundme account hoping to raise funds for surgery for his mother Elizabeth Palmer, who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

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