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.

American sprint sensation Sha Carri Richardson has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance and is likely to miss out on her making her Olympic debut, according to multiple reports.

The 21-year-old American, who won the 100m at the US trials last month, returned an adverse analytical finding, following a test administered at the US Olympic Trials and marijuana was classified as a Substance of Abuse by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1, 2021.

According to the reports, the use of this substance carries a maximum four-year ban.

However, if she can prove that the use of the drug was used outside of competition and was not intended to enhance performance, she could have the ban reduced to three months. It has also been reported that should she agree to undertake a treatment program, the ban could be reduced further.

As it stands, however, the athlete has been stripped of her performances at the US trials and fourth-place winner Jenna Prandini as well as Gabby Thomas have been notified that they could be potential replacements and have been entered in the 100m.

Richardson, the 2019 NCAA 100m champion, generated much excitement for a potential match up with two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce when she raced to a world-leading 10.72 100m in April. It was the fastest any woman had ever run so early in a season.

She followed it up with four more times under 10.8 seconds during the season.

When Fraser-Pryce, who is vying for an unprecedented third Olympic 100m title, ran a world-leading 10.63 on June 5, the excitement in anticipation of a blockbuster clash in Tokyo intensified.

Now it seems that that match up will not happen.

The best-case scenario for Richardson, should the ban remain in effect, is that she would be available to run on the USA’s 4x100m relay team at the Olympic Games in August if selected by USA Track and Field.

 

 

Kristen McGregor was quite pleased with her performance at last weekend’s Puerto Rico Pro in the Bahamas where she finished in the top-six even though she was a bit perplexed as to the reason given why she didn’t place higher.

In the competition that is a Tier-3 qualifier for Olympia qualification, McGregor, who won the Miss Olympia Amateur in the Women’s Fitness Category in 2020, placed fourth behind Puerto Rico’s Jessica Reyes Padilla, Mexico’s Mayra Hernandez and Heather Dees of the USA.

“The competition was just like any other competition for me. I always go in with no expectations. I trained hard, I put in the work, I am ready, this is always my mindset going into any competition,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV this week.

“I am quite pleased with my placement. Going up against 20 plus veteran females, who have either competed in Ms Olympia before, multiple times, placing fourth on my pro debut, amongst such calibre athletes, I am very pleased.”

She admitted, however, that she was caught off guard by the comments of one of the judges with whom she spoke afterwards about why she did not place higher.

“To be honest, I am not sure if surprised is the right word. I was more speechless, lost, confused when the head judge approached me backstage and complimented me on my “amazing physique, X-factor and shape but then said the only thing was I was a little too small, which lead me to ask, “What do you mean?”

“He explained, ‘You just need to get more muscle maturity and density because you are right on the money which will come with time, dieting and training’”.

She said she took very important lessons from the judge’s critique but is now more than ever before assured that she is on the right track in terms of dieting and training and that her structure and build are spot on.

“The areas I need to improve on are muscle maturity and size which will come through continued training and dieting,” she said. “But to get bigger for the next show now is all about increasing portion sizes and stepping up that training which my coaches are already over.”

As she continues on her journey to qualify for Ms Olympia, McGregor and her team have set their sights on the next Olympia Qualifying show, the IFBB Professional League Yamamoto Nutrition Cup Tampa-Pro-XIV National Qualifier at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, Florida on August 5th-7th, 2021.

She thanked Jamaica’s Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and Proven Wealth as well as Victoria Mutual for the sponsorship support they provided that enabled her to compete in the Bahamas last weekend as she continues on her quest to Ms Olympia.

 

Kirani James heads a six-member Grenada team to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

James, the 2012 Olympic champion, and Grenada’s first Olympic gold medalist is one of four track and field athletes named including 2019 World Champion Anderson Peters, Meleni Rodney, the 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medalist and veteran decathlete Linden Victor.

Two swimmers – Kimberly Ince (100m backstroke) and Delron Felix (100m freestyle) – have also been named to the team. The IOC awarded Grenada two wild card places for swimming.

The accompanying coaching staff will include, James’ coach Harvey Glance as well as throws coach Paul Phillip, decathlon coach Joshua Priester and pole vault coach Thomas Fitzsimon. Valencia Nathaly Sihera is the swimming coach.

A fully fit Leon Bailey has been included in Jamaica’s 23-man squad named today for the 2021 Gold Cup competition in the United States.

Player of the match Shamilla Connell took three wickets and two wickets from Aaliyah Alleyne helped West Indies Women to a 10-run victory over Pakistan Women at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on Wednesday.

Chasing 137 for victory after the West Indies made 136 for 6 from their 20 overs, Connell and Alleyne combined to restrict Pakistan to 126 for 6 despite an unbeaten 45 from Ayesha Naseem and 24 not out from Fatima Sana.

Together, the pair mounted an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 69 from 45 balls, rescuing Pakistan from a precarious 57-6.

Connell did the early damage bowling both openers, Javeria Rauf and Captain Javeria Khan for 5 and 7, respectively, with only 14 runs on the board. Hayley Matthews made it 23 for 3 when she dismissed Muneeba Ali for 9.

Connell took her third when she bowled Nida Dar for 9.

Alleyne then bowled Aliya Riaz for 8 and Iram Javid for 11 as Pakistan slipped further to 57-6 in the 13th over.

However, that would be the last of the success for the West Indies Women who toiled in vain while trying to break the partnership between Naseem who hit two fours and a six in her 33-ball knock.

At the other end, Sana proved just as difficult to dislodge as she scored her runs from 21 deliveries.

Connell returned 3-21 while Alleyne took 2-23.

Earlier, the West Indies got their total courtesy of an opening stand of 65 between Matthews and Deandra Dottin, who scored 32 and 31, respectively.

Both openers were dismissed in the space of two balls as the West Indies Women slipped from 65-0 to 67-2. Captain Stafanie Taylor went for 11 with the score at 93 and the scoring slowed.

Kyshona Knight scored 23, Chedean Knight, 14, and Kycia Knight 15, helping the West Indies closed on 136 for 6.

Dar was tight taking 2-15 and Sana took 2-32.

 

Bahrain's Salwa Eid Nasser, the 2019 400m world champion, will miss this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, as she has been banned for two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today partially upheld the decision issued by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal on October 14, 2020.

The ban takes effect today.

However, her results from the 2019 World Championships in Doha will remain.

“Ms Salwa Eid Naser is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on the date of notification of this award, with credit given for the period of provisional suspension already served between 4 June 2020 and 14 October 2020,” CAS said.

“All competitive results obtained by Ms Salwa Eid Naser from November 25, 2019, through to the date of notification of this award shall be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money.”

She will also have to pay 5000 Swiss francs to World Athletics and to the World Anti-Doping Agency as a contribution towards their costs connection with these arbitration proceedings.”

In the wake of the ruling, the attorneys representing the athlete Dr Emir Crowne, Mr Matthew Gayle and Ms Kristie Irving have expressed concern about a part of the CAS ruling which can have serious implications for athletes. "A majority of the panel says it is okay for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to re-characterize charges in the middle of an appeal. So, the majority of the panel said WADA can re-characterize a missed test as a filing failure if they want to. With all due respect to the majority of the panel, that can't be right. That cannot be a fair principle in any court system," Dr Crowne told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

The Nigerian-born 400m runner was charged with four alleged whereabouts failures by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in June 2020. These included filing failures on March 16, 2019, and three missed tests on March 12 and April 12 as well as January 24, 2020.

However, the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal ruled the alleged violation in April 2019 should not stand which meant Naser had not missed three tests.

Naser won the world title in a time of 48.14, the third-fastest time in history defeating Shanuae-Miller Uibo who ran a lifetime best of 48.37 and Shericka Jackson who also clocked a personal best of 49.47 for third.

 

Vere United and Molynes United played to a gloomy 0-0 stalemate in their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) game at the Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence, the University of the West Indies on Monday.

Living like a sprinter and improving on her speed and strength have resulted in Stephenie-Ann McPherson running her 400m lifetime best at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday.

Winning her second national title was like a miracle for Megan Tapper who was the surprise winner on Sunday morning, the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships to select a team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Running in lane eight, Tapper upset pre-race favourites Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams to take top spot in a season-best 12.68. Yanique Thompson, the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist ran 12.73, a season-best for second place while Anderson was third in 12.75.

“It was like experiencing a miracle right in front of my face,” she said after realizing she had crossed the line first. “I expected it but it is a different feeling when it actually happens.”

Tapper was not in the best of form coming in having run times ranging from 12.87-13.72 in eight races heading into the championships. However, in the semi-finals, she ran a season-best 12.86 for second place in her semifinal that was won by Anderson in 12.65.

She revealed afterwards that patience was the key to her success and understanding what works for her.

“I just had to understand that it takes a while to get into the groove, getting into running to get my mindset right,” she explained afterwards.

“I was patient, my coach and my husband were patient with me and they kept me motivated and at the end of the day I asked God to show up for me and he did and I am grateful.”

She believes running in the outside lane actually helped her avoid the intense battle for places that was unfolding in the lanes inside her.

“I was on the end. I was in lane eight and I guess that worked in my favour,” she said.

“Before I went out, my coach and husband told me to stay focused and to just execute. Once I executed a proper race I would have been close to the top or at the top and that’s what I did.”

Now that she has secured a place on the team to Tokyo Tapper says she knows she has work to do to be ready for competition in Japan.

“I need to remain focused and realize that the job isn’t finished and it is going to take a little than what I had today,” she said.

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce described herself as a warrior Sunday after she completed the sprint double on the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston. The 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce ran a lifetime best of 21.79 to add the 200m to the 100m she won in 10.71 on Friday night.

She held a fast-finishing Shericka Jackson, who also produced a lifetime best of 21.82 for the runner-up spot. Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympic champion, finished third in a season-best 22.02.

It was a seminal moment for Fraser-Pryce, who won a silver medal over 200m at the 2012 London Games and gold a year later at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

“I am excited because, look at me, for everything I have achieved over the years, I’ve never taken it for granted. I always knew what I was capable of and I am glad I never gave up and I stuck to what I believed in and kept close to the persons who believed in me and continued to work hard for that dream and I am glad to finally break the 22-second barrier,” she said.

The improvements this season that allowed her to run lifetime bests of 10.63 and 21.79, she said, was the result of the hard work Coach Reynaldo Walcott put her through during the off-season as well as her own resolve to continue to strive for excellence despite whatever challenges life throws at her.

“The key part of the preparation was just the endurance part in making sure I was strong to manage all the rounds, I think that was very important,” she said.

“I am grateful that I was able to put together the work and I give God thanks because I have had struggles, especially with my toe, but I am a warrior so whatever it is, I am always going to show up and do my best and as long as I do that then I am always satisfied.”

She also praised Coach Walcott, the head coach at Elite Performance, with whom she has enjoyed a harmonious relationship ever since her early days at the MVP track club.

“Mr Walcott has always been a friend. He was part of the MVP track club, we started UTech (University of Technology) at the same time so I have always had that belief in him,” she said, also taking time to praise her former coach Stephen Francis.

“I think what’s also important is that we have always had a foundation as well from Stephen Francis and MVP Track Club so I can’t take that for granted and what he had done to my career so far. So, it’s just a continuation of the hard work and the coaches. I am just glad that I have had two solid coaches.”

Fraser-Pryce said she plans to immediately get back to work to continue to prepare for the Games this summer.

“The Olympics are not that far away so it’s about being very meticulous in the work and being mindful, stay injury free and doing the best I can to stay healthy.”

Rasheed Dwyer won the men's title in season-best 20.17 ahead of Yohan Blake 20.18. Tyquendo Tracey, the 100m champion, was third in 20.34.

 

 

 

 

Natoya Goule-Toppin won her eighth 800m national title in impressive fashion and Shericka Jackson cruised into Sunday’s final with the fastest time in the 200m on Saturday’s penultimate day of Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Like Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fresh off winning her fourth 100m title on Friday night, was also impressive in advancing to Sunday’s final where she will once again face off with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in Friday night’s 100m final.

Goule, who has been enjoying an impressive season, clocked a season-best 1:57.84 in a commanding performance in the two-lap event. She was in control from the start and pulled away after the first lap to run her fastest time since she ran a national record 1:56.15 in 2018.

Second was Jasmine Fray who ran 2:03.92 and Aisha Praught-Leer third in 2:05.31, times that are well short of the Olympic standard of 1:59.50 and so neither will make the trip to Japan this summer.

In the semi-finals of the Women 200m, Jackson and Fraser-Pryce both achieved the Olympic standard of 22.80 heading into Sunday’s final. Jackson was the most impressive qualifier cruising to a time of 22.28 easing down to win her semi-final heat ahead of Ashanti Moore who ran a personal best of 22.86.

Natalliah Whyte also made the final on time when she finished third in 23.15.

Fraser-Pryce was also impressive easing down considerably to win her heat in 22.40 over Natasha Morrison, who ran 23.08 for second place and an automatic place in the final. Kevona Davis made it through on time when she clocked 23.20.

Thompson-Herah was the slowest of the semi-final winners as she eased to victory in 22.90. Finishing second was Briana Williams, who was fourth in Friday night’s 100m. The 19-year-old Nike athlete clocked 23.48.

No other runner from that heat advanced to the final.

Meanwhile, Julian Forte was the fastest man heading into Sunday’s final when he clocked 20.22 to win his heat ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who ran 20.30.

Schoolboy Antonio Watson made it into the final on time as he ran 20.53 for third.

Yohan Blake ran 20.29 easing down to win his heat and qualify for the final.  Romario Williams was the other automatic qualifier in 20.78 from that heat.

The opening heat was won by 100m champion Tyquendo Tracey in 20.38 ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.41). Jevaughn Minzie (20.43) made it through on time.

Christopher Taylor was the fastest man heading into the finals of the 400m. Taylor ran 45.31 to advance along with Karayme Bartley, who ran 45.40 from the first semi-final. Sean Bailey advanced from the other semi-final running 45.42 to finish ahead of Demish Gaye 45.83.

The other finalists were Rusheen McDonald (46.03), Javier Brown (46.07), Keeno Burrell (46.14) and Nathon Allen (46.17).

Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran an impressive 50.18 to advance to the finals along with Stacey-Ann Williams (50.84),  Candice McLeod (51.04), Charokee Young (51.40), Roneisha McGregor (50.97), Tovea Jenkins (51.72), Tiffany James (51.77) and Junelle Bromfield (51.78).

World U20 silver medalist Britanny Anderson cruised into the final of the 100m hurdles taking her heat in 12.65 ahead of Megan Tapper, who ran a season-best 12.86. Also through was the 2019 World Championship silver medalist who won her semi-final in 12.70 ahead of Yanique Thompson, who ran a season-best 12.73.

Daszay Freeman was third in 12.82 which means she also qualifies for the final.

Ackera Nugent recovered from a bad start to win her semi-final in 12.78. Shimayra Williams also booked her place in the final clocking 12.87. Jeanine Williams makes it in on time after crossing the finish line in 13.04.

On a night when the USA’s Grant Holloway came within 0.01 of the world record, Omar McLeod was given a scare in his semi-final heat that he managed to win ahead Ronald Levy as both advanced to the final. McLeod ran his second-fastest time of the season 13.04 and had to work hard to shake off Levy, who ran a season-best 13.08 for second place.

Olympic medalist Hansle Parchment, who is returning from injury, showed he has a lot left in the tank running 13.19 to win his heat ahead of Phillip Lemonious (13.21) and Damion Thomas (13.27). Orlando Bennett (13.49) was also an automatic qualifier.

Andrew Riley (13.65) and Jordani Woodley (13.89) are also through to the finals.

Fedrick Dacres won the discus with 64.31m and Lamara Distin cleared 1.90 to win the Women’s High Jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to winning races that count, there is hardly a better sprinter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

In eight global finals, since she won her first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, the Pocket Rocket has won six. She demonstrated that mettle once again on Friday night when she won her fourth national 100m title against a strong field on day two of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston.

The two-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in 10.71, the second-fastest time run by anyone this year, only bettered by her world-leading 10.63 run at the same venue on June 5.

Using her explosive start to her advantage, she got away from the field that was unable to close as she flashed across the finish line.

Second was Shericka Jackson, who surprised everyone when she clocked a big lifetime best of 10.77 to win her semi-final just over an hour before. She ran an equally impressive 10.82 holding off the 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in 10.84.

Briana Williams, who at 19, was the youngest in the field, finished fourth in 11.01, which earned her a place at her first Olympic Games.

There was also another surprise in the men’s 100m as Tyquendo Tracey ran 10.00 flat to edge Yohan Blake 10.01 and an ecstatic Oblique Seville, who ran a personal best 10.04 for third and booked a spot to his very first Olympic Games.

There were two runaway winners in the 400m hurdles but the more impressive of the two was Jaheel Hyde who clocked a lifetime best 48.18 to win and also exceed the Olympic standard of 48.90, which means he is also going to Tokyo this summer.

He punched the air as he crossed the line and saw the flash time on the electronic clock on the infield.

Second went to Sean Rowe who stopped the clock at 49.60, just ahead of Kemar Mowatt, who was third in 49.61.

Janieve Russell ran away with the women’s race to win in a season-best 54.07.

Ronda Whyte was second in 54.94 while Leah Nugent was third in 54.98 in a close finish that saw Shian Salmon finish fourth in 55.00.

Stafanie Taylor and Reneice Boyce will lead the West Indies Senior Women’s team and the ‘A’ team, respectively for the three CG Insurance T20Is against Pakistan Women from June 30 to July 3, with the West Indies Women’s ‘A’ Team also playing their historic, first-ever, three-match T20I Series on the same dates.

William Knibbs and Emily Mayne are the early leaders after Thursday’s opening day of the Jamaica Golf Association's (JGA) National Senior Trials at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in St. James and the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine.

Shericka Jackson set tongues a-wagging on Thursday night when she ran a new personal best to advance to Friday’s semi-final of the 100m at the Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Champion and double Olympic silver medalist showed glimpses of the Beast, as he also advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m with the fastest time.

Jackson, 26, a 400m specialist, clocked 10.91 and was the fastest among the women. That takes some doing considering that the preliminary round also featured four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who cruised to victory in her heat in 10.97.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 double Olympic champion also looked to be in incredibly great shape as she won her heat in 10.96.  Briana Williams, 2018 World U20, was also a picture of good form in winning her heat in 11.00.

Also among the 16 women advancing to the semi-finals were Natasha Morrison, who was second to Jackson in 11.06 while Shian Hyde was a distant third in 11.50.

Sashalee Forbes advanced from Fraser-Pryce’s heat having run 11.13, close to her personal best of 11.10 while finishing second to the two-time Olympic 100m champion. Remona Burchell, the 2014 NCAA champion, showed the form that made her champion clocking 11.14, a brand new season-best and her fastest time since she ran 11.07 in 2017.

Natalliah Whyte (11.13) and Shockoria Wallace (11.22) advanced from Thompson-Herah’s heat while Kemba Nelson ran 11.05 and Kevona Davis (11.19) advanced from Williams’ heat.

Briana Williams, the national U20 record holder at 10.97, showed that she will not be outrun by anyone cruising to an 11.00 clocking to also advance from Heat 4 along with Kemba Nelson (11.05) and Kevona Davis (11.19).

 Ashanti Moore (11.15), Kashieka Cameron (11.28), Jodean Williams (11.45) and Schillonie Calvert-Powell (11.53) are also through to Friday’s semis.

Meanwhile, Blake looked like the sprinter of a decade ago when only Usain Bolt was faster when he eased to a 10.03 clocking to win his heat. Davonte Burnett was the second-fastest through to the semi-finals when he won his heat in 10.05.

Burnett, whose father is Jamaican, grew up in Massachusetts and attends the University of Southern California. He was fifth in the NCAA Division I finals in 10.19.

Julian Forte and Oblique Seville both looked good while crossing the line together in their heat in 10.08, similar to what happened in the opening heat with Tyquendo Tracey and Nigel Ellis, who were both credited with 10.13.

 Romario Williams, who clocked 10.27, also advanced from that heat.

Also advancing to Friday’s semi-finals were Senoj-jay Givans (10.20), Oshane Bailey (10.26), Andre Ewers (10.22), Bryan Levell (10.25), Jelani Walker (10.32), Michael Campbell (10.25), Ashanie Smith (10.25), Jevaughn Minzie (10.27) and Ramone Barnswell (10.32).

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