Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, set for December 5, will go virtual again this year, the organizers of the annual event – the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston - have announced.

In 2020, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K went virtual for the first time and the organizers were very pleased with the level of participation with runners from 30 countries, including Jamaica, being represented virtually.

However, with the pandemic continuing to pose challenges they have decided to go a similar route this year.

“We understand that the runners and walkers from Jamaica and about 30 countries across the globe will be disappointed that they will not be able to participate personally in the races. We have sought to find a solution that is in the best interest of all concerned,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director.

As part of the virtual staging, participants in the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K event will be required to complete their run between November 13 and December 5, 2021, on a course of their choice, Mr Francis noted.   However, he noted that local and international runners will also have the choice of running along the Reggae Marathon course in Negril.

The Reggae Marathon organizers are encouraging this year's participants in the virtual event to recreate a spirit of celebration as if they were in Negril, wherever they run and share their experiences via the event's social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Runners and walkers who had previously registered for the in-person event from 2020 through to 2021 will have their places secured for the in-person race set for December 4, 2022.

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah has poured cold water on reports that she is leaving MVP Track Club.

She has described those reports as rumours and said she is on a well-deserved break following her record-breaking season during which she became the first woman to successfully defend 100 and 200m titles at the same Olympic Games.

Reports emerged on Thursday that following her outstanding season, Thompson-Herah had taken a decision to leave MVP and going forward will be coached by her husband, Derron Herah.

Late Thursday, the 2021 Diamond League 100m champion appeared on the Brother from Another show on NBC Sports, denouncing the reports.

"I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to create some sort of news to distract the world so it's rumours of course. I have seen articles in the media that I have died before, more than once. There are always rumours in the media, they are always targeting me, I don't know why,” she told hosts, Michael Smith and Michael Holley.

"It's probably because I didn't show up at practice. I am still on my rest period, so maybe they are just speculating why I am not at practice, but I just came back from the international circuit and we normally get like a month's rest and I am in my second week.”

Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record of 10.61 while defending her Olympic 100m title and 21.53 to win back-to-back titles in the 200m. She won a third gold on Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team. After the Olympics, she ran the fastest series of times in history – 10.54, 10.64, 10.72 and 10.65 –  to close out the season as the only woman to run four wind-legal times faster than 10.70.

 

On the heels of her record-breaking, history-making season Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah is reportedly parting ways with MVP Track Club, just under 18 months after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce departed to join Elite Performance.

Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited through its Purity Bakery brand is in discussions to formalize a professional relationship with Olympic relay gold medalist and 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

In the midst of her post-Olympic campaign, Shericka Jackson, who won a bronze medal in the 100m in a Jamaican sweep of the event at the Tokyo Olympics in August and then a gold medal anchoring the 4x100m relay in a new national record of 41.02, was missing home.

On September 3, she tweeted about the things she was missing the most – two curry patties from Devon House, 3 grapefruit ice creams also from Devon House, chocolate, two cheese patties and two Purity Buns.

The tweet generated more than 3000 likes and was retweeted more than 300 times and eventually caught the attention of Purity Bakery, who simply responded “We got you.”

They sure did.

Earlier Monday, less than 48 hours after Jackson returned to Jamaica for the first time since July, Purity delivered on their promise with a package of Purity buns for the Jamaican star but also several palettes of product for members of her community.

“@sherickajacko just touch dung and got her Purity bun and products courtesy of Purity Jamaica,” the company tweeted.

“She also got buns for her community. We love you Shericka and we’re proud of all you did for us on an international scale.”

 Could this be the start of something sweet for Jackson and Purity.

 

 

Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt has advised up and coming USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson to focus less on talking and more on training to get better performances on the track.

Bolt has admitted to being a fan of the energy and sassy attitude of the American sprinter, which he believes is good for the sport.  Richardson has in recent times, however, failed to turn that energy into strong performances on the track.

There was plenty of enthusiasm surrounding Richardson earlier this year, following several impressive performances in the months of April and May.  Among them was a 10.72 clocking in Florida, which was at the time the fastest for the season.

Heading into the Olympics, the American cast herself as the one that could bring an end to over a decade of Jamaican dominance of athletics.  Heading into the Games, however, Richardson tested positive for marijuana, was suspended for a month, and missed the event where Jamaica swept all the podium spots in the 100m.

After that, came a much-publicised Diamond League meeting between the American and the Jamaican Olympic medallist, in Eugene, Oregon, which was framed along the lines of being an opportunity for Richardson to show what would have happened had she not been suspended for the Olympics.  Things did not go to plan, however, as she finished in 9th place, with the Jamaicans once again sweeping the top three spots. 

She followed that up with a second-place finish in Italy, and a fourth-place finish, in the 200m, at the Diamond League meet in Brussels.  Off the track, the sprinter was also criticised for what many believed amounted to disrespect for American sprint legend Allyson Felix.  Bolt believes, at this point, the young American needs to refocus.

“I would tell Sha’Carri to train harder and to be focused and not say too much…,” Bolt said in a recent interview with the New York Post.

“If you talk that big talk you have to back it up,” he added.

“So just train hard and focus on that and try to come back, do it and then talk about it.”

Richardson’s performances have split a vocal global track and field fanbase.  Her most ardent fans have continued to express support for the struggling sprinter, but others have expressed disappointment at both her performances and recent outbursts.  Many, particularly supporters of Jamaican track and field, found the American’s massive failure amusing given her pre-race antics, exuberant expression, and what they believe is disregard for their decorated Olympic medallists.

“Jamaicans were vexed because she was talking a lot of s–t before the actual race, it is just one of those things,” Bolt said of Richardson’s lopsided loss in Eugene, where Olympic champion Elaine Thompson clocked 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run over the distance.

 “Jamaicans don’t like when people talk s–t about us because we are a very proud people. So, if you talk about us we are gonna want you to back it up. It definitely gave those women the extra push.”

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the three-time gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan in August, is to be rewarded with a Jamaican diplomatic passport, Minister Olivia Grange announced on Wednesday.

Olympic bronze medalist Kirani James was an impressive winner in the 400m at the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovia 2021 Meeting in Zagreb on Tuesday when Shanieka Ricketts ended her season with a meet record effort in the triple jump.

James won in commanding fashion clocking a meet record 44.46. Looking fresh and fast even as his season winds down, James was more than a half-second faster than Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who faded down the stretch to clock 45.15.

Italy’s Edoardo Scotti ran 45.30 for third.

Ricketts, meanwhile, closed her season with a meet record of 14.77m to win the triple jump ahead of Nesa Filipic, who jumped 14.31m for second place. Senni Salminen was third with 14.24m.

Once again, Shericka Jackson had to settle for the runner-up spot in a race with Christine Mboma of Namibia. The teenager ran a meet record of 22.04 pulling away from Jackson, who ran 22.30. Athonique Strachan of the Bahamas ran third in 23.05.

Similarly, Ronald Levy played second fiddle to the USA’s Devon Allen in the 110m hurdles. Allen ran a personal best of 12.99 in what was an unexpectedly comfortable win ahead of the Olympic bronze medalist who ran 13.10 for second place whole Hansle Parchment, the Olympic gold medalist was third in 13.12.

Janieve Russell ran 55.45 for third in the 400m hurdles race won by Panama’s Gianna Woodruff in 54.67. Anna Ryzhykova was second in 54.87.

Marvin Bracy had another impressive win in the 100m clocking 9.86 while pulling away from Ronnie Baker (9.97) and Trayvon Bromell (10.03). Julian Forte ran 10.20 for fifth.

Shadae Lawrence ended her season with a third-place finish in the discus with a throw of 60.80m. Olympic champion, the USA’s Valarie Allman throw 69.63m for the win over Sandra Perkovic (66.48m).

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran her seventh sub-10.8 100m time this season, smashing Merlene Ottey’s 25-year-old meet record as she brought the curtain down on her season at the Gala del Castelli Meeting in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Olympic medalists Ronald Levy and Briana Williams as well as Natasha Morrison and Jaheel Hyde enjoyed podium finishes at the ISTAF Berlin meeting in Germany on Sunday.

Jamaica track and field star Elaine Thompson-Herah has her eyes set on eclipsing the long-standing women’s 100m record, but after adding the Diamond League trophy to her list of outstanding accomplishments this year, she is content to leave that feat until next season.

Once again, the Olympic champion proved to be in a class of her own on Thursday's Diamond League finale, in Zurich, pulling well clear of a quality field to stop the clock at 10.65.  The time was the athlete’s fourth run under 10.7s this season, the most times done by any female athlete in history.

The performance marked yet another outstanding achievement for Thompson-Herah who a few weeks ago claimed the sprint double in Tokyo, and also in the process broke American Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m Olympic record.

However, it was a performance a few weeks later, a jaw-dropping 10.54 set in Eugene, Oregon, that set tongue’s wagging and raised expectations for a world record challenge.  The time was not only the second-fastest ever run over the distance but just 0.5 seconds outside of Griffith-Joyner’s world record, for many years believed to be unapproachable.  After a long, tiring but extraordinarily successful season, however, the athlete is more than content to leave that pursuit for another time.

“It has been a crazy season, a long one and a tiring one. I was so consistent because I was just keeping the faith in me and did not allow any negativity,” Thompson said following the event.

 “I am really happy and grateful. I am tired now but this is my job. I would describe this season with one word: amazing, yet it had ups and downs. I have to give God thanks that I am healthy and that I could finish such a long season…This year, it was a long season with ups and downs, but next year, the world record is definitely on my mind.”

Elaine Thompson-Herah was the only Caribbean athlete to win on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday but a few others came very close.

Eight-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt is not contemplating a return to athletics despite feeling the temptation for a comeback.

Bolt ended his career on the track in 2017, calling it quits at the age of 31 after a spate of hamstring injuries, one of which curtailed his efforts in what was supposed to be the Jamaican's final race at the 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Although it was not the glorious conclusion he may have hoped for, Bolt still left sprinting as the world record holder in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay and his exploits on the track saw him collect a remarkable eight Olympic golds.

Back in August 2018, Bolt begin training with Australian football club the Central Coast Mariners and he scored twice in a friendly before being offered a contract, which was to be partially funded by the A-League.

He ultimately left the Mariners in November and declared two months later that he was done with all sports – though the thought of a U-turn did cross his mind later in 2019.

However, his coach urged Bolt to resist such a temptation, seemingly denying the world another opportunity to see the legendary sprinter in action at another Olympic Games.

Asked if he was contemplating a comeback at the age of 35, Bolt told BBC Sport: "It's too late. If I was going to come back it would have been to be for this Olympics.

"When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said, 'when you retire, that's it. I'm not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So, make sure you are ready to retire'.

"I remember I went to him in 2019 and said, 'what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?' And he looked at me and said, 'don't even start'.

"So, if it's not my coach, I'm not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it's no - but I've got that itch though."

Decorated Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists there are no ill feelings towards talented young American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, despite plenty of talk surrounding the athletes in recent weeks.

In truth, the majority of the arguments have come from feuding sides of the Jamaica vs the United States track and field rivalry, which has amplified in recent months since the American burst onto the scene.

The flamboyant Richardson has certainly played her part in fueling debates in recent months, even if her performances have not quite lived up to expectations, the number of eyes on track and field certainly seems to have increased.

The American was initially expected to face a high-powered Jamaica trio of Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson at the Olympic Games, but ended up missing the top-billed event after picking up a one-month suspension for using marijuana.  At the event, Thompson-Herah broke the longstanding Olympic record with Fraser-Pryce second and Jackson third.

There was for Richardson and some fans, however, the sense of a missed opportunity and a much-hyped meeting of the American facing the Jamaica trio in Eugene two weeks later was presented in that light.  Things did not go as planned for Richardson, however, as she had plenty to say before the event but finished in last place.

The result was the same as the Olympics with Thompson-Herah finishing first, Fraser-Pryce second, and Jackson third.  However, it was Fraser-Pryce who went viral following the sprint as she was caught on camera passing an animated Richardson interview with a mirthful look and knowing smirk.  The fans had a field day, but she insists there wasn’t too much to it.

“I mean, seriously, it was just a look,” Fraser-Pryce told sports lifestyle magazine The Undefeated.

 “I was having a conversation with my teammate and she said something, and then I looked. But it wasn’t – it was just what it is. It was just a look, you know? It was just a look. Yeah. There was nothing more behind it, if I’m being very honest, there was nothing more behind it,” she added.

In her mind, the fiery mentality that the American brings to the sport is also good for track and field.

“I like her. I like her personality,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“…for us as women, we’re somehow supposed to just stand at the line, look cute and just run, [and] wave. We’re not allowed to express ourselves or show our emotions.”

 

As she looks forward to what could be her final race this season on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday, double, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah said she kind of surprised herself with the incredible success she has experienced this year.

Since she won her first sprint double in 2016, the first woman to do so since Florence Griffith-Joyner at the Seoul Games in 1988, Thompson-Herah failed to win a medal at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. However, at the Toyko 2020 Olympics this past summer, Thompson-Herah became the first woman in Olympic history to win back-to-back sprint doubles.

She set a new Olympic record of 10.51 in the 100m and set a lifetime best of 21.53 to win the 200m titles. She added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that set a new national record of 41.02, the third-fastest time in history.

Weeks later she won the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic in 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run and then followed up with 10.64 to finish second to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Lausanne and then 10.72 in Paris.

Speaking at a press conference this morning before she takes to the track on Thursday, the history-making Olympic champion said she has not yet had time to take it all in.

“It hasn’t sunk it as yet. I think because I knew I had a long season I don’t want to get too carried away, too excited and the focus is still continuing the season for next year and the years to come. After the season ends I can say hurrah, hooray and I watch back my videos and see what I have done and say yes, I did it,” she said.

“Being the fastest woman alive, I think I still haven’t known what I have done yet. Because I have put in all the work and I have achieved, it is not something I never expect myself to do but my expectations were not high but I think I surprised myself this entire season with everything that I have done so far.”

On Thursday, Thompson-Herah will line up against Dina Asher-Smith, Natasha Morrison, Javianne Oliver, Daryll Neita, Marie Jose Ta Lou and the Swiss pair of Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji in the 100m.

 

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