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.

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.

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.

 

Eighteen-year-old Christine Mboma topped a talented field of women over 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday when Natoya Goule closed out the action on the track by winning the 800m.

The marquee event, however, was the 200m and it lived up to expectations.

The Namibian, the Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion, running on from behind, surged past Shericka Jackson with 30m to go and won in 21.84. Jackson was again under 22 seconds, clocking 21.95 while Dina Asher-Smith finished third in a season-best 22.03.

The much-talked-about Sha’Carri Richardson was never a factor. She trailed off the curve and was passed down the stretch by Mboma and Asher-Smith to finish fourth in 22.45.

Mboma was elated at getting her first Diamond League win.

“I was really excited to run here in Brussels. It was my first Diamond League experience and to be able to win in such a strong field is great,” she said.

“It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the World junior championships, but I'm still in good shape. I ran almost a personal best today, so that pleases me. I still have one race to go in Zurich and after that, I will take some rest.”

Jackson, meantime, was disappointed at not winning enjoyed the competition.

“I´m happy with my race but I really wanted to win today,” she said.

“I had a good start so I´m happy with that but there´s still room for improvement. I was able to accelerate towards the end but couldn´t get the win. I loved to race here and the feeling was good.”

Similarly, Asher-Smith was happy with her season-best.

“I´m so happy with my race! I ran a season's best and had a good feeling. It felt so good to be here and to be able to run this fast,” said the Brit, who was unable to compete in the 200m because of a hamstring injury.

“I worked so hard after my injury to return and feel strong again. I really love to run here in Brussels. I still have a few races to go so I hope I can improve myself and feel good. The relaxed feeling is back so I´m very happy with that.”

Goule, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics, ran a strategic race behind the pacemaker but then assumed the lead with 300m to go.

She would hold that lead until the end to win her first Diamond League race in 1:58.09, holding off Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who clocked 1:58.16 for second place. Jemma Reekie also of Great Britain was third in 1:58.77.

´I’m extremely happy with my win today! I´m just so excited and happy to win my first Diamond League race,” she said.

“I have to thank God and my coach for believing in me. To race here today, especially against these girls. They are all so strong. I have a lot of respect for Keely Hodgkinson. She´s so good and humble, a very good athlete and still so young. So I´m very happy I could still sprint and take the win. The big crowd today definitely helped with that. You just feel everyone´s excitement for today. I hope I can win in Zurich as well but it will be hard.”

Earlier, Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles but there was misfortune for Danielle Williams, who appeared to suffer an injury and limped across the line in eighth. She was eventually disqualified.

Tapper, the Olympic bronze medalist, got off to a fast start but was eventually caught by Tobi Amusan and Nadine Visser, who crossed the line together and were credited with 12.69. Tapper clocked 12.77 for her second podium finish in the Diamond League this season.

There was no Karsten Warholm or Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles but it was no less dramatic as Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos and the British Virgin Islands’ Kyron McMaster engaged in a stirring battle that the latter looked like winning after seven hurdles.

However, the Brazilian eased into the lead over the final hurdle and held it to win in 48.24. McMaster finished second in 48.31.

Jaheel Hyde was in position to finish on the podium but seemed to run out of steam down the stretch and was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Yasmani Copello of Turkey, who took third in 48.45. Hyde had to settle for fourth in 48.91.

The men’s 400m was won by American Michael Cherry in a new personal best and meet record 44.03 leaving Kirani James (44.51) and Isaac Makwala (44.83) in his wake.

 

 

 

 

 

The Women’s 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday promises to be an electric affair as it features a few of the fastest women in the event in the world this year.

The world’s fastest woman Elaine Thompson (21.53) is a late withdrawal but the field is still stacked.

It features firebrand American Sha’Carri Richardson,  Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson as well as Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion Christine Mboma of Namibia, both of whom have run faster over the half-lap sprint than the upstart American.

 The 18-year-old Mboma ran a lifetime best 21.81 for the silver medal in Tokyo and 21.82 to win the World U20 title in Kenya last month. She will prove to be a handful not just for the American but also for the Olympic 100m silver medalist Shericka Jackson, who ran a personal best 21.82 in June.

However, in a pre-meet media conference on Friday, Richardson, who will be running on fresher legs, said she hopes to go below her previous best.

“I feel like a baby in such a company because a lot of ladies have a time of 21 seconds behind their name. I get into the starting blocks with the same eagerness for a 200m as I do for a 100m, so hopefully, I can prove that with a fast chrono. My coach and I are also working very hard to excel in both distances, so I'm really looking forward to diving under 22 seconds,” said Richardson whose personal best is 22.00 but has a season-best time of 22.11 run in Gainesville, Florida in April.

She might very well need to, if she is to win, because also included in the line-up is the reigning European champion Dina Asher-Smith, who hampered by a hamstring injury, was forced to withdraw from the event at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

However, the Briton, who is gradually returning to full health, ran a season-best 22.06 in Italy in June and will be hoping to get close to that time after a promising 22.19 for third in Eugene, Oregon on August 21.

Olympic finalist Beatrice Masilingi is also included in the line-up. The Namibian teenager, the sixth-place finisher at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, ran a personal best 22.18 for the silver medal behind at the World U20 Championships in Kenya last month.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Jamaica double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, had no comment regarding the pre-race comments of Sha’Carri Richardson after handing the American a crushing defeat at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah clocked a new personal best of 10.54 in the women’s 100m, just outside of the longstanding world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.  Similar to the finish at the Olympics a few weeks ago, her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) we second and third.

Heading into the race, however, the focus had been on the return to the sprints of American Sha’Carri Richardson.  Richardson had run 10.72 in April and won the US trials to set up the prospect of an intriguing match-up at the Olympics.  The 21-year-old was, however, suspended ahead of Tokyo after returning a positive test for marijuana.

Ahead of the Wanda Diamond League, many framed the race as an Olympic do-over for the American, who certainly headed into the event sky-high on confidence with plenty of pre-race chatter to boot.  It did not go to plan.  Richardson finished last in 11.14, and at the end of the race, the Olympic do-over had the same three medallists as the original.  On Richardson’s placing and pre-race chatter, the decorated sprint queens had no comment.

“I wasn’t watching Sha’Carri to be honest,” Fraser-Pryce, who went viral for a cheeky post-race smirk as she passed by the American being interviewed, said.

“No, you shouldn’t have,” Fraser-Pryce replied when anyone should have really been surprised by another Jamaican sweep.

Fraser-Pryce may well have a point, perhaps expecting Richardson, who is yet to win a major medal, to match up to the in-form Jamaican 100m medallist, who in total have 8 Olympic medals between them and three of the four fastest times in history, might have been a stretch.

“I didn’t hear much of that,” Thompson-Herah said when quizzed on the American's pre-race comments.

 “No comment on that,” the athlete added when asked for her assessment of Richardson’s performance.

Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams is aiming for a brand new personal best when she lines up against the world’s fastest women over 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

A bitter-sounding Omar McLeod said he is heartbroken after not being given an opportunity to defend his Olympic title in Tokyo later this month and has described as absurd, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association’s (JAAA) decision to exclude from the country’s Olympic team.

The 27-year-old McLeod was speaking today at a press conference on the eve of the Gateshead Diamond League meeting on Tuesday.

The 2016 Olympic champion hit the first hurdle at his country’s national championships on Sunday, June 27 and finished eighth. He complained afterwards that he had suffered a cramp after being forced to run the finals on Sunday morning having won his semi-final on the night before in 13.04 his second-fastest time this season.

Ronald Levy, who was second in McLeod’s semi-final in a season-best 13.08, won the final in 13.10 ahead of Damion Thomas (13.11) and Hansle Parchment (13.16), all top 10 times in the world. However, the national record holder felt he should have been considered for selection, despite the competition rules which state that the first three places will be selected.

Asked about his situation, McLeod held nothing back.

“I am very heartbroken, honestly. I don’t think I was given or granted a fair opportunity to make the team with this ridiculous schedule that I have never seen in my years in track and field where they have semi-finals late in the evening and then, without recovery and the country was in complete lockdown so we were unable to go back to the hotel and get food,” he lamented, his voice near the point of breaking.

“So, my team and I, we did the best we could and we went to a little lounge at the hotel and drank some soup and had a salad because that was all they had, trying to go back to the track and five in the morning for a final at eight, I mean, that’s stupid.

“For an event that has your reigning Olympic champion, you don’t treat the event like that. Give me a fair opportunity like everybody else to come and make the team. I didn’t have the audacity to not show up at the trials thinking I was obligated to make the team. I went there ready to compete and earn my spot.”

He said on the morning of the race he suffered a severe cramp and thought that his country would have ‘had my back."

“We did a medical exemption. It’s been done for Usain Bolt and other athletes before where they couldn’t run in the final or something happened. I was in the same position where I won all the major gold medals and historic moments where I was the first Jamaican to win (110mh) gold medals in every championship so I thought I was going to be okay.”

McLeod said his team exhausted every possible avenue of appeal including sending emails and meeting with the members of the selection committee. He also put out a statement on social media explaining what happened prior to the race.

The distraught sprint hurdler, who said he was denied the chance to run ‘something ridiculous’ at the trials, perhaps a national or world record, suggested he doesn’t know what he will do at the meet on Tuesday as he will be running on pure emotion waiting for the season to end.

“To be denied the opportunity is really absurd,” he said.

 

 

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is hopeful she will improve on her 200m lifetime best when she competes at the Diamond League’s Herculis meet in Monaco where she goes up against Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Marie Josee Ta Lou on Friday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is set to make her first appearance in a Diamond League race in Oslo on July 1.

Omar McLeod said he is having fun again as he once more signalled his intent to successfully defend his Olympic title with a world-leading 13.01, to win the 110-metres hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in Florence, Italy.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked a season-best 10.84 to record her first win over 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Doha today.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce said her priority for this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan is running faster than 10.70 in the 100m but indicates that it would be nice to be on the podium with a medal and the time she is so passionately in pursuit of.

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