Jamaica sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah has been included in a shortlist of five athletes in contention for the World Athletics 2020 Female Athlete of the Year.

Despite the pandemic wreaking havoc upon the international track and field calendar, the Jamaican managed to put together a series of strong performances.  Thompson-Herah ran unbeaten over seven races in which she also set a world-leading 10.85 over the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome. She also closed the season with a strong 10.87s in Doha.

Making the final five with Thompson-Herah are Letesenbet Gidey (Ethiopia) Sifan Hassan, Kenya's Peres Jepchirchir, and Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela).  Gidey set a world record of 14:06.62 over 5000m and was second in the 5000m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco. Hassan also set a world record in the one hour run as well as a European record of 29:36.67 over 10,000m, the fourth-fastest performance in history.  Jepchirchir won the world half marathon title and twice broke the world half-marathon record, while Rojas was undefeated in four triple jump competitions indoors and outdoors and broke the world indoor triple jump record with 15.43m.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2020 to be staged as a virtual event on Saturday 5 December and streamed live on the World Athletics YouTube channel, its Facebook page, and via Twitter.

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah has been included on a shortlist of athletes for the IAAF Female World Athlete of the Year award.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 28-year-old double Olympic champion has put together a strong season.  Thompson-Herah won all seven of her 100m races and finished the campaign with a world-leading time of 10.85 seconds, which was recorded at the Rome Diamond League in September.

In addition to Thompson-Herah, the list includes Femke Bol (Netherlands), Letesenbet Gibey (Ethiopia), Sifan Hassan (Netherlands), Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya), Faith Kipyegon (Kenya), Laura Muir (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Hellen Obiri (Kenya), Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela) and Ababel Yeshaneh (Ethiopia).

The Jamaican will face still competition to land the prize, with world records broken this year by Gidey (5000m), Hassan (hour run), Jepchirchir (half marathon, women only), Rojas (triple jump, indoors), and Yeshaneh (half marathon).

The list will be trimmed to five athletes after voting takes place among the World Athletics Council (50 percent), World Athletics family (25 percent), and by fans (25 percent) by liking individual athlete graphics on World Athletics’ Facebook and Instagram or by retweets.

Thompson-Herah is the only Jamaican nominated on either the male or female list.  American Dalilah Muhammad took the honour last year when she twice lowered the 400m hurdles world record.

 

 

 

Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has targeted breaking the 10.70-second barrier as she goes for an unprecedented third Olympic title in Tokyo next year.

Elaine Thompson-Herah ran a world-leading 10.85 to win the 100m dash at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome today.

At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, Elaine Thompson-Herah became the first Jamaican woman and the seventh woman ever to win the 100/200m double at the same Olympic Games.

If she has her way, if the Olympics are held in Tokyo next year, she will be in a pantheon of one- the only female sprinter to successfully defend an Olympic sprint double at the same Olympics.

She believes it is possible but it depends on one key factor.

“(Being) healthy is key because when I am healthy I am in the best shape of my life, I don’t think I have reached that yet. I just want to maintain that health. I really want to capture back my double at the Olympics,” she said while speaking on the Drive Phase Podcast with host Dalton Myers.

“I want to retain my titles.”

When she won the sprint double in Rio, the achievement thrust her into the global spotlight as one of the greatest-ever female sprinters and made her a national treasure in a country known for athletic icons like Herb McKenley, Donald Quarrie, Merlene Ottey, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt.

However, unlike Fraser-Pryce and Bolt, Thompson-Herah has so far failed to build on that legacy. Injury and illness robbed her of possible gold medals at the 2017 World Championships in London and again at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, where she finished fourth in the 100m final, having gone into the meet with the joint fastest time in the world.

She said she doesn’t intend to dwell on those disappointments and will continue to work hard, hoping that that elusive World Championships gold medal will soon be hanging from her neck.

Meantime, she has other goals in mind.

 “I still want to get below that 10.7 barrier,” said the woman who shares Jamaica’s national record of 10.70 with two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

“I think I have it in me. It’s just about the time for it to come.”

She also believes she can go faster than her 200m 21.66 PB set in 2015 when she won the silver medal at the World Championships in Beijing, China.

“Once I am healthy anything is possible,” she said.

Elaine Thompson-Herah looks a woman who is back to her fabulous best.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pipped the fourth Velocity Fest 100 metres at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Saturday with a quick 10.87-second-clocking, just ahead of Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Fraser-Pryce won section two of the event, getting the better of Sashalee Forbes, 11.20, and Kasheika Cameron, 11.56.

Thompson-Herah won section three of the event, clocking an equally quick 10.88 seconds to get the better of Natasha Morrison, 11.25, and Anthonique Strachan, 11.46.

When all the times were collated, Fraser-Pryce led from Thompson-Herah, while Forbes was third overall.

Coming into the race, Fraser-Pryce had clocked 11.28, while Thomson-Herah had 11.41.

In the men’s event, the returning Nesta Carter clocked 10.20 to win section 5, just ahead of Oshane Bailey, 10.24.

Carter’s sectional win was only good enough for second, as Tyquendo Tracey’s 10.20 in section four, saw him finish just ahead, while Romario Williams’ 10.21 and second place in that heat saw him third overall.

Jamaica’s Julian Forte claimed the men’s 100m race in a brisk 10.02, the second-fastest time recorded over the distance this year, at the Velocity Fest meet, on Saturday.

Forte, the MVP representative, was well clear of GC Foster’s Romario Williams (10.33) who was second.  Nesta Carter was third in 10.35. 

In the women’s equivalent, Elaine Thompson-Herah (11.19) was the comfortable winner, finishing ahead of Sprintech’s Sashalee Forbes (11.49) and MVP teammate Srabani Nanda (11.78).  Over double the distance, it was Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who reigned supreme.  Her 22.74 finish was well clear of Anthonique Strachan (23.05) and Forbes who was third in 23.39.

In the men’s 200m, Yohan Blake took first place with a time of 20.62.  Sprintec’s Rasheed Dwyer was second in 20.66 and GC Foster’s Williams took third spot in 20.89.  Rusheen McDonald claimed the men’s 400m after stopping the clock at 46.39, while the women’s equivalent went to Shericka Jackson (52.00).  In the men’s long jump, Tayjay Gayle finished a long way ahead of the field with a leap of 8.13m.

 

Wonderful female athletes from the Caribbean can be found all over, however, today we will seek to come up with the BestXI of them.

The sports desk at SportsMax.tv can never agree on anything, but today we managed to come up with an XI that while not in order of the most significant, provides a list of women, who have given sport in the region, some of its greatest moments. Just like we could not agree on some of the names that should be included or excluded, we are sure you guys have different opinions on this list. Write your list or your comments in any of the comments sections on our social media pages. Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib), Instagram (sportsmax_tv), and Facebook (@SportsMax).

 

BestXI

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is a legend of women’s sprinting, becoming the first woman to win four gold medals over the course of four World Championships. She was also the first Caribbean woman to win 100-metre gold at the Olympics when she claimed the title in Beijing, China in 2008. Breaking records has become a constant in her life, as in 2019 she became the oldest woman to win the 100m at a World Championships. In 2013, she became the first sprinter to win gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4x100 metres at the same World Championships.

Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica)

Veronica Campbell-Brown is an eight-time Olympic medallist. Three of those medals are gold. In 2008, she became the second woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles over 200 metres.  With personal bests of 10.76  and 21.74 over the 100m and 200m, respectively, VCB is one of the fastest women of all time. Her World Championships credentials are also impressive, claiming three gold, seven silver and a bronze medal over the course of a fantastic career that has spanned two decades.

Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)

Elaine Thompson-Herah is the heir apparent to the throne of Jamaican female sprinting and many believe that had it not been for injuries, she would have already been firmly seated on that throne. Nonetheless, her resume is impressive, having claimed the 100 and 200-metre gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships where she came to prominence courtesy of a memorable battle with Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers. In a stirring battle, the two raced to the line with Schippers just edging the Jamaican, who clocked a personal best 21.66, the fifth-fastest time in history. Thompson's personal best of 10.70, is the joint fourth-fastest time in history and a Jamaican national record she shares with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo (Bahamas)

Shaunae Miller-Uibo famously dove over the line in beat United States legend, Alyson Felix in the 2016 Olympics 400-metre final. She has also mined two silver medals in 2015 and 2019 over the distance at World Championships and earned a bronze medal in the event in 2017. Miller-Uibo holds The Bahamas’ national record over 400m (48.37), the sixth-fastest time in history, and 200 metres (21.74).  Unofficially, Miller-Uibo is also the fastest woman of all time in the 200-metres straight and the 300-metres indoor events.

Merlene Ottey (Jamaica)

For a long time, Merlene Ottey was Jamaica’s most cherished sprinter, courtesy of her long and illustrious career. Along the way, she earned three silver and six bronze medals at the Olympic Games. She is also a three-time World Champion and has also won four silver and seven bronze medals as well. Those, combined with the three gold, two silver and the two bronze medals she won at the World Indoor Championships, bring her global medal haul to a remarkable 30. She still remains the only woman to break 22 seconds indoors and boasts personal bests of 10.74 and 21.64 over the 100m and 200m, respectively.

Deon Hemmings (Jamaica)

Deon Hemmings was the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal when she blew away the dual challenge of the United States’ Kim Batten and Tonja Buford to win the 400-metres hurdles title at the Atlanta Games in 1996. She won in 52.82, which was an Olympic record and still one of the fastest times ever run. During her stellar career, Hemmings also won two silver medals at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. In between, Hemmings was second at the World Championships in Athens in 1997, and third in Seville two years later. She also claimed a bronze medal at the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Melaine Walker (Jamaica)

Melaine Walker was the queen of the 400m hurdles in 2008 and 2009 when she won the IAAF World Athletics Final in Thessaloniki, Greece.  In Beijing in 2008, Walker won the 400 metres hurdles in an Olympic record 52.64. She would claim her first World Athletics Final title later that year, winning in 54.06 before heading to the World Championships in 2009 to run 52.42, then the second-fastest time in history. For her achievements in 2008, Walker was named Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year along with another legend of track and field, Veronica-Campbell-Brown.

Ana Quirot (Cuba)

Cuba’s Ana Fidelia Quirot Moré is regarded as one of the finest 800-metre athletes of all time. The claim is not without merit, as despite never winning an Olympic Gold, she had been dominant throughout her career. That career was not without accolades though, as she mined bronze in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 before going one better in Atlanta four years later. That 1996 Olympic silver lay in between Gold medals at the 1995 Gothenburg World Championships and the Athens equivalent in 1997. Before that, she had earned a silver at the Tokyo World Championships in 1991.  She was also a four-time gold medallist at the Pan American Games and at the Central American and Caribbean Games while winning gold over 400 and 800 metres at the World Cup in Barcelona in 1989. In 1988, Quirot was favoured to win Olympic Gold after going that season unbeaten, inclusive of beating her main rivals Olympic champion East Germany’s Sigrun Wodars and her teammate silver medallist Christine Watchel. Unfortunately, politics reared its ugly head and Cuba would end up boycotting the 1988 Olympic Games. Quirot would never recover.

Nicolette Fernandes (Guyana)

Nicolette Fernandes has been the flagbearer for Guyana and the Caribbean in women’s squash for almost 20 years. She was a bronze medallist at the Central America and Caribbean Games all the way back in 2002 before claiming gold, the country’s only medal four years later. She would win a bronze in 2010 while claiming gold at the South American Games that same year. She won a bronze medal in Guadalajara at the Pan American Games in 2011. Fernandes’ career was not without its setbacks though. In 2007, a serious knee injury put the squash ace out for almost two years, but she returned with a bang in 2009, earning the Guyanese National Sports Commission’s Sportswoman of the year award. Outside of her achievements for Guyana, Fernandes has not won any of the four majors, the World Open, British Open, hong Kong Open or Qatar Classic, but she has won a Wispa Tour Series and achieved a world ranking as high as 19.

Tonique Williams-Darling (Bahamas)

Tonique Williams Darling makes our list for her exploits between 2004 and 2006. In that period, the then 28-year-old, won the Olympics in Athens, Greece, before going on to do the same at the Helsinki World Championships in 2005. In 2004, she also earned a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Pauline Davis-Thompson (Bahamas)

Another Bahamian, Pauline Davis, also makes the list because of her accolades but also because of her sheer longevity. Davis-Thompson has been to five Olympic Games and did not win her first medal until her fourth appearance when she was part of a silver-medal winning 4x100-metre team at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Four years later, in Sydney, Davis-Thompson went one better with her 4x100-metre team and at 34 years old, hit the tape first in the 200 metres to cap off her career in style. Five years earlier, Davis-Thompson had finished second in the 400 metres at the World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, showing an amazing range that would be hard to replicate. She also earned bronze and silver medals at the World Indoor Championships in 1995 and 1999.

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