Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambudji ran a massive lifetime best of 6.96 to win 60-metre gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Belgrade on Friday.

Shericka Jackson was third in the 60m dash at the Paris Indoor Meeting on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams will be made available to represent Jamaica at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade from March 18-20.

Elaine Thompson-Herah said she would have loved to have gone under seven seconds in her 60m win in Birmingham on Saturday but she was to open her indoor season on a winning note.

Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah says she has no intention of going after the World Indoor 60m record this season but based on how well she has been training she would not rule out the possibility.

After a disappointing 60m run at the Millrose Games in New York on January 29, Briana Williams ran a massive personal best at the New Balance Grand Prix on Staten Island, New York on Sunday but her coach believes she can go even faster once she breaks out of her ‘starting slump’.

If she can before March, a medal at the World Indoor Athletics Championships could be in the offing.

The 19-year-old Olympic gold medalist opened her season equaling her previous lifetime best of 7.18 at the Purple Tiger meet in Louisiana on January 14 but after promising to go even faster at the Millrose Games, two weeks later, she finished a disappointing fourth in 7.22.

To rub salt into her emotional wound, Williams, the youngest ever Jamaican Olympic gold medalist was beaten by 16-year-old Shawnti Jackson, who equalled the Jamaican’s lifetime best of 7.18, which for her was a personal best as well as an American high school record.

Fast-forward to Sunday and the preliminary heats of the 60m dash where Williams exploded to a brand new personal best of 7.09, which at the time, was the second-fastest time in the world this year. It was the fastest time going into the final that was won by Mikiah Brisco, who caught Williams late in the race before edging in front to record a new world lead of 7.07.

Williams ran her second-fastest time ever, 7.11, for second place.

Her times of 7.09 and 7.11 make her the fastest Jamaican in the world this year, 0.05 faster than Kemba Nelson’s 7.16 set a week ago and 0.14 faster than Kevona Davis’ 7.25.

“My coach and I knew this was coming. It was just for me to have the patience and the right race,” said Williams after her races on Sunday.

“I was happy with my personal best in the preliminaries and to follow that up with 7.11 in the final. There are still things to work on as you can see from the final, but I'm happy with my finish today.”

Among the things she has to work on is getting back the electric start that had defined her career to date as one of the best in the world but which has seemingly deserted her recently.

Williams’ coach, Ato Boldon, believes Williams is primed to go faster but her start has become an issue of concern.

“This is just her third race of the season, her rhythm is better and she is out of the weight room. We still have things to figure out. She is still not starting well,” he said, suggesting that he believes it’s all in her head.

“She is thinking about it. It’s a starting slump.”

Boldon said he would rate her performances on Sunday as an eight-out-ten, believing that once she gets back to instinctively starting well, she will go faster; seven-zero-low.


 

 

 

Tokyo Olympic finalist Natoya Goule established a world-leading time in the 800m at the New Balance Grand Prix on Staten Island, New York on Sunday.

The diminutive Jamaican was among several Caribbean athletes, who delivered outstanding performances at the meet as Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards ran under 46 seconds indoors for the first time to win the 400m while Danielle Williams ran a lifetime best to win the 60m hurdles.

The 30-year-old Goule, who was second to Ajee Wilson at the Millrose Games on January 29, ran 1:59.62 to win the 800m ahead of Olivia Baker, whose 2:00.63 was a personal best. Isabelle Boffey also ran a personal-best 2:01.37 for third.

Goule said afterwards that she was very grateful for the performance because she went into the meet heavily loaded after a hard week of training.

Richards had an encouraging start to his indoor season when he sped to a personal indoor best of 45.84 to win the quarter-mile sprint.

The Trinidadian held his form down the home stretch to hold off Vernon Norwood of the USA, who was second in a personal-best 46.06. Khamari Montgomery was third in 46.24.

The women’s event was won by the USA’s Jessica Beard in a season-best 52.88. Kyra Constantine of Canada took the silver with her time of 52.96 while Jamaica’s Roneisha McGregor ran a personal best 53.01 for third.

Jamaica went 1-2 in the women’s 60m hurdles won by Williams, the 2015 world champion, in a season-best 7.83, just holding off her fast-finishing compatriot Britany Anderson, who ran a personal-best 7.88. The USA’s Gabrielle Cunningham clocked 7.92, a season-best, for third

The meet represented an opportunity for 19-year-old Briana Williams to rebound from her disappointing performance over 60m at the recent Millrose Games where she finished fourth in 7.22, beaten by Aleia Hobbs, Mikiah Brisco and 16-year-old high school student Shawnti Jackson, who ran a USA high-school record and personal best 7.18 for third, which was also Williams’ lifetime best.

On Sunday, Williams bounced back in style, uncorking a personal best 7.09 to win her preliminary heat and advance to the finals with the fastest time. It took a world-leading run of 7.07 from Brisco in the final to deny Williams, who ran a smart 7.11 for second place. The USA’s Destiny Smith Barrett clocked a personal best 7.14 for third.

Noah Lyles won the men’s equivalent in a personal best 6.56 ahead of Barbados’s Mario Burke, who crossed the finish line in a season-best 6.63. Travis Collins ran 6.64 for third.

In the men’s 200m, the USA’s Trayvon Bromell pulled out all the stops to hold off Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor and win in 20.64. Taylor stopped the clock in 20.81. The USA’s Elijah Hall was also in the mix, finishing third in 20.82.

 

 

 

 

With big goals in mind this season, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah is down to compete over 60m at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting – at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham on Saturday, February 19.

“I’m so excited to race in Birmingham to start my 2022 campaign,” said the fastest woman alive by virtue of her 10.54 100m run in Oregon last August.

“I have enjoyed competing in the UK over the years and there is always a special atmosphere at this venue. I ran my PB at this arena in 2017, so competing here means a lot to me.

“This year is a huge one. I have big goals for the World Athletics Championships later this summer, but first I’d like to give fans something to cheer about in Birmingham.”

Last summer, Thompson-Herah clocked 10.61, an Olympic record, to win the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics and then claimed the gold in the 200m in 21.53, the second-fastest time in history. In achieving the double, the 29-year-old Jamaican became the first woman in Olympic history to win both sprints at consecutive Olympic Games.

She added a third gold as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that set a new national record of 41.02, the third-fastest time ever run for a relay.

In Birmingham, she will face Britain's two-time Olympic bronze medallist Daryll Neita, who also had a strong year in 2021. Last year she recorded lifetime best performances over 100m (10.93) and 200m (22.81) and finished eighth in the Olympic 100m final in Tokyo. Her 60m best is 7.21 from February 2021.

“The last time I raced Elaine indoors was in Birmingham in 2017 when she won, and I was fifth. Although she remains faster than me, I have to believe that the gap has closed since then and that with the backing of our brilliant British supporters, I can be more competitive this time around,” Neita said.

The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the fifth World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting of 2022. There are seven Gold level meetings across the series, starting with Karlsruhe on 28 January and culminating in Madrid on 2 March.

Other athletes set to compete in Birmingham include Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis, world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder Grant Holloway, Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir and Olympic 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson.

 

Oregon’s Kemba Nelson ran a collegiate-leading 7.05 to win the 60m title on the final day of the 2021 NCAA Division I Nationals on Saturday night.

In a final where three Caribbean nations – Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada – were represented, Nelson stormed to victory, pulling away from the stacked field to produce a massive personal best that is both a meet and championship record, eclipsing the 7.07 held jointly by Oregon’s Hannah Cunliffe and LSU Aleia Hobbs.

The time, a school record, was also just 0.03 off the 7.02 facility record set by Tiana Madison (Bartoletta) in 2012.

It was also the second-fastest time in the world this year behind the 7.03 set by Switzerland’s AJla Del Ponte at the recent European Indoor Championships in Torun.

USC’s Twanisha Terry, the pre-race favourite, who went into the final with the fastest time, 7.09, won the silver medal in 7.14s.

It was a Jamaican 1-3 as former Jamaica national junior record holder Kiara Grant took third in 7.16.

Antigua’s Joella Lloyd, who two weeks ago set a new national record of 7.15 was sixth in 7.23 while Grenada’s Halle Hazzard, a senior at Virginia, was eighth on 7.27.

Nelson, 21, attended Mt Alvernia High School in Montego Bay, Jamaica and transferred to Oregon in October 2020, having spent her first three years of college at the University of Technology in Kingston.

In doing so, she became the first Jamaican-born female athlete to attend the University of Oregon, having expressed a desire to compete in NCAA-level athletics.

Having fulfilled her desire, she expressed her delight on Instagram afterwards saying, “What a way to close out the indoor season.”

 

 

 

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

In the wake of setting two new national indoor records on the weekend, Antigua’s Joella Lloyd believes her hard work off the track has been paying off on it.

Briana Williams said she is excited about competing at the New Balance Grand Prix on Saturday, February 13, saying she is in good shape and looking to do well.

Unheralded Jamaican sprinter Kevaun Rattray won the 60m dash at the Orange Winter Classic in Clermont. Florida on Friday.

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