Jamaica national representative Kemba Nelson has de-activated her Twitter handle after it was flooded with a torrent of negative comments, in the aftermath of the women’s 4x100m relay team’s surprise loss to the United States at the IAA World Championships on Saturday.

Nelson, who finished second at the country’s national trials, ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica and was part of a botched first to second leg exchange with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.  On Sunday critical messages were posted to the @iamkemba account, which has since become unavailable.

 The athlete had also failed to keep pace with the United States’ Melissa Jefferson, who clocked an 11.35 split on the opening leg, compared to Nelson’s 11.45.  Despite blistering third and final legs from 

100m and 200m world champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, the team narrowly failed to claw back the deficit.

The result left several fans upset, with some going on to blame Nelson for the loss and expressing the opinion that they did not believe the athlete should have been selected ahead of, another young sprinter, Briana Williams.  Williams was part of the successful relay team that won gold along with Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce, and Jackson at last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.  Interestingly, however, Williams's first-leg split in the first round was identical to the time Nelson ran in the final.  Williams was, however, the only Jamaican to win a relay leg.

 

American-born Andrew Hudson will not be able to represent Jamaica at the upcoming World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, despite winning the 200m event at the Jamaica National Championships.

Hudson stunned onlookers at the country’s national trials after finishing ahead of pre-race favourite and 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake, with Nigel Ellis finishing in third place.

Hudson was one of three athletes who applied to the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association to switch allegiance and were approved to compete at the championships.  The JAAA was optimistic regarding the athlete being given clearance to represent the country before the World Championships in Oregon. 

According to a release, however, the athletes will not receive clearance in time for the games.  Hudson will as a result not be eligible to compete for Jamaica until July 28th and has been replaced by fourth-place finisher Akeem Bloomfield in the 200m.  The JAAA also released the rest of the squad.

Jamaica 100m sprinter Oblique Seville ran the second-fastest time recorded over the distance this season after clocking 9.86 to take the event at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series.

Seville got away well before pulling away from the field to record a massive new personal best, shattering his previous mark of 10.00.  Conroy Jones took the second spot behind Seville in 10.14 seconds, with Emmanuel Archibald taking third in 10.20.

In the women’s equivalent, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah dominated the field to take first place in 10.94.  Thompson-Herah pulled away down the stretch to finish well clear of second-place Remona Burchell who was next in 11.31 and Jodean Williams who was third in 11.40.

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment has declared himself in good form ahead of a showdown with compatriot and 2016 champion Omar McLeod at the Birmingham Diamond League on Saturday.

With the World Championships and Commonwealth Games on the schedule as major games this year, the Jamaicans are expected to see quite a bit of each other over the coming months.

McLeod, unfortunately, did not get the opportunity to defend his title as he missed out on making the Jamaica squad after failing to qualify from the country’s national trials and will no doubt have his eyes set on redemption later this year.

For his part, Parchment has in the meantime established himself as the country’s top performer at the event and will be looking to keep the wins coming in.

“So far I am feeling good, I think I am in good form,” Parchment told members of the media on Thursday.

“I still have a lot of work to do but I am looking forward to executing a really good race [in Birmingham] and hoping to get a really lovely time on this beautiful track.”

The race will also feature former world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi of Great Britain.”

Jamaica jumper Lamara Distin took top spot at the Southeastern Conference Championships, on Friday, adding to an already impressive run of results this season.

Distin, who has broken the national long jump record several times in the last several months, kept her concentration to dominate the field after a six-hour weather delay.  Eventually, the Texas A&M athlete posted an event-winning mark of 1.95m to complete the SEC indoor and outdoor high jump title sweep.

The athlete finished ahead of South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a best of 1.86m and LSU’s Nyagoa Bayak who finished third with 1.86m on the countback.  The in-form Distin also had three attempts at 1.99m but failed to clear the bar.

World-class cyclist Nicholas Paul and Olympian Tyra Gittens walked away with the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles at the 59th edition of the First Citizens Sports Awards in Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday.

T&T’s Olympic 4X400m metre relay team of Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and the late Deon Lendore, who won the Lytsra Lewis Award, were also recognized at the ceremony hosted by 2013 400m hurdles World Champion Jehue Gordon and aired on CNC3 Television in the twin-island republic.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman was crowned the Youth Sportsman of the Year 2021 for the consecutive year while tennis player Jordane Dookie was selected as the Youth Sportswoman of the Year 2021 title. Meanwhile, the Jeffrey Stollmeyer Award went to The Tennis Association of Trinidad & Tobago for outstanding administrative work.

Overall, 46 of T&T’s top athletes were honoured during the ceremony for their outstanding achievements over the past year. The country’s Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe praised the awardees for what he described as their “unrelenting spirit, sense of pride and purpose, and the larger than life persona they exude every time they set out to represent the red, white and black.

“You are our true heroes, who serve as a symbol of hope, perseverance, courage and strength, not only to our youth but to our nation,” she said.

Chairman of the First Citizens Sports Foundation, Dr Terry Ali, echoed similar sentiments while adding that the Sports Foundation would continue with its collaborative work with key stakeholders to support the successful restart of sporting events in Trinidad and Tobago.

Karen Darbasie, Group Chief Executive Officer at First Citizens, expressed gratitude at being able to honour the country’s best athletes. “The First Citizens Sports Awards is yet another proud moment, not only for those being honoured but also for us, who have been privileged to uphold that responsibility of bestowing honour,” she said.

Among the youth finalists who received awards were Alan-Safar Ramoutar – Chess; Ryan D’Abreau – Cycling; Shakeem Mc Kay – Track & Field; Zara La Fleur – Chess; Janae De Gannes – Track & Field; and Natassia Baptiste – Volleyball.

Among the senior finalists were Nigel Paul – Boxing; Dylan Carter – Swimming; Andrew Lewis – Sailing; Teniel Campbell – Cycling; Kennya Cordner – Football; Felice Aisha Chow – Rowing, and Samantha Wallace – Netball.

Jamaica and Texas A&M sophomore Lamara Distin claimed the women’s Long Jump title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday.

Distin, who set the NCAA’s leading mark and national indoor record last month, got the better of Trinidad and Tobago and Texas Longhorns jumper Tyra Gittens.  The Jamaican jumper equalled her best of 1.92 metres to win the event, with Gittens recording a season best of 1.89m to earn the silver medal.  Third place went to South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn who recorded a mark of 1.86m.

Elsewhere, University of South Carolina’s Davonte Burnett claimed the men’s 60m title with a new personal best of 6.50.  The Jamaican finished ahead of Indiana’s Rikkol Brathwaite, who was second in 6.52, with Tennessee’s Favour Ashe third in 6.55.

In other events, Wayne Lawrence of Iowa finished 7th in the men’s 400m, an event won by North Carolina’s Randolph Ross and Texas Tech’s Vashaun Vascianna finished just outside the medal places in the men’s 60 MH, which was won by Florida State’s Trey Cunningham.

 

 

USA sprinter Justin Gatlin has announced his retirement from the sport of track and field at the age of 40.

The sprinter enjoyed a long career tinged with success but also with controversy.  Gatlin announced his retirement via social media platform Instagram, via a post entitled ‘Dear Track’.

“I have loved you track. You gave me tears of sadness and of joy, lessons learned that will never be forgotten,” Gatlin wrote.

“The torch is passed but the love will never fade. On your mark, get set … Gone!”

The athlete who won 100m gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and was one of few to register wins at the highest level over Jamaica superstar Usain Bolt.  He went to complete a 100m and 200m sprint double at the World Championships in Helsinki, in 2005, he then won 100m gold at the 2017 Worlds in London, handing the big Jamaican sprinter a rare defeat at a major Games.

Gatlin was also, however, plagued by doping suspension, his first coming in 2001 and arising from the use of Adderall, which contains amphetamine. He had been using the drug since childhood to treat attention deficit disorder.

A second positive test in 2006 found excessive levels of testosterone in his system.  He was banned for eight years for that offense, later reduced to four years on appeal.

 

The issue of whether or not spectators will be allowed to attend the upcoming Carifta Games is yet to be resolved and remains a key area of focus for organisers.

The regional junior track and field event is expected to be staged in Jamaica for the first time since 2011 and more specifically return to the city of Kingston for the first time since 1996, in April of this year.

With the country and globe still in the midst of battling the coronavirus pandemic, however, the situation regarding the possibility of spectators and the number of spectators that can attend a given event, as always, remains a fluid and often tenuous process.

For example, recently it was announced that another upcoming track meet, the Gibson Relays, would be allowed to have spectators in attendance.  Only a few weeks ago, however, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) was denied permission for fans to enter the National Stadium for the country’s World Cup qualifiers.

Chairman of the local organising committee of the 2022 Carifta Games, Mike Fennell, revealed negotiations regarding the situation of fans were ongoing.

“We have a meeting set up with the agencies and ministries in providing the sort of regulations that will exist,” Fennell said.

“We have not finalized anything yet because we know that that is a moving target and the times are not static, but we continue to have meetings and there is goodwill all around,” he added.

“Everyone accepts the importance of having these games.  They're not for the seniors, they’re for the juniors but it is critical in the development of the sport.”

Reigning World and Olympic champion, Steve Gardiner, registered the fastest time ever recorded indoors over 300m, after clocking a blistering 31.56 at the South Carolina Invitational, in Colombia, on Friday.

The Bahamian looked in splendid form in just his second race of the season, having set a national record of 32.06 over the distance three weeks ago.  The new time obliterated the previous best of 31.87 set by the USA’s Noah Lyles in 2017.

Jamaica’s Nathon Allen finished behind Gardiner in 32.54.  The result was a personal best for Allen who left the Jamaica-based MVP track club late last year to join Gardiner at Empire Athletics in Florida. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Asa Guevara won heat two in 33.49, ahead of another Bahamian Kinard Rolle who was second in 34.49.  Another Jamaica, Ronald Sayles, was second in heat 3 with a time of 34.31.  The event was won by Chance Arinze (33.42).

Puerto Rican Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn won the women’s event, in the process clocking 36.52 and breaking her own national record set two weeks ago.

In other events, Guyana’s Aliyah Abraham also recorded a new personal best in the women’s 400m after clocking 52.05 to win the event ahead of Diamond League champion Quanera Hayes who was second in 52.31.

 

MVP head coach, Stephen Francis, is content to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to reports that track star Elaine Thompson-Herah could be planning to leave the club.

According to reports earlier this week, the double Olympic champion had submitted a letter to the club that stated her intentions to sever ties ahead of the new season.  Later in the week, however, the athlete denied the reports suggesting that they may have arisen out of her not starting training as yet.

The athlete is, however, not back due in training as yet and Francis insists that while he is not jumping to conclusions the future remains uncertain.

“From my perspective, we start back training sometime in October, the 18th or 19th…and my philosophy, as usual, is to see who turns up,” Francis told Jamaica television station TVJ.

“What my experience tells me is that sometimes athletes, in general, especially those that come from a lower expectation level.  In other words, not much was expected from them, they are usually unable to separate themselves from people who hop on to their bandwagon,” he added.

The 29-year-old is coming off her best season to date.  Thompson-Herah successfully defended both the 100m and 200m title at the Olympics and joined with former MVP athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, and Briana Williams to win the 4x100m relays.  The sprinter later went on to record a blistering time just outside Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m record.

The MVP track club is no stranger to athletes leaving the club at the peak of their career with Fraser-Pryce and Melanie Walker also having secured moves away after years of success.

 

Jamaica sprint king Usain Bolt has voiced a modicum of support for mercurial United States sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, admitting he is a fan of the energy the young athlete brings to the sport.

Earlier this summer, the 21-year-old was expected to be one of the headliners at the Olympic Games, but things did not go to plan as she missed the event after being suspended for a month after testing positive for marijuana.

Nor did her match-up with the medal-winning Jamaica trio from the Olympics, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson.  Despite plenty of pre-race hype, the American finished last in the event.  The result divided social media users with many still offering support for Richardson, while many others ridiculed her.

Recently the sprinter also drew heat for what many construed to be disrespect shown to legendary American sprinter Alyson Felix who called for patience and support for the young runner.  Bolt, however, believes the athlete’s personality draws more people to the sport.

“I like her energy because I think she’s good for the sport because her energy is different. It’s spicy, it’s a vibe,” Bolt told hip hop magazine Revolt Tv.

“Everybody is different. But, I think she brings a different spice to track and field. And sometimes sports need somebody like that to give the energy, to get people talking about it,” he added.

The double world record holder also offered some kind words of advice to the young American.

“You will have failures throughout your career, it’s just one of those things. In my first Olympics in Athens, I didn’t make it outside the first round. So, it’s just about being determined and pushing yourself, and just believing that you can do it, and just go and do your best.”

  

Jamaica 100m sprinter Nesta Carter has retired from the sport of athletics on the back of recent struggles with an undisclosed medical condition.

The 35-year-old, who was part of Jamaica’s world record gold-winning 4x100m relay team at the London Olympics, made the announcement, on Tuesday, via social media platform Twitter.

“…I am no longer able to give of my best as an athlete to the sport that I know and love.  As a result, and for other reasons, I am announcing my retirement from track and field and an athlete,” the release read.

“My ultimate decision to retire from athletics was also precipitated by a private medical condition, which has been getting worse.  This condition has hindered me from training and competing since March 2021.  A medication prescribed by my doctor to address this medical issue breaches existing anti-doping rules.  As such, I had to make a choice between my health and athletics, and I chose my health.”

The athlete was also part of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning relay team at the 2008 Olympics, but the medal was stripped after a retrospective test returned a positive sample from Carter.  The athlete was also part of a gold medal-winning relay team at the 2011, 2013, and 2015 World Championships.  Carter claimed an individual bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships and has the eighth fastest time ever recorded over the distance.

A chorus of disgruntled Jamaica track and field fans have turned their ire towards sporting goods manufacturer Nike for what they deem to be disrespect of top-rated women’s sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The athlete’s exploits over the past few weeks have astonished the majority of the track and field world.  A truly dominant performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw her not only successfully defend her title in both the 100 and 200m but set the second-fastest times ever recorded over the distance.

For good measure, she added a 4x100m relay gold medal to the mix to leave the game with three medals.  Scrolling through the social media feed of her sponsor @Nike, on both their Twitter and Instagram main feeds, you would never know any of those accomplishments had occurred.

The feed did, however, during the period, congratulate the USA Women’s Basketball team, 800 metre runner Athing Mu and Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge who are all sponsored by the brand.

The last straw for many, however, would have been the placement of an ad featuring USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson ahead of her return to the track at the Prefontaine Classic last week.  The much-hyped ad featured Nike’s caption ‘No more waiting. Let the @carririchardson_ show begin.’  The race featured both Thompson and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, another Nike-sponsored athlete and Olympic silver medallist.  Richardson is yet to win a medal and missed out on the chance of doing so at the Olympics after incurring a brief suspension for testing positive for marijuana.

Thompson summarily dismissed Richardson, and the rest of the field for that matter, after winning the race in a mind-blowing 10.54, with Richardson failing to live up to the pre-race hype after finishing in 9th position.  The Jamaican’s time smashed the already impressive 10.62 mark she set at the Olympics and was just 0.5 seconds outside of Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing world record.  The irony of the situation was not lost on the Jamaica track fans on social media and they made their feeling known by commenting on the post with the Richardson ad on the company’s IG page.

blkdynamit.snkr

The ppl hype her is she the Olympics double double champion and the fastest female in the world? I thought it was Elaine? ??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️

makonem_theheir

She just got smokedddd.. Not even top 4.?????.. I guess the show got postponed

jovem_rei._

All of this for last place sis?

The company has congratulated Thompson-Herah on its “Nike Running” page, which has 5.7M followers, but not their main @Nike page which has 170M followers.  Some fans have started a campaign to boycott the brand.

The Jamaican sprinter is looking for her third Olympic 100m gold.

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