Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper has signed a three-year deal to become the newest brand ambassador for TruShake.

Tapper, the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in an Olympic 100m hurdles final, today formalized the agreement which takes effect from October 2021 and will run through to September 2024. Tapper finished third behind Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and the USA's Kendra Harrison in her history-making run in Tokyo in August.

“It means the world to me that I was chosen to represent the brand. It’s a great partnership. TruShake is a fairly new product in Jamaica and I am entering a new phase in my journey as an Olympic athlete. I am looking forward to us growing together,” said an excited Tapper after putting her signature to the deal at Funland Jamaica.

TruSHAKE is Trade Winds Citrus Limited’s locally manufactured milk-based nutrition shake developed for all ages and lifestyles. Tapper admits that TruShake is a great addition to her meal plan.

“Sometimes I do not feel like eating a heavy meal; it feels good to be able to have an affordable option that is healthy and tasty,” she said. “At times, I feel like whenever I eat healthily, I am sacrificing taste but that’s not the case with TruShake. So, it’s a great addition to my meal plan.”

Marketing Manager of Tradewinds Citrus, Lauren Mahfood explained that Tapper is a perfect fit for their brand. “Like most Jamaicans, we witnessed Megan’s outstanding talent at the Olympics this year and we were extremely proud of her performance on the world stage,” she said.

“Her infectious energy and incredible character made it clear that she was an all-around winner – a perfect fit for the TruShake brand.”

Tapper, who is also a motivational speaker, uses her platform to inspire young girls and women to seize the moment and to dream big. She explained that she will use this opportunity as TruShake’s brand ambassador, to continue her work to motivate and encourage Jamaicans to eat and live healthy so they can achieve their optimum physical goals.

 “Megan is an incredible ambassador for Jamaica and as a Jamaican brand, we look forward to seeing her compete locally and internationally, representing with passion and focus as always,” said Mahfood.

Tapper will be looking to be on the podium once more at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and Budapest, Hungary, respectively as well as the lucrative Diamond League circuit before she aims for another Olympic medal in Paris in 2024.

Jamaica will be represented in several sports at the first-ever Junior Pan-American Games which is scheduled to take place in the city of Cali in Colombia between November 25 and December 5, 2021.

Responding to the call made by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) earlier this year, several juniors from the so-called "smaller sports" dedicated their efforts in qualifying and have now earned a coveted place at the historic games.

Among those sports, whose athletes will don the black green and gold national colours in Cali, are Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Artistic Gymnastics, Fencing, Badminton Triathlon, Tennis, Cycling (Track), Skateboarding and Squash.

In commending the commitment of member associations and the nation's juniors, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, said: "Our associations and federations and their juniors have responded positively and with national pride to the JOA's Cali call to action for it will be for us, 'business unusual' in Cali and for them, it will be 'signed, sealed and delivered."

The JOA boss, in expressing a well-known policy of the national governing body, further stated "the JOA is giving our young sportsmen and women every opportunity to transition and be more than gold medalists - to be standard-bearers. The JOA subscribes to this ideal and Cali is certainly embracing it."

The number of local sports that will feature at the multi-sport junior games is indeed a record for the JOA and is being interpreted by its Secretary-General and CEO, Ryan Foster, as "a clear signal that the JOA's strategy of diversification is working well and that our members are inspiring their junior athletes to be history-makers and to strive for excellence."

With the Santiago 2023 Senior Pan-American Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games only two and three years away respectively, the JOA views the Cali games as a critical milestone. Secretary-General Foster, in giving the context, was unequivocal. "Cali is a dress rehearsal for our juniors. If you want to be at the senior shows, you have to, from now, dress for the shows, study the scripts and be able to deliver yourself on the big stages."

The stage lights in Cali will soon be turned on to spotlight over 3,800 athletes from the Caribbean and Americas - north, central and south -who will compete across 315 events in 28 sports and "Jamaica will be their centre stage and the objective is to have a leading role in this historic event," President Samuda said.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is to investigate allegations that two Belarus coaches tried to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to board a flight home from the Tokyo Olympics.

Tsimanouskaya claimed Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich took her to the airport against her will after she criticised the coaches on social media.

The 24-year-old finished fourth in her 100 metres heat, before being pulled out of the Games by Belarusian officials.

Due to also compete in the 200m, she claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the 4x400m relay despite her never having raced in the event before.

Tsimanouskaya said she did not feel safe returning to her homeland amid a crackdown on anti-government dissent following mass protests that erupted last year over a disputed election.

She flew to Warsaw rather than Belarus after being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked Shimak and Maisevichas' accreditation in August after launching an investigation into the saga.

The IOC and World Athletics on Thursday revealed that the AIU will look into the matter.

World Athletics and the IOC stated: "Further to the incident involving Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the decision taken by the IOC to cancel and remove the accreditations of the two coaches, Messrs A. Shimak and Y. Maisevich, as a provisional measure during the Games, the IOC and World Athletics have jointly agreed to continue the investigation and to open a formal procedure vis-à-vis the two aforementioned coaches. 

"To this effect, and given that the Olympic Games have now concluded, it has been decided that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) – the independent body created by World Athletics to manage all integrity issues (both doping-related and non-doping-related) for the sport of athletics – will conduct the procedure, with the full collaboration and support of the IOC. 

"The AIU will publish the outcome of its investigation when this has been finalised."

 

Greg Rutherford is dreaming of becoming the first athlete in almost 100 years to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Games after being named in Great Britain's bobsleigh squad ahead of Beijing 2022.

The 34-year-old won gold for Britain in the long jump event on home soil at London 2012 and followed that up with a bronze in Rio four years later.

Rutherford announced his retirement from athletics in July 2018 and started training in the bobsleigh five months ago.

He has now confirmed that he made the cut for GB's five-man squad that will now attempt to qualify for the upcoming Winter Games, which takes place in February 2022.

"A massive milestone has been hit in my bobsleigh journey," Rutherford posted on Instagram. "A few weeks ago we had our trials and I managed to qualify for the British team to compete this winter!

"The team now has to qualify for the Olympic Games by placing well on the World Cup circuit (as does every team).

"This has been a huge undertaking, going from a very retired former athlete, to retraining in a new sport and qualifying for the team. A massive thank you to everyone who's helped thus far.

"We start competing in a couple of months' time with the medal dream very much alive."

Only six British athletes have ever contested at both the Summer and Winter Games, most recently former sprinter and bobsledder Allyn Condon in 2000. None of them have won medals at either event.

Rutherford told the Guardian: "There were a few doubters when I said I wanted to make the Winter Olympics in April, but I always back and believe in myself, and I am absolutely delighted to have been selected.

"I am extremely confident we can qualify for Beijing and go on to achieve something very special."

There have been just six previous examples of athletes from any country winning medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.

Eddie Eagan (in 1920 and 1932) and Gillis Grafstrom (in 1920 and both 1924 and 1928) set the benchmark for Rutherford by taking gold at both, although the latter competed in the same sport – figure skating – on each occasion.

Eagen built on his light-heavyweight boxing triumph in the four-man bobsled.

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.”

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