Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce admits she was not happy to lose to Elaine Thompson-Herah at the 2021 Gyulai István Memorial in Hungary on Tuesday but says she has time to fix what went wrong in the race.

Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympic champion, stormed to victory in 10.71 to turn the tables on her compatriot and fierce rival, who had beaten her at the Jamaica Olympic trials on the night of Friday, June 25.

“If I am being honest, nobody is happy when they lose. It is what it is,” said Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.82 for second place in Hungary.

“You know what you need to do, you know what happened in the race and you know what needs to be fixed and I think you have that time to fix it.

“You can always go back, you can watch the race and where your downfall was and how you work to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the Olympics. It’s a moment for learning and you use it to fuel you for the next one.”

However, the four-time world 100m champion said she is excited about the depth of talent among the Jamaican women that currently has several of the best female sprinters in the world including Shericka Jackson, Briana Williams, Kemba Nelson and Thompson-Herah.

With regard to the men, she believes patience is required.

“The men always have trouble. There are always some issues with the men,” she joked.

“On the female side, I think females are a lot more competitive so it’s almost as if its innate for them to always want to compete and do what’s necessary while for the men, I don’t know what’s the issue, but I definitely think that eventually, it will work itself out.

“It always happens. Before we had Usain, we had a lull, so I think we just have to give it time and I think they have to want it more for themselves than anything else and I think they don’t need to think about filling Usain’s shoes because those are huge shoes to fill. They just have to focus on them and what they’re able to do to show what they have to offer to the sport.”

Fraser-Pryce competes over 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco today. She will go up against Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Marie Josee Ta Lou in what is expected to be a competitive race.

 

 

Organisers for the Tokyo Olympics have confirmed spectators will be banned from attending events being held in the city after Japan's capital was placed into a state of emergency again.

The decision was taken following a meeting between organisers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, plus the Japanese government.

It was announced Tokyo will once more enter a state of emergency, which will run until at least August 22, amid rising coronavirus cases.

Japan's Olympics minister Tamayo Marukawa is quoted as saying: "We reached an agreement on no spectators at venues in Tokyo."

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said it is "regrettable", while adding: "A very heavy judgement was made...[but we] no choice but to hold the Games in a limited way."

The decision was widely expected but marks a fresh blow for the Games, which were postponed by a year because of the global pandemic.

Many residents of Japan have expressed opposition to the Games due to the hordes of athletes, officials and media arriving from overseas.

While avoiding the huge numbers of infection rates seen in other nations, Japan has registered over 800,000 cases and 14,800 deaths, while 920 new daily cases were reported on Wednesday. There have also been concerns about the speed of the country's COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Despite the vocal opposition, the government has pressed ahead with plans for the Games, which organisers stated in December would cost a staggering $15.4billion.

The Olympic Games officially get under way on July 23 with the opening ceremony, although softball and football start two days earlier, and run until August 8. Following that, the Paralympics are set to take place between August 24 and September 5.

 

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.

Major events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games could take place behind closed doors after Japan confirmed a new state of emergency would be imposed.

Chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said any event scheduled for after 9pm would be unable to take place in front of spectators.

Currently, major athletics events, including the women's and men's 100 metres finals on July 31 and August 1, are due to take place after that time.

"We are now having experts discuss regarding the event and spectators within the area of the state of emergency declaration," Kato said.

"The threshold is 50 per cent of capacity or 5,000 people and, thinking about the time, the event should be ended around 9pm.

"In the case of Tokyo, the intensive measures, that is relying on the judgement of the governor.

"However, Tokyo is under a state of emergency declaration, so any event after 9pm is going to be without spectators.

"Having said that, specific counter measures, how to handle this, is going to be discussed after July 12, when the state of emergency declaration is issued.

"We have to be thinking about the handling of the spectators.

"The contractor is the Tokyo prefecture and the implementor is the Olympic Committee.

"From this perspective the government will air its opinions and at the end of the day the implementer will make the final decision."

It is possible the entire Olympics will happen without spectators, local reports have suggested.

Should fans still be allowed in to venues, it seems likely scheduling will need to be altered to avoid blue-riband events happening in front of empty seats after the curfew.

Bars and restaurants in Tokyo must close at 8pm under the restrictions, but events such as concerts will have a 9pm curfew.

Prime minister Yoshihide Suga has declared the emergency measures will be in place until August 22, amid rising coronavirus cases.

The Olympic Games, already delayed by a year, officially begins on July 23 with the opening ceremony, although softball and football start two days earlier.

Many residents of Japan have expressed opposition to the Games going ahead, given the influx of competitors, officials and media from overseas.

The Olympics is due to run until August 8, and is scheduled to be followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

 On reflection, three-time Jamaica national 400m hurdles champion Janieve Russell can’t help but think that it was her destiny to compete in the event, after the fortuitous circumstances that led to her moving away from the long jump, a discipline near and dear to her heart.

After a superb run that led to her blowing away the country’s best athletes, in a season-best of 54.04 seconds, to claim the Women's 400m Hurdles title at the Jamaica National Championships, it was clearly a great choice but for a long time, one that wasn’t even on the cards.

In fact, Russell spent the majority of her junior career as a long jumper and competed successfully at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships for her high school, Holmwood, in the event.  The 2019 World 400m hurdles silver medalist now believes wholeheartedly that the track itself called her to her destined event after the unexpected way she ended up competing in it.

"I believe the track was choosing my destiny for me because I really love long jump; that was my main event back in high school and by some chance, I was entered to the 400m Hurdles because someone on the team had to pull out. And then, I just continued, went to MVP and the coach said you are going to stick to the hurdles, not the long jump,” Russell explained.

Russell has had a solid career, and in addition to the three national titles, has picked up wins at the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.

Winning her third national title was a special moment for Russell, who admitted that she fully expected to be up against a challenging field. Her top priority though was to finish in an automatic spot, then channel all her energy to focusing on Tokyo.

"It is a tough field in the 400m hurdles event this year, so I am just using these trials to work on my mental state and I am just really happy to come out on top because my aim was just to be in the top three and just be on the Olympic team,” Russell said.

Off the back of a rectus femoris injury (acute tearing injury of the quadriceps) that she suffered in 2016, Russell insists that she has gotten stronger physically and mentally. 

"My MVP team and I have been working hard on our mental training, been working on my physical (fitness), ensuring that I am not injury prone, because, trust me, two weeks or one week before any trials I have always had an injury. I have been very careful this year, I have been eating properly, I have been doing everything by the book and I am just really grateful again to be out here by the grace of God to compete injury-free and to be on top."

Though she is a decorated nine-time gold medalist at the CARIFTA Games and a double gold medalist at the 2012 World Junior Championships, Russell’s ultimate aim is to match the feats of Deon Hemmings and Melanie Walker who both won gold medals for the country at the Olympic level.

"I will definitely try, as I said before it is a very tough field. I am just going out there with guts and to just represent my country, come out with a personal best and just do the best I can."

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will run from July 23 to August 8.

 

The sporting calendar provides many memorable days throughout the year but rarely do elite events overlap as often as at the Olympics.

At this year's delayed Tokyo Games, there is the prospect of seeing several of the world's top athletes all competing for gold at the same time.

August 1 looks a good bet for the standout day in 2021.

The final round of the men's golf event could see Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm in the mix, with Andy Murray hopeful he will meanwhile be defending consecutive singles gold medals in the tennis.

This comes on the same day that Simone Biles could potentially become the most decorated Olympic gymnast of all time.

As if that were not enough, the men's 100m final is another must-watch event.

Expectations will be high heading into that second Sunday of the Games, with examples from the past three competitions living up to their billing...

AUGUST 16, BEIJING 2008

Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt would be firmly in contention to appear on the Games' own Mount Rushmore and each enjoyed one of the finest moments of their respective careers on the same day.

Phelps had spent the opening week of the Beijing Olympics pursuing Mark Spitz's 1972 record of seven golds and had six as he entered the pool again for the 100m butterfly final, almost 12 hours before Bolt's big moment.

Seventh at the turn, the United States superstar needed a remarkable recovery to triumph over a devastated Milorad Cavic by 0.01 seconds.

Phelps would pass Spitz with his eighth gold of the Games the following day, by which point he was sharing the headlines with Jamaica's own ultimate athlete.

Bolt's blistering 9.69-second final triumph in the 100m stood as a world record until the same man beat it exactly a year later. The new benchmark remains unmatched.

And that Saturday in China also saw the small matter of Roger Federer's only gold medal, claimed alongside Stan Wawrinka in the doubles final after falling to James Blake as the top seed in the singles.

AUGUST 4-5, LONDON 2012

It is actually tough to choose just one day from the 2012 Olympics, where this weekend delivered from start to finish.

On the Saturday evening, at the Aquatics Centre, swimming prepared to say goodbye to its greatest name. Phelps and the United States won the 4x100m medley, clinching his 18th gold medal in what appeared set to be his final race.

Indeed, Phelps confirmed his retirement following the Games, only to return in predictably dominant fashion in 2016.

Across the city that same night, Team GB athletes were capping a stunning run of medals that would see the day dubbed "Super Saturday". There were six home golds in all, including big wins for Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah in quick succession.

The drama only continued the next day, too, as Murray finally sealed a Wimbledon win over Roger Federer in the tennis event, while Bolt lit up London Stadium in the 100m.

AUGUST 14, RIO 2016

Although there will be no Bolt brilliance in Tokyo, Brazil was treated to another show as he became the first three-time winner of the 100m – later doing likewise in the 200m.

The first triumph was almost overshadowed on the track, however, coming shortly after Wayde van Niekerk had broken Michael Johnson's 17-year 400m world record by 0.15 seconds.

Again, the excitement was not reserved for athletics, with Murray in action that evening to claim another gold after coming through a four-hour epic against Juan Martin del Potro.

Murray is the only player – men's or women's – to win consecutive singles golds, while Rafael Nadal's presence added a little more stardust even though he lost the bronze final to Kei Nishikori.

A stunning Sunday also saw Biles add to the reputation she takes with her to Tokyo, a third gold on the vault making her the most decorated American gymnast.

And there was history, too, for Justin Rose, as he edged past Henrik Stenson at the 18th hole of the fourth round to become the first Olympic golf champion in 112 years.

Double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah legitimately feared missing out on a chance to defend her Olympic titles because of a longstanding, ongoing injury issue.

The athlete finished third in both the 100m and 200m at last month’s Jamaica National Championships but admits for a few weeks leading up to the event she was not sure she could have taken part.

The 29-year-old said that leading up to the national trials, she suffered from an Achilles injury that earlier forced her to withdraw from the Gateshead Diamond League event that she was scheduled to compete in on the 23rd of May.

“It’s that same Achilles injury, it’s been bothering me for almost five years now…it’s not that bad for surgery but it’s overworked I guess, so I have to monitor it properly, Thompson-Herah revealed.

The athlete put in a dominant performance at the Rio Olympics five years ago, where she won gold in both sprint events and silver in the women’s 4x100m relay.

The result at the national trials might not have been exactly what she wanted, but Thompson-Herah maintains she is grateful that she managed to at least finish third in both events, and with that securing the chance to win back-to-back Olympic titles.

“It’s been a challenging month, over the last month I have been in a lot of pain. I drew God closer and said God I am talking to you now, help me to do this at the trials,” Thompson said.

“I spoke to my coach and asked coach ‘will I be able to go to the trials?’ because I was in so much pain. But, I can’t complain, I am not frowning I am smiling through my pain, I have made my second Olympics and I am super excited, the work has to go on.”

Despite the fact that she was hampered by the injury, Thompson-Herah knows that she had to work that much harder, as the competition to secure spots on the team remains fierce.

“A lot of females are out here, and they are hungry for the Olympics, it’s the Olympics, everybody wants to go to the Olympics. I am the reigning Olympic champion, so everybody wants to get to that line (first), myself included.”

As the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games inches closer, quizzed about her expectations, Thompson-Herah insisted she would not be placing any pressure unnecessary expectations on herself, as she focuses on herself and her well-being.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself, my main focus is me and my health, I just put in some more work, reset and refocus.”

 

 

Shaunae-Miller-Uibo, the 2016 Olympic 400m champion has been registered to run both the 200m and 400m this summer, despite an unfriendly schedule.

Sprint hurdler Shane Brathwaite and sprinter Mario Burke have been selected among an eight-member Barbados team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan later this month.

Shane Brathwaite, who previously competed at the Olympic Games London 2012 and is current Pan-American Games champion in the men’s 110-metre hurdles event, will be joined by Tia-Adana Belle who is set to compete in the women’s 400-metre hurdles. This will be her second Olympic appearance.

Sprinters Tristan Evelyn and Burke will be making their debuts at this year’s Games along with 400-metre runner Johnathan Jones.

Also included in the team is the Jamaica-based, Sada Williams, who qualified for the 200 metres at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 but missed out due to an injury. Williams, on the weekend, ran 51.50 to finish second to American Kaylin Whitney in Italy, will contest the 400m.

Meanwhile, swimmers Alex Sobers, who will also be at the Olympics for a second time, and Danielle Titus, have also been named to the team.

The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will run from July 23 to August 8.

The Olympic Games serve as the world’s biggest showcase of sporting talent.

For the Caribbean region, when we hear Olympics, the sport we mainly think about is track & field.

With the region’s rich and storied history of success in the sport, gold, silver and bronze medals are often used to measure the success of respective athletes.  It is, however, far from the only stand.

For some countries, having a representative on the biggest global track & field stage in the world is worth just as much or more than any individual medal.

Antigua & Barbuda is one of those countries and the athlete who has represented them the best on the big stage is sprinter Daniel Bailey.

Bailey, the 100m sprint specialist, has represented his nation in four Olympic Games and five World Championships.

His best result came at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

The headliners were Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt and defending double sprint champion from the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Tyson Gay.

In the fastest race in history, Bolt ran 9.58 to destroy the world record, Gay ran an unbelievable 9.71 to finish second and Asafa Powell finished third in 9.84.

Bailey just narrowly missed out on a historic medal for Antigua & Barbuda, finishing fourth in that race with a time of 9.93.  It wasn’t his first major championship appearance, but it was also when Bailey became a household name in men’s sprinting.

However, Bailey’s first time representing Antigua and Barbuda on the biggest stage of global athletics came five years earlier in 2004.

As a 17-year-old, he carried the flag for his country during the opening ceremony of the Athens Olympics. It is a memory he will carry with him forever.

“I was elated. I was really, really excited to be holding the flag for my country Antigua & Barbuda. A couple of days before, we had a meeting to decide who would do it and when they shouted my name and said ‘Daniel Bailey, you’re going to hold the flag’, it was a special feeling because I know how much it meant for an upcoming athlete to be holding the flag for his nation,” Bailey said.

To put that into perspective, he carried the flag at those Olympics just one month after competing at the World Junior Championships in Grosseto, Italy where he finished 4th in the 100 metres in a time of 10.39.

At those Athens Olympics, Bailey finished 6th in his 100 metres heat in 10.51.

Four years later, at the Beijing Olympics, Bailey, then 21, was again the flag bearer.

During the Games, he advanced to the quarter-finals after finishing second to Bolt in 10.24 in the preliminary round.

Bailey then ran 10.23 to finish 4th but failed to advance from his quarterfinal, a race which saw him lined up against Jamaica’s former world record holder Asafa Powell and American Walter Dix, who eventually won the bronze.

A year after those Olympics would see Bailey enter the prime of his sprinting career.

He would finish 4th at the 2009 World Championships and then fifth at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

On July 17, 2009, in Paris, Bailey ran a personal best and an Antiguan national record of 9.91.

Bailey then carried his nation’s flag at the third straight Olympics in London 2012 where he competed in the 100 metres.

Running in heat 4, against Bolt once again, Bailey would run a time of 10.12 to finish 2nd   and advance to the semi-finals.

Bailey then lined up against Bolt, American Ryan Bailey and  Richard Thompson, the silver medallist from the 2008 games in his semi-final.

He finished 6th in that race in 10.16 and failed to reach the Olympic final once again.

Bailey admits that he had entered into those Olympics with high hopes but suffered some setbacks along the way.

“I had it in my mind to make my first Olympic final. I was really working hard that year and then I got an injury that set me back a little bit. The first week I got to London I caught a bad flu, and it took a toll on my body. I got eliminated in the semi-finals, but I think my overall performance was good based on what was happening.” 

Fast forward four years to the 2016 Rio Olympics and Bailey became one of the few athletes in history to ever be their country’s flag bearer at four straight Olympic Games opening ceremonies.

That year, he competed in Heat 2 of the men’s 100 metres and finished 2nd in 10.20 behind eventual silver medallist Justin Gatlin and advanced to the semi-finals.

He was then slated to appear in semi-final 3 but did not show up for the start due to injury.

Bailey may not have had the medal haul of many Caribbean greats but he has competed at the highest level of the sport for more than a decade and is a role model for sprinters hailing from smaller Caribbean islands like his native Antigua & Barbuda.

“You have to love it and enjoy it,” were Bailey’s words of wisdom for a new generation of up-and-coming athletes.

“My word to the up-and-coming athletes is to go for your goals. Whatever you believe in, nobody can stop that. Always work hard and smart and remember that dedication is the key to success at all times.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shericka Jackson picked up from where she left off at Jamaica’s national championships a week ago and Tajay Gayle equalled his season-best in the long jump at Sunday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet where Kirani James raced to victory in the 400m.

The 2019 World Championships 400m bronze medalist, who shocked her fans with lifetime bests of 10.77 and 21.82 at her national championships a week ago, ran an impressive 22.10 to win the 200m ahead of Marie Josee Ta Lou, who delivered a season-best 22.36.

Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi was third in 22.65, a season-best time and national record.

Earlier, in one of the fastest races run this season, Natoya Goule ran close to her 800m lifetime best of 1:56.15 when she finished second to Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza in the two-lap event.

The diminutive Jamaican clocked a season-best 1:56.44 after chasing the Cuban, who set a new meet record and a brand new personal best of 1:56.28.

Kate Grace ran 1:57.36 for third.

It was a similar story in the men’s 400m where Grenada’s Kirani James and Trinidad’s Leon Lendore engaged in a scrap with 50m to go before James found enough to hold on for victory in 44.63. Lendore ran a season-best 44.73 for second place.

 Leimarvin Bonevacia of the Netherlands was also closing fast but ran out of real estate to finish third in 44.80, a season-best.

Gayle equalled his season-best of 8.55m which was aided by a trailing wind of 2.2m/s that saw him emerge the victor in the long jump. Cuba’s long-jump sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped 8.29m for second place.

Thomas Montler was third. The Swede jumped a personal best leap of 8.23m.

Alisson dos Santos further established himself as one of the best 400m hurdlers in the world this year when he ran 47.33 to win in a new lifetime best and area record, eclipsing the record he set in Oslo on July 1 when Karsten Warholm set a new world record of 46.70.

Turkey’s Yasmani Coppello ran a season-best 48.19 for second place. Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt also ran a season-best 48.75 for third.

The women’s event was a classic as the Netherlands’ Femke Bol and the USA’s Shamier Little raced stride for stride to the line with the former just managing to cross first in a new lifetime best of 52.37. The time was also a Diamond League record, national record and meet record.

Little ran a lifetime best of 52.39 in the race where the first three across the line in under 53 seconds as Anna Rhyzhykova clocked a personal best and national record of 52.96.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell ran 54.08 for fourth while Leah Nugent was sixth in 55.01.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Nigel Ellis and Rasheed Broadbell were among the winners at the XXXII International Meeting of Athletics in Lignano, Italy on Saturday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads a strong 61-member Jamaica team headed to the Olympic Games this summer.

The Pocket Rocket leads a strong female contingent that includes 2016 Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah as well as ‘surprise’ elite sprinter Shericka Jackson. In-form Stephenie-Ann McPherson and rising talent Candice McLeod are also included as well as rising sprint hurdlers Megan Tapper and Britany Anderson.

Briana Williams, the 2018 World U20 sprint double champion makes her first Olympic team as a reserve for the 100m and a member of the 4x100m relay squad.

Yohan Blake, the 2012 double Olympic silver medalist also makes the team along with Demish Gaye and the proven 110m hurdles trio of Ronald Levy, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, Damion Thomas and Hansle Parchment.

The full team comprises

 (100m Men): Tyquendo Tracey, Yohan Blake, and Oblique Seville. Julian Forte (r).

100m Women) Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Elaine Thompson-Herah. Briana Williams (r).

4x100m relay Men Jevaughn Minzie, Nigel Ellis.

4x100m Women: Remona Burchell, Natasha Morrison.

200m Men: Rasheed Dwyer, Yohan Blake, Julian Forte

200m Women: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Elaine Thompson-Herah. Natasha Morrison (r)

400m Men: Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor, Sean Bailey. Nathon Allen (r)

400m Women: Stephenie Ann McPherson, Candice McLeod, Roneisha McGregor. Stacey Ann Williams ®

4x400m Men: Nathon Allen, Karayme Bartley, Rusheen McDonald. Nathon Allen ®

4X400M Women: Stacey Ann Williams, Tovea Jenkins, Junelle Bromfield.

4x400 Men: Karayme Bartley, Rusheen McDonald.

800m: Natoya Goule

110m hurdles: Ronald Levy, Damion Thomas, Hansle Parchment. Phillip Lemonious ®

100m hurdles: Megan Tapper, Yanique Thompson, Britany Anderson. Danielle Williams ®

400m hurdles Men: Jaheel Hyde, Kemar Mowatt, Shawn Rowe. Leonardo Ledgister ®

400m hurdles Women: Janieve Russell, Ronda Whyte, Leah Nugent. Shian Salmon ®

1500M Aisha Praught *

Long jump Men: Tajay Gayle, Carey McLeod.

Long jump Women: Tissanna Hickling, Chanice Porter

Triple jump Men: Carey McLeod

Triple jump women: Shanieka Ricketts, Kimberly Williams

Shot Put Women: Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Lloydricka Cameron *

Discus Men: Fedrick Dacres, Chad Wright, Traves Smikle

Discus Women: Shadae Lawrence

4x400m Mixed Relays: Javier Brown, Keeno Burrell, Davonte Burnett, Tiffany James, Charokee Young, Kemba Nelson.

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