Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is among the five finalists for World Athletics Female Athlete of the Year Award.

The five-time world 100m champion made the cut after the three-way voting process determined the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family cast their votes by email, while fans logged their decisions online via the World Athletics social media platforms where a record 1.3 million votes were registered.

The World Athletics Council’s vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result.

Shericka Jackson, the 2022 World 200m champion, failed to make the cut.

Fraser-Pryce being among the finalists was not surprising given the outstanding year she had last season when she became the first running athlete to win five world titles in the same event and ran a record seven times under 10.7s including a world-leading 10.62s.

She was also the Diamond League champion for the fifth time in her illustrious career.

Also among the finalists is the newly minted 100m hurdles world-record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria, who added the Diamond League and Commonwealth Games title to her resume during the past season. She set a new world record of 12.12 during the semi-finals of the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in July before running a wind-aided 12.06 to win her first global title.

Another world-record holder, Sydney McLaughlin of the United States, is also among the finalists. The super-talented American broke the 400m hurdles world record twice during the season – 51.41 at the US Championships before lowering it to a jaw-dropping 50.68 in the final of the World Championships.

McLaughlin won a second gold medal in Oregon as a member of the USA’s 4x400m relay team.

Also among the finalists is Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, the 2022 World Indoor and Outdoor triple jump champion. The 2022 Diamond League champion also improved upon her own world record in the event with a 15.74m performance in Belgrade.

Peru’s Kimberly Garcia completes the five finalists. Garcia, the World 20km race walk champion is her country’s first ever World Athletics Championships medallist. Garcia is also the World 35km race walk champion in a South American record that saw her complete a race walk double.

She is also World Athletics Race Walking Team Championships 20km bronze medallist.

The winner of World Athletics Women Athlete of the Year will be announced in early December.

 

 

 

During a nostalgic evening charged with emotion last Thursday night, a portrait of a young GC Foster, reproduced from an old photograph was unveiled before an audience at the sports college named in his honour in Spanish St Catherine.

Keithi Cunningham considers himself a lucky man after he unexpectedly got to meet Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, arguably the greatest female sprinter in history.

Deon Hemmings-McCatty created history at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 when she won the 400m hurdles to become the first woman from the Caribbean to win an Olympic gold medal.

Hemmings ran an Olympic record 52.82 holding off the challenge of Americans Kim Batten and Tonja Buford and etch her name into the annals of Jamaica track and field history. She would win a silver medal in the event at the Sydney Games in 2000 when she also won another silver medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x400m relay team and cement her legacy as one of Jamaica’s great athletes.

Those exploits were recalled and celebrated at GC Foster College on Thursday night during the launch of 50 Days Afire, a book written by Michael A. Grant and Hubert Lawrence. The book chronicles 50 track and field performances that have defined Jamaica’s legacy in the sport.

Hemmings-McCatty’s accomplishments appear in the 260-page book that was the third undertaking between Grant and Lawrence over the past decade.

During the ceremony, a video of the reserved athlete’s triumphant run in Atlanta was shown after which she was presented with a citation created by artist Patrick Kitson.

Needless to say, she was overwhelmed by fact that her exploits were being celebrated and that her place in Jamaica’s track and field history has not been forgotten.

“It is a special occasion to know that after retiring for so long people still see the work or still remember the work that I have done and I will cherish this very special moment and I am thankful,” said Hemmings-McCatty, who retired in 2003, almost 20 years ago.

The event was attended by Olympian Vilma Charlton, Vice-Principal of GC Foster College Gibbs Williams, MVP President Bruce James and the granddaughters of GC Foster Andrea Roberts, Debbie Jardine and Heather Chin.

G.C. Foster could take his rightful place as the father of Jamaica’s strong legacy in track and field following the launch of 50 Days Afire at the sports college named in his honour in St Catherine, Jamaica on Thursday night.

50 Days Afire chronicles 50 track and field performances that shaped Jamaica’s legacy in the sport as well as the lost story of Foster, who after being unable to compete at the Olympics in 1908, proceeded to defeat many of the finalists of the 100m in subsequent meets across Europe.

At the launch, a short documentary ‘Finding Foster’ that highlighted the long-buried legacy of GC Foster, was shown to a captive audience.

Following years of research and interviews by authors Michael A. Grant and Hubert Lawrence Foster to life and documented seminal moments in the country's long and storied history in track and field. Grant and Lawrence said the information contained in the book could or perhaps should change the narrative about who really set the pace for what Jamaica has been able to accomplish through the likes of Herb McKenley, Merlene Ottey, Marilyn Neufville, Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah among many others.

“I hope so,” said Lawrence, the noted track writer and historian, “it’s an inspiring story. If you could take off with no Olympic Committee, thinking you could beat the best, is typical Jamaican. My parents did that. I am who I am because my parents made those choices and GC Foster exemplifies that spirit that can’t be broken.

“He came back, didn’t make it but put that into coaching and Jamaica is better for it. I hope so.”

Both men agree that producing the book helped them understand how the events they wrote about helped shape Jamaica’s track and field history but that realization did not come about until they were well into the process.

“Once I got about half-way it occurred to me that these 50 events actually changed Jamaica. If you remove them and they never happened it would be a very different country, not just in terms of sport but also in terms of the culture itself,” Grant opined.

Lawrence though had a different take. “If we can avoid the mistakes of the past by showing the victories of the past then it’s like a torch light showing people where to go,” he said.

“People now know that there was greatness all the way through the history back to 1908 and they trust it if they work hard and they work smart they can win.”

On the evening, a portrait of GC Foster was unveiled at the school's auditorium as his grand-daughters Andrea Roberts, Debbie Jardine and Heather Chin looked on.

 Deon Hemmings, the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal, when she ran a record 52.82 to defeat the more fancied Americans Kim Batten and Tonja Buford, at the Atlanta Games in 1996, was also honoured with artwork by Patrick Kitson over a citation recalling her history-making exploits.

 

 

 

 

 

, could change the narrative that Arthur Wint, Herb McKenley, George Rhoden and Les Laing, are the fathers of Jamaica’s strong track and field legacy.

 

that chronicles 50 track and field performances that shaped Jamaica’s legacy in the sport, believe that the unearthing of the accomplishments of

Deon Hemmings-McCatty,  the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic gold medal, is to be honoured for her impact on local athletics and inspiration to young athletes, at Thursday’s launch of  50 Days Afire, a book chronicling impactful events in Jamaica’s track and field at GC Foster College in St Catherine.

A documentary 'Finding Foster: The Search for Jamaica’s Lost Sprint Hero' will also be a feature at the launch of the seminal publication by publisher Michael A. Grant and track and field writer, commentator and historian Hubert Lawrence.

I can’t say no,” the history making Olympian said in accepting her invitation to the event, “I will be there.”

The special award was initiated by local gaming brand AnyBet, the title sponsor of the book, film and  event. Grants for research and production were also provided by NCB Capital Markets, Sherwin-Williams, Sports Development Foundation and Tastee Ltd., while other sponsorship was provided by GC Foster College, Supreme Outdoor Advertising, TrackAlerts.com and WISYNCO Ltd.

Fifty Days Afire, is the third collaboration between Grant and Lawrence. It chronicles the 50 most significant performances by Jamaican athletes over 115 years of competition, beginning with GC Foster’s exploits in the United Kingdom in 1908.

In addition to never-before-seen photographs of Foster as an athlete and pictures representing all the featured races, the book addresses issues of class, nationalism and Jamaica’s love of sprinting, while discussing reasons for the growing dominance of the island’s athletes on the world stage. Readers will learn how influential those 50 races have been to the overall development of the sport, even though they do not all feature victories or records.

'Finding Foster' is Grant’s  brainchild. He uncovered important information and photographs of Jamaican pioneering sprinter and coach Gerald Claude “GC” Foster while conducting research for the book.

With a run-time of 30 minutes, the production features analysis by Lawrence and sports broadcaster Kayon Raynor and follows Foster on his quest to compete at the 1908 London Olympics, travelling alone on his own funds.

With the help of British coach Harry Andrews, Foster was able to turn his failed bid at Olympic glory into a spectacular three-month tour of Great Britain in which he competed prodigiously, beating the British champion and other Olympians in several meets.

While there, Foster became a favourite of the British sporting press and often addressed adoring crowds following his races.

In addition to honouring Hemmings, there will also be the unveiling of a portrait of Foster as a young athlete. The authors will also read from as well as sign books on sale at the venue.

 

Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert is among the five nominees for World Athletics’ 2022 Men’s Rising Star Award.

17-year-old former Hydel High sprinter Kerrica Hill has been named among five nominees for the 2022 Women’s Rising Star Award, World Athletics announced in a press release on Tuesday.

The award will recognize this year's best U20 athlete at the World Athletics Awards 2022.

The nominations reflect the many standout performances that the sport has witnessed this year, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Cali, the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and other events around the world.

In addition to winning the Class Two Girls 100m in a record 11.16 at the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships in April, Hill also produced a World U18 record 12.77 to win the 100m hurdles at the World U20 Championships in Cali, Colombia in August. She was also a member of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning and world U20 record setting 4x100m quartet at those championships alongside Serena Cole and the Clayton sisters.

Since then, Hill has gone pro and joined the Elite Performance Track Club, a training group that includes five-time World Championships gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles champion Rasheed Broadbell and Commonwealth Games finalist Rushel Clayton as well as World Championships relay medallists Kemba Nelson and Stacey-Ann Williams.

The other nominees are Kenyans Jackline Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich, South Africa’s Mine De Klerk and Serbia’s Adriana Vilagos. Chepkoech won 300m gold at the Commonwealth Games and won the event at the Brussels Diamond League. Cherotich won the 3000m steeplechase at the World U20 Championships and finished third at the Diamond League Final in Zurich. De Klerk won gold and bronze in the shot put and discus, respectively, at the World U20 Championships and had seven of the world’s top 10 U20 shot put performances while Vilagos won gold in the javelin at the World U20 Championships and silver at the European Championships. She also had the 11 best U20 performances of the year.

The winner of the 2022 Women’s Rising Star Award will be selected by an international panel of experts and be announced on World Athletics’ social media platforms in early December.

 

The World Athletics Council has decided to postpone the World Athletics Relays Guangzhou 23, scheduled for 13-14 May 2023, until April/May 2025 (exact dates to be confirmed).

Due to the ongoing pandemic conditions, this decision was taken with the agreement of the Guangzhou organising committee (LOC) and the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA).

The decision to delay the World Athletics Relays impacts the qualification system for the relay events at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23. Therefore, the World Athletics Competition Commission, upon approval of the Council, has revised the qualification system to include the top eight teams from the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 and the top eight teams from the performance lists.

The philosophy is to replicate a similar qualification system by still qualifying part of the field through direct competition and part through performance in the qualification period.

Details of the changes to the Budapest qualification system are outlined here.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said: “It is regrettable when we have to postpone an event. However, World Athletics and the local organising committee are committed to the responsible planning and delivery of the World Athletics Relays, which includes ensuring that athletes from all international federations can participate in and enjoy an experience in a safe and healthy environment.

“I want to thank our colleagues at the Chinese Athletics Association and the LOC for their efforts and cooperation in resolving this situation and look forward to 2025 when our hosts are able to stage a spectacular World Athletics Relays.”

The host of the 2024 World Athletics Relays is set to be awarded by the World Athletics Council at their meeting in Rome, Italy, on 30 November.

After almost a decade of offering scholarships to needy student-athletes across all sports in Jamaica, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s Pocket Rocket Foundation is planning to go a step further in the near future to help prepare beneficiaries for the next stage of their lives.

Founded in 2013, the Pocket Rocket Foundation has since offered scholarships to 62 student athletes. Some of the recipients in pursuit of careers outside of sport have achieved great success.

Among them are commercial pilot Jovaine Atkinson, a former student-athlete of Kingston College, Brenton Bartley, a former Campion College volleyball player, who now holds a degree in Civil Engineering and J’Voughn Blake, a former Jamaica College student now studying a Dartmouth College in the United States.

The five-time world 100m champion and two-time Olympic champion takes great pride in these achievements and others that she has been able to make possible through the work of the foundation.

“We were able to assist 62 students and also participate in our Christmas treat, our football Peace Through Sports Initiative, the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Resource Centre in Waterhouse with computers and tablets for the students in the community, donated to children’s homes and just have a presence,” said the super-star athlete who holds a degree in Childhood Development from the University of Technology.

“I think for us as a foundation, where we want to go is having programmes geared towards student-athletes, educational equity, as well as sports and play community initiatives and I am really excited about the progress of the foundation and where we are heading and this time around we are making sure that we create impact when it comes to our student-athletes and making sure that they, too, have a future.”

Of the nine cohorts that have benefitted from the foundation’s largesse there is one that stands out, she said, even though all have a special place in her heart.

“I would have to say the first cohort is very dear to me. Out of that cohort we have had Brenton as well as Jovaine, who is a pilot and it’s just remarkable to see the transition. I am proud of all of them, to be honest, recently we saw J’Voughn Blake matriculate to university overseas and it’s just incredible to see what we have been able to accomplish being a part of the Pocket Rocket Foundation and the lives we were able to change.”

Not one to rest on her laurels or those of the foundation, Fraser-Pryce revealed that come January 2023, there are plans to introduce a new facet that will go even further in equipping student-athletes with the skills needed to thrive.

“What’s next is making sure that is having more community-based initiatives, mental wellness and we are definitely come January having our PR and Etiquette seminar for student-athletes making sure we equip them for the next stage of life, making sure we are giving them access to different things that will help them to advance their lives.”

 

 

 

In a career spanning more than a decade during which she has five 100m world titles, two Olympic 100m titles, and is one of the fastest women to have ever lived, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is just now accepting that she is among the greatest, if not the greatest of all time.

Since she became the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m title when she crossed the line first at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has established a number of firsts that have augmented her incredible legacy of dominance on women’s sprinting. She would eventually win back-to-back 100m gold medals and at the Tokyo Olympics became the first woman in history to win 100m medals in four consecutive Olympic Games when she finished second to compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.

She was also the first to simultaneously hold Olympic and World 100m titles; she has done it twice (2008/2009 and 2012/2013) and she also became the first female sprinter to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at a World Championships (Moscow 2013).

And this past summer, she became the first running athlete – male of female – to win five world titles in a single event, the oldest woman ever to win a world 100m title and capped it off running a record seven times below 10.7 in the 100m including the world-leading 10.62 in Monaco in August.

However, with all that under her belt she never believed herself to be in the conversation on who is Greatest of All Time.

“As an athlete, especially as a young athlete growing up I never had that belief in myself,” she said. “The mindset has been the greatest asset that I have had throughout my years and I always think I am very good at what I do because that is why I continue to show up knowing that I know that I can do it.”

However, her accomplishments during this past season has opened her up to the reality of the true strength of her legacy.

“To be able to accomplish the things that I did is only because of the grace of God because I have worked really, really hard and I think this time around I was more contented than ever knowing that I belong, having fun and a sense of being at peace and to be even considered one of the greatest is truly remarkable,” she said speaking to Sportsmax.TV at the conclusion of her Pocket Rocket Foundation’s ninth annual scholarship awards at the Jamaica Pegasus.

“So I am glad to even be able to me mentioned in the conversation. For me, I am just happy to be mentioned.”

Fraser-Pryce, who turns 36 in December will be going after a sixth World 100m title in Budapest in 2023 and what would be a record third Olympic 100m gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

 

Getting a bronze medal 10 years after competing at the 2012 London Olympics would be a dream come true for Jamaican 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer.

Five-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has revealed that having won a record five 100m world championship and two Olympic 100m gold medals, she is now focused on going as fast she can before she hangs up her spikes for good.

The 35-year-old Mommy Rocket made the revelation recently at the annual Pocket Rocket Scholarship Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston where seven new awardees received bursaries and gifts valued at J$190,000, a significant increase over previous years since the foundation began awarding scholarships in 2013.

At the start of last season, after a 200m race at the National Stadium in Kingston, Fraser-Pryce announced that her goal for the season was to run as fast as 10.5 or 10.4s and, of course, win a record-extending fifth 100m title having previously won in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Speaking to Sportsmax.TV afterwards the awards ceremony, Fraser-Pryce, who ran a record seven-times under 10.70 seconds last season, more than any other woman has ever done, explained why she was not disappointed at not going faster than the world-leading 10.62 she ran in Monaco on August 10.

“Honestly, I am not disappointed because the conversation I had with my coach before was that to be able to run 10.5 or 10.6 you have to be able to run 10.6 consistently and I think I was able to do that,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“It was almost like second nature, automatic that I could switch on, so now that I have had that work done this season then it’s going back to the drawing board and cementing the things that I have learnt this (past) season and also getting better at some other things, hopefully I will be able to go below 10.6 soon.

“At this stage of my career that is what I am chasing, fast times that is what I am really chasing. I have accomplished a lot of things, I won my fifth world title…and I want to make sure that when I leave I (would have) given everything. That’s just the goal to make sure that the day I depart and I sit at home I would be contented that I gave everything that I could and I left no stones unturned.”

To do that, she said, there are certain things that she must improve for the coming season when she could be gunning for a sixth world 100m title in Budapest.

“Practicing relaxation has been the key and I need to be confident in my technique,” she said. “I need to have that confidence…I need to trust that technique and trust that it is not going to fail me; just making sure that I stay relaxed and execute the phases of the race the proper race all should go well.”

 

 

 

Barbadian Commonwealth Games 400m champion and World Championship bronze medallist Sada Williams gifted her medals from the 2022 season to the Barbados Olympic Association on Thursday.

“Today, I had the honor of gifting my medals to the Barbados Olympic Association where they can be showcased in their museum for any and everyone visiting to view them,” Williams said on her Instagram page on Thursday.

Williams enjoyed a career best 2022 season in the one lap event.

In July, she ran a personal best and national record 49.75 for bronze at the World Championships in Eugene. She followed that up in August by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 49.90 and silver at the NACAC Championships in Freeport in 49.86.

In addition to those medals, Williams also enjoyed four top three finishes on the Diamond League circuit last season. She finished third in Monaco and second in Lausanne and Brussels before crossing the line third once again at the Diamond League final in Zurich.

“I thought it only fitting to share my achievements to the people of Barbados after all the overwhelming support from this past season. To all my fellow Bajan athletes, I hope you take this opportunity and remember that even though we’re from a little island, we can do big things."

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, 2022 world champions in athletics were conferred with national honours at Jamaica’s annual National Honours and Awards held on the lawns of Kings House in Kingston, Jamaica on Monday, October 17, which is celebrated as National Heroes Day.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce was conferred with the Order of Jamaica, Commander Class for Outstanding Performance in the field of athletics at the international level. The woman known internationally as the Pocket Rocket for her incredible speed that has been on display for more than a decade, won her fifth World 100m title in Eugene, Oregon in July becoming the first running athlete to accomplish the feat.

It was also her second world 100m title since she gave birth to her son Zyon in 2017. During the just-concluded season, Fraser-Pryce another global benchmark when she became the first woman in the history of the sport, to run faster than 10.7 seconds seven times during the any one season.

She has now run under 10.7s nine times which is more than any other woman has ever run.

She is also the holder of three Olympic gold medals and 10 World Championship gold medals in her illustrious career.

Jackson, 28, was conferred with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class for exceptional achievements in the sport of Track and Field Athletics at the national, World Championships and Olympic levels.

 The former Vere Technical star won her first global title in Eugene, Oregon in July when she ran 21.45 to claim the 200m gold medal. The time makes her the second fastest woman in history and is a national record breaking the previous mark of 21.53 set by Elaine Thompson-Herah at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jackson has also won bronze medals in the 400m at the World Championships and Olympics and is the highest-ranked active combination sprinter in history with personal bests of 10.71 in the 100m, 21.45 in the 400m and 49.49 in the 400m.

Only two women in history have been better.

Also, receiving national honours were Dr Warren Blake, former president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), who was conferred with the Order of Distinction, (CD), for contribution to Medicine and as a team doctor in national sports; Claude Bryan, a sports agent, the Order of Distinction for contribution to the sport of Track and Field and Michael Clarke, a veteran coach, who was conferred with the Order of Distinction for contribution to sports in the area of Track and Field.

 

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