Two-time world 200m champion, Shericka Jackson, is keeping a positive and grounded mindset heading into the Olympic season.

Jackson, the fastest woman alive over 200m and second-fastest all time, will open her 2024 season at the Miramar Invitational in Florida on April 6.

“My mindset is really positive, grounded and it’s happy. That’s one of the pluses for me right now. Once you have a positive mindset approaching training each day, I think it’s something we as athletes look forward to every day,” she said in an interview with Citius Mag on Monday.

A simple but powerful tool that has helped Jackson’s rise to track and field superstardom is her ritual of writing her goals for a season down.

“I think it’s very important because it allows you to know that whenever you feel like giving up, you have goals to achieve. Me just writing down my goals is something that I look forward to and I just want to achieve all that I wrote down and if I don’t achieve them, I go back to the drawing board and I write new goals,” she said.

“Once I write my goals and I achieve them I tick them off because it’s something I look forward to. I remember growing up learning if you save $20 every day you’ll finish the week with a lot of money so it’s something that helps me to work super hard,” she added.

The reigning National Sportswoman of the Year also mentioned that while she hasn’t written down her goals for the 2024 season just yet, a maiden Olympic gold medal will certainly be on the list.

“Funny enough I haven’t even written them yet. Usually at the beginning of January, I write them but because of not going to World Indoors I put them on pause a bit but I definitely know they’re in my head. I just have to put them on paper. I’ve yet to achieve an Olympic gold medal so that’s definitely something I want to achieve,” she said.

Last season, Jackson inched even closer to Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 34-year-old 200m world record of 21.34 when she ran 21.41 to defend her world title in Budapest.

The 29-year-old says that the world record is on her mind but it isn’t something that she will go into every race thinking about.

“Honestly I remember when I was afraid to say I wanted to break the world record and coach and I had a conversation and he enlightened me about something. Whether I speak about it or not and I don’t achieve it, it’s not the end of the world. I think it’s something that we really look forward to,” she said.

“It would’ve definitely been a plus last year but it didn’t happen. I was still super happy. To be able to run two 21.4s and so much fast 21.5s in one season, I definitely think it’s something I look forward to. As I said, the World Record is on our mind but it’s not something we’re going to dwell on every race we go into. Once I’m healthy and in peak form, anything is possible,” she added.

 

 

Jaydon Hibbert, world Under-20 Triple Jump record holder, has established the Leaps and Bounds Foundation to support the education of students at his alma mater Kingston College.

Hibbert presented a symbolic cheque of $780,000 to Kingston College’s Principal Dave Myrie, during an event at the school’s North Street base on Thursday, March 21.

The scholarships were disbursed to five students, valued at $156,000 each, and will cover their tuition fees, books and other expenses for a full academic year.

Among the scholarship recipients are Aaron McKenzie and Daquan Dawkins, both jumpers, who competed at the just-concluded ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships, where Kingston College won its 35th title. The other scholarship recipients are second-form students Jehu Green, Joshua Lewin, and Ricadeen Wilkins.

Hibbert, the first Jamaican and the youngest ever to be awarded the highest US collegiate honour, The Bowerman, lauded Kingston College for instilling the value of giving back.

“The act of giving back was instilled in me during my time at Kingston College, so now, the Leaps and Bounds Foundation is committed to maximising the potential of the youth here, with the focus of providing scholarships annually,” Hibbert shared.

The 19-year-old, who went undefeated throughout the 2023 collegiate season, breaking decades-old records in the process, also imparted words of encouragement to the recipients.

“To all recipients, I encourage you to stay focused, stay humble and stay thankful. I believe in your future and your personal growth here at this great institution,” he said.
Meanwhile, Myrie applauded Hibbert for making the scholarships available to students beyond the athletic community.

"While some may choose to support the athletic community only, he has extended his scholarships to other students, and for that, I must commend Jaydon. During his time at Kingston College, he excelled academically, achieving distinctions in various subjects, including French. We take pride in his achievements,” Myrie noted.

Hibbert, who is currently under professional contract with Puma, also used the opportunity to thank the apparel brand for investing in his talent.
“I want to thank Puma for investing in me and my foundation and I hope to do this annually with their continued support,” Hibbert ended.

The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) President Drumeco Archer issued a strong warning to defending champions Jamaica and others to brace themselves for a stout challenge from the Bahamians at this weekend’s 51st edition of the Carifta Games in Grenada.

Perennial second-place finishers to Jamaica, the Bahamians collected 46 medals – 10 gold, 13 silver and 23 bronze –on home soil last year, which was 32 less than Jamaica’s 78 medal haul, that included 40 gold, 22 silver and 16 bronze.

Despite that, Archer is confident that the 77-strong Bahamian team will deliver strong performances in the “Spice Isle” at Kirani James Stadium.

“Jamaica has hell on their hands as well as Trinidad and Barbados and everybody else,” Archer told Nassau Guardian recently.

“I’m pumped about it because we have some wonderful talent, new and old,” he added.

Head Coach Caudell McNab also expressed confidence about the prospects for his Bahamian team, as expectations are high that they will perform at a high level at the Easter Weekend spectacle.

“I expect them to do well. We will be strong, and we will show all the other countries that we have worked hard, and we are there to win. I expect that most of the countries, because the meet is in the Eastern Caribbean, will field bigger teams than when we hosted it last year because of proximity. It will not make a difference and I expect us to do well in the competition,” McNab declared.

“Experience and the fact that some of the athletes are new to this level gives a good mix. The camaraderie is very good, even if they did not know each other in the past, it makes it very interesting. One of the things that impressed me most is that we have so many pre-qualifiers and at the trials, most of them met the standards again and it shows that they are at the peak and should do extremely well,” he added.

The 2024 Carifta Games will be live on SportsMax from the starting Saturday.

Fred Kerley, Christian Coleman and Yohan Blake will all appear at the second Wanda Diamond League meeting of the 2024 season in Shanghai/Suzhou on April 27th.

Three of the world's biggest sprint superstars will kickstart their 2024 Wanda Diamond League campaigns in the men's 100m at the second meeting of the season in Suzhou on April 27th. 

US stars Fred Kerley and Christian Coleman and Jamaican legend Yohan Blake will go head to head in China, in the first men's 100m race of the campaign. 

Each has won a world championship over the distance, while Coleman is the reigning 100m Wanda Diamond League champion thanks to his victory over Noah Lyles in Eugene last September.

2021 Wanda Diamond League champion Kerley dominated the 100m in 2021 and 2022, winning the World Championships title in Eugene and taking silver in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Kerley: “I am excited to come back to China in April. 2024 is a very important year with the Olympic Games taking place in Paris in August and it will be great to start my Diamond League season in China.”

The American has fond memories from Shanghai, having won the Diamond League 400m event there in 2019.

Following his title win last year, Coleman has started his 2024 season brightly, taking his second world indoor 60m victory in Glasgow. He is the world record holder over that distance and, alongside Kerley, shares the sixth fastest 100m time of all-time in 9.76s. The pair also formed half the USA quartet that took 4x100m world gold in Budapest last summer.

Coleman: “I’m excited about coming to China to compete again. Last time I was there they showed a lot of love and support and I was able to pull out my best performance of the year in front of a great crowd. I’m looking forward to opening my season with another great performance in China and starting my Olympic campaign off on a great note.”

Few athletes in history have been as good for as long as two-time Olympic and world champion Blake. The 35-year-old claimed his first Diamond League victory back in 2011 and has held the 100m and 200m Diamond League records for more than a decade.

In 2011, the year he became the youngest athlete ever to win a world 100m title in Daegu, Blake clocked 19.26 in Brussels in the 200m. A year later, he cruised to 9.69 in Lausanne, a time which only former-training partner Usain Bolt has ever bettered over 100m. 

Blake: “Suzhou, I will be there to run on April 27. It’s going to be my first time in Suzhou, I am looking forward! It’s going to be fun and you don’t want to miss it. Come and enjoy a wonderful show.”

The trio boast in total six Diamond League titles, with Coleman having also taken the 100m crown in 2018, Kerley the 2021 edition of the same distance, as well as the 400m win in 2018.

They join a star-studded line-up in Suzhou, with major names in other events including Mondo Duplantis and Mutaz Barshim.

The Wanda Diamond League is the premier one-day meeting series in athletics. It comprises 15 of the most prestigious events in global track and field. Athletes compete for points at the 14 series meetings in a bid to qualify for the two-day Wanda Diamond League Final in Brussels on 13th-14th September.

The grounds of Edwin Allen High School in Frankfield, Clarendon, erupted with jubilation on Monday as the school basked in the glory of its 10th girls' title at the 2024 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships. The atmosphere was electric as students, teachers, and staff gathered to celebrate a decade of dominance in Jamaican high school track and field.

This year's victory held special significance for Edwin Allen, as they faced stiff competition from defending champions Hydel High School. The battle for supremacy came down to the wire, with Hydel pushing Edwin Allen to the final event of the meet, the 4x400m relay. Despite Hydel's valiant effort to claim victory in the relay, Edwin Allen's second-place finish secured their 10th consecutive title, finishing with a total of 335.5 points, just ahead of Hydel's 326 points.

Addressing the crowd gathered in the school's quadrangle, winning coach Michael Dyke expressed his pride and congratulations to his team for their remarkable achievement. He singled out individual medalists and relay teams for their outstanding performances throughout the championship, acknowledging their dedication and determination in bringing the trophy back home to Edwin Allen.

Among those commended by Coach Dyke were athletes Kemoya Campbell, Denique Palmer, Kevongaye Fowler, Shandre Brown, Theianna-Lee Terrelonge, Dionjah Shaw, Sushana Johnson, Kellyann Carr, Horecia Love, Tonyann Beckford, Natasha Fox, Rickeisha Simms, Rasheeda Samuels, Alliah Gittens, Daijanae Bruce, Jounee Armstrong, and Monique Stewart, whose contributions played a pivotal role in securing victory.

Each name drew celebratory cheers and the sound of vuvuzelas.

Coach Dyke also extended his gratitude to the coaching and support staff, whom he hailed as some of the best in Jamaica. He credited their dedication and commitment to the team's success, emphasizing the crucial role they played behind the scenes.

Furthermore, Coach Dyke expressed his determination to continue the legacy of excellence at Edwin Allen, affirming that the championship trophy would remain at the school for many years to come.

It was a celebratory atmosphere at 2A North Street on Monday morning as Kingston College celebrated their 35th hold on the highly coveted Mortimer Geddes trophy.

KC produced another dominant display throughout the five days of the globe’s biggest high school track & field showcase on their way to 335 points, 57 more than their nearest rivals, Jamaica College. Calabar High (194 points), Excelsior High (122 points) and St. Jago High (111.5 points) rounded out the top five schools.

This year’s crown also secured KC’s first three-peat since they won the title for six years in a row from 2001-2006.

Head Coach Leaford Grant summed up what this year’s triumph means to the school.

“This one is right up there. It was a hard-fought title. In previous interviews I said the 2019 one was always the best one because that year we brought the trophy back to KC after many years absent. This was a hard-fought one and it’s always good to win a trophy,” he told SportsMax.tv.

One thing that made it hard-fought, according to Grant, was the presence of injury concerns for some of their athletes that hampered their preparation for the championships.

“We had some injury concerns throughout the course of the season but we prevailed and managed to overcome them,” he said.

One notable absence from the championships was the 2023 Class Two 200m and 400m champion, Tahj-Marques White.

White, a first year Class One athlete, pulled up with an injury while competing earlier in the season and, while Grant said he’s fully recovered, the decision was made to hold him out of the championships as a precaution.

“He’s practically recovered but we thought that, because it’s his first year in class one, we’d give him some time to properly recover to serve us next year,” he said.

“He’s a talented youngster so we didn’t want to stress him too much. He’ll be fine next year,” he added.

Next year will mark KC’s 100th anniversary and Green says a fourth consecutive title would be fitting for such an occasion.

“There’s no special plan. We just have to plan as usual and work hard as usual. At the end of the day, God’s willing, we will bring back the trophy to Kingston College,” he said.

Perhaps KC’s most productive discipline over the five days was the hurdles where they racked up 56 points in total across five finals.

KC’s hurdles coach Kirk King, who is also the head coach of Convent of Mercy Academy, was ecstatic about the performance of his troops.

“My hurdlers stuck to the task and they stepped up their game for the championships. Nobody was expecting a quinella in the Class Two sprint hurdles, nobody was expecting Daniel Clarke to come second in Class One,” he said.

King mentioned that a number of his hurdlers were disappointed after their performances at the Carifta Trials but they recovered well mentally ahead of the championships.

“We had a talk especially after a lot of them were devastated after Carifta Trials because they didn’t make the team and they were demotivated and some of them even said they’re not coming back,” he said.

“I had to motivate them to come back and they came out and delivered. We only had one mishap in our entire hurdles crew,” he added.

KC’s Co-Captains for the championships, Antwon Walkin and Yourie Lawrence-Clarke, also reacted to the team’s 35th title.

“To win anything 35 times is a lot and so we always talk about the greatness of Kingston College, I think this number specifically signifies just how great our institution is,” said Walkin who, despite nursing a groin injury, finished fifth in the Class One discus.

“It feels great. Finishing off the trifecta feels great. There’s no better feeling in the world than to have done all this hard work for a year and come out with a championship,” Walkin added.

Lawrence-Clarke competed in both the 100m and the 4x100m relay. He produced a spirited effort to claim bronze in the 100m final.

“A lot of people didn’t expect me to even make the final so to go out there and get a bronze medal means a lot to me,” he said.

“I really went out there for the team and the supporters because in the 100m, they always expect somebody from KC to be in the mix. It was a great experience for me,” he added.

The track and field community, and indeed the entire nation, was left reeling by the sudden passing of beloved journalist and broadcaster Hubert Lawrence on February 23, 2024. Lawrence, known for his encyclopedic knowledge and unparalleled passion for sports, particularly track and field, had been a fixture in the hearts of many for years. His unexpected departure just before the Gibson/McCook Relays sent shockwaves through Jamaica and beyond.

In recognition of his immense contribution to the sporting world, GraceKennedy Ltd, the title sponsors for the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, vowed to pay tribute to Lawrence during the event. True to their word, an emotional tribute unfolded during the Championships, featuring a heartfelt video presentation from colleagues and athletes alike, including GraceKennedy Ambassadors Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Hansle Parchment, and Briana Williams. The moving tribute was complemented by a musical performance from Alaine, accompanied by the St. Jago High School chorale.

However, the tribute did not end there. Frank James, CEO of Grace Foods Domestic, stepped forward to present a symbolic gesture of support to St. Jago High School, Lawrence's alma mater. A cheque for JMD$1 million was handed over to a tearful Mrs. Collette Pryce, Principal of St. Jago High School, to fund a legacy project in honour of Lawrence.

Speaking to Sportsmax.TV following the presentation, Mrs. Pryce expressed her gratitude for the generous donation and reflected on the profound impact of Lawrence's legacy. She described Lawrence as a "walking encyclopedia" whose wealth of knowledge and dedication left an indelible mark on all who knew him.

Mrs. Pryce also emphasized the importance of preserving Lawrence's memory for future generations. She mentioned the void left by Lawrence's passing and the community's determination to honor his memory in a meaningful way.

“It is a huge loss. Personally, I was with him the Wednesday (February 21), before he died. We had plans. One of the things I wanted to see was a book for our school for first formers to know the stories of St. Jago and Hubert had all the stories about all the headmasters, about all the characters and I think we have lost a lot because most of it was not recorded and there is this void that we’re feeling right now and we are hoping that someone can step up but the community is shaken.

“He never left St Jago, so we knew him and we are speechless and tonight (Saturday) was difficult. I have been getting the messages from the Diaspora, from persons in Jamaica and they really want to thank Grace for recognizing our school in honour of Hubert, we know that he would have wanted that and we will need time to think this through but it’s a huge loss.”

Mrs. Pryce revealed plans to form a committee comprising Lawrence's friends and family to ensure that any tribute truly reflects his greatness.

“St Jago is 280 years old this year and we are doing a number of activities and Hubert’s legacy is huge. For me, it’s larger than life, heroic and so for the next 280 years Hubert’s name, his work must be in the annals of St Jago High School.

“So, a committee will have to work on this, his friends, we would love for them to be involved in this along with his family, so that whatever we so will really recognize his greatness.”

 

Karen Mussington, Sponsorship and Events Manager at GraceKennedy, shed light on the company's decision to honour Lawrence and the emotional significance of the tribute. She recalled Lawrence's integral role in sporting events over the years, stating, "What is Champs without Hubert? Personally, I can't remember having Champs, other than this one, without hearing his voice."

She recounted the emotional response from Mrs. Pryce upon learning of GraceKennedy's intention to donate to St. Jago High School in Lawrence's honour, underscoring the deep impact of Lawrence's legacy.

“When I called Mrs. Pryce to tell her what our intention was, she cried,” Mussington stated while recalling how the tribute came together.

“We thought we would get persons close to him to talk about him, Bruce (James), Dwayne Extol, that looked up to him, our brand ambassadors. Shelly talked about him giving her the name ‘Pocket Rocket’, so we thought we’d just put together that tribute for him. It was well received by the stadium and then, not only the tribute, but to make this meaningful donation to his beloved alma mater, St Jago and we will be working with Mrs Pryce to get a project done in his honour.”

While details of the legacy project are yet to be finalized, Mussington hinted at its focus on sports in line with Lawrence's passion and St. Jago High School's active involvement in athletics. She assured that GraceKennedy would continue to collaborate with Mrs. Pryce to ensure that Lawrence's memory is honored in a meaningful and lasting way.

“We definitely want it in line with sports because that was him and St Jago is very active in sports, especially athletics. So we want to something down that line but we have to speak with Mrs Pryce. There will definitely be a part two to this, it is a meaningful story but whatever it is it is going to be in his honour.”

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Trinidad and Tobago's versatile athlete, Tyra Gittens, made an impressive debut in her long jump season opener at the Charles Austin Classic held at the Texas State Track and Field Complex in San Marcos, Texas, last Friday.

The reigning women's long jump champion of Trinidad and Tobago has been diligently training, aiming to shine on the Olympic stage at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. Her performance on Friday served as a promising preview of what she could deliver this summer.

Gittens, renowned as an NCAA Indoor high jump and pentathlon champion, showcased her skills in the long jump with leaps measuring 6.44m and 6.68m, achieved from a 10-step run-up. These remarkable performances secured her victory in the event and undoubtedly boosted her confidence as she pursues her Olympic dreams.

With her sights set on the Olympics, Gittens aims to match or even surpass her lifetime best of 6.96m in the long jump. As she continues her preparations, she remains dedicated to representing her twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago with pride and determination on the global stage.

 

 

 

Garth Robinson capped off a record-breaking weekend with a world indoor record at the 2024 USATF Masters Indoor Championships on Sunday.

Robinson, 53, a former student of the GC Foster College in Jamaica, who now lives in the United States, showcased his athletic prowess at the championships where he copped the 50-54 indoor sprint double in record time.

The talented Masters sprinter hinted at what was to come during the preliminary round of Saturday when he won his heat in an impressive 23.16. On Sunday, morning he went full throttle to rush across the finish line in a remarkable world record of 22.68 breaking the previous record of 22.99. The winning time was also an Area record.

Such was Robinson’s dominance that second place winner Eric Prince was more than two seconds behind, finishing in 24.75 just edging Kareem Hodrick, who ran 24.77 for third place.

Robinson entered the 200m already confident in good form after he destroyed the field on Friday to win the first of his two gold medals of the weekend.

In the 60m dash, he broke the Area record in a dominant performance of 7.10 to comfortably advance to the final where he was just a shade lower. He claimed the gold medal in a winning time of 7.12.

Lee Adkins was some distance behind as he finished second in 7.46. Ronald Atkins clocked 7.54 for third place.

 

 

Aided by a superior squad with depth across events and classes, Kingston College expectedly retained their boys’ title, while Edwin Allen turned back the challenge from Hydel High to reclaim the girls’ crown, as the curtains came down on the 113th staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Kingston College were always favoured to cop the Mortimer Geddes trophy for a third-straight year and they did so with consummate ease to make it their 35th overall lien on the coveted prize.

The North Street-based purples, who led from day one of the five-day spectacle, fittingly closed the show with victory in the 4x400m relay open to end with a tally of 335 points. They finished 57 points ahead of closest rivals Jamaica College (278 points), with Calabar (194 points), Excelsior (122 points) and St Jago (111.50 points), completing the top five.

Meanwhile, it was sweet redemption for Edwin Allen, who had their eight-year unbeaten run snapped by Hydel in last year’s nail-biting battle in which they were separated by two points.

Like Kingston College, Edwin Allen were also expected to take the girls’ title back to their Frankfield, Clarendon base for a 10th time overall, but dethroned champions Hydel kept things interesting throughout, and lacked the venom to upstage their rivals on this occasion.

The Michael Dyke-coached Edwin Allen amassed 335.50 points to finish nine and a half points ahead of Hydel High, who ended on 326 points after they closed the show with victory in the 4x400m. St Jago (171 points), Holmwood Technical (149 points) and Wolmer’s Girls (128.50 points) round out the top five.

Hydel High continued their fight to retain their title, as they copped two of the four girls’ relays titles on offer to close the gap on rivals Edwin Allen on Saturday’s fifth and final day of the 113th ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.

Hydel won the girls’ Class one title 44.71 ahead of Edwin Allen (45.18s) and Wolmer’s Girls (45.83s)

Jamaica College took the boys’ Class one honours in 40.01s. Calabar (40.10s) were left back in second, with St Jago (40.39s) in third.

The Class two girls’ title went to Edwin Allen in 45.44s, as Theianna-Lee Terrelonge ran a blistering third leg to propel her team past Hydel (45.46s), with Wolmer’s Girls (46.79s) closing fast for third.

There was no stopping Excelsior in the boys’ Class two relays, as they got first run on rivals and later pulled away to win in 40.35s, leaving Kingston College (40.96s) and Calabar (41.75s) to settle for the minor placing.

St Jago upstaged their more fancied rivals to win the girls’ Class three event in 45.74s, as Immaculate Conception closed fast for second in 46.29s, with Hydel (46.41s) in third.

The Class three boys title went to Red Hills Road, as Calabar (43.45s) got the baton around best to win. Wolmer’s Boys were second in 43.69s, with St Elizabeth Technical third in 43.85s. Kingston College initially placed second, but they were later disqualified for obstruction.

Hydel also won the girls’ Class four even in impressive fashion, as they stopped the clock in 47.78s. Covent of Mercy Alpha was second in 48.35s and Edwin Allen (48.46s), third.

By virtue of the relay performances, Hydel moved up to 289 points, 17.5 points behind Edwin Allen, (306.5 points) with the sprint medley relay open, the 3,000m open and the 4X400m relay open to come.

On the boys’ side, Kingston College are on 304 points, 52 points ahead of Jamaica College (252 points), with the sprint medley open and the 4X400m relay open to come.

It was double delight for a number of athletes across classes, as they added the 200m gold medal to their respective titles on Saturday’s fifth and final day of the 113th ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships at the National Stadium.

Among them were Hydel’s Alliah Baker and Teixiera Johnson, Wolmer’s Girls’ Natrece East and Wolmer’s Boys’ Mario Ross, who all completed the sprint double, while Muschette High’s Shanoya Douglas, added the half-lap gold to her 400m crown.

Baker, who won the Class one 100m title, was again comfortable in topping the 200m in 23.89s in a -0.4 headwind. Brittney McCormack (24.44s) of Bridgeport was second with Titchfield’s Chevauna Grant (24.46s) in third.

The boys’ Class one event was won by Kingston College’s Amal Glasgow, who timed his race to perfection to collar favourite Gary Card of Wolmer’s Boys at the line. Glasgow won in 21.21s, with Card (21.23s), just staying on for second ahead of another Kingston College athlete Marcinho Rose (21.24s) in a blanket finish.