Double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake demonstrated that he is far from finished at the 2024 Raiffeisen Austrian Open in Eisenstadt, Austria, on Wednesday, clocking a season-best 10.16 seconds in the 100m heats. However, the final did not go as planned for the Jamaican sprint star, as he was disqualified for a false start, negating his third-place finish time of 10.26 seconds.

The 34-year-old Blake's performance in the heats was a testament to his experience and competitive edge, as he comfortably advanced to the final with the fastest qualifying time. This season-best effort underscored Blake's determination to remain a formidable force in sprinting, even as he continues to navigate the later stages of his illustrious career.

In the final, Blake crossed the finish line third with a time of 10.26 seconds. However, his results were invalidated due to a false start that led to his disqualification. The disqualification came as a significant disappointment, especially after his promising performance in the heats.

Fellow Jamaican sprinter Christania Williams also impressed at the meet. Williams, who is based in Austria and trained by Coach Phillip Unfried, ran a strong race in the women's 100m, clocking an impressive 11.33 seconds. Her performance highlights her consistent progress and potential as she continues to train and compete in Europe.

The Raiffeisen Austrian Open served as a crucial platform for athletes like Blake and Williams to gauge their form and readiness as they prepare for upcoming national champions in just over a month’s time. Despite the setback in the final, Blake's season-best time in the heats remains a positive takeaway, indicating his capacity to compete at high levels.

For Williams, the meet was an opportunity to showcase her talent and the results of her training under Coach Unfried's guidance. Her time of 11.33 seconds is a solid mark as she aims to continue improving and achieving new personal bests.

Christania Williams, the talented Jamaican sprinter and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, is setting her sights on reclaiming her peak form as she gears up for the Jamaica National Championships in June, with her eyes firmly set on securing a spot at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Since her impressive performance as part of Jamaica's silver-medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Williams, now 29, has faced setbacks due to injuries and other undisclosed health concerns. However, under the guidance of her coach, Philipp Unfried, she is focused and determined to return to her personal best time of 10.96 seconds.

Unfried outlined their strategy for the upcoming season, emphasizing Williams' goal of nearing or even surpassing her personal best. "The plan for 2024 is to get close to where she was, close to her PB or maybe around PB," stated Unfried. "She is going to do some more races now in preparation for trials and training went really well so far."

At the Velocity Fest 15 on Saturday meeting held at the Ashenheim Stadium in Jamaica, Williams demonstrated her potential by clocking a time of 11.76 seconds into a headwind in her qualifying heat, securing second place behind Remona Burchell, who won the heat in 11.52 seconds. Despite challenging conditions with winds affecting her heat, Williams progressed to the B final.

In the B final, Williams improved her performance, achieving a season's best time of 11.56 seconds. Although she finished second in the final, Williams' progress is indicative of her determination and gradual return to top form.

"Mentally, I am ready," expressed Williams. "The aim right now is to get back to my personal best. There is no pressure. Right now the focus is on me, just taking it one step at a time."

Williams acknowledged the mental fortitude required to overcome setbacks and stay focused on her goals. "It's about going into the race and doing exactly what I do in training," she affirmed. "I know I have a lot of potential, I still believe there is more in there and I still haven’t reached my full potential."

Despite the obstacles she has faced, Williams remains resolute in her determination to move forward. "With all that has happened in the past, I am just trying to put that behind and move forward," she explained. "I do have days when that really gets to me mentally but it’s life. If something happens, you don’t use that to keep yourself down."

As Williams continues her journey towards peak performance, supported by the unwavering guidance of Coach Unfried, the upcoming Jamaica National Championships will serve as a crucial stepping stone towards her ultimate goal of representing Jamaica at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Olympic 100m finalist Christania Williams was victorious in the women’s 60m at the Belgrade Indoor Meeting- a World Athletics Indoor Tour- Silver meet on Tuesday.

Williams first ran 7.18, an indoor personal best, to advance fastest from the prelims before going slightly slower in the final with 7.23 to win ahead of Great Britain’s Imani-Lara Lansiquot (7.26) and Hungary’s Boglara Takacs (7.27).

The 29-year-old, who made the Olympic 100m final back in 2016 in Rio, is looking to get back to her best after some bad injury luck over the last few years.

Williams has already competed in eight 60m races this year, with her best results coming on Tuesday.

She also produced second place finishes in the heats at both the Meeting de Paris on February 11 and the ISTAF Indoor Dusseldorf on February 4 with times of 7.19 and 7.27, respectively.

She opened her season with a 7.29 effort to win at the National Indoor Cup in Vienna on January 16.

 

In a dazzling display of speed and composure under pressure, Jamaica's Shashalee Forbes claimed victory in the 60m dash at the ISTAF Indoor Meeting in Dusseldorf, Germany on Sunday, continuing her stellar early-season form.

Forbes, the world championships relay silver medalist from Budapest in 2023, has been a dominant force over 60m this season, consistently proving herself as the fastest Jamaican in various conditions. Earlier in the season, she clocked 7.03 outdoors at the Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational on January 27 on the back of a strong performance of 7.14 at the Central Hurdles, Relays, and Field Events meeting a week earlier.

On Sunday, Forbes elevated her performance to new heights, setting a personal best of 7.11 in the 60m dash. N'Ketia Seedo of the Netherlands trailed in her wake with a commendable 7.15, achieving a personal best in a race in which the top four participants all recorded lifetime best performances. Germany's Alexandra Burghardt secured the final podium spot with a time of 7.20.

Expressing her excitement after the remarkable victory, Forbes revealed her eagerness for upcoming challenges. "I feel pretty great about this victory, and I am just looking for a next PB, a next run. But so far, I feel really good about this. This time, 7.11s, means a lot to me, my first time doing all this this season," she remarked.

Forbes isn't slowing down, with two more meetings lined up in Poland and New York. "I am not staying in Europe for indoors, but you guys should watch me there," she teased.

The consistent success she has enjoyed this season fuels Forbes' anticipation for the World Indoor Championships in Scotland next month. Forbes sees this event as a crucial step toward her ultimate goal of representing Jamaica at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

"Glasgow is on my roadmap. Every championship is always on my roadmap; it is another opportunity to be great. And it is also a preparation for Paris. I really hope to get the chance to represent my country in Paris," she expressed, highlighting the significance of the upcoming competitions on her calendar.

Jamaica's Christania Williams, on her comeback trail, secured the fifth position with a time of 7.30 in the intense competition.

 

 

 

Jamaican Olympian Christania Williams is making a comeback from some tough times with the hopes of getting back to her best in the near future.

The 27-year-old former Edwin Allen High School star last showed up last weekend, May 7, 2022, at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston where she produced times of 11.62 to finish third in her preliminary round heat and then ran a season-best 11.55 in the final for a sixth-place finish behind winner Shericka Jackson (11.00).

She revealed afterwards that after enduring a rough period, she is hoping to improve with each race she runs this season.

“I have been through a lot. I am happy to be here. The main focus right now is just me against me and improving in each race,” said Williams afterwards while also revealing that she is no longer a member of the Tumbleweed training group in Jacksonville, but was training elsewhere in Florida.

She declined to reveal where or with whom.

“I am not training on my own but for now I am not sharing that information,” she said.

The talented sprinter won silver medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and also won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay squad.

She ran a lifetime best of 10.96 in the 100m semi-finals in Brazil and finished eighth in the final won by Elaine Thompson-Herah. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third.

At the time she was a member of the MVP Track Club in Kingston but she eventually left for the Rana-Reider led Tumbleweed Training Group in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2020, just before the world shut down in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like most of the world’s athletes, Williams did not compete in 2020. In 2021, she ventured into a few indoor meets and had a season-best 7.14 in Fayetteville in February. Another four races followed outdoors, the last of them occurring on May 31 when she ran 11.38 at the Duvall County Challenge in Jacksonville.

April 23, 2022, almost a year later was the next time she raced; at the Tru Fit Athletic Sprint Series in Miami, Florida where she ran 11.54 for a fourth-place finish in her heat and then 11.79 for seventh in the final.

 

On August 1, 2021, Britany Anderson lined up in lane seven of the final of the Tokyo Olympics 100m hurdles. Having run 12.40, a personal best and the second-fastest time going into the final, only Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who set an Olympic record of 12.26 in her semi-final, was faster.

Expectations of a medal were high for the 20-year-old Jamaican but it was not to be. She hit the sixth hurdle, managed to clear the seventh but then stumbled, lost her momentum and with it any chance of a place on the podium and making history as the first woman from the Caribbean to win an Olympic medal in the event.

That honour went to her compatriot, Megan Tapper, who finished third behind world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States, who won silver and Camacho-Quinn, who created history of her own becoming the first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic gold medal.

During a recent sit-down with Sportsmax.TV where she talks about her improvement this season, how her training group and her faith in God, have helped her successfully transition to senior competition, Anderson revealed that running her personal best in the semi-final impacted her in a way that she did not expect.

“My emotions were all over the place. I was crying. I was excited, I was overwhelmed,” she said about what caused her to lose her focus after running her lifetime best in the semi-final.

“In the final, I don’t know what…it was like, something went wrong, not just with the hurdles, but because I was so overwhelmed and it was my first senior games, everything was just all over the place.”

Nevertheless, she said she was not disappointed at the eventual outcome saying that she felt like she had won just to make the finals at the Olympic Games.

It is with that mindset that Anderson has approached the start of the new season wherein the span of three weeks she ran three-lifetime bests in the indoors 60m hurdles. Starting at the Millrose Games on January 29, Anderson, who turned 21 in January, ran a lifetime best of 7.91 to defeat a field that included Kendra Harrison.

Just about a week later, she lowered that time to 7.88 while finishing second to Danielle Williams, who ran a then-personal best 7.83 at the New Balance Grand Prix in New York.

Six days later, at the American Track League Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, Anderson would go even faster clocking 7.82, the fourth-fastest time in the world. Only Williams (7.75), Harrison (7.81) and Alia Armstrong of the USA (7.81) have been faster.

According to the former Vere and Camperdown athlete, her success this season comes down to the change in mindset bolstered by improving confidence.

“I feel like it was just the mindset that changed from last season to this season. Last season was just something to show me what I could do this season and I bring all of that to this season, worked on what I had to work on in practice and just bring it out there on the track,” she said.

It wasn’t that long ago that Anderson set the World U20 record in the 100m hurdles, 12.71, in July 2019 in Finland. She is the World U18 champion and the silver medallist at the World U20 Championships in Finland in 2018.

Since that time, her transition to the senior ranks has been relatively painless as evidenced by her qualifying for her first Olympic final eight months after she turned 20.

She credits her training partners at Tumbleweed, the training group she joined in 2019, for helping her make the transition to the senior ranks.

“Most parts of it was the people I had around me, like my training partners, they helped me throughout everything, off the track and on the track so the transition from a junior to a senior wasn’t really hard,” she said, adding that having fellow Jamaicans Christopher Taylor, Christania Williams and fellow hurdler Omar McLeod, played their part in helping her make a smooth transition.

Transitioning to the senior ranks comes with its own challenges because before she can conquer the world, she has to first overcome perhaps the deepest pool of talent currently at Jamaica's disposal with the likes of Danielle Williams, Tapper, Ackera Nugent, perhaps Janeek Brown and Yanique Thompson among others. Asked about where she sees herself among Jamaica's world-class hurdlers, Anderson confidently indicated that she knows what she is capable of.

"I know what I can do. I know what I am going to do. At the trials, I know what I am going there for, so I will just let all of that play out in God's way," she said.

As for this year, Anderson is focused on the World Championships in Oregon in July but as it relates to World Indoors next month and the Commonwealth Games, no decision has yet been made. Her agent Mario Bassani said those decisions will be made at a later date and will be as a result of discussions with her coach Rana Reider, whom she describes as a really great coach.

“The lesson I take from him is I can do whatever I can put my mind to,” she said.

So far, that advice seems to be working well for Britany Anderson.

 As Bassani tells it, whichever championships she decides to compete at this year, she will be ready.

 

 

 

Omar McLeod was a winner in the 60m hurdles at the American Track League meeting in Arkansas earlier today but his win was among several standout performances from several Caribbean athletes, who produced personal best or season-best times.

The 2016 Olympic champion ran 7.53 while holding off the challenge of American Michael Dickson who crossed in 7.58. Trinidad and Tobago’s Ruebin Walters was third in 7.68.

In the women’s equivalent, Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter won in 7.95 just managing to hold off a fast-finishing Brittany Anderson, who was 0.02 behind in 7.97. Gabbi Cunningham was third in 8.08. Rushelle Burton returning to competition from injury was fourth in 8.20.

For the second week running Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare managed to hold off Christania Williams in the 60m dash. This time, however, the Nigerian ran a personal best of 7.10 after separating from the Jamaican who equalled her personal best of 7.14.

Teahna Daniels of the USA was third in a season-best 7.17.

The winner of the Women’s 400m was determined over two heats by time trial and Shamier Little was easily the fastest winning Heat One in a personal best 51.33. Shakima Wimbley also of the US took second after winning Heat Two in 52.12.

Jamaica’s Shian Salmon ran a personal best of 52.85 for second in Heat One but was third overall.

In the men's event, Michael Cherry of the USA won heat one in a personal best 45.24 for the win. Second and third were determined by a battle between Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago and Christopher Taylor of Jamaica. Lendore emerged as the second-place finisher after winning Heat 2 in 46.08 to Taylor' 46.09, which was good enough for third overall.

Laquan Nairn jumped a personal best and national record 8.16m in the Men’s Long Jump but had to settle for second as the USA’s Marquis Dendy won the event with a world-leading 8.21m on his final jump of the competition.

Charles Brown of the USA was third with a jump of 7.81m.

 

 

 

Christopher Taylor and Christania Williams copped second-place finishes in the 400m and 60m races, respectively at the opening meet on the American Track League circuit in Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier today.

Andre Ewers, meanwhile, finished third in the men’s 60 dash that ended in a dominant win for American Trayvon Brommell.

Taylor, who was making his debut indoors, ran 45.73 in the 400m that was won impressively by American Fred Kerley in 45.03. Kerley said afterwards that he would have gone faster had he been pressed.

The 45.73, however, would have been an encouraging start for Taylor, who spent much of the past two seasons recovering from injury after he made the move to Florida to train with Rana Reider at Tumbleweed Track Club.

Travean Caldwell was third in 46.25.

Williams, the 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m silver medalist, ended up second in a blanket-finish with Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who won in 7.17s. Williams’ 7.18 mirrored the time she ran in the preliminaries earlier. Kayla White was third in 7.20.

Ewers ran 6.74 in the preliminaries to advance along with Omar McLeod whose 6.73 made him the fastest Jamaican going into the finals. Neither of them was as impressive as Bromell, who ran 6.58 easing down as he made his way into the final.

In the final, he let it all hang out winning handsomely in 6.48. The rest of the field finished under a blanket with Nigeria’s Divine Oduduru given second in 6.65 with Ewers third in 6.67. McLeod was a further 0.03 seconds back in sixth.

Brittany Anderson, who set the U20 world record in the 100m hurdles in Finland in July 2019,  found the going at the senior level a little tougher today finishing fourth in the 60m hurdles.

Her time of 8.06s was the fastest for a Jamaican this year but Tiffany Porter (7.89), Christina Clemons (7.88), and, winner, Tonea Marshall (7.86) were that much faster.

 

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.