Jamaica's reigning double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah added the Commonwealth 100m title to her list of accomplishments after winning the event in comfortable fashion in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Jamaican headed into the final as a heavy favorite and easily lived up to that billing after dominating the event to cross the line in 10.95.  St Lucia’s Julian Alfred continued an excellent season after finishing second to the Jamaican in 11.01.  Great Britain’s Daryl Neita was third in 11.07.  The Bahamas' Tynia Gaither and Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte were 7th and 8th respectively.

The medal was the third for the athlete at the event, but her first individual medal, adding to 4x100m relay gold and silver medals in 2014 and 2018 respectively.

In the men’s equivalent, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala claimed top billing after winning the event in 10.01, ahead of South Africa’s Akani Simbine, the defending champion, who was second in 10.13.  Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon was third in 10.14.  No Caribbean male athlete made the 100m final.  Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole, who won the event in 2014 finished fourth in the semi-finals.

 

Jamaica’s Under-15 continued to struggle at the 2022 Concacaf Girls’ Under-15 Championship in Tampa, Florida after suffering a heavy 11-0 loss at the hands of the United States on Tuesday.

The young Reggae Girlz opened the tournament in Group B with a 5-0 loss to Canada.  Where Nikolina Istocki led the way with a pair of goals for the Canadians.

Things would get a good deal worse for Jamaica as the rampant United States, the competition’s defending champion handed them an 11-0 loss.   Abby Ballek scored four goals, while Alexandra Pfeiffer bagged a brace to lead the way for the North Americans.

The United States began the competition with a 12-0 win over Puerto Rico.  The Jamaicans will face Puerto Rico in the final group match on Thursday.

 

Jamaica’s Ebony Drysdale Daley won the country’s first Commonwealth Games medal in the sport of Judo after claiming silver in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Competing in the women’s 70 kg category, Daley was outpointed by Australia’s Aoife Coughlan.  The Australian was the aggressor from the outset as opposed to the Jamaican who took a more passive approach to the final.

The approach did not pay dividends, however, as Coughlan was handed the win, a golden score in the extra period when a third shido penalty was issued to Daley.

The British-based Drysdale Daley made history by being the first athlete to represent the country at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The medal was the first for Jamaica at the event.

Bahamian 400m world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo is looking forward to the challenge of competing regularly in the 200m after officially hanging up her spikes for the 400m event.

Having added the World Championship title to two Olympic gold medals, at the Oregon World Champions last week, the 28-year-old sprinter has expressed a desire to break new ground.  As such, Miller-Uibo has targeted trying her luck full-time over half the distance.

These days, however, the half-lap event is not for the faint of heart.  Three of the fastest times in the event’s history have been recorded in the last year.  Two Jamaicans, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, and world champion Shericka Jackson have the world record in their sights. It's a competitive field.

Despite the fierce competition, however, the Bahamian is confident about making her mark.

 “The plans for me are the 200 which has always been my first love and get back into that,” Miller-Uibo said.

“I have run 21.7 without proper training. Once we go at it, I think we can do better,” she added. 

“They’re setting the stage pretty high.  I’m so proud of the girls and I think that they’re really showing out right now and showing the world exactly what we can do. I can’t wait.”

The athlete will have her first test next Saturday when she faces Jackson in Poland.

Hydel High School has received a timely gift of sports gear that includes football boots and goalkeeper gloves courtesy of Champions Football Academy, a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, that has been operating outreach programmes to Jamaican schools and communities for more than 14 years.

Ryan Foster, Chairman Hydel Group of Schools, received the donation on behalf of the school. The donation is a timely fillip for the Hydel Group of Schools that is about to embark on an ambitious football programme aimed at making the school among the best in Jamaica.

The school recently hired veteran coach Devon Anderson, who will lead the initiative.

"Hydel Group of Schools is extremely elated by the support given by Champions Football Academy. Both institutions have partnered through sport as a social tool used for nation building,” said Damion Howell, the Director of Sports at Hydel and a member of the new board of directors.

“These gears will go a far way in restarting the sport at the school since the pandemic and we see this as a good way to encourage the next generation of footballers by providing much needed resources."

Hydel Group of Schools is not only entity to benefit from the largesse of Champion Football Academy, whose mission it is to enhance the lives of children in safe and supportive environments by providing innovative training programs and plant-based nutrition that prepare and inspire them to succeed.

 Champion Football Academy also dedicate their resources to ensuring that youth in under-served communities have greater access to quality programs and services that help promote healthy lifestyles, academic success, and strong leadership skills.

Driven by that mandate Champion Football Academy has provided year-round support in Payneland Jamaica. They also host annual football camps and make sizeable donations of gear and equipment donations tor primary and secondary schools, sports programs, and inner-city communities.

Jamaica's leading international drivers, Fraser McConnell & Sara Misir, will be in action this weekend in Europe.

McConnell will compete in the Swedish leg of the Nitro RX Series, while Misir will be on the grid in rounds 15 to 18 of the GT Cup at Silverstone Circuit in the UK.

Both meets are this Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.

McConnell occupies first place in the combustion engine supercar class but hopes to better his fourth place in the group E electric class. He is joined in Group E by four-time Rallycross world champion Johan Kristofferson. 

Fraser thinks this is an excellent opportunity to learn from his teammate.

 "I will be all eyes and ears learning from Johan since he's a four-time World Champion. I'll use him as a benchmark to measure my performance and progress." 

Meanwhile, Sara Misir and teammate Steph Sore, who crossed the group finish line in 8th place in round 13 before having mechanical issues in round 14, will be looking to rebound at Silverstone.

"It feels surreal to compete at Silverstone; it is such a popular f1 circuit. We have been testing a few days now, and we're aiming for a strong start which is important for us."

Action from the NitroRX will be live on SportsMax, while the GT Cup is available on YouTube ( https://www.youtube.com/c/GTCupUK).

Jamaica distance runner Adelle Tracey will not be able to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games due to red tape surrounding her recent switch of allegiance.

Tracey competed for the Caribbean Island at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, after switching international allegiance from Great Britain on June 26th.

The athlete competed in both the 1500m and 800m, for Jamaica, in Oregon, where she clocked a personal best of 1:59.20 in the 800m heats and narrowly missed out on a spot in the final. Tracey had been selected again for the Jamaica team but will not be able to take her place this time around because of different protocols governing the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a real shame, I was very much looking forward to that atmosphere,” Tracey told BBC Sport.

“I was getting emails telling me to download the app for the athletes’ village, I had been selected by Jamaica, they had forwarded my information, but I am not on the start list,” she added.

“We have chased endlessly and made sure that everyone had the right information, it was just a case of, for the Games, it was a different protocol.”

The 29-year-old athlete was born in the United States to a Jamaican mother and British father.

Shericka Jackson, the fastest woman alive over 200m, has withdrawn from Jamaica’s team to the Commonwealth Games that got underway in Birmingham, England on Thursday, Sportsmax.TV sources in the United Kingdom have indicated.

Jackson, 28, won a gold and two silver medals at the recently concluded World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

She won the 200m in 21.45, a new lifetime best and national record and is the second fastest time ever run by a woman. Only the late Florence Griffith-Joyner who ran 21.34 at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea has run faster.

She was second in the 100m in a personal best of 10.73 and anchored Jamaica to the silver medal in the 4x100m relay.

The best active combination sprinter in history as the only woman with global medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m, Jackson was named in a 47-member team that will represent Jamaica in track and field at the Commonwealth Games but impeccable sources have indicated that a decision has been made by her handlers to withdraw her participation.

However, Garth Gayle, president of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), he has not yet been informed of the decision. “No, I have no such knowledge or such information,” he said.

Sources suggest that instead of flying to Birmingham, Jackson will travel to Italy where she will camp with the MVP Track Club and compete on the circuit for the remainder of the season.

Calls to Jackson’s agent, Adrian Laidlaw, went unanswered.

Jamaican Olympian Lacena Golding Clarke sensed that Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan would set a world record during the semi-finals of 100m hurdles on Sunday’s final day of the 2022 World Championships of Athletics in Eugene, Oregon.

Clarke, 47, recruited Amusan from Nigeria in 2016 bringing her to the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) after the then 18-year-old won the 100m hurdles in a time of 14.26 at the Junior African Championships in March 2015.

Since then, she has been the coach and second mother to Amusan, who ran 12.12 in the semi-finals to break the world record of 12.20 that had been held by American Kendra Harrison in July 2016.

Showing it was no fluke, Amusan would go on to win the title in an even faster 12.06 (2.5m/s). The run in the semi-final, Golding-Clarke said, was incredible but looking back, not really unexpected.

“At first it was unbelievable,” said the Golding Clarke who will take up a coaching position at her alma mater Auburn University in the Fall.

“We knew she could come close to running the then world record, we’ve rehearsed it in training a couple of times last year and this year. So, I know what she could do.

“However, I was very happy, excited and pleased because of all the hard work that went into training this season.”

Golding Clarke, the 2002 Commonwealth Games champion, said the work that went into preparing Amusan, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, paid off massively.

“This season was the same as before with more speed and rhythm endurance work plus drilling techniques every training day,” she said.

“We focused more on staying healthy, we drilled technique that needed to be taken care of, and, of course, we paid extra attention to her rhythm/speed endurance.”

The proud coach also related that Amusan was driven by the disappointment of finishing fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

In Tokyo, Amusan crossed the line in 12.60 just behind Jamaica’s Megan Tapper 12.550, Harrison 12.520 and gold medallist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn 12.370. According to Clarke, she was motivated to redeem herself in Oregon.

“She wants to be the best she can be; specifically, she wanted to be on the podium, she did not want another fourth place at a global competition so she focused more on herself this time around and executing her race plan,” said Clarke.

The Jamaica coach describes the relationship between her and Amusan as being like family.

“The relationship is more like a mother/daughter type,” she said.

“Her mom sent her far away from home to get her education and to run track for the University of Texas at El Paso and so as a coach, I am her family away from home.

“Tobi is a dedicated and hard-working person, very persistent. She is sometimes goofy with persons she calls friends, very friendly and nice to speak with but mostly a loner.”

So sweet was the moment Amusan set the world record that not even the unfortunate comments from Michael Johnson, the multiple Olympic gold medallist and former 200m and 400m world-record holder, could ruin the occasion for Golding Clarke and her 24-year-old charge.

Johnson, who was a pundit during the championships, suggested that the timing system had malfunctioned during the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles. His comments drew the ire of Nigerians on social media. Golding scoffed at the comments.

“I really thought it very absurd,” she said.

“I did not really pay it any mind because that would take away from the joy of winning and breaking the world record.”

Jamaica national representative Kemba Nelson has de-activated her Twitter handle after it was flooded with a torrent of negative comments, in the aftermath of the women’s 4x100m relay team’s surprise loss to the United States at the IAA World Championships on Saturday.

Nelson, who finished second at the country’s national trials, ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica and was part of a botched first to second leg exchange with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.  On Sunday critical messages were posted to the @iamkemba account, which has since become unavailable.

 The athlete had also failed to keep pace with the United States’ Melissa Jefferson, who clocked an 11.35 split on the opening leg, compared to Nelson’s 11.45.  Despite blistering third and final legs from 

100m and 200m world champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, the team narrowly failed to claw back the deficit.

The result left several fans upset, with some going on to blame Nelson for the loss and expressing the opinion that they did not believe the athlete should have been selected ahead of, another young sprinter, Briana Williams.  Williams was part of the successful relay team that won gold along with Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce, and Jackson at last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.  Interestingly, however, Williams's first-leg split in the first round was identical to the time Nelson ran in the final.  Williams was, however, the only Jamaican to win a relay leg.

 

Pre-race favourties Jamaica finished in second position behind the United States on the back of a few untidy baton exchanges in the Women’s 4x100m relays at the IAAF World Championships on Saturday.

The US quartet of Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry blasted to the line in 41.14.  With Terry just managing to hold off rapidly closing 200m champion Shericka Jackson.

The Jamaicans had gotten off to a poor start with a botched exchange between first leg runner Kemba Nelson and second leg runner Elaine Thompson-Herah putting the team immediately on the back foot. 100 World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reduced the deficit on the third leg but could not pull things back.  The team finished with a time of 41.18.

The German quartet of Tatjana Pinto, Alexandra Burghardt, Gina Lückenkemper, and Rebekka Haase claimed third place in a time of 42.03.

In the men’s equivalent, the Jamaicans finished just outside the medal places.  The top spot went to the Canadian team who upset pre-race favourites the United States.  Great Britain finished with the bronze medal.  The Jamaica team consisted of Ackeem Blake, Yohan Blake, Oblique Seville, and Jelani Walker.

Five-time world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has urged fans to be mindful of the things they say to athletes when things aren’t going well.

“Jamaicans have a short-term memory. You’ll do a great thing this year and come back and not have a good year and they want to beat you down to the ground,” Fraser-Pryce said to over 8,000 fans who tuned in to her Instagram live on Thursday.

There have been many instances where athletes have had a good year and, because of injuries or other troublesome circumstances, have failed to produce those performances consistently in the years after.

“It’s a whole lot they have to deal with so you have to be careful with your comments sometimes, because sometimes you make some comments and some of the athletes take them to heart and dwell on them,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“You have to big up the athletes. Every year is not the same…it’s not easy so, when you see the athletes out here representing you must know it takes a whole lot of work and they’re going to have good times and bad times,” she added.

Fraser-Pryce used her teammate and 200m gold medallist Shericka Jackson as an example. At last year’s Tokyo Olympics, Jackson failed to advance out of the heats of the 200m and, a year later, she is the world champion and fastest woman alive at the distance.

“Last year, Shericka didn’t run the 200m, and I know she cried and she came back and look, 21.45. She went back and put in the work, so you just have to understand that everything is a process and it takes time,” Fraser-Pryce said.

Five-time 100m World champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, admits the Jamaica team would benefit greatly from more relay practices but is confident they will have the ability to cause plenty of damage in the final on Saturday.

On Friday, a second-string team that featured a quartet of Briana Williams, Nataliah Whyte and Remona Burchell, and Kemba Nelson, made it to the finals with very little drama, after finishing behind Great Britain with a time of 42.37.

Even so, the Jamaican team’s changeovers were significantly slower than that of the British team who won the event with a time of 41.99.  Great Britain's combined changeover splits were clocked at 6.26, with the second place Jamaicans coming in at 6.77, the second slowest in the field.  The Jamaicans have also had their fair share of mishaps when it comes to getting the stick around in previous games.  Most notably, the team failed to complete the baton changes at the 2008 Olympic Games where they were heavy favourites.

“If I’m being honest, we don’t do a lot of relay practice in Jamaica which I think can be a downfall for us.  I think if we had time to have relay camps we would be better at the 4x100s,” Fraser-Pryce said on Friday.

With that being said, the Jamaicans have a solid record at the World Championships recently and have won the event at 4 of the last 6 editions.  With 100m champion Fraser-Pryce, 200m champion Shericka Jackson and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah to join the line-up, for the final, the team has plenty of firepower left in reserve.

“We just pray to God when the finals come we will have a blistering run and we will have Shericka (Jackson) with that 21.4, listen it’s over!” the athlete quipped.

The Jamaica men's team, who once dominated with quartets led by the legendary Usain Bolt, also advanced out of the heats but as one of the fastest losers.  Competing in heat 2 the quartet of Ackeem Blake, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Conroy Jones and Jelani Walker finished fourth in 38.33.

  

Bahamian quarter-mile star Shaunae Miller-Uibo added the 400m world title to her impressive collection after dominating the event at the IAAF World Championships on Friday.

The reigning Olympic champion had failed to capture the world title on two prior occasions, at the 2015 and 2019 editions, where she was made to settle for silver. In Eugene, Oregon, the athlete, who claimed she would retire from the event after this season, seized the moment.

Miller-Uibo took charge of the race early on, before pulling well clear of the field down the stretch to stop the clock at a world-leading 49.11.  The event ended with a Caribbean sweep of the medal places as the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino ran 49.60 for second and Barbados’ Sada Williams took a surprise third place in a new national record of 49.75.  Jamaicans Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Candice Mcleod missed out on the podium spots after finishing 5th and 7th.       

In the men’s equivalent, Grenadian Kirani James was forced to settle for second spot behind American Michael Norman who took the event in 44.29.  James was second in 44.48 with Matthew Hudson-Smith third in 44.66.

Two other Caribbean athletes in the event Christopher Taylor of Jamaica and Barbados’ Jonathan Jones were 7th and 8th respectively.

 

Shanieka Ricketts could not contain her joy when the reality set in that she was a World Championships triple jump silver medalist once again.

“I was overjoyed when I realized that I won the silver medal. It felt like redemption from missing the podium in Tokyo by a mere three centimetres,” she recalled while speaking with Sportsmax.TV earlier this week.

“When I remember the journey to the podium, the days that we could not train when the distances were not forthcoming, and all the times when we wondered if we would be ready, it really felt like a dream come true, and it would not be possible without the help of God, my coach Kerrylee Ricketts and my agent Norman Peart.”

After winning silver in Doha in 2019 behind the virtually invincible Venezuelan, Yulimar Rojas, Ricketts, as she pointed out, was unable to replicate the performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where her best effort of 14.84m was only good enough for fourth.

Fast forward to 2022 when armed with the lessons learnt from Tokyo, Ricketts encountered an unexpected new challenge early in the season.

“I started experiencing some tension in my knee in January. We had to take a break from doing technical sessions and it also restricted me from doing explosive lifts and sprints for some time,” she recounted.

Those early struggles manifested in the form of a few relatively off-colour performances -13.94m at the John Wolmer Speed Fest at the National Stadium in Kingston in March; 14.27m at the Velocity Fest 10 also in Kingston on April 2 and 14.15m seven days later at the USATF Bermuda Games.

She capped off the string of underwhelming performances with a 13.95m performance at Velocity Fest 11 at the National Stadium on April 23.

Notwithstanding, the underwhelming outings, Ricketts ended up a winner in each competition but she knew she had to be much better if she was to contend for a medal in Oregon.

In fact, she admits that her confidence began to wane as the marks were nowhere close to what she needed to be able to take on the world’s best come July.

“It did to some extent, especially when things were not going as planned,” she conceded, “but, I know that every season is different and sometimes challenges occur that you have to overcome in order to reach the goals that you have. So I did my best to focus on the things that I could control, trust my coach, trust the program and trust the process and hoped for the best.”

Sure enough, things began to change.

“Things began to improve in May and there were times when I wondered if I would be able to perform at my best at the world championships because I knew that in order to be on the podium I have to jump at least 14.70 and I have not seen that result all year,” she explained.

On May 13, she produced a season-best 14.82 for yet another victory in Doha and then reeled off marks of 14.35 and 14.52 before winning at Jamaica’s National Championships with a less than stellar 14.27m.

She isn’t clear on when things finally came together but what is certain is that they did and at just the right time.

“I know that a lot of persons were ahead of me on the performance list for this season, so I had to bring my ‘A’ game in order to medal,” said Ricketts who qualified for the finals in Oregon with 14.45m but with the intention of jumping much farther once the final began on Monday night.

“The goal for the final was to produce a big jump in the first round to take the pressure off me and put the pressure on the field. Then do my best to keep improving as the rounds progressed.”

She did exactly that. 14.89m on her first jump, a mark only surpassed by Rojas, who would subsequently win her third world title in as many championships.

For Ricketts, it all came down to what happened in Tokyo last year. That was where the rebound started and ended nicely for the four-time national champion.

“Not winning a medal in Tokyo really motivated me to work harder, and to never underestimate any of my opponents.  The experience also helped me become fearless because I know how to navigate both winning and losing,” she said.

“Winning feels much better and yields the best outcomes so I always strive to win but I am not afraid to lose.”

At the conclusion of the world championships, Ricketts returns home for a few days before flying off to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England where she hopes of a golden conclusion to a season that did not begin with much promise.

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