Track & Field fans around the world will be treated to an exciting clash in the women’s 100m hurdles at the season’s opening Diamond League meet in Xiamen on Saturday.

Jamaica’s two-time World champion, Danielle Williams, will take on newly crowned World Indoor 60m champion and record holder, Devynne Charlton, as well as 2021 Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper.

World record holder Tobi Amusan and reigning Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn are also set to line up on Saturday along with Americans Alaysha Johnson and Masai Russell.

The field is completed by Switzerland’s Ditaji Kambundji, 2022 World Indoor champion Cyrena Samba-Mayela and China’s Yanni Wu.

Reigning Olympic champion Hansle Parchment will compete alongside countryman Orlando Bennett in the 110mm hurdles.

Bajan two-time World Championship bronze medallist Sada Williams will line up in the 400m alongside Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams.

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan will take on some of the world’s best in the 200m.

Finally, Jamaica’s World Indoor 60m bronze medallist Ackeem Blake, 2011 World 100m champion Yohan Blake and reigning national 100m champion Rohan Watson will all line up in the 100m against a stacked field including the likes of American world champions Christian Coleman and Fred Kerley.

 

Vincentian Shafiqua Maloney continued her impressive start to the 2024 season with a national record to take top spot in the women’s 600m at the Miramar Invitational at the Ansin Sports Complex in Florida on Saturday.

Maloney, an 800m gold medallist at the NACAC U-23 Championships in 2021, ran 1:23.80 to win ahead of Americans Sadi Henderson (1:27.81) and Ajee Wilson (1:27.86).

The 25-year-old is coming off an excellent season indoors that included 800m wins at the Arkansas Invitational on January 12, Razorback Invitational on January 27 and the Tyson Invitational on February 10.

Also among the winners on Saturday were Bajan two-time World Championships 400m bronze medallist Sada Williams, Jamaican sprint hurdler Tyler Mason and Bahamian quarter miler Alonzo Russell.

Williams produced 22.82 to take the women’s 200m ahead of Denmark’s Ida Karstoft (23.010 and American Kynnedy Flannel (23.32).

Mason took the win in the men’s 110m hurdles with a time of 13.57. American Eric Edwards was second in 13.60 while Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi was third in 13.63.

Russell ran a season’s best 45.35 to win the men’s 400m ahead of Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic (45.36) and Bahamian Wendell Miller (46.00).

World Indoor 60m bronze medallist Ackeem Blake ran 10.28 to finish second in the men’s 100m, just behind American Courtney Lindsey who ran the same time as Blake. Another Jamaican, Andre Ewers, ran 10.43 to finish third.

In the field, 2019 World Championships silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.72m for third in the women’s shot put behind American Maggie Ewen (18.95m) and Chase Jackson (19.88m).

Jamaican Chanice Porter jumped 6.36m for second in the women’s long jump. The USA’s Taliyah Brooks narrowly won the event with 6.38m while Puerto Rico’s Alysbeth Felix-Boyer was third with a season’s best 6.28m.

 

In a stunning display of speed and athleticism, Oblique Seville left spectators in awe at Velocity Fest 14 held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday. Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Seville delivered an extraordinary performance, clocking a world-leading time of 20.17 in the 200m, hinting at his potential podium finish at the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

Seville's remarkable feat marks a significant improvement in his speed and strength, demonstrated by his previous 400m clocking of 47.44 at the Camperdown Classics on February 10. Surpassing his own lifetime best of 20.86 set in 2019, Seville's record-breaking run solidifies his status as a top contender on the global stage.

Not to be outdone, Roshawn Clarke and Shamar Horatio also delivered exceptional performances, with Clarke achieving a lifetime best of 20.69 to secure second place, and Horatio setting a new personal best of 20.83 for third place in Seville's final.

Acknowledging the talent on display, Ackeem Blake showcased his prowess by clinching victory in his 200m final with a lifetime best of 20.45. Wendell Miller followed closely behind with a personal best of 20.61, while Paul Henry secured third place with a season's best time of 20.96.

Among the standout performers was Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes, who triumphed in his final with a swift time of 20.40. Rusheen McDonald and Demish Gaye followed suit with impressive times of 20.59 and 20.65, respectively.

In the women's races, Sada Williams continued her stellar form by winning her final in an impressive time of 22.70, following her national Barbados record of 22.59 set at the GC Foster Classic last week. Roneisha McGregor secured second place with a season-best time of 23.55, while Tina Clayton finished third in 23.73.

Tia Clayton, twin sister of Tina, showcased her speed in the 100m final, clocking a new lifetime best of 11.12. Remona Burchell followed closely behind with a time of 11.36, while Krystal Sloley recorded a season-best of 11.42 for third place.

Jura Levy continued her upward trajectory with a new season's best time of 11.43, further solidifying her position among Jamaica's top sprinters.

In other events, Malik James-King impressed in the 400m, securing victory with a season's best time of 45.59.

Traves Smikle continued his dominance in the discus with a winning throw of 65.96m, followed by Fedrick Dacres with a season-best performance of 64.80m, and Chad Wright with a throw of 62.42m for third place.

 

In a dazzling display of unexpected speed, two-time World Championship 400m bronze medalist Sada Williams of Barbados set the track ablaze at the GC Foster Classic in Spanish Town on Saturday. Williams, who trains with the MVP Track Club in Jamaica, not only secured victory but also shattered her country’s national record with a scintillating time of 22.59.

As she crossed the finish line, Williams couldn't contain her joy, letting out a scream that echoed the magnitude of her achievement. The 26-year-old athlete's triumph was not just a personal victory but a testament to her resilience and commitment to excellence.

Williams dominated the field, leaving her MVP teammates Natasha Morrison and Tina Clayton in her wake. Both Morrison and Clayton delivered commendable performances with season-best times of 23.53 and 23.65, respectively. However, it was Williams who raced to victory with a significant lead.

Explaining the jubilant screams, Williams shared with Sportsmax.TV, "Yes, because I haven’t run that fast since 2016 (when she ran 22.61 as a junior). I was just hoping that the wind was legal. I wasn’t expecting much in the 200m, so I guess this only shows how fast I’ll run in the 400m this season, so I’m very excited to see how that goes. I did not think I was going to come out here and run that fast."

The arduous nature of her training was evident in her post-race comments. "Training is rough, training is rough. Every day I am just trying to survive. Every day is a constant battle, so I am just trying to survive and hope for the best for another season," she declared.

Reflecting on whether this year's training was more challenging than the past two seasons, during which she earned bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon and Budapest, Williams admitted, "That’s a good question. Maybe. All I could tell is that it’s just rough right now, that’s why I was so shocked about the time because I have been dying the past three weeks."

The Barbadian sprinter is not one to rest on her laurels, as she looks ahead to another challenge – another 200m race in Miramar, Florida in a few weeks. When asked about the expectations in Barbados, Williams expressed confidence in the support she receives. "I know everybody is just hoping that I can make it on the podium for Paris. I know they’ll be very excited as they are every year."

As her fame continues to soar, Williams admitted to slowly getting used to her celebrity status in Barbados where she has received national honours as well as enjoyed ambassadorial roles for companies in the private sector.

 She anticipates the reactions of her fellow Barbadians, eagerly awaiting their support and enthusiasm. "I am slowly getting used to it. I guess that if I was in Barbados I would be more pronounced …everywhere I go everybody would be at me, so seeing as I am in Jamaica it isn’t as obvious. But I am slowly getting used to it, so I can't wait to see their reaction."

 

West Indies captains Shai Hope and Hayley Matthews, as well as star athlete Sada Williams, were among the highlights, as the National Sports Council recognized a number of Barbados standout athletes from a range of disciplines at the 39th staging of its awards ceremony on Friday.

The event staged at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex was flocked by the country’s finest, who were rightly celebrated for their dedication to achieving sporting excellence.

Williams, who enjoyed a stellar year capped by her bronze medal performance in the 400m at the World Athletic Championships in Budapest, received the much-deserved nod for the coveted Minister’s Award and the National Sports Personality Award for 2023.

Matthews and Hope stood out in their respective categories, winning that award in the senior division. Claiming the school awards were St Gabriel’s School and Harrison College, while Esther Maynard was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her committed service in the athletic community.

Diminutive golfer Ashton O’Kola Physically topped his peers in the Junior Outstanding Sportsperson category, as Chess phenom Hannah Wilson won the honours in the female side.

The Wesley Worrell Award was presented to table tennis player Chad Doughty. Signia Finance and the Barbados Bottling Company received the Sponsors Award for their continued support, while well-known sports journalist Kenmore Bynoe secured the Media Award.

In the Team Award category, the Barbados Women’s Squash team reigned supreme. Emerging Athlete awardees were Desean Boyce in athletics and rising tennis star Hannah Chambers.

Kofi Hinds received the Alvin Burgess Award for Sports Administrator, recognizing his excellent work in the hockey arena, and The Coach-of-the-Year award went to Jesse King in athletics.

Youth Awards were distributed to Rejada Hinds, Scott Galbraith, Shakobi Gittens, Sarama James, Zachary Maynard, Laila McIntyre, and Chaz Reifer-Belle. Special awards were given to Paul Bernstein, Dorian Best, Michelle Elliot, Roberta Foster, and Akeem Rudder.

Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Charles Griffith in his remarks called for greater support from the private sector.

“From the time I took up this role as Minister of Sports I have been asking the private sector to come on board because it is impossible for government to fund all of the programs that we think are necessary to move our athletes to the next level,” Griffiths said.

“The onus is on us to ensure that every single playing field on this island is active with youngsters engaging in sporting disciplines and we have started the process of lighting all of those playing fields across the island. It is an ongoing project, but we expect to see the finishing line at some point in time,” he added.

For her trailblazing exploits in track and field Sada Williams was on Thursday recognized by her home country of Barbados at their Independence Day National Honours ceremony.

Williams, who turns 26 on Friday, is a back-to-back World Championship 400m bronze medallist and is the first Barbadian women to win a medal at a global championship. She won a bronze medal in the 400m at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon and repeated the feat at the 2023 Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August. In so doing she became the first Barbadian athlete to win a global medal at consecutive championships.

She also won the 400m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England and took home a silver medal at the NACAC Championships that same year.

For that and more, she was awarded The Gold Trident of Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements and dedicated service to her country. It was an honour to be appreciated, she said.

“I feel very honoured to be recognized this year and last year and I am hoping to continue to do great things reach further,” said Williams who was attending the Independence Day Parade for the very first time.

Last week was a memorable one for two-time world championships bronze medalist Sada Williams.

Williams won a bronze medal in the 400m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August, becoming the first Barbadian athlete to win medals at consecutive global athletics championships. She won a bronze medal in the same event at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Also in 2022, Williams won the gold medal in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England and a silver medal at the NACAC Senior Championships in Freeport, Bahamas.

Last week, the government of Barbados, in acknowledgement of those accomplishments, unveiled two billboards bearing her image and rewarded her with a cash award of $150,000. That same week, Williams was also made a brand ambassador for Sagicor in Barbados.

“I am proud to announce that I have officially become a brand ambassador for Sagicor, Barbados and I will be part of their family,” the proud athlete posted on her Instagram page.

“Last night (Thursday) was the official welcome where I met so many wonderful and fun people. I cannot wait to start this journey with you guys.

She expressed her gratitude to Sagicor’s management team who put the deal together.

“Special thanks to Mr Paul Innis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sagicor Life Inc. and Chief Executive Officer Mr George Thomas of Sagicor Bank for making this partnership possible.”

Williams is expected to return to training in the coming week as she prepares for what is expected to be another successful year as she hunts for her first Olympic medal in Paris, France.

 

 

 

 

 

In celebration of her second global medal and consistent performances throughout the season, the government of Barbados on Wednesday unveiled two billboards bearing the image of the now two-time World Championships bronze medallist, Sada Williams.

The star athlete was also given a cash award of Bdos$150,000 in recognition of her milestone achievements. Williams, who trains with the MVP track club in Jamaica, is the first Barbadian athlete to win back-to-back medals at a global championship.

The 25-year-old Williams has been magnificent form over the last two seasons. In 2022, she won bronze at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon running what was then a national record of 49.75. She followed up two weeks later with a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

That year, she also won a silver medal at the NACAC Senior Championships in the Bahamas.

Williams carried that momentum into 2023 when, despite a slow start to the season, peaked at the World Championships in Budapest to win another bronze medal in the final of the 400m. On route to the final, she set a new national record of 49.58.

Deservedly, her exemplary performances have been recognized and rewarded by her country, a gesture which Williams expressed her gratitude in a post on Instagram.

“Today, the Government of Barbados unveiled two billboards and a portrait of me and my achievements. I was also awarded $150,000 as a token of appreciation,” she said.

“Thank you to the government of Barbados, Ministry of Youth Sports and Community Empowerment, the National Sports Council, the Barbados Olympic Association, and the Athletic Association of Barbados for the support and continued support.

Special thanks to my entire team and management @the_real_MVPz for having brought me this far. And of course the love, appreciation and support from my fellow Bajans.”

 

Marileidy Paulino stamped her authority as the best female 400m runner in the world for 2023 when she destroyed a talented field to win the one-lap sprint at the Diamond League finale in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

The 2023 world champion ran a fast 49.58s to add the Diamond League trophy to her world championship gold medal in what has been an incredible season in which she lost only once all year.

Paulino was almost a second clear of the fast-improving Polish athlete Natalia Kaczmarek, who clocked 50.38 for second place. Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands was not far behind in 50.47.

Jamaica’s Candice McLeod, who looked good for a podium finish after 300m faded to fourth in 50.76 with world championship bronze medallist Sada Williams of Barbados clocking 51.07 for fifth. Aliyah Abrams of Guyana was eighth in 51.97.

World champion Marileidy Paulino of Dominican Republic extended her rich vein of form in the women’s 400 metres with another victory at the Wanda Diamond League meet in Xiamen, China on Saturday.

Paulino, running from lane five, made her move off the curve and swept by Jamaica’s long-time leader Candice McLeod, to stop the clock in 49.36s. McLeod stayed on for second, equaling her season’s best 50.19s.

American Lynna Irby-Jackson (50.45s) was third, as she got by the tiring World Championships bronze medallist Sada Williams (50.95s) of Barbados.

As the curtains fell on the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, the global track and field community bore witness to an unforgettable spectacle of talent, resilience, and passion. For nine consecutive days, athletes from around the world competed under sweltering heat in their pursuit of excellence.

Among these remarkable competitors, it was the athletes from the Caribbean who stood out, earning well-deserved praise from Keith Joseph, President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC).

In a message released on Friday morning, Joseph expressed his admiration for the outstanding performances of Caribbean athletes, acknowledging their dedication to representing their countries and the region on the world stage.

"The excitement of the athletics competition, once started, never abated," Joseph remarked. "The final event, the women's 4 x 400m relay, saw Jamaica's potential hold on the gold medal slip away, literally in the final strides, much to our collective CANOC chagrin. But this did not detract from the fact that on yet another occasion in the wide and wonderfully exciting world of track and field competition, Jamaica continued to carry the Caribbean cause on its back."

Joseph went on to highlight several standout performances that left an indelible mark on the championships. Shericka Jackson's remarkable victory in the 200m solidified her status as a global star in the sport. Antonio Watson's stunning triumph in the 400m, despite his status as an U23 athlete, showcased the immense potential of the region's younger talents. Danielle Williams added another gold medal to Jamaica's tally with her impressive win in the 100m hurdles.

Joseph also highlighted Hansle Parchment and Wayne Pinnock secured silver medals in the 110m hurdles and long jump, respectively. The women's 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relay teams also earned silver for Jamaica, while Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Rushell Clayton contributed bronze medals to the nation's haul in the 100m and 400m hurdles events.

The president’s praise also extended beyond Jamaica in acknowledging, the Dominican Republic's Marileidy Paulino domination of the women's 400m, while the British Virgin Islands' Kyron McMaster made a triumphant return to form with a silver medal in the 400m hurdles. Barbados' Sada Williams displayed her prowess with a silver in the women's 400m, and Leyanis Hernandez of Cuba secured a bronze in the triple jump.

Cuba continued to make its presence felt in the championships, with Lazaro Martinez and Cristian Urria taking second and third place, respectively, in the men's triple jump. Grenada's Lindon Victor made his mark by earning a bronze in the men's javelin.

Amidst the celebrations, St. Lucia's Julien Alfred emerged as a rising star, placing fifth in the 100m and fourth in the 200m. Dominica's Thea LaFond held her own, finishing fifth in the women's triple jump.

Joseph acknowledged that there were disappointments along the way for some Caribbean athletes, but their spirits remained unbroken. He celebrated the resilience that defines the Caribbean people, inspiring their athletes to give their best, fully aware that they are motivated to go 'beyond possible,' defying every attempt to deter their commitment to success.

 

"The World Athletics Championships are done," Joseph declared. "The performances of our athletes are now indelibly recorded in global athletics history. As CANOC, we stand proud of our athletes, medallists as well as those who missed out. Together, we affirm our commitment to our Caribbean-ness."

With these inspiring performances, Caribbean athletes have once again proven their mettle on the global stage, leaving an enduring legacy of dedication, perseverance, and pride in their Caribbean heritage. Their remarkable achievements continue to inspire and unite the region, setting the stage for even greater success in the future.

 

 

 

 

The Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM David Comissiong has praised the work of world-rated Jamaican coach Stephen Francis in propelling Barbadian Sada Williams to a second consecutive medal at the World Athletic Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

After her Oregon 400-metre bronze at the 2022 Worlds, Williams finished third again Wednesday in the one-lap event in 49.60 seconds behind the Dominican Republic’s gold medallist Marileidy Paulino (48.76) and Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek (49.57).

“Speaking on behalf of the people of Barbados, (I) would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution that Jamaica's all-time great coach, Stephen Francis, has made to Sada's success,” Comissiong said.

Williams appeared briefly down the homestretch to be drifting out of medal contention but fought gallantly to become the first Barbadian ever to repeat as a World Championship medallist.

“Stephen Francis is, perhaps, the greatest sprint coach in the entire world, and he has been instrumental in developing Sada into the world class athlete that she is today,” said St Vincent and the Grenadines-born Comissiong.

Williams, 25, trains in Kingston with Francis’s MVP Track Club that produced multiple Olympic and World Champions including Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shericka Jackson, Melaine Walker, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, and Tajay Gayle plus former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell.

Last year in Birmingham, England, Williams created history when she became the first Barbadian woman to win a Commonwealth Games 400m gold medal, clocking a championship record 49.90 seconds.

A devout Pan Africanist, Comissiong, also called for Barbados to arrange a special function to honour Francis’s work with Williams.

“I hope and trust that very soon from now we Barbadians will have the opportunity to say a very personal heart-felt "thank you" to Mr Francis as our special honoured guest at an appropriately designed official function right here in Barbados,” he said, adding: “Long live Caribbean solidarity and brotherhood!”.

Marileidy Paulino created history on Wednesday when she stormed to victory in the final of Women’s 400m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

After winning silver medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and again at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, the 26–year-old from Don Gregorio Village in the Dominican Republic blew away the field down the home stretch to clock a massive lifetime best of 48.77 for victory and become the first woman from her country to win a gold medal in that event at the championships that began in 1983.

Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek won silver running 49.57, just managing to hold off Barbados Sada Williams, who ran 49.60 for her second bronze medal in as medal championships.

Williams created some history of her own as no athlete from Barbados had ever won medals in back-to-back championships.

Candice McLeod of Jamaica ran 51.08 for seventh.

Paulino, a two-time silver medalist in the event, took advantage of the absence of Shauna Miller-Uibo and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone to cop the first global gold medal of her international career.

 



 

Marileidy Paulino, Candice McLeod and Sada Williams all successfully made it through the semi-finals of the Women’s 400m on day three of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Monday.

Paulino, the reigning Olympic and World Championship silver medalist, produced 49.54 to win semi-final one.

Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke (49.87) also automatically advanced through to the final from semi-final one while Belgium’s Cynthia Bolingo ran 49.96, a new national record, to advance as one of the non-automatic qualifiers. Jamaica’s Candice McLeod ran 50.62 for fourth to advance as the final time qualifier.

The second semi-final was won by Lieke Klaver in 49.88 while Talitha Diggs also made it through with 50.86. Jamaican champion, Nickisha Pryce, was in a qualifying spot after running a hard first 300m before fading down the stretch and eventually running 51.24 for fifth.

Sada Williams, the defending World Championship bronze medallist, ran a personal best and national record 49.58 for second in semi-final three to advance. Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek ran 49.50 to take the win.

Defending women’s champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, five months removed from the birth of her first child, failed to advance to the semi-final round of the 400m at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday.

The Bahamian star finished seventh in Heat 3 in 52.65. The 2022 bronze medallist Sada Williams of Barbados won the heat in 50.78 to keep her quest alive for another global medal in the one-lap sprint.

Meanwhile, all three Jamaicans advanced to the semi-final round of the competition. Jamaican champion Nickisha Price comfortably won Heat 4 in 50.38 over Cuba’s Roxana Gomez, who eased to second place in 50.86 and Gabby Scott of Puerto Rico, who was also an automatic qualifier, finishing third in a season’s best time of 51.07.

Candice McLeod was third in the opening heat in 50.37 to earn her place in the semi-final round. That heat was won by medal favourite Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland in an impressive 50.02. Cynthia Bolingo of Belgium ran a season’s best 50.29 to advance.

Charokee Young, meantime, sneaked into the next round as one of the sixth fastest finishers, when she ended up sixth in the sixth and final heat won by gold medal favourite Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic in a smart time of 49.90.

Young struggled to a time of 51.24.

Guyana’s Aliyah Abrahams was not as fortunate. She ran 51.44 to finish fifth in Heat 5 and failed to advance. Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke, who recently signed a professional contract, won the heat in 50.80.

 

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