Olympic bronze medalist Kirani James was an impressive winner in the 400m at the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovia 2021 Meeting in Zagreb on Tuesday when Shanieka Ricketts ended her season with a meet record effort in the triple jump.

James won in commanding fashion clocking a meet record 44.46. Looking fresh and fast even as his season winds down, James was more than a half-second faster than Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who faded down the stretch to clock 45.15.

Italy’s Edoardo Scotti ran 45.30 for third.

Ricketts, meanwhile, closed her season with a meet record of 14.77m to win the triple jump ahead of Nesa Filipic, who jumped 14.31m for second place. Senni Salminen was third with 14.24m.

Once again, Shericka Jackson had to settle for the runner-up spot in a race with Christine Mboma of Namibia. The teenager ran a meet record of 22.04 pulling away from Jackson, who ran 22.30. Athonique Strachan of the Bahamas ran third in 23.05.

Similarly, Ronald Levy played second fiddle to the USA’s Devon Allen in the 110m hurdles. Allen ran a personal best of 12.99 in what was an unexpectedly comfortable win ahead of the Olympic bronze medalist who ran 13.10 for second place whole Hansle Parchment, the Olympic gold medalist was third in 13.12.

Janieve Russell ran 55.45 for third in the 400m hurdles race won by Panama’s Gianna Woodruff in 54.67. Anna Ryzhykova was second in 54.87.

Marvin Bracy had another impressive win in the 100m clocking 9.86 while pulling away from Ronnie Baker (9.97) and Trayvon Bromell (10.03). Julian Forte ran 10.20 for fifth.

Shadae Lawrence ended her season with a third-place finish in the discus with a throw of 60.80m. Olympic champion, the USA’s Valarie Allman throw 69.63m for the win over Sandra Perkovic (66.48m).

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah was the only Caribbean athlete to win on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday but a few others came very close.

Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Ronald Levy and compatriots Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Shanieka Ricketts were among the winners on Sunday at the Meeting Citta di Padova in Italy where American Sha’Carri Richardson ended up on the podium in the 100m.

Levy, who ran 13.10 to win the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics last month,  clocked 13.34 to win the event ahead of Italy’s Paolo Dal Molin.

The Italian clocked 13.45 while Brazil’s Rafael Pereira was third in 13.66.

McPherson, in her first race since she suffered an injury in the final of the 400m at the Olympics, ran a smart 50.78 for victory in the one-lapper. Authorised Neutral Athlete Polina Miller finished as the runner-up in a time of 50.96.

Junelle Bromfield made it a Jamaica 1-3 as she took third in 51.19.

Ricketts led a Caribbean 1-2-3 in the triple jump that she won with 14.74. Standout Dominican jumper Thea LaFond was second with her best effort of 14.57m while Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea took the final podium spot with 14.35.

Meanwhile, Sha’Carri Richardson, who has had more bark than bite in recent races, was a close second-place finisher in the 100m. The 21-year-old American, who was ninth in the 100m in Eugene last month and fourth over 200m in Brussels on September 3, clocked 11.19, the same time as winner Javianne Oliver.

It was an American 1-2-3 as Candace Hill finished third in 11.26. Olympic relay gold medalist Briana Williams finished fifth in a pedestrian 11.44.

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Following her victory in the triple jump at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco today, Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts said she feels like she is on track for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics that gets underway later this month.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked a season-best 10.84 to record her first win over 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Doha today.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts was the only winner from the Caribbean at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Gateshead where Dina Asher-Smith upstaged Sha Carri Richardson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Ricketts, the 2019 World Championships triple silver medalist jumped out to 14.40m to take gold. It was close thing with Portugal’s Patricia Mamoa, who jumped a season-best 14.37m for second place. Naomi Ogbeta of Great Britain got a season-best 14.29m for third.

Afterwards, Ricketts said the conditions were difficult to deal with.

 “It was brutal. I am just so happy I didn't end up injured. It was really hard to focus on technical things and not very conducive to getting good jumps. I just wanted to get myself into the position to have an extra jump and then the only thing that mattered was to get the best jump,” she said while revealing that she is not yet sold on the final-three concept.

“I was a bit sceptical but it is something we need to get used to.”

There were also second-place finishes for Trinidad and Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott, the 2012 Olympic champion, Danniel Thomas-Dodd, and Stephenie-Ann McPherson in the javelin, shot put and 400m, respectively.

Walcott, who was also the bronze medalist at Rio 2016, threw 77.78m, to take the runner-up spot as Poland’s Marcin Krukowski defied the wind and rain to throw 82.61m. He was the only thrower over 80m.

Sweden’s Kim Amb was third with a heave of 76.96m.

Thomas-Dodd just lost out to Portugal’s Auriol Dongmo, who threw 19.08m in the shot put to advance to the final round. Thomas-Dodd, whose best effort was 18.46 also advanced along with the USA’s Maggie Ewen who put 18.54m.

However, in the final round where the previous throws were cancelled, Thomas-Dodd threw 18.12m that was bettered by 18.16m from the Cameroon transfer.  Ewen threw 16.96m for third.

Thomas-Dodd, who said she expected a better showing, vented her frustrations afterwards.

“It's a little bit frustrating because I've been working on a lot of things with my technique which I'm still trying to get in competition. I had some really nice throws today but I wasn’t able to stay in the ring so that's just one of the things I need to go back to the drawing board and work on,” she declared, adding that she would use the conditions as an excuse for her performance.

“That's all I can hope for (to refine technique and to come good at the right time). I know with the time I have it's about fine-tuning those little things. I never complain about conditions because you never know what you'll get wherever you go, so you have to be mentally prepared for whatever conditions you get on the day. You have to work with what you can control and that's being in the ring and working with your technique.”

McPherson produced a strong finish but ran out of real estate to finish second in 400m won by the USA’s Kendall Ellis in 51.86. McPherson clocked 51.96 while holding off Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands was third in a season-best 52.03.

Janieve Russell was beaten into third place in the 400m hurdles by Denmark’s Sara Slott Petersen and Great Britain’s Jessica Turner, who clocked 56.32 and 56.56, respectively.

Tajay Gayle had to settle for third place in the long jump when he was unable to soar beyond 8.14m in the final round where his preliminary round jump of 8.00m was of no consequence except that it got him into the final.

There, Italy’s Phillippo Randazza leapt out to 8.11m to win over Eusebio Caceres, who got 8.04m on his final jump. Gayle could only muster 7.91m which got him third.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The global pandemic has been frustrating for many athletes, who have been unable to compete and consequently earn their keep. However, for some it is an opportunity to hone their craft, to become even better than they were before.

Such is the case of World Championship silver medalist Shanieka Ricketts, who uncorked a world-leading 14.63m triple jump at the National Stadium in Kingston on March 20.

The mark was 13cm shy of her best ever opener of 14.76m in 2019, and 30cm off her personal best, but it was an early indication of how much she had worked to improve in the time she was unable to compete in 2020 because of the many cancellations of track and field meets as the Covid-19 virus raced across the world.

Ricketts, who turned 29 in February, had one of her best jumps at the World Championships in Doha where she produced a 14.92m effort to secure a silver medal behind Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas.

Now finally competing again, she expects to go even farther this year, maybe even getting closer to the Venezuelan, who won gold with her best jump of 15.37m.

Rickett’s confidence comes from the work that she and her coach and husband Kerrylee Ricketts have been putting in during their ‘down time’, and based on past experience, the likelihood that it will bear fruit.

“My step phase has improved since last year. The triple jump is very technical, so we are aiming to improve as many aspects of the jump as possible in order to surpass my personal best,” she said.

“Training is very different from competition, so it takes a while to get the hang of competing and getting back into top shape. We do our best to assimilate a competition-type environment in training so that it does not feel foreign once we begin to compete.

“It is definitely challenging to navigate from training to competition but proper preparation builds confidence and makes the transition more comfortable. The extra time gave us a chance to work on improving my strength and sprinting mechanics which are essential in doing well.”

The uncertainty of the season has impacted her ability to compete more frequently and bring those elements perfected in training to competition. However, once she gets the chance, jumping beyond 15m could be a lot closer to reality.

“I am pleased with where I am at this stage of the season. I am hoping to jump far this year, and I know that once I got the technical aspects of the jump correct, the distances will come,” she said.

“I am not in peak shape right now so I know that I will be able to produce bigger jumps as the season progresses.”

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