MVP coach Stephen Francis is confident 2019 Long Jump World Champion Tajay Gayle is set to make a serious foray into the sprints in the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old, who has completely recovered from an injury that negatively impacted his performance at Olympics, showed off some good ability in the 100m sprints last year.

Despite specializing in the jumps, Gayle showed plenty of speed over the distance after clocking 10.18 in May of last year.  The athlete’s best time over double the distance is 21.18.

“I think Tajay will be in the position to do a lot more sprinting this year and I suspect that he will be in the position to challenge for the title of fastest Jamaican,” Francis said in an interview with SportsMax.Tv.

“As well as be able to defend his title as the best long jumper in the world,” he added.

Gayle had been hoping to add the Olympic title to the World title this summer and advanced to the final but injured his left knee in the process.  He was a result unable to secure a position in the final eight.

The British Virgin Islands Chantel Malone and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens will represent the Caribbean in the women’s long jump final after finishing 5th and 9th in qualifying on Saturday.

The other regional athletes in competition, Jamaicans Chanice Porter and Tissanna Hickling finished 24th and 25th respectively in qualifying with distances of 6.22 and 6.19.

Elsewhere, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren could not manage to get among the medals after finishing 10th in the final of the women’s shot put.

Men's 400m 

Nine Caribbean men advanced to the next round of the men’s 400 metres.  Heat 1 of the event saw Grenada’s 2012 Olympic Champion, Kirani James, finish second in 45.09 to advance.

Demish Gaye of Jamaica and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas also advanced to the semi-finals from heat 1 as two of the six fastest losers, after finishing 4th and 5th in 45.49 and 45.51 respectively.

The third heat also saw three Caribbean men advance to the semi-finals as Jonathan Jones of Barbados, Christopher Taylor of Jamaica and Dwight St. Hillaire of Trinidad & Tobago all made it through.

Jones and Taylor finished second and third with times of 45.04 and 45.20 to advance automatically and St. Hillaire finished fourth in 45.41 to advance as a fastest loser.

Steven Gardiner, the reigning world champion, easily won heat 5 in 45.05 to advance to the semi-finals.

Trinidadian Deon Lendore also advanced from heat 5 after finishing second behind Gardiner in 45.14.

Jamaica’s Nathon Allen was also in heat 5 but failed to advance after finishing fourth in 46.12.

Machel Cedenio, the Trinidadian who narrowly missed out on a medal five years ago in Rio, also advanced to the semi-finals after finishing third in the 6th and final heat in 45.56.

Men's Lomg Jump

Earlier, Tajay Gayle qualified for the final of the men’s long jump, despite picking up an apparent left knee injury.

The Jamaican fouled his first attempt and picked up the injury while jumping 6.72 in his second attempt.  He jumped out to 8.14 in his third, with heavy strapping around his left knee.

Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba had the longest jump in qualifying after leaping out to 8.50 in his first attempt.

The men’s long jump final will get underway at 8:20pm today.

Natoya Goule won her semi-final to advance to the final of the women’s 800 metres.

Goule took the lead early and never looked back, running 1:59.57 to get to her first Olympic final.

Jamaica’s Chad Wright, in the meantime, finished ninth in the men’s discus final with a throw of 62.56.

Elsewhere, the Dominican Republic mixed 4x400m team of Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Anabel Medina, and Alexander Ogando ran 3:10.21 to finish second in the final and secure the silver medal.

Sean Bailey, Stacy Ann-Williams, Tovea Jenkins, and Karayme Bartley ran for Jamaica and finished 7th in 3:14.95.

 

 

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.

Shericka Jackson picked up from where she left off at Jamaica’s national championships a week ago and Tajay Gayle equalled his season-best in the long jump at Sunday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet where Kirani James raced to victory in the 400m.

The 2019 World Championships 400m bronze medalist, who shocked her fans with lifetime bests of 10.77 and 21.82 at her national championships a week ago, ran an impressive 22.10 to win the 200m ahead of Marie Josee Ta Lou, who delivered a season-best 22.36.

Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi was third in 22.65, a season-best time and national record.

Earlier, in one of the fastest races run this season, Natoya Goule ran close to her 800m lifetime best of 1:56.15 when she finished second to Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza in the two-lap event.

The diminutive Jamaican clocked a season-best 1:56.44 after chasing the Cuban, who set a new meet record and a brand new personal best of 1:56.28.

Kate Grace ran 1:57.36 for third.

It was a similar story in the men’s 400m where Grenada’s Kirani James and Trinidad’s Leon Lendore engaged in a scrap with 50m to go before James found enough to hold on for victory in 44.63. Lendore ran a season-best 44.73 for second place.

 Leimarvin Bonevacia of the Netherlands was also closing fast but ran out of real estate to finish third in 44.80, a season-best.

Gayle equalled his season-best of 8.55m which was aided by a trailing wind of 2.2m/s that saw him emerge the victor in the long jump. Cuba’s long-jump sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped 8.29m for second place.

Thomas Montler was third. The Swede jumped a personal best leap of 8.23m.

Alisson dos Santos further established himself as one of the best 400m hurdlers in the world this year when he ran 47.33 to win in a new lifetime best and area record, eclipsing the record he set in Oslo on July 1 when Karsten Warholm set a new world record of 46.70.

Turkey’s Yasmani Coppello ran a season-best 48.19 for second place. Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt also ran a season-best 48.75 for third.

The women’s event was a classic as the Netherlands’ Femke Bol and the USA’s Shamier Little raced stride for stride to the line with the former just managing to cross first in a new lifetime best of 52.37. The time was also a Diamond League record, national record and meet record.

Little ran a lifetime best of 52.39 in the race where the first three across the line in under 53 seconds as Anna Rhyzhykova clocked a personal best and national record of 52.96.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell ran 54.08 for fourth while Leah Nugent was sixth in 55.01.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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