Great Britain’s speed king Zharnel Hughes admits Olympic heartbreak inspired him to his historic 100m bronze at the World Championships.

The 28-year-old clocked 9.88 seconds to finish third in Sunday’s night final – less than an hour after Katarina Johnson-Thompson won heptathlon gold in Budapest.

Hughes became the first British man to win an individual 100m sprint medal at the worlds in 20 years – since Darren Campbell’s bronze in 2003.

The USA’s Noah Lyles took the title in 9.83 seconds with Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo winning silver, just a thousandth of a second ahead of Hughes.

It marks Hughes’ comeback after he was disqualified for a false start in the Olympic 100m final.

He said: “The heartbreak I’ve been through from Tokyo was devastating. Last year, I missed out on the finals. I got knocked out in the semis. I told myself this time, ‘I’m not getting knocked out whatsoever. I’m going to give it my very best’.

“I got through that semis and I told myself in the warm-up, ‘believe Zharnel. You got this’.

“I kept it all in. I cried a lot but lessons were learnt and I dug deep. It’s been years of trying, years of lessons – I wouldn’t call it failure – years of lessons.

“Doubts were there. People probably didn’t believe in me as much but I just need to believe in myself. Over the years the speed has always been there but the mind wasn’t aligned properly. Now it’s instinct.

“This morning I wrote down, ‘get a medal’. I thought I won. Being in the race, it looks a lot closer but a medal is a medal.”

The European 200m champion went into the race as the fastest man in the world this year and was boosted after defending champion Fred Kerley crashed out in the semi final, along with Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs.

Hughes, ranked 12th in the world ahead of the championships, had qualified fourth fastest after running 9.93s in his semi.

Yet he had struggled with a slow start in the heat and semi and, despite the fastest reaction time in the final, still needed to recover in the last 50m to ensure he snatched a podium place in a tight race.

It caps a remarkable summer for the Anguilla-born star, who trains under Usain Bolt’s former coach Glen Mills, after he broke two long-standing British records.

In June, he shattered Linford Christie’s 30-year 100m record by running 9.83s in New York.

A month later in London, he broke John Regis’ 200m mark to post 19.73s. Hughes is now eyeing the 200m and 4x100m relay.

Eugene Amo-Dadzie, an accountant who is due back to work as a senior management accountant for property developer Berkeley Group on August 29, bowed out in the semi-final after running 10.03s – still quicker than Olympic champion Jacobs.

Reece Prescod ran 10.26s and also failed to qualify, ending his championships as the 25-year-old pulled out of the 4x100m relay squad last week.

Great Britain’s speed king Zharnel Hughes grabbed brilliant bronze to make history in the 100m final at the World Championships.

The 28-year-old clocked 9.88 seconds to finish third on Sunday night – less than an hour after Katarina Johnson-Thompson won heptathlon gold in Budapest.

Hughes becomes the first British man to win an individual 100m sprint medal at the worlds in 20 years – since Darren Campbell’s bronze in 2003.

The USA’s Noah Lyles took the title in 9.83 seconds with Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo winning silver just a thousandth of a second ahead of Hughes.

European 200m champion Hughes went into the race as the fastest man in the world this year and was boosted after defending champion Fred Kerley crashed out in the semi final, along with Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs.

Hughes, ranked 12th in the world ahead of the Championships, had qualified fourth fastest after running 9.93s in his semi.

Yet he had struggled with a slow start in the heat and semi and, despite the fastest reaction time in the final, still needed to recover in the last 50m to ensure he snatched a podium place in a tight race.

It caps a remarkable summer for the Anguilla-born star, who trains under Usain Bolt’s former coach Glen Mills, after he broke two long-standing British records.

In June, he shattered Linford Christie’s 30-year 100m record by running 9.83s in New York.

A month later in London, he broke John Regis’ 200m mark to post 19.73s.

Eugene Amo-Dadzie, an accountant who is due back to work as a senior management accountant for property developer Berkeley Group on August 29, bowed out in the semi-final after running 10.03s – still quicker than Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs.

Reece Prescod ran 10.26s and also failed to qualify, ending his Championships with the 25-year-old pulling out of the 4x100m relay squad last week.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson has won a brilliant heptathlon gold at the World Championships in Budapest.

The 30-year-old has endured a tough four years, punctuated by injury and frustration, since her world title win in Doha four years ago.

Here, the PA news agency looks at her road to recovery.

Covid delays the Olympics

Coming off the back of her 2019 world title, Johnson-Thompson was ready for another showdown with Nafi Thiam. The Belgian won Olympic gold in Rio but was defeated by KJT in Doha as the Brit set four personal bests.

She was in the form of her life and their battle was poised to be one of the best of the Games – only for the Covid pandemic to strike and the Olympics were postponed for 12 months.

Achilles rupture threatens her career

Johnson-Thompson suffered a serious Achilles injury in December 2020 which left her fearing for her career. Just eight months ahead of the Olympics it left her hopes of making Tokyo in doubt.

“Covid, my Achilles injury and then the injury in Tokyo were three major things which made it feel like the universe was telling me to stop,” she said.

Heartbreak in Tokyo

The 30-year-old recovered in time to make the delayed Olympics in Japan and was fifth going into the final event on day one, the 200m. Yet she was struck by another massive blow when she injured her right calf with around 50 metres left.

She refused a wheelchair and limped to the finish – stating she started her year in a wheelchair and did not want to end it in one.

The defending champion

Johnson-Thompson arrived at the Worlds in Oregon last year as the defending champion but there was never any expectation she would retain the title. She was sixth after day one, trailing Thiam by over 300 points, despite a gutsy effort.

A frustrating 6.28m in the long jump dropped her to seventh while she was unable to improve her place in the javelin and 800m to ultimately finish eighth.

Commonwealth title defence

Having pulled out of the pentathlon at the World Athletics Indoor Championships earlier in the year, Johnson-Thompson came from Eugene straight to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Her 2018 Gold Coast victory was the start of her trajectory and foundations for her Doha victory.

Despite her previous injury problems she was still expected to retain the crown and she did with a measured performance to finish 144 points ahead of Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson is on the brink of a stunning heptathlon gold at the World Championships.

The 30-year-old is fighting to reclaim her world crown from 2019 and holds a 26-point lead ahead of the final 800m on Sunday night in Budapest.

It would represent a remarkable comeback from Johnson-Thompson after a ruptured Achilles in 2020 and a calf injury at the Tokyo Olympics which forced her to quit after day one.

A leap of 6.54m in the long jump on Sunday morning put her into the lead, 19 points ahead of the United States’ Anna Hall.

She launched a personal best of 46.14m in the javelin which extended her lead as Hall dropped to third.

The Netherlands’ Anouk Vetter, last year’s silver medallist, is Johnson-Thompson’s nearest challenger, with defending champion Nafi Thiam having pulled out before the championships with an Achilles problem.

Johnson-Thompson has run two minutes 12.40 seconds in the 800m this year while Vetter’s personal best is five seconds slower. Hall has run two minutes 02.97secs this year but is reportedly carrying an injury.

Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita opened their 100m challenge with minimum fuss in Hungary.

Neita, in heat one, ran 11.03secs while Asher-Smith followed her in heat two to clock 11.04s.

Defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran 11.01s with the USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson qualifying fastest in 10.92s.

Britain’s Matt Hudson-Smith, who won bronze last year, reached the 400m semi-finals after coming second in his heat behind 2016 Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk.

He said: “I just wanted the qualifier and to get through to the semis as comfortably as possible so I have got the job done. There is so much left in the tank but I know I am going to have to fight.

“I’ve got both my legs back. Everyone keeps talking about Steve (Gardiner) and Wayde but I’m not here for participation, I’m here to get a medal. I’ve got both my legs back and I’m here to win.”

Victoria Ohuruogu and Ama Pipi also reached the women’s 400m semi final.

Ohuruogu said: “I’m looking for a medal – I’ve got to aim big. Last year was about the final and people might say I was unrealistic but I was a bit gutted with that so I have clear aims this year, a medal being what I am aiming for.”

Defending champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson and Julien Alfred all turned in impressive opening runs to advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s 100m dash at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Sunday.

American upstart Sha’Carri Richardson and the ever-improving Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast also demonstrated their immense talents setting up what is expected to be an intense semi-final round and an electrifying final on Monday.

Fraser-Pryce, who is going for a record-extending sixth world 100m title allayed fears about the impact of her injured knee, blasted out of the blocks but did not engage the after-burners as she cruised through the line in 11.01.

Swiss champion Mujinga Kambundji who has had her own issues with injury this season, came in second in 11.08. New Zealand’s fastest woman Zoe Hobbs advanced to the semis finishing third in 11.14.

 In similar fashion, Jackson the 2022 silver medalist, cruised to victory in Heat 4 in 11.06. Trinidad and Tobago’s veteran Michelle Lee Ahye took second place in a season’s best 11.16 with Germany’s Gina Lukenkemper third in 11.21.

Alfred, the NCAA champion, shook off her rust by winning her heat in 10.99 while holding off Great Britain’s Daryll Neita, who clocked 11.03 for second place. Gambia’s Gina Bass was third in 11.10.

Meanwhile, the USA’s gold medal hopeful ShaCarri Richardson cruised to an easy win in her heat stopping the clock in 10.92 with Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison 11.02 trailing in her wake. Italy’s Daynab Dosso ran a national record 11.14 to finish third and also advance to the semi-finals.

Ta Lou, who has run a lifetime best of 10.75 this season, let it known that she has no intention of being a bridesmaid at these championships, when she cruised to an easy time of 11.08 to win her heat ahead of Jamaica’s Sashalee Forbes, who clocked in at 11.12.

Buoyed by the cheers of her home crowd, Hungary’s Boglárka Takacs, finished third in 11.18.

Britanny Brown of the USA won her heat in 11.01 ahead of Great Britain's medal hopeful Dina Asher-Smith and Jaël Bestue of Spain who clocked 11.28.

Polish sprint star Ewa Swoboda also turned in an impressive performance storming to a 10.98 run to win her heat ahead of the USA’s Tamari Davis (11.06) and N'Ketia Seedo of the Netherlands, who clocked in at 11.11, a new personal best.



Usain Bolt shattered his own 100 metres world record to win World Championship gold in 9.58 seconds, on this day in 2009.

The triple Olympic champion stormed to victory in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, comfortably beating the mark of 9.69secs set in Beijing the previous year.

Defending champion Tyson Gay set an American record of 9.71 to claim the silver with former world record holder Asafa Powell third in 9.84.

Britain’s Dwain Chambers was sixth in 10.00, a season’s best for the then 31-year-old.

In the semi-finals, Bolt had shrugged off two false starts – the second of which saw Britain’s Tyrone Edgar disqualified – to breeze into the final.

Bolt was guilty of the first false start, which meant any athlete guilty of another would be disqualified.

But after Edgar had committed that second misdemeanour and left the track, Bolt was quickly out of his blocks and almost as quickly began easing down to a brilliant time of 9.89.

That indicated something special was on the cards and the Jamaican superstar duly delivered, powering out of the blocks at the first time of asking in the final and seizing control of the race within 30m.

From there it was only a matter of the time and the large crowd exploded as Bolt streaked across the line to create another piece of sporting history.

Teenage phenom Adaejah Hodge and two-time Commonwealth Games champion Kyron McMaster are among three athletes selected by the British Virgin Islands Athletics Association to compete at the 2023 World Athletics Championships set to get underway in Budapest, Hungary this coming weekend.

Sprinter Rikkoi Brathwaite is the other athlete set to represent the BVI at the championships where an estimated 2100 athletes from across the globe will go for gold and glory.

Hodge, who turned 17 in March, will be making her debut at the championships in the 200m where she will likely face the biggest tests of her fledgling career in the form of reigning world champion Shericka Jackson, world leader Gabby Thomas and St Lucia’s Julien Alfred.

McMaster is a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, who ran an incredibly fast national record of 47.08 to finish fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. His season-best time of 47.26 is ranked fourth in the world this year. He will take to the track to face the likes of World and Olympic champion Karsten Warholm, the world record holder, the USA’s Rai Benjamin and Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, the 2022 world champion.

Brathwaite, who set a new national record of 10.09s in early August, gets things started for the BVI in the 100m on August 20, when he takes on reigning champion Fred Kerley, Noah Lyles, Ferdinand Omanyala and Zharnel Hughes in the blue-ribbon sprint.

Both Hodge and McMaster will begin competition on August 23.

Coach Ralston Henry and the physiotherapist Martin Wilson, a UK national with close ties to Team BVIs will accompany the athletes to Budapest.

Some 2000 athletes from around 200 teams will descend on Hungary’s new National Athletics Centre on Saturday 19 August for nine days of thrilling competition at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, where World Athletics will once again run its world record programme.

Athletes who set a world record will be eligible* for a special award of US$100,000 offered by TDK and World Athletics’ new Inside Track platform.

The performance must be an improvement on the existing World Athletics world record. Performances that equal the existing world record will not be eligible for a world record award.

USA’s Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis are two of the most recent recipients of a world record award, following their performances at the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. There, at Eugene’s Hayward Field, McLaughlin-Levrone improved her own world 400m hurdles record to an awe-inspiring 50.68, while Duplantis took the pole vault to another level again, clearing 6.21m.

Continuing TDK’s involvement with the world record programme, the Japanese electronics company will offer the award for men’s events. The women’s world record programme will be supported by World Athletics – Inside Track, a new online hub where fans can access exclusive content, discover untold stories and unlock benefits. Inside Track provides the perfect platform to tell all athletics stories, but especially those of female athletes, as seen by the recent exclusive interview with McLaughlin-Levrone.

For the mixed 4x400m relay, the programme will be supported by both TDK and World Athletics – Inside Track.

TDK’s involvement with the World Athletics Championships goes beyond the world record programme. In a year that celebrates four decades of the World Athletics Championships, it also marks 40 years of TDK’s support, as one of the original sponsors of the World Athletics Championships. Having been the main bib sponsor for men's events for all 18 previous editions, TDK will maintain that involvement in Budapest.

New Official Partner NTN will be the main bib sponsor for women's events at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

Prize money

Aside from the world record programme, a total of US$8,498,000 in prize money will be on offer in Budapest.

The prize money is as follows:

Individual events
Gold: US$70,000
Silver: US$35,000
Bronze: US$22,000
Fourth place: US$16,000
Fifth place: US$11,000
Sixth place: US$7000
Seventh place: US$6000
Eighth place: US$5000

Relays (per team)
Gold: US$80,000
Silver: US$40,000
Bronze: US$20,000
Fourth place: US$16,000
Fifth place: USD $12,000
Sixth place: US$8000
Seventh place: US$6000
Eighth place: US$4000

World Athletics

*The payment of prize money and bonuses is dependent upon the usual ratification process

Jamaican hammer thrower Erika Belvit has expressed her profound disappointment at not being selected to her country’s team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, later this month.

In June, Belvit threw 70.04m, her second best throw this season to win a silver medal at the CAC Games in San Salvador, a testament to her dedication and hard work. Though, her season-best throw of 70.09m falls short of the 74m automatic qualifying standard, her performance earned her a spot among the top-ranked hammer throwers in the world, reaching as high as 34th in the World Athletics rankings.

Yet, when the Jamaican team for the World Championships was announced, her name was conspicuously absent.

On hearing of her non-selection, Belvit reached out to a JAAA official, a ‘Mr Smith’, whom she had met during the CAC Games, asking why she was not selected.

In his reply on WhatsApp, Mr. Smith told the distraught thrower that only one quota athlete could be selected for any one event. However, this is not true as under the World Athletics rules up to three athletes can be selected.

Three years ago World Athletics overhauled its qualification system in an attempt to create a fairer system where half of athletes would qualify for major championships through achieving an automatic qualifying standard and the other half through their world rankings.

Belvit subsequently fired off an email to President of the JAAA Garth Gayle stating her case and inquiring about her non-selection. He replied saying, “The selection committee would have made its recommendation and you were not selected for this occasion. Please continue to persevere in your training for future events.”

Sportsmax.TV reached out to Lincoln Eatmon, an executive of the Jamaican Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA), who provided insight into the JAAA selection process. He explained, "We had to make up our minds because you can't afford to take everybody who is ranked and as a quota athlete. So we made a policy decision that we're only going to take a certain amount and we will give the preference to the national champions who are quota qualified. We decided that we would keep the number at five and so the others who were selected have made the finals at the last because the last World Championships like Kimberly Williamson and Kimberly Williams," he said.

“And then Rasheed Dwyer was selected because he provides possible cover for the sprint relay because well, they seem to have a problem finding healthy people.”

Eatmon explained further that the existing policy was in part based on cost containment and that Belvit had subsequently fallen down the rankings.

“It would cost to start, you know, I would think somewhere about that JMD $1,000,000 because you have to think of the camp and all of those expenses. So it's a lot of money to take a one person. So it's a matter of controlling costs as well.”

Regarding Belvit’s ranking, Eatmon, stated, “She medalled at CAC but you have to look at where she's ranked. As of the 30 June, Erika was ranked 44 in the world. It doesn't make sense taking somebody who is ranked over 40 in an event unless there are other compelling reasons or even over 36, you have to bear in mind it’s cost containment.”

It should be noted that 15 athletes in the top 44 have not thrown farther than Belvit this season.

Meanwhile, Caltha Seymour of the Heaven to the Yeah Foundation, a former hammer thrower herself, has recognized Belvit's potential and the need for more opportunities for athletes in field events.

The foundation has expressed willingness to fund Erika's trip to Budapest, emphasizing the importance of experience and competition for an athlete's development. Seymour stated, "Erika has worked very hard to be in the Top 40 in the world in her event, and being left off of the world's team is disheartening, as it displays that the JAAA is not committed to providing opportunities to develop their world-class athletes in the field events.

“Athletes require experience to develop, especially a year from Paris 2024. There is a process to development, and our JA athletes in the underrepresented sports need to compete with the world's best... to be the world's best. They need to be provided the opportunity for experience... competition requires development."

As discussions about Erika's exclusion unfolded, she voiced her heartache: "I am extremely disappointed. I can't even express how extremely disappointed I am, especially because I qualified and I worked so hard to get to this point. It's not just me, it's other people as well who have worked so hard just to get to qualify and then to be told, not even to be told but to find out you're not going to be able to make it and not being told why is very disheartening."

She explained further that her disappointment is not just about not being selected.

"This means so much to me. This is more than just going and being there. This is about building and creating this legacy, specifically for women’s hammer. This is such a big thing for me, it always has been. Just becoming closer with the people I have, a lot of throwers, coaches in Jamaica and seeing how important it is. There is more to Jamaica than just track, there is more to Jamaica than just running. There are some great people, especially on the field side, who have been showing up and showing out and I just want to be a part of that and the fact that I wont even be able to do that is so disheartening. And I am upset. I am very upset,” she said.




Jamaica and University of Arkansas long jumper Wayne Pinnock has signed a Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) contract with global sports apparel company Puma. The 22-year-old, two-time national champion made the announcement on Instagram on Saturday.

“I’m thrilled to announce that I’m now an official Puma NIL athlete,” said the former Kingston College athlete, who will represent Jamaica at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in a fortnight, after winning his second national title with a jump of 8.32m in July.

As of June 30, 2012, college student-athletes competing in states without an NIL law will have the freedom to receive compensation for their NIL however they see fit, as long as they do not violate pay-for-play or receive financial incentives to sign with or remain at a program. 

Pinnock joins fellow Razorback alum Jaydon Hibbert as Jamaican student-athletes at the University of Arkansas to have announced signing NIL contracts with Puma. Hibbert is the world leader in the triple jump with a mark of 17.87m. The 18-year-old won the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor national titles in his freshman year at Arkansas.

Pinnock is part of a strong long jump contingent that will represent Jamaica at the World Championships set to begin in Budapest on August 19. NCAA champion Carey McLeod and 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle complete the trio that will go for medals at the championships.

Sprinter Matthew Hudson-Smith says he endures daily injury pain but insists he will be ready for next month’s World Championships after leaving last weekend’s Diamond League meet in a wheelchair.

Great Britain’s squad for Budapest is due to be announced on Friday afternoon, with 400m runner Hudson-Smith seeking to better the bronze he won in Eugene last year.

The 28-year-old clocked a season’s best 44.72 seconds in finishing fourth in London on Sunday before raising concerns about his fitness by requiring mobility assistance at the end of the race.

He opted against revealing the specific location of an ongoing issue he termed as a “niggle” as he allayed fears about him being absent from the track in Hungary.

“I’m not at 100 per cent but I’ll be ready for the Worlds,” said Hudson-Smith.

“Listen, money is on the line, I’ve trained all year. I hope people understand how much work I have put into this year.

“I didn’t do all this work just to fall at the last hurdle. Whether I am good or bad, I’m gonna put my all in.

“At championships I always do my best and as you see when I get into finals I make medals. We’re loading for Worlds so we’ll be ready for when it matters.”

South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk clinched 400m glory at London Stadium in 44.36 secs.

American duo Bryce Deadmon and Vernon Norwood also crossed ahead of European champion Hudson-Smith.

“I couldn’t walk (after the race in London),” he said. “It was burning at the top bend so I had to push through.

“It aggravates on the bends and my event is two bends so it’s a matter of where it’s going to hurt.

“I’ve had an ongoing niggle since April. It’s been hard to manage. Sometimes it’s up, sometimes it’s down.”

Asked if he endures pain when lying in bed, he replied: “It’s every day, man, literally it’s bad. Christine (Ohuruogu, former 400m sprinter) has had similar issues as well and I’ve talked to her about it.

“I’ve got the best people in the world looking after me. It is just managing it and changing training so I’m fit and now we can put some speed into it and lean into it.”

In a jaw-dropping turn of events last Friday night at the National Senior and Junior Championships held at Jamaica's National Stadium, Rohan Watson, a rising star from MVP Track Club, emerged as the surprise victor in the highly anticipated men's 100m race.

Watson, a relative unknown in the sprinting world, delivered an exceptional performance, crossing the finish line with a new personal best time of 9.91 seconds.

The shocking upset saw Watson triumph over Ryiem Forde, who secured second place with a personal best time of 9.96 seconds, and the renowned Oblique Seville, a fourth-place finisher at last year's World Athletics Championships, who finished in third place with a time of 10.00 seconds.

The unexpected triumph of Watson sent shockwaves through the athletics community, capturing the attention of fans and experts alike. However, the discovery of this "diamond in the rough" was no accident. Coach Stephen Francis, renowned for his ability to identify and nurture talent, was instrumental in Watson's development and guided him to this remarkable victory.

While speaking exclusively to Sportsmax.TV about Watson's journey, Francis revealed the challenges they faced in finding promising sprinters who were willing to join MVP Track Club.

"None of the so-called brand name sprinters in high school wanted to come to us," Francis explained candidly.

“They said the training is too hard, if your girl up there we can’t do what we want, we can’t buy big cars, we can’t go out at night. They shy away from us.”

Faced with those challenges, Francis said he instructed his team to find him a sprinter who could run 10.5 or 10.4.

“We’ll work with them because a lot of people who have done well with us that’s what times they run. We don’t get people who run 10.1, 10.2 or 10.3.”

It was during a race at Jamaica College (JC) last year that Francis first spotted Watson, who demonstrated promising speed and determination.

Watson, who had completed his high school education at York Castle, displayed enthusiasm when approached by Francis and eagerly joined the MVP Track Club. Despite initially appearing smaller in stature than his counterparts, Watson's dedication and positive attitude set him apart.

“He was very interested and he came but even when I saw him in September for the first time on the training field I thought he was very small. We have had very good success with small sprinters but he looked small.”

However, Francis emphasized the importance of attitude and commitment over raw talent. "It is all about what you do, how you learn, and your willingness to sacrifice," he explained.

Watson exemplified these qualities, showcasing steady progress throughout the year. Observing his discipline and dedication, Francis became increasingly confident in Watson's abilities, foreseeing the potential for a sub-10-second performance.

Watson's victory at the national championships affirmed Francis' belief in his athlete's capabilities. As they approach the World Championships in Budapest, scheduled for August, Francis envisions Watson as a genuine medal contender.

The coach noted that the track conditions during the national championships were not particularly fast, indicating that Watson's time could improve further in more favorable circumstances.

Assessing the global sprinting landscape, Francis acknowledged that the field is wide open, with a few key contenders such as British champion, Zharnel Hughes and potentially Fred Kerley, the reigning world champion. However, he expressed confidence in Watson's prospects, given his impressive performance in a championship setting and his ability to maintain his form over multiple rounds.

“I don’t know what Fred Kerley is looking like and Zharnel is looking looks very, very good but apart (from those two), I think he has as good a shot as everybody else.”


In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, MVP Track Club's iconic coach, Stephen Francis, has firmly closed the door on the possibility of five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah returning to the club.

Thompson-Herah's career has faced a downward spiral since her departure in October 2021, and despite public opinion suggesting a reunion could revive her floundering fortunes, Francis emphatically stated that she would not be welcomed back. To be clear, despite her current struggles, Thompson-Herah has never publicly expressed any interest in returning to MVP.

Thompson-Herah's extraordinary accomplishments at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where she secured the sprint double with record-breaking performances, solidified her status as one of the greatest sprinters in history. However, her decision to leave MVP Track Club shortly after her Olympic triumphs left many questioning her motives and the impact it would have on her career.

Explaining her departure back then, Thompson-Herah highlighted her desire for personal growth and the need to take charge of her own destiny. She expressed gratitude for the support she received in her earlier years but emphasized the importance of making choices that aligned with her best interests. "What I want for myself, to better myself, was not provided. So, I have to find ways to get it done," she said, reflecting on her decision to move on.

Coach Stephen Francis, a renowned figure in the track and field world, responded to inquiries from Sportsmax.TV about Thompson-Herah's potential return to MVP Track Club. His answer left no room for ambiguity. "No. The way she left and the comments that she made and the fact that she has yet to accredit any member of the MVP staff who paid her a lot of attention and went through a lot of sacrifice to get her healthy enough to run and to do what she did in 2021," Francis stated, clearly outlining his reasons for refusing her return.

Francis continued, expressing his disappointment that Thompson-Herah failed to acknowledge the efforts of the MVP staff, instead attributing her success solely to her husband and other factors. "She didn't say anything about that from MVP. No, that never sits well with us. Even if she had said, ‘Thanks, to MVP. You know, I'm really grateful, we would have been fine. But right now I would take back any of my former athletes but not her, No," he emphasized.

The public had hoped that a reunion between Thompson-Herah and MVP Track Club would reignite the spark that had propelled her to Olympic glory. However, Francis's unwavering stance has shattered those hopes. With Thompson-Herah's career floundering in recent years, the absence of her former coach's guidance and support poses significant challenges for her future endeavors, especially in light of her recent signing with Puma.

Thompson-Herah now faces an uphill battle as she seeks to reclaim her position at the top of the sprinting world. Without the familiar structure of MVP Track Club and the guidance of Coach Francis, she will need to dig deep to find the motivation and resources necessary to revive her career.



World championship silver medalist Britnay Anderson is set to miss the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest this summer after suffering a recent injury in training at her base in Italy.

Sources indicate that the 22-year-old Anderson suffered the injury after falling over a hurdle and damaged a ligament in her left knee. While the injury is serious, Anderson, who is currently wearing a knee brace, is expected to make a full recovery.

The forlorn Anderson confirmed the sad news on her Instagram account on Thursday.

"The beauty of sport and life is in its ups and downs - in its wins and losses. We cannot possibly understand the beauty of the highest mountain peak without climbing from the depths of the valley," she said.

"That being said, these past few weeks have been personally challenging for me as I've had to deal with a significant injury to my knee. Unfortunately, I will be sitting out this season just to make sure I get the best recovery possible.

"The good news is that I will make a full recovery. The prognosis from my medical team is nothing short of 100 per cent positive. I am working very hard to make that a reality over the coming weeks. I am truly diving into this process, learning a huge amount along the way and I am thankful for the support I have received from all corners."

She added that the injury has allowed her to see just how much she embraces her sport.

"This setback has allowed me to re-evaluate my relationship with track and field. What I have found is that I have fallen in love with this sport to a level I never thought possible," said the elite hurdler who also thanked her coach, management team and sponsor, Puma, for their support during this difficult period in her life.

"I hope that this passion can inspire those of you out there who are lucky enough to have been following my life and career to climb your own mountains no matter how high and how steep. The peak will truly show you the limitlessness of your own possibility."

Anderson, Jamaica’s reigning national champion, set a new national record of 12.31 in the 100m hurdles at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon in July, 2022. She ran a wind-aided 12.23 in the final to win the silver medal behind Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who ran 12.06 (w) in the final.

Amusan ran the world record 12.12 in the semi-final.

Anderson has been among Jamaica’s shining lights in recent years, setting world records at the junior level. She won silver at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland in 2018. She was expected to be among the contenders for medals at the World Championships in Budapest in August.

Fresh off winning her first-ever Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award on Monday, five-time world 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday eager to get her season going at the Kip Keino Classic this coming weekend.

The two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist was slated to begin her season at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix on April 29, but withdrew citing a ‘family emergency’, the details of which remain a mystery. However, with the emergency hopefully behind her, the 36-year-old track and field star, said she keen on seeing where she is at this season.

“I am just looking forward to just competing well. I have not run since September last year and it’s a different year so you kind of want to see where you’re at as opposed to last year when I ran a 200m in Kingston before I came here; this time I didn’t run anything so this is me just coming to see where I’m at and having a good time and execute and I am sure it will be fantastic,” said Fraser-Pryce who ran a world-leading 10.67 at the 2022 edition.

Fraser-Pryce, who at 35 won her fifth world 100m title in Eugene, Oregon last summer to become the oldest female ever to win a global sprint title, said she believes she in great shape heading into the meet on Saturday but was quick to temper expectations on what she will deliver on Saturday.

“I am feeling good, to be honest, I’m feeling 21, which is good,” she joked, “but no two years are ever the same so you continue to work and trust that whatever things that you correct in training or things that you are working on that you would come and execute those things and it will all come together.

“But last year, it’s just to build on that, build on the experiences and the moments that I had last year into this year.”




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