Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Reggae Girl and Florida State University soccer star Jody Brown celebrated a significant milestone this past weekend as she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Humanities. At just 22 years old, Brown has achieved remarkable success both on the soccer field and in her academic pursuits.

Brown was among 101 student-athletes who graduated from FSU between last Friday and Saturday.

During her time at Florida State, Brown played a pivotal role in securing two National Division 1 Soccer titles in 2021 and 2023, adding to her impressive list of accolades. She was also part of four ACC Division One championship-winning teams in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, highlighting her exceptional talent and contribution to collegiate soccer.

Brown's impact extended beyond the field, as she excelled academically, culminating in her graduation this year. Reflecting on her university experience, Brown took to Instagram to express her gratitude and nostalgia: "Four years of unforgettable memories, lessons, and lifelong friendships. Thank you Florida State University."

Her Instagram post garnered warm congratulations from fellow Reggae Girlz teammates, including Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw, Kiki van Zanten, and Tiffany Cameron. Jamaican track and field icon Veronica Campbell Brown, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 200m, also joined in celebrating Brown's achievement.

Brown's journey from representing Jamaica at the age of 16 to competing in the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2019 and 2023 underscores her dedication and talent both on and off the field. As she embarks on the next chapter of her career, Brown's achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and scholars alike, demonstrating the power of determination, resilience, and academic excellence in pursuit of one's goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 Jamaica's two-time world 200m champion, Shericka Jackson, made a triumphant return to competition at the JAAA All Comers Meet held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday night. Jackson, who had withdrawn from several meets earlier in the season, put any doubts to rest with an impressive victory in the women's 100m event.

In her highly anticipated season opener, Jackson blazed to victory in the 100m, crossing the line in a swift time of 11.03 seconds. Her performance not only secured her the win but also sent a strong message about her form and readiness as she heads into an Olympic year.

The race saw Tina Clayton take second place with a time of 11.20 seconds, closely followed by Krystal Sloley in third with a time of 11.25 seconds.

On the men's side, Julian Forte delivered an outstanding performance in the 100m dash, clocking an impressive time of 10.07 seconds to secure the title of the fastest Jamaican this year. Earl Simmons followed closely with a time of 10.15 seconds, while Jazeel Murphy claimed third place overall with a time of 10.20 seconds.

Murphy continued his strong showing later in the evening by dominating the 200m event, crossing the line in 20.67 seconds to claim victory. Ashanie Smith and Michael Sharp secured second and third places, respectively, with times of 20.93 seconds and 21.09 seconds.

In other notable performances, former national record holder Janeek Brown showcased her talent in the 100m hurdles, posting a time of 13.15 seconds. This promising performance suggests that Brown is on track to regain her top form after her impressive NCAA title win in 2019.

Orlando Bennett emerged victorious in the men's sprint hurdles with a commendable time of 13.67 seconds, narrowly edging out Odario Phillips (13.71) and Andre Harris (13.78) in a closely contested finish.

Traves Smikle demonstrated his dominance in the men's discus event, throwing an impressive 66.03m to claim first place. Chad Wright secured second place with a throw of 62.98m, followed by Tio-Josh Mowatt in third place with a distance of 52.76m.

West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell is set to make waves in Bollywood, following in the footsteps of Trinidadian cricketer Dwayne Bravo, who achieved success with his hit song 'Champion' in India.

Known for adding energy and entertainment to the dressing room, West Indian cricketers have a history of making their mark beyond the cricket field, with stars like Chris Gayle, DJ Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy shining in the IPL. The latest to join this list is Andre Russell, the dynamic KKR sensation.

Russell is stepping into the music world by lending his vocals to a song composed by Palaash Muchhal. He will also be featured alongside actress Avika Gor in the accompanying music video.

What makes Russell's foray into music even more exciting is the backing of Bollywood titan Shahrukh Khan, the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders. Known for his larger-than-life persona, SRK is not just a team owner but also a key figure in the entertainment industry. Russell and SRK share a strong camaraderie, often seen enjoying each other's company and having fun moments together.

Recently, a video of Russell singing SRK's iconic song "Lut Put Gaya" from the movie 'Dunki' went viral, showcasing his passion for music. With SRK's support and Russell's infectious energy, fans can anticipate an exciting collaboration between the cricket star and the Bollywood icon.

Andre Russell's venture into Bollywood music adds a new dimension to his versatile talents and promises to be a delightful treat for his fans in India and across the globe.

In yet another commanding performance, Andre Fletcher led from the front with an unbeaten 84 as the West Indies A secured a comprehensive 28-run victory over Nepal on Thursday, taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in their five-match T20 series.

Fletcher, who had scored 53 against the hosts on Wednesday, continued his rich vein of form with a scintillating knock of 84 not out from just 54 balls, including nine fours and four sixes. His explosive innings, coupled with Johnson Charles' brisk 58 off 30 balls, propelled the visitors to a formidable total of 209-3 in their allotted 20 overs. The duo shared a pivotal second-wicket partnership of 92 runs in less than nine overs to lay a solid foundation for their team.

Charles, coming off an unbeaten 119 in the previous match, played another impactful cameo, striking three fours and six sixes before his departure. Fabian Allen contributed a quick-fire 33 not out from 19 balls and with Fletcher shared in an unbroken stand of 83, to boost West Indies A beyond the 200-run mark for the second consecutive game.

The Nepalese bowlers struggled to contain the West Indies batsmen, with Kushal Bhurtel being the most successful among them, claiming 2-23 from his four overs.

In response, Nepal's chase was anchored by a valiant effort from their captain, Rohit Paudel, who blazed his way to 82 off just 47 deliveries, featuring seven fours and five sixes. However, Paudel lacked substantial support from his teammates as Nepal faltered and eventually folded for 181.

Apart from Paudel, Sundeep Jora, Dipendra Singh Airee, and Gulsan Jha contributed 19 each but failed to capitalize on their starts against a disciplined West Indies bowling attack. Matthew Forde and Hayden Walsh Jr starred with the ball, claiming three wickets each, while Fabian Allen chipped in with 2-34. Gudakesh Motie, despite being expensive, managed to pick up two crucial wickets.

With this victory, West Indies A have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, setting the stage for the final match scheduled to be played on Saturday. The dominant display by the tourists bodes well for their confidence heading into the final encounter and also ahead of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, with Cricket West Indies set to announce their squad for the tournament on June 1.

 

 In a dazzling display of power hitting, Johnson Charles led the charge for West Indies A with a spectacular unbeaten 119 from just 61 balls, guiding his team to a commanding 76-run victory over Nepal and taking a 2-1 lead in the T20 series in Kirtipur.

Charles's explosive innings included 13 fours and seven sixes as he anchored the West Indies A innings, propelling them to a formidable total of 227-3 against the hosts. His half-century came in a blistering 24 balls, setting the stage for a dominant performance. Charles formed a crucial second-wicket partnership of 145 runs with Andre Fletcher (53), after Alick Athanaze was run out for 17.

Fletcher's innings featured four fours and three sixes before he departed in the 16th over. Contributions from Fabian Allen (19 from nine balls) and Keemo Paul (13 from seven) further bolstered the West Indies A total, which marked the highest score by the tourists in the series so far.

In response, Nepal faced an uphill battle chasing more than 11 runs per over for victory and struggled under scoreboard pressure, losing wickets at regular intervals. Opener Lokesh Bam and Karan both managed 28 runs, while Kushal Malla contributed 20. However, Nepal ultimately collapsed to 151 all out in 19.2 overs.

Hayden Walsh Jr led the bowling attack for West Indies A with impressive figures of 3-28, while Gudakesh Motie provided valuable support with 2-28. Fabian Allen, Matthew Forde, and Obed McCoy also chipped in with a wicket each as the West Indies comfortably secured a pivotal series lead.

Johnson Charles' heroic innings and the collective effort from the West Indies A bowlers have positioned the team favorably as they head towards the remaining matches of the series, aiming to clinch the series victory against Nepal.

Manchester City Women's striker Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw has revealed she underwent surgery for a broken foot sustained during the Women's Super League match against West Ham United. Shaw, who scored twice in the 5-0 victory over West Ham, had to be substituted at half-time after picking up the injury just before the interval.

The confirmation of Shaw's injury and surgery came via Manchester City, with the club announcing that the Jamaican forward suffered the foot injury late in the first half at the Joie Stadium. As a result of this injury, Shaw will miss Manchester City Women's final three matches of the Barclays Women’s Super League season as she begins her recovery process.

Despite the setback, Shaw remains a top contender for the league’s Golden Boot, having scored an impressive 21 goals in just 18 WSL appearances. In March 2024, she also became Manchester City Women's record goal scorer.

Taking to Instagram, Shaw expressed her gratitude for the support and well-wishes received following her surgery:

"Gutted to know I suffered a broken foot in the game against West Ham but grateful the surgery went well. The greatest stories are those who defy all odds. Thanks to everyone for the heartwarming well wishes on my road to recovery. I appreciate every single one. I will continue working hard off the pitch during my rehab, and I can’t wait to be back doing what I love." ?

Shaw's determination and positive outlook highlight her commitment to returning stronger and continuing her impactful contributions both on and off the pitch. Her recovery journey will undoubtedly be closely followed by fans eagerly awaiting her return to action.

Caribbean athletes showcased their exceptional talents at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on Sunday, delivering outstanding performances despite challenging conditions marked by heavy winds.

Perhaps, the most impressive of those performances came in the men’s triple jump where Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica delivered a remarkable leap of 17.33m, claiming first place using an unconventional eight-step run.

 Jah-Nhai Perinchief from Bermuda secured second place with a jump of 17.13m, and fellow Jamaican Jordan Scott took third place with a jump of 17.05m.

On the track, in the women's 400m, Stacey-Ann Williams of Jamaica surged to victory with a commanding time of 51.71 seconds, outpacing her competitors to claim first place. Behind her, Jessika Gbai from Ivory Coast secured second place in 53.00 seconds, followed closely by Paola Moran of Mexico in third with a time of 53.21 seconds.

The men's 400m event saw Kirani James of Grenada exhibit his prowess with a winning time of 46.00 seconds, leading the charge for Caribbean athletes. Behind him, Alonzo Russell from the Bahamas claimed second place with a time of 47.05 seconds, followed closely by Demish Gaye of Jamaica in third with 47.15 seconds.

Shian Salmon displayed sheer excellence in the 400m hurdles, triumphing with a swift time of 56.59 seconds. Cassandra Tate of the United States secured second place with a time of 57.04 seconds, while Aminat Jamal from Bahrain finished third in 57.94 seconds.

In the men's 200m dash, Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago blazed to victory in 20.39 seconds, showcasing his speed and skill on the track. He was closely followed by Matthew Boling of the USA in second place with a time of 20.42 seconds, while Udodie Onwuzrike from Nigeria secured third place with a time of 20.61 seconds.

In her first 200m run in a year, the USA's Abby Steiner blazed to victory in 22.71. Her countrywoman Kynnedy Flannel took second in 23.01. Ashanti Moore of Jamaica was third in 23.12.

While Caribbean athletes shone brightly, world champion Noah Lyles of the USA stood out in the men's 100m dash, overcoming challenging wind conditions to clock 9.96 seconds and secure first place. Aaron Brown of Canada was the runner-up in 10.09 followed closely by Pjai Austin of the USA who ran 10.10.

Tamari Davis of the USA also impressed in a dominant victory in the women’s 100m. The young American stormed to a time of 11.04. In her wake was compatriot Kortnei Johnson who ran 11.27 just ahead of Jamaica’s Alana Reid (11.29).

Amber Hughes of the USA comfortably win the 100m hurdles in 12.57 with Ebonie Morris of Liberia and Yanique Thompson of Jamaica finishing second and third, in 12.80 and 12.86, respectively.

Monae Nichols of the USA jumped an impressive 6.91m to win the long jump. Jamaica’s Chanice Porter took second place with her effort of 6.62m while Jasmine Moore finished third having jumped 6.60m.

In a poignant moment during Saturday’s final day of 128th edition of the Penn Relays, veteran sports journalist Paul Reid accepted the prestigious Jesse Abramson Award on behalf of his late friend, brother, and colleague, Hubert Lawrence. The ceremony, tinged with both celebration and remembrance, highlighted Lawrence's unparalleled contributions to track and field journalism and his lasting impact on the sport.

"It's an absolute honour to receive the Jesse Abramson Award for excellence in track and field journalism on behalf of Hubert Lawrence," expressed Reid, who was the first Jamaican sports journalist to receive the award in 2010.

"This award was long overdue given Hubert's outstanding body of work, particularly at the Penn Relays, which he covered for over 25 years. Hubert would have cherished this moment, especially witnessing Excelsior's historic win after nearly 60 years."

Excelsior High School won the Championship of America High School Boys 4x100m in a time of 40.45. It was the first time they were winning the event since they last claimed victory in 1967.

Reid's emotional words encapsulated the deep bond shared with Lawrence, who passed away suddenly on February 23, 2024. The Penn Relays marked a poignant occasion for both friends, whose coverage of the event spanned more than three decades. "He (Lawrence) would have pulled up a long list of statistics and facts," Reid remarked in reference to Excelsior historic win. "It was surreal standing there on the infield during the ceremony as I had missed my award in 2010 because I had no idea that I was being awarded and was busy working at the time. Hubert leaves a massive legacy and he is missed every day, especially at track and field meets."

The decision to honour Lawrence posthumously was prompted by Irwin Clare of Team Jamaica Bickle, a longstanding supporter of Jamaican and Caribbean athletes at the Penn Relays.

"With his untimely passing, we felt this was an extremely appropriate time to honour someone who had such a profound impact on track and field in Jamaica and at the Penn Relays," remarked Aaron Robison, the meet director of the Penn Relays. "Hubert was universally respected and admired, not only by athletes and coaches but also by the entire media fraternity. His integrity and dignity in reporting earned him admiration from all quarters of the sport."

 Lawrence's legacy transcended journalism, resonating deeply with athletes and coaches who held him in high regard for his professionalism and genuine passion for track and field.

The posthumous recognition underscores the enduring influence of his work and the profound loss felt by the athletics community. As Reid stood on the infield, accepting the award, the void left by Lawrence's absence was palpable, a testament to the indelible mark he made in the world of sports journalism.

In honouring Hubert Lawrence with the Jesse Abramson Award, the Penn Relays celebrated not only a remarkable journalist but also a cherished friend and colleague whose legacy continues to inspire and resonate within the track and field community.

 

Speculation surrounding the participation of five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah at the highly anticipated USATF Bermuda Grand Prix has been dispelled by her agent, Marvin Anderson of Andi Sports Management. Despite earlier excitement and anticipation, Thompson-Herah was never officially booked or confirmed for the track meet scheduled for this Sunday at the Flora Duffy Stadium.

The revelation comes after recent reports sparked fervent anticipation among fans, particularly within Bermuda's Jamaican community, who were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to witness the "fastest woman alive" compete alongside other elite Caribbean athletes.

Yackeisha Weir, president of the Jamaican Association of Bermuda (JAB), expressed the community's high expectations and emphasized the honor of hosting Thompson-Herah ahead of the Paris Olympics. However, Anderson's statement to Sportsmax.TV on Friday shattered these hopes, clarifying that Thompson-Herah's presence at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix was never confirmed.

"She was never booked. She was never confirmed," Anderson asserted, addressing the confusion surrounding Thompson-Herah's potential appearance.

“I asked the meet organizers if they had put out something and they said no, so I don’t know where that was leaked from. I know they had an interest way back, but no.”

Despite this setback, Anderson assured fans that Thompson-Herah has been diligently training and is gearing up for a successful upcoming season. While Thompson-Herah's name was notably absent from the start lists for Sunday's meet, other Jamaican athletes, including Alana Reid and Kemba Nelson, are set to showcase their talents in the 100m event. Ashanti Moore is the only Jamaican down to contest the 200m.

 

As they continue their preparations for Jamaica’s national championships in June, Olympic champion Omar McLeod and World Championship silver medallist Britany Anderson, were both winners at a La Fratellanza 1874 meeting in Italy on Thursday.

McLeod, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, won the 100m in a brisk 10.32 in a race that also included Britain’s Adam Gemili. Obviously elated over his victory, the 2017 world champion, declared on Instagram, “A win today in the 100m was all I had on my birthday wish list.

“10.32 in an ankle freezing 15-degree weather is a solid opener. Beyond excited for what is to come this season.”

Meanwhile, Anderson, in only her second hurdles race back from injury and knee surgery that saw her miss the entire 2023 season, clocked 13.34 into a 1.4 m/s headwind in a dominant victory in which she widened her lead at each hurdle.

As the meeting concluded on Thursday, things are looking up for the Jamaican sprint hurdlers looking to reclaim their places among Jamaica's elite as the Olympics approach this summer.

Contrary to recent reports that five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah would be making her season debut at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on Sunday, the athlete’s name does not appear on any of the start lists for the event.

Checks by Sportsmax.TV indicate that Thompson-Herah is not listed in the 100m or 200m events at the meet where several other Caribbean athletes are down to compete. According to the start lists published on the meet’s results page, Jamaica’s Kemba Nelson and Alana Reid are set to contest the 100m in a quality field that also includes Tamari Davis and Javianne Oliver of the United States.

 

In the 200m, Ashanti Moore is the only Jamaican listed.

Meanwhile, Stacy-Ann Williams, Rushell Clayton and Junelle Bromfield, are the Jamaicans listed for the 400m.

Just recently BerNews reported that anticipation is palpable among Bermuda's Jamaican community, with Yackeisha Weir, president of the Jamaican Association of Bermuda (JAB), expecting a strong showing of support for Thompson-Herah at the Flora Duffy Stadium. Weir emphasized the significance of Thompson-Herah's presence, particularly with the upcoming Paris Olympics on the horizon.

"The anticipation is high this year, especially as we have the fastest woman alive competing," said Weir in an interview with BerNews. "With the Olympic Games taking place this summer, Bermuda has a chance to see a preview of Paris. It’s an honour to have Elaine on the island."

However, based on the start lists that have now been published that anticipation among the Jamaican community would have been for naught.

 

 

Caribbean athletes showcased their prowess in the field on the opening day of the 128th edition of the Penn Relays at Franklin Field in Philadelphia on Thursday. Chief among them were the Jamaicans who enjoyed podium places in the high jump and triple jump events with the Bahamas taking gold in the javelin.

Shaniqua Williams and Danielle Noble, both of Wolmer’s Girls, secured a 1-2 finish in the keenly contested high school girls high jump. Williams’ winning mark of 1.73m was also cleared by Noble and Alysa Carrigan.

However, she won on the basis of a cleaner record during the rounds.

Williams said it was cold and her muscles were lazy but she knew what she had to do to win.

“Despite that I came out here and did what I had to do which was focus on my technique,” she said. “The weather was very cold and I am not used to this kind of weather so I had to take a long time to warm up.”

The Jamaicans were not alone in their dominance as Taysha Stubbs who attends Queens College in the Bahamas showcased her incredible skill and strength in winning the high school girls javelin with an outstanding throw of 47.17m.

Stubbs was several metres better than her main rivals in Sophia Scott of Omaha Burke, who took second place with a throw of 44.79m. In a close third place was Eliana Schneider who produced a best mark of 44.78m.

Jamaicans Marla-Kay Lampart and Kimeka Smith were second and third, respectively in the high school girls shot put that was won by Jessica Oji of Livingston with an impressive throw of 14.01m.

Lampart of Claredon College threw 13.64m for second place while Smith mustered a throw of 13.46m for third place.

Jamaica’s girls won the top four places in the high school girls triple jump competition.

Jade-Ann Dawkins of St Jago finished atop the podium with a distance of 13.01m. Jadea Robinson of Immaculate Conception was in second position with her jump of 12.70m just ahead of Celine Riddle of Holmwood Technical (12.69m).

Richelle Stanley of St Elizabeth Technical (12.55m) was fourth.

Nahjahda Seymoure of Excelsior High threw an impressive 48.08m to finish in second position in the high school girls discus competition that was won by Layla Giordano of NV Old Tappan who hurled the implement out to a winning mark of 51.17m.

Able Mills of St Catherine High threw 48.01m for third place.

Mills’ teammate Rohanna Sudlow jumped 5.83m to finish in third place in the high school girls long jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron Robison, the Meet Director of the Penn Relays, is brimming with excitement ahead of the Championship of America 4x400m relays for High School Boys, set to unfold at Franklin Field over the next three days. The 128th staging of the prestigious meet begins on Thursday, April 25 and concludes on Saturday, April 27.

The meet director since 2021, Robison predicts a spectacular display of athletic talent, particularly focusing on the highly anticipated showdown in the high school boys' 4x400m relay on the final day of the meet.

"The high-school boys 4x400m is going to be unbelievable!" exclaimed Robison. "Five teams have run 3:10 or faster, four of those are Jamaican, and then you've got Bullis High School with Quincy Wilson on the anchor; I'm telling you, that story is going to write itself."

Robison highlighted Wilson from Bullis High School, whose outstanding performance at the Florida Relays with a time of 45.19 seconds has created a buzz leading up to the Penn Relays. Wilson's impressive anchor leg last year, clocking a 45.06 split, is a testament to his exceptional talent and determination.

"He is one of those kids that has this fire," Robison remarked. "If he takes the baton as the anchor and he is in third or fourth, we're going to see something special as all four or five of those teams come through. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see three or four teams run 3:05. It's going to be crazy."

Reflecting on the historical dominance of Jamaican high schools in this event, Robison acknowledged the formidable challenge facing USA high schools. The last USA high school to win the 4x400m Championship of America was Long Beach Poly back in 2007. The last 16 years have seen Jamaican schools dominate the event, and that dominance could extend into a 17th year.

Despite this, Bullis High School, boasting a recent time of 3:11.87, is poised to challenge the Jamaican powerhouses. Robison expressed optimism about Wilson's potential impact on the relay's outcome, particularly against strong competitors from schools like Kingston College (3:07.65) and Jamaica College (3:08.79), known for their impressive 4x400m relay performances.

“If he gets a baton in his hand with people to chase, who knows what he can run…whether it’s JC or even Hydel that has run 3:10, with kids that have also run 45-point, so we’re going to see something special.

"We just pray for good weather and good health," Robison concluded.

Christania Williams, the talented Jamaican sprinter and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist, is setting her sights on reclaiming her peak form as she gears up for the Jamaica National Championships in June, with her eyes firmly set on securing a spot at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Since her impressive performance as part of Jamaica's silver-medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the Rio 2016 Olympics, Williams, now 29, has faced setbacks due to injuries and other undisclosed health concerns. However, under the guidance of her coach, Philipp Unfried, she is focused and determined to return to her personal best time of 10.96 seconds.

Unfried outlined their strategy for the upcoming season, emphasizing Williams' goal of nearing or even surpassing her personal best. "The plan for 2024 is to get close to where she was, close to her PB or maybe around PB," stated Unfried. "She is going to do some more races now in preparation for trials and training went really well so far."

At the Velocity Fest 15 on Saturday meeting held at the Ashenheim Stadium in Jamaica, Williams demonstrated her potential by clocking a time of 11.76 seconds into a headwind in her qualifying heat, securing second place behind Remona Burchell, who won the heat in 11.52 seconds. Despite challenging conditions with winds affecting her heat, Williams progressed to the B final.

In the B final, Williams improved her performance, achieving a season's best time of 11.56 seconds. Although she finished second in the final, Williams' progress is indicative of her determination and gradual return to top form.

"Mentally, I am ready," expressed Williams. "The aim right now is to get back to my personal best. There is no pressure. Right now the focus is on me, just taking it one step at a time."

Williams acknowledged the mental fortitude required to overcome setbacks and stay focused on her goals. "It's about going into the race and doing exactly what I do in training," she affirmed. "I know I have a lot of potential, I still believe there is more in there and I still haven’t reached my full potential."

Despite the obstacles she has faced, Williams remains resolute in her determination to move forward. "With all that has happened in the past, I am just trying to put that behind and move forward," she explained. "I do have days when that really gets to me mentally but it’s life. If something happens, you don’t use that to keep yourself down."

As Williams continues her journey towards peak performance, supported by the unwavering guidance of Coach Unfried, the upcoming Jamaica National Championships will serve as a crucial stepping stone towards her ultimate goal of representing Jamaica at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Shafiqua Maloney of St Vincent and the Grenadines showcased her dominance on the track by clinching a sensational victory in the 400m at the prestigious John McDonnell Invitational held in Fayetteville, Arkansas on Friday.

Maloney, known primarily for her prowess in middle-distance events, delivered a remarkable performance in the 400m, setting a new meet record with a blistering time of 50.94 seconds. This stunning achievement surpassed the previous meet record of 51.47 seconds set by Jamaica's Nickisha Pryce at the 2023 edition of the event.

The 25-year-old athlete's triumph marked a significant milestone in her outdoor season, as she had not competed in the 400m distance since July 2022 when she clocked a time of 52.35 seconds. Maloney's outstanding performance in Fayetteville also shattered her personal best of 51.72 seconds, achieved back in March 2021.

Reflecting on her remarkable achievement, Maloney expressed joy and gratitude for her performance, highlighting the challenges and rewards of returning to the 400m distance after a hiatus.

"One thing I do not miss about the 400 is them ashy knees," Maloney jokingly remarked after her race. "Back after two years with a new outdoor PR! Finally, a part of the 50. Club. To God be the glory! Without him I am nothing, with him, I am all that you see."

In a race that featured fierce competition, Iowa State's Rachel Joseph secured second place with a personal best time of 51.63 seconds, while Omolara Ogunmakinju of Harding University finished closely behind in third place, also achieving a lifetime best of 51.90 seconds.

The John McDonnell Invitational also a witnessed solid performance from Jamaican sprint hurdler Phillip Lemonious, who claimed victory in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.89 seconds. Brevin Simms of Arkansas and William Spencer, both representing the host Razorbacks, finished closely behind Lemonious with identical times of 13.99 seconds, securing the second and third positions, respectively.

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