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.

Kristen McGregor opened her 2022 season with an encouraging top-five finish at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico last weekend (April 23). The performance sets the tone for what could be an outstanding season for the fitness athlete, who is desirous of competing at the Miss Olympia competition in December. However, she can only achieve this if she can get consistent sponsor support.

McGregor, the winner of the 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur title in the Women's Figure Category, is a former national champion and CAC Champion and is arguably Jamaica’s best female fitness athlete of the modern era. However, it has been a struggle to attract consistent sponsorship support as she strives for her career goals.

“The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” lamented McGregor, who is the holder of a Bachelor's degree in Sports Science from the University of Technology (UTech).

“However, I have to give big thanks to the companies that gave their generous support such as EduCom, Geolosndo, VM Group and to the contributing supporters.

“I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body. The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

That dream has been the fuel driving McGregor's ambitions ever since she transitioned from athletics in 2017 and what sparked her singular focus during the off-season in preparation for 2022.

“It has been nothing but hard work for every show. Hard work and focus are the common denominators for every season prep. l am in the gym every day and on diet for a maximum of 16 weeks during preparation,” she revealed.

That work paid off in Mexico.

“A top-five finish is a great accomplishment, considering the progress from last year, where I also finished in the top five in Puerto Rico Pro, and in the Tampa Pro placing 4th and 11th, respectively. However, for my first show since 2022, finishing in the top five is a great place to finish because I have already started to accumulate points toward the quantifying for the Olympia Competition,” she said.

“Only second through fifth-place finishers for each contest, depending on the tier of the contest can accumulate points. All competitors will have between September 13, 2021, to November 20, 2022, to qualify whether by placement or points for the big show in December, the Olympia held in Las Vegas. That being said, the progress has been going well.”

Too well even. In fact, she worked so hard during the off-season she might have bulked up a tad much.

"Last year was a bit different from this year, as I really didn’t get a chance to train properly for my debut and my first Pro show coming out of winning the Amateur Olympia in December 2020. I contracted the COVID virus which caused me to stop training and in the time between recovery and my first show, which was the Puerto Rico Pro, I didn’t have much time to bulk so we went straight in for competition," she said.

"I figured that was the reason I was too small because I was burning muscles while in recovery. My coach, too, reassessed and ended my season after the Tampa Pro in June and we started working on bulking up from that time. I had a wonderful off-season, no injuries or sickness so I was training right through.

"I think this time around we gained good size. I was able to condition properly without burning muscles. Coming out of this show, the judges said I was perfect in shape. However, based on how the other girls came in I was too big so I have to lose a bit more and I would be okay. So yes, I am on a good path but with that, my coach has decided on reducing by about five to six pounds more for my next show on June 17-19, 2022 which is the Puerto Rico Pro."

 

 

Olympic gold medalist Briana Williams was recently inducted onto the Champs Sports Wall of Game in Pembroke Pines, Florida, honouring those in the community who make and have made a positive contribution to local sports.

Champs Sports, part of Foot Locker, Inc. is the brand's first iteration of its new Homefield concept and is the largest of any Foot Locker, Inc. subsidiary in the world at 35,000+ square feet.

The 20-year-old Williams was inducted in a ceremony held on April 23 along with four other honourees: Mark Montimurro, Roderick Rocky Gills, Tamara James, and posthumously, Jason Stein.

“It’s always a privilege and a blessing to be honoured by the community that helped to raise me,” said the Jamaican Olympic gold medallist.

“It's also the biggest Champs store in the country so I'm humbled to be one of the first names inducted.”

Montimurro is the Head Coach at Coral Springs Charter School Softball, "Rocky" Gillis is Athletic Director at Broward County Schools and James is a former WNBA player and Mayor of Dania Beach. Stein was the Athletic Director/Baseball Coach/Teacher at JP Taravella High School.

 

 

Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke believes incoming Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag needs to be given full control at the club if there are to return to the top of the English Premier League.

As a teenager, Anthonique Strachan showed the tremendous potential of becoming one of the world’s brightest stars in track and field.

The tremendous success at the 49th Carifta Games in Kingston, Jamaica, is only another step on the pathway for the British Virgin Islands towards putting their athletes on the podium at the pinnacle of the sport.

At the Games that concluded last week, the BVI enjoyed their best-ever medal haul with four gold, two silver and a bronze medal surpassing their medal tallies from 2012 when they won five. Their medal haul saw them finish third in the standings behind Jamaica with 92 medals, 45 of them gold and the Bahamas 17. What was instructive was that BVI had the same number of gold medals, four, as their neighbours from the Bahamas.

Three of those medals were won by the imperious 16-year-old Adaejah Hodge, who the U17 100m, 200m and Long Jump to come away with the coveted Austin Sealy Award as the most outstanding athlete of the three-day meet.

But according to Steve Augustine, President of the BVI Athletics Association (BVIAA), the best is yet to come and is not too far away.

“What’s next for the BVIs, it’s back to the drawing board and putting in the work.  We have a long list of local, regional and international competitions remaining,” he said.  “While we are there, we haven’t officially arrived until we make the Olympic podium, we fell just short of this with two fourth-place finishes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  This year, we are, of course, eyeing World U20, the Commonwealth Games and World Championships at which I am certain we will again show up.”

Augustine’s confidence stems from his belief in the BVI’s strong grassroots programme that has consistently produced world-class talents from their population of just over 30,000 inhabitants.

“The BVIs formula for success at the Carifta Games speaks of a preparation process that has taken training and mental preparation processes to a higher level, a level that is more in keeping with our competitive Caribbean counterparts,” he reveals.

“Our local club system has resulted in on-island competition whereby our athletes are pushed, much more than before, to perform at higher levels for victories.  We monitor regional performances, we are well-advised by statisticians such as Rey O’Neal, and we are aware of where we need to be performance-wise if we are to be competitive.

“Our coaches are trained and certified, our athletes are hungry and they all aspire to be the next Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Tahesia Harrigan Scott, Eldred Henry and now the next Adaejah Hodge.”

Hodge, he believes, will inspire a new generation of stars given what she has managed to accomplish at the 49th staging of the Games founded in 1972 by Sealy, who was on hand to present the award to her in front of an appreciative crowd.

“Yes, this will certainly happen but I must say our people naturally gravitate to athletics and despite all the struggles we may face as a growing territory, we have never had a numbers problem in athletics,” Augustine said.

“Support from the BVI Olympic Committee, World Athletics, our government, our fan base and with sponsors such as Puma onboard, we have been able to annually attract scores of athletes into our club system.

 “The level of performance that Adaejah exhibited at the Carifta Games is a reality that our people have become accustomed to over the years.  Adaejah has been performing at the top of her age group for years.  She’s remained world ranked as a junior and she has continued to dominate at the US high school level.  Adaejah was originally scheduled to make her Carifta debut at the 2020 Carifta Games and then the 2021 Carifta Games but for obvious reasons, those intentions had to be put aside.  As it relates to our young ones, they are certainly inspired by Adaejah. It’s been this way for years and perhaps more so now.” 

Augustine is confident that in the years to come, what unfolded in Kingston in mid-April will be more the norm than the exception.

“As it relates to other talents, the truth is there is only a handful of athletes on this year’s team that won’t be back next year and as it relates to those in the pipeline, we have a handful of gifted athletes that I know will represent the BVI well and will prove that they are indeed the next Adaejah Hodge, Kyron McMaster, Chantel Malone, Eldred Henry and Tahesia Harrigan-Scott.  

“The storybook on BVI Athletics is far from finished.”

 

 

 

Canada blanked the Dominican Republic 10-0 in their opening match of the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championships to move to the top of Group F on goal difference over Jamaica on Sunday.

Garth Gayle, President of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association and Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange have hailed Elaine Thompson-Herah on her historic win of the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award on Sunday.

No Jamaican female athlete had ever taken home the prestigious award that began in 2000.

The Jamaican sprint queen won on the back of her historic achievements last summer when she became the first woman in Olympic history to win the 100/200m sprint double at consecutive Olympic Games and added a third gold medal to her trophy case when she ran the second leg of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that won in a national record of 41.02.

She would go on to create even more history when she ran times of 10.54 to become the second-fastest woman of all time while winning the 100m in Eugene, Oregon, and then added times of 10.64 and 10.65 to be the only woman to run faster than 10.7 on four occasions.

Her achievements topped USA’s Allyson Felix (athletics), Australia’s Ashleigh Barty (tennis), Australia’s Emma McKeon (swimming) and USA’s Katie Ledecky and drew praise from the JAAA and the Jamaican government.

"Becoming the second Jamaican and the first female to win the prestigious Laureus Award is a significant achievement for Elaine and by extension Jamaica,” said Gayle.

“This is also a boost for women in track and field and other sports to aim for the highest. We are particularly proud of Elaine for her continuous achievements on and off the track. This definitely sets the tone for a great year for all our athletes.”

Meanwhile, in a missive from the United Kingdom where she will launch the Jamaica 60 programme of activities in the United Kingdom on Monday evening, Minister Grange said Thompson-Herah was most deserving of the honour of “best athlete in the world”.

“This latest success for the fastest woman alive is a tribute to Thompson-Herah’s hard work and sacrifice,” Minister Grange said.

Thompson-Herah is the second Jamaican to win the award. Usain Bolt, won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017.

 

 

 

A goal in each half from Maya Raghunandanan helped steer Jamaica to a 7-0 drubbing of Bermuda in their opening match in the CONCACAF U17 Women’s Championships in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

Raghunandanan opened the scoring in the seventh minute and added a second in the 65th as Jamaica dominated the lop-sided affair to go top of Group F which also comprises Canada and the home team, the Dominican Republic.

Jamaica took 39 shots at goal, 12 on target and should have won by a more handsome margin. Notwithstanding, Avery Johnson added a second in the 11th minute and Tiny Seaton added a third in the 16th as Jamaica threatened to run rampant.

However, through faulty finishing by Jamaica, Bermuda managed to make it to the break without going further behind.

Jamaica added a fourth in the 47th minute courtesy of Tyesha Nelson but Jamaica had to wait a while before Raghunandanan got her second 18 minutes later. Shaneil Buckley added Jamaica’s sixth in the 78th minute.

Natoya Atkinson, who came on as a substitute for Johnson in the 64th completed the rout seven minutes from full time.

The Dominican Republic is set to face Canada later Sunday.

Panama defeated Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 and the United States swamped Grenada 20-0 on Saturday.

Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah has won the Laureus Sportswoman Award for 2022. In doing so, she became the first Jamaican female athlete to win the coveted award that began in 2000.

The 29-year-old Thompson-Herah created history in Tokyo last year when she became the first woman in Olympic history to win the 100m and 200m titles at consecutive Olympic Games. She won the 100m in 10.61, breaking the previous record of 10.62 set by American Florence Griffith Joyner at the Seoul Games in 1988.

She then won the 200m in a lifetime best of 21.53, the second-fastest time in history. She won a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team that set a national record of 41.02, the third-fastest time in history.

However, she was only getting started. Following the Olympics, she ran 10.54, the second-fastest time in history, to win the 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Oregon and then ran times of 10.64 and 10.65 to become the only woman in the history of the sport to run the 100m in under 10.70 four times.

“I really don’t think I can really express how it feels to be nominated amongst these wonderful and super talented ladies across their respective disciplines but to think that I could come out as the chosen winner of this prestigious award is just mind-blowing for me,” Thompson-Herah posted on Instagram in reaction to the news beneath a photograph of her holding her award.

“I would like to thank the Laureus Sports Academy for this wonderful recognition. I want to thank all my friends and family who have continuously supported me throughout my journey.”

She also thanked her sponsors Flow Jamaica, NCB Jamaica and Nike as well as her many fans.

“My fans, my fans! I love you guys so much, continue to motivate and pray for me as I set out to continuously rewrite the record books.”

Only one other Jamaican athlete has ever won the Laureus Sports Award. Usain Bolt won the Sportsman of the Year Award in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017.

Formula One driver Max Verstappen won the Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award after winning his first title albeit under controversial circumstances.

 

Lamara Distin’s impressive season continued on Saturday when she won the high jump at the Michael Johnson Invitational at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium in Texas.

Re-stating her intentions to prolong her career until the 2024 Games in Paris, two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is targeting 10.5, perhaps 10.4 seconds in the blue ribbon sprint.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce revealed her revised objectives after coasting to a second-place finish over 200m at the Velocity Fest meeting at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday evening. The 2013 200m world champion, ran 22.79 after easing down 50m from the finish line in the race won by Bahamian Athonique Strachan in 22.55.

“The aim was to come out here today and get a run in. I haven’t raced in a while so I was definitely good to come and get a good run,” said the four-time 100m world champion before revealing what her new goals are, having achieved one of her goals of running 10.60 last season.

“10.6 after having that season last year has definitely opened a new door for me in terms of the dreams and the goals I am chasing this season. I am looking forward to running 10.5 and possibly 10.4, so that’s the aim and I think I am on my way to doing that, I just have to continue to trust that God will give me the strength, trust the coach and just continue to put in the work.”

Fraser-Pryce said her training has been going well, especially now that her training group at Elite Performance has grown over the past season with like-minded athletes Olympian Julian Forte and Rushell Clayton and the 2019 World Championship 400m hurdles bronze medallist among others.

“It’s good. It’s good to have training partners that have a similar mindset in terms of the work and what is required to be successful. To have teammates like those, you come to training in the morning, you’re feeling a little down or something is not happening, the work ethic also motivates you to put that work in. The vibe is good, the environment is good.

“It’s a great group and I am really in an expectant mood for them as club mates.”

 

Several Jamaican Olympians will be on show this weekend at the next staging of the Velocity Fest Series at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Chief among them are the likes of Olympic medalists Hansle Parchment, Shericka Jackson and Stephenie-Ann McPherson.

Parchment, who is set to compete at the 2022 Drake Relays next week, will shake off some rust in the 110m hurdles where he will line up against rising star Rasheed Broadbell, Tyler Mason and Michael O’Hara, who is returning from an injury that ended derailed him last season.

Jackson, who has run a couple of 400m races this season, steps down to the half-lap sprint where she will match times with McPherson, who will also step down to the 200m for this meet along with fellow quarter-miler Tiffany James.

Also down for the 200m is the speedy Natasha Morrison, Anthonique Strachan and Sasha Lee Forbes.

2014 NCAA 100m champion Remona Burchell is in the line-up for the 100m along with long jumper Tissana Hickling, Kashieka Cameron as well as 2008 Olympic 400m hurdles gold medallist Melaine Walker.

The men’s 100m will feature Julian Forte, Tajay Gayle as well as Waseem Williams, Yohan Blake, Chadic Hinds and Antonio Watson.

The Women’s 400m event promises to be compelling as it should have Janieve Russell, Candice McLeod, Anastassia Le-Roy, James, Junelle Bromfield and the veteran Christine Day among the participants.

 

John Campbell scored 82 and Michael Thompson took three wickets as United Stars defeated Surrey Risers by 68 runs in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Thursday.

In his 37-ball innings, the West Indies opener smashed seven fours and six sixes before he was dismissed off the last ball of the innings as United Stars made 155-3. Campbell put on 84 for the second wicket with Alwyn Williams who hit three fours and four sixes in his 18-ball 45.

Oshane Thomas was the best of the bowlers, taking 2-30 from his two overs.

In reply, Surrey Risers could only manage 87-6 as Thompson 3-15 and Tyrone Daley 2-17 combined to tear through the line-up. Only opener Chadwick Walton, who scored 36 and Delbert Gayle (24) managed double figures.

In the second match on the day, Man of the Match Jermaine Blackwood scored 46 and Kennar Lewis 27 as Surrey Kings defeated Surrey Royals by eight wickets.

Batting first, Surrey Royals scored 90-8 from their 10 overs. Javelle Glen, 23, and Pete Salmon, 20, were the leading scorers against the bowling attack led by Andre Dennis 1-12 and Oraine Williams 1-14.

Lewis and Blackwood made light work of the chase, getting to 95-2 from just 5.2 overs.

Everton Oharo 1-8 and Pete Salmon 1-18 were the wicket-takers for the Royals whose attack wilted under the onslaught of Blackwood, whose 46 came from just 17 balls and included five fours and four sixes.

Lewis remained unbeaten after smashing four sixes from the 14 balls he faced.

 

Tokyo Olympics 110m hurdles gold medalist is set to make his debut this season at the Drake Relays set for the Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa from April 27-30.

Former West Indies fast bowler Corey Collymore has been appointed head coach of the Barbados Women Cricket team that will represent the West Indies at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28 to August 8.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.