Winning starts for Nelson, Distin

By Sports Desk January 17, 2022

Jamaica and Oregon sprinter, Kemba Nelson, picked up where she left off last season with a narrow win in the women’s 60m at the Cougar Classic Invitational in Spokane.

The reigning NCAA champion only narrowly got the better of Double Pillar Athletics sprinter Destiny Smith-Barnett.  In fact, both athletes were given the same time of 7.19 after crossing the line but it was Nelson who had the better time when the photo finish was used.  Oregon’s Jadyn Mays was third in 7.27. 

Elsewhere jumper Lamara Distin, a sophomore at Texas A&M, cleared an indoor personal-best 1.88m to win the women’s high jump at the two-day Ted Nelson Invitational.  Nissi Kabongo of Stephen Austin recorded the second-best mark with 1.85m, while Texas’ Allyson Andress was third with 1.73.

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  • 24th KPMG Squash League serves off on Tuesday 24th KPMG Squash League serves off on Tuesday

    The Jamaica Squash Association (JSA) and KPMG joined forces recently to launch the 24th KPMG League which will feature sixteen teams. The launch was held at the association's home base at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. 

    There was a mood of heightened excitement for this year's staging of the league after last year's successful post Covid-19 return. AGI was the dominant team then but there is one change to their line-up which could make the difference this year. 

    Karen Anderson, president of the JSA said "we can expect exciting matches. We see some really strong teams that have registered for the event and I think we will see an upset or two and so we are extremely excited to see how the matches will play out over the two months of the event." 

    The league will run on a handicap system which is used to level the playing field so that everybody will have a chance to play and do well.

    The teams will play round robin matches in the first round of four teams per group. The top two teams will go to the quarterfinals where all matches going forward will be played on a knockout basis. The other two teams in the group will play in a plate final or final for the losing teams. 

    Anderson announced that the association will introduce new software to run the league fully for the first time.

    "The association will be running it using the software that we have, the SportyHQ software, which will help us to be a bit more efficient in getting our results out and in the efficiency of the play because now people can follow live. We are trying to be innovative in how we bring new and different to a league that has been running for 24 years." 

    Additionally, Anderson welcomed new sponsor Wata to provide hydration throughout the league. She thanked title sponsor for this year's sponsorship of five hundred and fifty thousand dollars. This will allow for the association to take up the cost of staging all the matches while relieving the teams of the cost of hosting matches. 

    Rajan Trehan, country managing partner of title sponsor KPMG credited the league for its continued high contribution to developing young players in the game of squash in the country.

    "Over the period (of our sponsorship) it has developed into a very strong league and its one of the major events on the JSA calendar. We are proud because we believe in the development of youth as well as sports and we have adopted squash as one of the sports to make sure that we contribute in the development of squash in particular." 

    He also said that KPMG will be around for much longer than the 24 years they have been sponsoring the league. 

    One of Jamaica's best young player Sanjana Nallapati endorsed that league while saying that her game had improved because of her involvement in the league. "It (her game) was definitely better because we had a bunch of matches. Games are usually up to 11 but these were up to 21. Even though it was best of three, it tested our fitness quite a bit and the squash definitely improved quite a bit by the end of it." 

    Dave Morrison of defending champion AGI (Advantage General Insurance) was upbeat about the league. "Last year was really satisfying. We have never always done well because the nature of the tournament is to ensure that regardless of the quality of players you have, it’s all eliminated or equalized because of the handicap structure. But last year we really came out with a certain level of determination and yes, I had to one or two times, I had to save the team but I will remind them that that's what I did but yes, we had a very, very exciting tournament last year. I really enjoyed it." 

    The league will serve off on Tuersday evening at the Liguanea Club while it is scheduled to end on April 19 at the same venue.

     

  • St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred “happy and overwhelmed” after historic World Indoor 60m title in Glasgow St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred “happy and overwhelmed” after historic World Indoor 60m title in Glasgow

    Newly crowned World Indoor 60m champion Julien Alfred is over the moon after securing her country’s first ever global track and field medal with her triumph at the recently concluded World Indoor Athletics Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland from March 1-3.

    The 22-year-old became St. Lucia’s first ever global medallist with a joint world-leading 6.98 ahead of main rival Ewa Swoboda of Poland (7.00) and Italy’s Zaynab Dosso (7.05).

    In a post-race interview, the 2023 Bowerman Award winner said she said she has long dreamt about being her country’s first ever global medallist.

    “I’ve been dreaming about this for such a long time to come out here and give my country their first ever medal and I feel so happy and overwhelmed,” she said.

    “I had so many feelings going through my mind and body. We had to wait such a long time to see our names come up and I just kept wondering is it me? Is it Swoboda? As soon as my name came up I just felt overwhelmed and happy knowing I can finally call myself a world champion,” Alfred added.

    Alfred entered into the final as the second fastest qualifier with a time of 7.03 and watched Swoboda light up the track on her war to a world leading 6.98 to win her semi-final.

    The former St. Catherine High and University of Texas standout was asked about whether or not Swoboda’s semi-final performance was on her mind going into the much-anticipated final.

    “I think I’ve grown a little bit more compared to last year at the World Championships. Even if somebody runs faster than me in the semis, just don’t worry about it because there’s always a final,” she said.

    As far as her tactical approach went, Alfred’s goal was to get a good start and maintain her composure through the line.

    “Just get out! I think my semi-final wasn’t executed in the right way. I know my top end speed was there but I know that Swoboda has a great start so my main focus was just to get out and hang on and continue to push to the line,” added the former Texas standout.

    With that said, “no,” was her response to a question about whether or not she executed her race perfectly.

    “My start was there but I felt like the ending could’ve been much better had I just stayed relaxed and not pressured myself to go to the line,” she added.

    Alfred's goal now shifts to some outdoor success at the Paris Olympics.

    "Definitely! One step at a time, one race at a time and just practicing hard to execute when the time comes," she said.

     

     

  • Tyrique Vincent the standout as Trinidad and Tobago selects athletes for 2024 Carifta Games in Grenada Tyrique Vincent the standout as Trinidad and Tobago selects athletes for 2024 Carifta Games in Grenada

    Trinidad and Tobago's top-tier junior athletes have secured their spots at the 2024 Carifta Games in Grenada. Among the stellar performers, the multitalented Tyrique Vincent emerged as a standout, surpassing qualifying standards in three events during the weekend trials.

    Vincent's remarkable achievements included a commanding victory in the Boys U-17 triple jump, where he soared an impressive 13.50m The Concorde Athletic standout continued to dominate in the U-17 110m hurdles, clocking in at 14.43 seconds (wind-assisted). Vincent also secured his place in the U-17 long jump, sailing out to an impressive 6.74m.

    Joining Vincent in this extraordinary accomplishment were Reuel McEwen, Kristiano Perez, and Dominic Maxwell, all of whom surpassed the Carifta standard in their respective events.

    The weekend's competitions showcased more exceptional performances, with Daeshaun Cole dipping under the Carifta Games mark in the boys under-20 200m dash semifinal. Symphony Patrick, a standout in the girls U-20 category, not only claimed victory in the 100m final but also achieved the girls U-20 200m standard for the Carifta Games.

    Alexxe Henry of Zenith Athletics emerged triumphant in the 100m final with a stellar time of 24.07 seconds, alongside other impressive athletes like Kadija Pickering, Keziah Peters, and Sierra Joseph, all meeting the standard of 24.69 seconds. Henry continued her success by clinching the girls U-20 200m final in the penultimate event on Sunday, clocking an impressive 24.0 seconds.

    Kadeem Chinapoo showcased his prowess by meeting Carifta standards in both the boys' U-17 200m preliminaries and final, adding to his qualification in the 100m event on Saturday.

    Here are the comprehensive results of the Trinidad and Tobago athletes who qualified for the 2024 Carifta Games:

    Girls Under-20

    100m Dash: Symphony Patrick (Concorde), Alexxe Henry (Zenith), Kadija Pickering (Abilene Wildcats).

    200m Dash: Alexxe Henry (Zenith), Keziah Peters (Simplex), Symphony Patrick (Concorde), Kadija Pickering (Abilene Wildcats).

    Triple Jump: Kernes Shelbourne (Oasics).

     

    Girls Under-17

    400m Dash: Kyah Hyson (FAD).

    1500m Run: Aniqah Bailey (+one a Week).

    100m Hurdles: Jenna Thomas (IG Fastlane), Tenique Vincent (Concorde).

    400m Hurdles: Jenna Thomas (IG Fastlane), Durlaina Rouse (PFNJ), Zariah Pascall (D’Abadie).

    Shot Put: Peyton Winter (BURN).

    Discus Throw: Peyton Winter (BURN), Addalia Sylvester (MERC).

    High Jump: Tenique Vincent (Concorde Athletic), La’Shiya Biggart (Zenith), La Queen Welch (QRC AC).

    Boys Under-20

     100m Dash: Dylan Woodruffe (Cougars), Mikhail Byer (Simplex), Jamario Russell (Memphis Pioneers), Hakeem Chinapoo (Simplex), Che Wickham.

    200m Dash: Daeshaun Cole (Abilene Wildcats), Jyrell Thomas (Cougars), Enoch Joseph (Mounting Eagles).

    400m Dash: Kyrell Thomas (Cougars), Da Shaun Lezama (+one a Week), Keone John (Memphis Pioneers), Jaden Clement (MAP).

    800m Run: Brion Scott (BURN), Khordae Lewis (+One a Week).

    1500m Run: Tafari Waldron (Cougars), Omari Thompson (+one a Week), Jahfa Woodlet (Memphis Pioneers), Darius Harding (BURN).

    5000m Run: Tafari Waldon (Cougars).

    Triple Jump: Tyrique Vincent (Concorde), Reuel McEwen (Kaizen Panthers), Kristiano Perez (QRC AC), Dominic Maxwell (Toco Tafac).

    Boys Under-17

     100m Dash: Kadeem Chinapoo (Simplex), Cameron Powel (Phoenix), Kaeden Herbert (Memphis), Shane Camejo (Stallion).

    200m Dash: Kadeem Chinapoo (SImplex).

    1500m Run: Isaiah Alder (Cougars), Jayden Alexander (Rjrt).

    110m Hurdles: Tyrique Vincent (Concorde), Omari Brown (Neon Wolves).

    Long Jump: Tyrique Vincent (Concorde), Omari Brown (Neon Wolves).

    With approximately three dozen athletes meeting the Carifta Games qualifying standards, Trinidad and Tobago is set to make a resounding impact at the upcoming games from March 29 to April 1 in Grenada. These athletes have not only earned their place but have set the stage for an exhilarating and competitive representation on the regional stage.

    The 2024 Carifta Games will be shown live on Sportsmax.

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