As Jamaica’s national championships near, JOA mulls annual Olympic Destiny series

By Sports Desk June 11, 2021

The very successful staging of the inaugural Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) ‘Olympic Destiny’ track and field series has arrested the attention of the global sporting fraternity in a manner that has left experts shouting "bravo".

In a publication, World Athletics stated that the series is "aptly named JOA/JAAA ‘Olympic Destiny’. The Washington Post newspaper in the United States also had the event on its radar with a report on the explosive world-leading 10.63 performance of sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100 metres.

Performances during the series were also captured in traditional and new media entities worldwide.

Although only in its first year, ‘Olympic Destiny’ has already earned a reputation locally and internationally as a standard-bearer in track and field, which the JOA and its member association, the JAAA, intend to guard jealously.

Contemplating current health challenges and risks and looking to the future, President of the JOA, Christopher Samuda, in a post-event interview, stated that, "Olympic Destiny gave athletes a new and inspired lease on life amidst the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national senior trials will be the 'Olympic Verdict' as athletes vie for coveted places at the pinnacle multi-sport the Olympic Games”.

The description, ‘Olympic Verdict’, of the national senior trials, is on point as several events, including the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and the triple jump for both men and women, as well as the discus for men, are expected to be competitive and showstoppers.

Secretary-General and CEO of the JOA, Ryan Foster, in anticipating keen contests, remarked that "on D-day at the national senior trials, diplomacy will somewhat give way to assertive rivalry for at the end of it all there will be one verdict, which performances will deliver.”

This year's national senior trials between June 24 and 27 at the National Stadium is indeed the ‘Olympic Verdict’ as "emerging generations will meet experienced campaigners in a decider that will be healthy for the sport, thrilling for the fans and ensure succession," Foster said.

The jury will certainly not be out where the staging of future Destiny series is concerned as the JOA intends to roll out ‘Olympic Destiny’ in 2022 and beyond in athletics and other sports.

"Olympic Destiny is now a staple on the calendar as we have earmarked the summer and winter Games as dramatic watershed events of exciting times ahead of us,'' Samuda declared.

If the significant turnout of athletes and the notable performances are anything to go by, the ‘Olympic Destiny’ Series will become not only a local product of Olympism but an international asset.

 

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    Women’s 400 Metres

     Five Caribbean women advanced to the final.

    Marileidy Paulino of The Dominican Republic won semi-final 1 in a national record of 49.38 to advance.

    Jamaica’s Candice McLeod and Cuba’s Roxana Gomez also progressed from semi-final 1.

    McLeod ran a personal best of 49.51 to finish second and advance automatically while Gomez finished third in a personal best 49.71 and advanced in a fastest loser spot.

    Shaunae Miller-Uibo advanced by running 49.60 to win the second semi-final.

    Jamaica’s Roniesha McGregor and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams were also in semi-final 2 but failed to advance, finishing third in 50.34 and seventh in 51.46 respectively.

    Stephenie Ann McPherson won semi-final 3 in a personal best 49.34 to qualify.

    Sada Williams finished third in that race in a national record of 50.11 but that wasn’t enough to get her into the final.

     

    Men’s 200 Metres

     Canadian Andre DeGrasse ran a Canadian record 19.62 to take gold.

    DeGrasse, silver medalist behind Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio games, will be joined on the podium by Americans Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles.

    Bednarek ran a personal best 19.68 for silver and Lyles ran a season’s best 19.74 for bronze.

    Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer finished 7th in 20.21 and Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago finished 8th in 20.39.

     

    Women’s High Jump

     St. Lucian Levern Spencer finished 22nd in qualifying.

     

    Women’s 4x100 Metres Relay

     The Jamaican team consisting of Briana Williams, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell and Shericka Jackson ran 42.15 to finish third in heat 1 and advance to the final.

     

    Men’s 4x100 Metres Relay

     Jamaica qualified for the final after running the fastest time in the heats.

    The team of Jevaughn Minzie, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville ran a time of 37.82 to win heat 1.

    Trinidad & Tobago were also in heat 1 and finished 6th with a time of 38.63.

    Their team consisted of Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison, Akanni Hislop and Richard Thompson, silver medalist from the 2008 Beijing games.

     

    Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles

     Jamaica secured two medals in the final of the men’s 110 metres hurdles.

    Hansle Parchment, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, ran a season’s best of 13.04 to win gold ahead of the prohibitive favourite, Grant Holloway of the USA, who took silver in 13.09.

     Ronald Levy ran 13.10 for bronze, his first Olympic medal.

     

     

     

  • Tokyo Olympics Recap: 'Nerves got better' of Holloway in hurdles, USA into basketball gold medal match Tokyo Olympics Recap: 'Nerves got better' of Holloway in hurdles, USA into basketball gold medal match

    Favourite Grant Holloway said nerves got the better of him after finishing second to Jamaica's Hansle Parchment in the men's 110 metres hurdles Olympic final.

    The American led at the halfway mark but faded over the final 20 metres as he was beaten by his 31-year-old rival.

    Parchment triumphed with a season-best time of 13.04 seconds, ahead of Holloway in 13.09, lucky to scrape ahead of Jamaican Ronald Levy who took bronze with 13.10.

    Holloway and Parchment had run in the same heat and semi-final prior to the final, with the American winning both, before falling short in the all-important race.

    "I think the anxiousness and the nerves got the better of me towards the end and I got sloppy with my form," Holloway said. "He got me this time but I'll make sure I get him in the next."

    He added: "Hats off to Hansle for an amazing race. I was watching him when I was in high school. He's a hell of a competitor. He has an amazing race plan, he executed to the best of his ability."

    Parchment admitted he learned from losing to Holloway in the previous two runs.

    "I made some changes to my start, because I knew if I was going to catch up, I had to be closer in the first half," Parchment said. "I think I ran through pretty well. I maintained composure. It was a great race."

    Portugal's Pedro Pichardo earned gold medal glory with a national record 17.98m in the men's triple jump.

    Pichardo's triumphant effort came with his third attempt, while China's Zhu Yaming claimed silver with a personal best of 17.57m. Burkina Faso's Hugues Fabrice Zango took the bronze with 17.47m.

    USA's defending champion Ryan Crouser threw an Olympic record 23.30m to win the men's shot put gold.

    Crouser bettered the Olympic mark he set five years ago in Rio de Janeiro to win from countryman Joe Kovacs (22.65m), while New Zealand's Tomas Walsh (22.47m) claimed bronze.

    EARLY SCARE AS USA REACH FINAL

    The United States trailed by 15 points in the second quarter against Australia but rallied to qualify for the men's basketball gold medal match.

    USA won 97-78 over Australia, who have never won an Olympic medal in men's basketball having finished fourth four times.

    The Boomers had raced to a commanding position early on as Team USA struggled from beyond the arc.

    Yet the reigning Olympic champions reduced the margin to three points by half-time and went up several gears with a 32-10 third quarter.

    Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant top-scored again with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Devin Booker had 20 points.

    USA will face either France or Slovenia in the final as they chase a fourth straight gold medal.

    CARRINGTON MAKES NEW ZEALAND HISTORY

    New Zealand's Lisa Carrington added a third Tokyo 2020 gold medal to her haul, landing the title in the women's kayak single 500m final.

    Carrington claimed her fifth-ever Olympic gold with a strong victory in 1:51.216, from Hungary's Tamara Csipes and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen.

    She becomes the first athlete from New Zealand to win five Olympic gold medals, surpassing the four of Ian Ferguson, also in canoe sprint between 1984 and 1988.

    Carrington is the fourth woman at Tokyo 2020 to win three gold medals, after Australian swimmers Emma McKeon (four) and Kaylee McKeown (three) and South Korean archer An San (three).

    GERMAN ADDS GOLD IN OPEN WATER

    After winning bronze in the 1,500m in the pool, Germany's Florian Wellbrock won the men's marathon swimming in open water.

    Wellbrock won in one hour, 48 minutes and 33.7 seconds across 10 kilometres, finishing 25.3 seconds ahead of Hungary's Kristof Rasovszky for silver, with Italy's Gregorio Paltrinieri earning bronze.

    The size of the German's victory was the biggest margin in Olympic marathon swimming history.

    “It’s a little bit unreal," Wellbrock said. "The first seven (kilometres) of this race felt really easy."

    AUSSIE SKATEBOARDING WINNER

    Keegan Palmer won Australia's first-ever skateboarding gold medal with two amazing runs in the men's park final.

    The 18-year-old's first run scored 94.04 before a throwaway second round. Palmer backed it up on his final run with a staggering top score of 95.83.

    Brazilian Pedro Barros was next best with 86.14 for silver, while Cory Juneau claimed bronze with 84.13.

    The event was the final skateboarding medal opportunity from the sport in its debut Olympics.

  • Jamaica's Parchment shocks USA favourite Holloway to take gold in 110m hurdles - Levy gets bronze Jamaica's Parchment shocks USA favourite Holloway to take gold in 110m hurdles - Levy gets bronze

    Jamaica's Hansle Parchment shocked favourite Grant Holloway to win the men's 110 metres hurdles gold medal at Tokyo 2020 on Thursday.

    Parchment triumphed in 13.04 seconds, ahead of American Holloway in 13.09, with Ronald Levy claiming another medal for Jamaica with bronze at 13.10.

    The 31-year-old Parchment becomes the oldest male athlete to win the 110m hurdles in Olympic history, with the gold arriving nine years after Parchment took bronze at London 2012.

    Holloway had led at the halfway mark and appeared on track to challenge Aries Merritt's world record of 12.80 from 2012.

    The American lost his stride and subsequent momentum, however, allowing Parchment to swoop with an emphatic final 20m.

    Another of the pre-race contenders, USA's Devon Allen, missed out on the medals, clipping a hurdle on his way to fourth spot in 13.14.

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