Jamaica’s delegation to the 2019 Para Pan American Games was greeted with a welcome ceremony when they arrived at the athletes’ village in Lima, Peru on Thursday afternoon.

Dressed in black and gold with black caps the members of the delegation led by Chef de Mission, Leonie Phinn sang the national anthem and Bob Marley's "One Love" and announced their arrival with "What a gwaan, wi strong".

The receptive crowd waved miniature flags in return.

Chef de Mission Phinn presented former Peruvian athlete, Giorgio Mautino, the Mayor of the Village, with a bag in the colours of the national flag and which contained local spices, Blue Mountain coffee in addition to Jamaican clothing and headgear.

Phinn thanked Mautino for the tremendous hospitality extended to the Jamaican delegation and assured him that she was confident that the Games would be successful.

“Welcome ceremonies are always somewhat emotional for they remind you that the journey for the country now begins and the hoisting of the flag and the National Anthem embody reverence and pride, the feeling of which cannot be underscored,” said JPA President Christopher Samuda.

The Para Pan American village accommodates more than 4,000 para-athletes and officials from the Americas and Caribbean.

Jamaica sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has targeted adding another feat to an already impressive resume and that is becoming a member of the sub-22 seconds club.

Despite being better known over her exploits over the half the distance, where she has claimed numerous world and Olympic titles, Fraser-Pryce has also proven to be more than competitive over the distance. 

An impressive performance over the half-lap event was part of a memorable triple gold medal haul at the Moscow World Championships.  With a personal best of 22.09 set in London, in 2012, Fraser-Pryce is yet to crack the 22-second mark.  The feat has been achieved by five Jamaican women to date Merlene Ottey, Elaine Thompson, Grace Jackson, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Juliet Cuthbert.

Fraser-Pryce recently completed in the event at Birmingham Diamond League where she finished in third spot behind Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith.

“One of my dreams, one of my goals is to get below 22 seconds.  It would be an honour to get below 22 seconds,” Fraser-Pryce told Nuffin Long Athletics.

“I’m not the best 200m runner but I love the opportunities I get to run the 200m.  I’m one of those persons that doesn’t back from anything unless you give me a 400m then don’t want to run it.”

After only two weeks with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed Track Club, 2017 World Champion, Omar McLeod is confident he is back on track to defend his world title at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Jamaica world and Olympic champion Omar McLeod believes things are getting back to normal, following yet another chance in training regime.

The 25-year-old had trained with Eldrick Floreal up until late 2018 but then moved to Gary Evans at Empire Athletics in Florida.  Tony Ross at World Fastest Humans was his hurdles coach.  The athlete has since struggled, however.  Before claiming the top spot in Birmingham on Sunday, McLeod won only two hurdles races and has a season-best time of 13.12s set at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China.

The athlete is, however, rumored to have joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this month and seems to be in a better frame of mind.  On Sunday, at the Birmingham Diamond League meet, McLeod clocked 13.21, well clear of the United States’ Freddie Crittenden (13.31) and Xie Wenjun (13.43).  Following the win, the athlete admitted, the target was getting in shape for the World Championships.

“It was pretty easy and felt good. It was nice to make up for what happened in London. I'm in a new environment with a new coach and I feel like I'm ready to go again,” McLeod said.


“For Doha, I need to go there in the best possible shape and not been half-bothered about it. Anything can happen and I need to go there as defending champion and be ready to compete,” he added.
“I have the Diamond League finals prior to Doha so I need to be ready for that.”

Jamaica 100m hurdler Danielle Williams continued her run of red-hot form after destroying the field to claim the women’s 100m title at the Birmingham Diamond League meet on Sunday.

In fact, the impressive Williams equaled the meeting record after stopping the clock at 12.46, well clear of American world record holder Kendra Harrison who was second in 12.66.  Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan was third in 12.71.  Another Jamaican in the race, Janeek Brown, was 5th with a time of 12.79.

Despite being satisfied with the win, Williams, who admitted that she has been focused on her race execution, was not entirely pleased with how things unfolded.

“To be honest I didn't execute that properly. I banged my knee on one of the hurdles but I came away with the win so I'm happy. It wasn't that important to win, this is another race on the way to the Diamond League finals and whether I won or lost, execution was my only focus,” Williams said following the race.

“Every time I've been racing I've been consistent with my times and that is the main thing for me.”

The result leaves Williams as the top Diamond Race qualifier after three wins for 31 points.  Harrison is next with two wins and 23 points.

Bahamian quarter-mile star Shaunae Miller-Uibo continued an impressive spell of sprinting dominance after claiming a 9th straight win at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.

The Bahamian Olympic champion, however, had to work late on after trailing both Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith with 15 metres to go.  Miller-Uibo, however, held her form superbly to go by both in the closing stages, in the end winning by around a metre.  The result meant the Bahamian, who crossed the line in 22.24, has not lost a race since the 2017 Muller Grand Prix.  Asher-Smith was second in 22.36, with Fraser-Pryce third in 22.50.

Despite winning the race, however, Miller-Uibo was quick to admit that things did not quite go according to plan.

“The race didn't go to plan,” said Miller-Uibo, who set a meeting record of 22.15 when winning here last year, on that occasion also defeating Asher-Smith. “My start was just horrible and I had to rely on that 400m strength to get through."

“I’m feeling good. Before the race, we had an idea of how we wanted the race to go and it didn't go as planned so I’m happy for the win and ready to move on to the next.”

 

Despite being given clearance to compete for a spot at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics, Jamaican hurdler Danielle Williams remains in the hunt for a Diamond League trophy.

A Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) decision had deemed Williams ineligible to compete for a spot at this year’s World Championships after a false start at the country’s national trials, however, there was still a window for the athlete to make the team to Doha had she earned an automatic spot via winning the Diamond League.

Williams then broke the national record and is unbeaten over the 100-metre hurdles since that time. Her 12.32-second clocking meant she lead the world, putting the JAAA in some amount of discomfort.

However, earlier this week, another JAAA release said the athlete would be contemplated since her disqualification in the event, could not be counted since the race was deemed null and void after subsequent attempts at re-running it.

That being said, Williams’ time would suggest she is a shoe-in for a place on the team the JAAA said would be picked based on IAAF-ranking at the time of selection.

Williams leads the world rankings with 1385 points while Megan Tapper with 1263, Janeek Brown with 1257, and Yanique Thompson with 1202 are the next highest-ranked Jamaicans.

Should Williams earn an automatic place, Thompson, who for the moment is out of a place at the World Championships could be headed to Doha as well.

Still, Williams coach, Lennox Graham has come out to say, the 2015 World Champion would still be taking aim at the Diamond League Trophy.

“The focus of our season doesn’t change. Once the issue happened, we had made a conscious decision to focus on the things that we can control  and what we were in control of at the time was contractually agreed to already, running in the Diamond League and getting all the points you can and getting into the final and try to win. This decision extends her season so that’s the effect that this will have on it,” Graham had said in an interview with Radio Jamaica.

The Diamond League moves to Birmingham tomorrow where Williams is again down to compete.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will release her new book, ‘I Am A Promise’, in September.

The 32-yer-old Fraser-Pryce made the announcement on Saturday on social media.

‘I Am A Promise’, is a children’s picture book about the indomitable spirit of the six-time Olympic medal winner.

The book takes readers on Fraser-Pryce's journey from her childhood in the tough inner-city community of Waterhouse in Kingston, Jamaica, through to her development as a young athlete and finally to her first Olympic gold medal in the 100 metres in Beijing, China in 2008.

The story charts how Fraser-Pryce's commitment to hard work and encouragement from loved ones helped her to achieve every sprinter’s dreams and against great odds. The book encourages young readers to believe in themselves and to maximse their own promise to the world.

Fraser-Pryce, in a post on Facebook, said, “I am super excited to share my most recent project! My upcoming children’s book, I Am A Promise,  which will be launched in September in select Sangster’s Bookstores locations.

“Seeing my personal journey depicted in print and colour is such a blessing for me, and I am so humbled to be able to share it with you all.

“The genesis of this is founded on what I believe is fundamentally important; how we raise our children, the importance of consistent love and nurturing their God-given talents always.

“This book is extra special for me also as I will be able to read it to Zyon (her son) and teach him these valuable lessons as he grows up."

In 2016, Fraser-Pryce published her tell-all autobiography, ‘Pryceless Journey’, which detailed her many struggles and obstacles along the path to becoming an Olympic champion.

On August 16, 2009, Usain Bolt clocked 9.58 seconds in the final of the 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

A decade on, with the eight-time Olympic champion now retired, that world-record time still stands.

At just 22, the Jamaican obliterated a mark he had set exactly one year earlier at the Olympics in Beijing, shaving more than a tenth of a second of the time.

Doctor Peter Weyand, a biomechanics expert at Southern Methodist University, told Omnisport what made Bolt so unique.

A slow starter?

One of the biggest misconceptions of Bolt was that, due to his 6ft 5in frame, he was a slow starter. Not true, says Weyand. Particularly on that night in Germany when only Dwain Chambers was ahead of him after the first few strides.

"The most unusual thing was how well he was able to start for somebody as big as he is," Weyand explained.

"Normally the people that accelerate and get out of the blocks very quickly tend to be the shorter sprinters. The physics and biology of acceleration favours smaller people. In 2009, I think he started as well as anybody in that race. The start was a differentiator."

Long legs = more force

Though his height may have given him a slight disadvantage out of the blocks, Bolt's frame came in handy once the race opened up, allowing him to generate more power in the short steps sprinters take.

"What limits how fast a sprinter can go is how much force they can get down in the really short periods of time they have to do it," Weyand said.

"If you're going faster, the only way to do what you need to do to pop your body back up with a shorter contact time is to put down more force. What all elite sprinters do is put down more force in relation to their body mass than people who aren't as fast.

"If you're Bolt and you're 6ft 5in, you have a longer leg and you have more forgiveness. He probably has six, seven, eight milliseconds more on the ground.

"You have to put down a peak force of about five times body weight and that needs to happen in three hundredths of a second after your foot comes down.

"He was so athletic and so tall. His long legs gave him more time on the ground."

Fewer strides, greater success

Believe it or not, sprinters cannot maintain their top speed for the entire 100m. Bolt, who also holds the 200m world record, had another advantage in that he needed fewer strides to cover the distances.

"He had 41 steps usually [over 100m] and the other guys are 44, 45, some of the shorter ones are up in the high 40s," Weyand added.

"Particularly over 200 metres, the step numbers are directly related to fatiguing. If you go through fewer steps and fewer intense muscular contractions to put force into the ground, you have a fatigue-sparing effect."

Unique, but not perfect

Given he was able to accelerate out of the blocks quickly – relatively for his height – and was able to use his frame to generate more force across fewer strides, Bolt might have looked like the perfect sprinter.

But Weyand argued: "You can make a case that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the best female sprinter ever and she's 5ft tall.

"There are trade-offs in terms of being forceful when you accelerate versus having more contact time at your top-end speed."

Will Bolt's WR ever be broken?

No current athlete looks close to eclipsing Bolt's time in the near future, but that does not mean his record time will stand forever.

In 2008, marathon runner and biology professor Mark Denny conducted research and predicted the fastest possible time a male sprinter could run is 9.48secs.

"Nothing's ever perfect, Bolt's obviously a unique athlete but no race is perfect and no set of circumstances are perfect," Weyand said.

"Certainly faster than 9.58 [is possible] but that's a question that's hard to answer without being pretty speculative."

The only thing that is certain is for now – as has been the case for the previous 10 years too – the title of 'the fastest man on earth' belongs to Bolt.

Lennox Graham, coach of Jamaican sprint hurdler Danielle Williams, said he was happy with the decision of the JAAA to consider the sprint hurdler for selection to the Jamaican team to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar starting in late September.

Sportsmax.TV sources have indicated that 2017 World 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod has joined the Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville, Florida.

Bahamian sprinter Tynia Gaither has named decorated Jamaica star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as one of her biggest inspirations after claiming a rare bronze medal for the country, at the Pan American Games last week.

On Friday, the 26-year-old Gaither crossed the line in 27.76 seconds, well behind winner Fraser-Pryce, who broke a 40-year-old record after clocking 22.43 to take gold.  Despite finishing some way behind Jamaican and getting passed by Brazil’s Vitoria Rosa, close to the line, the achievement was a significant one.  In fact, only three Bahamian women have done what Gaither did and all were a part of the nation’s golden generation.

In 1987, Pauline Davis-Thompson earned the first medal for the Bahamas sprinters at the event when she secured the bronze medal in the 100 and 200m.  In 1999, Chandra Sturrup clinched the first gold in the 100m and Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie followed by snatching the gold in the 200m.  Sturrup was the last female sprinter to medal at the Games after claiming a bronze in the 100m in 2007.

“Shelly-Ann is one of my idols, so every time I get to line up with her I’m on cloud nine,” Gaither told the Bahamas Tribune.

“She pushes me to a different level. I raced against her a few times and I can honestly say, I had some of my best races. So just to be able to be in that calibre with her was great. I wasn’t really nervous. I felt it was just a blessing to be there,”

Having so far successfully navigated a long season during which he defended his NCAA title and won his very first Pan Am Games title, Grenada’s Anderson Peters believes he has enough left in the tank for a podium bid at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in seven weeks’ time.

Kerrylee Ricketts coach of 2019 Pan Am Games silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, said he was pleased with her performance and feels that a 15-metre jump is not that far away.

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