Jamaica discus thrower Shadae Lawrence has broken the country’s national record for the second time in less than a month.

The 23-year-old Jamaican set the new national best of 65.05 after claiming top spot at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships on Saturday.  The distance was also a Colorado State collegiate record, the time the athlete is re-writing that mark in less than a month. 

Lawrence finished well clear of schoolmate Kelcey Bedard, who threw 55.82m for second spot, with Utah State’s Brenn Flint third in 53.47m.

At the SAC Relays a few weeks ago, Lawrence pushed past the previous Jamaica national best of 62.73m, set by Kellion Knibb two years ago.  On that occasion, the Jamaican was, however, forced to settle for second spot behind Brazilian Fernanda Martins who threw 64.16m to claim the top spot. 

Lawrence’s new record is the fifth best throw in the world this year.  The list is led by the USA’s Valarie Allman (67.15), who is followed by Cuba’s Yamie Perez (66.75), Claudine Vita (66.64) and China’s Bin Feng (65.45).

The Jamaica International Invitational, the local meet where retired sprint king Usain Bolt once thrilled fans with outstanding performances, will not be held this year.

The meet, which has been held every year since 2004, often brought some of track and field’s biggest names to Jamaica soil.  In addition to Bolt, who set the meet’s respectable 100m record of 9.76 seconds in 2008 and 19.56 in the 200m two years later, Americans Jasmin Stowers, Carmelita Jeter and Kerron Clement have set some eye-popping marks.  In 2011 Jeter stopped the clock at 10.86 in the women’s 100m, Clement thrilled fans with his brisk 47.79 400m hurdles run in 2008 and Stowers set the mark of 12.39 in the women’s 100m hurdles in 2015.

Despite those glowing performances, the meet which was upgraded to an IAAF World Challenge event had struggled to secure funding in recent years.  According to organizers, the issue has led to the cancellation of the 2019 edition of the event, which was originally scheduled to take place at the National Stadium on May 4.  A message posted on jainvite.com the official page of the event confirmed its cancellation.  At this stage, the future of the Invitational remains unclear.

 

Budding Jamaica sprint star Briana Williams stayed on course for a sprint double at the 2019 Carifta Games after progressing easily from the preliminary round of the U-20 200m on Sunday.

Competing in heat 1, Williams motored away from the field to stop the clock at 23.38, well ahead of second place Beyonce Defreitas (23.91) of the British Virgin Islands.  Third place Deshana Skeete (23.92) of Guyana was also through to the next round after qualifying as one of the fastest losers.

William’s compatriot Joanne Reid was also safely through to the final after claiming top spot in heat 2.  Reid clocked 23.61 to claim first place, comfortably ahead of Alya Stanisclaus who was second in 23.72.  Kayon Stubbs of the Bahamas was third in 24.07 but also qualified as one of the fastest losers.

Bahamas’ Jaida Knowles triumphed in heat 3 after stopping the clock in 23.44, with Akila Lewis second in 24.03.  The final of the event will take place at 8:30 pm on Sunday night.  Williams will head into the event with the fastest time.

 

 

Jamaica thrower Shadae Lawrence set a new national record in the women’s discus after a strong showing at the Mt. SAC Relays at El Camino College on Saturday.

Lawrence, a senior at Colorado State University, threw a distance of 63.89 in the fourth round.  The mark was enough to keep the Jamaican in the lead until the final round where Brazilian Fernanda Martins threw 64.16m to claim the top spot.  Another Jamaica, Shanice Love, claimed third spot with a fifth-round haul of 61.16m.

Love’s new mark erased the previous best of 62.73m set by Kellion Knibb two years ago.  Lawrence’s mark was also a record for CSU and the top collegiate mark in the country this year.

The thrower broke the school record twice on Saturday, first breaking the CSU record at the Beach Invitational with a toss of 61.80m shattering the previous record held by Shelly Greathouse-Borman since 1999, and garnered a second-place finish in a strong national field.

Edwin Allen’s Lashana Graham clocked a new personal best to win the women’s 400m hurdles open at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletic Championships at the National Stadium on Friday.

Graham clocked a breezy 57.99, which was a new personal best to comfortably ease away from a competitive field.  Johnelle Thomas of St Catherine High was second in 58.78, which was also personal best a feat also achieved by third-place Rosealea Cooper of St Jago who clocked 59.05.

Danielle Brissett, a former St Jago sprinter, failed to deliver on a promising lead-up to the championships, losing momentum over the final hurdle to finish seventh in a pedestrian 1:03.72.

 

Kingston College’s Romel Plummer produced a searing run from lane 8 to claim the 400m hurdles class 1 final, at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletic Championships, at the National Stadium on Friday.

Plummer clocked 50.43 to claim first place, despite stumbling over the final two obstacles late in the event.  The athlete entered the final straight almost level with Wolmer’s Boys’ Jeremy Farr, who held a slight lead for most of the race but tripped over the second to last obstacle before losing his balance badly after clearing the final hurdle.

Devontie Archer of Excelsior cruised past a stumbling Farr to claim third place in 51.20.  The Wolmerian was third in 51.41.

There was also a victory for Kingston College in the boys class 2 event where Jayden Brown and Rayon Campbell charged to the line for a valuable 1-2 finish. Brown took the top spot with a time of 51.88, ahead of Campbell who was second in 52.85.  Jeremy Bembridge of Tarrant High was third in 53.36.

Calabar acting-principal Calvin Rowe has defended the school’s handling of the incident involving high school track stars Chris Taylor and De’Jour Russell, in the wake of public backlash and some biting criticism.

The athletes Taylor and Russell, who are expected to represent the school at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championship later this week, were accused of assaulting high school physics teacher Sanjay Shaw in December of last year. 

Despite several months elapsing since the incident, the teacher has recently expressed dissatisfaction with how the issue was handled.  In a press conference, held late last week, he accused the school of putting sporting interest over academics and tardiness in addressing the issue.   

In a press release, posted on the school’s website, however, Rowe denied placing athletics above academics and attempted to addressing accusations of addressing the issue late.

According to the release, no action was taken sooner, regarding the teacher’s alleged attack, because Rowe was waiting on evidence of the assault, which the teacher claimed to have recorded on video. 

The document goes on to state that having reviewed the evidence and conducted interviews with the students, it was decided only a strong reprimand was required as there was not enough strong evidence of an assault.

A doctor’s report submitted by Shaw, however, stated that the injuries he received were minor but were likely the result of blunt force trauma.

“It became clear to us as the investigations proceeded that there were conflicting accounts on key aspects, for example, the two students involved strongly denied assaulting Mr. Shaw and testified instead to the contrary; while one student admitted to shoving the teacher’s phone from the face of his teammate he was adamant that he did not step on the instrument,” the press release read.

“Having taken all things into consideration and noting the conflicting reports and the lack of evidence of any assault on the video footage, we decided not to escalate the matter to the Board but to deal with it at the level of the school’s senior leadership team,” it continued.

The document goes on to state that following Shaw’s insistence and a re-interview with the students, it was later, however, decided to suspend both athletes for five days.  They were, however, allowed to train and represent the school during the period, which continues to be a sore point for the physics teacher.

“Giving thought to Mr. Shaw’s insistence and even though I had made it clear that the nature of the punishment was not his prerogative, upon further reflection I decided to go a step further. The two students were re-interviewed and while their testimonies were unchanged I decided to suspend them for 5 days with the proviso that they were required to work on their CAPE SBAs, they were allowed to train and they would compete in their final development meet. It ought to be noted that both punitive measures were aimed at addressing the matter of disobedience to a teacher’s directive and NOT for assault, which, as was said earlier, we could not validate independently and with sufficient conviction,” the document said.

Below is the full version of the press release.

 

http://calabarhighschool.com/content/press-release-calabar-high-school-response-public-complaint-sanjay-shaw-march-24-2019

 

Usain Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist, it was announced on Tuesday, as the global spokesperson for the Bolt Mobility brand of personal electric scooters.

Dr Cynthia Thompson, Jamaica’s first female finalist in an Olympic event, has passed away at the age of 96 years old.

Thompson, who became a paediatrician following he exploits on the track, passed away at the University of the West Indies hospital on Friday.  The former sprinter was Jamaica’s oldest Olympian and was one of 10 athletes chosen to represent the country at its first-ever appearance at the Games in 1948.  The Games was the first of the post-World was era.  The Olympics had been cancelled twice because of the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939.

Thompson went on to finish sixth with a time of 12.6 seconds in the 100m final and made the 200m semi-finals.  The athlete had set an Olympic record in the 200m heats, which was eventually bettered by gold medalist Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands.

 

The much-anticipated Digital Grand Prix Corporate Area Champs kicks off this weekend with the top team promising to deliver big-time performances.

Jamaica distance runner Kemoy Campbell seems to have set his sights on a return to the track, just over two weeks after collapsing during a race at the Millrose Games in New York.

The 28-year-old athlete will, however, plans to compete with the help of an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), a device that will restart his heart should it stop suddenly again.  Campbell collapsed during the men's 3000 metres race in early February and had to be revived with the use of CPR and a defibrillator after trackside medical staff treated him for minutes.

The athlete confirmed, via his Instagram account on Saturday, that subsequent tests had failed to discover a reason for the illness, but seemed to suggest he had every intention to return to the track.

“After multiple vials of blood, ECHOs, EKGs, ultrasounds, MRI, CAT scan, PET scan, and heart biopsy.  The weeks of testing resulted in no diagnosis for the cause of my heart stopping.

‘On Monday I will be putting an ICD in my body (left side of my ribs).  This device will shock my heart back into rhythm if this is to happen again.  I was told that I would have to take a few months off from running.  After those months I could start getting back at it slowly with permission from the cardiologist.”

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