Former world record holder Asafa Powell is confident he will get to the elusive target of 100 sub-10 clockings sometime in the coming season, despite insisting that it is not necessarily a primary focus.

Powell, who set the world record twice, first in 2005 (9.77) before lowering the mark in 2007 (9.74), has the most sub-10 clockings in history with 97.  The 37-year-old has, however, been hampered by injury in recent years and has struggled to dip below the mark in recent years.

The runner has not managed to go below the mark since 2016, when he clocked 9.92.  With a solid preseason behind him, however, Powell feels he is ready to get back to his best form and achieving the target is well within his grasp.

“Based on how training has been going this year I expect it to be a walk in the park,” Powell said of getting to 100 sub-10 clockings.

“I’m not really focusing on that it will come naturally.  I’m focused on going to the national trials where you have to go sub-10 and on the Diamond League circuit you have to go sub-10, so I’m not focusing on it,” he said.

“I’m just taking it step by step and making sure I stay healthy.”

Former 100m record holder Asafa Powell has insisted he remains in great shape to compete despite being dismissed as an 'old guy' by a competitor at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

In his prime, Powell cast an enviable figure for many sprinters, his picture-perfect running style taking him to a world record time of 9.77 in 2005 and then lowering that mark with a time of 9.74 in 2007.  The Jamaican went on to clock the most sub-10 second times for any sprinter with a total of 98.

In recent years, Powell, who has been plagued by injuries, has struggled to reach close to such heights.  On Saturday, the sprinter finished in 5th place in the men’s 60m, with a time of 6.71, expectedly well off his best of 6.44.  His efforts seemed to do little to impress United States sprinter Demek Kemp.  The 23-year-old South Carolina representative took the event in a personal best time of 6.50. 

"Feels great," Kemp said of the run.

"I had some good competition. Glad to have a personal record,” he added.

He clearly did not feel Powell was among them, however.

"He's an old guy," Kemp said when asked about competing against the Jamaican.

For his part, Powell, who insisted the run was about testing his legs, however, claims he is feeling as good as ever and is confident he should still be competing.

“I am still feeling very strong, still feeling as fast as I did years ago,” Powell told Track Alerts.

“With the entire Jamaica is motivating me, and with that kind of support, it’s hard to give up,” he added.

 

Jamaican sprint superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce insists athletes should retire on their own terms not feel pressure to step aside due to factors like aging.

With sprinting and sports in general often considered the domain of younger athlete, Fraser-Pryce became one of several current stars willing to buck that trend after capturing gold at the Doha World Championships last year.  In the process, she became the oldest woman to ever win 100m gold at a global championship.  The 33-year-old also became the only sprinter to be crowned world champion over the 100m four times (2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019) and the first woman to hold dual world and Olympic titles on two separate occasions.

With 10-years having passed since she made her debut as a 21-year-old at the 2008 Olympic Games, her achievements are as much a testament to her longevity as much as it is to her talent.

“The last time I won this award was 2015 and to be here over a decade later still representing the unique legacy that we have here for Jamaica in sprinting and athletics is a huge honour,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“I hope that with this award a lot more athletes can understand that there is so much more to us as athletes and so much more to give.  You decide when its time to go,” she added.

Fraser-Pryce registered another milestone two years ago when she took time off from the sport to have her first child.

 

Promising young Jamaica sprinter Christania Williams has left the local MVP Track Club to join Florida-based Tumbleweed Track Club in the United States.

The 25-year-old Williams, a former high school standout star at Jamaican high school Edwin Allen, is considered by many as one of a new generation of talented athletes expected to continue the country’s success.

Williams was part of Jamaica’s silver medal-winning team in the 4x100m relays at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and claimed bronze, in the same event, at the London World Championships a year later.  The sprinter, who holds personal best times of 10.96 in the 100m and 23.48 over the 200m, was a double silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018.

The sprinter will join the likes of compatriots Omar McLeod, the 110m Olympic champion and World Youth Champion Christopher Taylor.  Williams is the second top-ranked athlete to leave the MVP Track Club this season with hurdler Megan Tapper having left at the start.

 

Double sprint world record holder Usain Bolt has offered words of encouragement for athletes preparing to take part in the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne.

A total of 1783 athletes from 79 nations are expected to compete in some 81 events over the next month.  His native Jamaica will not be among them, with the Caribbean represented at the winter event by Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.

The former sprinter took the time out to wish all the young competitors about to take part in the event good look and encouraged them to enjoy the experience as they reach for their dreams.

“That’s where I started, that’s where your future starts to take shape,” Bolt said via a video message.

So, go there and do your best and enjoy yourself.  That’s the key thing.  Enjoy the experience.  You’re this young.  Take your time develop and get great,” Bolt added.

The Jamaica speeders would know all about excelling at the youth level after claiming gold medals in the 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the 2002 World Junior Championship in Kingston and gold in the 200m at 2003 World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke.  Bolt went on to win a total of 20 Olympic and World Championship medals in a stellar career.

 Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake believes he has suffered from competing in the same era as compatriot and athletics great Usain Bolt.

The 29-year-old Blake has recorded some stunning achievements of his own on the track, in a career that has also been hampered by injury.  His best times over the 100m (9.69) and 200m (19.26) are the second-fastest ever recorded over the distances.  Bolt still holds both world records.

In addition, Blake claimed the gold medal at the 2011 Daegu World Championship and silver medals in both the 100m and 200m at the 2012 London Olympic Games.  On both occasions, the sprinter finished behind his illustrious teammate Bolt.  Once thought as the natural successor to the athletics sprint throne, Blake then suffered major hamstring injuries in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.  While insisting that he is satisfied with what he has achieved in the sport to date,  Blake believes things could have been different had he been born in another era.

"I would be the fastest man in everything. I feel like I was born in a wrong time. But nevertheless, I am happy with what I have achieved,” Blake told reporters recently.

“It would be hard to top Usain because it was his time and it was hard to compete against him. The first time I beat him in Kingston, I had to work day and night to do it."

Heading into the 2012 Olympics Blake defeated Bolt over both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaica National trials but never managed to repeat the feat.

If dreams come true, United States sprinter Noah Lyles could be the new 100m world record holder before even setting foot in the Tokyo Olympics final.

The 22-year-old American sprinter has been one of a handful of prominent stars to emerge from the pack as up and coming athletes chase the legacy of Jamaica sprint king Usain Bolt.  Despite being universally acknowledged as a tremendous talent and winning his first major title earlier this year, which was the 200m at the Doha World Championships, for now, Lyles remains firmly in the Jamaican's big shadow.

In addition to boasting eight Olympics and 11 World Championship gold medals, it is Bolt who still holds the records for the fastest times ever clocked over both the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19).  The American has already at least broken one of Bolt’s records in pursuit.  Earlier this year, the young sprinter broke Bolt’s meet record at the Paris Diamond League.  Lyles clocked 19.65, eclipsing the Jamaican's previous time of 19.73.  With the Olympics on the horizon, the American has much bigger hopes, well bigger dreams in any case.

“I’m very excited for Tokyo. Japan is one of my favourite countries outside the US. I’ve got big plans,” Lyles told Olympic.org.

“I’ve got a dream that I ran 9.41 in the semis at the Olympics,” he added.

The athlete must, of course, secure himself a spot on the United States national team before having a chance to chase his dream.

 

Jamaica triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts contends she is encouraged by the consistency of recent performances, after claiming the women’s title at the ISTAF Berlin World Challenge Meeting, in Germany on Sunday.

Fresh off claiming the Diamond League title with a leap just under 15m, Ricketts cleared 14.63m to take top spot in the women’s triple jump in Berlin.  Patricia Mamona of Portugal claimed second place with a leap of 14.18 and Dovile Kilty of Lithuania placed third with a leap of 14.15.   Kimberly Williams, the other Jamaican in the event, finished 5th with a leap of 13.96m.

“I feel great. My best jump was 14.63m, that shows that I have a lot of consistency,” Ricketts said.

“This was my final rehearsal for Doha. Achieving such a result after the DL final a few days ago is great, incredible. I was hoping to jump further, but we had a negative breeze (wind), and I was tired from the DL final. I really like it here, the crowd was electric and gave us a lot of support,” she added.

In another result, Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.02m for 4th in the women’s shot put. Canadian Brittany Crew won the event with 19.28m.

Jamaica Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod expressed delight with his conditioning as the clock counts down to the IAAF World Championships, in Doha later this month.

The sprint hurdler clocked a comfortable looking 13.07, well clear of France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who was second in 13.25, to claim top spot at the ISTAF Berlin World Challenge Meeting in Germany on Sunday.  Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite was third in 13.36.

McLeod will have plenty of reason to feel encouraged following a tough start to the season, which was perhaps fueled by somewhat of a ride on a coaching carousel of sorts early on.  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. 

Following early struggles, however, the athlete joined Tumbleweed camp of elite coach Rana Reider in Jacksonville.  His performances seem to have since improved as he claimed the top spot in Birmingham two weeks ago, before winning again in Germany.

“Everything was coming together perfectly. I ran so smooth, tight over the hurdles. This was like a final rehearsal for Doha,” McLeod said.

“I did it! Like my coach told me, I just got out and took control. Everything was good – the start, the finish and every hurdle. You could say it was a perfect race,” he added.

Fellow Jamaicans Orlando Bennett, 13.54 and Ronald Levy, 14.24 were 8th and 9th respectively.

 

Former Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission Renee Ann Shirley admits that she does not share the optimism of Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Warren Blake regarding the situation facing rising star Briana Williams.

The 17-year-old athlete recently returned an adverse analytical finding, following her participation in the Jamaica National Championship.  The athlete blamed the finding on a contaminated batch of Pharma Cold & Flu medication, which she had used to battle the effects of a cold. 

The claim that the batch of contaminated medication contained the banned diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, was verified by an independent laboratory.  Based on the circumstances, Blake had previously suggested that he was confident that Williams could be cleared, even without a hearing.  The sentences possible for the young sprinter range from a reprimand to a 4-year ban.

Anything other than a reprimand for Williams, who booked a spot on the World Championship team by finishing third at the trials, could see the athlete miss out on taking part in the event.

“I don’t see it. I don’t see that being possible,” Shirley told SportsMax Zone in an exclusive interview.

“He was giving the most optimistic scenario.  What I want to caution everybody is that we are not dealing with an athlete that’s just running as a junior, this is someone that’s considered a senior athlete,” she added.

“I think that there are going to be questions that need to be answered and the IAAF’s AIU teams and their investigative panel, even if Jamaica decides not to do it, I think that we will find out that they are paying close attention to this case and so is WADA.”    

 

  

Areita Martin and Henry Thomas emerged as winners in the women’s and men’s senior categories, respectively, as the curtains came down on the 8th staging of the 2019 Good Samaritan 5k Health Run/Walk.

Martin, who represented Rainforest Seafoods, finished the charity run in 22.39 to top the Female 14 and Over section.  The runner finished well clear of her closest competition, Alison Sutherland, also of Rainforest Seafood, who was second in 24:09.  Ingrid Blackwood of UCT Steppas was third in 24.30. 

Thomas, who represented UCT Steppas, also dominated the competition but enjoyed a narrower margin after finishing first in 16.22.  Kemar Leslie of Rainforest Seafoods was second in 16:52, with Kosiani Dunkley of Riot Squad third in 17:36. 

The race route took competitors from the Andrew Hospital on Hope Road, through New Kingston along Dominica Drive back to Trafalgar Road, before returning to Hope Road to finish the race. 

The charity event has targetted raising money to purchase two sets of life-saving dialysis machines, whose use will be offered at a heavily discounted rate to the less fortunate in need of the service. 

The event was attended by some 500 patrons and by all accounts was once again a rousing success.

 

Rising Jamaican sprint phenom Briana Williams has admitted the country’s reverence for the sport of track and field made it an easy decision to choose the tiny Caribbean island over the United States.

The 17-year-old Williams is considered one of the brightest up and coming prospects in the sport of athletics. In fact, the sprinter is expected to follow a long line of exceptional Jamaican sprinters, the likes of which include Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson and the legendary Usain Bolt. 

Williams was, however, born in the United States, a country that has a proud track and field legacy of its own.  For the diminutive young sprinter, however, the choice between the track and field rivals was always a straight forward one.

“I was grown up in the Jamaica tradition way.  All the time when I was watching the Olympics, I would see Bolt and Shelly-Ann winning and think I want to be like them,” Williams said recently, in a podcast with the Olympic Channel.

“America has football, baseball they are more fans of that. In Jamaica, they show support to their track athletes and I like that.  In America, there is track but it's not at the same level.  When the Jamaica athletes are at the Olympics or World Championships, there is screaming in the middle of the streets and people cheering them on.  I like that culture more,” she added.  

Boldon, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic bronze medalist, was in complete agreement.  Like Williams, Boldon could also have represented Jamaica as he was born in Port of Spain to a Jamaican mother.

“Even me being from Trinidad and Tobago, sometimes track and field athletes, despite us having the bulk of our Olympic medals, are not as revered in Trinidad and Tobago, like it is in Jamaica,” Boldon said.

“Many times during my career, when I saw the support for Jamaican athletes, I used to saw wow maybe Jamaica should have been the place I ran for because it just matters more," he added.

Williams, the World U-20 sprint double Champion, will represent Jamaica at the Doha World Championships later this year.   

Many-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce achieved yet another milestone, after passing compatriot Veronica Campbell-Brown for the most sub-11 clockings recorded by a Jamaican female sprinter.

The 32-year-old track star recently pulled level with the legendary Campbell-Brown at 49 apiece when she clocked 10.95 seconds in the heats at the London Diamond League.  The duo, however, did not stay tied long as Fraser-Pryce then went on to move second all-time when she clocked a breezy 10.78 to blow her opponents away in the final.

The result moved Fraser-Pryce to second all-time list behind the ageless sprint wonder Merlene Ottey.  Ottey achieved the feat some 67 times.  Double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, currently the sprinter’s teammate and biggest rival in the event has achieved the mark 28 times.

The two are scheduled to face off at the Doha World Championship, in which both women seemed certain to add to their tally of sub-11 times.

 

Reigning double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is confident she remains on target to hit her best form in time for the Doha World Champions.

The 27-year-old recently looked in superb form as she coasted away from the field down the stretch to post a relaxed-looking 22.13, in the women’s 200m, at the London Diamond League.  The time was the athlete’s second quickest this season, with her season’s best of 22.00, clocked at the Jamaica National Championship in June, the fastest time run over the distance this year.

After struggling with an Achilles injury for the past couple of seasons, Thompson is increasingly certain she is on track display the type of form that made her unbeatable over both the 100m and 200m distances at the Rio Olympics.  At her best, the Jamaican clocked a sizzling 21.66, the fifth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

“It’s a long season, I just listen to my coach (Stephen Francis).  I know he is a genius.  I know what he has in store leading up to the World Championship and I just have go out there and put it on the track. Every race is a work in progress,” Thompson told Givemesport.

“To come here and get this type of 200m performance and in the type of place I want to be, I think I’m in just the right position. I just need to continue to put in the work and execute.”

 

Rising United States sprinting talent Noah Lyles has admitted legendary Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt was right to question his championship mettle but hopes to silence all doubters at the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

The 22-year-old Lyles has recently featured prominently among the handful of names labeled as potentially next in line to inherit the throne vacated by the big Jamaican.

 To add fuel to the fire, Lyles recently clocked an impressive 19.50, the fourth-fastest time in the event’s history, in Lausanne, Switzerland last month.  While admitting that Lyles was unquestionably a huge talent, Bolt insisted he was waiting to see such performances replicated on the big stage.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him run, I’ve seen him compete,” Bolt told the New York Times.

“Last season he was doing a lot of good things, this season he has started off good. But as I said, it all comes down to the championship. Is he confident to come into a race after running three races and show up? For me, he has shown that he has talent, but when the championship comes, we will see what happens,” he added.

Lyles is yet to compete at a major championship and is also a threat over 100m but dropped the event from his schedule at the United States national championship to ensure full focus on the 200m.

“Sounds about right to me, sounds like my thoughts exactly,” Lyles said when shown the Bolt’s comments.

“It’s why I decided to run one event this year.”

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