Jamaica Olympic champion Omar McLeod expressed disappointment with a stumbling fifth-place finish at IAAF Diamond League, in Rabat on Sunday.

After getting off to a trademark quick start, it was McLeod who led the race most of the way.  He was, however, always under pressure from Sergey Shubenkov who close quickly as the Jamaican lost his form over the final two barriers.

McLeod tripped on the final barrier and in the process also clearing out the feet of Shubenkov.  The Russian was as a result, however, catapulted clear over the line.  Having lost all momentum, the Jamaican rolled over the line in fifth spot.  Shubenkov stopped the clocked at 13.12, with Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi next over the line in 13.30.  Brazil’s Gabriel Constantino was third in 13.41.  McLeod was recorded with a time of 13.48.

 “I am not really satisfied with finishing fifth as I was aiming to win. The race was very quick and tough. I was running very fast but unfortunately I fell at the finish line,” a dissatisfied McLeod explained.

 

Jamaica discus thrower Fedrick Dacres, set a new national record and world lead, after registering a massive 70.78 to get the better of Sweden’s Daniel Ståhl at the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday.

The tight finish was, however, somewhat controversial. Initially, the victory had been awarded to Ståhl as Dacres’ massive throw, registered in the third round, was recorded as a foul.  After an appeal, however, the throw was validated, which also gave the Jamaican the meeting and Diamond League record.

Ståhl, who recorded his best throw of 69.94 in the third round, was as a result dropped to second place, with Austria’s Lukas Weisshaidinger registering a season-best of 68.14 for third.  With many initially believing Ståhl to be the winner, the IAAF later clarified the initial cause for the mix-up with a posting of the official results via its official Twitter handle.  The 25-year-old Dacres has dominated the event locally and claimed the 2018 Diamond League discus title. 

The record eclipsed the athlete's previous best of 69.67, set in Stockholm Sweden last year.  The result also moved Dacres to third place, on 15 points, in the Diamond qualification standing, just behind Weisshaidinger (19).  Ståhl leads the pack with 24 points.

 

 

Caster Semenya has been invited to compete in the Diamond League meeting in Rabat this weekend after initially being denied entry.

Semenya was again cleared to compete without restriction on Thursday when the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland (SFT) rejected an IAAF request to reimpose a new ruling limiting testosterone in female athletes.

The double Olympic 800 metres champion is challenging the IAAF's decision to introduce restrictions on testosterone levels in women competing at distances ranging from 400m to a mile.

Semenya should be free to run while she awaits an SFT verdict on her case, but was told on Tuesday that the president of the Moroccan Athletics Federation would not permit her to compete in Rabat on Sunday.

Race organisers backtracked after taking note of the SFT's refusal to reimpose the IAAF ruling.

A statement released by race organisers on Friday said: "After checking the situation of Caster Semenya in view of the decisions of the Swiss Federal Court, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the head of the sports centre and sports organisation of the international athletics meeting in Rabat, Mr. Alain Blondel, is happy to confirm her invitation to participate in the 800m race of the said meeting on Sunday 16 June 2019."

Semenya is also hoping to run in the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in California on June 30.

Shanieka Ricketts was not too disappointed she lost her triple-jump world lead to Caterine Ibarguen at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo on Thursday. She believes fatigue may have played a part in her not getting a jump better than the mark she produced for third place.

Jamaica’s sprint hurdles queen Brigitte Foster-Hylton has come out in praise of Janeek Brown, who broke her 16-year-old national record on Saturday.

2018 Continental Cup champion Fedrick Dacres won discus gold on Tuesday at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland where two other Caribbean throwers produced podium-worthy performances.

At the start of the season Kansas State University triple jumper, Shardia Lawrence set a target of achieving a mark of 14 metres by season’s end. She fell one centimetre short, but it was good enough to win the 2019 NCAA Division 1 title in Texas on Saturday.

Coach Chris Johnson believes Janeek Brown could have gone faster when she won her NCAA sprint hurdles title on the weekend and that she will definitely go faster in the future.

The University of Arkansas will back 2019 NCAA Division 1 100m hurdles champion, Janeek Brown, on her quest to compete at the IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Doha, Qatar come September.

Caster Semenya has been included in South Africa's preliminary squad for the IAAF World Championships in Doha.

The two-time Olympic 800 metres champion is awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in a bid to overturn a new IAAF ruling.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled that the IAAF could implement a regulation that would require Semenya to take medication to lower her testosterone levels in order to compete against women in track events ranging from 400m to a mile.

The Swiss Supreme Court has stated that Semenya can compete without restrictions while it considers her appeal, although athletics' governing body is seeking a "swift reversion" of this order.

The final decision on the ruling will determine whether the 28-year-old is able to compete in the World Championships in September.

Athletics South Africa (ASA) has named Semenya among 40 athletes in its preliminary group.

However, ASA notes that Semenya's inclusion is still subject to the Swiss Supreme Court verdict.

Semenya ruled out retiring after winning the 800m at the Diamond League event in Doha last month, two days after the CAS ruling was announced.

Decorated Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sounded a warning to her rivals after registering an impressive season's best and meet record to claim the women’s 100m title at the Racers Grand Prix meet, in Kingston, on Saturday.

In trademark style, the pocket rocket, as she is commonly known, blasted away from the field before stopping the clock at 10.88.  Fraser-Pryce led wire-to-wire and finished a third of a second ahead of second place Jonielle Smith and Michelle-Lee Ayhe who both clocked 11.20.

The win was the third in a row at the meet for the diminutive Jamaican but more importantly, she believed the result puts her in good shape ahead of the country’s national trials.

“This is my third victory here and honestly I’m happy with the time of 10.88 as I’ve always wanted to lower the meet record to under 11 seconds,” said Fraser-Pryce. “I couldn’t have asked for more and I’m really looking forward to the national trials in two weeks.”

In the men’s equivalent, Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes just about covered the field to win the men’s 100m in a season’s best of 9.97 (0.9m/s) ahead of Yohan Blake 10.01 and Kendal Williams 10.13.

Briana Williams continues to be the fastest junior in Jamaica after she clocked 11.02 seconds today at the 2019 Great Southwest Track and Field Classic. 

Jamaica’s Janeek Brown is now the fastest woman over the 100 metres hurdles this year and the quickest her country has ever seen. 

Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Fred Kerley headline the international stars who will compete at the 2019 edition of the Racers Adidas Grand Prix on Saturday at the National Stadium in Kingston.

The meet, which is in its fourth year, is scheduled to begin at 6:50 pm with the women’s triple jump.

Jamaica will be represented by the likes of two-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the country’s top discus thrower Fedrick Dacres, former world 100m champion Yohan Blake and the exciting pair of quarter-milers Akeem Bloomfield and Nathon Allen.

Fraser-Pryce, 32, has entered the spotlight only because she clocked 10.97 seconds on May 25 at a Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association All-Comers meet at the National Stadium.

Interesting, the 10.97 clocking represents the fastest time Fraser-Pryce has registered since returning to international competition in early June of 2018 after giving birth to her son Zyon, almost two years ago.

The 10.97 seconds at the time, represented the second fastest of the year behind Kayla White of the USA with 10.96. However, 12 days after Fraser-Pryce’s 10.97 clocking, her MVP Track Club training partner Elaine Thompson,  the 2016 Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion,  send a strong message with a world-leading 10.89 seconds to beat Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (10.94) at the Rome Diamond League meeting to push Fraser-Pryce’s 10.97 to fourth in the world.

Fraser-Pryce will try to respond to Thompson’s 10.89 clocking on Saturday as she attempts a second straight victory at the meet.  Her only danger in the field is 2018 Commonwealth champion Michelle-Lee Aye of Trinidad and Tobago, whose best time this season is 11.23 seconds, the 37th fastest this year.

Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas will also target a second straight victory at the meet. She scored a runaway victory in the women’s 200m in 22.11 seconds at last year’s staging. This year, Miller-Uibo will compete in the 400m, the event where she won a dramatic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In a thrilling finish in Rio, Miller-Uibo stumbled and then dived across the line as she edged out American world champion Allyson Felix to win in 49.44 seconds.

Interestingly, Miller-Uibo will face off with American Phyllis Francis, who scored a shock victory over the 6-foot-1 inch Bahamian and Felix over the distance at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in Rio.

Miller-Uibo is the world's leading 400m runner. In an undefeated 2018 season across all distances, the Bahamian clocked a lifetime best of 48.97 to move to 10th on the world all-time list. She started her 2019 campaign with a bang, recording 49.05 in her opening 400m race of the season on April 24 in Florida. That time represents the fastest in the world at the distance. Christine Day, Chrisann Gordon, Junelle Broomfield, and Anastasia Le-Roy are the Jamaicans in the field.

Kerley, who was caught on the line by Kirani James in 2018, is back again to contest the 400m.

James, a 400m gold and silver medalist at the last two Olympics, was announced to compete but is not on the meet programme.

As a result, Kerley, the eighth fastest male quarter-miler on the world all-time list with 43.70 seconds recorded on May 26, 2017 in Austin, will face off with Trinidadian Machel Cedenio, who ran the race of his life to lead his country to gold medal in the 4x400m relay at the IAAF World Relays in Yokohama, Japan. In an epic finish, Cedenio managed to nick Paul Dedewo, who fell at the finish. America was later disqualified for a lane infringement as Trinidad won in a world-leading time of 3:00.81.

Kerley is the 10th fastest in the world this year with 44.81, while Cedenio is the 15th fastest with 45.03.

The Jamaican challenge will be led by 2018 NCAA Division 1 400m bronze medallist Nathon Allen, who turned pro just last year and has a personal best of 44.19.  Javon Francis, who left Akan Track Club last year to train in the United States and national 400m record holder Rusheen McDonald and Demish Gaye are also down to compete.

Bloomfield is expected to win the men’s 200m, the final event on the programme at 10:00 pm. The 21-year-old Bloomfield, who has a personal best of 19.81, will face off with Great Britain's Delano Williams, Canada's Brendon Rodney. Four other Jamaicans are in the race. They are Rasheed Dwyer, Warren Weir, Julian Forte, and Nigel Ellis.

Earlier, Blake and Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes will face off in the men’s 100m at 8:20 pm.

Blake is the fastest in the field this season with a 9.98 clocking, which represents the eighth fastest in the world this year behind Americans Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman and  Nigerian Divine Oduduru, all with 9.89 seconds.

Hughes, the defending champions, has the 19th fastest time this year with 10.03. Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica is also in the lineup.

The meet will feature 164 athletes from 19 countries competing in 19 events.

Following the successful defence of his NCAA javelin title on Wednesday, Anderson Peters said he is closer to achieving his goals this season and plans to be on the podium at the IAAF World Championships in Doha in September.

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