Shaunae-Miller-Uibo has called foul on the decision to dismiss charges against Salwa Eid Nasser and has called for the formation of an independent athletes’ body in a bid to maintain the integrity of the sport.

I recently had a rather eye-opening conversation with an 18-year old about one of Jamaica’s greatest ever female sprinters Merlene Joyce Ottey.

I would say this young man has a strong working knowledge of sports but especially of Jamaican athletes and their accomplishments.

It, therefore, struck me by surprise when the name Merlene Ottey did not resonate with him, certainly not in the way I would have expected.

It isn’t that he hadn’t heard the name before but the significance of it did not immediately dawn on him, not in the way speaking of a modern star like Usain Bolt or Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce would.  Sadly, I find this of most I speak to from the younger generation.

I will admit when Ottey was in her prime his generation would not have been born but to me, she is such a legendary figure that her legacy of placing Jamaica and the English-speaking Caribbean on the female track and field map must never be forgotten.

And so, I took the opportunity to educate this youngster about Ottey and her stunning career, from becoming the first English-speaking Caribbean female to win an Olympic medal in 1980, to her switch to and subsequent major appearances for Slovenia post the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

I especially focused on some narrow misses for World and Olympic 100 metres gold at the 1993 Stuttgart World Championships and the 1996 Olympics, on both occasions narrowly, and some would say controversially, losing to American Gail Devers.

This young man seemed in awe, as he should be.

“She was cute too,” he said as he watched the 1993 IAAF World Championship 200 metres final when she finally won a global outdoor gold medal.

So many youngsters are unaware of the history and believe Jamaica’s track and field success started at the Beijing Games with Bolt and company.

But since 1948, the world has respected what we have offered in the global track and field space and for 20 years 1980-2000, Ottey stood front and centre as the leading figure not only but especially for women in the English-speaking Caribbean.  

She won nine Olympic medals, including 7 in individual events, the most by any woman in track and field.

She backed that up with 14 World Outdoor medals and 7 World Indoor medals and she still holds the 200m world indoor record at 21.87 seconds.

Just this week, Ottey was again recognised at the National Honours and Awards ceremony on Heroes’ Day, receiving the country’s fourth highest honour, The Order of Jamaica.

This is a well-deserved and timely reminder of the greatness of the woman.

She was dubbed “Bronze Queen” as 15 of her 30 global medals, indoors and out, were of that variety.  She had many narrow misses for gold but Merlene Ottey’s impact in inspiring generations of Caribbean female sprinters is worth honouring and celebrating even to this day.

So, this is in honour of Merlene Ottey.

May we never forget her impact on Jamaica, the Caribbean, and indeed global track and field.  

World 400 metres champion Salwa Eid Naser has had anti-doping violation charges dismissed by a World Athletics tribunal.

The 22-year-old, who won gold in Doha last year with the third-fastest time in history of 48.14 seconds, was provisionally suspended in June after being charged with four whereabouts violations.

She was charged with a filing failure dated to March 16 last year, effective of January 1, and three missed tests on March 12, 2019, April 12, 2019 and January 24, 2020.

Naser admitted to missing three drug tests but insisted it was "normal" and "can happen to anybody" and made it clear she has "never been a cheat".

One of the four charges was dismissed because the doping control officer, confused by the numbering of the apartments where Naser lives, accidentally knocked on a storage-room door rather than her residence.

World Athletics said "it would be wrong to be critical" of the official as he "committed to do everything possible to locate and test the athlete", including returning to the address later that day before seeing if she was present at the Bahraini National Stadium.

Because the other missed tests were not within a 12-month period, Naser has not violated anti-doping rules.

However, in its ruling, the tribunal warned Naser that her missed test in January 2020 still stands against her and strongly advised that she seeks advice in using the Anti-Doping Administration & Management System (ADAMS) to prevent future complications.

"This was a case very much on the borderline, and we hope the athlete will learn from the experience and heed the AIU's warnings," the tribunal said.

The AIU has 30 days in which to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Charges of missing three drug tests within a 12-month period against Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser have been dismissed by an Independent Panel administered by Sport Resolutions in the United Kingdom.

The decision came after the tribunal dismissed a missed test after the tester knocked on a storage unit door rather than her apartment.

Naser was provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit on June 5, for missing three drug tests prior to her participation in the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha Qatar where she won gold in the 400m in 48.14s the third fastest time in history.

The athlete was pleased about the outcome.

"Ms. Naser is, of course, extremely happy with the outcome. As one can imagine, this has been quite the ordeal for her and she can now put this behind her and focus on her training," said her representative Dr Emir Crowne.

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shaunae Miller-Uibo ended their respective seasons with the number-one rankings in the 100m and 200m, respectively in what was a track season like no other.

The 2019/2020 track season was characterized by meet cancellations and the introduction of virtual formats because the pandemic that has been sweeping the globe since March. However, meets gradually returned largely before empty stadia but many athletes still managed to deliver world-class performances.

Among them was the 2016 double Olympic champion who was fastest in the world over 100m for 2020.

Thompson Herah’s 10.85 set in Rome on September 17 beat out her compatriot and rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who ended her year ranked second by virtue of the 10.86s run at the Velocity Fest meeting in Kingston’s National Stadium on August 22.

Rising star Sha’ Carri Richardson, in her first full season as a professional, was third fastest with 10.95.

The Bahamian sprint queen was equally impressive in the year in which she set a personal best of 10.98s in the 100m and the world’s best time of 21.98 in the 200m at the Back to the Track Meeting in Clermont, Florida on July 25.

Richardson capped her great year with a personal best 22.00 that was the second fastest for 2020 while Thompson Herah’s 22.19 ranked her third in the world for the year.

Miller-Uibo, who last year set 48.37 the sixth fastest time in history over the 400m was only second best for 2020 with 50.52 set in Monteverde, Florida on July 4. That time was only bettered by Lynna Irby’s 50.50, the fastest time in the world this year.

Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands clocked 50.98, which made her third best in the world for the year.

Double World U20 champion, Pan Am Games U20 champion, NACAC U18 champion and world-record holder are just some of the titles owned by Jamaica’s rising track star Briana Williams.

She has now added a new title; homeowner.

The 18-year-old university student acquired the keys to her home in Florida and she couldn’t be happier. She showed off her new home on social media saying “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

The excitement was still palpable when she spoke with Sportsmax.TV

“Purchasing my first house was a dream come true for me, especially at 18 you don’t see that much,” she said.

“I’m so happy and excited about this big step I took. This is what I couldn’t wait for! It was a long process but I enjoyed and learned a lot from it.”

After an outstanding year in 2019, when she won many titles and set a new Jamaica U20 record, Williams signed a multi-year deal with Nike in January. She has recently began training in anticipation of making Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo, Olympics in Japan next summer.

 

Despite enjoying an outstanding 2020 track season World 400m hurdles champion, Karsten Warholm does not believe he is the man to replace Usain Bolt as the face of track and field. In fact, he believes no one can.

The 24-year-old Warholm came incredibly close to Kevin Young’s world record of 46.78 set back in 1992, when he ran 46.87, a European record, at the Diamond League meeting in Stockholm in August.

Warholm also became the first athlete to run 47.10 or faster over the 400m hurdles multiple times during the course of a single season. He did it four times.

His remarkable performances made him the standout star in 2020 as every time he raced fans expected him to challenge or break the world record.

During a recent chat on Instagram Live with Olympian and athletics broadcaster Ato Boldon, Warholm was asked he if was ready to assume the mantle of the man to replace Usain Bolt. Achieving that, he said, would be impossible.

"When Usain Bolt came into the sport, he didn't have anyone right before him that... He didn't have any shoes to fill at that point,” he said.

"Now everybody talks about who's going to be the next Usain Bolt. Nobody is going to be the next Usain Bolt! Nobody is going to be the next Ato Boldon either.

"I think everybody's got to find their own way, Usain Bolt was huge so it's an honour just being compared to him but for me it's always been about developing.

"I don't want to build myself up as the face of the sport or the next Usain because for me it's about the running. If what comes with it is that people get inspired by what I'm doing, then I think that's great."

Three-time Olympian Sherone Simpson will be the patron for the inaugural Team Jamaica Bickle Virtual 5K run/walk set to take place between October 9 and 24. Team Jamaica Bickle hopes to raise US$25,000 from the event that will go towards supporting athlete welfare in the coming year.

This was announced during an online press conference hosted by TJB Chairman Irwin Claire on Friday morning.

The funds raised will support TJB’s programs, mainly its hospitality services which include the provision of meals, transportation, accommodations and medical care for Caribbean athletes participating at the annual Penn Relays Carnival at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. The organization also embarked on a Defibrillator to Schools program approximately six years ago ensuring that these life-saving devices are available to athletes participating in sports at high schools in Jamaica.

TJB are hoping to attract 1000 participants who are being asked to register via either the TJB website or https://events.elitefeats.com/bickle20.

Once registered, participants have approximately two weeks from October 9-24, 2020, to complete their run or walk and upload their time using the Strava APP which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play Store. Two lucky runners will be awarded automatic entry to the Reggae Marathon, which will be held virtually this year. There will also be10n prizes, awarded to five males and five females. The announcement of these prizes will take place on Sunday October 25, 2020 at 12 noon and will be streamed live on Jamaicans.com, on TJB’s Facebook Page and its other Social Media Platforms.

Marvin Anderson, president of the Olympian Association of Jamaica, said the 5K run/walk fits perfectly with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between his association and TJB that was signed earlier this year.

Grace Kennedy, JTB, Caribbean Food Delights, Jamaicans.com, Energice, Reggae Marathon, Awesome Power Track Club, Joseph Sports LLC and True Tribute Organization are sponsors of the event.

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce boasts a treasure trove of gold medals from the many global finals she has won since she burst onto the scene at the Beijing Olympics 12 years ago. She has set many records along the way including the first woman to win a sprint treble at a World Championships in Moscow in 2013, or becoming the first Jamaican woman to win Olympic 100m gold in Beijing in 2008.

However, the 33-year-old veteran, in an interview on the Olympic channel, said her greatest victory occurred at the 2019 World Championships in Doha where became the first athlete to win four 100m World titles.

Winning her first world title after giving birth, made it extra special.

 “My greatest win is coming back and having my son and winning that World Championships,” said Fraser Pryce who took home two gold medals from Doha. She was also a member of Jamaica’s winning 4x100m relay team.

“For a lot of times in my life I have been told what I can do, what I cannot do and what is attainable for me; and here I am putting everything to the test, understanding that we are not limited, we are so much more, we are powerful, we are strong.

“Having my son rejuvenated me mentally, spiritually and emotionally.”

The two gold medals Fraser-Pryce won in Doha brought her World Championships gold medal tally to nine.

 

 

 

 

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Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has targeted breaking the 10.70-second barrier as she goes for an unprecedented third Olympic title in Tokyo next year.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has acquired a mobile testing unit to increase the testing capacity of the organization.

 The newly retrofitted unit was officially handed over to the commission, by the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport in a ceremony held at JADCO on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

The mobile testing unit which is disabled-friendly consists of wheelchair ramps, support railings, restrooms for doping control, waiting areas to accommodate athletes and support personnel and storage areas.

The unit will allow the Commission to conduct more In-Competition and Out-of-Competition tests in remote locations and will increase the efficiency of the national anti-doping programme.

“This has been a dream for us and today our dream is a reality. I am going to be unveiling and launching this mobile unit that will be one of two such anti-doping mobile units that exists in the world, operated by a National Anti-Doping Organization,” said Minister Grange.

“So Jamaica has now introduced the unit and the only other National Anti-Doping Organization in the world that has a similar unit is the Japan Anti-Doping Agency, so we are very proud to be one of two.”

Chairman of JADCO, Alexander Williams said he was pleased to announce that the deployment of this mobile unit will expand the testing capacity of the commission. “It will also improve the service we provide and enable us to travel across the island to test Jamaican athletes in a secure environment that meets the required international standards,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jamaican sprinter hurdler Megan Tapper expressed her satisfaction that JADCO had now improved its capabilities as the country strives to support clean sport.

“I am super impressed with the JADCO bus,” said the 2019 World Championships finalist.
“I am happy that our government and our anti-doping agency are looking to the future and making us world leaders not only on the track but in anti-doping.”

JADCO was formally established in 2008 to execute the national anti-doping programme in accordance with the standards stipulated by the international governing body, the World Anti-Doping Agency. JADCO’s mission is to foster a dope free environment in Jamaica that promotes the ethics and spirit of sport through education, testing, advocacy and coordination of an effective anti-doping programme in Jamaica.

Reigning Olympic double sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah kept up a recent run of good form, with another brilliant performance, this time at the Doha Diamond League meet on Friday.

Thompson-Herah blitzed a field that included World Championship silver-medalist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, to stop the clock at 10.87 seconds.  Although slightly slower than the 10.85 recorded in Rome last week, it maintained an impressive run of form for the sprinter.  The time was the fifth sub-11 mark for the athlete this season.

The Jamaican, whose 10.85 seconds is the fastest time in the world this season, also owns four of the top six times in the world with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce having the second and third best times.

The athlete, who has been plagued by Achilles issues in recent years, had a fair start before seizing control of the field before the midway point of the race and later pulling clear down the stretch.  Talou was a distant second behind Thompson, stopping the clock at 11.21, with American Kayla White finishing third in 11.25.

In the men’s 200m, Julian Forte ran a season's best 20.39 seconds to place second in the men's 200m.  The race was won by the Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cisse who ran a new national record 20.33 seconds, France's Christophe Lemaitre was third in 20.68 seconds.

 

 

  

Ashinia Miller said he enjoyed competing in the shot put at the Klando Hazi A Klandenski Memorial meeting in the Czech Republic last Thursday.

Jamaica’s Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has sought consensus and some direction from high school coaches regarding the possibility of staging the popular Boys and Girls Championship next year.

The event, which is typically staged in the month of March, was cancelled this year due to the credible threat of being a coronavirus super spreader event.  Since then, ISSA has announced the suspension of all school competitions scheduled for the Christmas term.

With no creditable solutions coming to the fore as yet regarding the best possible ways to returning to the staging of high school sports, amidst the pandemic, concerns had been raised regarding the protentional of next year’s event being cancelled as well.

In a letter issued to the coaches, ISSA was quick to point out that the December term cancellations had no impact on next year’s event.  But, in light of the need to satisfy restrictive COVID-19 protocols for staging the event, the body also pointed out that creative solutions were needed in order to host the competition.

“ISSA has cancelled all ISSA competitions scheduled for the 2020 Christmas term.  This decision, however, does not have any impact on the staging of the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships,” the letter read.

“However, the national COVID-19 protocols dictate that if Champs 2021 is to be a reality, then adjustments have to be made to the general structure and scheduling of the meet.  These changes could possibly have implications for the number of athletes, classes, events and days of Champs 2021,” it continued.

“We, therefore, invite each group of regional coaches (as per Regional Meets, Western, Central, Eastern, Corporate) to meet virtually amongst themselves and discuss possible suggestions as to what the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Champs may look like in the context of COVID-19.  It is expected that from the regional discussions, coaches will submit their suggestions via an appointed team leader by email.”

The coaches will have until October 2, to submit their suggestions.

Elaine Thompson-Herah said Thursday’s 100m win at the Diamond League meeting in Rome revealed what she needs to work on for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Thompson-Herah ran a world-leading 10.85s in a dominating performance at the Diamond League meeting in Rome. She was metres clear of the USA’s Aleia Hobbs (11.12) and the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, the bronze medallist from last year’s 100m final at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Thompson, who finished fourth in Doha in 10.93, said her performance on Thursday told her all she needed to know.

“I leave here with the world-leading time, I'm super excited,” she said.

“This tells me where I am at the end of this season, and tells me how I can prepare for next year. I am super excited.”

The Covid-19 pandemic enforced a lot of changes to the track season and Thompson-Herah admitted that it has been challenging. However, she has managed to find the motivation she needs while looking forward to the Olympics where she intends to defend her Olympic double from Rio 2016.

“This year required more adjusting, and my goal was to push back and to motivate myself,” she said. “I am a double Olympic champion, so I want to be in my top form next season. We had some competitions in Jamaica, but obviously, the field was not as strong as it is here.”

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