Jamaican thrower Ashinia Miller might have created history on Monday when he won the shot put competition at an Area Permit meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. Miller is most likely the first Jamaican track and field athlete to compete since the COVID19 pandemic shut all sports down globally in March.

In Estonia, Miller, the 2018 CAC Games silver medallist, won with a modest mark of 18.96m but just being able to compete has proven to be cathartic for the 26-year-old Jamaican.

For the last six months, Miller, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, has been living in nearby Lithuania and training with 2017 World discus champion Andrius Gudzius under the guidance of Coach Vaclovas Kidykas. He has been living with his fiancé, Dr Alma Adomaityte, is from Lithuania, about a six-hour drive from where he competed on Monday.

However, being in lockdown, unable to compete and therefore unable to earn, have proven to be quite stressful for the powerfully built Jamaican, who also laments a relative lack of support from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Competing, he confessed, has allowed him to relieve some of the stress.

“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be at the meet but I begged my fiancé, she’s a doctor; I begged her to let me go because the pandemic has been depressing,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “I’ve been sick. I have been to the ER like four times. Last week Monday, I spent the night in the hospital.

“I wasn’t supposed to go but it was mostly for mental health. I just wanted to go and feel alive again.”

That said, notwithstanding the win, Miller was not overly excited about his performance.

“The results weren’t good because I’ve been sick but I am happy about it, a little bit because it’s been tough going,” he said. “Jamaica hasn’t really helped.  The ministry of sports did send me money last month but I heard no more until next year.

“Everything has been tough: mentally, financially, everything’s been tough."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronald Koeman said Georginio Wijnaldum feels "so happy with this Dutch team" after his Netherlands side beat Estonia 5-0 without any signs of the racism that blighted a league game in the country two days earlier.

Excelsior winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira was subjected to alleged racist chanting during last week's 3-3 draw against Den Bosch in Eerste Divisie, prompting Wijnaldum to speak out about the problem of racism in football ahead of the final Netherlands Euro 2020 qualifying match at Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Wijnaldum went on to be the game's star player, netting the opening goal and going on to score two more, while Nathan Ake and Myron Boadu also got on the score sheet in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

Netherlands head coach Koeman revealed Wijnaldum was in high spirits after the match, and not just because of his goals.

"Gini just said something about it in the dressing room during our closing words with each other," Koeman told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

"He said he feels so happy with this Dutch team, where this problem does not occur.

"It is one team. It's nice to see that again."

Koeman made seven changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland three days earlier but still saw his players deliver a cohesive, confident performance.

While the likes of Ake, Wijnaldum, Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt were outstanding against Estonia, Koeman said he will utilise friendly matches in March to finalise his squad selections for Euro 2020.

"It would be very strange if everything was clear against Estonia in one evening," said Koeman. "We still have six months.

"We have a lot of young players who will be half a year later. It will be a fight. strong possible selection.

"You use March for points of discussion within the selection. I will therefore let many players play.

"We then play two international matches and have consciously opted for Thursday and Sunday. We will not play with the same team twice."

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