Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive and a triple Olympic gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been named among 10 women contending for World Athletics’ Female Athlete of the Year.

The 29-year-old Jamaica, who became the first woman to successfully win 100 and 200m titles at consecutive Olympic Games, stunned the world this past summer in Tokyo when she ran an Olympic record of 10.61 to win gold in the 100m and then followed up with a 21.53-second run to take a second gold medal in the 200m. The 21.53 was also a Jamaican national record and, is the second-fastest time ever by a woman in the 200m.

She added a third gold medal when she ran the second leg of Jamaica’s victorious 4x100m relay team that ran a national record of 41.02, the third-fastest in history

Following the Olympics, Thompson-Herah ran times of 10.54, 10.64 and 10.65 to win the 100m Diamond League title and which made her the first woman in history to run faster than 10.70 on four separate occasions.

 However, notwithstanding her record-breaking performances, Thompson-Herah will not have things her own way because the nine other candidates also had incredible seasons.

Valarie Allman, USA of the USA is the Olympic discus champion and Diamond League champion and set a North American discus record of 71.16m.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn ran unbeaten during the season winning the Olympic title with a new Olympic and National record of 12.26, equaling fourth on the world all-time list.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won Olympic titles in the 5000m and 10,000m champion and was the silver medalist in the 1500m. She also broke the 10,000m world record during the season.

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon is the Olympic and Diamond League 1500m champion and set the Kenyan 1500m record of 3:51.07 in Monaco.

Mariya Lasitskene won the Olympic high jump and the Diamond League and set a world-leading 2.05m.

Sydney McLaughlin of the USA set two world records in the 400m hurdles on her to win her first Olympic title in Tokyo where she also won gold as a member of the USA’s 4x400m relay team.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won her second Olympic title in an area and national record 48.36. She joined Marie Jose Perec as the only woman to win 400m gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games.

She also set a North American Indoor 400m record of 50.21 in April.

Athing Mu of the USA won gold medals in the 800m and 4x400m relay in Tokyo. She also set a World U20 indoor 800m record and North American U20 records at 400m and 800m.

Yulimar Rojas set a new World and Olympic record of 15.67m while winning the gold medal in the triple jump in Tokyo. She was also the Diamond League champion.

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a 'like' on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

 The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.

 Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Saturday 6 November. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men finalists will be announced by World Athletics.

 The female and male World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2021 in December.

Stephen Francis, coach of Jamaica-based track club MVP, has backed quarter-miler Stefenie Ann Mcpherson to recover from the disappointment of the Olympic Games and is confident she still has plenty of time to claim an individual major Games medal.

The 32-year-old runner finished just outside of the medal places in Tokyo, after being caught and passed close to the finish line by USA legend Alisson Felix who captured the final podium spot.  The race was won in dominant fashion by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo with second place going to the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino.

McPherson’s finishing time of 49.61 was much slower than her season-best of 49.34, which had been recorded in the event's semi-final.  The athlete collapsed violently sobbing after the event.  Francis admits that the athlete’s time in the final was a bit of a surprise but believes she is poised to recover and post exceptional performances in the upcoming season.

“It was disappointing because I thought she would have run 48 high in the 400m (Olympic final),” Francis told Sportsmax.Tv in a recent interview.

“She is, however, young enough and determined enough that she will be able to try again,” he added.

McPherson, the event’s reigning national champion, returned to training with the majority of the club’s athletes earlier this week.

 

Jamaica discus thrower Fedrick Dacres is looking forward to bouncing back strongly in the upcoming season after an admittedly difficult 2021.

The World Athletics Championships silver medallist missed out on the final of the Men's Discus Throw, at the Olympics in Tokyo, after throwing a best mark of 62.91m.  The mark was well below his personal best of 70.78 but the thrower has struggled to get close to the distance, set two years ago, after undergoing a series of surgeries.

“This year has been my hardest year in track and field because of the whole surgery thing.  I think overall I have done overall five surgeries in six years but this was the hardest,” Dacres said.

It was really the (throwing) hand, I’ve done a few knee surgeries done surgery on the other hand but it wasn’t the main hand.  So, for me coming back this year I struggled but it is what it is,” he added.

The athlete did, however, stage a rebound of sorts after throwing 65.33 to finish in third place at the Wanda Diamond League final last month.

“I think I finished well, not too well at the Olympics, but coming third at the Diamond League isn’t so bad.  I’ll take that as I push for next year.”

MVP coach Stephen Francis is confident 2019 Long Jump World Champion Tajay Gayle is set to make a serious foray into the sprints in the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old, who has completely recovered from an injury that negatively impacted his performance at Olympics, showed off some good ability in the 100m sprints last year.

Despite specializing in the jumps, Gayle showed plenty of speed over the distance after clocking 10.18 in May of last year.  The athlete’s best time over double the distance is 21.18.

“I think Tajay will be in the position to do a lot more sprinting this year and I suspect that he will be in the position to challenge for the title of fastest Jamaican,” Francis said in an interview with SportsMax.Tv.

“As well as be able to defend his title as the best long jumper in the world,” he added.

Gayle had been hoping to add the Olympic title to the World title this summer and advanced to the final but injured his left knee in the process.  He was a result unable to secure a position in the final eight.

The fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah, has now confirmed her departure from MVP and has revealed that she is yet to assemble her team for the 2021/2022 track season that includes the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon next summer.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

“I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper has signed a three-year deal to become the newest brand ambassador for TruShake.

Tapper, the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in an Olympic 100m hurdles final, today formalized the agreement which takes effect from October 2021 and will run through to September 2024. Tapper finished third behind Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and the USA's Kendra Harrison in her history-making run in Tokyo in August.

“It means the world to me that I was chosen to represent the brand. It’s a great partnership. TruShake is a fairly new product in Jamaica and I am entering a new phase in my journey as an Olympic athlete. I am looking forward to us growing together,” said an excited Tapper after putting her signature to the deal at Funland Jamaica.

TruSHAKE is Trade Winds Citrus Limited’s locally manufactured milk-based nutrition shake developed for all ages and lifestyles. Tapper admits that TruShake is a great addition to her meal plan.

“Sometimes I do not feel like eating a heavy meal; it feels good to be able to have an affordable option that is healthy and tasty,” she said. “At times, I feel like whenever I eat healthily, I am sacrificing taste but that’s not the case with TruShake. So, it’s a great addition to my meal plan.”

Marketing Manager of Tradewinds Citrus, Lauren Mahfood explained that Tapper is a perfect fit for their brand. “Like most Jamaicans, we witnessed Megan’s outstanding talent at the Olympics this year and we were extremely proud of her performance on the world stage,” she said.

“Her infectious energy and incredible character made it clear that she was an all-around winner – a perfect fit for the TruShake brand.”

Tapper, who is also a motivational speaker, uses her platform to inspire young girls and women to seize the moment and to dream big. She explained that she will use this opportunity as TruShake’s brand ambassador, to continue her work to motivate and encourage Jamaicans to eat and live healthy so they can achieve their optimum physical goals.

 “Megan is an incredible ambassador for Jamaica and as a Jamaican brand, we look forward to seeing her compete locally and internationally, representing with passion and focus as always,” said Mahfood.

Tapper will be looking to be on the podium once more at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and Budapest, Hungary, respectively as well as the lucrative Diamond League circuit before she aims for another Olympic medal in Paris in 2024.

Jamaica will be represented in several sports at the first-ever Junior Pan-American Games which is scheduled to take place in the city of Cali in Colombia between November 25 and December 5, 2021.

Responding to the call made by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) earlier this year, several juniors from the so-called "smaller sports" dedicated their efforts in qualifying and have now earned a coveted place at the historic games.

Among those sports, whose athletes will don the black green and gold national colours in Cali, are Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Artistic Gymnastics, Fencing, Badminton Triathlon, Tennis, Cycling (Track), Skateboarding and Squash.

In commending the commitment of member associations and the nation's juniors, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, said: "Our associations and federations and their juniors have responded positively and with national pride to the JOA's Cali call to action for it will be for us, 'business unusual' in Cali and for them, it will be 'signed, sealed and delivered."

The JOA boss, in expressing a well-known policy of the national governing body, further stated "the JOA is giving our young sportsmen and women every opportunity to transition and be more than gold medalists - to be standard-bearers. The JOA subscribes to this ideal and Cali is certainly embracing it."

The number of local sports that will feature at the multi-sport junior games is indeed a record for the JOA and is being interpreted by its Secretary-General and CEO, Ryan Foster, as "a clear signal that the JOA's strategy of diversification is working well and that our members are inspiring their junior athletes to be history-makers and to strive for excellence."

With the Santiago 2023 Senior Pan-American Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games only two and three years away respectively, the JOA views the Cali games as a critical milestone. Secretary-General Foster, in giving the context, was unequivocal. "Cali is a dress rehearsal for our juniors. If you want to be at the senior shows, you have to, from now, dress for the shows, study the scripts and be able to deliver yourself on the big stages."

The stage lights in Cali will soon be turned on to spotlight over 3,800 athletes from the Caribbean and Americas - north, central and south -who will compete across 315 events in 28 sports and "Jamaica will be their centre stage and the objective is to have a leading role in this historic event," President Samuda said.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) is to investigate allegations that two Belarus coaches tried to force sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya to board a flight home from the Tokyo Olympics.

Tsimanouskaya claimed Artur Shimak and Yury Maisevich took her to the airport against her will after she criticised the coaches on social media.

The 24-year-old finished fourth in her 100 metres heat, before being pulled out of the Games by Belarusian officials.

Due to also compete in the 200m, she claimed a Belarusian coach entered her for the 4x400m relay despite her never having raced in the event before.

Tsimanouskaya said she did not feel safe returning to her homeland amid a crackdown on anti-government dissent following mass protests that erupted last year over a disputed election.

She flew to Warsaw rather than Belarus after being granted a humanitarian visa by Poland. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revoked Shimak and Maisevichas' accreditation in August after launching an investigation into the saga.

The IOC and World Athletics on Thursday revealed that the AIU will look into the matter.

World Athletics and the IOC stated: "Further to the incident involving Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the decision taken by the IOC to cancel and remove the accreditations of the two coaches, Messrs A. Shimak and Y. Maisevich, as a provisional measure during the Games, the IOC and World Athletics have jointly agreed to continue the investigation and to open a formal procedure vis-à-vis the two aforementioned coaches. 

"To this effect, and given that the Olympic Games have now concluded, it has been decided that the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) – the independent body created by World Athletics to manage all integrity issues (both doping-related and non-doping-related) for the sport of athletics – will conduct the procedure, with the full collaboration and support of the IOC. 

"The AIU will publish the outcome of its investigation when this has been finalised."

 

Greg Rutherford is dreaming of becoming the first athlete in almost 100 years to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Games after being named in Great Britain's bobsleigh squad ahead of Beijing 2022.

The 34-year-old won gold for Britain in the long jump event on home soil at London 2012 and followed that up with a bronze in Rio four years later.

Rutherford announced his retirement from athletics in July 2018 and started training in the bobsleigh five months ago.

He has now confirmed that he made the cut for GB's five-man squad that will now attempt to qualify for the upcoming Winter Games, which takes place in February 2022.

"A massive milestone has been hit in my bobsleigh journey," Rutherford posted on Instagram. "A few weeks ago we had our trials and I managed to qualify for the British team to compete this winter!

"The team now has to qualify for the Olympic Games by placing well on the World Cup circuit (as does every team).

"This has been a huge undertaking, going from a very retired former athlete, to retraining in a new sport and qualifying for the team. A massive thank you to everyone who's helped thus far.

"We start competing in a couple of months' time with the medal dream very much alive."

Only six British athletes have ever contested at both the Summer and Winter Games, most recently former sprinter and bobsledder Allyn Condon in 2000. None of them have won medals at either event.

Rutherford told the Guardian: "There were a few doubters when I said I wanted to make the Winter Olympics in April, but I always back and believe in myself, and I am absolutely delighted to have been selected.

"I am extremely confident we can qualify for Beijing and go on to achieve something very special."

There have been just six previous examples of athletes from any country winning medals at both the Summer and Winter Games.

Eddie Eagan (in 1920 and 1932) and Gillis Grafstrom (in 1920 and both 1924 and 1928) set the benchmark for Rutherford by taking gold at both, although the latter competed in the same sport – figure skating – on each occasion.

Eagen built on his light-heavyweight boxing triumph in the four-man bobsled.

Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, set for December 5, will go virtual again this year, the organizers of the annual event – the Jamdammers Running Club of Kingston - have announced.

In 2020, the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K went virtual for the first time and the organizers were very pleased with the level of participation with runners from 30 countries, including Jamaica, being represented virtually.

However, with the pandemic continuing to pose challenges they have decided to go a similar route this year.

“We understand that the runners and walkers from Jamaica and about 30 countries across the globe will be disappointed that they will not be able to participate personally in the races. We have sought to find a solution that is in the best interest of all concerned,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director.

As part of the virtual staging, participants in the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K event will be required to complete their run between November 13 and December 5, 2021, on a course of their choice, Mr Francis noted.   However, he noted that local and international runners will also have the choice of running along the Reggae Marathon course in Negril.

The Reggae Marathon organizers are encouraging this year's participants in the virtual event to recreate a spirit of celebration as if they were in Negril, wherever they run and share their experiences via the event's social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Runners and walkers who had previously registered for the in-person event from 2020 through to 2021 will have their places secured for the in-person race set for December 4, 2022.

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah has poured cold water on reports that she is leaving MVP Track Club.

She has described those reports as rumours and said she is on a well-deserved break following her record-breaking season during which she became the first woman to successfully defend 100 and 200m titles at the same Olympic Games.

Reports emerged on Thursday that following her outstanding season, Thompson-Herah had taken a decision to leave MVP and going forward will be coached by her husband, Derron Herah.

Late Thursday, the 2021 Diamond League 100m champion appeared on the Brother from Another show on NBC Sports, denouncing the reports.

"I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to create some sort of news to distract the world so it's rumours of course. I have seen articles in the media that I have died before, more than once. There are always rumours in the media, they are always targeting me, I don't know why,” she told hosts, Michael Smith and Michael Holley.

"It's probably because I didn't show up at practice. I am still on my rest period, so maybe they are just speculating why I am not at practice, but I just came back from the international circuit and we normally get like a month's rest and I am in my second week.”

Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record of 10.61 while defending her Olympic 100m title and 21.53 to win back-to-back titles in the 200m. She won a third gold on Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team. After the Olympics, she ran the fastest series of times in history – 10.54, 10.64, 10.72 and 10.65 –  to close out the season as the only woman to run four wind-legal times faster than 10.70.

 

On the heels of her record-breaking, history-making season Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah is reportedly parting ways with MVP Track Club, just under 18 months after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce departed to join Elite Performance.

Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited through its Purity Bakery brand is in discussions to formalize a professional relationship with Olympic relay gold medalist and 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

In the midst of her post-Olympic campaign, Shericka Jackson, who won a bronze medal in the 100m in a Jamaican sweep of the event at the Tokyo Olympics in August and then a gold medal anchoring the 4x100m relay in a new national record of 41.02, was missing home.

On September 3, she tweeted about the things she was missing the most – two curry patties from Devon House, 3 grapefruit ice creams also from Devon House, chocolate, two cheese patties and two Purity Buns.

The tweet generated more than 3000 likes and was retweeted more than 300 times and eventually caught the attention of Purity Bakery, who simply responded “We got you.”

They sure did.

Earlier Monday, less than 48 hours after Jackson returned to Jamaica for the first time since July, Purity delivered on their promise with a package of Purity buns for the Jamaican star but also several palettes of product for members of her community.

“@sherickajacko just touch dung and got her Purity bun and products courtesy of Purity Jamaica,” the company tweeted.

“She also got buns for her community. We love you Shericka and we’re proud of all you did for us on an international scale.”

 Could this be the start of something sweet for Jackson and Purity.

 

 

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