2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Julien Alfred made history despite a second-placed finish in the 200m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

She established a new personal best and St. Lucian national record 21.86 in finishing second behind American Gabby Thomas who ran a meet record 21.82 to win.

After narrowly missing out on medals in both the 100m and 200m at last year’s World Championships in Budapest, the 23-year-old looks set to leave Paris with at least one medal based on her excellent form this season.

In an interview with Trackstaa after her race in London, Alfred spoke about what it means to represent her country on the world stage.

“I feel honoured to be an ambassador for my tiny island every day I step on the track,” Alfred said.

“We’re small but we’re mighty and we have amazing talent in St. Lucia just waiting to come out,” added the former University of Texas standout.

The 2023 Bowerman Award winner went undefeated indoors at the beginning of the year, culminating in her first World Indoor Championship 60m title in Glasgow in March, before switching her focus outdoors in the build up to the Olympics.

In four 100m races this season, Alfred has produced times of 11.15 at the Texas Invitational on April 27, 10.93 at the Prefontaine Classic on May 25, a personal best 10.78 at the Racers Grand Prix on June 1 and 10.85 at the Monaco Diamond League on July 12, the last two races resulting in wins.

In her two 200m races before Saturday, she ran 22.58 at the Mt. Sac Relays on April 20 and 22.16 at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial on July 9.

Alfred, who currently lives and trains in Texas, plans to return home to St. Lucia at the end of her season.

“Oh Definitely. I haven’t been home to actually relax. It’s always been a quick in and out, especially this year in April, so I’ll get a chance to just go home, get back to my roots and go have fun and be with my people. That’s all I want,” she said.

“I miss the food, the people and the environment. Just being around family, being on the beach. It’s an absolutely amazing place,” she added.

 

Jamaica’s Jevaughn Powell and Trinidad & Tobago’s Leah Bertrand were among the Caribbean podium finishers at Friday’s Holloway Pro Classic in Gainesville, Florida.

Powell, who took third in the 400m at both the NCAA Championships and Jamaican National Championships in June, completed his final preparation for Paris with a 20.21 clocking for second in the 200m on Friday.

American Erriyon Knighton ran 19.92 to win while another American, Robert Gregory, ran 20.33 in third.

Bertrand, fresh off her second national 100m title in June, ran 11.18 for third behind American Candice Hill and Nigerian Favour Ofili. Hill and Ofili both ran the same time of 11.07.

The upcoming Olympic Games in Paris will be the first for the 21-year-old Ohio State Junior.

Bertrand's countrywoman, Tyra Gittens, was second in the long jump with a best mark of 6.37m in the sixth and final round. The event was won by American Tionna Tobias with a massive personal best of 6.94m while countrywoman Jasmine Todd was third with 6.17m.

Bahamian Charisma Taylor, who will be competing in the 100m hurdles in Paris, finished third in the triple jump on Friday with 13.63m.

American’s Kenturah Orji and Jasmine Moore finished first and second with 14.08m and 14.06m, respectively.

Jamaica’s Skyler Franklin ran 51.01 for third in the women’s 400m behind Americans Aaliyah Butler (50.14) and Bailey Lear (50.51).

British World Championship silver medallist signaled his intent to go one better at the Paris Olympics with a brilliant performance to win the 400m at the London Diamond League on Saturday.

In his home stadium, Hudson-Smith, whose mother hails from Hanover in Jamaica, covered the field in the first 300m before showcasing his endurance and strength in the last 100m on his way to a new personal best, national record and world leading 43.74, his first time under 44 seconds.

American Vernon Norwood ran a personal best 44.10 in second while Trinidadian Jereem Richards scaled to new heights in the event with a personal best of his own, 44.18, in third.

Signaling the speed on display in the race, Britain’s Charlie Dobson ran a personal best 44.23 in fourth while Olympic and World champion Kirani James’ season’s best 44.38 was only good enough for fifth.

The women’s 200m saw St. Lucian Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Julien Alfred produce a personal best and national record 21.86 for second.

American Olympic bronze medallist Gabby Thomas won in a meet record 21.82 while British 2019 World Champion Dina Asher-Smith was third in a season’s best 22.07.

The women’s 800m saw multiple time World Championship and Olympic finalist Natoya Goule-Toppin run a season’s best 1:56.83 for fourth.

Great Britain swept the top three spots led by World Championship silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson’s personal best, national record and world leading 1:54.61. Jemma Reekie was second in a personal best 1:55.61 while Georgia Bell also ran a personal best 1:56.28 in third.

 In a spectacular display of speed and strength, Jamaica's champion Nickisha Pryce set a new national record and world-leading time of 48.57 to win the 400m at the London Diamond League meet on Saturday. This remarkable performance comes as Pryce's final race before the Olympic Games, which kick off with the opening ceremony on July 26.

Pryce's incredible run saw her shatter her own national record of 48.89, previously set at the NCAA National Division 1 Championships in June. In a thrilling race, Pryce defeated European champion Natalia Kaczmarek, who also achieved a personal best and set a Polish national record with her time of 48.90. Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands finished third, clocking a personal best of 49.58.

In the men's 400m hurdles, Alison Dos Santos made a strong comeback from his recent defeat in Monaco, winning with a time of 47.18. Jamaica's Roshawn Clarke ran a season's best of 47.63 to secure second place, while Ismail Daudai Abakar of Bahrain finished third with a personal best of 47.72.

The women's 400m hurdles saw Netherlands' Femke Bol, fresh off her new lifetime best of 50.95, a European record, dominate the field. Bol clinched victory with a time of 51.30, while the USA's Shamier Little finished second in 52.78. Jamaica's Rushell Clayton earned third place with a time of 53.24, and her compatriot Andrenette Knight followed closely in fourth, setting a season's best of 53.69.

Nickisha Pryce's record-breaking performance not only cements her status as one of the world's elite sprinters but also sets a formidable tone ahead of the Paris Olympics. As the Games approach, Pryce, along with her fellow Jamaican athletes, is poised to make a significant impact on the global stage.

 

Several Caribbean athletics stars, including Ackeem Blake, Rushell Clayton, Julien Alfred, Nickisha Pryce, and Natoya Goule-Topping, are set to finalize their Olympic preparations at the highly anticipated Diamond League meeting in London on Saturday, July 20.

Blake will compete in the men’s 100m event, facing world 100m and 200m champion Noah Lyles, who last raced at the US Olympic Trials, clinching both titles. He will also face Botswana's versatile sprinter Letsile Tebogo, who finished second to Lyles in both events at last year’s World Championships. Other notable entrants include world bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes, South Africa’s Akani Simbine, and Britain’s Jeremiah Azu.

Alfred from Saint Lucia will compete in the women’s 200m, going up against world leader Gabby Thomas, fresh off her US Trials win with a time of 21.78. Alfred will face a star-studded field, including 2019 world champion Dina Asher-Smith, Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke, and European silver medallist Daryll Neita. This race is set to be one of the highlights of the meet.

 Clayton will take on the women’s 400m hurdles, competing alongside fellow Jamaican Shiann Salmon against a strong line-up led by world champion Femke Bol, who recently set a new European record of 50.95. USA’s Shamier Little is also among the competitors, promising a thrilling race as they all look to sharpen their form ahead of the Olympics.

Pryce, who set a national record of 48.89 in winning the NCAA title, will make her Diamond League debut in the women’s 400m. She will be challenged by Poland’s European champion Natalia Kaczmarek, world indoor silver medallist Lieke Klaver, and Britain’s Amber Anning.

Meanwhile, Goule-Toppin, the Jamaican record-holder in the women’s 800m, will compete against world and Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson, who has been undefeated this year. The line-up includes world indoor silver medallist Jemma Reekie, Olympic 1500m silver medallist Laura Muir, and 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi.

As these Caribbean stars and other top athletes from around the world compete in London, fans can expect an exciting preview of the performances to come at the Paris Olympics.

Attorneys for Jamaica’s hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis have followed through on their promise, and have filed an urgent appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s (CAS) Ad Hoc Division to seek a resolution regarding the athlete’s Olympic Games omission.

As a result of the application, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has once again been given a deadline to respond.

In accordance with Article 15 lit b. of the CAS Ad Hoc rules, the JAAA, as the Respondent, has until Friday, July 19, at 6:00pm Paris time (11:00am Jamaica time) to file a reply to Clunis’ application.

World Athletics, Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and the International Olympic Committee were also listed as “Interested Parties” in the issue.

“Within the same timeline, the interested Parties are entitled to file a written submission if they wish to do so. Upon receipt of the written submissions of the Respondent and interested Parties, the panel will decide shortly after whether to hold a hearing,” the CAS Ad Hoc rules stated.

It is unclear what the outcome would be if the JAAA or the Interested Parties fail to respond.

Prior to filing the application, Clunis’ representatives, Sayeed Bernard and Emir Crowne, wrote to the JAAA and the JOA on Wednesday seeking an update about Clunis’ Olympic team status by 5:00pm, but their deadline was not met.

The issue stems from the fact that Clunis, who achieved a National Record of 71.83 metres in May, to be ranked in the top 32 in the world this year, was initially named to the JAAA’s athletics team for the Paris Olympics.

However, the 28-year-old’s dream of competing on the world’s biggest stage is now hanging in the balance due to a blunder from the JAAA, as her name was later omitted from the JAAA’s official list submitted to World Athletics.

“Following the Jamaican Olympic Trials, I was elated to receive notification of my official selection to Team Jamaica. Unfortunately, I have since found myself in a difficult position. Due to an omission made by the Jamaican Athletics Administration Association, my name was not officially submitted to World Athletics. As such, I do not have a position in the Olympic Games,” Clunis shared in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

CAS’s Ad Hoc Division deals with the arbitration of disputes that arise regarding major sporting events and usually decides within 48 hours.

Former Edwin Allen standout Rushana Dwyer will be competing on the NCAA Division 1 circuit next season after transferring to the University of South Florida (USF).

Dwyer competed on the NJCAA circuit for the last two seasons for South Plains Community College in Texas.

In 2023, Dwyer ran 2:10.63 to take top spot in the 800m at the NJCAA Championships in New Mexico while also running as part of South Plains’ title-winning 4x400m relay quartet.

This year, Dwyer established new personal best in the 400m both indoors and outdoors.

Her outdoor personal best of 53.68 came in a winning effort at the Texas Tech Corky/Crofoot Shootout in Texas in April while her indoor mark of 55.64 came in a third-place finish at the Jarvis Scott Open, also in Texas, in February.

Her 800m personal best 2:08.27 came back in 2022.

Attorneys representing Jamaica’s hammer thrower Nayoka Clunis are set to file an urgent appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ad hoc committee if the uncertainty surrounding her participation in the 2024 Olympic Games remains unresolved by 5 pm today, Wednesday, July 16.

Despite achieving a National Record of 71.83 metres in May, ranking her in the top 32 in the world this year, Clunis's dream of competing on the world’s biggest stage is now hanging in the balance due to a blunder from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).

The 28-year-old, who placed second at the JAAA National Senior Championships, initially believed she was on her way to the Olympics. However, her excitement turned to dismay when she learned that her name was omitted from the JAAA’s official list submitted to World Athletics.

“Following the Jamaican Olympic Trials, I was elated to receive notification of my official selection to Team Jamaica. Unfortunately, I have since found myself in a difficult position. Due to an omission made by the Jamaican Athletics Administration Association, my name was not officially submitted to World Athletics. As such, I do not have a position in the Olympic Games,” Clunis shared in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

However, after no word forthcoming from the JAAA, attorneys representing the frustrated athlete - Dr. Emir Crowne and local attorney Sayeed Bernard – have written to the JAAA informing of their intended action.

"Mr. Bernard and I act for Ms. Nayoka Clunis, an athlete who should be well-known to you by now. As is also common ground, the JAAA’s admitted negligence (gross negligence, in some jurisdictions) has put Ms. Clunis’ Olympic dreams in jeopardy. In the absence of any updates as to Ms. Clunis’ situation by 5 p.m. today, we have been instructed to file an emergency appeal to the CAS’s ad hoc division."

The letter continued, "Indeed, we are hopeful that an appeal to the CAS is not necessary, but the JAAA’s negligence and radio silence since July 7th has left our client with few options, not to mention the irreparable damage this has done to the mental and emotional well-being. Athletes deserve better."

While Clunis awaits a resolution, her plight underscores the importance of strong administrative leadership, as the oversight by the JAAA could potentially rob an athlete who has shown remarkable dedication in her sport of the opportunity to achieve her dream on the global stage.

 

 

Jamaica’s Stacey-Ann Williams and Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards were the only Caribbean winners at Tuesday’s Spitzen Leichtathletik Meet in Luzern, Switzerland.

Williams turned back the challenge of Dutchwoman Lisanne de Witte and Switzerland’s Annina Fahr to win in 50.58, her second fastest time this season, trailing behind her 50.56 to finish second at Jamaica’s National Championships in June.

De Witte and Fahr’s times in second and third were 51.99 and 52.08, respectively.

Richards, the 2017 World Championship bronze medallist and two-time Commonwealth Champion, all in the 200m, won the half-lap event on Tuesday in 20.19 ahead of the Zimbabwean pair Makanakaishe Charamba (20.42) and Tapiwanashe Makarawu (20.48).

The 30-year-old Trinidadian will also compete in the 400m in Paris. He won gold in the distance at the World Indoor Championships in 2022.

Another Jamaican Olympian, Lanae-Tava Thomas, was narrowly beaten by the Ivory Coast’s Jessika Gbai in the 200m.

Gbai’s winning time of 22.57 just beat out Thomas’s 22.60 while Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji was just behind in third in 22.61.

Kemba Nelson ran 11.21 to finish third overall in the women’s 100m behind New Zealand’s Zoe Hobbs (11.17) and Kambundji (11.20).

 

 

 

As Jamaica's shot put queen, Danniel Thomas-Dodd, has achieved much over the years. But she is not entirely satisfied, and as such, intends to once again etch her name in the annals of the country’s track and field history in Paris.

Fresh off her ninth national title win at the JAAA National Senior Championships, Thomas-Dodd has her sights set on at least making it to the finals in what will be her third Olympic Games appearance, as she hopes to build on her legacy in the circle.

The experienced campaigner, whose journey is characterized by relentless dedication and a drive to succeed, launched the instrument to a season’s best 19.32m—to win ahead of Lloydricia Cameron (17.62m) and Danielle Sloley (13.55 m)—at the National Stadium, a performance she described as a confidence booster ahead of the global multi-sport showpiece.

This, as her previous best performances were a 19.12m throw for sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Scotland and a 19.00m throw at the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Canada.

“I would say it's definitely a huge confidence booster. We've been trying to piece the puzzle together going into the Olympics, so with this throw, I think we're a little bit closer to being ready to compete with the (proverbial) big dogs,” she told SportsMax.TV.

Thomas-Dodd's path to the Paris Olympics has been one marked by both triumph and challenge, as such, her recent victory at the National Championships not only solidified her dominance in the event but also served as a testament to her consistency and resilience.

“Coming into the championship, I was struggling a little bit to piece together the technique. So my coach asked me to give him a 19.3 metres throw because he knows I have what it takes, and if I could give him that distance in the National Stadium, then it's a right step in the right direction. So I trusted him and delivered, which makes me more comfortable going into Olympics with that level of confidence knowing that what we've been doing has been working,” Thomas-Dodd shared.

With World Championships, World Indoor Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Pan American Games medals to her name, Thomas-Dodd is no stranger to the pressures and expectations that come with representing her country on the world stage.

In fact, with the disappointment of the 2016 and 2020 Games in Rio and Tokyo, when she placed 25th and 13th, respectively, still fresh in her mind, the 31-year-old’s sights are firmly set on breaking into the finals on this occasion to once again demonstrate why she is regarded as one of the best in the business.

“The number one aim is to ensure that I make it to the finals to give myself a fair chance of putting together something nice and possibly challenge for a medal. I know for sure it's definitely going to take over 20 metres to get on podium, but I've learned so much from my past experiences, and I believe that with the right preparation and mindset, I can achieve this,” she declared.

“I have been trusting the process more, in previous years, I would have had far better throws earlier in the season, but this year we have kind of tapered to ensure that I get it right when it matters most. Like I said, I am much more motivated now, and my mental game is up, so hopefully it will all come together in Paris,” Thomas-Dodd added.

Three-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has pulled out of the 100m at the Spitzen Leichathletik meeting in Luzern, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Fraser-Pryce was set to compete on the European circuit for the first time since 2023 but pulled out of the race after feeling some discomfort during her warm-up.

Tuesday’s race would’ve been Fraser-Pryce’s last race before the Paris Olympics.

She has competed in only four 100m races this season with three of those coming at the Jamaican National Championships from June 27-30 where she ran 10.94 for third in the final to book her spot at the Olympics.

Dejanea Oakley has swapped the Big 12 Conference for the South East Conference (SEC) after completing a transfer from the University of Texas to the University of Georgia.

The 20-year-old former Clarendon College standout competed at the University of Texas in 2023 and 2024, with the latter being her most successful season to date.

She established new personal best in the 100m (11.38), 200m (22.60) and 400m (51.75) this season.

That 200m time came on her way to winning the Big 12 Outdoor title in May. She subsequently made it to the semi-finals of the 200m at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships in Eugene in June where she finished sixth in 22.82 in her heat.

Those outdoor exploits came after Oakley won the 200m-400m double at the Big 12 Indoor Championships in Lubbock, Texas in February.

Most recently, Oakley competed in the 200m at the Jamaican National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston from June 27-30.

She ran 22.66 for fourth in the women’s 200m final behind Shericka Jackson (22.29), Lanae-Tava Thomas (22.34) and Niesha Burgher (22.39).

Internationally, Oakley took 400m bronze at the 2023 Pan Am U-20 Championships in Puerto Rico and was a finalist at the World U-20 Championships in Colombia in 2022.

She was also part of Jamaica’s silver medal-winning quartet in the women’s 4x400m at those 2022 World U-20 Championships.

The 2024 Olympics will be an unforgettable experience for the ten winners of the Red Stripe “Guh fi Gold & Glory” promotion.

From May 1 to June 28, Red Stripe rolled out a series of promotional events in support of the upcoming Olympic Games, from which 10 consumers have secured a unique opportunity to enjoy the Games live from the Stade de France in Paris.

To enter the promotion, consumers had to purchase six Red Stripes and send in their receipt via WhatsApp.

Out of the scores of people that entered, Samanthia Gordon, Solomon Hutchinson, Andre Davis, Nicola Bryce, Deborah Cole, Delroy Lee Rose, Princess Hibbert, Osbert Bailey, Johnell Benson and Danielle McKenzie were the lucky ten competition winners.

An additional 11 people from Red Stripe as well as various sister companies as well as customers will also be making the trip.

On Saturday, July 13, the winners, as well as others who will make the trip as part of Red Stripe’s contingent, were on hand at the company for a special handover event and celebration.

Two of the promotion winners, McKenzie and Rose, expressed excitement at the prospect of going to the Olympics.

“I’m very excited. I can’t wait to see the country and the attractions and, obviously, to cheer on team Jamaica,” McKenzie told Sportsmax.tv.

Danielle McKenzie collecting her travel kit from Red Stripe Brand Manager, Nathan Nelms.

“Ecstatic,” was Rose’s response, noting that this will be his very first time travelling out the country.

“I will fully enjoy it. I thank Red Stripe because, out of all the people to enter, to be selected must be a divine intervention. I’ll be a proud representative of Jamaica,” he added.

Delroy Lee Rose.

The winners were also gifted with travel kits including items like branded shirts, jackets and cups as well as pot covers and vuvuzelas that will surely be used to cheer on the team in Paris.

Brand Manager for Red Stripe, Nathan Nelms, gave Sportsmax.tv insight into the motivation behind this initiative for the company.

“We really wanted to give our consumers a taste of the celebrations that will be happening in Paris. We are sure everybody locally will be watching on TV to cheer on team Jamaica, however, we wanted to give a very small group the opportunity to see the team live in Paris and give them an experience of a lifetime,” he said.

“We’ve come a long way since our signing of a big partnership with the Jamaica Olympic Association back in 2023. We’ve done so much to make sure that there is this rally cry that is built for the Jamaica Olympic Team,” he added.

In addition to getting to view the Olympics live, the winners will be given tours of various attractions in the French capital including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

Athletics at the Olympic Games will take place from August 1-11.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is set to compete in Switzerland on Tuesday as she gears up for what will be her final Olympic Games in Paris this summer. The 37-year-old Jamaican sprint queen aims to extend her record by winning a fifth Olympic 100m medal in Paris, solidifying her legacy as the greatest female 100m sprinter of all time.

 Fraser-Pryce’s remarkable Olympic journey began with gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. She then captured a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games, despite battling an injured toe, and followed up with a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games. This incredible feat made her the first and only woman to win medals in the 100m at four consecutive Olympic Games.

 In the recent Jamaica National Championships, Fraser-Pryce finished third in the 100m behind Shericka Jackson (10.84) and first-time Olympic qualifier Tia Clayton (10.90). Fraser-Pryce clocked 10.98 in the preliminaries, 10.91 in the semifinals, and 10.94 in the final, showcasing her enduring speed and competitive spirit.

 As she prepares for her final Olympic appearance, Fraser-Pryce will compete at the Luzern meeting on Tuesday, marking her return to European soil since the 2023 World Championships. This event will likely be her last race before the Paris Olympics. Last year at the Luzern meeting, she clocked an impressive 10.82 seconds, demonstrating her elite performance level.

 Fraser-Pryce, who will turn 38 in December, is poised to make her final push for Olympic glory. With five world titles in the 100m to her name, she remains a formidable competitor on the track. Her participation in Switzerland is not only a critical part of her Olympic preparations but also a chance for fans to witness one of the sport's legends in action one last time before she aims for another historic performance in Paris.

Jamaica’s Christania Williams, Bahamian Wendell Miller, and Shafiqua Maloney of St Vincent and the Grenadines, emerged victorious in their respective events at the 35th International Meeting 'Sport Solidarieta' held at the G. Teghill Stadium in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy, on Sunday.

Williams, who was notably absent from the Jamaica National Championships two weeks ago, ran a season’s best of 11.24 seconds to win the women’s 100m in a thrilling photo finish. She edged out the USA's Celera Barnes, who was also credited with the same time. Serena Cole secured third place with a season’s best of 11.26 seconds, just ahead of her MVP Track Club teammate Krystal Sloley, who clocked 11.27 seconds for fourth.

In the men’s 100m, Gary Card was the top Caribbean finisher, placing fourth with a time of 10.39 seconds. The event was won by the USA’s Kendall Williams, who crossed the line in 10.21 seconds.

Bahamas' Wendell Miller delivered a standout performance in the men’s 400m, clocking an impressive 45.67 seconds to claim victory. He finished ahead of Daequan Butler, who posted 46.22 seconds, and Abdelmalik Lahoulou, who achieved a lifetime best of 46.52 seconds for third place.

Shafiqua Maloney continued her preparations for the Paris Olympic Games with a commanding win in the women’s 400m. Representing St Vincent and the Grenadines, Maloney set a meet record with a time of 50.63 seconds, comfortably outpacing her competitors. Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson, who plans to retire after the Olympic Games in Paris, finished second in 51.51 seconds. Ama Pipp took third place with a time of 52.17 seconds.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Yeral Nunez of the Dominican Republic set a meet record, winning the race in 48.58 seconds, further highlighting the level of competition at the event.

 

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