Frustrated by recurring injuries that have stifled his ambition and cut his progress off at the knees, 2013 World U18 Champion Martin Manley has opted for retirement at the age of 24.

Fedrick Dacres, the 2019 World Championship discus silver medalist said he is not satisfied but thankful following his season-best throw that earned him victory at the 2021 Tucson Elite Classic in Arizona on Thursday.

Adam Gemili has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of hypocrisy over its plans to sanction athletes who take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter at this year's Games in Tokyo.

Last month, the IOC executive board approved recommendations in regard to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, relating to athlete expression at Tokyo 2020 and beyond.

Although it pledged to "increase opportunities for athletes' expression during the Olympic Games" and celebrate "Peace, Respect, Solidarity, Inclusion and Equality" through collective branding, it was deemed "not appropriate" for competitors to "demonstrate or express their views on the field of play".

As such, any actions such as taking a knee at a podium ceremony will be subject to sanctions, although it is unclear at this stage what the punishments might be.

British sprinter Gemili told The Guardian "all hell would break loose" if athletes were banned for protesting.

If he is able to improve upon his fourth-placed finish in the 200m at Rio 2016, the 27-year-old explained he would not be dissuaded from taking a stand and cited double standards over the celebrations of Black Power protests at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and the IOC's present position.

"For sure I would be happy to take a knee if I was successful at the Olympics and I had that opportunity," he said.

"I would definitely protest. The fact the IOC is telling athletes 'no, you can't do it' is only going to make people more angry. If the opportunity came, I wouldn't shy away from it.

"This is what I don’t understand: the IOC are so quick to use Tommie Smith, the picture of his fist raised, but they are saying 'actually, no one is allowed to do that'. It doesn't make sense.

"I don't think you can ban an athlete for protesting. And if they do, all hell would break loose and it could go south and sour very quickly. They will be very naive to even try to do that.

"The Olympics is not a place to be political, it's a place for sport and to bring the whole world together, but the whole BLM movement is more than political. It's about being a good human, and equal rights for everyone."

The IOC reported 70 per cent of over 3,500 athlete respondents to their survey were against demonstrations on the "field of play" or at official ceremonies, with that figure dropping fractionally to 67 per cent for podium ceremonies.

Nevertheless, Gemili feels the governing body's methodology was flawed when it came to accurately showing the strength of feeling from athletes of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

"I think the IOC knew exactly what it was doing," he added.

Strange as it may sound, Tyra Gittens is both happy and disappointed with her record-breaking performance in the heptathlon at the SEC Championships at Bryan College Station in Texas last weekend.

The 22-year-old Trinidadian who attends Texas A&M University scored a personal best 6418 points to win the two-day event. Her score which was just two points off the Olympic qualifying standard of 6420 points is also a championship-leading effort as well as a meet and facility record. 

“I am proud of where I am. I am proud of my accomplishments. I hope the world sees that I have so much potential and I have so much more room to grow. This is just the beginning,” she said.

Along the way, Gittens achieved several personal milestones, including a massive personal lifetime best in the long jump of 6.96, which qualifies her for the Olympics this summer and a personal best and a national record 1.95m for the high jump and a centimetre shy of the Olympic standard.

It was also the first time in history that a woman had jumped 1.95m in the high jump and beyond 6.95m in the long jump in the same heptathlon. Gittens now holds national records for the high jump outdoors and indoors, the long jump outdoors and indoors, the pentathlon and the heptathlon.

However, she wasn’t satisfied and revealed her true ambitions, believing she is capable of so much more.

“I don’t like to talk about my goals publicly because then people take it as ‘Oh, she’s trying to talk smack’ but I want people to hold me accountable when I say this. I want to be the ultimate heptathlete and that means breaking Jackie Joyner’s record and that’s what I’m going for.

 “This is my first time saying that publicly but I have never been at a point in my life when I’ve felt so confident saying that, and after this weekend, even though my heptathlon wasn’t what I wanted, my mentality and how I pushed through one of the hardest weekends but one of the best weekends of my life, I am ready and I know, I really think I can get this world record.”

 It is that lofty goal and it is the accompanying mentality that has her experiencing mixed feelings about her record-breaking weekend. Joyner-Kersee’s heptathlon record, which has stood since 1988, is 7291 points and it explains why Gittens wasn’t so happy with her performance last weekend because she understands that if she is to break that record, she has to be better at all her disciplines, not just two or three.

 “The long jump and the high jump were the highlights of my meet. I rarely surprise myself but I definitely surprised myself in the long jump,” she the Texas A&M senior said.

 “The high jump wasn’t necessarily a surprise. I knew this is where I wanted to be around this time. In the long jump, I didn’t expect to reach 6.90 so soon. I know I could do it, I knew I could be up there but I was thinking later on in my career, like years later.”

However, as good as she was in the long and high jumps, Gitten concedes that her performance in several other disciplines did not meet her expectations and it was a bitter pill to swallow.

 “The shot put definitely hurt me, just because of how inconsistent it was. It was embarrassing for me to come off such a high in the high jump, not to be able to gather myself correctly for the shot put. I thought I did but I still had a lot of adrenalin and excitement from the high jump and it never allowed me to focus on the shot put and it just didn’t click,” she said of her 658-point 11.96m throw that was well short of her 13.58m throw that earned her 807 points in a heptathlon on May 8.

 She was equally devastated by how poor she was in the 800m that she completed in 2:31.97 and which she said came as a shock.

 “The 800 was a surprise. I did not expect to run that slow. I started the race and normally I have someone yelling my 100m splits but this time there were two events going on so my coach wasn’t able to so he put some people to say the times. I didn’t hear them and so I was kind of running blindly and it wasn’t until the last 150 when I saw the finish-line time board and I saw that I was way behind my pace,” she said.

“I honestly started tearing up running down the straightaway because I knew I didn’t set myself up in the other events like the shot put and the hurdles, even though my long jump and high jump were great, the Hep was not very consistent for me.” 

Such is the mentality of the effervescent Trinidadian that she has chosen to focus on the silver lining rather than dwell on the dark clouds.

 “That being said, everything happens for a reason. I was very impressed with myself that my hep was a pretty bad one. The things that saved me, the high jump, my 200 and long jump because everything else was not where I wanted to be at all,” she confessed, “the hurdles, shot put, javelin even though it was PB in the Hep for me, I see myself a little farther along than 40 metres. The 800 definitely broke my heart.”

She was devastated to come so close to the Olympic standard. 

“Being only two points away from the standard is definitely tough to swallow because it was just two points and I knew what I needed to do but at the end of the day, it is what it is. It happened. I came out with an Olympic standard and literally kissing the other standards,” she said. 

“I am on pace. I knew my open events would come before my Hep because it is a lot harder to put together than get one jump. I am not worried. I am not stressing. I am actually above my pace for what I want to do and the next Hep is going to be bigger and better because I am going to come in ready to be more consistent and ready to stay focused. 

“I want to shine. I want to be the ultimate heptathlete, meaning I want to be consistently good, amazing in some (events) and consistently good in others. I would love to be a Jackie Joyner and be amazing at all seven but that’s not my reality, so you have to take advantage of what you’re really good at and then you have to work and stay focused on what you’re not so gifted in.”

 Gittens also finished second in the individual high jump, clearing 1.89m. She was also fourth in the long jump with a 6.56m leap. For her efforts, she was named United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week.

 

The blockbuster women’s 100m clash scheduled for this Sunday, at the Müller Grand Prix Diamond League meet, in Gateshead, will feature three of the six fastest women ever to run over the distance.

In what many predict could be a preview to the Olympic Games later this summer, Jamaican speed queens Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah will finally face red-hot American Sha'Carri Richardson, the early-season favourite, for the first time this year.

Historically, as far as the speed record book is concerned, the early season clash could be one of mammoth proportions.  The trio are not only three of the six fastest women alive, but also the only ones still active on the all-time speed list.

Fraser-Pryce holds the fourth-fastest time ever recorded over the distance at 10.70, set in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2012.  Her compatriot, Thompson-Herah, matched that identical time, at the same venue, in 2016 and is joint-fourth on the list.  Richardson joined the exclusive list last month with her clocking of 10.72, recorded in Florida, making her the sixth-fastest of all time.

The times are only bettered by Marion Jones (10.65), Carmelita Jeter (10.64), and Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), a trio of American sprinters who are no longer active.

Richardson has of course set the season marker with her burst of speed last month, but Thompson-Herah is not far behind having registered 10.78 in Clermont.

The trio are, however, not the only big names in the field with Great Britain’s fastest woman Dina Asher-Smith and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare also set to face the starter.  Another Jamaican, who will also line up in the blocks, Natasha Morrison, is also in fine form this season having recorded the third-fastest time, 10.87, last month in Florida.

In addition to just the times, there will be plenty of pedigree on display, between them Fraser-Pryce and Thompson-Herah have claimed 7 of the last 9 major games 100m Olympics and World Championship titles.  The only exceptions to that dominance being the 2011 World Championships, which was won by Jeter, and the 2017 World Championships, which was won by another American Torrie Bowie.

Also scheduled to take part in the meet are world long jump champion Tajay Gayle, world triple jump silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts, and world shot put silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd.

Jamaican Olympian Neville Myton died today after a prolonged battle was cancer. He was 74.

Veronica Campbell-Brown was second in the 100m at the 2021 USATF Open on Tuesday. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was among several notable Caribbean athletes, who competed at the meet held at the Athletic Performance Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas.

Learning from the mistakes made during the indoor season has resulted in a new personal best in the long jump for Carey McLeod this past weekend when he became the 2021 SEC Outdoor champion.

Olympic champion Omar McLeod and Britany Anderson won in impressive fashion at the American Track League meet in California on Saturday.

Jamaica College (JC) captured the ISSA Grace/Kennedy boy’s champs title, while Edwin Allen reclaimed the girls crown, as the competition came to close at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the end, JC finished with 328.5 points, comfortably clear of second-place Kingston College (KC) who finished with 313.  It was KC who began the fifth and final day in front but, predictably JC took the lead by midday and in the end sealed the title with two events to spare.

Calabar claimed third spot with 241.5, St Elizabeth Technical was next on 181, while St Jago closed out the top 5 with 129.

For the girls, Edwin Allen wrapped up a performance in which they rarely trailed.  The eventual champions finished on 340 points, well clear of second-place St Jago who ended on 309.5, third place went to Hydel High on 301, Holmwood was next with 160.5 and Vere Technical 5th with 160.5.

The team sped to a new record in the Class 2 4x100m.  Anchored by Tiana Clayton, the team recorded a time of 44.81. Clayton was securing her third gold of Champs 2021. The team beat the old mark of 44.88.

Aliyah Clarke, Tia Clayton, who false-started in the 100m, and Serena Cole were the other team members.

St. Jago won both boys’ and girls’ Class I 4x100m finals.

 

 

Kingston College did not win a medal in the final event – the Class 1 Boys 400m hurdles on Thursday but they got seven points from Rayon Campbell and Jayden Brown. Those seven points made all the difference as the defending champions lead Jamaica College by 7.5 points heading into Saturday’s final day of the 2021 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

After 24 finals, KC leads the standings with 187 points while JC has 179.5 points. Calabar High School, which had a very good day in the field are third on 144 points while St Elizabeth Technical lies fourth with 93 points. St Jago High are fifth with 63 points.

Edwin Allen leads the girls after 27 finals. They have 213 points but St Jago are within touching distance with 187.5 points. Hydel are not that far behind either as they have 161.5 points. Holmwood have 65.5 points while Holmwood are fifth with 49 points.

Kingston College picked up some critical points late in the day when Campbell and Brown finish fifth and sixth in the 400m hurdles won by Jamaica College’s Javier Brown in 49.86, a new record. Devontie Archer of Excelsior clocked 50.43 for second place while Roshawn Clarke of Camperdown was third in 50.93.

Those seven points came right after they picked up 15 points in the Class 2 400m hurdles that was won by Antonio Forbes in 51.84. KC also got the bronze medal from Shamari Jennings, a 52.52 effort. Shamer lake of STETHS was the winner of the silver medal clocking 52.16.

Kingston College also picked up points in the Class 3 long jump in which Shamir Kelly jumped 6.82m for the victory and his teammate Roshawn Onfroy jumped 6.40m for bronze. Edward Sterling of Wolmers won the silver with 6.79m.

Calabar enjoyed a very good day in the field.

Javar Thomas of Calabar won the Class 2 triple jump in a keen battle against Jaydon Hibbert of Kingston College. However, Thomas emerged victorious with a 15.23m triple jump as Hibbert finished second with 15.15m. Michael Curriah of Jamaica College jumped 14.61m for third.

Calabar went 1-3 in the Class I Boys shot put. Like he has been all season, Kobe Lawrence showed why he is a class above the rest throwing an even 19m for the gold medal. Christopher Young of Edwin Allen won the silver with a throw of 18.30. Lawrence’s teammate Denz Simmons locked up the bronze medal with a throw of 17.26m.

The boys from Red Hills Road also had a good showing in the pole vault competition that was won by Kito Campbell, who vaulted over 3.90m. His fellow Lion, Julian Francis, was third having vaulted 3.80m.

They were split by Kingston College’s Jafar Moore, who had a similar height to Francis but had one less miss at 3.80m.

Luke Brown made it a really good day in the field for Calabar when he jumped 15.69m to win the Class I triple jump. Jhavor Bennett of STETHS won the silver medal with 15.31m and Iangelo Atkinstall-Daley of Wolmer’s claimed the bronze with 15.11m.

Among the girls, Edwin Allen’s Asia McKay cleared 1.62m to win the Class 4 Girls high jump. The silver medal went to Jayla Williams of St Jago, who cleared 1.55m. Rhianna Lewis of Rhodes Hall jumped 1.50m for the bronze medal.

Ackelia Smith of Edwin Allen jumped 13.42m to win the triple jump over Hydel’s Velecia Williams who jumped 12.87m. Kahdijah Bailey of St Jago was third with a jump of 12.25m.

Roxene Simpson of Clarendon College threw 45.85m to win the Class I discus while her teammate Kimola Hines threw 44.98m for the silver medal. Fabrienne Foster of Manchester won the bronze medal with a throw of 43.79m.

Garriel White of Hydel won the 400m hurdles in 57.65. She was just too good for Moseiha Bridgen of Vere Technical, who ran 58.90 for second place. Edwin Allen’s Jodyann Dixon finished third in 60.35.

Elizabeth Palmer, the mother of Jamaican elite athlete Akeem Bloomfield, died on Thursday morning after a three-year battle with breast cancer.

Bloomfield, a finalist in the 400m at the 2019 Doha World Championships, had announced three weeks ago that his mother had been diagnosed with cancer in 2018, but only just revealed her condition to her children last month.

Bloomfield and his sister Kaydene Wright launched a GoFundMe account hoping to raise USD$65,000 to assist with the cost of surgery on her spinal that had been compromised by cancer that had also spread to other parts of her body.

Alas, it was in vain as Palmer died early Thursday.

“Words can’t express the feelings of loss and pain me and my family are going through right now. Unfortunately, my mother lost her battle against cancer yesterday and I would give anything just to have one more moment with her,” the grieving athlete posted on Instagram today.

“She was more than just my mom, she was my motivation and my best friend.

“I would like to thank all those who donated, whispered a prayer or just had her and my family in your thoughts.”

 

Javaine Johnson won the decathlon to give Kingston College a lead over Jamaica College at the end of the third day of the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kington on Thursday.

Johnson scored 5973 points to take victory over Calabar’s Dishaun Lamb who scored 5521 points.

Shamar Coke of Excelsior took the bronze medal with his 10-event score of 4962 points.

Johnson’s victory saw KC take the lead after 18 completed finals with 133 points to Jamaica College’s 124.5.

Heading into day four, Calabar has 80 points while STETHS are fourth with 80 points, many of them coming from their sweep of the 100m events. St Jago completes the top-five with 56 points.

Meanwhile, after 23 finals, Edwin Allen continues to lead the girls with 184 points. St Jago comes next with 158 with Hydel, Holmwood and Wolmer’s following with 132, 63.50 and 45 points, respectively.

STETHS reigned supreme in the 100m events with Sachin Dennis capping off the dominance with an impressive win the Class I final. Dennis, who has seemingly recovered from a long-term injury and rumours about a possible move to Bahrain, stormed to victory in 10.53s over a fast-finishing Antonio Watson of Petersfield High who clocked 10.58 for second. KC’s Bouwaghie Nkrumie was third 10.65.

With the victory, Dennis has now won the 100m title in classes 3, 2 and 1.

Earlier, his schoolmate Orlando Wint won the Class 2 title in 10.76 in a STETHS 1-3 as Javorne Dunkley was third in 11.01. Jamaica College’s Hector Benjamin won the silver medal in 10.79.

It all began when Tramaine Todd raced to a comfortable victory in the Class 3 sprint in 11.03.  KC’s Nicardo Johnson ran 11.28 for second while Vere’s Malik Carridice was third in 11.40.

No one team dominated the girls’ blue-ribbon sprints but there was some drama in the Class 2 event when medal favourite Tia Clayton of Edwin Allen was disqualified for a false start. With tears in her eyes, her twin sister Tina stormed to a record-breaking victory in 11.38s.

Hydel’s Kerrica Hill and Alana Reid took second and third in 11.61 and 11.65, respectively.

Edwin Allen’s Brandy Hall won the Class I title in 11.72 over Shenese Walker of Hydel, who clocked  11.86.  Holmwood Technical’s Shashieka Steele was third in 11.88.

 Rusea’s Lavanga Williams won the Class 3 event in 12.18 seconds leaving Hydel’s Shemonique Hazel in her wake. The latter ran 12.37 with Bryana Davidson of St Jago finishing third in 12.47.

Theianna-Lee Terrelonge became the Class 4 champion when she won in 12.53.r Poshanna-Lee Blake of St Jago was second in 12.74. Marria Crossfield of Vere ran 12.85 for third.

Chevonne Hall of Edwin Allen won the Class 1 Boys event clocking 3:59.70. Kingston College’s Aron Tanui ran him closing finishing in 3:59.86 for the silver medal. Jamaica College’s Handal Roban won the bronze medal, crossing the finish line in 4:01.48.

Jamaica College enjoyed 1-2 finish in the Class 2 race that was won by Khandale Frue in 4:12.16. Kemarrio Bygrave ran 4:13.26 to claim the silver medal.

Alex Taylor of St Jago clocked 4:14.60 for third and the bronze medal.

Jamaica College also won the Class 3 1500 when Tyrone Lawson outclassed the field to cross the finish line in 4:16.71. Maggotty’s Charehon Connally was more than five seconds back in 4:21.84 but still won the silver medal.

Calabar’s Rhsaune Johnson ran 4:29.35 to take the bronze medal.

Among the girls, Edwin Allen picked up points in all three races to maintain a comfortable buffer between themselves and their fiercest challenges, St. Jago, who won the Class 1 event in the form of Sancia Smith.

Smith took the gold medal when she ran 4:44.24. Her teammate Aleshia Douglas ran 4:49.20 to win the silver medal. However, Edwin Allen’s Jessica McLean clocked 4;49.68 for the bronze medal.

Edwin Allen collected even more points in the Class 2 event that Rickeisha Simms won in 4:36.62. Holmwood Technical’s Jodyann Mitchell was second in 4:42.69 with Shone Walters of St. Mary winning the bronze medal with her time of 4:43.60.

Holmwood’s Andrene Peart won the Class 3 title when she outran her opponents to win in 4:50.36. Cindy Rose, also from Holmwood took second place when she crossed in 4:52.23 with St Jago’s Sushana Johnson running 4:54.82 for the bronze medal.

The competition was just as fierce in the field where Jaidi James of Jamaica College won the high jump with a clearance of 1.86. Edward Sterling of Wolmer’s soared over 1.80m for second place with KC’s Roshawn Onfroy taking the bronze medal with his best effort of 1.80m.

Meantime, Edwin Allen’s Serena Cole won the Class 2 long jump after leaping out to a distance of 6.10m. Aaliyah Foster of Mount Alvernia won the silver medal with her jump of 5.90m. St Jago’s Kay-Lagay Clarke leapt 5.76m to win the bronze medal.

St Jago’s Latavia Galloway won the javelin competition throwing 41.95m while Edwin Allen’s Shenelia Williams threw 37.02 for second place. Jamora Alves of St Jago threw 35.92m for the bronze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defending champions Edwin Allen hold a 12-point lead over St. Jago High after 14 finals on day two of the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Kingston College failed to add to their point tally but still hold a sizeable lead over their rivals.

The Clarendon-based juggernaut began the day on 71 points, trailing both Hydel, who 76 points and leaders St Jago High on 81. However, Edwin Allen picked up 10 points in the early exchanges in the Class I shot put competition where Monifa Allen picked up seven points for finishing second with a throw of 12.79m and her teammate Daveina Watson got three more for her sixth-place finish after throwing 11.88m.

Rusea’s High School’s Leonie Samuels won the gold medal with her put of 13.21m while St Jago’s Kayla Davis-Edwards won the bronze with her effort of 12.67m.

At the conclusion of the event, St Jago had 87 points but Edwin Allen had climbed into second place with 81 points. Hydel remained on 76 points.

Meanwhile, Edwin Allen picked up an additional six points when Toniann Allen jumped 5.22m in the Class 4 long jump that was won by Natrilia Campbell of Wolmer’s Girls, who leapt out to a mark of 5.42m. Rihanna Campbell of St Catherine High was the silver medalist having jumped 5.40m.

The defending champions then extended their lead over St Jago when Rashida Samuels cleared 1.73m to win the Class 2 Girls High Jump to defeat Malaika Cunningham of Wolmer’s who cleared 1.70m for the silver medal and Anishka McDonald of Vere Technical who claimed the bronze with 1.65m.

The Class 2 discus was won by Cedricka Williams of Holmwood Technical who established a new record of 47.04m breaking the record of 46.69m set by Vere’s Marie Forbes in 2018.

Damali Williams of Edwin Allen won the silver medal with her best mark of 43.72m while Brittanie Johnson of Camperdown secured the bronze medal throwing 42.32m.

At the conclusion of that competition, Edwin Allen had amassed 108 points to St Jago’s 96. Hydel was further back in third on 82 points. Wolmer’s are in fourth place on 42 points while Holmwood Technical lies fifth with 30.50 points.

Kingston College remained atop the standings despite failing to add to their overnight points tally in the only boys' final today.

The Class 2 long jump was the only boys final on Wednesday and St Jago used the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders as Balvin Israel gave the St. Catherine-based school nine valuable points when he leapt 7.32m to claim victory.

His victory has St Jago on 40 points, just 15 behind KC.

Amari Officer of St George’s College took the silver medal with his jump of 7.16m while Nathan Wade of Calabar was third with 7.13m.

The third-place points mean Calabar ended the day on 37 points. St Elizabeth Technical and Jamaica College as 30 points for joint fourth place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The JAAA has secured at least one international race for Jamaica’s men’s 4x100m relay squad as they attempt to a secure spot at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

A Jamaican quartet will race at a World Athletics Continental Tour track and field meet to be held at Prairie View, Houston, Texas on May 25.

“So far Nigeria and Canada are down to compete in the race,” said JAAA General Secretary Marie Tavares. “But we understand that I least one other team will be involved.”

Jamaica is provisionally qualified in 11th position with the top 16 teams to be accepted into the relay pool at the Olympics. That qualifying time (38.15) was achieved in the semifinals of the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, 2019. 

The need for a race escalated after Jamaica was forced to withdraw from the IAAF World Relays which took place in Poland last weekend.

 This past weekend, a team of Asafa Powell, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oshane Bailey posted a time of 38.33, the second-fastest in the world this year.

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