World Championship bronze medallist Rai Benjamin finally got an elusive win over World and Olympic Champion Karsten Warholm to claim his maiden Diamond League 400m hurdles title at the Diamond League final at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday.

Benjamin, who finished second to Warholm at the 2019 and 2022 World Championships as well as the 2021 Olympics, turned the tables on the Norwegian with a world leading, meet record and diamond league record 46.39 for victory.

Warholm was second in a spectacular 46.53 while Kyron McMaster, who finished second at the World Championships in Budapest last month ahead of Benjamin and behind Warholm, ran 47.31 for third. McMaster also got a win over Warholm at the Zurich Diamond League.

Former sprinter Daniel Bailey could very well be Antigua & Barbuda’s greatest when it comes to the sport of Track & Field.

The 37-year-old currently holds the country’s national record in the 100m with 9.91 done all the way back in 2009. That year also saw Bailey have his best finish at a major outdoor championship, finishing fourth in the 100m final at the Berlin World Championships, the same race which saw Usain Bolt set the current world record 9.58.

A year later, Bailey took bronze in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships in Doha with 6.57. He also holds the Antiguan national record in this event with 6.54 done in 2009.

Today, Bailey is looking to give back to the next generation of Track & Field stars through the formation of his new Tigers Track Club in his home country.

Bailey explained that after his retirement from the sport in 2021, he needed to find a way to stay close to it because of the love he still had for it and this club is his way of doing that.

“That was one of my goals after retirement, knowing the love that I have for the sport. I just passed 20 years being a professional. Even after I retired, I felt the love still so the only way I felt I could stay close to the sport is through either becoming an agent or coach,” Bailey told Sportsmax.TV.

Bailey spent his professional career training in Jamaica under the tutelage of legendary coach, Glen Mills, at the Racers Track Club. He says Mills, as well as his former high school coach, Carl Casey, were two of the people he reached out to about starting his own club back home.

“I made the decision to call my former high school coach and told him I want to start a track club and asked him what he thought. He said it’s a great idea and opportunity for me. I also called coach Mills and told him this is what I’m going to do. He’s the one that’s been teaching me a lot when it comes to Track & Field, not just on the track but off the track as well,” he said.

“I finally said to myself let me just open a track club and see what the future holds. I’m confident that I’ll do well. I’m not going to guarantee that I’ll produce world beaters and world champions but that is my goal. I want to be different,” he added.

Bailey said he got the inspiration to start a track club when he started coaching a young athlete two years ago.

“Two years ago, I started training an athlete, River Robinson. I met him and we started training and sometimes I would call coach just to clarify certain things and then after a while, COVID hit and we could not do certain things or go certain places. We actually came back in to Antigua for a little bit. He was in school and had everything on point academically but he needed performance to get into a good school because the times that he was running could not get him anywhere so I said I’m going to start doing some work with him,” Bailey said.

“After all this, we started training during COVID and we spent most of the time training on the grass with no gym work or no offseason work. After a little bit, I realized they started to lift the COVID restrictions so we could travel. There were a couple of meets in Jacksonville and after three months of training, we wanted to see where he ranged up. We did that and got him ready. Before that, his fastest time was 11.44 and that can’t get you anywhere but when I saw him run, I saw the talent. With the three months work of me getting him stronger and more technically correct, we went to Jacksonville to compete in three meets. He missed the first one and ran 10.5 in the second one, a big personal best. That’s when schools started to call him. After that I said to myself, ‘I think I can do this.' I think there’s just an art around it and anything I don’t understand I can just ask questions. I always have a guide where coach Mills is concerned,” Bailey added.

The former sprinter then went more in depth about his relationship with his former coach, discussing the things he learned from Mills that he would like to implement at his own club.

“I trained with coach Mills for 15-16 years. I left from Antigua at a young age to join the club but when I got to Jamaica, I realized the difference with what I was doing here in Antigua. The whole gym regimen and training was different. What got my attention was when I got back to Antigua after so many years in Jamaica, that a lot of the young athletes here are doing the stuff that I used to do when I was a little kid. We can get better for these athletes. They have the talent but there’s a lack of pedigree,” he said.

“Don’t get me wrong, we do have young athletes going through the system but I know they can run a lot faster so my aim is to try to transfer what I’ve learnt in Jamaica to my athletes. Not just what I’ve learnt on the track but off the track as well. I want them to be well rounded,” he added.

While he recognizes that his club is in the grassroots stage, Bailey believes that, in the future, Tigers Track Club will be able to attract talent from all over the world. In fact, he says some athletes from across the globe have already started reaching out to him.

“I also want to invite athletes from overseas to join my club. I’m already getting athletes that live overseas calling me to join the club but I’m not at that stage as yet,” he said.

“Right now, I’m just focusing on local athletes. I have nine athletes right now that I’m getting ready for CARIFTA next year and whatever branches off from that, we’ll take and move forward,” Bailey added.

 

Jamaican middle-distance specialist Adelle Tracey finished what can be dubbed a successful 2023 season with a fifth-place finish in the 42nd annual 5th Avenue Mile in New York on Tuesday.

Tracey ran a time of 4:22 for fifth. The race was won by Great Britain’s Jemma Reekie in 4:20 ahead of Ireland’s Sarah Healy (4:20) and the USA’s Melissa Courtney-Bryant (4:21).

“Every mile deserves a smile! No better way to sign off the season than smiling on the streets of NYC, finishing fifth at the 5th Avenue Mile in 4.21.3,” Tracey said in a social media post on Tuesday.

“Big thank you to New York Road Runners for always putting together such a fun meet! I’m so thankful for the experiences I’ve enjoyed the last couple of weeks, and I’m already excited to see how these could shape next season…But first it’s time to rest up and enjoy some down time,” Tracey added.

The best of those experiences of the last two weeks for Tracey came at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest where she set personal bests in both the 800m and the 1500m.

Tracey ran 1:58.41 to finish seventh in the final of the 800m. This was after Tracey became the first Jamaican woman to go under four minutes in the 1500m, running 3:58.77 in her semi-final.

 

Coming off a lifetime best jump at last Friday’s Diamond League meeting in Brussels, Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts found the going much easier at the Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb on Sunday.

The two-time World Championship silver medalist produced a lifetime best of 15.01m in Brussels but needed only 14.53m for victory in Croatia.

Ricketts was almost a half-metre better than Italy’s Dariya Derkach, whose best jump of 14.07m earned her second place. Ricketts’ Jamaican compatriot Kimberly Williams, who has struggled to jump 14m for most of the season, could only manage a 13.70m effort which was good enough for her to finish third.

Fedric Dacres produced a silver-medal winning performance at the Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday.

World championships silver medalist Hansle Parchment sped to victory in a closely contested 110m hurdles race at the  Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday.

The 33-year-old Olympic champion, using his trademark late surge, clocked 13.13 to claim victory over the USA's Daniel Roberts, who was among the early leaders. The American clocked 13.15 in the blanket.

Wilhem Belocian of France crossed the line third in 13.30.

Oblique Seville continued his good form Sunday post last month's 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest when he finished second in the 100m at the Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb, Croatia.

Seville, who clocked 10.88s for fourth place in the 100m final in Budapest, clocked 10.04 finishing just behind Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, who won in 9.94.

Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs finished third in 10.08.

Jamaican 100m champion Rohan Watson was seventh in 10.32.

 

Sir Mo Farah admits his career has been “an amazing journey” after he completed his final-ever race at the Great North Run.

The 40-year-old announced he would be ending his career at the North East half-marathon earlier this year and finished fourth in the men’s elite race.

He completed the course in  one hour three minutes and 28 seconds, with Ethopia’s Tamirat Tola coming in first, finishing just shy of the hour mark with a time of 59min 58sec.

The race brought down the curtain on a glittering career for Farah, who finishes with four Olympic gold medals and six World Championship titles, but he insists he “just enjoyed” what he did.

“It’s been an amazing journey when I look back, there’s been so many messages from people all over the world saying thank you,” he told PA news agency post-race.

“It’s a joy to see that because I just enjoyed what I did and I committed and continued to push myself to win medals again and again.

“To look back from the other side now and see people saying to you, this is what you’ve given us, this is what you’ve done is incredible to see.”

Farah is a six-time champion of the Great North Run, with his last victory coming in 2019 on the streets of Tyneside.

He was clapped and cheered all down the final stretch of the Coast Road, offering high fives to the crowd, before crossing the finish line for the last time, describing the support as “incredible”.

“When I woke up this morning I knew it was going to be emotional day,” he added.

“But I just tried to hold that back and get on with it, but I knew it was going to be a different day.

“I was trying to enjoy as much as I could, to take it all in, but I took it as just like another race. But honestly, just the support of the people along the course was just wow.

“I was trying to hold it back and get on with the race and give it a go.

“(When approaching the finish line) I knew my career was done, but I was trying to soak it in and engaging with the people.

“Honestly the people on the course was incredible, big support, (hearing them) ringing the bell, shouting out your name. I can’t believe the amount of people who turned up.”

Olympic marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir won the women’s elite race with a time of 1:06:45 and Briton Charlotte Purdue finished in third, completing the course in 1:09:36.

Daniel Sidbury won the men’s wheelchair race, with David Weir finishing just behind him in second while Samantha Kinghorn won the women’s competition.

On Friday night, September 8, 2023, Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) celebrated the induction of three outstanding individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame. Among the honorees were the 2023 World 100m hurdles champion Danielle Williams, her sister Shermaine Williams, and their esteemed coach Lennox Graham.

Danielle Williams, who has had a stellar career in track and field, expressed her deep appreciation for the prestigious honor. She noted that being inducted into the Hall of Fame was a major accomplishment and a recognition of her remarkable achievements during her college years at JCSU.

Those achievements were encapsulated in her legendary seasons in 2013 and 2014 when she won nine NCAA titles (eight individual, one relay), 13 CIAA championships (11 individual, two relay), earned 13 All-America honors and was named either USTFCCCA National Women’s Indoor Track or Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year three times.

She turned in arguably the greatest two-day performance in NCAA DII history at the 2013 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Pueblo, Colorado, where she helped lead the Golden Bulls to their second consecutive runner-up finish in the team standings.

The future world champion scored 30½ points thanks to event titles in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay, as well as a runner-up finish in the 100m hurdles. She also set divisional records in the 200m (22.62) and 4×100 relay (44.05), clocked the second fastest performance in divisional history in the 100mh(12.89) and notched the fifth fastest performance in the 100 (11.24).

In a four-year span, she was the third athlete from Johnson C. Smith inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame following in the footsteps of Leford Green (Class of 2017) and her sister Shermaine Williams (Class of 2018).

"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor. I never thought it a big deal when they told me in May, but being there last night (Friday), amongst the other inductees, I realized that it is indeed a big deal and a major accomplishment. Only 130 people in the entire history of JCSU have been inducted, and I am the youngest ever inductee, and that in itself is spectacular," said Williams in an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV

The experience was not only humbling but also exciting for Williams, who admitted that she does not often take the time to celebrate her own accomplishments. She shared, "The most memorable moment of the entire weekend was not just seeing people I haven't seen in so many years, but just hearing that so many of these folks watched the race (her gold medal run in Budapest) and have been keeping up with my exploits since I graduated, was magnificent to hear."

Williams won the 100m hurdles at the 2015 World Championships and continued her success by capturing the 2023 World 100m hurdles title in Budapest last month. This victory added an extra layer of significance to the Hall of Fame induction, as her family was present to witness the double celebration.

Williams expressed her gratitude for the support of her sister and coach, saying, "Being there with coach Lennox and Shermaine was a full-circle moment. We all started this journey together, and so to be able to celebrate with them was pure joy. Both of them are instrumental in the athlete I am today. Shermaine because she was the first in our family to transcend to new levels in athletics; making national teams and breaking records, her hard work, discipline, and determination were the catalyst and the inspiration for me when I started to compete. Coach took me from an inexperienced teenager with many flaws to a collegiate champion many times over and world champion. I thank God for both of them on this journey."

Coach Lennox Graham, who has been a pivotal figure in the success of the Williams sisters, speaking exclusively with Sportsmax.TV, also shared his thoughts on being inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside his athletes. He expressed his appreciation for the honor and recognized the significance of going in with both the Williams sisters.

"To be going in with Shermaine Williams and Danielle Williams is particularly satisfying because, I mean, it was our own JCSU Williams sisters. As you know, Shermaine and Danielle were the first female siblings to make the same World Championship final in 2015 in Beijing, when Danielle won the World Championships in the 100m hurdles and Shermaine was seventh. So those are things that it's impossible to forget," said Graham who won four national titles with JSCU and a number of Central Inter-Collegiate Athletics Association conference titles during his tenure.

Graham had an immediate impact on JCSU after being appointed head coach of the men’s and women’s programme in 2007.

He racked up an impressive resume that included being named 2015-16 Atlantic Region Women’s Track and Field Head Coach of the Year, 2015-16 CIAA Outdoor Women’s Track and Field Head Coach of the Year and 2013-2014 CIAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.

He was also honoured as the 2013-2014 CIAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, 2012-2013 USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Coach of the Year (a First in JCSU history), 2012-2013 USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year (Atlantic Region), 2012-2013 USTFCCCA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year (Atlantic Region), 2012-2013 CIAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, 2012-2013 CIAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, 2011-2012 CIAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, 2010-2011 CIAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, 2009-2010 CIAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Coach of the Year,  and 2008-2009 CIAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year.

He emphasized the importance of treasuring such moments and reflecting on one's accomplishments, saying, "Back in the day, then I wasn't one to celebrate a lot, I was always on to the next, but I've grown a little bit older and realized that you must treasure these moments a little bit more. So it means more to me now than it did then. But it's great, it's a great feeling. It's an awesome achievement and recognition, and I just give thanks for it."

 

Sir Mo Farah is one of the Olympic greats and will go down in British sporting history.

The four-time champion has called it quits after his final race in the Great North Run.

The sight of Farah failing to reach the Tokyo Olympics during a last-ditch attempt in Manchester in June 2021 will not be his enduring image but it will be one when it was clear his time was up.

His dominance was over, the final push was not there and his legs no longer had it in them.

Before then, on the track at least, he had been all conquering and gave British sports fans some of the most memorable moments of the last decade.

None more so than at London 2012 when, already a 5,000m world champion – having failed to make the same final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – Farah helped create the biggest day in British Olympic history.

Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford added three gold medals in 48 minutes at the Olympic Stadium, after wins in the men’s coxless four, women’s lightweight double sculls and women’s team pursuit earlier in the day.

He stormed to 10,000m gold after Ennis-Hill had won the heptathlon and Rutherford claimed the long jump title.

Seven days later he won the 5,000m to write his name further into British Olympic folklore.

It allowed Farah to become a personality and transcended athletics and the ‘Mobot’ became a symbol of his success.

He adopted it after it was suggested by presenter Clare Balding and then named by James Corden on TV show A League of Their Own just two months before the London Games.

A robot was even named “Mobot” at a Plymouth University research exhibition.

A year after London he became a double world and Olympic champion after victory in the 10,000m and 5,000m at the World Championships in Moscow, the first British athlete to win two individual gold medals at the Worlds.

In 2014 he stepped up to the marathon for the first time, coming eighth in London but continued to shine on the track, defending his world titles in 2015.

All roads then led to Rio with Farah completing a historic double double by defending his London titles – despite falling in the 10,000m.

“After the 10k my legs were a bit tired, and I don’t know how I recovered. I had to take an ice bath and stay in my room, there were people bringing me food in my room and I was just resting up,” he said.

“I can’t believe I did it. I did it! It’s every athlete’s dream, as I said… I can’t believe it, it hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Back in the Olympic Stadium in 2017 he won another 10,000m world title and came second in the 5,000m in London before announcing his retirement from the track to focus on the marathon.

Yet, aside from a victory in the Chicago race in 2018, he failed to convince.

At the start of his marathon career he also split from controversial Alberto Salazar amid a US anti-doping investigation into the coach.

“I’m not leaving the Nike Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar because of the doping allegations,” Farah said at the time. “This situation has been going on for over two years. If I was going to leave because of that I would have done.

“As I’ve always said, I’m a firm believer in clean sport and I strongly believe that anyone who breaks the rules should be punished. If Alberto had crossed the line, I would be out the door but Usada has not charged him with anything. If I had ever had any reason to doubt Alberto, I would not have stood by him all this time.”

A return to the track to defend his 10,000m title was announced in 2019 and, while the 12-month coronavirus delay to the Tokyo Games gave him more time, it also left him a year older.

At the official trials in Birmingham, Farah failed to hit the qualification mark, finishing 22 seconds adrift, and a hastily arranged race at the Manchester Regional Arena was his final chance.

As the stadium got quieter – with the PA slowly stopping announcing his lap times – it quickly became apparent Farah would not achieve his goal and in the immediate aftermath he hinted retirement was on his mind.

Now, he has officially hung up his spikes but will go down in athletics as an Olympic great.

Sir Mo Farah has completed the final race of his glittering career with a fourth-placed finish in the Great North Run.

The four-time Olympic champion announced he would be ending his career at the North East half-marathon earlier this year.

He finished in 1:03:28 with Ethopia’s Tamirat Tola winning the men’s elite race, finishing just shy of the hour mark with a time of 59 minutes and 58 seconds.

Farah has previously won the race six times and was greeted by vast crowds of people lining the Coast Road, offering high fives as he approached the finish line.

He told the BBC post-race: “Amazing support. It is the end of my career. I wanted to come here and celebrate. It has been an amazing career.

“I wanted to end my career here in Newcastle. I won here six times. I wanted to take it all in and enjoy it.

“All I know is running. That is what made me happy for many years.”

Rusheen McDonald, the fastest Jamaican in the world this year, produced a typical fast finish to take the 400m crown at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday.

The 31-year-old had a relatively fast first 300m before digging in for the last 100m to win in 44.84, holding off the fast-finishing Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic who ran a season’s best 44.93 in second.

Norway’s Havard Bentdal Ingvaldsen ran 45.07 in third.

This is the fifth time that McDonald has dipped below 45 seconds this season, with all coming after the Jamaican National Championships in June where he didn’t report for his semi-final.

McDonald was a member of the Jamaican 4x400 quartet at the World Championships in Budapest.

Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts registered a new lifetime best of 15.01 metres to win the women’s triple jump, while Dominica’s Thea Lafond was third at the Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.

With World Champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela absent, silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine and Ricketts were both heavily favoured to battle for top spot on this occasion and the manner in which they started, justified that much.

Both cut the sand at 14.30m on their first attempts, but Ricketts improved to 14.70m on her second attempt in a negative 0.2 metres per second wind reading, while Bekh-Romanchuk failed to register a mark.

Ricketts maintained her rhythm in the series and with it came the big personal best of 15.01m on her third attempt, as she bettered her previous best of 14.98m which was set in Doha in 2021.

Though she skipped the fourth and fifth attempts and fouled on the sixth and final jump, the 31-year-old Ricketts, who was fourth at the World Championships in Hungary, had done enough to top the podium, as Bekh-Romanchuk’s next best efforts of 14.56m and 14.57m, came on her last two attempts.

Lafond’s best effort of 14.49m which came on her third attempt, secured her the third-place finish, while Kimberly Williams, the other Jamaican in the event, placed fifth with a best mark of 13.96m.

She may not have achieved the elusive World Record, but Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson had a Meet Record as consolation, as she demolished a field to win the women’s 200 metres at the Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.

Jackson running from lane six, was not as smooth as she would have liked in the early stages of the race but recovered well in the straight and sprinted away to stop the clock in 21.48s in a slight tailwind of 0.2 metres per second.

She bettered the previous Meet Record of 21.64s set by another Jamaican stalwart Merlene Ottey back in 1991 and will now turn her focus to Eugene which represents her final shot at the World Record of 21.34s held by American Florence Griffith-Joyner since 1988, this season.

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan closed fast to take second in 22.31s, with American Jenna Prandini (22.47s) taking third.

Janieve Russell and Rushell Clayton finished second and third as Dutch World Champion Femke Bol continued her unbeaten run this season in the 400m hurdles at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday.

Bol started calmly before using her unreal strength to pull away from the rest of the field in the last 100m to come home in a meet record 52.11.

Russell, a two-time Commonwealth Champion and a finalist at the recently concluded World Championships in Budapest, was second in 53.80 while Clayton, who took bronze at those World Championships, was third in 54.10.

Andrenette Knight, who was also a finalist in Budapest, led the field after the first half of the race but faded into sixth in 54.75.

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