Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive, is poised to make her highly anticipated season debut in the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, on May 25. This event promises to be a thrilling spectacle as Thompson-Herah faces off against reigning world champion ShaCarri Richardson.

Thompson-Herah's return to the Prefontaine Classic holds special significance. In August 2021, at this very meet, she clocked a blistering 10.54 seconds in the 100m, a performance that solidified her status as the fastest woman alive. Only Florence Griffith-Joyner's legendary world record of 10.49 seconds stands ahead of her on the all-time list.

The Prefontaine Classic will see Thompson-Herah and Richardson, two of the most electrifying sprinters in the world, go head-to-head. Richardson, who has already competed in two 200m races this season, will be running her first 100m of the year. This clash is eagerly awaited by athletics fans worldwide, as it brings together the fierce competition and star power of two dominant figures in women's sprinting.

Thompson-Herah's season opener at the Prefontaine Classic is just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting year. She is scheduled to run her second 100m of the season at the Grenada Invitational on June 6, at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada. This continuous competition will help her build momentum as she eyes further successes and potentially more record-breaking performances.

The Eugene meet is set to be a highlight of the Diamond League series, with Thompson-Herah's participation adding to the event's prestige. Her remarkable career, highlighted by her Olympic triumphs and her record-setting performances, continues to inspire and captivate the athletics world. As she lines up against ShaCarri Richardson, all eyes will be on this epic showdown, anticipating another memorable chapter in the storied careers of these two sprinting superstars.

"When I see someone win from a Caribbean island, I feel like I win, too." These words from Trinidadian sprinter Jereem Richards resonate deeply within the Caribbean athletic community, where a shared sense of pride transcends national boundaries.

As Richards gears up for Paris 2024, he reflects on his journey, the unity among Caribbean athletes, and his dream of Olympic success in an exclusive interview with World Athletics Inside Track.

Richards, a 30-year-old multiple global medallist, has become a beacon of inspiration for many. He clinched 400m gold at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and was an integral part of Trinidad and Tobago’s triumphant 4x400m relay team at the 2017 World Championships in London. However, his achievements extend beyond medals; they embody the spirit and resilience of the Caribbean.

"I would say Trinidad and Tobago is a melting pot of the Caribbean. We have very diverse people and a mixture of cultures when it comes to food, music, and everything like that. It’s definitely a really great country," Richards said, highlighting the vibrant cultural tapestry that shapes his identity and fuels his passion for track and field.

For Richards, track and field is more than a sport—it is a vital part of Trinidad and Tobago's history. "Track and field, to me, means a lot. To Trinidad and Tobago, it is definitely one of the most successful sports in our history. I try my best to use my platform to not just educate people about the sport, but to keep the people of Trinidad and Tobago interested in track and field," he explained.

The sense of collective pride among Caribbean athletes is profound. "When I see someone win from a Caribbean island, I feel like I win, too," Richards reiterated, emphasizing the unique bond that links the Caribbean nations in their athletic endeavors.

As Paris 2024 approaches, Richards remains focused on his lifelong dream. "This has been my dream, to be an Olympic medallist, from the first day I started running track and field," he said. "I’m just excited to go through the cycle this year and see how it turns out in Paris. I think my entire life journey builds up to this moment."

Richards also shared valuable advice for young athletes. "Try to find the good in each and every situation. Even if things don’t go your way, there’s going to be some part of that bad situation that has good in it. And even if you can’t find the good in it, use it as an example of what not to do or as motivation moving forward."

As he prepares for the upcoming Olympic cycle, Richards' journey stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and the unifying force of sports. His story inspires not only his fellow Trinidadians but also the entire Caribbean, as they collectively dream of Olympic glory in Paris 2024.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naggo Head of St. Catherine ended the penultimate day of the INSPORTS/Devon Biscuits Primary Schools Athletics National Championship with a 28.5-point lead over defending champions Lyssons of St. Thomas after 21 of the 40 finals at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Naggo Head, who are the Central champions, have amassed 117 points, well clear of Lyssons on 88.5 points. Greater Portmore are sitting in third spot with 68 points while Half-Way-Tree Primary are fourth on 49 points. St Richards completed the top five on 45 points.

Five records were broken on the second day. In the day’s first final, Yasheka Lewis of Gregory Park broke the Girls’ Cricket Ball Open record, throwing 49.22m, well over the previous mark of 44.45m held by Taheisha Brown of Lyssons Primary since 2023. Santana Brown of Brompton Primary was second with 46.31m.

Nickholet Brown of St John’s Primary erased the Girls Lump Jump Open mark with a leap of 4.61m while her schoolmate Odainna Creary broke the 70m hurdles record clocking 11.52 seconds.  

The outstanding Waivany Walker of Naggo Head won the Girls’ Class One 400m in 1:01.10 and was just outside the record of 59.27 held by Andrenette Knight of Morant Bay Primary since 2009.

The boys’ equivalent saw Lawrence Tavern Primary grab the top two spots courtesy of Joshua McWilliams in 58.52 ahead of his teammate Jahaija Griffiths in 59.05. The outstanding record of 53.46 is held by Christopher Taylor of Ewarton Primary since 2012.

The promising Keneisha Robinson of Naggo Head broke the Girls’ Class Two 300m record stopping the clock at 43.32 erasing Teixiera Johnson of Exchange Primary’s mark of 43.43 set in 2022.

Johnson is now at Hydel High and won the Class Three sprint double at the recent Boys and Girls High School Championship.

Zidane Morgan of Ascot Primary captured the Class Two Boys 400m ahead of Ramon Young of Yallahs Primary in a very close battle. Both were timed at 42.28 seconds.

The 100m sprints were exciting and the promising Kashmir Gunther of Southborough Primary won the Boys’ Class One 100m in 12.47 holding off Deandre Parker of Rousseau Primary in 12.52. Joshua McWilliams of Lawrence Tavern was third in 12.81.

Lyssons made up some ground picking up first and third in the Girls Class One 100m courtesy of Khalia Raymond (13.20) and Kahlia Senior (13.48). Asha-Lee Montique of Red Hills Road finished second in 13.39.

Allia Royal of Davis Primary won the Girls Class Three 100m in 14.12 seconds, the same time as second-placed Arianna Lewis of Half-Way-Tree Primary who clocked the same time. Jadah-Kay Pitt of Rock Hall was third in 14.22.

In one of the most anticipated clashes of the championship, Shaquan Reid of Glen Stuart won the Boys’ Class Two 100m in 13.16 just ahead of Davere Walker of Lyssons in 13.29. Jaden Reid of Southborough was third in 13.39.

Shamara Chin of Greater Portmore took the Girls Class two 100m in 13.45, edging Sarah McDonald of Naggo head into second spot with 13.46. De-Asia Segree finished a close third also in 13.46.

Shemika Dobbs of Windward Road won the Girls’ Class Four 60m in 9.06 seconds ahead of Earthania Wray in 9.17 and Amanda Allen of Corinaldi Avenue with 9.21.

Conjay Scarlett of Corinaldi took the Boys’ Class Four 60m in 8.87 ahead of Jaquan Smith of Harbour View in 9.00 with third going to Demario Lewis of Rock Hall in 9.11 seconds.

By the end of the relays, Naggo Head had opened up a significant lead after winning two events and showed consistent running in all classes.

 

 

Jamaican track & field fans have earned a reputation as some of the most passionate and supportive people you will ever come across and, for British sprint superstar Dina Asher-Smith, seeing it up close and personal at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on May 11 was a riveting experience.

Asher-Smith, a proud member of the Jamaican diaspora herself through her father Winston, ran her second-fastest time of the young season, 22.59, to take top spot in the Women’s 200m at the inaugural edition of the meet held at the National Stadium in Kingston.

The 28-year-old, in a post-race interview, said that, regardless of the result, she felt “blessed” to finally compete in Jamaica.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do forever and ever. I am a part of the Jamaican diaspora around the world,” she said before pointing out that her parents flew in from London to see her compete.

“I’m just so proud to have come here and, however today would’ve gone, it’s just a blessing to come here and race in Jamaica,” she added.

The 2019 World 200m champion, in another interview after her race with The Inside Lane, expounded on her experience competing in Jamaica.

“I’m just so blessed to be in this country and blessed that they support me on that level,” she said.

“I don’t think I can quite articulate what it means to come to another country and they want you to do well and they’re so happy that you’re here. I think, as an athlete, we all want the medals, we all want the titles, we all want the records but at the same time, it means a lot that people want to see you do well,” she added.

The British record holder in both the 100m and 200m said the support from fans even extended to off the track, mentioning that Jamaican guests at the hotel she stayed at often referred to her as “cousin” based on her Jamaican heritage.

“It’s been amazing. I’ve always known that the Jamaican fans are so supportive but being here and seeing it up close like when you’re in the hotel and people also staying there are like ‘cousin, cousin!’ It means so much because when you’ve got your actual roots celebrating you and they like you for who you are, I can’t even describe the feeling. It’s so amazing.”

 

Two-time World 200m champion Shericka Jackson was pleased with her execution after finally kicking off her season in the half-lap event at the Rabat Diamond League on Sunday.

Jackson produced 22.82 to win ahead of Ivorian Maboundou Kone (22.96) and France’s Helene Parisot (23.02) in conditions she described as not ideal for fast sprinting.

“Felt good. I think I did pretty well tonight. Out here is a bit cold and windy but, nevertheless, I’m healthy and that’s good,” Jackson said in a post-race interview.

In addition to the weather, Jackson commented on the lack of fans in the stadium to give the athletes a boost, stating that it paled in comparison to last year’s edition of the meet.

“I was like ‘Oh My God!’ It’s one thing when out there is windy and cold and you don’t have much spectators to give you the boost and I think tonight wasn’t as good as last year where reception is concerned,” she said.

With it being her first 200m of the season, “execution” was Jackson’s response when asked what the focus of the race was.

“It’s my second race and first 200m of the season. I did not know what to expect. Coach and I were discussing a few things and I think we did pretty good tonight,” she said.

Jackson then said that she has a few more races scheduled before competing at Jamaica’s National Championships from June 27-30 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

“I have a few more races before trials. It’s a bit of a late start to the season but we have a few races to go so it’s just building from there. We’ll definitely peak at the right time,” she said.

Jackson will be looking to replicate her performance at last year’s national championships where she took the sprint double with times of 10.65, a personal best, and 21.71.

She also won the sprint double in 2022 with times of 10.77 and 21.55.

Shericka Jackson and Rushell Clayton showcased their class while being among the winners at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

Jackson, who made her season debut in the 100m in Kingston on May 4 after a late start to her season, was not at her sharpest in Rabat but good enough to keep the field at bay as she sprinted to victory in 22.82 seconds while running into a headwind of -1.0m/s.

Maboundou Kone of the Ivory Coast was a close second in 22.96 with Helene Parisot of England in 23.02.

Earlier, Clayton was more impressive. Coming off an encouraging victory at the Jamaica Athletic Invitational on May 11 when she ran a world-leading 53.72, Clayton once again dominated the first 300m but was closed down by compatriot Shian Salmon along the home stretch. Still, she managed to hold on to win in 53.98. Salmon ran an enterprising race for second place clocking 54.27.

Anna Ryzhykova ran a commendable 55.09 for third place.

While fortune smiled on Jamaica’s women, the men were not as fortunate as Rohan Watson was edged out of a podium finish in the men’s 100m dash. The reigning Jamaican champion finished fifth in 10.26. He was credited with the same time as fourth-placed finisher Brandon Hicklin of the USA and was 0.01 behind Great Britain’s Jeremiah Azu, who took third in 10.25.

There was no doubt about the winner Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon who crossed first in 10.11 with Canada’s Andre Degrasse finishing in second place in 10.19.

Yohan Blake ran a season’s best 10.41 while being eighth.

In the men’s discus, Travis Smikle once again exceeded 66m but missed out on a podium position. He finished fourth with his best throw of 66.03m. However, he was no match for winner Mykolas Anelka. The newly minted world record holder produced an impressive throw of 70.70m to win the contest.

Matthew Denny of Australia finished in the runner-up position with his throw of 67.74m. Olympic and World Champion Daniel Stahl threw 67.49m for third place.

Fedrick Dacres threw 65.05 for sixth place.

 

When Nikisha Pryce clocked a lifetime best of 49.32 seconds at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Florida on May 11, one of the keen observers was Shericka Williams. Now 38 years old and residing in the United States, Williams currently shares with Pryce the title of second-fastest Jamaican woman ever to run the 400m. Pryce's time sits just two-thousandths of a second shy of Lorraine Graham’s national record of 49.30, set in Monaco 22 years ago.

Williams, a three-time Olympic silver medalist who also won five silver medals at the World Championships, came agonizingly close to breaking the national record herself at the 2009 championships in Berlin, where she finished as runner-up to Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards.

Having closely followed Pryce’s progression over the years, Williams expressed her belief in the 23-year-old SEC champion’s potential to surpass Fenton’s longstanding record. In an exclusive chat with Sportsmax.TV, Williams shared her insights: “I have been watching her progress and how much she has grown in the event. I do believe she has the ability to break the national record if she remains focused, continues to stay healthy, and avoids overworking herself.”

Reflecting on Pryce’s athletic prowess, Williams continued, “We both share the joint second-fastest time. From observing her performances indoors and outdoors, she runs smoothly with apparent ease, and her 200m speed complements her 400m ability. Lorraine’s record has stood for years, and despite attempts from myself, Novelene (Williams), and others, it remains unbroken. I hope Nikisha can achieve this feat and also secure a spot on the Olympic team, reaching the final and delivering a performance worthy of a medal.”

Williams, who shares a similar physique to Pryce, believes that breaking the record is within reach. Recalling her near-miss in 2009, she noted, “I was in 48-second shape going into the championships based on my training. However, I didn’t execute my race properly; my third 100 meters was too slow. Breaking the record hinges on how well you manage each 100 meters, and with the leg speed I possessed, I truly believe I could have set a new record, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get my race strategy right.”

Despite her near-miss, Williams holds high hopes for Pryce, the current senior at the University of Arkansas. “I wish her all the best, and I will be cheering her on,” Williams concluded, expressing optimism that Pryce could achieve what she and many others have aimed for but fallen short of accomplishing.

With the Olympic Games now approximately 11 weeks away, Jamaica's Oblique Seville indicated his readiness for the global multi-sport showpiece, as he clocked an impressive personal best 19.96 seconds to win the men’s 200m at the Adidas Atlanta City Games at Piedmont Park, on Saturday.

Seville, running from lane four, in the four-athlete field, blew away the competition to win in a negative 1.1 metres per second wind reading, and took apart his previous best of 20.17s.

Such a performance from Seville certainly laid down a marker for what is to come at the Racers Grand Prix and National Trials in the coming months, as he targets a medal or two at this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old won ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards, who clocked a season’s best 20.04s, while American Elija Goodwin (20.47s) and Jamaica’s 400m World champion Antonio Watson (20.99s), completed the field.

There were no such fortunes for the Caribbean ladies in the women’s 200m, as Junelle Bromfield (23.44s) of Jamaica, and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams (23.47s) were fourth and fifth respectively. The event was swept by Americans Lynna Irby-Jackson (22.67s), Kennedy Blackmon (22.96s) and Lauren Williams-Jones (23.18s).

The same was true for Jamaica’s Demisha Roswell (12.98s) and Yanique Thompson (13.13s), who placed fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s 100m hurdles. American Kendra Harrison (12.67s) finished tops ahead of Nigeria’s World record holder Tobi Amusan (12.73s) and Great Britain’s Cindy Sember (12.86s).

Carey McLeod placed third in the men's long jump.

America’s World 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway topped the event in a World leading 13.07s, running in a slight headwind. Robert Dunning (13.40s) and Michael Dickson (13.50s) were second and third, also with season’s best marks.

The much-anticipated men’s 150m was expectedly won by American World sprint double champion Noah Lyles, who stopped the clock in 14.41s. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes (14.66s) and Dominican Republic’s Alexander Ogando (14.86s) were second and third, while Jamaican Tyquendo Tracey (15.90s) was fifth.

In the men’s long jump, Jamaica’s Carey McLeod continued his good early season form with a third-place finish, after a best leap of 7.92m. The event was won by Italy’s Mattia Furlani, who cut the sand at 8.06m, while American Damarcus Simpson was second with a season’s best leap of 7.94m. Bahamian Laquan Nairn (7.70m) was fifth.

Jamaica’s Chanice Porter, with a season’s best 6.58m, and Tissanna Hickling (6.50m), were fifth and sixth in the women’s long jump, won by American Tara Davis-Woodhall, who cut the sand at 7.17m. Another American Quanesha Burks (6.89m) and Nigeria’s Ese Brume (6.87m) were second and third respectively.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Akani Simbine indicated that he was still a part of the conversation for in the men’s sprints, as he topped the 100m with a World Leading 9.90s in a slight 0.4 metres per second headwind. Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (10.00s) and American Kendal Williams (10.05s) were the runners-up.

American Aleia Hobbs won the women’s 100m in a season’s best 10.88s in a slight tailwind of 0.5 m/s. Her compatriots Tamar Clark (10.98s) and Mikiah Brisco (11.00s), also clocked season’s best for second and third.

 

As they continue sharpen their skills ahead this summer’s Olympics Games in Paris, France, Grenadian Olympians Kirani James and Lindon Victor are set to compete at separate meets on different continents this weekend.

James, the 2012 Olympic champion and three-time medalist, has been confirmed for the LA Grand Prix on Saturday, May 18, at the Drake Stadium in Los Angeles, California. This will be his second race of the season having opened at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on April 28.

Meanwhile, Victor, a decathlete, will take part in the Hypo Meeting at the Mosle Stadium in Gotzis, Austria, from Saturday, May 18 to Sunday, May 19.

The Hypo Meeting is a World-Athletics organized combined events gold level meet that features the world’s top heptathletes and decathletes in two days of grueling competition.

Victor, a two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist and the holder of several national records for Grenada has his sights set on the 2024 Paris Olympics where he will make his third Olympic appearance for the Spice Island.

Following competition in Austria, Victor will fly home to Grenada where he will contest the long jump and the 100m at the Grenada Invitational on June 6.

Tamarri Lindo, a standout track athlete from York University in Canada, finds himself grappling with the looming threat of deportation just as his Olympic aspirations reach a critical juncture. Despite his impressive athletic achievements, including a recent bronze medal in the 60-metre hurdles for York University at the national collegiate championships, Lindo's dreams of representing Canada at the upcoming Olympics are in peril.

Tamarri's journey to Canada began in 2019 when he and his family fled Jamaica due to alleged threats and violence linked to his father George Lindo's political activism against gang influence in support of the opposition party. Tamarri, who has excelled both academically and athletically, earned a Ca.$2,500 scholarship after catching the eye of scouts while in high school.

"My goal was to make the 2024 Paris Olympics. But now, it feels like everything is being taken away," Lindo lamented in an emotional interview with CTV National News. "I feel like I could have a mental health breakdown. My heart is sinking."

Despite providing evidence of threats and violence faced in Jamaica, the Lindo family's asylum claims have been denied multiple times by Canadian immigration officials. The most recent pre-removal risk assessment, conducted in March 2023, upheld previous decisions, prompting the Canada Border Services Agency to issue a deportation order scheduled for next week.

Immigration lawyer Aidan Simardone, advocating for the Lindo family, has filed for a judicial review as their final recourse to remain in Canada. He condemned the decision, highlighting the potential danger awaiting the Lindos if forced to return to Jamaica.

"The fact that they are doing this is unconscionable," Simardone asserted. "It goes against our Canadian values of providing people their fair opportunities and protection to those in danger in other countries."

For Tamarri, who hoped his athletic achievements would bolster his family's case for residency, the uncertainty looms heavily. As he faces the imminent threat of deportation, he remains hopeful for a successful appeal while continuing to train and pursue his athletic goals amidst the uncertainty that surrounds his family's future in Canada.

 As the legal battle unfolds, supporters have rallied behind the Lindo family, advocating for a reconsideration of their case and hoping for a resolution that allows them to remain in Canada and for Tamarri to pursue his Olympic dreams.

 

 

 

The stage is set for a thrilling showcase of athletic prowess as the 2024 Grenada Invitational gears up to welcome a star-studded lineup of track and field talents. Hometown heroes Kirani James and Anderson Peters, alongside the incomparable Elaine Thompson-Herah, lead the pack of 100 athletes confirmed to compete at the prestigious event, slated to take place on Thursday, June 6, at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada.

The excitement surrounding the meet was palpable as it was officially launched on Thursday at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in St. George's. The presence of Olympic champions and world-class athletes promises an electrifying atmosphere for spectators and competitors alike.

Joining the illustrious lineup are Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles champion Rasheed Broadbell, set to make his season debut, and Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper. Their participation adds further depth and excitement to an already stacked field of competitors that will also include Grenada’s Olympic hopefuls quarter-miler Melenie Rodney, sprinter Halle Hazzard as well as decathletes Linden Victor and Kurt Felix. Both decathletes will participate in the long jump and 100m events.

The meet will also herald the celebration of a significant milestone—the 40th anniversary of Grenada's first participation in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. To honor this occasion, all 51 athletes who have represented the country at the Olympics over the past four decades will be celebrated and honored at a special ceremony scheduled for 6:00 pm on the day of the event.

The festivities are set to kick off at 4:30 pm with national segments featuring local athletes across various age categories, from U13 to U20. This segment serves as a platform to showcase the budding talent within Grenada's track and field community and underscores the nation's commitment to nurturing the next generation of athletic stars.

As the sun sets and the international segment commences at 7:00 pm, spectators can expect nothing short of top-tier performances from some of the world's most elite athletes. From sprints to hurdles, jumps to throws, the Grenada Invitational promises a spectacle of athletic excellence that will captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression on the global track and field stage.

The meet organizers say the full cast of athletes competing at the meet will be revealed over the next two weeks.

Jamaican sprinter Jonielle Smith is on a determined path to overcome adversity as she sets her sights on qualifying for her first Olympic Games this summer.

The 28-year-old athlete, who tasted victory as part of Jamaica's gold-winning 4x100m relay team at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, has faced significant setbacks following a motor-vehicle accident later that year which left her battling injuries, particularly to her back.

After a challenging recovery, Smith's journey took her back to Jamaica, transitioning from Florida-based MVP International to the MVP Track Club, where she has been steadily rebuilding her form but it hasn’t been easy.

“Trust me. I don’t think anybody trains as hard as Jamaicans. Last year, when I tell you my body went through it, not only from injuries but as simple as the workouts being exhausting. It definitely hit me hard but this year I feel like it’s more just injuries that are my problem rather than the workouts. So that’s a plus. Now, we’re just trying to get back to where we were or even better than where we were.”

Despite enduring a tumultuous period with injuries limiting her appearances in 2021 and 2022, Smith remains optimistic about her prospects, especially with the Jamaican trials approaching at the end of June.

Reflecting on her current struggles, Smith emphasized the mental fortitude required to regain her form, both in practice and competition. "It’s rough. I think this part of it is mainly mental, trying to find back myself both in practice and now in competition," she said.

“The good thing is that practice is basically picking up so now I just have to work on continuing to be consistent and then translate that into competition.”

Regarding her race on Saturday, where she finished third in the Women's 100m B final, Smith admitted it wasn't up to her expectations but recognized it as a stepping stone in her comeback. "It wasn’t what I expected. I really wanted more but we have to take the good with the bad," she shared.

“Last week was my first month back so this one was like ‘alright we are we, what can we improve on. My execution wasn’t as good as last week, which I don’t like but hopefully whenever I compete again I will be much better.”

Despite the challenges, Smith has found encouragement in her progress, particularly with her back feeling more stable. However, new issues with her shoulder and neck have emerged this year, impacting her training and race readiness. Nevertheless, Smith remains steadfast, focusing on incremental improvements each day.

 

“Thankfully, that’s why I am even more positive now is that my back is actually now behaving. I feel like I have got stronger in those areas in terms of my glutes, hamstrings, and all those supporting areas but for some reason my shoulder and neck decided to go crazy on me this year and it’s a case where we are not really sure of what is going on but it really has affected both training and competition hence why I am basically just going at it (competition) again.

“But we’re slowly making progress. I still have a couple weeks to go, practice is picking up which I am extremely grateful for so I just need to continue racing and translate training into competition.”

Smith's coach and support team are working diligently to address her physical challenges and fine-tune her race execution in preparation for the upcoming trials. With just six weeks remaining, Smith is determined to translate her training efforts into competitive success and secure her spot on the Olympic team.

 

 

As Julian Forte stepped onto the track at the Jamaica Athletic Invitational, last Saturday, he carried with him a mixture of concern and determination. This as he only recently returned from nursing an Achilles injury, which threatened to derail his season.

Despite his concerns, Forte, through stubborn determination and a desire to enjoy a successful season, delivered a stellar performance to win the men’s 100m in a season’s best 10.02 seconds, as he improved on the 10.07s he ran a week prior at the JAAA’s All Comers Meet, also staged at the National Stadium.

Not only did the winning time solidify Forte’s hold as the fastest Jamaican male sprinter this year, but it was also a testament to the hard work and dedication that goes into his training, which is laser-focused on his ultimate goal – securing a spot on the Olympic podium.

“I'm feeling good. I'm really pleased with my performance and really pleased with where I'm at right now. It hasn't been smooth sailing, but I am really grateful to have come out with a victory,” Forte said, a hint of relief in his voice, as he iced his hamstring.

“My hamstring never felt a 100 per cent at about 60 metres in, but I never wanted to stop. It didn't feel that bad, so I just kind of carried on with the race. It doesn't feel like anything serious, so I just have to go back, assess it and make sure I come back stronger,” he shared.

With the National Trials to select the country’s athletics team to this summer’s Paris Olympic Games on the horizon, Forte's focus has been on maintaining his fitness and avoiding any setbacks, which is crucial in determining his path to the global multi-sport showpiece dubbed the pinnacle of every athlete’s career.

While things don’t always go as planned, the 31-year-old, who at his optimum clocked personal best times of 9.91s and 19.97s for the 100m and 200m, intends to keep pushing himself, remain positive, and trust his abilities.

Simply put, with hard work and a bit of luck, Forte, who was a part of the 4X100m relay team that placed fourth at the Tokyo Games, and boast a Commonwealth Games relay gold medal, has no doubt that he can achieve his dreams of securing an Olympic medal.

“I just came back about five weeks ago; I was out with an Achilles injury for about seven weeks, so it's never smooth sailing for me and the past seasons were never injury free. But we're trying to learn from each injury and find a way to still compete and still do well,” said Forte, who has represented Jamaica at the 2012, 2015 and 2017 World Athletics Championships.

“Like I said earlier, I like where I'm at. I think the execution is well done and just glad for victory. So, my expectation is definitely to make it to Paris where I am aiming for a medal at the Games. That is the goal,” he declared.

For now, Forte has his sights on the Diamond League Meet in Rabat, on Sunday, where he will face off against some of the world's top sprinters.

“The Diamond League is always a tough competition, but I'm looking forward to the challenge,” he ended.

2022 World 100m champion Fred Kerley has his sights set on Usain Bolt’s 15-year-old 100m World Record.

In fact, the 29-year-old says that the next time he does the event, he will become the fastest man ever.

“World record next time I touch the 100m,” Kerley said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Usain Bolt’s mark stands at an incredible 9.58 done to win his maiden World Championship gold medal at the Berlin World Championships on August 16, 2009.

Bolt is the only man to ever run faster than 9.60 with Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake the only other men to run sub 9.70.

Gay and Blake both have a personal best of 9.69 to be joint-second on the all-time list.

Kerley, one of the only athletes ever to go sub-10 in the 100m, sub-20 in the 200m and sub-44 in the 400m, has a personal best of 9.76 done at the World Championships in 2022 in Eugene where he went on to claim 100m gold.

His time puts him in a three-way tie for sixth all-time alongside countrymen Christian Coleman and Trayvon Bromell.

Asafa Powell (9.72), Justin Gatlin (9.74) and Ferdinand Omanyala (9.77) make up the top ten.

This season, Kerley has competed four times in the 100m. He opened his season with a win at the Hurricane Invitational on March 16 in Coral Gables, Florida with 10.03 and followed that up at the same venue on April 6 in the Hurricane Alumni Invitational with 10.11 to also come out on top.

Kerley then competed at the season’s first two Diamond League events in Xiamen and Suzhou on April 20 and 27, respectively. He first ran 10.17 to finish second in Xiamen before running 10.11 for third in Suzhou.

He most recently competed at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational on May 11 where he ran 20.17 to finish second in the men’s 200m.

In a week highlighted by outstanding performances at the SEC Championships, Jamaican athletes, Brianna Lyston and Nickisha Pryce, have earned spots on the latest edition of The Bowerman Watch List, released on Wednesday. For Pryce, it marks a significant debut, while Lyston continues to solidify her presence among collegiate track and field's elite.

Nickisha Pryce's inclusion on the list comes on the heels of her standout performance at the SEC Championships in Florida. The senior at the University of Arkansas blazed through the 400m in a remarkable 49.32 seconds, making her the second-fastest Jamaican woman ever over the distance. This achievement places her just shy of the national record held by Lorraine Graham at 49.30 seconds. Pryce's sensational debut on the Watch List underscores her rising prominence within the collegiate sprinting scene.

Pryce, who hails from St. Mary, Jamaica, also became the No. 3 collegian all-time in a race that featured four sub-50 collegians for the first time. She followed with an outdoor PR 22.67 for seventh in 200m. In the winter, she was runner-up in the 400 at both the SEC Indoor and NCAA Indoor 400 with a best of 50.83 while also clocking an absolute PR of 22.62 in the 200. Pryce is the 13th Arkansas woman named to the Watch List, leaving the Razorbacks behind only Oregon (18) and Texas A&M (15) all-time in that regard.

Meanwhile, Brianna Lyston, representing LSU and her hometown of Portmore, Jamaica, delivered a series of impressive performances at the SEC Championships. Lyston claimed victory in the 100 meters with a personal record time of 10.91 seconds, propelling her to the ninth-fastest all-time collegiately in this event. Additionally, she showcased her versatility by finishing fourth in the 200 meters (22.37 seconds) and contributing a strong lead leg for LSU's third-place 4x100 relay team (42.49 seconds). Lyston's consistency and speed both indoors and outdoors have earned her a remarkable sixth appearance on The Bowerman Watch List.

Among other notable athletes recognized on the latest edition of the Watch List are JaMeesia Ford from South Carolina (Sprints), Rachel Glenn from Arkansas (Hurdles/Jumps), and Jasmine Jones from Southern California (Sprints/Hurdles), highlighting the exceptional talent across various disciplines in collegiate track and field.

As Lyston and Pryce continue to push boundaries and raise the bar in their respective events, their achievements at the SEC Championships have rightfully secured their places on The Bowerman Watch List, a testament to their outstanding performances and potential in the world of track and field.

 

 

 

 

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