The 2023 Gibson McCook Relays will take place at the National Stadium in Kingston on February 25.

The meet is celebrating 50 years of existence and will return with 43 events in a 12-hour extravaganza.  

PUMA, Television Jamaica, Wisynco and Digicel are the major sponsors along with 28 other business partners which have covered all 45 events for the meet. 

Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Prof Rainford Wilks in expressing his delight is excited about two new events.

“The 60 meters open for Elite Men and Women should add to the thrill of the meet. We are also pleased with the planning for the milestone event.” 

Back to its original schedule, which sees the meet starting at 9:00 am the morning session will have 20 heats and five finals up to 2:30; while in the afternoon session 40 finals are set to start from 4:00 pm. 

The meet, known for its on time running, sees the last event the 4 X 400 meters High School Boys go off at 9pm. 

The World’s fastest man, Dr the Hon Usain Bolt is the patron for the meet. At a press briefing, Bolt expressed his undying love for Jamaica and reflected on his own performances at the meet. Bolt last competed at that event in 2017 for the Racers Track Club en route to the World Championship in London the same year. 

This year's staging continues with a full week of activities including a Church Service on February 19, the Howard Aris Memorial Lecture at UTECH on February 21 and an Awards Banquet at the Jamaica Pegasus on February 23 before the meet on February 25 at the National Stadium.

Tickets go on sale on Monday, February 20 at the ticket office at the National Stadium. Two categories are available for the grandstand: Finish Line - $5,000, Regular Grandstand - $3,500, Bleachers - $500. 

Chairman Wilks would like to remind fans “this Gibson McCook Relays is where athletes from all ages compete.”

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah began her 2023 campaign with a victory over 60m at the Queen's/Grace Jackson Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Jamaican World 200m champion Shericka Jackson says she feels no pressure to replicate her exploits from her phenomenal 2022 season, insisting that once she is healthy, the times and performances will come naturally.

Jackson’s comments came after opening her 2023 outdoor season with a 53.11 effort to win the 400m ahead of GC Foster College’s Odeisha Nation (55.37) and Christine Cheka (55.78) at the Queen's/Grace Jackson meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

“For me there’s no pressure. I believe my coach and I did a very good job last year and all we have to do now is stay focused, not on other people’s expectations but his and my expectations. Once I’m healthy, I will definitely go super-fast,” Jackson said.

Jackson is coming off a phenomenal 2022 season. At the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, she sped to a personal best of 21.45 to win gold in the 200m, becoming the fastest woman alive in the process.

In addition to her 200m crown, Jackson ran a personal best 10.73 to secure second in the 100m behind teammate Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Prior to last season, Jackson said that one of her goals was to run 10.6 in the 100m, and, according to her, that has not changed.

“Last year I wanted to run 10.6 and I didn’t do that. To finish last year as the sixth-fastest ever and not run 10.6 is a great feeling. I think I have a lot more in the tank for the 100m so I just have to focus on execution and fast times will come,” she said.

Last season, Jackson also made waves on the indoor circuit, finishing sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in a personal best 7.04.

On February 4, she will compete in the event at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

“Last year the 60m helped me improve my start. I ran 7.04 and this year I’m hoping I can go faster,” she said.

The field will be a loaded one, including 400m hurdles World and Olympic Champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, World Indoor 60m silver medalist Mikiah Briscoe and World Championship 100m finalist Aleia Hobbs.

“It’s a good field competing so my focus is executing a good 60m,” Jackson said.

 

 

 

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz lost 2-1 to Paraguay at the Kingston’s National Stadium on Sunday in what was the second of two international friendlies. The Reggae Girlz won the first encounter against their South American opponents in Montego Bay on Thursday, November 10.

First-half goals from Celsa Sandaoval and Ramona Martinez in the 16th and 35th minutes, respectively gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at half-time before Khadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 61st minute.

Glaring errors by the Jamaica’s gifted the Paraguayans their two goals against a wasteful Jamaican team that missed several opportunities to score.

Deneisha Blackwood’s errant back pass was seized upon by Sandaoval, who beat an advancing Rebecca Spencer in the Jamaican goal before shooting into the bottom right hand corner.

The second 19 minutes later resulted in a poor pass from Havana Solaun, which gave the Paraguayan forwards to spread the ball wide before a cross found Martinez free inside the box to smash home from close range.

Head Coach Lorne Donaldson said he was not surprised by the slow start. He said he saw it coming given that the girls were not sharp during their warm-ups and it showed in the opening 20 minutes of the game.

He explained, however, that the match was not all about trying to win as there were several players that the coaching staff wanted to take a look at before finalizing the squad for the World Cup still nine months away.

“Our camp is a little bit different from Paraguay. We are still looking at stuff. We are still looking at players, so obviously we want to win but it is not going to be at all cost for this camp because we have to give some players a look, so stuff is going to be a little bit off and that was evident in the first 20 minutes,” he said.

Among the things that we “off” was the Reggae Girlz shooting. Chances fell to Drew Spence and Shaw in the first half but were either blocked missed entirely.

Spence’s 13th minute shot was parried by goalkeeper Christine Ricalde while Shaw dragged one past the far post just two minutes later.

Siobhan Wilson’s cross fell to Paige Bailey-Paige, whose shot from inside the box was charged down by a defender. Allyson Swaby also had a shot from two yards blocked by Ricalde.

Three changes made at the resumption of play resulted in Jamaica being more organized and stable defensively. Vyan Sampson replaced an ineffective Solaun and Atlanta Primus came on to replace Kayla McCoy in midfield while fullback Tiernney Wiltshire replaced Malikae Dayes.

Bailey-Gayle and Wilson were substituted for wingers Cheyna Matthews and Rachel Jones in the 59th minute, the latter making an immediate impact.

Jones’ driving run down the left flank and resulting cross led to the handled ball from which a penalty was awarded allowing Jamaica back into the game.

The changes, Donaldson said, were a direct result of the team’s inability to control the game and limit the number of turnovers, which invariably but the defence under pressure.

“If you see, when we came out in the second half there were two changes in the midfield because we couldn’t control the game, we couldn’t anything. We were passing the ball to the next team, so that’s a part of saying this would never work or this is not going to work,” he said while lamenting the poor finishing that ultimately cost the team.

“Should we have knocked some goals in, maybe we should have but such is football. To us, it’s preparation and the end product is what we are looking at.”

Donaldson said this was the last window when the coaching staff would be looking at new players. He indicated that by the next camp they should have the 30 players from which the final squad will be selected for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Shericka Jackson ran the third-fastest time in history to cap an outstanding campaign at Jamaica’s National Senior Athletics Championships on Sunday.

Jevaughn Powell and Candice McLeod were crowned 400m champions on Sunday’s last day of the 2022 Jamaican National Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Running in rainy conditions, Powell, a finalist at the NCAA Championships earlier in June, produced a late burst in the final 50 metres of the race to produce 45.50 to win ahead of Nathon Allen (45.64) and Anthony Cox (45.65).

McLeod, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics last year, produced a strong season’s best of 50.29 to win ahead of Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.49) and Charokee Young (50.76).

There was an upset in the Women’s 800m as eight-time national champion Natoya Goule ran 2:00.83 for second behind Chrisann Gordon-Powell (2:00.35). Adelle Tracey ran 2:01.18 for third.

National record holder and NCAA Championships silver medallist Navasky Anderson ran 1:48.53 to win his first national title ahead of Kimar Farquharson (1:49.36) and Tarees Rhoden (1:49.89).

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson all safely advanced to Sunday’s Women’s 200m final as action continued on day three of the 2022 Jamaican National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The three 100m medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics all looked extremely easy to win their semi-finals in 22.54, 22.68 and 22.85, respectively.

Jackson, who secured the 100m title on Friday, looked especially easy, completely shutting down in the last 100m of the race.

Natalliah Whyte (23.05), Ashanti Moore (23.21), Kevona Davis (23.33), Jodean Williams (23.21) and Dominique Clarke (23.29) will join them in the final.

Meanwhile, 100m Champion Yohan Blake led all qualifiers to the Men’s final with a season’s best 20.20 to win his semi-final ahead of Andrew Hudson (20.23).

2020 Olympic finalist Rasheed Dwyer will also contest Sunday’s final after producing 20.35 to win his semi-final ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.45).

Mario Heslop (20.52), Riquan Graham (20.66), Jazeel Murphy (20.67) and Antonio Watson (20.74) complete the line-up for the final.

NCAA Championships silver medalist Charokee Young (50.19), 2020 Olympic finalist Candice McLeod (50.85), Stacey-Ann Williams (50.87) and 2013 World Championship bronze medalist Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.67) led all qualifiers to the Women’s 400m final.

The men were led by Jevaughn Powell (45.38), Anthony Cox (45.43), Nathon Allen (45.52) and Akeem Bloomfield (45.59).

The qualifiers for the Women’s sprint hurdles final were led by Britany Anderson (12.45), Megan Tapper (12.61), 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams (12.59) and Demisha Roswell (12.84).

Reigning Olympic Champion Hansle Parchment (13.24), Orlando Bennett (13.27), Rasheed Broadbell (13.29) and 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion Omar McLeod (13.36) led the qualifiers to the Men’s 110m hurdles final.

In the field, 2019 World Championship silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.79m to win her seventh national title ahead of Lloydricia Cameron (16.96m) and Danielle Sloley (15.98m).

Wayne Pinnock added to his NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles earlier this season with a personal best 8.14m to win the Men’s long jump ahead of defending World Champion Tajay Gayle (7.97m) and Shawn-D Thompson (7.88m).

 

 

Newly crowned Jamaican national 100m Champion Yohan Blake expects Jamaica to be back in contention for gold in the Men’s 4x100m at the World Championships in Eugene to be held from July 15-24.

“The 4x100 is looking great,” he said in an interview after running 9.85, his fastest time in a decade, to claim the national title ahead of Oblique Seville (9.88) and Ackeem Blake (9.93).

“Our sprinting is up there again and we’re looking to challenge the world again,” Blake added.

The retirement of Usain Bolt after the 2017 London World Championships signaled a shift in the balance of the Men’s 4x100m relay at major championships.

Jamaica’s men won the 4x100m gold at three straight Olympics (2008-2016) and four straight World Championships (2009-2015).

The 2017 and 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics all saw Jamaica fail to medal in the event but with Blake returning to his best and the rise of youngsters Seville and Blake, the sixth and eleventh fastest men in the world this year, the 2011 World 100m Champion expects things to go back to normal in Eugene.

Jelani Walker (10.00), 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m Champion Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.10), and Conroy Jones (10.10) finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the final and are expected to round out the relay pool.

Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson sent shockwaves through Kingston’s National Stadium on Friday with a blistering 10.77 to win the Women’s 100m on day two of the 2022 Jamaican National Senior Athletics Championships.

Jackson, who stomped her feet in joy after the race, finished ahead of NCAA Championships 100m silver medalist Kemba Nelson who ran a personal best 10.88 for second while defending double Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was third in 10.89.

Meanwhile, 2011 World 100m Champion Yohan Blake turned back the clock to secure the Men’s title in a time of 9.85, his fastest time since 2012.

Pre-meet favorite Oblique Seville ran 9.88 for second while Ackeem Blake was third in a new personal best 9.93.

Elsewhere, Jaheel Hyde successfully defended his title as national 400m hurdles champion with a 48.51 effort to narrowly finish ahead of Kemar Mowatt (48.53) while Shawn Rowe ran 49.66 for third.

The Women’s equivalent was won by Janieve Russell in 53.63 ahead of Shiann Salmon who ran a personal best 53.82 for second. 2019 World Championship bronze medallist Rushell Clayton was third in 54.20.

Andrenette Knight, who entered the final as the third fastest woman this year with a 53.39 effort in Nashville on June 5, was leading the event after six hurdles but failed to finish the race after unfortunately clipping the seventh and falling to the track.

 

Defending World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stole the show Thursday’s day one of the Jamaican National Senior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston with a blistering 10.70 to win her heat of the Women’s 100m.

Reigning Olympic Gold and Bronze medallists Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson were also safely through to Friday’s semi-finals with times of 11.06 and 10.99, respectively.

2011 World 100m Champion Yohan Blake ran his fastest time since 2017 with a 9.93 effort to advance to the semi-finals in the Men’s equivalent.

The fastest Jamaican in 2022, Oblique Seville, was also in fine form with an easy 9.98 clocking to win his heat.

Conroy Jones (10.00), Ackeem Blake (10.01), Oshane Bailey (10.03) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.06) were also among the fastest qualifiers to Friday’s semis.

There was a surprise in the Women’s high jump as Kimberly Williamson won her seventh national title with a 1.88 clearance ahead of pre-meet favourite Lamara Distin on Texas A&M University who cleared 1.85m.

Distin, the NCAA Champion, twice broke the Jamaican national record this season and her best clearance, 1.97m, places her third on the world list this season.

“I just felt like my run-up felt wrong today. It wasn’t the perfect day to jump so I just feel like it’s one of those days I have to accept and move on from,” Distin said.

“My expectation at the World Championships is to be in the medals,” she added.

Head coach of the Jamaica Men’s National Football Team Paul Hall expects his Reggae Boyz to be better defensively in their return Concacaf Nations League contest against Suriname at the National Stadium on Tuesday.

Both teams played out a 1-1 draw at the Flora Stadium in Paramaribo on Saturday after Junior Flemmings gave Jamaica the lead in the 39th minute before an Amal Knight own goal in the 84th meant the points were shared.

“We need to make more improvements defensively,” said Hall in a pre-match press conference on Monday.

“I thought we gave them a little bit too much respect attacking us and allowed them to get through some shots at us which forced Amal (Knight) to make some really good saves, especially early on,” he added.

In the game on Saturday, the hosts were able to get off 10 shots, a statistic Hall says his team will need to bring down at home to secure the win.

“I’m looking for the boys to really make it a fortress at the back and just really focus on trying to be stingy with the number of efforts that we allow Suriname to make on us,” Hall said.

 Coach Hall also pleaded to the Jamaican supporters to make their presence felt at Tuesday's game.

"I want the supporters to come to the match tomorrow. I want them to show us that they're on our side. We need them to bring us over the line, we need that support," he said.

 

 

The third meet in the “JAAA/SDF Jubilee series” will be staged this Saturday, May 21, at the National Stadium between 5pm and 7pm. Spectators will not be charged an entry fee.

These events are designed to assist senior athletes as they prepare for the JAAA National Championships and other international competitions including the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year. The Junior athletes will compete between 2pm and 4pm. 

Saturday’s meet will see athletes contesting the following events for males and females; long jump, discus, shot put, Sprint hurdles, 100m, 200m 400m, 400m hurdles and an invitational 800m.

All the athletes will be ranked based on performances this season. The 100m will only accommodate the top 32 ranked athletes, the 400m will see the top 24 and the top 16 will be in the sprint hurdles.

The 400m hurdles will have the top eight based on entry while the field events will see the top twelve based on entry. 

Monetary prizes will be awarded in the 400m hurdles for men and women, the 110m hurdles for men, the 200m for men and women and the discus for women.

The winner of each of the selected six events will get $90,000.00, second place gets $45,000.00, third takes home $30,000.00, fourth $20,000.00 and fifth $15,000.00. 

In total, each event will offer $200,000.00 in prizes, with $1.2 million being handed out overall for the day, providing the athletes meet a minimum standard. Only Jamaican athletes will benefit from the funds. 

The last meet in the four-event series will be staged on June 4, 2022.

Sponsors include the Sports Development Foundation, Puma and Jacden.

 

Toyko Olympics triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah said her 22.75 200m run at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee meet on Saturday was about shaking the rust off as she continues on her quest to win her first gold medal at the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

Now that he has finally been able to train consistently after two years of disruption caused by the global pandemic, Traves Smikle produced his best throw in three years to achieve the qualifying mark for this summer’s World Athletics Championships at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Smikle, the 2018 NACAC silver medallist, threw a season-best 66.60m for the victory, his best throw since he threw 67.57m in January 2019. It was the perfect birthday present for Smikle, who revealed afterwards that it was a welcome reprieve from a tough past couple of years.

“The last two years have been crazy with the pandemic and everything. It was very difficult to get into a training flow and now that things are better, not perfect but better, my coach and I got some consistent work in,” said Smikle, who won JMD$90,000 for the win.

“For the season I have been averaging 64/65m. We have been knocking at the door and we finally got it (the qualifying mark) today on my birthday and I am happy about that.”

Noticeably bigger than he has been in previous years, Smikle revealed that his increase in size is also part of his coach Julian Robinson’s plan for him to throw farther this year.

“One of the things my coach wanted me to do is put on a little more weight and we are doing some explosive work, trying to keep consistent with training and today we saw the fruits of our labour,” he said.

Smikle’s throw makes him Jamaica’s best thrower this year ahead of his training partner and friend, Fedrick Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and 2019 World Championships silver medallist and, at least for now, gives him bragging rights in the Reckless Control training group.

Dacres, he said, is sure to use it as motivation to throw beyond the 65.98m he threw at the same venue just over a week ago, the next time he competes.

“Fedrick is a phenomenal athlete and we have been training hard, he has been working hard and we are on track. It is only a matter of time before he hits a big throw,” Smikle said of Dacres.

“Both of us have been averaging over 65m and we just want to work hard and respect each other. I am pretty sure he has seen this mark and it is going fire him up to get something big so the next time we compete, it’s going to be a good one.”

As a teenager, Anthonique Strachan showed the tremendous potential of becoming one of the world’s brightest stars in track and field.

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