Caribbean athletes showcased their prowess at the New York Grand Prix on Sunday, delivering a series of standout performances. However, the event was marred by a potentially devastating setback for double-double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who sustained an injury just weeks before the Jamaican national championships.

Kirani James, Devynne Charlton, Rasheed Broadbell, and Carey Johnson emerged as the stars of the day, demonstrating their elite capabilities on the international stage.

Thompson-Herah, who has been eyeing a historic third consecutive 100m and 200m Olympic double in Paris this summer, saw her season cast into doubt. Competing in the 100m dash, she appeared to start well but ultimately finished last in 11.48 seconds, visibly limping and requiring assistance off the track afterward.

“I felt something uncomfortable as I began to push. I still tried to go but it got worse so I am awaiting professional advice moving forward. Thanks for your continued support,” Thompson-Herah posted on Instagram.

The race was won by Favour Ofili, who clocked a season’s best of 11.18. The USA’s Morolake Akunison and Aleia Hobbs finished second and third in 11.20 and 11.21, respectively.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Devynne Charlton showcased her dominance by clinching victory in a tightly contested race. Battling a headwind of -1.9m/s, the world indoor 60m champion edged ahead to win in 12.56 seconds. Alaysha Johnson was a close second in 12.58, while 100m hurdles world record holder Tobi Amusan finished third in 12.66.

The men's 110m hurdles saw another thrilling race, with Rasheed Broadbell narrowly missing out on victory. In a repeat of their Racer’s Grand Prix encounter, the USA’s Trey Cunningham held off Broadbell, winning in 13.21 seconds to Broadbell’s 13.28. Michael Dickson of the USA took third in 13.45, with Jamaica’s Tyler Mason finishing fourth in 13.52.

The men’s 400m was a highlight of the meet, delivering a nail-biting finish. As the runners entered the home stretch, Kirani James surged ahead to clinch victory in 44.55 seconds. Chris Bailey secured second place in 44.73, narrowly edging out South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, who finished third in 44.74. Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards also impressed, finishing fourth with a season’s best of 44.82.

However, the performance of the meet came from Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who delivered a spectacular performance in the women’s 400m, clocking 48.75 seconds despite running into a headwind. Her time was the second fastest ever by an American woman and eclipsed the previous world lead of 48.89 set by Jamaica’s Nikisha Pryce just a day earlier. Talitha Diggs finished a distant second in 50.91, with Jamaica’s Stacey-Ann Williams close behind in 50.94 for third.

In the 200m events, Gabby Thomas won the women’s race in 20.42, while Noah Lyles dominated the men’s event, finishing in 19.77.

Despite the mixed fortunes, the performances of Caribbean athletes like Kirani James, Devynne Charlton, and Rasheed Broadbell highlighted their readiness for the upcoming championships and underscored their potential for the Paris Olympics. However, the injury to Elaine Thompson-Herah cast a shadow over the day, leaving fans and fellow athletes hoping for her swift recovery and return to the track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans celebrated 100 days to go to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with tickets going on general sale as the was launched with larger-than-life cricket balls landing in the nine host locations including in Times Square in New York City and Bridgetown in Barbados.

Cricket stars Dwayne Bravo and Liam Plunkett took center stage hitting sixes in New York’s Times Square with local fans and players ahead of the biggest cricket carnival ever. Chris Gayle was in attendance in Freedom Park in Barbados with a spectacle of colour and music, as a street parade in Bridgetown celebrated the biggest T20 World Cup ever.

A number of other spectacular events took place in Dallas, Miami, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent & The Grenadines with sporting talent present and fans enjoying cricketing activities. The launch also signified the start of general ticket sales for the event which begins on 1 June where hosts USA face Canada in Dallas in a repeat of the first-ever international cricket match in 1844.

Tickets are available at tickets.t20worldcup.com

Dwayne Bravo expressed excitement about the build up to the tournament.

“I think the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be an incredible event and here in New York for the first time you are going to have the greatest players competing against each other. It's going to create history. It's about time that cricket made its mark here in the USA and people here now can look forward to seeing their favourite players and can experience it first-hand," he said.

“The fact that it's co-hosted between the US and the West Indies is good for cricket. It's fantastic for our region in the Caribbean to be able to show the world that we are able to host events as big as the World Cup. We are also happy that we are able to contribute to the growth of the development of cricket in the USA," Bravo added.

For Chris Gayle the expectation is also high, especially given the talent that will be on show in the tournament.

“We have some fantastic entertainers within the sport and you're going to see them live in the West Indies and USA this year at the T20 World Cup. You're going to see the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, youngster Yashavsi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shaheen Afridi – the list goes on! It's going to be a cracking, entertaining event," Gayle said.

 

Eight-year-old Bella Brown emerged as a star of the Millrose Games in New York on Sunday, clinching victory in the U8 (under-8) 55m dash with a dazzling time of 8.66 seconds. (See video below). In a remarkable display of talent and passion, Bella's inspiration stems from none other than the iconic Jamaican sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

The influence of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Bella's journey is profound.  "She probably saw Shelly Anne run when she was about four years old. She was very excited,” said Bella’s mother Sandra Harris, beaming with pride.

“We watch clips all the time. She watched them run. All the time she looks at their form. She looks at how they relax when they're running even though they're running hard. So yeah, she watches Shelly-Ann Fraser (Pryce) all the time and Veronica (Campbell-Brown) too."

The young prodigy's electrifying win at the Millrose Games showcased her raw talent and dedication, echoing the footsteps of her Jamaican idols. Sandra shared insights into her daughter's excitement and commitment after the triumphant race:

"Bella was excited. She trained very hard for this race, especially her starts. She came in very confident. She said she's gonna win, and all she wanted to do was execute her race properly. So when she did what she sought out to do, she was excited when she finished running."

Bella's affinity for track and field is deeply rooted in her family's athletic legacy. Sandra, whose family is from Westmoreland in Jamaica, is a former 100m and 200m sprinter, and Clarendon-born Barrington Brown, Bella's father, with a background in running and jumping, have passed down their love for the sport. "Bella Brown is from a track family. I ran. I was a 55/200m runner. 11 seconds in the 100m, 23 in the 200m. Her dad was also a runner and a jumper, so I would say it's in her blood," Sandra remarked.

However, Bella's dreams reach beyond mere victories on the track; she aspires to become an Olympian. Sandra expressed, "Bella wants to be an Olympian, yes. I don't know how far she wants to take it if she wants to be the fastest woman in the world one day, but she definitely wants to go to the Olympics."

As for Bella's potential representation on the global stage, Sandra said she is leaving the decision to her daughter: "If she continues on her path that she's currently on, I don't know who she will represent. Not sure she'll represent the USA or Jamaica, but we'll always leave that up to her. We want her to represent Jamaica; that's where we're from."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julien Alfred continued her show of force this indoor season on Sunday when she blazed to a world-leading time to win the 60m dash at the 2024 Millrose Games in New York. The 22-year-old St Lucian star sped to a time of 6.99 eclipsing the 7.01 run in Poland by Ewa Swoboda on February 6.

The time also a meet and facility record and further establishes Alfred position as being among the best of the world’s elite women sprinters. She is the first woman under seven seconds this indoor season after breaking the hallowed barrier three times last season during her final NCAA season.

There was daylight between Alfred and the in-form Shashalee Forbes of Jamaica, who was the runner-up in 7.14.

Destiny Smith-Barnett of the USA finished third in 7.16 while Briana Williams was fourth in 7.25.

Meanwhile, Christian Coleman of the USA won the men’s equivalent in 6.51 just managing to hold off Hakim Sani-Brown of Japan (6.54) and Akeem Blake of Jamaica, who overcame a poor start to finish third in 6.55.

Ryiem Forde of Jamaica was fourth in a personal best of 6.60.

Julien Alfred, the second-fastest woman of all-time over 60m, will take on four Olympic medallists in the short sprint at the Millrose Games – a World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold meeting – in New York on 11 February.

The sprinter from St Lucia won the NCAA indoor title last year in a North American record of 6.94, just 0.02 shy of the long-standing world record. She also won the NCAA indoor 200m title in 22.01, which also moved her to second on the world indoor all-time list.

Outdoors, she went undefeated at 100m from April to August. Her first and only loss of the year came in the World Championships final, where she placed fifth. She went one better in the 200m, finishing fourth.

Alfred will take on a strong field that includes 2019 world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith. The 28-year-old holds British records for 60m, 100m and 200m, and owns eight global medals as well as seven continental medals, four of them gold.

“The Millrose Games is one of the most prestigious and historic indoor competitions in the USA, and I am looking forward to racing there for the first time,” said Asher-Smith, who recently relocated to the US. “I am really enjoying my new training set up in Austin, and I’m looking forward to a big year in 2024.”

USA’s 2016 Olympic 4x100m champion English Gardner, winner of the 60m at the Millrose Games in 2019, will also be in the line-up, so too will Jamaica’s Briana Williams, who won Olympic 4x100m gold in 2021.

World indoor bronze medallist Marybeth Sant-Price, 2023 Millrose runner-up Tamari Davis, 2016 Olympic 4x100m silver medallist Shashalee Forbes and NACAC silver medallist Celera Barnes.

 

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.

 

Aryna Sabalenka flexed her muscles as the incoming world number one by beating Chinese youngster Zheng Qinwen to reach the US Open semi-finals.

The second seed from Belarus will take over from Iga Swiatek at the top of the rankings on Monday, ending the Pole’s 75-week reign.

She cruised into the last four at Flushing Meadows for the third straight year with a commanding 6-1 6-4 victory in an hour and 13 minutes.

Zheng, 20, playing in her first grand slam quarter-final, won just four of the first 24 points of the match as Sabalenka raced into a 5-0 lead.

She stopped the bleeding by holding serve in the sixth game, but Sabalenka wrapped up the first set in only 27 minutes.

Zheng, seeded 23, restored some pride in the second but a break in the seventh game ensured Sabalenka became the first woman to reach the semi-finals of all four grand slams in the same year since Serena Williams in 2016.

The 25-year-old has dropped just 21 games in the 10 sets she has played over five rounds in New York.

She said: “I definitely played great tennis. I’m super happy with the performance tonight and to give myself a chance to do better in the semis.

“I’m going to do everything I can to stay until the end.”

Novak Djokovic kept his cool in the New York heat to reach the semi-finals of the US Open and break yet another record.

The ice-cold Serbian is through to the last four of a grand slam for the 47th time, moving him one ahead of Roger Federer’s tally, after a 6-1 6-4 6-4 win over Taylor Fritz.

The roof was half-closed on Arthur Ashe to shield the players from the 90 degree temperatures amid energy-sapping humidity at Flushing Meadows.

American Fritz has been red hot all fortnight, not dropping a single set on his way to the last 16, but he was ruthlessly extinguished by the 23-time grand slam champion.

A demoralised Fritz has now lost all eight matches he has played against Djokovic.

The ninth seed hit more winners – 33 to Djokovic’s 25 – but he was simply ground down by the 36-year-old with a grand total of 51 unforced errors telling its own story.

He also forced 12 break points but converted only two of them, the second of which levelled the third set at 4-4 and prompted Djokovic to shoo some of his own supporters out of one of the executive suites.

But Djokovic immediately hit back, the three-time winner then saving another break point before completing the victory in two hours and 35 minutes to silence a partisan American crowd.

Djokovic said: “It’s expected that people are backing the home player, there’s nothing wrong with that. I like the atmosphere here, I’m fine with that and I thrive on that energy.

“I’ve been playing on this court for many years, played many epic matches, and I’m looking forward to another one in a few days.

“It’s a huge opportunity every time I step out on the court and at my age I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get.”

German Alexander Zverev had a spectator thrown out of his US Open match against Jannik Sinner for shouting “the most famous Hitler phrase”.

A man could clearly be heard yelling “Deutschland uber alles” inside Arthur Ashe Stadium as Zverev prepared to serve.

Zverev, the 12th seed, approached English umpire James Keothovang and said: “He just said the most famous Hitler phrase there is in the world. It’s unacceptable. This is unbelievable.”

Keothovang turned to the crowd and asked: “Who was the smart guy who said that? Who said that? Put your hand up. We’re going to get him out.”

He then announced to the crowd: “Please be fair and respect the players.”

The man suspected of yelling the slur was ejected by security at the end of the game.

Zverev went on to win the match in five sets and afterwards, the 26-year-old told reporters: “He started singing the anthem of Hitler that was back in the day. It was ‘Deutschland uber alles’ and it was a bit too much.”

Jack Draper has been added to Britain’s Davis Cup team for next week’s matches in Manchester following his run to the fourth round of the US Open.

The 21-year-old again showed his huge potential by outperforming the rest of Britain’s singles players in New York, pushing eighth seed Andrey Rublev to four sets before bowing out on Monday.

Draper has struggled with injuries throughout the season and was a doubt for the US Open because of a shoulder problem so it was encouraging that his body held up through four best-of-five-set matches.

He joins Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Neal Skupski in the side for matches against Australia, Switzerland and France beginning next Wednesday at the AO Arena.

It is the second time Leon Smith has called up Draper, who stayed on the bench during February’s victory over Colombia.

His inclusion presents captain Smith with a tricky selection decision given Norrie, Evans and Murray are significantly more experienced but none of the trio have had a great season, with British number one Norrie in particular in something of a rut.

Calling up Draper also indicates that Smith will rely on Wimbledon champion Skupski and Evans as his doubles partnership having overlooked Joe Salisbury, who is in the quarter-finals in New York with American partner Rajeev Ram.

Britain need to finish in the top two of the four-team group to make it through to the final stages of the competition in Malaga in November.

British number one Katie Boulter’s run at the US Open was ended in the third round by Peyton Stearns.

The 27-year-old from Leicester picked up two fine wins in her opening two matches, but American world number 59 Stearns proved too strong on a breezy Court 17.

Boulter was gunning for revenge having lost to Stearns across three tie-breaks and three-and-half hours in Texas in February.

But this was never as close a match despite Boulter clawing back an early break in the first set.

Holding serve was becoming an arduous task and Stearns duly struck again to pinch the opener.

A solitary break in the second was enough to send Boulter packing as 21-year-old Stearns ran out a 6-4 6-3 winner.

Boulter can be proud of her efforts in New York, however, with a place in the world’s top 50 on the cards for the first time in her career.

Dan Evans pushed world number one Carlos Alcaraz all the way before bowing out of the US Open following a breathtaking third-round match.

The defending champion had to dip into his armoury of explosive winners to finally see off the British number two inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The last time Evans played the top-ranked player he rose to the occasion, beating Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo three years ago.

And the 26th seed brought the very best out of the 20-year-old Wimbledon champion before succumbing 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Alcaraz dominated the first set, constantly pushing his opponent to the back of the court and hitting 14 winners to Evans’ four.

But he showed he is not infallible at the start of the second after a double-fault gave Evans, who was beginning to relish the challenge, a break point which he converted with a superb backhand down the line.

Alcaraz quickly retrieved the break and a frustrated Evans was given a code violation after slicing the ball into the crowd after netting a volley at 15-30 up on the Spaniard’s serve.

Evans was playing well, but Alcaraz simply raised his level and brought up set point with a blistering forehand down the line which brought gasps from the spectators.

Evans saved that one, but could do nothing with the next after an exquisite lob and simple volley put Alcaraz two sets up.

Never one to give up without a fight, Evans promptly played one of the best sets of his career.

He broke for 4-3 and, serving for the set, forced Alcaraz into some of the most outrageous clutch winners.

The pair, who played golf together at Wimbledon, frequently exchanged knowing looks and grins, such was the quality of the cat-and-mouse tennis on show.

It took Evans, 33, five set points to make the breakthrough, prompting a suddenly exasperated Alcaraz to slam his racket down in frustration.

But Alcaraz turned the match back in his favour with another stunning shot on break point. On the run and at full stretch, he unleashed a forehand down the line which clipped the baseline and left Evans stood, hands on hips, in sheer disbelief.

Two aces, another sensational lob onto the baseline and a 61st winner of the match finished Evans off, but Alcaraz knew he had been in a contest.

“He’s a tricky opponent, great slices, good touch and it’s my game as well so it was a pretty good match,” said Alcaraz.

“We made great points, great shots, a lot of different situations, so I’m really happy to get through

“We played some great points that made us smile, Dan as well. It’s great to see Dan and I on a tennis court, we tried to entertain and make the match fun.”

Novak Djokovic is safely into the third round, but there were a couple of big shocks on day three of the US Open.

Seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was knocked out in five sets by Dominic Stricker, a qualifier ranked 128 in the world.

Then, in the night session, fifth seed and last year’s runner-up Casper Ruud fell foul of China’s world number 67 Zhang Zhizhen.

British qualifier Lily Miyakazi’s run came to and end in the second round.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day three at Flushing Meadows.

Pic of the dayShock of the day

Chocolate-loving Dominic Stricker caused a major upset at the US Open by knocking out seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The chubby-cheeked 21-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, ranked 128 in the world, stunned two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas with a 7-5 6-7 (2) 6-7 (5) 7-6 (8) 6-3 victory to reach the third round.

The former French Open junior champion recently admitted his coach had told him to cut down on chocolate and cookies.

Yet it was Athens-born Tsitsipas who was left feeling sour after a four-hour slog on the Grandstand Court.

Brit watch

Miyazaki’s US Open adventure was ended in the second round by Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

The 27-year-old came through three matches to qualify at Flushing Meadows for the first time and then picked up a maiden grand slam win against Margarita Betova in round one.

But the world number 198 found 15th seed Bencic, of Switzerland, too tough a nut to crack as she bowed out 6-3 6-3.

Miyazaki still leaves New York with the consolation prize of having virtually doubled her earnings for the year with a £98,000 pay day for winning her first-round match.

There were victories in the doubles for Jamie Murray, with Michael Venus, Joe Salisbury alongside partner Rajeev Ram, Lloyd Glasspool with Harri Heliovaara. and British pair Julian Cash and Henry Patten.

Quote of the dayFallen seeds:

Women: Petra Kvitova (11), Victoria Azarenka (18), Beatriz Haddad Maia (19), Magda Linette (24)
Men: Casper Ruud (5), Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Francisco Cerundolo (20), Chris Eubanks (28).

Who’s up next?

Andy Murray kicks things off on Arthur Ashe against Bulgarian ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Fellow Brits Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper and Katie Boulter are also in action along with Jodie Burrage, who faces the match of her life against second seed Aryna Sabalenka on Louis Armstrong.

Chocolate-loving Dominic Stricker caused a major upset at the US Open by knocking out seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 21-year-old qualifier from Switzerland, ranked 128 in the world, stunned two-time grand slam finalist Tsitsipas with 7-5 6-7 (2) 6-7 (5) 7-6 (6) 6-3 victory to reach the third round.

Stricker is a former French Open junior champion who recently admitted his coach had told him to cut down on chocolate and cookies but it was Tsitsipas who was left feeling sour after a four-hour slog on the Grandstand Court.

“You know, I came out today pretty well today and felt good from the first set,” said Stricker.

“Over four hours it was a tough battle and I’m just super happy right now. I’m going to enjoy the rest of the day and recover tomorrow.

“It’s such a great day for me and such a great win. It gives me a lot of confidence. I believe a lot in me now.”

Remarkably, Stricker could have been on the plane back to Bern last week having faced a match point in the second round of qualifying.

He has now achieved his best result at a grand slam, having bettered his run to the second round at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

Tsitsipas served for the match at 5-3 in the fourth set, and the Greek said: “That hasn’t happened to me before. It’s the first time for me.

“Usually I’m much tougher mentally, and I have shown it by coming back. Even though sometimes I get broken serving for the match, let’s say, I still find ways in the tie-break or perhaps in the fifth set. Today was not the case.”

Second seed Novak Djokovic is safely through to round three after demolishing Spain’s Bernabe Zapata Miralles.

The Serbian, chasing a 24th grand slam title, dropped just six games in a 6-4 6-1 6-1 victory.

The original teenage star beat the new kid on the block as Coco Gauff knocked 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva out of the US Open.

Gauff, who burst onto the scene when she beat Venus Williams on her way to the fourth round at Wimbledon aged 15, ousted the Russian rookie 6-3 6-2.

The sixth seed, still only 19, had to come from behind to beat Laura Siegemund in a drama-filled three-setter on Monday, but she had a far more gentle work-out this time on Arthur Ashe.

Gauff is fast becoming a live contender for the title this year having won 13 of her 14 matches since losing in the Wimbledon first round to fellow American Sofia Kenin.

She lost a first-set tie-break against Andreeva at this year’s French Open but came back to win in three.

Gauff said: “I just learned then to be aggressive, because if you give her something she is going to take advantage.

“She has a great future in front of her – I think she is going to be back on this stage many more times.”

There was another home success in New York when Taylor Townsend beat Brazilian 19th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6 (1) 7-5.

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