Jamaica’s Carey McLeod secured bronze in the men’s long jump final on day two of the World Athletics Indoor Championships, as Saturday’s morning session yielded mostly positive results for Caribbean athletes in Glasgow, Scotland.

McLeod, who just missed a medal at last year’s World Athletic Championships in Budapest, cut the sand at a new season’s best 8.21m. He placed behind Greece’s World Champion Miltiadis Tentoglou and Italy’s Mattia Furlani, who both leapt to a mark of 8.22m.

Another Jamaican, Tajay Gayle was sixth at 7.89m, while LaQuan Nairn of the Bahamas was 15th at 7.59m.

McLeod's medal is Jamaica's second at the Championship, adding to Ackeem Blake's bronze won in the men's 60m final on Friday.

On the track, St Lucia’s in-form sprinter Julien Alfred, Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, Barbadian Tristan Evelyn, as well as Jamaicans Briana Williams and Shashalee Forbes, all progressed to the women’s 60m semi-finals, after contrasting performances in their respective heats.

Alfred, 22, comfortably won her heat in 7.02s and headlines the qualifiers, as Strachan (7.24s), Williams (7.22s) and Forbes (7.17s), all placed second in their heats, while Evelyn (7.17s) was third in heat four.

Beyonce Defreitas (7.44s) of British Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, despite a season’s best 7.26s, failed to progress, as both placed fifth in their heats.

The women’s 60m semi-final and final is scheduled for Saturday’s evening session.

Elsewhere on the track, Jamaica’s Damion Thomas and Tyler Mason, both failed to progress in the men’s 60m hurdles, after both placed sixth in their respective heats in 7.73s and 7.86s.

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin also missed out on a spot in the women’s 800m final, following a sixth-place finish in her semi-final race. Goule-Toppin stopped the clock in 2:01.41.

Meanwhile, Ken Mullings of the Bahamas, started the men’s Heptathlon on a positive note, as he placed third in his heat of the 60m dash in a personal best 6.83s.

Mullings also registered a new lifetime best of 7.69m when he placed fifth in the long jump, and that was followed by a heave of 14.49m in the shot pot. By virtue of those performances, the 26-year-old currently occupies third position on 2684 points, behind Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer (2800 points) and Estonia’s Johannes Erm (2739 points).

They still have the high jump, 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1,000m to come.

Ackeem Blake took home the region’s first medal at the 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow with a brilliant bronze in the final of the men’s 60m on Friday.

Blake, Jamaica’s national record holder in the event with 6.42 done in 2023, produced 6.46, narrowly outside of his season’s best 6.45 done on February 4 in Boston, to take his first individual major championship medal.

In a keenly anticipated contest between Americans Christian Coleman and Noah Lyles, Coleman ended up taking the win in a world leading 6.41 while Lyles ran 6.44 in second.

Lyles famously got his first ever win against Coleman over 60m at the US Championships last month.

Elsewhere, Jamaica’s national record holder in the 400m outdoors, Rusheen McDonald, successfully advanced to the final of the men’s 400m by running a personal best 46.02 to finish second in his semi-final behind Norwegian world 400m hurdles record holder Karsten Warholm (45.86).

Caribbean athletes experienced a mix of success and challenges on the opening day of the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland on Friday.

Jamaican sprinter Ackeem Blake showcased his speed in the 60-metre dash, winning his heat in 6.55. Although he stands as the third-fastest in the world this year at 6.45, Blake is fifth-fastest heading into the semi-finals. Notably, gold-medal favorite Christian Coleman dominated the heats with a remarkable run of 6.49.

Mario Burke of Barbados is also through to the semi-final round after he finished second to Coleman in 6.58. Also through is Rikkoi Brathwaite of the British Virgin Islands, who ran a season-best 6.62 for fourth-place in Coleman’s heat.

Coleman’s compatriot, Noah Lyles, who is also in contention for the gold medal won his heat in 6.57.

The 60m semi-finals and finals are set for later on Friday.

Rusheen McDonald, also from Jamaica, delivered a lifetime best performance in the 400m, clocking an impressive 46.25. He finished second in his heat behind the Czech Republic’s Matej Krsek (46.07), securing his place in the next round.

Trinidad and Tobago's defending champion Jereem Richards faced a close call in the 400m, finishing fourth in his heat with a time of 47.04. However, Richards secured a spot in the next round ahead of the USA’s Jacory Patterson, credited with a similar time.

In the women's events, Stacey-Ann Williams from Jamaica advanced in the 400m, clocking 52.16. Williams entered the competition with a season best of 51.86 and secured a spot as one of the fastest losers after finishing fourth in her heat, won by Netherlands’ Lieke Laver in 51.31.

Despite these successes, the challenges were evident. Charokee Young faced disappointment in the 400m, finishing third in her heat with a time of 53.06. Shalysa Wray of the Cayman Islands and Yanique Haye-Smith of the Turks and Caicos produced season-best performances but will take no further part in the competition.

In the 800m, Natoya Goule Toppin advanced to the semi-final round with a second-place finish in her heat, clocking 2:00.83. She opened her season in a competitive field, with Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu winning the heat in 2:00.50.

In the shot put final, Danielle Thomas Dodd threw a season-best 19.12m, earning sixth place. Canada’s Sarah Mitton claimed gold with a throw of 20.22m, followed by Germany’s Yemisi Ogunleye with a lifetime best of 20.19m for the silver medal. The USA’s Chase Jackson (nee’ Ealey) secured the bronze with a throw of 19.67m.

Ackeem Blake and Sashalee Forbes will lead Jamaica's contingent to the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Jamaica will compete in the 60m, 60m hurdles, 400m, 4x400m relay, 800m, long jump, triple jump and shot put at the championships set to run from March 1-3.

Blake, the second fastest Jamaican ever,  will be Jamaica's sole competitor in the Men's 60m while Forbes and Briana Williams will contest the 60m dash.

Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper is the lone female in the 60m hurdles. Tyler Mason and Damion Thomas will go in the men's event. Giano Thomas is named as the reserve.

Meanwhile, Stacey-Ann Williams and Charokee Young will take on the world's best in the Women's 400m. Rusheen McDonald will run the two-lapper for the men.

Williams and Young are also named among the relay squad that includes Junelle Bromfield, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Andrenette Knight, Leah Anderson and Lanae-Tava Thomas.

In the field, Carey McLeod and Tajay Gayle have been selected to contest the long jump competition with Kimberly Williams will take on the triple jump.

Daniniel Thomas-Dodd and Rajindra Campbell will throw the shot put.

Former JAAA president Dr Warren Blake is the team manager with Maurice Wilson being the Technical Director.

Wilson will have on his coaching staff Reynaldo Walcott, Paul Francis, Orville Byfield and Mark Elliott.

 

 

 Carey McLeod and Akeem Blake showcased their exceptional athletic abilities at the New Balance Invitational in Boston on Sunday, delivering standout performances in their respective events.

 In the long jump competition, Carey McLeod soared to a season-best mark of 8.20m, securing victory against a highly competitive field. This remarkable feat came shortly after his training partner Wayne Pinnock set a world-leading mark of 8.34m in New Mexico just a couple of days prior. The talented field included Jacob Fincham Dukes of Great Britain, who claimed second place with an impressive 8.02m jump, and Juvaughn Harrison, a multi-talented jumper who secured third place with a leap of 7.87m.

 Akeem Blake, while not claiming the top spot in his event, delivered a lifetime-best performance in the men's 60m. In a tightly contested race, Blake finished second, crossing the line in an indoor lifetime best 6.45. The victory went to American superstar Noah Lyles, who clocked a lifetime-best time of 6.44 which was also a meet record and world-leading performance.

 In the women's 60m hurdles, the competition was intense and thrilling, featuring 2022 world champion Tobi Amusan, Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas, and Tia Jones of the USA. Tia Jones emerged victorious with a lifetime-best and world-leading time of 7.72, showcasing her sprinting prowess. Amusan lowered her national record set in Kazakhstan a week ago, finishing second with a time of 7.75. Charlton closely followed, just outside her own national record, securing third place with a time of 7.76.

 Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper also participated, finishing seventh with a season's best time of 8.02.

 

 

 

 

2022 NACAC 100m champion Ackeem Blake will clash with American World champion Christian Coleman and Canadian Olympic champion Andre De Grasse in the men’s 60m at the Millrose Games in New York on February 11.

The 21-year-old Blake had a mixed season in 2023. On one hand, he lowered his 100m personal best to 9.89 at the LA Grand Prix on May 27.

On the other hand, Blake disappointingly failed to secure an individual spot for Jamaica’s 100m team at the World Championships in Budapest after finishing fourth in the 100m final at Jamaica’s national championships in July. He went on to be a part of Jamaica’s bronze medal quartet in the men’s 4x100m in Budapest.

Blake’s 60m personal best, 6.42, was done last season at the National Stadium.

The USA’s Coleman, in addition to his 2019 World Outdoor 100m title, won the World Indoor 60m title in 2018 and was runner-up in 2022.

He is the current world record holder in the event with 6.34 done at the US Indoor Championships in 2018.

Canada’s De Grasse has won a number of medals at the global level, most notably winning 200m gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and being part of Canada’s gold medal 4x100m quartet at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene.

He has a 60m personal best of 6.60 done all the way back in 2015.

Also in the field will be the USA’s 2018 World Indoor bronze medallist Ronnie Baker, Japanese record-holed Abdul Hakim Sani Brown and Puerto Rican record-holder Miles Lewis.

American Christian Coleman followed up his 9.83-second clocking in Xiamen with a similar performance at the Prefontaine Classic to claim the men’s 100m Diamond League crown in Eugene on Saturday.

It was always expected to be a breathtaking dash and despite Ackeem Blake’s false-start disqualification, the event lived up to its hype with Coleman’s time, like it did in China, again equalled the world lead of 9.83s, which was first set by Noah Lyles in August.

Lyles the World Champion, closed fast for second in 9.85s, while Kenya’s Omanyala Ferdinand was third with a similar time of 9.85s.

Jamaican Kishane Thompson, 22, in his first real competitive season got out well but faded into fourth in 9.87s. Another Jamaican Yohan Blake was sixth in 10.08s.

Jamaica’s Kishane Thompson clocked a new lifetime best 9.85s for second in the men’s 100m, behind American Christian Coleman, who equalled the World Leading time of 9.83s at the Wanda Diamond League in Xiamen, China on Saturday.

Thompson, who has been holding good form since his first sub-10 second clocking at Jamaica’s National Championships in July, produced a top performance, which not only shattered his previous personal best of 9.91s, but also makes him the fastest Jamaican this year. He overtook Oblique Seville at 9.86s.

Additionally, the 22-year-old Thompson’s time also makes him the sixth-fastest Jamaican of all time. Only Usain Bolt (9.58s), Yohan Blake (9.69s), Asafa Powell (9.72s), Nesta Carter (9.78s) and Steve Mullings (9.80s), have gone faster.

While Thompson’s achievement, which makes him the 22nd fastest man of all time and also earned him a spot in the Diamond League final, may come as a surprise to many, his coach Stephen Francis did indicate that there was more to come after his one-round run at the national championships.

“He would have run significantly faster but the most important thing is that he feels healthy and can look forward to the rest of the summer. Our plan is to ensure that next year, in the Olympic year, he will have the necessary race experience and a different attitude to tackle the full program,” Francis said then in an interview with Sportsmax.tv.

Thompson just failed to get back to Coleman, who equalled Noah Lyles World leading time, as they competed in a slight tailwind of 0.4 metres per second. American Fred Kerley (9.96s) was third.

Meanwhile, the other Jamaicans, Yohan Blake (10.04s), Rohan Watson (10.18s), were sixth and ninth respectively, while Ackeem Blake, who seemingly picked up an injury finished at the back of the pack in well over 25 seconds.

Shericka Jackson humbled a crack field to win the 200m in Monaco on Thursday where triple jump phenom Jaydon Hibbert defeated some of the world’s best jumpers in his first ever Diamond League meeting.

Going up against USA champion Gabby Thomas, the world leader at 21.60 and the talented professional newcomer Julien Alfred as well former European champion Dina Asher Smith, Jackson found herself challenged coming into the home straight but called her on superior strength and speed to win in 21.86.

Alfred, in only her second meet as a professional, ran a smart 22.08 for second place. Asher-Smith was third in a season-best 22.23.

With a month to go before the World Championships in Budapest, the world champion was pleased with the performance.

“It was great for me today. Last time, I was second here, so to come here and take the win, it is really really good. I had three competitions in a week so it is a bit hard for me. One more coming up, it will be London,” said Jackson, who was not entirely happy with the first part of her race.

“I do not think that the curve was as good as I wanted but I managed to go until the finish so it was good. I have one more coming up so I am glad I finished this one healthy. I keep training and keep competing.

“I had a hard training session yesterday and still I was able to run 21 so that is good. I want to make sure I am on the top of my shape in Budapest. “

Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas, who ran a lifetime best of 22.15 at the Diamond League Meeting in Rabat in May, clocked in at 22.40 to finish fourth. Thomas, who was among the leaders early and was expected to be in the mix down the home stretch but faded badly to finish in seventh in 22.67.

Hibbert, meanwhile, suffered his first loss in the triple jump this season despite producing a fantastic effort of 17.66M that was four centimetres short of Hugues Fabrice Zango’s winning effort of 17.70m. The man from Burkino Faso snatched the win on the very last jump of the competition.

 Yasser Mohammed Triki of Algeria, who held the lead briefly after a season-best third-round jump of 17.32m, had to settle for third place.

Ackeem Blake was third in the 100m running 10.00 behind Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala, who took the win in 9.92 over Letsile Tebogo, who clocked in at 9.93.

Yohan Blake was fourth in 10.01 with Kishane Thompson fifth in 10.04.

The meet will be remembered by another breathtaking performance from Faith Kipyegon, who smashed the world record for the one mile run. The Kenyan clocked 4:07.64 breaking the previous record of 4:12.33 set by Sifan Hassan in 2019.

Nia Ali took a close win over compatriot Kendra Harrison in the 100m hurdles. The mother of three clocked in a personal-best, world-leading and meet record time of 12.30, just 0.01 ahead Harrison, the former world record holder.

Another American Alaysha Johnson was third in 12.39.

The men’s 400m hurdles was a firecracker of a race billed as a clash between world-record holder Karsten Warholm and the reigning world champion Alison dos Santos, who was running his first hurdles race after rehabilitating from knee surgery.

And for the first 300m it was a battle before Warholm pulled away from the struggling Brazilian to win in a Diamond League and world-leading 46.51, a meet record. Dos Santos ran 47.66 with American CJ Allen close behind in 47.84.

 

 

The Gyulai Istvan Memorial in Hungary on Tuesday proved to be an excellent day for Caribbean athletes.

The star of the day, however, was reigning Olympic 400m champion, Steven Gardiner.

The Bahamian, unbeaten since 2017, produced a world-leading 43.74, the second-fastest time of his career, to win ahead of Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald and American Vernon Norwood.

McDonald ran a massive season’s best 44.03 in second while Norwood’s time in third was 44.63.

In the women’s equivalent, Commonwealth champion Sada Williams ran a season’s best-equaling 50.34 to take the win ahead of Romania’s Andrea Miklos (50.80) and Austria’s Susanne Gogl-Walli (50.87). Charokee Young was sixth in 51.35.

Moving to the 100m where NCAA champion Julien Alfred, on her professional debut, got her usual good start and held her nerve to maintain her unbeaten record this season with a 10.89 effort. The former Texas star handed Sha’Carri Richardson (10.97) her first loss of the season while Tamari Davis was third with 11.02.

It was a Jamaican sweep in the men’s equivalent, with Yohan Blake producing his second consecutive good performance since a disappointing Jamaican Championships last week.

The 2011 World Champion ran 10.04 to win ahead of Ackeem Blake (10.09) while Rohan Watson, Jamaica’s national champion, was third in 10.10.

Defending World Champion and fastest woman alive in the 200m, Shericka Jackson, bounced back from a 100m defeat at the Silesia Diamond League on Sunday to run 22.03 to take the 200m ahead of Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke (22.36) and Bahamian Anthonique Strachan (22.45).

The men’s equivalent produced an upset as the Dominican Republic’s Alexander Ogando ran 19.99 to take the event ahead of American teenage sensation, Erriyon Knighton (20.05) and Jamaican national champion, Andrew Hudson, who ran 20.36 in third. Julian Forte was fourth in 20.41.

Reigning Olympic 110m hurdles champion, Hansle Parchment, was narrowly beaten by American Daniel Roberts in the men’s sprint hurdles.

Roberts’ winning time was 13.12, just .02 seconds faster than Parchment in second and Tyler Mason in third.

Andrenette Knight led a Jamaican 1-2-3-4 sweep in the women’s 400m hurdles.

Knight, who lost to Janieve Russell at the Jamaican National Championships last week, turned the tables this time around with a near flawless race to win in a new personal best 53.26.

Russell ran a season’s best 53.72 in second while Rushell Clayton, who will also be on Jamaica’s team in Budapest, ran a season’s best 53.79 for third. Shiann Salmon ensured that Jamaicans occupied the first four places with 55.04 in fourth.

In the field, 2019 World Champion and Jamaica’s national record holder, Tajay Gayle, finished second in the long jump.

Gayle’s best distance, 8.24m, had him in the lead until the final round when Greek Olympic Champion, Miltiadis Tentoglu, produced a winning jump of 8.29m. The USA’s Jarrion Lawson was third with 7.97m.

 

The sprint events were always anticipated to be the highlight of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Puma National Junior and Senior Championships, and they are certainly living up to those expectations, as there were a number of explosive performances, particularly in the men’s 100m on Thursday’s opening day of action at the National Stadium.

Aside from a few sub-10 second and personal best clocking, one of the biggest shockers of the night came when 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake –who many hoped would have rolled back the clock and produce a top performance –false-started and will now have to possibly turn his attention to the 200m, if he is to make the country's team to the World Athletics Championships next month.

The 33-year-old Blake was the defending national champion as he produced a timely sub-10 clocking in victory at last year's championships.

Still, the moderate turn out in the grandstand didn't leave disappointed, as MVP's Kishane Thompson and Kadrian Goldson of GC Foster College, announced themselves in a big way with massive personal best times of 9.91s and 9.94s respectively to lead all qualifiers into the semi-finals. 

Thompson, 22, running in heat one, surprised favourite Ackeem Blake of Titans Track Club, storming to his new lifetime best in a 0.6 metres per second wind reading, as he lowered his previous best of 10.21s set last year. Blake, who was ahead of the pack at one point, seemingly eased up off the accelerator too early and settled for second in a flat 10.00s, with Ryiem Forde of Adidas, taking third in a new personal best 10.01s.

Meanwhile, Goldson, running in heat three, maintained his focus despite two early false starts by Rasheed Foster of Cameron Blazers and Yohan Blake of Titans Track Club.

The 26-year-old Goldson powered his way to his new lifetime best in a 0.7 metres per second reading, to lower his previous best of 10.08s achieved last month. MVP’s Rohan Thompson also had a new personal best 9.98s in second, with Julian Forte (10.10s) of Elite Performance, in third.

Prior to that, another favourite for the national title Oblique Seville, cruised to a flat 10.00s while smiling all the way to the line in a 0.3 metres per second reading. That just about signals that the Glenn Mills Racers Track Club charge is fit and healthy to turn back all challengers at the decisive end of the event on Friday.

MVP’s Ramone Barnswell with a personal best 10.13s, Tyquendo Tracey (10.22s) of Swept Track Club, Nigel Ellis (10.07s) of Elite Performance, Michael Campbell (10.10s) of MVP and Bouwahjgie Nkrumie (10.21s) of Dr. Speed, will also line up in the semi-finals on Friday.

On the women’s side of action, there were no surprises as the inform Shericka Jackson of MVP seems set to retain her title, after easing to 10.99s in a 0.0 wind reading, following what was one of her most efficient starts in recent times. Her MVP teammate Jonielle Smith (11.19s) and Briana Williams (11.19s) of Titans Track Club, were second and third respectively.

It was not so smooth for two-time Olympic Games sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who is still working her way back to form, as she had to dig deep to win her heat in 11.12s in a 0.3 metres per second reading. The New Era Track Club representative held off Ashanti Moore (11.15s) of Adidas and the fast-finishing Shockoria Wallace (11.19s) of MVP.

National Under-20 record holder Alana Reid (11.14s) of Nike, Sprintec’s Remona Burchell (11.20s), Natasha Morrison (11.00s) of MVP and another Sprintec representative Shashalee Forbes (11.09s), also safely progressed to the semi-finals.

It is said that the words coaches say to their athletes, and the words athletes say to themselves, greatly influence their performance. If that is anything to go by, then rising sprint star Ackeem Blake is set for another big showing at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Junior and Senior Championships –barring any mishaps.

The four-day Championships which is being used to select Jamaica's senior team to the World Athletics Championships, as well as teams to a few youth events, get is set to start on Thursday at the National Stadium.

Blake, has been the pacesetter in terms of his steady display of form so far this season, having dipped below 10 seconds in four of seven 100-metre races to date, which just about signals his readiness to challenge for a spot on the team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, next month.

The 21-year-old, who opened his season with times of 10.05s, 9.93s and 9.99s in April, gradually upped the ante on May 21, when he clocked a wind-aided 9.87s in Bermuda, which may not have counted where achievements are concerned, but would have done his confidence a world of good.

And, so it did. He returned a week later and produced another impressive run, clocking a new personal best 9.89s at the USATF LA Grand Prix, in California. That time bettered his previous best of 9.93s that came at last year's National Championship.

However, his most recent performances at the backend of June, a 10.07s-clocking at the Budapest Quest meet inside the National Stadium, followed by 9.93s at the USATF New York Grand Prix, Blake said fell below his coach's expectations where execution is concerned.

"I never executed those races how my coach wanted, so we just have to go back to the drawing board and put in the work," Blake said in a recent interview during the National Championships launch.

A statement like that speaks volumes of the high standard both Blake and his Titans Track Club coach have set for themselves and, understandably so, as the quality of Jamaica's male sprinting took a nosedive since the retirement of the incomparable Usain Bolt in 2017.

But Blake, a former Merlene Ottey High standout is among those leading the revival having made it to the semi-finals at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon in his first full season in the senior professional ranks.

With that experience under his belt, there is no limit to what Blake could possibly achieve this year and beyond, provided he stays fit and healthy. 

"I gained a lot of experience last year which was good for me so now I am just using that experience to be the best that I can be. So, I'm good, I am more relaxed and just having fun," Blake declared.

Given the fact that he placed third at last year's National Championship behind 2011 World Champion and the second fastest man alive, Yohan Blake, who is also his training partner, the Titans young star knows that taking the national title won't be easy.

Yohan Blake the reigning national champion, as well as Oblique Seville, who has been a bit low-key with a season's best 9.95 seconds and other top contenders –possibly Julian Forte, Bouwahjgie Nkrumie and DeAndre Daley –are expected to face the starter for Friday's final, and it is anybody's guess who will reign supreme.

Young Blake, being a man of few words, is intent on letting his performance do the talking on the track, which is when his true personality comes to light.

"Coach is just working on my start so I can go out there to have fun and do what I have to do that's it. So, I'm not talking (about expectations) right now, I am just going out there and time will tell," he ended.

After changing coaches in the off season, switching from Ato Boldon in Miramar Florida to Titans International Track Club in Kingston, Briana Williams struggled for form this season. Acclimatizing to a new programmes and battling injuries, the Olympic relay gold medallist has been underwhelming for much of the current season.

With that in mind, she would have been pleased with her performance at the JAAA Budapest Quest Meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday night. The 21-year-old Williams uncorked a season-best 11.04 to emerge the victor in the 100m that was run over seven sections.

The time represented a significant drop from her previous best of 11.21 run on June 10 at the same venue. Second overall was Kemba Nelson, who clocked 11.18 while Remona Burchell was third fastest with a time of 11.20.

The Men’s 100m was run over an exhausting 14 sections but in the end Zharnel Hughes produced a strong finish to win his section in 10.00 ahead of the in-form Ackeem Blake, who was timed in 10.07. Promising youngster, De’ Andre Daley clocked a quick 10.08 to be third overall.

Stacey-Ann Williams was the quickest in the 400m winning her section of four in 51.08 with Tovea Jenkins second overall in 52.15. Two years ago, Candice McLeod was on fire running a number of sub-50-second times including a personal best of 49.51 to finish fourth in the 2020 Olympic finals.

Things have not been the same this season. Seemingly struggling to regain the form from 2021, McLeod once again came up short finishing third in 52.66.

Rasheed Dwyer was the quickest in the 200m with 20.57 with Antonio Watson second with 20.63. Bryan Levell was third best in 20.71.

Sashalee Forbes won the women’s event in 23.25 over Jodean Williams (23.75) and Ashley Williams 24.12.

Malik James-King ran 49.67 in the 400m hurdles while Lushane Wilson and Christoff Bryan both cleared 2.20m in the high jump with Wilson being better on the countback to take victory.

Oblique Seville and Ackeem Blake have been withdrawn from this weekend’s Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Fresh off his lifetime best 9.89 while defeating Coleman at last weekend’s LA Grand Prix there was much anticipation for the rematch between Blake and the American this coming Saturday.

Blake ran a personal best of 9.89 to defeat Coleman (9.91) but according to his coaches, the 22-year-old sprinter was a bit sore after that run and only managed to resume training on Wednesday. As a result, they have taken a decision to withdraw him from the meet as a precaution.

Seville, reliable sources have said, suffered a hamstring injury in training and won’t run on Saturday. Calls to his coach Glen Mills went unanswered but Seville’s name was not among the remaining names on the men’s 100m start list for Saturday’s meet.

Notwithstanding their absence, there is still plenty to look forward to at the meet that will feature World 200m champions Noah Lyles and Shericka Jackson, Zharnel Hughes and Wayde van Niekerk.

There is also a potential mouth-watering clash between the 2022 100m hurdles world champion and world record holder Tobi Amusan of Nigeria and teenage sensation, World U20 Champion and U20 world record holder Kerrica Hill.

Commonwealth Games champion Rasheed Broadbell and Olympic Champion will go head-to-head in the men’s sprint hurdles.

Jamaica’s Sprint Legend Usain Bolt says he remains eager to play another impactful role in track and field’s growth and, as such, is awaiting a position from World Athletics to hit the ground running.

The 36-year-old, who shot to fame by winning eight Olympic titles and 11 World Championships gold medals, while breaking records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m, believes the track and field has experienced somewhat of a decline since his retirement in 2017, but stands ready to assist in the sport’s revival, if asked to do so.

“I’m still waiting on a position from (World Athletics), I’ve reached out to them and let them know I would love to make a bigger impact in sports, as long as they want me to,” Bolt said in an interview with Reuters.

“We’ve been in talks, but we’ll have to wait and see what comes around,” the global phenom and one of Jamaica’s most recognizable figures, added.

Bolt is aware that his personality was a vital ingredient in the sport’s success during his era but pointed out to indications that athletes like US sprinter Noah Lyles, might be starting to fill the charisma gap.

“It’s going to be a process. After me, it kind of went down because of who I was as a person and how big my personality was,” the iconic sprinter shared. 

“But I think over time, it will be better. I think young athletes are coming up and I see a few personalities that are needed in sport; hopefully, in the upcoming years, it will change. Hopefully, I can play a part and help the sport to grow,” Bolt stated.

While there was some disappointment about the crowd turnout at last year’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Bolt is of the view that next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, France, could be a special moment for the sport.

“Sometimes, it’s all about where it is. America is not the biggest track and field place,” Bolt said.

“I think Paris will be big because it’s accessible and I know Paris always has a good team and good athletes over the years. So, I look forward to that,” he noted.

After a decade of Bolt-inspired global dominance, Jamaica’s men have failed to win a single track gold medal at the last two World Championships.

However, with rising young sprinters Oblique Seville and Ackeem Blake both showing considerable promise of success, Bolt believes there is a good platform for that medal drought to be broken at this year’s championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“Last year, Seville came fourth (in the 100m), so I was very impressed. Also now, there’s a young kid, Ackeem Blake, who is also stepping up. So, I think that’s a good start,” the 11-time world champion said.

“Hopefully, these two will motivate other youngsters to want to step up and want to train harder and dedicate themselves,” he reasoned.

On that note, Bolt said he would be keeping a close eye on compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the World Championships in August.

Fraser-Pryce, also 36, who has led Jamaica’s dominance in the women’s sprints, will be seeking a record-extending sixth world 100m title in Hungary, 14 years after making her debut in the global showpiece of track and field.

“I follow Shelly a lot because we came through the same era, so to see her continue sprinting and coming back from having a child, that’s impressive,” said Bolt.

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