Jamaica’s Olympic relay gold medalist Briana Williams delivered a spectacular and confidence-boosting performance in the 100m dash at the Last Chance Sprint Series meeting held at the Notre Dame High School Athletic Facility in Sherman Oaks, California, on Friday night.

In what can only be described as a thrilling display of speed and determination, Williams, who recently joined John Smith Athletics in March after spending a year and a half training in Jamaica, set the stage for an electrifying evening. She began with an impressive run in the preliminary round, clocking 11.19 seconds, the second-fastest time behind Destiny Smith Barnett’s 11.13.

However, the final round saw Williams elevate her performance to new heights. Racing with poise and power, she clocked a massive season’s best of 11.08 seconds, finishing in second place just behind Smith Barnett, who achieved a lifetime best of 10.99 seconds. Kiley Robbins secured third place with a time of 11.13 seconds.

Elated by her performance, the two-time World Championship silver medalist shared her joy and optimism on Instagram, stating, “After what was an intense week of training today I ran a season’s best in my prelims 11.19 (0.3) with a second place finish. An hour later in my finals, another season’s best 11.08 (0.6) with a second place finish and a stumble in my start.”

She praised her coach John Smith for his support, adding, “Thank you @coachjsmith and my whole team for believing in me and getting me ready at the right time. @drrashnoor for getting my body ready. This is just the beginning of something great, still so much I’ve got to improve on. I look forward to going into my Olympic trials at the end of June.”

Williams' path to this moment has not been without its challenges. Prior to Friday night’s races, she recorded times of 11.54, 11.39, 11.47, and 11.81 seconds as she adapted to her new training regimen under Coach Smith, who also mentors World Championship medalist Marie-Josée Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast. After competing at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational in May, Williams spoke to Sportsmax.TV about her transition, stating, "Training, I am taking it day by day. I’m learning new things; it’s a new program so I’m getting adjusted every day, loving the progress. I’m just taking my time, we have six weeks to go to trials so I want to get everything in, start running every week, and just getting race ready, taking it one day at a time to prepare and make the team."

Friday night’s performance marks a significant step forward for Williams as she continues her journey towards the Jamaica National Championships in June with the hope of qualifying for her second Olympic Games.

Vincentian 800m record holder Shafiqua Maloney says she’s right were she needs to be ahead of the Olympics in Paris this summer.

The 25-year-old former Arkansas Razorback most recently competed at the Edwin Moses Legends Meet at Morehouse College in Atlanta on May 31 where she won the women’s 800m in 1:59.31, her fastest outdoor time of the season.

“I think I’m where I need to be,” Maloney said in an interview with Trackalerts after her race.

“Not happy with it but it could’ve been worse,” she said about her time.

“I finished healthy and ran faster than I did two weeks ago so I’m taking the positives and moving on,” she added.

This summer will be Maloney’s second experience at the Olympic Games. She failed to advance from the heats at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

She hopes to go two-rounds further in Paris.

“The goal is always Paris so when I get there I’ll take it one round at a time. Hopefully, I make the final. That’s the plan so we’ll see what happens,” she said adding that once she executes properly, anything is possible.

“I think everybody that goes to the Olympics wants a medal, that’s one of the things on my mind. The most important thing is to focus on practice and competition. When you focus on executing your races everything else will fall in place,” she added.

 

 

Jamaican Olympic icon Veronica Campbell-Brown was inducted into the NJCAA Foundation Hall of Fame on Thursday night. The prestigious event, part of the fourth annual NJCAA Foundation Awards, took place at the Hilton Charlotte University Place in Charlotte, North Carolina where Campbell-Brown was recognized for her illustrious career that has left an indelible mark on the sport of track and field.

Expressing her gratitude on Instagram, Campbell Brown wrote, “Thank you @njcaa for the Hall of Fame induction, I deeply appreciate this prestigious recognition. I want to thank everyone who supported and believed in me throughout my journey.” She received her award with her husband Omar and their two children proudly looking on from the audience.

The NJCAA Hall of Fame aims to celebrate individuals who have significantly contributed to opportunities at the two-year college level, both athletically and professionally. The Hall of Fame honours administrators, coaches, student-athletes, and influential contributors who have been pioneers throughout the association's history.

Campbell Brown's journey to greatness began in Trelawny, Jamaica, and led her to Barton Community College (KS), an NJCAA member, on a track and field scholarship. As a Cougar, she set numerous records, some of which still stand today.

She holds NJCAA records in the 200m outdoor and the 60m indoor track and field events. After her successful stint at Barton, she moved to the University of Arkansas, where she continued to break records and is now celebrated as the most decorated Olympic athlete associated with the state.

Turning professional in 2004, Campbell Brown made history at the Athens Olympics, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win a gold medal in a sprint event. Her performance at these Games, which also included a gold in the relay and a bronze in the 200m, established her as the most successful Caribbean athlete at a single Olympics.

She continued to shine at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming only the second woman to defend her 200m title successfully.

Her Olympic career spanned five Games, from 2000 to 2016, where she competed in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, medaling in each edition. Her rivalry with Allyson Felix is one of the most memorable in athletics, with both athletes dominating the 200m event from 2004 onwards.

Beyond the Olympics, Campbell Brown's achievements include multiple medals at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, World Indoor Championships, Continental Cup, World Athletics Final, World Relay Championships, World Junior Championships, CAC Junior Championships, and Carifta Games.

 

Since retiring, Campbell Brown has taken on roles such as a UNESCO Sport Ambassador and founder of the VCB Foundation, which provides mentorship and financial assistance to young women in Jamaica.

Campbell Brown’s induction into the NJCAA Hall of Fame recognizes her remarkable contributions to track and field and her enduring impact on the sport and beyond.

The second day of the 2024 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, Thursday proved to be a day of mixed fortunes for Caribbean athletes. While there were moments of triumph, disappointments also marked the day.

Leading the way for the Caribbean contingent was Jamaica’s Ackelia Smith, a junior at the University of Texas in Austin, who successfully defended her long jump title. Smith soared to a distance of 6.79m, fending off a strong challenge from the University of Florida’s Claire Bryant, who took silver with a leap of 6.74m. Stanford’s sophomore Alyssa Jones secured third place with a jump of 6.64m.

In the sprints, Louisiana State University (LSU) sophomore Brianna Lyston showcased her prowess in the 100m. Lyston, the reigning NCAA 60m champion, cruised to victory in her heat, clocking an impressive 10.99 seconds, the second-fastest time of the semifinals. Only Ole Miss's McKenzie Long was faster, winning her heat in 10.91 seconds. Unfortunately, Lyston's luck did not extend to the 200m, where she finished fifth in her heat with a time of 22.76 seconds, missing out on a spot in the final.

Similarly, Tennessee’s Joella Lloyd, Antigua's fastest woman, fell short of her own expectations in the 100m. Aiming to break the 11-second barrier, Lloyd clocked 11.19 seconds, the 11th fastest time in the semifinals, and thus did not advance to the final.

There was another setback 200m, where Texas' Dejanea Oakley failed to make it to the final. Oakley finished sixth in her heat with a time of 22.82 seconds.

On a brighter note, Jamaica’s Nickisha Pryce delivered a stellar performance in the 400m semifinals. The University of Arkansas senior, who recently etched her name into Jamaica’s track and field history with a personal best of 49.32 seconds, continued her impressive form by winning her semifinal heat in 49.87 seconds. This was the second-fastest time advancing to the final, bested only by her teammate Kaylyn Brown, who clocked 49.81 seconds. Notably, the University of Arkansas dominated this event with four women advancing to the finals.

Jamaicans Tarees Rhoden and Kimar Farquharson both advanced to the final of the men’s 800m on day one of the 2024 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Oregon on Wednesday.

Rhoden, a senior at Clemson, and Farquharson, a junior at Texas A&M, were both in the second of three semi-finals.

In the heat won by Farquharson’s teammate and current NCAA leader Sam Whitmarsh in 1:46.01, Rhoden ran 1:46.18 to be the second automatic qualifier for the final while Farquharson was third in 1:46.32 to advance as the fastest non-automatic qualifier.

Bahamian Florida junior Wanya McCoy ran 10.15 and 20.22 to advance to the finals of both the 100m and 200m.

Jamaican Florida senior Jevaughn Powell (45.17) and junior Reheem Hayles (45.59) both advanced to the final of the one lap event.

All those finals are set for Friday.

Elsewhere, in a massive upset, World Championship long jump silver medallist Wayne Pinnock’s best jump of 7.98m was only good enough for fifth in the men’s long jump.

USC sophomore JC Stevenson produced a personal best 8.22m to win ahead of Florida State senior Jeremiah Davis (8.07m) and Florida junior Malcolm Clemons (8.05m).

Clemson junior Courtney Lawrence threw a personal best 19.92m for fifth in the men’s shot put won by Ole Miss sophomore Tarik Robinson-O’Hagan in a personal best and collegiate-leading 20.88m.

Wisconsin’s Jason Swarens (20.38m) and South Carolina’s Dylan Taggart (20.23m) were second and third.

Bahamian national record holder and Auburn sophomore Keyshawn Strachan threw 74.95m for fifth in the men’s javelin.

Georgia’s Marc Minichello threw 80.70m to win ahead of Washington’s Chandler Ault (79.31m) and Miami’s Devoux Deysel (75.14m).

The Jamaica Independent Schools Association (JISA) has officially launched the 47th staging of its prestigious Prep School Championships, now rebranded as the JISA Prep Champs powered by GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds. The launch event took place recently at the Ministry of Education’s Head Office, marking the beginning of preparations for what promises to be an exciting showcase of young athletic talent.

 Scheduled to be held at the National Stadium from June 13 to 15, 2024, the JISA Prep Champs will celebrate the hard work and dedication of young athletes from across Jamaica. Title sponsors GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds have committed JMD$4 million towards the execution of the event, underscoring their commitment to youth development and nation-building through sports.

 Speaking at the launch, Chaluk Richards, General Manager of GK General Insurance, emphasized the transformative power of sports. "Events like these empower our youth with meaningful and life-changing activities that build both mind and body alike," Richards said. "By giving our young athletes a platform to learn and apply these core life values at an early age, we are, by extension, creating a more productive, balanced, and healthier Jamaica.”

 JISA President Tamar McKenzie highlighted the event's longstanding significance in fostering excellence and sportsmanship among young athletes. “The Prep Champs, for close to 50 years, continue to inspire and motivate young athletes, fostering a culture of and a commitment to excellence and sportsmanship in education. This year will do that and more. It’s not just a competition; it's a platform that nurtures talent,” McKenzie noted.

 Sharon Hunt, Independent Schools Registrar, representing the Ministry of Education, described the championships as “an opportunity for students to shine.” The event is expected to attract over 1,600 talented athletes from 45 schools across eight parishes, all competing for top honors.

 In 2023, the Hydel Group of Schools emerged victorious, with Mona Prep securing second place and Vaz Prep taking third. This year’s event promises to be even more competitive, with a strong turnout anticipated from parents, peers, and well-wishers.

 The JISA Prep Champs will have an entry fee of $500 per day for students and $2,000 per day for adults, ensuring that everyone can come out to support and enjoy the festivities.

 In addition to the contributions from GK General Insurance and GK Mutual Funds, the event is supported by several corporate partners, including Little Caesars, Sunshine Snacks, Kisko, Pure Water, Jamaica Biscuit Company, SureTime Medical, Medical Disposables & Supplies, Rainbow Awnings, Emkay Trophies, World Class Athletics, Atlas Protection Limited, Pitech Limited, and Adtelligent.

 With such robust support and a legacy of excellence, the 47th JISA/GKGI/GK Mutual Funds Prep Champs promises to be an outstanding event, celebrating the next generation of Jamaica’s track and field stars.

Jereem Richards, the Trinidadian Olympian, continues to draw inspiration from his late teammate and friend, Deon Lendore, as he competes on the international stage. Following his recent victory in the 200m dash at the Racer's Grand Prix in Kingston, Richards spoke with Sportsmax.TV about Lendore's enduring impact on his career and his hopes for greater support for track and field athletes in Trinidad and Tobago.

Richards, who delivered a stellar performance in front of several thousand cheering Jamaican fans, emphasized the stark contrast between the enthusiastic support he witnessed in Kingston and the often lukewarm reception track and field athletes receive back home.

A two-time Commonwealth Games 200m gold medalist, Richards highlighted the significant contributions track and field athletes have made to Trinidad and Tobago, lamenting the lack of recognition and support they receive compared to other sports. "Being real, in Trinidad and Tobago, track and field has been the biggest sport to bring back all the medals, and we don’t get that kind of recognition,” he remarked. “When it comes to sport, Trinidadians like cricket, they like football and will come out and support those two sports. But when it comes to us at trials, only people that are into track and field and families of track and field athletes would come out, and the stadium is basically empty."

Comparing the support Jamaican athletes receive, Richards noted, "At least Jamaicans will come out and watch you all compete, they’ll come out and support you. Even though they might judge Jamaican athletes harshly, they still give you all the support. We don’t have support like this, and I think that is very important for us."

Richards, who won 4x400m relay gold and 200m bronze at the 2017 World Championships in London,  called on Trinidadians to rally behind their track and field athletes, especially in an Olympic year when the pressure to perform is immense. "Come out and support us. If you support us and we don’t do well and you judge us harshly, I will take that because you come out. But if you never come out, you can't judge us so harshly," he said.

Regarding his close friend who died tragically in a motor-vehicle crash in the USA in January 2022, Richards reveals that he thinks about his late friend constantly.

"All the time, boy. All the time," Richards said. "I want everybody to know how important he was. He led a strong generation of athletes from Trinidad and Tobago—myself, Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara. A lot of us looked up to him."

Lendore, he said, remains a influential figure for him and his fellow athletes. "I feel like we only appreciate athletes when they’re gone, and I would not like that to happen to any other athletes again. I’m trying to push the narrative of appreciating the athletes now for when they do well so even when they’re done and even when they pass on, we still remember them and appreciate them for what they have done for the country," the 2022 World Indoor 400m champion concluded.

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Jereem Richards is heading towards the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a confident and relaxed mindset, feeling no pressure from the weight of national expectations. Richards, who recently clinched victory in the 200m at the Racer's Grand Prix in Kingston, Jamaica, expressed his satisfaction with his performance and his outlook for the upcoming Olympics.

Richards triumphed in the 200m at the National Stadium in Kingston last weekend, clocking an impressive 20.13 seconds. Reflecting on his race, Richards rated his performance highly. "I would rate it an eight out of 10. I felt really good in the warm-up. I thought I was ready to come off the turn in front of them although those guys are more one-two guys and I’m a four-two guy. Came off the turn not exactly where I wanted to be, but I know I’m strong and once I get tall, ain't much people could run the last 100m as effective as me."

While the time wasn't exactly what he had anticipated, Richards was pleased with his overall fitness and performance. "I won with 20.1. It wasn’t the time I expected, but I felt really good. If you give me three minutes (recovery) I could run that same time again. So praise God for the fitness level I have right now. I have to work on the speed a little bit more, but I believe everything is falling into the right time and the right place and when I actually need it to be, it’s gonna be there."

As Richards prepares for the Trinidad and Tobago national championships, he remains undecided on whether he will compete in the 200m or the 400m. Regardless of the event, his primary focus remains on maintaining his form and readiness for Paris.

When it comes to carrying the hopes of Trinidad and Tobago on the global stage, Richards feels no added pressure. The last time Trinidad and Tobago secured an Olympic medal was at the 2016 Rio Games when Keshorn Walcott won bronze in the men’s javelin. Despite this, Richards maintains a grounded perspective.

"To me, it’s no pressure. The way I think about it is the only people I really care about are my intimate circle—my family, my wife, my mother, and my close friends, my siblings also. Even though I know I will have the support of Trinidad and Tobago and the pressure of being expected to win a medal, at the end of the day, if I know I do well or don’t do well, my family and my intimate circle are the ones who actually do care about me outside of sport, so when I focus on them it takes away all the pressure."

Richards' approach emphasized the importance of personal support over external expectations. "People could say bad about performances, my family loves me each and every day and it doesn’t matter."

With this mindset, Jereem Richards is poised to tackle the challenges of the Olympic Games in Paris with confidence and composure, knowing that his success on the track is supported by the unwavering love and support of those who matter most to him.

 

 

 

Antigua and Barbuda sprinter Joella Lloyd is setting her sights high as she begins her campaign at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday. The 22-year-old, representing the University of Tennessee, aims to break the sub-11 second barrier in the 100m, a goal she is confident in achieving after recently establishing a new lifetime best.

Lloyd qualified for the nationals with a lifetime-best 11.06 seconds, securing a third-place finish in her heat at the NCAA Division I East First Round on May 25 at the University of Kentucky Outdoor Facility in Lexington. This impressive time not only marked a personal milestone but also set a new national record for Antigua and Barbuda, officially earning her a spot at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

When asked about her ambitions for the NCAA Nationals, Lloyd did not hesitate. "Oh yes, sub-11 is the goal for nationals!" she affirmed, highlighting her determination to continue improving her times on the track.

Lloyd's aspirations extend beyond the collegiate championships. Having recently graduated with a Master’s in Sports Psychology and Motor Behaviour, she is also focused on representing Antigua and Barbuda in both the 100m and 200m at the Olympic Games in Paris.

This dual qualification would mark a significant achievement for the young sprinter, who competed in the 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but did not advance past the preliminary round, finishing with a time of 11.54 seconds.

"I’m trying to do both 100 and 200m, but I haven’t run the 200m as much this season," Lloyd explained in an interview with Sportsmax.TV. "Hopefully, with some meets this summer, I’ll be able to qualify for the 200m as well and run it in Paris."

Lloyd's lifetime best in the 200m stands at 22.66 seconds, a time she set in Oregon in June 2022. This season, her best effort in the 200m has been 23.36 seconds, recorded in Baton Rouge in March. Despite not competing frequently in the 200m this year, Lloyd is optimistic about her chances of qualifying and competing in both sprint events at the Olympics.

As she steps onto the track at Hayward Field, Joella Lloyd carries the hopes of a nation eager to see her break new ground. Her journey through the NCAA Championships is not just about individual glory but also about preparing for the ultimate stage in Paris.

 

 

 

It wasn’t necessarily a quest for redemption, but Julien Alfred knew she had a wrong to right when she lined up in the women’s 100m at the Racers Grand Prix last Saturday.

This, as the St Lucian sprint sensation was far from pleased with the execution in her season-opening run at the Prefontaine Classics in Eugene, Oregon, where she placed second behind American World champion Sha’Carri Richardson, a week prior to her arrival in Jamaica.

Alfred admitted that she lost her form after finding herself ahead of the pack in that Prefontaine outing, basically confirming what most track and field enthusiasts are well aware of –that every race is a test of nerves, speed, and resilience.

However, Alfred, the World Indoor 60m champion, demonstrated that true champions are not defined by their setbacks, but by their ability to rise above them, and rise above it she did.

She bounced back in spectacular fashion at the Racers Grand Prix, clocking a brisk personal best 10.78 seconds to equal the meet record set by Shericka Jackson last year. Despite the eye-catching time, Alfred pointed out that she approached the race with a steely resolve, determined to prove her mettle and, more importantly, execute efficiently.

“I wanted to go out here and just work on execution, that was all that mattered. I didn't expect the time that's why I was smiling so much, but I really just wanted to come out here, enjoy the crowd, and work on my execution in preparation for the Olympics,” Alfred declared.

“I usually watch my competitors and how they run, so I know what to work on and whether at the start, I can stay as close to them as possible. So from Eugene (the Prefontaine Classics), I know I had a lot to work on at the end of my race, because I kind of panicked the last 40 metres, because last year I was not leading the pack in any other races, so being in front, I kind of panicked a little. So I wanted to come to Jamaica to work on my execution so we can move forward in each step of the race and prepare for the Olympics,” she added.

There is no doubt that the Racers Grand Prix performance will be a significant boost to Alfred’s confidence going forward, as she remains focused on the road ahead.

With the Paris Olympic Games fast approaching, the 22-year-old, who also boasts a 200m personal best of 21.91s, knows that there is still work to be done and she intends to leave no stones unturned where preparation for the global multi-sport showpiece is concerned.

“I have to go back to my coach. I think my start wasn’t as powerful as in Eugene, but I didn’t mind at all, and my ending, I still fought to the line which was better compared to last week. So, I'm going to go back to training, train four a month, work on the basics again, and then go to Europe and prepare for the Olympics,” she shared.

If her early season indications are anything to go by, then Alfred will certainly be a force to be reckoned with on the biggest stage of all, provided she maintains a clean bill of health. The journey may be long and challenging, but for Alfred, the pursuit of Olympic glory is a challenge worth embracing.

“I think I have a long way to go, to be honest, but I feel good about it (the Racers Grand Prix performance). But you may feel good about it at the time, and then you sit down and watch and you’d be like ‘this could have been better’ but so far, I’m satisfied and I’m not complaining. I just wanted to go out there and do well and that’s the aim for every race going into the Olympics,” Alfred ended.

Mentoring young girls and women continues to be one of Veronica Campbell-Brown's main aims even after her retirement from the sport of track and field in 2021.

The eight-time Olympic medalist spoke during an interview at the Edwin Moses Legends Meet held at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Saturday.

“It is important to me to mentor not only Jamaican track & field but females in general because, growing up, I had a lot of influential women there to support and inspire me,” she said.

“Inspiring others is one of the things that I’m passionate about because I know that a lot it’s not just about your talent or how good you are, it’s about how mentally tough and resilient you are to go towards your goals and get over the hurdles and obstacles that are in your way,” Campbell-Brown added.

Most of her motivational work is done through her foundation, Veronica Campbell-Brown Foundation.

“I’m very interested in motivating and I’m always doing that. I motivate girls through my foundation and every chance I get, I try to inspire and uplift girls and women to achieve their goals no matter the obstacles they face,” she said.

Campbell-Brown also offered her opinion on the rise of women’s sports in general.

“It’s continuing to rise and get more respect and attention which is great. It takes the entire world to come behind all of us and just motivate, push and support us because as women we have to work extra hard to achieve what we want and to break down the glass ceiling,” she stated.

The 42-year-old is the second of three women in history to win consecutive Olympic 200m titles and is also one of only nine athletes to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior levels.

She boasts personal bests of 10.76 seconds in the 100m and 21.74 seconds in the 200m.

Campbell-Brown was the 100m gold medalist at the 2007 World Championships and the 200m gold medalist at the 2011 World Championships.

Throughout her illustrious career, she has also secured seven silver medals and one bronze medal at the World Championships.

She is also a two-time World Indoor champion over 60m.

In a remarkable display of resilience, Olympic and World Championship finalist Candice McLeod finished eighth in the 400m at the Racer’s Grand Prix on Saturday night. This marked her season debut, clocking in at 55.59, a significant distance from her personal best of 49.51 set at the same venue in 2021. The race was won by Stacey-Ann Williams in 50.86, with the USA’s Lynna Irby-Jackson finishing second in 51.05, and Charokee Young third in 51.86.

McLeod, a 27-year-old two-time World Championship 4x400m relay silver medalist, saw this performance as a personal triumph. Just a few months ago, she was unable to walk and had to undergo knee surgery on March 22, which significantly disrupted her training regimen.

“There wasn’t much to expect, to be honest. Sadly, I did knee surgery on March 22, so I really wasn’t expecting too much because it’s been just two months including rehab and everything, I really just started track work,” McLeod told Sportsmax.TV after the race. “It’s not something I want as an athlete but it is what it is and we have to work with it.”

The knee issue had been a persistent problem for McLeod, and the surgery became inevitable when she found herself unable to walk. Despite the setback, McLeod remains positive about her progress. “I am taking it step by step. I have a great support team. The challenge is more tolerable because I accept that I had to do surgery and I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t say I was sad about it but, to be honest, life goes on,” she shared.

 

When asked about her readiness for the upcoming national championships in four weeks, McLeod responded with cautious optimism. “The objective this season is to see where it takes me. I will just come out and do what I have to do each and every time and then we see where it goes.”

Reflecting on the difficulties she faced, McLeod emphasized the frustration of being unable to train and compete. “The difficulty was not being able to compete; the difficulty was not training because if you’re not training you won’t be able to compete. I was not training to the best of my ability but I am training every day, I just started running two weeks ago so to be out here running on the track is something good, to me.”

McLeod's journey back to the track is a testament to her determination and resilience. Her performance at the Racer’s Grand Prix may not have been her best, but considering the circumstances, it was nothing short of a triumph. As she continues her recovery and training, McLeod's focus remains on taking each day as it comes, with hopes of returning to peak form in the near future.

World Athletics today announced the launch of the World Athletics Ultimate Championship, a groundbreaking new global championship event set to transform the athletics calendar and define which athlete is the best of the best – pitting world champions, Olympic champions, the Wanda Diamond League winners and the year’s best performing athletes against each other, to crown the ultimate champion.

Highlighting this revolutionary competition is a record-setting prize pot of US$10 million, the largest ever offered in the history of track & field athletics – with gold medallists set to receive US$150,000. This innovative event, debuting 11-13 September 2026 and set to be held every two years, will first be hosted in Hungary’s capital city of Budapest, promising a spectacular conclusion to the summer athletics season.

Designed as the ultimate season finale with an aim to captivate millions of television viewers worldwide, the global championship event will feature a thrilling and fast-moving new format for athletics. Taking place over three evening sessions, each under three hours in duration, the Ultimate Championship will showcase the best of athletics, including sprints, middle and long-distance races, relays, jumps, and throws, ensuring a spectacle that both existing and new fans will not want to miss. Athletes will represent their national teams to ensure that individual success is underpinned by national pride.

Setting a new benchmark for financial rewards in the sport, the World Athletics Ultimate Championship will feature a total prize pot of US$10 million, underscoring World Athletics' commitment to pay its athletes more, provide them with additional earning opportunities and increase their recognition. All athletes competing at the championship will be financially rewarded and the ultimate champions will receive US$150,000 each. Athletes will also benefit from greater promotional rights, allowing them to commercially activate and enhance their personal profiles.

Chosen following a competitive process – which saw interest from a number of major global cities – and after hosting arguably the most successful World Athletics Championships in history last year, Budapest will welcome nearly 400 of the world's top athletes for the inaugural World Athletics Ultimate Championship between 11-13 September 2026.

“With only the best of the best on show and cutting straight to semi finals and finals, we will create an immediate pressure to perform for athletes aiming to claim the title of the ultimate champion,” said World Athletics President Seb Coe. “The World Athletics Ultimate Championship will be high on action and excitement for fans, setting a new standard for track and field events. Featuring athletics’ biggest stars, it will be a must-watch global sports event and means track and field will host a major global championship in every single year, ensuring for the first time that athletics will enjoy a moment of maximum audience reach on an annual basis.”

“By embracing innovation and breaking away from traditional models, we are looking to reach a broader audience, particularly younger fans, and elevate the entire sport,” said World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon. “There will be a strong focus on television audiences, with an aim to reach the biggest global audience possible. We also want to enhance the viewing experience, both at home and in the stadium, so we are looking at what new competition innovations can be introduced, all of which will be thoroughly tested in advance. We truly believe this will be a game changer for our entire sport.”

“Budapest is truly honored to be the inaugural host city for the highly innovative World Athletics Ultimate Championship. Having successfully hosted the 2023 World Athletics Championships, recent World Aquatics Championships, major UEFA events and many more, Budapest is ready to deliver again,” said Balázs Furjes, IOC member for Hungary and previous co-leader of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 organising committee. “Budapest is truly one of global sport’s capital cities and 2026 will be a very special year as we host the UEFA Champions league final in the new Puskás Arena and then later that summer the World Athletics Ultimate Championship in the brand new National Athletics Centre. Staging the Ultimate Championship will be a great chance to prove it again, in front of passionate, sport loving fans, to celebrate the athletes from all over the world. Because we just love sport and hosting the world.”

 

“After the success of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, Hungary started discussions with World Athletics about how could we remain active participants in the international field, adding value to the universal family of athletics. Hosting the inaugural edition of the Ultimate Championship is an excellent occasion to keep the pace and together with President Coe we have even more plans to deliver,” said Adam Schmidt, the State Secretary of Sports in Hungary. “These partnerships have a very positive impact on our national sport curriculum and Hungary is always happy to welcome the world in our magnificent capital city, Budapest.”

As World Athletics continues to prepare for this exciting new championship event, consultation with stakeholders – including athletes and their representitives, coaches, shoe companies, broadcast organisations, Member Federations and many others – will continue throughout the summer before a full event launch this coming Autumn.

 

Shericka Jackson returned to winning ways at the Stockholm Diamond League on Sunday, triumphing in the 200m with a season’s best time of 22.69 seconds. This victory marked a significant rebound for the two-time world champion, who had finished fifth in Oslo last Thursday.

 Jackson exploded out of the blocks and maintained her lead through the curve, holding off a strong challenge from Sweden’s Julia Henriksson, who set a personal best of 22.89 for second place. Amy Hunt finished third in 22.92.

 Several other Caribbean athletes also delivered commendable performances. Rushell Clayton, previously unbeaten in the Diamond League this season, finished second in the women’s 400m hurdles. World champion Femke Bol opened her season with a dominant 53.07 for victory, with Clayton clocking 53.78. Fellow Jamaican Andrennette Knight set a season’s best of 54.62 to secure third place, and Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell was fourth in 54.99, also a season’s best.

 In the men’s 400m hurdles, Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands ran a season’s best of 48.05, finishing second to Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, who continued his impressive form with a commanding 47.01 win. Dos Santos, who recently defeated world record holder Karsten Warholm in Oslo, expressed his satisfaction with his performance, saying, “It was a good race - 47.01. I think we are just proving that we are in good shape. I am excited for this result back-to-back and I am also looking forward to coming back to the training right now. I am going back to Florida now, will talk to my coach and will work on what I need to work on.”

 McMaster, reflecting on his race, noted his progress despite recent challenges. “I did not feel much during the race and just tried to stay focused and execute. I am catching up. I have been battling some injuries when coming up to the season so I am just trying to execute and stay healthy. I still have got a few more races,” he said. “I have been dropping my times every race so I just need to improve on that.”

 In the triple jump, Shanieka Ricketts secured second place with a jump of 14.40m. Cuba’s Leyanis Perez Hernandez won with a leap of 14.67m, and Thea LaFond of Dominica took third with 14.26m. Ricketts decided to skip her last three jumps as a precaution, citing the breezy conditions. “It was a little bit breezy out there this afternoon so I decided to forego my second three jumps as I did not want to risk anything,” she explained. “I need to go back to training now and work on a few things from today that did not go quite to plan. I was confident going into today but there were a few technical bits for me to sort out. I felt a bit rusty today but I am sure it will come together in time for Paris.”

 

World Under-20 record holder Jaydon Hibbert produced a world leading 17.75m to win the triple jump at the Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Hibbert opened his competition with 16.45m in the first round before going out to 17.14m in the second round, giving the National Stadium crowd a sign of things to come.

The third round saw him produce a then-meet record of 17.30m before, in round four, he produced a stadium record and world leading 17.75m to secure the victory.

O’Brien Wasome produced 16.64m for second while Jordan Scott was third with 16.06m.

“I was satisfied with the third and fourth jump of the series,” Hibbert said after the competition.

Page 2 of 134
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.