Britany Anderson has described missing out on last season because of injury as heartbreaking and has revealed her primary objectives for the coming season as she aims to make Jamaica’s team to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, the 2022 World Championship 100m hurdles silver medallist also explains why she still has a major hurdle to clear if she is to get back to her best and explained her reaction to watching fellow Jamaican Danielle Williams win gold in Budapest in August.

The accomplished 22-year-old sprint hurdler missed out on the 2023 outdoor season after damaging ligaments in her knee going over a hurdle in training in Padua, Italy. The injury required surgery ligaments and since then Anderson has been undergoing rehabilitation with the goal of being fit for the coming season. The last six months, she said, have not been easy.

“The most difficult part was right after the surgery, going into the first part of training with just trying to get that mobility and that strength in my entire leg, my quad, knee, everything. Just walking around was difficult. Just lifting my leg was difficult so everything I did was hard,” she remarked.

“Rehab has been one of the most difficult challenging things I have ever had to overcome during my entire track and field career but I think we’re right where we need to be and I am just looking forward to going out next season and at least performing at my best.”

Even tougher for Anderson, who had set a new national record of 12.31 while winning the silver medal at the World Championships in Oregon in July 2022, was knowing that she was unable to build on that success in 2023, especially since she was coming off a solid indoor season when she ran an encouraging 7.83 in Poland in February, just 0.01 off her lifetime best of 7.82 set in Louisville, Kentucky a year earlier.

“It was disappointing because I was looking forward to an excellent season because the way that I started the season, it was not my best but I think it was good the way I started and going into the outdoor season, after I got the injury it was disappointing because I was looking forward to a better season so it was heartbreaking,” she told Sportsmax.TV from her training base in Padua, Italy.

While she was recovering, Anderson watched Williams, who was third at Jamaica’s national championships in July, win gold giving Jamaica’s its third global medal in consecutive championships starting with Megan Tapper’s bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and her own silver in Oregon a year later.

And even though she was unable to line up in Budapest in August, Anderson said she was overjoyed that Williams was able to snatch the gold medal against a stacked field that included the likes of 2022 World Champion and world-record holder Tobi Amusan, former world-record holder Kendra Harrison and Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn.

“It was an amazing feeling, to be honest, just to see the battles that she has been through. I have been watching Danielle since I was in high school at Vere (Technical) so just to see the battles that she has been through and how she fought to get to where she is right now, the feeling was amazing knowing that Jamaica brought the gold home,” she remarked while believing that had she been there should would have been in the mix for the medals, possibly gold.

“We athletes work hard each and every day so if I was in that race, it would have been a battle because we are all great women. We all fight to get where we are so it would have been a battle.”

Turning her attention back to her preparation for the coming season, Anderson revealed that the physical side of things is not her only area of concern. She acknowledges that since has begun background work while simultaneously continuing rehabilitation, she has come upon another hurdle that she hopes to clear before she begins to compete.

It has to do with overcoming her fear of getting hurt again, a not uncommon condition of athletes recovering from reparative surgery.

“I most definitely think it is one of the things that is going help me for the next season because even now during the training workout, landing or anything that gives me a bit of discomfort on my knee at the back of my head I would think ‘Okay, I need to either slow it down or stop for a second and adjust to what I’m feeling. I can’t just do it because I have the fear in the back of my mind saying it’s going to hurt or the injury is going to happen again,” she said.

“I am already working on that, just to go and do it instead of holding back. I think that is one of the most important things that will help me next season just to be more confident that nothing is going to happen.”

That said, her focus is unwavering. She remains committed to her rehabilitation and recovery to prepare for what she intends to be a more productive season in 2024, one in which the plan is to get to the national trials and making the team to Paris 2024.

“For now, the plan is getting as healthy as I can, going into the season, whether it is strength, mental health, just being confident getting out there again and knowing that nothing is going to happen, getting used to going over the hurdles, landing, getting a couple races that is going to build that confidence in me,” she said.

“Being out for basically an entire season, it’s really hard to get back up and going out there again but I think I can do it. That just looks like getting healthy and getting in as many races as possible as I think it is going to help me for the Olympics and even after the Olympics.”

 

 

 

 

 

Roshawn Clarke’s world junior record set during the semi-finals of the 400m hurdles at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest last August has been ratified by World Athletics.

Clarke, 19, enjoyed a phenomenal breakthrough season in 2023, culminating with a world U20 record and a fourth-place finish at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

At the start of the year, his PB stood at 49.35, which he set en route to taking bronze at the 2022 World U20 Championships. He broke his lifetime best in mid-May, then made two further revisions at the senior Jamaican Championships in July, clocking 48.91 in the heats and 47.85 in the final on 7 July, the latter equalling the world U20 record set by USA's Sean Burrell on 11 June 2021.

His progress continued at the World Championships. After advancing through his heat, he went on to finish second in his semifinal in a world U20 record of 47.34 – a time that would have been good enough for gold at many past editions of the championships.

In the final one day later, Clarke finished fourth in 48.07 and beat some of the best 400m hurdlers in the world.

Alana Reid will be training in the United States with the Star Athletics Track Club, Sportsmax.TV has now confirmed.

The 18-year-old former Hydel High School sprinter, who signed a professional contract with Nike in June, had been training with her high school coach Corey Bennett until recently but according to reports this week, the Pan American U20 100m champion, will now be training alongside World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson and relay gold medallist Twanisha Terry.

Sources close to the development confirmed on Wednesday that the emerging star who ran 10.92 to win the Class I Girls 100m at the 2023 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, the first ever female to break 11 seconds at the championships, will be developed by former US sprinter turned coach Dennis Mitchell.

 

World 100m hurdles champion, Danielle Williams, has set her sights on not only conquering the track but also building a formidable brand reputation, as she recently signed with the fast-rising 7evnz Media Group, a sports marketing agency known for its star-studded roster of athletes, including Olympic champion Hansle Parchment and Jamaican 800m record holder, Natoya Goule.

This partnership marks a significant step in Williams' career as she endeavours to extend her influence and reach beyond the track. The talented athlete has an impressive resume, including her World Championship gold in 2015 and a bronze in 2019, making her one of the most accomplished hurdlers in the world.

Reflecting on her decision to join forces with 7evnz Media Group, Williams stated, "It is pretty important to me. I've always been resistant to the notion that I have to build a brand because I didn't think that was my personality. But I'm open to it now. I feel like the time is now."

Williams expressed her appreciation for the agency, emphasizing the family-oriented approach and the admiration she holds for the athletes they represent. She continued, "I've chosen 7evnz Media to represent me because they've presented themselves as a family, and they work with athletes that I respect and admire, and that is something that appeals to me."

The partnership with 7evnz Media Group not only represents a commitment to enhancing her brand but also hints at her vision for life beyond the track. Williams sees this as an opportunity to partner with brands that she is genuinely passionate about, which will enable her to create lasting connections and bridges for her post-track career.

"As for the remainder of my career in life after track, I feel like this will give me an opportunity to partner with brands that I'm passionate about, which will hopefully, you know, forge connections and build bridges that I can tap into after I retire," she shared.

Additionally, Williams recognizes the potential for increased earning opportunities in her future with this partnership, stating, "And as far as I know it's definitely going to provide more opportunities that would allow me to capitalize on any potential earning opportunities that exist."

7evnz Media Group Agency, founded in 2018, has swiftly become a significant player in the world of sports marketing and public relations. They've been instrumental in managing some of Jamaica's top athletes and have gained recognition for their 360-degree marketing plans that promote athletes' brands, manage their social media presence, and handle all public relations matters.

With Danielle Williams on board, they look forward to further solidifying their position as one of the most sought-after marketing and public relations agencies in the world of athletics. This partnership promises exciting opportunities and growth not just for Williams but also for 7evnz Media Group, strengthening their influence in the sports marketing industry.

 

Track and field icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has revealed that she is being patient with her recovery as she jump-starts her preparation for what will be her final Olympic Games in Paris next year.

The Jamaican superstar, who will be 37 years old in December, is attempting to win a third Olympic 100m gold medal to add to the ones she won in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. She will also be hoping to extend her incredible record of being the only woman to win a medal in the 100m at five consecutive Olympic Games.

It is a tall order, especially when one considers that she will be attempting these history-making feats against possibly the fastest women’s 100m field ever assembled, especially if the likes of world champion Sha’Carri Richardson (10.65), Shericka Jackson (10.65), Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.54), Marie Josee Ta Lou (10.72) and Julien Alfred (10.81) show up in their best form.

However, like the warrior she has been for more than a decade, the self-styled Pocket Rocket remains undaunted. But first, she has to heal her body that has been showing signs of wear and tear with knee, hamstring and other undisclosed injuries that significantly impacted her 2023 season.

 “It’s not really my knee alone that has been giving me trouble but at this stage of my career I am trying to be patient in my recovery, making sure I give myself enough time to come back and not to rush coming back,” said the five-time world 100m champion.

“One of the beauties about me is the fact that I am really tough mentally and I know what the end goal is, what I want to achieve and what I need to do to get there. So, I really want to be patient with myself and trust in my doctors and my team to make sure that next year I am ready to stand on the line first at the national championships and then ultimately, in Paris.

“I know within my heart that there is so much more to come and once I have that belief and that God will give me the strength to get to that point.”

She expressed unwavering confidence that once she is healthy again, she will be capable of taking on all challengers who will likely line up in Paris.

“Without a doubt. It’s athletics, injuries happen,” she declared. “I have been blessed to not have many throughout my career and I think that is what I am relying on, the fact that I have been relatively good in terms of health; apart from my knee and whatever else is happening, I’ve been good. I am just looking forward to just getting healthy 100 per cent fit and sometimes you won’t be 100 per cent but 90 is good enough for me.”

Fraser-Pryce, who boasts a personal best of 10.60 which makes her the third fastest woman all time, said she will rely on her tried and proven method of success that has seen her win two individual 100m gold medals, five World 100m titles, a 200m title and a chest full of other medals during the course of her career that began 16 years ago as a relay substitute at the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan.

“The depth of the sprinters has always been there, for female sprinting. There’s always a host of different athletes that are coming and preparing and for me the focus is staying focused on your own lane, on what you need to do to get to the top, “she said. “As far as I am concerned having competition is good. It pushes you, it makes you aware that you can’t just go to practice and think that’s enough. You have to work, you have to be committed to that work and you have to be willing to go the extra mile.

“I don’t think about the depth, really, it’s always been there, it’s not going to change. It is what it is. It’s the Olympics, everybody wants to win an Olympic medal. So I don’t want to spend my time focusing on what others are doing but instead I invest the time and effort in my own craft and make sure that when the Olympics come around I will be ready.”

 

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World 100m champion, has insisted that he has a lot left in the tank as he begins his preparation to earn a spot on Jamaica’s team to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris next year.

Blake, who turns 34 in December, missed out on a chance to make his country’s team to the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in August, but insists he will not be deterred by this most recent setback as he looks forward to suiting up in national colours for his fourth Olympic Games.

“Not everybody can say they have been to four Olympics. I've gone three already and I'm looking forward to this one being my fourth to be honest, I know I have a lot left with me and I know I can spring some surprises. I am just really focusing on just getting this year to start off on a good level,” the 2012 double Olympic silver medallist told Sportsmax.TV on Friday following the launch of his Reviere Purified Water at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

The 2023 season was a challenging one for Blake, who boasts lifetime bests of 9.69 and 19.26 over the 100m and 200m, respectively.

During the season, he failed to break 10 seconds despite coming closest in Poland on July 16 when he ran a time of 10.01. However, he expressed contentment with what has transpired knowing he has a lot to work on for the coming season.

"I've been consistent, running 10-zeros. I never got the 9s, but I am okay with it," Blake reflected. “I've been doing some revision on the last races, the guys have been pulling away from me from the last 40 metres, so I'm doing some work on that.”

That work is being done in a new environment following the break-up of Titans International that sees Blake, Akeem Blake and Briana Williams as well as Frater walking away from the training group that was led by Coach Gregory Little.

With Frater now being totally in charge of his training, Blake expressed confidence that he will make the necessary steps forward in the coming season.

“Michael Frater is an athlete and he's our coach and he really understands me as well. And, you know, I have young Akeem Blake and Briana (Williams) in the camp as well. So we're looking to push each other and now some younger ones as well. We’re looking to push each other and as I said this is my last Olympics,” Blake said.

Frater has made adjustments to Blake’s programme aimed at keeping him sharp and explosive. "He wants to keep me sharp, and he wants me, when I touch the track, to be ready, and be a bit more explosive.”

Blake was once among the most explosive athletes on earth. After defeating Bolt in both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaica national championships in 2012, Blake ran times of 9.75 and 19.44 at the London 2012 Games to win two silver medals to go along with the gold medal in the 4x100m relay in which Jamaica established a world record of 36.84.

He was seemingly poised to challenge Bolt’s world records of 9.58 and 19.19 when a series of injuries derailed him. The worst of those injuries occurred on a cold evening at the Glasgow Grand Prix in July 2014.

“I remember that race clearly in Glasgow when my muscle was frozen. It was really cool and it popped. When I went to the doctor, the doctor said I suffered from muscle spasms,” he said in reflection, adding that some of his injuries were his own doing.

“You know, one of my biggest letdowns in life is I think I worked too hard and I pushed myself too much. I don't know when it’s time to rest and my body is really upset with me sometimes because I do not know when to rest but don't regret any of what happened. It has made me strong as well and I'm here, I'm still running fast,” he said.

“I can get an injury and do surgery and I'm here still running with aluminium in my leg. I'm trying.”

 

 

 

 

 

In his continuing drive to build a career after he retires from track and field, Yohan Blake on Friday launched his brand of water, Revierie Purified Water, at the AC Hotel in Kingston.

The brand will officially hit the market on November 1 with plans already in place to target markets overseas, especially in the Diaspora, the Caribbean and China where the 2011 World 100m champion continues to be a popular figure.

The broader plan is to align the Reviere brand with Jamaican/Caribbean sport, culture and life making it the water of choice for “home, healing, training, the gym, rehearsals, events and everyone’s life essential drink of water.”

Blake and his team have already planned an aggressive marketing strategy to break into the market. They have ready ads for television and social media featuring Blake and the brand’s ambassador, dancehall icon Bounty Killer and one for social media.

The world champion’s image appears on each bottle of water, which his team believes will help to connect the brand with consumers.

Speaking with Sportsmax.TV, Blake said launching his own brand of water is a big deal.

“It is really big for me. It is really going to change the market in the way not just how people see water, but see me on the bottle knowing that through my hard work this water is on the market and me looking to go into a different venture,” he said.

The beloved athlete also drew praise from business partner Stephen Steele of iPrint Digital and Outdoor Advertising, who urged everyone to support Blake in this new venture.

Speaking on behalf of Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Advisor Lenford Salmon lauded the second fastest man for his dive into entrepreneurship and described him as an example for others to follow.

“The minister particularly wanted me to highlight the fact that for a young man, a young athlete, and we at the Ministry of Culture regard sports as physical culture. So we regard it as a part of the culture and in the day of bling where artists, too many of them and our athletes make some money, sometimes it’s not even a whole heap, but when they make some income they don’t plow it back, they go for the bling,” Salmon said.

“They go for fast cars, they party every night, they go for top-shelf liquor,  without looking to see how they’re going to secure their future. And we’ve been watching you and we’re seeing your business ventures, we’ve seen all you have been doing to set an example for athletes and for people, generally, in what we call physical culture and culture and we want to use this opportunity of you starting another business venture and hold you up as that kind of example which we want others to follow.”

 

 

Global track and field icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce recently opened up to Sportsmax.TV about her trip to Italy for the Bottega Veneta Fashion Show during Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 and reveals that she is mulling a dive into the world of fashion once she hangs up her running spikes for good.

In late September, after a season during which she overcame knee and hamstring injuries to win a bronze medal in the 100m at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, to go along with the 10 gold and five silver medals she has won in eight championship appearances since 2007, Fraser-Pryce, at the invitation of Bottega Veneta Creative Director Matthieu Blazy, took a trip to Milan to lose herself in the world of fashion as she continued to heal from the rigours of a challenging season and enjoyed it immensely.

She revealed it was an eye-opening experience.

“I am going there and I am thinking that this thing is going be like an Olympics where everybody comes with their different fashions and then they showcase it at the event. I didn’t know everybody had like a day to themselves. And people made it like a thing where you had persons that flew to Milan just to dress up, go on the street and take pictures.

“So, it was definitely something different from what I am used to in terms of track but it was a good experience. I saw some fashion that were ‘nice, love it’. Wear it? Maybe, maybe not,” she said with a giggle. “But it was a good experience. I loved the fact that I was invited by Bottega, by Matthieu and his team and I am looking forward to doing more of those events.”

During the course of her illustrious career, Fraser-Pryce has become known for her ever-evolving style. Her wigs and outfits have raised eyebrows and won the approval of her many fans. Few will forget her colourful wigs that have accentuated her outstanding performances at global championships over the past few years as well as her keen sense of style off the track while attending local and international engagements.

So it was not really much a surprise to hear the two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist reveal that fashion is something she could get into when her medal-filled career draws to a close.

“I think for me style is unique. Style is something that is personal and unique to you, some definitely that is something that I would tap into. It is never too late to start something. It may not be a thing when you’re younger but as you get older you like different things. The older I get I like silence or you like plants, so yes, I am looking forward to doing more of those things and I am grateful to Bottega for the outpouring and love and support that they gave me. I was shocked when I got the invitation.

“But when I got there I was in the front row, met some lovely people and I think I actually met a Jamaican model who walked in the show as well so it was awesome.”

 

 

 

Paula Dunn has been appointed interim head coach at UK Athletics following the departure of Stephen Maguire.

The 58-year-old, who was Paralympic head coach for 10 years before taking the role of team leader for major athletics championships in 2022, will lead the Performance programme through next year’s Paris Olympics and Paralympic Games.

“I’m looking forward to working with the performance staff and athletes once more at this incredibly important time for the GB and NI team,” Dunn said.

“The results from Paris (World Para Athletics Championships) and Budapest (World Championships) this summer were excellent, and I want to ensure we keep providing world-class support in the approach to Paris and help every athlete perform at their very best.

“There isn’t a moment to lose, and I am excited to rejoin UKA and help the team to succeed.”

UKA chief executive Jack Buckner said: “Paula has a huge amount of experience in leading athletics and her track record in performance means she is the best person to oversee the Performance programme towards Paris.

“2024 is a very important year for the sport with a home World Indoor Championships, a Para World Championships, European Championships as well as the Olympics and Paralympics.

“She is coming in at a critical time for the performance team, but her knowledge and experience will make a huge impact.”

UKA announced on Tuesday that Maguire was leaving his position as technical director with immediate effect, less than two months after overseeing a very successful World Championships in Budapest, with the British team equalling their best ever medal haul of 10.

Sprinter Dina Asher-Smith labelled the “snap decision” as “incredibly short-sighted” on Instagram and called for an explanation from UKA.

Kenyan middle-distance sensation Faith Kipyegon, who had a remarkable 2023, setting world records and clinching gold medals at the World Championships in Budapest, has revealed a deeply personal and inspiring aspect of her journey.

Kipyegon, who is the favorite for the World Athletics' Women Athlete of the Year for 2023, credited none other than Jamaican sprinting legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as the driving force behind her triumphant return to athletics.

Kipyegon's journey to success included a maternity break in 2017, a pause she took to welcome her daughter Alyn in June 2018. Since her return, she has consistently delivered stellar performances, proving that motherhood need not be a barrier to athletic achievement. However, her path to victory wasn't always straightforward, and it was during these challenging times that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce's story served as a guiding light.

Fraser-Pryce, renowned for her blistering speed on the track, chose to put her career on hold in 2017 to give birth to her son, Zyon. In the years that followed, she not only made a stunning return to athletics winning World 100m titles in 2019 and 2022, but also became an advocate for mothers, both in and beyond the world of sports.

Kipyegon reminisced about a pivotal encounter in 2019 during the World Championships in Doha, where Fraser-Pryce clinched a gold medal. It was during this meeting that Kipyegon found her inspiration.

"Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce inspired me to take maternity leave and then make a comeback. We met in 2019 in Doha, where she won gold. It was from her that I garnered the courage to believe that we can take maternity leave and still return to win on the track. This has shown other runners that it's possible to return from maternity leave and achieve victory," Kipyegon revealed in a candid interview on JK Live.

Kipyegon, who became the first woman to win the 1500m and 5000m titles at one world championships, is among 11 nominees for World Athletics’ Women Athlete of the Year along with Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, the USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson, Gudaf Tsegay, who broke Kipyegon’s 5000m world record in September, Tigst Assefa, Femke Bol from the Netherlands, Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, Winfred Yavi of Bahrain, Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine and Spain’s Maria Perez.

The story of Faith Kipyegon's triumphant return to athletics serves as an inspiration not just for athletes but for all mothers who aspire to achieve their dreams while embracing the joys of motherhood. It highlights the power of determination, perseverance, and the support and inspiration one can find in the experiences of fellow athletes like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Great Britain sprint star Dina Asher-Smith is breaking up with her long-time coach John Blackie and is moving to the USA to train under the guidance of Eldrick Floreal.

Coach Blackie has been Asher-Smith’s coach for the past 19 years guiding her to tremendous success through her junior years and into a senior career that peaked at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar where she won gold in the 200m and a silver medal in the 100m.

However, since then, the five-time British 100m champion whose parents are Jamaican, has had a hard time of it since then.

She was eighth in the 100m final at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest and seventh in the 200m final. At the 2022 championships in Eugene, Oregon, Asher-Smith finished fourth in the 100m final and third in the 200m finals.

Given the recent disappointments and ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics, while thankful for the success she enjoyed with Coach Blackie, the 27-year-old has decided it was time to shake things up in order fulfilling her ambitions of winning gold medals at global championships.

“After 19 years, John Blackie and I have ended our coach-athlete relationship,” Asher-Smith posted on her Instagram account Friday.

“My life changed by meeting him and I will be forever grateful to him. His intellect, patience and dedication has taken me from an energetic eight-year-old to a World Champion with over 20 international medals and many Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European finals.

“John and I will, or course, remain close friends.”

She expressed gratitude for her now former coach.

“Thank you to John and thank you to all my team in London whose talents and hard work have helped me realize so many dreams to date,” she said while revealing her new destination.

“My next chapter will be led by Eldrick Floreal based out of Austin, Texas, I am very excited to join his talented training group as we head to Paris 2024.”

With the Floreal training group, Asher-Smith will be training alongside St Lucian sprint queen Julien Alfred and Irish quarter-mile queen Rhasidat Adeleke.

 

 

Jessica Ennis-Hill announced her retirement from athletics on this day in 2016.

She had won Olympic gold in the heptathlon at London 2012 and silver at Rio 2016, and retired as a two-time world champion.

Ennis-Hill, then 30, released a statement on her Instagram account to announce her decision and admitted it was “one of the toughest decisions” she had ever had to make during her successful career.

The Sheffield-born heptathlete returned to competition after the birth of her son Reggie in July 2014 and went on to win the World Athletics Championships in Beijing in 2015 having already achieved the qualifying standard for Rio.

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It was her second world heptathlon title after previously achieving the feat in Berlin in 2009 while claiming silver in 2011.

Ennis-Hill’s senior breakthrough came at her only Commonwealth Games in 2006 where she picked up bronze, finishing behind winner and team-mate Kelly Sotherton.

But she was destined for more greatness and won gold at the 2010 European Championships before claiming the World Indoor Pentathlon title in the same year.

The victories were part of her dominance of the sport between 2009 and 2012 ahead of her success at London 2012.

She won the 100 metres hurdles before coming sixth in the high jump and 10th in the shot put. A personal best of 22.83 seconds saw her finish second in the 200 metres and Ennis-Hill was also second in the long jump before she threw a personal best of 47.49 metres in the javelin to finish 10th and put her on the brink of glory.

She earned the Olympic crown with a season’s best of two minutes and eight seconds in the 800 metres to win the race.

Ennis-Hill then called time on her career following the 2016 Olympics after she narrowly failed to retain her Olympic heptathlon title-winning silver behind Belgian Nafissatou Thiam at Rio 2016.

She won the 800m – the final discipline of the competition – but it was not enough to overtake Thiam, who won by 35 points.

Global track and field icon Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and her Pocket Rocket Foundation are celebrating 10 years of existence this year and in celebration, and to raise funds to offer even more scholarships to student-athletes in need of financial support, will be staging a fundraising banquet on November 4 that will be streamed on Sportsmax.

The two-time Olympic 100m gold medallist promises that the occasion will be one to remember.

Since its inception in 2013, the foundation has awarded scholarships to 73 student athletes across various sports from 26 schools across Jamaica. They are able to do so through generous backing from companies like GraceKennedy, Digicel and now National Baking Company Foundation, who donated JMD$1,000,000.00 to the foundation at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday when 11 more student-athletes were awarded scholarships.

Each scholarship recipient, in addition to the JMD$100,000 academic scholarship, will also receive, JMD$7500 NIKE book bag, official Pocket Rocket Foundation notebooks and Promise Pin, a JMD$15,000 Book voucher, a $10,000 GraceKennedy Food Basket and a JMD$25,000 DIGICEL Tablet with JMD$3,000 worth of credit.

Fraser-Pryce explained afterwards that the work is just beginning hence the fundraiser planned for next month.

“For the Pocket Rocket Foundation, we have a lot of visions that we are implementing currently from the Rocket Start Breakfast Programme that we rolled out last year, donating deep freezes and refrigerators to different schools, just to enhance school life,” she remarked.

“What we have coming up is the Pocket Rocket Foundation’s 10th anniversary fundraising gala at the AC Hotel on November 4 when we are looking forward to all that we have been able to accomplish throughout the years as well as implementing a (public-relations) etiquette seminar for students.”

Among the foundation’s future plans is a strategy to prepare high school student-athletes for college by providing them with the tools they need to successfully make the transition thus enhancing the chances of success.

“I think one of the things that is also important for the foundation is college readiness,” said Fraser-Pryce, who has a degree in Child and Adolescent Development from the University of Technology.

“We have a lot of athletes that are here from different sports and a lot of them will need help in transitioning because it is not as easy as it seems. It definitely takes a while to transition and some of the things we want also want to be able to offer them is mental health support because for a lot of persons there are different ways that they cope and I want to assist as best as possible, helping them to cope. It’s not just about giving them cash and kind but it is to be readily available to cater to different needs that we don’t know of or money can’t buy.”

These are among the reasons why the five-time World 100m champion will be asking patrons of the gala to make the sacrifice and turn out for the occasion because every dollar raised will go towards building these student-athletes into productive citizens of Jamaica.

“How it works is that you just empty your bank account, give it us and we can continue to invest in student-athletes,” she said breaking out into laughter.

“The ticket costs USD$350 and also, as a company, you can be a sponsor of the gala and you can have a table for your company to have up to 10 persons to attend. We’ll have items for auction and raffle items,” she said.

“Sportsmax will also be there to live-stream the event so wherever you are in the world you will be able to participate. It will be a night of excellence.”

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson is among 11 athletes nominated for Women’s World Athlete of the Year.

The athletes were selected by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of World Athletics.

In what has been another memorable year for the sport, the nominations reflect some of the standout performances achieved at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, one-day meeting circuits, Label road races and other events around the world.

In August, Jackson, 29, won her second 200m title at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest where she also won silver medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay. She capped off her impressive season by winning Diamond League trophies in both 100m and 200m at the season-ending meet in Eugene, Oregon.

The impressive list of nominees also includes Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa, winner of the Berlin marathon winner and who set the world marathon record this past season.

Femke Bol of the Netherlands won the 400m hurdles in Budapest and set a world indoor 400m record during the season.

The strong favourite to walk away with the award this year is Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, the World 1500m and 5000m champion, who set world records 1500m, mile and 5000m in 2023.

Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi is the World champion at the javelin. She is also the Diamond League champion.

Also among the nominees is Yaroslava Mahuchikh of Ukraine who is the World champion and Diamond League champion at the high jump.

Spain’s Maria Perez is the World 20km and 35km race walk world champion, who established a new world record at the 35km race walk.

Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay is the World 10,000m champion, who won the Diamond League 5000m title with a new world record.

The USA’s Sha’Carri Richardson is the newly crowned World champion at 100m and bronze medallist at 200m.

Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas won her fourth consecutive world title at the triple jump and also added the Diamond League title to her extraordinary exploits during the season.

Bahrain’s Winfed Yavi is the 3000m steeplechase World champion, who also won the Diamond League title with a world-leading performance.

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube this week; a 'like' on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or a retweet on X will count as one vote.

 

 

The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.

Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Saturday 28 October. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men finalists will be announced by World Athletics on 13-14 November.

The winners will be revealed on World Athletics’ social media platforms on 11 December.

 

Last week was a memorable one for two-time world championships bronze medalist Sada Williams.

Williams won a bronze medal in the 400m at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August, becoming the first Barbadian athlete to win medals at consecutive global athletics championships. She won a bronze medal in the same event at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Also in 2022, Williams won the gold medal in the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England and a silver medal at the NACAC Senior Championships in Freeport, Bahamas.

Last week, the government of Barbados, in acknowledgement of those accomplishments, unveiled two billboards bearing her image and rewarded her with a cash award of $150,000. That same week, Williams was also made a brand ambassador for Sagicor in Barbados.

“I am proud to announce that I have officially become a brand ambassador for Sagicor, Barbados and I will be part of their family,” the proud athlete posted on her Instagram page.

“Last night (Thursday) was the official welcome where I met so many wonderful and fun people. I cannot wait to start this journey with you guys.

She expressed her gratitude to Sagicor’s management team who put the deal together.

“Special thanks to Mr Paul Innis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Sagicor Life Inc. and Chief Executive Officer Mr George Thomas of Sagicor Bank for making this partnership possible.”

Williams is expected to return to training in the coming week as she prepares for what is expected to be another successful year as she hunts for her first Olympic medal in Paris, France.

 

 

 

 

 

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