On the eve of her special recognition at the Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational in Kingston, Jamaica, two-time world champion Danielle Williams showcased her prowess on the track at the Clemson Bob Pollock Invitational in the United States.

With her eyes set on making her first Olympic team later in the year, Williams took to the indoor track Friday evening and delivered an impressive performance in the 60m hurdles race. The two-time 100m hurdles world champion clocked a swift 7.89, securing the top spot and leaving her competition in the dust.

Clemson sophomore Oneka Wilson gave a commendable effort, running a season-best 8.09 to claim the second position. Chastity Pickett of Campbell finished third in 8.26, also marking a season's best for her.

For Williams, this was her only indoor meet of the season, signaling her transition to focus on the upcoming outdoor campaign. The victory not only added another triumph to her illustrious career but also served as a promising start to what could be a remarkable year for the Jamaican athlete.

 

A day later, in Kingston, Jamaica, the anticipation for Danielle Williams' recognition at the Queens/Grace Jackson Invitational reached its peak. The organizers honored her with a plaque, presented to her sister Velta Cole. The plaque chronicled Danielle's history, studies, and accomplishments, serving as a source of inspiration for the students at Queens High School, where Williams had been a past student.

Aneeke Brown, Chairperson of the meet organizer, shared the significance of the plaque, saying, “We presented it to her sister, a plaque chronicling Danielle’s history, her studies, and her accomplishments. One will go into the Queen’s School library so that the girls can see and aspire and be motivated, another will be sent to Danielle.”

Vice Principal of The Queen's School Mrs Trudi Morrison-Reid also participated in the presentation.

Williams was not the only Jamaican on the podium in South Carolina on Friday.

LaFranz Campbell was third in the men’s 60m hurdles. He ran a season’s best 7.65 in the race won by Dylan Beard who ran a fast 7.54 but just managed to hold off Cameron Murray, who clocked 7.55.

 

Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, Christopher Samuda, welcomed a recent move by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to accommodate athletes' freedom of expression, albeit with certain restrictions, during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Though athletes have frequently used the Olympic stage to make statements through boycotts and protests, the IOC in a bid to not only protect the Games integrity, but also to strike a balance between freedom of expression and maintaining a respectful and competitive environment, has set out the places and forbidden topics where competitors will be able to express their opinions.

At the Paris Games, athletes will be able to express themselves freely in all but five moments –the opening and closing ceremonies, the medal ceremonies, during competition and during their stay in the Olympic Village. 

As such, the mixed areas where they interact with the media, press centres, press conferences, interviews, team meetings, traditional or digital media, social networks and pre-competition moments, such as call room and athlete presentation, will be the appropriate places for athletes to defend their points of view, but still under certain conditions.

For Samuda, the move represents a step in the right direction in the current era.

The Tokyo Games opened the door to the expression in the Olympic environment, which had been completely banned at previous editions. This, as players from the women's football teams of Great Britain, Chile, United States, Sweden, and New Zealand knelt on the pitch before some matches to protest against racism.

“The decision of the IOC to give a voice to athletes in designated spaces at the 2024 Olympic Games is laudable. The recognition of the inalienable right to freedom of expression which, notwithstanding, must be exercised responsibly so as to safeguard the integrity and reputation of the Games, which is of immense brand value to athletes, and importantly, to protect sport, which creates a meaningful livelihood for athletes and stakeholders,” Samuda told SportsMax.TV.

“Giving athletes a voice to articulate their viewpoints in spaces including the mixed areas where they will interface with the media, and also in press conferences, centres and interviews, as well as team meetings and traditional and new media, demonstrates athlete centricity on the part of the IOC,” he added.

Among the restrictions placed on athletes is the fact that they must respect the basic principles of Olympism, and refrain from attacking individuals, organisations or countries. Athletes are also expected to follow the instructions of their Olympic committee or federation, and avoid disruptive behaviour.

Disruptive behaviour in this case, could be making comments during the presentation or anthem of other athletes, or displaying a flag or banner at that moment.

According to rules published by the IOC, failure to comply with these rules may result in disciplinary action proportionate to the offence.

This, Samuda believes is a responsible stance by the IOC, as with the conferment of a right comes responsibility and therefore, athletes in their expression must also adhere to the IOC rules and guidelines.

“A very reasonable position which I have no doubt will be subject to further refinement as sport evolves globally, and the imperative to protect its integrity becomes more acknowledged in the interest of athletes and their livelihood,” Samuda reasoned.

“Capital and stakeholder satisfaction prefer a risk free and regulated environment in which to thrive. So, striking a balance between liberty to speak and the responsibility of remaining silent provides a safe haven for viable return on investment and engagement,” he ended.

 

Louisiana State University (LSU) Sophomore Brianna Lyston gave fans a signal of what is to come from her this season with a personal best and collegiate leading 7.07 to win the women’s 60m at the Razorback Invitational at the Tyson Center in Fayetteville on Saturday.

The 19-year-old, who entered the meet with a personal best of 7.29 done last season, first produced an easy 7.14 in qualifying before returning to run her new personal best in the final to win comfortably ahead of Georgia’s Kaila Jackson (7.20) and Florida’s Grace Stark (7.21).

Lyston’s time is the third-fastest in the world this year, fourth-fastest in collegiate history and equals the LSU school record done back in 2018 by Aleia Hobbs.

The men's equivalent saw USC's Travis Williams run 6.63 for third behind LSU's Myles Thomas (6.62) and USC's JC Stevenson (6.61).

Jamaican World Championship 4x400m relay medallist Stacey Ann Williams ran 51.86 to win the women’s open 400m ahead of Americans Kendall Ellis (52.12) and Bailey Lear (52.49). World Championships 400m hurdles finalist Andrenette Knight ran 52.53 for fifth.

Arkansas Junior and reigning Jamaican National champion Nickisha Pryce ran 51.58 for third in the college women’s 400m behind schoolmate Amber Anning (50.56) and Georgia’s Aaliyah Butler (51.34).

Pryce was a semi-finalist in the 400m at the World Championships in Budapest last August.

Florida Senior Jevaughn Powell ran 46.28 for third in the college men’s 400m behind USC’s William Jones (45.24) and Texas A&M’s Auhmad Robinson (46.15).

2023 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion and World Championship 100m hurdles finalist Ackera Nugent ran 7.94 for second in the women’s open 60m hurdles won by the USA’s Tia Jones in 7.85. Christina Clemons ran 7.95 for third.

Jamaica’s Phillip Lemonious, who won the NCAA Outdoor title competing for the University of Arkansas last season, ran 7.68 for third in the men’s 60m hurdles. Interestingly, the top two finishers in the race, Texas A&M’s Connor Schulman and Jaqualon Scott, also ran 7.68. Their times when rounded up to the thousandths were 7.672, 7.673 and 7.675.

St. Vincent's Shafiqua Maloney ran 2:02.29 to take top spot in the women's 800m ahead of Sanu Jallow of Arkansas (2:02.60) and Gabija Galvydyte (2:02.82).

In the field, Arkansas high jumper Romaine Beckford, the defending NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion, improved his indoor career best to 2.27m with his victory on Friday evening.

The winning height moves Beckford to No. 4 on the UA all-time list and No. 3 on the Jamaican all-time indoor list with the equal No. 4 performance.

Having won the competition, Beckford opted for the Olympic standard of 2.33m as his next height and had three attempts with his last try coming closest to clearing.

Mississippi State’s Sherman Hawkins and USC’s Elias Gerald both cleared 2.17m for second and third, respectively.

Elsewhere in the field, Jamaican Oklahoma Junior Nikaoli Williams produced 7.86m for second in the men’s long jump behind Florida’s Malcolm Clemons (8.06m). Clemons’ teammate Caleb Foster jumped 7.68m for third.

 

 

In his lone year competing at the NCAA level, Jaydon Hibbert undoubtedly cemented himself as the greatest jumper in collegiate history.

The now 19-year-old Arkansas sophomore became the youngest ever winner of the Bowerman Award after going unbeaten in the Triple Jump at the NCAA level in 2023, setting new collegiate Indoor and Outdoor records in the process.

Hibbert’s best jump came at the SEC Outdoor Championships on May 13 when he established a new World U-20 record with a massive 17.87m effort to win gold. He then went on to claim top spot at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June in addition to his wins at the SEC and NCAA Indoor Championships in February and March.

Hibbert’s associate head coach at the University of Arkansas, Travis Geopfert, put into perspective just how much of an impact his performances made at the collegiate level.

“His stamp on the history of NCAA Track & Field is already there in a very short period of time. That, we’re going to forever celebrate. His name is in the history books forever and I’m excited for that continue on the world stage as well,” he said.

Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Buckman also commented on Hibbert’s decision to turn professional.

“We’re so proud of Jaydon and all he’s accomplished here as a Razorback in such a short period of time,” he said.

“We’re just really, really happy that he’s able to take this next step and go to the next level. It really gives us a sense of satisfaction and pride. I wish him nothing but the best,” he added.

Now, Hibbert has decided to go the professional route while staying at Arkansas to complete his collegiate education.

He will continue to train under the guidance of Geopfert, who is excited about what the former Kingston College standout will be able to produce at the highest level.

“I’m super excited for him. It’s a great opportunity that he’s earned and I’m really excited for the work that he’s put in already this year and how that’s going to pay off going forward. The experience that I’ve been fortunate to have to work with a lot of professional athletes over the years, I’m excited for the setup that we have here for ’Hibby’ to make a smooth transition to the professional ranks,” he said.

Hibbert’s focus this year will be the outdoor season, according to Geopfert.

“We’re going to focus on the outdoor season. Training is going extremely well. He’s a lot stronger and getting faster. We’re working on some technical things that he can still clean up a little bit. Despite all that success last year there’s always room for improvement,” he said.

One specific area he is excited to work on with Hibbert is his approach to the board. For most of last season, Hibbert was operating using a short run-up but Geopfert says the extra time to train ahead of the outdoor season will give Hibbert time to work off his full run-up, meaning some scary distances could be in the near future.

“From a technical perspective, what I’m most excited about is him working on his full approach and getting more and more comfortable with the speed that he has. We have time to do that now,” he said.

Geopfert also commended Hibbert on the decision to stay in school despite making the jump to the professional ranks.

“I’m really proud of him for staying grounded and staying in school. It’s a terrific opportunity and I’m excited for what’s to come this year,” he said.

Bahamian sprinter Anthonique Strachan was the only Caribbean winner at the Astana Indoor Meet for Amin Tuyakov Prizes-a World Athletics Indoor Tour-Gold meet, in Kazakhstan on Saturday.

The 2012 double sprint World Junior champion ran 7.21 for victory in the women’s 60m. She finished just ahead of Poland’s Magdalena Stefanovicz (7.22) and Iran’s Farzaneh Fasihi (7.23). Jamaica's Tina Clayton ran 7.28 in sixth.

Reigning Jamaican National 100m champion Rohan Watson ran 6.65 for fifth in the male equivalent won by the USA’s Demek Kemp in 6.55. The Japanese pair of Shuhei Tada and Akihiro Higashida ran 6.58 and 6.59 for second and third, respectively.

The meet’s most impressive performance came in the women’s 60m hurdles where Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, coached by Jamaican Lacena Golding-Clarke, produced an African record 7.77 to win ahead of two-time World Indoor champion Nia Ali (7.89) and Ireland’s Sarah Lavin (7.91). Jamaica’s Megan Tapper and Amoi Brown were fifth and eighth with times of 8.03 and 8.11, respectively.

The women’s 400m saw Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson finish second overall with a time of 54.66. The event was won by Portugal’s Catia Azevedo in 52.64 while Japan’s Nanako Matsumoto was third overall with 54.79.

In a strategic move fueled by the desire for fresh challenges and a lack of competitive challenges at the collegiate level, Jamaican triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert has secured a significant long-term contract with Puma. As was first reported by Sportsmax.TV late Thursday (25), the 19-year-old sensation, who enjoyed a remarkable freshman year at the University of Arkansas, has chosen to embark on a professional journey while continuing his studies at the esteemed institution.

Henry Rolle, the principal at Preeminence Sports Group and Hibbert's agent, shed light on the decision-making process, emphasizing the athlete's motivation to seek new horizons after achieving unparalleled success at the collegiate level. Hibbert's undefeated streak in both indoor and outdoor competitions during his freshman year highlighted his dominance, prompting a thoughtful evaluation of his next steps.

Hibbert set a World U20 record of 17.54m to win the NCAA Indoor title. He won the outdoor title with a world-leading 17.87m, an NCAA record and World U20 record. Just 18, he capped his incredible season by winning the coveted Bowerman Award in December 2023, becoming the first freshman, the youngest ever collegiate athlete and the first Jamaican to claim the award it’s 25-year history.

Rolle provided key insights into Hibbert's decision, stating, "There was really nothing to motivate him competing at the collegiate level, and he discussed it with his coach and his parents, and, of course, he had that NIL with Puma." Rolle emphasized that the decision was entirely driven by Hibbert's quest for greater challenges and personal growth.

The long-term contract with Puma signifies a crucial milestone for Hibbert's professional aspirations. Despite the transition to a professional career, the Jamaican triple jumper remains committed to completing his education at the University of Arkansas, showcasing a balanced approach to athletic and academic pursuits.

Reflecting on the financial feasibility and the athlete's personal goals, Rolle remarked, "It is a long-term deal that makes it feasible for him to complete his education." This strategic approach ensures that Hibbert can continue his studies while receiving the support and sponsorship necessary for his professional development.

Hibbert's decision to sign with Puma and embrace professionalism was made apparent in a heartfelt message shared on his Instagram page. In the post, he expressed gratitude to the University of Arkansas for its pivotal role in shaping him as both an athlete and an individual. The Razorback spirit instilled during his collegiate journey will accompany him into the professional realm.

“University of Arkansas you have been more than just a school to me. You have been a family. To all my coaches, teammates and professors, you’ve shaped me into the athlete and the person I am today. You’ve instilled in me the Razorback spirit which I will carry with me on my professional journey,” he posted on Instagram.

 “This journey has been filled with unforgettable moments, victories and lessons that I wouldn’t trade for anything. The roar of the crowd at every track meet, the camaraderie, the grind, the triumphs and even the injuries…each has carved a piece and my heart and soul.

“As I say goodbye to my NCAA eligibility and step into my professional career, I do so with a heart full of gratitude. I am not leaving behind the Razorback family; I am taking it with me.”

Hibbert will not compete indoors but will likely participate at a few outdoor collegiate meets in Arkansas and the wider USA before deciding which competitions including Diamond League meets he will be take part in prior to the Jamaica national championships and the Olympics in Paris in July, Rolle said.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican long jump sensation Wayne Pinnock, fresh off his silver medal win at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, is gearing up for the Olympic Games in Paris with a resolute determination to secure the coveted gold medal.

Pinnock, a two-time NCAA champion from the University of Arkansas, narrowly missed out on the gold in Budapest despite an impressive world-leading leap of 8.54m in the preliminary round and another outstanding jump of 8.50m in the final. Greek athlete Miltiádis Tentóglou clinched the gold with a mark of 8.52m on the final jump of the competition.

Undeterred by the near miss, Pinnock is channeling his energy into becoming Jamaica's first-ever Olympic long jump gold medallist. The 25-year-old athlete has been diligently working with his coach, Travis Geopfert, focusing on technical aspects and sprinting improvements.

“In practice me and (coach Travis Geopfert) we are working on some, you know, technical stuff, and coming from last season to this season I have seen numerous improvements with my sprinting, and I am 25 per cent stronger. So we keep on working. And I told him that ‘you know coach, like something special coming this year for sure, and we just going to go for it,’” said Pinnock.

With a combination of patience, humility, and faith, Pinnock believes that the right time for his extraordinary performance is approaching. Reflecting on his experience in Budapest, where Tentóglou's final jump snatched the gold from his grasp, Pinnock acknowledges the Greek athlete's skill but is determined to claim victory in Paris.

“I knew he would have jumped far based on his first six pushes out of the back of his approach. When I saw it, I was like, yes, that's the one. So I saw him take off the board and I was like, yeah, that was a solid jump. But I never expected, expected to be that far. But he's a competitor, he's an Olympic champion and you got to pay a little respect; but you know for sure, I'm coming.”

The setback in Budapest has only fueled Pinnock's desire to improve further. He plans to get back to the drawing board, working hard, and coming back stronger for the Olympics. Training has been rigorous, but Pinnock is unwavering in his dedication to greatness.

"Honestly, I’ll just get back to the drawing board. Keep on working hard and come again for Olympics. Training has been going good, and also it's been very gruesome; it's been hard. I just been putting in the work. I'm in the gym doing my own stuff, that makes you great, and I'm gonna continue doing what I'm doing,” affirmed Pinnock.

The talented long jumper anticipates his return to competitive action sometime in February, setting the stage for what he believes will be a spectacular and victorious performance at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaydon Hibbert has signed with the Preeminence  Sports Group, an indication that he has decided to become a professional athlete.

However, our sources indicate that he will remain at the University of Arkansas to continue training with Coach Travis Geopfert.

Hibbert, who turned 19 earlier this month, had signed an NIL contract with German sports apparel company PUMA during his freshman year after producing marks of 17.54m, a world U20 and NCAA record, to win the NCAA Division I Indoor title and followed up by winning the outdoor title with a mark of 17.87m, which is also a world U20 record.

Hibbert is his sophomore year at the University of Arkansas where he achieved record-breaking success in his freshman year, capping his outstanding season by winning the coveted Bowerman Award.

The Preeminence Sports Group announced on Instagram Thursday that Hibbert has joined the group.

“Help us in welcoming @...wunderkid_to the Preeminence team. We look forward to what this year has in store.”

 

St Lucia track queen Julien Alfred is also represented by Preeminence Sports Group.

Sportsmax.tv will have more detail on the development soon.

 

The 45th MILO Western Relays kicked off with a burst of excitement and anticipation, as co-founder and organizer Ray Harvey unveiled thrilling new events and surprises for the upcoming edition during the launch at the Holy Trinity Church Hall in Westgate, Montego Bay.

One of the most significant announcements was the introduction of discus and shot put throws for all classes of high school girls and boys. This marked a groundbreaking moment, bringing a new dimension to the competition and offering young athletes a chance to showcase their skills in these field events.

Ray Harvey further revealed that, due to popular demand from senior-level coaches, the invitational 60m dash for clubs and institutions would make a return to the schedule. This addition aimed to provide valuable experience for athletes preparing for overseas competitions, adding an extra layer of competitiveness to the event.

In another exciting development, prize money was reintroduced for high schools participating in specific relay events. The 4x100M Class 1, 4X400M Class 1, and the 4X800M Open categories would see athletes earning cash rewards ranging from JMD$5,000 to JMD$40,000 based on their placements. Edwin Allen emerged as the top-performing school in the previous year, securing JMD$140,000 for their outstanding performance.

The event, scheduled to start at 10:00 am, promised a packed day of activities, including relays for all classes, hurdles, field events such as long jump, triple jump, and high jump, as well as sprint races ranging from 100m to 800m. The day's schedule would culminate with the 3000m and the 1500m, the first event on the list.

 Harvey also took the opportunity to announce the patron of the event and recognize outstanding junior male and female awardees. Chester McCarthy, the athletic director at GC Foster College, along with Deandre Daley of Herbert Morrison Technical High School and Alexis James, formerly of Petersfield High School, were named as this year's recipients. The awards presentation would take place during the opening ceremony at GC Foster College on Saturday, February 10.

Nekesha Bartholomew-Ramey, representing the title sponsor MILO, expressed their commitment with a generous cash sponsorship of four million dollars (JMD$4,000,000). She emphasized MILO's dedication to the event, highlighting its alignment with the product as the "food drink of champions" that provides energy to go further.

Mount Alvernia's coach Andrew Henry received special recognition for his exceptional work with MILO scholarship awardees since 2007. Bartholomew-Ramey praised his efforts, acknowledging the positive impact he had on athletes in the west.

Attendees to the February event were promised not only a fantastic athletic showcase but also the opportunity to sample hot and cold MILO, with product sales at discounted prices. The Jamaica Olympic Association's president, Chris Samuda, confirmed the organization's continued sponsorship for the third consecutive year, further solidifying the significance of the MILO Western Relays on the Jamaican sports calendar.

The launch event extended beyond the formalities, featuring a coach's clinic and an informative section on nutrition, exercises, and recovery for prep and primary schools, as well as high schools. Keilando Goburn, coach at St. Jago High School, delivered a well-timed presentation on 'Intensive Hurdling Technique,' earning praise from fellow coaches for its quality and relevance. Overall, the atmosphere was buzzing with excitement as the countdown to the MILO Western Relays began.

 

 

 

 The World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, Racers Grand Prix will host its 2024 staging on Saturday, June 1 at the National Stadium.

Known globally as Jamaica’s foremost track and field meet credited with showcasing many of Jamaica’s most decorated athletes, Racers Grand Prix promises an exhilarating three-hour demonstration of athletic excellence.

As the well-supported meet returns to its pride and place on the sporting calendar for the second year post-pandemic, Racers Grand Prix CEO Devon Blake is prepared to raise the engagement for fans of the sport.

“As usual we will have a star-studded lineup of international and Jamaican athletes. A major focus for this year's meet will be our fan engagement activities. We are working on new ways for attendees to immerse themselves in the Grand Prix experience. We are proud to announce that for the first time this year, fans of track and field will be able to sign up online for free tickets to the meet,” Blake shared

 While deliberations continue to determine the meet lineup for 2024, Blake is keen to highlight the Racers Track Club members to watch at this year’s meet.

 “It's too early to have any confirmed athletes who are not part of Racers Track Club. However, we are expecting exemplary things from Oblique Seville (who leads the new generation of 100m athletes), Antonio Watson (Jamaica's first World Championship gold medallist in over 40 years), and Zharnel Hughes (British 100m and 200m record holder),” Blake added.

 Racers Grand Prix was conceived by Chairman Glen Mills and launched in 2016. Today it stands as a premier Track and Field Meet showcasing top talents from the Racers Track and Field Club, Jamaica and around the world. The event plays a pivotal role in developing Jamaica's athletics and the Racers Track and Field Club.

 Racer’s Grand Prix Organizing Committee Chairman, Glen Mills is particularly excited to facilitate the development of local talent at this year’s meet as a precursor to the Olympics.

“This is an Olympic year and the Racers Grand Prix offers our Jamaican athletes the perfect opportunity to measure themselves against the best in the world in front of their home fans and also assess their progress in preparation for the Olympics,” Glen Mills commented.

World Athletics and Sony Corporation (Sony) today (23) announced a new three-year agreement that will see Sony sponsor World Athletics Series events from 2024 to 2026.

As part of the sponsorship, Sony will support all World Athletics Series events starting from the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 in March. The agreement will also include the World Athletics Championships Tokyo 25 to be held in Tokyo, Japan, in September 2025.

Sony Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation and is responsible for the Entertainment, Technology & Services (ET&S) business. With the vision to "continue to deliver Kando and Anshin* to people and society across the world through the pursuit of technology and new challenges," Sony Corporation supports the Sony Group with technology to create the entertainment of the future together with creators.

Both parties came to this agreement based on a mutual understanding of each other’s philosophy.

Sony aims to work with creators and leverage the power of technology to generate emotion-filled experiences for sports fans across the globe and capture them on film and in photographs.

Sony will further enhance emotion from athletes’ awe-inspiring achievements captured by content creators, including photographers, and deliver them to the world through cutting-edge technologies like the Alpha™ mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and versatile interchangeable lens including G Master™, system cameras and broadcast solutions.

 

In addition, Hawk-Eye Innovations, which has a proven track record of providing services for international events in a variety of sports, will contribute to fair competition management through its officiating services.

“We are entering an exciting few years for our sport and I can think of no better partner than Sony to help us capture the excitement, the thrill and the breathtaking performances our sport promises to bring,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “As the No.1 Olympic sport, the eyes of the world will be squarely focused on athletics this year as our athletes compete across our five World Athletics Series events, plus Paris.

“We look forward to the outstanding photographs Sony will capture at our events to immortalise these many moments in our sport’s history.”

Hiroki Totoki, President, COO and CFO of Sony Group Corporation, said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with World Athletics to sponsor their World Athletics Series events, which are known as the world's top competitions in athletics.

“Based on our purpose to ‘fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology’, Sony will contribute to the development of sports by leveraging technology to enhance the emotion generated by sports and deliver it to sports fans around the world.”

Few outside of athletics' circle had heard of teenage sensation Roshawn Clarke before his World Athletics Championships exploits in Budapest last year. But if all goes according to plan in this, his first full season in the senior ranks, then the budding 400m hurdler could have more tongues wagging leading up to, and after the Paris Olympic Games.

Clarke's performance and, by extension, rise to prominence at the World Championships was extraordinary given that he had only recently transitioned from junior competition, a testament to not only his grit, but also his immense potential.

The 19-year-old first gave a glimpse of his form when he won the event at Jamaica's National Championships in 47.85s, a time which tied with Sean Burrell for the world junior record set in 2021. With that win, Clarke also became only the second Jamaican to run under 48 seconds for the event, and the time placed him fourth-fastest in the world for the year, at that time.

However, Clarke later claimed the World Under-20 record for himself when he lowered the time to 47.34s on an even bigger stage in Budapest, when he placed fourth in the final behind Norway's World record holder Karsten Warholm and company.

Having digested the piquancy of competition against some of the world's best athletes, Clarke is now left hungry for more, and like any ambitious athlete, his next target is a podium finish at the Paris Olympic Games. 

"The feeling to finish fourth at a World Championships at 19 years old is always crazy. Of course, when something like that happens you have to let it sink in, but at the same time, I am also thinking about striving for more, so the mindset going forward now is to get on the podium in Paris," Clarke declared.

With his best only good enough for fourth in Budapest, Clarke knows very well that significant improvement is required in order to make the step up. In fact, he would readily tell you that success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, sacrifice and most of all, love for what you are doing.

“Physically, I'm stronger than last season for sure, so that's a good thing, but I still think I need to grow strength wise. At the World Championships, I learnt how to be consistent at running fast through the rounds because you have to run fast times to get to the finals and to challenge for a medal. My takeaway from that championship is that I have to be consistent at running fast, so I have to be strong, which means I have to keep training hard and keep pushing,” Clarke shared.

“Mentally, I'm prepared to face the challenges because I've been there. I know what it takes to get there. I know what it takes to be in that final and I know what it is like to miss out on a medal, so the mindset is definitely stronger than last season and I am more determined to be successful,” he added.

Unflinching in his desire, Clarke, a Swept Track Club representative, is resolute in his press toward the goal to not only make it big for the country, but also to use his journey to inspire others and, of course, make his parents Etheleta Williams and Michael Clarke even more proud.

“Yes, definitely. My goal going forward is to win the national trials, get to the Olympic Games, give it my best shot and hopefully challenge for a medal. You won't be happy in a final without a medal, but I am not really stressing it right now, I just want to take things in stride and keep pushing to be the best that I can be,” the Camperdown alumnus ended.

Jamaica's 400m world champion, Antonio Watson, is gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime as he sets his sights on the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. The 22-year-old sprint sensation, who was recently named Jamaica’s Sportsman of the Year 2023, is not resting on his laurels and has outlined an ambitious goal – to dip below the 44-second mark in the 400m.

Watson, a former Petersfield High School star, made history in 2023 by becoming the first Jamaican in four decades to clinch gold in the one-lap sprint at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest. His standout performance included a personal best of 44.13 in the semi-finals, followed by a stunning victory in the final with a time of 44.22. These times solidified his position as the third-fastest Jamaican ever in the 400m, tied with Nathon Allen, and trailing only Rusheen McDonald (43.93) and Akeem Bloomfield (43.94).

As Watson basks in the glory of being named Sportsman of the Year, he remains acutely aware of the challenges awaiting him in Paris. The return of formidable competitors, including the likes of Steven Gardiner, Michael Norman, Wayde van Niekerk, and Kirani James, means the road to Olympic success won't be an easy one.

Watson expressed his clear objective for the Paris Olympics, stating, “My objective is to dip below 44 seconds. So, for me, I'm just trying to stay focused and stay healthy and just work hard.” The young athlete is resolute in his determination to push himself to new limits in pursuit of Olympic glory.

Reflecting on his unexpected success at the World Championships in 2023, Watson admitted that his initial goal was simply to make the finals. However, after an impressive opening round, he saw an opportunity and decided to seize the moment. 

“After the first round, I said anything is possible because any card can play. So I just I just stay focused.”

Winning his first Athlete of the Year award adds to the motivation for Watson, who emphasized the significance of his parents witnessing the achievement.

“It is a big moment and I am glad my parents were here to witness it so it will keep me motivated and give me the strength to push forward.”

 

 

St. Lucian Lewis University sprinter Tyler Toussaint opened his 2024 season with a 60m win at the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday.

The 22-year-old was the fastest man in the preliminaries with 6.90 before producing 6.86 to win the final ahead of DePaul’s Dominic Cole (6.91) and Eastern Illinois’s Cameron Yarbrough (6.92).

Toussaint finished third in the 100m at the St. Lucian Championships in 10.76 last year. His personal best 10.65 was done in the semi-finals of those championships.

Toussaint’s schoolmate, Barbadian Khristel Martindale, ran 7.63 for second in the women’s 60m which was won by Notre Dame’s Michelle Quinn in 7.57. Another Lewis University sprinter Rose Ogbuli was third in 7.68.

Martindale was a finalist in both the 100m and 200m at the 2023 Carifta Games in Nassau, finishing sixth in the 100m in 11.97 and fourth in the 200m in 24.25.

 

Jereem Richards and Michelle-Lee Ahye, two outstanding athletes from Trinidad and Tobago, were crowned the "Athletes of the Year" for 2023 at the National Association of Athletics Administration of T&T (NAAATT) annual awards ceremony held at the Radisson Hotel in Port-of-Spain on Saturday.

Richards, a sprinter representing the Abilene Wildcats, secured the men's honor for the sixth time, previously winning in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. His exceptional achievements in 2023 included a gold medal in the men's 400 meters at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador, where he set a personal best time of 44.54 seconds.

Additionally, Richards played a crucial role in anchoring T&T’s men’s 4x400m team to victory at the CAC Games. Despite being the lone local athlete to reach the semifinal round at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Richards finished the year with the 18th quickest 400m time (44.54) globally. He also ran the 25th fastest time (20.08) in the 200m.

Michelle-Lee Ahye, a renowned sprinter and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist, claimed the women's "Athlete of the Year" following her impressive bronze medal run in the women's 100m at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, on October 31. This marked her eighth time winning the top women's crown, having previously achieved the honor in 2022, 2021, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2013.

The junior "Athletes of the Year" were awarded to Sanaa Frederick and Tafari Waldron. Frederick, a US-born athlete, secured the junior female trophy after winning the Carifta Girls Under-20 200m in the Bahamas and contributing to T&T's silver in the girls' U-20 4x100m and 4x400m. Waldron, representing Cougars Athletic Club, claimed the Carifta boys’ U-20 5,000m title.

Richards and Ahye were absent from the ceremony.

As the accolades were distributed to these exceptional athletes, the ceremony also recognized Janae De Gannes and Imani Matthew as the Youth "Athletes of the Year," with Kernesha Shelbourne receiving the President’s Rising Star Award.

 

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