Jamaica and Domincan Republic added medals to their tally on day three of athletics action at the Pan American (Pan Am) Games in Santiago, Chile on Monday.

For Jamaica, discus throwers Samantha Hall and Fedrick Dacres, both claimed bronze in their respective events, while Dominican Republic proved too good for rivals in the 4x400m mixed relay.

Hall, who competed at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary, claimed her first medal at the senior level, with a throw of 59.14m. She placed behind the Brazilian pair of Izabela Rodrigues, who won gold with a throw of 59.63m, and Andressa Oliveira (59.29m).

Another Jamaican Adrienne Adams was eighth in the event with a best mark of 55.55m.

On the men’s side, Dacres secured Jamaica's third bronze when he launched the instrument to a mark of 61.25m. Chile’s Lucas Nervi (63.39m), and Colombia’s Mauricio Alexander Ortega (61.86m), were first and second. Kai Chang, the other Jamaican in the event, was sixth at 59.96m.

Domincan Republic added a sixth gold medal to go with their four silver and 10 bronze, with victory in the 4X400m Mixed relay final. Their quartet, which included World Champion Marileidy Paulino, won in 3:16.05, ahead of Brazil (3:18.55) and United States (3:19.41).

Elsewhere on the track, Liranyi Arislayne Alonso of Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago's Reyare Mary Thomas, clocked identical times of 11.69s for second and third in semi-final one of the women’s 100m. Both, along with winner Cecilia Tamayo (11.66s) of Mexico, secured a spot in the final.

Guyana’s Keliza Smith (11.78s) and Jamaica’s Mickaell Moodie (11.86s), who also contested that semi-final, were sixth and seventh respectively.

Jasmine Abrams of Guyana won semi-final two in 11.60s, with Brazil’s Ana De Jesus (11.64s) and Cuba’s Yarima Garcia (11.65s), in second and third respectively.

On the men's side, Guyana’s Emanuel Archibald (10.35s) and Odaine McPherson (10.37s), produced contrasting performances in semi-final one, but did enough to secure their respective spots in the final. Archibald was third and McPherson, who advanced to the final as a non-automatic qualifier, was fourth.

They joined Jose Alnardo Gonzales (10.30s) of Dominican Republic, who won ahead of Brazil's Felipe Bardi (10.33s). Hakeem Huggins of St Kitts and Nevis was seventh in 10.54s.

Jamaica's Jevaughn Whyte and Samson Colebrooke of the Bahamas were fourth and seventh in semi-final two, clocking 10.52s and 10.62s, respectively, as both failed to make the final cut.

Cuba’s Shainer Rengifo was the lone Caribbean athlete to progress from semi-final three, which he won in 10.36s.

Meanwhile, Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams secured her spot in the women’s 400m final after she place second in semi-final one in 51.82s. Chile’s Martina Weil won the event in 51.47s, with Ecuador’s Nicole Caicedo (52.32s) third.

 

Fedric Dacres produced a silver-medal winning performance at the Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday.

Reigning double-sprint Olympic Champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah continues to show signs of a potential return to top form in 2024 after a season’s best 10.92 to win at the Gala dei Castelli, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meet in Bellinzola, Switzerland on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who has endured a season riddled with injuries, took the win ahead of Great Britain’s Imani Lansiquot (10.99), her first time below 11 seconds, and Gambia’s Gina Bass (11.12).

This was only Thompson-Herah’s second 100m race since finishing fifth at the Jamaican trials in July. She ran 11.00 for second at the Zurich Diamond League on August 31.

The 31-year-old was a member of Jamaica’s silver medal 4x100m team at the recently concluded World Championships in Budapest where she ran in the heats.

On the men’s side, Oblique Seville ran 10.01 to take the win ahead of Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala (10.04) and South Africa’s Akani Simbine (10.12).

Seville narrowly missed out on a medal in Budapest, finishing fourth in 9.88, the same time credited to bronze medallist, Zharnel Hughes.

Another 100m finalist in Budapest, Ryiem Forde, was seventh in 10.28 on Monday.

Natoya Goule-Toppin rebounded from a sub-par showing in Budapest to take the 800m in 1:57.53, a new meet record.

The USA’s Addison Wiley ran a personal best 1:57.64 in second while Switzerland’s Audrey Werro ran a national record 1:58.13 in third.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, who was upset by Danielle Williams in Budapest, came out on top with a meet record 12.56 in the 100m hurdles. The Netherlands’ Nadine Visser ran a season’s best 12.61 in second while the USA’s Nia Ali ran 12.63 in third.

Shashalee Forbes, a member of Jamaica's silver-medal winning 4x100m team in Budapest, ran 22.74 for second in the 200m behind the USA's Tamara Clark (22.64). Italy's Dalia Kaddari ran 22.86 for third.

Orlando Bennett ran 13.40 for third in the men’s 110m hurdles won by Switzerland’s Jason Joseph in 13.18. Senegal’s Louis Francois Mendy was second in 13.29.

In the field, 2019 World Championship silver-medallist Fedrick Dacres threw 66.19m for third in the discus behind World Champion Daniel Stahl (67.24m) and Kristjan Ceh (67.15m).

2019 World Championship silver medallist, Fedrick Dacres, produced a 66.72m effort to finish fifth in the final of the Men’s discus throw on day three of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Monday.

The event was won by Sweden’s Daniel Stahl with a championship record 71.46m while Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh threw 70.02m for second and Lithuania’s Mykolas Alekna threw 68.85m for third.

It was an exciting end to the competition as Ceh took the lead with his final round effort before Stahl produced the championship record throw with the very last throw of the competition.

Traves Smikle finished 11th with a best throw of 61.90m.

Reigning national champion Traves Smikle and 2019 World Championships silver medalist Fedrick Dacres both made it through to the final of the men’s discus throw on day one of the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Saturday.

Smikle had the fourth furthest throw in qualifying with 65.71m while Dacres threw 65.45m to qualify with the seventh farthest throw. Roje Stona, who finished second at the Jamaican Trials, had a best throw of 62.67m to finish 20th overall.

Swedish World and Olympic Champion, Daniel Stahl, led all qualifiers with 66.25mwhile Mykolas Alekna (66.04m) and Kristjan Ceh (65.95m).

NCAA Championships runner-up, Roje Stona, is looking forward to participating in his first IAAF World Championships set for August 19-27 in Budapest.

The Jamaican Arkansas standout is currently sixth on the world rankings this year with a best throw of 68.64m done to win at the SEC Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge in May.

He enters Budapest as one of Jamaica’s biggest medal contenders in the field events.

“I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a good competition. I’ve trained for the last couple weeks after the National Trials. I’m used to the extended season so it’s just for me to go out there and compete for a medal,” Stona said.

Those National Trials saw Stona throw 65.92m to finish second behind Traves Smikle’s 66.12m. 2019 World Championships silver medalist Fedrick Dacres threw 65.79m to complete Jamaica’s team for Budapest.

“It was a good experience. I was happy with the result in terms of finishing top three and getting a solid mark over 65m,” Stona said.

These performances mark a steady improvement for Jamaica in the event. Stona (6th), Dacres (7th) and Smikle (9th) are all in the top 10 in the world this year in the event. Stona’s best performance this season was his aforementioned 68.64m effort at the SEC Championships. Dacres threw 68.57m to win at the Tucson Elite Classic in Arizona in May while Smikle threw a personal best 68.14m at the King of the Ring event at the Excelsior High School on February 11.

“I’m glad to see that there’s a lot of improvement in the event in the country. I’m looking forward to competing with the guys,” Stona said.

At major championships, throwers will get up to three throws in the preliminaries but Stona is hoping he only needs one to achieve the automatic qualifying distance to the final which is 66.00m.

“If you make it to these competitions you are guaranteed three throws so, obviously, I’m going to try to make sure that I qualify from round one to not put myself under any pressure,” he said.

Action can be seen live on the SportsMax app.

Former Kingston College stalwart Wayne Pinnock successfully defended his national long jump title with a massive leap of 8.32 metres in what was a fierce contest at the National Senior Championships at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Pinnock, 22, who has been in superb form this season, was just off his seasons and personal best of 8.37m. The Arkansas University athlete achieved the winning jump on his second attempt in a negative 0.4 metres per second wind reading.

That lead made things interesting, as it followed the 8.27m registered by 2019 World Championships gold medallist, Tajay Gayle, who had to settle for second place. Carey McLeod rounded off the top three spots, cutting the sand at 8.20m.

Meanwhile, Traves Smikle was crowned the men’s discus champion, following his fifth-round effort of 66.12 metres.

The event which took shape in terms of its competitive at the backend, saw Roje Stona finished second with an effort of 65.92m, which at one point, placed him in pole position. 

Five-time national champion and World Championships silver medallist, Fedrick Dacres, had to settle for third as his best effort was measured at 65.79 metres, well short of his personal best of 70.78m.

Fedrick Dacres is never one that lacks motivation or energy which are both emotional and mental responses some professional athletes display in times of difficulties. If you ask him, he would readily tell you that it's through his numerous battles with injuries that he discovered the fighter inside him is even greater.

The lengthy and difficult recovery process from those injury setbacks over the last few seasons, brought Dacres's stubborn determination to the fore and helped the national men’s discus throw record holder, gain new perspective on a sport he fell in love with from the junior level.

"I've had a few years where I had to deal with injuries before so at this point, it (being injured or feeling a niggle) is like clockwork, so I've never majored in the minor so to speak. As an athlete, if you pay attention to the days when you get up feeling a little pain you will feel discouraged," Dacres told SportsMax.tv.

"So, it is just about taking it a day at a time and just looking to the future. Right now, I can move, once I can move that means I can do the work and once I can do the work then the performance will come and I will get better, so it's just one step at a time," he added.

The 29-year-old's revelation came, as he shared that though a bit sore, he is currently in the best shape of his life with his mind firmly set on making Jamaica's team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary scheduled for August 19-27.

To get there, Dacres, who achieved the national record of 70.78m in 2019, will first have to navigate the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Championships, where he is expecting fierce competition from a number of the country's rising prospects.

In fact, it is United States-based college senior Roje Stona that is currently the top-ranked Jamaican man with 68.64m, for sixth place on the World Championships ranking system, just ahead of Dacres, whose lone throw of the season, 68.57m, is seventh.

Traves Smikle is in ninth place with 68.14m, with the likes of Brandon Lloyd who threw 65.32m this year, Olympic finalist Chad Wright, Kai Chang, as well as Ralford Mullings, also showing great promise, which should make this event one of great entertainment value at the four-day Championships, scheduled to start on Thursday at the National Stadium.

Still, Dacres is no strangers to tough competition, having had success at both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships where he won gold and silver in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and he is no doubt aiming to put himself into medal contention in Budapest, next month.

"I think this will be the best National Championships in a while with good competition, so I can't complain. I'm feeling great, my preparation has been a bit slow based on a small groin injury, but it hasn't really stopped me. I just take it a step at a time, so just pacing myself and getting better for the trials and hopefully World Championships," he declared.

Throughout the conversation Dacres's body language and a wry smile every now and again, exuded immense confidence, which he said comes from the fact that he has recovered well and has also glimpsed a few of his national rivals in competition. 

"The confidence comes from preparation time because as I said, I am feeling good so I can't complain, I went and competed overseas and I also saw my competitors, so I guess that's why I am oozing confidence. So again, I feel good, I am doing what I am supposed to and, all in all, it’s just about keeping it up and executing on the day," he ended.

Jamaicans Traves Smikle and Fedrick Dacres finished first and second in the men’s discus throw on day one of the 2023 USATF LA Grand Prix at the UCLA Drake Stadium in California on Friday.

Smikle produced a consistent series with his two best throws coming in the first and sixth rounds.

The first round saw him produce a 65.26m, which would have been good enough to win, before five rounds later he threw the discus 67.07m.

Dacres, the 2019 World Championship silver medallist, was in third after four rounds with a best throw of 63.30m. After a foul in the fifth round, he produced a 64.51m effort in the final round to secure second place.

Samoa’s Alex Rose was third with a best throw of 64.03m.

Fedrick Dacres threw a season’s best 68.57m to win the men’s discus at the 2023 Tucson Elite Classic on Thursday.

The 2019 World Championship silver medalist had three throws over 67m (67.84m, 68.27, 68.57) that exceeded the 2023 World Championships qualifying standard of 67.20m and makes him the third Jamaican behind Roje Stona and Traves Smikle to achieve the standard this season.

Samoa's Alex Rose, who has thrown over 70m this season, finished in second place with 66.91m with Sam Mattis throwing 64.64m to snag third place.

It was a welcome performance from Dacres, who delivered his best performance with the disc since he threw 69.67m at Excelsior High School in Kingston in February 2020.

The 29-year-old Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games, NACAC and Diamond League champion, who boasts a personal best of 70.78m, a national record, has been hampered by injury and have undergone surgeries on his knees and wrist in the past few years.

Thursday’s performance makes him the sixth-best thrower in the world this year supplanting his training partner and friend, Smike, whose achieved his personal best of 68.14m in Kingston in February and just behind Stona, whose personal best effort of 68.64m came on May 13 in Baton Rouge.

The mark was also more than two metres better than his previous season-best of 66.32m in February.

 

Shericka Jackson’s world-leading time in the 100m was the highlight of the Velocity Fest 13 meeting held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday night.

The meet ended in controversy after Akeem Blake clearly false started in the men’s 100m final but the electronic timing system reportedly shut down and the race was not called back or re-run. Blake was subsequently disqualified and the race awarded to Zharnel Hughes in a hand time of 9.9. Kadrian Goldon and Julian Forte were second and third, respectively with both being awarded a time of 10.0.

The system worked fine for the women’s final minutes earlier as MVP’s Jackson, the 2022 World 200m gold medalist and at 21.45 the second fastest woman of all time over the half-sprint sprint, gave an indication that she will be hard to beat in the blue-ribbon sprint this year.

The 28-year-old star, who has a personal best of 10.71, ran a smart 10.82 (-0.1m/s) while still pulling away from Natasha Morrison, who was second in 11.09 while Anthonique Strachan of the Bahamas was third in 11.11.

Jackson had given fair-warning during the preliminary round that something special was coming when she sleep-walked 11.06 to win her heat at a canter. Morrison ran 11.08 to win her heat.

Briana Williams, who ran 11.34 while finishing second in Morrison’s heat, withdrew from the final citing “tightness” while Elaine Thompson-Herah, who had been listed as a starter for the event, was a no-show.

Jonielle Smith of MVP International won the ‘B’ in 11.35 during what was a close finish with Shockoria Wallace, who was awarded the same time. Krystal Sloley was third in a personal best 11.46.

Adrian Kerr ran a personal best 10.26 to win the Men’s ‘B’ final with Odaine McPherson of GC Foster College and MVP’s Michael Campbell finishing in his wake in 10.34 and 10.36, respectively.

Kuron Griffith of Barbados and the Racers Track Club won the ‘C’ final in a season-best 10.42. Mazinho Barrett of the University of the West Indies clocked a personal best 10.47 for second while McKish Compton of St Vincent and the Grenadines and GC Foster College was third in a season-best 10.48 in what was a close race.

World Championship bronze medallist Sada Williams was an impressive winner in the ‘A’ final of the Women’s 400m clocking 51.84 while finishing ahead of Janieve Russell, who ran a season-best time of 52.41. Tovea Jenkins ran 52.66 for third place.

The 'A' final of the Men's 400m offered up a thrilling finish between Jamaica's national record holder Rusheen McDonald and Zandrian Barnes. The two were on lock-step for the final few metres of the race that ended with Barnes falling across the line in a time of 45.41, the same time as McDonald. The two were separated by a mere 0.07s. Demish Gaye, back from a long-term injury was third in a season-best 46.07.

Tyler Mason ran his fastest time in almost a decade to equal his personal best of 13.32 defeating Commonwealth Games finalist Orlando Bennett who ran 13.47 for second place. Odario Phillips of Pelicans Track Club was third in 13.60.

The last time Mason ran as fast was in 2015.

There was a spectacular finish in the Women’s 100m hurdles in which newly minted professional Kerrica Diamond Hill ran a new meet record 12.75 for victory. Seemingly left for dead by Megan Tapper after the first five flights, Hill, who turned 18 in March, stormed back to blow past the Olympic bronze medallist and claim a comfortable victory.

Tapper had to settle for second in 12.99 while Asharria Ulett of St Catherine High finished third in 13.99.

Assinie Wilson of Titans International ran a new personal best of 49.15 to win the 400m hurdles ahead of training partner Malik Kymani James-King, who clocked 50.29 for second. Zachary Chamberlain finished third in a pedestrian 55.18.

Jodean Williams of Racers Track Club won the 200m in a season- best 23.56 over Olympic 400m finalist Candace McLeod, who ran 24.05 for second place. Tricha Walker of Camperdown High School was third in a new personal best of 25.16.

Tissanna Hickling of Ricketts Performance was the only woman past six metres in the long jump with a season-best 6.56m. Jodian Stewart of MVP jumped a season-best 5.91m while Aaliyah Foster of Mt Alvernia High set a mark of 5.89m for third.

Tajay Gayle won the men’s long jump that had sub-par performances from the podium finishers. Gayle jumped 7.90m to take the win ahead of Shawn ‘D Thompson (7.42m) and Aubrey Allen (7.39m).

Meanwhile, Fedrick Dacres won the men’s discus with a throw of 65.66m. Traves Smikle was second with 64.30m with Chad Wright third with a season-best of 63.35m.

For many years, Jamaica has been known in the track and field world mostly producing historically great sprinters.

Recently, however, the country has seen its success at the global level spread to many other disciplines in the sport such as the jumps and the throws.

President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), Garth Gayle, is encouraged by this trend and hopes to see it continue.

“This all came about under the leadership of the late Howard Aris,” Gayle told SportsMax.TV at the launch of the Racers Grand Prix at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on Tuesday.

“I was the honorary secretary at the time and I remember several of our executive meetings where he made it clear to all of us, in such simple terms, that there will come the day when other countries will challenge us successfully in the sprints,” Gayle said.

“He went on to say that sprinting is a base for many other disciplines in track and field and that we need to start to venture and provide training grounds for coaches and competitions for the athletes in the different disciplines. That is why we have seen the improvement in the throws and in the jumps. I believe it has done us well,” Gayle added.

Over a short period of time, Jamaica has seen the emergence of the likes of Tajay Gayle, Shanieka Ricketts and, more recently, Jaydon Hibbert among others in the jumps as well as names like Fedrick Dacres and Danniel Thomas-Dodd in the throws.

Gayle became Jamaica’s first ever long jump World Champion when he jumped a National Record 8.69m, the 20th longest jump in history, to win gold at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Ricketts is a two-time World Championship silver medallist in the triple jump from Doha in 2019 and Eugene in 2022.

Jaydon Hibbert, who is only 18, won triple jump gold at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali in 2022 and, earlier this season, set a World Junior Record 17.54m to win at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque.

We also saw the likes of Carey McLeod and Ackelia Smith win long jump medals at those same NCAA Indoor Championships.

Lamara Distin is undefeated this season in the high jump and broke her own National record earlier this season while, at last year’s World Under-20 Championships, another Jamaican, Brandon Pottinger, took home high jump gold.

In the throws, Dacres and Thomas-Dodd won silver medals in the discus and shot put, respectively, at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Gayle also outlined that clubs around the country have systems in place to ensure this trend continues.

“Our club systems are growing stronger and they too are of that similar mindset and we are seeing the benefits. GC Foster College must never be left out of the equation because they, in a similar way, are speaking that language.”

“We must continue to raise the bar. Jamaica has, without doubt, an abundance of sporting talent. We just need to continue to harness it and develop it,” he added.

 

Four-time Jamaican national champion Traves Smikle attributes off-season changes to his training and becoming a father for the first time as the main factors behind his world-leading throw at the King of the Ring meeting at Excelsior High School in Kingston on Saturday, February 11.

On his fifth throw of the competition, the 30-year-old Smikle blew past his previous best of 67.72m to record a new best mark of 68.14 to claim victory over his former Calabar High teammates Fedrick Dacres (66.32m) and Chad Wright (59.94).

Obviously chuffed at establishing a new mark in the ultra-competitive world of discus, Smike expressed gratitude.

“I feel happy about it. For a good while I have been trying to hit a throw over 68; it’s unreal (laughs) but I am grateful,” said the 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, who for the past few years, has battled to overcome injury and other life challenges.

With those issues hopeful behind him, he and Coach Julian Robinson plotted a new path for the coming season, especially with the new qualifying standards set by World Athletics as well as him becoming a father for the first time.

“Preparation, with each year as you get older, as you get more experienced, will vary and my coach and I, we spoke extensively on a few things that we would change to see if we could get better throws this year,” Smikle revealed.

“The qualifying mark is 67m, so immediately the mindset had to change as well because the standard has risen; physical changes, changes in the gym; overall a different approach for this season, I think that is what gave me and I have a little one now so there is motivation all round,” he said. “And it was a good series too; 64, then 66 on the second, foul, 66, third, foul and 68 on the fifth and then a foul again on the sixth.”

Saturday’s result has caused him to have a positive outlook for the season ahead.

“Overall, things are looking good,” said the NACAC champion, who finished a runner-up to Dacres in his opening meet in Manchester in January with a throw of 63.98m, “just to see where I was with the changes.”

The next step, he said, is finding those big marks more consistently.

“I am looking to be more consistent over the big marks because in the world of discus, if you’re not throwing 68/69m it makes no sense, so I am looking to be consistent throwing those marks and throwing them when it counts,” he said.

 

Kyron McMaster and Shian Salmon took the respective 400m hurdles titles on the final day of the NACAC Championships in The Bahamas on Sunday.

Jamaica discus thrower Fedrick Dacres is looking forward to bouncing back strongly in the upcoming season after an admittedly difficult 2021.

The World Athletics Championships silver medallist missed out on the final of the Men's Discus Throw, at the Olympics in Tokyo, after throwing a best mark of 62.91m.  The mark was well below his personal best of 70.78 but the thrower has struggled to get close to the distance, set two years ago, after undergoing a series of surgeries.

“This year has been my hardest year in track and field because of the whole surgery thing.  I think overall I have done overall five surgeries in six years but this was the hardest,” Dacres said.

It was really the (throwing) hand, I’ve done a few knee surgeries done surgery on the other hand but it wasn’t the main hand.  So, for me coming back this year I struggled but it is what it is,” he added.

The athlete did, however, stage a rebound of sorts after throwing 65.33 to finish in third place at the Wanda Diamond League final last month.

“I think I finished well, not too well at the Olympics, but coming third at the Diamond League isn’t so bad.  I’ll take that as I push for next year.”

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