As news of her impending retirement continues to reverberate throughout the track and field community, two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues to draw praise from some of the sport’s biggest stars.

The most recent to sing the Mommy Rocket’s praises were Olympic and World Champion Justin Gatlin and co-host Rodney Green on their Ready Set Go Podcast.

Since she won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has gone on to have one of the most dominating careers in track and field history. Her win in Beijing made her first Jamaican woman to win Olympic 100m gold. Her follow-up victory in 2012 made her only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles joining other greats Wyoma Tyus and Gail Devers of the USA to accomplish the feat.

Winning the world 100 title in Berlin in 2009, saw her become the first woman to hold Olympic and World titles simultaneously, a feat she would accomplish twice after victories in London in 2012 and Moscow in 2013.

Feats such as these are why Green lamented her decision to hang up her spikes after what will be her fifth Olympic campaign in Paris this summer.

“Man, we ‘bout to lose a female juggernaut of our sport, man, a staple. I mean, I think in her country they should, I don't know if a statue would do or they should name a track or something, man. Man, we going to lose Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce this year, man, this is our last year around the world, you know, competing. What do you think about that?

(Jamaica unveiled a statue of Fraser-Pryce at Independence Park in Kingston in 2018.)

In response, Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion and 2005 and 2017 World Champion, lauded the Jamaica superstar for her work on and off the track, stating, “Man, Shelly-Ann has been such an inspiration to the sport for so long. Watching her make her first Olympic team in 2008 and her dominance for so many years into the sport and watching her grow. She was out there in the world and watching her mature into the powerful, successful woman she is now, hat’s off to her. She deserves everything.”

Gatlin, who enjoyed a fierce rivalry against Fraser-Pryce’s contemporary, Usain Bolt, made reference to her fierce rivalry with compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah and what it did to bring energy to the sport.

“We wish she could run many, many more years because she is the kind of person that rises to the occasion,” said Gatlin of the Jamaican who has only once failed to win a 100m medal in a global championship. That was in 2011 when she finished fourth in the 100m final in Daegu, South Korea.

Fraser-Pryce won 100m gold at the World Championships in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2019 and 2022. She was third at the most recent championships in Budapest, Hungary. She missed the 2017 championship because she was pregnant with her son Zyon.

“Watching her duke it out with Elaine (Thompson-Herah) throughout the years,” Gatlin continued, “they’d be seeing who would get to 10-7 first and then who would get to 10-6, and it made for pure entertainment because they both rose to the occasion.”

Green then chimed in clarifying that Fraser-Pryce not only battled with her Jamaican counterpart but also with the very best the USA had to offer.

“Elaine is just the recent one. She battled with many people that banged, like Carmelita Jeter. She went back and forth with Jet, man. She went back and forth with Veronica Campbell from her own country and the late great Tori (Bowie).”

 Gatlin then said, “She battled every elite female in this era.”

“Juggernauts, 10-6, 10-7 women through time, man,” Green remarked. “Like she has been amazing to our sport, she has been graceful to our sport. She has been nothing but a class act and I just think she will definitely be missed.

“I think as she makes her rounds this year, around the world, farewell tour, every country she goes, win or loss, when she runs, they should let her do a lap man, because this is the last time we’re going to get to see an amazing athlete grace track and field; the Mommy Rocket. It’s sad to see her go but I understand why she has to go.”

In a recently published interview with Essence Magazine, the 37-year-old Fraser-Pryce explained that her decision to retire after the Olympic Games in Paris stems from her wanting to dedicate more time to her family.

“There’s not a day I’m getting up to go practise and I’m like, ‘I’m over this’,” she said. “My son needs me. My husband and I have been together since before I won in 2008. He has sacrificed for me.

“We’re a partnership, a team. And it’s because of that support that I’m able to do the things that I have been doing for all these years. And I think I now owe it to them to do something else.”

 

Gatlin said he understood her decision.

"She said she owes it to her family to do something else now, especially her husband said she's been competing from 2008.She's been married for some time now for her husband and her child too. She owes it to them to just do something else and that's very honorable. Absolutely.

"I mean, when you when you are an athlete of her stature, your time is limited because your focus is on your own success, because that's what got you to where you're at, and you try to kind of juggle or balance family time, personal life around your successful career but everything, everything in your life is kind of floating around track, so now it's like with her son becoming older and having more time to be able to be a wife and a mom that's important.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rhythmic beat of excitement echoes through the corridors of anticipation as the 2024 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships, better known as "CHAMPS," approaches the island of Jamaica. In a groundbreaking move, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) and PUMA are set to turn this prestigious event into an Olympic fashion extravaganza, showcasing the bespoke apparel designs tailored exclusively for the Jamaican Olympic team at the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

The announcement is met with palpable enthusiasm from JOA President, Christopher Samuda, who can't hide his delight, "The designs meet our approval, and their display will be an innovation bringing Olympism into the arena, reminding inspired youth that wearing the black, gold, and green is genetic, shaping character and tailoring personal aspirations, sewing seeds of success."

A sense of historical significance hangs in the air as the national stadium, once again, prepares to take center stage. JOA Secretary General/CEO, Ryan Foster, eloquently expresses the symbolic nature of the venue, "The national stadium will once more be a focal point for Olympism, a landmark from which sportsmen and women have been catapulted into being Olympic champions and global personalities, becoming an inspiration to generations of youth."

The JOA/PUMA partnership is lauded for its creative fusion of sports and fashion. President Samuda emphasizes the deeper meaning of national sportswear, stating, "This activation by PUMA underscores that national sportswear should be an experience and an honor that goes beyond what you wear to being how you wear it, contributing to a country’s sporting legacy – and that’s Olympism."

Fashion, as articulated by JOA Secretary General/CEO Foster, is not merely a reflection of the times but a profound expression of identity. "National apparel re-defines the past, defines the present, and shapes the future of a people." He highlights the distinction between ready-to-wear and custom-built, noting that the latter is driven by a 'fit to size' and bespoke value, characterizing the present and stylizing the future.

As the days count down, the buzz around the event intensifies. Jamaicans eagerly anticipate a taste of Paris, as Olympic sportswear is set to grace Independence Park. Inspired by the remarkable performances of Jamaican Olympians throughout history, the showcase promises to be a vivid celebration of the nation's sporting legacy.

PUMA's continuing commitment to the Jamaican Olympic movement is evident, with this display of Jamaican sport haute couture being hailed as "the dress rehearsal of greater things to come" by President Samuda. The stage is set for a truly groundbreaking moment at CHAMPS, where the collision of athleticism and high fashion will create an unforgettable spectacle, etching a lasting impression on the hearts of spectators and athletes alike.

 

In a significant move to amplify her brand and broaden her horizons, Jamaican sprint phenomenon Briana Williams has officially signed with 7venz Media Agency. The announcement comes on the heels of her performance at the 2024 Millrose Games in New York, where she secured a fourth-place finish in the highly competitive 60m dash with a time of 7.25 seconds.

Turning 22 in March, Williams boasts an impressive athletic resume, including a gold medal as a vital member of Jamaica's 4x100m relay team at the Tokyo Olympics. Additionally, she clinched silver medals at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon 2022 and Budapest 2023 as a key contributor to Jamaica's formidable sprint squad.

Williams, who achieved the sprint double at the World U20 championships in Tampere, Finland, in 2018, expressed her excitement about the collaboration with 7venz Media Agency. "I'm elated to have such a talented and dedicated team supporting me. Their expertise and passion are unparalleled, and I'm confident that together, we'll achieve great things."

The media agency, known for its representation of World 100m hurdles champion Danielle Williams, warmly welcomed Briana to their esteemed roster. "Briana is an exceptional talent, and we're honored to be a part of her journey. Our team is committed to helping her build a strong brand and showcasing her unique talent to the world."

This strategic partnership marks a new chapter in Williams' flourishing career, providing her with the resources and expertise to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of sports and entertainment. As she continues to make waves on the track, fans can anticipate exciting developments and innovative projects in the coming months.

In a display of international athleticism, junior and senior athletes from five countries are gearing up for the highly anticipated 51st edition of the Gibson/McCook Relays scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024. With participation confirmed from The Bahamas, Canada, St Kitts Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, and the USA, this year's relays promise to be a thrilling spectacle at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Canadian teams are set to make a strong showing, with junior athletes representing the Brampston Racers and Flying Angels in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 200mh relays. Meanwhile, Bishop Anstey and Queens College from Trinidad & Tobago will field talented girls and boys teams in the sprint relays, including the 4 x 100m, 4 x 200m, and 4 x 400m events.

St Kitts Nevis is expected to make a mark in the high jump category, showcasing the diverse range of talents that will be on display. The Bahamas will be represented by a formidable 4 x 100m male club team, adding a layer of excitement to the relay competitions.

The USA teams are gearing up for intense competition, particularly in the sprint and mile relays, adding a strong international flavor to the event. These overseas athletes will join over 2,000 participants registered for the 51st staging of the Gibson/McCook Relays, making it a true celebration of track and field excellence.

One of the notable additions to this year's event is the introduction of the 4 x 400m mixed relays high school open event, bringing a fresh and exciting element to the competition. Schools participating in the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships scheduled for March 19-23 will also have the opportunity to earn qualifying standards for specific events.

The Organizing Committee has secured partnerships for 40 events, reflecting the collaborative effort to ensure the success and vibrancy of the Gibson/McCook Relays. The action is set to commence at 9:30 am, with the last thrilling race scheduled to begin at 8:50 pm, promising an entire day of track and field excitement.

 

 

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.

 

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) highlighted the Jamaica Athletes' Insurance Plan (JAIP) at the 10th annual staging of its Symposium at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, in Kingston on Thursday.

The event was held under the theme, “Protecting Brand Jamaica Through Clean Sport”.

Participants at the symposium, included members of sporting associations and federations, professional groups, principals, coaches, sport administrators and athletes.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, The Honorable Olivia Grange said, “As Minister with responsibility for Sport, I am pleased to share with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission and all its stakeholders once again at its annual symposium. This year is particularly special, as JADCO is celebrating its 15th anniversary, that is 15 years of promoting clean sport and protecting clean athletes in Jamaica and I wish you all could put your hands together and applaud JADCO for the way it has operated and what it has achieved so far.”

She added, “Today it gives me great pleasure to announce that effective February 1, 2024, in addition, to the existing schedule of benefits, both under the group health and group life portfolio, athletes will now be able to access accidental medical reimbursement in the sum of $100,000.00 for injuries sustained on the field of play, or in a motor vehicle accident.”

The Jamaica Athletes’ Insurance Plan is the Government’s Group Health, Group Life and Personal Accident Plan for all eligible national athletes.

Athletes eligible to be covered under the Plan must be a member in good standing with a national association or federation.

They must be enrolled in the national development programme for a specific sporting discipline and they must participate in at least two Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission workshops per year.

Also speaking at the symposium, Chairperson of JADCO, Debby Ann Brown Salmon said, “I trust you will use the knowledge imparted to make informed decisions. I also implore you to continue working in harmony with the Commission in attaining the title of ‘Premier World Class Anti-Doping Organisation’.”

She added, “The onus is not only on JADCO, but also athletes and support personnel to protect the integrity of sport and the health and rights of our athletes. Let us be guided by the theme, ‘Protecting Brand Jamaica Through Clean Sport’ in 2024 and beyond.”

Lavana Shorter, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Portmore United Football Club said, “Education is key, as it relates to drugs in sport and I would like to encourage everyone that is associated with sport, administrators and athletes to take part in events such as these, because it is important that we know the stipulations and guidelines, as it relates to the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission.”

Dawn-Marie Richards, President of the Nurses Association of Jamaica said, “We, as a body, need to know what is happening with our athletes and for our athletes. Jamaica does well in terms of athletics and we would want to know that we are meeting the recommended criteria locally and internationally. For me, being here today was an eye opener. It is my first symposium, but it will not be my last. I see a role, especially for my organisation, where we can assist with testing and so on.”

The 2024 JADCO Symposium also included presentations on the functions and responsibilities of JADCO and the doping control process. The event has been held annually since January 2015 to facilitate continuous dialogue with athlete support personnel.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”

 

 

Tokyo Olympics 100m hurdles  bronze medalist Megan Tapper has inked a major three-year sponsorship deal with the luxury all-inclusive Jamaican-born super brand, Sandals Resorts International. The AC Hotel Kingston, on Friday, hosted the contract-signing ceremony held with Sandals’ Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, Tapper, members of her family and some of her closest supporters.

Tapper gained recognition during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first-ever Jamaican female athlete to clinch an Olympic medal in the 100-metre sprint hurdles. However, it wasn't just the two-time Olympian's athletic prowess that won hearts, but also her effervescent personality that captivated many Jamaicans, including Sandals' executive chairman.

“I think it is fair to say that Megan is a reflection, through her smile, of what Jamaica’s soul represents. Her achievements on the world stage speak for themselves, but the way she conducts herself, the way she inspires the next generation, the way she brings to life the feeling of Jamaica through her smile and how she acts and carries herself is something that Sandals Resorts International wanted to be associated with. We love superstars, and we love standing on the world stage ourselves. We love boasting about everything Jamaica is and can continue to be, and I saw a reflection of our company in Megan,” Adam Stewart stated, as he welcomed the Olympian to the Sandals’ family.

Stewart expressed that Tapper and athletes like herself continue to vividly demonstrate that Jamaica is more than “likkle but tallawah.”

 

He described Jamaican athletics as a password that propels the country’s approximate three million people to the world stage, inspiring the international community to want to visit and experience Jamaica’s rich culture, warm people and breathtaking beauty.

“So when you are running, you’re doing so much more than just crossing the hurdles for yourself and for team Jamaica. You’re actually helping the entire three million people have a strong and bold future,” he conveyed to Tapper.

Stewart also proudly declared that Tapper now has the unwavering and enthusiastic support of Sandals Resorts and its expansive army of devoted Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals globally.

Tapper, visibly moved by the Executive Chairman’s sentiments, admitted that she was close to tears and overwhelmed by his extraordinary show of support. She described the sponsorship deal with Sandals as a golden and incredible opportunity, especially as she prepares for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games to be held in Paris, France, this year.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this partnership with Sandals as I gear up to make my third Olympic team,” a beaming Tapper said. “I can’t wait to soar to new heights and bring the essence of the Caribbean sun and the Sandals smile to every single country that I go to. It’s an incredible opportunity and I am excited to represent such a fantastic brand. I am confident that this will be an unforgettable partnership. This collaboration is an important one because it reiterates that Sandals, though not an apparel brand, supports sport in Jamaica, which, along with tourism, is consistently doing well on the world stage and will obviously continue to do so. I am confident that this partnership will contribute positively towards carrying the brand to new heights,” she added while expressing heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the luxury all-inclusive resort brand.

Over the years, Sandals Resorts International has sponsored sports in Jamaica and the region, including cricket and motorsports. With this latest partnership forged with Tapper, Sandals' Executive Chairman used the opportunity to graciously recognise other Jamaican brands who support local athletics.

 

He extended commendation to companies such as Digicel and cordially called on corporate Jamaica to continue these types of partnerships.

“When you look at Digicel’s stamp on athletics and their commitment to the sport, I think it’s something that cannot be overlooked without expressing gratitude as a Jamaican and a Caribbean national. All the other companies such as Grace Kennedy, that support Jamaican athletics undoubtedly deserve commendation. I just want to encourage those companies that have been around for a long time to continue to support – and the new companies- to hold hands and continue to fight. Jamaica is in a league of its own, do what is right and support Jamaican athletics,” the Sandals boss stated.

In a heartwarming display of holiday spirit, a group of retired Jamaican athletes, including Sportsmax track and field analyst, publisher and author Danielle Dowie, brought Christmas cheer to the young patients at the Bustamante Hospital for Children in Kingston on a special Tuesday afternoon.

The initiative was orchestrated by Robert Wagner, a renowned track and field agent, whose athletes, including Dowie herself, gathered to share joy with the children. Freddy James, Wagner's local assistant, and the agent for weightlifter Sammy Depass also joined the cause, turning the hospital visit into a memorable event.

Accompanying Wagner, James, and Depass were esteemed retired athletes, Olympic gold medallists Nesta Carter and Melaine Walker as well as double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake, and Rhonda Whyte. The gathering of these accomplished individuals aimed to spread happiness and festive spirit to the young patients at the Bustamante Hospital.

 

 Blake,the 2011 100m world champion, in a gesture of generosity, donated cases of his Riviere Water and Pedialyte rehydration fluids, contributing to the festive atmosphere at the hospital. However, the act of kindness didn't end there, as the group engaged in a quiet but meaningful handover of gifts. Dowie, the 2013 CAC 400m hurdles gold medallist, sharing the details of the event, explained that books authored by her were among the donations.

“It was just kind of a quiet handover. So it wasn't anything heavy. We donated some of my books. Robert and Freddy donated some books, and I went in and I read with the kids. Everybody grabbed a book, and they were reading along, and it was really fun," said Dowie, reflecting on the heartwarming experience.

The simple act of reading and sharing books with the young patients added a touch of warmth to the holiday season, leaving lasting memories for both the athletes and the children at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.

Jamaican Olympian Christopher Taylor has revealed uncertainty over his future as a track and field athlete following the 30-month ban imposed on him by the Athletics Integrity Unit. The 24-year-old Taylor, a finalist in the 400m at the Tokyo Olympics, was charged with evading, refusing or failing to submit a sample and was banned effective November 16, 2022.

His period of ineligibility will end on May 15, 2025, when Taylor will be 26 years old.

Taylor, speaking with Nationwide Radio (NNN), expressed his frustration at the reality that he will miss almost three years of his career when he will be at his peak.

“I haven’t made a decision about my future as yet but deep down I don’t feel I belong in this sport anymore because of the whole experience I had, I don’t think I have a place in this sport anymore,” he said.

The incident occurred during an Out-of-Competition Testing attempt in Kingston, Jamaica, on November 16, 2022, where Taylor failed to submit to sample collection as required by the Whereabouts information provided.

According to the NNN report, the 2018 World U20 400m silver medalist claims that the doping control officers arrived at his home shortly before 6:00 am when he was about to leave for the airport for an 8:00 am flight and was in the process of filing new whereabouts information since he was leaving the location he had initially entered into the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).

 

He claims the doping control officers informed him that since he did not complete the update overnight they would have to go through with testing him. He said he takes the blame for believing that if he did allow the officers to test him, it would only go down as a missed test for which there would be no sanction.

Athletes have to have three missed tests for it to be considered an anti-doping violation.

Taylor’s actions initiated an AIU investigation, and on January 10, 2023, they informed Taylor of the potential failure to comply, issuing a Notice of Investigation. Taylor, through his legal representative, expressed a willingness to discuss an admission of committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV) without prejudice. Consequently, he accepted a Provisional Suspension starting from January 19, 2023.

During an interview with AIU representatives on February 2, 2023, Taylor provided his explanation for the circumstances surrounding the possible failure to comply. The AIU conducted additional follow-up inquiries, leading to the issuance of a Notice of Allegation of ADRV on May 25, 2023, specifically for evading, refusing, or failing to submit to sample collection.

On June 1, 2023, Taylor confirmed his request to discuss an admission of committing an ADRV without prejudice. The AIU, Taylor, and the World Anti-Doping Agency entered into a Case Resolution Agreement, whereby Taylor admitted to the ADRV, leading to a 30-month period of ineligibility starting from the violation date, November 16, 2022, until May 15, 2025.

Additionally, Taylor's competitive results from November 16, 2022, until January 19, 2023, are disqualified, including the forfeiture of any associated medals, points, and prize money/prizes.

Elaine Thompson-Herah will not be training with athletes of the Elite Performance Track Club in Kingston but will instead train separately under the guidance of the club’s Coach Reynaldo Walcott.

Informed sources have indicated that the athlete will have separate training schedules with Walcott ‘going to’ Thompson-Herah in a private setting after he completes his duties with Elite Performance at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College each day. Walcott reportedly shared the news with the athletes in group on Thursday morning.

Prior to the recent developments, Thompson-Herah, who owns her own gym equipment, trained at the National Stadium at Kingston’s Independence Park.

Andi Sports Management, the agent representing Thompson-Herah, who won a historic 100/200m double at both the Rio 2016 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, announced on Monday that the 31-year-old athlete will now take instruction from Walcott.

“Out of difficulties grow miracles. Happy Monday,” the sprinter posted on Instagram as if in celebration over the development.

The move represents a quick-turnaround from her much-publicized separation from Coach Shanikie Osbourne after both parties could not agree on terms of compensation for a long-term arrangement.

Osbourne had assumed coaching duties for the five-time Olympic gold medallist after the Jamaica National Athletics Championships in July and shepherded the injury-plagued sprinter to her best times of the now-concluded 2023 track season.

After Thompson-Herah finished fifth in the 100m final at the championships in a relatively pedestrian 11.06, Osbourne had got her running fast again clocking times of 11.00, 10.92, 10.84 and 10.79 in consecutive races to end her season on a high.

Following her split from Osbourne, Thompson-Herah’s husband, Derron, revealed in an interview on Sportsmax late last week that a new coaching appointment was not far off. The surprising announcement came on Monday morning.

The news of the choice of coach was a surprise given Thompson-Herah’s contentious relationship with five-time World 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who has been coached by Walcott since early 2020. The relationship between the former good friends became increasingly strained while both were members of the MVP Track Club and was what eventually triggered Fraser-Pryce’s departure from the club to join what eventually became Elite Performance.

 

 

 

In a tradition spanning nine years, the MVP Track & Field Club is once again making a significant impact on Jamaica's budding athletic talents through its Island-wide Grassroots Athletics Training Camps. The club has extended invitations to secondary schools across the nation, urging them to nominate student-athletes aged 12 to 18 for participation in one of the three Advanced Level Training Camps. These camps are set to take place in each of Jamaica's counties throughout the month of November.

MVP President, Bruce James, expressed his delight at the overwhelming response, saying, "Over 100 schools, from all 14 Parishes in Jamaica have been invited, and we have almost exceeded the targeted number of participants."

Head Coach of the MVP Track & Field Club, Paul Francis, emphasized the importance of sharing their knowledge and training methods following their exceptional results in Budapest at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. He recalled, "A highlight in Budapest was when a participant in our 2016 MVP Grassroots Training Camps won Gold in the 400m. This athlete is Antonio Watson."

The journey of nurturing young talent begins with the Cornwall Advanced Level Training Camp, scheduled for Saturday, November 11th at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St. James. The Middlesex Advanced Level Training Camp will follow on Saturday, November 18th, to be hosted at the GC Foster College in St. Catherine. The third and final Advanced Level Training Camp, dedicated to Surrey, will be conducted within the National Stadium, Kingston, on Saturday, November 25th, 2023.

These training camps will be supervised by a team of distinguished Jamaican coaches, led by MVP Head Coach Paul Francis, all of whom boast extensive international experience. The young athletes, numbering over 120 per training camp, will be guided through six track and field disciplines, including Hurdling, Sprinting, Throwing, Jumping, Distance Running, and Relays. It's worth noting that MVP Track & Field Club athletes frequently make appearances at these camps to interact with the aspiring young talents.

The training experience is further enriched as PUMA, one of the world's largest sports apparel companies, provides the athletes with top-quality gear. WATA and Powerade ensure that the young athletes remain well-hydrated, while NCB and the NCB Foundation offer financial literacy solutions. Best Dressed Chicken lends support for the nutritional needs of the student athletes, and the Sports Development Foundation continues its dedication to high-quality development programs throughout Jamaica. Digicel serves as the telecommunications partner for these camps.

The all-day training camps commence at 8:30 am and are strictly by invitation only, emphasizing the importance of fostering the future stars of Jamaican athletics.

 

 

 

Olympic bronze medalist Ronald Levy has revealed that he is the athlete that has returned an adverse analytical finding from a recent drug test, further confirming a report on Sportsmax.TV on Friday.

The 31-year-old Levy, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist tested positive for banned substance, believed to be a fat burner, during a recent drug test and has requested that his “B” sample be tested.

In a post on social media, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist expressed surprise at the positive test, stating, “I am stunned at the turn of events because I have always conducted myself with the highest level of integrity in the sport, which I love dearly and would never seek to gain an unfair advantage.

“I intend to defend my integrity during this process because I am certain I did not knowingly breach the rules.”

The athlete who recently switched camps, departing from MVP Track Club to reunite with his high school coach at Elite Performance, indicated the test that yielded the positive result was done in early October.

“Early last month I was tested out of season. I expected to be negative on that test like I have on every test I have ever taken throughout my career. I was surprised to receive a letter on Tuesday (November 2, 2023) by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission of an adverse analytical finding. I have decided to take the option to have by ‘B’ sample tested, of which I await the results.”

Levy has had a run is misfortune over the past few years during which he has undergone multiple surgeries on his leg, which has significantly limited his ability to compete since he won the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles in Tokyo in 2021.

 

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

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