In an entertaining night of track and field at the National Stadium in Kingston, Marie Jose Ta Lou Smith stole the show with a scintillating victory in the women's 100m at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational. The Ivorian sprinter, clocking an impressive 10.91, electrified the crowd of over 16,000 spectators, setting the stage for a remarkable season ahead.

Ta Lou Smith, visibly moved by the enthusiastic reception from the Jamaican fans, expressed her deep appreciation for the warm welcome and the incredible atmosphere. "It was incredible. I feel like it was at home," she remarked after her race. "I have never really felt like that, only in France, but here is really amazing. I have to come back to Jamaica."

The 10.91 season opener provided a peek into Ta Lou Smith's early form and her determination heading into the Olympic year. "10.91 for the opening of the season, I was feeling really good," she shared. "I am going to watch back the race with my coach and see what I did well."

Krystal Sloley finished second with a time of 11.09, demonstrating strong competition in the women's 100m event. Kemba Nelson secured third place with a time of 11.12, rounding out a podium filled with promising talent.

Beyond the competition, Ta Lou Smith also savored her time in Jamaica, relishing not just the athletic experience but also the warm camaraderie with local athletes, especially Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, whom she considers a sister. "From the first time I stepped outside the airport I was like this is really feeling like home," she shared. "Coming here and seeing all the people, the atmosphere was great. It was amazing."

Marlon Reid photo: Forte and Blake battling to the line on Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the men's 100m final, Julian Forte and Ackeem Blake engaged in a thrilling duel. Forte claimed victory by a narrow margin, both clocking season-best times of 10.02. Brandon Hickling from the USA secured third place with a time of 10.09, while Jamaica's Kadrian Goldson finished closely behind with a time of 10.10, rounding out the top four.

Marlon Reid photo: Jaydon Hibbert soared out to a winning mark of 17.57m

In the field events, young talent Jaydon Hibbert made a mark in the triple jump, continuing his impressive form from the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix. Hibbert's leap of 17.57m from 12 steps highlighted his potential, exciting the crowd and promising more to come in the season ahead.

Hibbert's impressive performance was complemented by Jordan Scott, another Jamaican athlete, who secured second place with a jump of 16.84m. O’Brien Wasome completed the top three with a jump of 16.62m, showcasing Jamaica's depth in the triple jump event.

 

 

 

 

Jamaica's triple jump sensation, Jaydon Hibbert, delivered a stellar performance at Sunday's USATF Bermuda Grand Prix, securing victory in the men's triple jump event with a leap of 17.33m (+4.3m/s) on his first attempt. Hibbert's remarkable achievement came using an unconventional eight-step run-up, demonstrating his exceptional skill and readiness on the field.

 The world U20 record-holder continued to impress with a jump of 17.01m (+3.4) in the third round, showcasing his consistency and form. Competing for the first time since the Budapest World Championships in 2023, Hibbert opted to forego the fourth and fifth rounds, having achieved his desired performance.

 Hibbert topped the field ahead of Bermuda's Jah-Nhai Perinchief, who reached 17.13m, and fellow Jamaican Jordan Scott, who secured third place with a jump of 17.05m.

Reflecting on his strategy and performance, Hibbert expressed satisfaction with his approach, stating, "I wanted to ease back into the jumps, so I started with an eight-step run-up today to reinforce muscle memory. I've been aiming for this personal record, especially after my last eight-step jump indoors at 16.7m last year. Now, I'm excited and looking forward to the rest of the season."

 Fans can anticipate seeing Hibbert in action next at the highly anticipated Jamaica Invitational on May 11 and the Racers Grand Prix on June 1, where he aims to continue his impressive form.

 

Caribbean athletes showcased their exceptional talents at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix on Sunday, delivering outstanding performances despite challenging conditions marked by heavy winds.

Perhaps, the most impressive of those performances came in the men’s triple jump where Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica delivered a remarkable leap of 17.33m, claiming first place using an unconventional eight-step run.

 Jah-Nhai Perinchief from Bermuda secured second place with a jump of 17.13m, and fellow Jamaican Jordan Scott took third place with a jump of 17.05m.

On the track, in the women's 400m, Stacey-Ann Williams of Jamaica surged to victory with a commanding time of 51.71 seconds, outpacing her competitors to claim first place. Behind her, Jessika Gbai from Ivory Coast secured second place in 53.00 seconds, followed closely by Paola Moran of Mexico in third with a time of 53.21 seconds.

The men's 400m event saw Kirani James of Grenada exhibit his prowess with a winning time of 46.00 seconds, leading the charge for Caribbean athletes. Behind him, Alonzo Russell from the Bahamas claimed second place with a time of 47.05 seconds, followed closely by Demish Gaye of Jamaica in third with 47.15 seconds.

Shian Salmon displayed sheer excellence in the 400m hurdles, triumphing with a swift time of 56.59 seconds. Cassandra Tate of the United States secured second place with a time of 57.04 seconds, while Aminat Jamal from Bahrain finished third in 57.94 seconds.

In the men's 200m dash, Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago blazed to victory in 20.39 seconds, showcasing his speed and skill on the track. He was closely followed by Matthew Boling of the USA in second place with a time of 20.42 seconds, while Udodie Onwuzrike from Nigeria secured third place with a time of 20.61 seconds.

In her first 200m run in a year, the USA's Abby Steiner blazed to victory in 22.71. Her countrywoman Kynnedy Flannel took second in 23.01. Ashanti Moore of Jamaica was third in 23.12.

While Caribbean athletes shone brightly, world champion Noah Lyles of the USA stood out in the men's 100m dash, overcoming challenging wind conditions to clock 9.96 seconds and secure first place. Aaron Brown of Canada was the runner-up in 10.09 followed closely by Pjai Austin of the USA who ran 10.10.

Tamari Davis of the USA also impressed in a dominant victory in the women’s 100m. The young American stormed to a time of 11.04. In her wake was compatriot Kortnei Johnson who ran 11.27 just ahead of Jamaica’s Alana Reid (11.29).

Amber Hughes of the USA comfortably win the 100m hurdles in 12.57 with Ebonie Morris of Liberia and Yanique Thompson of Jamaica finishing second and third, in 12.80 and 12.86, respectively.

Monae Nichols of the USA jumped an impressive 6.91m to win the long jump. Jamaica’s Chanice Porter took second place with her effort of 6.62m while Jasmine Moore finished third having jumped 6.60m.

Jamaica's rising triple jump sensation Jaydon Hibbert is set for his professional debut at the USATF Bermuda Grand Prix this Sunday.

From holding both the indoor and outdoor NCAA records to becoming the first Jamaican and the youngest athlete to win the coveted Bowerman Award, Hibbert's journey has been an exciting display of exceptional talent in the jumps. He eagerly awaits the Bermuda Grand Prix this Sunday,

"Finally, I'll be opening my season. I'm grateful and happy that I am ready to compete and I'm excited to see where I am in my preparations. I've never visited Bermuda before, but I expect it to be fun. I've heard it's an electrifying stadium, which jumpers need, so I look forward to the crowd support," he exclaimed.

The 19-year-old won the gold medal at the 2022 World U20 championships and is the holder of the U20 indoor and outdoor triple jump world records at 17.54m and 17.87m, respectively. He went undefeated during his freshman year at the University of Arkansas in 2023 before transitioning to the professional ranks in January.

"Since I started doing the sport, I've been looking forward to competing professionally. I can't wait to get out there and make my coach and family proud. I'm praying for a great season!" he exclaimed hardly able to contain his excitement.

The Bermuda Grand Prix, also known as the "Prelude to Paris", will start at 3 pm Jamaica time at the Flora Duffy Stadium. Action is live on Peacock via NBC Sports.

 

 

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Celebrated coach and Racers Track Club President Glen Mills says the value of meets such as the Racers Grand Prix cannot be overstated, given the significant role it plays in the development of the country’s young athletes in particular.

Mills’s comments came as he announced the plethora of local and international stars that are expected to set this year’s sixth edition of the Racers Grand Prix alight at the National Stadium on June 1.

Among them is American World champion Noah Lyles, who clocked a superb 19.67s to win the 200m, sharing the spotlight with Jamaica's Shericka Jackson and South African Wayde Van Niekerk last year.

He is set to line up in the men’s 100m on this occasion, alongside rising Jamaican sensation Oblique Seville, World University champion Kadrian Goldson, Great Britain’s World Championships bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes, Canadian Aaron Brown and American Kendal Williams, with two more athletes to be confirmed.

According to Mills, who was instrumental in the decorated career of now-retired Usain Bolt, having young athletes compete on home soil against world class superstars not only drives their development, but also influences positive behavioural changes towards training.

Reigning 400m World champion Antonio Watson is one such example, as he broke the 45-second barrier for the first time on his debut outing at the event last year, and he later followed that up by topping a quality field in Budapest, Hungary. 

“A meet of this level is very important in development of our athletes, and I don't think we can underscore its value in their development as a coach. I can tell you, when we have them competing here in Jamaica against the world and the fans come out and really cheer for them, it makes a difference when they return to the training field,” Mills said during the event’s launch at the Jamaica Pegasus on Tuesday.

“They know and feel the support and the energy and electricity. When that happens, we get better performances on the training track, and as you can see, it goes on to the international stage as well. So, thank you for supporting Racers Grand Prix all and I'm hoping to see everyone on June 1,” he added.

Known globally as Jamaica’s foremost track and field meet credited with showcasing many of Jamaica’s most decorated athletes, Racers Grand Prix, a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver event, promises an exhilarating demonstration of athletic excellence.

There are 13 events –men’s and women’s 100m, 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles, women’s 100m hurdles, men’s 110m hurdles, as well as the men’s long jump, triple jump and discus throw –to be contested across two-and-a-half hours of scintillating action starting at 7:00pm.

The women's 100m hurdles is headlined by Bahamas’s World Indoor champion Devynne Charlton, and Great Britain’s Cindy Sember, up against Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper and rising Jamaican sensation Ackera Nugent.

For the men’s 110m hurdles, Jamaica’s Olympic champion Hansle Parchment will lead compatriots Damion Thomas and last year’s champion Tyler Mason, against the American duo of Trey Cunningham and Robert Dunning.

World champion Antonio Watson headlines the field for the men’s 400m, which includes Champion Allison and Nigerian NCAA champion Emmanuel Bamidele. Demish Gaye, Zandrion Barnes and Javon Francis, are the other Jamaicans confirmed.

Meanwhile, World Indoor champion Julien Alfred of St Lucia headlines the women’s 100m field, alongside Jamaica’s Alana Reid, Ashanti Moore and World Indoor silver medallist Mikiah Brisco, with four more ladies to be confirmed.

World Championships finalist Roshawn Clarke headlines the men’s 400m hurdles field, while Ireland’s NCAA Champion Rhasidat Adeleke will square off against Jamaica’s Stacy Ann Williams, Candice McLeod, Charokee Young, and Junelle Bromfield in the women’s 400m.

American Will Abbey Steiner and Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards top the list of competitors for the men’s and women’s 200m. In the field, Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert and American Will Claye lead the confirmed athletes for the men’s triple jump, while another Jamaican Carey McLeod, and Laquan Nairn of Bahamas, will line up in the long jump, with three more athletes to be confirmed.