In a final bid to secure their spot at the Paris Olympic Games this summer, Jamaica's Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) has announced a six-man relay team set to compete in the 4x400m relay at the New Life Invitational in the Bahamas on Sunday, June 17. The squad aims to surpass the qualifying mark of 2:58.45, a time that would move them ahead of France and Zambia, who have clocked 2:59.12, in the global rankings.

The selected athletes, Tarees Rhoden, Kimar Farquharson, Raheem Hayles, Jevaughn Powell, Shevioe Reid, and Malik James-King, bring a wealth of recent performance successes, particularly from the NCAA National Division 1 Championships held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Powell, who ran a season-best 44.54 seconds to place third in the 400m final, demonstrated his relay prowess with a blistering 44.34-second split for the Florida Gators, contributing to their third-place finish in the 4x400m relay. Meanwhile, Farquharson, primarily an 800m specialist, demonstrated his versatility with a 44.38-second split on the third leg for Texas A&M, securing the gold medal.

Hayles also put in a solid performance at the NCAA Championships, finishing seventh in the 400m final with a time of 45.58 seconds. James-King, who ran 45.59 seconds earlier this year, rounds out the team, bringing additional depth and speed.

This upcoming race in the Bahamas represents Jamaica's last opportunity to qualify for the Olympics, as the national championships scheduled for June 27-30 at the National Stadium in Kingston fall within the Olympic qualification window, which closes on June 30.

The urgency of this attempt is underscored by Jamaica's disappointing performances at the World Relays in May, where the team failed to crack the top 16 globally.

In the preliminary round of the World Relays, a team consisting of Assinie Wilson, Zandrion Barnes, Demish Gaye, and Malik James-King posted a time of 3:02.48. The second-round team, which included Rusheen McDonald, Wilson, Gaye, and James-King, fared even worse with a time of 3:05.09, highlighting the need for a revitalized and more competitive squad.

Accompanying the athletes to the Bahamas are Team Manager Brian Smith, Head Coach Mark Elliott, Coach Lamar Richards, and Massage Therapist Oral Thompson, all of whom are integral to ensuring the team's optimal performance.

On paper, Jamaica's new lineup boasts the credentials to make a successful bid for Olympic qualification. With key athletes hitting peak form at the NCAA Championships, there is a renewed sense of optimism and determination within the team. As they take to the track at the New Life Invitational, the eyes of a nation will be watching, hopeful that this talented group can deliver a performance worthy of Olympic contention.

Two-time World Championship bronze medallist Rushell Clayton and Malik James-King emerged victorious in the women’s and men’s 400m hurdles events, respectively, at the inaugural Jamaica Athletics Invitational at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Clayton looked in excellent early season form, running 53.72, a world leading time and her fastest season opener, to take the win ahead of American Anna Cockrell (53.76) and Jamaica’s Shian Salmon (54.57).

Clayton also tried out a new running pattern with 14 steps between hurdles.

“It felt amazing. I tried my best and I know my coach will be happy with that so I look forward to my next race which is next Sunday,” she said after the race.

“These ladies are who I compete against all the time. It’s an amazing feeling to always line up and compete against the best in the world,” Clayton added.

The men’s race saw Malik James-King spring an upset with a personal best 48.39 to win ahead of World Championship silver medallist Kyron McMaster (49.00) and Jaheel Hyde (49.48).

“I have a lot more to work on so I’m just going to be going back to the drawing board and listening to my coach,” James-King said after the race.

“I was surprised with the time, honestly. I expected 48 but I didn’t know an exact time. 48.3 is a really good time,” he added.

There was no fortune for Caribbean countries at the backend of Saturday’s first day of the World Athletics Relays, as the various teams failed to progress in the men’s and women’s 4x400m events at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.

In the female qualifiers, Jamaica’s quartet of Charokee Young, Ashley Williams, Junelle Bromfield, and Roneisha McGregor placed third in heat three in 3:29.03, behind Poland and France, who clocked 3:27.11 and 3:28.06.

Earlier, Cuba (3:31.56) and Dominican Republic (3:40.93) placed third and seventh, respectively, in heat two.

Ireland headlined the team’s that progressed, as they clocked a National Record 3:24.38 in qualifying. United States (3:24.76), Great Britain (3:24.89), Italy (3:26.28), Norway (3:26.89), Poland (3:27.11), and Canada (3:27.17), also booked their spots in the final, as well as for this summer’s Paris Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, it was more of the same on the male side of action, as Trinidad and Tobago’s quartet of Asa Guevara, Timothy Frederick, Shakeem McKay, and Jereem Richards, clocking 3:04.15 for third in heat one, where Japan (3:00.98) and Germany (3:01.25) secured the coveted spots.

United States initially won the heat, but they were later disqualified for an infringement.

Jamaica’s Malik James-King, Zandrion Barnes, Assinie Wilson, and Demish Gaye, clocked 3:02.46 for third, behind Belgium (3:00.09) and Nigeria (3:01.70). Guyana (3:09.91) was eighth in that heat.

The Bahamas (3:07.45) placed sixth in heat three, which was won by Italy (3:01.68), ahead of the fast-finishing Great Britain (3:02.10).

In the last heat, Barbados (3:03.72) and Dominican Republic (3:08.15), placed third and sixth, respectively, as Botswana (2:59.73) and South Africa (2:59.76) took the top spots.

Despite missing out on this occasion, the teams will have another shot at Olympic qualification in Round 2 action on Sunday.

In a stunning display of speed and athleticism, Oblique Seville left spectators in awe at Velocity Fest 14 held at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday. Celebrating his 23rd birthday, Seville delivered an extraordinary performance, clocking a world-leading time of 20.17 in the 200m, hinting at his potential podium finish at the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

Seville's remarkable feat marks a significant improvement in his speed and strength, demonstrated by his previous 400m clocking of 47.44 at the Camperdown Classics on February 10. Surpassing his own lifetime best of 20.86 set in 2019, Seville's record-breaking run solidifies his status as a top contender on the global stage.

Not to be outdone, Roshawn Clarke and Shamar Horatio also delivered exceptional performances, with Clarke achieving a lifetime best of 20.69 to secure second place, and Horatio setting a new personal best of 20.83 for third place in Seville's final.

Acknowledging the talent on display, Ackeem Blake showcased his prowess by clinching victory in his 200m final with a lifetime best of 20.45. Wendell Miller followed closely behind with a personal best of 20.61, while Paul Henry secured third place with a season's best time of 20.96.

Among the standout performers was Great Britain's Zharnel Hughes, who triumphed in his final with a swift time of 20.40. Rusheen McDonald and Demish Gaye followed suit with impressive times of 20.59 and 20.65, respectively.

In the women's races, Sada Williams continued her stellar form by winning her final in an impressive time of 22.70, following her national Barbados record of 22.59 set at the GC Foster Classic last week. Roneisha McGregor secured second place with a season-best time of 23.55, while Tina Clayton finished third in 23.73.

Tia Clayton, twin sister of Tina, showcased her speed in the 100m final, clocking a new lifetime best of 11.12. Remona Burchell followed closely behind with a time of 11.36, while Krystal Sloley recorded a season-best of 11.42 for third place.

Jura Levy continued her upward trajectory with a new season's best time of 11.43, further solidifying her position among Jamaica's top sprinters.

In other events, Malik James-King impressed in the 400m, securing victory with a season's best time of 45.59.

Traves Smikle continued his dominance in the discus with a winning throw of 65.96m, followed by Fedrick Dacres with a season-best performance of 64.80m, and Chad Wright with a throw of 62.42m for third place.

 

Jamaica missed out on the cut for the final of the Mixed 4x400 metres relay, as they could only manage fifth in heat two of the event on Saturday's opening day of the ongoing World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The Jamaican quartet of Demish Gaye, Natoya Goule-Toppin, Malik James-King and Stacey-Ann Williams, running in that order, struggled from the off and was at the back of the pack for the first two legs.

In fact, it was on the third leg that James King tried to force the initiative and gradually made progress, but faded in the latter stages, leaving Williams with much to do on anchor.

Despite facing an uphill task, Williams showed grit and determination to bring Jamaicans from eighth into fifth and ninth across the two heats in a season’s best 3:14.05.

They finished behind the Femke Bol led Dutch team, who won in 3:12.12, followed by France (3:12.25) and Czech Republic (3:12.52), with fourth-placed Germany taking one of the non-automatic qualifying spots.

United States with a World lead 3:10.41, Great Britain, with a national record 3:11.19, Belgium (3:11.81) and Ireland (3:13.90), are the other finalists.

 

You can catch live action of the 2023 World Athletic Championships by downloading the Sportsmax App.

Kishane Thompson, Amoi Brown and Jonielle Smith showcased their athletic prowess setting records while winning their respective events at the CAS International Meeting in the town of Schifflange, Luxembourg on Sunday.

At the meet where they were clearly the class of the field, Thompson, who ran a lifetime best at the Jamaican national championships in early July, showed his time was no fluke. He won his 100m heat in 9.99, a new meet record.

His nearest rival in the two-heat time trial was Great Britain’s David Morgan-Harrison, who ran 10.30 in the second of the two heats. Germany’s Kevin Kranz who was second in Thompson’s heat was the third fastest clocking in at 10.33.

The women’s race saw Jamaican sprinters take the top six places with Smith being best of the lost in a new meet record of 11.16.

Newly minted professional Serena Cole ran 11.25 for second place with Krystal Sloley taking third in 11.30.

Tina Clayton (11.44), Jura Levy of Legacy Athletics (11.45), and Tia Clayton (11.50), were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Brown, meanwhile, won the 100m hurdles in 12.73, which was also a new meet record.

Marion Fourie of South Africa was second in 12.83 with Talie Bonds of the USA not far behind in 12.86.

Alex Ogando of the Dominican Republic was the only runner under 46 seconds in the 400m. He was a convincing winner in 45.27, more than 0.5s ahead of Jamaica’s Malik James-King, who stopped the clock in 46.11 and Patrick Nyambe of Zimbabwe (46.14).

Christoff Bryan continued his journey back from knee surgeries in the past few years, won the high jump with 2.19m effort.

 

 

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