Shericka Jackson ran the third-fastest time in history to cap an outstanding campaign at Jamaica’s National Senior Athletics Championships on Sunday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson all safely advanced to Sunday’s Women’s 200m final as action continued on day three of the 2022 Jamaican National Senior Athletics Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

The three 100m medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics all looked extremely easy to win their semi-finals in 22.54, 22.68 and 22.85, respectively.

Jackson, who secured the 100m title on Friday, looked especially easy, completely shutting down in the last 100m of the race.

Natalliah Whyte (23.05), Ashanti Moore (23.21), Kevona Davis (23.33), Jodean Williams (23.21) and Dominique Clarke (23.29) will join them in the final.

Meanwhile, 100m Champion Yohan Blake led all qualifiers to the Men’s final with a season’s best 20.20 to win his semi-final ahead of Andrew Hudson (20.23).

2020 Olympic finalist Rasheed Dwyer will also contest Sunday’s final after producing 20.35 to win his semi-final ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.45).

Mario Heslop (20.52), Riquan Graham (20.66), Jazeel Murphy (20.67) and Antonio Watson (20.74) complete the line-up for the final.

NCAA Championships silver medalist Charokee Young (50.19), 2020 Olympic finalist Candice McLeod (50.85), Stacey-Ann Williams (50.87) and 2013 World Championship bronze medalist Stephenie Ann McPherson (50.67) led all qualifiers to the Women’s 400m final.

The men were led by Jevaughn Powell (45.38), Anthony Cox (45.43), Nathon Allen (45.52) and Akeem Bloomfield (45.59).

The qualifiers for the Women’s sprint hurdles final were led by Britany Anderson (12.45), Megan Tapper (12.61), 2015 World Champion Danielle Williams (12.59) and Demisha Roswell (12.84).

Reigning Olympic Champion Hansle Parchment (13.24), Orlando Bennett (13.27), Rasheed Broadbell (13.29) and 2016 Olympic and 2017 World Champion Omar McLeod (13.36) led the qualifiers to the Men’s 110m hurdles final.

In the field, 2019 World Championship silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd threw 18.79m to win her seventh national title ahead of Lloydricia Cameron (16.96m) and Danielle Sloley (15.98m).

Wayne Pinnock added to his NCAA Indoor and Outdoor titles earlier this season with a personal best 8.14m to win the Men’s long jump ahead of defending World Champion Tajay Gayle (7.97m) and Shawn-D Thompson (7.88m).

 

 

Expect the unexpected!

That’s the word from 2021 World U20 champion Ackera Nugent, who was responding to a question about who she thinks will emerge victorious in the 100m hurdles at Jamaica’s National Senior Championships that get underway at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday, June 23.

Nugent, who turned 20 in April, will miss the championships because of injury but is already on the mend as she targets a triumphant return to the track for her junior year at Baylor University. As the second fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year, Nugent will be missed but the field that will assemble is stacked.

Among the women contending for the top three spots will be Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Championships gold medalist Danielle Williams, who is also the 2019 bronze medallist, 2022 Big 12 Conference Champion Demisha Roswell, Britany Anderson, Crystal Morrison, and Trishauna Hemmings among others.

However, Nugent perhaps one of the most talented hurdlers in her country’s history, was not willing to put her neck on the block given how keenly contested Sunday’s final is expected to be.

“Well, the hurdles is an event that you can’t really have expectations on it because anything can happen in those 12-13-seconds of the race,” she reasoned.

“So it’s a thing where you have to expect the unexpected.”

She does expect to be back better and stronger than ever for the coming 2022/2023 NCAA season.

Mere days after running a personal best 12.45 to finish second to Roswell at the Big 12 Championships, Nugent, citing injury, shut down her season in early June. It was a decision that meant that she would miss the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in Oregon as well as Jamaica’s National Championships where she was expected to be among the athletes making the team to the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, where the NCAA Championships were also held.

She revealed the circumstances that led to her decision.

“I had been having ankle problems this season more than normal but I was able to compete but at regionals, running the 4x100m I tore my plantar fascia (the thick tendon that connects the heel and the toes) and it was really bad,” she recalled.

Despite the injury, she said, she soldiered on, which made things worse.

“Knowing me as somebody that’s like ‘I have a next race to go do, let’s knock it out the way. I took some pain killers and I wrapped my leg up and went out there to compete and when I realized in the race it was getting really bad I slowed up and was still able to make nationals and then I looked and saw how swollen my foot was and I was like ‘I don’t think I have enough time to recover and make it for nationals’ so I decided to close my season down.”

As it stands, she is now able to walk and can run a little but thinks it best to give herself time to heal ahead of next season. “I don’t think it’s a smart decision to run so now I will be focusing on recovering, rehabbing and getting stronger. I have enough time to get better, to get stronger so I will be ready for next year,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

Olympic 110m hurdles champion, Hansle Parchment, opened his 2022 season by running 13.20 to win the Men’s 110m hurdles, at Velocity Fest 11, at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Parchment used an excellent start to win ahead of Rasheed Broadbell (13.31) and Michael O’Hara (13.52).

Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper was also in fine form running 12.80 to win the Women’s 100m hurdles ahead of Crystal Morrison (13.02) and Amoi Brown (13.33).

Nine-time World Championship gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also made her 2022 season debut with a second-place finish in the 200m.

Fraser-Pryce had her trademark fast start before jogging the last 50m of the race to finish with a time of 22.79. Bahamian Anthonique Strachan ran a season’s best 22.55 to take the win while Natasha Morrison was third in 23.06.

Remona Burchell ran 11.13 to win the Women’s 100m ahead of Jodean Williams (11.51) and Krystal Sloley (11.74).

The Men’s 100m was won by Ackeem Blake in a new personal best 10.08. 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake was second in a season’s best 10.11 and Kadrian Goldson was third in 10.20.

In the Women’s 400m, Candice McLeod won Section A in 51.20 ahead of Janieve Russell (51.96) and Rhonda Whyte (52.26).

Zandrion Barnes won the Men’s 400m in a personal best 45.69 ahead of Anthony Cox (45.84) and Demish Gaye (46.19).

Antonio Watson ran 20.56 to win the Men’s 200m ahead of Kishane Thompson (20.92) and Riquan Graham (21.25).

 

Olympic bronze medalist, Megan Tapper, credits her background in gymnastics for instilling her with her trademark fighting spirit.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point published on Friday on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Tapper says her time in gymnastics helped her develop the mindset she now has when competing on the track.

“Determination and grit are things that were ingrained in me from my days in gymnastics."

During her time as a student at St. Andrew High School, Tapper spent several years as a gymnast before she transitioned to athletics.

She said the main thing she gained from the experience was to push through any adversity, a characteristic she has often displayed in competition.

“If I learned anything, it was to push through when the road is extremely rocky; when you can’t see the end when you have no energy left. It is to just continue pushing and never ever giving up,” said Tapper, who created history when she won the bronze medal in Tokyo in the 100m hurdles. She is the first female Caribbean sprint hurdler to win an Olympic medal in the event.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel and on the Sportsmax app.

Tokyo Olympics 100m bronze medalist, Megan Tapper, says her support team helped her find motivation after she fell in the final at the 2019 Doha World Championships.

The diminutive sprint hurdler, who won national titles in 2016 and again in 2021, had improved significantly during the season when she ran what was then a new lifetime best of 12.63. However, after getting to the final in Doha, she hit the first hurdle and fell.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Tapper elaborated on the emotions she experienced during that moment on the track.

“Just complete and utter devastation. It was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe that the opportunity that I trained so long and hard for ended in such devastation. There’s no other word that can basically describe that moment,” Tapper said.

Tapper says those emotions also stemmed from the fact that she was in great shape and ready for the race.

“I’ve never been ready, up to that moment, for a race, the way I was ready for that final and unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the race,” she said.

In that moment, according to Tapper, she was unable to contain her emotions.

“The feeling was overwhelming. I wasn’t able to be the composed Megan that most of us know because the emotions were so raw and overwhelming,” said Tapper.

Afterwards, she said, she sought support from those close to her for support. 

“I reached out to the various people who were in my circle at the time and they would say to me 'don’t worry about it, this is just another roadblock. You are still Megan, you are still capable, anything is still possible for you, shake it off and let’s go again. Talking to my support team was how the motivation came back for me,” said Tapper.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

 

Olympic gold medalists Elaine Thompson-Herah and Hansle Parchment have been named among the nominees for the 2021 RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards set for January 21, 2022.

Due mainly to the ongoing pandemic, the Awards will be a made-for-television event instead of the usual gala.

Thompson-Herah will likely be the favourite to add to the award she won in 2016 when she became the first woman to win an Olympic sprint double since 1988. At the Tokyo Olympics, Thompson-Herah won three gold medals (100m, 200m and 4x100m).

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61 and the 200m in a national record of 21.53, the second-fastest time in history. Following the Olympics, she ran 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run by a woman, at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon on her way to winning the Diamond League title.

However, she is among a stacked field of women who also performed at exceptionally high levels through the year, up to the end of November.

Chief among them is her perennial rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was second in the 100m in Tokyo and was also a member of the gold-medal-winning 4x100m team. The Pocket Rocket also created history of her own in Tokyo when she became the only woman to win medals in the 100m at four consecutive Olympic Games.

She also ran a personal best of 10.60 which made her the third-fastest woman in history.

Shericka Jackson is also among the nominees for winning bronze in the 100m in Tokyo, gold in the 4x100m and a 4x400m bronze. She also ran a personal best 10.76 in the 100m.

Megan Tapper, another nominee, created history as the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in the Olympics 100m hurdles. This, after she surprisingly won her second national title in June.

Last, but definitely not least of the five female nominees of West Indies Women cricketer Stafanie Taylor, whose consistent performance with bat and ball saw her ranked among the best female cricketers in the world. She also became one of only three women to score 5000 ODI runs in the history of women’s cricket.

Parchment, who stunned the world to defeat American Grant Holloway and win gold in the 110m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, leads the male nominees, that also includes fellow sprint hurdler and national champion Ronald Levy, who won bronze in Tokyo.

Also among the male nominees are West Indies and Jamaica batsman Nkrumah Bonner and Rally Cross driver Fraser McConnell.

The nominees for People’s Choice Performance of the Year include Mikhail Antonio’s wonder strike against the United States at the national stadium in Kingston and McConnell’s historic win in the Nordic Rally Cross in February.

The other nominees are Tapper’s surprise bronze medal in the 100m hurdles in Tokyo, Parchment’s golden run in Tokyo and Thompson-Herah’s blistering 10.54 run in Oregon on August 21.

 

 

As she continues to prepare to compete at next summer’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper has signed a sponsorship agreement with plant-based nutrition brand ATAQ.

Tapper has been using ATAQ products since 2019 when they first entered the Jamaican market, to support her training and recovery but has now formalized her relationship with the start-up company.

“Competing at the highest possible levels getting nutrition right can make all the difference. I’ve been using ATAQ’s products for several years now and I feel a huge difference in my performance and recovery,” said Tapper.

With the agreement, Tapper joins a diverse group of athletes who are onboard with ATAQ. They include Julie Ertel, the 2000 Olympic silver medalist in water polo, USA Triathlete and two-time Pan Am Gold medalist in Individual Triathlon, who is a member and athletic advisor to ATAQ.

 Tammo Walter, Co-Founder and CEO of ATAQ, said the company was thrilled to have the affable Jamaican hurdler on board.

“We are super excited to have Megan be part of the ATAQ family. When you organically find someone that uses and believes so much in your products then that’s the best position to be in and working together,” Walter said.

 “We are excited to not only help fuel her efforts and journey with our products but to get her insights, thoughts and feedback.”

As a road cycling enthusiast Walter himself is no stranger to the challenge of fueling training and competition the right way.

ATAQ was born out of his own need for clean, plant-based sports nutrition, providing healthy products specifically developed for athletes with high-performance goals.

“Understanding the athlete’s needs, demands and challenges make engaging with athletes like Megan crucial to provide effective products that athletes want to use. And that’s what is most important to us,” Nikki Halbur, Co-Founder and COO explained.

Tapper started out as a gymnast, representing Jamaica when she was only eight years old. As a teenager, she switched to track and field and finished her junior/under 23 list of accomplishments as National Collegiate Champion and record holder before making it all the way to the semi-finals in the 2016 Olympics in London. She was also a finalist at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Being 5’ 1” tall, she acknowledges that her size can be a disadvantage in clearing hurdles. However, she isn’t fazed by it and focuses on advantages like being faster between each hurdle and she has proven that she can defy the odds over and over again.

 

Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper has signed a three-year deal to become the newest brand ambassador for TruShake.

Tapper, the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in an Olympic 100m hurdles final, today formalized the agreement which takes effect from October 2021 and will run through to September 2024. Tapper finished third behind Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and the USA's Kendra Harrison in her history-making run in Tokyo in August.

“It means the world to me that I was chosen to represent the brand. It’s a great partnership. TruShake is a fairly new product in Jamaica and I am entering a new phase in my journey as an Olympic athlete. I am looking forward to us growing together,” said an excited Tapper after putting her signature to the deal at Funland Jamaica.

TruSHAKE is Trade Winds Citrus Limited’s locally manufactured milk-based nutrition shake developed for all ages and lifestyles. Tapper admits that TruShake is a great addition to her meal plan.

“Sometimes I do not feel like eating a heavy meal; it feels good to be able to have an affordable option that is healthy and tasty,” she said. “At times, I feel like whenever I eat healthily, I am sacrificing taste but that’s not the case with TruShake. So, it’s a great addition to my meal plan.”

Marketing Manager of Tradewinds Citrus, Lauren Mahfood explained that Tapper is a perfect fit for their brand. “Like most Jamaicans, we witnessed Megan’s outstanding talent at the Olympics this year and we were extremely proud of her performance on the world stage,” she said.

“Her infectious energy and incredible character made it clear that she was an all-around winner – a perfect fit for the TruShake brand.”

Tapper, who is also a motivational speaker, uses her platform to inspire young girls and women to seize the moment and to dream big. She explained that she will use this opportunity as TruShake’s brand ambassador, to continue her work to motivate and encourage Jamaicans to eat and live healthy so they can achieve their optimum physical goals.

 “Megan is an incredible ambassador for Jamaica and as a Jamaican brand, we look forward to seeing her compete locally and internationally, representing with passion and focus as always,” said Mahfood.

Tapper will be looking to be on the podium once more at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and Budapest, Hungary, respectively as well as the lucrative Diamond League circuit before she aims for another Olympic medal in Paris in 2024.

Elaine Thompson-Herah was the only Caribbean athlete to win on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday but a few others came very close.

Olympic medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Hansle Parchment were impressive winners at the Continental Tour Gold meeting at the Stadion Slaski in Chorzow, Poland on Sunday.

Fraser-Pryce, the Olympic 100m silver medalist, who was running her first race since her lifetime best 10.60 in Lausanne, Switzerland on August 26, sped to a meet record 10.81 to win by daylight over Swiss athlete Mujinga Kambundji who stopped the clock at 11.08.

Great Britain’s Daryll Neita (11.15) was further back in third. Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye ran 11.19 for fourth.

Parchment, the Olympic champion, recovered from an average start to overhaul Devon Allen and win in 13.26. Allen clipped the last hurdle but managed to finish second in 13.37 while Damion Thomas was third in 13.50.

The women’s sprint hurdles event was won by Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan in 12.64 ahead of Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper who clocked 12.75. The USA’s Christina Clemons was third in 12.92.

Jaheel Hyde ended up on the podium after finished third in the 400m hurdles in 48.89. Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos was an easy winner in 48.50 over Turkey’s Yasmani Copello, who ran 48.80.

Candace McLeod, a finalist over 400m in Tokyo finished third in the 400m. Among the leaders up to 300m, the Jamaican faded to third clocking 51.88. The Polish pair of Natalia Kaczmarec and Anna Keilbasinska took the top two places in 50.70 and 51.19, respectively.

Meanwhile, Anderson Peters threw 83.61m for a second-place finish in the men’s javelin throw. However, he was no match for Germany’s Johannes Vetter, who flung the spear 89.60m for victory.

Fedrick Dacres took third place in the men’s discus. He threw a best mark of 64.91m that was bettered by Lithuania’s Andrius Gudzious (65.89m) and Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh (66.65m)

Andre Degrasse was an easy winner in the 200m in 20.21. His compatriot Jerome Blake took second place in 20.32. Olympic relay gold medalist Filippo Tortu was third in 20.40.

 

Eighteen-year-old Christine Mboma topped a talented field of women over 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday when Natoya Goule closed out the action on the track by winning the 800m.

The marquee event, however, was the 200m and it lived up to expectations.

The Namibian, the Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion, running on from behind, surged past Shericka Jackson with 30m to go and won in 21.84. Jackson was again under 22 seconds, clocking 21.95 while Dina Asher-Smith finished third in a season-best 22.03.

The much-talked-about Sha’Carri Richardson was never a factor. She trailed off the curve and was passed down the stretch by Mboma and Asher-Smith to finish fourth in 22.45.

Mboma was elated at getting her first Diamond League win.

“I was really excited to run here in Brussels. It was my first Diamond League experience and to be able to win in such a strong field is great,” she said.

“It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the World junior championships, but I'm still in good shape. I ran almost a personal best today, so that pleases me. I still have one race to go in Zurich and after that, I will take some rest.”

Jackson, meantime, was disappointed at not winning enjoyed the competition.

“I´m happy with my race but I really wanted to win today,” she said.

“I had a good start so I´m happy with that but there´s still room for improvement. I was able to accelerate towards the end but couldn´t get the win. I loved to race here and the feeling was good.”

Similarly, Asher-Smith was happy with her season-best.

“I´m so happy with my race! I ran a season's best and had a good feeling. It felt so good to be here and to be able to run this fast,” said the Brit, who was unable to compete in the 200m because of a hamstring injury.

“I worked so hard after my injury to return and feel strong again. I really love to run here in Brussels. I still have a few races to go so I hope I can improve myself and feel good. The relaxed feeling is back so I´m very happy with that.”

Goule, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics, ran a strategic race behind the pacemaker but then assumed the lead with 300m to go.

She would hold that lead until the end to win her first Diamond League race in 1:58.09, holding off Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who clocked 1:58.16 for second place. Jemma Reekie also of Great Britain was third in 1:58.77.

´I’m extremely happy with my win today! I´m just so excited and happy to win my first Diamond League race,” she said.

“I have to thank God and my coach for believing in me. To race here today, especially against these girls. They are all so strong. I have a lot of respect for Keely Hodgkinson. She´s so good and humble, a very good athlete and still so young. So I´m very happy I could still sprint and take the win. The big crowd today definitely helped with that. You just feel everyone´s excitement for today. I hope I can win in Zurich as well but it will be hard.”

Earlier, Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles but there was misfortune for Danielle Williams, who appeared to suffer an injury and limped across the line in eighth. She was eventually disqualified.

Tapper, the Olympic bronze medalist, got off to a fast start but was eventually caught by Tobi Amusan and Nadine Visser, who crossed the line together and were credited with 12.69. Tapper clocked 12.77 for her second podium finish in the Diamond League this season.

There was no Karsten Warholm or Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles but it was no less dramatic as Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos and the British Virgin Islands’ Kyron McMaster engaged in a stirring battle that the latter looked like winning after seven hurdles.

However, the Brazilian eased into the lead over the final hurdle and held it to win in 48.24. McMaster finished second in 48.31.

Jaheel Hyde was in position to finish on the podium but seemed to run out of steam down the stretch and was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Yasmani Copello of Turkey, who took third in 48.45. Hyde had to settle for fourth in 48.91.

The men’s 400m was won by American Michael Cherry in a new personal best and meet record 44.03 leaving Kirani James (44.51) and Isaac Makwala (44.83) in his wake.

 

 

 

 

 

Yohan Blake and Megan Tapper scored impressive victories in their respective events at the American Track League meeting in California on Sunday.

Winning her second national title was like a miracle for Megan Tapper who was the surprise winner on Sunday morning, the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships to select a team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Running in lane eight, Tapper upset pre-race favourites Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams to take top spot in a season-best 12.68. Yanique Thompson, the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist ran 12.73, a season-best for second place while Anderson was third in 12.75.

“It was like experiencing a miracle right in front of my face,” she said after realizing she had crossed the line first. “I expected it but it is a different feeling when it actually happens.”

Tapper was not in the best of form coming in having run times ranging from 12.87-13.72 in eight races heading into the championships. However, in the semi-finals, she ran a season-best 12.86 for second place in her semifinal that was won by Anderson in 12.65.

She revealed afterwards that patience was the key to her success and understanding what works for her.

“I just had to understand that it takes a while to get into the groove, getting into running to get my mindset right,” she explained afterwards.

“I was patient, my coach and my husband were patient with me and they kept me motivated and at the end of the day I asked God to show up for me and he did and I am grateful.”

She believes running in the outside lane actually helped her avoid the intense battle for places that was unfolding in the lanes inside her.

“I was on the end. I was in lane eight and I guess that worked in my favour,” she said.

“Before I went out, my coach and husband told me to stay focused and to just execute. Once I executed a proper race I would have been close to the top or at the top and that’s what I did.”

Now that she has secured a place on the team to Tokyo Tapper says she knows she has work to do to be ready for competition in Japan.

“I need to remain focused and realize that the job isn’t finished and it is going to take a little than what I had today,” she said.

 

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