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.

 

 

 

Joel Embiid believes it would be a nonsense if his MVP hopes are affected by him missing this week's big showdown with Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets.

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Embiid is leading the way in the NBA with a 33.2-point scoring average per game, beating last season's career high of 30.6.

He is also averaging a healthy 10.2 rebounds, albeit that is his lowest season mark since 2016-17.

However, Embiid sat out Monday's clash with the Nuggets due a calf injury, and Jokic led Denver to a 116-111 victory, scoring 25 points alongside 17 rebounds and 12 assists.

The triple-double made Jokic just the third player in NBA history to produce 10 games of at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the same season, sparking debate over whether it could be a key moment in the MVP race.

After that game, Jokic said the absent Embiid would be "remembered as one of the most dominant players in the league".

Whether Embiid can deny Jokic a third straight MVP award remains to be seen, and recency bias may help to tilt it the way of the Nuggets star, who is averaging 24.9 points, 11.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists.

Embiid's message was a simple one – "I don't care" – as he prioritises team success over individual glory.

The Nuggets head the Western Conference, with Philadelphia third in the East, so both main contenders for the MVP have done a lot of winning this season and will hope to do plenty more in the playoffs.

Embiid said: "If one game is going to hurt anybody's chances, then I guess everybody should be out of it. We all have bad games. Guys miss matchups.

"That's not the first time, and it's not really a matchup about me and Nikola. He's a great player, amazing player. He's one of the best players in the league, and I'm a huge fan.

"So not playing against him was a huge bummer. But there's a bigger goal in sight, and that's to make sure we're healthy for the playoffs."

Embiid had a standout game against the Nuggets on January 28, outshining Jokic with 47 points and 18 rebounds in a Sixers win, so he is adamant there was no desire to duck another clash with Denver's talisman.

He added on Wednesday, after returning to score 25 points in Philadelphia's 116-108 win over the Dallas Mavericks: "I've got nothing to prove. The last matchup, we won, and I had whatever I had.

"To go out there and say that I'm scared after what I did the last time is kind of stupid. But, like I said, I don't care if I win it or not. I'm just focused on trying to win a championship, and whatever happens, happens."

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers supported Embiid's stance, saying ahead of Wednesday's game: "Joel's body of work speaks for itself. You're not judged for one game. You're judged for the entire season of work and your team's record and how you perform, and he's been dominant all year."

Looking at whether missing out last time out could harm Embiid's MVP prospects, Rivers said it might have an impact, but he is baffled as to why that would be the case.

"Will that hurt him? I doubt it. But it could," Rivers said. "I don't know what people use for criteria. It seems like it changes weekly, what the real criteria is.

"Before, it was a bunch of numbers. Now, it's wins. I'm like, 'Well, it wasn't wins last year'. You know what I’m saying? It just feels like, every year, it keeps changing."

Jokic took MVP honours last season when the Nuggets finished sixth in the Western Conference.

Edwin Allen High School speed twins – Tina and Tia Clayton – will go pro and join the MVP Track Club, according to a report published in the Jamaica Observer.

The twins, who turn 18 on August 17, have been standout high school athletes for the past few years with Tina developing more quickly than her sister Tia over the past couple of seasons.

Both were members of Jamaica’s 4x100m team that set a world record 42.94s at the World U20 Champions in Nairobi, Kenya last year. Both were also members of the team that ran 42.58, a world record at the 2022 Carifta Games held at the National Stadium in Kingston in April. However, that time was not ratified by World Athletics when Jamaican authorities failed to test Tia, who had won the 100m title the night before.

At the National Championships at the end of June, Tina, the World U20 100m, set a new national U20 record of 10.96, breaking the previous record of 10.97 set by Tokyo Olympic gold relay medallist Briana Williams.

Tia, the Carifta Games silver medallist, who was third at the national championships boasts a personal best of 11.25.

Sources indicate that on the basis of the incredible performance by Tina at the national championships several potential sponsors were chasing their signatures but according to a report in the Jamaica Observer, one of those companies managed to move ahead of the rest and seal a deal that will see the girls ending their respective impressive high school careers.

At MVP, Tina and Tia Clayton will most likely be under the guidance of Stephen Francis, who has enjoyed tremendous success over the past decade with two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, the only woman to win the 100/200m double at consecutive Olympic Games.

Joel Embiid insists he is "not mad" after missing out on the NBA's MVP award again to Nikola Jokic but continues to show contempt at the award's voting process.

The Philadelphia 76ers center was runner-up to Jokic last year and according to ESPN the Denver Nuggets' big man will edge him again for this season's gong.

Embiid enjoyed arguably a career-best season, with a league-high 30.6 points per game with 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

"I'm not mad," Embiid told reporters, when speaking after the 76ers' 120-85 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

"That's two years in a row I put myself in that position. It didn't happen. It is almost like, at this point, it is whatever. Whatever happens, happens.

"Last year, I campaigned about it. This year, I answered questions when I was asked, and in the next few years until I retire, it's almost like ... like I said, I wonder what else I have to do to win it, and to me, at this point, it's whatever.

"It's all about focusing, not that I wasn't focused on the bigger picture. It's really time to really put all my energy into the bigger picture, which is to win the whole thing."

Embiid's comments come with the 76ers on the brink of elimination after Tuesday's loss which leaves them 3-2 down in the Conference semi-finals to the Heat.

The 28-year-old Cameroonian added that there was no "right or wrong" answer for the MVP but continued to show derision towards the voting process, insisting he knew weeks ago he would not win.

"This is something that I knew weeks ago, even probably two weeks before the season ended, after those games against whether it was Denver and Milwaukee, and when [ESPN did its] straw poll or whatever. I just knew it wasn't gonna happen," Embiid said.

"Obviously, congrats to Nikola. He deserved it. He had an amazing season. There's no right or wrong. There was a lot of candidates.

"It could have gone either way. Giannis [Antetokounmpo], Devin Booker, being on the best team in the league, by far. I guess, every year is all about whatever you guys decide, whatever fits the narrative as far as who's gonna win."

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid's 41 points in Saturday's 133-120 win over the Indiana Pacers has ensured he will average 30 points this season and he has already set his sights on his next goal.

Embiid becomes the first center to average 30 points in a season since 1981-82 when Moses Malone averaged 31.1 per game for the Houston Rockets.

The 76ers center's achievement further enhanced his credentials to be this season's MVP but he was already eyeing off Malone's mark.

"Well, that’s the challenge for next year," Embiid joked with reporters after the game. "So, next year, I gotta come out and average more than him.

"But it’s great. Obviously, he's a legend. Especially as a big in this era, it’s been a long time, 40 years it hasn’t been done. That’s something that I think is great.

"I hope guys coming up more, especially bigs coming up, are able to do even more. I think the biggest thing with me is that I feel comfortable with it because I feel like I didn’t force anything. I feel like I just played within the flow of the offense.

"Before we had James (Harden). Obviously, I had a much larger role in the offense whether it was playmaking or scoring and since we added him, I try to share the load which has been great. Great stats and I guess I’m happy about it."

Embiid's 30.4 points per game is a career-best for the 28-year-old, shooting at 49.5 per cent. He is also averaging 11.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season.

The All-Star also became the first player this season to have 40 or more points and 20 or more rebounds in a game against the Pacers.

"It's methodical and historical. Whatever the calls you want to put on it, it's what's he's been," 76ers head coach Doc Rivers said.

Embiid sits atop the NBA scoring charts this season, ahead of LeBron James (30.3) and Kevin Durant (30.1) for points per game and Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle added to the plaudits.

"We haven’t seen a guy like this in the history of the league who has this kind of power and skill,” Carlisle said about Embiid.

"He's able to score on all three levels effortlessly. He's an amazing player and it will be interesting to see what teams do in the playoffs to try to slow him down."

The 76ers are fourth in the east but can still finish above the third-placed Boston Celtics pending the final regular-season results.

Philadelphia will face either the Toronto Raptors or Chicago Bulls depending on where they finish but Embiid had no preference.

"I just want to win tomorrow [against the Detroit Pistons]," Embiid said. "I don’t really care who we play. I feel pretty confident about both match-ups."

Joel Embiid declared "I don't know what I have to do" to be named NBA MVP after his latest masterclass against the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the Philadelphia 76ers' playoff spot.

Embiid scored 44 points, claimed 17 rebounds and made five blocks in a 112-108 victory for Philadelphia on Sunday.

The 28-year-old is a strong contender to win the MVP award, but Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokic is the favourite to be selected as the best player in the league.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers believes Embiid, who is averaging 30.2 points and 11.6 rebounds per game as well as 4.2 assists a game, deserves to land the prestigious gong

The Cameroonian does not believe he can do any more to take the MVP award.

He said after dismantling the Cavs: "If it happens, great. If it doesn't, I don't know what I have to do.

"I'll feel like they hate me. I feel like the standard for guys in Philly or for me is different than everyone else."

James Harden, the 2018 MVP, doffed his cap to his team-mate Embiid after another inspirational display.

"I get to witness his greatness every night," Harden said. "Obviously, his offensive numbers tonight are self-explanatory.

"Defensively, he was very active blocking shots, changing shots and clogging the paint up was key."

The Sixers are fourth in the Eastern Conference at 48-30 and bound for the playoffs after back-to-back wins.

 

MVP head coach, Stephen Francis, is content to take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to reports that track star Elaine Thompson-Herah could be planning to leave the club.

According to reports earlier this week, the double Olympic champion had submitted a letter to the club that stated her intentions to sever ties ahead of the new season.  Later in the week, however, the athlete denied the reports suggesting that they may have arisen out of her not starting training as yet.

The athlete is, however, not back due in training as yet and Francis insists that while he is not jumping to conclusions the future remains uncertain.

“From my perspective, we start back training sometime in October, the 18th or 19th…and my philosophy, as usual, is to see who turns up,” Francis told Jamaica television station TVJ.

“What my experience tells me is that sometimes athletes, in general, especially those that come from a lower expectation level.  In other words, not much was expected from them, they are usually unable to separate themselves from people who hop on to their bandwagon,” he added.

The 29-year-old is coming off her best season to date.  Thompson-Herah successfully defended both the 100m and 200m title at the Olympics and joined with former MVP athlete Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, and Briana Williams to win the 4x100m relays.  The sprinter later went on to record a blistering time just outside Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding 100m record.

The MVP track club is no stranger to athletes leaving the club at the peak of their career with Fraser-Pryce and Melanie Walker also having secured moves away after years of success.

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah has poured cold water on reports that she is leaving MVP Track Club.

She has described those reports as rumours and said she is on a well-deserved break following her record-breaking season during which she became the first woman to successfully defend 100 and 200m titles at the same Olympic Games.

Reports emerged on Thursday that following her outstanding season, Thompson-Herah had taken a decision to leave MVP and going forward will be coached by her husband, Derron Herah.

Late Thursday, the 2021 Diamond League 100m champion appeared on the Brother from Another show on NBC Sports, denouncing the reports.

"I am the fastest woman alive so they are going to create some sort of news to distract the world so it's rumours of course. I have seen articles in the media that I have died before, more than once. There are always rumours in the media, they are always targeting me, I don't know why,” she told hosts, Michael Smith and Michael Holley.

"It's probably because I didn't show up at practice. I am still on my rest period, so maybe they are just speculating why I am not at practice, but I just came back from the international circuit and we normally get like a month's rest and I am in my second week.”

Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic record of 10.61 while defending her Olympic 100m title and 21.53 to win back-to-back titles in the 200m. She won a third gold on Jamaica’s 4x100 relay team. After the Olympics, she ran the fastest series of times in history – 10.54, 10.64, 10.72 and 10.65 –  to close out the season as the only woman to run four wind-legal times faster than 10.70.

 

On the heels of her record-breaking, history-making season Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah is reportedly parting ways with MVP Track Club, just under 18 months after Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce departed to join Elite Performance.

Wolmer’s Boys School will join forces with top locally based track club MVP in a bid to turn around its high school track and field program.

The 14-time Boys Championships winner last claimed the title in 2010, on the 100th year anniversary of the competition.  Though being typically there or thereabout, the school has not been able to consistently compete for the Mortimer Geddes trophy.

The shakeup will see the school part ways with noted high school track and field coach Danny Hawthorne, who took over the job in 2016.  The annual track and field event was cancelled last year, due to the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, but the team has finished outside of the top five for the previous three years claiming 6th place positions in 2017, 2018, and 2019 editions.  MVP club president Bruce James, a former student at the institution, confirmed the existence of the new arrangements.

“The headmaster of Wolmer’s Mr. Pennycoke has invited the MVP track club to play a positive role in the redevelopment of the Wolmer’s Boys track team, this takes effect on the first of January 2021,” James told Television Jamaica.

“The Wolmer’s Boys school happens to be where the MVP track and field club was founded and the MVP club’s management consists of Wolmer’s old boys such as Stephen Francis, Paul Francis, Andre Edwards, so we are happy to help the Wolmer’s Boys track and field team and the program he is building,” he added.  

 

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