Jamaica’s Olympic gymnast Danusia Francis has announced her retirement from international competition while expressing gratitude for the love and support she received while representing the country.

Francis, 28, represented Jamaica at the Tokyo Olympics. She was due to compete in the women's individual all-around event but two days prior to the competition, she discovered she had torn her anterior cruciate ligament.

 She subsequently withdrew from the balance beam, the vault and the floor exercise but chose to continue to compete in the uneven bars with her knee bandaged, scoring the lowest of any competitor as the judges deducted 6.5 points for various infractions and gave her only a 0.5 difficulty score. However, her 9.033 execution score was the highest for any athlete on uneven bars.

Less than a year later, she decided that it was time to call it a day from the sport she loves.

“I am announcing my official retirement from gymnastics. I am so grateful and thankful for all the opportunities, I’ve had in this sport, to be a Jamaican Olympian is an absolute dream come true. I want to give a massive thank you to Jamaica Gymnastics and the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) for believing in me, funding me and for the opportunity to represent on the biggest stage,” she said in a statement Sunday.

“I will treasure the memories forever.”

Notwithstanding her retirement, Francis, who also represented UCLA in NCAA gymnastics, said she plans to remain involved with the sport in her adopted country.

“I would love to always be a part of the sport in Jamaica, help it improve and grow,” she said. “Anytime I am in Jamaica, I am definitely coming to the gym, do some coaching and I will always be on the other side of the phone for advice, for whatever it might be and however I can help.

“So, thanks again to everybody and thanks again to the amazing Jamaican fans. You have supported me and shown me so much love and embraced me and for that, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Francis said she plans to continue in the sport as a host and presenter.

President of the JGA Nicole Grant said Francis has done much for Jamaican gymnastics in a very short time.

It is truly an honour to have had Danusia Francis as part of the Jamaica gymnastics team. She has helped to grow the sport in so many ways. Competing for Jamaica at so many important gymnastics meets, putting us out there and showing the world that Jamaica does have the ability to be great in the sport," Grant said.

"Being the first female gymnast to qualify Jamaica for the Olympic test event in 2016 opened doors for us and she played her part in enabling our berth to the 2016 Olympics. She showed so much determination to keep going for Jamaica, especially after her disappointment with not being chosen for the Olympic test event in 2016 and the 2018 Commonwealth Games, her drive demonstrated her full commitment to Jamaica as she had choices. Her love for Jamaica shone brightly and that love was returned 100 times more.

"Her retirement from competitions, for us only means that she will have more time to help develop the sport locally through coaching and consultation. We wish her good luck and God's richest blessings on her future journey."

 

 

 

Michael Holding, the feared tear-away fast bowler turned respected cricket commentator has announced his retirement from the commentary booth.

Reigning sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has paid tribute to Veronica Campbell-Brown, who announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday on the eve of her bid to qualify for a sixth Olympic Games.

The 39-year-old VCB, the only woman to win a medal in five consecutive Olympics, in a post on social media said the time had come to hang up her spikes.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town, Trelawny, walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” VCB said in her post, indicating that a career as a mother, entrepreneur and motivational speaker awaits.

In response, Fraser-Pryce, who like VCB is a two-time Olympic champion, thanked the track and field icon, who has helped pave the way for so many other Jamaican women.

“Thanks for leading the way @VCampbellBrown!! Carrying the torch and continuing the legacy for Jamaica,” the Pocket Rocket tweeted Wednesday.

Fraser-Pryce was a member of Jamaica’s team to the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan where she was a relay alternate. However, the following year, VCB effectively passed the torch to Fraser-Pryce when the latter booked her place on Jamaica’s team to the Beijing Olympics, by finishing second at the national championships in Kingston, clocking 10.82.

VCB was fourth in 10.88.

Since then, Frater Pryce has been Jamaica’s leading female sprinter winning Olympic 100m titles in 2008 and 2012 as well as four World titles in the 100m.

After a stellar career spanning more than two decades during which won 49 international medals, Jamaica’s beloved track queen Veronica Campbell-Brown has decided to hang up her spikes for good on the eve of her country’s national championships to select a team to the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town, Trelawny, walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” the two-time Olympic 200m champion and one of the most decorated female athletes in history, posted on Instagram earlier today.

As a junior, the now 39-year-old Campbell-Brown won gold medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the inaugural World U18 Championships in Bydgoszcz. The following year, she won the sprint double at the World U20 champions and with the performance, the hearts of her fellow Jamaicans.

Also, among the 27 gold medals she has won during an outstanding junior and senior career, VCB, as she was affectionately known to her millions of adoring fans, became to the first Jamaican woman to win a 100m world title when in Osaka, Japan. It was only one of three gold, seven silver and a bronze medal she would win at those championships to go along with three Olympic gold medals, three silver and two bronze medals.

She also won two gold medals at the World Indoor Championships.

“As I climbed, I passed the rung of hurt, that of injuries and rejection, not to mention tears. However, they quenched my aspiration to grasp the fruits of success and satisfaction. For that I must venture to say that I am proud and grateful,” she said in her farewell message.

“I want to thank the persons and companies who contributed to my success; my family, especially my husband Omar Brown who in the latter years served as my coach. I must mention friends, fans and supporters, sponsors, coaches and my agent @ontrackmgmt. I could not have done it without your help and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

VCB, who gave birth to a daughter, Avianna, two years ago, did not indicate why she decided to retire at this particular point in time.

She competed in eight 100m races this season, the last at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Miramar, Florida where she ran her fastest time of the season, 11.20 to finish fifth.

 

 

 

Frustrated by recurring injuries that have stifled his ambition and cut his progress off at the knees, 2013 World U18 Champion Martin Manley has opted for retirement at the age of 24.

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