Titans Track Club coach and former Olympian Michael Frater is confident his new charge Briana Williams will be able to make the transition from star junior to successful senior, despite admitting that it has been difficult for former junior stars in the past.

The 20-year-old Williams recently announced the decision to part ways with long-time coach Ato Boldon and join Frater and Gregory Little at Titans.  As a junior, Williams was a world champion in both the 100m and 200m.  Since turning pro in 2020, however, the athlete has failed to engineer anything close to similar success at the senior level.

Williams has made both the Olympics and World Championship teams, going on to win 4x100m relay gold, but has only managed to secure a spot in the relay pool to date and missed out on individual appearances.  At the Jamaica national trials, earlier this year, her time of 10.94, a new personal best, was only good enough for fourth spot.

In track and field, it isn’t uncommon for junior stars to fail to make the grade at the senior level but Frater believes Williams has the mindset to join the likes of Usain Bolt and Veronica Campbell-Brown as world juniors champions who went on to excel at the senior level.

“It’s hard for a lot of these athletes that do great things at young ages, a lot of them never surpass what they do,” Frater told the SportsMax Zone.

“That's why most people will tell you that they prefer athletes who weren’t teeing off at a young age,” he added.

“I think with Briana’s attitude and dedication, though, it won’t be a problem for her transitioning to the next level, and as coach Ato said he may not have been able to spend enough time with her.  For an athlete to be a world-class athlete she has to get the full attention that she needs.”

 Yaseen Pérez coach of Dominica Republic quarter mile star Marileidy Paulino has confirmed that the sprinter hopes to target the longstanding 400m world record in coming seasons.

Paulino has had an outstanding 2022, setting national records in both the 200m and 400m.  In addition to that, the 25-year-old athlete claimed a silver medal at IAAF World Championships and ended the season by capturing the Diamond Trophy.  On that occasion, the athlete set another national record and more importantly dipped below the 49-second mark for the first time in her career.

The time of 48.99 marks the athlete the 12th fastest in history.  A fine accomplishment, but approaching the record of 47.60, set, and held for 37 years, by the German Democratic Republic’s Marita Koch is no simple feat.  In fact, the sprinters in the many years since have found it almost difficult to even approach the previous mark of 47.99 set by Czechoslovakia’s Jarmila Kratochvílová in 1983. 

 "That's a dream she has, we both have it. In the end, we are going to keep working. It's a tough thing, but so far everything has been difficult and we have set out on the road to the world record," said Pérez said.  Despite the difficulty, the coach points out the athlete has been taking things stage by stage.

"Next year we are going to try to establish the stability of 48 seconds. This season, we had worked very well to maintain the levels obtained in the Olympic Games and as we worked throughout the year, improving the speed part, we saw what was coming and the time of 48 became a fact. It didn't happen at the world championships because of the disruption of the relays, but we had been working to lower it.”

 

World Championship 400m silver medallist Kirani James was forced to settle for the runner-up spot at the Gala dei Castelli in, Switzerland, on Monday, behind world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa who has continued to blaze a trail of resurgence.

In what is expected to be the final race of his season, the Grenadian clocked 44.38, the same time as Van Niekerk, as the two battled all the way to the line and had to be separated by a photo finish.   Another South African Zakhiti Nene was third in 45.75.

The time was the second fastest clocked by the athlete this season, behind the 44.26 recorded to win the Diamond League final in Zürich last week.  For his part, Van Niekerk also impressive when he clocked a season-best 44.39 in the pre-program.

 

 Barbados 400m World Championship bronze medallist Sada Williams was admittedly disappointed with her performance at the Brussels Diamond League on Friday.

Williams finished runner-up well behind the Dominica Republic’s Fiordaliza Cofil in a time of 50.15.  Cofil took the top spot with a personal best 49.80.  Having dipped below the 50-second mark for the last two races, the result was a little surprising for the sprinter who believes she lost some power down the final stretch.

“I feel a little bit disappointed it wasn´t what I´m capable of. I was not able to speed up in the final stretch. It was good to run here it was hotter than I expected. Right now, I will review the race and see where I can improve. On to the next race,” Williams said after the race.

Belgium’s Cynthia Bolingo was third in a national record 50.19.  Jamaica’s Candice McLeod was further back in fifth place after clocking 50.76.  With 32 points from 6 races, however, Williams still leads the 400m standing for this season's Diamond League.

Women’s 100m world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is looking forward to a strong performance at the Diamond League meet, in Brussels, on Friday, having sufficiently recovered from an injury scare.

Fraser-Pryce, the fastest woman in the world this year, pulled out of the Lausanne Diamond League last week with a tight hamstring.  The athlete admits that she was apprehensive about risking an injury, but has revealed that scans have shown no significant damage to the muscle and insists she is now ready to go.

In Brussels, Fraser-Pryce is expected to battle compatriot and 100m silver medalist Shericka Jackson and Americans Aleia Hobbs and Sha ‘Carri Richardson, along with Diamond League event leader Marie-Josée Ta Lou of Côte d’Ivoire.

“At one point I thought about calling it a season after Lausanne because I didn’t want to take any risks,” Fraser-Pryce told members of the media, on Thursday, ahead of the Brussels meet.

“Then I got some rest for a couple of days, got a scan done and they said it was just the contraction of the muscle, then I got a second scan and it was good…I know it’s not 100 percent but I’m very optimistic about what I can do tomorrow,” she added.

Depending on how she fares after tomorrow's event, Fraser-Pryce could be looking at competing in one or two more races to take  advantage of her good form so far this season.  The athlete has clocked 6 times below 10.7s so far this season, the most in the event's history.

The eyes of the track and field world will turn to Brussels, Belgium on Friday where another mouthwatering match-up in the women’s 100m could unfold at the Diamond League.

Based on the entry list, the race could feature a clash between 100m World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 200m World champion Shericka Jackson and flamboyant young American sprinter Sha ‘Carri Richardson.    

It remains to be seen, though, whether Fraser-Pryce, who has dominated the event so far this season, will face the starter.  The sprinter, who has run below 10.7s on six occasions this season, pulled out of last week’s Lausanne Diamond League meet with a tight hamstring.

In her absence, the race was won by the United States Aleia Hobbs who surprised World championship silver medalist Jackson.  Some attention for the race will also be turned to Richardson who has had a poor season to date but did managed to secure a narrow win over Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver Meet in Switzerland on Tuesday.

200m World Champion Noah Lyles insists he would not be surprised to see Jamaica sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce break the longstanding women’s 100m world record, on the heels of a remarkable season to date.

Fraser-Pryce, the 100m World Champion, pulled out of a showdown with compatriots Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson earlier this week, after feeling some tightness in her hamstring.

Prior to that, however, the 35-year-old has been in near flawless form so far.  Fraser-Pryce has dipped below 10.7 on a record six occasions, with her best of 10.62 coming at the Morocco Diamond League meet two weeks ago.  Lyles an athlete who is no stranger to fast times himself believes the performances are an indication the Jamaican is on the verge of something special.

“I heard that she said she wanted to break the world record this year and I’m like yeah I can see that.  I mean consistently dropping below 10.7s, 10.6s like almost every race and that’s very scary,” Lyles said ahead of the Lausanne Diamond League meet.

“Anytime you see somebody running a time that’s almost the exact same time, very consistently, every race, it means they’re about to make a huge drop.  It happened for me in the 2018 season when I ran nothing but 19.6 every race and I dropped it down to 19.5.  This year I was just playing around in the area of 19.6, 19.7, and all of a sudden I just made that huge jump to 19.3,” he added.

Last season, it was another Jamaican who had the record in her sights.  After a sensational 2021, which saw her crowned the double Olympic champion in Tokyo, Thompson-Herah clocked the second fastest time ever recorded over the distance with a 10.54 run in Eugene, Oregon.

“When Elaine was running in 2021 and messing around with the 10.6, 10.7 area then she just dropped it to 10.5, that just wasn’t out of nowhere she was just consistently running the same pattern and when her body was ready, the wind was ready and the day was good, she was ready to go,” Lyles said.

 “I’m really just waiting on Shelly to have that moment where her body is ready and the day is right, the crowd is there and the wind is perfect, I’m not going to be shocked when that world record pops up or it's right next to it or maybe way ahead of it.”

The record of 10.49 held by the United States’ Florence Griffith-Joyner has stood since 1988.

By her own very high standards, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah has not quite achieved the soaring heights of the Tokyo Games this season but insists she is still finding her way around a new system.

On the back of a season where she claimed the sprint double at the Olympics, and went on to register the second fastest time ever recorded for a woman over 100m, Thompson-Herah was in the news again following the announcement to split from longtime coach Stephen Francis.

If the majority of the athlete’s times and performances are anything to judge by that decision, an alliance with husband Derron Herah is yet to bear fruit.

“My expectations coming off last year were high and I was looking forward to this year.  Right now, the way I want my story to be written is not the way I want it to go but whatever God has in store he will put it together at the right time,” Thompson-Herah told members of the media ahead of Friday’s Diamond League meet.

“I’m just staying patient and I’ll keep working.  I always wanted to get my first World title but I’m still working towards that, I want that to be a part of my tally to be a defending World champ.  I was really grateful and excited to achieve my first 100m medal, a bronze…the 200m was not the best but I’ve moved past that,” she added.

“I think I’m having a good season so far.  The fact that I’m adjusting to a new system, new coach, and everything.  I’m still learning.”

After missing out on the World Championship titles Thompson-Herah went on to win the sprint double at the Commonwealth Games.

Reigning 200m World Champion Shericka Jackson has admitted that the crushing disappointment of failing to advance out of the first round of her pet event at last year’s Toyko Olympic Games provided fuel to ignite a stellar 2022.

Jackson, one of the favourites to win the race in the Toyko, failed to advance beyond the first round of the event after miscalculating badly in the heats.  After leading the race comfortably for most of the way, the sprinter eased up before the line and was passed by two other athletes.

One year later, however, there would be no such mistakes as she not only advanced from the preliminary round but went on to clock a blistering 21.45 to take gold in the World Championship final.  The time was the second fastest ever clocked over the distance behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34.

In addition, however, Jackson also claimed the silver medal behind celebrated compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m.  Her time of 10.71 was a huge personal best and made her the 6th fastest woman of all time.

“I worked really hard this year.  Last year not advancing in the 200m made me mentally strong.  Last year’s loss for me in the 200m took a toll because the 200 is my favorite event and not the 100,” Jackson told members of the media, ahead of Thursday’s Lausanne Diamond League meet.

“For me not to be able to advance made me work extremely hard this year.  I got stronger in the gym and I think that paid off in my running 21.4.”

Jackson will face off against Fraser-Pryce and their compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah in a fiery Diamond League clash set for Thursday in Lausanne.

Distance runner Adelle Tracey was delighted to celebrate her first medal for Jamaica, a bronze, in the women’s 800m, at the 2022 NACAC Championships in the Bahamas on Saturday.

The athlete, who switched allegiance from Great Britain to Jamaica in June, made her debut at the IAAF World Championships but was unable to take part in the Commonwealth Games earlier this month due to protocols surrounding the international transfer.

The athlete was, however, able to return to the track for the NACAC Games where she finished third in the women’s 800m behind the US pair of Ajee and Allie Wilson.  Ajee finished just ahead of her compatriot Allie in a  photo finish 1:58.47 to 1:58.48.

The Jamaican finished third in 1:59.54 only her second time under 2 minutes, behind her personal best, which came at the IAAF World Championship in Eugene, Oregon in July.  Tracey was delighted with the result and performance.

“Ajee set a really tough pace from the get-go, that was great for me because I actually ran my second fastest time.  It was very hot today, it’s super windy.  I just made it hard but there is a lot of travel in my legs,” Tracey said after the race.

  “I was kind of hoping it would have been a bit more tactical but that was a really honest race and there are some really fast girls in there so I’m really happy with it,” she added.

The distance runner was also delighted to have made the trip.

"It feels like a really special place and this is my first medal as a Jamaican athlete as well, so, I really love the Bahamas.”

The Jamaicans also picked up other medals on the night when Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper claimed silver in the women’s 100m hurdles and another bronze for Orlando Bennett in the men’s 110m hurdles.

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson easily justified her status as a heavy favourite for the women’s 100m title after dominating the event at the 2022 NACAC Championships, in Grand Bahama, the Bahamas on Saturday.

The 200m World Champion and 100m silver medallist has clocked some blistering times over both distances this season.  The trend continued in Saturday’s final as she blasted out of the blocks and quickly put away the competition before stopping the clock at 10.83.

The United States Celera Barnes was second in 11.10 with another Jamaican Natasha Morrison third in 11.11.  The race was run in a -0.1 headwind.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake also put in a dominant performance as he was the only athlete in the field to crack the 10-second barrier.  Blake led the pack to the line in 9.98, comfortably ahead of the United State’s Kyree King who was second in 10.08, and his compatriot Brandon Charles who was third in 10.12.

Elsewhere, the Jamaicans took the runner-up spot behind the United States in the 4x400m mixed relays.  The event was won by the United States in 3:12.05, with the Jamaicans second in 3:14.08.  

Earlier, Adelle Tracey won her first ever medal for Jamaica when she finished third in the 800m in 1:59.54. The USA’s Ajee Wilson won the gold medal in a keen battle with teammate Allie Wilson. Ajee won by 0.01 seconds clocking 1:58.47 to Allie’s 1:58.48.

Jamaica won two more medals in the sprint hurdles.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper ran 12.68 for silver in the 100m hurdles that the USA’s Alaysha Johnson won in 12.62. Hometown girl Devynne Charlton ran 12.71 for the bronze medal.

In the 110m hurdles, Orlando Bennett ran a season-best 13.18 to win the bronze medal.

The USA’s Freddie Crittenden won in a fast 13.00 while holding off compatriot Jamal Britt, who finished in 13.08.

Bahamas' Shaunae Miller-Uibo put on a show for her hometown fans with a dominant display to win the women’s 400m on day 2 of the NACAC Athletics Championships, in Grand Bahama, on Saturday.

The Olympic and World Champion left very little to doubt as she left the blocks and quickly covered the field by the top of the straight.

World championship bronze medalist Sada Williams of Barbados looked to battle back against Miller-Uibo down the stretch but the Bahamian had enough to pull a few metres clear by the finish line.

Miller-Uibo, who has lost just once in 8 races over the distance this season, stopped the clock in 49.40, her fourth fastest time of the season.  Williams finished second in 49.86, while Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson was third in 50.36.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor recorded his fastest time over the distance this season after outbattling his opponents down the stretch to stop the clock at 44.63, only his second time below 45 seconds this season.  Another Jamaican Nathon Allen was second in 45.04 with the United States’ Bryce Deadmon third in 45.06.

President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC), Brian Lewis, has expressed shock and dismay at the contents of a video showing Grenada Javelin world champion Anderson Peters being beaten up and thrown off a boat on Wednesday.

The incident, which has caused uproar around the region, is still being investigated in his homeland Grenada where it occurred.  The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) is expected to hand a file to the country’s Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in short order.

Details surrounding the cause of the incident, however, remain unclear.  The company at the heart of the incident Trinidad-based Harbour Tours Ltd has, however, also condemned the incident and promised a separate investigation.

On behalf of CANOC, Lewis spoke of the feelings of disappointment upon witnessing the incident and wished the athlete a speedy recovery.

“There are no words to adequately express my regret, disappointment, and dismay at what was seen on the video of an altercation involving Grenada and Caribbean Sports Hero Anderson Peters,” Lewis said via the release.

“We at CANOC wish Anderson a speedy and full recovery. Even as the Grenada Police conduct a full investigation to ascertain the facts about what transpired,” he added.

“In resolving and de-escalating conflict Acts of Violence can't be condoned.

We trust that Anderson with support from his family, friends, and the Grenada Olympic Movement will fully recover. There are lessons from this unfortunate situation that we can all learn from as we continue to mentor and nurture and support our Caribbean athletes, youth, and young people to fulfill their potential and aspirations."

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah successfully completed the sprint double at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games after dominating the women’s 200m on Saturday.

Days after claiming her first 100m title at the Games, the Jamaican stormed away from the field to stop the clock at 22.02 a new Games record.  The sprinter got off to a solid start and nearly covered the field by the curve before pulling away down the stretch.

Nigeria’s Favour Ofili was second in 22.51, with Namibia’s Christine Mboma third in 22.80.  The second Jamaican in the race Natalliah Whyte missed out on the medal podium after finishing fourth in 23.06.    

 

Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards uncorked a punishing run to successfully defend the men’s 200m title, with a new Games record, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

In one of the best performances of his career, Richards ate up the track, and his opponents, to finish near five metres clear in a new personal best of 19.80.

Heading into the final, the talk surrounded a rematch between Richards and British sprinter Zharnel Hughes who finished ahead of the Trinidadian at the last edition of the Games but was disqualified for impeding him, after the athletes’ arms came together.

This time around, there could be no such complaints as the Richards blasted through the first half of the race, came off the curve first, and powered away from the field.  Hughes was second in a season-best 20.12, with Ghana’s Joseph Paul Amoah finishing third in 20.49.

With the victory, Richards became the third athlete to successfully defend the 200m title at the event, behind Jamaican Donald Quarrie and Namibia's Frankie Fredricks.  

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