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.  

Janieve Russell successfully defended her title and Shiann Salmon took silver but a hoped-for clean sweep of the Women’s 400m Hurdles did not materialize at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday.

It was South Africa’s Zeney van der Walt who played the role of a party crasher, unfurling a gritty, brilliant late run to deny the third Jamaican measured for the podium, Rushell Clayton, a place on the platform. 

Clayton had looked a lock for the medals early on, even leading the race at the top of the bend, just ahead of Russell.  Even after Russell surged past the three Jamaicans were well clear of the field with five metres to go but nobody saw van der Walt.  Clayton tied up badly just metres from the line and the South African surged past, her late run taking her almost into second spot. 

The Australian finished in 54.47 a new personal best and the same time as Salmon.  Russell finished well clear with 54.14 and Clayton further back in 54.67.

Jamaica high jumper Lamara Distin led an Independence Day assault on the Commonwealth Games medal podium which saw the country claim gold and bronze in the event.

The 22-year-old Distin rebounded from a recent dip in form to claim the top spot with a leap of 195m.  She was joined on the podium by Kimberly Williamson who had a best of 192m, the same as Australia’s Eleanor Patterson, the reigning world champion, but was given the bronze medal on countback.

Distin recorded the winning mark with her seventh attempt, but having wrapped up the competition missed out on setting a new national record at 1.98m.  Williamson successfully cleared 1.92m on her second attempt in round 7.

The finish by Jamaica was the first time the country had registered two athletes on the medal podium for the event.

 

Jamaica’s women’s 4x100m relay team put on a dazzling performance to smash the U20 world record at the World Athletics U-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Friday.

The quartet of Serena Cole, Tia Clayton, Kerrica Hill, and under-20 100m world champion Tina Clayton took apart the field to stop the clock at 42.59.  The mark improved on the previous record of 42.94, which was also set by a Jamaican quartet at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last August.

The mark was also just outside of the 42.58 clocking set at the Carifta Games earlier this year, by Cole, Tina and Tia Clayton as well as Brianna Lyston, which was eventually rejected by World Athletics because one of the members of the team, Tina Clayton, was not drug tested at the completion of the race, due to a procedural issue. 

The United States were a distant second in the event but also set a new national record after clocking 43.28.  The USA was represented by Jayla Jamison, Autumn Wilson, Iyana Gray, and Shawnti Jackson.  The home team quartet of Maria Alejandra, Marlet Ospino, Melany Bolaño and Laura Martínez took bronze in 44.59.

In the men's equivalent the Jamaican quartet of Bouwahjgie Nkrumie, Bryan Levell, Mark-Anthony Daley, and Adrian Kerr crossed the line in third position behind South Africa and Japan but were upgraded to silver following the disqualification of South Africa.

Jamaica’s Briana Lyston continued the country’s dominance of the women’s sprint events after claiming the 200m title at the World Athletics U20 Championships, in Cali, Colombia on Friday.

After heading into the final as a heavy favourite, the inclement weather did very little to slow the young Jamaican speedster as she pulled away from the field to take the title with a time of 22.65.

America’s Jayla Jamison chased the Jamaican to the line, to finish second in 22.77, a new personal best.  Another Jamaican Alana Reid also clocked a personal best of 22.95 to take the bronze medal.

The Jamaicans also managed to add to their tally in the field, as high jumper Brandon Pottinger held his nerve to take the gold medal with a leap of 2.14m. Following a break in the competition due to a steady downpour,  the Jamaican was the only athlete of six to clear the height.  Brian Raats of South Africa and Bulgaria’s Bozhidar Sarâboyukov shared the silver medal with a mark of 2.10m.

World Athletics U-20 Championships 100m silver medalist Serena Cole admits she still prefers the long jump event despite an outstanding performance in the final on Wednesday.

A fast-finishing Cole powered home to come in behind compatriot and high school teammate Tia Clayton, who stopped the clock in a championship record of 10.95.  Cole finished a respectable 11.14 for second spot.

The athlete is, however, also a strong competitor in the long jump event and in fact, claimed the title at the Caribbean’s Carifta Games earlier this year.  Despite not competing in the event at the U-20 World Championships due to a scheduling conflict, she has no intention of giving it up.

“It (Long Jump) was going to be right in the time of the 100m so my coach said I shouldn’t do it this year,” Cole explained.

“Last year I was supposed to be in the 100m but had some difficulties in my season, so I didn’t get a chance but I came out and did my best this year and I am so proud of my performance,” she added.

Heading back to high school in September, however, the athlete will return to her preferred long jump event with a view to balancing it with the sprints.

“Right now, my pet event is the long jump.  I really prefer the long jump to the 100m.  Going back to training, I know coach Jeremy will have a lot of programs for me to do with the long jump and the same with coach Dyke.  So, I just have to put everything into the programs and train really hard.”

Cole has a personal best of 6.36m in the long jump.

Jamaica's reigning double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah added the Commonwealth 100m title to her list of accomplishments after winning the event in comfortable fashion in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The Jamaican headed into the final as a heavy favorite and easily lived up to that billing after dominating the event to cross the line in 10.95.  St Lucia’s Julian Alfred continued an excellent season after finishing second to the Jamaican in 11.01.  Great Britain’s Daryl Neita was third in 11.07.  The Bahamas' Tynia Gaither and Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte were 7th and 8th respectively.

The medal was the third for the athlete at the event, but her first individual medal, adding to 4x100m relay gold and silver medals in 2014 and 2018 respectively.

In the men’s equivalent, Kenya’s Ferdinand Omanyala claimed top billing after winning the event in 10.01, ahead of South Africa’s Akani Simbine, the defending champion, who was second in 10.13.  Sri Lanka’s Yupun Abeykoon was third in 10.14.  No Caribbean male athlete made the 100m final.  Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole, who won the event in 2014 finished fourth in the semi-finals.

 

Bahamian 400m world champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo is looking forward to the challenge of competing regularly in the 200m after officially hanging up her spikes for the 400m event.

Having added the World Championship title to two Olympic gold medals, at the Oregon World Champions last week, the 28-year-old sprinter has expressed a desire to break new ground.  As such, Miller-Uibo has targeted trying her luck full-time over half the distance.

These days, however, the half-lap event is not for the faint of heart.  Three of the fastest times in the event’s history have been recorded in the last year.  Two Jamaicans, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, and world champion Shericka Jackson have the world record in their sights. It's a competitive field.

Despite the fierce competition, however, the Bahamian is confident about making her mark.

 “The plans for me are the 200 which has always been my first love and get back into that,” Miller-Uibo said.

“I have run 21.7 without proper training. Once we go at it, I think we can do better,” she added. 

“They’re setting the stage pretty high.  I’m so proud of the girls and I think that they’re really showing out right now and showing the world exactly what we can do. I can’t wait.”

The athlete will have her first test next Saturday when she faces Jackson in Poland.

Jamaica distance runner Adelle Tracey will not be able to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games due to red tape surrounding her recent switch of allegiance.

Tracey competed for the Caribbean Island at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, after switching international allegiance from Great Britain on June 26th.

The athlete competed in both the 1500m and 800m, for Jamaica, in Oregon, where she clocked a personal best of 1:59.20 in the 800m heats and narrowly missed out on a spot in the final. Tracey had been selected again for the Jamaica team but will not be able to take her place this time around because of different protocols governing the Commonwealth Games.

“It’s a real shame, I was very much looking forward to that atmosphere,” Tracey told BBC Sport.

“I was getting emails telling me to download the app for the athletes’ village, I had been selected by Jamaica, they had forwarded my information, but I am not on the start list,” she added.

“We have chased endlessly and made sure that everyone had the right information, it was just a case of, for the Games, it was a different protocol.”

The 29-year-old athlete was born in the United States to a Jamaican mother and British father.

Jamaica national representative Kemba Nelson has de-activated her Twitter handle after it was flooded with a torrent of negative comments, in the aftermath of the women’s 4x100m relay team’s surprise loss to the United States at the IAA World Championships on Saturday.

Nelson, who finished second at the country’s national trials, ran the lead-off leg for Jamaica and was part of a botched first to second leg exchange with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah.  On Sunday critical messages were posted to the @iamkemba account, which has since become unavailable.

 The athlete had also failed to keep pace with the United States’ Melissa Jefferson, who clocked an 11.35 split on the opening leg, compared to Nelson’s 11.45.  Despite blistering third and final legs from 

100m and 200m world champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, the team narrowly failed to claw back the deficit.

The result left several fans upset, with some going on to blame Nelson for the loss and expressing the opinion that they did not believe the athlete should have been selected ahead of, another young sprinter, Briana Williams.  Williams was part of the successful relay team that won gold along with Thompson-Herah, Fraser-Pryce, and Jackson at last year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.  Interestingly, however, Williams's first-leg split in the first round was identical to the time Nelson ran in the final.  Williams was, however, the only Jamaican to win a relay leg.

 

Pre-race favourties Jamaica finished in second position behind the United States on the back of a few untidy baton exchanges in the Women’s 4x100m relays at the IAAF World Championships on Saturday.

The US quartet of Melissa Jefferson, Abby Steiner, Jenna Prandini, and Twanisha Terry blasted to the line in 41.14.  With Terry just managing to hold off rapidly closing 200m champion Shericka Jackson.

The Jamaicans had gotten off to a poor start with a botched exchange between first leg runner Kemba Nelson and second leg runner Elaine Thompson-Herah putting the team immediately on the back foot. 100 World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce reduced the deficit on the third leg but could not pull things back.  The team finished with a time of 41.18.

The German quartet of Tatjana Pinto, Alexandra Burghardt, Gina Lückenkemper, and Rebekka Haase claimed third place in a time of 42.03.

In the men’s equivalent, the Jamaicans finished just outside the medal places.  The top spot went to the Canadian team who upset pre-race favourites the United States.  Great Britain finished with the bronze medal.  The Jamaica team consisted of Ackeem Blake, Yohan Blake, Oblique Seville, and Jelani Walker.

Grenadian thrower Anderson Peters put together a series of sensational performances to dominate the Javelin Throw at the IAAF World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Saturday.

  Straight out the gates, the Caribbean athlete served notice of his intention to defend the crown he won in Doha, at the 2019 edition.  Peters went straight to the head of the pack with a massive throw of 90.21.  The athlete went on to register another three 90m throws, including his winning distance of 90.54 in the final round.

The Grenadian was the only athlete on the day attaining the 90m standard.  Second spot went to India’s Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra who registered a mark of 88.13 in the fourth round.  The Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch claimed the bronze medal with his best of 88.09, which he achieved in the third round.

Peters heading into the event as the athlete in form, having registered a world-leading mark of 93.07 in Doha, Qatar in May.

Five-time 100m World champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, admits the Jamaica team would benefit greatly from more relay practices but is confident they will have the ability to cause plenty of damage in the final on Saturday.

On Friday, a second-string team that featured a quartet of Briana Williams, Nataliah Whyte and Remona Burchell, and Kemba Nelson, made it to the finals with very little drama, after finishing behind Great Britain with a time of 42.37.

Even so, the Jamaican team’s changeovers were significantly slower than that of the British team who won the event with a time of 41.99.  Great Britain's combined changeover splits were clocked at 6.26, with the second place Jamaicans coming in at 6.77, the second slowest in the field.  The Jamaicans have also had their fair share of mishaps when it comes to getting the stick around in previous games.  Most notably, the team failed to complete the baton changes at the 2008 Olympic Games where they were heavy favourites.

“If I’m being honest, we don’t do a lot of relay practice in Jamaica which I think can be a downfall for us.  I think if we had time to have relay camps we would be better at the 4x100s,” Fraser-Pryce said on Friday.

With that being said, the Jamaicans have a solid record at the World Championships recently and have won the event at 4 of the last 6 editions.  With 100m champion Fraser-Pryce, 200m champion Shericka Jackson and Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah to join the line-up, for the final, the team has plenty of firepower left in reserve.

“We just pray to God when the finals come we will have a blistering run and we will have Shericka (Jackson) with that 21.4, listen it’s over!” the athlete quipped.

The Jamaica men's team, who once dominated with quartets led by the legendary Usain Bolt, also advanced out of the heats but as one of the fastest losers.  Competing in heat 2 the quartet of Ackeem Blake, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Conroy Jones and Jelani Walker finished fourth in 38.33.

  

Bahamian quarter-mile star Shaunae Miller-Uibo added the 400m world title to her impressive collection after dominating the event at the IAAF World Championships on Friday.

The reigning Olympic champion had failed to capture the world title on two prior occasions, at the 2015 and 2019 editions, where she was made to settle for silver. In Eugene, Oregon, the athlete, who claimed she would retire from the event after this season, seized the moment.

Miller-Uibo took charge of the race early on, before pulling well clear of the field down the stretch to stop the clock at a world-leading 49.11.  The event ended with a Caribbean sweep of the medal places as the Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino ran 49.60 for second and Barbados’ Sada Williams took a surprise third place in a new national record of 49.75.  Jamaicans Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Candice Mcleod missed out on the podium spots after finishing 5th and 7th.       

In the men’s equivalent, Grenadian Kirani James was forced to settle for second spot behind American Michael Norman who took the event in 44.29.  James was second in 44.48 with Matthew Hudson-Smith third in 44.66.

Two other Caribbean athletes in the event Christopher Taylor of Jamaica and Barbados’ Jonathan Jones were 7th and 8th respectively.

 

Newly crowned women’s 200m world champion, Shericka Jackson, insists she was determined to put on a show for the much-anticipated event at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Oregon on Friday.

By any measure, the young Jamaican certainly succeeded in doing so.  En route to the gold medal, Jackson clocked the fastest time recorded for the event in 34 years.  As it stands, only American Florence Griffth-Joyner, whose record still stands at 21.34, has gone faster.

The Jamaican’s time of 21.45 was a new national record and eclipsed the previous mark of 21.53 recorded by her compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah at the Beijing Olympics last year.

“I wanted to come out here and put on a show and I did just that.  The fastest woman alive, a national record, and a personal best, I can’t complain,” Jackson said.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise to her lofty position in world sprinting having begun her professional career at the 400m distance in 2015.  The win was the first gold medal for the athlete at any major championship. 

Griffith-Joyner’s world record, however, continues to be elusive but Jackson insists that isn’t a cause for concern at the moment.

“I wasn’t thinking about any time, the world record wasn’t on my mind.  I was just going out there to execute each round as best as possible and when the time comes it comes.”

 

 

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