British Virgin Islands long jumper, Chantel Malone, says she wants to compete at both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships in 2022.

The 2019 Pan Am Games Champion, speaking Sportsmax.TV’s On Point, says she’s up to the challenge of competing in both events, even with the limited time between them.

The 2022 Eugene World Championships are scheduled to run from July 15th -July 24th and the Commonwealth Games are scheduled to run from July 28th -August 8th in Birmingham.

“It’s going to be tricky. It will definitely be a very intense next three cycles, but I think it’s do-able for sure,” said Malone.

She also referred to the fact that the US trials are also usually taking place at that time.

“The US athletes normally have their trials and then the World Championships or whatever games they’re preparing for within that period,” she said.

 With the condensed nature of track and field for the next few years, Malone went on to say her health is her number one priority this season.

“It’s just about making sure that I can stay healthy. That’s my focus this year. To stay healthy and continue to grow and become a master and student of my craft,” said Malone.

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

Eight-time Olympic medallist and founder of the Pocket Rocket Foundation, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, has partnered with Visa to create specially branded shirts that will be available to donors who use their Visa cards to contribute US$100 to her foundation.

The shirts will feature Fraser-Pryce’s signature as well as the Olympic rings on the sleeve. Donors will also receive a mask signed by Fraser-Pryce and a Pocket Rocket pin.

Fraser-Pryce, who lowered her 100m personal best to 10.60 this season, says all proceeds will go towards the Pocket Rocket Foundation.

The nine-time World Championships gold medallist reminded potential Visa donors that their contributions are for a good cause.

“I know you guys are eager to grab the shirts but please be reminded that this will go towards the Pocket Rocket Foundation and your support means the world to us and all our student-athletes, the ones who are still here and the ones who are coming for the future,” she said.

This branded shirts venture is the latest in a number of initiatives Fraser-Pryce has undertaken to raise funds for the foundation. Last month, she was the guest of honour at an auction held at the Miramar Cultural Centre in Florida. 

Former Kingston College standout, Akeem Bloomfield, says he is 100 percent healthy going into the new track and field season.

The 2019 World Championships 400 metres finalist, speaking on Sportsmax TV’s On Point, says that after sustaining an injury in April, he is ready to go.

“It was a really bad injury to my right hamstring. I did an intensive rehab process after I got injured. Even though I shut down my season I was still doing rehab. So, I can say for the most part, right now I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said.

Bloomfield, who holds the Class 1 400m record at the ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships in Jamaica at 44.98, which made him the first Jamaican schoolboy at break 45 second at the championships,  will also be going into this season with a new camp after leaving MVP international and joining the Tumbleweed Track Club based in Florida.

Other members of that club include Olympic 200 metres champion, Andre DeGrasse, and former Calabar rival and Olympic 400 metres finalist, Christopher Taylor.

Bloomfield expanded on training alongside Taylor at the club.

“I can say it’s a very good experience, so far. I mean, we had that high school rivalry so now to put that aside and focus now as professional athletes and train in the same group, I’d say it’s good so far. He’s a very good training partner and I can see us building a very good relationship as the season progresses,” he said.

In a trip down memory lane for many fans of the Jamaican High School Track and Field Championships, or “Champs” as it is affectionately called, Bloomfield was asked about his famous showdown with Taylor on the anchor leg in the Boys open 4x400 metres relay in 2016.

When asked if he would have done anything differently looking back, Bloomfield said he wouldn’t change anything.

“I wouldn’t have used a different strategy because I don’t think people really paid attention to how close our personal bests were. At the time his personal best was 45.2 and mine was 44.9. That’s a very close margin so for me to get the baton 15 metres behind, I can’t be the one to go catch him and then sit behind him. I had to try to zoom ahead and try to hold form and unfortunately it did not work out,” he said.

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

 

 

Two-time Olympic 400m gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo has revealed that injuries significantly impacted her Olympic preparation throughout the 2021 season when she had planned to focus on the 200m.

Speaking on Sportsmax TV’s On Point, Millier-Uibo said an injury she sustained while running 49.08 to win the 400 metres at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene on April 24th prevented her from doing any speed training in preparation for Tokyo.

“We were supposed to start our speed training after Eugene at the end of April and that’s when I got hurt so we never really got a chance to jump into speed work. It’s unfortunate sometimes in track,” she said.

As it turns out, the injury was more serious than she initially thought.

“At the end, we found out that it was a tear in my gluteus medius. I actually stalled for a bit with trying to fix it because I didn’t quite know what it was at first. It just felt as though something was jammed so I figured maybe I could go to the chiropractor and get it sorted out. We tried that and it didn’t help,” she said.

The gluteus medius is a muscle located on the outer surface of the pelvis.

The three-time World Championship medalist says the pain started to ease going into the rest of the season until she went to compete at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in May.

“It started to get a little softer going into the rest of the season and then I went to Boston to compete and realized this is something really bad and the minute we get back home I’m going to check and see what it is. Took an MRI and found out there was a slight tear in my gluteus medius so we decided to rest it off and go slowly from there to try and build it up in time for Tokyo,” she said.

Injuries also affected her in Tokyo as was evident in the final of the Women’s 200 metres where Miller-Uibo finished eighth in a time of 24.00.

“I went into Tokyo nursing an injury and right before the heats, I felt really good. Everything was going really well and it was after the heats that I got a little banged up where I started to feel my right hip. I went and raced on it because it was still light at the time, raced into the semis and really hurt it then.”

In addition the trouble with her hip, Miller-Uibo also felt pain in her hamstring in her 200 metres semi-final.

“In the race itself I actually didn’t feel the hip. It was my hamstring that ended up grabbing on me and it was just a wrap from there.”

The Bahamian champion overcame her struggles and returned days later to storm to a new personal best 48.36 and win her second consecutive Olympic women’s 400 metres title.

The full interview with Shaunae Miller-Uibo can be seen on Sportsmax TV’s YouTube channel.

 

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.

 

Bahamian superstar sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo has her sights set on establishing a new world record in the women’s 400 metres.

Jamaica 100m sprinter Nesta Carter has retired from the sport of athletics on the back of recent struggles with an undisclosed medical condition.

The 35-year-old, who was part of Jamaica’s world record gold-winning 4x100m relay team at the London Olympics, made the announcement, on Tuesday, via social media platform Twitter.

“…I am no longer able to give of my best as an athlete to the sport that I know and love.  As a result, and for other reasons, I am announcing my retirement from track and field and an athlete,” the release read.

“My ultimate decision to retire from athletics was also precipitated by a private medical condition, which has been getting worse.  This condition has hindered me from training and competing since March 2021.  A medication prescribed by my doctor to address this medical issue breaches existing anti-doping rules.  As such, I had to make a choice between my health and athletics, and I chose my health.”

The athlete was also part of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning relay team at the 2008 Olympics, but the medal was stripped after a retrospective test returned a positive sample from Carter.  The athlete was also part of a gold medal-winning relay team at the 2011, 2013, and 2015 World Championships.  Carter claimed an individual bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships and has the eighth fastest time ever recorded over the distance.

Bahrain's Salwa Eid Nasser, the 2019 400m world champion, will miss this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, as she has been banned for two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) today partially upheld the decision issued by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal on October 14, 2020.

The ban takes effect today.

However, her results from the 2019 World Championships in Doha will remain.

“Ms Salwa Eid Naser is sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on the date of notification of this award, with credit given for the period of provisional suspension already served between 4 June 2020 and 14 October 2020,” CAS said.

“All competitive results obtained by Ms Salwa Eid Naser from November 25, 2019, through to the date of notification of this award shall be disqualified, with all of the resulting consequences, including forfeiture of any medals, titles, ranking points and prize and appearance money.”

She will also have to pay 5000 Swiss francs to World Athletics and to the World Anti-Doping Agency as a contribution towards their costs connection with these arbitration proceedings.”

In the wake of the ruling, the attorneys representing the athlete Dr Emir Crowne, Mr Matthew Gayle and Ms Kristie Irving have expressed concern about a part of the CAS ruling which can have serious implications for athletes. "A majority of the panel says it is okay for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to re-characterize charges in the middle of an appeal. So, the majority of the panel said WADA can re-characterize a missed test as a filing failure if they want to. With all due respect to the majority of the panel, that can't be right. That cannot be a fair principle in any court system," Dr Crowne told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

The Nigerian-born 400m runner was charged with four alleged whereabouts failures by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) in June 2020. These included filing failures on March 16, 2019, and three missed tests on March 12 and April 12 as well as January 24, 2020.

However, the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal ruled the alleged violation in April 2019 should not stand which meant Naser had not missed three tests.

Naser won the world title in a time of 48.14, the third-fastest time in history defeating Shanuae-Miller Uibo who ran a lifetime best of 48.37 and Shericka Jackson who also clocked a personal best of 49.47 for third.

 

Opus, a leading publisher of luxury limited-edition books in sports, film and entertainment, has announced a partnership with Usain Bolt to produce the publication of Bolt – The Opus, a luxury limited edition, capturing iconic Olympic moments and treasured memories of the eight-time Olympic gold medalist and 100m and 200m world record holder.

Bolt - The Opus will honour the achievements of the iconic Jamaican, who is regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time having won eight Olympic gold medals and 11 World Championship gold medals and who continues to inspire young people from all backgrounds, cultures and nations.

In addition, the Bolt Foundation serves to create opportunities through education and cultural development for positive changes to help children live their dreams.

Bolt, who retired in 2017, is also a four-time Laureus World Sportsman of the Year and the winner of many other awards across the globe.

According to the publishers, The Opus will be the largest and most luxurious celebration of the sport’s greatest icon, measuring 60cm x 40cm, weighing in at 17kg. Over 260 pages printed on luxurious silk paper will celebrate in the most dynamic way, using high definition photography presented in the most unique way like never before.

It will be in a hand-made clamshell presentation case with the release being followed by a limited number of editions that will be personally signed by Usain making it the greatest tribute to Usain Bolt ever.

An excited Bolt said he is eagerly anticipating the release of the publication.

” I was given the Manchester United OPUS as a gift a few years ago and am thrilled to finally have The Official Usain Bolt Opus,” he said.

“I have seen some sample pages already and am excited that it is going to look amazing and capture all the biggest moments in my career.”

 

The first editions will be ready for release and shipping later this year.

Despite the intense rivalry they shared on the track during the 1990s, two-time Olympic 100m champion Gail Devers said she always admired and respected Jamaica’s Merlene Ottey for her talent and longevity.

The rivals met in a number of major finals that were talked about for years, especially the epic 1993 World Championships 100m finals in Stuttgart, Germany and the Olympic Games in Atlanta, three years later.

Prior to those two years, Devers and Ottey met in the finals of the 100m finals at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 when Devers won her first Olympic 100 title in 10.80s. Ottey was fifth in 10.88 in one of the closest finals in history. 0.08 seconds separated the first five places.

That race marked the beginning of a tense rivalry between Devers and Ottey that would only intensify over the next four years.

In Stuttgart, Devers got off to a flyer and was ahead midway the race but she was being reeled in by a fast-closing Ottey, who with her final strides appeared to have caught the diminutive American as they crossed the line together.

Unsure of who won, the finalists stood around looking up at the scoreboard for what seemed like an eternity. Officials eventually announced that Devers had been awarded the victory even though both she and the Jamaican icon were given the same time of 10.82.

Jamaican protested the result but the decision upheld, handing the American.

By 1996, the 36-year-old Ottey was at her fifth Olympics, Devers her third, and once again they came face to face in the 100m finals and once again, history repeated itself. Devers got off to a great start only to be reeled in by Ottey and sure enough, they crossed the finish line together.

Both were timed in 10.94 but like in Stuttgart, the American was given the nod. The circumstances created tensions between the two countries and their athletes. However, Devers said those tensions were simply about competition.

“You just get caught up in ‘this is competition and you got coaches who say we’re going to protest this,” Devers told Ato Boldon on his Athletics Live show on Instagram last week.

She said she had no idea why things turned out the way they did, why it always seemed to come down to her and Ottey.

“It keeps coming up that it’s these two every time. I don’t know why it was always us but we were always willing to go to the wire,” she said.

Devers explained that in the early days' everyone kind of kept to themselves, leaving little to interact with her rivals.

“When we were competing, it was (Irina) Privalova, it was me, it was Gwen Torrence, it was that four that you could not pick who was going to win on that day,” she said.

“And we can’t duck each other, we gotta go, we gotta run, gotta bring you’re A-plus game because they’re bringing their A-game. So with Merlene, I always knew she was a great athlete and I would always tell her ‘You still running, shoot…”

She said that as time passed, they both got the chance to get to know each other and the tensions cooled.

“While you’re competing everybody is in their own camp, you don’t sit there and socialize anyway, but as we got older, going to awards ceremonies or even with social media, we were able to talk to each other,” she said.

“She knows that I have always admired her because I don’t care at what age, if she steps out there now I am concerned. You might want to be worried because if she is in the lane, she is ready to go.”

Christian Coleman, the 100 metres world champion, will miss the Olympic Games despite having a ban for breaking anti-doping whereabouts rules reduced to 18 months.

The American missed three drugs tests in the space of a year and was initially hit with a two-year suspension after a ruling from the Athletics Integrity Unit.

Coleman took responsibility for a first missed test on January 16, 2019, and claimed the second, on April 26 of the same year, was due to a "filing failure".

He said he was only notified about a third missed test in December 2019, the following day. Coleman said he had been out Christmas shopping but had returned during the one-hour window to be tested and questioned why he was not contacted by telephone by the tester.

Coleman took his challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which has partially upheld the 25-year-old's appeal.

CAS has ruled Coleman's ban, which was originally due to end on May 13, 2022, will now expire on November 14. It means he will miss the Olympics, which run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo.

However, he will be able to defend his world title in Oregon next year.

A CAS statement read: "In coming to its decision, the CAS Panel determined that Christian Coleman had indeed committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation under Article 2.4 of the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules, but found the athlete's degree of negligence to be lower than that established in the Challenged Decision: the Athlete was not at home during the 60-minute time slot on the day of the out-of-competition doping control (9 December 2019), as he should have been, and the Athlete should have been on 'high-alert' on that day, given the two existing whereabout failures against him. 

"On the other hand, however, had the Athlete been called by the Doping Control Officer, he would have been able to return to his apartment during the 60-minute window and a test would have been concluded. Although a telephone call during the 60-minute window was not required by the rules, it was nevertheless reasonable for the Athlete to expect such a call, as a matter of standard practice among other Doping Control Officers.

"In conclusion, the CAS Panel determined that an 18-month period of ineligibility was the appropriate sanction in the circumstances."

Anderson Peters, the 2019 World javelin champion, is thankful that the Olympics were postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic as it means he now has a legitimate shot at winning a medal, perhaps gold, when the Games convene in Tokyo, Japan this coming summer.

Steven Gardiner became one of the fastest men in history when he won the gold medal in the 400m at the World Championships in Doha last year. The 25-year-old Bahamian crossed the finish line in 43.48s, the sixth-fastest time ever run over the distance.

But while he dreams of one day breaking Wayde van Niekerk’s four-year-old world record of 43.03, he would prefer for it to come as a surprise.

“I would say that is everybody’s dream! If I do set the world record, I want it to be a surprise,” Gardiner said in a recent interview with World Athletics.

“I just want to go out, compete and then when I look at the clock, find that I’ve set a world record.”

The soft-spoken Bahamian harbours hope to have a good year competing in 2021 culminating with another gold medal in Tokyo.

“I just want to compete the best I can and leave with a medal, specifically the gold medal. I know what I have to do. For the season, I’d like to run a few PBs and then win an Olympic medal,” he said.

With most of the major meets cancelled or postponed during 2020, Gardiner said he spent much of the time focused on improving his speed, a potentially critical element in any attempt at a world record.

“Many things were the same, although my coach, Gary Evans, introduced a lot more speed work. It was fun and it really paid off,” he said.

“I had a lot of fun. During the pandemic, we decided to focus on the shorter sprints and leave competing again in the 400m to 2021.”

 

 

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