Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Natoya Goule-Toppin won her eighth 800m national title in impressive fashion and Shericka Jackson cruised into Sunday’s final with the fastest time in the 200m on Saturday’s penultimate day of Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Like Jackson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, fresh off winning her fourth 100m title on Friday night, was also impressive in advancing to Sunday’s final where she will once again face off with Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in Friday night’s 100m final.

Goule, who has been enjoying an impressive season, clocked a season-best 1:57.84 in a commanding performance in the two-lap event. She was in control from the start and pulled away after the first lap to run her fastest time since she ran a national record 1:56.15 in 2018.

Second was Jasmine Fray who ran 2:03.92 and Aisha Praught-Leer third in 2:05.31, times that are well short of the Olympic standard of 1:59.50 and so neither will make the trip to Japan this summer.

In the semi-finals of the Women 200m, Jackson and Fraser-Pryce both achieved the Olympic standard of 22.80 heading into Sunday’s final. Jackson was the most impressive qualifier cruising to a time of 22.28 easing down to win her semi-final heat ahead of Ashanti Moore who ran a personal best of 22.86.

Natalliah Whyte also made the final on time when she finished third in 23.15.

Fraser-Pryce was also impressive easing down considerably to win her heat in 22.40 over Natasha Morrison, who ran 23.08 for second place and an automatic place in the final. Kevona Davis made it through on time when she clocked 23.20.

Thompson-Herah was the slowest of the semi-final winners as she eased to victory in 22.90. Finishing second was Briana Williams, who was fourth in Friday night’s 100m. The 19-year-old Nike athlete clocked 23.48.

No other runner from that heat advanced to the final.

Meanwhile, Julian Forte was the fastest man heading into Sunday’s final when he clocked 20.22 to win his heat ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who ran 20.30.

Schoolboy Antonio Watson made it into the final on time as he ran 20.53 for third.

Yohan Blake ran 20.29 easing down to win his heat and qualify for the final.  Romario Williams was the other automatic qualifier in 20.78 from that heat.

The opening heat was won by 100m champion Tyquendo Tracey in 20.38 ahead of Nigel Ellis (20.41). Jevaughn Minzie (20.43) made it through on time.

Christopher Taylor was the fastest man heading into the finals of the 400m. Taylor ran 45.31 to advance along with Karayme Bartley, who ran 45.40 from the first semi-final. Sean Bailey advanced from the other semi-final running 45.42 to finish ahead of Demish Gaye 45.83.

The other finalists were Rusheen McDonald (46.03), Javier Brown (46.07), Keeno Burrell (46.14) and Nathon Allen (46.17).

Stephenie-Ann McPherson ran an impressive 50.18 to advance to the finals along with Stacey-Ann Williams (50.84),  Candice McLeod (51.04), Charokee Young (51.40), Roneisha McGregor (50.97), Tovea Jenkins (51.72), Tiffany James (51.77) and Junelle Bromfield (51.78).

World U20 silver medalist Britanny Anderson cruised into the final of the 100m hurdles taking her heat in 12.65 ahead of Megan Tapper, who ran a season-best 12.86. Also through was the 2019 World Championship silver medalist who won her semi-final in 12.70 ahead of Yanique Thompson, who ran a season-best 12.73.

Daszay Freeman was third in 12.82 which means she also qualifies for the final.

Ackera Nugent recovered from a bad start to win her semi-final in 12.78. Shimayra Williams also booked her place in the final clocking 12.87. Jeanine Williams makes it in on time after crossing the finish line in 13.04.

On a night when the USA’s Grant Holloway came within 0.01 of the world record, Omar McLeod was given a scare in his semi-final heat that he managed to win ahead Ronald Levy as both advanced to the final. McLeod ran his second-fastest time of the season 13.04 and had to work hard to shake off Levy, who ran a season-best 13.08 for second place.

Olympic medalist Hansle Parchment, who is returning from injury, showed he has a lot left in the tank running 13.19 to win his heat ahead of Phillip Lemonious (13.21) and Damion Thomas (13.27). Orlando Bennett (13.49) was also an automatic qualifier.

Andrew Riley (13.65) and Jordani Woodley (13.89) are also through to the finals.

Fedrick Dacres won the discus with 64.31m and Lamara Distin cleared 1.90 to win the Women’s High Jump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes to winning races that count, there is hardly a better sprinter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

In eight global finals, since she won her first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, the Pocket Rocket has won six. She demonstrated that mettle once again on Friday night when she won her fourth national 100m title against a strong field on day two of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston.

The two-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in 10.71, the second-fastest time run by anyone this year, only bettered by her world-leading 10.63 run at the same venue on June 5.

Using her explosive start to her advantage, she got away from the field that was unable to close as she flashed across the finish line.

Second was Shericka Jackson, who surprised everyone when she clocked a big lifetime best of 10.77 to win her semi-final just over an hour before. She ran an equally impressive 10.82 holding off the 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in 10.84.

Briana Williams, who at 19, was the youngest in the field, finished fourth in 11.01, which earned her a place at her first Olympic Games.

There was also another surprise in the men’s 100m as Tyquendo Tracey ran 10.00 flat to edge Yohan Blake 10.01 and an ecstatic Oblique Seville, who ran a personal best 10.04 for third and booked a spot to his very first Olympic Games.

There were two runaway winners in the 400m hurdles but the more impressive of the two was Jaheel Hyde who clocked a lifetime best 48.18 to win and also exceed the Olympic standard of 48.90, which means he is also going to Tokyo this summer.

He punched the air as he crossed the line and saw the flash time on the electronic clock on the infield.

Second went to Sean Rowe who stopped the clock at 49.60, just ahead of Kemar Mowatt, who was third in 49.61.

Janieve Russell ran away with the women’s race to win in a season-best 54.07.

Ronda Whyte was second in 54.94 while Leah Nugent was third in 54.98 in a close finish that saw Shian Salmon finish fourth in 55.00.

Stafanie Taylor and Reneice Boyce will lead the West Indies Senior Women’s team and the ‘A’ team, respectively for the three CG Insurance T20Is against Pakistan Women from June 30 to July 3, with the West Indies Women’s ‘A’ Team also playing their historic, first-ever, three-match T20I Series on the same dates.

William Knibbs and Emily Mayne are the early leaders after Thursday’s opening day of the Jamaica Golf Association's (JGA) National Senior Trials at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in St. James and the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine.

Shericka Jackson set tongues a-wagging on Thursday night when she ran a new personal best to advance to Friday’s semi-final of the 100m at the Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Champion and double Olympic silver medalist showed glimpses of the Beast, as he also advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m with the fastest time.

Jackson, 26, a 400m specialist, clocked 10.91 and was the fastest among the women. That takes some doing considering that the preliminary round also featured four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who cruised to victory in her heat in 10.97.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 double Olympic champion also looked to be in incredibly great shape as she won her heat in 10.96.  Briana Williams, 2018 World U20, was also a picture of good form in winning her heat in 11.00.

Also among the 16 women advancing to the semi-finals were Natasha Morrison, who was second to Jackson in 11.06 while Shian Hyde was a distant third in 11.50.

Sashalee Forbes advanced from Fraser-Pryce’s heat having run 11.13, close to her personal best of 11.10 while finishing second to the two-time Olympic 100m champion. Remona Burchell, the 2014 NCAA champion, showed the form that made her champion clocking 11.14, a brand new season-best and her fastest time since she ran 11.07 in 2017.

Natalliah Whyte (11.13) and Shockoria Wallace (11.22) advanced from Thompson-Herah’s heat while Kemba Nelson ran 11.05 and Kevona Davis (11.19) advanced from Williams’ heat.

Briana Williams, the national U20 record holder at 10.97, showed that she will not be outrun by anyone cruising to an 11.00 clocking to also advance from Heat 4 along with Kemba Nelson (11.05) and Kevona Davis (11.19).

 Ashanti Moore (11.15), Kashieka Cameron (11.28), Jodean Williams (11.45) and Schillonie Calvert-Powell (11.53) are also through to Friday’s semis.

Meanwhile, Blake looked like the sprinter of a decade ago when only Usain Bolt was faster when he eased to a 10.03 clocking to win his heat. Davonte Burnett was the second-fastest through to the semi-finals when he won his heat in 10.05.

Burnett, whose father is Jamaican, grew up in Massachusetts and attends the University of Southern California. He was fifth in the NCAA Division I finals in 10.19.

Julian Forte and Oblique Seville both looked good while crossing the line together in their heat in 10.08, similar to what happened in the opening heat with Tyquendo Tracey and Nigel Ellis, who were both credited with 10.13.

 Romario Williams, who clocked 10.27, also advanced from that heat.

Also advancing to Friday’s semi-finals were Senoj-jay Givans (10.20), Oshane Bailey (10.26), Andre Ewers (10.22), Bryan Levell (10.25), Jelani Walker (10.32), Michael Campbell (10.25), Ashanie Smith (10.25), Jevaughn Minzie (10.27) and Ramone Barnswell (10.32).

The Jamaica Olympic Association and Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange praised Veronica Campbell-Brown for her outstanding career as Jamaica’s decorated athlete.

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.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is set to make her first appearance in a Diamond League race in Oslo on July 1.

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.

 

 

 

“We are sorry!”

Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

“As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

“We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

 

 

 

 

 

Danusia Francis got a good warm-up for the Summer Olympic Games this weekend while competing for Xelska in Spain's Liga Iberdrola in the city of Gironella.

The undisputed king of the track Usain Bolt and his queen Kasi Bennett have welcomed two new additions to the family.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally, one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.

The 14-year-old Walker scored 49.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault - that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10.  Her compatriot Madray Johnson scored 53.550 for second place. It was the first time that Jamaica has ever won a medal in gymnastics at a major event.

By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey, automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.

Grant, who spoke to Sportsmax.TV from Panama said this victory provides the push needed for the sport to continue to grow locally.

“Every appearance at any international competition of this nature is always a boost for the sport, that is what we thrive to be a part of and that is why we are working on our programme to ensure that we can participate and compete effectively as a country, as young as our sport is locally,” Grant told Sportsmax.TV today.

“This major win for us is very important to the growth and development of our local sport because it shows that we have the ability and the capability to do well in gymnastics.

“This is also a major boost for our young gymnasts who are preparing for a youth competition in Colombia later this year, the Pan American Age-Group Hopes Tournament where the age-group levels are from age eight right up to age 14 and she will also be competing in the elite category as well.”

Notwithstanding these achievements, Grant said, the sport continues to face significant obstacles.

“Our setback is equipment, landing equipment, something that we have been campaigning for, for some time now and it’s very important because when someone like Alana comes to Jamaica and trains at the gym, the landing equipment is not good enough at this time because of the kind of skills that she or he has,” Grant said.

“And that is why we are working so hard because when our elite athletes come to Jamaica they are in awe of the gym but as it relates to the landing aspect, it’s just not up to the standard and it’s really dangerous for them to train their high-level skills.”

Grant thanked the Jamaica Olympic Association, which she said, did not hesitate to provide funding for the trip, despite the ‘last-minute request’.  She also thanked Alana’s parents, who “have always been there and have put out a lot of effort to ensure that she got the documentation in order for her to compete at the event.

She also expressed her gratitude to Marlene Hylton-Williams, who was instrumental in helping Alana getting the license that allowed her to be able to compete and Naomi Valenza, who allowed Alana’s late entry to be accepted into the tournament.

  

Paul Hall has been appointed assistant coach to Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore for the Gold Cup and the duration of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young plans to arrive at Jamaica’s national championships next week refreshed and ready to secure a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

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