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.

In a powerful display of batting prowess, the West Indies sent a strong message to their T20 World Cup competitors with a commanding 35-run victory over a depleted Australian side in their final warm-up match at Queen's Park Oval on Friday night.

Blistering half-centuries from Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell highlighted the West Indies' innings, propelling them to a formidable total of 257 for 4 in their 20 overs. Pooran was particularly destructive, smashing 75 from just 25 balls, including five sixes in a mere six balls against Australian spinners Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa.

Powell continued the onslaught with a quick-fire 52 from 25 balls, ensuring the West Indies maintained an aggressive tempo throughout their innings. Sherfane Rutherford added the finishing touches with an unbeaten 47 from just 18 deliveries.

Australia, struggling with a short-handed team for the second consecutive match, fielded only nine players, supplemented by coaches and selectors acting as substitute fielders. The absence of key players and the late arrival of allrounder Marcus Stoinis, whose kit was delayed in Miami, further hampered their performance.

Despite the challenges, Nathan Ellis showed promise with the ball, claiming 2 for 42 from his four overs. However, the Australian bowlers were otherwise put to the sword, with Zampa conceding 62 runs and Josh Hazlewood 55 in their respective spells.

Sent in to bat, West Indies got off to a quick start with Shai Hope and Johnson Charles laying the foundation. Pooran then took centre-stage, hitting the first three legal deliveries he faced for sixes and maintaining a high strike rate. His half-century came off just 16 balls, demonstrating his aggressive intent. Although Borovec dropped a catch off Pooran, it didn’t prove too costly as Bailey managed to dismiss him shortly after.

Powell continued the momentum with a brutal assault on Zampa and Agar, who conceded 120 runs between them. Tim David, in a rare role as a bowler, managed to be the least expensive with figures of 1 for 40 from four overs.

Chasing 258, Australia’s reply was spirited but ultimately fell short at 222 for 7. Josh Inglis top-scored with a brisk 55 off 30 balls, but the lack of depth in the batting lineup was evident. In a surprising move, Agar opened the batting and contributed 28 off 13 balls, but the rest of the lineup failed to capitalize.

David Warner, who missed the recent Australia-West Indies Test series, was bowled for 15 by Shamar Joseph after a brief flurry of boundaries. Mitchell Marsh, playing in his preferred No.3 position, was dismissed cheaply, and while David and Matthew Wade managed 25 runs each, they couldn't keep pace with the required run rate.

Gudakesh Motie was instrumental in stemming the flow of runs during the middle overs, finishing with figures of 2 for 31, including the key wickets of Inglis and David. Ellis provided some late resistance with a quick 39, sharing a 51-run stand with Zampa, who remained unbeaten on 21.

The West Indies' dominant performance, spearheaded by Pooran and Powell, sets a confident tone ahead of the T20 World Cup.

The T20 World Cup kicks off on Saturday, and the West Indies' emphatic win serves as a strong warning to their rivals as they aim for glory on the global stage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bislett Games Diamond League meeting in Oslo delivered a night of thrilling performances and unexpected outcomes on Thursday. While Rushell Clayton and Marileidy Paulino emerged victorious in their respective events, two-time world champion Shericka Jackson had a disappointing finish in the 200m.

World leader Rushell Clayton continued her stellar season, winning the 400m hurdles in 54.02 seconds despite challenging weather conditions. Clayton, who has been dominant in the event, controlled the race from the start and pulled away decisively towards the end. Compatriot Andrenette Knight finished second with a season-best 54.63 after a strong challenge but faded after the final hurdle. Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell rounded out the Jamaican sweep, securing third place with a season-best 55.07.

Clayton, whose time of 53.72 is fastest in the world this year was happy with the win.

"I have never expected the conditions like that but nevertheless, it was a good race. My execution felt well and I cannot ask for more than to win. It is always good to win. Each race is a challenge and I am working towards a bigger goal," she said breathlessly afterward.

"So whenever these ladies decide to compete, I will be there to do the same, to compete. My next plans: to train, train, train... and I need to do the national championships. I am literally training through all these meets. I have training tomorrow, the next day, I do what my coach decides. It is hurting. My main goal - to get to the Olympics and to win a medal. My last and ultimate goal of the season."

The men's 400m hurdles race lived up to the hype, even with the late withdrawal of world-leading Rai Benjamin with a niggle. Brazilian star Alison dos Santos seized the opportunity, delivering a world-leading time of 46.63 to claim victory. Dos Santos put immense pressure on world record holder Karsten Warholm, who stumbled at the final hurdle, allowing the Brazilian to surge ahead. Warholm finished second in 46.70, the same time he clocked when he set the world record in 2021.

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Excited by how well he performed, the Brazilian confidently stated that there is even more to come from him this season.

"It felt good and I loved this track, the people and the energy. It is always good to come here, to come out and be able to win. It was a tough race but I wanted to show I am there, I am ready and in good shape and that I can go even faster," he remarked.

"I was excited about this race and now I am excited about the next one to see how much I can do. The conditions were like a bit wet but it is the same for everyone. I just had to keep the mindset that I wanted to win. And I am proud that I managed to win."

With the likes of Benjamin to join the battle later this summer, Dos Santos said he is anticipating incredible performances in Paris.

"It is going to be amazing in Paris 2024. I am so excited about the things I can do. Everything before Paris is just a preparation for that. So it is going to be like awesome. Only thing I can say is just: Watch!"

In the women's 400m, Marileidy Paulino showcased her class, winning in a season-best 49.30. Paulino led the race from start to finish, pulling away from Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek, who finished second with a season-best 49.80. The USA’s Alexis Holmes took third place in 50.40. Notably, Sada Williams of Barbados finished fifth in a season-best 50.71.

Paulino was pleased with her performance. "I felt good tonight. I thought the weather conditions would be unpleasant but it turned out nice. I am training hard in order to be able to do these times at the right time. I would like to improve the second part of my race."

Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith dominated the men's 400m, clocking an impressive 44.07, the second-fastest time in the world this year. Olympic champion Kirani James was a distant second in 44.58, followed closely by Vernon Norwood, who finished third in 44.68.

Shericka Jackson, who had been aiming to improve on her 22.82 performance in Rabat, struggled in the 200m, finishing fifth with a time of 22.97. The race was won by the USA’s Brittany Brown, who edged out Marie-Josée Ta Lou at the line with a time of 22.32. Ta Lou also set a season-best of 22.36, demonstrating her strong form this season. Daryll Neita finished third with her best time this season, clocking 22.50.

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin delivered another sub-two-minute performance in the women's 800m, finishing second with her fastest time this season at 1:59.10. South Africa’s Prudence Sekgodiso won the race with a time of 1:58.66, while Catriona Bissett of Australia took third in 1:59.29.

The Bislett Games provided a mix of highs and lows for the athletes, with standout performances in the 400m and 400m hurdles capturing the attention of the nearly full house at Bislett Stadium. As the Diamond League continues, athletes like Clayton and Paulino will look to build on their successes, while Jackson aims to regroup and refocus ahead of the Paris Olympics.

 

 

 

Two-time 200m world champion Shericka Jackson is setting her sights on her first individual Olympic gold medal this summer in Paris and and a shot at the 200m world record by the end of the season. Speaking at a media conference in Oslo on Wednesday, Jackson shared her ambitions ahead of her competition in the Diamond League meeting later today.

Jackson, who broke her own championship record of 21.45 seconds set in Oregon in 2022 with a stunning 21.41 at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, has consistently demonstrated her prowess on the track. She further solidified her status with a 21.48 run at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels and concluded her season with a 21.57 at the Prefontaine Classic, securing the Diamond League double by also winning the 100m in 10.70.

Reflecting on her pursuit of the elusive 200m world record of 21.39, set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988, Jackson revealed her and her coach's meticulous approach. “Coach and I have been working on so many things this year. Last year we came close, we also did an attempt at I think it was Brussels and it went pretty well. This year we’re working on the fine details and hope for the best at the end of this season,” she said.

Jackson's Olympic journey has seen its share of highs and lows. At the Tokyo Olympics, she was a gold medal favorite in the 200m but was eliminated in the preliminary round due to a mistimed run. However, she redeemed herself by securing a gold medal as part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team. For the Paris Olympics, Jackson is determined to claim her first individual Olympic gold medal.

“I am yet to have an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games so that’s one of my goals this year to work hard and hoping to achieve that at the end of August,” said Jackson, who also stated that she is aiming for a season’s best run later today after her opening 200m run of 22.82 in Rabat on May 19.

“I am definitely looking forward to a season’s best but for me it’s building to the Jamaica trials, which comes up next month and I think it’s one step at a time. Once I finish healthy tomorrow, I am better shape than I was two weeks ago so I am looking forward to great things.”

 

 

History-making Jamaican Olympian Toni-Ann Williams has expressed her excitement and optimism at being appointed Technical Director of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association. Nicole Grant, the association’s president made the announcement this past weekend about the appointment of Williams, who in 2016 became the first ever gymnast to represent the country at an Olympic Games.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, Williams detailed her vision for the future of the sport in Jamaica.

“Yeah, I'm really excited about the position,” Williams shared. “I think it's something we've not had before in the organization, especially when I started there. I want to be able to bring a level, a little more organization, a little more direction, put some values and some motives behind the organization.”

Williams, 28, is determined to leverage her extensive experience and educational background—including degrees in Legal Studies, Social Welfare, and a Master’s in Sports Ethics and Integrity—to enhance the structure and support within the association. “I think before, we've had really great representatives of the movement, but I think now we have more people supporting Jamaica gymnastics to be able to facilitate from the smallest things, helping to make sure they get to their hotel on time, and who's able to go to competitions and, you know, to the big things, like, you know, helping to find funding and things like that.”

Reflecting on her own journey, Williams is committed to giving back to the sport and aiding its development in Jamaica. “Being able to have a support system, especially from people who've been there, done that, is, I would have really appreciated as an athlete. And so this is my way of being able to give back to the athletes and being able to help Jamaica gymnastics get to the vision that we see.”

Adding to the excitement, the appointment of her former coach, Mladen Stefanov, a former Bulgarian Olympic gymnast, as Head Coach, promises to further elevate Jamaica’s gymnastics program. “Mladen has been the head coach on and off throughout the years, even since when I was a gymnast, and he always brings such a great energy. All the athletes from past and present love working with him,” said Williams.

Williams and Stefanov’s combined expertise is expected to drive significant advancements. “We already have a great foundation, so we communicate super well, and he understands, obviously, the technical coaching side, and I being able to bring my experience as an athlete, so both of our experiences come together really well, and being able to help the athletes and being able to figure out what's best for what competition should we go to, what skills work, what routines don't work and that's not something we've had before.”

  

Looking ahead, Williams is hopeful about the potential for growth despite the resource challenges. “Of course, we have a long way coming, and, of course, we need more resources, but being able to have people like myself being able to help Nicole Grant, being able to pilot these initiatives, I'm really excited about, and really, I think it's really great for the future of Jamaica Gymnastics.”

Williams believes this strategic leadership is a crucial step towards elevating Jamaica’s presence in the gymnastics world. “We have a lot of powerhouses like USA and Brazil; of course, they have the resources, but they also have people who know the sport really well and have people that support. And I think that's a great start for Jamaica, to start having people in the corner who understand the sport, understand what's needed, understand the athlete's point of view, to be able to support them, and hopefully that's a step forward towards more resources and more opportunities for the athletes,” she opined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaican gymnasts Alana Walker and Isabelle David delivered strong performances at the 2024 Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships, finishing 15th and 17th, respectively, in Santa Marta, Colombia. The competition, held from May 22-26, marked a historic achievement for Jamaica as both gymnasts reached the all-around finals.

 Head coach Mladen Stefanov expressed his pride in the gymnasts’ achievements. “I am so happy with Isabelle David and Alana Walker’s performance at the Pan Am Games 2024. Both of them got through the qualifying round and made it to the top 24 in the final. This is the first time that Jamaica has had two athletes in the all-around final. Our gymnasts were able to do their skills with confidence and really show their potential, making us proud. It was a long week of competing, and they had to compete two times in three days, which is very hard, but somehow they were able to pull it off. They were trained well, and I am so happy that we were a part of the 2024 Pan Am Games and represented Jamaica in the best way possible.”

 Alana Walker

Alana Walker, who secured a top-15 finish with a combined score of 46.867, reflected positively on her performance despite some challenges. She achieved scores of 8.900 on the vault, 7.30 on the uneven bars, 6.51 on the balance beam, and 6.865 on the floor exercise. “Although the finals didn’t go exactly as I had hoped, it was a great end to my 2024 season. I am proud of my top-15 finish for team Jamaica and I also want to say thank you to coaches Mladen and Mary [Marylin Pretov] for helping me through this competition. I look forward to continuing my gymnastics career at Stanford University.”

Isabelle David 

Isabelle David, who finished 17th with a total score of 45.867, was also pleased with her performance. She scored 9.40 on the vault, 7.5 on the uneven bars, 6.5 on the balance beam, and 6.967 on the floor exercise. “Even though our all-around finals didn’t go exactly as planned, I am very proud I hit eight out of eight routines while at Pan Ams. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been here and represent Jamaica, and I am grateful to coaches Mary and Mladen for supporting everyone on the team during this competition. I am very happy with this end to my 2024 season and I am looking forward to opportunities to compete and represent Jamaica in the future.”

The success of Walker and David at the Pan American Championships underscores the progress of Jamaican gymnastics on the international stage, showcasing the nation’s potential and dedication to excellence in the sport.

 

 

 

 

West Indies white-ball coach Daren Sammy hailed his team’s performance after they passed their South Africa test with flying colours, culminating in a dominant eight-wicket victory at Sabina Park on Sunday. This win sealed a clean sweep of the three-match T20 International series, setting a positive tone for their final preparations ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup, which begins on June 1.

The West Indies secured their series victory with a comprehensive performance on Sunday, chasing down South Africa's target of 164 with 6.1 overs to spare. This win followed earlier victories on Thursday, May 23, by 28 runs and on Saturday, May 25, by 16 runs. The series was characterized by consistent team efforts, despite the absence of key players such as Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Andre Russell, and Alzarri Joseph.

In the series finale, South Africa posted 163-8 from their 20 overs, with captain Rassie van der Dussen top-scoring with 51 off 36 balls. Debutant Wiann Mulder contributed a solid 36. The West Indies’ bowling attack was led by Player of the Series Gudakesh Motie, who took 2-21, supported by Shamar Joseph’s 2-26 and Obed McCoy’s 3-39.

The West Indies’ chase was spearheaded by an explosive opening partnership of 92 runs in just 6.4 overs between Johnson Charles and interim captain Brandon King. Charles, who was named Player of the Match for his blistering 69 off 26 balls, batted at a strike rate of 265, while King added 44 from 28 balls. Kyle Mayers (36 not out) and Alick Athanaze (6 not out) comfortably saw the hosts over the finish line.

Coach Darren Sammy, who led the West Indies to T20 World Cup victories in 2012 and 2016, praised his team’s all-around performance. "With the players that we had, we executed quite well,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “We were put under pressure in the Power Play in the second game but the way the guys responded and won convincingly; we got tested in the three departments – in the field, with the bat, and the ball – and the way the guys responded was just really good, so I would give them a nine (out of 10).”

Charles expressed satisfaction with his performance after struggling in the first two matches. “It was great. We have been working hard during the camp and in the series. Worked hard on our skills leading up to the World Cup, just enforcing the basics. Tried in the first two games, didn’t work out but came today (Sunday). It’s all about building confidence,” he said.

Stand-in captain Brandon King also shared his delight at leading the team to a commanding series win. “(I was) happy with my own performance,” he remarked. “Would’ve liked to carry my bat through to the end though. We understand each other’s games, playing a few years together. (This was) an important 3-0 win.”

St Lucia’s sprint sensation, Julien Alfred, has her sights set on refining her technique as she prepares for the upcoming Olympics this summer. Speaking post-race following her second-place finish in the women’s 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Saturday, Alfred outlined her areas of focus.

Alfred clocked 10.93 seconds in the race, trailing American Sha’Carri Richardson, who won with a world-leading 10.83 seconds. Alfred’s training partner, Dina Asher-Smith, secured third place with a time of 10.98 seconds.

Reflecting on her performance, the World Indoor 60m champion expressed gratitude and acknowledged the need for improvement. “I’ll take it. I have to give God thanks, nevertheless, that I finished healthy. I did want the win, but I’ll take second for now,” she said.

Discussing her race strategy, Alfred noted, “I think I got out well. My finish, I think I sort of panicked a little at the end, panicked a little and fighting. I have to work on my ending.”

Alfred highlighted her progress over time, emphasizing a shift in focus towards better execution. “My strides are wider, I am not as choppy. Right now, I am just focusing on execution. I think before I would go out and just compete, but now it’s just focusing on execution and doing my best to prepare for the Olympics.”

When asked about what she intends to focus on with Coach Eldrick Floreal, Alfred pinpointed the final segment of her race as a key area for improvement. “The last part of my race. It has always been a struggle of mine where I can really stay upright in the last part of my race but it’s about going back to the drawing board and trying to stay upright the last 40/30m.”

Julien Alfred’s focus on refining her race finish and execution signals her commitment to achieving peak performance as she prepares for the Olympics. With her impressive second-place finish at the Prefontaine Classic, Alfred has demonstrated her potential to compete at the highest level and her readiness to take on the world’s best this summer.

Nickisha Pryce, the senior sprinter from the University of Arkansas, once again broke the 50-second barrier in the 400m, securing her place at the NCAA Division One Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Pryce clocked 49.93 seconds at the NCAA West Regionals on Saturday, ensuring her spot at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, from June 5-8.

Pryce, who recently ran an impressive 49.32 to become the second fastest Jamaican woman over 400m, continued to showcase her dominance in the event. Pryce was also a member of the Razorback 4x400m relay team that established a new championship record of 3:21.92 that also sees the team advancing to the finals in June.

Among the men, Shaemar Uter of Texas Tech also secured his place at the national championships with a solid time of 45.78 in the 400m.

In the sprints, Dejanea Oakley from the University of Texas at Austin ran 22.32 in the 200m to advance to the nationals. Her Texas teammate, Ackelia Smith, excelled in the triple jump with a 14.31m effort, ensuring her qualification.

Nebraska’s Rhianna Phipps joined the list of qualifiers in the triple jump, reaching 13.67m to secure her spot in the finals. Her performance reflects the depth of talent among Jamaican athletes in the field events.

In the 110m hurdles, Jerome Campbell of Northern Colorado ran an impressive 13.30 to book his place at the national championships. He will be joined by the 2023 NCAA champion, Phillip Lemonious, who qualified with a time of 13.43, adding to the formidable Jamaican contingent in the hurdles.

Texas A&M’s Abigail Martin also secured her place at the nationals in the women’s discus, throwing 56.11m to qualify.

Jamaica’s Brianna Lyston spearheaded an impressive contingent of Caribbean athletes into the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships following stellar performances at the NCAA East Regionals on Saturday.

Lyston, a sophomore at Louisiana State University, marked her 20th birthday on Friday with a standout performance, winning her 100m heat in a swift 10.99 seconds. She continued her impressive form by qualifying for the 200m with a time of 22.82 in her heat, securing her place at the national championships.

Joining Lyston is fellow Jamaican Shenese Walker from Florida State University, who clocked a personal best of 11.09 to finish third in the same 100m heat.

Antigua's Joella Lloyd also shone brightly, advancing to the national championships by finishing third in her 100m heat with a time of 11.06. Lloyd's qualification highlights the growing presence of Caribbean athletes in top-tier collegiate track and field competitions.

Clemson University’s Oneka Wilson delivered a personal best of 12.79 to win her 100m hurdles heat, showcasing her exceptional hurdling skills and securing her spot in the national championships.

Additionally, Onieka McAnuff of the University of Kentucky set a lifetime best of 51.70 in the 400m to qualify for nationals, demonstrating remarkable endurance and speed.

In the field events, Roschell Clayton of Villanova cleared 1.84 meters in the high jump, earning her place at the nationals with a strong performance.

These athletes will now compete at the NCAA Division I Outdoor National Track and Field Championships, set to be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, from June 5-8, 2024. Their outstanding performances at the NCAA East Regionals highlight the Caribbean's rich track and field legacy and promise thrilling competition at the national championships.

 

At just 25 years old, Tyra Gittens has already etched her name in the annals of collegiate track and field as an 18-time NCAA Division 1 All-American and a three-time NCAA Champion. Her journey to the pinnacle of American collegiate sports was marked by triumphs in the heptathlon, long jump and high jump which showcased her versatility and athleticism.

However, Gittens' path has not been without its challenges. Following her successful collegiate career, which culminated in gold in the heptathlon despite an ankle injury, Gittens faced a setback in 2023 with a retroactive drug suspension due to an expired Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) certificate. This suspension not only affected her competitive results but also tested her resolve and commitment to the sport she loves.

In an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, Gittens opened up about the hurdles she faced in recent years and her journey towards redemption as she prepares for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

“It has been a process, I will tell you,” Gittens shared when asked about her preparation. “I feel like this year has been a year of rebuilding. I’m in a new body and a new mindset. I’ve never been in this mindset, never been in this body, so I am excited to see what my limits are. I think something big is going to happen this year.”

Transitioning from the demanding heptathlon to specializing in the long jump has required adjustments in Gittens' training regimen. "My training has been different because I am no longer doing the heptathlon," she explained. "I've been learning different techniques in the long jump and also on the track, finally learning how to sprint. I feel like I’ve fallen into a very professional body, not just college."

Gittens’ post-collegiate journey was not without bumps in the road. The year 2023 began well enough with the USA-based Trinidadian signing a professional contract with Puma but barely a month later, things took a downward turn.

World Athletics’ Athletics Integrity United (AIU) ruled that she was ineligible to compete for six months after a sample she provided in June 2022 was found to contain methylphenidate/ritalinic acid, a prohibited substance that is an ingredient of the medication she takes for ADHD. At the time the sample was taken, Gittens’ TUE had expired.

 However, the AIU said it accepted that she had not realized that her previous TUE had expired by the time that the first sample was taken at the national Trinidad and Tobago championships on June 26, 2022.

“She was not advised that the TTO Sample was positive for methylphenidate, or that her TUE had expired for this purpose, until November 2022, after the sample collected from her at the World Championships on July 23, 2022,” the AIU said adding that they also accepted that Gittens had no information at the time of her second World Athletics sample that her TUE application was incomplete.

“The AIU also accepts that the medication was used for legitimate medical reasons and the athlete did not intend to cheat. Accordingly, the AIU accepts that the violation was not ‘intentional’.”

It was a blot on her resume that she could have done without and one that was hard for her to take.

Reflecting on the challenges of her suspension and the mental toll it took, Gittens likened it to one of the toughest periods of her life. "It was probably the hardest thing I ever had to deal with," she admitted. "I always compare it to the year I lost my brother. This period of my life, these last two years, that was definitely second."

"After college, I was burnt out physically and mentally. I don’t know how I went on to Tokyo (Olympics) because my body was completely done. Tokyo was sheer will," Gittens continued. "But after that, I crashed. I didn’t have the motivation for track anymore because I gave it my all that year. It was challenging, but in that challenge, I found some serious guidance. I found my system for success and have been using it religiously to push myself to new heights."

As she soars towards those new heights, 2024 has largely been good to her so far. With leaps of 6.56, 6.68 and a windy 6.72m, Gittens’ progress has been trending along an upward trajectory as she nears competing at her national championships next month.

She attributed her renewed focus and resilience to adopting a growth mindset. "The growth mindset is just a theory that all things can be achieved with hard work and effort," she explained. "It’s about how you handle failure, how you view fear. Instead of seeing failure as the end, I view it as a new opportunity to try a new way. With a growth mindset, I believe that everything I put my mind to and apply effort towards, I can improve."

Looking ahead to the Olympic Games, Tyra Gittens is determined to exceed her expectations and make her mark in the world of track and field. With a newfound perspective and a relentless work ethic, she is poised to inspire both on and off the track as she chases Olympic glory.

 

 

 

 

Jamaican quarter-miler Ackeem Bloomfield has announced his retirement from track and field at the age of 27, Sportsmax.TV has confirmed.

 The two-time World Championship 4x400m relay silver medalist has reportedly informed the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association of his decision and has also requested to be removed from the Registered Testing Pool (RTP) with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Marie Tavares, Executive Board Member of the JAAA confirmed Bloomfield’s retirement on Thursday, saying “He has. I got confirmation yesterday, either yesterday of the day before.”

Tavares opined that it sounds as if Bloomfield, a former Kingston College star, will be concentrating on his academics but was otherwise uncertain about his motivations.

Bloomfield, who holds the distinction of being the second-fastest Jamaican ever over 400m with a personal best of 43.94 seconds, first burst onto the scene as a promising young talent. He became the first Jamaican schoolboy to break the 45-second barrier, a feat that heralded a bright future in athletics. However, his career trajectory was hindered by a series of prolonged injuries and personal challenges, including the emotional toll of his mother's death in 2021.

After a standout collegiate career at Auburn University, where he set his remarkable 400m time at the NCAA National Outdoor Championships in 2018, Bloomfield signed with Puma and joined the MVP International training group in Florida. His talent and potential were on full display at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, where he finished eighth in the 400m final with a time of 45.36 seconds.

In 2021, seeking a fresh start and recovery from a debilitating hamstring injury, Bloomfield moved to train with Rana Reider’s Tumbleweed group, where he reunited with high school rival and Calabar star athlete Christopher Taylor. Bloomfield declared himself fully recovered and expressed optimism about his future in the sport. “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 in an interview with On Point.

Despite his determination, Bloomfield’s journey continued to be marked by transitions. In September 2022, he left Tumbleweed to train under former Jamaican Olympian Sanjay Ayre at Chase Athletics Track Club. However, he departed from Chase Athletics a year later, signaling the turbulence that characterized the latter part of his career.

Bloomfield’s last known competitive performance was at the Tom Jones Invitational in April 2023, where he ran 45.52 seconds to finish sixth. This race marked the end of a career that, despite its ups and downs, offered glimpses of what could have been.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive, is poised to make her highly anticipated season debut in the 100m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon, on May 25. This event promises to be a thrilling spectacle as Thompson-Herah faces off against reigning world champion ShaCarri Richardson.

Thompson-Herah's return to the Prefontaine Classic holds special significance. In August 2021, at this very meet, she clocked a blistering 10.54 seconds in the 100m, a performance that solidified her status as the fastest woman alive. Only Florence Griffith-Joyner's legendary world record of 10.49 seconds stands ahead of her on the all-time list.

The Prefontaine Classic will see Thompson-Herah and Richardson, two of the most electrifying sprinters in the world, go head-to-head. Richardson, who has already competed in two 200m races this season, will be running her first 100m of the year. This clash is eagerly awaited by athletics fans worldwide, as it brings together the fierce competition and star power of two dominant figures in women's sprinting.

Thompson-Herah's season opener at the Prefontaine Classic is just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting year. She is scheduled to run her second 100m of the season at the Grenada Invitational on June 6, at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada. This continuous competition will help her build momentum as she eyes further successes and potentially more record-breaking performances.

The Eugene meet is set to be a highlight of the Diamond League series, with Thompson-Herah's participation adding to the event's prestige. Her remarkable career, highlighted by her Olympic triumphs and her record-setting performances, continues to inspire and captivate the athletics world. As she lines up against ShaCarri Richardson, all eyes will be on this epic showdown, anticipating another memorable chapter in the storied careers of these two sprinting superstars.

Shericka Jackson and Rushell Clayton showcased their class while being among the winners at Sunday’s Diamond League meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

Jackson, who made her season debut in the 100m in Kingston on May 4 after a late start to her season, was not at her sharpest in Rabat but good enough to keep the field at bay as she sprinted to victory in 22.82 seconds while running into a headwind of -1.0m/s.

Maboundou Kone of the Ivory Coast was a close second in 22.96 with Helene Parisot of England in 23.02.

Earlier, Clayton was more impressive. Coming off an encouraging victory at the Jamaica Athletic Invitational on May 11 when she ran a world-leading 53.72, Clayton once again dominated the first 300m but was closed down by compatriot Shian Salmon along the home stretch. Still, she managed to hold on to win in 53.98. Salmon ran an enterprising race for second place clocking 54.27.

Anna Ryzhykova ran a commendable 55.09 for third place.

While fortune smiled on Jamaica’s women, the men were not as fortunate as Rohan Watson was edged out of a podium finish in the men’s 100m dash. The reigning Jamaican champion finished fifth in 10.26. He was credited with the same time as fourth-placed finisher Brandon Hicklin of the USA and was 0.01 behind Great Britain’s Jeremiah Azu, who took third in 10.25.

There was no doubt about the winner Emmanuel Eseme of Cameroon who crossed first in 10.11 with Canada’s Andre Degrasse finishing in second place in 10.19.

Yohan Blake ran a season’s best 10.41 while being eighth.

In the men’s discus, Travis Smikle once again exceeded 66m but missed out on a podium position. He finished fourth with his best throw of 66.03m. However, he was no match for winner Mykolas Anelka. The newly minted world record holder produced an impressive throw of 70.70m to win the contest.

Matthew Denny of Australia finished in the runner-up position with his throw of 67.74m. Olympic and World Champion Daniel Stahl threw 67.49m for third place.

Fedrick Dacres threw 65.05 for sixth place.

 

When Nikisha Pryce clocked a lifetime best of 49.32 seconds at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Florida on May 11, one of the keen observers was Shericka Williams. Now 38 years old and residing in the United States, Williams currently shares with Pryce the title of second-fastest Jamaican woman ever to run the 400m. Pryce's time sits just two-thousandths of a second shy of Lorraine Graham’s national record of 49.30, set in Monaco 22 years ago.

Williams, a three-time Olympic silver medalist who also won five silver medals at the World Championships, came agonizingly close to breaking the national record herself at the 2009 championships in Berlin, where she finished as runner-up to Jamaican-born American Sanya Richards.

Having closely followed Pryce’s progression over the years, Williams expressed her belief in the 23-year-old SEC champion’s potential to surpass Fenton’s longstanding record. In an exclusive chat with Sportsmax.TV, Williams shared her insights: “I have been watching her progress and how much she has grown in the event. I do believe she has the ability to break the national record if she remains focused, continues to stay healthy, and avoids overworking herself.”

Reflecting on Pryce’s athletic prowess, Williams continued, “We both share the joint second-fastest time. From observing her performances indoors and outdoors, she runs smoothly with apparent ease, and her 200m speed complements her 400m ability. Lorraine’s record has stood for years, and despite attempts from myself, Novelene (Williams), and others, it remains unbroken. I hope Nikisha can achieve this feat and also secure a spot on the Olympic team, reaching the final and delivering a performance worthy of a medal.”

Williams, who shares a similar physique to Pryce, believes that breaking the record is within reach. Recalling her near-miss in 2009, she noted, “I was in 48-second shape going into the championships based on my training. However, I didn’t execute my race properly; my third 100 meters was too slow. Breaking the record hinges on how well you manage each 100 meters, and with the leg speed I possessed, I truly believe I could have set a new record, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get my race strategy right.”

Despite her near-miss, Williams holds high hopes for Pryce, the current senior at the University of Arkansas. “I wish her all the best, and I will be cheering her on,” Williams concluded, expressing optimism that Pryce could achieve what she and many others have aimed for but fallen short of accomplishing.

The stage is set for a thrilling showcase of athletic prowess as the 2024 Grenada Invitational gears up to welcome a star-studded lineup of track and field talents. Hometown heroes Kirani James and Anderson Peters, alongside the incomparable Elaine Thompson-Herah, lead the pack of 100 athletes confirmed to compete at the prestigious event, slated to take place on Thursday, June 6, at the Kirani James Stadium in Grenada.

The excitement surrounding the meet was palpable as it was officially launched on Thursday at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort in St. George's. The presence of Olympic champions and world-class athletes promises an electrifying atmosphere for spectators and competitors alike.

Joining the illustrious lineup are Commonwealth Games 110m hurdles champion Rasheed Broadbell, set to make his season debut, and Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper. Their participation adds further depth and excitement to an already stacked field of competitors that will also include Grenada’s Olympic hopefuls quarter-miler Melenie Rodney, sprinter Halle Hazzard as well as decathletes Linden Victor and Kurt Felix. Both decathletes will participate in the long jump and 100m events.

The meet will also herald the celebration of a significant milestone—the 40th anniversary of Grenada's first participation in the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. To honor this occasion, all 51 athletes who have represented the country at the Olympics over the past four decades will be celebrated and honored at a special ceremony scheduled for 6:00 pm on the day of the event.

The festivities are set to kick off at 4:30 pm with national segments featuring local athletes across various age categories, from U13 to U20. This segment serves as a platform to showcase the budding talent within Grenada's track and field community and underscores the nation's commitment to nurturing the next generation of athletic stars.

As the sun sets and the international segment commences at 7:00 pm, spectators can expect nothing short of top-tier performances from some of the world's most elite athletes. From sprints to hurdles, jumps to throws, the Grenada Invitational promises a spectacle of athletic excellence that will captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression on the global track and field stage.

The meet organizers say the full cast of athletes competing at the meet will be revealed over the next two weeks.

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