Newly crowned Jamaican national 100m Champion Yohan Blake expects Jamaica to be back in contention for gold in the Men’s 4x100m at the World Championships in Eugene to be held from July 15-24.

“The 4x100 is looking great,” he said in an interview after running 9.85, his fastest time in a decade, to claim the national title ahead of Oblique Seville (9.88) and Ackeem Blake (9.93).

“Our sprinting is up there again and we’re looking to challenge the world again,” Blake added.

The retirement of Usain Bolt after the 2017 London World Championships signaled a shift in the balance of the Men’s 4x100m relay at major championships.

Jamaica’s men won the 4x100m gold at three straight Olympics (2008-2016) and four straight World Championships (2009-2015).

The 2017 and 2019 World Championships and the 2020 Olympics all saw Jamaica fail to medal in the event but with Blake returning to his best and the rise of youngsters Seville and Blake, the sixth and eleventh fastest men in the world this year, the 2011 World 100m Champion expects things to go back to normal in Eugene.

Jelani Walker (10.00), 2014 Commonwealth Games 100m Champion Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.10), and Conroy Jones (10.10) finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the final and are expected to round out the relay pool.

Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson sent shockwaves through Kingston’s National Stadium on Friday with a blistering 10.77 to win the Women’s 100m on day two of the 2022 Jamaican National Senior Athletics Championships.

Jackson, who stomped her feet in joy after the race, finished ahead of NCAA Championships 100m silver medalist Kemba Nelson who ran a personal best 10.88 for second while defending double Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was third in 10.89.

Meanwhile, 2011 World 100m Champion Yohan Blake turned back the clock to secure the Men’s title in a time of 9.85, his fastest time since 2012.

Pre-meet favorite Oblique Seville ran 9.88 for second while Ackeem Blake was third in a new personal best 9.93.

Elsewhere, Jaheel Hyde successfully defended his title as national 400m hurdles champion with a 48.51 effort to narrowly finish ahead of Kemar Mowatt (48.53) while Shawn Rowe ran 49.66 for third.

The Women’s equivalent was won by Janieve Russell in 53.63 ahead of Shiann Salmon who ran a personal best 53.82 for second. 2019 World Championship bronze medallist Rushell Clayton was third in 54.20.

Andrenette Knight, who entered the final as the third fastest woman this year with a 53.39 effort in Nashville on June 5, was leading the event after six hurdles but failed to finish the race after unfortunately clipping the seventh and falling to the track.

 

Defending World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce stole the show Thursday’s day one of the Jamaican National Senior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston with a blistering 10.70 to win her heat of the Women’s 100m.

Reigning Olympic Gold and Bronze medallists Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson were also safely through to Friday’s semi-finals with times of 11.06 and 10.99, respectively.

2011 World 100m Champion Yohan Blake ran his fastest time since 2017 with a 9.93 effort to advance to the semi-finals in the Men’s equivalent.

The fastest Jamaican in 2022, Oblique Seville, was also in fine form with an easy 9.98 clocking to win his heat.

Conroy Jones (10.00), Ackeem Blake (10.01), Oshane Bailey (10.03) and Kemar Bailey-Cole (10.06) were also among the fastest qualifiers to Friday’s semis.

There was a surprise in the Women’s high jump as Kimberly Williamson won her seventh national title with a 1.88 clearance ahead of pre-meet favourite Lamara Distin on Texas A&M University who cleared 1.85m.

Distin, the NCAA Champion, twice broke the Jamaican national record this season and her best clearance, 1.97m, places her third on the world list this season.

“I just felt like my run-up felt wrong today. It wasn’t the perfect day to jump so I just feel like it’s one of those days I have to accept and move on from,” Distin said.

“My expectation at the World Championships is to be in the medals,” she added.

Defending 100m World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continued her spectacular start to the 2022 season with a dominant win at Saturday’s Paris Diamond League.

Fraser-Pryce ran her second sub 10.7 clocking this season, equalling her own world-leading 10.67 for victory ahead of Great Britain’s Daryll Neita (10.99) and Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou (11.01).

The eight-time Olympic and nine-time World Championship medallist previously ran 10.67 at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, Kenya on May 7.

Bahamian Olympic 400m Champions Steven Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo both also showed good form to secure 400m victories.

Gardiner, who is also the defending World Champion, produced a typically easy display of running to win in a season’s best 44.21, ahead of the Dominican Republic’s Lidio Andres Feliz (44.92) and South Africa’s Zakhiti Nene (44.99).

Miller-Uibo, on the other hand, went out extremely hard in the first three quarters of her race before shutting down with about 50 metres to go, to win in 50.10 ahead of Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek (50.24) and Anna Kielbasinska (50.28).

Bahamian Devynne Charlton ran a season’s best 12.63 to finish second in the 100m hurdles behind Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan who did a personal best and African record 12.41 for victory. Great Britain’s Cindy Sember ran 12.73 for third.

Cuba’s Jordan Diaz Fortun (17.66m) and Andy Diaz (17.65) were the top two finishers in the triple jump ahead of Olympic Champion Pedro Pichardo of Portugal (17.49m).

 

Jamaican sprinter Ackeem Blake became the second Jamaican, alongside Oblique Seville, to dip below 10 seconds in the 100m this season when he did so at the New York Grand Prix at the Icahn Stadium on Sunday.

The former national Under-18 100m champion finished second in a personal best 9.95 seconds in a race won by 2019 World Champion Christian Coleman (9.92) of the USA. Coleman’s US teammate Marvin Bracy was third in 10.03.

Blake, whose personal best before this season was 10.35, actually had a 9.92 performance, at the Music City Track Festival earlier this month, overturned after the race because of an apparent false start.

Elsewhere, former Calabar standout Javon Francis ran 45.73 to finish second in the 400m behind the USA’s Tyler Terry (45.70). South Africa’s Derrick Mokaleng was third in 46.55.

Jordan Scott did a season-best 16.69 for third in the triple jump behind Americans Donald Scott (16.81) and Will Claye (16.75).

On the women’s side, Bahamian Tynia Gaither ran 22.66 for third in the 200m behind the American pair of Sha’Carri Richardson (22.38) and Tamara Clark (22.62).

Shiann Salmon ran 55.28 for third in the 400m hurdles behind Panama’s Gianna Woodruff (54.35) and Colombia’s Melissa Gonzalez (54.98).

2019 World Championships silver medalist Danniel Thomas-Dodd was second in the shot put, with 18.40m, behind the USA’s Jessica Ramsey (18.90m). Ramsey’s countrywoman Raven Saunders threw 17.92m for third.

 

 

St. Lucian Texas Sophomore, Julien Alfred, delivered on the promise she’s shown all season to win the Women’s 100m on Saturday’s final day of the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.

Alfred, who ran 10.90 to win her semi-final on Thursday, sped to 11.02 to finish ahead of Jamaican Oregon senior Kemba Nelson who ran the same time, and Kentucky’s Abby Steiner (11.08).

Jamaican record holder Lamara Distin of Texas A&M produced a clearance of 1.95m to win the high jump over Abigail Kwarteng of Middle Tennessee State (1.94m) and South Carolina’s Rachel Glenn (1.86m).

Jamaican Texas A&M Sophomore and former Hydel standout Charokee Young ran 50.65 for second in the 400m behind Florida’s Talitha Diggs who ran a personal best 49.99 for victory. Texas’ Kennedy Simon was third in 50.69.

 

Texas duo Julien Alfred and Kevona Davis as well as Syracuse’s Joella Lloyd and Oregon’s Kemba Nelson will all be present in Saturday’s 100m final, at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships, after advancing from the semi-finals at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday.

Alfred, the St. Lucian national record holder in the event, won her semi-final in 10.90 to be the joint-fastest qualifier to the final. Nelson also dipped below 11 seconds, running 10.97 to win her semi-final.

Jamaica’s Davis finished third in her semi-final with a time of 11.11 to advance while the Antiguan Lloyd finished second in her semi with 11.08. Davis and Lloyd also advanced in the 200m with times of 22.38 and 22.66, respectively.

The Jamaican pair of Stacey Ann Williams of Texas and Charokee Young of Texas A&M will both be in the 400m final. Williams ran 50.18 to finish second in her semi-final while Young won hers in a time of 50.46.

Texas Tech’s Jamaican junior Demisha Roswell ran 12.93 to finish second in her semi-final of the 100m hurdles and progress.

Texas senior and Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Tyra Gittens jumped 6.57m for third in the long jump behind Florida’s Jasmine Moore (6.72m) and Texas A&M’s Deborah Acquah (6.60m).

 

 

When Briana Williams finished ninth in the 100m dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on May 28, she could not have imagined the wave of negative reaction that was to follow on social media.

After a successful indoor season during which she ran a new lifetime best of 7.04 while finishing fifth in the 60m final at the World Indoor Championships in Serbia in March, Williams and her coach Ato Boldon turned their attention to preparing to compete in Jamaica’s National Senior Championships at the end of June with the intention of making Jamaica’s team to the World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene in July.

Apparently, the heavy workload had taken its toll and Williams, who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, was clearly not at her best. Following the run in Oregon, social media blew up with toxic narratives. She was not progressing fast enough. She needs to leave Boldon. Other Jamaican women had surpassed her now.

Those criticisms stung and were partly behind her decision to travel to Jamaica to compete at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Meet at Jamaica College in Kingston on Saturday. There, she ran a wind-assisted 10.91 (3.4m/s) in the preliminary round and then returned for the final where she ran a season's best 10.98 which went a long way toward silencing the armchair coaches.

“I definitely did,” said Williams while speaking with Sportsmax.TV after her triumphant performance on Saturday night.

“We don’t always have perfect races. Last week (Oregon) wasn’t my best. I wasn’t feeling my best but I am glad I got this meet in, was able to have a prelim and a final and finish healthy with a new season’s best.”

In truth, following her performance at the Prefontaine Classic when she clocked a relatively pedestrian 11.20, Williams did begin to doubt herself. However, those doubts were quickly extinguished by Coach Boldon.

“Well, I only had Prefontaine that was really bad. After the race, I was like ‘Oh My God, what’s going on? I am putting in the work’, but my coach said just trust the process. The work is there in training; you just have to wait. Everyone has their time, and we will not always have the best races,” she said.

“I would love for people to actually understand that we’re human beings and we’re athletes and we go through a lot and one bad race, we bounce back into a good race and we move forward.”

In fact, Williams believes that despite what the naysayers believe, she has been having a really good season.

“This season has been going well so far, especially indoors, my first full season indoors, 7.04. No one at 19 has done that and just to be the youngest at the World Indoor Championships and to place fifth really meant a lot,” she said.

“After indoors I went straight into training, heavy training, and I think that was where I was feeling it, at Prefontaine.”

Now with that disappointing performance clearly behind her, Williams is now firmly focused on being at her best for Jamaica’s National Senior Championships from June 23-26, when she will face off against some of the fastest women in the world with the aim of booking a ticket to Oregon in July.

To do that she will face as deep a field as she has ever faced in Jamaica. In addition to the usual suspects, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will compete despite having a bye to Oregon as the defending 100m champion and Shericka Jackson, Williams will come up against an in-form Kevona Davis, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell, Natalliah Whyte, Kemba Nelson and Shockoria Wallace all of whom have been having strong seasons.

Notwithstanding the depth of talent, the Olympic gold medallist said nothing will change in how she prepares for the fierce battles ahead.

“Never, it is always the same. It is always a hot field and I always perform my best when the time is right,” she said.

“I know that trials will be hard. Everyone is running fast. That is how it’s supposed to be. I am looking forward to trials.”

 

Trinidadian 2018 Commonwealth Games 100m gold medalist Michelle Lee-Ahye ran a new meet record 11.17 for victory the Women’s 100m at the Irena Szewinska Memorial, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event, at the Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bygosczcz, Poland on Friday.

The 2016 Olympic 100m and 200m finalist, who has a season’s best of 10.94 done at the Orange County Classic in California on May 7, won ahead of Vitoria Rosa of Brazil (11.32) and Gina Bass of Gambia (11.33). She had previously run 11.20 in the heats.

Barbadian two-time World Championship finalist Shane Brathwaite followed up a 13.68 performance to win his heat with a run of 13.65 for fifth in the Men’s 100m hurdles won by the USA’s Jamal Britt in 13.35. Poland’s Damian Czykier ran 13.36 for second while Antonio Alkana of South Africa was third in 13.63.

 

 

2011 100m World champion Yohan Blake ran a season’s best 10.05 for second in the Men’s 100m at the Ostrava Golden Spike, at the Municipal Stadium, in the Czech Republic, on Tuesday.

The race was won by Great Britain’s Reece Prescod in a personal best 9.93 while fellow British teammate and former Kingston College sprinter Zharnel Hughes was third in the same time as Blake.

Jamaican Tokoyo Olympic finalist Candice McLeod ran a season’s best 50.38 for second in the Women’s 400m behind Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek who ran a personal best 50.16. Another Polish athlete, Anna Kielbasinska, was third in 50.38, equaling her own personal best.

Puerto Rican Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn sped to 12.56 for victory in the Women’s 100m hurdles ahead of Poland’s Pia Skrzyszwoska who ran a personal best 12.65 and the USA’s Nia Ali (12.69).

It was a Caribbean 1-2 in the Men’s Javelin as Grenadian 2019 World Champion Anderson Peters continued his fine form this season with a throw of 87.88m to win ahead of Trinidadian 2012 Olympic Champion Keshorn Walcott (84.77m). Germany’s Julian Weber was third with 83.92m.

Cuba’s Maykel Masso won the Men’s Long Jump with 8.14m ahead of the Czech Republic’s Radek Juska (8.11m) and France’s Augustin Bey (8.00m).

Jamaicans Wayne Pinnock and Carey McLeod booked spots in the Men’s long jump at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships set for Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon from June 8-11 with good performances at the NCAA East Preliminaries held in Bloomington, Indiana, from March 25-28.

Pinnock and McLeod, both former Kingston College standouts, now competing for the University of Tennessee, jumped 7.93m and 7.63m, respectively, to advance. They were also the top two finishers at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Alabama in March with Pinnock jumping 7.92m for victory against McLeod's 7.91m.

Former Jamaica College and current Purdue jumper Safin Wills produced 15.89m to advance in the Men’s triple jump.

On the track, Jamaica’s Yanique Dayle and Antigua and Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd will both compete in the sprint double at the NCAA Championships after securing their spots.

Dayle, formerly of Hydel High and now competing for Ohio State, ran times of 11.24 in the 100m and 22.64 in the 200m while Lloyd, competing for Tennessee, ran the same time in the 100m and 23.01 in the 200m.

The Women’s 400m also saw two Caribbean competitors advance from the East Region with Bahamian Kentucky standout Megan Moss (52.07) and Bermudan UMBC athlete Caitlyn Bobb (52.40).

Trinidadian Olympian and Kentucky senior Dwight St. Hillaire ran 45.63 to advance in the Men’s equivalent.

Clemson senior Lafranz Campbell of Jamaica and Cayman's North Carolina A&T senior Rasheem Brown both ran 13.63 to advance in the Men’s sprint hurdles while another Jamaican Clemson representative, Trishauna Hemmings, ran 13.13 to advance in the Women’s 100m hurdles.

Barbadian and Tennessee sophomore Rasheeme Griffith and Jamaica and Kentucky senior Kenroy Williams ran 50.91 and 50.96, respectively, to progress in the Men’s 400m hurdles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Lucia’s Julien Alfred ran a wind-aided 10.80 to win her heat at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Round in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday, to be the fastest qualifier to the Women’s 100m at the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, from June 8-11.

Jamaica’s Kemba Nelson of Oregon and Alfred’s Texas teammate Kevona Davis also qualified for Eugene with times of 10.85 and 11.04, both also wind-aided, respectively.

Davis will also contest the 200m in Eugene after running 22.49 to qualify second fastest in the West Region behind teammate Kynnedy Flannel (22.40).

Jamaicans Stacey Ann Williams of Texas (50.66) and Charokee Young of Texas A&M (50.80) were the fastest qualifiers in the Women’s 400m.

Barbados' Jonathan Jones of Texas and Jamaica's Jevaughn Powell of UTEP ran 44.85 and 44.87, respectively, to be the top two qualifiers in the Men's equivalent. 44.87 is a new personal best for Powell, the former Edwin Allen and Kingston College standout.

Another Bajan, Rivaldo Leacock of New Mexico, ran a new personal best 49.63 to advance in the Men's 400m hurdles.

Texas Tech's Demisha Roswell was the second fastest qualifier in the Women's 100m hurdles with 12.78 while Baylor’s Ackera Nugent ran 12.93 to also advance.

Former Hydel High and current Texas A&M star Lamara Distin and Texas' Trinidadian Olympian Tyra Gittens both cleared 1.81m to progress in the Women's high jump while Gittens also produced 6.40 to advance in the long jump. Former Herbert Morrison athlete Daniella Anglin, now a freshman at South Dakota, also cleared 1.81m to advance in the high jump. 

 Bahamian Kansas State senior Kyle Alcine achieved a personal best 2.15m to advance in the Men's high jump.

Though pleased with her ‘workout' at the National Stadium in Kingston last Saturday, Derron Herah, coach and husband of Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah believes the next six weeks of preparation will be crucial.

 This is especially true if she is to realize her goal of winning her first World Championship title this summer.

The triple-gold medallist at last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, ran a smart 10.94s to win the 100m dash running into a headwind of -1.8m/s and then less than an hour later clocked a decent 22.55 to complete the double.

“Her performance is good,” her proud husband told Sportsmax.TV after the 100m final where had there been no headwind, Thompson-Herah’s time would have been 10.81.

“Today (Saturday) was mainly a training run; didn’t know she was going to run this fast. She was not necessarily pressing the gas, just basically the first 30 and trying to maintain and maintaining brought her 10.94, so we are right there. We just need to lighten up because we’re still heavy. So when the time is right we will lighten up and then go when we need to go.”

Lightening up, as Herah puts it, involves getting Thompson-Herah to approach her peak at the National Championships from June 23-26 but be at her best at the 2022 World Championships that begin in Eugene, Oregon on July 15, just over two weeks later.

He explained that with the two championships so close to each other, everything comes down to timing.

“The timing is very important. After the National Championships, we have two weeks before World Championships, so we almost have to peak in the championships and maintain that into the World Championships. We have to be very careful and very and very selective with races and how we approach races,” he said of Thompson-Herah’s preparation.

“What we are trying to do is getting her to peak for Oregon, not necessarily the trials. We will have to be in some kind of shape to indicate what we are going to do in Oregon so we have to be on that cycle now, six-seven weeks out, so by the time trials come around then we would have to be in similar shape as to what we would be in Oregon.”

The delicate nature of this phase is partly why they decided against flying to Birmingham, England last week for the Diamond League meeting after Thompson-Herah suffered some discomfort during training.

Herah explained.

“Even our decision to not go to Birmingham, we had everything in mind because we knew what the weather was going to be like and she was feeling some type of soreness. It’s not like we would go and then not run,” he said.

“We decided on the day not to go and as the week went along she started to feel a little better so I decided we would come out here today (Saturday) because we would have had a training session today anyway, so we got in two competitive runs but what we saw today was good enough.”

Thompson-Herah is down to compete at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 28. She lines up against some of the fastest women in the world including Dina Asher-Smith, World 60m champion, Mujinga Kambundji, Olympic gold medallist Briana Williams, Shericka Jackson, Marie Jose Ta Lou and Twanisha Terry.

 

 

The Women’s 100m will be must-see TV at the Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, May 28.

Reigning double Olympic sprint champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson and controversial American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson are all down to compete in the showpiece event.

Thompson-Herah has the fastest season’s best heading into the race having run 10.89 to win her heat at the USATF Golden Games on April 16. She also ran 10.93 at the Puerto Rico International Athletics Classic on May 12 and 10.94 at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston on May 21.

Jackson has only run three 100m races so far this season with her best coming on May 7 when she ran 11.00 to win at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series at the National Stadium in Kingston. She also ran 11.12 for second at the Birmingham Diamond League on May 21 behind British 2019 World 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, who will also be in the field in Eugene.

Richardson, who missed the Olympics last year after testing positive for marijuana at the US Olympic Trials, made her season debut on May 21 at the Duval County Challenge in Jacksonville running 11.27 to win.

The field will be rounded out by Ivorian speedster Marie Jose Talou, Jamaican Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Briana Williams, recently crowned World Indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji of Switzerland and Americans Teahna Daniels and Twanisha Terry.

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah has withdrawn from the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Saturday. The Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist cited her withdrawal as precautionary.

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