Cuba continue to dominate in athletics as the Pan Am Junior Games roll on in Colombia.

On Thursday, Cuba secured two medals in the women’s 100m Hurdles as Greisys Acevedo took gold in 13.07 and her countrywoman, Kelly Ibanez won bronze in 13.33.

The Dominica Republic’s Fiordaliza Cofil was the star of the day with medals in both the Women’s 200m and 400m.

She won bronze in the 200m in 23.46 then returned to take gold in the 400m in 52.10.

Shalysa Wray of The Cayman Islands was fifth in the 400m in 53.47.

Ariliannis Vargas of Cuba took silver in the Women’s 400m Hurdles in 57.20.

The Caribbean also secured two medals in the Women’s Heptathlon as Marys Cabrera of Cuba took gold with 5663 points ahead of Grenada’s Janair Thomas who took home silver with 5484 points.

Marysabel Senyu of the Dominican Republic won silver in the Women’s High Jump with 1.81 metres.

In the Men’s 400m Leonardo Padilla of Cuba came second in 45.79, behind Luis Ferreiro of Mexico took gold in 45.59.  Gamali Felix of Grenada and Michael Joseph of St. Lucia were fifth and sixth in 46.54 and 46.57 respectively.

Yoao Puentes of Cuba won gold in the Men’s 400m Hurdles with 50.91.

In the field, Ronald Zayas of Cuba was second in the Men’s Hammer Throw with 67.23.

On Friday, Juan Villalobos of Costa Rica won gold in the Men’s 1500m in 3:44.10.

Hector Pagan of Puerto Rico secured gold in the Men’s 10,000m in 30:20.48

The Caribbean also took another medal in the Men’s High Jump as Bahamian Kyle Alcine took bronze behind Erick Rodriguez of Mexico who took gold with 2.21 metres.

Rosa Santana of the Dominican Republic won the Women’s Shot Put with a 17.45 metres effort.

Her Caribbean compatriots Laysaelis Hernandez of Cuba, Kelsie Ross of Grenada and Treneese Hamilton of Dominica were fourth, fifth and sixth.

Yiselena Rojas of Cuba secured silver in the Women’s Javelin in 57.14.

Cuba secured another gold medal as Leyanis Hernandez won gold in the Women’s Triple Jump with 14.39 metres.

Chantoba Bright of Guyana finished second with a jump of 13.50 metres.

 

 

Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper has signed a three-year deal to become the newest brand ambassador for TruShake.

Tapper, the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in an Olympic 100m hurdles final, today formalized the agreement which takes effect from October 2021 and will run through to September 2024. Tapper finished third behind Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and the USA's Kendra Harrison in her history-making run in Tokyo in August.

“It means the world to me that I was chosen to represent the brand. It’s a great partnership. TruShake is a fairly new product in Jamaica and I am entering a new phase in my journey as an Olympic athlete. I am looking forward to us growing together,” said an excited Tapper after putting her signature to the deal at Funland Jamaica.

TruSHAKE is Trade Winds Citrus Limited’s locally manufactured milk-based nutrition shake developed for all ages and lifestyles. Tapper admits that TruShake is a great addition to her meal plan.

“Sometimes I do not feel like eating a heavy meal; it feels good to be able to have an affordable option that is healthy and tasty,” she said. “At times, I feel like whenever I eat healthily, I am sacrificing taste but that’s not the case with TruShake. So, it’s a great addition to my meal plan.”

Marketing Manager of Tradewinds Citrus, Lauren Mahfood explained that Tapper is a perfect fit for their brand. “Like most Jamaicans, we witnessed Megan’s outstanding talent at the Olympics this year and we were extremely proud of her performance on the world stage,” she said.

“Her infectious energy and incredible character made it clear that she was an all-around winner – a perfect fit for the TruShake brand.”

Tapper, who is also a motivational speaker, uses her platform to inspire young girls and women to seize the moment and to dream big. She explained that she will use this opportunity as TruShake’s brand ambassador, to continue her work to motivate and encourage Jamaicans to eat and live healthy so they can achieve their optimum physical goals.

 “Megan is an incredible ambassador for Jamaica and as a Jamaican brand, we look forward to seeing her compete locally and internationally, representing with passion and focus as always,” said Mahfood.

Tapper will be looking to be on the podium once more at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and Budapest, Hungary, respectively as well as the lucrative Diamond League circuit before she aims for another Olympic medal in Paris in 2024.

Eighteen-year-old Christine Mboma topped a talented field of women over 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday when Natoya Goule closed out the action on the track by winning the 800m.

The marquee event, however, was the 200m and it lived up to expectations.

The Namibian, the Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion, running on from behind, surged past Shericka Jackson with 30m to go and won in 21.84. Jackson was again under 22 seconds, clocking 21.95 while Dina Asher-Smith finished third in a season-best 22.03.

The much-talked-about Sha’Carri Richardson was never a factor. She trailed off the curve and was passed down the stretch by Mboma and Asher-Smith to finish fourth in 22.45.

Mboma was elated at getting her first Diamond League win.

“I was really excited to run here in Brussels. It was my first Diamond League experience and to be able to win in such a strong field is great,” she said.

“It has been a very tough and busy season with the Olympics and the World junior championships, but I'm still in good shape. I ran almost a personal best today, so that pleases me. I still have one race to go in Zurich and after that, I will take some rest.”

Jackson, meantime, was disappointed at not winning enjoyed the competition.

“I´m happy with my race but I really wanted to win today,” she said.

“I had a good start so I´m happy with that but there´s still room for improvement. I was able to accelerate towards the end but couldn´t get the win. I loved to race here and the feeling was good.”

Similarly, Asher-Smith was happy with her season-best.

“I´m so happy with my race! I ran a season's best and had a good feeling. It felt so good to be here and to be able to run this fast,” said the Brit, who was unable to compete in the 200m because of a hamstring injury.

“I worked so hard after my injury to return and feel strong again. I really love to run here in Brussels. I still have a few races to go so I hope I can improve myself and feel good. The relaxed feeling is back so I´m very happy with that.”

Goule, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics, ran a strategic race behind the pacemaker but then assumed the lead with 300m to go.

She would hold that lead until the end to win her first Diamond League race in 1:58.09, holding off Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, who clocked 1:58.16 for second place. Jemma Reekie also of Great Britain was third in 1:58.77.

´I’m extremely happy with my win today! I´m just so excited and happy to win my first Diamond League race,” she said.

“I have to thank God and my coach for believing in me. To race here today, especially against these girls. They are all so strong. I have a lot of respect for Keely Hodgkinson. She´s so good and humble, a very good athlete and still so young. So I´m very happy I could still sprint and take the win. The big crowd today definitely helped with that. You just feel everyone´s excitement for today. I hope I can win in Zurich as well but it will be hard.”

Earlier, Megan Tapper was third in the 100m hurdles but there was misfortune for Danielle Williams, who appeared to suffer an injury and limped across the line in eighth. She was eventually disqualified.

Tapper, the Olympic bronze medalist, got off to a fast start but was eventually caught by Tobi Amusan and Nadine Visser, who crossed the line together and were credited with 12.69. Tapper clocked 12.77 for her second podium finish in the Diamond League this season.

There was no Karsten Warholm or Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles but it was no less dramatic as Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos and the British Virgin Islands’ Kyron McMaster engaged in a stirring battle that the latter looked like winning after seven hurdles.

However, the Brazilian eased into the lead over the final hurdle and held it to win in 48.24. McMaster finished second in 48.31.

Jaheel Hyde was in position to finish on the podium but seemed to run out of steam down the stretch and was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Yasmani Copello of Turkey, who took third in 48.45. Hyde had to settle for fourth in 48.91.

The men’s 400m was won by American Michael Cherry in a new personal best and meet record 44.03 leaving Kirani James (44.51) and Isaac Makwala (44.83) in his wake.

 

 

 

 

 

Winning her second national title was like a miracle for Megan Tapper who was the surprise winner on Sunday morning, the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships to select a team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Running in lane eight, Tapper upset pre-race favourites Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams to take top spot in a season-best 12.68. Yanique Thompson, the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist ran 12.73, a season-best for second place while Anderson was third in 12.75.

“It was like experiencing a miracle right in front of my face,” she said after realizing she had crossed the line first. “I expected it but it is a different feeling when it actually happens.”

Tapper was not in the best of form coming in having run times ranging from 12.87-13.72 in eight races heading into the championships. However, in the semi-finals, she ran a season-best 12.86 for second place in her semifinal that was won by Anderson in 12.65.

She revealed afterwards that patience was the key to her success and understanding what works for her.

“I just had to understand that it takes a while to get into the groove, getting into running to get my mindset right,” she explained afterwards.

“I was patient, my coach and my husband were patient with me and they kept me motivated and at the end of the day I asked God to show up for me and he did and I am grateful.”

She believes running in the outside lane actually helped her avoid the intense battle for places that was unfolding in the lanes inside her.

“I was on the end. I was in lane eight and I guess that worked in my favour,” she said.

“Before I went out, my coach and husband told me to stay focused and to just execute. Once I executed a proper race I would have been close to the top or at the top and that’s what I did.”

Now that she has secured a place on the team to Tokyo Tapper says she knows she has work to do to be ready for competition in Japan.

“I need to remain focused and realize that the job isn’t finished and it is going to take a little than what I had today,” she said.

 

Olympic champion Omar McLeod and Britany Anderson won in impressive fashion at the American Track League meet in California on Saturday.

Baylor University’s Ackera Nugent continued her impressive freshman season on Saturday with a pair of wins at the Aggie Invitational at Bryan-College Station in Texas.

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