West Indies bowler Hayden Walsh Jr has paid tribute to the female athletes of the Caribbean, following a number of dominant performances in the recently concluded Tokyo 2020 Games.

In total, women from the Caribbean region snapped up a total of 18 medals, with the region claiming 34 overall.

There were outstanding performances from Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah who successfully defended her Olympic titles after repeating the sprint double, and was, along with her two compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, part of a clean sweep of the 100m podium places.

Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo also put in a commanding performance after dismissing the field to defend her 400m Olympic crown in a new personal best.

“I’ve enjoyed all the successes of the Caribbean, especially the women,” Walsh Jr told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“Seeing the women from Jamaica perform and bring home the medals, normally you would hear about the men from Jamaica but this  I’m proud the women pulled through for us,” he added.

The win by the Jamaica team in the 4x100m was the first for the country’s women’s team since 2000.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chairman of the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) George Soutar, was left ecstatic following Jamaica’s outstanding display in the sprint hurdles at the just-concluded Olympic Games, an area in which the foundation has invested heavily in recent years. 

Since 2019, the SDF has provided 20 hurdles each to 53 schools, that’s over 1,000 hurdles across Jamaica in a concerted effort to widen the hurdling pool in the island.

Soutar pointed out that the established schools were not a part of the programme as the strategy was to reach out to the more disenfranchised schools to build them up. “The SDF looks forward to Jamaica becoming as dominant in hurdling as in the sprints, in the 100m, 110m and 400m formats,” said Soutar.

Jamaica won three hurdling medals at the Olympics courtesy of Hansle Parchment who struck gold in 110m hurdles and was followed home by Ronald Levy who won the bronze medal.

Jamaica did not stop there as Megan Tapper became the first female to win a hurdles medal in sprint hurdling when she copped bronze in the Women’s 100m hurdles.

The SDF also extended congratulations to the Jamaican team on yet another outstanding display in securing nine medals inclusive of four gold, a silver and four bronze.

There was a special mention for another rare sweep of all medals by the women’s 100m runners, something some Jamaicans may take for granted, not appreciating the magnitude of this achievement.

"For these three homegrown, born and bred Jamaican women to take on the might of the world, in the middle of a pandemic and swept to victory over all else, is an achievement worthy of the highest accolades,” said Soutar.

“To all who have contributed to this magnificence, we say thanks. To their coaches, the JAAA, the JOA, their families we say thanks on behalf of all Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora,” added.

“Jamaica is forever in the debt of these athletes, who have sacrificed to take us all with them to the pinnacle of world athletics,” Soutar noted.

 

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has said that every arriving athlete from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be greeted by her on arrival.

Briana Williams, a sprint relay gold medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has dedicated her gold medal to her late grandmother, Vive Colquhoun-Simpson, who passed away shortly after she departed for Japan. Vive was her mother, Sharon Simpson's, mother, who had been ailing for some time.

World Netball has declared its intention to make the case for the Olympic Games to include netball by the Brisbane games in 2032.

The sport’s governing body acknowledges that the best opportunity to showcase Netball on the Olympic stage will come when the host nation is a strong Netball nation and one that supports and proposes netball’s inclusion to the IOC as one of its additional sports.

 “All our Member Nations are excited at the potential of being part of the Olympic Family in 2032. We are committed to ensuring that our case for inclusion adds significant value to this very special Olympic movement,” said World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE.

The governing body outlined its objectives in a statement released earlier today.

“World Netball congratulates the City of Brisbane on the announcement confirming that it will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and declares its intention to work with Netball Australia to make a compelling case for Netball’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games,” WN said in a statement.

“As the first step towards Olympic inclusion, a sport has to be governed by an IOC ‘recognised’ federation – World Netball achieved this recognition in 1995 and has enjoyed a good relationship with the IOC since then.

“As Netball Australia currently holds the number 1 world ranking and Sydney has already been confirmed as the host venue for the Netball World Cup 2027, 2032 provides the perfect opportunity. World Netball is aware that Organizing Committee and IOC decisions on this matter will be made many years from now and so we will use the time available to work with our colleagues at Netball Australia to present a compelling case for inclusion.”

Netball was originally developed by women for women and girls at a time when their opportunities to participate in and achieve through sport were very limited. The sport initially spread across the Commonwealth through the education sector but soon developed and grew.

It now has more than 20 million participants across 76 Member nations and 5 continents and TV, digital audiences and social media followers are rapidly growing. Netball is a core sport in the Commonwealth Games programme and the 5 top-performing nations at the world level are spread across five continents.

Netball’s World Cup attracts record crowds. When the event was held in Liverpool 2019, over 100,000 tickets were sold to over 30,000 unique spectators from across 40 nations; over 6 million people attended, watched and/or followed the event which achieved a Net Promoter Score of 81 per cent.

“Over 30,000 adults were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more, and 60 per cent of spectators were inspired to increase their participation in sport or active recreation as a result of attending the event,” it said.

According to World Netball, it recently launched strategy focuses on further growing global participation, reach, revenue, impact and capacity and also commits to the sport being ‘open to all', with a focus on three core strategies to grow, to play and to inspire, all underpinned by great governance.

“Over recent years the number of participants and Member nations has increased and more men and boys are participating in Netball. There is significant growth potential, and World Netball is committed to supporting increased engagement from men and boys while building on its female-focused foundations that have shaped the culture and values of the sport,” the statement said.

“World Netball will continue to drive game development and the worldwide delivery of thrilling major events - which will include the further development and promotion of Netball's modified format of the sport, Fast5 – has 5 players a side and features dynamic rules changes, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots.

World Netball is also in the process of establishing a new Foundation to harness the power of Netball to change lives by creating a vehicle to promote, support and fundraise and partner with NGOs to deliver life-changing projects through netball.”

USA football star Megan Rapinoe got to see her fiancee Sue Bird complete a stellar Olympic career with a fifth basketball gold medal - despite all crowds being banned in Tokyo.

Bird, 40, signed off her Games career in the United States' 90-75 win over Japan on Sunday.

At courtside was Rapinoe, who won a bronze on Thursday when she scored twice as the USA beat Australia 4-3 in the football third-place match.

Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the 2019 World Cup, first met Bird in the run-up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

They became a couple later that year and announced their engagement in October 2020.

When the USA clinched the basketball gold medal, Bird went to the side of the court and kissed Rapinoe, later revealing how her 36-year-old partner managed to gain access to the Saitama Super Arena.

"I'm very lucky," Bird said. "Obviously when your partner or your fiancee is also in the Olympics you would love to be able to go and support them, be around them, to give any kind of support possible.

"Megan somehow finagled a media credential and got herself in this arena today. We didn't really know it was going to happen until two days ago, it got confirmed. So I do I feel very lucky she was here to witness it, to share it with me."

Spectators have been blocked from attending venues at the Olympics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with families of overseas athletes unable to travel to Japan for the Games, meaning Rapinoe was among the fortunate few to be in the arena.

"I just went over and obviously told her I loved her and told her I was tired," said Bird. "That was pretty much the extent of the conversation, and she told me she was happy and proud of me.

"Of course I'm so proud of her and her team for winning that bronze medal. The Olympics is hard. It's really hard. There's so much pressure involved and so to have both of us medal is something that I know we'll take that memory with us forever."

Rapinoe wrote on Instagram: "I am so proud of you @sbird10. As if I could love you any more. Congrats baby!"

Bird has ruled out playing on to Paris 2024, happy to settle for five gold medals, the first of which came in Athens at the 2004 Games.

"It really is hard to wrap your head around it, to grasp what it is," said the Seattle Storm star.

"Twenty years of staying true to the game, making sure you're at the top of your game, so much sacrifice.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen. We lost in 2006 [to Russia at the World Championship]. We tasted that and that's always been the driver.

"So when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

Sue Bird signed off her Olympic career with a fifth gold medal as Team USA landed a seventh successive women's basketball title, scuppering the hopes of hosts Japan in the final.

At the age of 40, Bird has declared Tokyo 2020 will be her final Games, and she helped the latest incarnation of the mighty United States team to a 90-75 win in the Saitama Super Arena.

Brittney Griner set a new USA record of 30 points in a women's Olympic final, while Diana Taurasi joined Bird in landing a fifth gold, the two longest-serving members of the team each finishing the game with seven points. Taurasi, 39, could yet play on until the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

A'ja Wilson scored 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field in Sunday's final, while Breanna Stewart added 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Maki Takada led Japan with 17 points. Her team-mate Nako Motohashi drained four of five three-point shots but was far less clinical when nearer the net.

Japan made just 36 per cent of their field-goal attempts (28 of 77) and the 54 per cent success rate of the US team (37 of 69) proved a decisive factor.

The home team never led and trailed 50-39 at half-time, then 75-56 after the third quarter, and by that point the contest was all but over.

Taurasi said of her fifth gold: "It's 20 years of sacrifice, of putting everything aside and just wanting to win. It's never easy playing on this team [with] the pressure, but this group found a way to win and I'm just happy this group got to enjoy it."

Griner, who was also on the Rio 2016 team, recalled the efforts of the triumphant teams of years gone by, with this winning streak having begun at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

"Seven in a row, I mean that's just amazing. That just goes to show everything USA basketball's about," Griner said.

"Japan's hard to guard. They can shoot it anywhere on the court. They're a tough guard, they're a really good team. I'm just glad we've got this gold."

Grenadian 400m bronze medallist, Kirani James, has expressed gratitude to be back on the Olympic podium, after a difficult four years, which included being diagnosed with a debilitating disease and the passing of his mother.

As a 19-year-old James, was the toast of the Caribbean after claiming 400m gold at the 2012 London Games, four years later he battled to silver behind South African Wayde van Niekerk who won the event in a blistering world record time.

Shortly after, however, the athlete’s fortunes took a drastic turn for the worst, and, in an event as brutal and as grueling as the 400m, the odds were stacked against the athlete getting a third Olympic medal in Tokyo.  He defied them anyway.

In 2017, James had found himself struggling with fatigue and weight loss.  He dropped around 20 pounds before being diagnosed with the thyroid condition known as Graves’ disease.  Just two years later, he faced perhaps even more difficult circumstances after his mother Pamela James passed away following a lengthy battle with a terminal disease.

At the 2019 World Championship James had fought his way back to competition weight but finished fifth in the final leaving many to wonder if he would ever be back amongst the elite.  Just a year later the James had to deal with the cancelation of the Olympic Games and the disruption and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.

After clocking a time of 43.88 in the semi-finals, his fastest since 2012, the athlete showed that he was doubtlessly back to his best, and, despite not crossing the line first in the final, after four years of tribulation, the bronze medal was a sweet reward for the Grenadian.

“It’s always great.  You have to give credit to all eight guys in the race, they are so, so good, so it's tough to race against them.  I’m just happy to compete against those guys and get a medal,” James said.

“I had an illness.  It’s still going on, I have to be on medication for the rest of my life.  2019 I lost my mother who was the matriarch of our family,” James added.

“I’ve had to deal with Covid, the quarantines and the lockdowns and not having a place to train and trying to figure things out.  So, it’s been a whirlwind, a roller coaster.”

James became the first man in Olympic history to win a medal in the event at three different Games.

Women’s 4x400 Metres Relay

 Jamaica secured a bronze medal in the women’s 4x400 metres relay as the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics ended today.

The team of Roniesha McGregor, Janieve Russell, Shericka Jackson and Candice McLeod combined to run 3:21.24 to finish 3rd behind the USA and Poland.

Sydney McLaughlin, Allyson Felix, Dalilah Muhammad and Athing Mu came together to win gold for the US in 3:16.85 and Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek, Iga Baumgart-Wittan, Malgorzata Holub-Kowalik and Justyna Swiety-Ersetic won silver in a national record 3:20.53.

 

Men’s 4x400 Metres Relay

 Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago both failed to secure medals in the men’s 4x400 metres relay.

The Jamaican team of Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor, Jaheel Hyde and Nathon Allen ran 2:58.76 to finish 6th while the Trinidadian team of Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire and Machel Cedenio finished 8th in 3:00.85.

 Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Bryce Deadmon and Rai Benjamin combined to win gold for the USA in 2:55.70.

The silver medal went to the Dutch quartet of Liemarvin Bonevacia, Terrence Agard, Tony van Diepen and Ramsey Angela who ran 2:57.18, a national record.

The Botswana team of Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Zibane Ngozi and Bayapo Ndori combined to run 2:57.27 for bronze, breaking their own African record in the process.

Men’s 4x400 Metres Relay

Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago both advanced to the final.

The Trinidadian team consisting of Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards, Machel Cedenio and Dwight St. Hillaire ran a season’s best of 2:58.60 to finish 3rd in heat 1 and progress.

Jamaica fielded a team of Demish Gaye, Jaheel Hyde, Karayme Bartley and Nathon Allen to finish 2nd in heat 2 with a season’s best time of 2:59.29 to advance.

 

Women’s 400 Metres

The Caribbean secured two medals in the women’s 400 metres.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas successfully defended her title from the 2016 Games by winning gold in a personal best 48.36, the 6th fastest time ever in the event.

 

She was followed by Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic who took silver in a national record 49.20.

Allyson Felix of the USA became the most decorated female track athlete in Olympic history by finishing 3rd and securing her 10th Olympic medal, one more than Jamaican legend Merlene Ottey.

Jamaicans Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Candice McLeod finished 4th and 5th in 49.61 and 49.87 respectively.

Cuba’s Roxana Gomez started the final but unfortunately failed to finish, pulling up injured about 100 metres into the race.

 

Women’s 4x100 Metres

The Jamaican quartet of Briana Williams, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson celebrated Jamaica’s Independence Day by running a national record of 41.02 to secure the gold medal.

This marks Jamaica’s first time winning Olympic gold in women’s 4x100 metres relay since Athens 2004.

Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini and Gabby Thomas combined to run 41.45 to secure the silver medal for the USA, while Great Britain with Asha Phillip, Imani Lansiquot, Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita ran 41.88 for bronze.

 

Men’s 4x100 Metres

Jamaica finished 5th in the final of the men’s 4x100 metres relay.

Jevaughn Minzie, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville combined to run 37.84 to finish behind Italy, Great Britain, Canada and China.

 

The Italian team of Lorenzo Patta, Lamont Marcell Jacobs, Fostine Desalu and Filippo Tortu ran a national record 37.50 to secure gold and continue the country’s impressive track & field showing in Tokyo.

The British team comprising of CJ Ujah, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ran 37.51 to finish just behind the Italians in 2nd.

Aaron Brown, Jerome Blake, Brendon Rodney and Andre De Grasse combined to run 37.70 and secure the bronze for Canada.

 Decorated Jamaica female sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, has called for an end to berating the country’s male sprinters in light of several disappointments at the Tokyo Games.

The post-Usain Bolt Olympic era begun in difficult fashion for the Jamaica men’s team, with the dizzying heights of world record times and podium topping finishes seemingly, for now, well and truly in the past.

In the 100m, an event dominated by Bolt for the past three Olympics, no Jamaican was able to advance to the final for the first time in over two decades.  Over double the distance, where Bolt also dominated for the last three editions, one Jamaican, Rasheed Dwyer, made it to the final but finished in 7th place.

In the 4x100m, where the country has won for the last two Olympics, after being stripped of a gold medal in 2008, the team finished fifth in the final.  Despite the rapid descent being too much for some fans, who have made their grouses know via various social media platforms in recent weeks, Fraser-Pryce has called for an end to the criticism.

Having been part of the teams that dominated along with Bolt, the athlete has called for patience and appreciation.

“All the Jamaicans that are beating the men and cursing and leaving all the negative comments, you need to stop it,” Fraser-Pryce said, in the aftermath of being part of a gold-medal-winning 4x100m relay team.

“It takes a lot of guts and hard work year to year to compete, to come out here and to represent.  A lot of persons are competing at these championships, some of them are going away without making the finals.  We were in the finals, so we need to start celebrating the men because their time is coming.”  

Jamaica Women’s 4x100m relay team admits it was a disappointment to miss out on breaking the event’s world record but were nonetheless happy to give their nation a gift on its Independence Day.

The quartet of Briana Williams, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and Shericka Jackson captured the gold medal with a new national record of 41.02.  The time narrowly eclipsed the previous mark of 41.07, set at the 2008 Beijing Games, but was some way short of the 40.82 set by the USA in 2012.  The time was, however, the third-fastest ever run over the distance.

Even with the threat of the US, the quartet used safe changes for most of the race, with the bigger target clearly being the gold medal.  Despite, dominating the 100m sprints for over a decade, the gold medal was the first for the Jamaica women’s team since Athens 2004.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we did manage to get the stick around.  We didn’t get the world record, but we got a national record on Independence Day, what more could you ask for,” Thompson-Herah, who added a third gold medal for the Games, said following the event.

Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medallist, backed up the notion.

“It was good, as an elite athlete or a senior athlete, I was just ready to make sure we took the opportunity and took the stick around and we got a national record.  We wanted a world record, but we also wanted Elaine to get the three gold medals because the last Olympics she missed it and now we have it,” Fraser-Pryce said.

The Jamaicans had taken silver behind the USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the last time Thompson had been in a position to claim three gold medals after winning the 100m and 200m.

The relay gold was, however, also the first for Fraser-Pryce, who saw the team she was part of at the 2008 Olympics fail to get the baton around the track and also being a part of quartets that finished second in both 2012 and 2016.

Williams was participating in her first Olympics, while Jackson who got a 4x400m silver in 2016 has only just started to take part in the sprints.

 

 

The Jamaican women added the 4x100-meter relay title to their Tokyo Olympic collection after sweeping the podium in the 100-meter final.

The Jamaican team won in a national record 41.02 seconds. It was the second-fastest time in history and ended the U.S. team’s push for a third consecutive Olympic gold in the event.

The American team of Javianne Oliver, Teahna Daniels, Jenna Prandini, and Gabrielle Thomas won silver in 41.45 and Britain took bronze in 41.88.

Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100 meters on Saturday in an Olympic record. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was second and Shericka Jackson was third in that race. Those three joined Briana Williams as the Jamaicans added the Olympic relay title to their world championship gold in 2019.

Breanna Stewart said it would be an "insane" achievement for Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi to reach five Olympic gold medals after Team USA reached the Tokyo 2020 basketball final.

A comfortable 79-59 win over Serbia carried coach Dawn Staley's team through to Sunday's title match.

The USA will be chasing a seventh consecutive gold and a 55th successive Olympic game win, with Bird and Taurasi the longest serving players on the current roster.

Bird and Taurasi have been on the team since the Athens Games in 2004, with Stewart a relative newcomer after first being called up for Rio 2016.

"Sue and D, what they've done for USA basketball is extremely special," Stewart said.

"The fact that they're going for five straight golds is insane and I think for the rest of us as players, we want to make sure we put them in the best possible position to get that gold."

There could be a basketball double for the USA in Japan, with the men through to a title game against France on Saturday.

The women's team have surpassed the Olympic achievements of their male counterparts in this century.

The men managed only bronze in Athens but have won the three Olympic tournaments since, while the women last failed to gain gold in 1992 at Barcelona.

Bird, 40, and Taurasi, 39, might not have long left as active Olympians, but they are passing their knowledge on to the younger generation.

Yet for everyone representing the US, this is a stressful time, given that anything less than the gold medal would be written off by many as failure.

Stewart said: "I think that right now there's so much pressure that it's seven straight overall that you get lost in what's actually happening and enjoying being at the Olympics, being on the court and competing every single day.

"This is exactly where we want to be, so now everything is on the line. We're going to do what we can to make sure that we come home with a gold."

  Women’s 4x400 Metres

 Cuba and Jamaica both advanced to the final.

The Cuban team of Zurian Hechevarria, Rose Mary Almanza, Sahily Diago and Lisneidy Veitia ran 3:24.04 to finish second in heat 1.

Junelle Bromfield, Roniesha McGregor, Janieve Russell and Stacey Ann Williams formed the Jamaican quartet that finished second in heat 2 to advance with 3:21.95.

The Bahamas quartet of Doneisha Anderson

Megan Moss, Brianne Bethel and Anthonique Strachan also competed in heat 1 but did not finish the race.

 Men’s 400 Metres

The Caribbean secured two more medals in the men’s 400 metres.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner won gold in a time of 43.85 and Grenada’s Kirani James secured bronze in 44.19.

 This is Gardiner’s second straight global gold medal after winning at the 2019 Doha World Championships.

James has now won 400 metres medals at the last three Olympics after winning gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio 2016.

Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor was also in the final and finished sixth in a new personal best 44.79.

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