Stephen Francis, coach of Jamaica-based track club MVP, has backed quarter-miler Stefenie Ann Mcpherson to recover from the disappointment of the Olympic Games and is confident she still has plenty of time to claim an individual major Games medal.

The 32-year-old runner finished just outside of the medal places in Tokyo, after being caught and passed close to the finish line by USA legend Alisson Felix who captured the final podium spot.  The race was won in dominant fashion by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo with second place going to the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino.

McPherson’s finishing time of 49.61 was much slower than her season-best of 49.34, which had been recorded in the event's semi-final.  The athlete collapsed violently sobbing after the event.  Francis admits that the athlete’s time in the final was a bit of a surprise but believes she is poised to recover and post exceptional performances in the upcoming season.

“It was disappointing because I thought she would have run 48 high in the 400m (Olympic final),” Francis told Sportsmax.Tv in a recent interview.

“She is, however, young enough and determined enough that she will be able to try again,” he added.

McPherson, the event’s reigning national champion, returned to training with the majority of the club’s athletes earlier this week.

 

Jamaica sprint sensation, Elaine Thompson-Herah, insists breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding record isn’t a target but believes it remains very much within reach.

Thompson-Herah demanded the world sit up and take notice when she eclipsed another longstanding record held by the American at the Olympics a few weeks ago.

The Jamaican’s 10.61, winning time at the Games, run into a -0.6 wind erased Florence-Joyner’s 1988 Olympic record of 10.62.  Just a few weeks later, however, and the athlete obliterated that mark, clocking 10.54 in another dominant showing against a quality field, this time in Eugene, Oregon at the Prefontaine Classic.

This time the wind speed recorded for the race was +0.9.  Now, only Griffith-Joyner’s mark of 10.49 remains on the horizon and there is little doubt, for the first time in decades, it could be eclipsed.

"Going to Prefontaine there was no intention of breaking that record," Thompson-Herah said.

"It was a normal race day and I came out if with a PB after a tiring championship,” she added.

"10.5 is definitely in my reach but I wouldn't say it's a target right now.

"On a perfect day and perfect weather, if I get that, I would definitely challenge it.”

 

A chorus of disgruntled Jamaica track and field fans have turned their ire towards sporting goods manufacturer Nike for what they deem to be disrespect of top-rated women’s sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The athlete’s exploits over the past few weeks have astonished the majority of the track and field world.  A truly dominant performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw her not only successfully defend her title in both the 100 and 200m but set the second-fastest times ever recorded over the distance.

For good measure, she added a 4x100m relay gold medal to the mix to leave the game with three medals.  Scrolling through the social media feed of her sponsor @Nike, on both their Twitter and Instagram main feeds, you would never know any of those accomplishments had occurred.

The feed did, however, during the period, congratulate the USA Women’s Basketball team, 800 metre runner Athing Mu and Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge who are all sponsored by the brand.

The last straw for many, however, would have been the placement of an ad featuring USA sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson ahead of her return to the track at the Prefontaine Classic last week.  The much-hyped ad featured Nike’s caption ‘No more waiting. Let the @carririchardson_ show begin.’  The race featured both Thompson and compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, another Nike-sponsored athlete and Olympic silver medallist.  Richardson is yet to win a medal and missed out on the chance of doing so at the Olympics after incurring a brief suspension for testing positive for marijuana.

Thompson summarily dismissed Richardson, and the rest of the field for that matter, after winning the race in a mind-blowing 10.54, with Richardson failing to live up to the pre-race hype after finishing in 9th position.  The Jamaican’s time smashed the already impressive 10.62 mark she set at the Olympics and was just 0.5 seconds outside of Florence Griffith Joyner’s long-standing world record.  The irony of the situation was not lost on the Jamaica track fans on social media and they made their feeling known by commenting on the post with the Richardson ad on the company’s IG page.

blkdynamit.snkr

The ppl hype her is she the Olympics double double champion and the fastest female in the world? I thought it was Elaine? ??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️

makonem_theheir

She just got smokedddd.. Not even top 4.?????.. I guess the show got postponed

jovem_rei._

All of this for last place sis?

The company has congratulated Thompson-Herah on its “Nike Running” page, which has 5.7M followers, but not their main @Nike page which has 170M followers.  Some fans have started a campaign to boycott the brand.

Jamaica double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah put away a top-quality field to massively improve an already impressive personal best, at the Prefontaine Classic, Wanda Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Fresh off an impressive triumph at the Tokyo Games, Thompson-Herah was in no mood to slow down, and in fact, went considerably faster.  The Jamaican pulled away from compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the final metres of the race to stop the clock at 10.54, just .05 second outside of the world record set by the United States' Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

In almost identical fashion to Tokyo, Fraser-Pryce was second in 10.73, with Shericka Jackson third in 10.76.

Prior to the race, a lot of the attention was focussed on the return of flamboyant United States sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson who missed out on a match-up with the Jamaica trio at the Olympics, after serving a brief suspension for testing positive for marijuana. 

Expectations had been heightened for the sprinter’s return after emphatically winning the US trials before the Games.  In Eugene, however, she was nowhere to be found.  Richardson got away slowly and never got into the race, ending at the back of the field in a pedestrian 11.14.  Thompson-Herah now has the two fastest times outside of the longstanding world record set by Griffith-Joyner.

 

Venerated Jamaica sprinter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, insists she remains motivated by tough competition from her fellow Jamaicans, despite routinely being faced with the challenge of trying to secure a spot on one of the most difficult teams in the world to make.

For basketball there's the United States Dream Team, for football, it’s Brazil for track and field, surely the Jamaica women’s sprint team has to be right up there.

At the country’s national trials, Fraser-Pryce (10.71), Shericka Jackson (10.82), and Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.84) were the three athletes to secure an automatic spot.  In Tokyo, as many predicted a few weeks later, the places were different, with Thompson-Herah taking gold, Fraser-Pryce silver, and Jackson bronze but the trio remained the same.

At the Jamaica trials, Briana Williams, the 2018 world junior champion, found herself with only a relay spot after clocking 11.01, a time that would have been good enough to win most national championships around the globe let alone make the team.

In such a competitive field, there is certainly very little room for error and a bad day could mean the difference between first and third or missing out entirely.  Fraser-Pryce wouldn’t have it any other way.

“For me, I’m kind of glad that we have that competition because when you are in practice you have to always make sure that you are giving 100 percent at all times,” Fraser-Pryce told members of the media ahead of Saturday’s Diamond League meet in Eugene.

,“You don’t have room for any errors or any time for slacking off because there are so many other ladies who are behind, who are coming.  So, it definitely forces you to be on your A-game and I think that’s good for me as an athlete.”

Fraser-Pryce will face off against Thompson-Herah, Jackson, and American Sha’Carri Richardson in the 100m today.

Jamaica Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson has admitted that she is yet to decide what distance to compete over in the future, with the 400m remaining near and dear to her heart.

Jackson, who began her senior career as a quarter-miler, and in fact has an Olympic bronze medal in the event from the 2016 Olympics, surprised many with her decision to drop to the 100m and 200m sprints ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The results, however, speak for themselves. Jackson achieved personal bests of 10.76 and 21.82, times which undoubtedly put her among the elite echelons of the events.  In addition to that, the athlete claimed a bronze medal behind compatriots Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Tokyo.

“As a quarter-miler stepping down a lot of people would have said, oh you can’t do it but a lot of quarter-milers have stepped down and shown it is possible.  When you show up at the line, you give your best, my best was good enough, I got a medal,” Jackson told members of the media ahead of Saturday'ss Diamond League meet in Eugene Oregon.

With the World Championships expected to get underway in just around a year’s time, the sprinter will have a decision to make, stick to the 100m, 200m, attempt the 200m, 400m or return to just the 400m.  She, however, believes there is plenty of time to sort that out.

“The good thing about this is that I can switch the events at any time.  I can run all three.  It has to be a decision me and my coach will make.  I still have a lot of love for the 400m, it’s not that I stopped running the 400m.  I just took a break and the break was really good for me.”

Three-time Tokyo Olympics medallist Shericka Jackson impressed plenty of onlookers with her speed at the recently concluded Games, but many were left even more astonished by the superb conditioning that saw her take part in four events.

Jackson claimed a bronze medal in the 100m, competed in the first round of the 200m, and claimed gold in the 4x100m, before being part of a bronze medal-winning team in the grueling 4x400m relays.

A remarkable achievement, particularly considering that only a year ago a troublesome injury threatened to seriously curtail her participation in the Tokyo Games.  Jackson suffered from severe shin splints a condition that affects the tibia and produces sharp and razor-like pain along the bone.

With the heavy demand placed on the legs by track athletes, the condition can, at worst, be debilitating enough to require surgery or at the other end of the spectrum certainly prevent the runner from delivering their full potential on the track.

When the athlete showed up at the offices of physiotherapist and performance enhancement specialist Yael Jagbir, in September of last year, her condition was much closer to needing surgery.

“It was pretty severe because if I even touched the area it was painful and she was unable to continue her season because of the pain she was in.  She would have trouble warming up and things like that, so it was very severe initially,” Jagbir told SportsMax.TV.

“I’ve seen stress fractures that you definitely need surgery.  If hers wasn’t treated properly it could have led to her needing to do surgery on her shins.  It was right on the cusp of that point that she would have needed surgery,” she added.

After months of highly specialized treatment from Jagbir, however, the athlete slowly began to see improvement and the painstaking work really paid off in April, with the Olympic qualifiers just a few months away.

“Three months between September to November we were doing some very intense work, some pool therapy, land-based therapy.  I was also doing treatment modalities to promote healing for the stress fractures,” Jagbir explained.

“When November came, she went back to training, we continued working with some modifications.  In December, she did an x-ray and the x-ray showed that they were seeing signs of healing and that was the first time she was seeing healing in the shin from when it first started in 2019.”

“We just kept working, her work ethic is impeccable, so it was a good team effort.  In April, when she did another x-ray, by that time the pain in the shin had really started to subside, she was able to train and able to sprint.  When she went for the repeat x-ray, in April, it showed no signs of fractures.  That was amazing, that was a miracle, for those fractures to heal while she was actually training is really amazing.”

Typically, a 400m runner, Jackson dropped down to the sprints for Jamaica’s national championships, where she surprised many by placing second in both the 100m and 200m sprints.  The rest, as they say, is history.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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