Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica and Karsten Warholm of Norway have been named the World Athletes of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2021, a ceremony held virtually on Wednesday.

Thompson-Herah produced one of the finest sprint seasons in history this year, retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo and adding a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay. On top of her Olympic triple, she also clocked world-leading times of 10.54 and 21.53 over 100m and 200m respectively, moving to second on the world all-time lists and coming within touching distance of the long-standing world records.

“I just take it year by year,” said Thompson-Herah. “I went very close to the world record so you know, anything is possible. No spikes hanging up any time soon!
“The World Championships in Oregon is most definitely my next big target,” she added. “It is close to home, I hope friends and family can come out and watch. I hope I get some crowd as well. That couldn’t happen in Tokyo but hopefully, in Eugene,I can get my friends and family to come and cheer me on.”

Warholm uncorked one of the most remarkable performances in athletics history when he stormed to gold in the 400m hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics. Having already broken the world record with 46.70 in Oslo in the lead-up to the Games, Warholm exceeded all expectations in the Japanese capital to claim gold in a stunning world record of 45.94. In a race of incredible depth, the top three athletes finished inside the pre-2021 world record.

“I’m so happy for this,” said Warholm. “First when I saw the time (in Tokyo), I was like, ‘This must be a mistake!’ Because I didn’t see that one coming. And I didn’t see the victory coming before crossing the finish line.

“It was a very intense race, I knew the American and the Brazilian and all the other guys were really chasing me. I always go out hard and I never know what is going on behind me. I was just fighting all the way to the finish line. When I realised 45.94 was the reality, I was thinking: ‘This is not too bad. I’ll take it!’"

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe congratulated all of tonight’s winners and finalists on their extraordinary achievements this year.
"We have this year celebrated some jaw-dropping performances in Tokyo, at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi and through our one-day meeting circuits – the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour. So we’re delighted to recognise some of our stars at tonight’s awards.

"As a sport, we are in an incredibly strong position. 2021 has been an excellent year. We cemented our position as the number 1 Olympic sport coming out of Tokyo, we have the most God-given talented athletes on the planet and our sport is the most accessible of all sports. Thank you to all our athletes around the world. I am looking forward to watching what you can all do in 2022."


The other award winners were:

Female Rising Star
Athing Mu
The US teenager was undefeated at 800m all year, winning Olympic gold at the distance following a long but successful collegiate season. She broke the senior US 800m record with her triumph in Tokyo and then improved it to 1:55.04 just a few weeks later. She also excelled at 400m, clocking a North American U20 record of 49.57 for the distance.
“It means the world to know that my support goes beyond friends and families and extends worldwide,” said Mu. “This award shows all young girls that your dreams can, indeed, come true."

Male Rising Star
Erriyon Knighton
Throughout 2021 the 17-year-old took down several marks that had belonged to sprint legend Usain Bolt. Knighton first set world U18 bests of 20.11 and 20.04 over 200m, but his rapid rise continued and he broke Bolt’s world U20 record for the distance with 19.88 and 19.84. He went on to finish fourth in the Olympic final with 19.93.
“I’m really thankful for this award,” said Knighton. “One of my most memorable moments of this year was making it to the Olympic final in Tokyo and finishing fourth at the age of 17.”

Member Federations Award
Federacion Costarricense de Atletismo (Costa Rica)
In recognition for their outstanding training, competition and development programme roll-out over the past 12 months, for their consultative work on the World Athletics Kids’ Athletics programme, and for successfully staging a host of international events over the past year.

Inspiration Award
Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi
The shared high jump victory between Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi became one of the biggest talking points of the Olympic Games – not only for everything it represented in their own individual careers, having both battled serious injuries since the last Games, but mainly for the act of respect and sportsmanship between two friends.
“It is just crazy if I think about this story,” said Tamberi. “Thank you very much for this trophy.
“I now call Mutaz like five times a week because I need to speak with him. I feel that now we are not just friends, we are really like blood brothers.”
Barshim added: “I hope to inspire more people to love our sport and maybe share a gold one day!”

President’s Award
Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President of NBC Olympic programming
“Athletics owes Peter a massive debt of gratitude,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe. “Peter has worked alongside us for effectively 40 years and has been a constant source of great advice and wise counsel, and occasional humour that has softened the edges of any particular situation. And he has made athletics a lot better.”

Coaching Achievement Award
Bobby Kersee
The US coach has guided the careers of many legendary athletes over the years, but this year two of his charges made history. Allyson Felix became the most decorated female track and field Olympian in history after winning her 10th and 11th Olympic gold medals in Tokyo, while training partner Sydney McLaughlin broke two world records in the 400m hurdles and claimed Olympic gold in the discipline.

Woman of the Year Award
Anju Bobby George
The former international long jump star from India is still actively involved in the sport. In 2016 she opened a training academy for young girls, which has already helped to produce a world U20 medallist. A constant voice for gender equality in her role as Senior Vice President of the Indian Athletics Federation, Bobby George also mentors schoolgirls for future leadership positions within the sport.

Jean-Pierre Durand World Athletics Photograph of the Year
Ryan Pierse’s photograph of the women’s high jump qualifying at the Tokyo Olympic Games

 

This year’s award is dedicated to the memory of Jean-Pierre Durand, one of the sport’s most prolific photographers and photo chief for a number of World Athletics Series events, who died in October.
“This winning image was taken on one of the morning sessions in Tokyo and it was a hot one,” said Pierse, who is from Australia. “I wanted to illustrate the heat and how it was affecting the athletes. It is a picture that I worked on for a while, and it all came together. I am really happy with it.
“I think it’s incredibly fitting that this award is named in memory of Jean-Pierre Durand,” added Pierse. “I had the pleasure of working alongside him, most recently at the Tokyo Olympics.”

________________________________________

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah has been unveiled as one of the five finalists for female athlete of the year.

Thompson-Herah has been nominated on the back of a phenomenal season on the track which saw her achieve new heights in the sport.

She ran 10.61 to win the 100 metres in Tokyo and followed that up with 21.53 to win the 200 metres, becoming the only woman to win the Olympic sprint double on two occasions after also doing so in Rio five years ago.

She was also a part of Jamaica’s victorious Women’s 4x100 metres relay team.

After the Olympics, Thompson-Herah went on to achieve even more success.

At the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on August 21st, Thompson sped to a personal best and national record time of 10.54 seconds, the second-fastest time ever in the women’s 100 metres.

She broke 10.7 seconds four times this season, including in the Diamond League final in Zurich where she ran 10.65 to win.

Thompson-Herah has been nominated for the award alongside Dutch distance runner, Sifan Hassan, American hurdler, Sydney McLaughlin, Venezuelan Triple Jumper, Yulimar Rojas and Kenyan middle-distance specialist, Faith Kipyegon.

Hassan won the 5000, 10,000 metres double in Tokyo and also broke the 10,000 metres world record this season.

McLaughlin set two new world records in the women’s 400 metres hurdles on her way to winning gold in Tokyo.

Rojas set a new triple jump world record to win gold in Tokyo, and Kipyegon set a new Kenyan record in the women’s 1500 metres while also winning gold in Tokyo.

The winner will be announced at the World Athletics Awards to be held virtually on December 1st.

 

 

Decorated Jamaica track star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has brushed aside suggestions of retirement, insisting that she is feeling strong and at the peak of her career.

Although the sprinter turned 34-years-old this year, an age that in past decades would ordinarily see most sprinters, well outside prime years, looking to hang up their spikes, Fraser-Pryce’s performances last season proved she did not fall into that category.

In June, Fraser-Pryce ran the then fastest time of her career over 100m, clocking what was then the second-fastest time ever run over the distance at 10.63.  The sprinter had to settle for second spot at the Olympics behind the irrepressible Elaine Thompson-Herah but even so, there was little doubt that the duo was in a different class.

A month later, however, Fraser-Pryce bettered the time she set earlier in the year after clocking 10.60, the third-fastest time ever run over the distance, behind Thompson-Herah’s 10.54 and Florence Griffith-Joyner’s longstanding world record of 10.49.  Now, age aside, the diminutive Jamaican is hoping to push those boundaries even further.

“I’m at the peak of my career. It’s so mind-blowing that I think I owe it to myself, I owe it to the next generation of women that will come after me and those that are still here, to push this to another level,” Fraser-Pryce told Sky Sports News.

“I said to my husband and my coach, it’s so strange because I’ve heard of people when they are about to retire they say they’re feeling so much pain. And while you understand their journey, I’m looking at it like, I still feel good! And if I feel good, why not go for it,” she added.

Fraser-Pryce is one of the sport’s most decorated athletes having won a total of 11 World Championships and 8 Olympic medals.

The fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah, has now confirmed her departure from MVP and has revealed that she is yet to assemble her team for the 2021/2022 track season that includes the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon next summer.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

“I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

Jamaica double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah recorded another comfortable victory at the Paris Diamond League meet, on Saturday, marking a second win from three events since her triumph in Toyko.

For the first time in four races involving Thompson-Herah, however, a Jamaican trio did not sweep all the spots on the podium.  Thompson-Herah took top spot in 10.72, with Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson second in 10.97.  Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith took third spot in 11.06 and Jamaica’s Natasha Morrison was fourth in 11.09.

However, Olympic silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce did not take part in the meet.

Thompson-Herah, who clocked a meeting record, had an average start but started to pull away from the field by the 60m mark and was well clear by the finish.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Nigel Ellis clocked 10.14 to take second spot, behind the United States’ Marvin Bracy who claimed top spot in 10.04.  Côte d’Ivoire’s Arthur Cissé was third in 10.17.  Another Jamaican in the race, Julian Forte, was fifth in 10.21, with Antigua and Barbuda’s Cejhae Greene 7th in 10.26.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Danielle Williams recorded her fastest time this season, taking the event in 12.50.  The Netherlands Nadine Visser was second in a national record of 12.58, with Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper third in 12.66.

In the men’s equivalent, Olympic gold medallist Hansle Parchment bounced back to form after claiming the event in 13.03.

The United States’ Devon Allen was second in 13.08, with his compatriot Daniel Roberts third in 13.16.  Jamaica’s Ronald Levy, the Olympic bronze medallist was third in 13.24.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

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.

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.

 

 

World-record holders Florence Griffith-Joyner and Usain may have something to do with Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson Herah shattering the former's 33-year-old Olympic record over the 100m and becoming the world's fastest woman over the 200m.

Jamaica’s bold ambitions of chasing a double sprint sweep evaporated in unexpected fashion after 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson failed to advance from the heats.

It was, however, the way in which Jackson saw her bid for another individual medal slip away that left onlookers slack-jawed.  Competing in heat 5, the athlete, one of the fastest women in the event this year, seemed well in control of the race early on but began to cruise closer to the line.

The Jamaican was passed by Portugal’s Lorène Bazolo and also Italy’s Dalia Kaddari at the finish.  Kaddari finished third in 23.26, the same time as Jackson but advanced when the times were rounded down further.  With the heat being one of the slower events Jackson was also unable to advance as one of the fastest losers.  Jackson’s heat was won by the Bahamas’ Anthonique Strachan.

There was no such trouble for Jackson’s compatriot, defending Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah who advanced from heat 6 after finishing in third position.  The heat was won by Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel with Great Britain’s Beth Dobbin second.

100m silver medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also advanced in comfortable fashion after winning heat 2 in 22.22.  Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi was second in 22.63, with the Netherland’s Dafne Schippers also securing qualification with her third-place finish of 23.13.

The women’s semi-finals will take place on Monday at 5:25 am.

 

The opening session of the track and field portion of the Tokyo Olympics was highlighted by a trio of strong performances, with Jamaicans Natoya Goule, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showing impressive form.

Overall, though, there were plenty of solid performances as the event that will see the bulk of the Caribbean’s athletes, competing over the next few days, got underway.  

First up, the Jamaican trio of Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle and Chad Wright opened competition in the Men’s Discus.  Wright was the only one to progress to the final as the last qualifier, finishing 12th overall with a throw of 62.93 metres.

Dacres was only two centimetres behind Wright, throwing 62.91m to finish 13th overall, while Smikle could only manage a best distance of 59.04m to finish 25th overall.

Goule was the first competitor to grace the track and started things off with a bang as she ran a very impressive 1:59.83 to win heat 2 of the women’s 800 metres.

The men’s 400 meters hurdles saw four Caribbean men progress to the semi-finals. The list included Jamaicans Kemar Mowatt, Jaheel Hyde and Sean Rowe and The British Virgin Islands Kyron McMaster.

Mowatt finished 4th in heat 1 with a time of 49.06.  Hyde ran 48.54 to comfortably win heat 2.  Both McMaster and Rowe advanced from heat 4, with McMaster winning with a time of 48.79 and the Jamaican finishing 3rd with a season’s best of 49.18.

The session was capped off by the heats of one of the most highly anticipated events at the Olympics, the women’s 100 metres.

The event featured 10 athletes from the Caribbean.

 Antigua and Barbuda’s Joella Lloyd finished 7th in heat 1, in a time of 11.54.

Heat 2 was comfortably won by Jamaica’s defending double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who signalled her intent at these games with a smooth 10.82.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago also competed in heat 2 and finished 6th in 11.48.

Tristan Evelyn of Barbados ran 11.42 to finish 6th in heat 3.

Amya Clarke of St. Kitts & Nevis finished 7th in heat 4 with a time of 11.71.

Heat 5 was the turn of multiple-time Olympic and World Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, to announce herself in Tokyo.

She didn’t disappoint, winning in a time of 10.84 to advance to the semi-finals.

 Tynia Gaither of the Bahamas was next up on the track, finishing 3rd in heat 6 to advance.

Heat 7 saw the most Caribbean representation with Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Michelle Lee-Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago and Jasmine Abrams of Guyana all taking part.

Ahye won the heat with a time of 11.06, finishing just ahead of Jackson who ran 11.07 for 2nd while Abrams finished 7th in 11.49.

The fastest overall qualifier from the heats was Marie-Jose Talou of the Ivory Coast who ran 10.78 to win the 4th heat.

 

Page 2 of 3
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.