Olympic gold medalists Elaine Thompson-Herah and Hansle Parchment have been named among the nominees for the 2021 RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards set for January 21, 2022.

Due mainly to the ongoing pandemic, the Awards will be a made-for-television event instead of the usual gala.

Thompson-Herah will likely be the favourite to add to the award she won in 2016 when she became the first woman to win an Olympic sprint double since 1988. At the Tokyo Olympics, Thompson-Herah won three gold medals (100m, 200m and 4x100m).

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61 and the 200m in a national record of 21.53, the second-fastest time in history. Following the Olympics, she ran 10.54, the second-fastest time ever run by a woman, at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon on her way to winning the Diamond League title.

However, she is among a stacked field of women who also performed at exceptionally high levels through the year, up to the end of November.

Chief among them is her perennial rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who was second in the 100m in Tokyo and was also a member of the gold-medal-winning 4x100m team. The Pocket Rocket also created history of her own in Tokyo when she became the only woman to win medals in the 100m at four consecutive Olympic Games.

She also ran a personal best of 10.60 which made her the third-fastest woman in history.

Shericka Jackson is also among the nominees for winning bronze in the 100m in Tokyo, gold in the 4x100m and a 4x400m bronze. She also ran a personal best 10.76 in the 100m.

Megan Tapper, another nominee, created history as the first woman from the Caribbean to win a medal in the Olympics 100m hurdles. This, after she surprisingly won her second national title in June.

Last, but definitely not least of the five female nominees of West Indies Women cricketer Stafanie Taylor, whose consistent performance with bat and ball saw her ranked among the best female cricketers in the world. She also became one of only three women to score 5000 ODI runs in the history of women’s cricket.

Parchment, who stunned the world to defeat American Grant Holloway and win gold in the 110m hurdles at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, leads the male nominees, that also includes fellow sprint hurdler and national champion Ronald Levy, who won bronze in Tokyo.

Also among the male nominees are West Indies and Jamaica batsman Nkrumah Bonner and Rally Cross driver Fraser McConnell.

The nominees for People’s Choice Performance of the Year include Mikhail Antonio’s wonder strike against the United States at the national stadium in Kingston and McConnell’s historic win in the Nordic Rally Cross in February.

The other nominees are Tapper’s surprise bronze medal in the 100m hurdles in Tokyo, Parchment’s golden run in Tokyo and Thompson-Herah’s blistering 10.54 run in Oregon on August 21.

 

 

Olympic bronze medalist, Candice McLeod, has opened up on her friendship with fellow Olympian Shericka Jackson, whom she describes as the driving force behind her athletic success.

McLeod, who returned from the Tokyo Olympics with her first Olympic medal as a member of Jamaica's 4x400m relay team revealed that her friendship with Jackson started 12 years ago while they were both students at Vere Technical High School where Jackson, who was one of the older students at the time, took her under her wing.

Speaking on Sportsmax.TV's On Point published on YouTube last Friday, McLeod said Jackson saw something in her that she didn’t see in herself.

“Shericka has been a very supportive friend. I was at Vere Technical, on the dorms for my first half of high school and the older students would choose one of the new ones to mentor. She chose me and stuck by me ever since,” she said.

McLeod opened up about Jackson always finding time to motivate her despite the gap in performance throughout high school.

"In high school, she was running 52 and I was running 63. I've been running 63 for three years and she'd get up every day and motivate me the same way she did every single day knowing she's running 52 and I'm running 63. That's a very special friendship," she said. 

The now 25-year-old McLeod, (November 15 is her birthday) who ran a personal best 49.51 in her Olympic semi-final said that in addition to her goal to win an Olympic medal in mile way, was to ensure that Jackson got a third medal after her mentor and friend failed to advance in the Olympic 200m after badly mistiming her run in the preliminary round and was eliminated on time.

“I was her roommate (in Tokyo) and missing out in the 200 definitely took a toll on her. I did not go out there with the aim of getting myself a medal because it was a team event,” she said.

The former Papine High student said the key to their friendship is being able to hold each other accountable.

 “She has someone who’s going to tell her she’s wrong when she’s wrong or right when she’s right and that she needs to work harder. We both want the same thing for each other, regardless of if we’re in the same race.”

 You can watch the full interview with Candice McLeod on the Sportsmax YouTube channel.

 

 

Consolidated Bakeries Jamaica Limited through its Purity Bakery brand is in discussions to formalize a professional relationship with Olympic relay gold medalist and 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson.

In the midst of her post-Olympic campaign, Shericka Jackson, who won a bronze medal in the 100m in a Jamaican sweep of the event at the Tokyo Olympics in August and then a gold medal anchoring the 4x100m relay in a new national record of 41.02, was missing home.

On September 3, she tweeted about the things she was missing the most – two curry patties from Devon House, 3 grapefruit ice creams also from Devon House, chocolate, two cheese patties and two Purity Buns.

The tweet generated more than 3000 likes and was retweeted more than 300 times and eventually caught the attention of Purity Bakery, who simply responded “We got you.”

They sure did.

Earlier Monday, less than 48 hours after Jackson returned to Jamaica for the first time since July, Purity delivered on their promise with a package of Purity buns for the Jamaican star but also several palettes of product for members of her community.

“@sherickajacko just touch dung and got her Purity bun and products courtesy of Purity Jamaica,” the company tweeted.

“She also got buns for her community. We love you Shericka and we’re proud of all you did for us on an international scale.”

 Could this be the start of something sweet for Jackson and Purity.

 

 

Olympic bronze medalist Kirani James was an impressive winner in the 400m at the Memorial Borisa Hanzekovia 2021 Meeting in Zagreb on Tuesday when Shanieka Ricketts ended her season with a meet record effort in the triple jump.

James won in commanding fashion clocking a meet record 44.46. Looking fresh and fast even as his season winds down, James was more than a half-second faster than Botswana’s Isaac Makwala, who faded down the stretch to clock 45.15.

Italy’s Edoardo Scotti ran 45.30 for third.

Ricketts, meanwhile, closed her season with a meet record of 14.77m to win the triple jump ahead of Nesa Filipic, who jumped 14.31m for second place. Senni Salminen was third with 14.24m.

Once again, Shericka Jackson had to settle for the runner-up spot in a race with Christine Mboma of Namibia. The teenager ran a meet record of 22.04 pulling away from Jackson, who ran 22.30. Athonique Strachan of the Bahamas ran third in 23.05.

Similarly, Ronald Levy played second fiddle to the USA’s Devon Allen in the 110m hurdles. Allen ran a personal best of 12.99 in what was an unexpectedly comfortable win ahead of the Olympic bronze medalist who ran 13.10 for second place whole Hansle Parchment, the Olympic gold medalist was third in 13.12.

Janieve Russell ran 55.45 for third in the 400m hurdles race won by Panama’s Gianna Woodruff in 54.67. Anna Ryzhykova was second in 54.87.

Marvin Bracy had another impressive win in the 100m clocking 9.86 while pulling away from Ronnie Baker (9.97) and Trayvon Bromell (10.03). Julian Forte ran 10.20 for fifth.

Shadae Lawrence ended her season with a third-place finish in the discus with a throw of 60.80m. Olympic champion, the USA’s Valarie Allman throw 69.63m for the win over Sandra Perkovic (66.48m).

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah was the only Caribbean athlete to win on the final day of the Diamond League season in Zurich on Thursday but a few others came very close.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

The Women’s 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Friday promises to be an electric affair as it features a few of the fastest women in the event in the world this year.

The world’s fastest woman Elaine Thompson (21.53) is a late withdrawal but the field is still stacked.

It features firebrand American Sha’Carri Richardson,  Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson as well as Olympic silver medalist and World U20 champion Christine Mboma of Namibia, both of whom have run faster over the half-lap sprint than the upstart American.

 The 18-year-old Mboma ran a lifetime best 21.81 for the silver medal in Tokyo and 21.82 to win the World U20 title in Kenya last month. She will prove to be a handful not just for the American but also for the Olympic 100m silver medalist Shericka Jackson, who ran a personal best 21.82 in June.

However, in a pre-meet media conference on Friday, Richardson, who will be running on fresher legs, said she hopes to go below her previous best.

“I feel like a baby in such a company because a lot of ladies have a time of 21 seconds behind their name. I get into the starting blocks with the same eagerness for a 200m as I do for a 100m, so hopefully, I can prove that with a fast chrono. My coach and I are also working very hard to excel in both distances, so I'm really looking forward to diving under 22 seconds,” said Richardson whose personal best is 22.00 but has a season-best time of 22.11 run in Gainesville, Florida in April.

She might very well need to, if she is to win, because also included in the line-up is the reigning European champion Dina Asher-Smith, who hampered by a hamstring injury, was forced to withdraw from the event at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

However, the Briton, who is gradually returning to full health, ran a season-best 22.06 in Italy in June and will be hoping to get close to that time after a promising 22.19 for third in Eugene, Oregon on August 21.

Olympic finalist Beatrice Masilingi is also included in the line-up. The Namibian teenager, the sixth-place finisher at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, ran a personal best 22.18 for the silver medal behind at the World U20 Championships in Kenya last month.

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.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce concedes that Elaine Thompson-Herah is much closer to the 100m world record than she is but says that it good that women are now able to challenge the 33-year-old standard set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

The Tokyo Olympics 100m silver medalist was speaking at a press conference Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she, Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson will once again line up for the 100m in a field that also includes local talents Mujinga Kamnundji, Ajla del Ponte and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Talk of the world record heated up last weekend when Thompson-Herah sped to a world-leading and personal best 10.54 while winning the blue-riband dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. The time is only 0.05s off the world record of 10.49.

Fraser-Pryce, who ran a personal best of 10.63 in June, believes that the world record is now being challenged is a boon for the sport and women’s sprinting.

“As for running the world record, Elaine is much, much closer than I am so it’s good to be able to challenge a record that for women that for a long time we thought was impossible,” she told media gathered for the press conference,” and it speaks to the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do to sprinting and the different things that are involved in sprinting, so to be able to be in that conversation or to have that conversation is truly remarkable.”

Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.73 while finishing second to Thompson-Herah in Eugene, expressed optimism that fast times – maybe even the world record - can be achieved on the track in Lausanne on Thursday.

“I know that Lausanne has a very good track; I ran 10.7 here in 2019 after coming off a plane, so I know it’s a very good track. So, hopefully, tomorrow the ladies will have a superb race and we will see how it goes at the end.”

 

 

 

Jamaica double Olympic champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, had no comment regarding the pre-race comments of Sha’Carri Richardson after handing the American a crushing defeat at the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday.

Thompson-Herah clocked a new personal best of 10.54 in the women’s 100m, just outside of the longstanding world record set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.  Similar to the finish at the Olympics a few weeks ago, her compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.73) and Shericka Jackson (10.76) we second and third.

Heading into the race, however, the focus had been on the return to the sprints of American Sha’Carri Richardson.  Richardson had run 10.72 in April and won the US trials to set up the prospect of an intriguing match-up at the Olympics.  The 21-year-old was, however, suspended ahead of Tokyo after returning a positive test for marijuana.

Ahead of the Wanda Diamond League, many framed the race as an Olympic do-over for the American, who certainly headed into the event sky-high on confidence with plenty of pre-race chatter to boot.  It did not go to plan.  Richardson finished last in 11.14, and at the end of the race, the Olympic do-over had the same three medallists as the original.  On Richardson’s placing and pre-race chatter, the decorated sprint queens had no comment.

“I wasn’t watching Sha’Carri to be honest,” Fraser-Pryce, who went viral for a cheeky post-race smirk as she passed by the American being interviewed, said.

“No, you shouldn’t have,” Fraser-Pryce replied when anyone should have really been surprised by another Jamaican sweep.

Fraser-Pryce may well have a point, perhaps expecting Richardson, who is yet to win a major medal, to match up to the in-form Jamaican 100m medallist, who in total have 8 Olympic medals between them and three of the four fastest times in history, might have been a stretch.

“I didn’t hear much of that,” Thompson-Herah said when quizzed on the American's pre-race comments.

 “No comment on that,” the athlete added when asked for her assessment of Richardson’s performance.

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.

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