The British Virgin Islands Chantel Malone and Trinidad and Tobago’s Tyra Gittens will represent the Caribbean in the women’s long jump final after finishing 5th and 9th in qualifying on Saturday.

The other regional athletes in competition, Jamaicans Chanice Porter and Tissanna Hickling finished 24th and 25th respectively in qualifying with distances of 6.22 and 6.19.

Elsewhere, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren could not manage to get among the medals after finishing 10th in the final of the women’s shot put.

Men's 400m 

Nine Caribbean men advanced to the next round of the men’s 400 metres.  Heat 1 of the event saw Grenada’s 2012 Olympic Champion, Kirani James, finish second in 45.09 to advance.

Demish Gaye of Jamaica and Alonzo Russell of the Bahamas also advanced to the semi-finals from heat 1 as two of the six fastest losers, after finishing 4th and 5th in 45.49 and 45.51 respectively.

The third heat also saw three Caribbean men advance to the semi-finals as Jonathan Jones of Barbados, Christopher Taylor of Jamaica and Dwight St. Hillaire of Trinidad & Tobago all made it through.

Jones and Taylor finished second and third with times of 45.04 and 45.20 to advance automatically and St. Hillaire finished fourth in 45.41 to advance as a fastest loser.

Steven Gardiner, the reigning world champion, easily won heat 5 in 45.05 to advance to the semi-finals.

Trinidadian Deon Lendore also advanced from heat 5 after finishing second behind Gardiner in 45.14.

Jamaica’s Nathon Allen was also in heat 5 but failed to advance after finishing fourth in 46.12.

Machel Cedenio, the Trinidadian who narrowly missed out on a medal five years ago in Rio, also advanced to the semi-finals after finishing third in the 6th and final heat in 45.56.

Men's Lomg Jump

Earlier, Tajay Gayle qualified for the final of the men’s long jump, despite picking up an apparent left knee injury.

The Jamaican fouled his first attempt and picked up the injury while jumping 6.72 in his second attempt.  He jumped out to 8.14 in his third, with heavy strapping around his left knee.

Juan Miguel Echevarria of Cuba had the longest jump in qualifying after leaping out to 8.50 in his first attempt.

The men’s long jump final will get underway at 8:20pm today.

Natoya Goule won her semi-final to advance to the final of the women’s 800 metres.

Goule took the lead early and never looked back, running 1:59.57 to get to her first Olympic final.

Jamaica’s Chad Wright, in the meantime, finished ninth in the men’s discus final with a throw of 62.56.

Elsewhere, the Dominican Republic mixed 4x400m team of Andres Feliz, Marileidy Paulino, Anabel Medina, and Alexander Ogando ran 3:10.21 to finish second in the final and secure the silver medal.

Sean Bailey, Stacy Ann-Williams, Tovea Jenkins, and Karayme Bartley ran for Jamaica and finished 7th in 3:14.95.

 

 

Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah defended her Olympic title in emphatic fashion, as the country made a clean sweep of the medals in the Women’s 100m on Saturday.

In a superb display of sprinting, the Jamaican powered to the line in a time of 10.61, the fastest in the world this year, and now the second-fastest in history.  Fraser-Pryce, the world champion, who had gone into the event as favourite, was second with a time of 10.74, with Jackson, previously a 400m athlete who stepped down to the sprints earlier this year, third in 10.76.

Heading into the Games, it was Fraser-Pryce who had received all of the headlines, as the 34-year-old looked to be in prime position to secure a historic third Olympic gold medal in the event.  She had run the fastest time in the world at 10.63 and netted a win over both her compatriots at the Jamaica National Championships.

Thompson-Herah had, however, looked in superb form since and sent warning signs when she effortlessly coasted to win in 10.82 to open the competition.  She then followed that up with another fast 10.76 clocking, in the semi-final, run in a manner that suggested she plenty left in the tank.  She clearly did.

Thompson-Herah’s time also broke the Olympic record set by American Florence Griffith Joyner at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

“Disappointed, hurt, and entirely confused”. That is how Jamaican national champion Tyquendo Tracey described his emotions following the first round of the men’s 100 metres on Saturday.

Tracey did not start in heat 1 of the event, this morning, leaving many fans to wonder why.

  The 28-year-old took to his personal Instagram page to provide some clarity on the situation.

 “A few days ago, while training, I felt a sharp pain in the back of my leg while running from the blocks," Tracey explained.

“The pain was enough for me to have to stop training for the evening," he said.

  After doing an ultrasound, Tracey was under the impression that the injury was not serious. However, whilst getting ready for this morning’s heat, the sprinter said that the pain worsened. His injury was kept quiet in hopes that he would be ready to compete in round 1 but he did not recover in time.

Heat 1 was eventually won by the USA’s Ronnie Baker in a time of 10.03 seconds. It is not yet known whether he will be fit in time for the men’s 4x100 metre relay.

 He ended his Instagram post by saying, “To everyone who supported me, just want to say thanks and I will make it up to everyone including myself. Nuff love and respect!”

 Dominica’s Thea LaFond set a new national record, in the Women’s Triple Jump, to lead four of the region’s women into the final as session 2 and more Caribbean athletes beginning their quest for success.

Lafond jumped a national record of 14.60 to advance, the second-longest jump of the qualifying round behind the 14.77 done by Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela who is the gold medal favourite.

Liadagmis Povea of Cuba qualified in 5th with a jump of 14.50.  Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, a silver medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, needed only one jump to qualify in 6th place.

To qualify for the final automatically an athlete needs to jump 14.40 and Ricketts did 14.43 on her 1st attempt.

Kimberley Williams of Jamaica was the last Caribbean athlete to qualify for the final, jumping 14.30 to finish 9th.

 

Women’s Shot Put – Trinidad and Tobago’s Warren claims spot in final

 The women’s shot put only saw one Caribbean athlete advance to the final, Trinidad & Tobago’s Portious Warren.  Warren threw a personal best 18.75 to finish 9th and advance to the 12-competitor final.

Jamaicans Danniel Thomas-Dodd and Lloydrica Cameron both missed out on a place in the final.

Thomas-Dodd, a silver medalist at the 2019 World Championships, finished 13th with a distance of 18.37, one spot outside a place in the final.

Cameron finished 21st in qualifying with a distance of 17.43.

Caribbean teams were also involved in the heats of the mixed 4x400m relay.

The Dominican Republic qualified for the final after finishing 2nd in heat 1 with a time of 3:12.74.

The 2nd heat saw the Jamaican team qualify for the final after a 3rd place finish.

The team comprising of Sean Bailey, Junelle Bromfield, Stacey Ann Williams, and Karayme Bartley ran 3:11.76.

 

Women’s 400mh – Jamaica’s Russell advances but mishaps for Nugent, Whyte

 The women’s 400 Hurdles saw four Caribbean women advance to the semi-finals and two suffering unfortunate mishaps.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell advanced to the semi-finals after finishing second in heat 2 with a composed 54.81 clocking.

Russell’s Jamaican teammate, Leah Nugent, originally finished second in heat 3 but was later disqualified due to lane infringement.

  Gianna Woodruff of Panama originally finished third in heat 3 but was upgraded to second after Nugent’s disqualification and subsequently advanced to the semis.

Ronda Whyte of Jamaica lined up in heat four and was expected to comfortably advance but it was not to be as she, unfortunately, committed a false start.

Tia-Adana Belle of Barbados finished second in heat 4 with a time of 55.69 to advance.

Zurian Hechavarria of Cuba finished fifth in heat 5 and advanced to the semi-finals as one of the fastest losers.

 

Women’s discus – Jamaica’s Lawrence, Cuba’s Perez advance to final

 The women’s discus saw Shadae Lawrence of Jamaica and Yaime Perez of Cuba advance to the final.

Lawrence threw 62.27 to finish 11th in qualifying.  Perez, the gold medalist at the 2019 Doha World Championships, threw 63.18 to finish seventh in qualifying.

Denia Caballero of Cuba was the only other Caribbean woman in qualifying, throwing 57.96 to finish 23rd overall in qualifying.

No Caribbean men advanced past the heats in the men’s 800 metres.

 

Women’s sprint hurdles – Jamaica’s Tapper runs personal best

 The women’s sprint hurdles heats were largely successful for Caribbean athletes.

Haiti’s Mulern Jean was the only Caribbean woman that failed to advance past the first round after finishing fifth in heat 2 in 12.99.

  Heat 3 saw both Yanique Thompson of Jamaica and Devynne Charlton of the Bahamas advancing to the semi-finals, with Thompson running 12.74 to finish second and Charlton finishing fourth in 12.84.

Heat 4 also saw two Caribbean women advance as Brittany Anderson ran 12.67 to win and Pedrya Seymour of the Bahamas ran 13.04 to finish fourth.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn ran 12.41, the fastest time in the heats, to win heat 5 ahead of Megan Tapper of Jamaica, who ran a personal best 12.53 for 2nd.

 

 

 

 

Three members of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic team have tested positive for covid-19, following a routine Saliva Antigen test at the Olympic Village.

Long jumper, Andwuelle Wright, and 400m hurdler, Sparkle-Ann McKnight, will not compete at the Games in Tokyo after their covid-19 tests returned positive results. A coach, Wendell Williams will also miss the games, after becoming the third positive result.

With less than 24-hours to compete, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee revealed the breaking news via social media.

“Two Team TTO athletes and one official received positive test results following daily routine Saliva Antigen tests at the Olympic Village. This came following two Nasopharyngeal PCR verification tests in accordance with established TOKYO2020 COVID-19 protocols, countermeasures, and guidelines.

The three members have been placed into quarantine at an approved hotel facility for foreign athletes and officials.

Former Carifta gold medallist and Trinidad and Tobago’s national long jump record holder, Wright, also confirmed the news via social media. The aspiring athlete is disheartened by the circumstances but is happy that he is healthy and well.

“The Olympics has come [and] gone for me and my heart hurts more than anything else. I am devasted, confused and heartbroken. My coach and I both tested positive for COVID-19 virus days before I had to compete, after receiving six (6) negative test and I had to withdraw from the games,” he posted.

“More Importantly I’m okay although I don’t know what “okay” looks like right now but I’m happy to be alive and breathing.”

23-year-old Wright, who is from Tobago, said he was fully vaccinated and was not showing any symptoms during his time at the Olympic Games.

“[I was] experiencing zero symptoms of this virus also being fully vaccinated, meaning my Olympic dreams and everything we worked hard towards was shattered.”

McKnight, previously represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics, reaching the semifinals on the second occasion.

Williams was a former Trinidad and Tobago national long jump record holder. He held the previous mark of 8.14m since 1999. However, Wright leaped to an impressive 8.23m to eclipse the feat his coach had achieved.

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.

 

Jamaican-born Swiss sprinter, Alex Wilson, will not be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

This comes after a provisional suspension handed to Wilson by Anti-Doping Switzerland was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Wilson, a bronze medalist in the 200 metres at the 2018 European Championships, was handed the mandatory provisional suspension after an out-of-competition sample collected from him on March 15th revealed the presence of a metabolite, trenbolone, an anabolic steroid.

The Swiss sprinter blamed the presence of the prohibited substance on the consumption of contaminated beef he ate at a Jamaican Restaurant in the USA.  Wilson then challenged the ruling at the Swiss Olympic Disciplinary Chamber and was successful, as they arrived at a ruling to lift his suspension on July 2nd.

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), acting on behalf of World Athletics, along with WADA then successfully filed an application against the Disciplinary Chamber’s decision requesting that the provisional suspension be reinstated.

Head of the AIU, Brett Clothier, had this to say about the situation.

“We were not satisfied with the national-level decision to lift the mandatory provisional suspension and so together with WADA we appealed the decision. This case reflects the AIU’s commitment to protecting the interests of clean athletes and ensuring a level-playing field in Tokyo.”

 Wilson turned heads in the track and field world at the Georgia Games on July 18th with massive lifetime bests of 9.84 in the 100 metres and 19.84 in the 200 metres.

 

 

 

 

Guyana 400m sprinter, Aliyah Abrams, will approach competing at the Tokyo 2020 Games with fresh zeal after taking full advantage of the enforced break from the sport the coronavirus provided last season.

Like many others the Guyana national champion found herself upended with heavily disrupted training sessions, the majority of meets cancelled, and even eventual postponement of the Olympics.  Still, she endeavored to make the best use of the situation and found unexpected benefits.

“Despite the Games being cancelled and a whole lot of meets being cancelled it was the reset that I needed,” Abrams told SportsMax.TV.

“Sometimes you just need to step away from track and pursue and do other things that you enjoy.  When you come back to doing it, you can rekindle that flame that you had,” she added.

“A lot of things of things were shut down but I got a chance to spend some time with the people I love and recover my body and my mind.”

For the 24-year-old, Tokyo will represent her second appearance on track and field’s biggest stage, and in addition to being in a better frame of mind, she is also feeling in better physical shape.

“It’s been five years from 2016 to the 2021 Olympics, I was able to compete internationally and do well at Worlds and at Pan Ams, so I have more experience, I’m in better physical shape as well.  I’ve also run faster than I did heading into the first Olympics,” Abrams said.

The quarter-miler, who has a personal best of 51.13, has targeted cracking the 50-seconds barrier in Toyko, but in a highly competitive field that may not be enough to earn a place among the top eight women in the world.  Win or lose though, the plucky athlete certainly intends to give it her best shot.

“I haven’t been running the third 100 of my race the way that I want to this season, so I have been working on how to better execute that.  The problem has been the second part of my race.  Once I set that up, I’ll be in good standing,” Abrams went on.

On her Olympic debut in Rio, Abrams exited the competition in the first round, she has much higher targets this time around.

“My ultimate goal this time around is to make it to the final that would be a success for me."

 

 

Barbadian Olympic bronze medallist, Obadele Thompson, has revealed that he was overcome with a sense of relief after crossing the line third at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The historic bronze medal was the first for the sprinter and first for Barbados as an independent nation, but the sprinter had battled through his fair share of disappointment prior to securing the breakthrough.

Before that, Thompson had finished outside of the medals at the previous four major games (3 World Championships and 1 Olympics) and even before that fourth at the World Junior Championships in 1994.

Finally, though, his hard work did off in Sydney.

“Crossing third was a huge relief.  I had placed fourth at so many other championships.  I came fourth at the World Youth Championships, fourth in 1996, in the 200, when Michael Johnson set his amazing world record.  I came fourth the year before, in 1999, in the 100m and 200m,” Thompson told SportsMax.Tv’s InCaseYouMissedIT.

“To be able to cross the line and finally know I was going to be on the podium was a big deal, and to know that Barbados, never seen our flag raised at a global championship of that magnitude before was an amazing feeling,” he added. (Watch full interview below)

Still, the former athlete, as tends to be the case, admits that he also felt some amount of disappointment as the results of the race could have been even better.

“It was also disappointing, I knew I was in better shape, coming to the Olympic Games with an injury that I sustained about six weeks before and I had to come off the European circuit after running really well in the 100m.  The only person that was beating me was Maurice Green,” Thompson said.

“Having to leave the circuit, dealing with the injury, and not knowing if I would be able to compete, it was also a blessing to have made it down that track.”

 

 

 In just two days, team Jamaica has received news of two unexpected injury blows to start the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

2018 Commonwealth Games steeplechase champion, Aisha Praught Leer, has revealed via social media that she injured her left knee in training on Sunday, which later turned out to be a torn meniscus.

The athlete will, however, still attempt to compete at the Games after taking an injection to the joint.

"I will line up in Tokyo.  When I arrive I will get fluid drained from my knee and take a cortisone injection (this is legal, and my surgeon understands and supports me in this)

The unfortunate injury occurred during what she described as one of the ‘best workouts’ of her life.  The athlete explained that she felt excruciating pain as if something had torn.

“I tore my meniscus (a complete, off the bone root tear) on Sunday at training—a freak, shocking accident. I heard and felt a painful pop doing a drill but then proceeded to do one of the best workouts of my life. On Wednesday I got an MRI, then sat in quiet disbelief with Joe Bosshard as the doctor told us I need surgery ASAP.”

The always-smiling athlete is scheduled to compete in the 1500m that is set to get underway on Sunday, at 7:35 pm.  Naturally, she is heartbroken because she will not be able to compete at her maximum ability.

“I want to keep believing in the possibility of achieving the wild dreams I store deep in my heart. The reality is they will not happen in Tokyo—running to my ability is simply not possible on a knee without stability. This is the most challenging reality I have faced in my career,” Praught Leer said.

“We did nothing wrong. As I said, this was a freak accident. But now all of my silent work, the beautiful, hard-earned fitness, does not have a chance to see the light of day. The triumph I have visualized so vividly is—poof—gone in one step,” Leer lamented.

Although she understands that unexpected injuries are a part of sports, it is still a tough reality for her to accept.

“I understand this is sport—just sport. I know the truth that I am more than an athlete. But this sport means everything to me. This is my life’s work, my purpose, and my first true love. I am heartbroken.”

The athlete, who created history, being the first Jamaican to win gold in the steeplechase event at the Commonwealth Games, insists she will be proud to represent the country despite not being in top shape. 

“You will see me smiling in Tokyo with Jamaica on my chest because the honour of representing my country is one of the greatest I’ve had in my little life.”

On Thursday, news broke that gymnast Danusia Francis had suffered an injury to her left knee, which later turned out to be a torn ACL.  Francis will not be able to compete in her events.  She will, however, symbolically take part in the Uneven Bars event but will not attempt a dismount.

 

 

 

The Jamaican sprinter is looking for her third Olympic 100m gold.

Former 100m world record holder and Olympic champion Donovan Bailey believes Jamaica’s women could sweep the blue ribband event in Tokyo.

Heading into the women’s 100m, it is the Jamaican trio of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah, and Shericka Jackson who have clocked the fastest times over the distance this year.

Out front, is reigning world champion and two-time winner of the event Fraser-Pryce, with her best time of 10.63, which was recorded last month.  The time was the second-fastest time ever recorded over the distance and fastest in 33 years.

Next up, reigning Olympic champion Thompson-Herah has a season-best of 10.71, a run that she recorded a few weeks ago.  American sprinter Sha’carri Richardson is next on the world's top list with her time of 10.72, which was recorded in April.  Richardson will, however, miss out on the Games after testing positive for marijuana last month.

Jackson, formerly a 400m specialist, had a breakout performance in the sprints last month where she recorded a personal best of 10.77, at the country’s national trials where she was second behind Fraser-Pryce.  The fourth-fastest this year, by an athlete, and certainly puts the 27-year-old firmly in the conversation.

“The women’s 100m will be won by Shelly-Ann Fraser, that's my personal favourite.  I really think Jamaica has the opportunity to sweep.  I think Shericka Jackson has something up her sleeve,” Bailey said during the SportsMax.Tv special series Great Ones.

“We know Elaine will be there, but I think Shelly-Ann is going to get up and keep Elaine out, but I think Shericka Jackson has something for somebody,” he added.

In addition to their fast times this season, all three Jamaicans have the experience of standing on the medal podium.  Fraser-Pryce won the event at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, while Thompson-Herah won the 2016 edition.  It will be Jackson’s first time competing at the event, but she claimed a bronze medal in the 400m at the 2016 Rio Games.

“I was looking forward to this race because I really wanted to see Sha’Carri Richardson under the spotlight with the greatest sprinters of this generation.  I was looking forward to that,” Bailey said.

“The men’s final is open but the women’s final for me is a little more straightforward.  When the lights shine bright, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will not back down.”

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