Following an impressive season-best run over 400m at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Saturday night, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Candice McLeod revealed that she has been working on a new race plan that she believes could make even faster than she was in 2021.

Inside the National Stadium in Kingston, the well-chiselled McLeod exploded at the 250m mark and pulled away from the field to win handsomely in 50.58. In her devastating wake were the Sprintec pair of Tiffany James and Ashley Williams, who ran 52.10 and 53.40 for second and third, respectively.

McLeod’s winning time was the third-fastest by a Jamaican woman behind Charokee Young (49.87) and Stacey-Ann Williams (50.21).

Surprisingly, she was pleased but not overly impressed with the performance.

 “I feel okay but I feel like I have a little more (to give). I feel like I was just working on what we have been working on in training,” she said following the victory.

The new race plan that she and coach Fitz Coleman has been putting together is intended to take her to the next level because despite running a massive personal best of 49.51 at the Olympics last summer, McLeod feels as if she needs to suffer to get the best out of her body.

“Honestly, even when I ran 49.5, I never felt like I gave it my all. I didn’t feel the leg pain, the headaches and whatever so I feel like I didn’t do enough,” she explained.

“I have always wanted to feel at my maximum regardless of what it feels like. I want to feel like I am dying so I felt like I needed to switch it up a bit to get that dying feeling. Today wasn’t bad, it still wasn’t there but it’s getting there.”

That plan has been coming together since the outdoor season began earlier this year when she opened with 51.78 at the MVP Velocity Fest meet in Kingston on April 2 before flying off to Bermuda where in extremely windy conditions on April 9, she clocked a solid 51.57. She was second in both races to the 2019 World Championship 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson.

The University of the West Indies accounting graduate followed up on April 23 with what was then a season-best 51.20 in Kingston.

However, just over a week ago, on May 13, the 25-year-old Olympic finalist ran her worst race of the season clocking 52.37 in a fifth place finish at the Doha Diamond League meeting. Despite the poor showing, McLeod said that race was important to her plans for this season even if things didn’t work out as planned.

“I needed Doha because after the 51.2 here, I needed to see if I could get it (the race plan) in play but, unfortunately, I didn’t do what I wanted to, so I came today even though it wasn’t part of the schedule to run,” she said while explaining what went wrong in Doha.

“It was the wind. It was bad execution by me too. Bad judgement of the wind and as for recovery, I am not too keen or known to recover well after travel but I am working on that. It takes time.”

She expressed confidence that most, if not everything, will fall into place by the time Jamaica’s National Championships roll around in late June when she believes a new lifetime best is probable as she heads into the World Championships in Oregon just over two weeks later.

“With practise comes improvement,” she said. “Everybody wants to be better than they were before so if I get that (below 49.51) then, wow. If I get 49.5, then wow again, but I am working towards just bettering myself,” said McLeod who is relishing the prospect of going up against the best that Jamaica has to offer, namely Young, Williams and defending national champion, Stephenie-Ann McPherson.

“I am very confident in my preparation, my conditioning and everything. I love competition. It’s all fun for me because I love what I do, so regardless, competition or not, I am here for it,” she said.

 

 

 

Reigning Olympic champions Hansle Parchment and Elaine Thompson-Herah were among winners at Thursday’s Puerto Rico International Classic in Ponce.

Parchment sped to a season’s best mark 13.15 for victory in the Men’s 110m hurdles ahead of the USA's current world leader Devon Allen (13.20) and Jamal Britt (13.30).

The Women’s 100m hurdles was won by the USA’s Alaysha Johnson in 12.50 ahead of Puerto Rican Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.52) and Jamaican 2015 World champion Danielle Williams (12.67).

Double Olympic sprint champion Thompson-Herah cruised to victory in the Women’s 100m in 10.93 ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle Lee-Ahye (11.06) and the USA’s Shania Collins (11.08).

Bahamian reigning Olympic and World 400m champion Steven Gardiner won the Men’s 300m in 31.52 ahead of the USA’s Vernon Norwood (31.81) and Jamaica’s Nathon Allen (32.04).

2011 World and 2012 Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada was victorious in the Men’s one-lap event in a season’s best 44.70 ahead of Jamaica’s Sean Bailey (45.42) and the USA’s Trevor Stewart (45.50).

Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield was third in the Women’s equivalent in 51.82 behind Americans Gabby Scott (51.42) and Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu (50.42).

Moving to the 400m hurdles, Jamaica’s Janieve Russell ran a season’s best 54.09 to win ahead of teammates Shiann Salmon (54.43) and Rushell Clayton (54.90).

In the field, Jamal Wilson of the Bahamas was victorious in the Men’s high jump with 2.22m ahead of the USA’s Jeron Robinson (2.17m) and Puerto Rico’s Luis Castro Rivera (2.17m).

 

 

Jamaica’s Charokee Young continued her fine form to start this season by winning the Women’s college 400m in a personal best and world leading 49.87 at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday.

Young, competing for Texas A&M, finished comfortably ahead of teammate Tierra Robinson-Jones (50.89) and Florida’s Talitha Diggs (51.93).

Bahamian two-time Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo opened her 2022 outdoor season with a win in the Olympic development 400m.

Miller-Uibo, who added to her trophy case with gold in the 400m at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March, decimated the field to win in 49.91 ahead of Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams (51.17) and the USA’s Lina Nielsen (51.54).

Puerto Rico’s Olympic 100m hurdles champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn was also in scintillating form, running a world leading 12.39 to win the 100m hurdles ahead of the USA’s Nia Ali (12.59) and Kaylor Harris (13.16).

Bahamian Alonzo Russell ran 45.65 for second in the Men’s 400m behind Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.82). Wales’s Joe Brier was third in 45.74.

Puerto Rico’s defending Olympic champion in the Women’s 100m Hurdles Jasmine Camacho-Quinn stamped her class on the field with a world leading 12.67 into a -2.5 m/s headwind at the USATF Bermuda Games in Hamilton, Bermuda on Saturday.

Camacho-Quinn won ahead of the American pair of Chanel Brissett (13.06) and Christina Clemons (13.15).

Barbados’ Shane Brathwaite won the Men’s 110m Hurdles in 13.77 ahead of the USA’s Michael Dickson (13.85) and Brazil’s Eduardo Rodrigues (13.87).

Jamaica took the top three spots in the Women’s 400m Hurdles as former Hydel standout Shiann Salmon (55.35) got the better of 2019 World Championships bronze medalist Rushell Clayton (55.89) and multiple time World Championship and Olympic finalist Janieve Russell (56.56).

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan secured a win in the Women’s 200m in 23.23 ahead of the USA’s Dezerea Bryant (23.72) and Jamaica’s Briana Williams (23.82).

It was a Caribbean one-two in the Men’s 200m as Bahamian World and Olympic 400m champion Steven Gardiner got home in 20.80 ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s World Indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards (20.86) and Liberia’s Emmanuel Matadi (21.04).

Reigning Olympic 100m bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica ran 51.40 to win the Women’s 400m ahead of teammate Candice McLeod (51.57) and the USA’s Jade Stepter Baines (51.93).

Kirani James made his return to the track with a 45.63 clocking to win the Men’s 400m ahead of Great Britain’s Alex Haydock Wilson (46.05) and Jamaica’s Jaheel Hyde (46.27).

Jamaica’s Chrisann Gordon-Powell was second in the Women’s 800m in 2:04.19. The event was won by the USA’s Ajee Wilson in 2:03.09 while Charlene Lipsey, also of the USA, was third in 2:04.50.

In the field, Shanieka Ricketts won the Women’s Triple Jump in 14.15 ahead of Great Britain’s Naomi Metzger (14.00) and the USA’s Michelle Fokam 13.42).

Jamaica’s Jordan Scott jumped out to 16.37m for second in the Men’s Triple Jump behind American Olympian Chris Bernard (16.57). Bahamian Kaiwan Culmer jumped 15.82 for third.

Jamaicans Chanice Porter and Tissana Hickning were second and third in the Women’s Long Jump with 6.70 and 6.50, respectively. The USA’s Quanesha Burks won with 6.77.

 

Personal best performances were the order of the day during the finals of the 400m on day three of the 2022 ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Thursday night.

It ended with St Jago’s Gregory Prince running a lifetime best of 45.99 to win the Class I Boys event in dominating fashion over Deandre Watkin of Jamaica College (46.50) and Shemar Palmer of Manchester High (46.79).

Marcinho Rose of Kingston College won the Class II race in  48.03 for what appeared to be a Pyrrhic victory as he went down injured after crossing the finishing line ahead of teammate Tahj-Marques White (48.39) and Enrique Webster of  St. Elizabeth Technical who clocked 48.90 for the bronze medal.

Troydian Flemmings of Manchester High ran his heart out to win the Class III race in a personal best of 50.25. He was well clear of Samuel Creary of Jamaica College, who ran 51.06 for the silver medal. Demarco Bennett of Excelsior High was third in 51.12.

The girls’ races were just as thrilling as Dejanea Oakley of Clarendon College followed up her victory last year in Class II with a brand new personal best of 51.81 to win the title in her first year in Class I. Oneika McAnnuff Hydel High, the silver medalist in Class II once again won silver in 52.38. Kaylia Kelly of Vere  Technical (53.59) won the bronze medal.

Abigail Campbell of Ferncourt High pulled off a late run down the stretch to win the Class II 400m in a personal best 53.75 ahead of Natasha Fox of  Edwin Allen High (54.26) and Alliah Baker of Hydel High (54.44).

It was an all-rural school sweep of the 400m for the girls as Sabrina Dockery of Lacovia High won gold in the Class III event in 54.76. She finished ahead of the Holmwood Technical pair of Rosalee Gallimore Holmwood Technical and Abriana Wright, who ran 55.47 and 55.79, for second and third, respectively.

In the field, Zachary Campbell of Jamaica College won the Class II Boys shot put with a massive throw of 19.13m. He was more than two metres better than Rajay Hemmings of St Catherine High who put 16.74m. Calabar’s Matthew Clarke won the bronze medal with 15.63m.

 

     

 

 

 

 

The stage has been set for the 400m finals to close out day three of the 2022 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships.

In the Class I Boys event, the main contenders will be Kingston College’s Shaemar Uter, St. Jago’s Gregory Prince and Edwin Allen’s Delano Kennedy.

Prince, who won the event at Central Champs last month, was the fastest qualifier to the final with 46.60. Kennedy, who ran 46.97 to win at last month’s Carifta Trials, ran a personal best 46.66 to finish second behind Prince in his semi-final. Uter, who represented Jamaica at the World Junior Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, last year, won his semi-final comfortably in 47.10.

Kingston College is expected to score big in the Class II 400m with Marcinho Rose looking like the favorite for gold. Rose ran an easy 49.05 in his semi-final to be the fastest qualifier.

His teammate Tahj-Marques White only ran 50.74 for third in his semi-final but is expected to feature prominently in the final as he entered the championships with the fastest time of any Class II boy this year with 48.35 which he ran at a Corporate Area Development meet last month. He also ran 48.36 to win the Under-17 Boys 400m at the Carifta Trials ahead of Rose.

Also expected to be in the mix is Central Champs champion Antonio Powell of Edwin Allen who qualified second fastest with 49.30.

Jamaica College’s Samuel Creary (50.85), Excelsior’s Demarco Bennett (50.83) and Manchester’s Troydian Flemmings (50.96) are expected to battle it out for the Class III title.

The Girls Class I event is expected to be a hot contest between Clarendon College’s Class II champion from 2021, Dejanea Oakley, who qualified fastest with 52.77, St. Jago’s Safhia Hinds (53.65) and Vere Technical’s Kaylia Kelly (53.86).

Ferncourt’s Abigail Campbell is a big favorite to add to her Class III title from 2021 in the Class II final after she ran 53.94 to qualify fastest for the final, the only girl to go below 54 seconds. Her main challengers are expected to be Hydel’s Alliah Baker (54.48) and Lacovia’s Rasheika Byfield (54.61).

Lacovia’s Carifta Trials Under-17 400m champion Sabrina Dockery (55.59) and the Holmwood Technical duo of Abriana Wright (56.10) and Rosalee Gallimore (55.84) are expected to battle it out in Class III.

Reigning Olympic 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson will make her return to the 400m at the Velocity Fest 10 at the National Stadium on Saturday.

So far this season, Jackson has only competed in the 60m where she ran a personal best 7.04 to finish sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in March.

Jackson, who lowered her 100m personal best to 10.76 last season, was also a bronze medallist in the 400m at the 2015 Beijing World Championships, 2016 Rio Olympics and 2019 Doha World Championships. The former Vere Technical standout hasn’t run a 400m race since a sixth-place finish at the Gateshead Diamond League on May 23 last year.

However, she will be competing in Section B of the Women’s 400m and her main competition could come from Candice McLeod, a finalist at the Tokyo Olympics and Rushell Clayton, the 2019 World Championships bronze medallist in the 400m hurdles.

Tajay Gayle, the 2019 World long jump champion will open his season facing strong competition from Shawn-D Thompson and Emmanuel Archibald.

Elsewhere in the field events, Fedrick Dacres, the silver medallist from the 2019 World Championships will compete in the discus alongside Chad Wright and Traves Smikle.

The Men’s 100m is also expected to be an exciting affair.

There will be five semi-finals and then  A, B and C finals that will likely feature Yohan Blake, Zharnel Hughes, Oblique Seville, Tyquendo Tracey, Ackeem Blake, Jevaughn Minzie and Antonio Watson.

The meet is expected to run from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm Jamaica time.

 

 

 

Texas A&M Junior Charokee Young enters the South Eastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships at the Aggies Gilliam Indoor Stadium this weekend in perhaps the form of her life.

The former Hydel High School star, opened the season running 37.33 in the 300m at the Wooo Pig Classic, which ranks her 18th in collegiate history and then in her first race over 400m, won in 52.00 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational.

She then clocked an impressive 51.24 in the 400m at the Don Kirby Open to win in what the fourth-best time all-time indoors at Texas A&M that established her as the Aggies leading quarter-miler, replacing the outstanding Athing Mu, who went pro before winning gold medals in the 800m at the US trials and the Tokyo Olympics.

Herself a former 800m runner, Young believes her progress this season comes down to building on her success last season when she finished the Texas Tech Invitational with two event titles, winning the 400m at a time of 52.64 and ran the second leg on the 4x400m that won at 3:31.09, the second-fastest 4x400m in the NCAA in 2021 as well as clocking a personal best 400m time of 51.93 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, the fifth-best performer in Aggie history.

The season culminated with her booking a ticket to Japan for her first Olympics.

“I honestly feel like what drove my improvement this year is just adding to what I had already learned last year. So instead of starting from zero, I started from 50 per cent,” said Young, who is looking beyond the NCAA to don Jamaica's colours in the individual 400m at the World Championships in Oregon in July.

“I am still trying to learn more in trying to improve my races.

“I feel like my experience in Tokyo really motivated me for this year to work hard and just go out and give it my best shot. I am really working hard this year so I wouldn’t be like an alternate, hopefully, I will be able to cement my spot on the team. So I am working hard so I can run faster and hopefully get a better result.”

Wanting to succeed for both school and country can be challenging for collegiate athletes. Navigating indoor and outdoor seasons with each having both regional and national competitions can be physically and mentally taxing.

Young acknowledges that reality but believes she is now better able to find that balance that will allow excelling at both.

“I do agree that the NCAA takes a toll on your body but if you can complete an NCAA circuit, it shouldn’t be a problem to push a couple more months to go to the World Championships. Last year was my first time doing it, so this year I will have an idea what it feels like so I will be way more prepared this year than last year,” she said.

With that in mind, she said, her primary goal this season is to improve each time she steps on the track. It is clear in her mind that if she keeps doing that, then doing well for Texas A&M and Jamaica will be achievable.

“I really don’t have a set time I want to achieve this year, I just hope to keep getting better and better, so my main goal this year is to end with a season-best,” she said.

 

 

Jamaican 400m sprinter Stephenie Ann McPherson ran a personal best 51.39 to win at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday.

It was only her second race of the season indoors after opening her season on February 11 with a 52.82 clocking at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetville.

McPherson, 400m bronze medallist at the 2013 Moscow World Championships, finished ahead of Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands who ran 51.49 and Poland’s Justyna Swiety-Ersetic who ran 52.09.

Two other Jamaicans, Roniesha McGregor and Janieve Russell, finished fourth and sixth in 52.32 and 52.53, respectively.

 

After a relatively disappointing season in 2021, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards announced on Sunday that he is determined to make 2022 a better year.

Tokyo Olympic finalist Natoya Goule established a world-leading time in the 800m at the New Balance Grand Prix on Staten Island, New York on Sunday.

The diminutive Jamaican was among several Caribbean athletes, who delivered outstanding performances at the meet as Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards ran under 46 seconds indoors for the first time to win the 400m while Danielle Williams ran a lifetime best to win the 60m hurdles.

The 30-year-old Goule, who was second to Ajee Wilson at the Millrose Games on January 29, ran 1:59.62 to win the 800m ahead of Olivia Baker, whose 2:00.63 was a personal best. Isabelle Boffey also ran a personal-best 2:01.37 for third.

Goule said afterwards that she was very grateful for the performance because she went into the meet heavily loaded after a hard week of training.

Richards had an encouraging start to his indoor season when he sped to a personal indoor best of 45.84 to win the quarter-mile sprint.

The Trinidadian held his form down the home stretch to hold off Vernon Norwood of the USA, who was second in a personal-best 46.06. Khamari Montgomery was third in 46.24.

The women’s event was won by the USA’s Jessica Beard in a season-best 52.88. Kyra Constantine of Canada took the silver with her time of 52.96 while Jamaica’s Roneisha McGregor ran a personal best 53.01 for third.

Jamaica went 1-2 in the women’s 60m hurdles won by Williams, the 2015 world champion, in a season-best 7.83, just holding off her fast-finishing compatriot Britany Anderson, who ran a personal-best 7.88. The USA’s Gabrielle Cunningham clocked 7.92, a season-best, for third

The meet represented an opportunity for 19-year-old Briana Williams to rebound from her disappointing performance over 60m at the recent Millrose Games where she finished fourth in 7.22, beaten by Aleia Hobbs, Mikiah Brisco and 16-year-old high school student Shawnti Jackson, who ran a USA high-school record and personal best 7.18 for third, which was also Williams’ lifetime best.

On Sunday, Williams bounced back in style, uncorking a personal best 7.09 to win her preliminary heat and advance to the finals with the fastest time. It took a world-leading run of 7.07 from Brisco in the final to deny Williams, who ran a smart 7.11 for second place. The USA’s Destiny Smith Barrett clocked a personal best 7.14 for third.

Noah Lyles won the men’s equivalent in a personal best 6.56 ahead of Barbados’s Mario Burke, who crossed the finish line in a season-best 6.63. Travis Collins ran 6.64 for third.

In the men’s 200m, the USA’s Trayvon Bromell pulled out all the stops to hold off Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor and win in 20.64. Taylor stopped the clock in 20.81. The USA’s Elijah Hall was also in the mix, finishing third in 20.82.

 

 

 

 

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Bronze medallist Deon Lendore died last night after reportedly succumbing to injuries he suffered in a car accident in Texas.

The 29-year-old from Arima, whose 400m personal best was 44.36, was part of the Trinidad and Tobago team that won bronze in the Men’s 4x400m at the 2012 London Olympics and silver at the 2015 World Championships in the same event.

Individually, Lendore won bronze medals in the 400m at the World Indoor Championships, in Oregon, in 2016, where he was also part of T&T's bronze medal-winning 4x400m team and Birmingham in 2018.

A three-time Pan Am Junior Championships silver medallist, Lendore also had a wonderful junior career, which resulted in him excelling at Texas A&M University, winning the Bowerman award in 2014.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Brian Lewis, reacted to the unfortunate news.

“Words cannot adequately express our sadness at the devastating and untimely loss. Deon has flown the Trinidad and Tobago flag with pride, honour, patriotism, and an indomitable will throughout his career while helping and inspiring many. We express our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, teammates, coaches, and all who he would have touched. May Deon Rest and Sleep in Eternal Peace,” he said.

Lendore represented T&T at three Olympic Games in 2012, 2016 and 2021 and three World Championships in 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Bahamian two-time Olympic 400m champion, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, has expressed pride that Bahamian athletes won gold medals in both the men’s and women’s 400 metres at the Olympics in Tokyo this past summer.

Two-time Olympic 400m gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo has revealed that injuries significantly impacted her Olympic preparation throughout the 2021 season when she had planned to focus on the 200m.

Speaking on Sportsmax TV’s On Point, Millier-Uibo said an injury she sustained while running 49.08 to win the 400 metres at the USATF Grand Prix in Eugene on April 24th prevented her from doing any speed training in preparation for Tokyo.

“We were supposed to start our speed training after Eugene at the end of April and that’s when I got hurt so we never really got a chance to jump into speed work. It’s unfortunate sometimes in track,” she said.

As it turns out, the injury was more serious than she initially thought.

“At the end, we found out that it was a tear in my gluteus medius. I actually stalled for a bit with trying to fix it because I didn’t quite know what it was at first. It just felt as though something was jammed so I figured maybe I could go to the chiropractor and get it sorted out. We tried that and it didn’t help,” she said.

The gluteus medius is a muscle located on the outer surface of the pelvis.

The three-time World Championship medalist says the pain started to ease going into the rest of the season until she went to compete at the Adidas Boost Boston Games in May.

“It started to get a little softer going into the rest of the season and then I went to Boston to compete and realized this is something really bad and the minute we get back home I’m going to check and see what it is. Took an MRI and found out there was a slight tear in my gluteus medius so we decided to rest it off and go slowly from there to try and build it up in time for Tokyo,” she said.

Injuries also affected her in Tokyo as was evident in the final of the Women’s 200 metres where Miller-Uibo finished eighth in a time of 24.00.

“I went into Tokyo nursing an injury and right before the heats, I felt really good. Everything was going really well and it was after the heats that I got a little banged up where I started to feel my right hip. I went and raced on it because it was still light at the time, raced into the semis and really hurt it then.”

In addition the trouble with her hip, Miller-Uibo also felt pain in her hamstring in her 200 metres semi-final.

“In the race itself I actually didn’t feel the hip. It was my hamstring that ended up grabbing on me and it was just a wrap from there.”

The Bahamian champion overcame her struggles and returned days later to storm to a new personal best 48.36 and win her second consecutive Olympic women’s 400 metres title.

The full interview with Shaunae Miller-Uibo can be seen on Sportsmax TV’s YouTube channel.

 

Bahamian superstar sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo has her sights set on establishing a new world record in the women’s 400 metres.

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