Category Archives: Track & Field

Resilient Janieve Russell Wins Gold!

The Jamaican gold rush at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games continued yesterday as Janieve Russell became the latest athlete to win a final inside the Cararra Stadium for the country.

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Russell finished first in the women’s 400m hurdles final and that win, along with a bronze for Jaheel Hyde in the men’s equivalent and silver for Shericka Jackson in the women’s 200m final, meant another suite of medals on consecutive nights for Jamaica.

 

 

For a third night in a row, the first final contested on the track was won by a Jamaican as Russell, the 2014 Glasgow Games bronze medallist, ran a perfectly timed race to win in 54.33 seconds, ahead of the 2014 silver medallist Eilidh Doyle of Scotland in 54.80 and the South African Wenda Nel, who finished third in 54.96.

 

Russell was level with Nel, who was on her outside coming off the final turn, and took the lead heading into the straight away. She surged to the front and kept opening up a gap on the field before coasting home to victory.

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Doyle earned her third silver medal in a row at the Commonwealth Games after she passed Nel, while the South African secured the bronze medal when she edged out another Jamaican, Rhonda Whyte, out of the medals. The fast-finishing Whyte had to settle for fourth in 55.02s.

 

The 2017 World Championships bronze medallist Ristananna Tracey finished in eight place in a time of 57.50s. Tracey had suffered from chest pains following her run in the heats two days ago.

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For Russell, winning gold at the games made up for the disappointments she suffered in 2017.

 

“First of all, I have to give God thanks because if it wasn’t for Him I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t get the chance to train hard and come back this year. From 2014, I was just fresh out of high school. It was my first senior team and it was a surprise bronze medal for me because I was just going through the motions preparing for World Championships in 2015, so that bronze medal was a surprise.

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“This year I just came back to say that I had a downfall in 2017, not making the World Champs team. So I am really focusing on learning to be patient, listening to my body, listening to my coach, my teammates, managers, family and friends; that is what helped me today to get that gold medal,” she noted.

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Russell’s time in the final was slower than the heats, but she explained just why that happened.

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“Tonight I wanted to go a little bit faster, not finding any excuses — but I was feeling a little cramp in my hamstring, so that really threw off my race plan. I wasn’t really attacking my hurdles how I wanted to attack them, but when I felt that contraction coming on I just wanted to secure that gold medal for myself and my country,” she said.

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Photos: Getty Images

Source: Jamaica Observer

 

 

 

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‘I Almost Gave Up’ – Le-Roy Beams After ‘Golden Silver’

She has been around for a while and has enjoyed marginal individual success, but for freshly minted Commonwealth Games 400m silver-medal winner Anastasia Le-Roy, yesterday’s triumph could not have come at a better time.

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Le-Roy, now 30 years old, found an extra gear on the home stretch to overtake and outlast compatriot and bronze-medal winner Stephenie-Ann McPherson (50.93), crossing the line in a personal best 50.57 seconds, with Botswana’s Amantle Montsho winning gold in 50.15.

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An experienced member of national mile-relay teams, Le-Roy, before yesterday, found individual international success elusive and admitted that she had, on several occasions, considered giving up.

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“This silver medal is a gold for me. I have been through it all. I wanted to give up, but I have too many people who believe in me and who keep pushing me to be the best of my ability,” Le-Roy told The Gleaner.

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“Going forward is to just improve on what I did tonight. It has surely boosted my confidence, and no matter what, I will believe and trust in God. He will not leave or forsake me. I just have to trust the process,” she added.

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Le-Roy, who had shown good form throughout the com-petition on Australia’s Gold Coast, pointed to perfect execution of coach Maurice Wilson’s race strategy.

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“My coach, Mr Wilson, told me what to do, and I just followed his instructions as best as possible. He said they were going to go out, but I had to stay in close contact. I’m fast, and I just need to believe in myself, and no matter what happened, I should sprint for my life and finish,” Le-Roy shared.

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Le-Roy’s success came on a day when Aisha Praught-Leer created history by winning Jamaica’s first gold medal in the 3000m steeplechase at this level after stopping the clock at 9:21.00 to beat the Kenyan pair of Celliphine Chespol (9:22.61) and Purity Kirui (9:25.74) into second and third.

 

TODAY’S ACTION

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Source: Jamaica Gleaner

Commonwealth Games: Ronald Levy wins sprint hurdles gold, dedicates victory to his coach Brigitte Foster-Hylton

Ronald Levy edged Hansle Parchment in the men’s high hurdles, with Nicholas Hough taking Australia’s first medal for 32 years in third place.

Ronald Levy secured Jamaica's first gold medal of Gold Coast 2018 by winning the men's 110m hurdles event

Overall, Parchment came into the Games with a seeming edge over his teammate.

But it was Levy who grabbed the upper hand on the Gold Coast, edging ahead as the pair raced over the 10 barriers to take the win, 13.19 to 13.22.

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Ronald Levy dedicates his victory in the 110m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, to his coach Brigitte Foster-Hylton

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“I would dedicate this victory to Brigitte Foster-Hylton. She has been coaching me. I actually looked at her stats [statistics] last night[ night before the race] and I saw that she won at the Commonwealth Games, and I said that I want to emulate that,” Levy said.

Foster-Hylton won the 100m hurdles the last time the Commonwealth Games was in Australia in 2006.

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MAINTAINED COMPOSURE

Since her retirement from the sport, she has been guiding the hurdling gang at MVP Track and Field Club, where she spent her entire professional track and field career.

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Levy maintained his composure after hitting the first hurdle to edge out his teammate and defending champion Hansle Parchment for the gold medal in 13.19 seconds. Parchment registered 13.22 seconds to secure the silver medal.

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Jamaica’s Ronald Levy in the final of the Men’s 60 metres hurdles during the Muller Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 25, 2018. See PA story ATHLETICS Glasgow. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY

“I didn’t know I win the race until I saw it on the screen. It is definitely a confidence booster,” Levy said. “It is a great feeling to actually win. It really hasn’t kicked in yet.”

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Jamaica’s Ronald Levy (left) and Italy’s Paolo Dal Molin (right) in action during the Men’s 60m Hudles Heat 3 during day three of the 2018 IAAF Indoor World Championships at The Arena Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 3, 2018. See PA story ATHLETICS Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

When asked if the victory made up for his mishap at the IAAF World Athletics Championships last year, this is how he responded.

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“What happened in London wasn’t anybody mistake. It is behind me now,” Levy said.

Parchment was happy with his effort and will now turn his attention to the rest of the season.

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“It was a very good race and I am happy. I finished injury free, and I am just gonna keep preparing for the future. I don’t know what happened at the end of the race. I think I might have messed up my technique little bit. I didn’t keep as composed as I was supposed to, but overall it was good,” Parchment said.

 

Ronald Levy secured Jamaica's first gold medal of Gold Coast 2018 by winning the men's 110m hurdles event

MAINTAINED COMPOSURE

Since her retirement from the sport, she has been guiding the hurdling gang at MVP Track and Field Club, where she spent her entire professional track and field career.

Levy maintained his composure after hitting the first hurdle to edge out his teammate and defending champion Hansle Parchment for the gold medal in 13.19 seconds. Parchment registered 13.22 seconds to secure the silver medal.

“I didn’t know I win the race until I saw it on the screen. It is definitely a confidence booster,” Levy said. “It is a great feeling to actually win. It really hasn’t kicked in yet.”

When asked if the victory made up for his mishap at the IAAF World Athletics Championships last year, this is how he responded.

“What happened in London wasn’t anybody mistake. It is behind me now,” Levy said.

Parchment was happy with his effort and will now turn his attention to the rest of the season.

“It was a very good race and I am happy. I finished injury free, and I am just gonna keep preparing for the future. I don’t know what happened at the end of the race. I think I might have messed up my technique little bit. I didn’t keep as composed as I was supposed to, but overall it was good,” Parchment said.

Source: IAAF/ The Star

Commonwealth Games: Aisha Praught takes gold as Jamaica’s women stand up on Gold Coast

Praught denies Chespol to win GC2018 steeplechase gold for Jamaica!

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Jamaica won a rare middle-distance gold as Aisha Praught timed her burst to perfection to outsprint pre-race favourite Celliphine Chespol to end Kenya’s hold on the 3000m steeplechase title at the Commonwealth Games

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Kenyans swept the medals in this event at the last two Commonwealth Games and it seemed another was on the way until Praught made her move on the last water jump and pulled away to win in 9:21.00.

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Kenyan teammates Celliphine Chepteek Chespol (9:22.61) and Purity Cherotich Kirui (9:25.74) settled for silver and bronze.

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Praught, who trains in the United States with world champion Emma Coburn, said the Jamaicans were going to come back stronger.

“If we don’t win a gold in the 100, we’ll win one in the steeplechase. We’re just switching it up,” she said.

Recently retired Usain Bolt arrived on Wednesday as the cheerleader-in-chief for the Jamaicans, and Praught said it would give the team a lift.

“He’s been such an amazing role model, even though we couldn’t be in further events from each other — you just learn from the greats,” she said. “I’m glad he’s here. Hopefully he can raise people’s spirits.”

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“I just put in the work every day and believe that I can race anyone,” said Praught. “I knew the Commonwealth Games was what I wanted and I worked towards it every day.”.

“I always expect Jamaicans to come out and do their best,” said the eight-time Olympic champion. “We are a big track nation so we always expect the best of them at all times.”

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“I just put in the work every day and believe that I can race anyone,” she said, adding of her adopted country: “We need medals. We need to band together as a nation.”

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Jamaica beating Kenya to the steeplechase title at a major championship is akin to Harambee Stars beating Brazil in the final of Fifa World Cup.

Hitherto impossible.

 

But Jamaica’s Aisha Praught on Wednesday proved that, as sportswear giants Adidas’ slogan says, “Impossible is Nothing” by claiming the Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold at the Carrara Stadium before a stunned crowd that had already tipped Kenya for a clean sweep.

STORY OF RESILIENCE

Praught’s story is one of resilience and venturing into the unknown. The daughter of a reggae artist took up the steeplechase just to ensure her school’s track team had depth.

 

“I was actually a 400 metres runner, I’ve run 59 (seconds) but my university wanted an all-round athletics team and so I decided why not get into the steeplechase!” said the Wisconsin-born 28-year-old Illinois State University Hall of Famer.

 

“I’ve been gradually improving and I know you are surprised because is is not a traditionally Jamaican sport but we really want to diversify.”

 

She based her training in her adopted nation of US and it came in handy when she challenged pre-race favourite Celliphine Chespol of Kenya in the final stages of the race much to the surprise of the Kenyan camp.

 

Her winning time of nine minutes, 21.00 seconds was outside her personal best 9:19.29, but that didn’t matter as much as the gold medal that had everyone talking.

“Congrats on a huge win,” tweeted three-time US 5,000 metres champion Molly Huddle after the race.

 

“Girls watching in Jamaica will be wanting to steeple like you someday!”

 

Chespol, bronze medallist at last year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships, settled for silver in 9:22.61 while defending champion Purity Cherotich took bronze in 9:25.74.

 

The third Kenyan, Fancy Cherono, who was making her debut in the senior category after a fifth-place finish at the 2017 Africa Under-20 Championships, was sixth in 9:46.27.

“My body just failed to react,” said Cherotich, who has represented Kenya since 2009 when she finished fourth at the Africa Junior Championships in Bambous, Mauritius.

“Then I thought Chespol would take the fight to the Jamaican but I was shocked to see the Jamaican win, and I could do nothing as I was way back.”

 

Chespol said she just didn’t know what went wrong.

 

“I didn’t realise that she has right behind me,” said the 19-year-old 2016 World Under-20 steeplechase champion who has a PB of 8:58.78 over the water and barriers.

Kenya will now seek redemption in the 400m hurdles and 800m finals.

 

 

Source: Reuters/ Loop News/ Daily Nation

Gold for Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams in the Triple Jump- Commonwealth Games

Jamaican Kimberley Williams produced a superb final leap to snatch gold in the women’s triple jump at the Commonwealth Games.

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Gold medallist Jamaica’s Kimberley Williams (C) and teammate silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts (R) celebrate with bronze medallist Dominica’s Thea Lafond after the athletics women’s triple jump final during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 10, 2018. 

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Kimberly Williams claimed the gold, snatching it away from teammate Shanieka Williams with her very last jump.

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The defending champion measured a personal best 14.64 metres to overtake teammate Shanieka Ricketts, who had led from the opening round with a leap of 14.52.

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Dominican Thea LaFond grabbed bronze with 13.92m to complete a sweep of the podium for the Caribbean.

Source: Jamaica Observer/ SportsMax/

Sprint icon Usain Bolt to visit South Africa

World athletics icon Usain Bolt will be at Ruimsig Stadium in Johannesburg next Monday (January 29) as part of an Athletics South Africa (ASA) development programme.

The multiple Olympic gold medallist winner in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, who is also world record holder of the mentioned events, is visiting South Africa as the principal of the PUMA School of Speed which will see five competitions held around the country.

Bolt, who retired in 2017, is also an ambassador for the IAAF to promote athletics worldwide.

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“The arrival of Bolt comes at an opportune time when the 2018 youth and junior domestic athletics season is now in full swing,” said Aleck Skhosana, the President of Athletics South Africa. “His presence here will encourage a lot of youngsters to perform better and elite athletes to renew their ambitions to make South Africa the best.

“We have more than 500 000 youth and junior athletes between the ages of 14-19 years at high school level that are currently competing in domestic school competitions.

“Their main objective is to reach the 2018 ASA Youth and Junior Championships (April 5-7, Paarl) where they hope to qualify to represent South Africa at the 2018 IAAF World Junior Championships in Tampere, Finland from (June 10-14). The presence of this icon is a great chance for athletics fans that have followed his career over the years to see him.”

The School of Speed competitions will take place on:

1. PUC MC Arthur Stadium, Potchefstroom, January 20, 2018

2. Ruimsig Stadium, Johannesburg, January 29, 2018

3. Kings Park Stadium, Durban, February 10, 2018

4. Dal Josaphat Stadium, Paarl, February 26, 2018

5. Bestmed Tuks Stadium, Pretoria, March 3, 2018

Usain Urges All Jamaica To Bolt Into Action To Help Vulnerable Youth Have A Brighter Future

The Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of lessening the plight of the nation’s most vulnerable children. Members of the private sector and the public must also act if these youngsters are to see a brighter future, many-time World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt has asserted.

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In a speedy response to the fire that destroyed Walker’s Place of Safety in St Andrew last Monday, killing two female wards of the State, through the Usain Bolt Foundation, the world’s fastest man came forward yesterday to donate $1 million in aid of the children who were displaced.

“Don’t just sit down and wait on the Government at all times,” Bolt declared during the official handover of the cheque to the Child Protection & Family Services Agency at Hope Zoo in St Andrew.

“Those in a position to contribute should do so because there are a lot of things going on in the country and the Government will be stretched thin. So if the private sector or even the public can contribute anything, please do. It really helps,” he told The Gleaner.

The sprint icon further expressed that he was open to working with the youth ministry to make a positive impact in the lives of less fortunate children.

“When my team and I heard about Walker’s Place of Safety, for me, there was no doubt that I was going to help in any way. I also felt it would be good to stay close and work together as much as possible with the ministry to really help the younger kids in any way we can to achieve a brighter future. I look forward to that,” Bolt added.

The beloved world-renowned sporting legend also used the platform to encourage the wards to pursue their dreams in spite of their circumstances, drawing on his own experiences as motivation.

State minister in the Ministry of Youth, Floyd Green, praised Bolt’s philanthropy, saying that his action has since inspired others to donate.

“We want this to say to other Jamaicans, ‘come forward’ and not just in relation to Walker’s. Our child-protection services do need a great public-private partnership to fulfil the wishes of our children and we have compiled a needs list for our homes that we will be putting out there for well-thinking Jamaicans, both here and abroad, to assist, as we’re on this journey to ensure that the most vulnerable among our children have the most productive lives,” said Green.

Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20180124/help-our-children-usain-urges-all-jamaica-bolt-action-help-vulnerable