What an accomplishment for our pocket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, right?!
Suga cannot let another minute go by without Congratulating our Sprint Queen, Shelly, who won the Women’s 100m Final at the Doha World Championships in 10.71s! Her first major event after giving birth to her son, Zyon.
It is a pity Elaine Thompson could not give Jamaica the 1-2, but it has been said that her achilles tendon is acting up again with soreness. All the best to Elaine in the 200m!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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The Golden State Warriors swept the Cavs Friday night in a blowout! 108-85!
This is the 3rd NBA Championship win for Stephen Curry and the 3rd ring for Steve Kerr as a Coach to add to his 5 rings as a player.
Kevin Durant won Finals MVP, snatching it from teammate, Steph Curry after his epic, unforgettable Game 3 performance.
LeBron James had a great run carrying his team that had no chance in the Playoffs all the way to the Finals. But he has now been swept twice in the NBA Finals, where the first time was by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
Stay tuned for LeBron’s next move. It will be a long summer.
FRENCH OPEN WOMEN’S FINAL
SIMONA HALEP VS. SLOANE STEPHENS
World no. 1, Simona Halep finally won her 1st Grand Slam! Congrats to her and well fought after losing the 1st set to Sloane Stephens and being broken the 1st game in the 2nd. She beat Sloane Stephens, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Simona Halep credited mental strength to winning her first Grand Slam.
Justify, an American thoroughbred racehorse, became the 13th winner of the American Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes last Saturday. The 2018 Kentucky Derby and the 2018 Preakness Stakes preceded his big win at Belmont.
The last horse to do so was American Pharoah in 2015 who ended a 37-year Triple Crown drought. Both were guided by the same trainer, Bob Baffert.
JN RACER’S GRAND PRIX
The Queen is back! Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not only improved on her time since her return, but won the 100m Women’s race as well in 11.10s!
This all went down at the National Stadium on Saturday night.
Also look out for our future Queen, young Briana Williams (16yrs), who had a faster start than our Pocket Rocket and sustained her speed throughout the race, finishing 3rd in 11.26. Congrats to Team Jamaica and thanks to other athletes who came to the island to compete.
Jenna Prandini of the USA and no stranger to Jamaica came a close 2nd to Shelly in 11.14.
FRENCH OPEN MEN’S FINAL
RAFAEL NADAL VS. DOMINIC THIEM
Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open yesterday! He beat Dominic Thiem who put up quite a fight, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Each set was about an hour-long, but the experience, strength, power and dominance of Nadal was just too much for Thiem. Winning never gets easier, but he has pulled it off again. Congrats Rafa!
Now let’s get ready for the World Cup!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Other than some disappointments with the Results of Athletes in Field events, Alia Atkinson finishing last in her Final in the Pool and some Athletes suffering injuries shortly before the Olympics, Jamaica just fell short of 1 medal according to what was expected.
Looking at Quality over Quantity, Little but Tallawah Jamaica did quite well consideringthe current change in Generation of our Athletes. Jamaica finished with 6 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals, placing an overall 23rd on the Medals table and 3rd in Athletics behind the USA and Kenya. Some Veterans failed to make it to RIO, some announced RIO may be their last Olympics and other Vets will hang around for Worlds next year, while the young ones are still blooming. However, a few bloomed early, such as Elaine Thompson, Omar McLeod and Shericka Jackson. We have a lot to be thankful for and we are proud of all of our Athletes and the tremendous effort they put out for the World to see.
Let us not only relive Great Moments from our Athletes but Highlight some of the Greats from other Countries and Islands as well.
☆ Usain Bolt completing his first Triple, winning Gold in the Men’s 100m.
Watch “Usain Bolt Wins 2016 RIO OLYMPICS 100m Men’s Final FULL Video” on YouTube here:
☆ Elaine Thompson winning the Women’s 100m, separating herself from the field in 10.71s.
☆ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce going for history to be the first woman to get the Triple in the Olympics 100m, but getting the Bronze after Jamaica prayed for her toe following the Semi-Final that she won in tears from the pain.
Watch “women 100M finals Rio 2016” on YouTube here:
☆ Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa breaking the 17-year old World Record in the Men’s400m set by Michael Johnson in 1999 from Lane 8!
Watch “World Record for men 400m Set by Wayde Van Niekerk in Rio 2016 finals” on YouTube here:
☆ Simone Biles of the USA’s Final Five, winning 4 Gold and a Bronze, making up a combined total of 19 Olympic and World Championship medals. She is currently the most decorated AmericanArtisticGymnast after Shannon Miller of the Magnificent Seven, who held that record for 20 years.
☆ Michael Phelps of the USA still managing to dominate his individual races and play a significant role in his team’s relays, winning 5 Gold and 1 Silver. He retired from the Olympics to a standing ovation and of course not only as the most decorated Swimmer, but the most decorated Olympian ever in history with 28 medals, more than some countries have ever achieved.
☆ Yona Knight-Wisdom making the Semi-Final of the 3m Springboard Diving Competition. He fell marginally short from making the Final but definitely has the potential to return and do even better!
☆ Omar McLeod being the 1st Jamaican man to win Gold in the Men’s 110m Hurdles.
☆ Christophe LeMaitre of France, known for continuous determination, finally winning his first individual Olympic medal, a Bronze in the Men’s 200m.
☆ Usain Bolt completing the Sprint Double by winning Gold for the Men’s 200m.
☆ Elaine Thompson passing the Dutchie, Dafne Schippers on the left hand side to win the Women’s 200m and the Sprint Double which has not been done since 1988.
Watch “Jamaica win 200m final rio olimpic Elaine Thomson” on YouTube here:
☆ Jamaicabeing the 1st country to have a Man and Woman sweep the 100m and 200m in the Olympics in the same year #Jaminate
☆ Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas winning the Gold in spectacular fashion for the Women’s 400m ahead of USA’s Allyson Felix and our Shericka Jackson getting the Bronze.
☆ Jamaica’s Aisha Praught making the Final of the Women’s 3000m Steeplechase.
☆ Great Britain’s ‘Mo’ Farah falling and getting up back then showing the thumbs up sign in the Men’s 10000m with 14 laps to go, then continuing to win the Gold. He also won Gold in the Men’s5000m.
☆ Ethiopia’s David Rudisha Defending his 800m title, winning the Gold.
☆ Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis anchoring the Men’s 4×400m Relay starting his leg from way behind and taking them to Silver!
☆ Brazil winning their first Olympic Gold in Football in front of their home crowd in a Penalty shoot out versus Germany with their star, Neymar scoring the winning Penalty kick.
☆ Usain Bolt sealing the deal, cementing himself in history as the G.O.A.T by anchoring his team of Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade to Gold in the Men’s 4×100m Relay and thus completing the Triple-Treble.
Next stop for our Athletes? London World Championships 2017!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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It was Elaine Thompson who won the GOLD for Jamaica in 10.71s for the 100m Women Final! Our 2-time Defending Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the Bronze. A valiant effort from Shelly after aggravating her toe injury in the Semi-Final. She ran her Season’s Best through the line in 10.86. It was a bittersweet feeling for Jamaicans knowing she was in shape to win the Gold and make history as the first woman to win 3 consecutive Olympic 100m titles, but it wasn’t meant to be after the injury was aggravated. We are extremely proud of our Pocket Rocket for being able to run through the pain and making the podium. Torie Bowie of the USA who came 3rd at the US trials got the Silver in 10.83.
Congrats Ladies! It was a talented field, demanding focus, fitness, determination and of course speed.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast continued to impress and came 4th with her PB in 10.86 (10.859). Thousandths of a second were used to separate her from Shelly.
Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands still could not manage to get a good start and probably won’t ever because of her height and was 5th with 10.90. Look out for her in the 200m though!
Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago was 6th in 10.92.
English Gardner who the USA expected to win Gold and who won at the USA trials could not manage the pressure of the big stage and finished 7th in 10.94.
Christania Williams of Jamaica looked as if she was injured and came last far behind with 11.80. News came in later that she had cramping in her calf muscle as a result of dehydration. A sign of being a rookie. However she is just coming out of high school and she put on a remarkable effort for Jamaica to even reach the Finals with her Personal Best and we are proud of her.
For those who missed it and wish to see the lead up to this heated field in the Final, let me take you through the 100m Women’s Semi Finals, as some familiar names were not there.
Torie Bowie and Ahye took Semi Final 1 on the same time in 10.90! Christania Williams did very well to come 3rd beating Ahoure of Ivory Coast with her PB of 10.96.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce blazed the field winning in 10.88 over Dafne Schippers in 10.90! Ta Lou of Ivory Coast finished 3rd in 10.94. Shelly was in tears at the end over her toes though. It became a huge concern and most if not all Jamaicans swarmed social media worried about Shelly’s toe and prayed for Shelly and her toe for the Final. (The prayers worked!)
Elaine Thompson ate English Gardner‘s food (totally destroyed her from start to finish) also finishing in 10.88! English Gardner was stuck on clocking 10.90 as well, glaring over to Thompson’s lane wondering what really just happened.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Christania Williams went through to the final as the fastest losers.
Tianna Bartoletta from the USA did not make the final, coming a surprising 4th in the Semi-final won by Shelly in 11.00s!
10000m Men Final
Mo Farah of Great Britain got tripped up and fell during his race with about 14 laps to go but got back up giving the thumbs up sign and went on to win the race. Gold for Mohamed Farah! His 3rd Olympic Gold, running through the line with his Mobot sign. Congrats Mo!
Long Jump Final
Damar Forbes failed to hit over the 8.38m mark and finished at the bottom of the pack, 12th with a mark of 7.82m. Jeff Henderson of the USA won the Gold with 8.32m.
Damar’s PB is 8.25m, which was the mark hit by the 4th place finisher. The athletes battled with headwind and Damar said he just did not feel comfortable or in full flight in the air for his last 2 jumps. There were other pits that could have been used to change the wind direction for the athletes but the wind in RIO changes direction all the time. That may be the reason they continued with the same pit. This is also the case at our very own National Stadium in Jamaica with 1 pit so our athletes must be prepared to put out their best in all conditions. Better luck next time Damar.
Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis finished 5th from Lane 1 in Semi Final 1 won by Kirani James easily in 44.02. LaShawn Merritt followed finishing 2nd. So Javon did not qualify for the Final. Well tried Donkey Man.
Van Niekerk jogged to 2nd in Semi Final 2. Trinidad & Tobago’s Cedenio won the race in 44.39. Ja’s Rusheen McDonald finished 6th, unable to qualify for the Final as well.
Taplin from Grenada won Semi Final 3 coming from behind for the win in 44.44.
Mónica Puig of Puerto Rico upset Angelique Kerber (World #2) of Germany yesterday to win Gold.
Juan Martín del Potro will face Andy Murray in the Gold Medal match today at 1pm
Rafael Nadal will face Kei Nishikori in the Bronze medal match this morning at 11:30am.
Michael Phelps helped take his team to Gold and an Olympic record last night in the 4×100m Medley Relay, in what he says will be his last Olympic race. His RIO total is 5 Gold and 1 Silver. He ends his Olympic career with 23 Gold medals and 28 Olympic medals overall and of course a standing ovation as he waved Goodbye to the spectators in the Olympic stadium.
Stay tuned for the action and Lane assigment of the Men’s 100m today!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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The Games of the 31st Olympiad in Rio, Brazil began yesterday with football but officially start today! The Games will run from August 5-21. Athletics begin next Friday, August 12.
The Opening Ceremony will start at 6pm this evening at the Maracaná Stadium and will be shown on TvJ with a Pregame show at 4pm. No station seems to have full rights to show the Games so no channel should be blocked.
Brazil’s Olympic Village may not be ready but our Jamaican athletes surely are ready.
However, Suga does not expect the level of magic that occurred in Beijing and London to occur in Rio. Jamaicans need to understand that our Athletics is going through a change in generation, where veterans are either no more such as Kerron Stewart or not as fast after rounds as they used to be, e.g. VCB, and most of the young, upcoming athletes are not quite ready to deliver the quality we have been spoilt with over the past 2 Olympiads.
However, enough of being a Debbie Downer. Even though that may be at the back of my mind, I remain positive and know that veterans like Usain Bolt can still deliver and newcomers like Elaine Thompson should deliver. Omar McLeod and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are on the ropes but there seems to be something about the Olympics that just puts a torch under our you know what and then sparks just fly.
We have newcomers to look forward to in Gymnastics such as Toni-Ann Williams, Yona Knight-Wisdom for Diving and Timothy Wynter for Swimming.
Will our Alia Atkinson finally get her Olympic medal? I sure hope so. She gets closer every time.
Swimming, Tennis and Basketball start tomorrow. Fret not for the hot races in Athletics because they are mostly in the evenings and on weekends. You can set in your calendars from now:
Women’s 100m FINAL:
Saturday, August 13 @ 8:35pm
Men’s 100m FINAL:
Sunday, August 14 @ 8:25pm
Women’s 200m FINAL:
Wednesday, August 17 at 8:30pm
Men’s 200m FINAL:
Thursday, August 18 at 8:30pm
The 4×100m Relay FINALS will be run on the Saturday before the Olympics end.
If you didn’t get your Free Jamaica Observer Olympics Supplement in the Sunday paper, you can be sure to stay tuned to Suga’s posted schedules, updates and commentary on this website and like Suga Lifestyle’s Facebook page.
There is also a Flow Rio 2016 App that you can download on your phones for free. Not sure if it is as user friendly as the London 2012 app yet but it seems to have a decent layout so far. Too early to endorse.
Word is Usain Bolt was looking good in his practice session before today’s London Diamond League. He will be running the 200mtoday at 3:52pm to satisfy the JAAA’s requirement to prove his fitness for RIO after getting medical exemption from the Jamaica trials.
This will be a 2-day Diamond League. It starts at 2pm today and the Women’s 400m at 2:05pm will showcase Diamond League Leader, Shaunae Miller from the Bahamas amongst a packed field including our very own National Champ, Stephenie Ann McPherson and other challengers such as Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu, USA’s Francena McCorory and Natasha Hastings.
The 100m hurdles Women Final will be at 3:15pm with those who came out on top from the 2 Heats in a packed field including Diamond League leader, Kendra Harrison from the USA who shockingly failed to make the USA team, her compatriots Nia Ali, Brianna Rollins and Kristi Castlin, Cindy Roleder from Germany and Alina Talay from Belarus.
Races to watch tomorrow will be the 100m and 200m Women. The 200m Women will be at 10:15am featuring Diamond League leader Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands and Jeneba Tarmoh from the USA.
The 100m Women at 10:26am will feature our pocket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce assuming she will make it out of her heat. Other likely contenders may be Trinidad’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, Jamaica’s Simone Facey and Christania Williams.
Euro2016 started last Friday. Already, Russia has faced investigation after Russian fans rushed (no pun intended) England supporters at the end of the game, which was drawn 1-1. Russia had equalized in overtime.
Both Russia and England have been warned against possible elimination if violence continues.
Brazil beat Haiti 7-1 last Wednesday.
On Thursday, Venezuela beat Uruguay 1-0! Suarez was extremely upset he couldn’t play and threw a tantrum on the sidelines. The same night, Mexico beat Jamaica 2-0. Poor defending cost Jamaica the first goal, a simple header by Chicharito at 18′. It was an exciting match, but Jamaica just failed to convert the many opportunities and chances on goal, especially Donaldson who was also denied a penalty. Peralto who substituted Chicharito sealed the deal for Mexico, scoring at 81′.
Mexico advanced with Venezuela to the Quarterfinal for Group C. USA and Colombia advanced from Group A. The outcome of Group B with Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Haiti is to be determined, as well as the Group with Argentina, Chile, Panama and Bolivia.
BOXING Mohammad Ali died a week ago at age 74. His public memorial service was on Friday in Louisville, KY. Ali inspired the famous movie, Rocky. The Legend’s memory will live on.
5-time Major winner, Maria Sharapova has been suspended for 2 years by the ITF for breaking anti-doping rules. She will appeal.
Speaking of doping, Jamaica’s sprinter, Nesta Carter’s ‘B’ sample confirmed the presence of the substance, methylhexanamine, a banned stimulant after tests were carried out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This could cost the 4×100m team from the 2008 Beijing Olympics their Gold medal. He will soon have his case heard by the IOC panel.
Sanya Richards-Ross of the USA looking to run her last Olympics seemed to have twisted her foot in a 100m race used for speed training in Atlanta. She fell to the ground screaming mid-race and had to be carried off the field. She hasn’t been running good times in the 400m and she came 7th in her last competitive race but this may harm her hopes of heading to RIO even more.
Jamaica National Racers Grand Prix
The JN Racers Meet that took place on Saturday at the National Stadium was packed with talented athletes, most of whom should be heading to RIO. It was a great day for sprinters with a +1.0 wind.
The highlights were as follows:
Shaunae Miller used her strength from the 400m to power through the stretch to win the Women’s 200m just short of sub 22s in 22.05s. USA’s Jenna Prandini had an excellent start and beat Miller on the curb but faded in the stretch finishing in 22 39s.
Trinidad’s Machel Cedonio won the Men’s 400m in 44.37s ahead of Grenada’s Bralon Taplin and Jamaica’s Javon Francis a.k.a. ‘Donkey Man’.
South Africa’s World Men’s 400m Champion, Wayde van Niekerk won the 300m just short of sub 31s in 31.03 ahead of USA’s LaShawn Merritt. He felt the energy of the crowd and enjoyed running here.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Miguel Francis who trains with Bolt and Blake destroyed is PB time in the Men’s 200m finishing in 19.88s, the 2nd fastest time in the world this year. Jamaica’s Julian Forte was 2nd in 20.18s and Warren Weir just returning from an injury was 3rd in 20.32s. Rasheed Dwyer is yet to break 20.5s this season.
Nadia Eke of Ghana won the Women’s Triple jump in 13.51m.
For the Women’s 100m hurdles, USA’s Sharika Nelvis won in 12.61s, her SB ahead of Jamaica’s World Champion, Danielle Williams who finished in 12.77s.
For the Men’s 110m hurdles, David Oliver of the USA won in 13.09s. Jamaica’s Deuce Carter came 2nd. He hit a hurdle mid-race so it could have been closer. Jarrett Eaton of the USA was 3rd.
Then to the races everyone was waiting for, the Women’s and Men’s 100m.
Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce who has been having trouble from injury got her usual fast start and shook off Barbara Pierre of the USA who stayed with her throughout the entire race and even inched ahead of her at one point finishing with her SB of 11.09 and Pierre finished in 11.11s. Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad & Tobago was 3rd in 11.15s and Carmelita Jeter did not place.
Sidenote. Never count out VCB for the Senior trials. She ran 10.83s in Florida today!
Now to the Men! Bolt, Blake, Asafa, Nickel Ashmeade, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Frater ALL from Jamaica, Ramon Gittons from Barbados and South Africa’s Akane Simbine. Why not have a Jamaica race at the Olympics?
All I know is, Usain Bolt is looking good, really good. He ran 9.88s after he stumbled at the start of race after a good reaction time to the gun, was behind the entire field and then pulled away easily.
Nickel Ashmeade finished 2nd and Blake with his SB 3rd, both with 9.94s, Asafa 4th with 9.98 and Bailey-Cole 5th.
Watch “Usain Bolt wins 100m Men Racers Grand Prix 2016 in 9.88s” on YouTube here:
BASKETBALL – NBA Finals
After the Warriors took Game 1 of the series and Game 2 was a Blowout with a 110-76 win over the Cavs in California with LeBron James sitting out the entire 4th quarter, the Cavs especially LeBron James were attacked by the media, various memes and videos. Here is a reminder of just a few:
They had no choice but to totally dominate Game 3 on home court to save face on Wednesday night winning by 30 points, 120-90. James had 32 points and Thompson came up big defensively and also had 13 rebounds. The Cavs would then look to level the series in Game 4 at home before heading back to California for Game 5 but things did not go their way. Curry came alive with 38 points and we still haven’t seen the Splash Brothers in these NBA Finals.
Cavs coach, Tyronn Lue was fined 25k for criticizing the Referees after Game 4, saying ‘LeBron never gets calls’. LeBron fans would say he doesn’t make excuses for losing but once again, he was in agreement with this accusation made by Lue but didn’t go in on it because he said he would save his 25k. What he did do though, was provoke Draymond Green by stepping over him after Green fell to the floor on a play, knowing what was at stake for Draymond if he got 2 more technicals or any Flagrants called against him. Words were thrown and both made their case.
Watch “GameTime: LeBron’s Altercation With Draymond Green | June 11, 2016 | 2016 NBA Finals” on YouTube here:
Today, the League announced that LeBron James was assessed a technical and Draymond Green has been suspended for Game 5 of the Finals after getting a Flagrant Foul 1 from the incident with LeBron on Friday. Suga thinks this was unnecessary and the NBA are grabbing at straws to extend the series.
Warriors’ Klay Thompson expresses that he guesses LeBron James’ ‘feelings just got hurt’ by Draymond Green and players talk trash and call each other names in the league all the time but ‘It’s a Man’s League’.
First of all, Congratulations to our Pocket Rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for winning Gold for the 3rd time at the World Championships 100m Finals this morning in 10.76s! With the times Shelly has been running, she knew she was in a class by herself and celebrated before the line. She will sure get a mouthful from Coach Francis about that. Look out for the Dutchie who she passed on the right hand side, Dafne Schippers next year who has been running well all season, who finished in a close second with a PB of 10.81. US’s Torie Bowie finished 3rd, edging out our very own VCB. Congrats also to VCB who still went all out an managed to finish 4th in a packed field! Imagine Okagbare came last. The 4*100m relay should be a thriller.
200m action starts tomorrow morning. Look out for Ja’s Warren Weir, Usain Bolt, Julian Forte and Nickel Ashmeade! Check out the schedule below.
The Jamaican athletes have returned to Beijing! Are they ready?! Can they make the same impact as the last time they were there? We shall see.
Kemar Bailey-Cole is injured so count him out of the 100m and our 4*100m Men’s relay team has been weakened. The ladies’ 4*100m team is not as strong either. But when our athletes hit the track, we know they will do their best and make us proud.
The World Champs starts this Friday but the real action starts this Saturday when the Jamaicans show up on the track. See the schedule for Saturday and Sunday below. Note that the Men’s 100m final will be this Sunday morning! Will lightning strike? Jamaica has been experiencing sudden showers of rain.
Suga will post the day by day schedule to keep you in the loop so stay tuned.
This SATURDAY, AUG. 22 & SUNDAY, AUG. 23
*Jamaicans are expected to compete in the races highlighted in green
Also, have you seen Shelly’s hair? Go Pocket Rocket!
The JAAA National Senior Trials were not the same without Usain Bolt, but he better be getting his act together. Suga has no doubt he will be ready for the Olympics in Rio, Brazil, 2016 but he is in trouble with regards to his current form heading into the World Championships in Beijing this August. Now Usain faced injuries earlier in the season, so that may be a partial reason for his set back. However, he is not getting younger either. The body is very ungrateful and this is Usain’s last chance to dominate the 100m and 200m at the Olympics before he retires. With Bolt being beaten at the Jamaica trials before London Olympics 2012 by Yohan Blake, he should have taken that as a lesson that even though he has a natural ability to win, as he gets older he still has to train diligently. So kudos to him for pulling off London 2012 but now we have Justin Gatlin as a threat in the World Championships with his World leading times and the best form of his life, supposedly undoped. Usain should not have gone to Trinidad carnival and kept up other various activities. It was way too close to the season. Give it a break for 2 years. Now he has to pull off a great feat to be ready for Worlds after a horrible 200m time about 2 weeks ago. There is no way he can allow USA’s Justin Gatlin to beat him at Worlds. For pride and ego alone. Gatlin is not only Usain’s main rival but Jamaica’s rival and enemy as well. So get it together Usain!
I was going to talk about what occurred at trials right? Yes. A lot occurred. Unfortunately Yohan Blake has not broken 10 seconds in all six of his 100m races since the first season of two that ended in hamstring injuries in 2013. Last Friday night was no different when Blake failed to even qualify for the final, clocking a slow 10.36s. He was entered in the 200m as well for another chance but did not compete. ASAFA POWELL on the other hand is back in his prime form! He has been running extremely well, speeding up instead of slowing down in the last 30m, now being trained by a new coach, his brother. He won the 100m Men’s final in 9.84s. Can he go sub 9.8s though? He needs to do so. Nickel Ashmeade finished 2nd and Kemar Bailey Cole finished 3rd. Nesta Carter had a brilliant start but fell short toward the end finishing 4th, so he will miss out on a chance to compete in the event. It is likely that he will still be carried for the relays. But look out everyone! Young, shorty, Trayvon Bromell (19 yrs) ran 9.84s in the heats of the US trials then 9.76s in the semis! He has been running well on the circuit and is definitely one to watch. He ran 9.96s in the final, finishing 2nd to Tyson Gay who ran 9.87s.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was not her usual pleasant self and certainly meant business, shutting up all who doubted her and quieted the current controversy of having her run the 100m and not Elaine Thompson. Elaine Thompson, trained by Steven Francis as well, has been put to compete in the 200m only, after running some excellent times in the 100m at previous events. Steven Francis was praised last night for making the right decision and for knowing what he is doing, but if someone is doing well, all politics should be put aside and Elaine should be allowed to go for both and realise her dreams. But we shall see. Their coach may know best after all. With that said, both were winners this weekend. Shelly aka Pocket Rocket blew away the field Friday night, winning the 100m Women in an impressive 10.79s! Natasha Morrison finished 2nd and Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) 3rd. Hold up tho! Torie Bowie ran 10.81s at the US trials while Carmelita Jeter failed to make the US team finishing 7th in the final. She seemed to be injured as she fell to the ground after the race. We have not even factoried in Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare or Ivory Coast’s Murelle Ahoure as yet!
Yesterday, Birthday girl, Elaine Thompson treated herself to a convincing win in the Women’s 200m finishing in 22.51s. Word from the US is that Allyson Felix may not be competing in the 200m at Worlds because the 200m semis and 400m final are 70m apart at Worlds. Sherone Simpson finished second and VCB 3rd. Simone Facey finished 4th and an old favourite of ours, Kerron Stewart could only manage to finish 5th. Note that there were windy conditions and so the headwind was recorded as -2.4s for the Women’s 200m final.
For the Men’s 200m, Nickel Ashmeade won in 20.36s followed by Warren Weir in 20.40s and Julian Forte in 3rd with 20.51s. The headwind was recorded as -2.6s. News came in that Justin Gatlin recorded a PB of 19.57s at the US trials. Suga has not seen Gatlin run the 200m recently to judge what time he could go to but for the 100m he seems to go all out for at least the first 80 or 90m then slow down. Since for the 100m he has been running consistently at about 9.75s, it is likely that he can run sub 9.7s but not much below. So probably 9.67/9.68s, the least. So with a Usain Bolt on top of his form plus his natural talent, Gatlin should not be able to beat him no matter how fast his start is. How fast can young Trayvon Bromell go though?
Other highlights were great runs by Christine Day winning the 400m in 50.16s. She has been running well but needs to push below 50s. At least she has done better than US trial winner, Allyson Felix who ran 50.19s to upset Natasha Hastings.Sanya Richards-Ross failed to qualify for the final! Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis has won his first National meet in the 400m Men with 44.70s. Former Manchester High and Kingston College Old boy, Omar McLeod (21 yrs) now representing the University of Arkansas beat favourite and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Hansle Parchment (13.08s SB) in the 110m hurdles in a world leading, 12.97s!
Well done Athletes! Looking forward to an extremely competitive World Championship in Beijing this August!