Jamaica’s men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams refused to come away from the Doha World Championships empty-handed after battling to win silver and bronze medals, respectively, as the event ended on Sunday.

Anderson Peters became only the second athlete in history to claim a gold medal for Grenada at the IAAF World Championships after claiming gold in the men’s Javelin on Sunday.

Dethroned 110 metres hurdles World Champion Omar McLeod has revealed that he suffered from a hamstring issue during a calamitous end to his title defense at the Doha World Championships on Wednesday.

In a close race, McLeod trailed eventual winner Grant Holloway of the United States but crashed into the penultimate hurdle before sprawling to the floor.  In the process, the Jamaican also briefly blocked the path of Spain’s Orlando Ortega who looked to also be in medal contention.  The athlete, who had a wobbly year in terms of his preparation for the World Championships, explained that a hamstring issue had impacted his performance.

“I got out hard and came off the first hurdle and my hamstring grabbed, so I didn’t get to be as snappy as I wanted,” McLeod explained.

“It got to a level of comfort where I thought I could pull through and at least get a medal or just still battle, still go to the line but then it grabbed again at the 6th hurdle and that’s when I lost my balance,” he added.

Heading into the championships, McLeod had suffered a tumultuous period where he changed four coaches in the last three years.  The athlete only joined his current coaching team, led by Rayna Reider, 10 weeks ahead of the Championships.  He insisted he was proud of his effort.

“I’m very proud of myself.  I showed up.  I’ve been through a lot this year and made sure I put myself to at least come prepared to defend my title.

“I’m very disheartened for Ortega for what had happened to him.  If I could take that bad I would.”

    

Decorated multi Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Allyson Felix has hailed Jamaican star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as an inspiration following her exploits at the Doha Championships.

Fraser-Pryce claimed a fourth World Championship 100m title after dismantling a quality field, once again ascending to an all too familiar top spot on the podium.  This time around, however, the journey to the gold medal was a different one for Fraser-Pryce. 

It’s difficult to imagine that just two years ago Fraser-Pryce, then an expectant mother, watched the World Championships from the comfort of her living room.  That she has been able to not only recover to compete at the highest level but claim gold in a time just outside of her personal best is a remarkable set of circumstances in and of itself.  For Felix, on a difficult journey of her own after having her first child, the Jamaican serves as a source of inspiration to female athletes everywhere.

“She’s amazing.  She is my friend.  She has helped me along this journey, and we encourage each other.  I am so happy for her and very encouraged for myself,” Felix told Nuffin Long Athletics.

“Everyone’s situation is going to be different, but she shows that it’s possible.  I think more than anything she is an inspiration.”

Felix, who had her daughter Camryn in November of last year, was a part of the United States squad for the World Championship but only managed to secure a place as a member of the relay team.  The six-time Olympic and 12-time World Championship gold medallist, however, has plans to be back in top shape in time for next year’s Olympic Games.

Newly-crowned 100m World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has offered kind words of encouragement to young compatriot Briana Williams who missed out on an appearance at the Doha Championships after being embroiled in a doping controversy.

The 17-year-old Williams was hit with a reprimand after returning an adverse analytical finding, following the Jamaica National Championships.  The athlete, who returned a test for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide, provided the explanation that the substance was part of a contaminated batch of flu medication she had ingested on the morning of the championships. 

An Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruling on the matter issued Williams with a reprimand and did not prescribe any period of ineligibility for the athlete but based on the IAAF’s rules the results earned at Jamaica’s National Trials were scrubbed from the record. Williams had secured her spot on the World Championship team after finishing third behind Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson in the 100m.  Though selected to the team the athlete later withdrew after being replaced by Jonielle Smith for the 100m and facing time considerations for the relay squad.

“I’ve been in that situation before when I took a painkiller and it was very hard for me to come back and not focus on that incident,” Fraser-Pryce said.

In 2010, Fraser-Pryce served a six-month ban after testing positive for Oxycodone at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting.  The athlete had taken the substance to provide relief for a severe toothache.

“It happens, unfortunately.  I would not have wished that on anyone, and I hope that she can stay strong and stay motivated and forget about what anyone else has to say.  It’s about what you know and what you believe, and you can come back from anything.”

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce returned to the top of women’s sprinting in fine style with a fourth world title at the IAAF World Championships in Doha on Sunday.

Eleven years after her first world title, Fraser-Pryce delivered on what had promised to something special after looking imperious in the opening rounds.  The 32-year-old, who returned to the track two years after having her first child, clocked a blistering 10.71 to seal Jamaica’s second gold medal of the championship.  The time was just one-hundredth of a second outside of her personal best.

A duel to the line with countrywoman and reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson, however, failed to materialize.  Instead, it was Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith who claimed second place in a British national record 10.83 with the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou third in 10.90.

Thompson, who seemed not at her best in the earlier rounds, finished just outside the medals with a time of 10.93.  The other Jamaican in the race Jonielle Smith finished sixth with a time of 11.06.  The win for Fraser-Pryce added to world 100m titles in Berlin (1999), Moscow (2013) and Beijing (2015).

Trinidad and Tobago National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT) president Ephraim Serrette has admitted the loss of sprinter Michelle Lee-Ayhe will be a big blow for the twin island republic heading into this month’s IAAF World Championships.

The 27-year-old Lee-Ayhe, the reigning Commonwealth Games 100m champion, has been on suspension since August 30 after recently being sanctioned for ‘whereabouts’ violations.

“Michelle-Lee is critical for the women’s team. So, it’s up to the rest to make the best of things. There was also the situation with Khalifa St Fort calling off her season early. They have to be prepared for all circumstances,” Serrette told Trinidad and Tobago Express.

With Lee-Ahye absent, Kelly-Ann Baptiste will be the country's’ only representative in the women’s 100m.  Kamaria Durant and Mauricia Prieto will be on duty in the 200m.  Baptiste, will join Prieto, Reyare Thomas and Semoy Hackett for the sprint relay.

Keshorn Walcott has also been named on a team of 15 for the World Championships. The 2012 Olympic men’s javelin champion is one of two throwers.  Portious Warren will compete in the women’s shot put and Andwuelle Wright will take part in the men’s long jump.

Anguillan-born British sprinter Zharnel Hughes will take aim at the longstanding national 100m record of Linford Christie, at this weekend’s British Championships in Birmingham.

Hughes seems to be approaching close to his best form after clocking his personal best 9.95 at the London Olympic Stadium last month.  With the meet expected to act as the trials to make the British team for the World Championships, the athlete is also eager to make history.

Christie’s record of 9.87 was set 26 years ago, with Hughes’ personal best standing at 9.91.  The young sprinter is convinced the time remains very much in reach.

‘I’m definitely thinking 9.7 is possible. I’m not putting pressure on myself,” Hughes told Metro News.

 “I’m not putting any targets on anyone, I’m just focusing on myself and then fast times will come.  I’d love to get it [the British record]. I ran 9.96 in London at the Anniversary Games in the heats which was quite easy and I shut down from far out,” he added.

“I believe I can run 9.8, possibly a 9.7, but we’ll see. I’m not predicting for it to be this weekend, because I don’t know what the weather looks like and you have to take into consideration the way you execute.”

  

Jamaica World Champion Yohan Blake is increasingly confident of hitting his best form in time for the Doha World Championships, following a narrow win to claim the men’s 100m title, at the Birmingham Diamond League meet on Sunday.

Blake just got the better of Britain's Adam Gemili, who erased a comfortable early lead by the Jamaican to ensure a photo finish.  Both athletes were clocked at 10.07 seconds but Blake was declared the winner.  The United States’ Mike Rodgers was third with a time of 10.09.  Another Jamaican in the race Tyquendo Tracey was 6th in 10.14.

  It wasn’t the fastest time, considering a barely legal +2.0 seconds but the Jamaican athlete was pleased with the result nonetheless.

"It was coming," said Blake, who suffered a career-threatening hamstring injury in 2013.

"The weather wasn't great but I'm saving the big day for the world championships and the Diamond League finals in Zurich," said Blake. "I can run faster."

Despite holding the second-fastest times ever run over both the 100m and 200m, Blake has been overshadowed by the American trio of Christian Coleman, Justin Gatlin and Noah Lyles so far this year.  Coleman was expected to take part in the Birmingham Diamond League but had withdrawn from the race earlier in the week.

 

Rising Jamaican sprint phenom Briana Williams has admitted the country’s reverence for the sport of track and field made it an easy decision to choose the tiny Caribbean island over the United States.

The 17-year-old Williams is considered one of the brightest up and coming prospects in the sport of athletics. In fact, the sprinter is expected to follow a long line of exceptional Jamaican sprinters, the likes of which include Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson and the legendary Usain Bolt. 

Williams was, however, born in the United States, a country that has a proud track and field legacy of its own.  For the diminutive young sprinter, however, the choice between the track and field rivals was always a straight forward one.

“I was grown up in the Jamaica tradition way.  All the time when I was watching the Olympics, I would see Bolt and Shelly-Ann winning and think I want to be like them,” Williams said recently, in a podcast with the Olympic Channel.

“America has football, baseball they are more fans of that. In Jamaica, they show support to their track athletes and I like that.  In America, there is track but it's not at the same level.  When the Jamaica athletes are at the Olympics or World Championships, there is screaming in the middle of the streets and people cheering them on.  I like that culture more,” she added.  

Boldon, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic bronze medalist, was in complete agreement.  Like Williams, Boldon could also have represented Jamaica as he was born in Port of Spain to a Jamaican mother.

“Even me being from Trinidad and Tobago, sometimes track and field athletes, despite us having the bulk of our Olympic medals, are not as revered in Trinidad and Tobago, like it is in Jamaica,” Boldon said.

“Many times during my career, when I saw the support for Jamaican athletes, I used to saw wow maybe Jamaica should have been the place I ran for because it just matters more," he added.

Williams, the World U-20 sprint double Champion, will represent Jamaica at the Doha World Championships later this year.   

Rising United States sprinting talent Noah Lyles has admitted legendary Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt was right to question his championship mettle but hopes to silence all doubters at the upcoming IAAF World Championships.

The 22-year-old Lyles has recently featured prominently among the handful of names labeled as potentially next in line to inherit the throne vacated by the big Jamaican.

 To add fuel to the fire, Lyles recently clocked an impressive 19.50, the fourth-fastest time in the event’s history, in Lausanne, Switzerland last month.  While admitting that Lyles was unquestionably a huge talent, Bolt insisted he was waiting to see such performances replicated on the big stage.

“Yeah, I’ve seen him run, I’ve seen him compete,” Bolt told the New York Times.

“Last season he was doing a lot of good things, this season he has started off good. But as I said, it all comes down to the championship. Is he confident to come into a race after running three races and show up? For me, he has shown that he has talent, but when the championship comes, we will see what happens,” he added.

Lyles is yet to compete at a major championship and is also a threat over 100m but dropped the event from his schedule at the United States national championship to ensure full focus on the 200m.

“Sounds about right to me, sounds like my thoughts exactly,” Lyles said when shown the Bolt’s comments.

“It’s why I decided to run one event this year.”

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