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Archive for June, 2008

JAMAICA OLYMPIC TRIALS UPDATE – VERONICA MAKES A COME BACK IN 200M

Posted by Dresonic on June 30, 2008

Veronica Campbell-Brown rebounded from her disappointing fourth-placed finish in Saturday’s 100m final with a life-time best and world leading 21.94secs (wind 1.1 m/s) to win the 200 metres on yesterday’s third and final day of the Supreme Ventures National Senior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

OVERJOYED Veronica Campbell-Brown reacts after confirming her winning time, a personal best 21.94 seconds in the women’s 200 metres final at the Supreme Ventures National Senior Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium last night. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Running in lane three, Campbell-Brown produced an impressive start to take the lead off the corner before powering to the fourth fastest time ever by a Jamaican woman. Only national record holder Merlene Ottey (21.64), Grace Jackson (21.72), and Juliet Cutbert (21.75) have run faster than Campbell-Brown, who shaved 0.11 off her previous best of 22.05.

Campbell-Brown was understandably elated with securing her spot on the team to Beijing.

“The way my training has been going my coach (Lance Brauman) was very confident that I would run 21 (seconds) tonight as long as I executed,” she said. “Last night (Saturday) I don’t know what happened, but I was disappointed.it was just a shocker to me, but it’s just a part of life. I just had to bounce back and come out here and make sure that I’m on the Olympic team for an individual race,” the reigning world 100m champion explained, noting that she should be able to run 10.7 before the season is out.

Kerron Stewart, who won the 100m title on Saturday, took second in a career best 21.99secs, becoming the fifth fastest Jamaican woman over the half-lap event. Commonwealth champion Sherone Simpson was third 22.11secs.

World 100-metre record holder (9.72secs) Usain Bolt toyed with the field, shutting down with 60-metres remaining to stop the clock at 19.97secs. Bolt became the first man since Dwight Thomas in 2002 to take the sprint double.

Usain Bolt (centre) eases down towards the end of the men’s 200 metres final at the National Stadium last night. Bolt won in 19.97 seconds. At left is Nester Carter, while Ricardo Williams is at right. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

“It feels good to be double champion, but the aim was just to come here and qualify and I did that, so I’m pretty satisfied with myself,” said Bolt. “I didn’t want to go too fast because I’ve gone through a lot (three rounds of 100 and two rounds of 200) this weekend,” the world 200m silver medallist added.

Marvin Anderson (20.17) and Christopher Williams (20.20) were second and third, respectively.

The youthful Rosemarie Whyte and the experienced Michael Blackwood obliged in the 400m metres, beating their more favoured opponents. Whyte produced a late burst in the last 30 metres to beat World Championships bronze medallist Novlene Williams-Mills at the tape in a life-time best 50.05secs.

“I knew I was going to run 50-point because of the training that I’ve been getting,” said Whyte, who is coached by Maurice Wilson at GC Foster College.

Williams-Mills was timed at 50.11 ahead of Shericka Williams, 50.33secs.

Blackwood rolled back the years to get the better of young ‘Turks’ Richard Chambers and defending champion Sanjay Ayre in a blanket finish. Blackwood got the nod in 45.21secs, while Chambers and Ayre were both credited with 45.24.

Blackwood told the Observer he never doubted that he would win. “I know that I have a strong base, so I knew I would finish strong.I never panicked at all, so I just held my composure and finish as strong as possible,” said Blackwood, who was winning his fourth national title, having done so in 2001, ’02 and ’03.

Two-time World Championship medallist Brigitte Foster-Hylton recovered from a poor start to storm through the field to nip defending champion Delloreen Ennis-London on the line for her fifth national title. The national record holder (12.45secs) produced a season-best 12.50 for the victory ahead of her good friend Ennis-London, 12.57secs. “That was really a lousy start.I really had to run past all the girls, they were all ahead of me, but I am confident in my speed and confident in my strength,” said Foster-Hylton, who also won national titles in 2002, ’03, ’05, ’06.

Ennis-London was equally satisfied to make her third Olympic team, having competed in Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004). “I stumbled over the third hurdle, I kind of lost it from there and then my last three hurdles I started to reach to ensure I made the team, so technically it wasn’t a good race, but I’m thankful that I’m on the team,” said Ennis-London, a former seven-time champion at this level. Vonette Dixon was third in 12.71secs.

The men’s equivalent went to Richard Phillips in 13.57secs ahead of Decosma Wright, 13.64, and eight-time former champion Maurice Wignall, 13.65secs.

Reigning 800 metres Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kenia Sinclair secured her fourth consecutive national tile by posting two minutes 01.46secs. The national record holder (1 minute, 57.88sces), who sustained an injury to her left Achilles in Friday’s preliminaries, came through 400m in 58.32secs. “I’m a little sour today (yesterday), but I still came out and did my best,” Sinclair said. “After the spiking incident of Friday I decided I was just going to take it easy and do whatever it was going to take to be the national champion of the 2008 Jamaica Olympic trials,” she added. Sinclair also secured national titles in 2005, ’06 and ’07. Neisha Bernard Thomas of Grenada (2:02.56) and Sheena Gooding (2:04.23) of Barbados, were second and third, respectively.

Alwyn Sappleton, who has only attained the Olympic ‘B’ (1:47.00) standard, captured the men’s equivalent in a pedestrian 1 minute, 48.45secs. It was Sappleton’s fourth straight lien on the national crown. He recorded the ‘B’ standard at last summer’s Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Posted in Entertainment, International, Jamaica, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

JAMAICA NATIONAL TRIALS – MENS 100M FINALS

Posted by Dresonic on June 29, 2008

Posted in Asafa Powell, Caribbean, Entertainment, International, Jamaica, Kingston, News, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

BOLT, ASAFA, AND FRATER TOP 3 AT JAMAICA NATIONAL TRIALS

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

World record-holder Usain Bolt beat former record-holder Asafa Powell in the 100-meter final Saturday night in Jamaica’s Olympic trials, finishing in 9.85 seconds.

Powell was second in 9.97.

“We are good friends and that’s why I have been telling everyone that it won’t be a clash here,” Bolt said. “We just came to qualify for the Olympics, but in the end, I guess the crowd was a little disappointed with this.”

Last month in New York, Bolt ran a 9.72 to break Powell’s world record of 9.74.

“I just went out there to execute the first 50 and, in the end, I am very pleased with my performance,” Powell said. “The aim was to make the team and, I did that, so I am OK. … I’m just coming off an injury, so I did what I had to do.

Kerron Stewart won the women’s 100 in 10.80, the second-fastest time by a Jamaican woman ever. Shelly-Ann Fraster was second in 10.85, Sherone Simpson followed in 10.87 and world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was fourth in 10.87.

“My aim first was to make the team. It wasn t about the time, but I am very pleased with 10.80 seconds,” Stewart said.

In the women s triple jump, Trecia Smith, the 2005 world champion, won at 44 feet, 8 inches. Mardrea Hyman (4:21.00) and Kevin Campbell (3:56.97) won the 1,500s, and Melaine Walker (54.58) and Danny McFarlane (48.68) took the 400 hurdles.

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Powell, Bolt cruise into Jamaica semi-finals

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

THE world’s two fastest men, Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell, have cruised into the semi-finals of the men’s 100m at Jamaica’s Olympic track and field trials. Powell was the more aggressive in his heat, racing to victory in season-best 9.90 seconds.

“I am just using this as my practice going into Beijing,” Powell said.

He continued to play down a clash with Bolt. Asked about the showdown, he replied, “whatever it takes to get to Beijing, I will be there”.

Bolt, in heat one, stopped the clock in 10.19 seconds.

“I came out here this evening to get a feel of the track and the atmosphere, but will come back tomorrow to take care of business,” Bolt said.

Reigning Olympic 200m champion Veronica Campbell meanwhile booked her spot in the women’s event.
Profile: Asafa Powell

own won heat one in 11.28 seconds but Kerron Stewart stole the show, winning heat three in 10.99 – the day’s fastest time.

Shelly-Ann Fraser (11.01) and Sherone Simpson (11.11) recorded the next-best times.

In the men’s 400m hurdles, Isa Phillips, who won heat one in a season-best 48.78 seconds, leads Markino Buckley (49.21) and Danny McFarlane, the silver medalist from Athens (49.54) into Sunday’s final (EST).

Posted in Caribbean, Entertainment, Health, International, Jamaica, Kingston, Life, Lifestyle, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field, Western Jamaica | Tagged: | Comments Off on Powell, Bolt cruise into Jamaica semi-finals

Asafa versus Bolt after easy wins in heats

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

Former world 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell and Kerron Stewart sounded a signal of things to come in today’s finals of the men’s and women’s 100 metres by posting sub-10 and sub-11 times respectively on yesterday’s first day of competition at the Supreme Ventures National Senior Track and Field championships at the National Stadium.

Running in lane three of heat two, Powell exploded from the blocks and powered to the tape in 9.90 seconds ( wind 1.5m/s), beating his nearest rival and training partner Winston Barnes (10.33) by 0.43secs.

Former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell (left) and current world record holder Usain Bolt on their way to easy wins in last night’s men’s 100-metre heats at the National Stadium. Powell clocked an impressive 9.90 seconds, while Bolt cruised to 10.19 seconds. The two fastest men on the planet will sqaure off for national honours today in the semis scheduled for 6:20 pm and the final slated for 7:55 pm. (Photos: Bryan Cummings)

On the women’s side, Kerron Stewart looked impressive in posting 10.99secs, the fastest time heading into today’s semi-finals.

The 2007 NCAA 200m champions exploded from the blocks and left Shelly-Ann Fraser (11.02secs PB) and 2006 Commonwealth 200m champions Sherone Simpson (11.11secs) in her wake. Title-holder and reigning world champions Veronica Campbell ran conservatively to win heat one in 11.28 ahead of Nickesha Anderson (11.33) and Aleen Bailey (11.33).

Samantha Henry, formerly of the Queens High School, also recorded a personal best of 11.16secs to win ahead of Sheri-Ann Brooks (11.26) and Simone Facey (11.34secs) respectively.

Isa Phillips enters today’s final of the men’s 400m hurdles with the fastest time, having clocked a season best 48.78 seconds to beat defending champion and Olympic silver medlallist Danny McFarlane (49.54) in heat one.

Kenia Sinclair, the 2006 commonwealth silver medallist, and Aldwyn Sappleton leads all qualifiers for tomorrow’s final of the 800 metres.

Sinclair shrugged off a spiking incident on the first lap to post 2:02.87 seconds, beating Neisha Bernard Thomas of Grenada (2:03.23) and Mellissa D-Leon of Trinidad & Tobago (2:06.19). Sappleton looked composed in producing 1:51.06secs to win heat two of the men’s equivalent.

The heptathlon was postponed because only one athlete, Peaches Roach, reported for the 100m hurdles – the first of the seven-event discipline.

Eleven finals are down to be completed on today’s second day of competition, including the men’s and women’s 100m.

Posted in Entertainment, International, Jamaica, Kingston, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | 2 Comments »

Kenia Sinclair declares she is fit to run after ‘minor’ injury

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

REIGNING 800 metres Commonwealth silver medallist Kenia Sinclair has declared her self fit for tomorrow’s final of the half-mile despite sustaining a bad gash in a spiking incident in the heats on day one of the Supreme Ventures National Senior Track and Field Championships.

Sinclair, who suffered the injury at the base of the Achilles tendon on her right foot approximately 120 metres into heat one, came through the first lap in 59 seconds before taking the heat in two minutes 02.87 seconds.

“I spoke with one of the medical attendees and it’s not a major spiking, but the thing is that it aggravated an old injury I got in 2005 which I think did not heal properly,” Sinclair explained moments after having her left ankle tightly bandaged by the medical team.

Dr Kwesi Davis, who attended to Sinclair said the defending national champion should be race fit by tomorrow having received treatment.

“She is suffering a little contusion and a superficial injury, which means there is not much damage and should be fine for (today’s) 800 final,” Dr Davis said, however, the middle distance queen is having doubts about competing in today’s heats of the 1,500m.

“I was expecting to run the 1,500 tomorrow (today), but based on how I’m feeling right now, I don’t think I’m feeling right,” added the national 800 metres (one minute 57.88secs) record holder.

“For (the 800) final on Sunday (tomorrow) I will be sure to compete because a lot of people out there who came here to support me, so I’m just going to go out there and do my best,” added Sinclair who owns a silver medal from the 2006 World Indoor Championships.

Posted in Entertainment, International, Jamaica, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

Chelsea Hammond leaps into Beijing Olympics

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

Despite not jumping anywhere near her best this season, Chelsea Hammond did enough to book her ticket to Beijing this summer after retaining her long jump title on yesterday’s first day of the JAAA National Senior Championships at the National Stadium.

Hammond, who is the only Jamaican female long jumper with an Olympic ‘B’ standard, won the event with a best jump of 6.16m and later said she would be “happy with anything right now” while admitting it was a tough day.

Chelsea Hammond in her jump of 6.16m at the JAAA National Senior Championships at the National Stadium last evening. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

Hammond who suffered an injury after winning the event last year and missed the IAAF World Championships in Osaka, Japan has a season best 6.69m and said she would use the time between now and the Olympic Games to prepare, “just keep doing what I have been doing, training hard”.

Hammond’s best jump last night came on her fifth attempt and was accompanied by a -0.7m/s wind.

He second best attempt was 6.57m done on her final attempt which was still better than second placed Jovanee Jarrett’s 6.52m while Nolle Graham was third with 6.49m.
National record holder Elva Goulbourne was fourth with a best of 6.42m.

Former World Championship gold medalist Trecia Smith will try to make the team today when she lines up to defend her title in the triple jump against a small field of five athletes.

Smith who is recovering from a back injury suffered in Osaka last year has not been competing this year but told the Observer this week, “I’ve been quietly preparing… I didn’t have the surgery because it wasn’t necessary.”

The former Manning’s School and Pittsburg University student said she has had “several MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans done after the inflammation went down and it is a central protrusion, but it does not require surgery and I’ve been managing that and I started training in October,” Smith explained.

Louisiana State University’s Andrea Linton who has a season best 13.57m will also be in the field.

Former St Hughes High athlete, 21-year-old Phelecia Reynolds, now attending Louisiana Tech won her first national senior title when she took the women’s discus throw in 45.15m
The LA Tech junior holder and Western Athletics Conference (WAC) champion who came in with a season and personal best 51.69m, beat Genneva Greaves of MVP Track Club- 42.00m and former Vere Technical Girls Champs winner Kenisha Throughsingh- 40.55m.

Aundre Clarke of the University of Technology retained the men’s javelin throw with a best mark of 61.58m, just better than the 61.27m he threw to win last year.

Michael Chambers of GC Foster College was second with 50.28m while Wilton Peart was third with 36.34m.

Zara Northover will defend her shot put title this afternoon and will start favourite to win after a personal best 17.01m earlier.

Nadia Alexander of Louisiana Tech who won the discus last year is expected to be her main rival.

The men’s high jump and men’s discuss will also be contested today.

Posted in Entertainment, International, Jamaica, Kingston, News, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

How tiny Jamaica develops so many champion sprinters

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

– As late afternoon trade winds drift into Kingston’s National Stadium, the world’s fastest man ambles back to his starting blocks.

Usain Bolt’s performance in this training session is less than lighting-fast, however, and it fails to impress his coach, Glen Mills. “Make sure you do them good, otherwise you’ll do them tomorrow morning – early,” he barks.

A month ago, Mr. Bolt lived up to his name by breaking countryman Asafa Powell’s world record in the 100-meter dash. The two hold the five fastest recognized times in the event and will go head-to-head this weekend in Jamaica’s Olympic trials.

Yet these men are just two of dozens of top-flight Jamaican sprinters who are poised to put the tiny island nation on the map in the same way Kenyans and Ethiopians are known to dominate long-distance running. Jamaica’s Olympic track team is so deep in talent that these trials will be like watching American NBA stars vie for a spot on ™basketball’s famous Dream Team.

How does a poor Caribbean country of less than 3 million people produce such athletic riches? Improved coaching and a new system to develop raw talent at home have combined with a tradition of seeing sprinting as an inexpensive ticket out of poverty, observers say.

“Where we are today is [like] a flower,” says Anthony Davis, the sports director at Jamaica’s University of Technology (UTECH), whose programs and facilities helped shape some of Jamaica’s finest runners, including Mr. Powell and Bolt. “You’d have had to plant a seed long ago to get where we are today.”

And plant they did.

A little more than 30 years ago, former world-record sprinter Dennis Johnson decided to take what he’d learned at San Jose State University in the 1960s and set up a competitive, US-style college athletic program here in his home country. The goal: produce world-class athletes, especially track stars.

At the time, most considered this crazy talk.

Jamaica had long produced some of the world’s top high school track athletes, but then they left the island. There was no place in this former British colony’s college system for them. Postsecondary education is based on an older British model in which sports are merely a recreational break from the rigors of academia. The only hope of continuing track after high school was to get a scholarship to a foreign university.

Today, Jamaican sprinters still leave, and pad many NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) track rosters.

“In Louisiana, at a high school track meet, we’ll find maybe one or two athletes that could be good enough for [Louisiana State University’s track program],” says Dennis Shaver, head track coach of the 2008 NCAA championship LSU track team. “[But] in Jamaica, there are probably 50 women ready to fit right into the program every year.”

“Jamaicans have played a significant role in the 31 track and field championships we’ve won over the years,” he says, adding that Jamaica will be “very competitive in Beijing.”

Competing in the top US schools was, and is, a fast track out of poverty. The problem, as Mr. Johnson saw it, was that too many Jamaicans never came back home, and some even ran for other Olympic teams. (Donovan Bailey of Canada and Linford Christie of Britain are two examples of Jamaican-born Olympic champions.)

That’s why Johnson started a sports program at a two-year vocational college here, and that later became UTECH, a four-year college. Through Johnson’s work, which has since passed to Mr. Davis, the program now has 280 student athletes and houses the top professional track teams in Jamaica.

By US standards, the training facilities are second class. Jamaica’s top sprinters cram into UTECH’s tiny gym to pump rusty weights, and they often practice on the school’s basic grass track.

“We have to be creative, because we don’t have the resources,” says Davis, explaining that the lanes of the track are marked with diesel and burned because the school can’t afford the machine that lays down chalk lines every week or so. “We had a choice: complain about the resources and do nothing or work with what we have.”

Davis is pushing to attract more sponsors for UTECH’s programs. The British sports drink company Lucozade now offers two full track scholarships to UTECH, and Davis is hoping that success in Beijing will lead to funding for scoreboards and an indoor track surface. And he knows right where he’d put a new athletic center, if he ever gets the money. “We want someday to be the sports center of the Caribbean,” he says.

But UTECH’s program is only part of the reason for Jamaica’s sprinting prowess. “Coaches have played a very important role and are still playing an important role,” says Herb Elliot, a Jamaican member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation’s Medical and Anti-Doping Commission. “NCAA scouts come here in droves to recruit, but our athletes often come back [from four years at US universities] tired and mediocre,” says Mr. Elliot.

Among the most effective Jamaican coaches today is Powell’s coach, Stephen Francis, who founded the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) team in 1999 after getting his MBA from the University of Michigan. “My background is different from most coaches, who were former athletes,” says the rotund Mr. Francis, explaining that the Jamaican track establishment did not appreciate his maverick style.

“My philosophy is based on doing things the hard way,” he says. “We don’t recruit superstars.” He looks for latent talent and chooses coachable sprinters who don’t have supersized egos.

Brigitte Foster-Hylton is one of Francis’s first success stories. When she started working with him in 1999, most didn’t see her potential. But she’s cut more than half a minute off her time in the 100-meter hurdles and won bronze in the event at the 2005 World Championships.

Powell – who says in a matter-of-fact manner that he is still the world’s fastest man despite Bolt’s record run – is another Francis success story.

Powell struggled as the youngest of six siblings growing up in the Jamaican countryside. He was a good sprinter in high school, but not among Jamaica’s very best. A few years ago, one brother was shot to death in a New York cab and another died of a heart attack. The tragedies might have derailed some athletes.

Both of his parents are pastors and he credits a strict upbringing for his focus. “I couldn’t miss one day in church and my mom and dad still call to see if I’m going to church,” he says. “None of this would’ve been possible without God, and I pray to him each and every day. But I know that God helps those who help themselves, so I try to help myself.”

He says he’s ready to win the Olympic gold medal that eluded him four years ago.

But given the recent convictions and confessions of steroid use by track and field athletes, some skeptics question the success of Jamaican sprinters. There have been no recent cases of Jamaicans caught using performance-enhancing drugs. “We are far in advance of the US record for [preventing] doping,” says Elliot, who’s the top enforcement official in Jamaica. “We preach, cajole, and test,” he says. Jamaica makes its athletes available for sudden testing 24/7.

Besides, Elliot says, Jamaica won’t tolerate cheats. “Sports is such a part of our culture that the disgrace [of doping] is so great that the Jamaicans that live here wouldn’t even consider it.”

For now, Jamaicans are reveling in having the world’s two fastest men heading into the Beijing Olympics.

“In the sprints, we’re as good as any,” says Fitz Coleman, a technical coach on Bolt’s team who is widely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best hurdles coaches. “In fact, we just might be the measuring stick at this point in time.”

Another reason for Jamaicans’ success: their attitude, according to Mr. Coleman. “We genuinely believe that we’ll conquer,” he says. “It’s a mindset. We’re small and we’re poor, but we believe in ourselves.”

Posted in Asafa Powell, Caribbean, Dresonic Stories, Entertainment, Health, International, Jamaica, Lifestyle, News, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

CHECK OUT THE NEW BLACKBERRY BOLD 9000 RIMARKABLE!!!

Posted by Dresonic on June 11, 2008

What can I say but totally, RIMarkable…

Specs:

  • Family will include HSDPA and EV-DO versions (including an AWS-capable 1700MHz version).
  • 480 x 320 display
  • 625MHz CPU, 1GB internal flash memory
  • 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 (with A2Dp), GPS, MicroSDHC
  • 480 x 320 video recording, photo geotagging
  • 4.5 x 2.6 x 0.55-inches, 4.7 ounces

Posted in Blackberry, Entertainment, Games, Music, New Stuff, Smartphone, Technology, The Web | 10 Comments »