Black Immigrant Daily News
As the year draws to a close, we’re continuing our annual tradition of celebrating the hard work that Jamaican sportspersons and teams achieved in the past year.
A few Jamaicans did manage to conjure some moments of lasting relevance, so grab a beverage of choice as Loop Sport reflects on those moments.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning gold in the women’s 100m at the World Athletics Championships on Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).
WOMEN’S 100M: The year belonged to Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
There was unprecedented depth across the board in a superb year for the sprint events and in the women’s 100m that meant more sub-11-second runs than ever before.
A total of 37 athletes broke the barrier, achieving 137 sub-11 results between them. The previous best depth was the 86 sub-11 performances by 21 athletes achieved last year.
But one athlete took barrier-breaking to another level. Just five women in history have ever dipped under 10.70 for the distance but Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, in her 15th season of international competition, bettered the mark a total of seven times.
In Monaco she set the world lead of 10.62 – the second-fastest time of her career behind the 10.60 PB she set in Lausanne last year – and the 36-year-old also ran 10.65 in Zurich, 10.66 in Silesia, and 10.67 on four occasions, including at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
That championship record run in Oregon on July 17 gained Fraser-Pryce a record-extending fifth world 100m title as she led a Jamaican sweep of the medals ahead of Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah.
No other athlete has ever claimed five world titles in a single individual running event.
The trio finished at the front of the deepest-ever women’s World Championships 100m final, as seven of the eight finalists dipped under 11 seconds.
The versatile Jackson ran 10.73, a PB she would later improve to 10.71 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco, and after her world silver medal win she took the 200m title, adding those medals to the two 400m bronzes she claimed in 2015 and 2019.
Thompson-Herah won Olympic gold in the 100m and 200m in Tokyo last year and her 10.81 run in Oregon secured her a first world 100m medal.
Unsurprisingly given her consistency, Fraser-Pryce only lost one 100m race all year, when Jackson beat her in Brussels on September 2. Fraser-Pryce’s next race was the Diamond League Final and she triumphed in Zurich to win a fifth Diamond Trophy. Her first was claimed in 2012.
Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Thompson-Herah also went sub-10.80 in 2022, Ivory Coast’s Ta Lou running an African record of 10.72 in Monaco and Thompson-Herah clocking 10.79 at the Diamond League meeting in Eugene.
St Lucia’s Julien Alfred improved to a national record of 10.81, a time matched by USA’s Aleia Hobbs.
Shericka Jackson celebrates after winning the 200m gold at the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Thursday, July 21, 2022. (Photo: Marlon Reid).
WOMEN’S 200M: Shericka Jackson rules
Shericka Jackson went into the world 200m final on July 21 with a unique target to aim for: to become the first athlete to ever win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines.
As it was in the women’s 100m, the standard was incredibly high, with 11 women – compared to the previous record of eight in 2021 – breaking 22 seconds for the half-lap event throughout the season. In the end, 22.08 wasn’t enough to make the world final.
But Jackson was there, and she left all her rivals behind as she recorded the second-fastest time in history of 21.45 to add 200m gold to the 100m silver secured a few days earlier and her 400m bronze medals from the 2015 and 2019 World Championships.
Only Florence Griffith-Joyner, with her world record of 21.34 set in 1988, has ever gone faster.
Jackson had provided a hint of things to come at the Jamaican Championships, winning the national title in 21.55, now the fourth-fastest performance of all time. But she went a tenth of a second quicker in Oregon to comfortably beat her compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (21.81) and Britain’s defending champion Dina Asher-Smith (22.02) in a race that saw Niger’s Aminatou Seyni finish fourth (22.12), USA’s Abby Steiner and Tamara Clark place fifth and sixth, Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah secure seventh and Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji place eighth.
Seyni had earlier won the African title, while Kambundji went on to claim European gold and Thompson-Herah won the Commonwealth crown to complete a 100-200 double.
Jackson, who only lost one 200m race in 2022 – her season opener in Doha – ended things on a high, taking the Diamond Trophy in Zurich on September 8. After completing her World Championships medal sweep, she also achieved another first – no other athlete has ever broken 21.70 for 200m three times in one season but Jackson did with her performances of 21.45, 21.55, and 21.67.
Rasheed Broadbell celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Men’s 110m hurdles final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. (Tim Goode/PA via AP).
SPRINT HURDLES: Rasheed Broadbell, Britany Anderson stand out
Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell was unfortunate to miss out on the World Championships final, but just two weeks later he won Commonwealth gold and then went on to win in Szekesfehervar and Lausanne, beating USA’s Grant Holloway on both occasions. He also set a PB of 12.99 in the latter.
The women’s 100m hurdles became one of the biggest talking points of the World Championships – not just because of Tobi Amusan’s world record of 12.12 in the semifinals, but because of the depth across the board.
Every athlete in the first semifinal set at least a season’s best in that race. Five of them set lifetime bests, three of which were also national records. But the fast times weren’t isolated to that one heat; there were four PBs in the next semifinal and another cluster of season’s bests and PBs in the third semifinal. And were it not for the excessive 2.5m/s wind in the final, no doubt many of the athletes would have been rewarded with PBs.
As it was, Amusan of Nigeria won in 12.06 – the fastest time in history in any conditions. Britany Anderson, who had set a Jamaican record of 12.31 in the semifinal, ran 12.23 to take silver, just ahead of Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico, who was given the same time.
Shanieka Ricketts competing at the Commonwealth Games. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant).
Triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts had a great 2022, winning the National Championship in Kingston, and several international meets.
At the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Ricketts took the silver medal in 14.89m behind Venezuelan superstar Yulimar Rojas, the undisputed queen of the triple jump. The world record holder jumped 15.47m to win an unprecedented third world triple jump title.
After the World Athletics Championships, Ricketts won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the bronze medal at the Diamond League Final in Zurich to finish the year ranked No. 2.
In Birmingham, she put down a big marker in the first round. The two-time world silver medallist bounded out to a Games record of 14.94m with her opening jump of the competition.
The medal positions were decided in the first round as Thea LaFond opened with 14.39m, ultimately enough for silver, and England’s Naomi Metzger started her series with 14.32m and improved to 14.37m to secure bronze.
Tina Clayton celebrates after winning the 100m gold medal at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Wednesday, August 3, 2022. (PHOTO: Anthony Foster).
Tina Clayton, Jaydon Hibbert, and Kerrica Hill make big statements among the juniors
It wasn’t just at the senior level that Jamaica showed great strength. At the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on August 3, Tina Clayton retained her 100m title in a championship record and national U20 record of 10.95, leading a 1-2 for her nation ahead of Serena Cole.
The Jamaican quartet of Serena Cole, Tina Clayton, Kerrica Hill, and Tia Clayton broke the world U20 record with 42.94 at the World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi in 2021 and they repeated the feat at in Cali on August 5, improving the mark to 42.59.
A total of four nations – Jamaica, the United States, Great Britain & NI, and Germany – had U20 teams that dipped under 44 seconds.
Jaydon Hibbert celebrates after claiming the triple jump crown at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Friday, August 5, 2022. (PHOTO: World Athletics).
Triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert went the entire 2022 season undefeated in his specialist event. His season started in January, and his first PB of the year came just two weeks later in mid-February as he jumped 16.10m. He broke it again in March (16.56m) and April (16.66m).
Later in April, Hibbert won the Carifta Games title with a wind-assisted 17.05m – his first leap beyond the 17-metre barrier. He then went on to win at the Penn Relays in what was his first competition outside Kingston in 2022.
Hibbert returned to the Jamaican capital for his country’s senior National Championships in late June. Competing against athletes eight years his senior, Hibbert won with 16.41m.
His big goal of the year, though, was the World Athletics U20 Championships on August 5, where he was determined to upgrade the silver medal he won at the 2021 edition.
He effectively ended the competition with his opening leap as he bounded out to a lifetime best of 17.27m. He followed it with an effort of 16.82m, the second-best jump of his life, and then he passed his four remaining attempts, safe in the knowledge that he had done enough to win. No one else in the field got within a metre of Hibbert’s winning mark.
Not only did he break the championship record, but his leap also moved Hibbert to equal eighth on the world U20 all-time list and second on the world U18 all-time list.
And the 17-year-old Hibbert will still be young enough to compete at the 2024 World U20 Championships, where he could become the first man to win back-to-back world U20 titles in the triple jump.
Gold medallist Kerrica Hill (right) and silver medallist Alexis James react following the women’s 100m hurdles final at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia on Saturday, August 6, 2022. (PHOTO: World Athletics).
Kerrica Hill capped an impressive year with two record-breaking performances at the World Athletics U20 Championships.
First, the 17-year-old formed part of the Jamaican women’s 4x100m quartet that broke the world record with 42.59 to win gold. That same day she set a world U20 lead of 12.87 in the 100m hurdles semifinals and returned to the track 24 hours later to take the title in 12.77, breaking the championship record with a time that moved her to fifth on the world U20 all-time list.
“I came this far, and I accomplished what I wanted to,” she said after her 100m hurdles victory. “I was just focused on winning the race. My success last night (in the 4x100m) was inspiring because it helped me come out here and do my very best.”
She might have been the second youngest in the 100m hurdles field, but Hill had gone into the event as one of the favourites thanks to her Jamaican U20 title win in 12.98 in June.
She also won when racing over the 76.2cm barriers at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships in Kingston in April, clocking 12.71 – a world U18 best. Her 12.77 performance in Cali was also a world U18 best over the senior height barriers and she set three of the five fastest U20 times of the season, the other two recorded by her compatriot Alexis James, who secured silver in Cali.
In the 100m, Hill set a PB of 11.16 to complete a double at the ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships.
JAMAICA’S NETBALL TEAM
The Sunshine Girls earned a historic silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England going down 55-51 to world number one Australia in the championship match on August 7.
Sunshine Girls superstar Jhaniele Fowler had 46 goals from 47 attempts but it wasn’t enough for the historic gold medal. The silver medal for the Sunshine Girls represents an improvement on their bronze medal four years ago in Australia.
The defeat was the only one for the Sunshine Girls in Birmingham. Three days before the gold medal match, the sunshine Girls scored a shock victory against Australia in their final Pool A game.
Kingston College’s striker Dujuan Richards had a great 2022.
The 17-year-old, with a lethal left foot, looked a cut above his peers during the 2022 schoolboy football season. Popularly known as ‘Whisper’, he has been touted as the next big Jamaica footballer.
He ended the season with 31 goals.
Among his highlights for the season was when he single-handedly destroyed a top Clarendon College team in the semifinals of the Champions Cup on November 26. He scored in the 14th, 23rd, 51st, and 58th minutes with four sumptuous strikes that will be long remembered in the annals of schoolboy football. KC won the match 4-2.
JAMAICA’S REGGAE GIRLZ
Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz were also hot as they qualified for their second straight FIFA World Cup.
The Reggae Girlz achieved the feat on July 12 by defeating Haiti 4-0 at the Concacaf Women’s Championship in Mexico.
Khadija Shaw had a pair of goals, and Trudi Carter and Drew Spence also scored for the Reggae Girlz.
With the victory, Jamaica finished second in Group A of the preliminary round, which handed the Reggae Girlz a direct pass to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The defending World Cup champion United States won the group, also qualifying for the 2023 World Cup.
Jamaica’s second qualification to the Women’s World Cup came four years after they created history in the United States by becoming the first Caribbean team to reach the showpiece event.
On that occasion, the Reggae Girlz achieved the feat by defeating Panama 4-2 on penalties in their third-place playoff match at the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship at the Toyota Stadium in Texas.
This time, however, the Reggae Girlz secured a direct pass.