Jamaica searches for Usain Bolt heir at national championships

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess At his peak, Bolt was the most celebrated product of a Jamaican sprint factory which had churned out an array of talent, which also included the likes of former world record holder Asafa Powell and 2011 100m world champion Yohan Blake.But in the years since Bolt hung up his spikes after the 2017 World Championships in London, Jamaican men’s sprinting has been in the relative doldrums.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsNo Jamaican man has come close to threatening the world’s fastest times over 100m and 200m in 2018 or 2019, where a new crop of US talent led by Christian Coleman, Noah Lyles and Michael Norman has emerged as the dominant force.More than 70 entries will line up in Kingston this weekend chasing one of the three spots in the 100m for the World Championships, which take place in Doha, Qatar this year from September 28 to October 6. 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O’Dayne Richards, a bronze medalist in the shot put in Beijing in 2015; Danniel Thomas-Dodd, the Commonwealth Games champion and fourth place finisher in London 2017 are also eyeing podium spots in Doha.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games PLAY LIST 01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss (FILES) In this file photo taken on August 5, 2017 Jamaica’s Usain Bolt runs to third place in the final of the men’s 100m athletics event at the 2017 IAAF World Championships at the London Stadium in London. – The hunt for a successor to Usain Bolt gets under way on June 20, 2019 as Jamaica stages its National Championships looking to unearth a new crop of sprinters capable of challenging for major titles. For the first time in more than a decade, Jamaica is preparing for a World Championships without Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist and 100m and 200m world record holder. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)The hunt for a successor to Usain Bolt gets underway on Thursday as Jamaica stages its National Championships looking to unearth a new crop of sprinters capable of challenging for major titles.For the first time in more than a decade, Jamaica is preparing for a World Championships without Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist and 100m and 200m world record holder.ADVERTISEMENT So far, however, none of the entries has indicated they have the pedigree to fill the void created by Bolt’s departure.While Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce look set to keep Jamaica in the medals hunt in the women’s short sprints, the same cannot be said for the men.Motley crewBlake heads a motley crew comprised mostly of US college standouts and sprinters that have yet to make a mark on the global circuit.Tyquendo Tracey won the 100m at last year’s inaugural IAAF Athletics Cup in London but is only the 75th fastest over the distance this season.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Blake meanwhile has the fastest 100m time of any Jamaican this season, clocking 9.98sec in Florida in May. That though remains substantially outside Coleman’s world-leading time of 9.85 set in Oslo.Other hopefuls include US college athlete Andre Ewers, Purdue University senior Waseem Williams as well as Raheem Chambers.Powell, meanwhile, is also listed as an entry with the 36-year-old chasing a spot on his fifth World Championships team.While the hunt for a successor to Bolt goes on in the men’s events, the only question on the women’s side will be establishing who joins Fraser-Pryce and Thompson for a place in Doha.Seventeen-year-old Briana Williams, the IAAF Under-20 double sprint champion in Finland last year, is ranked number eight in the world with a National Junior record of 11.02 seconds set two weeks ago.Jonielle Smith, who anchored the women’s team to silver in the women’s 4x100m at the World Relays, Nataliah Whyte and Rene Medley lead what is expected to be the next generation of female sprinters.Fraser-Pryce meanwhile says expecting any of her male counterparts to replace Bolt is unrealistic.“I don’t think any athlete should try and pressure themselves to fill Usain’s shoes,” Fraser-Pryce told AFP last month.“What he did was remarkable for the sport, so for us it’s just a case of trying to do our best.”Away from the track, Jamaica may also challenge for medals in field events, with discus thrower Fedrick Dacres leading the world this season with a mark of 70.78m set in Rabat on Sunday.last_img

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