Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake sent out an early message to his rivals when he stole the spotlight at the MVP Track and Field meet inside the National Stadium on Saturday night. Blake seemed to be nearing his best after years of injury setbacks as he gave the fair-sized crowd something to talk about, stopping the clock in a world leading 9.95 seconds to win his 100m heat. After seeing his training partner at Racers Track Club, Warren Weir, posting 10.07 seconds to win his 100m race in the previous heat, Blake settled in his blocks in front of an anxious crowd inside the venue. The sprinter caught up to the field in the early part of the race then burst away from the pack to score an impressive win ahead of Sprintec’s Rasheed Dwyer and High Performance Training Centre’s Zharnel Hughes, who both clocked 10.10 seconds. Delivered “First and foremost, I must give God thanks. He has been present in my life and has changed my life over the past weeks, and I have gotten rid of that name the ‘Beast’. I am happy for the win as I came out and delivered and it is like a heavy load has been lifted off my head,” Blake said after his run. “While warming up before the race, I felt very good, and I am extremely happy with my first outing. This is a big step for me, and I can say Yohan is back,” Blake declared. Earlier, Blake had teamed up with Weir, St Kitts and Nevis’ Jason Rodgers, and Michael Frater to win the Open 4x100m for Racers in a zippy 38.45 seconds. Annsert Whyte effortlessly clocked a season best 49.39 seconds in winning his men’s 400m hurdles event – the fastest time for the night in the event. Javarn Gallimore was next best in 50.09 seconds, while Ricardo Cunningham of Cameron Blazers Track Club, who was running the event for the second time in his career, won his section in 50.28 seconds for the third fastest time overall. Racers-based Antiguan Miguel Francis delivered big time in copping the men’s 200m event with a 20.11 seconds clocking, getting the better of Sprintec’s Oshane Bailey, 20.42, with 400m specialist Javon Francis of Akan Track Club finishing third in 20.54 seconds. MVP’s Jonia McDonald continued to show improvements in the 400m as, competing in the final heat, he cruised to victory in 46.32 seconds for the fastest time, overall, with Peter Matthews finishing second in 46.38 seconds ahead of Josef Robertson, 46.45. Making his debut in the one-lap event this season, outstanding Junior Jaheel Hyde won his heat in 46.66 seconds to be fourth overall, School record Kingston College, Calabar, and Jamaica College warmed up for next weekend’s Penn Relays in impressive style as all three teams went under 40 seconds in the 4x100m relay, with Kingston College leading the way. The quartet of Shivnarine Smalling, Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaughn Matherson and Tyrese Bryan finished second behind Racers in 39.52 seconds, the fastest time by a schoolboy team this year and a Kingston College school record. Calabar were third in 39.60 seconds, while Jamaica College were fourth in 39.77 seconds. On the female side, it was Sprintec’s Ronda Whyte who stole the show with a big personal best in the women’s 400m hurdles. Whyte was at her best as she turned back a strong field to win the event in 55.58 seconds to be the top Jamaican female in the event so far this season. Trailing her in second was training partner at Sprintec, Ristananna Tracey, 56.04, and her sister, Nikita Tracey, 56.33, of MVP Track Club. World Championships 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, 52.10, topped the field in the women’s 400m, getting the better of Namibia’s Herunga Tjipekapora, 52.81, and Dawnalee Loney, 53.14.
(The spirit chair at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Photo: Kathleen Martens)Kathleen MartensAPTN News When a murderous stalker killed her parents he took not only her family but her heritage, Falon Farinacci told the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Winnipeg Wednesday.Farinacci was nine-years-old when Andre Ducharme fatally shot Sherry and Maurice Paul in the tight-knit Metis community of Saint Eustache, Man., in 1993.Ducharme was a childhood friend of her father’s who became obsessed with her mother, Farinacci told chief Commissioner Marion Buller.“He was the town bully who went to school with my dad, and an alcoholic,” she said.The double murder shattered her life and that of her two brothers – one of whom died later in life by suicide.Farinacci said she brings her children back to Manitoba – the ancestral home of the Metis in Canada – to visit but it’s not the same.“Something about this pulled me here,” she said. “I hope that me coming and speaking for change means their passing will have meaning. And that’s what I want.”Farinacci has since married and had three children. But she remembers her father being actively involved with the Manitoba Metis Federation.“My dad was a very, very, very proud Metism,” Farinacci said.She said her parents didn’t reveal the problems they were having with Ducharme, whom she said they had a restraining order against.But Maurice did confide in his neighbour and friend, Ken Bowden.“He said if anything happens take care of my kids. I did, as much as I could,” Bowden testified.“The RCMP were very shitty and lazy,” added Bowden, who was critical of how long it took Mounties to deal with the volatile situation that ended in two killings.Ducharme eventually took his own life after shooting Maurice and Sherry Paul in their home with a rifle he’d stolen from his uncle, while their three young children were inside.Her older brother had escaped and run to the Bowdens to call police at midnight, Farinacci said.“The police officer decided to go back to bed. We continued to call for help. No one came.”At 8:30 in the morning, she said her grandfather burst in first followed by police.An inquest into the case helped strengthen Canada’s stalking laws but Farinacci said the crime is still not taken seriously enough.“He was released (from custody on an uttering threats charge) and ordered to stay away. He was released the same day that he killed them,” she said.She said not enough is done, especially for women, noting she herself lives with a fear of death as a result and that it needs to be taken more seriously.Because the impact of the crime still haunts her, Farinacci called for the inquiry to recommend victim services for families – whenever they need them – be it one or 20 years later.She also wonders sometimes whether the lack of timely police response was because the family was Metis.Farinacci was one of 836 families the inquiry says have registered to speak to date – 120 are from Manitoba alone.“Make the changes,” Farinacci told Buller. “No memorial. That’s not going to do anything.”Contact Kathleen here: firstname.lastname@example.org