Jamaica’s Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports is backing Netball Jamaica’s hosting of the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier for the 2023 Netball World Cup to the tune of US$77,000 (JMD$12 million).

Minister Olivia Grange, the official patron of the event, made the announcement at the launch of the qualifier at the NCB Care and Wellness Centre on Phoenix Avenue in Kingston on Thursday.

“The Ministry and its agencies are providing ($JMD1.8M) to Netball Jamaica for team preparation, $2.5m for transportation and will be covering the cost of rental of the National Indoor Sports Centre where the qualifier will take place from October 16 to 21, 2022,” Minister Grange said.

Ten teams will be playing in the Qualifier for the two remaining places in the World Cup. Jamaica has already qualified by virtue of its number four world ranking, a fact of which the minister takes great pride.

“I am proud, all of Jamaica is proud of this first for Netball Jamaica; playing host for the staging of a Netball World Cup Qualifier,” Minister Grange noted.

“History will also be made when the next Netball World Cup, the 16th edition, takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa since it will be the first time that the tournament will be held on the African continent. South Africa has gained a reputation for the staging of world-class events so we can expect something extra special when they host the Netball World Cup.

“The upcoming Qualifier will certainly serve to project Netball Jamaica afresh to the nation.

“I am deeply moved that Netball Jamaica would see fit to honour me by asking me to be Patron for the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifier.

 “So who is a Patron and what is the duty of a Patron? A Patron is a distinguished person who gives financial or other support to a person, organisation, or cause. 

The most effective Patron will have a passion for what the person or organization does. Need I say more?”

The minister also suggested that Netball Jamaica needs to see their value if they are to convince corporate Jamaica to provide the needed support.

“Netball Jamaica will tell you that I have challenged them to reimagine how they see themselves. Their value is great and we need corporate Jamaica to come on board in a greater way to support them. I would love to see partners coming on board to provide a bus, sports gear and all the other services they need because I am sure that our Sunshine girls will give sponsors value for their money!”, she said.

“Sport and the opportunity to participate in sport at all levels is a right that we take seriously. Netball is a favourite pastime in Jamaica and one that is practised from the primary school levels in Jamaica. We know that through the work of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) we have netball competitions at the primary level. There is also competition at the high school and tertiary levels.

“We want to see the sport grow in Jamaica and continue to give our girls and yes, boys too, the avenue and outlet to express themselves and dare to dream to play at higher levels.

  “We anticipate that on the final day of the Netball World Cup on August 6, 2023, when Jamaica celebrates its 61st Anniversary of Independence, our Sunshine Girls will be one of the two teams competing for the title and that they will be the new champions of world netball.

 “Netball and our Sunshine Girls have always made us proud.” 

 

 

 Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Gudakesh Motie each crafted centuries as Guyana Harpy Eagles completed a dominant showing at the crease, against Barbados Pride, declaring at 490 for 7 on day 2 of the West Indies Championship.

At the close of play, Barbados had already lost two wickets in pursuit of the massive target with captain Kraigg Brathwaite (17) and Sharmarh Brooks (2) already back in the Pavilion.

Earlier, resuming the day at 219 for 4 Chanderpaul, who toiled to 64 on the previous day, pushed on to triple figures and remained unbeaten on 140 off a marathon 434 balls.  Throughout the innings, the batsman was part of several fruitful partnerships.  Tevin Imlac added 53 to feature in a 94-run partnership with Chanderpaul but Motie was even more devastating, adding a dispiriting 110 off 118 deliveries at the bottom of the innings.  Motie was eventually caught by Sharmarh Brooks off the bowling of Keon Harding.  Akeem Jordan was the pick of the Pride bowlers with 3 for 108, while Raymond Reifer took 2 for 37.

Brooks and Shai Hope will be the batsmen to resume the chase for Barbados at the start of the third day.

 

Pace bowlers Jeremiah Louis and Colin Archibald claimed a pair of four-fors to back up a sterling opening day effort from Kieron Powell as Leeward Island Hurricanes solidified their advantage over T&T Red Force on day two of the West Indies Championship.

At the close of play, the Hurricanes were 23 without loss, having earlier blown away the Red Force for 140, well short of their first innings total of 357.  Resuming the day at 308 – 7, overnight batsman Jeremiah Lewis eventually went to a useful 42, but eventually ran out of partners at the crease.

In pursuit of the total, Red Force got off to a disastrous start.  Top-order batsmen Tion Webster (0), Jeremy Solazano (0), and Jason Mohammed (0) all perished with scoring, while Darren Bravo added just 7 before being dismissed by Colin Archibald to leave the team in tatters at 10 for 4.

Joshua Da Silva briefly attempted to resuscitate the innings and top-scored with an industrious 65 from 115 balls and partnered with Bryan Charles (25) to push the score to 128 for 7 before Charles was caught by Rahkeem Cornwall off the bowling of Sheeno Berridge.

Da Silva’s brave resistance ended four overs later when he was caught by Carty off Archibald.  Louis who accounted for four of the five top-order batsmen, ended with figures of 4 for 32, while Archibald finished with figures of 4 for 27. 

Batting again for the Leewards Montcin Hodge (5) and Powell (15) were the not-out batsman at the end of day 2.

 

A magnificent unbeaten century from West Indies white-ball opener Brandon King put his Jamaica Scorpions in a commanding position after day two of their third-round West Indies Championship fixture against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday.

The Scorpions started the day 118-4 with Paul Palmer Jr joining night watchman Marquino Mindley at the crease.

The pair put on just 13 before Mindley was dismissed by Preston McSween to leave the Scorpions 131-5, just six runs behind the Windwards first innings total of 137.

However, Brandon King joined Palmer Jr in the middle and the two put on an additional 30 runs before Palmer edged to second slip off the bowling of Josh Thomas for 15.

Derval Green came and went for a three-ball duck to leave the Scorpions 161-7 before wicketkeeper/batsman Aldane Thomas joined King in the middle.

The pair added some stability with a partnership of 58 before Thomas went caught at slip off the bowling of Sherman Lewis for 20 to leave the score 219-8 just after the lunch break.

Jamie Merchant and King then mounted a stand of 109 for the ninth wicket, taking the score to 328 when Merchant was dismissed for 58, his maiden first-class half-century.

King also scored his third first-class hundred during the stand and was 119 not out off 154 balls in the end.

The Scorpions eventually got to 346 all out, a commanding first innings lead of 209 runs.

Preston McSween was the pick of the Volcanoes bowlers with 4-96 off 25 overs while Josh Thomas supported well with 3-56 off 21 overs.

Kimani Melius and Devon Smith then began the task of overhauling the Scorpions' total with an opening partnership of 31 before Melius fell to Derval Green for 17.

Captain Kavem Hodge then joined Smith and the pair put on 36 before Smith was next to go, becoming Green’s second victim for a top score of 31.

Alick Athanaze was next to the crease and he and his captain looked comfortable, putting on 34 until the final over of the day which saw Jamie Merchant dismiss Athanaze for 17 to leave the Volcanoes 101-3 off 33.1 overs at stumps, still trailing by 108 runs.

Kavem Hodge is currently 30 not out while Derval Green has taken 2-35 off 10 overs for the Scorpions.

Demisha Roswell shocked everyone, herself included when she won the 100m hurdles at the Big 12 Outdoor Conference Championships at Fuller Field in Lubbock, Texas on Sunday. The Texas Tech senior edged her more heralded compatriot Ackera Nugent, the 2021 World U20 champion and a talented field, clocking 12.44, the second fastest time in the world this season and the fastest in the NCAA.

Only the 12.39 from Tokyo Olympic champion, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, has been faster this year. Nugent’s time for second place, 12.45, is the third fastest time in the world in 2022.

The victory was a bit of a surprise for the 24-year-old Vere Technical and New Mexico Junior College alum, who went into the final having run 12.78 in her preliminary round heat. “No, I didn’t expect the time. I was more excited about the win, to be honest. I’m still in shock!”, she said.

From the gun, Roswell found herself matching strides with Nugent but was never intimidated and had no intention to yield as they raced towards the finish line.

“That’s the crazy part of the race because I told myself I want to win I have to win. I was like “Oh no,  you’re not getting away today,” she said laughing while admitting that she felt something special would happen.

“From the moment I wasn’t nervous I knew I was going to do something great. Ackera is an amazing competitor and the both of us know we got to show out and fight and that’s what I did because I wanted to win.”

Roswell credits her faith in her coaches and continuous hard work in improving her technique for getting her to this point where she is the fastest Jamaican sprint hurdler in the world this year, a significant achievement given her country’s stock in hurdling talent that includes Olympic medallist Megan Tapper, 2015 World Champion and national record holder Danielle Williams, World U20 record holder Brittany Anderson and, of course, Baylor's Nugent.

“The main factors are time, patience and faith,” she said. “Every day I have to keep improving because my hurdling is not perfect but thanks to my coaches for always trying with me to improve my hurdling.

“I don’t have the best hurdles technique because I wasn’t cut out for hurdling. I was just a 200m and a 100m runner when suddenly my coach from back home, John Mair, told me, ‘ Roswell, I think you should do hurdles. I said to him ‘Huh, me? I can’t do hurdles coach. He then said, ‘Listen, to me you’re going to do it so I went for it.”

She said when she moved to the United States to attend New Mexico Junior College, her coaches Keith Blackwill and Tabarie Henry helped her improve her technique even though it still wasn’t perfect. Still, it was good enough to win her the NJCAA Indoor 60mh title and 100mh Outdoor title in 2019 and the 60mh title in 2020.

At Texas Tech, the work to perfect her technique continues.

“Coach (Zach) Glavash got me here and Coach (Calvin) Robinson started work on me. My technique has gotten better from last year until now. I thank God for these coaches every day for working with me even though there is still room for improvement,” she said.

With the sweet taste of victory still lingering, Roswell has an eye on even bigger scalps this summer. She reveals that she plans to earn a spot on Jamaica’s team to the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

 “Most definitely that’s the aim, trying my best to make this national team,” she said.

“(I am) just looking to stay healthy and be ready because hurdling is unpredictable, anything can happen but I won’t be travelling across the ocean and not make the team. So on that day, the time will tell. I put everything in God's hands.”

Austin FC moved to the top of the Western Conference in MLS on Wednesday, securing a gritty 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC.

Goals from Ruben Gabrielsen and Diego Fagundez gave Austin the vital three points, with Carlos Vela's response from the penalty spot in the 86th minute providing mere consolation for LAFC.

Gabrielsen put the home side in front in the 13th minute after Fagundez zipped a dangerous corner in, coolly finishing when the ball fell his way.

Josh Wolff's side looked to absorb pressure from LAFC, and Fagundez was able to double their advantage in the 80th minute after he was played through by Sebastian Driussi.

Vela's goal, which made him the third-fastest player to 100 MLS goal involvements (98 games), was not enough for a largely passive LAFC, who could not translate possession into chances of substance. They accumulated a non-penalty expected goals total of 1.12 from the 17 shots aside from Vela's spot-kick.

Austin lead LAFC on goal difference atop the West on 23 points, with FC Dallas remaining on 22 points after the Vancouver Whitecaps came from behind to defeat them 2-1 late on.

The LA Galaxy missed their chance to make up ground, only managing a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United despite Sacha Kljestan putting them ahead in the 83rd minute.

Elsewhere in the West, the Seattle Sounders continued their recovery from a slow start to the season, defeating the Houston Dynamo 1-0, while Sporting Kansas City beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 in a game that saw four red cards in stoppage time.

A Jamiro Monteiro brace helped the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the Portland Timbers 3-2, as Nashville's strong start at GEODIS Park continued with a 2-1 victory over CF Montreal.

New York City gained ground on the Philadelphia Union with a 2-0 win over DC United, scoring twice in the first half to move within a point of the Eastern Conference leaders, who were held to a goalless draw by Inter Miami.

In Wednesday's early result, Xherdan Shaqiri scored what he thought was a late winner for the Chicago Fire, only for the New York Red Bulls' Patryk Klimala to score in the first minute of stoppage time to secure a 3-3 draw.

 A devastating five-for from pace bowler Marquino Mindley put the Jamaica Scorpion in a strong position against the Windward Islands Volcanoes on day 1 of the West Indies Championship fixture at Tarouba.

At the close of play, the Scorpions were 118 for 4 and trailed the Windwards by 18 runs after bowling out the Volcanoes for 137.  Keron Cottoy was the only Windwards batsman to show any resistance, after making a trying 50 from 108 balls.

After losing the typically reliable Devon Smith, with just 6 runs on the board, the Volcanoes lost wickets at regular intervals as Mindley ripped through the middle order, removing Kavem Hodge (23), Alick Athanaze (6), and Ackeem Auguste (3) to leave the team struggling at 54 for 5.

Cottoy’s brave resistance briefly staved off the inevitable, but he rapidly ran out of partners before being dismissed, caught, and bowled by Nicholson Gordon.  Mindley ended with overall figures of 5 for 20, while Gordon claimed 4 for 43.

In response, John Campbell and Leroy Lugg put 71 on the board before that partnership was broken with Campbell being dismissed by Josh Thomas, just two runs short of a half-century.  Lugg (36) was next to go after he was caught by Kimani Melius, off the bowling of Sherman Lewis, and the team suffered a mini-collapse after losing Nkrumah Bonner and Jermaine Blackwood in the space of a few balls.  Marquino Mindley (1) and Brandon King are the not-out batsmen at the crease.

A solid century from left-handed opening batsman, Kieran Powell, anchored a solid opening day for the Leeward Island’s Hurricanes who posted 308 – 7 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championships.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, the Leewards suffered an early setback after losing Montcin Hodge in the second over of the match.   Hodge was caught by Bryan Charles off the bowling of Jadon Seales.  Powell, however, immediately set about repairing the damage after forming a 64-run partnership with Kacey Carty.

Carty’s dismissal left the Hurricanes at 66 for 2 but Powell feature in another pair of crucial partnerships.  First with Devon Thomas, who made 12 before being bowled by Akeal Hosein, then Amir Jangoo with the two putting on a 100-run partnership to bring the score to 198 for 4 when Jangoo was sent back to the pavilion by Jason Mohammed soon after making his half-century.  Powell’s brilliant resistance was brought to an end when he was trapped lbw by Yannic Cariah, having totalled 139 or 211 deliveries.

Terrance Ward added a patient 26 from 101 balls before being caught by Gabriel off Seales, while Cornwall could only add 5 to the tally before himself being dismissed by Gabriel.

Jeremiah Louis (16) and Hayden Walsh (8) ended the day as the not-out batsmen for the Hurricanes.  Seales was the pick of the bowlers for T&T after ending with a best of 2 for 35.

Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake continues to be the best paid Caribbean player in the United States Major League Soccer (MLS) according to the 2022 Player Salary Guide.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has twice been named Goalkeeper of the Year, remains the main man in between the sticks for the Philadelphia Union where he has been since 2014.  For his match-saving performances, Blake earns a base salary of $750,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $869,375.00.

Talented Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino is next up.  Having completed a move to Columbus Crew last season Molino is listed at $700,348.00 and guaranteed the full amount.  Unfortunately, the player remains out of action having suffered a serious knee ligament in August of last year.

His international teammate Joevin Jones was also on the move last year and having been signed by new club Inter Miami earns $360,000.00 with guaranteed compensation of $458,100.00. 
Jamaica defender Kemar Lawrence is next on the list.  Having recently been traded to Minnesota United this season Lawrence is set to make $400,000.00 with $482,500.00 guaranteed.

The Jamaican trio of Cory Burke, Damion Lowe, and Alvas Powell round out the list earning 400,000, 268,000, and 167,000 at Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami, and FC Cincinnati.

Former Reggae Girlz coach Vin Blaine has expressed concern that the women’s national program is heavily beholden to an outside benefactor.

Earlier this week, Blaine stepped down from the post after just six months in charge of the national team.  During his tenure at the helm, the coach found himself at loggerheads with members of the national team, 19 of whom had sent and signed a letter to the JFF questioning the coach’s training methods.

Blaine, however, continues to believe the players were influenced by external forces who will continue to hold plenty of sway with both a large swath of the team’s senior players and the federation itself.

“A lot of people might not want me to say it but definitely that’s what it is,” Blaine told the SportMax Zone,  when asked whether he thought the national program was being held, hostage.

“That’s from my perspective and that’s one of the reasons I decided to part ways and let them have the program.  Hopefully, I wish them all the best.  I hold no ill will towards anyone,” he added.

“It’s my country but it’s just that at this moment I have decided that this is what is best for me and the program.”

The JFF will now begin the search for a new head coach, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in July.

 

 

Ivan Kuliak has been banned for one year by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for wearing a Russian war symbol on the podium next to a Ukrainian competitor in March.

Kuliak taped the letter 'Z' to his chest after winning bronze in the parallel bars final at the Apparatus World Cup in Doha, displaying it as he stood next to gold medallist Illia Kovtun from Ukraine.

The Z has become a prominent symbol of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and has been painted on military vehicles and worn by Russian pro-war politicians.

Kuliak was investigated by the Disciplinary Commission of the Gymnastics Ethics Foundation (GEF), which elected to disqualify him from the Apparatus World Cup, ordering him to return his bronze medal and his prize money.

Announcing additional sanctions against Kuliak, a FIG statement said: "Mr Kuliak is not allowed to participate in any FIG-sanctioned event or competition organised by an affiliated FIG member federation for one year as of the date of this decision. 

"If the protective measures keeping Russian athletes from competing are still in place on 17 May 2023, the ban shall continue and expire six months after the removal of said measures."

Kuliak has 21 days to appeal against the decision.

While his old club Liverpool battle to finish in first place in the Premier League, Xherdan Shaqiri is top of the money tree in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire.

Switzerland international Shaqiri is the highest-earning player in the US-centred top flight, new figures released on Tuesday by the MLS Players' Association (MLSPA) revealed.

The 30-year-old is on a base annual salary of $7.35million, with guaranteed compensation of $8.15million.

Shaqiri left Liverpool at the end of last season to join French club Lyon, but he spent less than six months in Ligue 1 before being signed as a designated player by Chicago in February.

He became the Fire's most expensive acquisition, reportedly costing €6.5million ($7.5million), and was described by Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz as "a game-changing player".

The club's new number 10 has scored two goals and had three assists in nine games to date for Chicago.

On the money list, he sits ahead of LA Galaxy's former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Javier Hernandez ($6million base salary) and Inter Miami's Gonzalo Higuain ($5.1million), another Madrid old boy.

Top five highest base salary earners in MLS, according to MLSPA (players under contract on April 15 2022):

1. Xherdan Shaqiri, Chicago Fire, $7.35million ($8.15million guaranteed compensation)
2. Javier Hernandez, LA Galaxy, $6million ($6million guaranteed)
3. Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami, $5.1million ($5.79million guaranteed)
4. Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC, $3.8million ($4.69million guaranteed)
5. Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, $3.7million ($4.14million guaranteed)

Departing Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach, Vin Blaine, has insisted the toxic environment surrounding his tenure with the national team had left the situation untenable.

Blaine brought an end to a weeks-long saga yesterday when he announced that he would officially resign as coach of the team, following a dispute with some senior members of the Reggae Girlz.

The players in question wrote a letter of no confidence, to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), signed by 19 members, which suggested the coach lacked detailed training sessions, did not provide video analysis, had issues with set pieces, and provided no post-match reviews for player improvement.

 A review of the situation by the JFF technical committee, however, cleared the coach of any wrongdoing and recommended Blaine stay in the post.  From his perspective, however, making that decision would not have been in anyone’s best interest. 

“Based on the situation, if everyone knew the entire process I went through; It was a toxic environment,” Blaine told the SportsMax Zone.

 “Sad to say from day one or two, in the program, you had staff undermining the program, the previous staff.  You had players telling you who should be the equipment person, who should be the fitness coach, those are things that went on,” he added.

“I came out with a smile on my face because it’s not for me to disclose those things in a training camp.  So, I don’t think I could move forward although the federation said they were clearing me for that.  For the program to go forward and for my own peace of mind, I did not need that kind of toxicity.”

Vin Blaine has confirmed his resignation from his position as head coach of the Jamaica Senior Women’s Football Team.

The former Harbour View head coach took the decision to walk away after 19 Reggae Girlz squad members signed a letter to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) President Michael Ricketts asking that he be replaced.

“The Jamaica Football Federation would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation for the work that coach Vin Blaine has done with the Senior Women’s National Team. Unfortunately, he has decided against taking the team to the next level. We hoped that the relationship shared with the Federation would not end this abruptly, but we appreciate his take on the situation at hand. The JFF wishes him all the very best for the future,” the JFF said in a statement on Tuesday.

Blaine coached the Reggae Girlz at all levels for more than a decade before becoming director of football for the JFF from 2014 to 2017.

He took up Grenada's post of Technical Director in 2017 then had a brief stint as US Virgin Islands coach before his reappointment as Reggae Girlz head coach in December.

He was unbeaten in his four matches as coach and led the Reggae Girlz to four straight victories in Group C of the Concacaf Women's Championship qualifying.

The Reggae Girlz next assignment will be the final round of the Concacaf Women’s Championship beginning on June 4th in Mexico.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.