The Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) is now a sponsor of the Jamaica Premier League. It is a partnership that will see the HIC providing cardiovascular screening to an estimated 407 footballers, coaches and managers from all 12 teams in the Jamaica Premier League for the 2021 season.

Kemba Nelson has characterized her first season competing on the American collegiate circuit as ‘incredible’ after her fourth-place finish in the 100m at the NCAA Division I Outdoor season that concluded in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Goals from Carli Lloyd, Lindsey Horan, Margaret Purce and Alex Morgan powered the world champions, the USA, to a 4-0 drubbing of Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz at the BBVA Stadium in Houston on Sunday night.

The result meant that Jamaica leaves the USWNT Summer Series with a win and a loss having defeated Nigeria 1-0 in their opening match last Thursday night.

The USA got off to a fast start and scored 24 seconds after the first whistle when a cross to the left of Jamaica’s 18-yard box found Lloyd who fired into the Jamaican goal from close range.

The USA were on the board again six minutes later when Christen Press, on a run into the box from the left, was brought down by Konya Plumber. Horan converted easily sending Jamaican keeper Sydney Schneider, the wrong way.

Purce added the USA’s third in the 22nd minute when she ghosted in behind the Jamaican defence to receive a cross slotting in unchallenged past the advancing goalkeeper.

Jamaica produced a better performance in the second half partly due to the USA taking their foot off the gas and giving the Jamaicans more room to play.

However, Morgan scored a header in the 90th minute to complete the lopsided victory.

 

 

Former Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Angus Eve is to be the next head coach of his country’s national side following the dismissal of head coach Terry Fenwick on Friday.

The 49-year-old Eve will, according to sources, have Reynold Carrington as his assistant coach, Clayton Ince as his goalkeeper’s coach and Adarayll John as team trainer. Richard Piper will be the team manager. He replaces Terry Fenwick, who was fired on Friday, a week after Trinidad and Tobago’s 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign ended with a goalless draw against the Bahamas.

However, Eve and his staff will have to hit the ground running as he will only have the CONCACAF Gold Cup qualifying matches to prove his mettle. His contract runs until August 31, 2021.

"I am really honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to continue to represent my country," Eve said. "I'm committed to provide a lift to Trinidad and Tobago, especially in this time where we are battling so many different adversities at the same time."

Normalisation Committee Chairman Robert Haddad expressed his gratitude to the outgoing coaching staff.

"We thank the previous coaching staff for their commitment and efforts. We now look forward to the Gold Cup competition and wish Angus all the best. We will do our very best to support him and the team."

Under Fenwick, Trinidad and Tobago, playing in Group F in World Cup qualifying, defeated Guyana 3-0, drew 1-1 with Puerto Rico and then 0-0 with the Bahamas before rebounding to defeat St Kitts & Nevis 2-0. However, it was not enough for Trinidad and Tobago to advance to the next round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Prior to taking the head coaching job, Eve was coaching at Club Sando in the TT Pro League and at Naparima College in the SSFL.

Eve represented his country 117 times between 1994 and 2005 scoring 34 goals.

Jamaica’s collegiate athletes experienced mixed fortunes over the final two days of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships that concluded at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

Texas A&M’s Lamara Distin and Clemson’s Roje Stona were among the most successful and Baylor freshman Ackera Nugent experienced how unforgiving the scheduling can be.

Distin, who turned 21 in March, cleared a personal best of 1.90m to win the silver medal in the high jump completion. It took a personal best of 1.93m from South Carolina freshman to deny her the victory in the contest that Distin’s Texas A&M teammate Tyra Gittens finish third having cleared 1.87m.

On Friday, Stona threw a personal best of 61.94m to claim the silver medal for Clemson University. Turner Washington won the event with a throw of 63.42m. University of Virginia freshman Claudio Romero threw 61.36m for the bronze medal.

Ackera Nugent had a rough time of it Saturday because after finishing third in the 100m hurdles in a relatively modest 12.84, immediately she had to line up for the final of the 100m. She was still breathing heavily from the exertions of the hurdles race when they were called to their blocks in the 100m.

Unsurprisingly, she finished ninth in 11.37.

USC’s Anna Cockrell ran 12.58s to win sprint hurdles over Rayniah Jones, who ran 12.82.

North Carolina A&T’s Cambrea Sturgis won the 100m in 10.74 with the aid of a trailing wind of 2.2m/s. USC’s Twanisha Terry (10.79), Alabama’s Tamara Clark (10.88), were second and third, respectively.

Kemba Nelson, meanwhile, was fourth in 10.90.

Cockrell later won the 400m hurdles in a new personal best and collegiate-leading time of 54.68. Arizona’s Shannon Meisberger stormed by Virginia’s Andrenette Knight late to take the silver medal in 55.70 forcing the Jamaican, who ran 55.81, to settle for the bronze medal.

 Texas A&M freshman Charokee Young and Texas sophomore Stacey-Ann Williams were the two Jamaicans in the final of the 400m and finished fifth and sixth in 51.13 and 51.34, respectively. They, like everyone else, were no match for Young’s teammate Athing Mu, who ran a personal best 49.57 for victory.

Mu’s winning time was also a collegiate-leading, meet record and facility record.

Florida freshman Talitha Diggs ran a personal best 50.74 for the runner-up position while USC’s Kyra Constantine clocked a personal best 50.87 for the final podium spot.

Young and Mu would run splits of 49.7 and 48.8, respectively to lead Texas A&M to a record-shattering time of 3:22.34 to win the 4x400m relay. A&M’s season-best time was also a collegiate leading time as well as a meet record, facility record and championship record.

USC was second in a season-best 3:24.54 and UCLA was third in their season-best time of 3:25.01. The first eight teams across the line all ran season-best times.

Other than Stona, former Jamaica College athlete Phillip Lemonious was perhaps the best male performer for Jamaica. The Arkansas freshman ran a personal best 13.39 to take the bronze medal in the 110m hurdles that was won by Alabama’s Robert Dunning in 13.25.

Iowa’s Jaylan McConico ran 12.38 to edge out the Jamaican for the silver medal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) President, Ricky Skerritt, has paid tribute to Desmond Haynes and the late Sir Learie Constantine, who are to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame later this month. The two are among 10 cricketers from across five eras who will be inducted.

Six days after her 23rd birthday, Tyra Gittens gifted herself the heptathlon title on what was for her a bittersweet final day of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

In what she described as the hardest meet of her life, the Texas A&M junior topped the heptathlon high jump (1.84m), long jump (6.64) and 200m (23.79) on the way to her second-best score of 6285 points that was more than enough for victory but 135 points off the Olympic qualifying standard of 6420.

It was, however, 218 more of the University of Miami’s Michelle Atherley. The Miami senior, who was the fastest in the 100m hurdles (13.15), scored 6067 points for the silver medal. University of Texas freshman Kristine Blazevica scored 5984 points for the bronze medal.

Putting it simply, after three days of gruelling competition, Gittens just ran out of gas. She literally fell across the finish line to complete the heptathlon 800m in which she was 19th overall, scoring 707 points for her time of 2:28.88.

Her legs were sapped because after the long jump on Thursday in which she won a silver medal, Gittens then had four events in the heptathlon on Friday before completing the other three on Saturday even while contending for individual honours in the high jump.

She just managed to complete the high jump 10 minutes before competing in the heptathlon 800m, her final event of the meet.

The athlete, who has a season-best of 1.95m was only able to clear 1.87m, good enough for third place behind A&M teammate, Jamaica’s Lamara Distin, who cleared a personal best 1.90m to win the silver medal. The gold medal went to South Carolina freshman, Rachel Glenn, who cleared a personal-best 1.93m.

Gittens just missed out on long-jump gold on Thursday when she soared out to 6.68m, two centimetres shy of the winning mark of 6.70m by Texas sophomore Tara Davis.

 Jasmine Moore of Georgia jumped 6.65m for the bronze medal.

 

 

Sporting Kansas City earned a 1-1 draw with Austin as they extended their unbeaten streak to four matches in MLS.

Daniel Salloi cancelled out Cecilio Dominguez's first-half opener to ensure Sporting KC shared the points on Saturday.

Entering the contest, Sporting KC had won four of their last five home games against expansion sides, dating back to 2017 (D1).

Sporting KC had also recorded four come-from-behind victories this season, already matching San Jose Earthquakes' league-leading total of four comeback wins from the entire 2020 season.

While they were unable to complete the comeback for maximum points, Sporting KC avoided defeat thanks to Salloi.

Despite controlling most of the early action, Austin opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Dominguez rolled a shot past Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia.

Salloi, however, equalised with 19 minutes remaining after firing home the rebound.

Sporting KC are second in the Western Conference – just a point behind leaders Seattle Sounders, who have played a game less, while Austin are 10th and nine points adrift.

Kagiso Rabada took five wickets to help South Africa to victory over West Indies by an innings and 63 runs in the first Test in St Lucia on Saturday.

The tourists carried a lead of 143 into day three and completed the job before lunch at the Daren Sammy Stadium for their first away Test victory since 2017.

Resuming play on 82-4, West Indies lost Jermaine Blackwood (13) and Jason Holder (four) early on before Roston Chase provided some temporary respite.

Chase added 62 runs for the hosts, but he was bowled by left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj and Rahkeem Cornwall was caught at mid-off by Rassie van der Dussen for a duck.

A fifth wicket for Rabada followed soon after, with Joshua Da Silva (nine) doing little to extend the session.

Anrich Nortje claimed the last wicket as Jayden Seales (three) flashed at a wide ball and edged to Wiaan Mulder, giving South Africa a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.


RABADA LEADS THE WAY

The likes of Lungi Ngidi and Nortje played a big part in South Africa's dominant victory, but Rabada deserves particular praise after his first Test five-for since March 2018.

West Indies had no response to Rabada's bowling, which included the wickets of Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Blackwood, Da Silva and Cornwall.


CHASE RUNS NOT ENOUGH

The West Indies lost by an innings at home for the sixth time in 253 matches despite the best efforts of Chase, who top-scored for his side with 62 runs.

Chase was the only West Indies player to score above 20, a tally that included back-to-back boundaries to bring up his half-century off 122 balls.

South African pace bowler Lungi Ngidi has hailed the potential of West Indies debutant Jayden Seales who claimed a hat-trick on debut for the regional team earlier this.

The West Indies have had a mediocre start to the first Test, with the young bowler’s performance on the first day, where he claimed 3 for 34 one of the few highlights of the match so far.

The inclusion of the 19-year-old, in the absence of lead strike bowler Shannon Gabriel, had proven to be somewhat of a controversial decision.  Critics insisted that the player’s limited experience, having played one First-Class match prior to his debut, meant that more experienced bowlers were being overlooked in his favour.

Ngidi, who himself lit up the first day for South Africa after claiming a sensational 5 for 19, insisted that he had so far been impressed with the young bowler’s talent.

 "He is a bit of a danger and a very exciting future lies ahead for West Indies with him in the line-up," Ngidi told members of the media.

"I was keeping a really good eye on him and his seam presentation is pretty much what I tried to do when I was bowling. I think he has a great wrist behind the ball and a very clean action and he seems he can run in all day."

An experimental Jamaica Reggae Boyz squad were thoroughly outclassed by the Japanese Olympic team, in a 4-0 loss, at the Tokyo Stadium, on Saturday morning.

Far from the competent display put on against the Serbian squad a few days earlier, the mix and match Jamaica team struggled to shift out of first gear and barely managed a shot on goal for 90 minutes.

The Samurai Blue, on the other hand, were razor-sharp and moved the ball with pace and purpose throughout the encounter.  Although a bit fortuitous, it was hardly a surprise when the Asian squad took the lead through Takefusa Kubo.  His fierce 32nd-minute strike, fired from inside the area to the left of the goal, went through the legs of four defenders before also going through Jamaica goalkeeper Dillion Barnes, who seemed unsighted.

The swarming Japanese increased the lead further 10 minutes later when Wataru Endo, given space just outside the 18-year area, used it to his advantage with geometric precision as he curled a shot high to the left of a fully outstretched Barnes.

Any hopes of a comeback were killed off early in the second half when substitute Ayase Ueda ran on to a defense-splitting pass, from the centre of midfield, and cheekily dinked over an onrushing Barnes to make the score 3-0 in the 58th minute.  The rout was completed in a simplistic fashion, in the 64th minute, when a loosely marked Ritsu Doan picked up the ball five yards from goal before pivoting to blast it into the net.

The match marked the end of what was supposed to be a three-match tour for the Jamaica team, where the first match against the Japan national team was cancelled after a COVID-19 testing mix-up led to the Caribbean squad not having enough players.

Jamaica international Alvas Powell has officially rejoined Major League Soccer (MLS) after signing a one-year deal with Philadelphia Union.

The 26-year-old spent the past several weeks training with the team and was offered a contract on Thursday.  Prior to signing the deal, the defender spent the majority of his career at MLS club Portland Timbers where he made 101 appearances between 2015 and 2018. 

The 29-year-old had joined Sudanese club Al-Hilal Clu in December after another US franchise Inter Miami CF declined to offer him a new contract.  Before leaving the club he had made just four appearances for the franchise owned by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner confirmed that the Union were excited to have secured the services of the Jamaica defender.

“We are excited to add Alvas to our defensive unit," Tanner said.

"He brings almost eight years of MLS experience to the club as well as the mentality and work ethic it takes to win a Cup. He has the physicality required to contribute to all phases of play and adds important depth to our backline,” he added.

Powell won the MLS Cup with Portland in 2015.

 

 

Quinton de Kock made the biggest hundred of his Test career to ease South Africa into a commanding advantage in the first Test against West Indies.

The wicketkeeper-batsman made 141 not out on the second day in St Lucia, striking seven sixes in an onslaught that none of his team-mates came close to matching.

In response to West Indies' feeble 97 all out, South Africa ran up 322 for a 225-run first-innings lead, before limiting the home side to 82-4 second time around.

The tourists will therefore carry a lead of 143 into day three, with West Indies buckling again and looking set for a humiliating home loss.

De Kock, on four not out overnight, set the tone on Friday when he cut away the first delivery of the morning to the boundary.

The man on the end of that treatment, Kemar Roach, avoided being hoisted for a six by the increasingly aggressive De Kock, but Jayden Seales, Rakheem Cornwall and Jason Holder were each carted twice, while Kyle Mayers was also flogged for a maximum.

Across the day, De Kock made 137 of the 194 runs scored by South Africa's batsmen, the 28-year-old finding little support as he posted his sixth Test hundred. Rassie van der Dussen was out in mid-morning for 46, having added just 12 to his overnight score, Holder (4-75) having him caught by Shai Hope at gully.

The wickets kept tumbling while De Kock continued untroubled, Wiaan Mulder's 25 being the only significant other contribution. Keshav Maharaj perished to a majestic catch from substitute Kieran Powell off Cornwall, the short-leg fielder reaching down to his right to make the perfect grab.

West Indies had no answer to De Kock, and nor did their opening batsmen subsequently know how to handle South Africa's Kagiso Rabada, both Kraigg Brathwaite and Powell pinned lbw by the paceman as the hosts slid to 25-2 second time around. When Anrich Nortje had both Hope and Mayers held at third slip, West Indies were 51-4. A punishing defeat beckons on Saturday, surely.

De Kock's one-man show

The scorecard tells us that there were other South African batsmen involved on Friday, but it barely felt like it. De Kock's performance was majestic and dominant, his innings containing 12 fours and those seven sixes and coming from just 170 deliveries. His Test best stood at 129 before this knock, which he managed against Pakistan in Johannesburg in 2019 and in an undefeated innings at Centurion against England three years earlier.

Innings mauling incoming

West Indies have offered nothing to suggest there is a twist to come in this match. Captain Brathwaite might try to rally the troops, but this is surely all about damage limitation now. The South African quicks again bowled with terrific control, and they must be excited about the prospect of a second Test at this Gros Islet ground again next week.

The very successful staging of the inaugural Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA)/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) ‘Olympic Destiny’ track and field series has arrested the attention of the global sporting fraternity in a manner that has left experts shouting "bravo".

In a publication, World Athletics stated that the series is "aptly named JOA/JAAA ‘Olympic Destiny’. The Washington Post newspaper in the United States also had the event on its radar with a report on the explosive world-leading 10.63 performance of sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100 metres.

Performances during the series were also captured in traditional and new media entities worldwide.

Although only in its first year, ‘Olympic Destiny’ has already earned a reputation locally and internationally as a standard-bearer in track and field, which the JOA and its member association, the JAAA, intend to guard jealously.

Contemplating current health challenges and risks and looking to the future, President of the JOA, Christopher Samuda, in a post-event interview, stated that, "Olympic Destiny gave athletes a new and inspired lease on life amidst the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the national senior trials will be the 'Olympic Verdict' as athletes vie for coveted places at the pinnacle multi-sport the Olympic Games”.

The description, ‘Olympic Verdict’, of the national senior trials, is on point as several events, including the 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles and the triple jump for both men and women, as well as the discus for men, are expected to be competitive and showstoppers.

Secretary-General and CEO of the JOA, Ryan Foster, in anticipating keen contests, remarked that "on D-day at the national senior trials, diplomacy will somewhat give way to assertive rivalry for at the end of it all there will be one verdict, which performances will deliver.”

This year's national senior trials between June 24 and 27 at the National Stadium is indeed the ‘Olympic Verdict’ as "emerging generations will meet experienced campaigners in a decider that will be healthy for the sport, thrilling for the fans and ensure succession," Foster said.

The jury will certainly not be out where the staging of future Destiny series is concerned as the JOA intends to roll out ‘Olympic Destiny’ in 2022 and beyond in athletics and other sports.

"Olympic Destiny is now a staple on the calendar as we have earmarked the summer and winter Games as dramatic watershed events of exciting times ahead of us,'' Samuda declared.

If the significant turnout of athletes and the notable performances are anything to go by, the ‘Olympic Destiny’ Series will become not only a local product of Olympism but an international asset.

 

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