Juniors respond to JOA's call to next month's Junior Pan-American Games

By Sports Desk October 01, 2021
Juniors respond to JOA's call to next month's Junior Pan-American Games Pan Am Sports

Jamaica will be represented in several sports at the first-ever Junior Pan-American Games which is scheduled to take place in the city of Cali in Colombia between November 25 and December 5, 2021.

Responding to the call made by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) earlier this year, several juniors from the so-called "smaller sports" dedicated their efforts in qualifying and have now earned a coveted place at the historic games.

Among those sports, whose athletes will don the black green and gold national colours in Cali, are Taekwondo, Weightlifting, Artistic Gymnastics, Fencing, Badminton Triathlon, Tennis, Cycling (Track), Skateboarding and Squash.

In commending the commitment of member associations and the nation's juniors, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Christopher Samuda, said: "Our associations and federations and their juniors have responded positively and with national pride to the JOA's Cali call to action for it will be for us, 'business unusual' in Cali and for them, it will be 'signed, sealed and delivered."

The JOA boss, in expressing a well-known policy of the national governing body, further stated "the JOA is giving our young sportsmen and women every opportunity to transition and be more than gold medalists - to be standard-bearers. The JOA subscribes to this ideal and Cali is certainly embracing it."

The number of local sports that will feature at the multi-sport junior games is indeed a record for the JOA and is being interpreted by its Secretary-General and CEO, Ryan Foster, as "a clear signal that the JOA's strategy of diversification is working well and that our members are inspiring their junior athletes to be history-makers and to strive for excellence."

With the Santiago 2023 Senior Pan-American Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games only two and three years away respectively, the JOA views the Cali games as a critical milestone. Secretary-General Foster, in giving the context, was unequivocal. "Cali is a dress rehearsal for our juniors. If you want to be at the senior shows, you have to, from now, dress for the shows, study the scripts and be able to deliver yourself on the big stages."

The stage lights in Cali will soon be turned on to spotlight over 3,800 athletes from the Caribbean and Americas - north, central and south -who will compete across 315 events in 28 sports and "Jamaica will be their centre stage and the objective is to have a leading role in this historic event," President Samuda said.

Related items

  • Wimbledon: 'I am worried' – Nadal admits he is no sure thing to play in the semi-final Wimbledon: 'I am worried' – Nadal admits he is no sure thing to play in the semi-final

    Rafael Nadal says he does not know if he will be able to play in his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios after aggravating an abdominal injury during his five-set victory over Taylor Fritz.

    Nadal, 36, has been vocal about his struggles physically during the tournament, but had been determined to push through the pain in an effort to keep his chances at the calendar slam alive, having already won this year's Australian Open and French Open.

    During his quarter-final win against Fritz, family members were imploring Nadal to retire from the match as his clear discomfort appeared to be getting the better of him at times.

    He admitted in his post-match media appearance that his condition worsened during the match, saying he will prioritise his health if he has to make a tough decision.

    "I don't know [if I will be able to play] – I am going to have some more tests, but it is difficult to know," he said.

    "I had these feelings for a couple of days, but without a doubt, today was the worst day. There has been an important increase of pain and limitation.

    "I am worried. I don't have a decision. I need to know different opinions and I need to check everything the proper way.

    "There is something more important than winning Wimbledon, and that is health."

    The winner between Nadal and Kyrgios will face the winner of Novak Djokovic's semi-final against Cameron Norrie in the decider.

  • Corey Bennett appointed head coach of many-time 'Champs' winners Calabar High School Corey Bennett appointed head coach of many-time 'Champs' winners Calabar High School

    Corey Bennett has been appointed the head track and field coach at Calabar High School, the school announced Wednesday.

    Bennett replaces Michael Clarke, whose tenure at the Red Hills Road high school, ended with his resignation in March. Clarke led Calabar High to nine of their 28 titles at the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships.

    Bennett was head coach at Hydel High School, transforming them into a perennial contender challenging Edwin Allen’s dominance of the championships over the last decade. He was also an assistant coach at St Jago High School and Wolmer’s Boys.

    Bennett has big shoes to fill at Calabar, the second most successful high school at Boys Champs if he is to equal or surpass Clarke’s legacy.

    According to a statement released by Calabar on Wednesday, the new head coach will be responsible for “leading and managing the track and field programme and for coaching the team within the established school guidelines.”

    The statement continued: “It is expected that he will build on the well-established foundation laid by his predecessors to hone and execute, along with his team, a competitive programme that is marked by exemplary sportsmanship, athletic excellence and unquestioned integrity while safeguarding the educational welfare of the student-athletes, all within the framework of  the school’s mission.”

    In recent years, Bennett has been instrumental in the development of some of jamaica's most outstanding junior athletes including NCAA 400m silver medallist Charokee Young, Carifta 2022 200m champion Brianna Lyston, Kerrica Hill and Alana Reid.

    Bennett was recently the head coach of Jamaica's team for the 49th edition of the Carifta Games held in Kingston in April.

    Jamaica won a record 92 medals at the championships including 45 gold medals.

     

     

  • Wimbledon: Nadal hopeful of recovering from injury in time for Kyrgios semi-final Wimbledon: Nadal hopeful of recovering from injury in time for Kyrgios semi-final

    Rafael Nadal is hopeful he will overcome an abdominal injury that plagued him during his victory over Taylor Fritz in time for Friday's Wimbledon semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.

    The 22-time grand slam winner recovered from behind to edge Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) in a thrilling contest on Centre Court on Wednesday.

    Nadal called for a medical time-out in the second set and never fully recovered from the issue, with his movement restricted throughout the four-hour-and-20-minute battle.

    However, Nadal showed incredible mental and physical resilience to dig deep and see off first-time grand slam quarter-finalist Fritz and set up a showdown with Kyrgios.

    Speaking in his on-court interview, the Spaniard admitted he was not entirely sure he would be able to see out his quarter-final tie after playing through the pain barrier.

    "The body in general is fine," he said. "The abdominal [area] is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit different.

    "For a lot of moments I was thinking I will not be able to finish the match, but the court energy was something else.

    "I honestly enjoy a lot playing these kind of matches, in front of you guys, I can’t thank you enough. It has been a tough afternoon. [Fritz] is a great player, all the credit to him.

    "He's been great the whole season. But from my personal side it was not an easy match at all, so I'm just very happy to be in the semi-final.

    "I hope to be ready to play it. Nick is a great player on all surfaces but especially on grass, he is having a great grass-court season.

    "It's going to be a big challenge and I'm going to need to be at my 100 per cent to have a chance, and that is what I'm going to try to do."

     

    Nadal has now won all eight quarter-finals contested at Wimbledon and is on a 19-match winning run at grand slams – three short of his own record of 21, which he set in 2010.

    The victory over Fritz marked only the second time Nadal has won a fifth-set tie-break at a major, having previously prevailed against Dominic Thiem at the 2018 US Open.

    It was also the first time since the same stage four years ago, against Juan Martin Del Potro, that Nadal has come through a five-set match at Wimbledon.

    He has two days to recover ahead of facing Kyrgios, who had earlier defeated Cristian Garin in straight sets to reach a first grand slam semi-final.

    "Tomorrow I'm going to have some more tests. But it's difficult to know [how I'll feel]," Nadal said when providing a further update on his fitness.

    "It's obvious that I am not the kind of player that I didn't have a lot of things [injuries] in my tennis career, so I am used to have things and I am used to hold pain and to play with problems.

    "Knowing that, when I feel something like I felt, that is because something is not going the proper way. But let's see. 

    "It's obvious that today is nothing new. I had these feelings for a couple of days. Without a doubt, today was the worst day.

    "There has been an important increase of pain and limitation. I managed to win that match. Let's see what's going on tomorrow."

    Nadal leads Kyrgios 6-3 in their previous nine career matches, including victories in two of their three meetings in majors.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.