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The world number-one sprint hurdler Janeek Brown has signed a professional contract with Puma and has gone pro.

She reportedly signed her contract last Thursday night, the same day of the start of Jamaica's national championships to select a team to the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The 21-year-old Brown, a sophomore at the University of Arkansas set a world-leading 12.40s to win the 2019 NCAA title, setting a new Jamaican national record in the process.

However, she was unable to show her talents at the SVL/JAAA National Championships in Kingston on Sunday after the 100m final was aborted.

The former Wolmerian posted the news of her decision to join the professional ranks on Twitter Wednesday evening.

“Blessed is she who believes the Lord will fulfil his promise to her…I am professional,” she tweeted while thanking the coaching staff at Arkansas for their support in the two years she ran as an amateur.

Sportsmax.TV, however, has been reliably informed that she will remain in school.

Brown set world-leading times of 12.57 and 12.55 while representing Arkansas this past season before setting her national record time at the NCAA Championships in Texas in early June.

The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) on Tuesday launched the third staging of the Sandals Resorts Under-19 cricket competition and academy at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz advanced to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, despite a deeply frustrating 1-1 draw against Curacao, at the Banc of California Stadium on Tuesday night.

The result also saw the back-to-back finalists top Group C, a scenario that seemed very much under threat after a 90th-minute rocket from the boot of Jurien Gaari ensured the Jamaicans paid the price for their sinful profligacy.

Honduras, however, took their first points of the tournament with a 4-0 thrashing of rivals El Salvador and that ensured the Reggae Boyz were not overhauled on the final day.

Against Curacao, it was Shamar Nelson who gave the Jamaicans a 14th-minute lead.  After spurning an earlier opportunity to hit the target with a point-blank header, the forward purposefully redirected another wayward attempt from midfielder Andre Lewis into the back of the net.

 The Jamaicans would continue to be guilty of shocking wastefulness throughout the match, which invited a dogged Curacao to try and take something from the match late on.  The tiny nation eventually took up the invitation, with Gaari’s fierce blast flying past Andre Blake in the dying embers of the match.  In fact, the Reggae Boyz had another heart in mouth moment late on as substitute Elson Hooi missed another long-range shot by just inches, with virtually the last kick of the match.

Curacao also advanced to the knockout stage on goal difference, ahead of third place El Salvador after both teams finished on four points.  The Jamaicans topped the group with five.

Jamaica will play the runner-up of group D, either the United States or Panama, who are locked on six points ahead of their match on Wednesday, the U.S. with a vastly superior goal difference.

Curacao will meet the winner of Group D.

After earning its first-ever CONCACAF Gold Cup win, Curacao has its sights set on adding to its story as it faces Jamaica for a spot in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at Banc of California Stadium.

Curacao controls its destiny and needs only a win to assure itself a spot in the next round. A draw would have its players hoping for a Honduras win in the second match of the evening.

Not wanting to depend on outside results, Head Coach Remko Bicentini knows what his players must accomplish.

“We must win, we must score a goal. We cannot, the whole game, play in defence,” said the Curacao Manager in a pre-match press conference.

“We must score one more goal than Jamaica and we are through to the next round.”

Bicentini counts on a squad with 18 of his 23-man roster based in European leagues at the club level – the most of any squad in this year’s Gold Cup.

Forward Elson Hooi is one of eleven players who practice their club careers in the Netherlands. He scored his first two international goals against Jamaica in the 2017 Caribbean Cup final.

“For myself, the national team is more important than my own team so it means a lot,” said Hooi in Monday’s presser. “Our players are very happy. We worked so hard for this. Now we just stay together and work hard to win the third game.”

The two teams also met in Curacao’s first Gold Cup appearance two years ago, a tournament Bicentini continuously points to as a learning experience.

On Tuesday, the two Caribbean nations meet once more with high stakes on the line.

“The whole team from Jamaica is very powerful,” said Bicentini. “We learned from our first Gold Cup in 2017 and that was our preparation for this tournament.”

 Jamaica Head coach Theodore Whitmore is focused on one goal heading into Tuesday night’s match against Curacao at Banc of California Stadium - advancing to the knockout stage.

“If you look at the group, three teams have a chance to qualify for the next round,” Whitmore emphasized in Monday’s pre-match press conference. “It’s neither here nor there whether we win the group or are runner-up, the most important thing, right now, is to get out of the group.”

A win against Curacao will assure Jamaica advances to the knockout stage, but its place in the group could still depend on the result of the preceding match between Honduras and El Salvador.

“We can’t look on the Honduras-El Salvador game going forward, this is a must-win or at least for Jamaica get a point out of the game so we expect Curacao to come with everything at us,” said Whitmore.

“Well, no doubt about it, Curacao have quality in their team,” added the former Jamaican national team player. “We have a game to play tomorrow, we have a tough team to play against. We just have to go out there and put our best foot forward.”

Whitmore described his team’s attitude as positive and upbeat ahead of the pivotal clash. He also praised his players for the work done up until this point.

Leon Bailey and Michael Hector were brought up as injury concerns and are under watch for the upcoming match.

When asked about the upward progress of Concacaf teams, Whitmore pointed to the evolution of the region and why his team must not be overconfident with Curacao.

“Everybody has to be in tip-top shape,” said Whitmore. “We can’t take anything for granted, we can’t take anybody for granted because everybody’s evolved.”

Reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson was in imperious form as she completed the sprint double by claiming the women’s 200m title at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday.

Thompson, who just edged out training partner and rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the women’s 100m on the previous, did so in much more convincing fashion over double the distance.  On this occasion, Thompson pulled away from Fraser-Pryce down the stretch to stop the clock at 22.00.  Fraser-Pryce, who was also well clear of the field, finished second in 22.22, with Schillonie Calvert-Powell third in 22.92.

Fraser-Pryce was out of the block quickly to close ground on Thompson in the first 100m and held a slight lead coming off the turn.  Her MVP teammate, however, had plenty in reserve and pull clear of the rest of the field with relative ease.

In the men’s equivalent, Yohan Blake was denied the satisfaction of claiming a sprint double when he was passed on the line by Rasheed Dwyer.  Blake controlled the race for most of the way but it was a late charging Dwyer who claimed first place in 20.23.  Blake was second in 20.27 with Andre Ewers third in 20.48.  

Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson looked a cut above the rest as she coasted to a big personal best to claim the women’s 400m title at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday.

The 24-year-old crossed the line in 49.78, her best time in the event since she clocked 49.83 at the Rio Olympics.  Jackson finished well clear of second place Anastasia Le-Roy who caught and passed Stephenie-Ann McPherson on the line to take second place in 50.94.  McPherson was just behind in 51.01.

Jackson seemed to stay well within herself for the first 200m before beginning to blast away from the field at the midway point.  A struggling McPherson who tried to keep pace with Jackson faded toward the end and was caught on the line by Le-Roy.

“My main aim today was to have a little fun and get the best execution possible.  I think I did that and I got a personal best so I am happy,” Jackson said following the event.

“I was a bit surprised because at the Rome Diamond League I got a little cramped up so I was a little worried.  So I was really trying to keep calm and I delivered big so I am really happy,” she added.  

 In the men’s equivalent, Demish Gaye was also in full control as he clocked 44.83 to finish ahead of Terry Thomas, who was second in 45.47 and Javon Francis who was third in 45.60.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake insists the team must learn to adapt to all different types of conditions if they are to succeed in the ongoing CONCACAF Gold Cup.

With one game remaining in Group C, the Jamaicans, who have appeared in the last two finals, find themselves on 4 points following a lacklustre 0-0 draw against El Salvador in the team’s latest fixture. 

The Jamaicans, who top the group on goals scored, will consider themselves favourites to advance with a match against Curacao in their final match.  Despite finding themselves in such a strong position, the team has, however, been criticized in some quarters for their play so far, particularly against a defensive El Salvador in sweltering conditions on Friday.

“Obviously we would have wanted three points to secure our spot in the next round, but it's football and they came out to sit back and play on the counter and sometimes it's tough to play in games like those when they are getting everybody behind the ball, and it's hard to break them down in situations like those,” Blake told the Jamaica Observer.  The player, however, insisted the conditions were not an excuse.

“It was hot, it was humid, Jamaica was hot just the same, but both teams were playing in the same conditions, so I'm not going to say that's the reason for anything. Obviously, we wished it would have been a little cooler, but that was not the case and we have to learn to deal with different weather conditions and I don't think we looked as tired as we did in the game in Jamaica, so we dealt with it.”

Jamaica and El Salvador are tied on four points at the top of CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C after the two played to a 0-0 draw in Houston, Texas on Friday night. 

Group C leaders Jamaica have made two changes to the team that defeated Honduras on June 17 for their match against El Salvador this evening at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore insists the team will have to be wary of complacency heading into its second CONCACAF Gold Cup, against Curacao, on Friday.

The Jamaicans got their campaign off to a solid start on Monday, as a brace from Dever Orgill anchored a 3-2 win over Honduras at Jamaica’s National Stadium. 

Despite securing the positive result, however, Whitmore admitted to having concerns with the performance, particularly with the nature of the goals conceded.   

“At times it’s not always about the pretty football.  It is about results. Overall I think complacency got the better of us, especially when we were leading by two goals to nil, it definitely got the better of us and that is unacceptable,” Whitmore said.

“Going forward there are a few things to fix, in terms of putting pressure on the ball and cutting off the passing lanes much quicker,” Whitmore added.

The Jamaicans might well have reason to be cautious, despite the fact that they are unbeaten in their last two games against El Salvador, the latest encounter coming in a 2-0 win in the CONCACAF Nation’s League, the team has lost four of the last six games.

The teams will face off at the BBVA Compass Stadium, in Houston.

The Jamaica Reggae Boyz got their Gold Cup campaign off to solid start with a 3-2 win over Honduras on Tuesday. 

Jamaica history-making goal scorer Havana Solaun does not believe a 4-1 spanking at the hands of Australia was a fair reflection of the team’s final performance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Tuesday.

The lopsided result, the third for the Reggae Girlz meant the team conceded 12 goals in three matches, a total just behind Thailand’s 18.  Despite the result, the performance was in truth, the team’s best to date.

Just as they had for most of the tournament, the Jamaican’s struggled at the defensive end and the Australian’s were let off the hook after the team conceded two soft goals.  After 180 plus minutes, however, it was a proud moment for Solaun who became the first Jamaican woman and second Jamaican to score at a World Cup tournament.  Robbie Earle netted for Jamaica’s men at that team’s debut at the 1998 World Cup.

“It was a bitter sweet moment.  It’s not the result we wanted but I think as a team we are growing every game and I think that’s the goal,” Solaun said.

“Every game on the world stage is a good game.  Every game is a battle.  I don’t necessarily think the score line reflected the game but every day you have to come out,” she added.

 

Jamaica national women’s team coach Hue Menzies has called on the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) to better help prepare the team if they are to be competitive at the FIFA World Cup.

The team’s maiden appearance at the global football showpiece ended on Tuesday.  It was a chastening experience.  The national team ended the campaign with a 4-1 loss to Australia, which meant that they had conceded a total of 11 goals in four games.  The results had also included a 3-0 loss to Brazil and a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Italy. 

The team’s final appearance against the Australians was, however, by far its most promising as slick passes around the pitch, particularly in the second half, created several scoring opportunities. It was one of those chances that saw Havana Solaun make history as the first women to score for the country at the World Cup.  Despite several lopsided results, after finding themselves in a tough group, Menzies insisted he was proud of the team’s performance, especially in the curtain closer.

“We never gave up.  We gave it the tallawah effort and that we knew that could do,” Menzies said following the match. 

“Our game plan worked but we just had to execute better.  We gave up some sloppy goals in the second half,” he added.

In order to make an impact at a tournament of the scale of the World Cup, however, Menzies believes the team’s preparation needed to be a lot better.

“Our preparation is important.  How do we prepare?  The Federation has to understand that this is not something that we just go out and we play Caribbean teams.  We have to play teams in Europe in order to get to this stage.”

The Jamaicans were the first English-speaking Caribbean team to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

 

Jamaica two-goal hero Dever Orgill has expressed delight with getting the national team off to a flying start at the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old forward found the back of the net early and then late in the first half to give the home team a comfortable 2-0 lead by half-time.  A furious second-half rally saw the Hondurans grab early and late goals of their own, before succumbing to a 2-0 defeat. 

“It was very important for me to score these two goals today because I have been playing for the national team since I was under-15 and I hadn’t scored a goal for the senior team.  It was nice to score in front of these fans,” Orgill said in an interview with SportsMax.tv.

The goals marked the first time the forward was finding the back of the net for the senior team. 

As one of the country’s brightest youth prospects, Orgill made his debut for the national team, under Whitmore, nine years ago.  The forward, however, fell off the radar for several years and was limited to sporadic appearances until the current spell.  Based on the evidence so far, however, Orgill has certainly fought for and deserves a spot in the current squad.

 

“I think being out of the national team for a little while helped me to get back in.  I felt like I deserved to be in the national team but there is a time and place for everything," Orgill said

"Those times that I wasn’t a part of it I think it wasn’t my time but I continued to play well in my club teams and here I am today with the chance to come here and show that I deserve to be here with the group of guys and the coach Theodore Whitmore who gave me my first call up for the men’s senior team."

 

 

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