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The Jamaica Olympic Association has sought to clear up suggestions it neglected to pay full respsect to six Jamaican Olympians who collected upgraded silver medals during the Mueller Anniversary Games in London last week.

The six, who were having bronze medals from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics upgraded, had voiced disappointment that there were no Jamaican officials to share what was a proud moment for them.

According to the JOA though, every effort was made to be present and the presence of the girls at the ceremony in London, had much to do with its efforts to ensure the event took place at a time convenient to the athletes.

“We didn’t have a representative from Jamaica, from the JOA, no one. I feel disappointed,” Novlene Williams-Mills had said after the occasion.

Williams-Mills, along with Shereefa Lloyd, Shericka Williams, Rosemarie Whyte-Robinson, and Bobby-Gaye Wilkins collected silver medals for the mile relay in 2008 while Christine Day, Lloyd, Whyte-Robinson, Williams and Williams-Mills, collected silver medals for 2012.

“For many years I represented Jamaica at the highest level. I have represented Jamaica at four Olympics at the highest level, World Championships at the highest level. I’ve made multiple Jamaica teams and for not one person from the JOA or in sports was able to make sure everything went smoothly and to ensure that we were taken care of was really disappointing.”

According to the the Olympic body, however, upon being informed of the medal ceremony, they entered into discussions with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about scheduling a convenient date for all stakeholders.

Despite those efforts, however, the JOA was not able to send representatives because of prior commitments to the 2019 Pan America Games in Lima, Peru.

The challenge in being able to attend, the JOA said, was relayed to the athletes but that all preparations for a smooth medal ceremony, inclusive of accommodation and airtravel had been handled by the International Olympic Committee.

“They were advised to take into consideration the fact that the event being only three weeks away, there may be logistic challenges, particularly in view of firstly, the fact that persons including some Olympians and their allowed guests required visas and, secondly, the imminent games commitments and preparation requirements of the JOA which may very well preclude attendance,” the body said in a statement on Friday.

The body was also quick to point out that the view that the athletes were not seen as priority was erroneous, and that it would always seek to commend the athletes on their achievements.

 

With regard to the arrangements being made, the JOA said the Olympians were informed that the IOC would be responsible for flight arrangements to and from the event, as well as hotel accommodations and that the IOC would liaise with the IAAF regarding transportation and event logistics.

Defending champion Puerto Rico successfully defended their title at the 32nd Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship played at the Albany Golf Course in Nassau, The Bahamas, from July 24 - 26.

Jamaica national head coach Theodore Whitmore has strongly refuted suggestions of interference with the running of the U-23 team.

Criticism has continued to pour in from all angles following a poor campaign by the youth national team, which saw them eliminated in the first round of the Olympic Qualification phase.

 With only the winner of the three-team Group A eligible to advance to the next round, Jamaica needed to beat St Kitts and Nevis but were held to a 1-1 result at Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex and finished second with two points. St Kitts topped the group with four points, while Dominica finished at the bottom on a point.

Suggestions from some quarters, namely Craig Butler the agent of Leon Bailey and Kyle Butler, who had been brought into the U-23 team suggested that the actions of Duckie and his squad selection was influenced by Whitmore a claim the national coach strongly rejected.

“Honestly, I don’t think that’s a fair comment to myself and Donovan Duckie. You can’t have a team preparing for so long and then one man just comes in and start making decisions,” Whitmore said on Jamaican radio show Sports Grill.

 “It couldn’t happen with me so I wouldn’t do it to a next man.”

After running a personal-best time and winning her first-ever Diamond League race in London on Sunday, newly minted Jamaican 400mH champion Rushell Clayton said getting that first win provided a major boost in confidence as she zeroes in on her first World Championships in Doha in September.

Lennox Graham, the coach of Danielle Williams has a simple plan to keep her running fast in her quest to win the Diamond League title this season.

Reigning 100m World Champions Omar McLeod believes former world’s fastest man Usain Bolt was well within his rights to defend longtime coach Glen Mills.

The decorated Olympian and sprint icon set off a social media storm in recent weeks when he was highly critical of the work attitude of some of the current crop of sprinters, following criticism of veteran coach Mills.

  In recent weeks, multiple athletes affiliated to the Racers Track Club had written social media pieces critical of the coach and the operation of the now-famous club.  In a terse response, Bolt suggested that the athletes had only themselves to blame for any lack of success, accusing them of not working hard enough.  While admitting that he did not know enough about the issue, McLeod claims to understand the sprinter’s defense of the coach.   

“I don’t know about what happened in-depth, I’ve seen the interview.  I’m really happy he made the decision to speak up for his coach.  It can be a thing when athletes don’t get what they want they try to point fingers and blame other people,” McLeod told Nuffin’ Long Athletics.

 “Nobody knows the extent of what happened, I don’t so I don’t want to speak of it but I just think it was good of him to come out and speak because he and his coach have had a really good career and I guess he is a father figure to Usain Bolt.”

 Olympic and World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has encouraged athletes facing setbacks to not be overcome by the many barriers they face on the road to recovery.

The 32-year-old Fraser-Pryce has amazed sports fans everywhere by recently clocking some of the best times in her career, having taken time off from the sport to have her first child almost two years ago.  Recently, the sprinter dismissed the field at the London Anniversary Games clocking 10.78. 

The time was Fraser-Pryce’s third-fastest run this year and the third time the athlete has clocked a time in the 10.7s range.  Her best time this season was a sizzling 10.73, just three-hundredths of a second outside of her personal best.

“For me, it’s a testament to hard work and being committed and mentally driven as an athlete.  Time after time you hear persons telling you what you can do and what you can’t do and what is possible and what isn’t possible.  For me those are barriers and boundaries I continue to leap over,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“You have so many people that are dealing with injuries that are out for 2 years, three years and they think they can’t come back but you can,” she added.

 “It’s not just about mother for me but about athletes who are in a slump and who can’t get up believing it’s the end.  It’s about mentally preparing for the battle ahead and understanding it’s you against everything else.  You can overcome those obstacles.”

The Jamaican girls’ squad took a silver medal in the team competition at the Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) Junior Championships, which buoyed Team Jamaica to a third-place finish overall, behind three-peat winners, Barbados and runners-up Guyana, as the tournament wrapped up over the weekend in Trinidad and Tobago.

The head coach of St. Kitts and Nevis, Earl Jones, said his team’s belief and determination helped them rally from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Jamaica in their Group A preliminary round Olympic qualifier on Sunday night.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls avoided finishing sixth at the Vitality Netball World Cup, the worst the team would have since 1967 after a hard-fought playoff game against Malawi. 

The United States closed the XX Panamerican U20 Championship with more dominant performances to leave Jamaica battling for the minor positions in both the men’s and women’s 4x400m.

On the women’s side, the USA quartet of Alexis Holmes, Kimberly Harris, Ziyah Holman, and Kayla Davis scorched the track with a time of 3:24.04, well ahead of the second-placed Canadians who were next to cross the line in 3:30.68.  The Jamaicans led by the foursome of Daniella Deer, Shaqueena Foote, Lashanna Graham, and Kavia Francis got the bronze medal in a time of 3:31.34.

The Caribbean team fared better in the male equivalent but the quartet of Evaldo Whitehorne, Jeremy Farr, Bovel McPherson and Anthony Cox could only manage to chase the US to the line in 3:00.99.  The USA four of Frederick Lewis, Matthew Boling, Matthew Moorer and Justin Robinson crossed for gold in 2:59.30.  The Brazilians were third in 3:02.84.

Elsewhere, the Jamaicans managed to secure a bronze medal in the triple jump, where Terrol Wilson finished third with a leap of 15.99.  The event went to Colombia’s Geiner Moreno, with Cuba’s Andy Hecheverria second in 16.33.  Rovane Williams also secured a bronze medal after finishing third in the men’s 400m hurdles.  Williams crossed the line in 50.29, behind James Smith (49.84) and Brasil’s Alison Alves who won the event in 48.49.

The United States ended on top of the leaderboard with 16 gold, 12 silver, and 7 bronze medals. Canada were next with 4 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals with the Jamaicans third with 3 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze.

 

 

Jamaica junior jumper Lotavia Brown captured the country’s third gold medal after claiming the women’s triple jump title at the XX Pan American U-20 Championships on Sunday.

In a stunning upset, the young Jamaican defeated favourite Leyanis Perez of Cuba but certainly had a huge slice of luck fall her way. 

Brown recorded a distance of 13.22m to take first place but was assisted by a wind reading of +4.3.  Even so, the second-place Perez, who consistently went over 13m, was just behind with a jump of 13.21 with a +0.5-wind reading. Another Caribbean athlete, Saint Vincent’s Mikeisha Welcome was third with a distance of 13.15m.  Rhianna Phipps a second Jamaican in the event was fifth after registering a best of 12.98.

Another jumper Lamara Distin also added to the tally after securing silver in the women's high jump.  Distin registered 1.81m just behind gold medal winner American Sanaa Barnes' 1.83m. Shelby Taylor of the United States took the bronze medal by clearing 1.78m, while Jamaica's Janique Burgher, also cleared 1.78m for fourth place. 

Jamaica sprint sensation Briana Williams also added to medal tally as part of a women’s 4x100m team that finished behind the United States.  The Jamaican team of Williams, Shakiera Bowra, Michae Harriot and Brandy Hall clocked 44.36 for second place as the United States took the gold medal by a wide margin with a 43.51-second clocking.  Canada clocked 44.42 for third place and the bronze medal.

 

Jamaica’s under-23 team will be in for a fight after their opponents in tomorrow’s final first-round CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament showed class in dismissing Dominica 4-0 at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Cmplexo in Kingston.

The young Reggae Boyz, who started as favourites to win Group A, found a stubborn Dominica and had to come from behind to draw the game 1-1.

With just three teams in the group after Guyana pulled out, St Kitts and Nevis would find themselves with a glorious opportunity to go top with their game against Dominica to come on Friday.

St Kitts and Nevis took that chance, burying the Dominicans under four unanswered goals to take sole leadership of the group headed into the final game against Jamaica on Sunday.

With just one team from each group going through to the next round of Olympic qualifying, the Jamaicans face a must-win situations, while St Kitts and Nevis just need a draw.

In Group D, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico will be in an almighty fight. The two play tomorrow at the Estadio Panamericano, San Cristobal. Both teams have three points but Puerto Rico, who beat St Lucia 1-0 yesterday, have a goal difference problem after the Dominican Republic trounced Antigua and Barbuda 4-0 on the same day.

With four teams in that group though, both teams will have a chance to qualify when the Dominican Republic, faces St Lucia and Puerto Rico faces Antigua and Barbuda. Despite that, neither will want to lose tomorrow because they could face an uphill task come the final game.

In Group B, being played at the Ulrich Sports Complex Soccer Field, Cuba’s under-23s lost 1-0 to Barbados, who were playing their first game of the group after Trinidad and Tobago pulled out, making that a three-team affair as well.

Cuba had, earlier in the week, beaten the US Virgin Islands 2-0, but now face an anxious wait, as Barbados now have the change to go to six points and take sole leadership of the group and a spot in the next round.

Group C of the competition, which involves the Cayman Islands, Grenada, and Haiti, kicks off on Wednesday.

Cayman and Grenada play at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town on Wednesday, while Grenada tackles Haiti on Friday at the same venue.

Jamaica drew with Dominica and Lance Whittaker believes the home team are in trouble with talented 'smaller' nations.

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