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Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi Mugisa

Kwesi has been a sports journalist with more than 10-years’ experience in the field. First as a Sports Reporter with The Gleaner in the early 2000s before he made the almost natural transition to becoming an editor. Since then he has led the revamp of The Star’s sports offering, making it a more engaging and forward-thinking component of the most popular tabloid newspaper in the Caribbean.

Jamaica Reggae Boyz assistant coach Jerome Waite believes the team was guilty of underrating its opposition in an uninspiring 2-0 win over lesser-ranked Aruba in Nation’s League action at the National Stadium on Saturday.

In the end, the Jamaicans scraped out a win courtesy of goals from Devon Williams and Shamar Nicholson but much more had been expected with approximately 129 places between the teams in the rankings.  It was the second time the Jamaicans faced the inhabitants of the tiny island, with a population of somewhere in the region of 106,314. 

Visibly annoyed spectators at the Jamaica National Stadium, galled by the home team’s misplaced passes and sloppy turnovers, clearly expected a result similar to the 6-0 beating administered to the visitors during a 1997 Caribbean Cup fixture.

“We won 2-0 and it could have been better, but we looked a little lacklustre,” Waite said following the match.

“One of the things that I believe contributed to that is that the opposition didn’t seem to have much to offer, so we went into a super-slow gear.  It’s not what we are capable of doing and when we play better opposition we have a tendency to rise to the occasion,” he added.

“Despite that, we have to understand that it’s a job and it’s our duty to continue doing what we need to do, which is to play our best at all times,” he added.

 

 

 

Trinbago Knight Rider skipper Kieron Pollard has lamented a substandard showing from the team for the CPL semi-final against Barbados Tridents, insisting they did not deserve to progress based on the showing.

The Jason Holder-led Tridents secured a nail-biting 12-run win over the hosts, who had their sights set on a third consecutive CPL final. 

Set 161 for victory, the Knightriders seemed in a comfortable position at 110 for 5 but a calamitous run out for the team’s skipper, Pollard, precipitated a late-innings collapse.  Trinbago’s profligacy could in effect also be traced back to the Trident’s batting innings where Johnson Charles was dropped twice.  Charles went on to score 35 from 41 balls, the top scorer for the team.

“When you look at our performance throughout the season, I think we deserved to lose this game tonight. You can't turn up in a semi-final and drop a couple catches like that, simple errors, and not execute in a big game like that,” Pollard said following the match.

“It’s sort of what our season has been like in terms of not executing we and it cost us in the end.”

The Tridents will play the unbeaten Guyana Amazon Warriors in Saturday’s final at the Brian Lara Stadium, in Trinidad.

 

Bahamian national record holder Shaunae Miller-Uibo insists she had very little reason to feel disappointed despite finishing second to Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser in the women’s 400m on Thursday.

Miller-Uibo entered the event as the prohibitive favourite, having not lost in the event for close to two years.  Eid Naser, who had shown impressive form as she trotted to the line in the semi-finals, was in a different class in the final, however, and put away the field with an impressive 48.14.  The Bahamian also clocked a personal best with an area record 48.37 an astounding 0.6 seconds off her previous personal best.

The time recorded by Eid Naser was, however, the third-fastest in history and the fastest run over the distance in 36 years.  On the face of such a stunning performance, Miller-Uibo has chosen to focus on the positive of a smashing new personal best and maximum effort on the track.

"I just wanted to go out there and give it my all and I did just that.  I just give God all the thanks and praise for allowing me to finish healthy.  To finish with a PR like that, .6 of a PR is huge," Miller-Uibo said.

“We came into the season knowing that we could drop 48 low and we did just that so I can’t be disappointed with the race.  We gave it our all and to come out with a silver medal with that time is impressive.”

“Coming off the curve I saw the distance between us and I already knew in my head that she was too far away.  I also knew I had a whole of strength left and I used it but it just wasn’t good enough I guess, but I know we gave it our all and to PR with .6 is impressive so I’m really happy.”

Dethroned 110 metres hurdles World Champion Omar McLeod has revealed that he suffered from a hamstring issue during a calamitous end to his title defense at the Doha World Championships on Wednesday.

In a close race, McLeod trailed eventual winner Grant Holloway of the United States but crashed into the penultimate hurdle before sprawling to the floor.  In the process, the Jamaican also briefly blocked the path of Spain’s Orlando Ortega who looked to also be in medal contention.  The athlete, who had a wobbly year in terms of his preparation for the World Championships, explained that a hamstring issue had impacted his performance.

“I got out hard and came off the first hurdle and my hamstring grabbed, so I didn’t get to be as snappy as I wanted,” McLeod explained.

“It got to a level of comfort where I thought I could pull through and at least get a medal or just still battle, still go to the line but then it grabbed again at the 6th hurdle and that’s when I lost my balance,” he added.

Heading into the championships, McLeod had suffered a tumultuous period where he changed four coaches in the last three years.  The athlete only joined his current coaching team, led by Rayna Reider, 10 weeks ahead of the Championships.  He insisted he was proud of his effort.

“I’m very proud of myself.  I showed up.  I’ve been through a lot this year and made sure I put myself to at least come prepared to defend my title.

“I’m very disheartened for Ortega for what had happened to him.  If I could take that bad I would.”

    

Decorated multi Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Allyson Felix has hailed Jamaican star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as an inspiration following her exploits at the Doha Championships.

Fraser-Pryce claimed a fourth World Championship 100m title after dismantling a quality field, once again ascending to an all too familiar top spot on the podium.  This time around, however, the journey to the gold medal was a different one for Fraser-Pryce. 

It’s difficult to imagine that just two years ago Fraser-Pryce, then an expectant mother, watched the World Championships from the comfort of her living room.  That she has been able to not only recover to compete at the highest level but claim gold in a time just outside of her personal best is a remarkable set of circumstances in and of itself.  For Felix, on a difficult journey of her own after having her first child, the Jamaican serves as a source of inspiration to female athletes everywhere.

“She’s amazing.  She is my friend.  She has helped me along this journey, and we encourage each other.  I am so happy for her and very encouraged for myself,” Felix told Nuffin Long Athletics.

“Everyone’s situation is going to be different, but she shows that it’s possible.  I think more than anything she is an inspiration.”

Felix, who had her daughter Camryn in November of last year, was a part of the United States squad for the World Championship but only managed to secure a place as a member of the relay team.  The six-time Olympic and 12-time World Championship gold medallist, however, has plans to be back in top shape in time for next year’s Olympic Games.

Newly-crowned 100m World Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has offered kind words of encouragement to young compatriot Briana Williams who missed out on an appearance at the Doha Championships after being embroiled in a doping controversy.

The 17-year-old Williams was hit with a reprimand after returning an adverse analytical finding, following the Jamaica National Championships.  The athlete, who returned a test for the banned diuretic Hydrochlorothiazide, provided the explanation that the substance was part of a contaminated batch of flu medication she had ingested on the morning of the championships. 

An Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel ruling on the matter issued Williams with a reprimand and did not prescribe any period of ineligibility for the athlete but based on the IAAF’s rules the results earned at Jamaica’s National Trials were scrubbed from the record. Williams had secured her spot on the World Championship team after finishing third behind Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson in the 100m.  Though selected to the team the athlete later withdrew after being replaced by Jonielle Smith for the 100m and facing time considerations for the relay squad.

“I’ve been in that situation before when I took a painkiller and it was very hard for me to come back and not focus on that incident,” Fraser-Pryce said.

In 2010, Fraser-Pryce served a six-month ban after testing positive for Oxycodone at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting.  The athlete had taken the substance to provide relief for a severe toothache.

“It happens, unfortunately.  I would not have wished that on anyone, and I hope that she can stay strong and stay motivated and forget about what anyone else has to say.  It’s about what you know and what you believe, and you can come back from anything.”

Four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has targeted becoming a member of the exclusive 10.6s club by next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games.


The 32-year-old once again proved to be the woman to beat after obliterating the field to claim the women’s 100m title at the Doha World Championships on Sunday. The medal was Fraser-Pryce’s 8th World Championships gold overall, adding to two Olympic medals to make for one of the most impressive tallies of all-time.


Fraser-Pryce’s blistering burst of 10.71, was remarkably the sixth time the athlete has recorded a time in that range at a major championship. The exception came in 2016 when she lost to compatriot Elaine Thompson at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. For the athlete, who seems to have made the art of peaking at the right time an exact science, the achievement was even more special this time around, having come back to the sport after having her first child. It’s hard to imagine that just two years ago she watched the London World Championships from her living room couch.


With a combined 16 medals at the Olympic and World Championship level it hard to imagine something missing from such a stellar CV but there remains an achievement that continues to elude the diminutive Jamaican champion.

Despite her personal best of 10.70 being just on the cusp of cracking the 10.6 barrier it remains a bridge the athlete is yet to cross. So far, it is a feat that has been achieved by three women in history, Florence Griffith-Joyner (10.49), Carmelita Jeter (10.64) and Marion Jones (10.65), all Americans.


“I definitely think I have a 10.6 within me. I don’t know why it’s still within me but we are working on it and we have 10 months to go until Tokyo so hopefully, we can get it together,” Fraser-Pryce said.

“My coach did say earlier that he believes I’m not fully back. So, we are working on it,” she added.


Despite not yet managing to achieve the mark, the athlete insisted that she took comfort in maintaining such a high level for such a long period and hoped to continue inspiring future generations.


“The only Championship that I’ve not managed to run a 10.7 is the Rio Olympics and for me this longevity is a major plus. It’s just my hope that young athletes that are coming up can understand that you have time and it can happen. You can do well even after a number of years."