President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda said the JOA is willing to withdraw Jamaica’s athletes from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if, in light of the evolving Coronavirus pandemic, Japan was not able to guarantee their health and safety.

The Red Stripe Premier League has suspended matches scheduled for between Thursday and Monday, March 16, in light of the potential threat posed by the Coronavirus – Covid19.

The 2020 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus that has been categorized as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The cancellation comes on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that a Jamaican woman tested positive for the virus after arriving on the island on March 4.

Stakeholders of the 110-year-old championships - the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), sponsors GraceKennedy, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health – met Wednesday to determine the fate of the championships that like many other sporting events, were being threatened by the spread of the virus that has infected more than 121,000 people globally and killing over 4000.

On Tuesday, there was an indication that the championships were under threat of being cancelled when the organisers agreed to cancel the launch of five-day event that was to be held at the National Stadium in Kingston.

“We agreed that the appropriate measure at this time would be to postpone tomorrow’s launch, and proceed with further discussions about what action should be taken in terms of the actual event,” said ISSA President, Keith Wellington, who also revealed that was also in discussion with its associated sponsors.

 Title sponsors also took a position that suggested that a cancellation was the most appropriate measure to take that would be in the best interests of all concerned.

 “The Health Ministry has announced that infection prevention and control is a priority at this time,” said GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby in a statement Tuesday.

 “We take COVID-19 very seriously and are concerned about the health and wellness of the student-athletes and all involved in the execution of Champs, as well as the implications for the 35,000 persons in attendance at the National Stadium especially during the last two days. This is a decision we will be making in the nation’s best interest.”

 

 

Jamaica will not be sending athletes to the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia out of concern for the safety of its athletes, who run the risk of being exposed to the deadly COVID-19 virus, Jamaica's health minister announced on Tuesday.

Three new players including 18-year-old Harbour View midfielder Jahshaun Anglin have been included in an all-local 20-man Reggae Boyz squad assembled to play in an international friendly against Bermuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Wednesday.

The squad also includes players who are being afforded another shot at making Jamaica’s provisional squad for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that begin later this year.

Renaldo Wellington a defender of former Premier League club Montego Bay United has also been called to the squad. According to team manager Roy Simpson, “The coaches have seen something in him that they feel they can build on.”

Lamar Walker has been recalled after recovering from injury and Jamaica’s U23 player Andre Fletcher, is being given an opportunity at the senior level, Simpson said.

Also included in the squad is Peter Lee Vassell, who was recently released by Los Angeles FC in the MLS.

The squad will have a single training session at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Tuesday before departing for Montego Bay.

Jamaica has a record of three wins and three draws against the Bermudans. The last of those wins came in 1997 when the Reggae Boyz emerged 3-2 winners in the Caribbean Cup.

The full squad is listed below:

 Andre Fletcher (Waterhouse FC), Ricardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC), Shawn Lawes (Waterhouse FC),  Akeem Chambers (Waterhouse FC), Colorado Murray (Waterhouse FC), Dennis Taylor (Humble Lion FC), Andre Clennon (Humble Lion FC), Ladale Richie (Mt. Pleasant FC), Kevaughn Isaacs (Mt. Pleasant FC), Kemar Beckford (Mt. Pleasant FC), Jourdaine Fletcher (Mt. Pleasant FC),  Ajeanie Talbott (Harbour View FC), Jahshaun Anglin (Harbour View FC), Fabion McCarthy (UWI FC), Javoy Belnavis (UWI FC), Renaldo Wellington (Montego Bay United), Peter Vassel (Unattached), Chevone Marsh (Cavalier SC), Kemal Malcolm (Arnett Gardens) and Lamar Walker (Portmore United FC).

Jamaican men’s doubles and mixed doubles teams won silver medals at the Jamaica International Badminton 2020 that concluded on Sunday at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Takuma Obayashi and Momoko Kimura walked away with the men’s singles and women’s singles titles, respectively. Japan came away with three gold medals as they also won the women’s doubles competition.

Guatemala won gold in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles competition, defeating the Jamaicans in both finals.

The pair of Dennis Coke and Jamaica's number-one female player Tahlia Richardson, fought bravely in the Mixed Doubles final against the Guatemalan pair of Solis Johnathan and Diana Corleto Soto who won the gold medal 23-21, 21-17 in the match that lasted 34 minutes.

Coke shouldered much of the blame for Jamaica not getting the better of their Central American opponents but lauded his partner for her resolve.

“I was getting a bit too tense by trying to play too tight at the net. In the second set, probably the last five points, my elbow was hurting so badly I took my eyes off the game a bit and was thinking about my elbow rather than the game,” said Coke, whose right elbow was heavily taped throughout the tournament.

“I take my hat off to Tahlia. She played very well. I love the fight in her and that gave me the drive to push through my pain and be able to finish strong. It was the match of the tournament for me even though we didn't win it.”

Richardson, Jamaica's women's champion for the past two years, praised Coke for his efforts and suggested that perhaps their lack of experience playing together might have had some bearing on the outcome.

“He went to the physio and got taped but he wasn't 100 per cent. We played a pretty solid game even though he wasn't at his best,” said Richardson who was winning her first international medal for Jamaica.

“We have been recently paired and haven't had much practice. The fact that we made it to finals in such a short time playing together shows that once we get more time together we will better. The Guatemalan pair that we played have been playing together for a much longer time so they understand each other more.”

The final of the men’s doubles proved to be equally exciting as the newly formed partnership between Samuel Ricketts and Shane Wilson after losing the first five points against the Guatemalan duo of Johnathan and Anibal Morroquin, rallied to lead 11-9, and then 20-17.

However, they were unable to get over the hump, eventually losing 22-20. They lost the second set 20-15 and with it the match

Ricketts was disappointed with the outcome.

“We got to 20-17 and we just needed one point but we didn’t manage that aspect well, of closing out the game. That kind of haunted us,” he said.

“It’s sports. It happens. Hopefully, next time we will get a better result.”

Referring to the second game, Ricketts said the disappointment of losing the first set despite playing well, had an impact on their play.

“We weren’t able to fully get our bearings and bounce back. We were in the game and within reach – eight-all, nine-all, but we just couldn’t overtake them.”

Obayashi took singles title 21-11, 17-21, 21-12, in the all-Japanese final against Yushi Tanaka.

Their compatriot Kimura had a much easier challenge against Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri 21-12, 21-12.

The most lopsided final on the night occurred in the Women’s Doubles where the Japanese pair of Sayaka Hobara and Rena Miyaura easily dispatched the Peruvian duo of Daniela Macias and Danica Nishimura 21-2, 21-7.

Samuel Ricketts and Tahlia Richardson got off to winning starts at the 2020 Jamaica International Open Badminton tournament that began on Thursday at the National Indoor Sports Complex in Kingston.

With the COVID-19 virus a constant threat to the international community, the Jamaica Badminton Association is taking no chances when it hosts the 2020 Jamaica International Badminton Tournament set to run from March 4-8 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

For almost seven years Samuel Ricketts and Gareth Henry formed a formidable badminton doubles team.

An estimated 50 international players including defending men’s singles champion Kevin Gordon from Guatemala are set to compete the 2020 Jamaica International Open Badminton Championships from March 5-8 at the National Indoor Sports Complex in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Jamaica Rugby League Association has announced the rebranding of the domestic ‘Jamaica A’ team to become the Jamaica Hurricanes.

Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange said she is heartbroken over the news of the killing of two Jamaican sportsmen on Wednesday.

After an absence of a year, the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) will return to the track and field calendar in 2020 as a part of the World Athletics Continental Series.

 However, the meet will carry a silver designation in the World Athletics Continental World Series launched earlier year.

The Continental World Series will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

The JII meet was first held in 2004 and for eight years was a World Challenge meet, one tier down from the prestigious Diamond League designation. However, in 2019, due largely to financial constraints, the meet was cancelled.

“It is with regret that we inform you that due to budget issues the 2019 staging of the Jamaica International Invitational IAAF World Challenge Meeting has been cancelled,” a statement on the meeting’s website said.

However, Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said then that he was confident the meet would return in 20020. On Friday, he confirmed that the meet would be back.

According to the JII website, the meet is set for May 2, 2020.

 “There will be a meet this year,” said Dr Blake who added that Athletes’ Liaison Donald Quarrie has been assembling a quality field of athletes to participate at the meet.

However, the meet will be taken down a peg, as it will only have a silver designation among the meets that fall under the umbrella of the Continental World Series.

Dr Blake explained that following the debacle that led to the cancellation of the meet in 2019, earlier this year, World Athletics had sought assurances that there would not be a repeat of what occurred in 2019. They demanded a written guarantee that funding would be in place for this year’s meet.

However, the local organisers missed the deadline by a few days, which resulted in the meet missing the gold-level designation now enjoyed by the Racers Grand Prix set to run off in June.

Dr Blake said World Athletics will be reviewing the Continental Series at the end of the season and they are hopeful that the JII will obtain a gold designation going forward.

A press conference to announce details pertaining to the 2020 Jamaica International Invitational is set to be held sometime in March.

 

 

 

 

Lucas Passerini and Jonathan Rodriguez each scored in second-half stoppage time to earn Cruz Azul a dramatic 2-1 victory at Portmore United in the first leg of their 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round-of-16 tie on Tuesday night at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jamaica and West Indies pace bowler Oshane Thomas is said to be home resting as he recovers from mild injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night, and is expected to return to training later this week.

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