Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann McPherson led the cadre of Caribbean women advancing to the semi-finals of the Women’s 400m at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Sunday.

Grenada’s Kirani James, Christopher Taylor and Nathon Allen of Jamaica as well as Johnathan Jones of Barbados all advanced to the semi-finals of the 400m at Sunday’s third day of the 2022 World Athletics Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

However, it was a bittersweet morning session for the Caribbean quarter-milers as Jamaican champion Juvaughn Powell and Dwight St Hillaire of Trinidad and Tobago both crashed out finishing fourth and sixth, respectively in their respective heats. Their times were not good enough to be among the six fastest losers who advance.

With the top three finishers in each heat automatically qualifying for the next round, James, the fastest qualifier from the Caribbean, finished second in 45.29 with Allen in third in 45.61 in the penultimate of the six heats that was won by Botswana’s Boyapo Ndori in a personal best 44.87.

Taylor was also second in his heat, running 45.68, to finish behind gold-medal favourite Michael Norman who cruised to 45.37.

Jones took second in the opening heat won by world-record holder Wayde van Niekerk in 45.18. The Barbadian, who ran impressively during the NCAA season, ran 45.46 to be among the automatic qualifiers.

Also advancing was Mixed Relay gold medallist Lidio Andres Feliz from the Dominican Republic, who was third in the final heat in 45.87.

 

 Jamaican gymnast Tyesha Mattis has described her debut for Jamaica competing at the Pan American Youth and Senior Gymnastics Championships as an amazing experience and she cannot wait to don the national colours again at the World Gymnastics Championships in England in October.

The 23-year-old Mattis, who along with her sister, recently switched allegiance from England to Jamaica, was the first of 11 All Around gymnasts to qualify for the World Championships.

The All Around gold medallist at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival said it felt great to be back in competition after a protracted hiatus.

“For me, it was a big experience just to get out there again,” she said. “I didn’t expect the results I had and it was just nice to represent my country and meet my team from Jamaica and it was just an amazing experience.

“I am just grateful to be here on the team and get this experience and I can’t wait to get out there at Worlds and show everybody my routines and my upgraded routines.”

She thanked Jamaica Gymnastics Association President Nicole Grant for affording her the opportunity to “get out there again.”

At the championships that ended Sunday, Jamaica experienced some misfortune as after finishing eighth in the team competition to qualify for the final team spot, a point was deducted from the team, which resulted in the final spot subsequently going to Cuba.

Brazil won the team competition with the USA and Canada finishing second and third, respectively.

It wasn’t all bad news, however, as Team Jamaica’s women made history by making the team qualifications for the first time for the 2023 CAC Games, joining Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Panama and Venezuela as well as 10 other individuals from others countries with one or two spots at the meet next year.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s male gymnast Caleb Faulk made some history of his own when he imprinted his name and Jamaica’s in the FIG Code of Points with a very difficult he skill created and flawlessly executed.

According to Grant, the skill was accepted and has been designated an E-value skill worth a massive five points.

The JAGA president thanked her country’s Sports Development Foundation and the Jamaica Olympic Association for the support they provided in helping the team get to the Pan American Championships.

“Thanks also to all the coaches, parents and gymnasts, who also made great sacrifices to compete at the meet,” she said.

Jamaica’s Oblique Seville narrowly missed out on a podium spot in the men’s 100 finals an event that was entirely swept by the United States at the Oregon World Championships on Saturday.

Pre-race favourite Fred Kerley recovered late on to just edge out compatriot Marvin Bracey who seemed destined for gold after getting off to a brilliant start.  A third American Trayvon Brommel was just behind.  Timewise Kerley never quite lived up to the explosive promise of a 9.79 clocking in the first round, but still took the event in a respectable 9.86.  Just ahead of Bracey who clocked 9.88 for second place.  Brommel stopped the clock in an identical time.

Just behind Brommel was Seville who was fourth in 9.97.  Despite missing out on the podium the result capped off a strong season for the 21-year-old who broke 10 seconds for the first time earlier this year and clocked a personal best of 9.86 in May of this year.  Seville is coached by Glen Mills at the Racers Track Club the same place sprint legend Usain Bolt was conditioned.

Earlier the country’s 100m national champion Yohan Blake failed to make it to the final after finishing 6th in the semi-finals.  

Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson believes the team has the potential to eventually emulate the feats of the likes of Canada but insists they are still at the building stage.

The Jamaicans were thwarted in their bid to advance to the finals of the Concacaf Women’s Championship following a 3-0 defeat at the hands of defending Olympic champions Canada.

Despite not being at full strength the Caribbean team held its own for long periods of the encounter but was undone by several individual errors.

“We just played the Olympic champions.  The last time I checked they were still the Olympic champions, so they are a very good team.  I think we are taking a lot away from Canada.  We are just a growing team, we are learning, we have been together for 3 weeks and that’s it,” Donaldson said.

“We gave it everything and we just got beat,” he added.

“…We’re just trying to get on with and build something.  So, Canada is an established program.  Maybe one day not too far away we can be like Canada, I think we have the potential to be but we are just trying to build.”

 

Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have advanced to the final of the Mixed Relay at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon on Friday.

The Dominican Republic team of Lidio Andres Feliz, Fiordaliza Cofil, Alexander Ogando and 2022 world leader in the 400m, Marileidy Paulino, ran 3:12.22 to win the heat while the Jamaican quartet of Demish Gaye, Roniesha McGregor, Karayme Bartley and Tiffany James ran 3:13.95 for third. Ireland were second in 3:13.88. 

The first heat was won by the USA in a world leading 3:11.75 ahead of the Netherlands (3:12.63) and Olympic champions Poland (3:13.70). Italy (3:13.89) and Nigeria (3:14.59) also advanced from heat one to complete the eight team field for the final scheduled for Friday night.

Charokee Young, the 2022 NCAA 400m silver medalist is the latest Jamaican to go pro after signing a professional contract with Puma. Young, the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year at 49.87, made the announcement on the Puma Performance Instagram page Friday.

“So blessed to announce that I am the newest member of the Puma family,” said Young, who just completed her sophomore year at Texas A&M University, is making her first appearance in an individual event at a global championship after finishing third at Jamaica’s national championships. She was a member of Jamaica's bronze-medal-winning team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan.

On Thursday, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah announced that she is now a member of the Puma family after breaking ties with Nike.

Kemba Nelson, the NCAA 100m silver medalist, and who was third at Jamaica’s national championships in June, also signed with Puma in recent days.

Fitness athlete Avernell Modest is still basking in her third-place finish in the Bikini Class of the Inter-Island Bodybuilding Fitness and Physique Championships held at the Maho Casino Royale in St Maarten on July 3.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Canada in the semi-final of the Concacaf Women’s Championship but rested talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw.

With both teams having already secured a spot at next year’s final both teams turned their attention to securing a spot at the 2024 Olympics.

After an even opening period, Canada took the lead in the 18th minute when Jessie Fleming header home Canada’s first of the night.

Ashley Lawrence had crossed the ball into the area, and Jamaica defender Allyson Swaby ended up deflecting the cross into the path of Fleming.

Adriana Leon and Allysha Chapman entered the game in the 53rd minute and immediately made an impact. In the 64th, with an assist from Leon off a cross, Chapman scored the second goal of the night with a powerful header, after being loosely marked at the back post.

In the 76th, Leon then scored the third and final goal for Canada off a flicked-on header from Jordyn Huitema, who was also subbed on in the 53rd.

The result means Canada moves on to face the United States in the final, while Jamaica faces Costa Rica in the third-place playoff.

Weeks of speculation ended today when Puma announced the signing of five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz coach Lorne Donaldson remains guarded regarding future plans for the national team as his agreement with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) will only be in place until the end of the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Donaldson was given the position in June following a messy split between the team and its former head coach Vin Blaine who stepped down from the post after just a few months in charge.  He has, however, previously been a part of the national program as a former assistant coach, the last time the Reggae Girlz qualified, under then-coach Hubert Busby.

The coach has, however, confirmed that he will be heading back to the negotiation table following the conclusion of the tournament.

“I can’t talk about future plans, whatever I have contractually just leads up to this tournament,” Donaldson told members of the media on Wednesday.

“Hopefully we can keep the same coaching staff and move on.  Currently, we have some good people in place taking care of our players…going forward we have to sit down with the JFF and Cedella Marley, who has been tremendous in our making, and go forward with what we doing,” he added.

The Jamaicans will play Canada on Thursday in the semifinals of the Concacaf Women’s Championship.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz forward Kayla McCoy insists the team remains hungry for success despite achieving the historic feat of qualifying for back-to-back FIFA Women’s World Cups.

Having already secured a spot in next year's premier global football showpiece the Jamaican team could be forgiven for getting caught in celebration mode, ahead of Thursday’s Concacaf W Championship semi-finals against Canada.

According to the player, however, the team remains sharp and focused as the match-up against the Olympic champions will present a unique opportunity.

“Although it's very exciting that we qualified again, as a group we knew that we could and fully expected to do so,” McCoy told members of the media on Thursday.

“We’ve qualified but we know the job isn’t done yet and there’s still more to go, so, going into the game against Canada we are going to be firing on all cylinders.  We are still hungry.  We’ve qualified once and now we’ve qualified again but now we want to take it further and show what we can do,” she added.

So far, the Jamaicans have not had a happy time against the Canadians.  The team has lost both times they have faced the North American heavyweights, with the most recent of those meetings ending in a 9-0 defeat.

All but five of Jamaica’s athletes are in camp 48 hours ahead of the start of the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon. One of those athletes will not be joining the team, Sportsmax.TV has learnt.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympic 110m hurdles champion Hansle Parchment and Tokyo Olympics 400m finalist Stephenie-Ann McPherson have been named team captains as the athletes look forward to getting into action on Friday.

Of the 64-member team selected by the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association to represent the country at the Championships set to run from July 15-24, quarter-miler Gregory Prince, 100m sprinter Jelani Walker, discus thrower Chad Wright as well as long jumper Chanice Porter and 800m runner Chris-Ann Gordon-Powell have not yet arrived in the athletes’ village.

Media liaison Dennis Gordon revealed that Prince received his US visa on Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Oregon by either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

Walker’s situation is more concerning as the athlete has tested positive for Covid-19 and has been advised to remain away from the camp until he is advised by the medical team.

Chad Wright, Gordon explained, will not be joining the team because of “visa issues”.

As it relates to Porter and Gordon-Powell, the team’s technical leader, Maurice Wilson, at the request of their agent Claude Bryan, has granted permission both to join the camp on July 15.

Otherwise, Gordon said, all the other athletes are in camp and are said to be in high spirits ahead of the start of the competition, welcome news against the background of some challenges the delegation faced over the past few days.

Flight cancellations delayed the arrival of some athletes to the pre-camp late last week before the athletes moved into the village on July 10.

There were also issues with delays in accrediting some athletes because of matters relating to their Covid-19 status, Gordon confirmed.

He explained that some of the athletes faced issues with uploading forms issued electronically by World Athletics, that required information on athletes’ vaccination status. This was confirmed by some coaches who spoke with Sportsmax.TV earlier this week.

However, that matter has now been resolved and all athletes have now been accredited, Gordon said.

Another relatively minor issue that athletes faced was with the rooms to which they were assigned. Gordon explained that a list was created assigning athletes to specific rooms.

However, some of the athletes had preferences about whom they wanted to room with and as such when some athletes reported to the rooms to which they were assigned, they found there was another athlete already occupying what should have been their space.

That situation has also now been resolved, Gordon assured.

Several athletes who spoke with Sportsmax.TV confirmed that they are now settled.

 “For the most part, people seem to be okay. I haven’t heard any complaints really,” one athlete, who wanted to remain unidentified said.

“The rooms are dorms, and that was expected seeing that we are on a campus.”

Jamaica’s men 400m runners will be among the first to get into action on Friday morning in the 4x400m heats after which the preliminary round of the men’s 100m will get underway.

The heats of the men’s 100m will get underway in the afternoon session on Friday with the mixed relays finals scheduled to close out the day.

Jamaica national women’s football team head coach, Lorne Donaldson, believes the country is merely scratching the surface of what is possible for its football program.

On Monday, Donaldson led from the sidelines as the Reggae Girlz secured a spot at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, following a 4-0 over Haiti. 

Three years earlier as an assistant coach, he had also celebrated as the team played their way to the tournament in France.  By virtue of defeating Haiti, the Reggae Girlz continued to break new ground and became the first Caribbean team to make back-to-back or even multiple World Cups.

Based on his assessment of the talent available to the Jamaican squads, which has been boosted by the recent recruitment of players from the diaspora, Donaldson is confident there is a lot more that Jamaican teams can accomplish.  In order to do so, he believes changes must be made to the structure of the football programs.

“Overall, I think the football structure has to change.  I won’t even say needs to change, it has to change going forward, not just for the women but for the men,” Donaldson said.

“We have this quality, for both men and women, and we can do more.  We haven’t even scratched the surface with our football talent,” he added.

 

Fans can expect a “strong, fast, fierce and fit competition” according to Rugby Americas North Communication Manager Bryan Kelly as the July 14-17 tournament prepares to get underway at the UWI Mona Bowl in Kingston.

Kelly, in an interview with Sportsmax.TV, described the event as a development tournament.

“This is the first Rugby Americas tournament since 2019 so this event that we’re throwing this week is a development competition. In Rugby there’s two different versions of the sport. There’s Rugby 7s which they play in the Olympics and Rugby 15s which is a much longer game and the one we’ll be playing this week in Jamaica,” he said.

“We have our men’s U-19 tournament and this is the first taste of international competition that a lot of these players will have and, for the women, it’s their first time playing since 2019 and, as I said, this is 15s Rugby but because our region is still growing and we’re trying to get the Rugby ball into as many female hands as possible, they’re playing 12s which is three less players,” Kelly added.

Even with this fact, Kelly says teams will still play as hard as possible.

“Yes, this is a development tournament and yes, this is a lot of these athletes first time getting on the field in a couple of years but you will not see teams playing casually. It’s going to be a strong, fast, fit and fierce competition for all four days this week,” Kelly said.

The men’s U-19 tournament will be contested by hosts Jamaica, Mexico, USA South, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda and Cayman Islands while the Women’s seniors will have Jamaica, USA South, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and Cayman Islands.

Matches will be streamed live on the Sportsmax.TV YouTube Channel beginning on Thursday at 9:00am Jamaica Time (10:00am EST).

 

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