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).

 

Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach Lorne Donaldson is hopeful that the team will be able to build on the momentum gained from qualifying for a second straight Women’s World Cup.

In an exciting group A finale, of the Concacaf Women’s Championship, the Jamaicans ran out to a 4-0 win over Caribbean neighbours Haiti on Monday, securing second spot in the group and with it a place at next year’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Three years ago, the Reggae Girls because the first Caribbean team to qualify for the event after a penalty shootout win over Panama.  The coach, however, does not believe enough was done to capitalise on Jamaica’s appearance at the 2019 edition of the tournament in France.

“Hopefully, we can use this qualification as a federation and turn our football around in a positive way. The last time we qualified, we just qualified, but this time I think a lot good is going to come out of this,” Donaldson said, following the final whistle.

“The biggest thing I see is an influx of young players getting involved from Jamaica and all over the world, all Jamaicans.  I think we can ride this wave because we are a little more organised on the outside with Cedella Marley and the foundation and hopefully our federation can join in,” he added.

The coach also hopes a second tournament appearance will lead to more wholesale adoption of women’s football by the country’s fanbase.

“Most of all I hope Jamaica can join in this time and embrace women’s football like they should.  I think some people are still skeptics but we welcome them with open arms.”

 

Haiti strolled to their first title at the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CAZOVA) Junior Men's Championship after cruising past host Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-15) at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the win in the final match of the tournament, the Junior Siecle-coached Haitians, who ended in second spot in 2017/2018 and fourth in 2015, ended with a perfect 4-0 win-loss round-robin record and 18 points, two ahead of runner-up Suriname (3-1) while Jamaica took the bronze medal with a 2-2 record and 11 points with Trinidad and Tobago (1-3) fourth with three points, and winless US Virgin Islands, fifth with a 0-4 record and two points.

The victory for Haiti put them on par with their 2015 Under-21 women's team who won their maiden title in Barbados and secured their ticket to the NORCECA Under-21 Men's Continental Championship to be hosted by Cuba from May 7 to 15, 2023.

Suriname secured a surprisingly comfortable 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-18) triumph over Jamaica in a battle of teams with 2-1 win-loss records for the second spot.

With the win, the Antoine Vliet-coached Suriname, ended their four-match round-robin schedule in the five-team winner-take-all competition with a 3-1 record and 16 points to earn their best finish in the tournament history.

Despite the loss, Steve Davis, coach of Jamaica said he was very proud of his players because he knew that they worked very hard in the limited time they had to prepare.

"Today, I have no blame for the boys even though I think that we contributed to our defeat by not having a good serving, passing or attacking game. Those errors happens when there is a lack of preparation and that is what happened with us, so to come away with a medal, is still a positive and something for us to work with," Davis said.

Estakend Beauvoir of Haiti capped off a memorable tournament for his team by being named as the "Most Valuable Player.”

Beauvoir was very influential throughout the five-team round-robin tournament and picked up the "Best Scorer" accolade.

Haiti captain Dieulengy Relis who enjoyed a very productive tournament to lead his team to the historic crown copped the"Middle Blocker 1" award.

Tournament runners-up Suriname who also enjoyed their best finish at this age-group had two awardees in Jonovan Wijngaarde (Outside Hitter 1), and Jason Lesperans (Best Digger) while US Virgin Islands had four award recipients in captain Gabriel Rosa (Best Setter), De Andrae Tylor (Middle Blocker 2), and Taj Bales (Best Receiver and Best Libero).

Third-placed Jamaica received three awards thanks to Damion Smith (Best Server and Best Opposite Player), Kenneth-Roy Clarke (Outside Hitter 2).

Jamaica punched their ticket to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand in commanding fashion with a 4-0 win over Haiti in their final match of Group A of the 2022 CONCACAF W Championship on Monday night at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey.

The result means Jamaica have qualified for a second straight Women’s World Cup, making it the second time in history that a Caribbean team have qualified for a Women’s World Cup.

Haiti have finished in third place and will advance to next February’s 10-team 2023 Women’s World Cup Playoff in New Zealand.

The blistering pace at the start made for a back-and-forth affair and Haiti’s Melchie Dumornay almost scored the opener with a dazzling solo run from her own half that ended with her shot ringing off the post.

An opening goal was bound to come and Jamaica were the ones to break the deadlock as some nice work from Khadija Shaw set up Trudi Carter, whose right-footed shot beat Haiti GK Nahomie Ambroise to make it 1-0 to the Reggae Girlz in the 26th minute.

Haiti went right to work to try to find an equalizer and Roselord Borgella had it all there to get it in the 52' off a Jamaica turnover, but instead swung her shot wide of the post.

Haiti continued to push forward in search of a goal, but it left space behind for the Jamaican attack and Shaw was happy to take advantage of it by firing in a right-footed shot to double the Jamaica lead to 2-0 in the 58'.

Nevertheless, Haiti kept pushing and almost pulled a goal back in the 63’ through a blazing effort from Dumornay in the 63’, only to see Jamaica GK Rebecca Spencer parry the ball onto the post and eventually out of play.

However, the night belonged to Shaw and Jamaica and after a Haiti handball in the area, the Manchester City striker stepped up and fired in her third goal of the CWC from the penalty spot for a 3-0 lead in the 70'.

They then capped off their magical night in the 79' with a well-placed header from Drew Spence off a free-kick to complete the winning 4-0 scoreline, earning their first-ever CWC win against Haiti in three attempts.

Suriname kept their slim hopes of claiming the gold medal in the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Junior Men (Under-21) Championship alive with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-15) victory against host Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

With the straight-sets win, Suriname, seeking a first title at this level, improved their win-loss record to 2-1 and 11 points, the same as Jamaica (2-1) and two points behind unbeaten leaders Haiti (3-0) as the trio will enter the final day of the five-team round-robin series all in contention for their first title.

Hosts Trinidad and Tobago, who needed a win to keep alive their medal hopes dropped to a 1-2 record and three points, just ahead of winless US Virgin Islands, who completed their four-match campaign with two points.

Despite the loss, Trinidad and Tobago still has a slim chance at a medal but will need to pull off a shock win over title-favourites Haiti.

On, Monday, July 11, in the final round of matches, Jamaica meets Suriname at 10 am, and Haiti meets Trinidad and Tobago at 4 pm, at the end of which, the top team will be declared champions.

Two of Jamaica's promising junior golfers are in Scotland for the three-day R&A Junior Open which tees off on Monday at the Monifieth Golf Links. Sixty-five countries including Jamaica were invited to field two representatives - a girl and one boy - at the tournament which is held every two years.

Mattea Issa and Ryan Lue, both 15, were invited to play in the tournament after posting the lowest scores at Jamaica's national junior trials held in April at the Caymanas Golf Course.  The invitees had to be in the 12-16 age group.

The pair will be in a field of 110 golfers who are expected to attend Sunday's opening ceremony after the practice round earlier in the day.

The top 80 golfers who make the cut after round two on Tuesday will move on to the final round on Wednesday.

Alison Reid, Jamaica’s team manager to the recently held 34th Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championship and convener for junior golf in Jamaica, has accompanied Issa and Lue to Scotland.  She expects that the golfers will give a good account of themselves.

Jamaica eased past the challenge of the US Virgin Islands 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-17) at the 2022 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Junior Men (Under-21) Championship at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena in Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.

The win means that Jamaica which lost their opening match to Haiti have now improved to a 2-1 record in their five-team round-robin series and stayed in the hunt for the title.

The win lifted Jamaica to 11 points and a top spot on the table followed by Suriname (1-0) with five points, Haiti (1-0) with four points, T&T (1-1) with three points and the winless US Virgin Islands, fifth with two points and a 0-3 record.

“I know the boys worked very hard in the short space of time we had to prepare and in each game we play we have seen a drastic improvement as we have gotten better and better as the matches come along," said a satisfied Steve Davis, Jamaica’s coach following the shut-out performance.

Like his coach, team captain Andrae Robb was also pleased with the nature of the victory.

"We stuck to our game plan and we executed very well which helped us to get the win,” he said.

“Overall, we are happy with the outcome and will now rest ahead of our final match on Monday against Suriname.”

Meanwhile, US Virgin Islands' coach, Isaac Raphael, said his team lacks experience and it showed during the match against Jamaica.

"We know we have a very young team and you can see that the capabilities of the players are right there but our inexperience continues to bite us as we have been guilty of making too many careless errors when we seem to be closing the gap, and it has been hurting us in each game," he said.

Team captain Gabriel Rosa believes his team has to put more significant effort into their contests.

"I believe my team needs to put more energy into our game from the start," he said.

"We have been getting off to slow starts and for us to be competitive we need to have more concentration and focus for our passing and serving game to be effective."

 

Talismanic Jamaica Reggae Girlz forward Khadijah Shaw insists the team will rely on the experience of being in similar situations ahead of Monday’s must-win CONCACAF W Championship encounter.

Heading into the final match of group A, the Jamaicans find themselves in third spot, behind Haiti on goal difference with both on three points.  Only the top two teams from each group will advance to next year’s tournament, with the third-place team heading to a playoff.

The Reggae Girlz made history by qualifying for the 2019 edition of the tournament.  On that occasion the team also found themselves in a tight situation, needing to beat Panama to secure a spot.  On that occasion, the team prevailed in a dramatic penalty shootout win.

“We’ve been on this journey before.  When we qualified for the World Cup and we beat Panama, we lost to the US, so it’s not new to us it’s just to bounce back,” Shaw said in assessing the situation.

“We know what’s at stake.  So, it’s just to regroup, look at our mistakes, and hopefully not let it happen in the next game,” she added.

 “They’re a physical team that always gets the job done and that’s credit to them.  Going into that game we just have to match that physicality and effort and play our game.  Once we come out doing what we know we can do best I think we can get the job done.”

Jamaica swept past host Trinidad and Tobago 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-13) to register their first win of the 2021 Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association Junior Men (Under-21) Championship round-robin series at the Southern Regional Indoor Sports Arena.

The win lifted Jamaica to a 1-1 record after two matches and six points in the five-team round-robin winner-take-all pool, one ahead of Suriname (1-0) while Haiti with four points (1-0) and T&T (1-1) with three points are next and US Virgin Islands, fifth with two points and a 0-2 start.

Following the win, Steve Davis, coach of the winning Jamaica team said his team was delighted to get among the winning column after the tough start to the tournament.

"Our travel arrangements and late get in time didn't help us much in our first game and we were able to get some rest after that and managed to give off a better performance in this match,” he said.

"We also adjusted our game plan as we were able to watch part of the Trinidad and Tobago and US Virgin Islands match last night and devised a game plan which we executed good enough for the win,” he added.

Team captain, Andrae Robb said he was very satisfied that his team was able to rebound from the loss and get a win against the host country.

"We knew from watching Trinidad and Tobago play their first match it was not going to be an easy challenge for us, but with the rest we got we were able to come out and do much better and we are hoping that we can continue to improve in each match."

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has vowed to silence his critics ahead of the new season after an underwhelming start to life in English topflight football.

The 24-year-old winger joined English Premier League (EPL) club Aston Villa last summer amid a flurry of high expectations for everyone involved in the deal.  The player has, so far, failed to live up to many of those expectations.

Bailey’s problems have in the main stemmed from being unable to take the pitch.  Two thigh injuries and an ankle injury saw the players miss significant time on the sideline.  In fact, the forward has only been able to take part in 18 matches, with just 7 starts.

The player has given glimpses of his tremendous potential in a cameo against Everton last September, assisting one goal before scoring a belter.  Bailey suffered a season-ending injury but has since returned to action for the Jamaica national team where he scored in the CONCACAF Nation’s League.  It is a trend the forward intends to continue.

“Talk the same talk you did last season,” Bailey warned his critics via Instagram.

“New season incoming, I’m coming for everything they said I couldn’t achieve, mark my words.”

 

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