Reggae Boyz captain, Damion Lowe, described the team’s 1-1 draw against Serbia in Japan this morning as a step in the right direction for the team that is preparing for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year.

The improving gelding Miniature Man recorded a booming win in the Jamaica 2000 Guineas on Saturday for owner Elizabeth DaCosta as her son Jason DaCosta logged his first Classic triumph at Caymanas Park.

Ridden by Panama-born jockey Dick Cardenas, the 2-1 second favourite Miniature Man fought off Nuclear Noon’s stout homestretch challenge to win the JA$3.75 million (US$25,195) Colts and Geldings Guineas by a length and a quarter just an hour after Trainer Ian Parsard also landed his first Classic victory with She’s a Wonder in the 1000 Guineas.

For Jason DaCosta, the Guineas win honoured his late father, 18-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, who died in March.

“It means the world, this one is dedicated to Dad,” said previously US-based DaCosta, who has returned home to take charge of his father’s barn of racehorses.

“This is a special one,” he added, reflecting on a tough year for the DaCosta family. His uncle, Elizabeth DaCosta’s brother Wayne McCulloch, had also passed away the week before Wayne’s death in late March.

Hyped as the absorbing rematch of the May 8 Kingston Graded Stakes dead-heat between Miniature Man and 2020 Champion two-year-old Further and Beyond, the 2000 Guineas was contextually anticlimactic as the 3-5 favourite Further and Beyond hardly threatened and finish third.

Down the backstretch, the 9-2 bet Billy Whizz, one of five DaCosta entries in the six-horse field, set the early 23.2 and 46.3 fractions, chased by 66-1 outsider Regal and Royal and Nuclear Noon (4-1).

The pace quickened leaving the half-mile with Nuclear Noon and Regal and Royal on the heels of the front-running Billy Whizz while Miniature Man gained rapidly in fifth and Further and Beyond looked troubled about eight lengths off the lead in seventh place.

Four-time champion jockey Dane Nelson roused Further and Beyond for a rapid move into third coming off the final bend but the pair of Miniature Man and Nuclear Noon had already escaped into a clear advantage.

That duel was riveting until Miniature Man edged away in deep stretch for the win, his third in a row and fourth in nine lifetime starts. Miniature Man clocked one minute 39 and 3/5ths for the eight-furlong win.

“It was a good race. The horse on the inside (Nuclear Noon) was a tough horse but my horse never gave up,” Cardenas said after his third Jamaica 2000 Guineas victory, adding to Mark My World (2010) and Uncle Donny (2012).

Earlier, She’s a Wonder delivered a flawless win in the 1000 Guineas for Fillies, scoring by 7-1/4 lengths as the 1-2 favourite for jockey Reyan Lewis’s first Classic success.

“It feels good to win a Classic at my age and I am thankful,” the 21-year-old Lewis said.

After a brief tussle with the 99-1 shot Silver Hawk early down the backstretch, She’s a Wonder cruised into a commanding lead and used splits of 23.0 and 45.2 to enter the homestretch more than six lengths in front of the 2-1 second favourite Secret Identity and Sure Curlin (48-1). In the end, the 7-1 bet Amy the Butcher (7-1) snatched second from Secret Identity.

Owned by Henry Pratt and the trainer’s wife Karen Parsard, the unchallenged She’s a Wonder clocked 1:41 and 3/5ths while stretching her winning streak to four races.

“She is a fantastic horse to train. We knew coming in that everything was perfect,” Parsard declared after the unchallenged win.

Despite once again re-writing the record books, Jamaica sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce admits she was not expecting to clock such a fast time.

On Saturday, at the JAAA Destiny Series, in Kingston, Fraser-Pryce ran the fastest women’s 100m time since Florence Griffith-Joyner set the world record 33 years ago. 

The multiple-times Olympic and world champion stopped the clock at 10.63, moving her second on the list of the fastest times in history.  The time, which obliterated her previous national record of 10.70, is only bettered by Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49.

“I was just making sure that I had a good run before the National Championships, because I don’t have any more races before that.  I was just looking forward to putting in a solid race,” Fraser-Pryce said following the event.

“I was focused on getting my technique and everything together ahead of the national championship.  So, in terms of the 10.6, I really wasn’t expecting it to be honest and maybe that was a good thing,” she added.

Heading into her final Olympics, Fraser-Pryce had insisted that she would prioritise running fast times, having already won several gold medals.  The race was the athlete’s fourth over the distance this season, having opened with a fourth-place finish at the Diamond League meet in Gateshead.  In Doha last week, she recorded the then 3rd fastest 100m time this season after crossing the line first in 10.83.

 

 

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce recorded the second-fastest time ever clocked over the women's 100m, after registering a blistering 10.63 to destroy the field at the JAAA Olympic Destiny Series, at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The mark, which was registered in a 1.3 legal wind reading, obliterated the country’s previous national record of 10.70 that she previously shared with compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah. 

The run also moved the athlete up the world fastest list, sitting her second behind the United States’ Florence Griffith Joyner who still holds the record 10.49, which was set in 1988.  Another US athlete, Carmelita Jeter, has now dropped to third on the all-time list with her time of 10.65.

The race was only the athlete’s third 100m of the season, after opening with a fourth-place finish in Gateshead, followed by a win in Doha, where she ran the then third fastest time this season (10.84), in a pair of Diamond League events. 

Earlier this week, the athlete had claimed that prioritising fast times would be the aim this season, for what will be her final Olympic Games this summer.

Natasha Morrison, who recorded her personal best earlier this season (10.87), was second behind Fraser-Pryce with a time of 10.95, with Kashieka Cameron third with 11.39.

Despite admitting that life inside consecutive bubbles has taken a toll on him mentally, Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell has vowed to do all he can to lift the Quetta Gladiators once the Pakistan Super League T20 competition resumes on June 9.

Jamaica international and Swansea City forward, Jamal Lowe, has admitted that missing out on promotion to the English Premier League (EPL) was a major heartbreak, following a tough loss to Brentford on Saturday.

Swansea were in the automatic promotion spots for most of the season but fell away in the closing weeks.  Against Brentford, whose 2-0 secured their promotion to the topflight English football for the first time in the club’s history, it was more of the same. Ivan Toney put away a coolly struck penalty to give them the lead early on before a cool Emiliano Marcondes strike increased the lead.  Swansea perhaps, overawed by the occasion, offered no reply. To add insult to injury Jay Fulton was sent off midway through the second half.

Taking to social media, Lowe acknowledged that the loss had been difficult but insists the team’s resolve was not shaken after failure to return to the topflight.

“Been an emotional few days.  But this feeling can only fuel us for next season!  Thank you for all the support and welcoming in my first year at the club.  Recover, recharge and go again,” Lowe posted to Instagram.

Lowe scored 14 goals for Swansea this season and played in all 49 league games.

 

Briana Williams’ four races over two days last weekend was a test, one that she passed with flying colours notwithstanding a minor slip of along the way.

A 23-member Reggae Girlz squad assemble in the United States tomorrow without inspirational captain Khadijah Shaw for two upcoming international friendly games as part of the 2021 Women's National Team Summer Series hosted by the US Soccer.

The local delegation from Jamaica will depart on Thursday, June 3 out of Montego Bay at 2:20 pm.

The squad will have a camp in Houston from June 4-7 after which it will relocate to the host hotel.

Jamaica will play number 38 ranked team Nigeria on June 10 and World champions the USA on June 13. Both games will be played at the BBVA stadium in Houston, Texas. The games will be the first for the Jamaican team since they participated in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifiers in February 2020 and they will do so without their prolific striker Shaw.

Jamaica's number-nine, the leading scorer for Bordeaux in the Division 1 Féminine, the highest division of women's football in France, has reportedly asked for time to recover from what was an intense season in which the team fought successfully for a Champions League spot.

Shaw was the joint-leading scorer, alongside PSG’s Marie-Antoinette Katoto, with 21 goals for Bordeaux, which finished third in the division.

Meanwhile, five new players have been named to the squad including Rebecca Spencer of Tottenham Hotspur, Drew Spence of Chelsea, and Shania Hayles of Aston Villa as well as Mikayla Dayes of the University of Maryland and Satara of FC Austin Elite.

They will join 14 veterans who represented Jamaica at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

According to the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), once the teams arrive in Houston both for training camp as well as the tournament, they will operate under a highly controlled environment that will include testing on arrival for the camp and testing at the host hotel.

The staging of the official training and matches will fall under the comprehensive US Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in accordance with CONCACAF Return to Play Protocols. The JFF has also developed protocols for the training camp in keeping with these guidelines.

The full squad comprises Sydney Schnieder (Washington Spirit FC USA), Rebecca Spencer (Tottenham Hotspurs FC), Chantelle Swaby (Glasgow Rangers) Konya Plummer (Orlando Pride), Allyson Swaby (AS Roma), Deneisha Blackwood (Houston Dash), Havana Solaun (Carolina Courage), Chinyelu Asher (Washington Spirit FC), Olufolasade Adamamouken (University of Southern California), Drew Spence (Chelsea FC), Peyton McNamara (Ohio State University), Sashana Campbell (Petah Tikva), Tiernny Wiltshire (Maccabi Emek Hefer), Jody Brown (Florida State University), Shania Hayles (Aston Villa WFC), Gabrielle Gayle (South Alabama), Kayla McCoy (Training with Glasgow Rangers), Vyan Sampson (Charlton FC), Cheyna Matthews (Racing Louisville), Yazmeen Jamieson (Unattached) Tiffany Cameron (Ferencvaros), Mikayla Dayes (University Of Maryland), and Satara Murray (FC Austin Elite).

The pre-tournament camp which is mainly financed by the JFF has received support from the Bob Marley Foundation, the Reggae Girlz Foundation, Cool Runnings based in Houston, Arm Wave and Wisynco with its Wata brand.

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has been forced to pull out of its upcoming friendly international against Japan, as a breakdown in COVID-19 protocol communications will see the Caribbean team unable to field enough players.

The game was scheduled for Thursday, June 3rd but the majority of the team’s English-based contingent will not arrive in time for the fixture.  The issue stems from the fact the English-based players did PCR tests using the widely accepted dual method of the nostril and oral swabs, however, Japan only accepts the more complicated nasal PCR tests.

According to reports, the Japan Football Association (JSA) had not informed the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) of the specific requirement.  As a result, the six players were denied boarding in Amsterdam after they were found to not have the specific PCR coronavirus test results required for entry into Japan.

The England-based players have since returned home to do the necessary PCR test but, having rebooked, will not reach Japan until Wednesday. The members of the delegation who left Jamaica did the correct PCR test and were accepted on the flight from Houston to Japan, except for Tyreek McGee who did not board the flight to Japan for reasons yet to be conveyed.  The player, however, did have the required PCR test done. He is set to return home.

The remaining matches against Serbia, on the 7th, and the Japan Olympic team, on the 12th, will go ahead as planned.

Jamaican artistic gymnast Danusia Francis has heaped praises on the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) for providing her with funding as she fine-tunes her preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has confirmed that several players invited to be part of the national squad for the team's upcoming matches against Japan and Serbia next month.

Initially, the JFF had named a 30-man for the pair of friendlies but has since revealed that a few of the players will be unavailable for the engagement due to various reasons. 

According to the release some players had injuries, visa and documentation issues, extended club commitments, and personal reasons. The football body, however, remained hopeful of having the full team assembled in time for the Gold Cup, which will take place in July.

The team will face Japan in Sapporo, on Thursday, June 3, followed by Serbia on June 7 in Kobe and the Japan Olympic team in Nagoya on Saturday, June 12.

 

Jamaica squad

  1. Dennis Taylor
  2. Jeadine White
  3. Dillon Barnes
  4. Liam Moore
  5. Javon East
  6. Curtis Tilt
  7. Kasey Palmer
  8. Oniel Fisher
  9. Amarii Bell
  10. Luca Levee
  11. Andre Gray
  12. Tyreek Magee
  13. Blair Turgott
  14. Adrian Mariappa
  15. Kevaughn Isaacs
  16. Kemal Malcolm
  17. Jahshaun Anglin
  18. Kevon Lambert
  19. Damion Lowe
  20. Wesley Harding
  21. Devon Williams
  22. Junior Flemmings

 

2018 Jamaica national 100m champion, Tyquendo Tracey, is hoping a return home will fuel a return to top form, with the Olympic Games fast approaching on the horizon.

After a spell abroad with the Florida-based Reider Sports Performance Group, under the tutelage of head coach Rana Reider, Tracey moved back home earlier this year.  The athlete is now with the SWEPT Track Club which is overseen by Okeile Stewart.

The former Garvey Maceo High student had spent 6 years at local track club MVP prior to that but left in 2018 after a financial dispute.

On Saturday, at the JAAA Destiny Series, the athlete suffered a bit of misfortune after false starting but later clocked 10.15 in the 100m.

“I’m just looking to do the best I can do.  Honestly, right now things have been a little tricky because I recently made a serious change, and right now, I could say it’s a bit of an experiment,” Tracey said.

“Training wise it's going great, things are going good, things are really looking up and I’m really looking forward to the national trials,” he added.

The athlete admitted that he had encountered issues during his time in Florida and was happy to be back home.

“I was having a lot of issues with the previous coach, long story but I had to come home.”

Olympic 400m bronze medallist, Shericka Jackson, has admitted that it has been difficult to recover from recent setbacks but insists these days she is in a better place and in better form with the Tokyo Games just a couple of months away.

The quarter-miler certainly looked in good form on Saturday, at the second week of the JAAA Destiny Series, as she clocked a new personal best of 11.02 in the 100m, just a whisker away from breaking the 11-second barrier.

Considering that the 100m sprint is not her preferred event and the last time she attempted the distance, which was at the JAAA Qualification Trials, in March, she ended with a cramp, Jackson was delighted with the result.  The athlete’s previous best of 11.13 was recorded in 2018.

“I think at some point I lost who I was, so I had to take a step back and now I’m back.  The day that I got a cramp I almost gave up, because coming off some shin fractures from 2019 and then I came back and got a cramp, so it messed up my mind a little,” Jackson said following Saturday’s event.

“I have good people in my corner, so I’m back here and I’m happy,” she added.

“The last time I ran a competitive 100m was 2018 so to be back here and get a personal best is really exciting for me.”

 

Jamaica defender Alvas Powell is currently in training the Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union, with a possible move on the cards.

The 29-year-old had joined Sudanese club Al-Hilal Clu in December after Inter Miami CF declined to offer him a new contract.  He had previously just made four appearances for the franchise owned by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham.

According to reports, in addition to training with the unit, Powell played the second half as an unnamed trialist in a friendly last week when the Philadelphia Union 2 played against USL League Two club Real Central New Jersey.

Powell, who has also represented the Jamaica national team 49 times and scored twice, spent the majority of his career at MLS club Portland Timbers where he made 101 appearances between 2015 and 2018.  He has also had a spell at FC Cincinnati.

Powell has spent the majority of his career at right-back but he can also play centrally in the defense or in the midfield if need be.

 Reigning Olympic 100m champion, Elaine Thompson-Herah, will miss this weekend’s Doha Diamond League meet, despite being originally listed as a part of the line-up.

According to an announcement made by organisers last week, Thompson-Herah was expected to clash with compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sha’Carri Richardson, and Marie-Josee Ta over the 100m distance.

However, earlier this week, when the start list was announced the athlete’s name was nowhere to be seen.  It was a similar situation last weekend, where weeks before, many had expected the athlete to make her season debut at the Gateshead Diamond League meet against Richardson and Fraser-Pryce.

The early season, high stakes Gateshead clash was won by Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith, prior to the race Richardson had clocked the season’s fastest time with 10.72.  Thompson-Herah is the second-fastest woman in the world this year with her time of 10.78 seconds.

Fraser-Pryce, the Doha 2019 world champion, ran the 100m for the first time in Gateshead, where she finished fourth in 11.51.  Thompson-Herah, who has a best of 10.70, the same as Fraser-Pryce and Richardson (10.72) are three of the fast women in history over the distance having clocked the joint-fourth and sixth fastest times over the distance.

 

 

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