Jamaica and Domincan Republic added medals to their tally on day three of athletics action at the Pan American (Pan Am) Games in Santiago, Chile on Monday.

For Jamaica, discus throwers Samantha Hall and Fedrick Dacres, both claimed bronze in their respective events, while Dominican Republic proved too good for rivals in the 4x400m mixed relay.

Hall, who competed at the World Athletics Championships in Hungary, claimed her first medal at the senior level, with a throw of 59.14m. She placed behind the Brazilian pair of Izabela Rodrigues, who won gold with a throw of 59.63m, and Andressa Oliveira (59.29m).

Another Jamaican Adrienne Adams was eighth in the event with a best mark of 55.55m.

On the men’s side, Dacres secured Jamaica's third bronze when he launched the instrument to a mark of 61.25m. Chile’s Lucas Nervi (63.39m), and Colombia’s Mauricio Alexander Ortega (61.86m), were first and second. Kai Chang, the other Jamaican in the event, was sixth at 59.96m.

Domincan Republic added a sixth gold medal to go with their four silver and 10 bronze, with victory in the 4X400m Mixed relay final. Their quartet, which included World Champion Marileidy Paulino, won in 3:16.05, ahead of Brazil (3:18.55) and United States (3:19.41).

Elsewhere on the track, Liranyi Arislayne Alonso of Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago's Reyare Mary Thomas, clocked identical times of 11.69s for second and third in semi-final one of the women’s 100m. Both, along with winner Cecilia Tamayo (11.66s) of Mexico, secured a spot in the final.

Guyana’s Keliza Smith (11.78s) and Jamaica’s Mickaell Moodie (11.86s), who also contested that semi-final, were sixth and seventh respectively.

Jasmine Abrams of Guyana won semi-final two in 11.60s, with Brazil’s Ana De Jesus (11.64s) and Cuba’s Yarima Garcia (11.65s), in second and third respectively.

On the men's side, Guyana’s Emanuel Archibald (10.35s) and Odaine McPherson (10.37s), produced contrasting performances in semi-final one, but did enough to secure their respective spots in the final. Archibald was third and McPherson, who advanced to the final as a non-automatic qualifier, was fourth.

They joined Jose Alnardo Gonzales (10.30s) of Dominican Republic, who won ahead of Brazil's Felipe Bardi (10.33s). Hakeem Huggins of St Kitts and Nevis was seventh in 10.54s.

Jamaica's Jevaughn Whyte and Samson Colebrooke of the Bahamas were fourth and seventh in semi-final two, clocking 10.52s and 10.62s, respectively, as both failed to make the final cut.

Cuba’s Shainer Rengifo was the lone Caribbean athlete to progress from semi-final three, which he won in 10.36s.

Meanwhile, Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams secured her spot in the women’s 400m final after she place second in semi-final one in 51.82s. Chile’s Martina Weil won the event in 51.47s, with Ecuador’s Nicole Caicedo (52.32s) third.

 

Jamaica and Guatemala played to an exciting 2-2 draw on Sunday evening in Group B of League A of the Road to Women's Gold Cup at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica.

Guatemala now have four points through three matches, while Jamaica have a point after two games.

The first half was an entertaining one and it was Guatemala who struck first, finding the back of the net in the 28th through Leslie Ramirez, who collected a corner kick and lofted a shot over Jamaica goalkeeper Aliyah Morgan and into net for a 1-0 Guatemala lead.

Jamaica responded almost immediately, and Guatemala could barely settle in with their lead when the scoreboard suddenly read 1-1 in the 32nd minute as Melissa Johnson ran onto a long ball from Malikae Dayes and tucked away a left-footed finish.

Jamaica brought that momentum into the second half and turned it into their first lead of the evening, 2-1, in the 52nd when Zoe Vidaurre fired home a loose ball deep in the area after the Guatemalan defense failed to clear a corner kick.

This time, though, it was Guatemala responding to a goal and Aisha Solorzano evened the score at 2-2 in the 56th with a strong finish after a surgical pass from Ana Martinez.

In the final quarter-hour, Jamaica had a golden opportunity to notch a third goal, but Guatemala goalkeeper Alexia Estrada pulled off an amazing save in the 80th to preserve the point for her side.

Interim Reggae Girlz Head coach Xavier Gilbert is hoping his makeshift team can bounce back quickly to not only take three points off Guatemala, but more importantly, put themselves in a much better position to top the qualifying group on their way to next year’s Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup.

The Girlz, who went down 1-2 away to Panama, are currently at the foot of the three-team Group B in League A of the qualifiers, but a win against Guatemala at the National Stadium on Sunday, would see them back in contention for the coveted top spot.

This, as Panama currently lead with six points from three games, followed by Guatemala with three points from two games, while the Girlz will be contesting their second fixture to be followed by the return leg encounters on November 29 and December 3 respectively.

Sunday’s game is scheduled for 5:00pm.

“I think the ladies can bounce back, but it is going to be a tough encounter similar to what we experienced against Panama. I think the ladies are in a much better place after getting the first game out of the way and we managed to get an extra session in with everybody so that was good,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

“The spirits are high, so we just have to come out and execute. As I said before, it is going to be tough, and we are mindful that they (Guatemala) beat Panama before Panama defeated them. We know that they like to shoot from different areas, and I think offensively they are strong, so we just have to nullify their strengths,” he added.

Reflecting on the first game, Gilbert was encouraged by his team’s display for the most part, given the fact that they were pulled together only a few days prior to that game.

In fact, had it not been for an own-goal and a defensive error by Alika Keene in either half of the contest, Gilbert’s makeshift side would have pulled off a highly unexpected win.

“When you look back at the first game against Panama, they really didn’t break us down to score and unfortunately, we didn’t come away with anything because of the own-goal and defensive error. But we have Marlo Sweatman coming in for this game and with her experience in the middle of the park, I think we should give a much better performance on this occasion,” the tactician noted.

Marlo Sweatman, who didn’t make the trip to Panama, joined the team’s training session on Friday. She along with fellow 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup veteran Chinyelu Asher, are expected to do most of the work in the midfield, both from an attacking and defensive perspective.

Sweatman, 28, who currently plays professionally in Hungary, is eager to ply her part in the makeshift Girlz resurgence.

"I am very happy to be here. I have been playing attacking midfield and scoring a lot of goals, and I feel like I am in good form,” she said.

“This is a very young team, and so I will bring in a lot of experience and some leadership, especially in the midfield, as well as off the field, to help them grow as players and as people off the field as well,” Sweatman shared.

Carissa Robinson led the way with a double-double as the Lady Eagles secured a seven-point win over the Lady Panthers in Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) action at the National Stadium on Thursday.

A tense first quarter saw the Eagles close with a narrow 8-6 lead before each team seemed to get more comfortable in the second. The Eagles took that one 12-9 to lead 20-15 at halftime.

An 11-11 tie in the third quarter set up an exciting finish with the eagles taking the final stanza 9-7 to secure a 40-33 victory.

Robinson led all scorers with 17 points and an impressive 17 rebounds while also dishing out six assists.  Jovianne Donaldson had eight points, three rebounds and four steals while Asia Williams had seven points and eight rebounds.

Tissia Parker had nine points for the Panthers while Sasha Dixon had eight points, 17 rebounds, four blocks, seven steals and six assists.

The UWI Runnin Rebels secured a blowout win over the Rae Town Raptors in 2023 National Basketball League action at the National Stadium on Thursday.

The Rebels won the first quarter 14-8 before the Raptors turned things around with a 14-8 second quarter of their own to leave the teams tied at 22 going into halftime.

A strong third quarter for the Rebels, however, meant they led 39-30 going into the final quarter. Their dominance continued, winning the fourth 19-7 to complete a 59-37 victory.

Matthew McGowan led the way for the Rebels with 18 points and seven rebounds while also adding three steals and two assists. Omari Greene provided good support with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Jacquaine Freeman had 14 points.

Tijonny Forbes had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Raptors.

Action will continue on Saturday with the Raptors facing the Falmouth Saints before the Upper Room Eagles take on the Central Celtics.

Luis Mejía Oviedo of the Dominican Republic was re-elected President of Centro Caribe Sports for the period 2023-2027, during the Ordinary General Assembly of the sports organization, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, Chile on Monday.

Mejía, who was unopposed for the position was given a standing ovation which served as approval for him to continue at the helm of the organization, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2024.

Centro Caribe Sports celebrated the 24th Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador last June, and made its debut with beach sports, courtesy of the first Central American and Caribbean Beach Games in Santa Marta in November 2022.

Oviedo will be shadowed by Cuba’s Roberto Richards, Jamaica’s Christopher Samuda and María José Soto Gil of Venezuela in the three vice-president slots.

Samuda, said his accepting a vice-president role is aimed at ensuring the regional sporting body, and, by extension, the CAC Games, maintains or even enhances their prominence.
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president earned 33 votes to the six earned by his challenger Mario Alphonso Garcia de la Torre, the Secretary General of the Mexican Olympic Committee.

“I accept the second vice-presidency for Centro Caribe Sports not in a personal capacity, but in a representative role as a citizen of Jamaica, a regionalist of the Caribbean and a member of the Centro Caribe Sports family. The CAC Games is our primary asset and must be made to be an equal partner in sport development and excellence.

“For me, it will be business extraordinaire as we at Centro Caribe Sports continue to build the reputational, capital and cultural value and the currency of the apex body which is the owner and host of the oldest multi-sport regional games, the Central American and Caribbean Games,” Samuda, who is currently in Chile for the Pan-American (PanAm) Games, told SportsMax.TV.

“For me, it will be business extraordinaire in repurposing, repositioning the CAC Games as a leading model and a commercial sporting concern. It is about building an ethos that inspires the confidence of coaches and athletes and their support for the games as a calendar event. It will be business extraordinaire in just simply governing right in providing leadership as an example in the sporting fraternity,” he added.

Other sports leaders from the region that make up the new Executive Committee, includes, Colombia’s Ciro Solano Hurtado, Treasurer; Sara Rosario of Puerto Rico, Secretary General; Haiti’s Hans Larsen, First Vocal; Angel Morales of the US Virgin Islands, Second Vocal and Cyril Cameron Burke of Barbados, Third Vocal.

Felipe Vicini of the Dominican Republic will serve as a representative of the Organizing Committee for the 25th Central American and Caribbean Games in Santo Domingo in 2026.

The two vacant vocal positions will be elected in a virtual Extraordinary Assembly on a date to be confirmed in accordance with the statutes of Centro Caribe Sports, and as confirmed by the Legal Commission chaired by Samuda.

During the Ordinary General Assembly, the reports of the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023 and Santo Domingo 2026, were presented, as well as the presentation and approval for the second edition of the Central American and Caribbean Beach Games to be held in 2025 in Costa Rica.

President Mejía Oviedo confirmed that each member of the Executive Committee will chair a working commission, which were established during the first period of his leadership.

Judy Simons, former President of the Bermuda National Olympic Committee, announced her retirement from the Executive Committee and was recognised by Centro Caribe Sports with a plaque for her sterling contribution to the regional body and sport in the region.

Netballers from the Caribbean continue to face uncertainty over their immediate future, as the pay dispute in the Super Netball League shows no signs of a quick resolution.

Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler and Romelda Aiken-George, as well as Samantha Wallace of the Trinidad and Tobago, are among players in the League who have not been paid since their current collective bargaining agreement between Netball Australia and the Australian Netball Players' Association (ANPA) ran out on September 30. To make matters worse, they cannot be paid until a new deal is put in place.

According to reports, the dispute is headed to mediation with Netball Australia and ANPA unable to arrive at an amicable settlement over a revenue share model, and several players have had to turn to family and friends for financial support.

"I've heard of players who've had to move home because they can't sign rental agreements or are struggling to pay their mortgages because there is a big stand-off between what Netball Australia want to put forward and what the players and players' association want," former Australia netballer Bianca Chatfield said in a TV interview.

The feud erupted after the ANPA rejected the latest offer from Netball Australia and the eight SNL clubs, which put forward a "profit share partnership", while the players are demanding a "revenue share partnership model".

Netball Australia said it offered a base wage increase of nine per cent over three years and a maximum salary cap increase of three per cent over the same term, as well as a share in the profits generated by the League for the first time.

Officials from Netball Australia and the clubs expressed disappointment at the rejection of the offer, which they have described as "a ground-breaking collective player agreement".

Netball Australia said any further increases to player wages beyond the current offer would be irresponsible because they would negatively impact funding for community and grass roots netball.

ANPA said the players believe they have bent over backwards in a bid to reach an agreement, and they are now appealing for mediation to achieve "meaningful and fair progress".

Australia international defender Maddy Turner said it was a "super stressful" time for all players left in limbo ahead of next season, and she also showed some compassion for non-Australian players.

"When you are relying on that money to pay for rent, groceries, everything… imagine your next pay cheque doesn't come in. You're looking for other ways to earn money. I think it's really disappointing. There's no pay coming in," she said in a TV interview.

Turner said she had turned to the "bank of Mum and Dad" to pay her mortgage, while picking up extra work where she can — but not every player was that fortunate.

"There are a lot of internationals in our league and without that money coming in, it's hard for them to come over here where they can't work a second job," she said. "I think it's probably the most frustrating for them."

ANPA Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Harby-Williams argued the players were not making extraordinary demands.

"Players will never take what the game can't afford," she said in a radio interview. "It's new money we are asking for and simply 20 per cent of sponsorship, and that is all. It ensures players receive a fair share of sponsorship revenue — it's a real partnership model."

The netballers have found support from the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) after their recent fight with Cricket Australia — with the organisation creating a "fighting fund for netballers to draw on during their period of unemployment".

ACA Chief Executive Officer Todd Greenberg said the netballers' requests were "modest and affordable for the sport", and the players must be given the same partnership opportunities that has seen women's cricket in Australia thrive.

"The ACA stands with the netballers and will do so until this campaign is successful," he said.

Shamera Sterling, Latanya Wilson, Jodi-Ann Ward, Shimona Nelson, and Kadian Dehaney are the other Caribbean players that played in the SNL last season.

 

Members of Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz FIFA Women’s World Cup squad remain resolute in their latest standoff with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), as they point out that withdrawing from the upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures was a last resort to “end the cycle of mistreatment” they have endured under the Michael Ricketts-led administration.

The Girlz in a widely circulated statement released via social media on Saturday, said the decision to bypass the October international window for games against Panama and Guatemala, was difficult but necessary, given the circumstances under which they were asked to report for duty.

Those circumstances to which the Girlz refer, include the fact that interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert was appointed late Thursday, a mere four days before the team is expected to arrive in Panama for the October 25 fixture.

Gilbert has since assembled a makeshift squad for that game as well as the October 29 meeting with Guatemala at the National Stadium.

“While this has been one of the hardest decisions we have had to make, we feel it is necessary to make such a drastic stance to put an end to the constant mistreatment we receive from the Jamaica Football Federation,” the statement said.

“As always, it is an honour and a privilege to represent Jamaica. It is our job to perform to the best of our ability and put all our efforts into representing our country, making our fans (and) loved ones at home and in the diaspora proud. Due to the current circumstances the Jamaica Football Federation has put us in, we would not be able to do our job,” they added.

Aside from the alleged short notice, the Girlz again called out the JFF for its “unprofessionalism” and disorganization in the way they communicate and, by extension, manage the country’s football affairs.

This, as contrary to reports that the JFF have paid World Cup money in full between Thursday and Friday, the Girlz reveal that they are yet to receive “full and correct payments” for their historic Round of 16 run at the global showpiece, coupled with “numerous outstanding bonuses” for last year’s qualification.

“We received information about our coaching staff, medical staff and equipment staff in an untimely manner and through unprofessional communication. We got confirmation our head coach three days prior to our report date through social media, despite our efforts to have direct communication with the JFF,” they shared.

“We have dealt with this lack of communication, poor organization, poor management and delayed payments from the JFF time and time again. For these reasons, we take our stance in solidarity with hope to end this cycle of mistreatment,” the Girlz noted.

The Girlz statement came as a direct response to a JFF release on Friday which stated that they have suspend any selection of the players in question until these issues are resolved.

“The JFF is uncomfortable with the response of the players and the non-attendance of the player representatives to a scheduled meeting. The JFF is eager to clear up all the concerns that team members may have in accordance with the contracts. If there is a grievance or concern, this must be placed squarely on the table to be addressed and documented to the JFF,” the country’s governing football body’s release stated.

Having been appointed to lead Jamaica’s senior Reggae Girlz for their upcoming Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifying fixtures against Panama and Guatemala, Head coach Xavier Gilbert admits it will be a difficult task, but says he is committed to ensuring the team gives of its best.

Gilbert’s appointment, which was announced late Thursday, follows the controversial non-renewal of Lorne Donaldson’s contract, as the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy parted ways with the well-rated coach for his tendency to be outspoken.

Prior to Gilbert’s selection, the JFF had reportedly interviewed three potential candidates –two females, who were not named, and Englishman Jonathan Morgan –for the post.

However, SportsMax.TV understands that the JFF is unable to meet the salary request of the main female candidate, who is said to have led a team at the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, while Morgan, the next best choice, was ruled out after reports surfaced that he is under investigation by Sheffield United over his alleged conduct and behaviour.

As such, Gilbert, who was initially being retained as an assistant, has now been asked to take up the mantle. But, while willing to serve, he is under no illusion that his employment will be without challenges.

“It is going to be difficult, but the expectation is to try and get a result out of the two games to put the country in a good position to qualify for the Gold Cup,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV shortly after the announcement.

“We just have to be smart about our play and give it our best shot. It is very short to get the players in and the turnaround time is also quick for the games. So, it is going to be a lot more mental preparation than even physical, and we have to go over some tactical preparation as well,” he added.

Though the veteran coach’s appointment is for familiarity purposes, given the success he had with the Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership, uncertainty surrounds whether or not he will have a squad for the upcoming games, as well as the quality of that squad.

This as, contrary to the JFF’s release that a “squad of players has been selected” for the two games against Panama and Guatemala, SportsMax.TV has been reliably informed that all 23 members of the successful World Cup squad, are unavailable due to college and other commitments, while Cheyna Matthews has retired.

The Girlz under Donaldson’s leadership had an historic run to the round of 16 at the World Cup, after goalless results with France and Brazil, and victory over Panama in the group stage.

Uncertainty also surrounds whether or not Gilbert will have a full complement of staff to work with, as the timing of the announcement may rule out Laura Thomas and Ak Lakhani, both of whom were also assistants to Donaldson.

Efforts to contact JFF president Michael Ricketts and general secretary Dennis Chung to provide clarity proved futile, as their phones went unanswered.

The 37th-ranked Reggae Girlz are scheduled to visit Panama on October 25, before returning home to face Guatemala on October 29.

They will then host Panama on November 29 and close away to Guatemala on December 3.

Having had a fairly successful taste of Formula Four (F4) action recently, Tommi Gore has developed an insatiable hunger for more, as he hopes to chart a fruitful career on the circuit.

Gore’s passion and, by extension, unflinching desire to make it big in motorsport is of no surprise given the fact that he comes from a proud racing family that has made its mark in local and regional racing. His father Douglas ‘Hollywood’ Gore is a multiple rally and Dover champion, while his grandfather, Neil, raced at Vernamfield.

And already the young Gore has a solid platform on which he can build, having competed in the final round of the Radical Cup in the United Kingdom, and the final round of the FIA Formula 4 CEZ Championship, over the past month.

At the Radical Cup event held at the Donington Park Circuit, Gore driving for the Rob Weldon-owned Raw Motorsports team, had a series of mixed results in qualifying, but capitalised on wet conditions to not only win in the final race, but also the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award. 

“This was my first event outside of the Caribbean, and with only one other event in a similar Radical SR3, I know it was going to be difficult to adapt to this new track. But I saw the rain as an opportunity on the final day because I have always been confident in the rain even though I had never driven a Radical in the rain prior.

“So, it was an amazing experience and also great to place my stamp on the international scene and show the world that Jamaicans can be competitive in any genre of any sport that we are passionate about,” Gore told SportsMax.TV.

That performance was followed by the Formula 4 opportunity and while the call for Gore to journey to Hungary came at the last minute, the budding driver knew it was a no-brainer.

“Needless to say, I immediately booked the flight, called sponsors and emailed my professors to advise them that I would miss class,” Gore shared.

For Gore, it was the big break he had longed for, and as fate would have it, he performed beyond expectations.

The 18-year-old placed third in the second race of the weekend, as he staved off the challenge of champion Ethan Ischer and claimed the final podium spot. He also topped the Rookie class in each of his qualifying races and was later named top rookie for the weekend.

“Prior to that weekend I had never even sat in a Formula car let alone drive one, so the Jenzer Motorsport Team’s expectations were very low going in. But by qualifying, I was in the top four and was able to fight for a podium. I finished fourth overall in races one and three to finish out a very solid performance,” Gore shared.

“This was a jaw dropping opportunity, the professionalism of the team and preciseness needed to be on pace with the front runners was beyond imaginable; to only be two tenths of a second off the fastest lap by the final race was applauded by the team, especially knowing that I went up against drivers with two years in these same cars,” he added.

Though the end results were on point for the most part, Gore was not shy to admit that both outings in England and Hungary were mentally and physically draining.

In fact, he recalled that the last minute advise from his father, coupled with his stubborn determination to rise above challenges, as the fuel that drives his ambitions.

“Honestly, they (the races) were not easy; it was very physically and mentally challenging to be on my best performance to seize the opportunities presented. Fortunately, my dad has always been a large figure in my career, from watching his legendary battles with David Summerbell Jnr at Dover Raceway, to him giving me those last-minute tips while on the grid before a race,” Gore reasoned.

He also credits the likes of Peter Rae, Craig Lue, Collin Daley Jnr and Chris Issa for their role in moulding his career into what it is at present.

With his immense potential now clear for all to see, the jovial driver remains optimistic that he will reap the fruits of his labour in the near future.

“My personal goal is to become a paid driver for a racing team, whether that be in prototype cars such as the Radical or Formula cars such as the F4. So, I’ll keep putting in the work, showing what I can do and then let the rest sort itself out,” Gore ended.

The October window of League A of the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League is complete. Many players delivered top performances over the course of the matches, yet these 11 players stood out the most at their respective positions.

 

Goalkeeper

Yannis Clementia, Martinique

Clementia was the only goalkeeper to register back-to-back clean sheets in the window, as he made six saves and three clearances in the two games for Les Matinino.

Defenders

Leo Abena, Suriname

Abena did the job at both ends. He scored in the 4-0 win versus Grenada and had five steals and six clearances over the two games.

Jonathan Rivierez, Martinique

Rivierez was another reason why Martinique did not concede a goal during the window in their two matches. He had a jaw-dropping 14 clearances on top of four steals.

Denil Maldonado, Honduras

Honduras were desperate for an early goal to quell any nerves in their finale against Cuba, and Maldonado came through with a score in the early going. He also had a steal, two clearances and completed 94 percent of his passes.

Alvin Jones, Trinidad and Tobago

Jones has been excellent for the Soca Warriors in helping them finish in the top two in Group A, as he added another goal to his tally and made seven clearances.

Midfielders

Adalberto Carrasquilla, Panama

Carrasquilla continues to show why he is one of the best players in the Concacaf region. He had the opening goal in the 3-0 win versus Guatemala and completed 87 percent of his passes during the window.

Reon Moore, Trinidad and Tobago

Moore seemingly covered every blade of grass for Trinidad and Tobago, scoring two goals and completing 91 percent of his passes.

Luis Palma, Honduras

Palma kept opposing defenders on their toes with a team-leading 11 shots during the two games. He also had an assist in the decisive 4-0 win against Cuba.

Forwards

Edgar Barcenas, Panama

Barcenas delivered the opening goal for Panama in their 2-1 win at Curacao and added an assist and three steals for good measure in the Canaleros’ two matches.

Rangelo Janga, Curacao

Janga was superb for Curacao in October, as he accounted for three of the team’s six goals, including a brace in the 5-3 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. He also completed 100 percent of his passes. 

Demarai Gray, Jamaica

Gray showed his class in Jamaica’s two victories, scoring a goal in each game from five shots and completing 89 percent of his passes.

Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, head coach of Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls concedes that without some the team’s best players, campaigning in next month’s Fast5 World Series Netball Tournament in New Zealand next month will be challenge.

However, she believes the coaching staff will get the available players ready for what are expected to be stern tests against Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malawi and England in New Zealand.

Jamaica recently named its team for the tournament set for November 11-12 and notably absent were the experienced Shamera Sterling and Latanya Wilson, key defensive stalwarts for reigning Suncorp Super Netball champions Adelaide Thunderbirds. Also missing is Jhaniele Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, who represents the 2022 Super League champions West Coast Fever.

However, the team that will be led by New South Wales Swifts’ star shooter Romelda Aiken-George will include Adean Thomas, Gezelle Allison, Theresa Beckford, stand out U21 player Amanda Pinkney, Kimone Shaw, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland and former England U21 Rhea Dixon, the Loughborough Lightning attacking player, who recently became eligible to represent Jamaica.

Aiken-Pinnock revealed that the players have been undergoing rigorous training in preparation for the campaign.

"Fast 5 is tough,” she explained. “I have been to so many Fast 5s as a player and it’s really challenging. You’re playing five teams over two days. Even though it is a shortened version of the game, it still requires a lot more thinking. You truly have to understand what is it that you're about. You have to be ready at all times. So there is a lot that is required of you. There's no trying to feel sorry for yourself. So we're trying our best with the resources, with everything that we possibly have with the players.”

Providing some insight into how tough the sessions have been, Aiken-Pinnock drew reference to a shooter Gezelle Allison, who is returning to the national set up since giving birth to her first child mere months ago.

“Saturday morning we had a training session and literally we pushed them. We really, really pushed them a lot,” Aiken Pinnock revealed.

“I remember Gezelle, she was down on her knees and she was like “Coach” because it was really tough. They found this session to be one that was really, really tough for them. And I just had to remind them that this is exactly how you're going to be feeling when you get there. So they we have to bring them through the regime of what will be.”

Turning her attention to the absence of the defensive stars Sterling and Wilson, Aiken-Pinnock explained that after a busy schedule that included the Netball World Cup and the Suncorp Super Netball League, the players requested the time off.

"The senior girls, after the world championship they really needed the time off the rest and recover and we know how well all of them play Down Under and so they're also have to get their recovery in and going back down to their job. So we have to take all of that into consideration,” the coach explained.

"They have requested the time off from the association there's nothing we can do about that. And so for me, I try not to spend too much time thinking about that situation that because we can't fix that. So we just have to ensure that we pay close attention to the ladies who we are going to be working with and trying to get the best out of them so that they can perform and represent Jamaica.”

What this means is that the defensive players in the squad have big shoes to fill but the coach expressed confidence that they will deliver.

"So we definitely don't have any of our experienced defenders who would have gone to World Championship or any of the players who are playing Down Under. In terms of the defensive line up, definitely it's a challenge but we have to have faith in the ladies that we have and so while the time frame for preparation is also very short we are putting in as much work as we can,” she said.

“We have Kimone Shaw, she was at the World Championship in the squad of 15 as a reserve and she too went to the CAC Games. There's Teresa Beckford and Abigail Linton. So we just have to work on the confidence of these ladies and just getting them to be a bit more aware, getting them to be hungrier, getting their netball marks up and ready for what is to come.”

Linton will be playing in her first Fast 5 team but was a member of the Sunshine Girls gold-medal winning team at the CAC Games earlier this year.

Aiken-Pinnock shared her thoughts on what Dixon will bring to the Sunshine Girls line-up. The former England 21 qualifies to represent Jamaica through her grandmother with the move sanctioned by World Netball.

Aiken-Pinnock said she brings significant skills to the set up and has been working hard to achieve the required fitness standards.

"She put her hand up about expressing an interest in representing Jamaica. She has gone through interviews and that sort of thing. We have met with her, we have discussed with her. She's actually in training too at the moment. She has been in training for a little while too,” the former player turned coach revealed.

"It's an opportunity that I'm sure she's grateful for and she and she's very much excited about it. We just have to give her that platform for her to showcase her skills and wanting to represent Jamaica."

Aiken-Pinnock revealed that the Loughborough Lightning player, who is likely to be a starter, has been spent the past few weeks in the United Kingdom preparing for the competition.

“She's been training for a little while, weeks, because one of the things that we have done with her is that there's a test, a fitness test that she basically has to do on a weekly basis, just like our girls. She recorded herself doing the tests. She's in commission mode, not at the elite level in England, but I know that she's representing her university at the moment.

" She did pretty well on the fitness tests. So it's just about maintaining that consistency until she gets here to be with us, which is in a couple of days’ time. She has some experience with regards to high level competition and I'm sure that she's going to bring that same energy and effort to the Jamaica squad.”

 

Concacaf has confirmed the pairings for the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals. The four home-and-away series, scheduled for the FIFA Match Window of November 2023, will determine the four teams advancing to the Concacaf Nations League final, scheduled for March 2024, and the first four Concacaf teams that will qualify for next year's CONMEBOL Copa America to be staged in United States.

After the completion of group stage play for League A, which took place in September and October, the two top teams from each group: Panama and Trinidad and Tobago (Group A) and Jamaica and Honduras (Group B), advanced to the quarterfinals, joining the four top-ranked League A nations (based on the Concacaf Rankings of March 2023) that received a bye: Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.

The four Quarterfinal pairings are as follows: 

QF1: Costa Rica (4) vs Panama (best group winner)
QF2: Canada (3) vs Jamaica (next best group winner)
QF3: United States (2) vs Trinidad and Tobago (best runner-up)
QF4: Mexico (1) vs Honduras (next best runner-up)

After the matches played in the September and October FIFA Match Windows, the CNL League A Group Stage standing are as follows:

Group A
1. Panama (10 pts, +7 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
2. Trinidad and Tobago (9 pts, +1 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
3. Martinique (7 pts, -1 gd)
4. Guatemala (4 pts, -2 gd)
5. Curacao (3 pts, -1 gd) – relegated to League B
6. El Salvador (1 pts, -4 gd) – relegated to League B

Group B
1. Jamaica (10 pts, +5 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
2. Honduras (7 pts, +7 gd) – advances to Quarterfinals
3. Suriname (5 pts, +3 gd)
4. Cuba (5 pts, -3 gd)
5. Haiti (3 pts, -1 gd) – relegated to League B
6. Grenada (1 pts, -11 gd) – relegated to League B


The schedule for the quarterfinals is as follows, with the home team for each match listed first. As per the competition regulations, the four pre-seeded federations, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and United States, had the opportunity to decide whether they would play at home or away first.

Thursday, November 16, 2023
United States vs Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica vs Panama

Friday, November 17, 2023
Jamaica vs Canada
Honduras vs Mexico

Monday, November 20, 2023
Trinidad and Tobago vs United States
Panama vs Costa Rica

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Canada vs Jamaica
Mexico vs Honduras

After home-and-away play, the aggregate score winner in each pairing will advance to both the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League final and the CONMEBOL Copa America. The four losing quarterfinalists will still have an opportunity to qualify for next summer’s Copa America via a single-match direct elimination Play-In, where they will play for the two remaining slots for Concacaf nations. This Play-In will also take place in March 2024. 

23/24 Concacaf Nations League Finals

The third edition of the Concacaf Nations League final is scheduled to take place in March 2024. The final four, between League A's quarterfinal winners, includes semifinals, to be played on Thursday, March 21, 2024, followed by a third-place match and final on Sunday, March 24. 

To determine the semifinal pairings, the four participating nations will be ranked 1-4, according to their performance in the quarterfinals (points, and if required, goal difference), with the highest-ranked team facing the lowest-ranked team (1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3).

More details on the 23/24 Concacaf Nations League Finals and the Concacaf Copa America Play-In will be announced in due course.

Llori Sharpe, the lone Jamaican cyclist that journeyed to the Caribbean Road Cycling Championships, had much to celebrate as she returned to the island with a silver medal for her efforts.

Sharpe contested the 20km individual Time Trial, as well as the 70km at the two-day Championships in Guadeloupe where she placed sixth and second respectively.

Through an extremely hilly terrain, and the mid-afternoon temperatures, Sharpe was able to take advantage of the climbs and led a breakaway away from the pack halfway through lap number two. She was joined by one of the four home cyclists in the race and cyclist from Martinique.

The three held the pace for 5km, after which the Martinique cyclist was left behind. Both Sharpe and Clemence Briche from Guadeloupe kept widening the gap from the chasing pack from an initial 45 seconds to 90 seconds.

At the end of the three-lap event, both cyclists were comfortably ahead by 4 minutes. Sharpe completed the 70 km in 2 hours 8 minutes and 29.66 seconds, for the silver medal, just under 5 seconds behind Guadeloupe’s Briche, who won in 2 hours 8 minutes 23.89 seconds. Martinique’s Kellieanne Julus was next in 2 hours 12 minutes 42 seconds to complete the top three.

Though no Jamaican males participated in the championships, from a field of 50 male cyclists at the start of the six-lap 140km road race only 19 finished. Some faded from exhaustion, while others were pulled after being lapped.

The Jamaica Cycling Federation said it intended to have more cyclists participate at the event. However, the logistics and visa requirements for travel to Guadeloupe made things difficult.

Citizens of the Waterhouse community were treated to an exciting day of football as the SFP Pocket Rocket Foundation Community 6-a-side tournament made its return to after a three-year absence on Saturday at the Fesco Football Field.

Five-time World 100m Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who grew up in Waterhouse, is putting on the event through her Pocket Rocket Foundation.

“I’m overjoyed because we’ve been absent for three years and to be able to come back this time around to a clean field and new sponsors is such a blessing. I’m grateful for the outpour of support that we’ve had for the competition and we’re looking forward to more support,” Fraser-Pryce told SportsMax.tv.

“We know how many persons in the community have missed the competition so to be able to be back and see the joy from everybody is really wonderful,” she added.

In relation to the turnout on Saturday, Fraser-Pryce couldn’t have been more pleased.

“I feel so good. As you can see, there are so many persons here. I’m grateful to GraceKennedy for bringing the hot-dogs and vita malt because you can’t have a crowd and not have food!”

“I’ve been blessed to have seen the growth of this competition and seen the faces of the kids when they come and watch the football. Otherwise, they’d probably be pre-occupied with other things but I’m glad that I’m able to add another exciting thing to their lives,” added the three-time Olympic champion.

Fraser-Pryce also noted that this year’s competition is extra special due to 2023 being the tenth anniversary of her Pocket Rocket Foundation.

“It’s amazing! Ten years. A decade of difference. I’ve been able to do so much and invest in lives and communities across Jamaica in such a major way. We’ve been able to implement a breakfast program, we’ve given 73 student-athlete scholarships, we’ve seen these student-athletes transition from high school to college and from college to being pilots,” she said.

“It’s incredible for me to see the growth of the foundation and we’re looking forward to continue to fuel more student athletes toward their dreams. We look forward to hosting out gala on November 4 at the AC Hotel and persons who are interested in purchasing tickets can go to our website,” she added.

Petroleum giants Fesco are the title sponsors of this year’s event and they were also able to give out free cooking gas to some members of the community.

“We have established a presence here in Waterhouse and, as again we’re a proudly Jamaican company. Who can you be more proud of in Jamaica than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the Pocket Rocket Foundation,” said Fesco Managing Director, Jeremy Barnes.

“I think it’s a marriage made in heaven. Again, we’re a part of this community and we want to reach out to the residents and business community in this area. They have supported us and helped us along our journey as a company and, as such, we have decided to give back to the community,” he added.

As for the action on the field, the first game saw defending champions Legacy being beaten 1-0 by Legend while Trendsetter and Miles United played out a tense 0-0 draw in the second game.

Sunday’s matches saw Medley Mixers defeat Black Strikers 1-0 while Real City beat St. Aubyn 1-0 in the day’s second game.

Monday's games saw Ashoka beat Ballspot 2-1 while Eurotrend vs Dupont Stikers and Moscow vs Lion Den both ended in draws.

 

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