Jamaican Olympian Christania Williams is making a comeback from some tough times with the hopes of getting back to her best in the near future.

The 27-year-old former Edwin Allen High School star last showed up last weekend, May 7, 2022, at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston where she produced times of 11.62 to finish third in her preliminary round heat and then ran a season-best 11.55 in the final for a sixth-place finish behind winner Shericka Jackson (11.00).

She revealed afterwards that after enduring a rough period, she is hoping to improve with each race she runs this season.

“I have been through a lot. I am happy to be here. The main focus right now is just me against me and improving in each race,” said Williams afterwards while also revealing that she is no longer a member of the Tumbleweed training group in Jacksonville, but was training elsewhere in Florida.

She declined to reveal where or with whom.

“I am not training on my own but for now I am not sharing that information,” she said.

The talented sprinter won silver medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and also won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay squad.

She ran a lifetime best of 10.96 in the 100m semi-finals in Brazil and finished eighth in the final won by Elaine Thompson-Herah. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third.

At the time she was a member of the MVP Track Club in Kingston but she eventually left for the Rana-Reider led Tumbleweed Training Group in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2020, just before the world shut down in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like most of the world’s athletes, Williams did not compete in 2020. In 2021, she ventured into a few indoor meets and had a season-best 7.14 in Fayetteville in February. Another four races followed outdoors, the last of them occurring on May 31 when she ran 11.38 at the Duvall County Challenge in Jacksonville.

April 23, 2022, almost a year later was the next time she raced; at the Tru Fit Athletic Sprint Series in Miami, Florida where she ran 11.54 for a fourth-place finish in her heat and then 11.79 for seventh in the final.

 

The Middlesex Titans scored a four-wicket win over the Surrey Risers in a low-scoring affair in their Dream 11 T10 fixture at Sabina Park on Monday.

The Risers struggled to 73-6 off their 10 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Captain and former West Indies pacer Krishmar Santokie (2-7 off two overs) and left-arm spinner Errol Thomas (2-19 off two overs) were the best bowlers for the Titans as only Delbert Gayle (23), Ricardo McIntosh (15) and current West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell (10 not out) were able to reach double figures for the Risers.

Wayne Davis (17), Brian Clarke (15) and Jamaica Scorpions all-rounder Jamie Merchant (15) then ensured the Titans successfully chased the target, reaching 74-6 off 9.4 overs.

Akim Fraser (2-10 off two overs) and Gordon Bryan (2-22 off two overs) tried their best for the Risers who finished with six points from 10 matches and will play in the fifth-place playoff on Wednesday.

The Titans moved into fourth with nine points from 10 matches and will either be in the third-place playoff or fifth-place playoff based on the results of Tuesday’s matches.

Hard-hitting opener Kennar Lewis (38) and former West Indies Under-19 representative Kirk McKenzie (31) were the main contributors as the Surrey Kings secured a 23-run victory over the Cornwall Warriors in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park on Monday.

The Kings posted 102-6 off their 10 overs after the Warriors won the toss and chose to field.

Pacer Andre McCarthy was economical for the Warriors with 1-10 off his two overs.

The Warriors' reply never got out of first gear due to intelligent bowling from the Kings, eventually culminating with them reaching 79-2 after 10 overs.

Openers Ockeeno Farquharson (35) and Paul Palmer Jr (17) top-scored for the Warriors.

Shalome Parnell (1-13 from two overs) and Kenroy Williams (1-20 from two overs) were the wicket-takers for the Kings, which moved back to the top of the table with 13 points and secured a spot in the final with their sixth win in nine matches.

The Warriors are fourth on eight points after their fifth loss in nine matches.

 

Kristen McGregor opened her 2022 season with an encouraging top-five finish at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico last weekend (April 23). The performance sets the tone for what could be an outstanding season for the fitness athlete, who is desirous of competing at the Miss Olympia competition in December. However, she can only achieve this if she can get consistent sponsor support.

McGregor, the winner of the 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur title in the Women's Figure Category, is a former national champion and CAC Champion and is arguably Jamaica’s best female fitness athlete of the modern era. However, it has been a struggle to attract consistent sponsorship support as she strives for her career goals.

“The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” lamented McGregor, who is the holder of a Bachelor's degree in Sports Science from the University of Technology (UTech).

“However, I have to give big thanks to the companies that gave their generous support such as EduCom, Geolosndo, VM Group and to the contributing supporters.

“I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body. The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

That dream has been the fuel driving McGregor's ambitions ever since she transitioned from athletics in 2017 and what sparked her singular focus during the off-season in preparation for 2022.

“It has been nothing but hard work for every show. Hard work and focus are the common denominators for every season prep. l am in the gym every day and on diet for a maximum of 16 weeks during preparation,” she revealed.

That work paid off in Mexico.

“A top-five finish is a great accomplishment, considering the progress from last year, where I also finished in the top five in Puerto Rico Pro, and in the Tampa Pro placing 4th and 11th, respectively. However, for my first show since 2022, finishing in the top five is a great place to finish because I have already started to accumulate points toward the quantifying for the Olympia Competition,” she said.

“Only second through fifth-place finishers for each contest, depending on the tier of the contest can accumulate points. All competitors will have between September 13, 2021, to November 20, 2022, to qualify whether by placement or points for the big show in December, the Olympia held in Las Vegas. That being said, the progress has been going well.”

Too well even. In fact, she worked so hard during the off-season she might have bulked up a tad much.

"Last year was a bit different from this year, as I really didn’t get a chance to train properly for my debut and my first Pro show coming out of winning the Amateur Olympia in December 2020. I contracted the COVID virus which caused me to stop training and in the time between recovery and my first show, which was the Puerto Rico Pro, I didn’t have much time to bulk so we went straight in for competition," she said.

"I figured that was the reason I was too small because I was burning muscles while in recovery. My coach, too, reassessed and ended my season after the Tampa Pro in June and we started working on bulking up from that time. I had a wonderful off-season, no injuries or sickness so I was training right through.

"I think this time around we gained good size. I was able to condition properly without burning muscles. Coming out of this show, the judges said I was perfect in shape. However, based on how the other girls came in I was too big so I have to lose a bit more and I would be okay. So yes, I am on a good path but with that, my coach has decided on reducing by about five to six pounds more for my next show on June 17-19, 2022 which is the Puerto Rico Pro."

 

 

A destructive unbeaten 39 from Andre McCarthy propelled the Surrey Kings to an easy seven-wicket win over the Middlesex United Stars in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Monday.

After winning the toss and choosing to field first, the Kings were in good form with the ball, holding the United Stars to a modest 82-6 in their 10 overs.

Jamaica Scorpions player, Alwyn Williams, was the only batsman to make a significant contribution for the Stars with 35 against 3-13 off two overs from medium-pacer Oraine Williams and 2-5 off one over from leg-spinner Kenroy Williams.

When it came time for the Kings to chase, McCarthy, batting at number four, was the chief destroyer with his 39 coming off just 12 balls including two fours and four sixes.

Opener Kennar Lewis also contributed 19 as the Kings easily chased their target reaching 83-3 off just 5.3 overs.

Left-arm quick Andel Gordon was the best bowler for the United Stars with 2-21 from his two overs.

The Surrey Kings now have five wins in five games, living up to their tag as favourites.

Off-spinner Akim Fraser held his nerve in the final over to help the Surrey Risers defeat the Middlesex Titans by four runs in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Monday.

The Risers took first strike after the Titans won the toss and elected to field first.

Delbert Gayle (35), Ricardo McIntosh (27) and captain Chadwick Walton (22) did the bulk of the scoring to help the Risers post 106-5 off their 10 overs.

Brian Buchanan (2-23 off two overs) and Errol Thomas (2-15 off two overs) were the best bowlers for the Titans.

In the Titans' turn at the crease, contributions from Sherdon Allen (33), Wayne Davis (22) and Albert Gopie (20) were not enough as they fell agonizingly short of the Risers total, finishing 102-6 off their 10 overs.

Fraser, who has 24 wickets in five first-class matches for the Jamaica Scorpions and West Indies A, was the pick of the bowlers with 3-24 from his two overs, including two wickets in the final over when the Titans needed 13 runs for victory.

He got the wicket of Jamie Merchant (2) off the second ball of the over before a six from Oshane Walters off the penultimate ball of the innings meant the Titans needed five runs from the last ball.

Fraser then dismissed Walters (8) off that final ball to seal the Risers’ second win of the tournament.

 

 

Left-arm spinner Chevonne Grant was instrumental as the Middlesex Titans secured an 18-run win over the Middlesex United Stars, via the D/L method, in their rain-affected fixture in the Dream 11 Jamaica T10 at Sabina Park in Kingston on Saturday.

After the United Stars won the toss and elected to field, they bowled well to restrict the Titans to 81-8 off their 10 overs.

Sherdon Allen (36) and Oshane Walters (10) were the only Titans batsmen to reach double figures as West Indies U-19 representative Andel Gordon led the United Stars bowling with 3-10 off his two overs.

Dwayne Hamilton also took 2-21 for the United Stars.

The Stars reply never got out of first gear as only Jamaica Scorpions all-rounder Alwyn Williams was able to get to double figures with 16.

At the time the rain came down, the United Stars were teetering at 41-7 off 7 overs. There was no further play as the match was then called off with the Stars 18 runs short of their target via the Duckworth-Lewis method.

The aforementioned Grant produced an excellent spell of bowling, taking 4-9 off his two overs.

 

Jeavor Royal and Kennar Lewis were in fine form with the bat to help the Surrey Kings defeat the Surrey Risers in their Dream 11 Jamaica T10 encounter at Sabina Park on Saturday.

After the Risers chose to field first, after winning the toss, the powerful Kings batting line-up continued their excellent form so far in the tournament by posting a formidable 139-4 off their 10 overs.

Royal, a former West Indies Under-19 player and current member of the St. Lucia Kings CPL franchise, was the chief scorer for the Kings with 45 off just 17 balls, including four fours and three sixes.

Lewis, a current member of the Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL, was also in belligerent form with an 18-ball 41, including one four and five sixes, including four in one over off left-arm wrist-spinner Dennis Bulli.

West Indies Test vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood contributed 28 while Andre McCarthy made 17.

Left-arm spinner Warren Campbell was the most economical bowler for the Risers with 1-14 off his two overs.

Despite fighting knocks from Sadique Henry (58 not out) and Delbert Gayle (40 not out), the target of 140 was just too much for the Risers as they finished 109-2 off their 10 overs, 30 runs short of the Kings.

Henry’s innings came off 37 balls and included six fours and four sixes, while Gayle’s knock came off 16 balls and included four fours and three sixes.

Andre Dennis was the pick of the Kings bowlers with 2-15 from his two overs.

 

Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange has called for private sector support for the Primary Schools Athletics Championships that return on May 26 after a two-year absence.

The minister made the appeal during Tuesday’s launch of the event at the National Stadium in Kingston, which hosted the 49th Carifta Games that concluded on Monday.

“Between May 2 and 4 we will have the Eastern Championships at Stadium East to start us off, followed by the Central Championships between May 9 and11 at the GC Foster College, then the Western Championships at STETHS between May 12 and14 culminating with the grand finale, the inaugural staging of the National Athletics Junior Championships for Boys and Girls in the National Stadium from May 26 to May 28,” the minister said in outlining the schedule for the build-up to the championships. 

 “I am making an appeal to the private sector to provide sponsorship for these Championships in the same way support is given to the ISSA Boys and Girls Championships. There will be as many as 500 participating schools and so I am inviting the private sector to come on board now with support for the primary-level event.”

The minister said the government has invested a lot in the development of sports in the country but it is unable to go it alone, hence the need for additional support for the championship that has proven to be the crucible from which so many of Jamaica’s athletic stars have emerged.

“Over time, the Government has invested millions of dollars at the primary school level in track and field and (Institute of Sports) INSPORTS can take credit for laying the foundation on which the careers of many of our outstanding athletes have been built,” she said.

“Athletes the likes of World and Olympic 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic and World 400m hurdles champion Melaine Walker, Olympic bronze medalist, Warren Weir, 2008 Olympic 100m silver and 200m bronze medalist Kerron Stewart, CARIFTA Games Under-17 200m champion and record-holder Jazeel Murphy, and 2007 World Youth 200m champion Ramone McKenzie and many others.

“More recent stand-out athletes to have competed at Primary School Champs have been Christopher Taylor, Tyreke Wilson, Raheem Chambers and Brianna Lyston. In the just-concluded CARIFTA Games, Jamaica won a record 92 medals. It begins at INSPORTS.”

 

Keyshawn Strachan of the Bahamas started the 49th Carifta Games with a bang by breaking the Boys U-20 javelin record at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Strachan, a finalist at the World Junior Championships in Nairobi last year, threw an impressive 78.89m to break the record of 78.28m set in 2016 by Grenadian 2019 World Champion Anderson Peters.

The Trinidadian pair of Anthony Diaz (63.69) and Dorian Charles (57.52) rounded out the top three.

Elsewhere in the field, Jamaica’s Danielle Noble cleared 1.73m to win the U-17 Girls high jump ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s Tenique Vincent (1.65m) and the British Virgin Islands' Jah’kyla Morton (1.60m).

Morton's BVI teammate Savianna Joseph took home the Girls U-17 shot put with 13.54m ahead of Jamaica's Nastassia Burrell (13.10m) and the Bahamas' Terrell McCoy (13.00m). 

Teams from across the region have arrived in Jamaica ahead of the 49th staging set to begin at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday, April 16.

The Games were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic but will now resume in earnest as the best junior athletes in the region pit their talents against each other over three days of intense competition with Jamaica hosting for the eighth time.

The latest teams to arrive include the Cayman Islands which has sent 29 athletes.

“We are expecting to do very well. We have some very talented runners. Some of our athletes are actually in school here in Jamaica and we’re expecting big things from them. Some of the kids are young and nervous but we will go well,” said Assistant Manager of the team, Paula Dawkins-Archbold told the Jamaica Observer.

Also arriving is the team from St. Kitts and Nevis. 'We have a team of 16 athletes-13 boys and three females and we hope to do some personal bests,” said team manager Azurdey Phillips.

The Bahamas has sent a team of 55, Trinidad and Tobago, 43 and Guyana 24. Bermuda which was to have hosted the Games in 2020 has sent a team of 20 while Barbados has sent 17 athletes.

SportsMax, the Caribbean’s premier sports and entertainment broadcaster, will broadcast the games live on its channels and Mobile App.

SportsMax will produce the CARIFTA Games and broadcast on linear TV via its many cable partners across the region and on CEEN TV outside the Caribbean and on its SportsMax and SportsMax+ channels within the SportsMax App in addition to partnering with several free-to-air entities across the region, ensuring that fans get to see their favourite athletes engage in pulsating track and field action over the Easter Weekend.

When the CARIFTA Games get underway, SportsMax, through its partnership with the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletics Association (NACAC), will ensure that the action on the track and on the field will be seen live on CNC3 in Trinidad, CBC in Barbados, CVM TV in Jamaica and Winners TV in St Lucia.

 

Professional Football Jamaica Limited (PFJL) has secured a JMD $6 million (US$38,000) club sponsorship from 876 Spring Water for the 2021-2022 Jamaica Premier League season.

With the departure of Andre Russell to the Trinbago Knight Riders for the coming Hero CPL season, Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller believes Fabian Allen is more than capable of filling in for the mercurial all-rounder.

Hero CPL announced earlier this week that TKR had signed both Russell and Nicholas Pooran for the 2022 season of the CPL that is set to run from August 30 to September 30, 2022. The two-time winners, Tallawahs signed Allen and compatriot Brandon King, who represented St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Guyana Amazon Warriors, respectively last season.

Miller, speaking with Sportsmax.TV Monday night, said while the news might have come as a shock to many, Russell’s departure was something that the Jamaica Tallawahs expected.

 “Russell, last year, made a statement that it was his last year, so I don’t think it’s shocking to us,” Miller said. “But look, he has been a gentleman. He called and said the reasons why, and this is franchise cricket, it’s a business, and as a business players have to look for out for the best for themselves and their families, so I wish Russell all the best and hopefully, we will see him back sometime in the future.”

That said, Miller addressed the king-sized hole Russell leaves behind in the Tallawahs line-up saying that fellow Jamaican, Allen, is more than capable of stepping up.

“I think Fabian Allen brings a whole lot to the dynamics of the franchise. He is a very dynamic player, fielder, bowler; he always has a good CPL and I am looking that Fabian will step in and fill that position that Russell left as a leading all-rounder and I think he is ready and he really wants to excel and we are giving him an opportunity to express himself in a big way.”

Miller explained that the Jamaica Tallawahs have also signed a number of international players that he expects will come in and bolster the team that only won four of its 10 games last season and failed to make the playoffs.

“I think when you see the combination of what we have in combination with the international players that we have signed that you will see that the Tallawahs will have a very competitive year.”

The names of the international players will be released by Hero CPL in the near future.

 

 

 

 

The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honorable Olivia Grange, has welcomed the return to ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Championships with spectators.

“In 2021, even though CHAMPS was staged, it was done behind closed doors.  This resulted in losses of $70,000,000.00.  For this year, ISSA projects that their earnings will return to pre-COVID figures despite the significant increase in inflation,” said Minister Grange in a statement issued on Monday.

She also explained how Jamaica derives significant economic benefit from what is the premier secondary school athletic championship in the world.  

“Because of the long and distinguished legacy of CHAMPS, there is a consistent increase in visitor arrival to Jamaica during the period leading up to the mega event.  While the support from high school alumni and Jamaicans in the diaspora who invest in and return to Jamaica for Champs is unquantified at this time, there is a marked stimulation in the economy which can be attributed to CHAMPS,” said Minister Grange.

“The city of Kingston, for example, benefits from an increase in occupancy of hotels, guesthouses, AIR BnB type facilities and private homes.  This is also reflected in the local retail and transportation sectors. Through CHAMPS, there is both a direct and indirect co-relation to educational and employment opportunities. We also see a lot of merchandising from the schools; there’s the broadcasting revenue, there are stage, light and sound, there are opportunities for the small peanut vendors as well,” she added.

The 2022 edition of Champs gets underway Tuesday and runs until April 9 at the National stadium.

“Welcome back CHAMPS; welcome back spectators. Let the Games begin,” said Minister Grange.

 

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

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