In June next year, the West Indies, along with the USA, will host their third senior men’s ICC tournament when the cricket world descends upon our region for the ninth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

The West Indies previously hosted the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2007 as well as the second edition of the T20 World Cup two years later.

Last week, Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago were announced as the seven Caribbean countries that will host matches along with New York, Texas and Florida in the USA.

CEO of Cricket West Indies, Johnny Grave, described the confirmation of the region as hosts as a “big landmark” in a CWI interview last week and is looking forward to inviting the rest of the world to the Caribbean.

“It’s a big landmark for us at Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the ICC because, having this confirmation now that seven of our host countries have made successful bids to host matches means that a lot of the work and detailed planning that we need to do in order to make the most of this huge opportunity to host out third men’s ICC tournament in the West Indies, and this time in partnership with our friends at USA cricket, can start,” he said.

He also went into what are the next steps in preparing for next year’s festivities.

“The next big step is to get the match schedule agreed with the ICC. We’ve got the ten hist venues. The next stage is to work through the detailed match schedule. This is the first World Cup ever to have 20 teams so it’s a big tournament to organize and there’s a small window from early June to the 30th of June when the final will take place to get all the matches in. We’ve got group stages after the warm-up games. We’ve then got the super eights stage then semi-finals and final so, once that schedule is agreed, then it’s all systems go in terms of tickets being on sale around December to coincide with us welcoming England to the region,” Grave said.

“It’s really important that we get the match schedules announced so that we can invite the world to come to the Caribbean next year,” he added.

Grave also expressed gratitude to the various Governments who put forward successful bids to host matches.

“We’re enormously grateful for the continued support we get from the Governments of the West Indies,” he said.

“All of them that put forward bids have been successful in securing matches which is great news. We’re really looking forward to some of the improvements that those Governments have put forward in their proposals to us and the ICC in terms of ensuring that they are ready for what is the pinnacle of the men’s game currently. It’s a huge opportunity for the region to use the platform of hundreds of millions of fans watching our beautiful countries and our iconic venues and we want everyone in the world to come to the Caribbean and experience what we have to offer,” he added.

While encouraging people from all over the world to make the trip, Grave also urged local fans to come out and support the regional side in their bid for a third World T20 title.

“Absolutely. We’ve seen that unique kind of atmosphere when we hosted the 2018 Women’s World T20 with big crowds in St. Lucia and Antigua when the West Indies played and I’m sure when the West Indies play next June there’ll be big crowds at all the venues,” he said.

“We want every host country to show what a welcoming and exciting place this is to watch and play cricket and it’s really important that the fans come out in their masses. The school children will be invited as part of our community engagement program so that we can show what kind of an atmosphere it is to the world,” Grave added.

 

 

 

 

Saint Lucia will look to bounce back from a late defeat to Cuba when they face Guadeloupe on Tuesday in Group B of League C of the Road to W Gold Cup at the Stade Pierre-Aliker in Fort-de-France, Guadeloupe.

In their opener last Friday, Saint Lucia looked poised to collect a hard-fought point against Cuba with the score locked at 1-1 in second half stoppage time. But Cuba struck in the waning moments to spoil things for the Saint Lucia home fans.

Freegeanne Joseph supplied the goal for Saint Lucia and would like nothing more than to add to her tally for this window.

Now, Saint Lucia will hit the road and try for a first result against a Guadeloupe side boasting a new generation of players looking to make inroads in Concacaf competition.

 

Six Caribbean ladies will line up in Thursday’s 200 metres semi-finals, following contrasting performances in their respective heats on day five of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday.

The six, a Jamaican trio of reigning champion Shericka Jackson, Kevona Davis and Natalliah Whyte will be joined by Bahamian Anthonique Strachan, St Lucian Julien Alfred and young British Virgin Islands sensation, Adaejah Hodge. Another Jamaican Ashanti Moore was the only Caribbean athlete to miss out.

Strachan, running from lane nine, got the show going in the first heat, where she was comfortable from start to finish, stopping the clock in 22.31s, ahead of Great Britain’s Daryll Neita (22.39s), with Jael Betsue (22.58s) of Spain taking the third automatic spot.

Moore, who was giving the opportunity to run the event following Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s withdrawal, found herself in a tough second heat. Though she went out hard, Moore had to settle for fifth in 23.12s, which was not good enough for one of the six non-automatic qualifying spots.

The heat was easily won by newly minted 100m champion American, Sha’Carri Richardson in 22.16s, ahead of Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who clocked a season’s best 22.26s. Olivia Fotopoulou of Cyprus clocked a new personal best 22.65s for the third spot.

Jackson, the reigning 200m champion, expectedly made light work of rivals in heat three, as she cruised to 22.51s. Singapore’s Veronica Shanti Pereira, was second in a national record 22.57s, with Jessika Gbai (22.78s) of Ivory Coast in third.

Though Hodge was fourth, her time of 22.82s, was good enough to progress as one of the non-automatic qualifiers.

St Lucia’s Alfred was tops in heat four, as she powered her way to 22.31s, ahead of Jamaica’s Whyte 22.44s, with Great Britain’s Bianca Williams (22.67s) in third.

The fifth and penultimate heat saw another young Jamaican Davis (22.49s), also booking her semi-final spot with a second-place finish behind American Gabrielle Thomas, who clocked 22.26s.

Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith justified favouritism in the final heat which she won in 22.46s.

 

You can catch live action of the 2023 World Athletic Championships by downloading the Sportsmax App.

Bahamas remains in firm control of the 27th Goodwill Swimming Championships, as they have accounted for a number of the 45 records broken so far and rightly heads both the points and medals standings heading into Sunday's final day.

With Siann Isaacs leading their record charge on Friday's opening day, the Bahamians picked up where they left off and were responsible for 14 of the 25 records broken on an action-packed second day of action at the National Aquatics Centre on Saturday.

By virtue of their exploits, Bahamas heads the combined standings with 993.5 points, almost 200 points ahead of Jamaica on 785.5, with Trinidad and Tobago (645 points) in third.

Barbados (523 points), Suriname (380.5 points), St Lucia (140.5 points) and Grenada (three points), round off the table.

On the medals card, Bahamas have so far secured 91 medals (42 gold, 28 silver and 21 bronze), ahead of Barbados (16 gold, 12 silver and 12 bronze), followed by Trinidad and Tobago (13 gold, 11 silver and 14 bronze) and Jamaica (10 gold, 21 silver and 26 bronze). Suriname (four gold, 11 silver and eight bronze) and St Lucia (two silver and three bronze) are next.

With the hype and anticipation surrounding the three-day meet, the Caribbean's young sensations were never out to disappoint and much like she did on the first day, Isaacs, who has been in impressive form, again made the first splash where the record count is concerned on Saturday.

Isaacs led a Bahamas one-three finish in the girls' 11-12 200m individual medley (IM). She won in 2:46.69 to lower the previous mark of 2:49.17 set by Kaeyn Djoparto in 2019, finishing ahead of Suriname's Elya Powdar (2:48.15) and compatriot Samirah Donaldson (2:55.00).

Suriname's Joshua Busropan accounted for the boys' 13-14 200m IM record, clocking 2:27.72 which lowered the previous best of 2:28.77 set by Curaçao's Reyan Holder in 2019. He won ahead of the Jamaican pair of Matthew Kennedy (2:29.32) and Julian Willoughby (2:30.56).

The 50m freestyle sequence offer much excitement with Kaija Eastmond of Barbados topping the girls' 9-10 event in 30.09s. That time erased the old mark of 30.28s set by Trinidad and Tobago's Keryn Burke in 2019. 

Taylen Nicolls (30.39s) of Bahamas and Aliyah Greaves (30.66s), also of Barbados, took the minor placing.

Nitayo Knowles of Bahamas also clocked a record 29.15s to win the boys' 9-10 event. He bettered Liam Carrington's previous time of 29.54s, as he turned back the challenge of Jamaican duo Noah Parker (30.69s) and Joel Sinclair (31.12s).

Christin-Alyssa Clarke (29.53s) led home Isaacs (29.93s) in a Bahamas one-two finish in the girls' 11-12 event, with Jamaica's Zuri Coke (30.02s) in third. Clarke's winning time erased the 30.23s set by Jamaica's Rebekah King in 2019.

The boys' 11-12 event also saw a record-breaking performance from Sean-Verno Dipokromo (27.31s) of Suriname. His winning time shattered the 27.83s which Guyana's Jaleel Anderson set in 2019.

Trinidad and Tobago's Shian Griffiths (28.07s) and Elliot Reid (28.22s) of Barbados, were second and third respectively. 

Renae Chung (28.24s) and Noire Hunter (28.88s) secured a one-three finish for Jamaica in the girls' 13-14 event, separated by Ayoka Martin (28.35s) of Barbados.

Jamaica's Willoughby continued the record-breaking exploits in the boys' 13-14 event when he clocked 25.83s to lower 26.11s set by another Jamaican Nyles Davis in 2019. Busropan (26.18s) of Suriname and Lenin Hamilton (26.24s) of Bahamas, were second and third.

Bahamas won the girls' 15-17 event courtesy of Lauren Bridgewater (28.64s) ahead of Trinidad and Tobago's Zahara Alexander (28.73s) and Asha Davis (29.12s) of Jamaica. 

The Bahamians celebrations intensified after the boys' 15-17 event, as Tristin Ferguson (24.35s) led a sweep with compatriots Caleb Ferguson (24.81s) and Zion Gibson (25.69s) joins him on the podium. The winning time erased the old mark of 28.54s set by Suriname's Hendrik Powdar in 2019.

From there, the swimmers moved into the 100m breaststroke sequence where a number of athletes, namely, Eastmond, Donaldson and Willoughby, among others again etched their names in the record books, before moving into the 50m butterfly sequence. 

During that quick sprint, the outstanding Bajan Eastmond again topped rivals in record time, with Clarke of Bahamas, Brandon Balfour of the twin island republic and Jamaica's captain Khiara Roomes, also getting in on the action.

And much like they started the day, Bahamas brought the curtains down on day two on a high, topping the girls' and boys' 15-17 400m freestyle relays in record times.

The team of Bridgewater, Grace Farrington, Tia-Isabella Adderley and Bianca Johnson clocked 4:17.23 in victory, smashing 4:28.13 set by Suriname in 2019. Trinidad and Tobago (4:22.95) and Jamaica (4:30.65), were second and third respectively. 

In the boys' event, the two Fergusons combined with Ayrton Moncur and Gibson to win in 3:46.09, ahead of Jamaica (3:52.91) and Trinidad and Tobago (4:01.58). Bahamas winning time lowered Trinidad and Tobago's 3:48.99 set in 2019.

The Aquatics Sports Association of Jamaica (ASAJ) will host the 27th Goodwill Swimming Championship in Kingston, at The National Aquatic Centre from Friday, August 18 - Sunday, August 20. Three hundred swimmers from the national federations of Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks and Caicos are expected to participate in the regional meet alongside hosts Jamaica.

The Goodwill Swimming Championship is a premier swim meet in the Caribbean, and it is also seen as a launching pad toward higher levels of competition.

Friday will begin with an opening ceremony starting at 4:30 pm followed by five events in the pool. The 100m freestyle will lead off the action in the water, followed by the 50m breaststroke, 100m backstroke, 4x50m mixed freestyle relay and 4x100m freestyle relay. Action will begin at 9:00 am and end at 1:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Each National Federation has a maximum of 40 swimmers - four boys and four girls in the age groups eight and under, 9 to 10, 11 to 12, 13 to 14 and 15 to 17. The member countries of the Goodwill Swimming Championship host the meet on an annual rotation basis. Trinidad and Tobago were last year’s hosts.

Patrons can expect an exciting three-day meet with fierce competition. At last year’s staging, Jamaica’s team of 25 swimmers surpassed expectations by winning 92 medals (33 gold, 37 silver, 22 bronze), setting new meet records and two age-group high point trophies.

Prior to the 26th edition, Jamaica’s highest tally was 65 medals at the 2019 staging in Suriname. The team amassed a total of 1,002 points to finish 2nd behind Trinidad and Tobago who won with 1,442 points and Barbados was 3rd with 723 points last year.

"It has been a real honour for Jamaica to have been asked to host this year's Goodwill especially when we were only ratified as a Goodwill country in 2022. I am delighted to be welcoming the various participating countries and we now wait with bated breath for the exciting competition” said Georgia Sinclair - VP Swimming ASAJ and Chairperson of Goodwill, LOC.

Jamaica’s National Swim Team Head Coach Gillian Millwood also added "The swimmers are ready to go and excited to welcome our visitors for a fun cultural exchange. It’s going to be a truly treasured Meet as over the past 5 years of our participation we’ve witnessed swimmers continuing their swimming journey. Some are headed to college in August, others are preparing for the World Junior Championship in Israel in September, while some are in El Salvador preparing for CCCAN. We are ready for more swimming!"

Jamaica's hosting the championships was made possible by the support of sponsors that include the Sports Development Foundation, Main Event, Gatorade, SportsMax, Rosh Marketing, Island Smiles, Wynlee Sportswear, Grace Kennedy, Sterling Asset Management Ltd, Everything Creative Ltd, iPrint Group, Cari-Med Group, The Herald Printers, Medical Disposable Supplies Ltd, Leo Hudson Photography, Iron Rock Insurance, Amazing Concrete Finishes Ltd, National Water Commission, National Road Operating & Construction Company Ltd, National Works Agency, Rainbow Awnings, Transport Authority, Caribbean Broilers, Scotia Insurance, Pure National Ice, Armbands Plus, Digicel and Recycling Partners of Jamaica.

St Lucia sprint queen Julien Alfred has signed with Puma, the global sports apparel company announced on Friday.

The 22-year-old Alfred, the NCAA 100m champion, has experienced a meteoric rise through the rankings over the past 18 months, having gone undefeated at 100 metres in the 2022 NCAA season, and picking up a silver medal in the same event at the Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022.

Her fine form has continued into 2023, with Alfred becoming the first woman in NCAA history to break the seven second barrier at 60 metres, and in doing so securing her spot as the all-time second fastest indoor sprinter at both 60 and 200 metres.

The seven-time NCAA Champion capped a remarkable first half to the year by taking gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador earlier this month.

“Julien is an incredible athlete, one we believe will continue to make history on the track,” said Pascal Rolling, Head of Sports Marketing at PUMA. “She is the true embodiment of forever faster and our ambition to be the fastest brand on the planet – we’re thrilled to have her join the PUMA family.”

“PUMA has such legendary status in athletics, so the decision to join their family was an easy one,” said Julien Alfred. “I feel that together we can achieve great things on and off the track.”

Now ranked in the top four at both 100 and 200 metres, Alfred will wear PUMA’s evoSPEED TOKYO NITRO track and field spikes, which offer the ultimate combination of power and propulsion thanks to PUMA’s NITRO Elite foam technology in the forefoot and a full-length Pebax plate

Alfred won her professional debut at the Diamond League meeting in Silesia on Sunday, clocking in at 9.89 to defeat the previously undefeated American Sha'Carri Richardson who ran 9.97.

Former West Indies batsman turned coach Robert Samuels has been appointed Interim Head Coach for the West Indies Women’s team for the upcoming CG United One Day International (ODI) Series and West Indies T20 International (T20I) series against Ireland in St. Lucia.

Samuels, a former Jamaica captain played six Test matches and eight ODIs in addition to 106 first-class matches and 77 List A matches. His most recent role was as an Assistant Coach with the West Indies Women team.

“Robert brings continuity and stability to get the team through this period. He has great knowledge of the players and the women’s game in general and strong knowledge of the support staff, so it’s almost a seamless transition with Robert coming in as interim head coach,” said CWI’s High Performance Manager Graeme West.

“He has his own ideas and is trying to implement them now as Interim head coach as opposed to assistant coach. He has made a good impact and start over the last few days and I’m sure it will continue throughout the series.”

Samuels will be supported by interim assistant coaches, former West Indies spin bowler, Ryan Austin and Steve Liburd, the former Leeward Islands batsman and captain. Liburd is the head coach of the West Indies Women's U19 Rising Stars.

The West Indies 18-member squad is in training camp at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia where they are preparing to face Ireland Women in the three-match CG United ODI Series which starts on Monday June 26. ​ This will be followed by the three-match T20I Series from July 4 to 8.

The matches are West Indies Women’s only home fixture in 2023. ​ The three CG United ODIs comprise West Indies’ third fixture in the ICC Women’s Championship where they are pushing to win points to achieve a top five position to qualify automatically for the ICC 2025 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

 

Match Schedule – All matches played at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St. Lucia.

CG United ODI Series:

Monday 26 June: 1st CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Wednesday 28 June: 2nd CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Saturday 1 July: 3rd CG United ODI – 3pm (2pm Jamaica Time)

 

West Indies T20I Series:

Tuesday 4 July: 1st T20I

Thursday 6 July: 2nd T20I

Saturday 8 July: 3rd T20I

 

All matches start at 5pm Eastern Caribbean Time (4pm Jamaica Time).

 

 

St Lucia’s Julien Alfred and Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent and Ackelia Smith are among the semi-finalists for the 2023 Bowerman Award.

The Bowerman is the premier award in collegiate track and field, highlighting the top athlete in the sport for both men and women. While the award isn't officially announced until December at the annual USTFCCCA convention, the Bowerman committee releases watch lists throughout the year before the award's final announcement.

Alfred, 22, has been on every watch list update, including the preseason watch list. It's the second time in her career she has been named a semi-finalist having made the list last season. Alfred dominated both the indoor and outdoor season, winning five NCAA titles, four being individual events.

The 14-time All-American completed the indoor double with wins in the 60m dash and the 200m dash where she broke the collegiate record. Her dominance continued outdoors where she defended her 100m title and went back-to-back seasons without losing a collegiate 100m race. She added an outdoor 200m title to her name with the fastest all-conditions time in NCAA history and helped the Longhorns defend their 4x100 relay title on her home track.

Alfred was also named both the Indoor and Outdoor National Women's Track Athlete of the Year honoree this season by USTFCCCA.

Nugent, a transfer from Baylor, arrived at Arkansas with lofty career best times of 7.27 (60), 7.89 (60H), 11.09 (100), 24.13 (200 indoor), 24.18 (200 outdoor), and 12.45 (100H) and proceeded to better her times in four of the five events.

Opening the season with an 8.00 victory in the 60m hurdles, Nugent bettered her career best with a 7.88 victory two weeks later.

In the SEC Indoor Championships, Nugent lowered her 60m hurdle best to 7.81 as silver medalist and her 60m best fell twice – 7.22 in the prelims and 7.20 as the bronze medalist.

Prepared to face the same elite hurdlers she raced in the conference meet during the NCAA Indoor Championships, Nugent broke the collegiate record in the semifinal with a 7.72 to top the previous record of 7.75 set by Kentucky’s Masai Russell earlier in the season.

Nugent also became the Jamaican national record holder, bettering the 7.74 by Michelle Freeman from 1998. On the world all-time list, Nugent ranks as the No. 6 performer with the No. 10 performance.

In the NCAA 60m hurdle final, a 7.73 for Nugent delivered her second gold in the event over a 7.78 for Russell. Nugent previously won the indoor title in 2021.

Outdoors, Nugent opened in the 100m hurdles with a windy 12.95 (3.9) in the Texas Relays prelims but didn’t contest the final. Russell won the final in a collegiate record of 12.36 (2.0) with LSU’s Alia Armstrong runner-up at 12.57.

Racing at the LSU Invitational, on the same venue hosting the SEC Championships two weeks later, Nugent edged out Armstrong for a 12.52 to 12.56 victory.

On the return visit to Baton Rouge for the conference meet, Nugent clocked a windy 12.49 (2.2) in the prelims and set a career best 12.43 to earn a silver medal in the final, moving to No. 6 on the all-time collegiate list.

Armstrong claimed the victory in 12.40 with Russell third at 12.47. Nugent added a fourth place in the 100 with an 11.13.

In the NCAA Outdoor final, Nugent flew down the track to earn the victory with a scintillating 12.25w (3.8), which became the collegiate all-conditions best time ever. A 12.32w for Russell claimed silver while Armstrong finished with bronze at 12.49w.

 Smith finished in the top-three spots in both the long jump and triple jump at both NCAA meets this season. She was the NCAA runner-up in the long jump and finished third in triple jump during the indoor season.

Smith dominated the long jump during the outdoor season, setting the No. 2 mark in NCAA history at the Big 12 Championships with a jump of 7.08m and went on to win the NCAA title at 6.88m. She finished as the runner-up in the triple jump at NCAA with a personal-best mark of 14.54m and became the only Longhorn, male or female, to finish in the top-two of both events at the same NCAA championships.

The Bowerman will announce the three finalists on Monday, June 26.

St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique and Guadeloupe all advanced as action got underway in Concacaf Gold Cup qualifying at the DRV PNK stadium in Fort Lauderdale on Friday.

In the first match of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Prelims, Guadeloupe defeated Antigua and Barbuda 5-0 to move within one game of reaching the Gold Cup group stage for the fifth time in their history. 

Joshua Parker had the first good chance of the game for Antigua and Barbuda in the 11th minute but was unable to keep his shot on target. After that, the first half was largely controlled by Guadeloupe. Thierry Ambrose had two thunderous shots, but both were parried away by Antigua GK Nicholas Townsend. 

The breakthrough came in the 28th minute when Steven Solvet directed a corner kick into the back of the net with a towering header. It was Les Gwada Boys’ first goal against Antigua and Barbuda since 2010, after being shut out twice during the recent Nations League B tournament.

Just seconds before halftime, Andreaw Gravillon curled a free kick around the Antigua and Barbuda wall and off the post. The ball fell right to Jordan Tell, who tapped in to double the lead to 2-0 heading into the break.

It was more of the same after halftime. Tell had another close-range effort in the 55th minute but this time Townsend made a fantastic save to keep the Benna Boys in the game. It must be said that Townsend was nothing short of exceptional this afternoon.

Mohammed Hakeem had a breakaway with a chance to pull one back for Antigua in the 63rd minute but placed his shot just a few feet wide of the near post. However, the game was put to bed soon after in the 66th minute when Steven Davidas’ nifty chip beat Townsend and made it 3-0.

Luther Archimede would add a fourth, his first international goal, in the 70th minute. Guadeloupe would see out the rest of the game for a clean sheet, and Matthias Phaeton blasted home the fifth and final goal in the 93rd minute.

Les Gwada Boys will face the winner of Guyana-Grenada on Tuesday in the second preliminary round.

The day’s second game saw Martinique move one step closer to returning to the Gold Cup group stage with a hard fought 3-1 victory over Saint Lucia.

Saint Lucia came out aggressively and threatened twice in the opening six minutes with two long balls. Andrus Remy was just barely offside on the first and Dominic Alfred-Poleon’s attempt was blocked moments after. The tone was immediately set: this would not be a League A team easily overpowering a League C one.

Martinique would draw first blood in the 18th minute. Karl Fabien received the ball just inside the penalty area and coolly finished past Saint Lucia GK Vino Barclett into the side netting by the far post.

Martinique’s Kevin Fortune had an excellent chance to make it 2-0 in the 25th minute after a lovely give-and-go with Anthony Brighton Labeau, but his first touch was just a hair too strong and he wound up putting the ball over the top of the net.

But Saint Lucia were not going to go away quietly. A looping corner kick saw the ball fall to Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, and he took his chance expertly. A blast passed out-of-position Martinique GK Yannis Clementia knotted the game all up at 1-1 in the 40th minute.

Martinique nearly re-took the lead in the 56th minute when Labeau poked a ball towards goal from close range, but Barclett made a sensational diving stop to keep things even. 

Labeau would get his goal though, on a flexible finish in the 74th minute. Enrick Reuperne’s cross was just slightly behind, but Labeau was able to stretch back and get solid contact on the ball to give Martinique a 2-1 lead.

Despite a spirited effort from Saint Lucia to equalize, Patrick Burner would seal the deal for Martinique on the other end with a third goal in the 85th minute. 

Martinique will play the winner of Puerto Rico and Suriname on Tuesday for a spot in Group C alongside Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Panama.

In the final match of the day in the 2023 Gold Cup Prelims, Saint Kitts and Nevis got two saves from GK Julani Archibald to eliminate Curacao 3-2 in a hectic penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in regulation.

The Sugar Boyz found themselves with a very early breakaway, with Jacob Hazel getting the ball behind the defense in just the third minute of play, but Curacao’s Leandro Bacuna was able to track back and run him down before Hazel could fire off a shot.

But it was Curaçao who struck first. Jurgen Locadia let loose a low strike from the top of the penalty area in the 22nd minute that just barely made it past Archibald, brushing off his fingertips but not hard enough to change trajectory. It was Locadia’s first international goal and gave Curacao a 1-0 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Sugar Boyz again came right out of the gates with a good chance. Omari Sterling-James had a very solid effort from long range in the 49th minute that Curacao GK Eloy Room was forced to parry away.

The game settled into a pattern reminiscent of the first half, with Curacao largely in control but unable to break through with any truly excellent chances. Archibald deserves plaudits for his safe hands; he caught several balls that would have been quite dangerous had he allowed a rebound.

The moment of the evening came in the 83rd minute. Tiquanny Williams cut the ball back towards the penalty spot and Tyquan Terrell rocketed it straight into the top corner of the net for a dramatic late equalizer.

At 1-1 after the 90 minutes were up, the game proceeded to a penalty shootout. Archibald saved the first kick, and Room responded with an even finer save. The two sides exchanged goals for several frames before Archibald produced another quality save in the fourth round. Terrell hit his penalty, and Leandro Bacuna put Curacao’s fifth over the bar, sending Saint Kitts and Nevis into hysteria.

Saint Kitts and Nevis will now get ready to face the winner of French Guiana and Sint Maarten for a place in the Gold Cup group stage.

 

In an exclusive interview with University of Texas Head Coach Eldrick Floreal, it has been revealed that two-time NCAA 100m champion Julien Alfred is expected to announce her decision to turn professional next week. Coach Floreal, who has played a pivotal role in Alfred's development, also shared insights into how he helped her overcome challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to become arguably the best female sprinter in NCAA history.

While the 22-year-old Alfred has not finalized any professional contracts yet, the plan is for her to remain in Austin and continue training under Coach Floreal's guidance. "Yeah, I mean that's the plan right now,” Floreal told Sportsmax.TV Wednesday.

“I mean obviously select agents and shoe company and all this stuff. But right now the plan first remains in Austin, to continue training this year, next year and beyond."

Coach Floreal further mentioned that Alfred has been meeting with various agents and shoe companies, indicating significant interest in her success. He expressed confidence that Alfred would make an official announcement next week after finalizing an agent and securing a contract.

Alfred enjoyed a spectacular season for the University of Texas indoors and outdoors, capped by her triple-gold medal performance at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas on Saturday.

Running on her home field for the last time as a student athlete, the St Lucian sprint queen ran a slightly wind-aided 10.72 (2.3m/s) to win the 100m and 21.73 (w2.5m/s) to take 200m gold barely an hour apart to lead Texas’ women to the national title for the first time in 18 years. It was the first time in NCAA history that an athlete was running the two fastest times in all conditions on the same day of a national championships.

Earlier Saturday, Alfred ran the lead-off leg of the Longhorns’ 4x100m relay team that won in a fast 41.60. Only the NCAA national, meet and facility record of 41.55 they ran 48 hours earlier, is faster.

However, once an athlete goes the professional route, there are several factors that are critical to achieving success.

Reflecting on Alfred's potential and talent, Coach Floreal acknowledged the shift that comes with transitioning to the professional level. He emphasized the importance of mindset and the ability to manage oneself as an individual athlete, as opposed to representing a university or group. Coach Floreal highlighted the need for athletes to handle the business side of the sport and likened their careers to running a corporation.

“Right now the corporation is called Julien Alfred Incorporated and I am the CEO but when they go pro the corporation is called Julien Alfred Incorporated, they become the CEO. I'm no longer responsible for all this stuff. So they have to make that adjustment," Coach Floreal explained. He emphasized that success at the professional level hinges on an athlete's ability to manage their own corporation and handle the outside pressures that come with it.

Regarding Alfred's talent, Coach Floreal acknowledged her remarkable achievements and consistent performance under pressure. He emphasized her ability to deliver exceptional performances when it matters most, distinguishing a great athlete from the rest.

While Coach Floreal acknowledged the time and maturity it took for Alfred to reach her current level, he attributed her progress to the development of her talent and her growing ability to handle the stresses of being a world-class athlete.

The conversation shifted towards Alfred's experiences during the pandemic, during which she faced anxiety due to being unable to return home. Coach Floreal played a crucial role in providing support and creating a safe space for Alfred. He shared, "So being available becomes important. I was just available, like I am for all the athletes that I coach, guiding them not just in training but also through personal challenges."

Coach Floreal emphasized the importance of building relationships and trust with his athletes, ensuring they have the confidence to overcome obstacles. He underscored his commitment to their success and the belief that he would never put their careers in jeopardy.

As Julien Alfred prepares to make her highly anticipated professional announcement, the track and field world eagerly awaits her next move. With the unwavering guidance and support of Coach Eldrick Floreal, Alfred is poised to make a significant impact in her professional career, continuing her journey to greatness.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Friday announced the match schedule and venue for the West Indies Women’s international home series against Ireland Women. The highly anticipated series will feature three CG United One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three T20 Internationals (T20Is) at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia from 26 June to 9 July.

The first two CG United ODIs will bowl off at 10am (9am Jamaica Time), with the third being a day/night game, starting at 3pm (2pm Jamaica). The three T20Is will commence at 5pm (4pm Jamaica).

The ODIs hold significant weight in this series, as they contribute crucial points to the ICC Women's Championship and the results will therefore directly impact qualification for the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2025 in India.

CWI’s High Performance Manager Graeme West said: “The Ireland Series is the only engagement in the region for the Senior Women in 2023 and its critical we maximize ‘home’ advantage in the three CG United ODIs as we continue our qualification campaign towards the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2025. The three T20Is will kick start the preparation towards the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup which the team has already qualified for.”

West added, “Ireland have shown great improvement in recent times and the game between the two sides in February at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa was a thriller. We will need to prepare well for both series with very clear game plans, the squad will get time in St Lucia prior to the first ODI to establish the key roles and focus areas that each player will be required to execute in order to play winning cricket. It’s exciting to be taking international Women’s Cricket back to St Lucia, the island is developing a number of exciting young female players and we hope the Ireland games can inspire more girls to get involved and start their own cricket journeys.”

Fans worldwide can join the excitement as all eight matches will be streamed live on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel. Furthermore, live ball-by-ball scoring will be available on the Match Centre at www.windiescricket.com, ensuring fans do not miss a single moment of the action.

Full match schedule:

All matches at Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Gros Islet, St. Lucia

Monday, 26 June: 1st CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Thursday, 29 June: 2nd CG United ODI – 10am (9am Jamaica Time)

Sunday, 2 July: 3rd CG United ODI – 3pm (2pm Jamaica Time)

Wednesday, 5 July: 1st T20I – 5pm (4pm Jamaica Time) 

Friday, 7 July: 2nd T20I – 5pm (4pm Jamaica Time)

Sunday, 9 July: 3rd T20I – 5pm (4pm Jamaica Time)

 

Carifta Under-17 Girls 100m and 200m silver medallist, Naomi London, wants to help put her country on the track & field map.

The 16-year-old St. Lucian sprinter has enjoyed an excellent season, so far, with her best results coming at the 50th Carifta Games held from April 7-9 at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The Vieux-Fort native first ran 11.72 to claim silver in the 100m, her country’s first ever sprint medal at the Caribbean junior showcase.

The Vieux-Fort Comprehensive Secondary School attendee then produced 23.72 for silver in the 200.

“I went out there to get the gold but God gave me the silver so my Carifta season went pretty well. I executed my race as planned and I got on the podium,” London said on the latest edition of In Case You Missed It hosted by Mariah Ramharack on SportsMax.TV

“It felt great that I had some competition in the race. I was competing with some of the best and I pulled through to get on that podium so, right now, I feel great about myself,” she added.

After her Carifta exploits, London said she returned home to a celebration.

“Oh my gosh! A lot of celebration happened. When I got home, everybody was around and just cheering ‘Naomi London! Naomi London!’ It was so much support. I love the fact that my community supports me no matter what I do,” she said.

Although happy with her silver medals, London expressed her desire to one day upgrade to gold.

“It would be a life-changer for me and for my country,” she said. “Gold is many, many more than silver.”

London also does well in the classroom and credits good time-management skills and sacrifice for that.

“I prioritize my work and I do have good time-management skills. After I come home from training, I will sacrifice the time to go study or do an assignment,” she said.

Her next quest on the track will be at the Commonwealth Youth Games set for August 4-11 in Trinidad & Tobago.

“One of my goals is to medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games and my second goal is to run a personal best at any meet that I attend,” London said.

To date, St. Lucia’s greatest export on the track is current University of Texas star and Commonwealth Games 100m silver medallist Julien Alfred, someone London says she looks up to.

“Julien Alfred is one of my inspirations from young. Me and her grew up in the same field in track and field. She used to run in the higher division and I used to always look out for her and we used to talk about all the races. I’m very proud of her achievements,” she said.

“I would say the success of the St Lucian athletes is making the young athletes want to do more and want to go out there to represent their country. I think track is a great sport and St Lucia has a lot of talent. We can go out there, do our best and put our country on the map,” London added.

Following her record-breaking collegiate indoor season, Julien Alfred has been named the South Central Region Female Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The 21-year-old Alfred re-wrote both the collegiate and Texas record books this season after being crowned the indoor sprints double champion with the No. 2 world all-time performances in both the 60m and the 200m.

The St. Lucia native lowered her 60m collegiate record six times this season including times of 7.05, 7.02, 7.00, 6.97, 6.95 and finally 6.94. She's the only collegian to ever run under seven seconds and did it three times this season. She followed up with a collegiate-record in the 200 with a time of 22.01 that also serves as the UT record.

Her Longhorn teammate Yusuf Bizimana was the SEC Male Track athlete after winning the 800m crown at the NCAA Championships with his personal-best time of 1:46.02.

St Lucia’s batting prodigy Theo Edward wants to break into the West Indies senior team sometime during the next few years. The 15-year-old Edward, a student at the St Lucia Sports Academy, believes Test cricket is the format that suits him best so he is working his way towards that goal.

“My ambitions for the next five years; I want to play in the U19 World Cup and then hopefully go on to play for the senior team,” said Theo, who scored four consecutive centuries for St Lucia’s U15 team during the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB) Tournament last December.

“I have a lot of patience and I like to bat long. It gives me more time to think about my decision making so I like to play the longer format.”

In a time when most young players are drawn to the T20 format, it is a refreshing proclamation from the teenager, who made his national U15 team at the age of 11, and who recently returned home from Grenada where the Windward Islands Volcanoes staged a two-week special apprenticeship programme for a few U19 players.

Theo described his stay in Grenada as being beneficial.

“It was a good experience. The standard was very high. I learnt a lot about my batting, and mentally,” he said revealing that he has made some technical improvements.

“When I am facing spin I don’t really go deep in my crease. I learned you have to go deep, back and across so you get more time to see the ball,” he said, adding that. “My head was always falling away so I learned to keep my head straight and that helped me play the ball straighter.”

Theo, who WICB President Dr Kishore Shallow has described as a special talent, began showing an interest in the sport at age nine after his father, Cassius, a bus/taxi driver, began taking him on trips while transporting some West Indies stars while they were in St Lucia.

“Everywhere I go I used to take Theo with me,” the elder Edward said. “All the big stars, and he used to hold the bat and the ball and one day he said “Daddy, I am really interested in cricket and I must be a cricketer one day. But I never thought Theo would take that thing so serious.”

How serious?

“Theo’s life is cricket. You will never come home and Theo isn’t having some cricket watching,” Cassius revealed. “He sleeps with a bat and a ball under his head every single night.”

Theo, the second of the Edward’s two children – he has an older sister Cassie – said his father has been his biggest supporter since he first picked up a bat.

“My father offers the most support to me because he is always at my training sessions, he is always at my games, always looking for gears for me,” he said.

In the past week or so, Cassius has been attending games in the St Lucia schools U19 Tournament in which Theo has been filling his boots. He scored 49 in his team’s victory against Choiseul Secondary, 94 out of a score of 173 in a losing cause to Leon Hess Secondary and on Thursday, scored an unbeaten 40 and took five wickets in a comprehensive victory over Patricia D. James Secondary.

The doting father does so with great pride even though he has sometimes taken flak from other members of the family for his unwavering support for his son’s cricketing ambitions at the expense of his academics.

“Theo’s mother and I were in trouble for him playing cricket,” he recalled.

“When Theo wrote exams for Common Entrance, he didn’t do good at all and I got bashed from my own family who said because of me Theo didn’t do good. But right now everybody is following cricket everywhere Theo goes.”

Besides his father’s support, Theo’s development is in good hands. At school he leans on the experience and wisdom of coach Garey Mauthrin, the former West Indies and Windward Islands left-hander and his staff as well as Alton Crafton, who always has Theo’s ear.

“Alton Crafton is a man who knows a lot about Theo when it comes to cricket. Theo has a lot of respect for Alton and I believe that is why Alton loves him so much because of his patience and he is very disciplined,” said Cassius, who believes his unswerving commitment to his son will one day be rewarded.

 “I am so proud. I will turn down any trip, big trip, big money to take Theo anywhere there is cricket, you know.  I am very proud now and it is about to pay me all my time.

“Theo always tells me ‘Daddy, don’t worry. All that money and all that time you spend with me I will triple that for you. Don’t worry’.”

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