Bahamian Olympic Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo was handed a rare defeat to begin the 2022 Diamond League season after finishing behind both the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino and Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson in the women’s 400m.

At the Doha meeting, it was the Olympic silver medalist Paulino who dominated proceedings.  Running from an inside lane, the Dominican tracked Miller-Uibo well before coming off the curve with a lead.  The typically strong-finishing Miller-Uibo not only failed to make up ground on Paulino but was overtaken near the line by McPherson who nabbed second spot.

Paulino took the top spot with a time of 51.20, followed by McPherson, second in 51.69, and Miller-Uibo third in 51.84.  Barbados’ Sada Williams was next, and she finished ahead of another Jamaican, Candice McLeod.

In the meantime, the women’s 200m was won by the United States’ Gabrielle Thomas who took top spot after outbattling Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson down the stretch to stop the clock at 21.98, ahead of Jackson’s 22.07.  Great Britain’s Dina Asher was third in 22.37.

In other events, Grenadian Anderson Peters dominated the men’s javelin to take top spot with a throw of 93.07, while Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts captured the women’s long jump.

West Indies bowling great, Sir Andy Roberts was recently recognized by the Windward Islands Cricket Board (WICB) for his continued contribution to cricket development in the West Indies.

WICB President Dr Kishore Shallow presented a plaque to Sir Andy following a fruitful engagement with fast bowlers at the Windward Islands franchise. The West Indian cricket legend travelled to Grenada, home of the Volcanoes franchise, from April 27 – 30, 2022.

The franchise hosted Sir Andy to observe and help the fast bowlers as they prepare for the resumption of the West Indies regional 4-day tournament. The exchanges included discussions on the theory and art of fast bowling. International players Shermon Lewis and Preston McSween participated in the sessions.

“As we continue the efforts to zoom in on specific components of the game, this fast bowling engagement was timely and productive,” said WICB Technical Director, Miles Bascombe.

“The experience and knowledge that Sir Andy has shared with these cricketers are invaluable and will eventually bear fruits.”

WICB Vice President Dwain Gill said Sir Andy’s presence was crucial for the development of the young bowlers.

“Hosting Sir Andy aligns with the New Windwards policy of advancing our cricketers on all fronts,” he said.

“While this was primarily about developing our fast bowlers’ skills, another critical element of this activity was to allow these young players to identify with a West Indian legend and be inspired.”

The Volcanoes team travels on May 15 to Trinidad and Tobago for the final three rounds of the regional four-day tournament.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has lauded the West Indies team on their win over England in the Apex Test Series.

Following his epic unbeaten maiden Test century in Grenada on Saturday, West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua da Silva has come in for lavish praise from compatriot Brian Lara, one of the greatest batsmen of all time.

In a marathon innings lasting 257 balls, the 23-year-old da Silva scored 100 not out as the West Indies chasing England’s first innings score of 204, made 297 all out in the third and final Apex test in Grenada.

He was the sheet anchor in key partnerships of 33 with Kyle Mayers, 49 with Alzarri Joseph, 68 with Kemar Roach and 52 with Jayden Seales to help the West Indies recover from a precarious 95-6 into a position of ascendancy.

For Lara, it was a joy to watch.

“The discipline and mental strength this young man showed was admirable. The partnerships with the lower order to get us into this winning position is what Test cricket is all about,” said Lara, who is currently in India as the batting coach for IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The man who scored a mammoth 11953 runs from 131 Tests for the West Indies also lavished praise for da Silva’s teammates as well.

“It will be remiss of me not to congratulate all the batters and bowlers that fought throughout the series culminating into this on the brink of a series win against England. I salute the captain for his tenacity throughout the series with the bat and his leadership,” said the proud West Indies icon.

“To all players and staff, I commend you and at the same time urge you to continue working on having the appetite to go out there on the battlefield for all five days of a Test match giving your all each and every single time you don the burgundy cap. At the end, you will lose some, draw some and win a lot more but more importantly, you will understand what Test cricket is all about.”

At the time of publication, the West Indies were chasing 28 runs for victory after bowling England out for 120 on Sunday.

Kyle Mayers took a career-best  5-18, Kemar Roach 2-10 while there was a wicket each for Jayden Seales and Alzarri Joseph.

As was the case after the first Test in Antigua, Cricket West Indies selectors have opted to leave the squad unchanged for the third and final Apex Test beginning on Thursday at the Grenada National Stadium.

The three-match Apex Series is level 0-0 following a draws in the first Apex Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and the second Apex Test at Kensington Oval in Barbados, which ended on Sunday.

According to Lead Selector Desmond Haynes, the team showed their fighting spirit in the just-concluded Test in Barbados.

“We were very impressed with the captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, showing the fight in both innings and the way he led from the front with the bat,” Haynes said.

“Also, Jermaine Blackwood, and the way he played in the first innings to get a century. They batted very well together. We really appreciated the fighting spirit from the batting department. We decided to stick with the same squad and want to see them continue to give a big effort in the third Apex Test match.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite was named Player-of-the-Match in the second Apex Test. He scored an outstanding 160 in the first innings – his 10th Test century and his first on home soil, and then 56 not out in the second innings on the final day.

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Girls defeated Grenada 6-1 to secure their second win from as many starts in Concacaf Women World Cup qualifying action at the Kirani James Stadium on Sunday.

Reggae Girlz and Manchester City forward Khadijah Shaw has expressed confidence ahead of the team’s match-up against Bermuda in the opening match of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on Thursday.

The competition will be the official start of the team’s campaign to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Despite facing lower-ranked opposition, the team will not be kicking off its journey in ideal circumstances.

Several players who were part of the history-making World Cup squad are unavailable for the fixture due to injury or other reasons.  In addition, the team will feature a number of new players and has had limited time to work out its kinks.  The situation has given interim coach Vin Blaine plenty of pause for thought, but Shaw remains confident the squad will be capable of racking up positive results in this round.

“Football is a team sport, I trust my teammates.  There’s a reason why they are here, and the coach selected them, and I trust the coaching staff as well,” said Shaw, in assessing the situation.

“We have to just come in and understand each other as fast as possible.  It’s not ideal right now but I trust my teammates and I really do think we can get the job done despite other players not being here.”

The team will also travel away to face Grenada in the second match of the window.

 

Forty-eight hours after Andre Fletcher scored an unbeaten 101 to get Khulna Tigers into the playoffs of the Bangladesh Premier League, his unbeaten 80 was not enough to prevent them from getting knocked out, as they lost by seven runs to Chattogram Challengers.

Needing 16 from the final over bowled by Mehidy Hasan Miraz in pursuit of 190, Khulna Tigers only managed to eight runs. Miraz bowled a yorker-filled over that yielded a boundary by Fletcher and four singles before taking the wicket of Thisara Perera for three with the last ball of the match.

The Grenadian, who hit six fours and four sixes in his 58-ball knock that threatened to lead his side to another remarkable victory, got support from Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 43 from 29 balls. Together they put on 64 for the third wicket that took the score from 43-2 after Mahedi Hasan and Soumya Sarkar were dismissed for, two and one, respectively.

Fletcher and Yasir Ali then put together a stand of 65 for the fourth wicket. Yasir hit two fours and four sixes in his 24-ball 45 that took Khulna Tigers within touching distance of the target with nine balls remaining.

Miraz finished with 2-40.

Earlier, it was Chadwick Walton’s unbeaten 89 that helped Chattogram Challengers to their score of 189-5.

The Jamaican hit seven fours and seven sixes in his 44-ball knock that rescued Chattogram Challengers from a precarious 65-4 in the 10th over. Other useful contributions came from Walton’s compatriot Kennar Lewis, who opened the batting with an uncharacteristically sedate 39 from 32 balls.

Miraz scored 36 from 30 late in the innings that helped Walton take Chattogram Challengers to their winning score.

 

 

 

 

Reggae Girlz Head Coach Vin Blaine is to name his squad on Thursday that is to face Bermuda in the preliminary rounds of the Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifier on February 17 at the National Stadium in Kingston.

 Match time is 7:00 pm.

 Jamaica will have to win Group C which comprises Bermuda, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands to advance to the next round of qualifiers.

 Following the Bermuda match on February 17, Jamaica will travel to face Grenada on February 20. The remaining games against the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands will be played in April.

 The top finisher in each group will advance to the Concacaf W Championship joining the top-ranked CONCACAF nations, the USA and Canada – that have each received a bye straight to the W Championship which takes place in July 2022.

 The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has received approval to accommodate up to 2500 fully vaccinated fans in the Grand Stand of the National Stadium.

 Interested fans will have to be validated by the government’s electronic system which will open soon. Following the validation process, fans will be able to purchase tickets for J$3000.

 Those fans who were already validated by the system can simply enter and purchase a ticket.

Below are the respective groups for CONCACAF qualifiers.

Group A: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Antigua and Barbuda and Anguilla
Group B: Costa Rica, Guatemala, Saint Kitts and Nevis, US Virgin Islands, and Curacao
Group C: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Grenada and Cayman Islands
Group D: Panama, El Salvador, Barbados, Belize and Aruba
Group E: Haiti, Cuba, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the British Virgin Islands
Group F: Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Nicaragua, Dominica and Turks and Caicos Islands

The Jamaica duo of Tina Clayton and Kerrica Hill advanced to the final of the women’s 100m, in contrasting fashion, at the World Athletics U20 Championships, in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.

In semifinal 1 Clayton put on a dominant display of sprinting to easily clear the rest of the field before stopping the clock at 11.34.  Serbia’s Ivana Ilic was second in 11.50 and secured the other qualifying spot.  Romania’s Maria Mihalache was third in 11.64 but did not advance.

Hill has a much more difficult time of things in semifinal 2.  It was Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi who put away that field, claiming the top spot in 11.35.  Switzerland’s Melissa Gutschmidt was second in 11.50 and Viktória Forster third in 11.54.  Hill was third in 11.60 but still managed to advance as one of the fastest losers.

Semifinal three was won by Nigeria’s Praise Ofoku in 11.57, with Czech Republic’s Eva Kubíčková securing the second automatic qualifying spot after finishing second in 11.64.  The Bahamas’ Camille Rutherford took third spot in Trinidad and Tobago’s in 11.72, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Leah Bertrand was fourth in 11.80.

In the men’s equivalent, Cuba’s Shainer Rengifo was one of two Caribbean athletes to advance to the final, after finishing second in semifinal 3.  The event was won by Nigeria’s Godson Oke Oghenebrume who claimed first place in 10.22.  Bahamian athlete Carlos Brown was fourth.  Jamaica’s Brian Levell faced the starter for semifinal 2 but was disqualified after a false start. 

The race was won by Oman's Ali Anwar Ali AL Balushi who won the event in a new national record of 10.27.  Italy’s Matteo Melluzzo was second in 10.29, with South Africa’s Benjamin Richardson third in 10.30.  Grenada’s Nazzio John was fourth in a personal best 10.32.  John and Melluzzo secured qualifying positions as the fastest losers.

Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo was the winner of semifinal 1 in a quick 10.11, with Poland’s Oliwer Wdowik also securing a spot after finishing second in 10.37.  Jamaica’s Alicke Cranston finished last in 10.94.

Grenadian 400m bronze medallist, Kirani James, has expressed gratitude to be back on the Olympic podium, after a difficult four years, which included being diagnosed with a debilitating disease and the passing of his mother.

As a 19-year-old James, was the toast of the Caribbean after claiming 400m gold at the 2012 London Games, four years later he battled to silver behind South African Wayde van Niekerk who won the event in a blistering world record time.

Shortly after, however, the athlete’s fortunes took a drastic turn for the worst, and, in an event as brutal and as grueling as the 400m, the odds were stacked against the athlete getting a third Olympic medal in Tokyo.  He defied them anyway.

In 2017, James had found himself struggling with fatigue and weight loss.  He dropped around 20 pounds before being diagnosed with the thyroid condition known as Graves’ disease.  Just two years later, he faced perhaps even more difficult circumstances after his mother Pamela James passed away following a lengthy battle with a terminal disease.

At the 2019 World Championship James had fought his way back to competition weight but finished fifth in the final leaving many to wonder if he would ever be back amongst the elite.  Just a year later the James had to deal with the cancelation of the Olympic Games and the disruption and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.

After clocking a time of 43.88 in the semi-finals, his fastest since 2012, the athlete showed that he was doubtlessly back to his best, and, despite not crossing the line first in the final, after four years of tribulation, the bronze medal was a sweet reward for the Grenadian.

“It’s always great.  You have to give credit to all eight guys in the race, they are so, so good, so it's tough to race against them.  I’m just happy to compete against those guys and get a medal,” James said.

“I had an illness.  It’s still going on, I have to be on medication for the rest of my life.  2019 I lost my mother who was the matriarch of our family,” James added.

“I’ve had to deal with Covid, the quarantines and the lockdowns and not having a place to train and trying to figure things out.  So, it’s been a whirlwind, a roller coaster.”

James became the first man in Olympic history to win a medal in the event at three different Games.

  Women’s 4x400 Metres

 Cuba and Jamaica both advanced to the final.

The Cuban team of Zurian Hechevarria, Rose Mary Almanza, Sahily Diago and Lisneidy Veitia ran 3:24.04 to finish second in heat 1.

Junelle Bromfield, Roniesha McGregor, Janieve Russell and Stacey Ann Williams formed the Jamaican quartet that finished second in heat 2 to advance with 3:21.95.

The Bahamas quartet of Doneisha Anderson

Megan Moss, Brianne Bethel and Anthonique Strachan also competed in heat 1 but did not finish the race.

 Men’s 400 Metres

The Caribbean secured two more medals in the men’s 400 metres.

Bahamian Steven Gardiner won gold in a time of 43.85 and Grenada’s Kirani James secured bronze in 44.19.

 This is Gardiner’s second straight global gold medal after winning at the 2019 Doha World Championships.

James has now won 400 metres medals at the last three Olympics after winning gold in London in 2012 and silver in Rio 2016.

Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor was also in the final and finished sixth in a new personal best 44.79.

Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles 

Two Caribbean men advanced to the final. Jamaica’s Ronald Levy advanced after winning semi-final 1 in 13.23.

Levy’s teammate, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment, also advanced to the final after finishing second in semi-final 3 in 13.23.

Jamaica’s third participant in the semis, Damion Thomas, narrowly missed out on a place in the final after finishing third in semi-final 2 in 13.39.

Shane Brathwaite of Barbados and Eddie Lovett were the other Caribbean competitors in the discipline but both men failed to progress from the heats. 

 

Men’s 200 Metres

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer and Trinidad & Tobago’s Jereem Richards will both contest the final.

Dwyer advanced by finishing second in semi-final 1 in a time of 20.13, while Richards finished third in semi-final 2 with 20.10 to advance as one of the two fastest losers.

 

Women’s 800 Metres

Jamaica’s Natoya Goule was the Caribbean’s lone competitor in the final.

Goule attempted to go with the early pace set by outstanding American teenager Athing Mu and unfortunately faded towards the end of the race, eventually finishing eighth in 1:58.26.

The race was won by Mu in an American record of 1:55.21 and she was followed by Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson, also only 19 years old, who ran a British record 1:55.88 for silver and American Raevyn Rodgers who ran a personal best 1:56.81 for bronze.

 

Women’s 200 Metres

Elaine Thompson-Herah created history by becoming the second person to win the 100-200 double at back-to-back Olympics, the first being the great Usain Bolt who did it at three straight games from 2008-2016.

She crossed the line first in a new personal best of 21.53 to become the second-fastest woman of all time over the distance.

Namibian Christine Mboma won silver in a world junior record of 21.81 and American Gabby Thomas won bronze in 21.87.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran 21.94 to finish fourth and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, evidently saving her legs for the 400 metres, jogged home to finish 8th in 24.00.

 

Men’s Javelin

No Caribbean men advanced to the final.

Grenada’s Anderson Peters, a 2019 World Championship gold medalist, finished 15th in qualifying with a best distance of 80.42.

Trinidadian 2012 Olympic Champion, Keshorn Walcott, finished 16th in qualifying with 79.33.

Walcott was aiming to win javelin medals at three straight Olympics after winning gold in London in 2012 and bronze in Rio in 2016.

 

Women’s 400 Metres Hurdles

The running theme of spectacular 400-metre hurdling at the Tokyo Olympics continued as the women’s equivalent also saw a new world record being established.

American Sydney McLaughlin won gold in a new world record of 51.46, breaking her own previous world record of 51.90 which she set at the US trials.

Her teammate Dalilah Muhammad, the defending champion in the event, finished second in 51.58, a new personal best.

Dutch rising star Femke Bol won bronze by setting a new European record 52.03.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell finished a distant fourth but came away with an outstanding new personal best of 53.03 in the process.

 

 

 

After making their Concacaf Gold Cup return and debut respectively, Grenada and Qatar face off for the first time as Group D action resumes on Saturday night at BBVA Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Panama came from behind three times to draw with Qatar, while Honduras swept aside Grenada 4-0 in their opening CONCACAF Gold Cup matches on Tuesday.

In a tight game in Houston, six goals were scored in the second half as 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar hit the lead three times but failed to capitalise.

Panama's Rolando Blackburn levelled the game twice in a flurry of goals in the first 20 minutes after half-time, as Hassan Al Heidos put Qatar up 3-2 from the spot in the 63rd minute. Eric Davis equalised with a 79th-minute penalty.

Honduras dominated Grenada in the later game, with goals from Jerry Bengtson, Edwin Solano, Johnny Leveron and Romell Quioto.

Panama and Honduras will meet on Saturday in Houston after Grenada and Qatar face off at the same venue.

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