Newly minted women’s 100m champion, Shericka Jackson, believes something special could be in store as she gets ready to tackle double the distance at the ongoing Jamaica National Championships.  

The Tokyo Olympics 100m bronze medallist looked in superb form as she ran away from reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah to claim the event in 10.77.  The win was the first for the talented all-around sprinter having previously claimed two 400m titles and one over 200m.

Despite being thrilled with the result the athlete was quick to admit that she was not entirely satisfied and looking for a faster time.  Jackson finished one-hundredth of a second outside her personal best.

“I’m feeling good but I’m actually a little disappointed with the time, knowing where I am at in training, but I will take it for now,” the sprinter said after the race.

With the women’s 200m set to run off on Saturday, however, Jackson has another opportunity to show just how far she has progressed, and she intends to take it.

“Something special will be in store for that event,” Jackson added.

The athlete has been one of the event's standout performers this season and clocked the third-fastest time over the distance this year with a 21.91 showing in Rome.

Newly crowned Jamaica national 100m champion Yohan Blake believes his return to the top of the local track and field podium is a lesson in perseverance.

On Friday, the 32-year-old announced his return to top form in grand fashion after stopping the clock at 9.86 seconds, finishing ahead of a field of mostly younger challengers.  The title was the athlete’s fifth overall but first since 2019.

More impressively, however, the time was the athlete’s fastest since 2012, a year when he ran a blistering 9.69 and the 9.76 to put him in the same conversations as legendary compatriot Usain Bolt.

 A devastating injury a year later, however, significantly derailed Blake’s career.  After failing to medal at any major Games since then and missing out on the final at last year’s Olympic Games, many doubted Blake could ever get back to top form.

“It just goes to show you that you should never give up on yourself,” Blake said following the event.

“Always believe in yourself, trust God, trust your coach and go for it,” he added.

“I’ve been working assiduously all season and it just came together.”

En route to the title, the 32-year-old got the better of 21-year-old Oblique Seville (9.88) and 20-year-old Ackeem Blake third in 9.93.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz secured a spot in the next round of the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship following a 2-0 win over Antigua and Barbuda on Wednesday.

Goals from Zion Scarlett and Jahmari Clarke, on either side of half-time, ensured that the team would at least finish third in Group H and condemned their Caribbean neighbours to a winless goalless campaign.

That does not mean that the Jamaicans had things all their own way, with Antigua and Barbuda showing plenty of fighting spirit, and goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke doing his best to keep the Reggae Boyz at bay.  There was very little to be done when Scarlett was given too much time in the area and spun away from the attending defender to find plenty of space to put the ball wide of a stranded Boyce-Clarke in the 41st minute.

With the Antiguans failing to find a way to get back on level terms Clarke made full points for the Jamaicans safe in the 81st minute from the penalty spot after substitute Tyler Roberts was brought down in the area by Antigua defender Dajun Barthley.  Barthley was later ejected from the game by referee Rubiel Vázquez after reviewing the VAR system.  The Jamaicans will now face Haiti on Sunday in Tegucigalpa.

 Jamaica U-20 Reggae Boyz coach Marcel Gayle expects a rapid bounce back from the team on the back of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of hosts Honduras in the Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship on Monday.

The highly one-side affair left the Jamaicans third in group H, with one game remaining against Antigua and Barbuda.  With three teams advancing from the four-team group, however, the team remains in contention to secure a place in the next round if they can secure a point against Antigua.

“We know what is expected of us, so we just want to go out there and express ourselves again.  We realise it’s a must-win situation and we are looking to go out there all guns blazing to represent the nation,” Gayle said of the upcoming fixture on Wednesday.

“Everyone is disappointed, the boys are disappointed but they are young so they will get over it…we’ll come again.  We’ll take heart from the game.  We’re still in it, so I just have to encourage the guys to come again, so, you can look forward to greater things.”

With the win Honduras moved to the top of the group with 6 points, followed by Costa Rica on 4 and Jamaica on 1.  Antigua and Barbuda are yet to secure a win.

Justin Burrowes, Sebert Walker Jr., Ryan Lue and William Knibbs form part of a 12-member Jamaica team named for the 65th Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships in the Turks & Caicos Islands from August 1 to 6.

Rocco Lopez and Owen Samuda have also been named to the team for which Aman Dhiman is the reserve player. Lue, at 15 years, is making his debut as the youngest male player while Samuda is 52.

Meanwhile, Emily Mayne, Mattea Issa, Cameron March and Winni Lau comprise the female team with Eryn Blakely named as the reserve player.  Issa at 15 years is the youngest female player on the team but has experience under her belt as this is her second time on the senior team.

The team was named after a rigorous four-day national senior trials played at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course on the first two days and Half Moon Golf Course on the final two days.  Sebert Walker Jr. topped the leaderboard for the first three days and was ahead by 11 shots at the end of day two but faltered badly and gave up the advantage to Justin Burrowes who won by a stroke on the final play.

Emily Mayne shared the lead between herself and Jodi Munn-Barrow over the four days but ended up winning by eight strokes and ending the trials on 309.

Former player Dr. Mark Newnham will serve as team manager.

The ladies will also be trying to take their first hold of the George Teale Trophy.  Last year, while not fielding a full-strength team, ended in fourth place.

A late penalty from Jahmari Clarke saw Jamaica’s U-20 Reggae Boyz secure a 1-1 come-from-behind draw and share of the points against Costa Rica in Group D of the CONCACAF Under-20 Championships, in Honduras, on Saturday.

After a scoreless first half, which saw both teams unable to take advantage of limited opportunities to find the back of the net, Dorian Rodríguez gave Costa Rica the advantage with a well-placed header in the 58th minute.

The Jamaicans missed a golden opportunity to get back on level terms when Julián González brought down livewire substitute Chad James in the area.  Duncan Mckenzie, however, missed the resulting penalty, with Costa Ria custodian Bayron Mora diving sharply to his left to stop the effort.

Los Ticos seemed destined for all three points but Andrey Salmerón’s 87th-minute shot came crashing back off the crossbar as the Jamaicans held on.  In a hefty chunk of time added on, however, Clarke was wrestled to the ground by Brandon Calderón for another penalty.  This time the forward did make use of the advantage, sending Mora the wrong way to bring the team back on level terms, only just seconds before the final whistle.

In the day’s other encounter, Cuba scored a 1-0 win over Canada in Group E.  Kevin Martín got the winning goal in the 42nd minute.

 Former Jamaica captain Nehemiah Perry believes the development of talented fast bowler O’Shane Thompson would have been aided greatly by featuring in more red-ball matches.

The fast bowler got the attention of the region and world in 2017 when he bowled with express pace at the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  Despite some promising cameos, however, Thomas has not lived up to that promise and is currently out of the Windies squad.

The player’s conditioning has also been a source of concern with the bowler looking several pounds overweight and not approaching speeds seen earlier on.  Perry believes, however, that a part of the problem was the player’s introduction in the shortest format.

“When I saw O’Shane and he was bowling real quick, yes there were some inconsistencies in his delivery but when he gets right he can be very lethal,” Perry told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“I said to my colleagues in the Caribbean and Jamaica, we need to play O’Shane Thomas in four-day cricket. He needs to play the long version of the game, he needs to learn how to bowl.  Learn the art of bowling.

“If you blood someone in T20 cricket where all they have to do is bowl short, not sure were you going to land the delivery.  If you play four-day cricket and you are bowling 20 overs a day you are going to learn the art of bowling and bowling more consistently,” he added.

‘Your body will be stronger and you will have a better work ethic.”

Competitive boxing will return to the local sporting landscape with an event dubbed 'Fight Night on Olympic Way' scheduled for this Saturday at 7:00 pm when the Sugar Knockout Boxing Gym will come alive at the Cling Cling Oval in Olympic Gardens. 

The well-stocked fight card includes amateurs, females, and a professional match-up.  

The Sugar Knockout Gym was also launched at its newest location - the Cling Cling football Oval, home of former Reggae Boy, Ian Pepe Goodison, who is president of the football club and supported the boxing gym taking up residency on the top floor of the clubhouse. 

former boxer Lindel Wallace started the gym in 2008 as a way to give back to the young people in his community. 

"I was a boxer.  I trained at Tinson Pen first then Archmore, then I left from Archmore to go to Liberty Hall on King Street, then I left from Liberty Hall when Liberty Hall was destroyed and went to Race Course at Guinness Gym. Boxing is my life and what I love," Wallace said. 

“Well, I boxed for a couple of years before turning professional.  I love boxing so much that when I was done with it, I said I have to really turn into a coach. The first guys that I trained were (Khamal) Russell, (Dwayne) Rose, and Chad Richards.  Russell came out as a champion.  Chad Richards came out as a champion," he added. 

Regarding the gym's current location, Wallace said, "I feel good about it because for a long time I was asking for a place to call home and now I have it.  I need to improve more with my fighters."  He also said that Digicel, UK-based Jamaican Shania Gordon, and the Jamaica Boxing Association provided financial support to upgrade the gym and equipment to stock it. 

Vice President of the gym Felipe Sanchez spoke about the impact he wants the gym to have on the community.

"I have been involved in boxing in Jamaica for over four years. In total, boxing has been a part of my life for over fifteen years, and coming here to the boxing gym in Suga's Knockout Gym, it’s been wonderful to see the sense of community that has been built,” Sanchez said. 

“The youth has built a sense of pride.  We don't just teach them boxing; we teach them responsibility, so for me to see them grow as persons it brings me a lot of pride. For example, we have a club captain weekly who has to make sure that the gym is clean, the lights are turned off, the water is not running, and that the gloves are all accounted for, so this will help them at the end of the day because if boxing doesn't go well, you have to fall back on something else and the perfect transferable skills that you get from boxing can help you. We want to make champions in the ring and also in life," he added.

President of the Jamaica Boxing Association Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones also shared his thoughts on the developments.

"I am very, very pleased.  Very excited.  We are encouraged by what I saw today, by what we knew would be coming, and by what we know to be coming Saturday,” he said.

“The return of the sport has been long overdue but everything in its time.  What I like most is that the card represents all levels, from the grassroots level to our elite national representative to a pro fight on the same night so the community will see boxing at a very high level.  Most importantly is the return to the sport so this is not a one-off," Jones added. 

He said that the fight card includes eight amateur bouts inclusive of one female matchup, and one pro bout between Jamaica's Headley 'Lights Out' Scott and Mexico's Israel Rojas.  Two of the boxers, one male and one female will come in from the recently launched Top Level Gym in Montego Bay.

Two of the boxers, on the Card,  Jerone Ennis, and Daniel Hylton, will represent Jamaica in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. 

"Going to the Commonwealth Games, this fight is very important to me,” said Ennis.

“This fight will basically be a prep fight.  Not expecting any competition but I have been training hard.  Just come and expect a lot of fireworks from Jerone Ennis," he added. 

 The Mayor of Kingston, His Worship Delroy Williams, Major Jenekie Rowe - boxing officer at the Jamaica Defence Force, and Christopher Samuda - President of the Jamaica Olympic Association attended the launch and endorsed the event. 

"It all started with Lindel.  He has blazed a trail and he has created champions and achievers out of our young people,” Samuda said.

“We believe that young people must have options.  Not everybody is an athlete, not everybody is a footballer or cricketer so we must give our young people options and boxing is a sport that provides a lot of opportunities," he added. 

The Amateur matchups are:

Howard Levy (80 lbs, 10 yrs) vs Alex Grant (90 lbs, 13 yrs)

Tyreek Jackson (112 lbs, 16 yrs) vs Akeem Mignot (120 lbs, 24 yrs)

Damara Bowen (120 lbs, 18 yrs) vs Sharikee Moore (124 lbs, 20 yrs)

Juezier Heron (140 lbs, 23 yrs) vs Daniel Hylton (145 lbs, 22 yrs)

Shaine Blake (156 lbs, 28 yrs) vs Mickel Bernard (155 lbs, 33 yrs)

Renaldo Beckford (175 lbs, 24 yrs) vs Jerone Ennis (175 lbs, 27 yrs)

Kirk Patrick Heron (170 lbs, 26 yrs) vs Tomere Pearson (168 lbs, 25 yrs)

Jordan Blackwood (215 lbs, 16 yrs) vs Alex Walch (210 lbs, 31 yrs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake insists the team would love to focus on solely football issues but insist on being given adequate means needed to succeed.

The custodian made a triumphant return between the sticks for the Jamaica national team and certainly did his part in ensuring the team got at least a share of the points with Mexico.  Blake had missed the two previous games after pulling out of the team ahead of the first match with Suriname, following the team’s issues with Jamaica Football Federation general secretary Dalton Wint.

 The team and the JFF have had several disputes over the last few years, most notably ahead of the World Cup qualifiers when the team went on strike.  According to the player, the team would love to focus on on-the-field issues.

“If we are going to win, we have to be put in the best position to win.  For me, leadership is very important.  No matter how good you are you need people that are going to appreciate you and set you up to win,” Blake told journalists after the match.

We are going to always demand that, and we are always going to do what we need to do to get that.  When we come here to play football and just football.  So, when we come and have to deal with issues that aren’t even necessary, it’s toxic.”

NCAA women’s 100m silver medallist Kemba Nelson is mentally preparing for the prospect of a brutal Jamaica National trials, which she must advance to secure a place at this year’s World Championships.

On Saturday, the athlete put in a strong display to finish just behind another Caribbean athlete, St Lucia’s Julien Alfred who took the event in 11.02, with Nelson clocking an identical time. 

To secure a spot in the country’s spot to the Eugene Games, the athlete knows she could have to go a good deal faster.  Typically, legendary track stars Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah have accounted for the first two spots.

Recently, however, the two have been joined the upper echelons of world sprinting by Shericka Jackson and the trio top the top three spots at last year’s Olympic Games.  If things go according to expectations, it could leave just one spot on the team up for grabs from a deep field of talented young female athletes.

“My National Trials is coming up where I will be running against way faster women,” Nelson said of the event, which will take place from June 23-26th.

“My start is good, so I just have to work on my finish and relax, to get my hips up at the bottom end and that will really help. I really hope I make the team."

Mexico star Luis Romo conceded his side are "not at the best level" after a frustrating 1-1 draw at Jamaica in the CONCACAF Nations League.

Leon Bailey opened the scoring for the hosts after just four minutes on Tuesday when he headed Shamar Nicholson's cross home.

Jamaica could have doubled their lead soon after, but Nicholson was denied by the crossbar, allowing Mexico a lifeline after a tepid start.

Mexico capitalised on that opportunity in additional time in the first half, with Romo finishing past Jamaica goalkeeper Andre Blake.

However, Gerardo Martino's side could not find a winner in the second half, leaving them a point behind leaders Jamaica, who have played a game more in their Nations League group.

With the World Cup in Qatar just five months away, Romo admitted his country have been far from their best but backed them to deliver at world football's historic tournament.

"Inside we realise that we have to overcome everything, the criticism we must take. We know that we are not at our best or maximum level, but we are very aware of what we can achieve," he told TUDN.

"A World Cup and an opportunity to make history motivates us a lot."

Mexico were somewhat fortunate to not fall behind again in the second half, with Kevin Alvarez making a goal-line clearance after the break.

El Tri arguably deserved to share the points, though, after forcing numerous saves from Blake in the final 45 minutes, and Romo believes Mexico may have even deserved to win.

"In the second half we got stuck," Romo added. "I think we deserved a bit more."

Coach Martino was left satisfied with June's internationals nevertheless.

"All the players adapted well to this training camp. It is complicated to work with 38 players, and they did well," he told reporters.

"Each match had situations that will help us analyse the future."

Mexico are not next in action until August 31, when they face Paraguay in a friendly in Atlanta.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz and Mexico were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after a feisty 1-1 draw in group A of the Concacaf Nations League Group A on Tuesday at the National Stadium.

The Mexicans began the game in an enterprising fashion and almost took the lead minutes after the kick-off.  A sweeping attacking move ended with Santiago Gimenez being brilliantly thwarted by Jamaica custodian Andre Blake who snuffed out the 2nd-minute attempt no more than four yards away from goal.

It was the Jamaicans who, however, took the lead, against the run of play, through a sweeping move of their own, punctuated in the 7th minute by a bullet-header from Leon Bailey, who was picked out in the box by Shamar Nicholson.

 Nicholson almost got on the scoresheet himself five minutes later but his towering header, after rising from a corner, crashed on to to the top of the crossbar.

After continuing to dominate the majority of the play, the visitors seemed set to end the half empty-handed but got some reward for their enterprise in time added on.

Luis Romo brought the team back on level terms after beating the Jamaican backline to a ball whipped into the area and heading past Blake just before the whistle.

In an entertaining second half, Nicholson almost restored the Jamaican's lead but saw his chip to goal cleared off the line by two Mexican defenders after successfully dinking the ball over the head of onrushing Mexican keeper Rodolfo Cota, after being played through on goal by Bailey.

The visitors, however, had plenty of attempts of their own, and Blake was kept busy, most notably diving full stretch to parry a fierce drive on goal from livewire Diego Lanez in the 68th minute.

With the result the Jamaicans remain at the top of the group on 5 points, while Mexico picks up their first point of the competition, joining Suriname on 1.

Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz have been drawn in Group H of the Concacaf U20 Championship, which will take place in Honduras later this month.

The fixture will see the team play Costa Rica on June 18, hosts Honduras on June 20, and Antigua and Barbuda on June 22 in the preliminary round.

After Group Stage play the top three teams in each of the groups will advance to the Round of 16, joining the four CMU20C Qualifiers winners (qualifiers between the lowest-ranked nations took place in November 2021).
The 16-team Knockout Stage will begin with the Round of 16 (June 25-26), followed by the Quarterfinals (June 29), Semifinals (July 1), and Final (July 3).

 The top four teams will qualify for the FIFA Men’s U-20 World Cup in Indonesia in 2023.   Jamaica qualified for the FIFA World U20 Championship in 2001.

 

Jamaica U-20 squad

  1. RICARDO WATSON
  2. CONIAH BOYCE-CLARKE
  3. LUKE BAILEY BADLEY-MORGAN
  4. JADON ANDERSON
  5. DEXTER LEMBIKISA
  6. ROMAIN BLAKE
  7. TARICK XIMINES
  8. LAMONTH ROCHESTER
  9. LUIS WATSON
  10. MALACHI DOUGLAS
  11. ALEXANDER BICKNELL
  12. DUNCAN MCKENZIE
  13. CHRISTOPHER PEARSON
  14. KOBI THOMAS
  15. DEVONTE CAMPBELL
  16. TYLER ROBERTS
  17. JEMONE BARCLAY
  18. CHAD JAMES
  19. JAHMARI CLARKE
  20. ZION SCARLETT

 

First-string Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Andre Blake has returned to the team’s line-up ahead of Tuesday’s Concacaf Nation’s League fixture against Mexico at the National Stadium.

The 31-year-old shot-stopper, who has racked up 68 international appearances for Jamaica, pulled out of the team suddenly ahead of last week’s fixture against Suriname.  The goalkeeper also missed the second-leg match between the teams earlier this week. 

The custodian reportedly suffered an undisclosed injury but unconfirmed reports also suggest the issue also stemmed from the team’s issues with former JFF general secretary Dalton Wint, who resigned last week.  Blake’s return to the squad will come at a good time following an injury to stand-in goalkeeper Amal Knight who deputised for Blake for both matches.

Two new players have been added to the 23-man squad ahead of the fixture, with goalkeeper Jahmali Waite and defender Jordan Scarlett joining the team.

Knight and defender Richard King have been ruled out of the match due to injury. 

The Reggae Boyz, who currently lead zone A with 4 points, after two matches, ahead of Suriname on 1.  Mexico are yet to play a match in the group.

Jamaica double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah remains convinced the correct call was made regarding the decision to change coaching camps last year.

Following the most successful year of her career, the 29-year-old made the controversial decision to part ways with the Steven Francis-led MVP track club, one of the most high-profile in international track and field.

Instead, the sprinter now trains with her husband, Derron Herah, and ahead of another big year in track and field is feeling comfortable.

“I think the change matches my aspirations and what I want this year,” Thompson-Herah told members of the media on Wednesday, ahead of the Rome Diamond League meet.

“I am definitely getting the love and support that I want for what I am working on.  Sometimes I think a change is good.  I am grown and I know what is best for my career and I’m sure I’ve chosen the right path.”

Heading into Thursday’s Diamond League showdown, over 200ms, the sprinter has won all of her races so far this season.

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