The Jamaican government has given the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) the green light for the staging of schoolboy football this season. As such, ISSA said it is now finalizing arrangements to commence the Manning Cup and DaCosta Cup on Friday, November 12 or Saturday, November 13.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman alive and a triple Olympic gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has been named among 10 women contending for World Athletics’ Female Athlete of the Year.

The 29-year-old Jamaica, who became the first woman to successfully win 100 and 200m titles at consecutive Olympic Games, stunned the world this past summer in Tokyo when she ran an Olympic record of 10.61 to win gold in the 100m and then followed up with a 21.53-second run to take a second gold medal in the 200m. The 21.53 was also a Jamaican national record and, is the second-fastest time ever by a woman in the 200m.

She added a third gold medal when she ran the second leg of Jamaica’s victorious 4x100m relay team that ran a national record of 41.02, the third-fastest in history

Following the Olympics, Thompson-Herah ran times of 10.54, 10.64 and 10.65 to win the 100m Diamond League title and which made her the first woman in history to run faster than 10.70 on four separate occasions.

 However, notwithstanding her record-breaking performances, Thompson-Herah will not have things her own way because the nine other candidates also had incredible seasons.

Valarie Allman, USA of the USA is the Olympic discus champion and Diamond League champion and set a North American discus record of 71.16m.

Puerto Rico’s Jasmine Camacho-Quinn ran unbeaten during the season winning the Olympic title with a new Olympic and National record of 12.26, equaling fourth on the world all-time list.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands won Olympic titles in the 5000m and 10,000m champion and was the silver medalist in the 1500m. She also broke the 10,000m world record during the season.

Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon is the Olympic and Diamond League 1500m champion and set the Kenyan 1500m record of 3:51.07 in Monaco.

Mariya Lasitskene won the Olympic high jump and the Diamond League and set a world-leading 2.05m.

Sydney McLaughlin of the USA set two world records in the 400m hurdles on her to win her first Olympic title in Tokyo where she also won gold as a member of the USA’s 4x400m relay team.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas won her second Olympic title in an area and national record 48.36. She joined Marie Jose Perec as the only woman to win 400m gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games.

She also set a North American Indoor 400m record of 50.21 in April.

Athing Mu of the USA won gold medals in the 800m and 4x400m relay in Tokyo. She also set a World U20 indoor 800m record and North American U20 records at 400m and 800m.

Yulimar Rojas set a new World and Olympic record of 15.67m while winning the gold medal in the triple jump in Tokyo. She was also the Diamond League champion.

A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.

The World Athletics Council and the World Athletics Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the World Athletics social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a 'like' on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.

 The World Athletics Council’s vote will count for 50 per cent of the result, while the World Athletics Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25 per cent of the final result.

 Voting for the World Athletes of the Year closes at midnight on Saturday 6 November. At the conclusion of the voting process, five women and five men finalists will be announced by World Athletics.

 The female and male World Athletes of the Year will be announced live at the World Athletics Awards 2021 in December.

Stephen Francis, coach of Jamaica-based track club MVP, has backed quarter-miler Stefenie Ann Mcpherson to recover from the disappointment of the Olympic Games and is confident she still has plenty of time to claim an individual major Games medal.

The 32-year-old runner finished just outside of the medal places in Tokyo, after being caught and passed close to the finish line by USA legend Alisson Felix who captured the final podium spot.  The race was won in dominant fashion by the Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo with second place going to the Dominica Republic’s Marileidy Paulino.

McPherson’s finishing time of 49.61 was much slower than her season-best of 49.34, which had been recorded in the event's semi-final.  The athlete collapsed violently sobbing after the event.  Francis admits that the athlete’s time in the final was a bit of a surprise but believes she is poised to recover and post exceptional performances in the upcoming season.

“It was disappointing because I thought she would have run 48 high in the 400m (Olympic final),” Francis told Sportsmax.Tv in a recent interview.

“She is, however, young enough and determined enough that she will be able to try again,” he added.

McPherson, the event’s reigning national champion, returned to training with the majority of the club’s athletes earlier this week.

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has been confirmed to be in contention to feature in the Aston Villa line-up against Arsenal on Friday, having returned to full training earlier this week.

Clarets boss Dean Smith has, however, insisted that the team will be cautious with the winger based on the fact that he was out of action for several weeks. 

Bailey, who moved to Villa Park on a transfer from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen this summer, had an impressive cameo for the club against Everton a few weeks ago, setting up one goal and scoring another.  The player was, however, forced to leave the field soon after scoring with a thigh injury.  Smith has revealed that the speedy winger has since recovered.

"Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore have both trained over the last couple of days and both will be available for the squad down at Arsenal,” Smith said in the team’s pre-match interview.

"But we have to be aware that Bailey's had a thigh injury for four weeks so we have to assess how much of a risk we take with him,” he added.

“We are building up their fitness, they will be in the squad, but we’ll have to assess where they are. They have both been out injured for a few weeks, so they are lacking minutes.”

The injury also caused Bailey to miss his national team’s previous round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

There were no surprises at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night when Jamaica demolished Trinidad and Tobago 73-22 to complete a sweep of the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series.

Jamaica discus thrower Fedrick Dacres is looking forward to bouncing back strongly in the upcoming season after an admittedly difficult 2021.

The World Athletics Championships silver medallist missed out on the final of the Men's Discus Throw, at the Olympics in Tokyo, after throwing a best mark of 62.91m.  The mark was well below his personal best of 70.78 but the thrower has struggled to get close to the distance, set two years ago, after undergoing a series of surgeries.

“This year has been my hardest year in track and field because of the whole surgery thing.  I think overall I have done overall five surgeries in six years but this was the hardest,” Dacres said.

It was really the (throwing) hand, I’ve done a few knee surgeries done surgery on the other hand but it wasn’t the main hand.  So, for me coming back this year I struggled but it is what it is,” he added.

The athlete did, however, stage a rebound of sorts after throwing 65.33 to finish in third place at the Wanda Diamond League final last month.

“I think I finished well, not too well at the Olympics, but coming third at the Diamond League isn’t so bad.  I’ll take that as I push for next year.”

Led by Jhaniele Fowler’s near-perfect shooting, Jamaica took a 2-0 lead over Trinidad and Tobago, after winning 64-32 in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, did not start as Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis chose to open with Gezelle Allison and Shanice Beckford. However, the pair of attackers were unable to sufficiently spur the Jamaican attack as the first quarter ended 12-8.

They fared slightly better in the second quarter and they extended the four-point lead to 10 to lead 24-14 at halftime.

However, once Fowler was substituted in at the start of the third quarter, the Sunshine Girls got an immediate lift and extended their lead to 22 and led 44-22 at the end of the third. Fowler would eventually score 36 goals from 38 attempts as Jamaica won by 32.

Allison finished with 13 goals from 20 attempts while Shanice Beckford scored 12 from 14.

Afisha Noel led the scoring for the Calypso Girls with 17 goals from 20 attempts with support from her captain Kalifa McCollin, who scored 15 goals from her 16 attempts.

Jamaica will go for the sweep tonight when the teams meet again in the final match of the series.

 

MVP coach Stephen Francis is confident 2019 Long Jump World Champion Tajay Gayle is set to make a serious foray into the sprints in the upcoming season.

The 25-year-old, who has completely recovered from an injury that negatively impacted his performance at Olympics, showed off some good ability in the 100m sprints last year.

Despite specializing in the jumps, Gayle showed plenty of speed over the distance after clocking 10.18 in May of last year.  The athlete’s best time over double the distance is 21.18.

“I think Tajay will be in the position to do a lot more sprinting this year and I suspect that he will be in the position to challenge for the title of fastest Jamaican,” Francis said in an interview with SportsMax.Tv.

“As well as be able to defend his title as the best long jumper in the world,” he added.

Gayle had been hoping to add the Olympic title to the World title this summer and advanced to the final but injured his left knee in the process.  He was a result unable to secure a position in the final eight.

English Premier League (EPL) club West Ham has committed to sending a specialist doctor with star forward Michail Antonio whenever he is called up for international duty with Jamaica.

The player, who made his debut for the Caribbean team against Panama in September, did not travel for the team’s most recent round of matches against the United States, Canada, and Honduras.

 According to reports, the issue stemmed from a mix-up between the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and the player’s club and agent that did not allow Antonio to carry his own personal physician.  The issue has since been resolved, however, and the player will be free to join the team for a crucial round of matches next month.

West Ham have appointed the club’s head of medical services Richard Collinge to travel with the player to ensure the continued health of his hamstrings.  The player has had a history of hamstring injuries and the club is clearly determined to take all precautions to make sure the 31-year-old stays in top shape.  With five goals scored in the EPL already this season, which puts him in the top three, Antonio has been one of the club’s most influential players this season.

Having won their first match of the World Cup qualifiers in the previous round against Honduras, Jamaica will be hoping the return of Antonio will turbocharge the team’s campaign with fixtures away to El Salvador and at home to the United States.

The fastest woman alive, Elaine Thompson-Herah, has now confirmed her departure from MVP and has revealed that she is yet to assemble her team for the 2021/2022 track season that includes the World Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon next summer.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the fastest woman and alive, said she will use the inspiration of being conferred with the Order of Distinction to help motivate women and young girls to strive without limits.

Thompson-Herah, who rebounded from five years of disappointment, to become the first woman to win both 100m and 200m titles in consecutive Olympic Games at the Tokyo Games in August, was among several sports personalities to receive national honours at the Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards on Monday.

Thompson-Herah, who ran 10.54 on Usain Bolt’s birthday, August 21, 2021, to become the fastest woman alive and the second-fastest of all time at the Diamond League’s Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, said the recognition has motivated her to inspire others.

“I have been inspired and motivated by powerful women around the world, powerful women from my island home Jamaica,” she said on Instagram.

“I feel so honoured and overjoyed to be given this Order of Distinction (Commander Class) by my nation. I now use this classification to help motivate and uplift women and young girls to strive without limits.”

The five-time Olympic gold medalist was among three Jamaican sprint queens to be conferred with OD’s in the Commander Class. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 100m silver medalist in Tokyo, and Jackie Pusey, who at 16, represented Jamaica at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada were also awarded.

Former West Indies captain Jimmy Adams received the Order of Distinction (Officer Class) for his contribution to the sport of cricket.

The late Jamaican striker, Luton Shelton, Jamaica’s leading male scorer, was posthumously awarded the OD (Officer Class) for his contribution to football.  Shelton died in January 2021 from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

He played for Jamaica on 75 occasions scoring 35 goals.

Meanwhile, Dr Praimanand Mongal Beharry Singh received the Order of Distinction for outstanding dedication and service to the field of sports.

Jamaica's motoring fraternity is mourning the passing of former Jamaica Race Drivers Club (JRDC) president Hilary Jardine on Sunday, October 17.

Jamaica played unbeaten on their way to winning the 2021 Fireminds Rugby Americas North Sevens in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Sunday.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey could return to action for English Premier League club Aston Villa against Arsenal next week after failing to return to the line-up on Saturday.

A few weeks ago, the player had a smashing impact for the Claret and Blue, coming off the bench to provide an assist for one goal before smashing the other into the roof of the net in a 3-0 win over Everton.  The player was, however, forced to leave the field after picking up an injury soon after and has not returned to the line-up since.

Bailey also missed out on the latest round of World Cup qualifiers for his country Jamaica.  Villa boss Dean Smith confirmed that the player has come up short ahead of Saturday’s encounter against Wolverhampton.

“Leon Bailey’s hasn’t ticked all the right boxes for the medical staff yet. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for the Arsenal game,” Smith said.

Aston Villa went on to lose the match 3-2 after surrendering a two-goal lead.  The Jamaicna joined the club this summer following the departure of talisman Jack Grealish who made a big-money move to Manchester City.

Former Jamaica Reggae Boyz goalkeeper Ryan Thompson has questioned the practice of labelling the country’s national representatives as foreign-based or English-based in light of questions regarding the team’s unity.

In recent months, the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has looked to bolster the experience and quality in the team’s ranks by extending an invitation to players who qualify to represent the country by virtue of having Jamaican heritage.  Several players have accepted the offer but the team's overall integration has not gone smoothly.

The situation was similar to the team’s historic 1998 campaign when a mix of players, some based in Jamaica and English players of Jamaica heritage qualified the unit for the tournament in France.  Ahead of its historic feat, there had also been controversy surrounding the inclusion of the players who were based abroad.

Internationally, players opting to represent countries where they were not born is hardly an unusual situation.  The likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Christian Benteke, and Raheem Sterling, who was born in Jamaica but represents England, are among just a few who feature on the list.

As it relates to the current crop, however, Thompson believes the aim must be to get the team to gel as soon as possible, a goal that having player labels and categories is unlikely to help.

“If we can get the team to gel and call everyone Jamaican and not local based or foreign-based or English based, whatever it is, that’s when we will really be able to do some damage in the world, not just the Caribbean,” Thompson told TVJ Sports.

‘You don’t hear the German team talking about, oh this guy was from Austria or the US saying the same thing about German-based players.  They're Americans, why are we throwing labels on our players?”

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