Jamaica has named a stronger 23-man squad for today’s World Cup qualifier against Panama at the National Stadium in Kingston. The match time is 5:00 pm (6:00 pm ECT).

The squad includes West Ham striker Michail Antonio, Ravel Morrison and Bobby Reid, who did not play in the Reggae Boyz match against Mexico on Thursday night. Jamaica lost the match 2-1 on a 90th-minute goal from Henry Martin. Alexis Vega had put Mexico ahead in the 50th minute before Shamar Nicholson's 65th-minute strike pulled Jamaica level.

Jamaica was the only team to have lost in the opening round of the CONCACAF qualifiers and are at the bottom of the table. It makes today’s match against Panama, a crucial one.

The full squad comprises Andre Blake, Wesley Harding, Ethan Pinnock, Ravel Morrison, Alvas Powell, Liam Moore, Kemar Roofe, Oniel Fisher, Cory Burke, Bobby Reid, Shamar Nicholson, Junior Flemmings, Dillon Barnes, Javain Brown, Blair Turgott, Daniel Johnson, Michail Antonio, Lamar Walker, Adrian, Mariappa, Kemar Lawrence, Tyreek Magee, Devon Williams and Dennis Taylor.

Meanwhile, the JFF said it is pleased at the onset of the local component of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers with the first home game against Panama at the 'Office' today.

The governing body said the players will miss profoundly the fans and the positive vibes that they are accustomed to at World Cup Qualifiers in the stadium but expressed confidence that the team will perform up to expectations.

"The technical staff of the JFF has assembled a very experienced professional group of players who are committed to an entertaining display of football," the JFF said in a statement.

"The group is comprised of players who have over recent years ensured that Jamaica has maintained a top-50 position in international football, maintain its leading role in the Caribbean and a continuous respectful position in Concacaf. It now includes some players who will make their debut for the country as they also want to help Jamaica achieve the ultimate goal of qualification to another senior men's World Cup.

"The JFF has also worked assiduously with all relevant state authorities and governing football bodies to get the full approval for the hosting of the game and wishes to thank all for making this happen. We urge Jamaicans to increase their observance of the established protocols to fight the Covid -19 pandemic so that we can not only host our next game on October 10 but all remaining six home games."

 

Living like a sprinter and improving on her speed and strength have resulted in Stephenie-Ann McPherson running her 400m lifetime best at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday.

Winning her second national title was like a miracle for Megan Tapper who was the surprise winner on Sunday morning, the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships to select a team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Running in lane eight, Tapper upset pre-race favourites Britany Anderson and Danielle Williams to take top spot in a season-best 12.68. Yanique Thompson, the Commonwealth Games bronze medalist ran 12.73, a season-best for second place while Anderson was third in 12.75.

“It was like experiencing a miracle right in front of my face,” she said after realizing she had crossed the line first. “I expected it but it is a different feeling when it actually happens.”

Tapper was not in the best of form coming in having run times ranging from 12.87-13.72 in eight races heading into the championships. However, in the semi-finals, she ran a season-best 12.86 for second place in her semifinal that was won by Anderson in 12.65.

She revealed afterwards that patience was the key to her success and understanding what works for her.

“I just had to understand that it takes a while to get into the groove, getting into running to get my mindset right,” she explained afterwards.

“I was patient, my coach and my husband were patient with me and they kept me motivated and at the end of the day I asked God to show up for me and he did and I am grateful.”

She believes running in the outside lane actually helped her avoid the intense battle for places that was unfolding in the lanes inside her.

“I was on the end. I was in lane eight and I guess that worked in my favour,” she said.

“Before I went out, my coach and husband told me to stay focused and to just execute. Once I executed a proper race I would have been close to the top or at the top and that’s what I did.”

Now that she has secured a place on the team to Tokyo Tapper says she knows she has work to do to be ready for competition in Japan.

“I need to remain focused and realize that the job isn’t finished and it is going to take a little than what I had today,” she said.

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce described herself as a warrior Sunday after she completed the sprint double on the final day of the 2021 Jamaica National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston. The 34-year-old Fraser-Pryce ran a lifetime best of 21.79 to add the 200m to the 100m she won in 10.71 on Friday night.

She held a fast-finishing Shericka Jackson, who also produced a lifetime best of 21.82 for the runner-up spot. Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 Olympic champion, finished third in a season-best 22.02.

It was a seminal moment for Fraser-Pryce, who won a silver medal over 200m at the 2012 London Games and gold a year later at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

“I am excited because, look at me, for everything I have achieved over the years, I’ve never taken it for granted. I always knew what I was capable of and I am glad I never gave up and I stuck to what I believed in and kept close to the persons who believed in me and continued to work hard for that dream and I am glad to finally break the 22-second barrier,” she said.

The improvements this season that allowed her to run lifetime bests of 10.63 and 21.79, she said, was the result of the hard work Coach Reynaldo Walcott put her through during the off-season as well as her own resolve to continue to strive for excellence despite whatever challenges life throws at her.

“The key part of the preparation was just the endurance part in making sure I was strong to manage all the rounds, I think that was very important,” she said.

“I am grateful that I was able to put together the work and I give God thanks because I have had struggles, especially with my toe, but I am a warrior so whatever it is, I am always going to show up and do my best and as long as I do that then I am always satisfied.”

She also praised Coach Walcott, the head coach at Elite Performance, with whom she has enjoyed a harmonious relationship ever since her early days at the MVP track club.

“Mr Walcott has always been a friend. He was part of the MVP track club, we started UTech (University of Technology) at the same time so I have always had that belief in him,” she said, also taking time to praise her former coach Stephen Francis.

“I think what’s also important is that we have always had a foundation as well from Stephen Francis and MVP Track Club so I can’t take that for granted and what he had done to my career so far. So, it’s just a continuation of the hard work and the coaches. I am just glad that I have had two solid coaches.”

Fraser-Pryce said she plans to immediately get back to work to continue to prepare for the Games this summer.

“The Olympics are not that far away so it’s about being very meticulous in the work and being mindful, stay injury free and doing the best I can to stay healthy.”

Rasheed Dwyer won the men's title in season-best 20.17 ahead of Yohan Blake 20.18. Tyquendo Tracey, the 100m champion, was third in 20.34.

 

 

 

 

When it comes to winning races that count, there is hardly a better sprinter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

In eight global finals, since she won her first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, the Pocket Rocket has won six. She demonstrated that mettle once again on Friday night when she won her fourth national 100m title against a strong field on day two of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston.

The two-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in 10.71, the second-fastest time run by anyone this year, only bettered by her world-leading 10.63 run at the same venue on June 5.

Using her explosive start to her advantage, she got away from the field that was unable to close as she flashed across the finish line.

Second was Shericka Jackson, who surprised everyone when she clocked a big lifetime best of 10.77 to win her semi-final just over an hour before. She ran an equally impressive 10.82 holding off the 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in 10.84.

Briana Williams, who at 19, was the youngest in the field, finished fourth in 11.01, which earned her a place at her first Olympic Games.

There was also another surprise in the men’s 100m as Tyquendo Tracey ran 10.00 flat to edge Yohan Blake 10.01 and an ecstatic Oblique Seville, who ran a personal best 10.04 for third and booked a spot to his very first Olympic Games.

There were two runaway winners in the 400m hurdles but the more impressive of the two was Jaheel Hyde who clocked a lifetime best 48.18 to win and also exceed the Olympic standard of 48.90, which means he is also going to Tokyo this summer.

He punched the air as he crossed the line and saw the flash time on the electronic clock on the infield.

Second went to Sean Rowe who stopped the clock at 49.60, just ahead of Kemar Mowatt, who was third in 49.61.

Janieve Russell ran away with the women’s race to win in a season-best 54.07.

Ronda Whyte was second in 54.94 while Leah Nugent was third in 54.98 in a close finish that saw Shian Salmon finish fourth in 55.00.

Defending champions Edwin Allen hold a 12-point lead over St. Jago High after 14 finals on day two of the 2021 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Kingston College failed to add to their point tally but still hold a sizeable lead over their rivals.

The Clarendon-based juggernaut began the day on 71 points, trailing both Hydel, who 76 points and leaders St Jago High on 81. However, Edwin Allen picked up 10 points in the early exchanges in the Class I shot put competition where Monifa Allen picked up seven points for finishing second with a throw of 12.79m and her teammate Daveina Watson got three more for her sixth-place finish after throwing 11.88m.

Rusea’s High School’s Leonie Samuels won the gold medal with her put of 13.21m while St Jago’s Kayla Davis-Edwards won the bronze with her effort of 12.67m.

At the conclusion of the event, St Jago had 87 points but Edwin Allen had climbed into second place with 81 points. Hydel remained on 76 points.

Meanwhile, Edwin Allen picked up an additional six points when Toniann Allen jumped 5.22m in the Class 4 long jump that was won by Natrilia Campbell of Wolmer’s Girls, who leapt out to a mark of 5.42m. Rihanna Campbell of St Catherine High was the silver medalist having jumped 5.40m.

The defending champions then extended their lead over St Jago when Rashida Samuels cleared 1.73m to win the Class 2 Girls High Jump to defeat Malaika Cunningham of Wolmer’s who cleared 1.70m for the silver medal and Anishka McDonald of Vere Technical who claimed the bronze with 1.65m.

The Class 2 discus was won by Cedricka Williams of Holmwood Technical who established a new record of 47.04m breaking the record of 46.69m set by Vere’s Marie Forbes in 2018.

Damali Williams of Edwin Allen won the silver medal with her best mark of 43.72m while Brittanie Johnson of Camperdown secured the bronze medal throwing 42.32m.

At the conclusion of that competition, Edwin Allen had amassed 108 points to St Jago’s 96. Hydel was further back in third on 82 points. Wolmer’s are in fourth place on 42 points while Holmwood Technical lies fifth with 30.50 points.

Kingston College remained atop the standings despite failing to add to their overnight points tally in the only boys' final today.

The Class 2 long jump was the only boys final on Wednesday and St Jago used the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders as Balvin Israel gave the St. Catherine-based school nine valuable points when he leapt 7.32m to claim victory.

His victory has St Jago on 40 points, just 15 behind KC.

Amari Officer of St George’s College took the silver medal with his jump of 7.16m while Nathan Wade of Calabar was third with 7.13m.

The third-place points mean Calabar ended the day on 37 points. St Elizabeth Technical and Jamaica College as 30 points for joint fourth place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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