Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have established themselves as genuine title contenders in the flagship Concacaf Gold Cup.

Over the three consecutive editions, the Jamaicans were beaten finalists in 2015 (3-1 to Mexico) and 2017 (2-1 to the United States), and were losing semi-finalists in 2019 (3-1 to the U.S.), performances that underline their pedigree in the biennial tournament.

Having come so close to being crowned champions, the only thing left for the Reggae Boyz at this stage it seems is to lift the trophy.

Still, veteran Damion Lowe says while the team will be targeting the title, it’s a goal they aim to pursue with an air of cautious optimism, and with as little pressure as possible.

“There is no pressure because people always write us off, and even now people don’t give us the recognition that we deserve and how good we are as a team, especially in tournaments,” he said.

“Nobody expected us to become a powerhouse in Concacaf as we started from scratch and built the programme,” Lowe added.

When Jamaica kick-starts its Group C campaign against Suriname at Exploria Stadium in Orlando on July 12, Lowe notes that the plan is to let the country’s football do the talking.

“So for us, the job is the same and that’s to prove people wrong. We will do our best and let the football speak for itself,” said the Al-Ittihad defender, who will be participating in his third Gold Cup tournament.

Lowe, 28, says he has grown to love playing in the Gold Cup.

“Playing in the Gold Cup tournament is always a joy. We are grateful for the experience and how far we have come as a nation and we just want to move on to higher heights,” he said.

The Jamaicans, who are currently hosting a pre-tournament training camp in Orlando, have quality within their ranks with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon and Bailey and former Manchester United wonder kid Ravel Morrison.

With the pair, plus a host of English-born players and local-bred talent, the Boyz are quite capable of ruffling more than just a few feathers in the 2021 edition of the confederation’s marquee competition.

The Boyz also have group stage matches against Costa Rica and Guadeloupe.

Meanwhile, Lowe says he is still getting used to life playing in the Egyptian topflight.

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is hopeful she will improve on her 200m lifetime best when she competes at the Diamond League’s Herculis meet in Monaco where she goes up against Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Marie Josee Ta Lou on Friday.

West Indies Women captain, Stafanie Taylor scored an unbeaten century and took three wickets to guide the West Indies to a five-wicket win over Pakistan Women and take a 1-0 lead in their CG Insurance ODI Series at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua.

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel announced the West Indies squad for the CG Insurance One-Day International (ODI) Series against Australia. The squad features most of the players from the 3-0 clean sweep over Sri Lanka in the CG Insurance ODI Series earlier this year.

There are recalls for experienced left-arm fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell; Shimron Hetmyer, the left-handed top-order batsman; and Roston Chase, the right-handed all-rounder.

The CG Insurance ODI Series will be played at Kensington Oval in Barbados on July 20, 22 and 24 with all three matches scheduled as day/night encounters. The first ball is 2:30 pm (1:30 pm Jamaica Time). There is great anticipation as this is Australia’s first tour of the West Indies since the tri-nation series back in 2016.

The series forms part of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI Super League where both teams are aiming to win points to be one of the top seven teams that will secure automatic qualification for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India.

“This squad is coming off a comprehensive series win against Sri Lanka which should boost their confidence going into what is expected to be a tougher contest against Australia. The return of Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase and Sheldon Cottrell adds greater depth and experience to the squad,” said Roger Harper, CWI's Chief Selector.

“Playing in familiar home conditions, hopefully, will bring out the best in each player thereby enabling the team to perform at a consistently high standard. This CG Insurance ODI series against Australia is part of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualification process where every game and every point counts, so it is very important.”

FULL SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Philip, Nicholas Pooran and Romario Shepherd.

 

Shaunae-Miller-Uibo, the 2016 Olympic 400m champion has been registered to run both the 200m and 400m this summer, despite an unfriendly schedule.

Captain Stafanie Taylor took four wickets and scored an unbeaten 43 to lead the West Indies Women to a six-wicket victory over Pakistan Women at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua Sunday.

Shericka Jackson picked up from where she left off at Jamaica’s national championships a week ago and Tajay Gayle equalled his season-best in the long jump at Sunday’s Stockholm Diamond League meet where Kirani James raced to victory in the 400m.

The 2019 World Championships 400m bronze medalist, who shocked her fans with lifetime bests of 10.77 and 21.82 at her national championships a week ago, ran an impressive 22.10 to win the 200m ahead of Marie Josee Ta Lou, who delivered a season-best 22.36.

Namibia’s Beatrice Masilingi was third in 22.65, a season-best time and national record.

Earlier, in one of the fastest races run this season, Natoya Goule ran close to her 800m lifetime best of 1:56.15 when she finished second to Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza in the two-lap event.

The diminutive Jamaican clocked a season-best 1:56.44 after chasing the Cuban, who set a new meet record and a brand new personal best of 1:56.28.

Kate Grace ran 1:57.36 for third.

It was a similar story in the men’s 400m where Grenada’s Kirani James and Trinidad’s Leon Lendore engaged in a scrap with 50m to go before James found enough to hold on for victory in 44.63. Lendore ran a season-best 44.73 for second place.

 Leimarvin Bonevacia of the Netherlands was also closing fast but ran out of real estate to finish third in 44.80, a season-best.

Gayle equalled his season-best of 8.55m which was aided by a trailing wind of 2.2m/s that saw him emerge the victor in the long jump. Cuba’s long-jump sensation Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped 8.29m for second place.

Thomas Montler was third. The Swede jumped a personal best leap of 8.23m.

Alisson dos Santos further established himself as one of the best 400m hurdlers in the world this year when he ran 47.33 to win in a new lifetime best and area record, eclipsing the record he set in Oslo on July 1 when Karsten Warholm set a new world record of 46.70.

Turkey’s Yasmani Coppello ran a season-best 48.19 for second place. Jamaica’s Kemar Mowatt also ran a season-best 48.75 for third.

The women’s event was a classic as the Netherlands’ Femke Bol and the USA’s Shamier Little raced stride for stride to the line with the former just managing to cross first in a new lifetime best of 52.37. The time was also a Diamond League record, national record and meet record.

Little ran a lifetime best of 52.39 in the race where the first three across the line in under 53 seconds as Anna Rhyzhykova clocked a personal best and national record of 52.96.

Jamaica’s Janieve Russell ran 54.08 for fourth while Leah Nugent was sixth in 55.01.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Nigel Ellis and Rasheed Broadbell were among the winners at the XXXII International Meeting of Athletics in Lignano, Italy on Saturday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads a strong 61-member Jamaica team headed to the Olympic Games this summer.

The Pocket Rocket leads a strong female contingent that includes 2016 Olympic sprint double champion Elaine Thompson-Herah as well as ‘surprise’ elite sprinter Shericka Jackson. In-form Stephenie-Ann McPherson and rising talent Candice McLeod are also included as well as rising sprint hurdlers Megan Tapper and Britany Anderson.

Briana Williams, the 2018 World U20 sprint double champion makes her first Olympic team as a reserve for the 100m and a member of the 4x100m relay squad.

Yohan Blake, the 2012 double Olympic silver medalist also makes the team along with Demish Gaye and the proven 110m hurdles trio of Ronald Levy, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion, Damion Thomas and Hansle Parchment.

The full team comprises

 (100m Men): Tyquendo Tracey, Yohan Blake, and Oblique Seville. Julian Forte (r).

100m Women) Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Elaine Thompson-Herah. Briana Williams (r).

4x100m relay Men Jevaughn Minzie, Nigel Ellis.

4x100m Women: Remona Burchell, Natasha Morrison.

200m Men: Rasheed Dwyer, Yohan Blake, Julian Forte

200m Women: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Elaine Thompson-Herah. Natasha Morrison (r)

400m Men: Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor, Sean Bailey. Nathon Allen (r)

400m Women: Stephenie Ann McPherson, Candice McLeod, Roneisha McGregor. Stacey Ann Williams ®

4x400m Men: Nathon Allen, Karayme Bartley, Rusheen McDonald. Nathon Allen ®

4X400M Women: Stacey Ann Williams, Tovea Jenkins, Junelle Bromfield.

4x400 Men: Karayme Bartley, Rusheen McDonald.

800m: Natoya Goule

110m hurdles: Ronald Levy, Damion Thomas, Hansle Parchment. Phillip Lemonious ®

100m hurdles: Megan Tapper, Yanique Thompson, Britany Anderson. Danielle Williams ®

400m hurdles Men: Jaheel Hyde, Kemar Mowatt, Shawn Rowe. Leonardo Ledgister ®

400m hurdles Women: Janieve Russell, Ronda Whyte, Leah Nugent. Shian Salmon ®

1500M Aisha Praught *

Long jump Men: Tajay Gayle, Carey McLeod.

Long jump Women: Tissanna Hickling, Chanice Porter

Triple jump Men: Carey McLeod

Triple jump women: Shanieka Ricketts, Kimberly Williams

Shot Put Women: Danniel Thomas-Dodd, Lloydricka Cameron *

Discus Men: Fedrick Dacres, Chad Wright, Traves Smikle

Discus Women: Shadae Lawrence

4x400m Mixed Relays: Javier Brown, Keeno Burrell, Davonte Burnett, Tiffany James, Charokee Young, Kemba Nelson.

Sha ‘Carri Richardson has apologized for her actions that led to the disqualification of her 100m results from the US Olympic trials last month after traces of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis, was found in her samples taken after the race in Eugene, Oregon.

The athlete has also accepted a one-month ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which means she will miss the 100m. The ban takes effect on June 28 with the Olympics set to start July 23.

Speaking on NBC this morning, mere hours after news broke yesterday that she had tested positive for a banned substance, a contrite Richardson said: “I want to take responsibility for my actions. I know what I did. I know what I am supposed to do. I know what I am allowed not to do and I still made that decision but not making an excuse or looking for any empathy.

“I’d like to say to my fans and my family and my sponsorship, the haters too, I apologize. As much as I am disappointed, I know that when I step on the track I don’t just represent myself, I represent a community that has shown me great support, great love and I apologize for the fact that I didn’t know how to control my emotions. I am human.”

She explained that her actions were triggered by an interview before her race when a reporter told her that her biological mother had died the week before. Richardson was reportedly abandoned at birth and was raised by her grandmother. The news, she said, caused her to be blinded by emotion and hurt.

“To hear that coming from a complete stranger was definitely triggering, nerve shocking because it was just like how are you to tell me that, that sent me in state of mind of emotional pain and I still had to go out and put on a performance,” she said.

Richardson might have lost her place in the 100m as, according to reports, Jenna Prandini, who was fourth in the 100m finals at the US trials, has been pencilled in to replace her and 200m champion Gabby Thomas entered as the alternate runner.

Asked if she would take that slight chance she has to run in the relays, Richardson responded: “Right now, I am just putting all my time and energy into doing what I need to do to take care of myself. If I am allowed to receive that blessing then I am grateful for it but if not, right now I am just really focused on myself.”

She concluded by saying this was not the end of the road for her as she intends to bring the 100m gold medal back to the USA at the next Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 and vowed the name Sha’carri Richardson would never be associated with performance-enhancing drugs.

 

USA Track and Field appears to confirmed that Sha Carri Richardson has returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for cannabis from last month’s US Trials and will likely miss the Olympic Games this summer.

American sprint sensation Sha Carri Richardson has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance and is likely to miss out on her making her Olympic debut, according to multiple reports.

The 21-year-old American, who won the 100m at the US trials last month, returned an adverse analytical finding, following a test administered at the US Olympic Trials and marijuana was classified as a Substance of Abuse by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on January 1, 2021.

According to the reports, the use of this substance carries a maximum four-year ban.

However, if she can prove that the use of the drug was used outside of competition and was not intended to enhance performance, she could have the ban reduced to three months. It has also been reported that should she agree to undertake a treatment program, the ban could be reduced further.

As it stands, however, the athlete has been stripped of her performances at the US trials and fourth-place winner Jenna Prandini as well as Gabby Thomas have been notified that they could be potential replacements and have been entered in the 100m.

Richardson, the 2019 NCAA 100m champion, generated much excitement for a potential match up with two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce when she raced to a world-leading 10.72 100m in April. It was the fastest any woman had ever run so early in a season.

She followed it up with four more times under 10.8 seconds during the season.

When Fraser-Pryce, who is vying for an unprecedented third Olympic 100m title, ran a world-leading 10.63 on June 5, the excitement in anticipation of a blockbuster clash in Tokyo intensified.

Now it seems that that match up will not happen.

The best-case scenario for Richardson, should the ban remain in effect, is that she would be available to run on the USA’s 4x100m relay team at the Olympic Games in August if selected by USA Track and Field.

 

 

Kristen McGregor was quite pleased with her performance at last weekend’s Puerto Rico Pro in the Bahamas where she finished in the top-six even though she was a bit perplexed as to the reason given why she didn’t place higher.

In the competition that is a Tier-3 qualifier for Olympia qualification, McGregor, who won the Miss Olympia Amateur in the Women’s Fitness Category in 2020, placed fourth behind Puerto Rico’s Jessica Reyes Padilla, Mexico’s Mayra Hernandez and Heather Dees of the USA.

“The competition was just like any other competition for me. I always go in with no expectations. I trained hard, I put in the work, I am ready, this is always my mindset going into any competition,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV this week.

“I am quite pleased with my placement. Going up against 20 plus veteran females, who have either competed in Ms Olympia before, multiple times, placing fourth on my pro debut, amongst such calibre athletes, I am very pleased.”

She admitted, however, that she was caught off guard by the comments of one of the judges with whom she spoke afterwards about why she did not place higher.

“To be honest, I am not sure if surprised is the right word. I was more speechless, lost, confused when the head judge approached me backstage and complimented me on my “amazing physique, X-factor and shape but then said the only thing was I was a little too small, which lead me to ask, “What do you mean?”

“He explained, ‘You just need to get more muscle maturity and density because you are right on the money which will come with time, dieting and training’”.

She said she took very important lessons from the judge’s critique but is now more than ever before assured that she is on the right track in terms of dieting and training and that her structure and build are spot on.

“The areas I need to improve on are muscle maturity and size which will come through continued training and dieting,” she said. “But to get bigger for the next show now is all about increasing portion sizes and stepping up that training which my coaches are already over.”

As she continues on her journey to qualify for Ms Olympia, McGregor and her team have set their sights on the next Olympia Qualifying show, the IFBB Professional League Yamamoto Nutrition Cup Tampa-Pro-XIV National Qualifier at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa, Florida on August 5th-7th, 2021.

She thanked Jamaica’s Sports Development Foundation (SDF) and Proven Wealth as well as Victoria Mutual for the sponsorship support they provided that enabled her to compete in the Bahamas last weekend as she continues on her quest to Ms Olympia.

 

Kirani James heads a six-member Grenada team to the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

James, the 2012 Olympic champion, and Grenada’s first Olympic gold medalist is one of four track and field athletes named including 2019 World Champion Anderson Peters, Meleni Rodney, the 2014 Youth Olympics bronze medalist and veteran decathlete Linden Victor.

Two swimmers – Kimberly Ince (100m backstroke) and Delron Felix (100m freestyle) – have also been named to the team. The IOC awarded Grenada two wild card places for swimming.

The accompanying coaching staff will include, James’ coach Harvey Glance as well as throws coach Paul Phillip, decathlon coach Joshua Priester and pole vault coach Thomas Fitzsimon. Valencia Nathaly Sihera is the swimming coach.

A fully fit Leon Bailey has been included in Jamaica’s 23-man squad named today for the 2021 Gold Cup competition in the United States.

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