Reigning Olympic champions Hansle Parchment and Elaine Thompson-Herah were among winners at Thursday’s Puerto Rico International Classic in Ponce.

Parchment sped to a season’s best mark 13.15 for victory in the Men’s 110m hurdles ahead of the USA's current world leader Devon Allen (13.20) and Jamal Britt (13.30).

The Women’s 100m hurdles was won by the USA’s Alaysha Johnson in 12.50 ahead of Puerto Rican Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (12.52) and Jamaican 2015 World champion Danielle Williams (12.67).

Double Olympic sprint champion Thompson-Herah cruised to victory in the Women’s 100m in 10.93 ahead of Trinidad & Tobago’s Michelle Lee-Ahye (11.06) and the USA’s Shania Collins (11.08).

Bahamian reigning Olympic and World 400m champion Steven Gardiner won the Men’s 300m in 31.52 ahead of the USA’s Vernon Norwood (31.81) and Jamaica’s Nathon Allen (32.04).

2011 World and 2012 Olympic 400m champion Kirani James of Grenada was victorious in the Men’s one-lap event in a season’s best 44.70 ahead of Jamaica’s Sean Bailey (45.42) and the USA’s Trevor Stewart (45.50).

Jamaica’s Junelle Bromfield was third in the Women’s equivalent in 51.82 behind Americans Gabby Scott (51.42) and Olympic 800m champion Athing Mu (50.42).

Moving to the 400m hurdles, Jamaica’s Janieve Russell ran a season’s best 54.09 to win ahead of teammates Shiann Salmon (54.43) and Rushell Clayton (54.90).

In the field, Jamal Wilson of the Bahamas was victorious in the Men’s high jump with 2.22m ahead of the USA’s Jeron Robinson (2.17m) and Puerto Rico’s Luis Castro Rivera (2.17m).

 

 

 Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

After running a massive personal best 60m time indoors and starting her outdoor season with a couple of 400m races, Tokyo Olympics 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson has confirmed that she is leaning towards the 100/200m double again this season.

Jackson, 27, a World Championships and Olympics 400m bronze medallist experienced a successful step down to the blue ribbon sprint last season, running personal bests of 10.76 and 21.81 in the 100m and 200m, respectively. The times, along with her 49.47 personal best in the 400m, have made her the second best active combination sprinter and fifth all-time.

Only Marita Koch, Marion Jones, Florence Griffith-Joyner, who no longer compete and Bahamian wonder girl Shaunae Miller-Uibo rank ahead of her.

Jackson missed out on a possible Olympic medal in the 200m in Tokyo last year when she mistimed her run during the preliminary round and failed to advance. However, she will have a second crack at a global 200m medal at the World Championships in Oregon this summer, should all go well at the National Championships in Kingston next month.

“I am definitely doubling this year,” Jackson said after running 11-flat in her first 100m final this season at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee meet last weekend. The time was run into a headwind of -1.8m/s, which makes her time about 10.87 without the influence of the wind.

“I think coach and I will lean more to the 1-2 than the 400 but we will see come trials.”

Jackson, who will be competing against a stacked 200m field that includes Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Gabby Thomas and British star Dina Asher-Smith at the Doha Diamond League meeting on Friday, believes running a personal best indoors has helped her become a better sprinter.

“It has helped me good. I am coming from a 7.31 to a 7004, it was a really good accomplishment and I am healthy and I’m ready,” she said.

Kristen McGregor, 2020 Miss Olympia Amateur, hampered by the lack of consistent financial support in her home country of Jamaica, has launched a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising just over USD$12,000 that would help her achieve her goal of participating in the Ms Olympia Competition in December.

Easily Jamaica’s most successful female fitness athlete of the modern era, McGregor a former track and field athlete, has won national fitness titles and in 2018 was crowned CAC Champion in the category of Body Fitness Tall Class.

A 2021 Prime Minister Youth Awardee, McGregor has placed in the top five in most of her international competitions and harbours the ambition of one day winning the coveted Ms Olympia title for herself and her country.

In late April, she competed and placed fifth in the Figure competition at the Fit Muscle Championships in Mexico. It is essential that she competes in similar events leading up to December in order to accumulate the necessary qualification points to make it to the Ms Olympia contest.

Alas, this is proving to be more easily said than done as it has proven difficult to find the financial resources needed to compete regularly. Her next competition is in June and she is pondering whether she will be able to get there.

 “The major challenge I face as a national athlete is corporate sponsorship. I am a bit disappointed with the responses I received for sponsorship requests seeking help to represent my country and hoping that I would have gotten good responses, even given the fact that I am a recipient of the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” McGregor told Sportsmax.TV after her return from Mexico.

 However, she remains hopeful.

 “I do hope that going forward I might receive better responses from other corporations and our sporting body,” she said.

 “The lack of support and sponsorship can impact my goals to represent Jamaica at the Olympia, as I am unable to cover the expenses related to travel and accommodation to participate in the various competitions, where I can only compete as a professional athlete in my discipline. It is my dream to represent Jamaica at the highest level of bodybuilding.”

 Contributions to McGregor’s GoFundMe page can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kristen-make-it-to-the-olympia-competition?member=19126721&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer

Phillip Williams has been appointed head coach of Jamaica Premier League’s Portmore United Football Club following the recent resignation of Lenworth ‘Lenny’ Hyde.

Hyde’s resignation letter that cited ‘personal reasons’ took effect on Monday, May 9, 2022.

“Portmore United Football Club wishes to thank Mr Hyde for his contribution to the club’s football development and wishes him all the best in his future endeavours,” the club said in a statement Wednesday.

 “PUFC is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Philip Williams as the new head coach of the senior men’s team and technical coordinator for the youth and grassroots programmes. Mr Williams is currently the head coach of the St. Andrew Technical High School football teams and was recently head coach of the Tivoli Gardens Football Club. Mr Williams will be required to lead the PUFC technical department in furtherance of the club’s strategic objectives. 

Williams said Portmore United was the right fit.

 “I’m elated with this opportunity to join the Portmore United FC family and be given the tasks of leading holistically, the Club’s technical development,” Williams said following his appointment. “This was a very easy decision for me as the vision and philosophy of Portmore United FC, align well with my own beliefs and aspirations. I’m looking forward to achieving great things during my stint at this organization”.

 Meanwhile, Superintendent Steve Brown, the Director at PUFC welcomed Brown to the fold.

“Portmore United FC looks forward to the technical leadership of Mr Philip Williams as we continue our mission of rebuilding our various football programmes, negatively impacted by the Covid pandemic over the past two years. Indeed, we are very excited by the possibilities ahead,” he said.

 

Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), operators of Caymanas Park, is in mourning at the passing of industry stalwart Christopher Armond. The iconic former commentator turned administrator died on Wednesday after a short illness at the age of 67.

SVREL Chairman Solomon Sharpe was naturally saddened by the passing of the man whom he considered a dear friend.

 “I have many fond memories of working with Chris from the early days and was always impressed by his vast knowledge,” Sharpe said.

“He has done so much for Caymanas Park and the horseracing industry in general. I offer my condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”  

Armond, who was the Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) enjoyed an illustrious career spanning more than 40 years and was held as the standard for horse race commentary throughout the region.

In 1984, he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone Award for his commentary. Armond also commentated in Detroit, Michigan and served as an administrator in Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

“For many Jamaicans, Armond is the voice of horseracing,” SVREL said in a statement Wednesday.

“From 1975 to 1985, Chris Armond established a new level of excitement and accuracy in race commentary with his distinguished vocal delivery. He provided colourful commentary in his distinctive voice, bringing horseracing into homes across the island.

“Even today, he remains the gold standard of commentating in the industry, not just locally but also for fans overseas.”

In addition to Armond’s iconic commentary, he also served as an administrator in the industry for many years and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Thoroughbred Racing in June 2017 under the category of “Other Racing Personalities”.

It was seemingly natural for Christopher Joseph Armond to have a professional life as part of the racing industry. His father, Joseph, a Hall of Fame inductee, was co-managing director of Caymanas Park Limited, and his grandfather Altamont was the founder of the promoting company, Jamaica Turf Club. Armond carried on this family legacy and served as Director of Racing until his retirement on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

“Armond has left an indelible legacy in the sport of horseracing. His accomplishments are insurmountable and his contribution to the sport will never be diminished,” SVREL’s statement said.

“Our thoughts are with his family and dear friends during this difficult time.”

Jimmy Adams, Director of Cricket at Cricket West Indies does not believe regional players are taking advantage of the governing body to secure T20 contracts in the more lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

During a press conference on Monday with Lead Selector Desmond Haynes, Adams, who was also present, was asked whether this was the case in the wake of the recent development wherein Shimron Hetmyer took time off from the IPL to attend the birth of his child in Guyana, promising to return to complete the season, but using the same reason, has declared himself unavailable for the West Indies white-ball tours of The Netherlands and Pakistan that start later this month.

There have also been instances in the past where players have declined invitations to represent the West Indies choosing instead to play franchise cricket.

“You will have players who will opt not to take contracts because they want the freedom to go and play whenever and wherever. While I respect that, by the same token I think we kind of understand where those players’ priorities lie. There could be a few others like that around. We live with them and we move on if we have to,” Adams said.

“I don’t think that is a majority, I don’t think it impacts us in a negative sense, per se. We have had many players in the last few years who have played, who are not contracted players - your Chris Gayles, your Andre Russells.

“Yes, it needs managing for sure at both the international and the levels within the regions around the world. I think given where we are now in world cricket, and I believe where we are now in West Indies cricket, that we are doing a pretty good job of it.”

That said, Adams does concede that in regions like the West Indies where player contracts pale in comparison to those offered by the wealthy owners of IPL franchises, there is little that can be done.

“T20 cricket and the leagues are here to stay. I don’t necessarily think that they are a bad thing. At the end of the day what players have nowadays that they did not have in my time and Sir Desmond’s time was choice and I don’t think choice is a bad thing.

“We try to ensure we don’t have any overlaps with either IPL or CPL, so all our contracted players know that there is a minimum of two windows where they will not have any competing international cricket. As it stands now it is not something that sees us losing control.”

 

Noted racing administrator and commentator Chris Armond has died after an extended battle with illness.

Armond, who was 67, was one of regional horse racing’s premier executives and served the sport in various capacities for some 40 years before retiring in 2020.

Armond, who followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather as a racing administrator, first shot to prominence as a commentator in the late 1970s.  Rated as one of the best in the business he was awarded the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) Golden Microphone award in 1984.

Armond went on to have a commentary stint in Detroit, Michigan before heading into administration.  During his time as an administrator, Armond served as Director of Racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), in his home country Jamaica, Executive Officer of the Arima Race Club in Trinidad, and a chief executive at the Barbados Turf club for eight years.  Armond was celebrated for longstanding service at a ceremony, at Jamaica’s Caymanas Park in December 2020.

The Jamaica Football Federation and the Basque Football Federation (BFF) have jointly decided to postpone the International friendly game between the teams which was scheduled for May 27, 2022, in Spain.

Jamaican Olympian Christania Williams is making a comeback from some tough times with the hopes of getting back to her best in the near future.

The 27-year-old former Edwin Allen High School star last showed up last weekend, May 7, 2022, at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston where she produced times of 11.62 to finish third in her preliminary round heat and then ran a season-best 11.55 in the final for a sixth-place finish behind winner Shericka Jackson (11.00).

She revealed afterwards that after enduring a rough period, she is hoping to improve with each race she runs this season.

“I have been through a lot. I am happy to be here. The main focus right now is just me against me and improving in each race,” said Williams afterwards while also revealing that she is no longer a member of the Tumbleweed training group in Jacksonville, but was training elsewhere in Florida.

She declined to reveal where or with whom.

“I am not training on my own but for now I am not sharing that information,” she said.

The talented sprinter won silver medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast and also won a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay squad.

She ran a lifetime best of 10.96 in the 100m semi-finals in Brazil and finished eighth in the final won by Elaine Thompson-Herah. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was third.

At the time she was a member of the MVP Track Club in Kingston but she eventually left for the Rana-Reider led Tumbleweed Training Group in Jacksonville, Florida in early 2020, just before the world shut down in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like most of the world’s athletes, Williams did not compete in 2020. In 2021, she ventured into a few indoor meets and had a season-best 7.14 in Fayetteville in February. Another four races followed outdoors, the last of them occurring on May 31 when she ran 11.38 at the Duvall County Challenge in Jacksonville.

April 23, 2022, almost a year later was the next time she raced; at the Tru Fit Athletic Sprint Series in Miami, Florida where she ran 11.54 for a fourth-place finish in her heat and then 11.79 for seventh in the final.

 

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Board has accepted the recommendation of the JFF Technical and Development Committee to retain the Technical Staff of the Senior Women’s National Team including Head Coach Vin Blaine.

In its report, subsequent to an initial investigation into concerns expressed by team members, the committee cited there was insufficient evidence to warrant any such change in personnel at this time. 

According to the report, it’s in the best interest of the JFF to continue on its present course, with the current coaching staff, where the progress will be closely monitored and evaluated periodically.

Further, based on the results so far and with less than two months before the Concacaf Women’s qualifying tournament gets underway in Mexico, it is felt that introducing changes at this time would not be prudent. 

Towards this end, the JFF has the full confidence in the Coaching Staff and the team members but recognizes the need to share in and support the process with some critical Core Values of the organisation, including professionalism, teamwork and respect.

The JFF pledges, as the body responsible for football in Jamaica, to put everything in place, within its powers, to ensure the team is comfortable and can perform at their optimum to achieve Jamaica’s second consecutive qualification to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz will compete in Group A of the final round of the Concacaf Women’s Championship alongside the USA, Mexico and Haiti beginning in June 4.

 

Cricket West Indies lead selector Desmond Haynes and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams have blasted players for not being able to meet minimum fitness standards that would qualify them for selection to the senior men's squad.

“I’m pretty disappointed as well,” Haynes said speaking in a press conference on Monday.

“When you look at the amount of cricket that is being played around the world, I think there is a certain level of fitness that is required and I think there is a standard that you should set as a professional cricketer,” added Haynes before going on to mention how picking players while being unsure of whether or not they can finish tours is a concern.

“I do get concerned when you have to be selecting the side and not sure if these guys are going to be fit enough to finish the tour,” he said.

"For contracted players who are unavailable for fitness, there are consequences that are outlined in the contracts," Adams said.

One player who missed out on selection for the tour of the Netherlands in June because of failure to meet minimum fitness requirements is Trinidadian left-handed opener, Evin Lewis.

"We have players who, in our eyes are good enough to be considered for selection who are unavailable because of not even coming in on minimum fitness standards. That is very disappointing. For players who are contracted, that is doubly disappointing,” the former West Indies middle-order batsman added.

On a more positive note, Haynes commented on the inclusion of new faces in the team like St. Maarten’s Keacy Carty.

“As the new group of selectors, we have made it very clear that we will give opportunities to people and try to broaden the pool and start thinking with 2023 in mind,” he said.

 

 

Toyko Olympics triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah said her 22.75 200m run at the JAAA/SDF Jubilee meet on Saturday was about shaking the rust off as she continues on her quest to win her first gold medal at the World Championships in Oregon this summer.

Now that he has finally been able to train consistently after two years of disruption caused by the global pandemic, Traves Smikle produced his best throw in three years to achieve the qualifying mark for this summer’s World Athletics Championships at the second JAAA/SDF Jubilee Series meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Smikle, the 2018 NACAC silver medallist, threw a season-best 66.60m for the victory, his best throw since he threw 67.57m in January 2019. It was the perfect birthday present for Smikle, who revealed afterwards that it was a welcome reprieve from a tough past couple of years.

“The last two years have been crazy with the pandemic and everything. It was very difficult to get into a training flow and now that things are better, not perfect but better, my coach and I got some consistent work in,” said Smikle, who won JMD$90,000 for the win.

“For the season I have been averaging 64/65m. We have been knocking at the door and we finally got it (the qualifying mark) today on my birthday and I am happy about that.”

Noticeably bigger than he has been in previous years, Smikle revealed that his increase in size is also part of his coach Julian Robinson’s plan for him to throw farther this year.

“One of the things my coach wanted me to do is put on a little more weight and we are doing some explosive work, trying to keep consistent with training and today we saw the fruits of our labour,” he said.

Smikle’s throw makes him Jamaica’s best thrower this year ahead of his training partner and friend, Fedrick Dacres, the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and 2019 World Championships silver medallist and, at least for now, gives him bragging rights in the Reckless Control training group.

Dacres, he said, is sure to use it as motivation to throw beyond the 65.98m he threw at the same venue just over a week ago, the next time he competes.

“Fedrick is a phenomenal athlete and we have been training hard, he has been working hard and we are on track. It is only a matter of time before he hits a big throw,” Smikle said of Dacres.

“Both of us have been averaging over 65m and we just want to work hard and respect each other. I am pretty sure he has seen this mark and it is going fire him up to get something big so the next time we compete, it’s going to be a good one.”

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