Fraser-Pryce, Jackson headline eight nominees for 2022 National Sportswoman of the Year

By Sports Desk December 06, 2022

Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Shericka Jackson headline the eight nominees for the RJR Gleaner Sportswoman of the Year award.

Fraser-Pryce dominated 100-metre sprinting in 2022, setting the eighth fastest time of the year, and winning the gold medal at the World Championships in Oregon. Fraser-Pryce also took silver medals in the 200m and the 4 x 100 metres relay at the World Championships, before winning the Diamond for 100m in Zurich. She ended the year ranked No. 1 in the 100m and No. 3 in the 200m. Fraser-Pryce won the National Sportswoman of the Year award in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Shericka Jackson astonished the world with amazing 200m runs in 2022. She took the sprint double at the National Championships, before winning the 200m at the World Championships in Oregon, running the second fastest time in history —21.45 seconds. Jackson also took silver in the 100m and the sprint relay at the World Championships. She then won the 100m at the NACAC Championship, finished second in the 100m at the Diamond League final, and won the 200m Diamond in Zurich. She finished the year ranked No. 1 in the 200m and No. 2 in the 100m.

The other six nominees are Britany Anderson, Lamara Distin, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, Shanieka Ricketts, Janieve Russell and Elaine Thompson-Herah.

National 100-metre hurdle champion, Anderson took the silver medal for her event at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon and added the Diamond League bronze medal to top off a very good year. Globally, she ranked third for her event.

Distin won gold at the Commonwealth Games with a height of 1.95 metres. She also won the NCAA High Jump title.

Fowler-Reid set a new record of 808 goals for the Suncorp Super Netball League in Australia. She then went on to be the highest scorer at the Commonwealth Games with 273 goals. Fowler-Reid, who led Jamaica to its first victory over Australia in senior netball, was the driving force behind Jamaica’s second place finish at the Commonwealth Games, the Sunshine Girls’ highest global ranking in international netball.

Triple jumper Shanieka Ricketts had a great 2022, winning the National Championship in Kingston as well as several international meets. At the World Championships in Eugene, she took the silver medal in 14.89 metres. She added the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and the bronze medal at the Diamond League Final in Zurich. She finished the year ranked No. 2.

National Champion Janieve Russell had a good 2022 over the 400m hurdles. She had several high finishes on the Diamond League circuit, won the 400m hurdles at the NACAC Championship in The Bahamas, and finished third at the Diamond League Final in Zurich. She finished the year ranked 5th for the 400m hurdles.

Despite struggling with significant injuries, Elaine Thompson-Herah still managed some outstanding performances in 2022. She took the 100m bronze medal at the World Championships in Oregon and added the silver medal in the sprint relay. Thompson-Herah then went on to the Commonwealth Games where she achieved the rare sprint double, winning the 100m in 10.95 seconds, and the 200m in 22.02 seconds. She finished the year ranked No. 3 in the 100m. She won the award in 2016 and 2021.

The winner will be announced at the RJR Gleaner National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus on January 23.

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  • T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed T&T miss out after 0-3 loss to group winners Canada; Haiti also through with Jamaica to be confirmed

    Trinidad and Tobago missed out on a spot in the Concacaf Men's Under-20 Championship round, after they were beaten 3-0 by Canada in their final Group D qualifying contest at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday.

    Myles Morgan (10th), Santiago Lopez (54th) and Kevaughn Tavernier (79th) got the goals for Canada, who secured the coveted top spot with nine points, as Trinidad and Tobago had to settle for second on six points. St Vincent and the Grenadines ended their campaign on a high with a dramatic 3-2 win over Dominica, to finish third in the group on six points.

    Frankroy Cain (10th), Kirtney Franklyn (44th) and Steven Pierre (90+2) found the back of the net for St Vincent and the Grenadines, while Dominica got goals from Ajani Richards (40th) and Keeyan Thomas (90+5).

    By virtue of topping the group, Canada along with Group E winners, Haiti, progressed to the Concacaf Championships round where the top six teams –United States, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic -awaits.

     The final round will be staged in Mexico in July, where four spots to the 2025 FIFA Under-20 World Cup will be up for grabs.

    After securing two wins early on, Haiti did just enough to secure the point needed for group honours in a 1-1 stalemate with Puerto Rico. That top-of-the-table clash in St Kitts and Nevis, saw Fabian Menendez (39th) putting Puerto Rico in front, before Joseph Belmar (71st) secured the precious equailiser for the French-speaking Caribbean nation.

    Group host Saint Kitts and Nevis gave locals something to celebrate as they topped Cayman Islands 3-0 in a game of academic interest.  De Quan Hamilton (16th, 45+1, 81st) got all three goals for the young Sugar Boyz.

    Meanwhile, Jamaica's young Reggae Boyz will be aiming to join Canada and Haiti in the next round, as they only require a point against Bermuda in Wednesday's Group F decider.

    Jamaica, on six points are three ahead of Bermuda, on three and, as such, only needs to avoid defeat in the feature contest in St Kitts and Nevis, to confirm their spot in the next round.

    Martinique, who also have three points, could make things interesting provided they defeat Grenada by a wide margin in the curtain-raiser, and Jamaica lose by a single goal to Bermuda. 

    Elsewhere on Tuesday: 

    Group A

    British Virgin Islands topped Belize 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua.

    BVI got their goals from Azarni Callwood (38th, 45+2), Curtis Lane (40th) and Johari Lacey (70th), while the Belize goals were produced by Jaheim Mena (16th), Isaac Taegar (54th) aFelix Martinez (58th).

    Host Nicaragua, moved to the summit of the group on nine points, following their 5-0 hammering of Anguilla. Oliver Bello (19th), Francis Castillo (37th), Juban Uriarte (53rd), Andres Martinez (60th) and Kenler Cayasso (69th) got the job done for Nicaragua.

    Group B

    Antigua and Barbuda and Suriname continue to chart the course in the battle for group honours, as both registered wins at the ABFA Technical Centre.

    Suriname topped Guyana 4-1 courtesy of goals from Robinio Pinas (7th), Jermaine Rijssel (35th), Djaier Prijor (85th) and Donagay Misidjang (89th). Matrim Martin (76th) got Guyana's consolation.

    Antigua and Barbuda emerged 2-1 victors over Turks and Caicos Islands in the second game. Javaughn Jarvis (54th) and Christopher Douglas (82nd) scored for Antigua and Barbuda, before Christopher Louisy (90+4) pulled one back for Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Both Suriname and Antigua and Barbuda are on six points, but the former has a game in hand.

    Group C

    Group C also remains evenly poised between Curacao and host nation Guatemala. This, as Curacao clipped Barbados 1-0 to move to the summit of the group, while Aruba blanked St Martin 4-0 at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City.

    Luigi Iniesa (31st) got the all-important strike for Curacao that moved them to the top on seven points, one ahead of Guatemala, who has a game in hand.

    Joachim Kruydenhof (19th, 39th) and Connor Van Kilsdonk (41st, 45th) both bagged a brace in Aruba's win.

     

     

     

  • Lamara Distin: Defying gravity, breaking records, and chasing Olympic glory Lamara Distin: Defying gravity, breaking records, and chasing Olympic glory

    In a moment that will resonate through the corridors of track and field history, Lamara Distin, the high-flying Jamaican representing Texas A&M, soared to unprecedented heights at the SEC Indoor Championships.

    Last weekend, the 23-year-old SEC champion shattered the women's NCAA indoor high jump record, scaling a breathtaking 2.00 metres, not only claiming her third-straight SEC title but etching her name as the first NCAA athlete to conquer this elusive mark. The feat also holds special significance as Distin becomes the trailblazing woman from the English-speaking Caribbean to achieve such an extraordinary height and by that virtue establishing a Jamaica national indoor record.

    It was a moment of relief and reward for the talented Jamaican. "Achieving the long-awaited goal was an incredible and rewarding feeling. I have been going after this mark for years so for it to finally happen, it’s such a great feeling. I’m super-elated that my hard work is paying off."

    Distin's journey at the Randal Tyson Track Centre was nothing short of a masterclass in precision and execution. She cleared her initial six heights on the first attempt, securing her SEC indoor high jump title with a jump over 1.97m. With history beckoning, she boldly raised the bar once more. On her third and final attempt, she defied gravity, clearing the record-breaking 2.00m, etching her legacy into the NCAA and Jamaica history books.

    In doing so, Distin awarded the 2024 SEC Indoor Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

     

    The former Hydel High School star shared the depth of emotion and accomplishment tied to this historic moment. "Being among an elite class of high jumpers and the first Caribbean woman to achieve this height fills me with a deep sense of gratitude and motivation to continue pushing my limits," she shared, reflecting on the significance of this achievement.

    The journey to this moment, however, was not without its challenges. The 2022 Commonwealth Games champion opened up about the transformative year of 2023, marked by a change of coach from Sean Brady to Mario Sategna.

    During the year, Distin was well below her best even though she won the Indoor title with a clearance of 1.91m. However, after only clearing 1.87m, she relinquished the national outdoor title to Ball State’s Charity Griffith, who soared over a height of 1.93m to claim the crown.

    “The change of coach was a bit of a challenge for me last year as I know that I would be doing completely different workouts that I was used to with my old coach since I was a freshman,” she explained.

    “I’m used to the (new) program now so I’m super grateful everything is falling into place at the right time. There are little things that still need to be fixed but we’ll get there. Change can be daunting, but it can also be a catalyst for growth and improvement.”

    For Distin, reaching the 2.00m mark was not just a physical breakthrough; it also marked a profound mental transformation.

    “Reaching that two-metre mark is not only a physical breakthrough but also a significant mental breakthrough for me. It’s like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. This has opened up new possibilities and has shown me that I am capable of achieving greater heights,” she stated.

    “It has given me the confidence to set bigger goals and strive for even more success in the sport. I will continue to have faith in God and remember that his timing is always better than me.”

    With the summer approaching at the Paris Olympics looming ever closer, Distin and her coach are meticulously planning her competitions, ensuring she peaks at the right time for the Olympic challenge ahead.

    “An Olympic year means I have to also be smart as it relates to competitions. Competing at the collegiate level is totally different than the professional level as our season starts earlier. Moving into this season, my coach and I are taking the necessary measures in order for me to be fresh enough for the Olympics which is being strategic with competition planning. We have a plan and we’re sticking to that plan.”

    As she sets her sights on consistently clearing higher heights, Distin shared the key factors for sustained success. "Maintaining a positive mindset, consistency in practice, taking care of my overall well-being, and seeking support when needed" are the cornerstones of her approach.

    Grounded in her faith and armed with a renewed sense of self-belief, Distin is not merely defying gravity; she's rewriting the script of what's possible in high jumping and aiming for nothing less than Olympic glory.

  • T&T, Jamaica to use friendlies as prep for Copa America playoff, CNL semis against Canada, United States T&T, Jamaica to use friendlies as prep for Copa America playoff, CNL semis against Canada, United States

    Trinidad and Tobago's senior Soca Warriors will up the ante on preparations for their upcoming Copa America qualifying assignment, when they tackle Jamaica's Reggae Boyz in a two-match friendly series on Friday and Sunday.

    The games which are scheduled to be played at the Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, and the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, are both set to be contested at 4:00pm Trinidad and Tobago time. Both games will assist Angus Eve and his Soca Warriors in gauging their readiness for the upcoming Copa America qualifying encounter against Canada, scheduled for March 23.

    They will also assist Heimir Hallgrimsson, and his Reggae Boyz, who are also in preparation mode for their Concacaf Nations League (CNL) semi-final engagement with United States set for March 21.

    Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica met three times last year, twice in friendly matches in Montego Bay, and those were followed by their Concacaf Gold Cup clash in June. The Soca Warriors won the second friendly 1-0, after the first match ended goalless.

    However, Jamaica came away comfortable 4-1 winners in the Gold Cup group stage meeting.

    Jamaica were also responsible for sending Canada into the Copa America playoff match, by virtue of the away goal rule, after they rallied to secure a 4-4 aggregate scoreline in the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal in November.

    Like Canada, Eve's Soca Warriors also missed out on an automatic place at the 2024 Copa America, as they lost 2-4 on aggregate to United States, despite winning the second leg 2-1 in Port of Spain.

    Since then, Eve has backed his team to remain competitive and, by extension, build on that momentum from the win against United States.

    “Like the US team, the Canada team is built up the same, (with) a lot of European-based players. Some of the players (are) playing in the MLS (Major League Soccer), some playing back home, but most of the players are playing in Europe and they are playing with good teams,” Eve assessed in a recent interview.

    “But we think we can go in there; we think we can compete with anyone right now and we want to show that. We want to show that confidence that we could go out on the park and compete with anyone,” he added.

    Eve believes that with the right application, the team will compete strongly against Canada, as well as in the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers, which promises to be both demanding and exciting.

    “We just have to be tactically aware. A coach can only give instructions. When the players go out there, they have to have the mindset to play the position, to play the role that the coaches give them to the best of their ability because, a coach could never tell a player what to do for every second of every minute of a game,” he reasoned.

    "We will use those games (against Jamaica) as the final two warm-up games going into the CONMEBOL playoff match and when that happens, then we will pick that final squad,” Eve declared.

    The winner of the playoff between Trinidad and Tobago and Canada, will join Jamaica, United States, Mexico, Panama and either Costa Rica or Honduras, as the Concacaf representatives at the prestigious Copa America, which will be hosted in the United States from June 20 to July 14.

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