Danusia Francis got a good warm-up for the Summer Olympic Games this weekend while competing for Xelska in Spain's Liga Iberdrola in the city of Gironella.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally, one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.

The 14-year-old Walker scored 48.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault - that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10.  Her compatriot Madray Johnson scored 53.550 for second place. It was the first time that Jamaica has ever won a medal in gymnastics at a major event.

By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey, automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.

Grant, who spoke to Sportsmax.TV from Panama said this victory provides the push needed for the sport to continue to grow locally.

“Every appearance at any international competition of this nature is always a boost for the sport, that is what we thrive to be a part of and that is why we are working on our programme to ensure that we can participate and compete effectively as a country, as young as our sport is locally,” Grant told Sportsmax.TV today.

“This major win for us is very important to the growth and development of our local sport because it shows that we have the ability and the capability to do well in gymnastics.

“This is also a major boost for our young gymnasts who are preparing for a youth competition in Colombia later this year, the Pan American Age-Group Hopes Tournament where the age-group levels are from age eight right up to age 14 and she will also be competing in the elite category as well.”

Notwithstanding these achievements, Grant said, the sport continues to face significant obstacles.

“Our setback is equipment, landing equipment, something that we have been campaigning for, for some time now and it’s very important because when Alana comes to Jamaica, and she comes to Jamaica very often, she trains at the gym but the landing equipment is not good for her at this time because of the kind of skills that she has,” Grant said.

“And that is why we are working so hard because when our elite athletes come to Jamaica they are in awe of the gym but as its relates to the landing aspect, it’s just not up to the standard and it’s really dangerous for them to train their high-level skills.”

Grant thanked the Jamaica Olympic Association, which she said, did not hesitate to provide funding for the trip, despite the ‘last-minute request’.  She also thanked Alana’s parents, who “have always been there and have put out a lot of effort to ensure that she got the documentation in order for her to compete at the event.

She also expressed her gratitude to Marlene Hylton-Williams, who was instrumental in helping Alana getting the license that allowed her to be able to compete and Naomi Valenza, who allowed Alana’s late entry to be accepted into the tournament.

  

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced an eight-match white-ball series between the West Indies Women and Pakistan Women and a historic six-match white-ball series between the West Indies Women 'A' Team and Pakistan Women 'A' Team, with both series taking place in Antigua from June 30 to July 18. The Tour will see the return of Women’s international cricket to the Caribbean for the first time in 19 months due to the impact of COVID-19.

Pakistan will arrive in the Caribbean on June 23 ahead of the T20 International (T20I) series, which starts on June 30. The T20Is and T20 'A' Team matches will be played on the same day and at the same venues as “double-headers”. The teams will then switch gears as they head into a five-match CG Insurance One Day International (ODI) Series and three-match CG Insurance 'A' Team One-Day Series starting on July 7 and 10 respectively.

All matches will take place at the two ICC accredited grounds in Antigua, the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium and the Coolidge Cricket Ground. The ODI series will be vital preparation for both teams as they will face each other in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers that are due to take place in Sri Lanka in December for one of the three remaining qualifying spots for the Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, 2022.

CWI’s investment in Women’s cricket is one of eight key initiatives within CWI’s strategic plan, designed to develop the next generation of women cricketers, increase participation in the sport and generate additional opportunities for competition at the highest level.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said: “This is a very significant home tour for our women and we are delighted that our counterparts at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have worked with us to arrange these two series despite all the challenges we face with COVID-19. CWI continues to invest in our international Women’ program by hosting extended High-Performance camps between tours, two of which have already been held this year.

"In addition, the opportunity to host our first ever ‘A” Team Series is brilliant, as it means that our developing players will get the chance to compete against high-quality international opponents and push for selection to the senior team. The series is also an important part of our preparation for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in December. Our goal post this Pakistan series is to have our squad play against more international opposition and take part in our Regional Tournament before heading to the Qualifiers in Sri Lanka at the end of the year.”

The West Indies Women last played in the Caribbean in a bilateral series against India in November 2019, following which all home cricket was postponed in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. The West Indies Women last played on the Sandals West Indies Women’s Tour to England in September 2020 in a five-match T20I series.

 

 

New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders remained atop the table in their respective conferences with road wins Saturday. 

Thomas McNamara's goal in the 88th minute gave New England a 3-2 victory over New York City FC, just three minutes after Ismael Tajouri-Shradi had equalised for the home side.

Gustavo Bou and Jon Bell also found the net for the Revolution, who are five points clear of Orlando City in the Eastern Conference. 

Out west, goals four minutes on either side of half-time from Yeimar Gomez and Raul Ruidiaz lifted unbeaten Seattle to a 2-1 win at LA Galaxy. 

Orlando City got early goals from Tesho Akindele and Nani before Junior Urso netted in the 84th minute to defeat Toronto FC 3-2. 

Columbus Crew got a brace from Gyasi Zardes to beat Chicago Fire 2-0, while Colorado Rapids won by the same scoreline at FC Cincinnati as Diego Rubio and Jonathan Lewis found the scoresheet. 

Ola Kamara's 72nd-minute penalty was the difference for D.C. United in a 1-0 win over Inter Miami, who saw Gregore and Ryan Shawcross shown red cards. 

Portland Timbers defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on first-half goals from Dairon Asprilla and Marvin Loria. 

Ricardo Pepi's 68th-minute equaliser gave FC Dallas a 1-1 draw with Minnesota United after Franco Fragapane had given the visitors a first-half lead, while Austin FC and San Jose Earthquakes finished in a 0-0 draw. 

Houston Dynamo earned a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against Los Angeles FC as Maximiliano Urruti matched Jose Cifuentes' second-half goal.

South Africa once again capitalised on West Indies' batting frailties to take charge of the second Test after Quinton de Kock fell just short of another century on day two.

De Kock made a classy century in a first Test that the Proteas won by an innings and 63 runs at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium and was dismissed for 96 at the same venue on Saturday.

Kemar Roach took 3-45 and Kyle Mayers claimed 3-28 - his best Test bowling figures - as the tourists were bowled out for 298 on the second day in Gros Islet.

The Windies were bowled out for only 149 in reply, losing their last four wickets for only six runs in the space of three and a half overs.

Kagiso Rabada (2-24), Lungi Ngidi (2-27) and Keshav Maharaj (2-47) took two wickets apiece, while Wiaan Mulder took three wickets for only one run late on another miserable day for West Indies - who trail by 149 runs and are facing a 2-0 series defeat.

Roach had Mulder caught behind in his first over of the day and Maharaj fell in the same fashion to Jason Holder after putting on 36 for the seventh wicket with De Kock.

De Kock fell just shy of a hundred when he attempted to slash Mayers for four, Shai Hope taking a simple catch in the gully after the ball looped up off Joshua Da Silva's glove.

Rabada added an unbeaten 21 and then had Kraigg Brathwaite caught behind off the first ball of the Windies' reply and they were in deep trouble on 54-4 when Maharaj removed Mayers.

Jermaine Blackwood (49) and Hope (43) offered some resistance, but West Indies folded and look to be facing a whitewash on home soil in a series they started by only posting a pitiful 97 and 162 in the opening Test.

De Kock falls just short

Wicketkeeper batsman De Kock was named man of the match in the first Test for his magnificent 141.

The explosive left-hander fell agonisingly short of a second successive hundred on the same ground, but his brilliant innings could be decisive.

De Kock struck eight boundaries in another assured, high quality 162-ball knock, having arrived at the crease on day one with work to do at 124-4.

 

Late Mulder burst sums up Windies' day

The Windies were already on the ropes at 143-6 before Mulder did late damage.

All-rounder Mulder had birthday boy Da Silva caught behind in his first over, then saw the back of Roach and Jayden Seales in the space of three balls.

Blackwood top-edged spinner Maharaj to Dean Elgar, ending a sorry innings that lasted only 54 overs.

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will adjust the dates of this year’s competition based on a request from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The Caribbean tournament was scheduled to take place between August 28, and end with the final, which was to be played on September 19.  However, the tournament has now been shifted by three days from August 25 to September 15.

The issue stems from the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to resume on September 19.  The IPL began in early April but was called off on May 4 after an outbreak of COVID-19 within the competition’s bio-secure bubble.

With a packed international schedule, however, that decision to continue the IPL has not found favour with some countries that have players taking part in the competition.  England and Bangladesh players have been prohibited from taking part in the rescheduled competition.

Several West Indies players who will take part in the CPL are expected to return to the IPL.  The players are Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran (Punjab Kings) Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders) Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings) Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shimron Hetmyer - Delhi Capitals, and Fabian Allen - Punjab Kings. 

 

South Africa batsman Rassie van der Dussen clean bowled by Kemar Roach after letting a straight one go.

New York Red Bulls continued their excellent home form as they climbed up the Eastern Conference standings with a 2-0 win over Nashville in the MLS.

Goals from Brazilian forward Fabio and defender Kyle Duncan either side of half-time settled Friday's contest for the Red Bulls, who recorded their fourth consecutive home victory.

The result inflicted Nashville's first defeat of the season, also seeing them slide down to eighth in the east as the Red Bulls moved up to third – five points behind leaders New England Revolution.

Fabio, who joined the Red Bulls in February, netted his first goal for the club with a fine volley in the 37th minute after Patryk Klimala's crafty flick-on.

Ten minutes into the second half, Duncan added a second, collecting the ball at halfway, running forward and unleashing a low left-foot finish from outside the box.

Real Salt Lake scored twice in stoppage time to end their three-game run of draws courtesy of a 3-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps.

Erik Holt and Damir Kreilach struck at the death, helping Real Salt Lake move up to fifth spot in the Western Conference.

The late double blow also condemned the Whitecaps to their fourth successive defeat.

Kreilach opened the scoring in 43rd minute following Albert Rusnak's classy pass, but Vancouver levelled 10 minutes after half-time from an unmarked Brian White at the back post.

The game appeared destined for a draw before Holt headed home from a long Aaron Herrera throw into the box in the 92nd minute, with Kreilach nodding in another to seal the win three minutes later.

Dean Elgar and Quinton de Kock staged a South Africa fightback on the first day of the second Test as the Proteas attempt to secure a series victory over West Indies.

Having claimed an innings victory in the first Test of the two-match series, South Africa initially paid the price for losing the toss and being put into bat as the Windies made early inroads.

When Rassie van der Dussen (4) was bowled by an inswinger from Kemar Roach, South Africa were in a perilous position on 37-3.

But Elgar (77) staged a partnership of 87 with Kyle Verreynne (27) and then put on put 79 with Quinton de Kock, who finished unbeaten on 59 as South Africa reached stumps on 218-5 in Gros Islet.

Aiden Markram fell for a duck when he ill-advisedly chased a short and wide delivery from Shannon Gabriel in the second over of the day.

Keegan Petersen scored seven before he followed Markram back to the sheds as Jayden Seales tempted him into a drive and drew the edge, and Roach then clattered a delivery into Van der Dussen's off stump.

But, as the wickets tumbled around him, Elgar dug in, his half-century coming off 147 balls, and the arrival of De Kock helped up the run rate.

Elgar and De Kock put on 79 in 169 deliveries, the latter reaching his fifty after just 89 balls with an edge to the boundary at third man.

Yet he did so four deliveries after Kyle Mayers beat Elgar's bat to end the opener's stay, meaning De Kock will likely have to farm the strike on day two as the Windies get into the South Africa tail.

 

De Kock in form

After an unbeaten 141 in the first Test, De Kock now has 200 off just 273 deliveries in the series for a strike rate of 73.26. If South Africa finish the job and claim a 2-0 victory, De Kock will have an excellent case for Player of the Series.

Seales' strong start

Having taken 3-75 on debut in the first Test, 19-year-old Seales continues to impress in the Windies attack. He finished with figures of 1-28 from his 13 overs on day one, four of which were maidens. The right-arm quick has so far made a very promising start to his career.

Paul Hall has been appointed assistant coach to Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore for the Gold Cup and the duration of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young plans to arrive at Jamaica’s national championships next week refreshed and ready to secure a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

West Ham forward Michail Antonio and Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey have both been included in a preliminary Jamaica squad for next month’s Gold Cup.

The 31-year-old Antonio switched country’s earlier this year, having never been capped by England after several seasons in the English topflight.  According to reports, the forward, who had an impressive season in the EPL, is still working on finalising his official documents to represent the Caribbean country but it is hoped the issue can be resolved in time for him to make his debut at the tournament.

Bailey also had a strong season for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga but will be fighting to be fit in time for the tournament after breaking his toe in the final few weeks of the season.

The squad will also include the likes of Swansea’s Jamal Lowe, Watford’s Andre Grey, and Reading’s Liam Moore.  The team also includes first-string goalkeeper Andre Blake and defender Damion Lowe who have been part of teams that have made two appearances at the tournament's final.  Should all the players be available it could mark the first time the team’s coach Theodore Whitmore will have a full squad at his disposal.

Jamaica preliminary squad

 MF JAHSHAUN MUSTAF - MIAMI FC (USA)

FW MICHAIL ANTONIO - WEST HAM UNITED FC (ENG)

FW LEON BAILEY - BAYER 04 LEVERKUSEN (GER)

GK DILLON BARNES - QUEENS PARK RANGERS FC (ENG)

DF AMARII BELL - BLACKBURN ROVERS FC (ENG)

GK ANDRE BLAKE - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW BRIAN BROWN - NEW MEXICO UNITED (USA)

DF JAVAIN BROWN - VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (CAN)

FW CORY BURKE - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW NORMAN CAMPBELL - FK GRAFIČAR BEOGRAD (SRB)

GK AKEEM CHAMBERS - WATERHOUSE FC (JAM)

MF JORDAN COUSINS - WIGAN ATHLETIC FC (ENG)

FW EAST JAVON EAST -  SANTOS DE GUAPILES (CRC)

DF ONIEL FISHER - LA GALAXY (USA)

FW JUNIOR FLEMMINGS -  BIRMINGHAM LEGION (USA)

GK KEMAR FOSTER - PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

FW OWAYNE GORDON - AUSTIN BOLD (USA)

FW ANDRE GRAY - WATFORD FC (ENG)

DF WESLEY HARDING - ROTHERHAM UNITED FC (ENG)

DF MICHAEL HECTOR -  FULHAM FC (ENG)

MF KEVAUGHN ISAACS - MOUNT PLEASANT F.A. (JAM)

MF DANIEL JOHNSON - PRESTON NORTH END FC (ENG)

FW  DANE KELLY -  CHARLOTTE INDEPENDENCE (USA)

GK AMAL KNIGHT - UNATTACHED (JAM)

MF KEVON LAMBERT - PHOENIX RISING FC (USA)

DF KEMAR LAWRENCE - TORONTO FC (CAN)

DF GREGORY LEIGH - ABERDEEN FC (SCO)

MF LUCA LEVEE - HARBOUR VIEW FC (JAM)

DF DAMION LOWE - AL ITTIHAD (KSA)

MF JAMAL LOWE -  SWANSEA CITY FC (WAL)

MF TYREEK MAGEE - KAS EUPEN (BEL)

FW KEMAL MALCOLM - AD CHALATENANGO (SLV)

DF ADRIAN MARIAPPA -  BRISTOL CITY FC (ENG)

MF CHEVONE MARSH - AD CHALATENANGO (SLV)

GK DWAYNE MILLER - SYRIANSKA FC (SWE)

DF LIAM MOORE - READING FC (ENG)

MF RICARDO MORRIS - PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

FW RAVEL MORRISON -  UNATTACHED (JAM)

FW COLORADO MURRAY - WATERHOUSE FC (JAM)

FW SHAMAR NICHOLSON - ROYAL CHARLEROI SC (BEL)

FW DEVER ORGILL - MKE ANKARAGUCU SK (TUR)

MF KASEY PALMER -  BRISTOL CITY FC (ENG)

MF KAHEEM PARRIS - NK KRKA (SVN)

DF ETHAN PINNOCK - BRENTFORD FC (ENG)

DF ALVAS POWELL - PHILADELPHIA UNION (USA)

FW BOBBY REID -  FULHAM FC (ENG)

DF LADALE RICHIE - MOUNT PLEASANT F.A. (JAM)

MF KEMAR ROOFE - RANGERS FC (SCO)

MF KEVIN STEWART -  BLACKPOOL FC (ENG)

DF AJEANIE TALBOTT - HARBOUR VIEW FC (JAM)

GK DENNIS TAYLOR - HUMBLE LION F.C. (JAM)

DF CURTIS TILT - ROTHERHAM UNITED FC (ENG)

FW BLAIR TURGOTT - OSTERSUNDS FK (SWE)

FW PETER VASSELL - INDY ELEVEN (USA)

MF LAMAR WALKER -  MIAMI FC (USA)

MF JE-VAUGHN WATSON - UNATTACHED (JAM)

GK JEADINE WHITE - CAVALIER F.C. (JAM)

MF DEVON WILLIAMS- MIAMI FC (USA)

FW  ROMARIO WILLIAMS - AL ITTIHAD (KSA)

MF CHAVANY WILLIS- PORTMORE UNITED FC (JAM)

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will begin the Hexagonal final round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers away to Mexico City at the famous Azteca Stadium.

Four days later they will host Panama at Kingston’s National Stadium, before travelling to Costa Rica two days later to close out the first round of games.

The opening round of games will take place between September 2-8.  The Jamaicans will be the only Caribbean team in the final round of the qualifiers.  The Reggae Boyz, along with Mexico, United States, Costa Rica, and Honduras automatically advanced to the final round based on their FIFA rankings.  Panama, Canada, and El Salvador took part in an additional round to reach the final stage.

A face-off against CONCACAF’s top-ranked team will be a tough start for the Jamaicans who will be looking to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1998.  The Jamaicans have never won a match at the venue but came away with a point from a 0-0 draw the last time the teams met there, in the qualifiers, in 2013. 

The game will, however, be hosted with no fans, after the team was ordered to play their next two official home games behind closed doors, as a consequence of anti-gay chants heard during matches against the Dominican Republic and the United States, played in Guadalajara on March 18 and 24.

The team was also fined $65,000 and further sanctions were threatened, including a possible points reduction.

 

 

CONCACAF Hexagonal Round fixtures

 Matchday 1 - Thursday, September 2

  • Canada vs. Honduras
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. Costa Rica
  • Mexico vs. Jamaica

Matchday 2 - Sunday, September 6

  • United States vs. Canada
  • El Salvador vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. Mexico
  • Jamaica vs. Panama

Matchday 3 - Wednesday, September 8

  • Canada vs. El Salvador
  • Honduras vs. United States
  • Panama vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Jamaica

Matchday 4 - Thursday, October 7

  • Mexico vs. Canada
  • Honduras vs. Costa Rica
  • El Salvador vs. Panama
  • United States vs. Jamaica

Matchday 5 - Sunday, October 10

  • Jamaica vs. Canada
  • Mexico vs. Honduras
  • Costa Rica vs. El Salvador
  • Panama vs. United States

Matchday 6 - Wednesday, October 13

  • Canada vs. Panama
  • Honduras vs. Jamaica
  • El Salvador vs. Mexico
  • United States vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 7 - Friday, November 12

  • Canada vs. Costa Rica
  • Honduras vs. Panama
  • El Salvador vs. Jamaica
  • United States vs. Mexico

Matchday 8 - Tuesday, November 16

  • Canada vs. Mexico
  • Costa Rica vs. Honduras
  • Panama vs. El Salvador
  • Jamaica vs. United States

Matchday 9 - Thursday, January 27, 2022

  • Honduras vs. Canada
  • United States vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Mexico

Matchday 10 - Sunday, January 30, 2022

  • Canada vs. United States
  • Honduras vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. Costa Rica
  • Panama vs. Jamaica

Matchday 11 - Wednesday, February 2, 2022

  • El Salvador vs. Canada
  • United States vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. Panama
  • Jamaica vs. Costa Rica

Matchday 12 - Thursday, March 24, 2022

  • Costa Rica vs. Canada
  • Panama vs. Honduras
  • Jamaica vs. El Salvador
  • Mexico vs. United States

Matchday 13 - Sunday, March 27, 2022

  • Canada vs. Jamaica
  • Honduras vs. Mexico
  • El Salvador vs. Costa Rica
  • United States vs. Panama

Matchday 14 - Wednesday, March 30, 2022

  • Panama vs. Canada
  • Jamaica vs. Honduras
  • Mexico vs. El Salvador
  • Costa Rica vs. United States

West Indies captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, has insisted returning batsman Shai Hope is in a good frame of mind, despite a disappointing return to the Test area against South Africa.

Hope spent several months out of the team, after being dropped in November of last year, working on technical and mental issues following a poor run of form.

The 27-year-old’s return against South Africa last week, however, was a baptism of fire, so to speak, as he was uprooted for scores of 15 and 12.  Hope, who opened in the first innings and batted third in the second, was, however, far from the only batsman who struggled on the day with the team only managing 97 in the first innings.

Ahead of the start of the second Test, on Friday, however, Brathwaite has given assurances that the batsman is confident and mentally in good shape.

“Just like any batsman, it’s important how they are feeling.  He is feeling good at the top but I back him for whichever position, whether opening or number 5, I know he will do a good job,” Brathwaite told members of the media on Thursday.

“He’s always up for the challenge and he’s up for the challenge for any position, opening is obviously different but he’s ready for any position.  He is in a good space and that’s one of the main things.  Once the batter has that positive mindset and is confident then that’s the way forward.”

Hope will be looking to replicate some of the form from the Windies Best vs Best practice match where he impressed selectors with a century.

 

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