The undisputed king of the track Usain Bolt and his queen Kasi Bennett have welcomed two new additions to the family.

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 49.850 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 someone like Alana comes to Jamaica and trains at the gym, the landing equipment is not good enough at this time because of the kind of skills that she or he 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 it 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.

  

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

International football player and captain of the ‘Reggae Boyz’, Damion Lowe, has joined the star-studded lineup of Digicel brand ambassadors.

Manchester City Women have announced the signing of Jamaica’s Khadija Shaw on a three-year deal, subject to the approval of a work visa and international clearance.

Shaw, 24, arrives from Bordeaux in France where she scored 22 goals to win the Golden Boot Award in the Women’s First Division.

“It feels amazing to be a Manchester City player. I chose this club because I want to be a part of the environment, the culture and to play for this amazing team,” she said. “I want to be tested and there is so much experience in the team here, so I know I will learn a lot from everybody around me. I grew up as a City fan, and I even have some family members who live in Manchester. When I told them about my move, they were so happy and excited.”

Goal.com had reported in April that the player was close to a deal with Manchester City, which was looking to add depth to their forward pool and provide their head coach with different tactical options.

The player took to Instagram last week to announce that she was leaving Bordeaux but there was no confirmation as to where she was headed.

That confirmation came today with the club’s announcement.

Naturally, head coach Gareth Taylor was delighted with the signing and welcomed the Jamaicans to the club, who plays in the Women’s Super League in England.

"She's enjoyed a successful couple of years in France with Bordeaux and the fact that she finished as the league's top scorer this past campaign speaks volumes about the calibre of player that she is,” he said. “Her form on the international stage is incredibly impressive too and we're very much looking forward to working with her over the coming seasons."

 

 

 

 

The forward arrives from Bordeaux after scoring 22 goals in 20 league

Newcastle Knights and former Huddersfield teenage wing sensation Dom Young is one of a number of new faces selected for the initial Jamaica 2021 Rugby League World Cup train-on squad.

The Reggae Warriors will become the first nation from the Caribbean region to play in the final stages of the tournament later this year and will be based in Leeds.

Castleford’s experienced back Jordan Turner and Hull KR’s Luis Johnson also receive their first call up, as do Sheffield’s Izaac Farrell – who joins his brother Joel, Bradford’s Dee Foggin-Johnson and Lloyd White, who has previously played for Wales.

Young’s brother Alex, who is at Workington, is also included along with the 17 English-based players who helped the side qualify for the World Cup when winning the Americas Qualifiers in 2018 including Huddersfield’s Ashton Golding who joins club-mate Michael Lawrence, who made his Jamaica debut against England Knights in 2019.

A total of 14 players from the Jamaica domestic league have also been chosen including Khamisi McKain and Renaldo Wade who played in the 2018 qualifiers, and Liguanea Dragons’ Akeem Murray who sparked Jamaica’s win over the USA in their clash in Kingston in 2019.

Jamaica will face Greece in a World Cup warm-up game at Castleford on October 5 which will double as Turner’s testimonial game, and head coach Romeo Monteith has announced a three-day camp at Weetwood Hall in Leeds for the English-based players in preparation from 22-24 June.

The Jamaican contingent is not yet allowed to travel because of Covid-19 regulations and the camp will be run by their UK based lead coach Jermaine Coleman who will oversee on-field activities and will be supported by Leeds Rhinos assistant Chev Walker.

Monteith believes that the balance of the squad is right and competition for spots will be fierce. “We have named a strong train-on squad which gives us coverage in all positions,” he said.

“Only 24 players can make the final cut and so I know everyone will want to put himself in the best position to be selected. For the first time we have adequate options in the halves and our forwards are looking to have depth. Our backs have always been our strength and we will again have plenty of options there.

“It’s extremely disappointing that we weren’t allowed a mid-season international but second to that a camp is the next best thing we can arrange. Our UK operation directors Alex Simmons and Jason Robinson have worked hard to make it a possibility and I am confident our preparations will greatly benefit from it.

“We also hope to have a similar camp in Jamaica for the domestic-based players but we are still waiting on Government approval to return to activities on the island. Certainly, it’s not been a normal time and like other sports, we have suffered greatly.”

JAMAICA WORLD CUP TRAIN-ON SQUAD

Greg Johnson (Batley Bulldogs), Dee Foggin-Johnson, (Bradford Bulls), Jordan Turner (Castleford Tigers), Kevin Thomas (CMU Spartans) Kadeem Williams (Coventry Bears), Jon Magrin, Keenen Tomlinson, (Dewsbury Rams), Danny Bravo, Ross Peltier (Doncaster), Danny Thomas  (Dewsbury Celtic), Andre McFarlane, Andrew Simpson, Fabian Turner, Jenson Morris, Kenneth Walker, Khamisi McKain, Marvin Thompson, Owen Linton, Renaldo Wade, Ryan Grant (Duhaney Park Red Sharks) James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax) Chevaughn Bailey (GC Lions) Ashton Golding, Michael Lawrence (Huddersfield Giants), Luis Johnson (Hull Kingston Rovers), Aaron Jones-Bishop, Alex Brown, Jordan Andrade, Jy-mel Coleman (Hunslet Hawks), Mo Agoro, Zach Braham (Keighley Cougars), Adrian Hall, Akeem Murray (Liguanea Dragons) Jacob Ogden (London Broncos) Abevia McDonald, Jerome Yates, Lamont Bryan, Maliki Lloyd-Jones, Omari Caro, (London Skolars), Joe Brown (Newcastle), Dom Young (Newcastle Knights), Christopher Ball, Izaac Farrell, Joel Farrell (Sheffield Eagles), Nico Rizelli (St. Helens), Lloyd White (Toulouse Olympique), Alex Young (Workington Town), Ben Jones-Bishop (York City Knights), Mason Caton-Brown, Tyronie Rowe (Unattached).

 

 

 

 

In demand Bayer Leverkusen and Jamaica winger, Leon Bailey could stay in Germany after the summer transfer window, after reportedly attracting interest from Borussia Dortmund. 

The 23-year-old is currently under contract with Leverkusen until 2023 but is once again on the radar of some of the globe’s top clubs after a strong performance this season.  Bailey has scored 15 goals this season, including 9 in the Bundesliga.

The Jamaican has been linked with English clubs Everton, Manchester City, and Manchester United but has lately been tipped to replace Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho who could be heading to Manchester United.

Sancho has been a long-term interest of Man United but the club and Dortmund have had disagreements over the player’s price.  Bailey missed the last two weeks of the Bundesliga season after suffering a broken toe during a league match against Werder Bremen.

The winger has made 8 international appearances for the Jamaica national team and scored one goal.

A pre-Olympic camp in Japan for Jamaican athletes participating in the Tokyo Olympics this summer that was being planned by the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), has been cancelled because of the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the JOA said today in a statement.

According to the JOA, the Tottori Prefectural Government stated that due to the spread of Covid-19, the Japanese Government is imposing strict measures on all local governments hosting pre-Games camps, which are unprecedented and treated as "abnormal circumstances."

The communication from Japan also stated that although the current COVID-19 situation in Tottori Prefecture is not as serious as in other regions, the increasing cases of highly infectious mutant variants and the ongoing state of emergency in Tokyo and in eight other prefectures are raising public sentiments nationwide, which has also increased concerns locally among citizens, healthcare providers and health authorities with regards to hosting the pre-Games camp.

Under the circumstances, the Prefectural Government has been compelled to conclude that it would be extremely difficult to hold a safe and secure camp for Jamaica's athletes as initially planned.

In light of the new measures and policy approach of the Japanese Government, the Prefectural Government was constrained to make new proposals that would make it practically impossible for the camp to take place as the revised timetable would have the delegation arriving practically at the same time as the scheduled opening of the Athletes' Village, which effectively defeat the objectives of holding the camp.

Kemba Nelson has characterized her first season competing on the American collegiate circuit as ‘incredible’ after her fourth-place finish in the 100m at the NCAA Division I Outdoor season that concluded in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday.

An experimental Jamaica Reggae Boyz squad were thoroughly outclassed by the Japanese Olympic team, in a 4-0 loss, at the Tokyo Stadium, on Saturday morning.

Far from the competent display put on against the Serbian squad a few days earlier, the mix and match Jamaica team struggled to shift out of first gear and barely managed a shot on goal for 90 minutes.

The Samurai Blue, on the other hand, were razor-sharp and moved the ball with pace and purpose throughout the encounter.  Although a bit fortuitous, it was hardly a surprise when the Asian squad took the lead through Takefusa Kubo.  His fierce 32nd-minute strike, fired from inside the area to the left of the goal, went through the legs of four defenders before also going through Jamaica goalkeeper Dillion Barnes, who seemed unsighted.

The swarming Japanese increased the lead further 10 minutes later when Wataru Endo, given space just outside the 18-year area, used it to his advantage with geometric precision as he curled a shot high to the left of a fully outstretched Barnes.

Any hopes of a comeback were killed off early in the second half when substitute Ayase Ueda ran on to a defense-splitting pass, from the centre of midfield, and cheekily dinked over an onrushing Barnes to make the score 3-0 in the 58th minute.  The rout was completed in a simplistic fashion, in the 64th minute, when a loosely marked Ritsu Doan picked up the ball five yards from goal before pivoting to blast it into the net.

The match marked the end of what was supposed to be a three-match tour for the Jamaica team, where the first match against the Japan national team was cancelled after a COVID-19 testing mix-up led to the Caribbean squad not having enough players.

Jamaica international Alvas Powell has officially rejoined Major League Soccer (MLS) after signing a one-year deal with Philadelphia Union.

The 26-year-old spent the past several weeks training with the team and was offered a contract on Thursday.  Prior to signing the deal, the defender spent the majority of his career at MLS club Portland Timbers where he made 101 appearances between 2015 and 2018. 

The 29-year-old had joined Sudanese club Al-Hilal Clu in December after another US franchise Inter Miami CF declined to offer him a new contract.  Before leaving the club he had made just four appearances for the franchise owned by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham.

Union sporting director Ernst Tanner confirmed that the Union were excited to have secured the services of the Jamaica defender.

“We are excited to add Alvas to our defensive unit," Tanner said.

"He brings almost eight years of MLS experience to the club as well as the mentality and work ethic it takes to win a Cup. He has the physicality required to contribute to all phases of play and adds important depth to our backline,” he added.

Powell won the MLS Cup with Portland in 2015.

 

 

Jamaica striker Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw has given the clearest indication yet that her time at Bordeaux has come to an end amid rumours that she is likely to make a move to England in the offseason.

Deneisha Blackwood found redemption after missing a first-half penalty when she scored the only goal of the match in Jamaica’s 1-0 win over Nigeria in the opening match of the 2021 WNT Summer Series in Texas yesterday.

Blackwood scored in the 51st minute after Vyan Sampson collided with a Nigeria defender causing the ball to slip through past the far post. Jody Brown chased it and passed it back to Blackwood, who slammed it into the upper left corner from eight yards.

She would have been relieved after missing a penalty after Jody Brown was taken down inside the 18-yard box by past midfielder Rita Chikwelu. Expected to score, Blackwood kicked a tame shot directly at goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, who kneeled to effect an easy save.

Just before Blackwood scored what proved to be the game-winner, Ijeoma Okoronkwo seemed to have scored but she was ruled offside.

Nigeria almost pulled level in the 83rd minute, when forward Michelle Alozie’s shot struck the crossbar with a left-footed shot from outside the box.

Jamaica also came close to scoring again in the dying moments of the game when Tiffany Cameron got loose on a breakaway but Oluehi closed her down and went to ground to save Cameron’s shot.

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