Jamaica's Reggae Girlz were on the wrong end of a 9-0 thrashing, at the hands of Canada, in the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship on Saturday.

Needing a win to keep their chances of advancing from the highly competitive group B alive, the Jamaicans found the firepower from the eighth-ranked Canadians a bit too much to handle and found very little in the way of competitive response.

  Canadian teenager Jordyn Huitema helped herself to five goals and Janine Beckie added three as the Maple Leaves booked their spot in the semifinals of the competition with one group game remaining.  In its first two games, the Canadians have scored an astounding 20 goals, after opening with an 11-0 thrashing of St Kitts.

Deanne Rose got the team’s other goal.  The Canadians will tackle Mexico, who earlier beat St Kitts 6-0, to see which team progresses as the winner of the group.  Jamaica will play St Kitts and Nevis in the battle to determine the minor placings.  The U.S. plays Costa Rica on Monday to determine the Group A winner.

Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach Hubert Busby Jr has urged patience as it relates to the women’s national program, following the team’s slow start to the CONCACAF Women’s Qualifying Championship.

The Jamaica national team caught the attention of the world when they became the first Caribbean team to qualify for a women’s World Cup.  On Wednesday, the team failed to immediately live up toheightened expectations after losing to 1-0 to Mexico in the first match of the CONCACAF Championships.  In a tough group B, which also includes Canada and St Kitts, the loss could be a major set-back with a tough match-up against 8th ranked Canada now earmarked as a must-win.  According to Busby, however, such ups and downs are to be expected.

“ We have to be realistic, in some aspects we are close to 20 years behind in the development of women’s football. We have made tremendous strides to get to what we have been able to do in the last five years,” Busby told the SportsMax Zone.

“These are building blocks.  You want a sustainable women’s program that is going to be able to compete for CONCACAF and World Cup and Olympic berth for years and that is what we are building,” he added.

“There is no quick fix when it comes to developing and growing a program.  Especially when you are talking about growing the program in our region. So, we understand that and the Federation understands that now.”

 

Jamaica Reggae Girlz head coach Hubert Busby Jr has pointed out that the team is mathematically still in with a chance to qualify for the Olympics, despite a disappointing start to the campaign after a loss to Mexico.

In a competitive Group B, which also includes St Kitts and Nevis and Canada, and only two to qualify to the next round, the last thing the Jamaicans would have wanted was a 1-0 loss to begin their campaign.  Thanks to a goal from Mexico’s Renae Cuéllar, however, that is the scenario the team has found themselves in, with its upcoming game against highly-fancied eighth-ranked Canada already a must-win scenario.  In their opening encounter, Canada beat St Kitts and Nevis 11-0.

“Mathematically we are still in.  We have to win our next two games to advance and that’s where our preparation is right now,” Busby Jr told the SportsMax Zone.

One area in which the coach hopes there will be a dramatic improvement is in front of the goal. 

“Mexico had lots of possession, but they did not threaten us.  I thought we were organized and compact and hard to break down.  I think on the overall balance of the game we created more clear-cut opportunities and I think if we were sharper in front of goal we could have won the match,” he added.

The team’s talisman Khadijah Shaw crashed a powerful shot of the crossbar before Mexico took the lead and was denied again in the second half.  Group B continues play on Saturday, February 1 with Mexico playing Saint Kitts and Nevis in the early match at HEB Park.   Jamaica plays Canada in the later game.

 

The Jamaica Rifle Association’s (JRA) pistol-shooting team delivered a commendable performance at the Florida State United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Championships held recently in Frostproof, USA.

The Jamaica Reggae Girlz kicked off their bid to qualify for the Olympics in disappointing fashion with a 1-0 loss to Mexico in the Women’s Qualifying Championship at HEB Park in Texas on Wednesday.

With only two teams allowed to qualify from the region, the loss was an early blow for the team looking to follow-up on their maiden appearance at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. 

The Jamaicans began the match the brighter of the two teams, but it was the Mexicans who seemed determined to make up for missing out on qualification for the last World Cup.

Despite dominant spells of possession, it was a set-piece that saw the Mexicans eventually take the lead.  In the 36th minute, after Kiana Palacios laid off for Renae Cuéllar in the area, she smartly steered home to finish beyond Sydney Schneider.  The Jamaicans had previously only narrowly missed out on taking the lead after talismanic striker Khadijah Shaw hit the crossbar in the 32nd minute from a tight angle.

The Jamaicans continued to hunt for the equalizer in the second half but were denied by quality saves from Mexican goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.  Group B continues play on Saturday, February 1 with Mexico playing Saint Kitts and Nevis in the early match at HEB Park.

 Saint Kitts and Nevis lost to Canada 11-0 earlier on Wednesday. Jamaica plays Canada in the later game in what’s now a must-win match for the Reggae Girlz.

Noted trainer Antony ‘Baba’ Nunes has strongly reprimanded the Jamaica Veterinary Services Division for the treatment meted out to Triple Crown winner Supreme Soul who remains quarantined in the United States.

The four-year-old colt headed to the United States late last year for the Caribbean Classic at Gulfstream Park but has been unable to return to Jamaica after testing positive for the tick fever virus.  Based on existing protocol, the Veterinary Services Division has insisted that the horse be treated for the virus in the United States, but with the disease not endemic to that region the drugs need to treat the animal are not readily available.

In the meantime, according to Nunes an email from the USDA stated that the horse had spent more than 44 days straight in a 10 by 10 feet quarantine isolation stall, which does not typically hold animals longer than 15 days.  The trainer believes the action borders on inhumane.

“…If the USDA is telling you that it is inhumane to do that to this animal are you telling me that veterinarians from the country of which this horse was born are saying no you cannot come here, that you do not have a humane bone in your body to worry about this horse mentally and physically,” an irate Nunes told the SportsMax Zone .

This horse represented his country, it’s no fault of his own.  It’s like Usain Bolt going to the Olympics, catching the flu and you tell him he can’t come back home,” he added.

A part of the trainer’s grouse is based on the fact that he believes the tick fever virus is pervasive on the island, with over 50 percent of animals at Caymanas Park carrying markers for the disease.

“For Veterinary Services Division to say that they cannot accept Supreme Soul back into Jamaica makes absolutely no sense.  In fact, if he was to be shipped back to Jamaica he shouldn’t even have to go through quarantine because the truth of the matter is that of the 1200 horses he is going to mix with at Caymanas Park, 1199 of them are already probably carrying the tick fever virus."

According to the trainer, the USDA will not able to get tick fever medicine to treat the horse until around March, by then it could cost approximately $US40,000 to keep the horse in the United States.  At that cost, the trainer believes it could come down to a business decision, which could see the horse euthanized.

“You are putting the owner in a position now where you are saying to him this going to cost you $US40,000 through no fault of yours or the horses and we are going to have to suck it up. No.”

Former world record holder Asafa Powell is confident he will get to the elusive target of 100 sub-10 clockings sometime in the coming season, despite insisting that it is not necessarily a primary focus.

Powell, who set the world record twice, first in 2005 (9.77) before lowering the mark in 2007 (9.74), has the most sub-10 clockings in history with 97.  The 37-year-old has, however, been hampered by injury in recent years and has struggled to dip below the mark in recent years.

The runner has not managed to go below the mark since 2016, when he clocked 9.92.  With a solid preseason behind him, however, Powell feels he is ready to get back to his best form and achieving the target is well within his grasp.

“Based on how training has been going this year I expect it to be a walk in the park,” Powell said of getting to 100 sub-10 clockings.

“I’m not really focusing on that it will come naturally.  I’m focused on going to the national trials where you have to go sub-10 and on the Diamond League circuit you have to go sub-10, so I’m not focusing on it,” he said.

“I’m just taking it step by step and making sure I stay healthy.”

Jamaica’s Reggae Marathon has been selected as a Caribbean qualifying race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings.

Former 100m record holder Asafa Powell has insisted he remains in great shape to compete despite being dismissed as an 'old guy' by a competitor at the Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.

In his prime, Powell cast an enviable figure for many sprinters, his picture-perfect running style taking him to a world record time of 9.77 in 2005 and then lowering that mark with a time of 9.74 in 2007.  The Jamaican went on to clock the most sub-10 second times for any sprinter with a total of 98.

In recent years, Powell, who has been plagued by injuries, has struggled to reach close to such heights.  On Saturday, the sprinter finished in 5th place in the men’s 60m, with a time of 6.71, expectedly well off his best of 6.44.  His efforts seemed to do little to impress United States sprinter Demek Kemp.  The 23-year-old South Carolina representative took the event in a personal best time of 6.50. 

"Feels great," Kemp said of the run.

"I had some good competition. Glad to have a personal record,” he added.

He clearly did not feel Powell was among them, however.

"He's an old guy," Kemp said when asked about competing against the Jamaican.

For his part, Powell, who insisted the run was about testing his legs, however, claims he is feeling as good as ever and is confident he should still be competing.

“I am still feeling very strong, still feeling as fast as I did years ago,” Powell told Track Alerts.

“With the entire Jamaica is motivating me, and with that kind of support, it’s hard to give up,” he added.

 

Sloppy second-half play from Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls resulted in them losing to New Zealand in the final of the 2020 Vitality Nations Cup at the Copper Box Arena in England on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls booked a spot in the final of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup final following a 70-66 win over England Roses at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday.

In another strong performance, the Jamaicans led wire to wire before eventually outpacing the slow-starting Roses who staged a furious fourth-quarter rally.  The win will see the Sunshine Girls taking on New Zealand for the title on Sunday.

The Jamaicans started quickly, driving the ball up court with quick passes, the moves expertly finished off by a dominant Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.  Defensively, they managed to force the Roses into careless errors, approaching the first break with a 19-15 lead.

In an attempt to shot down Fowler-Reid in the second quarter, England double-teamed the 6ft 6in phenom with defenders Stacey Francis and Kate Shimmin.  The Caribbean team, however, quickly switched the passes to goal attack Shanice Beckford, who finished just as effectively.  At halftime, the Jamaicans held a 39-31 lead.

The Sunshine Girls looked to press their advantage soon after the resumption and held an 11-goal lead with 9 minutes of the third remaining and ended the period up 57-44 and seemingly set for a comfortable win.

A furious fourth-quarter rally from the home team, however, made things seem far less academic as they clawed their way back to within a four-goal deficit.  The Jamaicans, however, held on to cross the finish line.

 

England Roses coach Jess Thirlby insists the team is clear on the approach to take in a crucial encounter against Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, as the sides battle for a spot in the Vitality Netball Nations Cup final on Saturday.

The Jamaicans started the competition in spectacular fashion with a big win over South Africa but experienced a set-back after a loss to the Silver Ferns.  The Roses also defeated SPAR Proteas but were also defeated by New Zealand.  The teams will now meet for a spot in the first-versus-second play-off match.

Thirlby expects to put the Jamaicans under pressure from the opening whistle in the winner take all showdown.

"We know what we need to do, we know we’re going to have to win the ball and pressure it early,” the coach told Sky Sports.

"It's going to be a tough one against Jamaica but I'm really looking forward to the fact that we have put ourselves in that position [winner-takes-all] on Saturday," she added.

"Coming into the tournament I said that, ideally, we want to get into these finals, and we have every opportunity to do so now.  It's going to be tough with that height in the back, but South Africa pushed them the other day. Everyone was a bit critical of us against New Zealand, but you saw the margin between the Silver Ferns and Jamaica (26 goals) so I think it's game on.”

 

 

 

The fastest man that has ever lived is about to become a dad.

New Zealand drubbed Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls 71-45 in their round two match-up in the Vitality Nations Cup Netball Tournament in Birmingham, England on Wednesday.

The Commentators share their views on a video posted on social media with Jamaican Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom speaking to a group of high school girls. He was heavily criticized on social media for speaking to the young ladies while wearing only his Swim Trunks.

The Commentators argued Yona did nothing wrong while assessing how well the 24-year old dealt with the situation from a public relations standpoint.  

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