Jamaica international Leon Bailey is set to miss the start of pre-season training for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, after being faced with self-isolation orders due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The 23-year-old winger was among several prominent Jamaican sports stars in attendance at a birthday part for track and field legend Usain Bolt.  In short clips of the event posted to various social media outlets none of the athletes seemed to be practicing social distancing or donning masks.

Questions were also raised as to whether several of the players in attendance were not in violation of the two-week mandatory quarantine regulation required for those entering the country.  Jamaica has had a recent surge in COVID cases.

On Monday, Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus forcing others at the party to isolate this week.  On Thursday Leverkusen announced that the player was stopped from leaving the island by local authorities, who insisted the player observe the quarantine period.

The club is expected to begin testing players for preseason camp on Friday, with players requiring two negative tests before joining up with the squad.

Bailey will now not return to Germany until before their first competitive match of the season in a German Cup clash against minor league club Eintracht Norderstedt on September 13.

 

Kevin Nedrick is to return to court on September 22 on a rape charge. Police arrested him on Tuesday and charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, following allegations that he raped a woman in her campus apartment on Monday night.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she is not yet ready to explain her coaching situation.

Jamaican Olympian Jason Morgan has been nominated for the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, The Young Professionals and Bayou Life Magazine 2020 Top20 Under-40 Awards.

Usain Bolt says he has not confirmed that he has COVID-19 but is in self-imposed quarantine until his test results are back.

Nationwide News reported on Monday that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist had tested positive for the Coronavirus. The news, NNN said, triggered a host of his associates and friends including football players Raheem Sterling, Leon Bailey and recording artiste Chris Martin being tested for the virus as they were in attendance at his birthday party last Friday, August 21. 

However, in a 50-second video posted on Twitter, Bolt said he heard the news regarding his positive test like everybody else; on social media despite reports that indicate that he was notified by health officials on Sunday.

“I did a test on Saturday to leave because I have work,” he said.

“Trying to be responsible so I am going to stay in and stay away from my friends and also, having no symptoms, going to quarantine myself and wait on the confirmation to see what is the protocol and how I should go about quarantining myself from Ministry of Health.”

Meantime, he is encouraging those who might have come into contact with him to be safe and enter quarantine.

More than 1500 Jamaicans have been confirmed to be infected by the virus. 116 Jamaicans were confirmed over a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday.

The 2020/21 ISSA Manning Cup and DaCosta Cup competitions will not be held this year as Jamaica’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has cancelled all sporting competitions that were scheduled for the Christmas term in the academic year.

Olympic legend Usain Bolt has reportedly been infected by the COVID-19 virus, according to media reports.

Nationwide radio reported on Monday that the now-retired 100m and 200m world record holder had tested positive for the virus.

Bolt, who celebrated his 34th birthday last Friday, is among the latest numbers of Jamaicans to have tested positive to the virus that has infected more than 1500 Jamaicans to date. Fifteen of those infected have died.

The Jamaica Football Federation is denying reports in the British media claiming that veteran coach Sven-Goran Ericksson is set to become coach of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz.

Christopher Samuda, the President of the Jamaica Olympic Association has been appointed chairman of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organisation (CACSO) Legal Commission.

Former national boxing representative, Sakima Mullings, has joined the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) as the first member of its newly implemented Internship Programme.

The popular and highly respected fighter, who twice won the Contender Series, has traded his gloves for a space at the offices of the JOA at its Olympic Manor headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston.

“My responsibilities are going to be to create digital marketing strategies for the new federations that have joined the JOA and to also help them in terms of their business plans,” Mullings said of his new role in sports.

“The JOA requires business plans from them when they require funding. My role is to make sure that their business plans are in compliance with the JOA standard.”

The former boxer will also work alongside the Jamaica Lawn Bowls Association.

Within the past month, the JOA had announced plans to contract university students and/or recent graduates with backgrounds in areas such as business and social media management under an internship programme expected to expand its member services to affiliates.

The move, according to Ryan Foster, the JOA’s Secretary General/CEO, is a key deliverable within the organisation’s ‘Pathway to Success’ mantra, which seeks to grow its affiliates’ business capabilities.

“The JOA Internship Programme is an expansion of our education perspective, which also includes the first of its kind Stamina Education Series and JOA Scholarship Programme,” Foster said.

“The Internship will not only give a meaningful experience to our university graduates - who in some instances can also be an athlete, coach or administrator - but it expands our member service options to ensure we continue helping our members in achieving their respective goals.

“This programme is the first of its kind and we welcome Sakima to our team and he will be working very closely with our member-relations manager."

During his boxing career, Mullings won the Commonwealth Zonal middleweight title in 2011, the World Boxing Council (WBC) Caribbean Boxing Federation welterweight title in 2013 and J. Wray & Nephew (JWN) Contender middleweight in 2014 and JWN Contender super welterweight championship belt in 2017.

He also takes impressive credentials to the desk, having earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration (Majoring in Finance), from the State University of New York, New Paltz campus.

"The responsibilities assigned to our interns are practical and meaningful as they are tasked with preparing strategic, business and social media plans for our member federations that require assistance in those regards,” said Novelette Harris, the JOA’s Member Relations Manager.

“They, having a background in those areas of responsibility by virtue of the degree courses they currently pursue, get the chance to apply their learnt knowledge and skill in a real way and build their work experience in the process."

Mullings expressed gratitude at the chance to widen his scope of development.

“Having this opportunity to be part of this internship is part of my transition. Everyone is familiar with me being an athlete, but an athlete’s shelf life is not long,” said Mullings. “Being part of a sporting organisation in Jamaica is like a natural progression, getting involved in sport management, that’s my future.

“I feel good that a high-level organisation such as the JOA is helping my transition into sports management. I think that it’s a tremendous opportunity for persons like myself. It allows me to see how sport is run from an administration standpoint and a lot of the things that happen behind the scenes to make sports happen.”

Mullings had shown keen interest in advancing his academic pursuits last year when he launched into a Sports Management course at the University of Technology (UTech).

Come September, he will make moves towards landing a bigger blow when taking on the Master’s degree programme in Sports Business Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

“I’m taking small steps. I had a nice run with boxing,” he exclaimed. “I’m definitely trying to recreate myself in transition to ensure that I continuously try to be involved in sport, but in a different way.”

 

Leon Bailey is a talent but that talent is not on display often enough.

That seems to be the view of  Bayer Leverkusen boss Rudi Völler who believes the 23-year-old Jamaican is not consistent enough.

Two seasons ago, Bailey brought his exciting talents to the fore scoring 12 goals to go along with six assists in 32 appearances for Leverkusen. However, since then Bailey has struggled to hold a place in the starting XI and subsequently fell down the pecking order at the club.

The malaise has not gone unnoticed.

"You can see that he's blessed with quality, but he has lacked continuity. It's also clear that he has to do a bit more," said Völler, whose sentiments were echoed by Sporting Director Simon Rolfes.

"You get the feeling with him that he wants to force things. He doesn't seem to be playing with the same looseness, freedom and intuitive as in his first season," Rolfes said.

The Jamaican international, whose contract expires in 2023, scored seven goals and made three assists in 33 games for Leverkusen in the 2019/20 season.

He has been linked with a move to the English Premier League.

 

 

 

Had it not been for the pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would have been done and dusted 10 days ago and sports fans across the world would still be gathering around water coolers and office enclosures buzzing about the spectacular show put on by the world’s greatest athletes.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has offered its congratulations to Reggae Boyz Captain Andre Blake for having won the Golden Glove Award for the just-concluded MLS IS BACK Tournament.

Although Covid-19 has halted regional and international tournaments, since May the Jamaica Rifle Association’s (JRA) practical-pistol squad have been staging monthly mega matches with marksman Ryan Bramwell dominating the competitions.

After three months of matches, the top local and regional shooter remains undefeated, taking the Standard Division as well as Overall title on each occasion despite fierce competition.

For the big matchup in May, Bramwell scored 425 points to finish way ahead of runner-up Anthony Johnson who tallied 330.823 and Chris Hart who was third with 329.010.

In June, Bramwell trounced the field again with 1142.708 points while Kevin Cheung was second with 1073.810 and Greg Henry scored 949.026 to take third.  Then in July, Bramwell maintained his form to post 760.000 points and extend his streak while Darin Richards and Henry placed second and third, respectively, with 641.589 and 624.006 points.

“I have learned that the hallmark of a top performer is consistency, and while I know I don’t need to win every stage, I do want to win every match so I focus on consistency and thankfully I’ve been on a streak,” Bramwell said.

While the local landscape has always been competitive, 2020 has brought a heightened focus on home-field competitions as the pandemic forced a series of postponements including the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Area 6 Championships which should have been held in March in Florida.

The highly anticipated International Practical Shooting Confederation’s (IPSC) World Shoot originally scheduled for November has also been postponed until next year.

In addition, Jamaica was set to play host to Caribbean and American shooters at the Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament (JIPT) over the Easter weekend in April, but the prestigious competition was called off due to restrictions on travel because of health and safety protocols.

“With travel now involving 14-day quarantines to invite shooters here or to travel to a tournament is not practical so we are focusing on local competitions,” Bramwell explained.

Although initially, the pandemic disrupted practise and tournament schedules, the pistol shooters soon integrated the recommended safety precautions into their match procedures in order to resume training and competing.

“To stay safe while we’re competing, we shoot in small groups to allow for social distancing and we are also rigorous about sanitising,” Bramwell explained. “Naturally, we were disappointed that some of the bigger tournaments we have been preparing for are not going to happen, but the local competition schedule is giving us a lot of motivation to keep training and keep improving

William Knibbs produced a tournament-winning round on Sunday’s final day of the two-day Jamaica Golf Association Emancipendence Golf Classic at the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine on the weekend.

In doing so, he dethroned Sean Morris to win his second tournament since competitions resumed after the COVID-19 lockdown earlier in the year.

Knibbs, who was recently crowned Jamaica’s national amateur golf champion, overcame a double-bogey on the final hole to shoot a two-over-par 74 for a combined score of 151.

The hole was a nightmare for Knibbs all weekend as he shot a triple bogey on Saturday. He was seven over par for the tournament.

“I feel good about winning the tournament.  A win is always a nice feeling,” Knibbs said.

“The conditions probably were not very much different yesterday (Saturday) compared to today, may have been slightly less windy but overall I managed the conditions better.”

 He now looks forward to the next JGA event and especially the “Jamaican Open is in December from what I gather so that should be nice.  It should be a strong field there.”

Knibbs revealed that playing under the threat of the pandemic has been a challenge.

“It’s more precautionary measures with regards to touching the flagsticks and stuff like that,” he said, “everyone is just being careful with regards to cross-contaminating where possible.”

Dr. Mark Newnham was three strokes behind with a final score of 154 over the two days after a 76 on the final day to follow up his 78 on Saturday.

Dethroned champion Sean Morris, who went into the tournament with high expectations, found it rough going over the two days.

He finished third overall having shot a seven-over par 79 on Sunday an improvement over his nine-over par 81 on Saturday.

His day two scorecard showed 10 bogeys and three birdies that saw him finish nine shots behind the winner.

“I came here to the golf course today about four or five shots back and decided I would look and see what was happening on the front nine for me,” he said.

“I just figured that I was not as sharp and as tournament-ready as I would like to be. I played the first nine holes three over par and really struggled to get the ball close to the hole. It was like that for the rest of the day and I figured that if you are a little off and your timing is a little off and your chipping is a little off and your putting is not as defined, you are going to end up with shots a couple over.

“My worst score today should have been 75. I missed some easy puts.  I just felt like I was in a participation mode rather than a competitive mode so I just chalked it up to just enjoying the day and finishing the tournament.  I was not tournament sharp this week.  I haven’t played a lot since the injured finger so I just got to wait, my turn will come.”

 Meanwhile, 14-year-old Aman Dhiman ended joint fifth with his father Vikram Dhiman, after shooting 87 and 83.

 The Men Super Senior 0-12 handicap section went to former JGA president Wayne Chai Chong, who shot 76 on Sunday for a two-day total of 149.

He was followed by Robert Chin on 151 (77, 74) and Mike Bradford 160 (79, 81) to round out the top three.

The Men & Men Senior 7-12 handicap was topped by Shamar Wilson 167 (82, 85) while Richard White 176 (93, 83) and Barry Eligon 182 (93m 89) copped the second and third spots respectively.

The golfers in the Men & Men Senior 13 – 24 handicap were Aubyn Ferguson 194 (11, 83) and Delroy Anderson 208 (111, 97).

The three ladies who completed the classic were Jennifer Mendes 183 (93, 90), Alison Reid 185 (98, 87) and Diane Hudson 191 (99, 92).

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