Has Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce switched coaches and camps once again as she continues to prepare for what will be her final Olympic Games?

If not, why is she reportedly training separately from her MVP teammates?

The recently minted four-time 100m world champion is, according to eyewitness accounts, now training under the watchful eye of Reynaldo Walcott at Jamaica’s National Stadium in Kingston while MVP’s athletes train at the nearby Stadium East facility.

Walcott, who coaches at St. Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, Jamaica, briefly coached the two-time Olympic 100m champion after she left the club following the 2016 Rio Olympics campaign.

The Digicel Ambassador returned to the MVP track club in early 2017, eventually going on to win her fourth 100m world title in Doha in 2019 under the brilliant guidance of Coach Stephen Francis.

In response to queries from Sportsmax.TV, the athlete’s management has been mum on the issue.

Bruce James, Fraser-Pryce’s manager, said he was unable to comment on whether Walcott was once again coaching the woman many believe to be the greatest-ever female sprinter. Walcott also declined to comment when questioned by Sportsmax.TV on Thursday. “I cannot comment on that,” he said.

However, in the past few days, Fraser-Pryce’s name was reportedly on a list of athletes approved to train at Independence Park inside the National Stadium. Moreover, several individuals not affiliated with MVP, but who still declined to go on record, told Sportsmax.TV that looking on, they saw Fraser-Pryce training alone under Walcott’s watchful eye as recently as yesterday (Wednesday).

Sources indicate that Fraser-Pryce has not been at the MVP training site for several days. Some MVP athletes, those sources said, believe an injury is the reason for her absence.

The “Pocket Rocket’ first came to prominence at the MVP track club in 2008 when she surprised many by finishing second at the Jamaican National Championships in 10.82s behind Kerron Stewart but upstaging veterans Sherone Simpson and Veronica Campbell-Brown, who finished third and fourth, respectively.

At the Beijing Olympics that year, she won the 100m in 10.78, becoming the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m title. She followed up that performance by winning the first of her four 100m World titles in 10.73s at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

She would go on to Moscow in 2013 where she won the treble (100m, 200m, 4x100m) and then defended her 100m title in Helsinki in 2015.

She battled a debilitating toe injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won a bronze medal in the 100m before temporarily parting company with the club.

The joint national 100m record holder will be attempting to win a third 100m Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed until 2021 because of the Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic.

 

 

Jamaica's 2019/2020 football season in - nationally and at the parish level - has been cancelled and declared null and void, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts said in a statement on Friday.

With a focus on rebuilding for the 2020 CPL season, the beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs franchise has opted to retain four players including star player Andre Russell for the new season.

The University of Texas-bound Kevona Davis said Jamaica missed something special this past March when the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) cancelled the annual Boys and Girls Championships because of the threat of the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

The 2020 season of the CPL will be the last for Andre Russell with the Jamaica Tallawahs.

On the eve of his 32nd birthday, Russell, perhaps the most dangerous player in T20 cricket globally, in a rambling speech on Instagram Live on Tuesday night, accused the team’s ownership of poor communication and continued disrespect that helped create the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Chris Gayle.

“I have another year’s contract with the Tallawahs and I am going to play and try and win because that is all I play for, but this will be my last because I have been getting mixed up with all these (expletive) that is happening,” he said, “and I can’t be playing cricket and I am not comfortable.

“And I think another franchise that has been coming last and fifth and fourth in CPL will appreciate me more. I am not getting it here.”

Russell revealed that he only heard about Chris Gayle’s departure from the team when the Universe Boss sent him a copy of a report in the Jamaica Gleaner that suggested that Gayle was not going to be retained by the two-time CPL champions and that there were going to changes to the coaching staff.

Rovman Powell was to be made captain.

That information, when combined with recent statements from Marlon Samuels suggesting that Russell must have known about Gayle's departure and Chris Gayle's subsequent comments, gives the impression that he knew what was going on behind the scenes at the Tallawahs when nothing could be further from the truth.

He said in 2019, he was not involved in anything with regards to the Tallawahs whom he said treated him like a player who was making his debut and whose opinion is not valued.

This is despite his decision to play for much less money because he wanted to play before his home fans. “I have accepted a pay cut just to play in front of my home crowd, my family and my friends,” he said.

This year, nothing has changed, Russell said.

“They communicated with my agent. My agent agreed. I agreed with my agent, ‘okay, let we sign’. The only time the CEO (Jeff Miller) or the only time the Jamaica Tallawahs contacted me was to ask me how soon will I sign,” he revealed. “The deadline is that time and can you sign please.”

Russell said when he asked who the team planned on retaining he did not get answers. “Who you guys planning on buying, I don’t get no answers on that. So I just leave it,” he said.

He said he read the newspaper report before he called Gayle and it made him nervous when it said that Floyd Reifer was going to be the head coach.

Reifer had messaged him, he said, indicating that he might be the head coach for the Tallawahs and mentioned plans they have for the upcoming season. However, Reifer suddenly ceased all communication and Miller still was not communicating with him.

During that time, Russell said, rumours began to circulate that Gayle was leaving for the Zouks.

He said his respect for Gayle made him fearful to even approach the ‘Universe Boss’ about whether the rumours were true. So when Gayle messaged him with the newspaper article asking if he knew anything about it, he was stunned.

“I called Chris instantly and I addressed the situation. I said to Chris that the only thing I heard was that Floyd Reifer was potentially going to be the coach.”

However, Russell believes that the fact that Rovman Powell and Reifer are friends and the perception that he knew what was going on behind the scenes, it creates the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Gayle.

“Up till now I know nothing that was going on but now it looks like me, Rovman and Floyd Reifer plan up and a get of Chris. Why would I get rid of Chris? Chris has a three-year contract, you’re not supposed to breach your contract,” he said. “I had to address the situation because things don’t look good right now.”

However, this was something Russell said that was a feature of the ownership from the start.

He said when he signed to the Tallawahs in 2018, he had just returned from a one-year ban. The ban was for whereabouts violations after he had missed three doping tests within a calendar year, which under the WADA Code is equal to a doping violation.

He was made captain but, according to Russell, “the way they go about things kinda allowed me to dress back a bit”.

He said when he was made captain he gave the owners a list of the players that he wanted them to sign for the team.  “Overseas players, local players, players from inside the Caribbean. It wasn’t about friends. It wasn’t about Jamaicans,” he said. “I am a guy that plays to win and I have won 13 championships, maybe the only player that has done that, so I don’t play to lose.”

He said he tried to reach out to the owners on the day of the draft and got no reply. However, when the draft was completed they reached out and asked him if he was happy with the team they selected.

He said it took him a while to reply because he was disappointed that they did not communicate with him when he reached out to them. However, his agent urged him to reach out to them and indicate that he still wanted to be captain and that he was happy with the draft.

He concedes that they did pick a good team but it lost in the playoffs to St Kitts and Nevis.

However, Russell believes the owners of the Tallawahs need to change if they are to remain viable.

“We have to do things better for the future,” Russell said, who seemed genuinely disappointed and upset about what transpired between Gayle and Jamaica Tallawahs.

“To deal with Chris Gayle the way that they have dealt with the situation is nothing to do with cricket. It’s more personal.

 “This is going to be an awkward dressing room. It’s going to be an awkward CPL but no one will actually see that when I step out to bat or to bowl while I am on the field because I play to win.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An angry Chris Gayle has described Jamaica Tallawahs Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan as a snake and a backstabber in a series of videos in which he explains the reasons behind his move from the Jamaica Tallawahs to the St Lucia Zouks for the 2020 CPL season.

Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has described the late Freddie Green as one of the finest athletes and sports administrators Jamaica has produced.

Noted Jamaican sports administrator Freddie Green died on Sunday night. He was 88.

The Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), in effort to ease the financial pressure facing clubs in the Red Stripe Premier League, has decided to forego payments due from clubs on office rental, utilities, registration fees, contract administrative fees as well as home match levies, yellow and red card fees for the 2019-2020 season.

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Christopher Samuda said the JOA is willing to withdraw Jamaica’s athletes from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if, in light of the evolving Coronavirus pandemic, Japan was not able to guarantee their health and safety.

The Red Stripe Premier League has suspended matches scheduled for between Thursday and Monday, March 16, in light of the potential threat posed by the Coronavirus – Covid19.

The 2020 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships have been cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus that has been categorized as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The cancellation comes on the heels of Tuesday’s announcement that a Jamaican woman tested positive for the virus after arriving on the island on March 4.

Stakeholders of the 110-year-old championships - the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), sponsors GraceKennedy, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health – met Wednesday to determine the fate of the championships that like many other sporting events, were being threatened by the spread of the virus that has infected more than 121,000 people globally and killing over 4000.

On Tuesday, there was an indication that the championships were under threat of being cancelled when the organisers agreed to cancel the launch of five-day event that was to be held at the National Stadium in Kingston.

“We agreed that the appropriate measure at this time would be to postpone tomorrow’s launch, and proceed with further discussions about what action should be taken in terms of the actual event,” said ISSA President, Keith Wellington, who also revealed that was also in discussion with its associated sponsors.

 Title sponsors also took a position that suggested that a cancellation was the most appropriate measure to take that would be in the best interests of all concerned.

 “The Health Ministry has announced that infection prevention and control is a priority at this time,” said GraceKennedy Group CEO, Don Wehby in a statement Tuesday.

 “We take COVID-19 very seriously and are concerned about the health and wellness of the student-athletes and all involved in the execution of Champs, as well as the implications for the 35,000 persons in attendance at the National Stadium especially during the last two days. This is a decision we will be making in the nation’s best interest.”

 

 

Jamaica will not be sending athletes to the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia out of concern for the safety of its athletes, who run the risk of being exposed to the deadly COVID-19 virus, Jamaica's health minister announced on Tuesday.

Three new players including 18-year-old Harbour View midfielder Jahshaun Anglin have been included in an all-local 20-man Reggae Boyz squad assembled to play in an international friendly against Bermuda at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on Wednesday.

The squad also includes players who are being afforded another shot at making Jamaica’s provisional squad for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers that begin later this year.

Renaldo Wellington a defender of former Premier League club Montego Bay United has also been called to the squad. According to team manager Roy Simpson, “The coaches have seen something in him that they feel they can build on.”

Lamar Walker has been recalled after recovering from injury and Jamaica’s U23 player Andre Fletcher, is being given an opportunity at the senior level, Simpson said.

Also included in the squad is Peter Lee Vassell, who was recently released by Los Angeles FC in the MLS.

The squad will have a single training session at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence on Tuesday before departing for Montego Bay.

Jamaica has a record of three wins and three draws against the Bermudans. The last of those wins came in 1997 when the Reggae Boyz emerged 3-2 winners in the Caribbean Cup.

The full squad is listed below:

 Andre Fletcher (Waterhouse FC), Ricardo Thomas (Waterhouse FC), Shawn Lawes (Waterhouse FC),  Akeem Chambers (Waterhouse FC), Colorado Murray (Waterhouse FC), Dennis Taylor (Humble Lion FC), Andre Clennon (Humble Lion FC), Ladale Richie (Mt. Pleasant FC), Kevaughn Isaacs (Mt. Pleasant FC), Kemar Beckford (Mt. Pleasant FC), Jourdaine Fletcher (Mt. Pleasant FC),  Ajeanie Talbott (Harbour View FC), Jahshaun Anglin (Harbour View FC), Fabion McCarthy (UWI FC), Javoy Belnavis (UWI FC), Renaldo Wellington (Montego Bay United), Peter Vassel (Unattached), Chevone Marsh (Cavalier SC), Kemal Malcolm (Arnett Gardens) and Lamar Walker (Portmore United FC).

Jamaican men’s doubles and mixed doubles teams won silver medals at the Jamaica International Badminton 2020 that concluded on Sunday at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Takuma Obayashi and Momoko Kimura walked away with the men’s singles and women’s singles titles, respectively. Japan came away with three gold medals as they also won the women’s doubles competition.

Guatemala won gold in the men’s doubles and mixed doubles competition, defeating the Jamaicans in both finals.

The pair of Dennis Coke and Jamaica's number-one female player Tahlia Richardson, fought bravely in the Mixed Doubles final against the Guatemalan pair of Solis Johnathan and Diana Corleto Soto who won the gold medal 23-21, 21-17 in the match that lasted 34 minutes.

Coke shouldered much of the blame for Jamaica not getting the better of their Central American opponents but lauded his partner for her resolve.

“I was getting a bit too tense by trying to play too tight at the net. In the second set, probably the last five points, my elbow was hurting so badly I took my eyes off the game a bit and was thinking about my elbow rather than the game,” said Coke, whose right elbow was heavily taped throughout the tournament.

“I take my hat off to Tahlia. She played very well. I love the fight in her and that gave me the drive to push through my pain and be able to finish strong. It was the match of the tournament for me even though we didn't win it.”

Richardson, Jamaica's women's champion for the past two years, praised Coke for his efforts and suggested that perhaps their lack of experience playing together might have had some bearing on the outcome.

“He went to the physio and got taped but he wasn't 100 per cent. We played a pretty solid game even though he wasn't at his best,” said Richardson who was winning her first international medal for Jamaica.

“We have been recently paired and haven't had much practice. The fact that we made it to finals in such a short time playing together shows that once we get more time together we will better. The Guatemalan pair that we played have been playing together for a much longer time so they understand each other more.”

The final of the men’s doubles proved to be equally exciting as the newly formed partnership between Samuel Ricketts and Shane Wilson after losing the first five points against the Guatemalan duo of Johnathan and Anibal Morroquin, rallied to lead 11-9, and then 20-17.

However, they were unable to get over the hump, eventually losing 22-20. They lost the second set 20-15 and with it the match

Ricketts was disappointed with the outcome.

“We got to 20-17 and we just needed one point but we didn’t manage that aspect well, of closing out the game. That kind of haunted us,” he said.

“It’s sports. It happens. Hopefully, next time we will get a better result.”

Referring to the second game, Ricketts said the disappointment of losing the first set despite playing well, had an impact on their play.

“We weren’t able to fully get our bearings and bounce back. We were in the game and within reach – eight-all, nine-all, but we just couldn’t overtake them.”

Obayashi took singles title 21-11, 17-21, 21-12, in the all-Japanese final against Yushi Tanaka.

Their compatriot Kimura had a much easier challenge against Bulgaria’s Linda Zetchiri 21-12, 21-12.

The most lopsided final on the night occurred in the Women’s Doubles where the Japanese pair of Sayaka Hobara and Rena Miyaura easily dispatched the Peruvian duo of Daniela Macias and Danica Nishimura 21-2, 21-7.

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