Samuel Ricketts and Tahlia Richardson got off to winning starts at the 2020 Jamaica International Open Badminton tournament that began on Thursday at the National Indoor Sports Complex in Kingston.

With the COVID-19 virus a constant threat to the international community, the Jamaica Badminton Association is taking no chances when it hosts the 2020 Jamaica International Badminton Tournament set to run from March 4-8 at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston.

For almost seven years Samuel Ricketts and Gareth Henry formed a formidable badminton doubles team.

An estimated 50 international players including defending men’s singles champion Kevin Gordon from Guatemala are set to compete the 2020 Jamaica International Open Badminton Championships from March 5-8 at the National Indoor Sports Complex in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Jamaica Rugby League Association has announced the rebranding of the domestic ‘Jamaica A’ team to become the Jamaica Hurricanes.

Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange said she is heartbroken over the news of the killing of two Jamaican sportsmen on Wednesday.

After an absence of a year, the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) will return to the track and field calendar in 2020 as a part of the World Athletics Continental Series.

 However, the meet will carry a silver designation in the World Athletics Continental World Series launched earlier year.

The Continental World Series will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

The JII meet was first held in 2004 and for eight years was a World Challenge meet, one tier down from the prestigious Diamond League designation. However, in 2019, due largely to financial constraints, the meet was cancelled.

“It is with regret that we inform you that due to budget issues the 2019 staging of the Jamaica International Invitational IAAF World Challenge Meeting has been cancelled,” a statement on the meeting’s website said.

However, Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said then that he was confident the meet would return in 20020. On Friday, he confirmed that the meet would be back.

According to the JII website, the meet is set for May 2, 2020.

 “There will be a meet this year,” said Dr Blake who added that Athletes’ Liaison Donald Quarrie has been assembling a quality field of athletes to participate at the meet.

However, the meet will be taken down a peg, as it will only have a silver designation among the meets that fall under the umbrella of the Continental World Series.

Dr Blake explained that following the debacle that led to the cancellation of the meet in 2019, earlier this year, World Athletics had sought assurances that there would not be a repeat of what occurred in 2019. They demanded a written guarantee that funding would be in place for this year’s meet.

However, the local organisers missed the deadline by a few days, which resulted in the meet missing the gold-level designation now enjoyed by the Racers Grand Prix set to run off in June.

Dr Blake said World Athletics will be reviewing the Continental Series at the end of the season and they are hopeful that the JII will obtain a gold designation going forward.

A press conference to announce details pertaining to the 2020 Jamaica International Invitational is set to be held sometime in March.

 

 

 

 

Lucas Passerini and Jonathan Rodriguez each scored in second-half stoppage time to earn Cruz Azul a dramatic 2-1 victory at Portmore United in the first leg of their 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round-of-16 tie on Tuesday night at Independence Park in Kingston, Jamaica.

Jamaica and West Indies pace bowler Oshane Thomas is said to be home resting as he recovers from mild injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night, and is expected to return to training later this week.

The 21st annual KPMG Squash League will kick off on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, with a jam-packed roster as 22 teams do battle for top honours. 

The popular handicap tournament will have close to 90 players in action with ages, gender, experience and skill-levels ranging across the spectrum.  The competition’s unique format will ensure that each player is on a level footing with their opponent, which makes for exciting matches and unpredictable outcomes game by game.

Defending champions, the Adams Family are back in the hunt, fielding the same four-man line-up of Robert Roper, Adam Hugh, Adam Lee and Allan Roper, who got the job done last year.

Similarly, 2019 runners up, the Power Bolts, have kept their roster intact and the team, which includes four junior national squad players; Aman Dhiman, Savannah Thomson, Mia Todd and Dylan Vaz, is determined to take the title this time around.

Also in the mix are multiple-time champions, the Milex Eagles whose star-studded slate includes former Caribbean Junior Champions, Larissa and Akelia Wiltshire, former All Jamaica Junior Champion, Tahjia Lumley as well as Shane Slater, an experienced competitor.  In the same vein, 2018 winners, the ‘Cereal’ Killers, another all-juniors team, are also hoping to return to the winner’s circle.

“The KPMG League is a tournament that the entire squash community looks forward to because the participation cuts across the board and showcases the range of players who compete in the sport,” Chris Hind, President of the Jamaica Squash Association said.

“We are also pleased that this year we have strong representation from our junior players, and this will sharpen their skills for the national and Caribbean championships that are coming up later this year,” he added.

Tarun Handa, Managing Partner for KPMG in Jamaica said, “KPMG has supported this tournament for over 20 years and we continue to be impressed by the way the competition brings out a wide cross-section of players and spectators making it a true community event, and this year should be no different.”

The first phase of the tournament, which will feature a round-robin format is expected to run until the end of March.  The top 8 teams will advance to the knockout stage which will be played in the first half of April.

Jamaica’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) is to reintroduce the All-DaCosta Cup/All-Manning Cup end-of-season match for the 2020 ISSA/Digicel Schoolboy football season.

The Jamaican government is scheduled to begin work to re-develop the national stadium facility in Kingston early next year, Jamaica’s sports minister Olivia Grange announced on Thursday.

Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson-Herah and Wayde van Niekerk, are among a host of global track and field stars who have already expressed interest in competing at the 2020 Racers Grand Prix on June 13 as the now five-year-old meet takes on its new designation as a Continental World Tour Gold Series meeting.

Euardo Cornwall, the Chairman for Red Stripe Premier League club Molynes United, believes that despite the team’s 1-0loss to Humble Lion on the weekend, he is optimistic that they will return to winning ways soon.

National junior table tennis representative Gianna Lewis believes being the recipient of a scholarship from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s Pocket Rocket Foundation demonstrates that there are opportunities for athletes who are not involved in track and field.

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