Jamaica beat T&T 55-21 for Netball gold at Caribbean Games

By July 04, 2022

Jamaica’s U-23 Sunshine Girls secured Netball gold at the inaugural Caribbean Games at the Laurel Flessel Complex in Guadeloupe on Saturday.

The Jamaicans capped off an unbeaten campaign with a 55-21 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in the gold medal game.

St. Lucia took home the bronze medal with an 88-4 demolition of hosts Guadeloupe.

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    Singles victories from Rowland “Randy” Phillips and Blaise Bicknell gave hosts Jamaica a 2-0 lead over Estonia after day one of their group two Davis Cup tie at the Eric Bell National tennis Centre on Saturday.

    The day’s first match of the tie saw Jamaica’s Rowland “Randy” Phillips dominate Estonia’s top ranked player Kristjan Tamm 6-1, 6-1 in just one hour to give the hosts the lead.

    “Very solid and consistent on my part,” said Phillips on his performance after the match.

    Phillips noted that he did not expect such a one-sided match on paper as he is currently ranked 1387 in the ATP rankings while Tamm is much higher at 663.

    “It went a lot better than expected. He’s a tough opponent and maybe he didn’t play his best today but I took advantage of my opportunities,” he said.

    “I think the atmosphere unsettled him. The crowd helped me out a lot and gave me energy,” he added.

    With Jamaica hosting a Davis Cup tie for the first time since 2007, Phillips also spoke about what it meant to play at home.

    “Extremely special. It’s a dream come true. Looking over and seeing my family and friends after points kept me locked in and focused for sure,” Phillips said.

    With Phillips already in the win column, it was time for Blaise Bicknell, Jamaica’s highest ranked player at number 769 in the ATP rankings, to take the court against Kenneth Raisma who is ranked number 1640.

    It was the Estonian who was in the ascendancy early, racing out to a quick 3-0 lead before taking the first set 6-4.

    Bicknell was not done, however, and rallied to take the second set by a similar score before overwhelming his Estonian counterpart in the third, winning 6-0 and securing the lead for the Jamaicans heading into Sunday. The match lasted an hour and 46 minutes.

    Jamaica has a chance to clinch the tie on Sunday when Phillips and Bicknell take on Raisma and Jurgen Zopp in doubles.

    The 34-year-old Zopp, who retired from professional tennis in 2020, achieved a career high ATP ranking of 71 back in 2012 and reached the third round of the French Open in 2018.

    The match gets underway at 1:00pm (2:00pm ECT) and can be viewed on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

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    The other members are:  Mrs. Annmarie Heron, Assistant Commissioner of Police Terrence Bent, Lieutenant Colonel Eldon Morgan, Ms. Stefani Dewar, Mr. Lenford Salmon, Mr. Carlton Dennis, Ms. Audrey Chin, Mr. Edward Barnes, Dr. Peter Charles, Ms. Shaneek Clacken and Major Desmon Brown.

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  • Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance? Can Jamaica's growing stock of female sprint hurdlers rise to global dominance?

    For more than a decade now, Jamaica’s women have bossed the 100m.  Veronica Campbell-Brown won Jamaica’s first global 100m gold medal in Osaka in 2007 and since then Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah have basically made the 100m their own with the former winning five world titles and two Olympic titles while Thompson won back to back 100m titles in Brazil in 2016 and 2021 in Tokyo, Japan where she established a new Olympic record of 10.61.

    However, with their dominance of the blue-ribbon sprint at its zenith, the women from the land of wood and water seem poised to begin dominating yet another event, the 100m hurdles. Since the 1990s, Jamaica has done reasonably well at the sprint hurdles.

    Michelle Freeman was the first Jamaican woman to reach a global final and eventually won won global medals in 1993 and 1997. Dionne Rose and Freeman were Jamaica's first ever Olympic finalists, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively in 1996.

    The following year Freeman and Gillian Russell, a 1995 World Championships finalist, went 1-2 at the World Indoor Championships.

    Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Delloreen Ennis-London picked up from them with the former winning silver  at the 2003 World Championships, bronze in 2005. Ennis-London won a silver and bronze at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships respectively.

    Foster-Hylton made the breakthrough at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin with a fantastic run to give Jamaica gold, Ennis-London won the bronze. Danielle Williams won Jamaica’s second 100m hurdles gold in Beijing 2015 in Beijing and followed with a bronze medal in 2019.

    Two years later, Megan Tapper created history for Jamaica when she became the first-ever Jamaican woman to win a medal in the 100m hurdles at an Olympic Games when she captured bronze in Tokyo, Japan.

    Then at the 2022 World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, Britany Anderson, a finalist in Tokyo in 2021, won silver in the sprint hurdlers.

    Tapper and Anderson are among a growing cadre of Jamaican female sprint hurdlers who are among the very best in the world. Among them are Ackera Nugent, the World U20 60m hurdles record holder who opened her 2023 season with a time of 8.00 indoors and Demisha Roswell, who ran a personal best 12.44 and is the fastest Jamaican woman in the world this year over the 60m hurdles with a 7.98 clocking this past weekend.

    There is also hope that former national record holder Janeek Brown will make a successful return to the event this season after two years of disruption in her personal life and athletic career. Perhaps, the most talented of the lot is 17-year-old Kerrica Hill, who last year succeeded Nugent as World Under 20 champion and who recently turned professional.

    In 2022, Jamaica had four of the 10 fastest women in the world. The USA also had four while Puerto Rico and Nigeria had one each.

     If Jamaica’s women are to reach the pinnacle and find some level of dominance it will require a lot of technical work and consistently fast hurdling to get there but if the 100m women are anything to go by, nothing is beyond their reach.

     

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