Winless Sunshine Girls finish last at Fast5 World Series

By Sports Desk November 06, 2022

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls ended the 2022 Fast5 Netball World Series without a win following second day losses to England, New Zealand and Uganda.

Overall, the inexperienced unit could only claim a last place finish after losing all five matches and being the only team at the tournament to fail to register a win.

The second and final day of the event began with a 27-32 loss to England, where the team started well but could not maintain its consistency and eventually paid for several costly turnovers.  Things were far less competitive against New Zealand who used the powerplay well to rack up 40 points in an 18-goal win over the Caribbean team.

The loss sent the Jamaicans to the 5th and 6th place play-offs against African team Uganda who they had already suffered a loss to on the previous day.  Things did not go better the second time around as the Jamaicans were once again unable to make any inroads against their lesser ranked opponents.  The surprise package of the tournament went to register an impressive 32-10 victory over the struggling Jamaicans and with it the 5th place spot.  After dominating for most of the tournament Australia ended the event as champions, earning a first world title.

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    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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    Jackson’s comments came after opening her 2023 outdoor season with a 53.11 effort to win the 400m ahead of GC Foster College’s Odeisha Nation (55.37) and Christine Cheka (55.78) at the Queen's/Grace Jackson meet at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

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    Jackson is coming off a phenomenal 2022 season. At the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, she sped to a personal best of 21.45 to win gold in the 200m, becoming the fastest woman alive in the process.

    In addition to her 200m crown, Jackson ran a personal best 10.73 to secure second in the 100m behind teammate Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce.

    Prior to last season, Jackson said that one of her goals was to run 10.6 in the 100m, and, according to her, that has not changed.

    “Last year I wanted to run 10.6 and I didn’t do that. To finish last year as the sixth-fastest ever and not run 10.6 is a great feeling. I think I have a lot more in the tank for the 100m so I just have to focus on execution and fast times will come,” she said.

    Last season, Jackson also made waves on the indoor circuit, finishing sixth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in a personal best 7.04.

    On February 4, she will compete in the event at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

    “Last year the 60m helped me improve my start. I ran 7.04 and this year I’m hoping I can go faster,” she said.

    The field will be a loaded one, including 400m hurdles World and Olympic Champion and world record holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, World Indoor 60m silver medalist Mikiah Briscoe and World Championship 100m finalist Aleia Hobbs.

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  • 'Stressed' Bolt remains loyal to Jamaica, declares he is not broke 'Stressed' Bolt remains loyal to Jamaica, declares he is not broke

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