Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz were held to a 1-1 draw by World Cup hosts Qatar in the team’s final game of the Austria mini football tournament at the Wiener Neustadt Arena on Friday.

After a scoreless first half, it was the Jamaicans who took the lead when Jourdane Fletcher found the back of the net in the 70th minute.  The team, however, failed to hold on to the lead after Qatar's Khaled Muneer found an equalizer in the 83rd minute.  The match followed up on a 3-0 defeat to Morocco earlier this week.

Interim Jamaica coach Merron Gordon credits tactical adjustments from the first fixture and a bit more luck for a more positive result in the second.

“The technical staff really planned this out in terms of tactically how we would approach the game.  I think we got it right tactically right the last time as we but we were unfortunate, so we knew as long as we could build on that we would get it right today,” Gordon said following the match.

“Probably with a bit more concentration we wouldn’t give up that goal and we would have probably won the game and with a bit more luck on the transitional plays we could have scored a few more goals as well, but it was good.  This Qatar team has all the resources in the world and we are still just an emerging team.”

By her own very high standards, double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah has not quite achieved the soaring heights of the Tokyo Games this season but insists she is still finding her way around a new system.

On the back of a season where she claimed the sprint double at the Olympics, and went on to register the second fastest time ever recorded for a woman over 100m, Thompson-Herah was in the news again following the announcement to split from longtime coach Stephen Francis.

If the majority of the athlete’s times and performances are anything to judge by that decision, an alliance with husband Derron Herah is yet to bear fruit.

“My expectations coming off last year were high and I was looking forward to this year.  Right now, the way I want my story to be written is not the way I want it to go but whatever God has in store he will put it together at the right time,” Thompson-Herah told members of the media ahead of Friday’s Diamond League meet.

“I’m just staying patient and I’ll keep working.  I always wanted to get my first World title but I’m still working towards that, I want that to be a part of my tally to be a defending World champ.  I was really grateful and excited to achieve my first 100m medal, a bronze…the 200m was not the best but I’ve moved past that,” she added.

“I think I’m having a good season so far.  The fact that I’m adjusting to a new system, new coach, and everything.  I’m still learning.”

After missing out on the World Championship titles Thompson-Herah went on to win the sprint double at the Commonwealth Games.

Reigning 200m World Champion Shericka Jackson has admitted that the crushing disappointment of failing to advance out of the first round of her pet event at last year’s Toyko Olympic Games provided fuel to ignite a stellar 2022.

Jackson, one of the favourites to win the race in the Toyko, failed to advance beyond the first round of the event after miscalculating badly in the heats.  After leading the race comfortably for most of the way, the sprinter eased up before the line and was passed by two other athletes.

One year later, however, there would be no such mistakes as she not only advanced from the preliminary round but went on to clock a blistering 21.45 to take gold in the World Championship final.  The time was the second fastest ever clocked over the distance behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 21.34.

In addition, however, Jackson also claimed the silver medal behind celebrated compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m.  Her time of 10.71 was a huge personal best and made her the 6th fastest woman of all time.

“I worked really hard this year.  Last year not advancing in the 200m made me mentally strong.  Last year’s loss for me in the 200m took a toll because the 200 is my favorite event and not the 100,” Jackson told members of the media, ahead of Thursday’s Lausanne Diamond League meet.

“For me not to be able to advance made me work extremely hard this year.  I got stronger in the gym and I think that paid off in my running 21.4.”

Jackson will face off against Fraser-Pryce and their compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah in a fiery Diamond League clash set for Thursday in Lausanne.

Veteran Windies batsman Chris Gayle has expressed excitement at the prospect of returning to the cricket pitch ahead of the newly innovated 6IXTY tournament, which got underway on Tuesday.

Gayle, who has not appeared at a cricket competition since the Bangladesh Premier League, for Fortune Barishal, will suit up for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots when the men’s competition bowls off on Wednesday.

He may be 43 years old and played over 463 T20 matches but the batsman, the most prolific scorer ever in T20 cricket, admits he can't help but be excited by the prospect of returning to the pitch.

“I’m really excited to be back in the field. I missed it. I’m like a kid again, looking forward to the first game… For my debut. I’ll have to get back in shape. I’m still in shape but just a li’l (little) prep here and there to get in that mindset of playing cricket,” Gayle told Espn.

The tournament will feature several new innovations.  For example, each batting team will have just six wickets and teams will lose a fielder if they bowl too slowly.  The fans will also vote for the timing of a “Mystery Free Hit”, where a batter cannot be dismissed by the bowler.

The 6IXTY is a joint venture between Cricket West Indies (CWI) and CPL and will see six men’s and three women’s teams competing in a 10-over tournament.  The tournament began with the women’s teams on Tuesday.

The Universe Boss, who will have the trophy named in his honour has done plenty of damage with the bat over his career but quipped that he is determined to do plenty with the ball as well for this tournament.

“You know what? My bowling is natural. I definitely have to bowl,” said Gayle. “I’m the greatest off-spinner of all time. Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan) won’t contest that for sure. I have the best economy, not even Sunil Narine can come close to that.”

As a part-time off-spinner, he has picked up 83 wickets in his career.

Veteran Jamaica Reggae Boyz defender Adrian Mariappa has branded the team's recent 3-0 loss to Morocco in the Austria Mini Football Tournament, on Wednesday, as a valuable learning experience.

The team that consisted of mostly players based in Jamaica, for the most part, struggled to keep up with their African counterparts who created plenty of opportunities before goals from Ahmad Hammoudan (33), Mohamed Nahiri (74th), and Reda Slim (80th) decided the contest.

With several players making their debut and a few more with just a handful of appearances, Mariappa who has logged 64 caps for Jamaica, insists it’s all just part of the valuable learning process.

“We were disappointed with the result but there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.  Playing against good opposition who have been together a long time, we only came together recently…a lot of guys were making debuts, just playing with each other.  It was a learning experience,” Mariappa said.

“It was good for the boys to gain experience playing against good sides on decent pitches as well and to able to show what they can bring to the table,” he added.

The Reggae Boyz will next be in action when they play against World Cup hosts Qatar on Friday.

Interim Jamaica Reggae Boyz head coach Merron Gordon insists he was pleased with the team’s performance, in light of limited preparation time, despite a 3-0 loss to Morocco on Tuesday.

Goals from Ahmad Hamoudan (33rd), Mohammed Nahiri (73rd), and Reda Slim (80th) saw the contest, which took place at the Ernst Happel Stadium, end up as a very one-sided one with the African team dominating the majority of the major categories.

Although they struggled to really get forward the mostly local Jamaica contingent at times proved difficult to break down and kept its shape well.  For Gordon, those were encouraging signs given the limited time the team had to prepare for the tournament.

“Tactically, in terms of discipline, I think we had it with our compactness.  I think they couldn’t really play through our lines most of the time but the longer the game goes is the more you realise the fitness will show,” Gordon said after the match.

“The muscular strength will show also because those guys were very strong, the Moroccans.  I think we did well.  With the limited time of preparation, I think we really responded well.

The Jamaicans will be back in action on Friday when they face Qatar in their second match.

 

 

 

An understrength Jamaica Reggae Boyz proved to be no match for World Cup-bound Morocco who cruised to a 3-0 win in the Austria Mini Football Tournament at the Ernst Happel Stadium on Tuesday.

Although the Jamaicans put together periods of enterprising play, it was the Moroccans who the more dominant from the outset and looked more likely to take the lead. 

Ahmad Hamoudan ensured that they did take advantage of their early domination, in the 33rd minute, slotting the ball past Jamaica custodian Amal Knight at the far post.

Despite creating few chances, the Jamaicans continued to remain defensively resolute but were undone by another defensive error in the 73rd minute.  Experienced defender Jason Mariappa was forced to bring down a surging Ahmad Hamoudan in the penalty area. Mohammed Nahiri slotted the resulting spot kick past Knight to double the lead.

Morocco continued to press to increase the lead and finally did so when Reda Slim was picked out at the post from a deft cross and headed the ball into the back of the net in the 80th minute. 

The Jamaicans will next be in action against World Cup hosts Qatar on Friday at 10:00 am.

Distance runner Adelle Tracey was delighted to celebrate her first medal for Jamaica, a bronze, in the women’s 800m, at the 2022 NACAC Championships in the Bahamas on Saturday.

The athlete, who switched allegiance from Great Britain to Jamaica in June, made her debut at the IAAF World Championships but was unable to take part in the Commonwealth Games earlier this month due to protocols surrounding the international transfer.

The athlete was, however, able to return to the track for the NACAC Games where she finished third in the women’s 800m behind the US pair of Ajee and Allie Wilson.  Ajee finished just ahead of her compatriot Allie in a  photo finish 1:58.47 to 1:58.48.

The Jamaican finished third in 1:59.54 only her second time under 2 minutes, behind her personal best, which came at the IAAF World Championship in Eugene, Oregon in July.  Tracey was delighted with the result and performance.

“Ajee set a really tough pace from the get-go, that was great for me because I actually ran my second fastest time.  It was very hot today, it’s super windy.  I just made it hard but there is a lot of travel in my legs,” Tracey said after the race.

  “I was kind of hoping it would have been a bit more tactical but that was a really honest race and there are some really fast girls in there so I’m really happy with it,” she added.

The distance runner was also delighted to have made the trip.

"It feels like a really special place and this is my first medal as a Jamaican athlete as well, so, I really love the Bahamas.”

The Jamaicans also picked up other medals on the night when Olympic bronze medalist Megan Tapper claimed silver in the women’s 100m hurdles and another bronze for Orlando Bennett in the men’s 110m hurdles.

Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson easily justified her status as a heavy favourite for the women’s 100m title after dominating the event at the 2022 NACAC Championships, in Grand Bahama, the Bahamas on Saturday.

The 200m World Champion and 100m silver medallist has clocked some blistering times over both distances this season.  The trend continued in Saturday’s final as she blasted out of the blocks and quickly put away the competition before stopping the clock at 10.83.

The United States Celera Barnes was second in 11.10 with another Jamaican Natasha Morrison third in 11.11.  The race was run in a -0.1 headwind.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake also put in a dominant performance as he was the only athlete in the field to crack the 10-second barrier.  Blake led the pack to the line in 9.98, comfortably ahead of the United State’s Kyree King who was second in 10.08, and his compatriot Brandon Charles who was third in 10.12.

Elsewhere, the Jamaicans took the runner-up spot behind the United States in the 4x400m mixed relays.  The event was won by the United States in 3:12.05, with the Jamaicans second in 3:14.08.  

Earlier, Adelle Tracey won her first ever medal for Jamaica when she finished third in the 800m in 1:59.54. The USA’s Ajee Wilson won the gold medal in a keen battle with teammate Allie Wilson. Ajee won by 0.01 seconds clocking 1:58.47 to Allie’s 1:58.48.

Jamaica won two more medals in the sprint hurdles.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper ran 12.68 for silver in the 100m hurdles that the USA’s Alaysha Johnson won in 12.62. Hometown girl Devynne Charlton ran 12.71 for the bronze medal.

In the 110m hurdles, Orlando Bennett ran a season-best 13.18 to win the bronze medal.

The USA’s Freddie Crittenden won in a fast 13.00 while holding off compatriot Jamal Britt, who finished in 13.08.

Bahamas' Shaunae Miller-Uibo put on a show for her hometown fans with a dominant display to win the women’s 400m on day 2 of the NACAC Athletics Championships, in Grand Bahama, on Saturday.

The Olympic and World Champion left very little to doubt as she left the blocks and quickly covered the field by the top of the straight.

World championship bronze medalist Sada Williams of Barbados looked to battle back against Miller-Uibo down the stretch but the Bahamian had enough to pull a few metres clear by the finish line.

Miller-Uibo, who has lost just once in 8 races over the distance this season, stopped the clock in 49.40, her fourth fastest time of the season.  Williams finished second in 49.86, while Jamaica’s Stephenie-Ann Mcpherson was third in 50.36.

In the men’s equivalent, Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor recorded his fastest time over the distance this season after outbattling his opponents down the stretch to stop the clock at 44.63, only his second time below 45 seconds this season.  Another Jamaican Nathon Allen was second in 45.04 with the United States’ Bryce Deadmon third in 45.06.

West Indies spinner Yannic Cariah insists the team must find a way to see off the first 10 overs from New Zealand’s front-line bowlers if they are to have any chance of winning the ongoing three-match One Day International (ODI) series.

After losing the opening match, the Kiwis came roaring back into the series with a dominant 50-run (DLS) win over the Windies on Friday.  The team would have taken plenty of encouragement after bowling out New Zealand for 212, led by Kevin Sinclair’s industrious 4 for 41.

In their turn at the crease, however, the Windies batsmen could not come to grips with the duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.  Together, the two combined for a relentless opening spell that left the home team six wickets down in the 10th over.

Overall, the duo finished with seven wickets and ended the Windies response before it began.  Southee finished with 4 for 22 and Boult 3 for 18. 

Cariah, however, did play his part in making a contest of things.  He provided the majority of the little resistance getting his maiden half-century in an 85-run partnership with Alzarri Joseph.  With the series and possibly an automatic spot at the ICC World Cup on the line the bowler knows the team can’t afford a repeat performance at the crease.

“We need to find a way to bat the first 10 overs from Southee and Boult, keep them out of the game in the wickets column and we will be fine,” Cariah said ahead of Sunday’s decider.

“I just think with the new ball is we had faced some balls and bat some overs and get ourselves in it would have been easier for us,” he added.

 

Stubborn lower-order resistance from bowlers Yannic Cariah and Alzarri Joseph proved insufficient as devastating spells from Trent Boult and Tim Southee led New Zealand to a series-levelling 50-run (D/L) win over the West Indies on Friday.

In the rain-affected fixture at Kensington Oval, the West Indies, chasing New Zealand’s first innings total of 212, looked in real trouble at 27 for 6, and then 63 for 7 when the rain intervened.

On the resumption, Cariah and Joseph buckled down to steer the team into a much more competitive tally.  Cariah scored his maiden half-century with 52 from 84, while Joseph added 49 from 31.  The pair combined for 85, the highest partnership of the West Indies' innings.

Their brave resistance and the Windies' faint hope were ended when Joseph was bowled by Southee.   Cariah was the last man to go after being caught by Finn Allen off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.

Earlier, Southee and Boult had ransacked the Windies batting line-up as the pair eventually combined for 7 wickets.  Southee ended with 4 for 22 and Boult 3 for 18.  The pair’s early assault left the Windies six wickets down by the 10th over.

In New Zealand’s turn at the crease, Allen only narrowly missed out on a maiden century, after leading the team out of trouble at 31 for 3.  He was eventually dismissed on 96.

  Despite Allen’s heroics, the West Indies had another strong outing with the ball, which was led by spinner Kevin Sinclair’s maiden four-wicket haul.  Sinclair ended with 4 for 41 while all-rounder Jason Holder ended with 3 for 24.  

Interim Jamaica Reggae Boyz coach Merron Gordon has hailed the upcoming Austria Mini Football Tournament as an excellent opportunity for players on the fringe of the national team to get a taste of international football.

The national team, who has already settled in Vienna, will play in fixtures against World Cup-bound teams Qatar and Morocco over the next few days.  Originally, the team also had a match scheduled against Ghana but the fixture was cancelled after the African team failed to arrive at the tournament on time.

 With matches falling outside of the FIFA international friendly window, the team will be without its first team players.  As a result, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) has called up a majority squad based in Jamaica, with many of them playing in the island’s premier football league.

Gordon, who has taken charge of the team on a temporary basis, believes the inexperienced unit will benefit greatly from the competition.

“The most important thing is for the boys to go out there and do the best they can.  I said to the Boyz, don’t just come here because you were called.  Your talent brought you here, you need to prove to the world that you belong here,” Gordon told members of the media on Friday.

“In a competition like this where you have three teams that are going to the World Cup and we are going to play them with some boys that are just being exposed to international football, I think that’s a good thing.”

 

 

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz will play one game less for the upcoming mini tournament in Austria following the cancelation of the team’s fixture against Ghana.

Originally, the 23-man squad, who arrived for the Austria Mini Football Tournament in Vienna on Wednesday, were expected to have fixtures against Ghana, Qatar, and Morocco on the 20th, 23rd, and 26th.

With the rest of the teams already settled in, however, the African nation Ghana is yet to arrive.  As a result, Jamaica’s fixture that was scheduled to be played against Ghana on Saturday has been cancelled.  Ghana is still expected to take part in the tournament as they are scheduled to arrive on the island on Saturday.

Jamaica's fixtures against Morocco on the 23rd and Qatar on the 26th are scheduled to go ahead.  The tournament will kick off with Morocco vs Qatar on Saturday.  The majority locally-based squad will be managed by newly appointed interim coach Merron Gordon.   

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell insists he remains very interested in being part of the team’s ICC T20 Cricket World Cup plans but expects Cricket West Indies (CWI) to also respect his terms.

The 34-year-old has been one of the most controversial names when it comes to West Indies cricket team selection over the past few years.  The player has not represented the team since last year’s ICC T20 World Cup, with the unit having played several series since.  Despite taking part in several T20 leagues around the world, Russell has not been available to represent the West Indies.

The issue has been a source of frustration for fans as well as Windies coach Phil Simmons who recently expressed his discontent with the issue.  While insisting that he remains eager to represent the team, Russell pointed out that there is also the interest of both himself and his family to consider.

 "I always want to play and give back. But at the end of the day, if we are not agreeing on certain terms...they (CWI) have to respect my terms as well. At the end of the day, it is what it is,” Russell told Sky Sports.

 "We have families and we have to make sure that we give our best opportunity while we have one career. It's not like I can start over again. I'm 34 and I want to win another World Cup -- or two more -- for West Indies because at the end of the day, I'm here now, and I'm just taking it day by day," he added.

"Of course, of course. The maroon is all over. Honestly, I have two franchise hundreds and I wish those hundreds were actually playing for West Indies. I don't regret saying this just now. I really enjoyed playing for Jamaica Tallawahs but those two hundreds, it would be more special coming in international cricket.”

Russell is expected to return to the Caribbean to take part in the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  It remains to be seen whether the player will then be included as a part of the T20 World Cup squad for the tournament in Australia later this year.

 

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