Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks

New Reggae Girlz Interim Coach Vin Blaine says defence must be the focus to bridge the gap between his team and the better teams in the CONCACAF region.

Speaking at his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Blaine was critical of the team’s defensive organization under the previous coaching staff.

“It’s a concern of mine, from I’ve been watching the team. What I’ve recognized is that defensively, we don’t have bad players but our organization was poor. If I was to criticize the past coaching staff, I would say our girls weren’t playing defensively well. That’s the area I want to sure up first,” said Blaine.

When asked about the fact that the Reggae Girlz have not fared well against the top teams, Blaine said that had more to do with team rotation rather than an inability to compete.

“The team that played against Costa Rica recently; they have not played against the USA, really, because what the coaching staff was doing before, was an assessment of the players, so you found that in the US game, he had a different squad, in the Nigeria game he had a different squad and in the Costa Rica game he had a different squad,” Blaine said.

He was referring to three friendlies the team played against Nigeria, Costa Rica and the USA. In those games, Jamaica won 1-0 against Nigeria, lost 4-0 to the USA and played to a 0-0 draw against Costa Rica. Blaine said the team should not be judged on those recent performances.

“It’s hard to judge how these present girls that have come from the USA and are playing professionally would have matched up,” said Blaine.

“It’s hard to say they did badly because in the past we played a Costa Rica team and I think we got something like 11-0 way back when. They’re still competitive.”

The Reggae Girlz will begin the first round of the CONCACAF Women’s Championship on February 17, 2022, against Bermuda.

They are in Group C alongside Grenada, The Dominican Republic, The Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

The tournament also serves as qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 - August 20.

The Reggae Girlz are looking to qualify for their second straight FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Several Caribbean athletes were on show as the NCAA Indoor Track & Field season continued at the Kansas State Winter Invitational on December 11.

Bahamian Kyle Alcine, competing for Kansas State, won the high jump with a clearance of 2.05m.

Alcine, the silver medallist at the NACAC Under 23 Championships in Costa Rica earlier this year, finished ahead of Kansas State teammate Kamyren Garrett who also cleared 2.05 metres and Kaleb Clark of William Carey jumped 1.95 for third.

 Guyana’s Chantoba Bright, also representing Kansas State, was also a winner at the meet soaring out to 13.31 metres to win the triple jump.

Bright, who won a silver medal in the same event at the recently concluded Pan Am Junior Championships in Colombia, finished ahead of Allanah Lee of Oklahoma who jumped out to 12.28m and Nevagant Jones of William Carey who was third with 11.77m.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Fredricka McKenzie, competing for William Carey University, was second in the Women’s 60 metres in 7.52.

McKenzie is a former Edwin Allen High School student who narrowly missed out on an individual medal at Jamaica’s Boys and Girls High School Track & Field Championships or “Champs” on two separate occasions. She was fourth in the Girls Class One 200m in 2018 and a year later, fourth in the Girls Class One 100m.

The race was won by Wurrie Njadoe of Kansas State in 7.45 while her teammate Velecia Williams was third in 7.54.

Williams is a former Hydel High School student, who won silver medals in both the long and triple jump at the 2018 CARIFTA Games in The Bahamas.

Another Jamaican representing Kansas State, Taishia Pryce, finished fourth in 7.60.

Pryce, a former student at the St. Andrew Technical High School, also ran 39.35 to finish second in the Women’s 300m that Njadoe won in 38.42, a new meet record.

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has been named a brand ambassador for Indian consumer deliverables company USHA International.

A Man of the Match performance from Shadab Khan helped Pakistan take an unassailable 2-0 series lead against the West Indies after a nine-run win in the second T20 International in Karachi today.

A late cameo of 28 from 12 balls by Shadab Khan propelled Pakistan to a respectable 172-8 off their 20 overs in the second T20 international against West Indies in Karachi Tuesday.

Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat first.

After getting to 14 without loss in the second over, Mohammed Rizwan and captain Babar Azam inexplicably went for a single that resulted in the Pakistan captain being run out for seven.

Rizwan and new batsman Fakhar Zaman attempted to steady the ship with a 19-run fourth over off Oshane Thomas to take the score to 38-1. The partnership was broken by Akeal Hosein, who had Zaman stumped for 10.

That wicket brought together, Rizwan and Haider Ali, who on Monday scored half-centuries in Pakistan's 63-run win over the visitors. Together, they guided the hosts to 50-2 at the end of the first powerplay.

Hosein bowled his four overs within the first seven and was once again excellent with figures of 1-16 to follow up his 1-19 performance Monday.

Pakistan were still only 2 wickets down at the halfway mark as Rizwan and Ali played sensibly to take the score to 73-2. The partnership was broken in the 12th over when Odean Smith had Rizwan caught at short cover for 38 from 30 balls. Smith got his second wicket of the day when Haider was caught at deep point by Shamarh Brooks for 31 on the last ball of the 14th over.

Hayden Walsh Jr got his first wicket in the very next over, removing Mohammad Nawaz, who was caught at deep mid-wicket for one.

Pakistan ended the 15th over 113-5 with Iftikhar Ahmed at the crease on 14 and Asif Ali on two.

Rovman Powell took an excellent catch off the bowling of Romario Shepherd to remove Ali for nine off the second ball of the 17th over to reduce Pakistan to 124-6.

Iftikhar hit two sixes off Thomas in the 18th over but was then dismissed caught behind off the last ball for a well-played 32 from 19 balls.

Shadab Khan brought up Pakistan’s 150 with a straight six off Dominic Drakes off the second ball of the 19th over.

Mohammad Wasim Jr was run out on the second to last ball of the innings for five.

Pakistan finished their 20 overs 172-8 with Mohammad Rizwan top-scoring with 38 and Iftikhar Ahmed getting 32.

Odean Smith and Akeal Hosein were the best performers for the West Indies with the ball with 2-24 from 3 overs and 1-16 from four overs, respectively.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad & Tobago and St. Lucia Aquatics Federation have both announced their respective teams for the FINA World Short-Course Swimming Championships to be held in Abu Dhabi from December 16-21.

Trinidad &Tobago will be represented Cherelle Thompson in the Women’s 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly; Dylan Carter in the Men’s 50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle while Nikoli Blackman will compete in the Men’s 400m Freestyle and 1500m Freestyle.

St. Lucia will have Jayhan Odlum-Smith in the Men’s 50m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle, Mikaili Charlemagne in the Women’s 50m Butterfly and 50m Freestyle, Naima Hazell in the Women’s 50 Breaststroke and 50m Backstroke and Terrel Monplaisir in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke and 50m Freestyle.

Interim Head Coach of the “Reggae Boyz,” Paul Hall, says his selection policy in the short term will be to pick the best players available as he aims to get Jamaica into the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

 The two teams that only got into the quarterfinal round of the Manning cup because Camperdown High and Tivoli Gardens were disqualified, won their opening matches of the Manning Cup quarter-finals.

Excelsior and STATHS had originally finished third and fourth in Group B of the Manning Cup preliminary round but advanced after Camperdown and Tivoli were disqualified from the tournament for using ineligible players.

STATHS won their Group 1 opener 4-1 over St. Catherine High on Friday while Excelsior High beat Kingston Technical 3-1 in their Group 2 opener on Saturday.

Jamaica College beat Mona High 2-0 in the other Group 1 match on Friday and Kingston College got by Charlie Smith 3-0 in the other Group 2 match on Saturday.

The quarter-final round of the DaCosta Cup also got underway on Saturday with Dinthill Technical blanking Christiana High 4-0. Meanwhile, Edwin Allen beat William Knibb 2-0 in the second Zone 1 game on the day.

Mannings were the only Zone 2 winners Saturday, beating Vere Technical 3-2.

Munro College, which have struggled for form played to a 1-1 draw with Happy Grove in the other Zone game on the day.

Munro entered that game on the back of two straight losses in their Zone C playoff games against Lacovia and B.B. Coke.

In Zone 3, Garvey Maceo continued their fantastic form this season by beating Frome 2-0 while STETHS easily got past St. Thomas Technical 6-1.

Elsewhere, defending champions Clarendon College and Manchester High got wins in Zone 4 action.

Clarendon College defeated Cornwall College 2-1 while Manchester High ran out 4-0 winners over McGrath High.

Quarterfinal action in both competitions resumes on Tuesday.

 

 

Olympic bronze medalist, Megan Tapper, credits her background in gymnastics for instilling her with her trademark fighting spirit.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point published on Friday on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Tapper says her time in gymnastics helped her develop the mindset she now has when competing on the track.

“Determination and grit are things that were ingrained in me from my days in gymnastics."

During her time as a student at St. Andrew High School, Tapper spent several years as a gymnast before she transitioned to athletics.

She said the main thing she gained from the experience was to push through any adversity, a characteristic she has often displayed in competition.

“If I learned anything, it was to push through when the road is extremely rocky; when you can’t see the end when you have no energy left. It is to just continue pushing and never ever giving up,” said Tapper, who created history when she won the bronze medal in Tokyo in the 100m hurdles. She is the first female Caribbean sprint hurdler to win an Olympic medal in the event.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel and on the Sportsmax app.

Tokyo Olympics 100m bronze medalist, Megan Tapper, says her support team helped her find motivation after she fell in the final at the 2019 Doha World Championships.

The diminutive sprint hurdler, who won national titles in 2016 and again in 2021, had improved significantly during the season when she ran what was then a new lifetime best of 12.63. However, after getting to the final in Doha, she hit the first hurdle and fell.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Tapper elaborated on the emotions she experienced during that moment on the track.

“Just complete and utter devastation. It was unbelievable. I couldn’t believe that the opportunity that I trained so long and hard for ended in such devastation. There’s no other word that can basically describe that moment,” Tapper said.

Tapper says those emotions also stemmed from the fact that she was in great shape and ready for the race.

“I’ve never been ready, up to that moment, for a race, the way I was ready for that final and unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the race,” she said.

In that moment, according to Tapper, she was unable to contain her emotions.

“The feeling was overwhelming. I wasn’t able to be the composed Megan that most of us know because the emotions were so raw and overwhelming,” said Tapper.

Afterwards, she said, she sought support from those close to her for support. 

“I reached out to the various people who were in my circle at the time and they would say to me 'don’t worry about it, this is just another roadblock. You are still Megan, you are still capable, anything is still possible for you, shake it off and let’s go again. Talking to my support team was how the motivation came back for me,” said Tapper.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

 

Former Munro College athlete and current Jamaican Bobsledder, Rolando Reid, wants to achieve his Olympic dream in bobsled after being unable to do so on the track.

Reid is a member of Jamaica’s four-man bobsleigh team along with teammates Shanwayne Stephens, Matthew Wekpe, Ashley Watson, Nimroy Turgott and Wayne McPherson.

Speaking on the latest episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Reid said the pursuit of his original dream to represent the country in track and field at the Olympics was dashed because of injuries.

“For me growing up, I always wanted to represent the country at the senior level in Track and Field at the Olympic Games. However, due to injuries, that wasn’t possible,” said Reid, who revealed that representing Jamaica at the Winter Olympics is his new dream.

“This is my other dream of representing the country at the senior level and making it to the Winter Olympic Games.”

Reid said he has made many sacrifices to get this far.

“I’ve literally dedicated every single thing to this; lost my job in the process and I’m a new father as well so that’s a whole different thing. Giving up time with family just to make this dream a reality so I have given it my all pretty much,” he said.

The former teacher said the team hopes to qualify for the Olympics and set the stage for the next generation of bobsledders.

“We’re setting the pace for the next generation as well. The baton was passed onto us from the older generation, the Disney generation, so we’re just trying to continue that legacy,” said Reid.

When Reid says “Disney Generation” he’s referring to Jamaica’s first four-man bobsleigh team at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, who inspired the 1993 Disney film titled “Cool Runnings.”

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

 

 

 

Jamaican bobsledder Audra Segree has expressed happiness with her performances so far this season with teammate Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian.

Segree, a former track and field standout at Holmwood Technical in Jamaica, partnered with Fenlator-Victorian to finish third in the 2-woman Bobsleigh at the North American Cup in Whistler, Canada on November 14th.

That podium finish followed a fourth-place finish a day earlier.

Speaking on an episode of On Point on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel, Segree was pleased with her progress.

“Our performance has been great. We have challenges here and there but we work through it and sort it out. At the end of the day, we’re grateful that we finished on the podium so the start of the journey has been great,” said Segree.

When asked what she has discovered from her early runs that will help her improve throughout the rest of the season, Segree referred to getting things in place at a faster pace.

“Based on our vibe and our energy, we’re getting things together earlier in the season so going forward we’re just cleaning up stuff, being more consistent and putting in more effort and determination to always being at the top to collect points,” she said.

With the 2022 Winter Olympics beginning in Beijing on February 4, Segree explained what the team needs to do to qualify for the games.

“I can’t say how many points we need exactly because we are split up. There is the North American Cup, Europe Cup and World Cup. I think being consistently in the top-five should set us on the right path for the Olympics,” Segree said.

The full interview can be seen on the SportsMax TV YouTube channel.

West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, says he’s looking for the young players to put their hands up during their white-ball tour of Pakistan starting December 13.

The West Indies will face Pakistan in three T20I and three ODIs during the tour that concludes on December 20 and Simmons is expecting members of the team to stand up and be counted.

“We’re looking to see who’s going to put their hand up to be a major player in this team. It’s about them putting up their hands and saying we want to go forward with this team. We want to do the things that are necessary to help this team win,” Simmons said.

Speaking in a press conference Friday after the team’s arrival in Pakistan, Simmons acknowledged that this is the team’s first white-ball assignment since the disastrous World Cup campaign and that it is time to move on from that.

“We know what happened in the World Cup and we’re not going to go back there. We’re looking to move forward and see who now wants to move forward with this team and our different ideas of how we want to play,” he said.

The former Ireland and Afghanistan coach also expressed that while many know what these players are capable of, it is time for them to show it in high-pressure situations.

“Yes, we have an idea of what they can deliver, but they’ve got to go out there and start showing us now that they can deliver under pressure. Playing against Pakistan in Pakistan is as much pressure as you can get,” said Simmons.

Simmons says he’s anticipating how the mental approach within the squad will change.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how things are going to change within this squad, not just from a cricketing point of view but also an attitude point of view,” Simmons said.

The West Indies coach also noted the threat of Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“He’s been brilliant for Pakistan and I’m sure he will continue to improve. Our batsmen will work on plans to of how to play him, how to score off him and we’ll see how their plans work out when the games come about,” said Simmons.

 

Former West Indies batsman, Philo Wallace, says the Caribbean side should look to the future instead of the past in order to return West Indies cricket to what it once was.

Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, The Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, has described West Indies Cricket as being in a state of crisis.

Speaking on Mason & Guest radio show in Barbados on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Gonsalves said he based his assessment on a string of poor performances from the Caribbean side and an apparent lack of development.

“On the basis of the recent performances in the T20 World Cup, the abysmally poor outcome we have had in Sri Lanka and the very mediocre performance here in the Caribbean in recent times, I think it would be fair to say that the cricket is now in a state of crisis,” said Gonsalves, who went on to say that he believes a lack of ideas for a way forward from leaders of cricket around the region continues to be a contributing factor to the demise of the game.

“What we are having here is a full-blown crisis, not a crisis of governance so much, but a crisis in the performance which is connected to governance. I see a crisis as a condition in which the principals are innocent of the extent of the condition and have no credible bundle of ideas as to the way forward,” he said.

Gonsalves said he doesn’t believe those in charge of West Indies cricket truly understand the magnitude of the situation at hand.

“Every time I hear persons speak after a poor performance, you get commentary about how we didn’t do so badly; that there are bright spots and we keep looking for them as though we have to fool ourselves as to what is taking place. I don’t think we ought to fool ourselves and I’m not so sure from what I’ve been hearing that the persons who are in charge at different levels fully grasp what is here upon us,” Gonsalves said.

The West Indies next assignment will be a limited-overs tour of Pakistan consisting of three T20 Internationals and three ODIs beginning on December 13.

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