Reggae Girlz face Cuba today with no preparation

Jamaica's Reggae Girlz will virtually have no preparation going into their first 2020 Concacaf/Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Group A Women's Olympic first round qualifiers at the National Stadium against Cuba this evening at 6:30 p.m.

Assistant coach Lorne Donaldson says he had to wait for who is available before they could move forward.

Donaldson, who will oversee the team in the absence of head coach, Hue Menzies, who is not due to arrive until October 2, said that they may have to start the tournament without some key players who were not released from their schools and clubs for the first game.

Donaldson said that this being a FIFA sanctioned competition, he expects the sport's governing body to make special arrangement for countries to have their best players available.

"It's a FIFA date," he said. "I don't know if there are any discrepancies with a tournament or a 'one game,' but some of the players have not been released."

Jamaica defeated Cuba 6-1 and 9-0 the last two times they played, but Donaldson says he expects things to be different this time around.

"Every game is different," he said. "I don't know what Cuba has and I can't use the last two games to judge that.

"Whatever they have will be different, their players are different, our players are different, so we have to come ready to play. Players are going to be a bit tired, so the work can't be heavy and the focus has to be on team tactics and team organisation," he said.

The qualifiers are set for September 30 to October 8. Jamaica will face off against Cuba, St Lucia, Barbados and th

e US Virgin Islands. The group winners will move on to the Concacaf final round.

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US embargo is systematic human rights violation against Cuba – ambassador

 The nearly six-decade-old United States economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba is the most unfair, severe, flagrant and prolonged system of unilateral sanctions ever applied against any single country, says Ines Fors Fernandez, Cuban ambassador to Jamaica.

She said that the blockade continues to represent an impediment to the development of the Cuban economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan, and for that country to attain Agenda 2030 and its objectives for sustainable development.

“The blockade is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights for all Cubans. Because of its declared aim, and the political, legal and administrative framework upon which it is sustained, these sanctions qualify as an act of genocide, according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948, and as an act of economic warfare, according to the Naval Conference of London of 1909. Moreover, it is in violation of the United Nations Charter and International Law,” Fernandez further told journalists at the Cuban Embassy in New Kingston last Friday.

“The United States must, without any conditions, put an end to the unfair blockade which has been causing suffering to the Cuban people,” urged Fernandez.

She said that US sanction has crippled the Cuban economy and has stagnated the social development of the island state.

“It’s a matter of policy; the US policy towards Cuba is well documented. Unfair to us, yes, but it’s their policy. We hope ultimately that world view, a strong resolution from the United Nations and from friendly countries, such as Jamaica, will bring about some change,” the ambassador said.

She pointed out that the behaviour of the current United States administration is an insult to the international community, which has, for 27 consecutive years, condemned the blockade against Cuba within the framework of the United Nations.

The US, she said, has ignored successive resolutions by the UN General Assembly and the declarations of the heads of state or government of the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the Group of 77 and China, and the Non-Aligned Movement, among other organisations, to end the blockade against Cuba.

“In our battle to lift the blockade, Cuba has received the support of Jamaica, which has joined the denunciation of this illegal policy within the UN, as well as in the Caribbean Community and in other international fora.

“Once again, the Cuban people and government reiterate their gratitude to Jamaica and its people, while requesting the valuable contribution of this beautiful country to lift the blockade of the United States against the Cuban people.”

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Pan American Athletics Summary Day 4

Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas produced one of the most impressive performances of the 18th edition of the Pan-American Games, winning the triple jump with a 15.11m leap, a world leader, Games’ and national record on Friday (9) to highlight day four action at Lima’s Estadio de la Videna.

The 23-year-old from Caracas, world ranked No.2 and the 2017 world champion, was totally dominant over a quality field that didn’t include the 2016 Olympic champion and 2011 and 2015 Pan-Am Games winner, Catherine Ibargüen. The 35-year-old Colombian, world ranked No.1, decided not to compete in this event in Lima, where she only contested the long jump (and finished fifth with 6.54m on 6 August).

Rojas, who was fourth four years ago in Toronto, delivered an impressive series, in spite of the evening’s cold conditions. She produced three measured jumps, reaching 14.90m (0.7 m/s) on her first, 14.67m (-0.1) with her third and her 15.11m winner with her fourth. Her final effort, a foul by about seven centimetres, was a very long one, in the 15.50m area, which indicates that the tall Venezuelan could jeopardize the 24-year-old world record of 15.50 set by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets on 10 August 1995 in Gothenburg. The leap also added five centimetres to her previous career best set in Huelva, Spain, on 20 June.

Rojas’ medal is only the second athletics gold by a Venezuelan woman in Pan-American Games history. Jamaica’s Shanieka Rickets, world ranked No.3, was second with a personal best of 14.77m (0.7 m/s), also after a solid series: foul, 14.76m (0.7), 14.76m (1.2), 14.43m (1.0) and 14.77m. Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea, world ranked No.4, was third with 14.60m (-0.6).

More honours for Fraser-Pryce

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, one of the most successful athletes of this time, added the Pan-American Games 200m title to her illustrious collection with a 22.43 (-0.1 m/s) performance to break the previous games record of 22.45 set by USA’s Evelyn Ashford in 1979.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce en route to the Pan-American Games 200m title (Getty Images)Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce en route to the Pan-American Games 200m title (Getty Images) © Copyright

The 32-year-old from Kingston, world ranked No.2 at 100m, and multiple Olympic and world champion, dominated the race entirely, running a smooth curve and finishing off with her traditional and powerful stride, even relaxing a bit over the last 10 metres.

“I want to think that I’m much better at 100m, but the 200m represent a bigger challenge for me”, said Fraser-Pryce, whose hair coloured green for the occasion. “I’m working on getting better at 200m and I’m also very happy to win this title for my country. I knew it was cold, but it was cold for everyone, not just for me, so I just wanted to execute the first 100m like my coach told me to do. Now, I thank god that I finished healthy and I can go back home and put on some more training.” Fraser-Pryce dedicated the victory to her son Zyon, who celebrated his second birthday a couple of days before the final.

Fraser-Pryce’s victory was, curiously enough, the first for Jamaica at the Pan-American Games. Brazil’s Vitória Rosa, world ranked No.16, was second with a personal best of 22.62, while Bahamas’ Tynia Gaither was third with 22.76.

Thomas-Dodd improves to 19.55m

Danniel Thomas-Dodd at the Pan-American Games in Lima (Getty Images)Danniel Thomas-Dodd at the Pan-American Games in Lima (Getty Images) © Copyright

Jamaica tops the medal table entering the final day of track and field. Danniel Thomas-Dodd provided the sixth gold for the Caribbean nation by winning the shot put with 19.55m, setting a new games and national record. Thomas-Dodd, world ranked No.4, achieved the winning mark in her final throw of the day with the victory already assured. Her gold was also the first for her nation at this event. Canada’s Brittany Crew was second with a personal best and national record of 19.07m, while USA’s Jessica Ramsey was third with a season’s best of 19.01m.

Three more gold medals for Brazil..

Brazil also had a good day, producing three victories and reaching five gold medals in all, second in the table. The South American nation won both 4x100m relays and the men’s 10,000m through Éderson Pereira.

The women’s team of Andressa Fidelis, Vitória Rosa, Lorraine Martins and Rosângela Santos was the most consistent at each exchange and clocked 43.04, a season’s best, to win the Games’ title for second time. Canada was second with 43.37, also a season’s best, ahead of the US who clocked 43.39.

In the men’s 4x100m, Brazil won for the fifth time in the last six games. Rodrigo do Nascimento, Jorge Henrique Vides, Derick de Souza and Paulo André de Oliveira clocked 38.27, beating Trinidad and Tobago (season’s best of 38.46) and the US (38.79).

In the 10,000m, Pereira delivered a strong kick over the last 1000m (2:37) to win with a personal best of 28:27.47. The field covered the first half in 14:12.33, pushed by USA’s Lawi Lalang, who took control of the pace for the greater part of the race to eventually finish third with 28:31.75, just behind compatriot Reid Buchanan (28:28.41). Pereira’s title is the third by a Brazilian at the distance.

..and two more for USA

The US team added two gold medals on Friday. Kara Winger triumphed in the women’s javelin with a season’s best of 64.92m, her best performance since 2015. Winger, the US record holder and world ranked No.8, threw beyond 60 metres with each of her efforts: 63.31m, 64.92m, 62.78m, 63.23m, 61.15m and 62.50m. The 33-year-old reversed the finish from Toronto 2015, where she was second behind Canada’s Liz Gleadle. This time Gleadle threw 63.30m, while Ariana Ince, the 2019 US champion, was third with 62.32m.

The second US gold for the day (and third of the athletics competition) came through Nikki Hiltz, who won the women’s 1500m in 4:07.14. Hiltz, world ranked No.30 and third at the recent US national championships, covered the last 300m in 47 seconds to outkick Jamaica’s Aisha Praught (4:08.26) and Alexa Efraimson, also from the US (4:08.63). The last US athlete to win this event was Marla Runyan in 1999.

Mexico’s Laura Galván, who finished fourth at 1500m with a personal best of 4:10.53, returned to the track 40 minutes later, to win the 5000m in 15:35.47, providing the third gold for Mexico. Profiting from her speed, the 27-year-old Galván ran the last kilometre in 2:54 to beat Canada’s Jessica O’Connell (15:36.08) and USA’s Kimberley Conley (15:36.95).

Pan-American Games 200m champion Alex Quinonez (r) leads Yancarlos Martinez (l) and Alonso Edward (c) (Getty Images)Pan-American Games 200m champion Alex Quinonez (r) leads Yancarlos Martinez (l) and Alonso Edward (c) (Getty Images) © Copyright

After a slow first part of his race, Alex Quinonez ran a formidable straight to take the men’s 200m title in 20.27 (-1.0). The 29-year-old Ecuadorian, world ranked No.4, obtained the first gold for his country in a track event, the eight overall and second of these Games. Panama’s Alonso Edward lead up to 120 metres, but faded to fourth in 20.55. Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards was second with 20.38, with Dominican Republic’s Yancarlos Martínez third in 20.44.

Cuba added its fifth medal of these Games through Luis Zayas. The 22-year-old won the hen’s high jump with a personal best of 2.30m. Zayas, the 2016 world U20 champion, came to the contest with a personal best of 2.27m and a season’s best of 2.25m.

Canada’s Michael Mason, who has topped 2.31m this season and is world ranked No.4, was second with 2.28m. Mexico’s Roberto Vilches was third with 2.26m.

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Jamaica Confirms the Two Fastest Women in the World for Lima 2019

With only 27 days left until the start of the continent’s biggest sports festival, Panam Sports has incredible news to share for all lovers of sport, especially fans of Athletics.

The Olympic Committee of Jamaica presented the official nomination of the athletes who will participate in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The incredible list of athletes not only features Team Panam Sports Ambassador Briana Williams, but also two of the greatest sprinters in history: Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.

The two athletes are currently #1 and #2 in the IAAF World Rankings for the 100 meters, both with times of 10.73 seconds that were achieved last weekend at the Jamaica National Championships.

Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce is an athlete who is well-versed in bringing joy to the island of Jamaica. At the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, she became the Olympic Champion at just 21-years old before repeating as Olympic Champion at London 2012. In London, she also added two Olympic silvers in the 200 meter and 4×100 meter relay. Combined with a remarkable seven World Championships, Fraser Pryce has one of the best athletics resumes in the world.

Thompson, on the other hand, is the newest queen of Olympic sprinting. At the Rio 2016 Games, she won golds in both the 100 and 200 meters.

These two super stars will compete at Lima 2019 between August 6 and 10 on the brand new track located in the VIDENA, the home for some of the most exciting and inspiring sports action at the Pan Am Games.

With these two Olympic Champions, the rising star of Briana Williams, the recent confirmation of Justin Gatlin by Team USA, the outstanding rivalry between Triple Jumpers Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia and the Team Panam Sports Ambassador Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, among others, the Athletics competition at Lima 2019 will undoubtedly be a world-class event not to be missed!

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Silver for Jamaican Ronald Levy in Continental Cup

Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sep 9 (Prensa Latina) Representing the Americas team, Jamaican Ronald Levy won the silver medal today in the 110 meters hurdles of the Continental Cup of athletics, which is held in this city.

Levy stopped the clocks in 13.12 seconds to record his best time of the year, although the gold medal went to the panniers of the Europa team, through the Russian Sergey Shubenkov (13.03).

The bronze was in the power of the French Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (13.31).

Jamaica and the Americas won a bronze medal in the 800 meters for women, through Natoya Goule, who scored 1: 57.36.

South African multi-champion Caster Semenya (1: 54.77) won gold in that specialty, while American Ajee Wilson (1: 57.16) took the silver.

In the male hammer, meanwhile, Dilshod Nazarov, of Tajikistan, won with a record of 77.34 to give the triumph to the Asian-Pacific delegation.

The Egyptian Mostafa Elgamel (Africa, 74.22) and the Hungarian Bence Halász (Europe, 74.80) got the silver and bronze respectively, while the Mexican Diego del Real was fourth with 75.86, his best shot of the season.

Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo dominated today the 200 flat meters of the competition.

The Olympic champion of Rio de Janeiro-2016, representative of the Americas team, obtained the victory with a record of 22.16 seconds, ahead of the Dutch Dafne Schippers (Europe, 22.28) and the Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Africa, 22.61).

In triple jump for men, the American Christian Taylor also gave the title to the combined Americas, to impose with record of 17.59 meters.

Hugues Fabrice Zango, of Burkina Faso, and the Indian Arpinder Singh took the silver and bronze metals with 17.02 and 16.59, respectively.

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Jamaica's Prime Minister Receives President Diaz-Canel

Montego Bay, Jamaica, Jul 5 (Prensa Latina) Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness today received Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in the context of the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of Heads of State of the Community of Caribbean (CARICOM).

Holness and Diaz-Canel held the meeting at the Convention Center, hours after the arrival of the Cuban President to this city, especially invited to the conclave by the Jamaican governor, CARICOM's President pro-tempore.

On his second official trip abroad, the Cuban head of State was received by the head of the Senate, Thomas Tavares-Finson, who said that Jamaica was happy and proud to welcome him.

The forum will be held until tomorrow, and among the key points on the agenda are crime and violence; disaster management and climate change, and the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

The Conference of Heads of Government is the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines its political orientation.

The Cuban delegation to the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM is also integrated by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rogelio Sierra, and the ambassador of Cuba in the Caribbean country, Ines Fors.

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Miguel Díaz-Canel Arrives to Montego Bay, Jamaica

The President of Councils of the State and of Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez arrived in Jamaica as special guest of the First Secretary of this Caribbean nation, Andrew Holness.

Early this morning the plane that fled the Cuban President landed in the international airport of Montego Bay.

The senate president Thomas Tavares Finson welcomed Miguel Díaz-Canel at the air terminal.

The Cuban retinue is also integrated by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, the Deputy Minister Rogelio Sierra Díaz and Inés Fors Fernández ambassador for Cuba in Jamaica.

Díaz-Canel’s visit takes place amid the 39th Conference of Heads of States of CARICOM where leaders from 15 nations that make up the regional block of political agreement and economic integration attend.

This is Miguel Díaz-Canel’s first visit to Jamaica in his condition as President of the Councils of State and of Ministers.

The invitation to the Cuban President ratifies the ties of friendship, solidarity and cooperation that characterized the bonds between Cuba and its sisters Caribbean nations.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

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Caribbean Businesses Invited to Explore Opportunities in Cuba

Businesses in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean are being encouraged to explore opportunities for trade and investment with Cuba.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Cuba, Rogelio Sierra Diaz, said his Government is seeking to widen cooperation with countries in the region under its foreign investment law.

“We are now promoting trade cooperation between the Caribbean Community and Cuba. This is strengthened by the approval of a new foreign investment law in Cuba that was approved a few years ago,” he said at a press briefing at the Embassy of Cuba in Jamaica.

The Deputy Minister was on a three-day visit to Jamaica as part of a tour of several Caribbean nations, including Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation within the region.

Diaz met with senior Government officials to discuss and identify areas to increase relations between the countries. He said the trade and foreign investment promotion policies in Cuba will encourage the participation of Caribbean nations.

“The Cuban authorities are highly interested in receiving investments from the Caribbean companies. The Caribbean business persons will have the same facilities that any other business person may receive and will be warmly welcomed,” he pointed out.

Diaz pointed specifically to Jamaica, saying that it has a lot to offer Cuba.

“Jamaica has significantly large businesses, which can become investors at some point in Cuba and from that could derive business benefits but could also provide services and products for the Cuban market,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Cuban minister said his country values its longstanding ties within the region and is committed to strengthening the bonds of friendship and understanding.

“We (want) to express to our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean that the Cuban foreign policy will remain the same and that within this policy the relationship between Cuba and the Caribbean hold for us a priority,” he said.

The Deputy Minister added that the existing bilateral relationship between Jamaica and Cuba “provides the appropriate framework” to further develop the bond between the two countries.

“We believe that it is not necessary to establish new agreements but to strengthen and update the ones we already have,” he noted.

He indicated that priority will be given to cooperation in the areas of disaster management and climate change and teaching of the Spanish language.

  • Published in Cuba
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