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Flashback – The Bahamas participates at Penn Relays 2014. (Hayden Roger Celestin image)

By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 28, 2017: Here are the stories making headlines in sports from the Caribbean and its Diaspora for this week ending April 28, 2017.

Penn Relays 2017 Is Here

It’s here – the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia! Now in its 123rd year, The Penn Relay Carnival is the oldest and most recognized annual track meet that draws athletes from across the Caribbean and crowds of up to 100,000 to the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field each year. This year’s event will run through April 29th.

The big races to watch include the USA versus the world showdown races, which will get underway tomorrow, Sat. April 29th. The US’ women in team red and blue will get things going with their face off with teams from Jamaica and the British Virgin Islands this year in the 4×100-meter event at 12:38 p.m. At 12:50 p.m., team USA blue and red men will face off against teams from Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in the men’s 4×100 match up.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, the USA will face Jamaica, the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands in the US versus the World Women Sprint Medley and at 2:10 p.m. it will be the men’s turn as teams from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guyana and Nigeria clash with the US men in the USA vs. the World Men Sprint Medley.

At 2:35 p.m. on Saturday, teams from Jamaica, the Bahamas, Guyana and Bostwana will face off against Team USA Red in the USA vs. the World Men 4×400 and at 2:52 p.m. it’s the women’s turn as Team USA women takes on the women of Jamaica, The Bahmaas, Botswana and Nigeria.

But the relays will also be all about watching the next generation of runners – those top high school athletes who could become tomorrow’s Olympians. Today, the High School Girls’ 4×800 Championship of America is set for 1:10 p.m. along with the High School Girls’ 4×100 Championship of America at 2:30 p.m. The High School Girls’ 4×100 Championship of America is set for 5:47 p.m. today. Jamaican high schoolers are expected to dominate all three.

On Saturday, the high school boy’s championships will also be races to watch as Jamaica’s high school boys are also expected to dominate.

Team Jamaica Bickle At The Penn Relays

Meanwhile, non-profit group, Team Jamaica Bickle, (TJB), headed by Irwine Clare, Sr. O.D., is active again this year, despite a tough season of fundraising. They are currently on the ground, with a group of dedicated volunteers and support from Vincent Hosang of Caribbean Food Delights, caring for the many Caribbean athletes who are participating at the Relays. That includes picking them up at area airports, providing hotel accommodation, transporting them daily to and from the venue, providing three meals daily and catering to other needs example chiropractic.

For more information on Team Jamaica Bickle or to lend your support, please call 718.523.2861 or email te***************@gm***.com. Information may also be found at; or on twitter, @teamjambickle.

CONCACAF Sues Former Leaders

The Confederation of North, Central American, and Caribbean Association Football, or CONCACAF, which governs soccer in much of the Americas, has slapped its former leaders with a $20 million lawsuit.

CONCACAF is suing former general secretary, Chuck Blazer, and its former president, Jack Warner, for fraud according to a suit filed last week in the U.S. Eastern District of New York. The suit also names some of Blazer’s shell companies.

“There can be no doubt that Warner and Blazer victimized CONCACAF, stealing and defrauding it out of tens of millions of dollars in brazen acts of corruption for their own personal benefit,” the suit states. “The defendants sought to pillage CONCACAF from the inside, seeking endless ways to embezzle funds from the organization.”

The charges come in the wake of a major Department of Justice investigation into years of corruption in international soccer.

Blazer pleaded guilty in 2013 to racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and tax evasion ― all linked to kickbacks he received in exchange for media rights and tournament marketing contracts, as well as bribes involving the 1998 and 2010 World Cups and several Gold Cup tournaments.

In 2015, Warner was named in a massive Justice Department indictment against members of the global soccer body FIFA, sports marketing executives and leaders of national soccer organizations. He is fighting extradition from Trinidad and Tobago to face U.S. charges of criminal racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering, among other offenses.

Usain Bolt Pays WorldLess Tribute To Mason

Triple Olympian Usain Bolt has said nothing about the death of his friend, Jamaican-born Olympian Germaine Mason who died in a motorbike accident after partying with the Olympic legend in his Jamaica home.

But Bolt posted a wordless tribute on his Instagram and Twitter – a black and white photo of Mason. Mason, 34, died instantly after losing control of his motor-bike on Sir Florizel Glasspole Boulevard in Kingston, Jamaica last Thursday morning.  Reports are that Bolt was “inconsolable” after the death of Mason and was seen weeping at the scene of the accident.  Mason was very close to Bolt and was with him on the private jet he rented to party in Trinidad at carnival 2017.

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