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By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 12, 2018: Here are the top stories making Caribbean sports news for the week ending, July 12, 2019:

What’s The Highest Ranked Caribbean Women’s Soccer Team?

As the U.S. women’s soccer team celebrated their win Wednesday with a ticker tape parade and put the spotlight on women’s soccer globally, the latest FIFA rankings show just five Caribbean women’s team in the top 100.

The number one regional spot goes to Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz even though they are ranked at 53 globally. The second spot belongs to Trinidad and Tobago as they rank at 60 globally. Haiti is at third regionally but at 72nd globally while Guyana is fourth in the Caribbean but at 89th globally. Cuba rounds out the top five regional women’s soccer team placing 93rd globally.

Cuban, Jamaican Athlete For Müller Anniversary Games

2018 world indoor champion, Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarría and Jamaican rising star Tajay Gayle are two of the region’s top athletes set for the Müller Anniversary Games.

The games is the tenth stop of the 2019 IAAF Diamond League and is set for London on  July 20th.

Echevarría will head the field in the men’s long jump. At the 2018 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, he stunned the world by nearly jumping the full length of the pit with a marginally wind-assisted 8.83m (+2.1) leap – the longest jump under any conditions in the world for some 23 years. Echevarría’s career best is 8.68m.

Gayle became an 8 metre jumper in 2017, improving from 7.54 the year before to 8.00 metres. He went on to finish fourth at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the silver medal at the 2018 NACAC Championships. He set a personal best jump of 8.24 metres at the 2018 NACAC Championships in Toronto. His current personal best jump is 8.30 metres, achieved in May  in Kingston, Jamaica before a home crowd.

West Indies Cricket Contracts

Cricket West Indies has issued central contracts to several male and female West Indies cricket players. The CWI men’s contracts for 2019-20 are:

All-format – Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

Red-ball – Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jomel Warrican.

White-ball – Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell and Oshane Thomas.

CWI women’s contracts 2019-2020

Retained: Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor

New contracts: Shabika Gajnabi, Shawnisha Hector, Chinelle Henry, Stacy-Ann King, Kycia Knight, Natasha McLean and Karishma Ramharack.

West Indies And India To Clash Again

The West Indies will face India again this summer, this time on home turf.

The West Indies and India will play two Tests – from August 22nd to 26th at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and from August 30th to September 3rd at Sabina Park in Jamaica – during the five-week Tour. The tour will also include three Twenty20 and three One-day International matches. Tickets for the matches are at


CONCACAF has announced changes to its World Cup qualifying format ahead of Qatar 2022. There will now be two tournaments at the same time to determine who qualifies instead of one, though the hexagonal format remains in a modified version.

In the past, teams competed to make the hexagonal, the final phase of qualifying inside of CONCACAF. But now FIFA rankings will determine which teams participate, as the six highest-ranked teams in the confederation will automatically make the round. That means the other countries will play in a separate competition where the winner will still have a shot to make the World Cup. That means friendlies and other matches leading up to next year will factor into rankings that help determine who makes the hex. As of right now, those six teams would be Mexico, USA, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Honduras and El Salvador.

The six teams will battle for three spots, but the fourth-place team in the hexagonal will have an extra hurdle to make the World Cup. Usually the fourth-place team would play in the FIFA Intercontinental Playoff to qualify, but now that team will first have to win a playoff against a fellow CONCACAF team from the separate tournament.

Team Jamaica Bickle Set To Distribute Defibrillators To More Jamaican Schools 

Twenty more Jamaican high schools will receive Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS), and First Aid Kits from Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) as part of its annual “Defibrillator to Schools Program.” The Diaspora organization will make the presentation and on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 from 9 a.m. -2 p.m. at the S Hotel located on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard in Montego Bay.

Schools set to receive units in this round of awards are; Anchovy High , Black River High, Cambridge High, Grange Hill High, Irwin High, Lewisville High, Little London High, Maggotty High, Maldon High, Manchester High, Maud McLeod High, Merlene Ottey High, Munro College, Muschett High, Nain High, Newell High, Roger Clarke High, Troy High, Belmont Academy, and Knockalva High.

The program, which was born out of grief and loss, began in 2014 creating awareness of the need for emergency resources at sporting activities and other venues. The heightened awareness of the defibrillator program has also extended generally to schools and private sector organizations yielding a cadre of trained staff. Schools are now requesting to be included in the annual presentations which were prompted by the sudden and tragic deaths of student-athletes Cavahn McKenzie (2014) and Dominic James (2016), both at sporting events. In addition to receiving units, school staff are also trained in CPR and are presented a certificate on completion. Schools can send up to four members of staff to be trained at the given sessions.  It is the organization’s goal to outfit each high school with its dedicated AED unit. This presentation will bring the total number of schools outfitted by TJB and indirect donors to just over 70.

“The welfare of our athletes motivated us 25 years ago to start TJB. Their welfare was foremost in our minds with the launch and continuation of this program. This presentation of 20 AEDs and training of staff from schools primarily in the western section of Island represents our continued commitment. We thank our sponsors and supporters,” said Chairman, Irwine Clare, Snr.

Nurses, Sharon Thompson and Delores McGregor from the Diaspora Healthcare Sector will conduct the training sessions.

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