As always, Jamaican athletes turned in exceptional performances and made history during 2023. Jamaica won the most medals of all competitors at the 50th staging of the CARIFTA Games, and Khadija “Bunny” Shaw and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce received prestigious athletic titles. The Reggae Girlz made history when they earned their first point at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and Jamaica was the only country from the Caribbean to attain a medal total that ranked in the Top 10 at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest. In a stunning come-from-behind victory against Canada, the Reggae Boyz qualified for the COPA America.
Jamaican Athletes Won the Highest Number of Medals at the CARIFTA Championships
For the 37th consecutive year, Jamaican athletes brought home the highest number of medals awarded at the CARIFTA Track & Field Championships, which were held at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, The Bahamas. Jamaican won a total of 78 medals: 40 gold, 22 silver, and 17 bronze. Rounding out the top three medal-winning nations at the competition were The Bahamas (10 gold, 13 silver, and 23 bronze medals for a total of 46) and Trinidad and Tobago (nine gold, 10 silver, and 12 bronze for a total of 31). Thirty-six of the CARIFTA medals were won on the boys’ side, while 42 medals were awarded on the girls’ side.
“Bunny” Shaw and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Received Prestigious Athletic Titles
Two of Jamaica’s outstanding women’s athletes, Khadija “Bunny” Shaw and Shelly-Ann Frase-Pryce were honored with top athletic titles in 2023. Footballer Shaw was named the CONCACAF Women’s Player of the Year for 2022, and Olympic champion sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce received the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year title. The Jamaica Football Federation issued congratulations to Shaw for winning the title and becoming the first Caribbean woman to do so. Shaw who plays for Manchester City and is captain of Jamaica’s national Reggae Girlz football team, was instrumental in helping the Girlz to a second consecutive appearance at the World Cup while also leading Manchester to the 2021-2022 FA Women’s League Cup. Fraser-Pryce received the Laureus Award at a ceremony in Paris on May 8, 2023, for her record-breaking victory and her fifth world 100-meter title, world 200-meter title, and 4×100-meter silver medals, and a fifth sprint title at the Diamond League.
Reggae Girlz Made History by Earning Their First Point at a FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament
Jamaica’s women’s national football team, the Reggae Girlz, made history at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Tournament by holding their French opponents to a 0-0 draw on July 23. The draw was called one of the biggest surprises in the competition to date. Jamaica, which is ranked 43rd, entered the World Cup tournament having lost all of its games during the 2019 World Cup with a goal differential of -11. France, ranked fifth in the world, was considered one of the tournament favorites. Jamaica’s coach, Lorne Donaldson, told his players not to worry about rankings and described the Girlz’s first point ever at the World Cup as its “greatest achievement.”
Jamaica Was the Sole Caribbean Nation to Reach the Top 10 Medal Tally In Budapest
Jamaica was the only nation from the Caribbean to secure a spot among the Top 10 total medal winners at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The country’s athletes defied expectations and ensured Jamaica’s fourth-place position in the final medal standings at the end of the competition. Jamaica earned a total of 12 medals, which made its total second only to that of the United States, which had 29.
REGGAE BOYZ QUALIFIED FOR COPA AMERICA WITH A COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN OVER CANADA
Jamaica’s national men’s football team, the Reggae Boyz, defeated Canada 3 to 2 in the nation’s first-ever win on Canadian soil. They brought home the victory during the second leg of their League A quarter-final match at the 2023-2024 CONCACAF Nations League on November 21, 2023, at BMO Field in Toronto. With the win, the Jamaican team qualified for the CONMEBOL Copa America 2024. This will be Jamaica’s third appearance at the Copa America. The Reggae Boyz are also scheduled to join Mexico, Panama, and the United States in the semi-final of the CONCACAF Nations League competition scheduled for March 2024.