Jamaica, still on a high after knocking Trinidad and Tobago from the top of the table, with a 19-run victory on Wednesday, are also eyeing one of the two spots in the final. The Jamaicans, led by the experienced Stafanie Taylor, are the favourites to beat lowly ranked Guyana when the two teams meet at Gilbert Park. While Jamaica need to win against Guyana, their entry into the finals will also depend on the outcome of the clash between Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. The third match features South Windwards against North Windwards at Caldrac. COUVA, Trinidad (CMC): The battle for supremacy in the WICB Regional Women’s Super-50 tournament reaches a crucial point with the fifth and final round of matches to be contested in Trinidad today. The three teams at the top of the table heading into the final round are in a tussle to secure their place in the final of the competition to be contested on Sunday. Barbados on 16 points, Trinidad and Tobago on 12 and Jamaica on 11 are the major contenders for the final, with Guyana, South Windward and North Windward no longer in contention. Two of the teams who fancy their chances of playing in the finals, front runners Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, clash at the National Cricket Centre in an eagerly anticipated fixture. The Barbadians will be hoping to maintain their unbeaten run and seal their spot in Sunday’s grand finale while the homeside, with two wins and a defeat, need a clear victory to increase their chances of appearing in the finals. On Wednesday, Barbados demolished North Windwards by 181 runs at Macaulay Park to move to the top of the table, while Trinidad and Tobago relinquished their lead after losing to Jamaica by 19 runs at The National Cricket Centre. still on a high
Jamaica defeated St Vincent and the Grenadines 4-1 in Group B of the Caribbean Football Union’s women’s Under-20 final-round competition in Haiti yesterday. The star player for Jamaica was Khadija Shaw, who scored a hat-trick, while Rasha Roberts got the fourth goal. In the other Group B match played yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago defeated Curacao by the same scoreline. The young Reggae Girlz will play Curacao in their second match tomorrow.
Front-line batsman Kirk Edwards is one run away from a century heading into today’s fourth and final day of the Jamaica Scorpions’ practice match at Kensington Park. The Barbadian, set to lead the Scorpions’ batting line-up in their opening fixture against Barbados Pride next Friday in Barbados, closed on 99 not out. His knock was also the centerpiece of Paul Palmer’s XI second-innings total of 250 for three after they were earlier in the day set a victory target of 283 on a wearing pitch by David Bernard’s XI. Edwards, who is playing his second game since arriving here recently as one of two mandatory Jamaica overseas draft picks, also got good support from in-form teammates AndrÈ McCarthy and opener John Campbell. McCarthy scored 81 while Campbell followed up his first-innings topscore of 51 with 55. “I am pleased with the application that Edwards, McCarthy, and Campbell showed,” stated Jamaica coach Junior Bennett. “Asked to chase 280-odd runs batting last definitely takes some application, and because of this approach, they have put their team in a good position to win.” Earlier, Bernard’s XI, after resuming on 143 for eight, were bowled out for 194. Damion Jacobs followed up his first-innings half-century with 28, while Shacaya Thomas followed up his 95 with 34. Fast bowler Leighton Leslie, four for 52, and left-arm wrist spinner Dennis Bulli, three for 51, finished with most wickets. Bernard’s posted 234 in their first innings to which Palmer’s XI replied with 145.
The Jamaica Darts Association (JDA) has selected a 26-member training squad (16 men and 10 women) for the Caribbean Championships which will be staged in Barbados in July and August 2016.The squad will undergo a period of intense training after which a final cut will be made at the end of the first quarter of 2016. The team complement for the championships will be eight men and five women.The players selected were drawn from various teams now competing in the JDA RumBar Dart League. The next RumBar League match will be on January 10 at the Montego Bay Cricket Club.The training squad members are:MEN: Albert Bailey, Anthony Johnson, Colin Chandia, Damion Cheese, David Green, Dwight Smith, Evon Faulkner, Gairy Cowan, Glenmore Nembhard, Lynford Jonas, Mark Birthwright, Marco Walters, Ralph Clunie, Raymond Ferguson, Shawn Noteman, Winston FergusonWOMEN: Carol Cheese, Catherine Stewart, Collette Williams, Jennifer Reid, Loraine Nembhard, Mernel Brown, Norma Bowen, Princess Brown, Shavelle Graham and Tracey Tapper.
Injury may have ruined his 2015 season but that hasn’t stopped Jason Livermore from thinking big. Axed by a leg ailment during last year’s National Championship 100 metre final, the 27 year-old Livermore is already looking forward to this season’s Nationals. He says his coach, Michael Clarke, is helping him to get back to his best. A late developer, the powerfully built Livermore slowly improved after finishing fourth in the 2007 Boys and Girls’ Championships Class One 100 metre final won by Yohan Blake for St Jago High in the record time of 10.21 seconds. His patient work paid off in 2013 when he took a bronze medal in the 200m at the Central American and Caribbean Championships and reached the semis of the event at the World Championships in Moscow. He followed that with a solid 2014 campaign and a bronze in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. Sadly, the progress stopped last year. Not long after he helped Jamaica to win the 4x200m at the IAAF World Relays, his dreams of running in Beijing at the World Championships were crushed by his injury at the Nationals. He isn’t looking back at that disappointment. “Things have been going great, thanks to God,” he said. “My coach is ensuring that I do the necessary things to get me back where I was and better than I was before.” His coach Michael Clarke had directed him to personal bests of 10.05 for the 100m and 20.13 seconds in the 200m in 2013. He knows that he may need to be better than he was before to qualify for the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In 2015, six Jamaicans ran faster than his 100m lifetime best and three surpassed his career best in the 200m. Livermore is undaunted and seems to relish the competition. “Things are looking forward for now in the sprints because there are a lot of athletes in Jamaica, especially young sprinters,” he observed. “Looking at the sprints right now,” he projected, “2016 Jamaica trials is going to be a very lovely.” His target is simple. “It has always been the same … just go to trials, make the finals and be in the top three,” he said.
ATHLETES from the Corporate Area will be hoping to cement their spots for the finals of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship later this month, when they compete in the Digicel/Anthrick Corporate Area Development Meet at the Usain Bolt/UWI Stadium today, starting at 10 a.m.There will be seven Grand Prix finals. These are the boys’ Class Two discus, boys’ classes One and Two long jump, girls’ classes One and Two high jump, and the boys’ and girls’ Open 4×400 metres. The other Grand Prix events are Class One boys’ discus final, classes One and Two boys’ high jump finals, boys’ 800 metres, girls’ discus, girls’ long jump, girls’ 800 metres, girls’ discus, along with the 200 and 400 metres.Today’s meet will be the penultimate one for athletes in the Corporate Area to book their individual spots for the grand final, which will culminate next Saturday with the G.C. Foster Classics.They will get their final opportunity on Saturday at the Digicel Camperdown Classics inside the National Stadium.Beside seeking top spot in the Grand Prix events, athletes will be hoping to help their schools gain valuable points, as the top teams overall in the male and female categories will walk away with a cash prize of $250,000, and the top two individuals will carry points towards the finals.BATTLE ROYALThe top-three boys’ teams at last year’s ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships – defending champions Calabar High, Kingston College (KC) and Jamaica College (JC) – are expected to have another battle royal, while it should also be close among the females, as Corporate Area champions for the past eight years, Wolmer’s Girls, will be severely tested by the likes of a vastly improved Excelsior High, Camperdown High, St Andrew High, Immaculate Conception High, and Convent of Mercy Academy ‘Alpha’, which have all been in terrific form this season.Again, all eyes will be on Calabar High’s Christopher Taylor, who is the leader in the boys’ Under-18 400 metres Grand Prix event. Taylor, despite just going through the motions last Saturday at the Youngster Goldsmith Meet, was still able to clock 47.18 seconds. His teammate, Brandon Heath, who was second overall with 49.66 seconds, will be hoping to maintain that position. Jamaica College’s Romario Mickel and Excelsior High’s Mikel Clarke will also be looking to make an impact.Calabar are also ahead in the Grand Prix Class Two 100 metres, where the outstanding Dejour Russell is the leader in the Under-18 category after winning the event last Saturday in 10.89 seconds. His teammate, Tyreke Wilson, was also under 11 seconds on the day, after finishing second in 10.97. Wolmer’s Boys’ Malik Shepard, who was third in 11.05, and his teammate, Xavier Nairne, who was fourth in 11.07, are also seeking spots among the top two.KC’S JHEVAUGHN MATHERSONKingston College’s Jhevaughn Matherson, who won his heat in 10.69 seconds in Class One, will be hoping for a faster time today to move ahead of Calabar High’s Xavier Angus, who was first overall with 10.66.Among the females, Alpha’s Kiara Grant was the fastest Class Three athlete in the 100 metres among Corporate Area athletes last Saturday, winning in 11.74 seconds to lead the Under-17 section. Wolmer’s Girls’ Kellian Kelly is second overall, after finishing fourth overall in Class Two in 12.05 seconds.
Wolmer’s and Mona Preparatory schools captured the boys’ and girls’ titles, respectively, in the preparatory and primary section of the 18th annual Mayberry Investments Schools Swimming Championships held at the National Aquatic Centre last Saturday.Wolmer’s Boys amassed 232.50 points to finish ahead of Sts Peter and Paul Prep – 148. Third went to Mona, 138, while St Hugh’s Prep, 121, and Stella Maris, 118, rounded out the top five.In the girls’ section, Mona Prep scored 151 points and they were followed by Stella Maris, 133, Sts Peter and Paul, 130, Wolmer’s, 116 and St Hugh’s 109.A whopping 38 individual records were broken on Saturday, including what could be considered a standout performance from 10-year-old Zaneta Alvaranga of St Hugh’s Prep.She smashed a record per event, copping four individual records. She won the 50m backstroke girls 9-10 in 35:19 seconds; the 50m freestyle in 29:23; the girls 12 and under 100m freestyle in 1:07.08; and the 50m butterfly for girls 9-10 in 31.97.She also anchored her school to a new 200m freestyle relay record of 2 minutes 33:71 seconds for girls 9-10.Alvaranga picked up the high point trophy for the girls 9-10 age group with 36 points.Other high-point trophy winners were Stella Maris’ Jonathan Haynes and Nia-Kai Campbell of Mount Alvernia in the six and under age group; Kajaun Haughton of Wolmer’s Prep and Christanya Shirley, also of Wolmer’s Prep, in the 7-8 age group; Sts Peter and Paul’s Joshua Alleyne and Paig’e Lewis in the 11-12 age group.The three-day Tornadoes Swim meet will take place at the same venue, starting on Friday.
Corruption in sport is not new. Cheating by athletes performing in the early Olympic Games has been well documented by historians. What is new, however, is the plethora of information gathered about corruption involving those who are supposed to be the ones ‘policing’ the sport: the administrators. Whistle-blower-led revelations at FIFA, WADA and the IAAF have allowed fans and aficionados of sport to understand the power of money, which systematically defeats all the educational materials authored by some of these same officials of FIFA, WADA and the IAAF. As have been stated elsewhere, the ‘new’ FIFA seems destined to continue the ‘same old, same old’ as those executives employed to reform the organisation were forced to resign when uncomfortable questions were asked about appointments and salaries. In track and field, the ghastly spectre of doping (cheating) threatens to trivialise the results of athletic achievements of the winners in Rio. The question: ‘Is he/she clean?’ will dominate the two weeks of the track and field aspect of the Olympics. State-sponsored doping We already know about the state-sponsored doping of multiple sports in Russia, with the confessions/revelations of administrators, who divulged in graphic detail the way in which dopers/cheaters were allowed to compete, win and escape detection by the drug testers. Executives at WADA and the IAAF have been fingered and charged, as well as those in charge of the very laboratories where the samples were sent for evaluation. But when you think that things could not get worse, here comes the news that retesting of samples from the 2008 Olympics have resulted in 31 positive results from 12 sports. Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has stated most unequivocally that those identified will be banned from the Rio Olympics. We also know that the relevant authorities in the member countries have been notified as to the identity of the athletes. Therefore, there are a lot of fans and citizens of those countries, as yet unnamed, who are literally waiting to exhale. Rumours, as yet unsubstantiated, have begun to fly left, right and centre. The question locally is: What if a Jamaican is named? Jamaicans are well aware of the pressures brought on our athletes because of their dominance of sprinting at previous Olympics and World Championships. We are also well aware that some of our stars/icons of track and field have returned adverse analytical findings for banned substances. Most have been banned; some have been exonerated after the relevant investigations. What has been constant, however, is how the country as a whole has defended and excused those whose ‘B’ samples have confirmed the adverse analytical findings, to the extent where those Jamaicans involved in the process have been accused of ‘spiking’ the samples, as well as other nefarious activities designed to ‘set up’ the athlete. A positive result from the 2008 Olympics is an entirely different matter. Not only will the named athlete be banned from the Rio Olympics, but the results and/or records garnered at those 2008 Games would be expunged from the records and medals returned. This is serious. The question of the integrity of the process would quickly be brought into focus. Question 1: Can they retest samples from 2008? Answer: Yes. The laws of the IAAF permit it. Previously, samples were kept for eight years, but recently this time frame has been extended to 10 years. Question 2: Can you find an athlete positive after previously declaring him/her negative? Answer: Yes. All athletes have supported the retesting of samples as the testers have improved their detection methods based on science, but also from information garnered through whistleblowers, who long for a level playing field. Question 3: Can the laboratory where the samples are stored be trusted in the light of a previous episode where a WADA directive NOT to discard samples were ignored. Answer: Yes. Major changes at the top have been instituted and athletes named in the 31 can request further testing. So we wait. Most of us know that our athletes are clean. However, a history of previous positive results affecting our stars leaves some of us very nervous.
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (AP):Teenage offspinner Mehedi Hasan claimed five wickets on debut as Bangladesh restricted England to 258 for seven on the opening day of the first Test yesterday.The 18-year-old Mehedi returned figures of five for 64 and tormented the English batsmen on a wicket that offered plenty of turn and variable bounce.”The captain told me to bowl just wicket-to-wicket,” Mehedi said. “You need accuracy to thrive here (Test cricket). I am learning.”Moeen Ali top scored for England with 68 after surviving five video reviews while Jonny Bairstow made a gritty 52 to help England propel past 200 runs, which appeared unlikely at one stage.”They were dirty runs today,” Ali said. “It was a massive mental challenge especially with the reviews. I kept missing the ball and it hit my pad. I couldn’t figure out why.”At stumps Chris Woakes, who looked solid, was batting on 36 with Adil Rashid on five.VISIBLY TROUBLEDLeft-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan complemented Mehedi’s five wickets with two for 46.Mehedi became the seventh Bangladesh bowler to claim five-for on debut.England were visibly troubled against the spin once Alastair Cook won the toss on his record-breaking 134th Test for the tourists and elected to bat first.Mehedi claimed his first Test wicket when he bowled England opener Ben Duckett for 14 then collected a second in his next over when he trapped Gary Ballance leg before wicket for one, getting the verdict on appeal.England lost three wickets for three runs in 13 balls with opener Cook also departing cheaply for just four. The England skipper tried to sweep a turning delivery and dragged the ball back on to his stumps.With the side reeling on 21 for three, Ali and Joe Root started the repair job. Root was fluent while Ali was watchful and survived a handful of video reviews before reaching his half-century, including three in six balls either side of lunch.But Bangladesh managed to get the prized wicket of Root, who edged Mehedi to first slip on 40, with five fours in 49 balls.Ben Stokes (18) went on the attack but an unplayable ball from Shakib dismantled his stumps to leave England in trouble at 106 for five.
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