Getting ready for World Juniors

first_imgIn 2002, there was no clue that Usain Bolt would become the best 100-metre, sprinter in history. Save for a forlorn Class Three effort at Boys and Girls’ Champions two years earlier, he had concentrated on the 200 and 400 metres with much success. The penny dropped at a training camp hosted by the G.C. Foster College. The nation’s finest junior athletes were assembled at the G.C. Foster College for an ongoing training camp. It was a key plank of Jamaica’s preparation for the World Junior Championships which were set for Kingston in July 2002. Bolt lined up against many of the best junior 100-metre sprinters of the day and cleaned their clocks. Those present were stunned by his speed. It was a glimpse into his famous future. In those days, training camps were a standard part of preparation for our junior teams. In the late 1990s, stalwarts like Ian Forbes, Juliet Parkes and Brian Smith manned these camps. They ensured that our juniors faced the world’s best at their best. There was even a time when support camps were held outside of the Corporate Area, with the late Constantine Haughton sharing his expertise with those who couldn’t reach Kingston. The conversion of Melaine Walker to the 400-metre hurdles was done at camp by World Junior head coach Stephen Francis with the blessing of Walker’s high school Raymond ‘KC’ Graham after an injury had threatened her 2000 season. Walker took a bronze in the World Juniors in her new event and the rest is history. In 2002, the juniors were housed each weekend at G.C. Foster and their school coaches freely attended and shared their knowledge. The out-turn was a brilliant performance by the team when the big show rolled around. Bolt famously won the 200m. Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anniesha McLaughlin and Simone Facey clicked to gold in the 4×100 metres. Facey and McLaughlin took silver medals in the 100m and 200m respectively, with Jermaine Gonzales and Sherul Morgan third in their respective 400-metre finals. Walker moved up to second in the hurdles, behind a world junior record by Lashinda Demus of the United States. It’s a pity that the World Junior Championships won’t come to Jamaica in 2016 but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for it well. The aforementioned training camps have largely dropped off the calender. Where team members come from schools with self-sufficient programmes, they can arrive ready for national duty. That isn’t often the case. In 2010, distance ace Kemoy Campbell was slowed when funding for track at his school ran out after Champs. A camp, like the one that heralded the sprint future of Bolt, would likely have seen to his welfare. Perhaps, a better prepared Campbell would have advanced past the first round on the 1500-metres in the World Juniors in Moncton, Canada. Our top seniors largely have camps of their own, but our juniors suffer if left alone. Our medal haul at the World Juniors tell the story. In 2002, the team’s 11-medal performance may have been boosted by brilliant home support. Since then, the take has settled at lower levels. Jamaica garnered nine medals in 2004, eight in 2006, six in 2008, three in 2010, five in 2012 and six in 2014 at successive stagings of the Under-20 championships. This year, a three-day camp helped to prepare Jamaica’s 2015 Pan-Am Junior team for a 13-medal haul. The 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston were wonderful. The support by a capacity audience, night after night, and the performances by the likes of Carolina Kluft, Blanka Vlasic, Meseret Defar, Darrell Brown and Bolt make it worthwhile for the authorities to consider a return to Kingston at some point in the future. In the meantime, it makes sense to prepare well for the 2016 renewal, wherever it is staged. The revival of preparatory junior camps would be a good way to get out of the blocks. – Hubert Lawrence was present at the 2002 World Juniors.last_img read more

Wright looking for an edge at home

first_imgWith his focus firmly fixed on being at his best in time for the Olympics in Rio this summer, 2012 NCAA discus champion Chad Wright has been spending time with his old schoolmates and high school coach, hoping to be razor sharp this season.This is all part of his plan to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard of 65 metres before May, compete on the international circuit, and then make the top 12 in Rio.The 24-year-old senior at the University of Nebraska has been training with his former Calabar teammates Fredrick Dacres, Traves Smikle, and Basil Bingham and others since late December 2015.”I figured I had to train a different way this year. For most of last season, I had been training mostly by myself, and someone once told me that in order to become a lion, you have to train with them, so I figured I would train at least two months training down here with the lions,” said Wright, who has been taking his classes at Nebraska online in the meantime.While he was a student at Calabar, Wright was among a group of successful throwers who helped redefine how field events, more specifically the throws, were viewed by a sprint-crazy Jamaican fan base.NUMEROUSTITLESDuring that period, Dacres won the World Youth and World Junior titles in 2011 and 2012, respectively, while Smikle won a World Youth bronze medal in 2010.Wright, the 2009 CARIFTA champion, has been working under the watchful eye of his high school coach, Julian Robinson, and has said that the focus has been primarily on improving his technique.”It’s kind of like how you have to work out a better delivery system for water, so I am pretty much working on a better delivery system to translate my gym strength into throwing far,” said Wright, who is majoring in mathematics.He revealed that so far, the friendly rivalry between him and his former high school teammates has been bearing fruit.”It’s the constant competition every day, where you can’t afford for them to be beating you up because they are going to come the next day and they’re going to bring it up as soon as they see you, so you have to shut them up,” said the 2013 CAC discus champion.The five-time All-American was among three discus throwers who represented Jamaica at the World Championships in Beijing, China, last summer, a first for the country. He said getting to compete in China proved to be a great learning experience that he believes will help him get to Rio in August.”It was a lesson for me because I went into the meet not fully prepared because I never planned anything because I wasn’t sure I would make it,” he said. It is a mistake he does not intend to make again.Wright is scheduled to leave the island early next month.last_img read more

In Your Neighbourhood

first_img Cedar Grove, Braeton sent packing Right Stuff suffered their first defeat of the season after they were beaten 300-297 in sudden-death countdown to Correctional Services in a shock result in the City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union Portmore Domino League last Sunday. Despite the loss, Right Stuff (29 points) maintained the number one position in the league, on points average, over Spit Fyah (29 points), which defeated Highlight Strikers 300-266. In other games, Spring Village thumped Chedwin Strikers 300-259, Ken’s Wildflower beat Garveymeade 300-262, Soursop Tree cut down Memory Lane 300-267, Eradication rushed past Unity Strikers 300-275. The league will take a one-week break and returns on Sunday, March 6. Wayne Cuff Charity Cricket match All roads lead to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) playing field, Up Park Camp, for the Wayne Cuff Charity Cricket match tomorrow, starting at 10 a.m. Come and see past West Indies and Jamaica cricketers in action such as Delroy Morgan, Wavell Hinds, Robert Hayes, O’Neil Cruickshank, Courtney Francis, Milton Thomas, Wayne Cuff, Nehemiah Perry, Andrew Richardson, Jamaica Masters champion Domtar Sports Club, Mico Masters, Kensington Masters and May Pen Lion Masters. The Jamaica Domino Federation (JDF), under the leadership of Gerald Stephens, will host a pairs knockout domino competition tomorrow at the Garveymeade Sports Club. Registration is from 11 a.m. and entry fee is $1000 per pair. The winning pair will take home $20,000; second place, $15,000; and third place $10,000. This is a fundraising initiative by the JDF.center_img Jamaica Domino Federation host pairs KO Favourites Cedar Grove and Braeton United were sensationally sent packing after defeats to Cumberland and Racing United, respectively, in semi-final action in the York Pharmacy-sponsored Portmore Division Two knockout football competition at Cedar Grove Sports Complex. Cumberland defeated Cedar Grove 2-1, while Racing’s win over Braeton United was a no-contest as the Gregory Park based club ran out 4-1 winners over Braeton, the side that took home the midseason title. The final will be played between Cumberland and Racing United on Sunday, March 6. Meanwhile, the league semi-final will take place tomorrow at the Cedar Grove, playing field. Fourth ranked Cumberland tackle top seeds Braeton United at 1 p.m., while at 3 p.m. Edgewater oppose Cedar Grove. Right Stuff scolded by Correctional Serviceslast_img read more

Big win for Jamaica

first_imgATLANTA, Georgia:THE Georgia Dome gave the Reggae Boyz a standing ovation.It was a fitting tribute to Jamaica, which scored a historic victory over the United States while booting away a number of firsts yesterday in Atlanta, beating the Americans for the first time on their home soil, 2-1 in the semi-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup football tournament.”David won against Goliath,” said Jamaica’s head coach, Winfried Sch‰fer, who had described the match as such.”I’m very proud of my players. Two strikers made the goals for Jamaica, I am very, very happy about this,” he added.”We’re not finished, we’ve one more match. We cannot make a party now, we can play Bob Marley later.”Now Jamaicans are headed to the Gold Cup final for the first time, being the first Caribbean team to make that landmark.Strikers Darren Mattocks (31st) and Giles Barnes (36th) scored goals five minutes apart for Jamaica, while Michael Bradley scored for the United States at the 48th minute.”We’ve made history by getting into the final,” noted Barnes of Jamaica, which had twice made it to the Gold Cup semi-finals – in 1993 when they placed joint third, and 1998. “We’re looking forward to the final now; hopefully we can win it,” he added.Mattocks scored with a header that hit the far post on its way in, off a long throw-in from Kemar Lawrence at the 31st minute, while Barnes scored with a brilliant curling free-kick the 36th, after US goalie Brad Guzan was adjudged to have handled the ball by stepping out of the penalty box as he attempted to kick the ball upfield.”To see it going in was sensational,” Barnes said of his goal.Bradley scored after goalkeeper Ryan Thompson spilled a shot from Aron Johanssen.It was one of several spills by Thompson, who otherwise made some brilliant saves against the Americans, who outshot his team with 18 kicks on target, as opposed to Jamaica’s four.Both teams created chances to score in a very competitive fixture in which the Americans made most of the running, with 58 per cent possession. However, without skilful players to bother the Jamaican defence, they hit a lot of long passes and crosses, especially in the opening 15 minutes of the second half.This tactic suited the strong-defending Jamaica team led by tall central defender Michael Hector, as they were able to outjump the American attackers.Additionally, the second balls won off the headers were used by Jamaica to start counter attacks, with Je-Vaughn Watson, Rodolph Austin, Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Garath McCleary pushing back the Americans.Watson had a monstrous two-way game and McAnuff, especially, utilised all the craft and experience of his 33 years to keep possession, while the strikers fought bravely while being outnumbered to hold up the ball until help arrived to press forward.The goals came when Mattocks skillfully flicked the ball on one of the few times he beat the American defence to a high ball, while Barnes curled a free-kick with ferocity from the top of the box.Jamaica tightened the screws on Bradley after he took advantage of the Thompson spill, forcing him back to his defence and made his and his team’s task difficult. It became so hard against Jamaica’s very organised team defence that without a way through, they resorted to long balls from deep and wide.In the end, those hardly mattered against a Jamaica team that held strong to become the first Caribbean team to beat the United States in a men’s senior football match in the US since Haiti did so in 1969.”The team is disappointed because they wanted to play the big final in Philadelphia,” admitted US coach, Jurgen Klinsmann.”Congratulations to Jamaica being in the final.”Klinsmann added: “I cannot complain about the performance about the team. We had enough chances to put the game away.”last_img read more

Ireland upset Germany

first_imgDUBLIN (AP): Substitute Shane Long scored five minutes after coming on yesterday for Ireland to upset world champions Germany 1-0 and clinch at least a play-off place for Euro 2016. Long struck in the 70th minute of their qualifier when he took goalkeeper Darren Randolph’s long kick over the German defence and fired the ball past Manuel Neuer to the top corner. “He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world, so it makes it even that bit more special,” Long said after Ireland’s first-ever competitive win over Germany. “It was an unexpected and unnecessary defeat,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said. “He’s won a World Cup. He’s entitled to his opinion, and we were brilliant,” Irish counterpart Martin O’Neill said. With one game in qualifying remaining, Germany top Group D on 19 points, one ahead of Poland and Ireland, who meet in Warsaw on Sunday. Robert Lewandowski scored his second goal deep in injury time for Poland to draw 2-2 with Scotland in Glasgow and end the home side’s hopes of a play-off. Because of their superior goal difference, a draw on Sunday would be enough for Poland to qualify directly, while Ireland needs to win to avoid the play-offs.last_img read more

Cottrell lands WI retainer

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):Batsman Leon Johnson and left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell have both been handed retainer contracts by the West Indies Cricket Board, despite not featuring for the regional side over the last year.The pair are among a list of 15 players announced by the WICB late yesterday who have been retained for the period beginning last October 1 to September 30 later this year.Johnson, a 28-year-old left-hander, has been repeatedly overlooked in recent months despite the West Indies’ continued struggles at the top of the order.He averages nearly 40 in his four Tests and gathered scores of 54 and 44 in his last Test – against South Africa in Cape Town last January.Fellow Guyanese Rajindra Chandrika has been the preferred choice despite three noughts in six Test innings and an average of 14.Cottrell, meanwhile, has not suited up for West Indies since the one-day series in South Africa last January.The 26-year-old has struggled with injury this year and only recent resumed bowling when he turned out for Jamaica Scorpions in the Regional First Class Championship.He played the last of this two Tests in December, 2014, and has played two one-day internationals.Marlon Samuels has been also retained despite a torrid time with the bat in recent months. The Jamaican gathered 30 runs from four Test innings against Sri Lanka last October and managed only 35 runs in five outings against Australia in the just concluded three-Test series Down Under.Rookies Shai Hope and Shane Dowrich, who like Chandrika both made their Test debuts last year, are also among the 15 retained.RETAINED PLAYERS – Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite, Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Jermaine Blackwood, Jerome Taylor, Sheldon Cottrell, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Leon Johnson, Kemar Roach.last_img read more

English football face corruption issues

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP):When lecturing FIFA on ethics, English soccer leaders look like the moral arbiters of the game.It’s an attitude that gives the English Football Association little wiggle room when problems land on its own doorstep.So once the England team manager’s integrity was damaged by unguarded comments to undercover reporters about illegal transfer practises, while attempting to cash in on his prestigious job, Sam Allardyce’s position was untenable. Allardyce’s contract was terminated after 67 days and one game in charge.”If we are going to be opinionated on how people behave in football in England and internationally we have to live the high standards ourselves,” FA chairman Greg Clarke said. “A problem came. We dealt with it quickly.”But the problems aren’t going away. Far from it, with further allegations of wrongdoing emerging and pressure to act from the government.The latest installment of the Daily Telegraph investigation filmed an agent accusing 10 managers, which it did not name, of taking bribes linked to player transfers. Such corruption has long been suspected in England, which hosts the world’s richest domestic football competition in the Premier League.”The vast number of Premier League transfers, loans and contract re-negotiations involving large sums of money, combined with the greed of those involved in the deals, give rise to corruption,” Liz Ellen, head of sports at law firm Mishcon de Reya, told The Associated Press.There is one quick fix.”There should be a separation of powers,” Ellen said. “Managers and players should not have the same agents as this creates conflicts of interests and appearances of bias or conflict which are difficult to overcome.”The League Managers Association said it is taking the allegations of bribery “very seriously as they are obviously damaging to the game.”damaged imageThere’s more damage to come, with the Telegraph promising further revelations about LMA members.The first video was published on Monday, showing Allardyce appearing to offer advice to fictitious businessmen on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer practise and also to negotiate a 400,000-pound public-speaking contract to top up an annual England salary of 3 million pounds.A further recording showed Allardyce mocking predecessor Roy Hodgson, who was fired after England’s humiliating loss to tiny Iceland at the European Championship in June, questioning the FA’s financial strategy, and talking dismissively about the organisation’s president, Prince William.”On reflection it was a silly thing to do,” Allardyce said outside his home near the northern English city of Manchester on Wednesday. “Unfortunately, it was an error of judgement on my behalf and I’ve paid the consequences.”Allardyce was heading for the airport to escape England and to reflect on becoming the shortest-serving manager of the team.The FA and England’s leagues responded, saying in a joint statement that the allegations from the newspaper stings “will be investigated with the full force of the rules at our disposal.””Should we find any evidence of criminality,” the statement said, “we would inform and seek the support of the appropriate statutory authorities.”last_img read more

Suriname rally to stun Guyana in Scotiabank CFU Caribbean Cup

first_img Byers put Antigua ahead in the 43rd minute when he pounced on a ball which rebounded after Puerto Rico’s goalkeeper; Matthew Sanchez failed to hold onto a free-kick from 18 yards. The home side added to their advantage four minutes from regulation time when Smith picked-up a low pass on the edge of the six-yard box to tap home from close range. Playing without their charismatic midfielder Joshua Parker and forward Dexter Blackstock – both based in England – Antigua & Barbuda were more attacking in the second half. However, they failed to hit the back of the net in the early stages of the half, even after scoring opportunities were created. In other CFU third-round matches at the weekend, French Guiana beat St Kitts and Nevis one-nil and Martinique defeated Dominican Republic 2-1. ANTIGUA AHEAD Jaguars found a consolation goal a minute from full time when Lyle, left his goal to head in a corner kick, his first goal for Guyana in his first outing. Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda rebounded from a 0-3 thrashing from CuraÁao last week to pull off a two-nil win over Puerto Rico in the third round of the ScotiaBank Men’s Caribbean Cup football match at the Antigua Recreation Ground on the weekend. Goals from striker Peter Byers and substitute Stefan Smith, on either side of the break, fired the Benna Boys to victory and a chance to qualify for the final round of the CFU Cup and a place at next year’s Gold Cup. The Antiguans must now wait on results from the next leg of matches this week to know if they will advance to the next round as the best overall second place finishers. ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):  An extra time brace from substitute Ivanildo Rozenblad inspired Suriname to a dramatic come-from-behind win over rivals Guyana in the third round of the Scotiabank Men’s Caribbean Cup football match at the Andre Kamperveen Stadium in Paramaribo on the weekend. The Surinamese prevailed 3-2 after 30 minutes of extra time following a one-all deadlock in regulation time. Marcel Barrington put Golden Jaguars ahead five minutes into normal time with a low right-footer from the top of the box. Mitchell Kisoor equalised after capitalising on a blunder in the 12th minute of the second half to setup the gripping extra time contest. Suriname grabbed the lead with two minutes remaining in the first half of extra time when Rozenbald tapped into an open goal after receiving a ball from the left flank. Four minutes into the second period of extra time Rozenbald struck again rifling his second goal past goalkeeper Kai Lyle at the near post. CONSOLATION GOALlast_img read more

St Kitts and Nevis Patriots banking on Chris Gayle

first_img POSSIBLE CAPTAIN Richard Berridge, chief operating officer of the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, says that Chris Gayle can carry the team to glory in next season’s Hero Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament. Although he would not speak on reasons for Gayle’s move, Berridge describes it as a big boost to the team, having struggled in its previous two seasons in the competition. “He is probably the best T20 player in the world,” he says. “Just having him penciled into your line-up is a great bonus, and we all know what he’s capable of. “His stats say it all. We have high expectations and we know Chris is a hard worker, an excellent cricketer, and an excellent leader. He’ll bring a lot of value to our franchise in and out of cricket.” The Patriots are expecting corporate entities to want to align themselves with the franchise as Gayle is seen as someone who can attract what Berridge describes as “huge commercial deals”. He is also expected to create a boost in ticket sales at Warner Park, where the team plays its home matches. “Having a player like him on board will only help us to increase the exposure of our franchise internationally,” Berridge says. This leadership Berridge speaks of means that he is already being considered for the role of team captain, although he says it is still dependent on other experienced players the Patriots will look to bring in during the draft early next year. “He would possibly be our captain. It hasn’t been confirmed. When we select the rest of the team, it more than likely will be him,” Berridge says. No other names have been confirmed to join Gayle as yet, but the Patriots say they are hoping and expecting to make more signings of a similar quality. “We will, where we think we need them, whether it’s an all-rounder, bowler, or a batsman, we have another player that we can sign at the second level, which we’re currently deciding on, ” Berridge says. “We have a few slots that are going to be open in the draft and we have a few guys that are going to be retained – some valuable players who we want to continue to work with.” He expects the entire league to benefit from the transfer, as he sees more moves being triggered as a result, with not only the Tallawahs trying to replace him, but other teams looking to make signings. This is to ensure they do not get left behind in terms of competitiveness. Berridge says Jamaican fans, who he thinks will be obviously disappointed to lose a player of Gayle’s quality, should still support him as the tournament is about franchises, rather than nationality. This means fans should feel open to supporting whichever team they wish in the competition, because of the players they like, rather than the countries they [the fans] live in or were born in.last_img read more

JRU snaps two-game skid, downs Letran

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJose Rizal University turned back Letran, 65-62, in the NCAA Season 93 men’s basketball tournament Friday at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Heavy Bombers survived a scare in the final minutes after their 11-point lead, 61-50, dwindled to just three in the final seven seconds of the game but Jed Mendoza was able to hold fort and stopped JP Calvo until the final buzzer.ADVERTISEMENT JRU improved to 2-2 to snap its two-game losing streak while Letran slipped to 1-2.“When we get to the end game, we cannot commit turnovers or passing mistakes,” said JRU head coach Vergel Meneses. “That’s why Letran was able to come back.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The Knights were able mount their 13-4 late-game run after pestering the Heavy Bombers for the full 94 feet but time wasn’t on their side.Mendoza led JRU with 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists while Teytey Teodoro, who missed two crucial free throws with seconds remaining in the game, added 14 points. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Bong Quinto had a team-high 16 points to lead Letran while Rey Nambatac added 14. View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendcenter_img Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans MOST READ LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets LATEST STORIES Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Gov’t nixes 2019 SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTubelast_img read more