Clearing hurdles – Riley points to continued excellence by J’can youngsters in obstacle event

first_imgFor the third year in a row, the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships’ Class Two 100-metre hurdles record has fallen. On Saturday, March 30, Ackera Nugent of Excelsior High School advanced the standard to 12.91 seconds. Her victory and high levels of participation in hurdling events has Excelsior head coach David Riley seeing bright days ahead. “You can’t bank on hurdles, but when your top hurdler comes through, it’s great, and we continue to develop in that area”, Riley reviewed after Nugent had sped home in 12.91 seconds to rewrite the mark set last year by Ray-Donna Lee of Hydel High at 12.95. “We do have the technical expertise, and it’s good that a lot more coaches are coaching the event and more athletes are being exposed,” he said of his Excelsior coaching staff and of Jamaica in general. The victory marked a remarkable rise for Nugent, who had not won at Champs before. Confident after gaining a silver medal at last year’s Youth Olympics, Nugent had set a world Under-18 best of 12.87 seconds earlier this season. Before Saturday, her best Champs result was silver in the 2017 Class Three 800-metre hurdles behind St Jago’s Crystal Morrison. Morrison was second to the Douglas Williams-coached Nugent in Saturday’s record race. PARTICIPATION SURGE Reminded that Brittany Anderson, then of Vere Technical High School, set the record at 13.04 seconds in 2017, Riley agreed that the movement means Jamaica is on the move in the sprint hurdles. “Yes, and most of these kids don’t have a full flight of hurdles to train with, you know, so hurdle endurance is not something that they practise a lot and so it’s all positive, all positive stuff.” Riley pinpointed a surge in participation in hurdles by the boys. “That just speaks to the number of persons that are participating and once you have numbers, you must have somebody rising to the top.” The continued surge saw Vashaun Vascianna of St Jago High School lowering his own Class Two 110-metre hurdles record to 13.26 seconds, and Wayne Pinnock of Kingston College clipping the Class One record down to 13.06 seconds. In addition, all seven of the Boys and Girls’ Championships sprint-hurdling records were broken in 2017. Each of the records for boys were shifted in 2018, with Pinnock’s fine performance advancing the Class One record for the third time in a row, as Calabar’s Dejour Russell had moved the record to 13.21 in 2017 and 13.10 seconds in 2018.last_img read more

Ozil finally earns Emery’s trust at Arsenal

first_imgThere has been one ­constant in a month of fluctuating fortunes for Arsenal, and few could have seen it coming.Mesut Ozil, all of a sudden, is a mainstay in the team and is set to start for the sixth straight game when Arsenal play Napoli in the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals tomorrow.No other attacking player has taken the field for Arsenal as much in that period. It is Ozil’s longest ­unbroken run in the team under Unai Emery, the Arsenal manager whose preference for a high-energy approach seemed to conflict with the German playmaker’s natural style.Only a few months ago, there seemed no way back for Ozil, who endured ­several spells out of the team, with Emery publicly acknowledging that, for certain games, he simply needed players who worked harder.Ozil can be a divisive player, with his supporters pointing to his vision and ability to conjure chances out of nothing, while his critics question his ­commitment, attitude and work rate.But just as the season has reached its defining stage, Emery is starting to lean heavily on the club’s top money earner.“He is playing like a team player,” Emery said. “He’s working very well, playing very well. He’s helping us. I’m very happy with him.”Ozil certainly seems to be putting in more effort in matches. So much so that Emery trusted Ozil to start in an away Premier League match last weekend for the first time since December 26.It didn’t go too well – Arsenal lost 1-0 at Everton on Sunday, and Ozil was substituted in the 74th minute after a largely anonymous display – but it was still another signal of the growing harmony between the club’s manager and its most high-profile player.Arsenal head into the Europa League’s last eight potentially needing to win the competition to secure a return to the Champions League next season. Finishing in the top four of the Premier League would also guarantee that and Arsenal are currently in fifth place, locked in a tight battle with Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United to claim the two qualifying spots behind Liverpool and Manchester City.Five points separate Chelsea in third place and United in sixth, with Chelsea having played a game more than their three rivals.Ozil’s five-match run in the team started in the 3-1 Europa League loss to Rennes in the first leg of the last 16. But Arsenal’s 3-0 victory in the second leg kept alive Emery’s bid to win the competition for the fourth time, after doing so with Sevilla in three straight years from 2014.Napoli, which are second in the Italian league, won the now-defunct UEFA Cup – the precursor to the Europa League – in 1989. It is the club’s only major European honour.last_img read more

Brown receives Miss Soccer award

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU:Reggae Girl Jody Brown was officially presented with another major award to add to her growing list of accolades, this time the Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Soccer title.The 17-year-old, who was instrumental in Jamaica becoming the first Caribbean team to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, was honoured earlier this year in her absence while on World Cup preparation duties for Jamaica, and was only able to officially collect the award last week. Brown’s honour came in light of her outstanding performance during the season which enabled her school, Montverde Academy to become back-to-back high school state champions. Brown will also be honoured with an image in the school gym on a banner, much like NBA stars R.J. Barrett and D’Angelo Russell.“I am really excited to receive this award and to be recognised,” the teenager said.Brown, who was also the recipient of the 2018 Female Athlete of the Year for Montverde, began her final year at the institution earlier this month, and is expected to play a key role in the upcoming football season. She will head back to Jamaica late September to play in the Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. Girls football coach and director of Montverde International Football Club Robbie Aristodemo said he was looking forward to Brown playing a leadership role and mentoring in the upcoming schoolgirl football season.“Jody has proven over the last two seasons that she has the ability to score goals in the big games,” he said. Both years, she has scored the decisive goal that has propelled our programme to state championships. She is a dynamic player that has speed, quickness and a good understanding of positions, movement and integrating within a system.” Start developing He added that his expectations for Brown in her senior year was to see her start developing more as a leader and mentor to the younger players, to continue to grow as a footballer, developing on the field and constantly trying to raise her own bar. “The sky is the limit if she continues to push the envelope,” he said.The Florida’s Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards is the longest-running sports awards programme in the United States (US). Since 1992, the programme, which recognises all 30 Florida High School Athletic Association-sanctioned and recognised sports, has honoured more than 5,000 of the state’s top student athletes and coaches. Some of the past winners have gone on to excel at the collegiate and professional levels, as well as represent the US in the Olympic Games. janet.silvera@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Great show of unity in horse-racing circles

first_imgThe sport of racing horses is going through a period of stress as the promotion of the sport is facing some serious financial difficulties.The Government, who at one time was the sole promoter of the sport, eventually sought buyers. Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited stepped up to the plate and has so far injected much-needed cash in its rescue bid, as it strives to become profitable. There are different reasons being postulated in the press for the continued financial losses that dog the promoter. The bald fact, however, is that racing in Jamaica needs (a) more horses, and (b) new bettors. Last weekend, the Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (TOBA), in conjunction with the people that matter – the stakeholders, owners, breeders, trainers, grooms, fans, punters, and administrators – in a dramatic show of unity, joined to produce what was the most exciting weekend of racing in the history of the sport.Under the leadership of long-time owner and breeder Robert Dabdoub, the entire industry united to produce this momentous and memorable weekend. Last Thursday, the celebrations began with a Triple Champions Awards Dinner, where legendary jockeys and racing icons – George HoSang, two-time champion jockey in Jamaica and two-time champion jockey in Canada; Emilio ‘Bimbo’ Rodriquez, four-time champion jockey of Jamaica; and Winston ‘Fanna’ Griffiths, a five-time champion jockey in Jamaica – were fêted and congratulated. The video replays and interviews of these greats went down very well with the fans. The support and reminiscing of Sandy Hawley, many-time champion jockey in Canada and the USA and Hall of Famer in both racing jurisdictions, who told the attendees of his many on and off-the-track experiences with the incomparable George HoSang, was a welcomed addition to the festivities. Also honoured at this function were Triple Crown winners MARK MY WORD, SHE’S A MANEATER and SUPREME SOUL, who, incidentally, will be travelling to the Caribbean Classic, being held in Florida this year, continuing a trend that had ceased for the past couple of years. Jamaican trainers plying their trade abroad with distinction were also honoured.Laurie Silvera, Charlton Baker, José Pinchin, Rohan Crichton, Raymond Handal, and Jason DaCosta, son of many-time champion trainer here in Jamaica, Wayne DaCosta, were recognised and given plaques to record our appreciation of their continued strive for excellence in foreign jurisdictions. PRESTIGIOUS DIAMOND MILE Then it was on to Caymanas Park, where the promoter, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Ltd, put on 24 races over two days, Friday and Saturday, culminating in the rich and prestigious Diamond Mile that saw the clash between arguably the two best horses in the country, STRANGER DANGER and SHE’S A MANEATER. That the filly, SHE’S A MANEATER, demolished the field of the best horses presently in the island, ranks this filly as one of the best ever to race here in Jamaica. The weekend culminated with the Annual TOBA Yearling Sale conducted by a guest auctioneer, Richard Patterson, who has conducted sales in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico. This successful sale saw approximately 138 horses coming under the hammer for a total nearing $178 million. A feature of this sale was the fact that although the top yearling, lot number 44, sold for $4.5 million-less than the record of $5 million for a yearling – 12 horses were sold for $3 million or more, 18 were sold for between $2 million to $3 million, 38 were sold for between $1 million and $2 million, 19 for less than $500,000. The rest being sold for essentially what it costs to bring a horse to the sale, between 500,000 and $1 million.What the stakeholders, fans, administrators and supporters hope is that this mammoth extravaganza and show of unity will result in a rebirth of a profitable sport, as long as the Government understands that it still has a part to play in the assistance necessary for the revival of the sport of kings! See you at the track this Saturday, excitement awaits!last_img read more

Powell returns to Windies squad

first_imgJamaican all-rounder Rovman Powell has been recalled to Windies action as he was named in the 13-man squad for the three-match Twenty20 (T20) International against Ireland.Powell last represented the Windies against India in Guyana in August 2019.The 26-year-old has played 34 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 23 T20Is since his debut in November 2016. In the shortest format, he has two half-centuries with a topscore of 54 against India in Fort Lauderdale last August.There was also a recall of Trinidadian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, a two-time ICC World T20 World Cup winner, who last played at the international level against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in September 2016. Bravo, 36, has played 270 matches for Windies across all three formats. In T20Is he has made 66 appearances with a record of 52 wickets and 1,142 runs. His highest score is 66 not out, which came against India at Lord’s in 2009, the same match where he also took four wickets.Jamaican all-rounder Fabian Allen was considered for selection but is unavailable as he continues his rehabilitation after sustaining an injury on the tour of India last year. Jason Holder, the leading all-rounder in Test cricket, is being rested for the series because of workload management. All-rounder Keemo Paul of Guyana was originally set to participate in the upcoming T20I Series but has been ruled out because of a back injury he sustained in the Colonial Medical Insurance ODI Series. IMPROVEMENT NEEDED Commenting on the squad, Roger Harper, CWI’s lead selector said: “Dwayne Bravo was recalled with the specific intention of bolstering our ‘death’ bowling, which was identified as an area that really needs improving. His record in this department speaks for itself. He will also be able to act as a mentor to the other ‘death’ bowlers and lend his experience wherever needed.”Harper added: “Rovman Powell is a genuine all-rounder who we believe can add impetus and up the strike rate at the backend of the innings. He was excellent in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup, where he scored two excellent centuries and a 96 and also had some other good performances.”A 14th player, who will be named today, will complete the squad. The matches will be played at Grenada National Stadium on Wednesday and at Warner Park, St Kitts, on Saturday and Sunday. Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain)Rovman PowellSheldon CottrellBrandon KingDwayne Bravo Shimron HetmyerEvin LewisKhary PierreNicholas PooranSherfane RutherfordLendl SimmonsHayden Walsh Jr.Kesrick Williamslast_img read more

Cagliari fire Maran, hire Zenga

first_imgCAGLIARI (AP):Cagliari fired Rolando Maran yesterday amid an 11-match winless streak in Serie A and hired Walter Zenga as their new coach.The move came two days after a 4-3 loss at home against Roma left the Sardinian club in 11th place.Zenga, the former Inter Milan and Italy goalkeeper whose most recent job was at Venezia, was given a contract through next season.Cagliari had exceeded expectations with their strong start to the season, which had them contending for the Champions League places with a 13-match unbeaten streak from the third through the 15th rounds. But the squad has been in a downward spiral since December.Maran was in his second season in charge of Cagliari.It’s the 13th coaching change in the 20-team Italian league this season.last_img

Hexed – JFF finds possible World Cup ­Qualifying structure changes ­‘disadvantageous’

first_imgJamaica Football Federation (JFF) general secretary Dalton Wint says that any potential changes to the Concacaf hexagonal round for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers could present challenges to the nation’s aim of qualifying for Qatar 2022. Wint’s comments were in response to Concacaf president Victor Montagliani’s recent remarks indicating changes to the six-team format because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Leagues around the world have been suspended or forced to end their seasons while FIFA suspended its March and June international friendly windows. He is also doubtful about matches being played in September, including the start of the hexagonal round. In an interview with Canada’s on Tuesday, Montagliani hinted that the final round could be expanded to have more countries although he gave no indications on how it would work.“Obviously, it would be bigger, but what that number is, I don’t know until we have a calendar. Until we know from FIFA how many windows we have, it’s going to be very hard for me to say it’s going to be this, that, or the other,” Montagliani said. POSSIBLE DRAWBACK Wint says that the prospective changes could be a drawback for the JFF. “It might be disadvantageous to us,” he said. “It depends on how the fixtures are set up because we do have a plan in our heads that we are approaching corporate Jamaica with, and that is to play 10 games. If we are having more games with a shorter time, then you might have some difficulty in acquiring the services of your best players, the facilities that you might need may not be available to you if you have more games, and the timeline in which to complete these things could cause us not to be prepared as properly as we would have wanted.”The hexagonal round, or the “hex” as it is commonly called, is normally used by Concacaf to determine the region’s World Cup qualifying countries. Currently, Jamaica is ranked fourth in the region according to the latest FIFA world rankings, a position that would see them qualify for the final round should the rankings remain unchanged by the cut-off period in June. Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, and Honduras are the other countries in the top six poised to join the Reggae Boyz.While Wint says that he wants Jamaica to maintain the advantage it has earned, he would not be opposed to a Concacaf proposal that makes sense.“If there is something put on the table that is feasible and reasonable, then we will accept it,” he said. daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Suspenseful final day for Windies

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP):The Windies collapsed from 227-4 at tea to 287 all out in the final session on Day 4, narrowly avoiding the follow-on in the second cricket Test match against England yesterday.England were 37-2 in its second innings at stumps, a lead of 219 runs, with Windies pacer Kemar Roach (2-14) bowling promoted opener Jos Buttler (0) and Zak Crawley (11). Ben Stokes, who opened in a Test match for the first time as England sought quick runs, is on 16, and Joe Root is on 8.Although not without any danger, an early declaration is expected on Monday for England to have any chance of winning the three-Test series.Windies took the opener by four wickets in Southampton, the first cricket Test to be played since the global coronavirus outbreak.Half-centuries by Kraigg Brathwaite (75) and Shamarh Brooks (68) had kept England at bay until the evening session. The game moved England’s way when Stuart Broad trapped Brooks leg before wicket (lbw), bowled Jermaine Blackwood (0), and claimed Shane Dowrich (0) in another lbw dismissal as part of a fiery new-ball spell. Chris Woakes claimed the last three wickets, starting with Windies captain Jason Holder (2). He was caught by his England counterpart, Root, as the Windies slumped to 260-8 in its first innings, still needing 10 runs to avoid the follow-on after England’s 469-9 declared. But Roston Chase (51) hit Sam Curran (2-70) for a couple of boundaries to avoid the follow-on target before he was out, lbw, to Woakes.Brooks said that it had been crucial for the West Indies to avoid the follow-on.“Yes, it is a runs game and trying to save it was important, but the more time we (batted) today, the harder it makes it for England to come and get a result in this game,” Brooks said. He’s anticipating an exciting last day, depending on England’s approach to a declaration. “Well, I personally think (England) would probably like to (set) us 260, 270, but it all depends on the time that they spend to get those runs, and I think we just need to make it as difficult for them as possible and make them spend as much time on their batting so they don’t get the opportunity to get a second new ball.”Broad, who was left out of the first Test, claimed three wickets for one run in 14 deliveries to energise the hosts and returned 3-66.“I genuinely didn’t feel like I had to prove anyone wrong. I’ve done all that talking on the field, but I felt quietly – or maybe not that quietly – that when I got the chance again, I needed to be in the best place to perform,” Broad said.Broad said England needed a lead of least 270 to avoid defeat.“We should be able to defend 270 on this pitch, but they are dangerous players,” he said. “We want to make this series 1-1 as quick as we can, and with the time that has gone out of the game because of weather, we might have to take a risk.”SCOREBOARDENGLAND 1st innings 469 for nine decl.WINDIES 1st Innings(overnight 32 for one)K Brathwaite c and b Stokes 75J Campbell lbw b Curran 12A Joseph c Pope b Curran 32S Hope c wkp Buttler b Curran 25S Brooks lbw b Broad 68R Chase lbw b Woakes 51J Blackwood b Broad 0+S Dowrich lbw b Broad 0*J Holder c Root b Woakes 2K Roach not out 5S Gabriel b Woakes 0Extras (b1, lb12, w2, nb2) 17TOTAL (all out, 99 overs) 287Fall of wickets: 1-16 (Campbell), 2-70 (Joseph), 3-123 (Hope), 4-199 (Brathwaite), 5-242 (Brooks), 6-248 (Blackwood), 7-252 (Dowrich), 8-260 (Holder), 9-287 (Chase), 10-287 (Gabriel)Bowling: Broad 23-7-66-3 (w1), Woakes 21-10-42-3, Curran 20-4-70-2, Bess 21-3-67-1, Root 1-0-0-0, Stokes 13-3-29-1 (nb2).ENGLAND 2nd inningsB Stokes not out 16+J Buttler b Roach 0Z Crawley b Roach 11*J Root not out 8Extras (lb1, nb1) 2TOTAL (2 wkts, 8 overs) 37Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Buttler), 2-17 (Crawley)Bowling: Roach 4-0-14-2, Gabriel 4-0-22-0.Position: England lead by 219 runs with eight second innings wickets intact.Toss: Windies.Umpires: Michael Gough, Richard Illingworth; TV – Richard Kettleborough.last_img read more

Free Calendar Offer In Store Now!

first_imgFollowing on from the hugely popular Black Friday event and last week’s polo shirt deal, three more deals will be running in the build-up to Christmas Day. This week, anyone spending more than £50 in store will get the choice of a free Bristol City or Bristol Rugby calendar. The free calendar offer will run until December 11th – in store only. Look out for future deals involving Christmas jumpers and free shirt printing. Remember, the Store opens from 9am-5pm Mon-Sat, 10am until half an hour after the match on event days.last_img