National shot put record holder O’Dayne Richards believes he is as world class as any competitor he will line up against and remains confident ahead of this year’s Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, stating that Jamaica’s throwing charge will be strong among medal contenders.Though the 27-year-old fell short of his 22-metre goal last year, Richards registered Jamaica’s first shot put medal – bronze – at last year’s IAAF World Champs, with a national record and personal best of 21.69m.The same distance previously handed him gold at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada, earlier in 2015.”I’ve always had that killer instinct to say that a name doesn’t necessarily scare me. I am not easily shaken by a name, but what is happening is that they (competitors) now know that I can throw well and I can produce big throws, so I believe a little bit more respect is now shown so I am prepared for it,” Richards outlined.The big thrower says he remains buoyed of his medal prospects.”My first track meet was actually Brazil, Sao Paolo, where I made the junior Pan Am team and I am excited to go back to Brazil. Part of being an athlete is being able to travel the world, and to see Brazil again is a wonderful experience. I hope to do well there,” he assured.Despite Jamaica being a sprint-loving country, Richards believes big times are ahead for the throws discipline.”The talent is extremely high now. If you look at the junior levels, you will see a number of throwers and some young guys who are breaking out at the senior levels.”Even this year, Jamaica will have maybe three or four Jamaicans going up in the men’s shot put. I expect great things coming in the next five years coming for Jamaica throwers, and that’s excluding myself,” he stressed.
First-time Jamaica Scorpions captain, Paul Palmer Jr has been relieved of his duties and dropped from the squad for their seventh round WICB First-Class League encounter fixture against the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, starting today at Sabina Park.Opener Palmer, who has been experiencing a wretched run of the form with the bat, has been replaced by fellow opener and vice-captain, John Campbell.The new vice-captain is Barbados-born batsman, Kirk Edwards.The 24-year-old Palmer, a former Jamaica youth captain, has passed 50 just once in 12 innings, and has been one of several Scorpions batsmen who has failed to produce since the start of the season.Campbell led the Jamaica team in the recent WICB Super50 one-day tournament in January. Edwards is a former West Indies vice-captain.Palmer’s removal is one of three changes made by the Wavell Hinds-led national selection panel to a squad which lost to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes by 82 runs in Antigua last weekend.The other players omitted are experienced campaigners, wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh Jr, and all-rounder David Bernard Jr.They have been replaced by wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton, who makes a return from studies, batsman Brandon King, and fast bowler Nicholson Gordon.The selection panel is completed by Wayne Lewis, Robert Haynes, Delroy Morgan, and Cleveland Davidson.Fourth and fifth place finishers over the past two seasons, the Scorpions, with just three wins and as many losses, are all but out of the championship race with four rounds of matches to go.They are third on 52 points, 30 behind second-place Barbados Pride, with runaway leaders and title-holders Guyana Jaguars on 101 points.UNCHANGED SQUADTrinidad, in the meantime, who are fourth in the standings with 40 points and are out of the running for the top prize, have named an unchanged squad for the game.The Jason Mohammed-captained unit, without their most established players, will look to batsman Narsingh Deonarine, all-rounder Rayad Emrit, and young off-spinning standout Jon-Ross Jagessar to lead their charge.They have recorded a win, three defeats, and two draws record to date.Jamaica Scorpions (from): John Campbell (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Sheldon Cottrell, Kirk Edwards, Nicholson Gordon, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Devon Thomas, Shacaya Thomas, Chadwick Walton.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (from): Jason Mohammed (captain), Yannic Cariah, Narsingh Deonarine, Rayad Emrit, Kyle Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Marlon Richards, Jeremy Solozano.
His most memorable display did not come on local soil, but at the El Commandante racetrack in Puerto Rico, where he won the US$100,000 Confraternity Classic over nine furlongs four-year-olds and upwards in impressive fashion on December 9, with Panamanian jockey Cecelio Penalba aboard. That was his 10th win from as many starts in 2006, making him a unanimous choice for a second straight ‘Horse of the Year’ title. When he retired to stud in 2008, MIRACLE MAN had won 17 races and just over $20 million in stakes. He enjoyed further success as a stallion, siring the winners of 31 races, including LADY ABHIJITA in the 2013 Jamaica Oaks. Among his other offsprings were MIRACLE STAR, a disqualified winner last Saturday in overnight allowance company and SURE MAN, who romped the eighth race. – O.C. IMPRESSIVE MIRACLE MAN, the only Jamaican horse to win an international race, died from colic last Thursday at New Blue/ Bombay Stud Farm where he had been performing stud duties. He was 14. The big chestnut horse, by Law Of The Sea out of Hya, stamped himself as one of the greatest native-bred horses in the annals of local racing, winning the coveted ‘Horse of The Year’ award in 2005 and 2006 for legendary trainer Allan ‘Billy’ Williams and owner/breeder Joseph ‘Fudgie’ Duany. In 2005, MIRACLE MAN, after finishing a strong second to the Richard Azan-trained COLTRANE in the 2000 Guineas over a mile, returned to win the Derby, St Leger and Lotto Classic (Governor’s Cup), closing out the season with a decisive victory in the prestigious Superstakes at 2000 metres with customary rider Allen ‘Bungo John’ Maragh aboard. The following year, 2006, saw MIRACLE MAN dominating the grade one trophy races with big weights – winning his second consecutive Superstakes – unbeaten in nine races locally that year.
Still in its infancy with only two stagings, the MoBay City Run 5K and 10K walk/run is being viewed as a major sports tourism calendar event in the resort city of Montego Bay.With its growing popularity, the event has been attracting good corporate support and an increasing number of participants.MoBay City Run Three – which is set for May 1, on the 36th anniversary of Montego Bay being declared a city – was launched at the Holiday Inn Resort on March 8 with an impressive line-up of sponsors.Courts and two of its subsidiaries have committed $1 million in support, while Solo Jamaica has pledged $500,000 and the Montego Bay Chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association gave its endorsement with a donation of $50,000. Also giving strong support to the event are Sandals, ATL, Holiday Inn and Jet Blue, among other sponsors.The Courts million-dollar sponsorship will include gifts of TV sets, exercise equipment and a Sony music system. And with some 3,000 participants expected for the MoBay City Run, JetBlue will be giving four airline tickets to the first male and female winners for both the 10k and 5K runs.Additionally, MoBay City Run will give $10,000 each to the male and female winners of the 10K race, while the respective winners of the 5K run will each collect $7,000 cash.The event targets corporate involvement and there is a trophy for the largest corporate team, plus prizes of JetBlue airline tickets, appliances, vacation at participating hotels and others.Delivering opening remarks at the launch, logistics coordinator, Nicole Allen, said: “The synergy that MoBay City Run engenders must continue the process of integrating all social classes in this powerful and strong growth corridor.”ASSISTING HUNDREDSShe described the two-year-old event as not just good and necessary because the proceeds assist hundreds of tertiary students with their education, “but it unifies us as Montegonians, breaking down the barriers of social class, station or political affiliation”.Noting that Montego Bay has been rated as the ninth most popular destination for American tourists over the last three years, Allen added: “MoBay City Run has become the calendar sporting event in the tourist landscape.”The 2015 staging saw the participation of many overseas runners, which is being encouraged with backing from the Jamaica Tourist Board.Allen said by 2020, the MoBay City Run aims to include on its calendar of events, a half marathon on par with Jamaica’s Reggae Marathon and those of Miami, Chicago or New York.”It is for that reason that MoBay City Run saw it fit and necessary to engage the professionalism of Mr Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis of Running Events Jamaica Ltd to help us achieve our mission,” she disclosed.
SHARJAH, UAE, CMC – Fast-bowling legend Waqar Younis and legendary former captain Sir Vivian Richards, believe struggling West Indies should turn to teenaged fast bowler Alzarri Joseph for today’s second One-Day International against Pakistan here. Waqar, in particular, argued that the Windies seam attack was sorely lacking in pace, and the inclusion of the 19-year-old Joseph for his ODI debut would add a much needed spark and also provide support for the only other genuine fast bowler, Shannon Gabriel. “You need to put pressure in a bowler rather than an all-rounder,” said Waqar, who took 373 wickets in 87 Tests. “Gabriel bowled a beautiful spell to begin with [in the opening ODI on Friday] but then after that things didn’t really go well because at the other was leaking runs so it’s very easy pickings from the other end, and it becomes very difficult for even one fast bowler who’s quick to really carry on doing it.” Gabriel dismissed captain Azhar Ali with the first delivery of the game but Pakistan dominated proceedings thereafter, to motor to 284 for nine off their allotted 49 overs. In reply, West Indies slumped to 175 all out in the 39th over, to go down by 111 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method. Joseph was a stand-out at the Youth World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this year, and was subsequently handed his Test debut against India in the third Test in St Lucia. Waqar said having seen the Antiguan bowl in the that game, he was convinced he would bring much needed quality to the Windies attack. “You probably need Alzarri Joseph. He’s a youngster who swings the ball,” said Waqar. “I saw him in one of the Test matches against India. He bowled with some rapid pace and swung the ball so why not throw him in. You saw it [on Friday] when you played with eight, nine batters and you still lost the game and lost it with ease so I feel you should bring the youngster in and ask him to bowl with the new ball and try to pick you early wickets.” He added: “At the moment, what I saw with [medium pacers] (Jason) Holder and (Carlos) Brathwaite, there is really nothing additional on offer.” Sir Viv, the most dominant batsman of his era and who like Waqar now serves as a television analyst for the series, said Joseph could only improve the West Indies attack. “There’s nothing to lose in playing Alzarri Joseph. He really can’t be worst than what we’ve seen, let’s be fair.”
MONTE CARLO, Monaco: A wide range of proposals aimed at changing the way track and field’s world governing body, the IAAF, operates was overwhelmingly passed yesterday at a special congress with 95 per cent of the member federations voting in favour of a constitutional reform. The move, which the sport’s most recognisable name – Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt, described as ‘bold’ but necessary, were presented by IAAF president Sebastian Coe in a Time for Change document crafted to move the scandal-hit organisation away from its badly tainted reputation and recover trust and credibility. Coe’s plan included operational changes such as a limit on the presidential tenure, greater gender balance and influence to athletes, an independent anti-doping management system, increased commercial value and a wider distribution of power. The constitutional changes will be delivered in two stages, January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2019. One hundred and eighty-two members voted in favour of the proposals, with 10 voting in the other direction, in a development that Coe described as an important moment in the history of the sport. Bolt, who was one day earlier announced for the sixth time as the Male Athlete of the Year after his triple gold-medal performance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, gave the thumbs up to the package, which he believes will help to regain credibility in a sport that was last year rocked by doping and corruption scandals. “I think this will also help the sport and people will feel more comfortable and also trust the sport. So I definitely feel the moves he is making are bold but strong,” Bolt said ahead of the Congress. “I notice that Seb Coe is trying to make track and field more transparent and ensure that no one person is fully in control, so for me, that’s a big move, that’s a bold move for him as the IAAF president,” said Bolt. The IAAF was last year embroiled in a massive corruption scandal which led to former president Lamine Diack and his son, Pappa Massata Diack, being investigated for money-laundering and other charges by French investigators. Widespread doping and cover-up conspiracies were also uncovered, with an independent World Anti-Doping Agency pointing to an organisation that ignored widespread doping for financial gain. “We must protect out sport. We must put in place the structures that will keep our sport and athletes safe on and off the field of play, in and out of the stadium. It is bad enough that any of this happened once, but it cannot happen a second time; not on our watch and not on anyone else’s watch. We have to step up and ensure that the walls are never too high again and that checks and balances are in place and working,” Coe said. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), which has supported Coe from the onset, surprisingly did not register a vote. The JAAA is represented here by newly returned president Dr Warren Blake and General Secretary Garth Gayle. Senegal officials did not vote, as a mark of solidarity with Senegalese Diack. The IAAF yesterday also announced a new partnership with Japanese sports-good manufacturers Asics, which has replaced Adidas as kit sponsors. Adidas, which was in the latter stages of an 11-year contract with the IAAF, announced on Friday that it was cutting its deal short, noting that it would remain committed to the sport but pay more attention to individual athletes. The IAAF deal will represent Asics’ most prominent sponsorship in its history. MASSIVE CORRUPTION
“We knew what we had to do in the final game because as a team, we watched the video footage from the previous game, and we reviewed, and we analysed, and we went back to training, and so we came out victorious.” Meanwhile, goal shooter Jhaneile Fowler-Reid, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the series, said after their defeat in the second game, the Sunshine Girls were very determined to win the series. “This means a lot to us, and it shows that we have it in us to go overseas and win games against some of the best countries in the world,” said Fowler-Reid. “We have a very good bunch of girls and they are very easy to work with, and so that makes my job as shooter much easier,” she said. “We just need to stick together, and with a lot more financial help that we can reach our goal of becoming the number-one team in the world.” Hot on the heels of their series victory over rivals England Roses in the United Kingdom, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls head coach Minneth Reynolds said that the work is just beginning for the national team. The Sunshine Girls won the three-Test series 2-1 after their stunning 64-57 victory in the deciding game at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday. They opened the series with a 66-49 win at London’s Copper Box Arena last week. However, they faltered in the second game at Belle Vue in Manchester, going down 63-50 to England. The victory was the Sunshine Girls’ first away series win over England since 2007. “We are certainly not going to sit back because this series is part of our development process,” Reynolds told The Gleaner in an interview, following the team’s arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday. “We can’t beat England and say that is it. (We) have to continue to work on what we did during this series and continue to improve on it,” she added. “In all three games, our final quarter was the best, and so what it proves is that we have been finishing strongly, but we need to work on our start and maintain it throughout our games,” added Reynolds. CAME OUT VICTORIOUS
Local Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Matthew Colquhoun said that his loss to American Roy Cooper III in their X-1 World Events Welterweight title fight two weeks ago has not done much harm to his career, and he has learnt from the experience. Colquhoun suffered his first professional loss in MMA by way of a first-round knockout to Cooper and he said that after reflecting on the bout, he realised that he went into octagon with the wrong attitude. “I guess I could say I got caught up in the playing of mind games and being too overconfident,” Colquhoun told The Gleaner. “I didn’t respect the experience he had enough. But I learnt not to allow my opponent to draw me out. He’s shorter than I am but he’s more built, and he packs a punch.” He said the trip from Kingston to Honolulu, Hawaii, where the match was staged took a toll on his body, and that also probably influenced the outcome. Mixed Martial Arts Jamaica CEO Daniel Chacko-Wilmot is, however, pleased, despite the result. “Although I am disappointed at the loss, I must say that I am extremely proud of Matthew’s achievement in getting such a title shot,” Chacko-Wilmot said. High expectations “Believe me, we have not seen even half of what he is capable of, so expect this young warrior to reach the highest levels in MMA in the very near future. This young lion will only get better.” Colquhoun is now back in Florida, where he trains, as he gets ready for another bout later this month. This time he will be facing Colombian Daniel Holguin in a bout that was to take place last summer but got cancelled at the last moment. “My next opponent will face a very different fighter from what they have been seeing,” he said. “A different fighter in attitude, technique and overall fighting style. Right now, I’m working on aspects to tighten up my game and improve the way I fight, and to adjust to fighting a different fighter.”
Waterhouse head coach, Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey, says his team’s continued march up the table and further away from relegation trouble in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is mainly down to the zest and determination he has instilled in the side. Waterhouse played to a 0-0 draw with Humble Lion in a bruising RSPL contest at Drewsland on Sunday, and although it was an ugly point, Bailey says this new tough character is what is aiding their climb up the table. “Playing against Humble Lion, you expect a very tactical game, (Donovan) Duckie is a very tactical coach and I think we were very disciplined tactically,” Bailey said. Physical game “But (when) Humble Lion (meets) Waterhouse you expect that (physical game), and that was what it was, a very physical game. “But that is what I believe I have brought to the team. Earlier in the season the team didn’t have that physicality, they didn’t have that aggression, that desire and that is why it (game) looks more physical, because I bring more zest, more determination, self-belief and confidence.” It was a game of few chances, with the best opportunities for both teams coming towards the end, just minutes apart. With less than ten minutes to go, Rodave Murray broke free at the top of the area, with time and space, but dragged his effort wide of the target. Then on the counter, Humble Lion’s Francois Swaby broke down the right and slipped a delightful ball across the six yard box for the onrushing Rohan Richards, who steered his effort wide, although he was under pressure. The result keeps Waterhouse in eighth on 28 points, and although a place in the top four is far-fetched, Bailey is still keeping his eye on a spot in the play-offs. “This put us on 28 (points) and we just keep on elevating, keep on moving up, and that is what is important to us, making sure at the end of the day we are in the Premier League next season. We still have hope of making to the top six, but we still have some work to do in the offensive third, and once we get the hang of that, we will be fine,” he said.
Edwin Allen High and Holmwood Technical have waged a season-long battle in the 4x800m relay. That will come to a climax this Thursday and Friday at the 123rd Penn Relays. Edwin Allen advance to Franklin Field, the Philadelphia home of the Relays, as slight favourites. Holmwood turned in times of 8:57.50 and 8:57.54 to beat Edwin Allen at two early season meets. Led by Chrisanni May, Holmwood revved up to 8:49.71 at the Gibson-McCook Relays but lost. A slick Edwin Allen unit – Ashanni Robb, Kara Grant, Kayann Green and Cemore Donald, a gold medal winner since then at both the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships and the Carifta Games – zoomed to the finish in 8:47.71. NOTEWORTHY TIME It was such a fine race that Hydel High achieved a noteworthy time of 8:54.12 seconds but was left far behind. That was February 25. This week at Penns, they can’t focus only on each other. Defending champion Shenendehowa High of Clifton Park, New York, has run 9:00.34 indoors. Shenendehowa clocked 9:00.74 to beat Holmwood and Edwin Allen into minor places in last year’s final. If the weather turns chilly, Shenendehowa will have the advantage. However, Dyke could strengthen Edwin Allen even more with the inclusion of reliable Janiel Moore.