When the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships get under way tomorrow at 1 p.m. with the preliminary round of the boys’ Class One long jump, O’Brien Wasome of Jamaica College (JC) will have two targets. As captain of his school team, Wasome will be expecting to advance to the final and to repeat his 2015 victory. He will also be chasing a big goal: a place on the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. To reach that goal, he needs to long-jump 8.15 metres, or further, before the period for seeking qualifying marks ends on July 11. If that were to happen at Championships, it would take him well past the Class One record of 7.87 metres set by Leon Gordon of Vere Technical High in 1993. It’s a task that isn’t daunting for the outgoing JC senior. “I’m looking forward to making the Olympic team,” he said with quiet assurance before a recent training session. He would also need to earn selection through his performance at the National Senior Championships. “My training is going good, so I’m putting in all the work,” said the Ruel James-coached athlete. Signs of the quality of his preparation came at the recent Carifta Trials, where he won the under-20 long jump with a distance of 7.59 metres. That is his best of the season so far. Wasome won both the Class One long jump and triple jump last year and is aiming to repeat. “I’m looking forward to breaking the long jump and triple jump records,” he said. The triple jump record belongs to his teammate, Clayton Brown, at 16.04 metres. Wasome won with a wind-aided jump of 16.24m but had a legal effort of exactly 16 metres. His 2015-winning long jump of 7.71 metres places him in joint second place on the all-time Champs performance list, with Neil Gardner of Wolmer’s Boys’ and Maurice Wignall of Calabar. They were second and third with jumps of 7.71 and 7.68 metres, respectively, when Gordon set the record in 1993. Wignall produced a 7.71m of his own at Boys’ Championships in 1994. One of Wasome’s prime rivals may miss the five-day Championship. Alrick Ottey of Cornwall College did the Class One long/triple jump double at Western Championships and produced a big jump of 7.46 metres on grass at the STETHS Invitational. However, he was injured at the Carifta Trials in the triple jump.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC: CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque has congratulated the West Indies women and men’s teams for winning the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday. Ambassador LaRocque says the victories are evidence that the people of the region have the ability to lead the world, not just compete. The West Indies women defeated the defending champions Australia to win the Women’s World T20 title for the first time, while the men crushed England a few hours later to become the first team to win the men’s World T20 title twice. “Once again, the West Indies cricketers have brought glory to our region,” said LaRocque. “I congratulate the women and men’s teams on their victories in the International Cricket Council World T20 competitions, which demonstrated their ability to overcome the challenges they faced.” LaRocque also praised the teams’ coaching and support staff, noting that their hard work ensured that the players maintained their focus. He also expressed the hope that the victories including the Under-19 World Cup captured by West Indies earlier this year, will inspire the region’s youth in particular. “I also want to congratulate the teams’ coaching staff for their efforts. The teamwork and team spirit in both teams were evident throughout the competition as the hard work of the coaching and support staff ensured that the players, very well led by the captains, kept their focus on the ultimate goal,” he said. “These triumphs underscored the fact that our people have the ability, not only to compete, but to lead the world.”
stronger connection As Jamaica’s elite athletes prepare to take on the world’s best athletes at the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Beijing, China, President and CEO of Supreme Ventures Limited Brian George, has underlined his company’s commitment to the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) and Jamaica’s athletes. George, however, is urging the association to start planning for the island’s next generation of stars. SVL has been supporting the national track and field programme since 2003. Its current sponsorship with the JAAA is valued at $14 million and includes support for the national team going to the World Championships, which is set to begin in less than two weeks. SVL also sponsored the National Championships that were held in June. The company has also already committed increased sponsorship of J$16 million for 2016 when Jamaica campaigns at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, so the JAAA already has a clear idea of what it can already plan for. The sponsorship, George said, has also ensured that the JAAA plays a greater role in helping its emerging athletes step on to the world stage. “The JAAA has to ensure that it puts sufficient plans in place to deal with the next generation of track and field athletes and in how they establish these athletes as a brand that will bring attention to Jamaica,” George said. “Usain Bolt is a brand, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce is a brand, so is Veronica Campbell-Brown. Each of those brands is going to move off the stage in relativity short order. They (JAAA) need to now focus on, how do you take these emerging stars and build a brand around them to ensure that Jamaica continues to enjoy the respect of the track and field world?” The JAAA, George said, has already taken steps to protect the Jamaican athletics programme in light of the recent leaking of ‘suspicious’ tests results that media reports suggest indicate widespread doping in the sport. “We applaud the statement they made that they will move to protect the integrity of the Jamaican athletes,” George said, adding that Jamaica has also strengthened its drug-testing programme. However, he believes there needs to be a stronger connection with the strength of the junior programme. “No other country in the world has a programme like Champs (the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships). We need to ensure the telling of the story of Jamaica’s track and field and what it is that creates Champs. That is a story that needs to be well ingrained in the minds of people so that they understand that this is not a fluke,” George said. “This is not as a result of someone taking drugs, but a natural progression,” he added. “Jamaica needs to take control of its own identity and don’t let other people come and take control of it.” Going forward, the CEO said SVL is in it for the long haul. “Our role has been unwavering,” he said. “What we will have to see is if people who have jumped into the process lately and who are talking about one- and two-year commitments, when brand Jamaica goes through its natural cycle, whether that level of commitment will still be as strong.”
Officials have reportedly been unable to locate or make contact with Edino Steele, a member of Jamaica’s 4x400m relay pool, who has failed to report to the team’s pre-championships camp in Tottori, Japan, up to yesterday. This, according to our sources, is the reason behind the late call-up of North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Championship 400-metre bronze medal winner Ricardo Chambers, who will now replace Steele, who himself finished fourth at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships several weeks ago and was expected to compete in the 4x400m. It is understood that the JAAA was forced to add Chambers to the squad after neither officials from the organisation nor Steele’s coach, Glen Mills, have been able to touch base with the athlete, who formed a part of Jamaica’s silver medal-winning team at the last World Championships in 2013 as well as the team that won bronze at the World Indoor Championships a year later. Steele last competed in Sweden on July 30. According to team manager Ludlow Watts, Steele had some passport issues ahead of the start of the camp, but the JAAA has not been able to contact the athlete to determine the status of his documents, and were, as a result, forced to make the decision to replace him in the squad. “Yes, he (Steele) has been replaced on the team by (Ricardo) Chambers,” Watts said. “We were aware that there was a passport issue with him, but we have not been able to determine whether it was resolved or otherwise. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact him.” Chambers was surprisingly left off Jamaica’s team to the championships even though he is the third fastest Jamaican in the world this year. Apparently, unaware of the reasons behind his sudden inclusion, he told The Gleaner yesterday morning that he was notified earlier, that he will be joining the team within the coming days. “I actually got a notice this morning and I am really happy. All I want to do is focus right now on going to represent my country,” he said. He is expected to travel to Jamaica before the end of the weekend to sort out his visa arrangements and then depart to join the team later in Beijing, ahead of the August 22-30 championships. The mile relay squad already includes Javon Francis, Rusheen McDonald, Peter Matthews, Dane Hyatt and Jonia McDonald. Chambers’ season-best time of 44.93s that was run in the semi-final at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica ranks him third behind Francis (44.50) and Rusheen McDonald (44.60). In an earlier interview with The Gleaner, where he then sought to explain Chambers’ exclusion, team manager Watts said that under the rules there could simply be no room for Chambers on the team unless there was a withdrawal. “In the case of (Ricardo) Chambers, there was no scope for him to get in because they already selected six athletes for the 4x400m pool, so he could only have been named to the squad if someone withdrew,” Watts explained to The Gleaner on Wednesday. SUDDEN INCLUSION
National striker Darren Mattocks, who has scored in his last four internationals, including both legs of the Boyz’s two-way World Cup qualifier against Nicaragua which ended with the second-leg in Managua on Tuesday night, said when they saw five minutes remaining on the clock their hopes of a comeback had dried up.”When I saw 86 minutes, that’s when doubts started to creep into the back of our heads. We knew we were going to get the goal. Even if it was the 93rd minute, we knew could get a goal. But we didn’t play as if there was any doubt, and that’s why we got the goal,” he admitted.The in-form forward noted that all his recent goals for Jamaica have been scored in very important, high-profile games and he wants to continue building his reputation as a big-game player and matchwinner for Jamaica in the qualifiers.Mattocks also had goals in the Gold Cup semi-final and final.In Tuesday’s game against Nicaragua, the Reggae Boyz, having lost the opening leg 3-2 in Kingston, needed to beat the hosts by two clear goals. Mattock found the opener after 24 minutes.”We approached the game in a strong manner. We knew the task and that we had to win by two clear goals, but we were pretty confident even though we had players missing; we knew we had a talented bunch,” he told The Gleaner.Getting the goals”We were pretty confident, although we were cautious. But once we got the early goal, we could settle and go for the second one. We got the second goal late, but the most important thing is that we got that goal,” he insisted.The former Bridgeport High and Waterhouse player is pleased with his rich international form.”As a striker, your main job is to score, and each game I go out I try to put the ball in the net, especially in big games. These (last four internationals) were four very huge games and I pride myself on turning up for big games, and for the last four games I have done that and helped the team advance through the knockout phase of the World Cup qualifiers and that’s something I want to continue doing,” he stressed.”From day one, I tell myself that whichever team I play for, whether I am a rookie or not, I always want to be that person who steps up when it matters most. It’s not going to happen all the time, but I want to be that person, so I put pressure on myself,” he continued.”The goal in Kingston was just as important; it helped us get back into the tie. We would have been out of the tie if I hadn’t scored that first goal, but last (Tuesday) night’s goal was just important because it helped us relax and focus on just getting the second goal,” Mattocks reasoned.”Where there is a will there is a way … the most important thing is that we got the goal and got through,” he added.
Pakistan whip Zimbabwe in 1st ODI HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP): Legspinner Yasir Shah took 6-26 as Pakistan thumped Zimbabwe by 131 runs in the first one-day international yesterday. Shah ran through Zimbabwe’s top and middle order, taking five of the first seven wickets as the home team crumbled to 128 all out chasing Pakistan’s 259-6 at Harare Sports Club. Put in to bat first by Zimbabwe, Pakistan struggled at the start and was 35-3 before their middle order came to the rescue. Mohammed Rizwan was top scorer with a career-best 75 in ODIs, hitting four fours and two sixes. Wasim made 61 and their stand ensured Pakistan went past 250. SA to bank on spinners DHARAMSALA, India (AP): South Africa captain Faf du Plessis gave a surprise spin warning ahead of their first ever Twenty20 in India today. “I suppose they know we’ve got spinners who can win us games,” du Plessis said about the Imran Tahir-led spin attack yesterday. “Imran has changed the way we play in the white-ball format. We’ve always relied on pace, but now our success in one-dayers and T20s is heavily on his shoulders.” The spinners have come to prominence since pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are being rested for the three T20s, though they will figure in the five one-day internationals and four tests to follow. Du Plessis, who along with ODI captain AB de Villiers, Tahir, Albie Morkel and Duminy, has featured regularly in the Indian Premier League, feels the experience of playing in that will help, too. Australia postpone Bangladesh tour MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): Australia have postponed their cricket tour to Bangladesh because of concerns over player safety. Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said yesterday the tour, scheduled to start with a warm-up match tomorrow would not go ahead as planned after Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs identified a serious security risk. “The threats were credible and real and targeted, not only against Westerners but against Australians,” Sutherland said. “After six days of extensive deliberations and research, we’ve come to the conclusion that we have no other alternative than to postpone our tour.” Sutherland said he’d negotiate with the Bangladesh Cricket Board regarding potential future dates for the series. The Australians were scheduled to play two Tests – beginning October 9 in Chittagong and October 17 in Dhaka.
Jamaican welterweight Michael Gardener made a spectacular debut to the professional ranks of boxing on Wednesday night when he scored a knockout victory over JosÈ Guzman from the United States SA in the fifth week of competition in the Wray and Nephew Welterweight Contender 2016 series at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium.Guzman hit the deck at one minute and 22 seconds of the second round and could not make it back to his feet before the 10-count was administered by referee Peter Richards.There were some question marks surrounding Gardener’s appearance in the competition with no professional experience, but he stated before the fight that it would not matter.”I have had good experience in 40 amateur bouts all over the world. I am in the best condition of my life, and I am going to win this fight convincingly. It will be pure excitement,” he stated at the weigh-in.He then proceeded to back up his words with his fists.Guzman, with 20 professional fights and a 6-13-1 record in a 10-year career, was also confident. “My experience will make the difference, and I have been in the ring with the best,” he stated. He did show in the early stages of the fight that he has experience. His jabbing was pinpointed and he scored freely in the first round, but Gardener made it clear right from the outset that he had a knockout in mind.He threw some good jabs, but his main target was his opponent’s body, and he put the full weight of his 146 pounds behind every hook that he landed. The first round was fast and sometimes furious, with Guzman throwing mostly jabs and Gardener mixing it up with jabs to the head and hooks to the body.NO CHANCES TAKENThe pace stepped up in the second round and Gardener came out of a clash of heads with a cut over his right eye. He dabbed at the cut with his gloves and then seemed to decide not to take any chances, with the fight possibly being stopped.He moved in aggressively and suddenly landed a hard right hook to Guzman’s body that made the American wince and then fall to his knees in agony. He bent over, with his head on the canvas, as referee Richards gave the count. He did lift himself briefly, but the pain was obviously too much for him, and even after the count reached 10, he remained on his knees.In two entertaining amateur bouts, heavyweight Ricardo Brown from the G.C. Foster gym outpointed Oshane Watson from Heavy Metal gym; and light heavyweight Renaldo Beckford, who is based in St Mary, defeated Dwayne Henry from Stanley Couch gym, also on points.
OCHO RIOS:More than 100 golfers will participate in the 14th annual United States Travel Agents Golf Tournament which tees off today at the Sandals Golf and Country Club, Ocho Rios, Jamaica.The two-day event will comprise teams playing in a four-man scramble format, putting their skills to the test, competing in various competitions throughout the tournament.Categories to be contested include: Overall Champions and Runners-up; Closest to Pin Female; Closest to Pin Male; Longest Drive Female; and Longest Drive Male.Garth Laird, Sandals Resorts’ director of travel industry programmes, was upbeat about the event, noting that this year promises to be the most exciting yet.”All is in place for what promises to be a great event,” Laird said. “The Travel Agent Golf Tournament is of great benefit to both Jamaica as a golfing destination and Sandals Resorts as it gives the travel partners a chance to experience the products first- hand, hence being better able to market the destination and facilities to their respective clients.”FIRST-TIMERSLaird added that there were many of first-timers taking part in this year’s event, which gives them a chance to experience the renovations done at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, the most complete destination in the Caribbean.”Areas such as the Ochi Beach Club, Rabbit Hole Speakeasy, Le Gourmand and Vista Sky Restaurants have been the subject of much interest in the marketplace and will be on show during the event,” Laird observed.Laird said Sandals Golf and Country Club has a distinct advantage over most courses.”Our caddies play an important role as they are very good golfers themselves. Wesley Brown, Dane Bailey and Gifford Wilmot, who have all represented Jamaica in the Hoerman Cup event, are part of our staff,” he said.Sponsors for the tournament include Logistics Outsourcing Inc, Appleton, Red Stripe and Coffee Traders. The awards presentation will take place tomorrow at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort.
BLACKWOOD UP TO PAR The only batsman who batted with any resemblance of a first-class player was Jermaine Blackwood, the Jamaican Test batsman, who promised so much, but who recently, including in the first innings, had earned the reputation of even his most avid fans as simply being a hit-or-miss batsman. Without Blackwood’s solid contribution, however, the Scorpions’ second innings would have been a replica of the first, which was a total disaster. On my way home, I remembered the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow of long ago: “The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards through the night?” I kept repeating those words because after remembering the Jamaica and West Indies batsmen of recent times, after remembering some other batsmen around the world, I came to the conclusion, as I did some time ago, that the region’s batsmen, most of them, are not ready for first-class cricket, or for Test cricket. I used to believe that maybe it was because of the lack of regular first-class cricket, but when I remembered the quality of batsmen of decades past, I said, no, that could not be the case. Again, I used to believe that it was because of poor coaching, or bad coaching, but then I remembered the quality of batsmen in times past, when there was none or very little coaching, and again, I said no, that could not be the case. On my way home at the end of the first day-night four-day regional game at Sabina Park last Sunday night, I felt really down, disappointed, and even embarrassed. Jamaica had lost the match scheduled for four days and nights in just under two days and nights, and like the other few spectators, or fans, many of whom, including a few former national players, had left the ground before the match had ended, I felt empty and cheated. The fans were angry, to the extent that some of them were fuming and uttering all sorts of unflattering things against Jamaica’s cricket in general and the players in particular. One man said to me: “Lord, God. Mr B, is Manchester a coming from, and is this mi come fi see?” All I could say to him was: “That’s how it goes, my friend. I only hope that it will be better next time.” I was being kind because I had seen better, much better, batting displays by Jamaican and West Indian batsmen of the past. This, however, was among the worst batting that I have ever seen, and it has being happening too frequently in recent times. The first day of the match was rained out, the second day saw the Leeward Islands Hurricanes reaching 32 for five in their second innings, and the third, the second day of play, saw the Hurricanes going on to 133 before dismissing the Jamaica Scorpions for 114, chasing 149 for victory. The first day of play saw 25 wickets falling for 159 as the Hurricanes totalled 71 and 32 for five and the Scorpions were bundled out for a paltry 56. QUALITY OF THE PITCHES What I never did believe, although it was sometimes true, was the cry that the pitches were not good, that the ball either kept low or that it bounced too high and awkwardly, that they were too slow or that they were too fast, that it was difficult to play the ball because they did unexpected things at different times, or that the batsmen were simply unlucky. And I did not believe that if only because there are good pitches and there are poor pitches, and whether they are good or they are poor, the batting is usually the same, more or less, and with the exception of something like the explosion in Antigua recently. What I now believe is that the region’s batsmen do not work hard enough, or train long and hard enough. The batsmen of recent vintage, barring a few, look good while batting for a short while and making a stroke or two, and they probably believe that they are, what is loosely called ‘talented’ or that they are gifted players and, therefore, they do not have to train as much or as hard as those who are not. One stroke, however, or one shot, regardless of the handclaps that follow, and whether it is an exquisite four or a thundering six, do not a batsmen make. Good batting, a good innings, calls for many fine strokes, defensively and aggressively according to the situation, for quite some time, most times on good pitches, and sometimes on poor pitches. REASON FOR PROBLEMS Clyde Walcott, the West Indies batsman who scored five centuries in the series against the 1955 Australians, once suggested to me that the reason for the West Indies batting problems may be because they probably believe that they are better than they really are; George Headley, the West Indies batsman who registered two centuries in one Test match on two occasions, once said, in my presence as a coach, that he will accept a mistake once, but not twice, especially twice in succession; and some Jamaican batsmen once complained to me that Rohan Kanhai, coach of Jamaica and, previously, a West Indies captain who scored many Test centuries, was preventing them from hooking. Kanhai, a good hooker himself, really wanted to prevent them from constantly hooking until they learned to hook. On Sunday night, all of that came back to me, and when I remembered how some of the Jamaica and West Indies batsmen, the vast majority of them, have got out recently, I realised that they really believe they are better than they are, that they make too many mistakes, and that they attempt to play strokes, which they cannot really play, or play properly, or should not have been played at the time they were attempted.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Lady Maroons were then poised to duplicate their Cinderella run in Season 79 going 4-0 in their first four games but they failed to sustain their momentum losing four straight after the unblemished start.Yee said he hopes to lead UP to a better outing in Season 80 as they look to improve from their 7-7 record.“I’m working with the team, we’re trying to focus, and hopefully we play better in the UAAP, return to the top four or a podium finish if possible,” said Yee.Still, Yee didn’t rule out a sudden exit if UP finds a capable replacement.“Whatever happens, I’m willing to give way if they find someone whom they want to replace me with.”ADVERTISEMENT End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend 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 Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation LATEST STORIES “I wanted to [leave the team] but Dean wouldn’t let me, so the decision’s up to them,” said Yee after their game against BanKo Perlas in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.“The job’s been so stressful, there are issues beyond our control, so I was really tired,” said Yee in Filipino. “I wanted to leave, then I got a call from Dean and I talked to the players so I decided that I will stay for one more year. I’m not that difficult to talk to.”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’In a Facebook post last Saturday, Yee said he was “calling it quits” after four seasons but the post has since been deleted.Yee steered the Lady Maroons to a Final Four entry in Season 78 of the UAAP where they finished with an 8-6 record but fell to eventual champions De La Salle University in the semifinals. LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets NBA legend Mutombo looking to purchase Houston Rockets Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJerry Yee clarified Wednesday he’s still the head coach of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons after his supposed departure from the team last week.A talk with Assoc. Prof. Ronualdo Dizer, Dean of the UP College of Human Kinetics, persuaded Yee to stay with the Lady Maroons until the school decides to find a replacement.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’