THERE were brilliant performances on and off the track at Saturday’s historical Wint/McKenley Classic at Calabar High School.It was a great job by the organising committee as the entire meet was first class. Entering the environs of the Red Hills Road institution brought memories of the Penn Relays. The large crowd was in a carnival mood.The performances by home team Calabar High boys as well as Hydel High girls, brought great satisfaction for the large number of fans who turned out to be a part of history.Home boy Aykeem Francis became the first Calabar athlete to be crowned champion on the new synthetic track.Francis was a cut above his peers in the Open 400 metres hurdles, as he raced to a season and personal best 53.10 seconds to win.Andre Pickersgill of Cameron Blazers Track Club was second in 54.55 seconds, with Francis’ teammate, Damion Dixon, third in 55.94.Francis returned to close a double by taking the Class One 400 metres in 49.12.St Jago High’s Lerone Clarke was second overall in 49.34 seconds, with Calabar’s Avraldo Hoggart third with 59.60.World Youth 400m champion Christopher Taylor teased his many home supporters in the Class Two 400m.He shut it down in the last 100m, but was still able to clock 46.99 seconds, which was good enough for top spot.Brandon Heath clocked 49.65 seconds for second overall. Vere’s Romane Lindo was third best with 50.36.It was truly a Calabar show as Dejour Russell, Orville Dixon, Tyrone Bryan and Warren Barrett Jr had good wins.Russell, who won the Class Two boys’ 110m hurdles at Champs a year ago, started his season campaign in fine style, taking the event in 13.78.It was a clean sweep for the home team. Orlando Bennett (14.28) and Michael Stephens (14.39) seconds finished second and third, respectively.Dixon captured the Class One boys’ 1500m in 4:05.20, ahead of St Jago’s Thaleeito Green in 4:06.31.Brown won the Class One 110m hurdles in 14.44 seconds.EXCELLENT FORMBarrett continued his excellent form this season with double victory in the throws. He took the Class One discus throw with 51.14m and the shot put with a heave of 18.89m.Despite their coach playing down their chances of finishing in the top three at Champs this year, Hydel totally dominated the female section.In the girl’s 400m Class One, it was joint first place for Semoy Hemmings and Taquece Duggan, who both clocked 55.18 seconds.The Ferry-based team swept all 400m events. In Class Two, Abigail Brooks won in 58.64 seconds, while in Class Three, it was Jada Martin in 57.25 seconds.Hydel girls also had good results in the hurdles.Class Four athlete, Gabrielle Matthews, became the fastest girl in the age group so far this season in the 70m hurdles, winning in 10.99 seconds.In the Class Three 80m hurdles, it was Donna Ray Lee in 12.09 seconds, while in the Class One 100 hurdles, Trishauna Hemmings won in 14.68 seconds. Jada Campbell was best in Class Two, with 14.84 seconds.
TOTTENHAM (4-2-3-1)LLORIS, WALKER, ALDERWEIRELD, WIMMER, ROSE,DIER, DEMBELE,SON, ALLI, ERIKSEN,KANERASHFORD, MARTIAL, LINGARD, MATA,SCHNEIDERLIN, CARRICK,ROJO, BLIND, SMALLING, DARMIAN, DE GEAUNITED (4-2-3-1)Both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United have much to play for. In all probability Spurs have to win their remaining eight games and hope Leicester, seven points clear at the top of the Barclays premier League, slip up. And United are a point outside the top four with seven to play in their chase for a top-four finish.Spurs were held to a 1-1 draw at Liverpool last weekend, with Harry Kane earning a point with an equaliser, his 22nd Premier League goal of the season. Spurs have now recovered the most points from losing positions this term (19).But Spurs have dropped points in three of their last five games, winning only twice. United, meanwhile, have won four of their last five league outings, including last Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford.Rumours persist that United could be close to sacking manager Louis van Gaal – and that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is a favourite to replace him.When these teams met at Old Trafford in August United won 1-0 with an early own goal from Spurs’ Kyle Walker.And history suggests a United double; Tottenham have entertained them 23 times in the Premier League, winning just three and losing 12. United last lost at White Hart Lane in May 2001. In the subsequent 15 years they have won eight and drawn six – including the last three and four of the last five.Spurs miss Nabil Bentaleb and Clinton N’Jie while there are tests for Erik Lamela and Jan Vertonghen.United, meanwhile, are without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney and test Daley Blind.
Jamaica’s female beach volleyballer, Kai Wright, said their fifth place finish at the Norceca Beach Volleyball tour in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on the weekend resulted from their passion and determination and believes she and partner, Danielle Perry, will make it to Rio this summer. Wright noted that Perry lives abroad so regular practice is not possible and tournament like these play an important role in their preparation. However, the main reason they went to the Dominica Republic was to gain experience and practice. “The main purpose was to prepare for the third round of Olympic qualifiers, get selected for the Pan Am Games, get practice, see other teams and get some experience going into the third round. “The tournament was very challenging. Every team played us competitively because we were the underdogs. Nobody expected anything from us, much less to get a big placing, so they came at us really hard. But we played real hard, worked together and achieved fifth place and it shows the passion we have for the sport,” said Wright. “My partner is from Florida so we don’t get to practice together much, but she is very passionate, she is very determined, she goes hard and plays really hard, she is very motivating, so I have a tremendous partner. Over the weekend we learnt a lot about each other playing wise and we are just working as a team,” she told The Gleaner. She thinks they are strong enough to seriously compete for a spot in the Rio Olympics when they travel to the Casova Women’s Beach Volleyball Olympic third round qualifiers in El Salvador next week. “The more we go and represent and play the more the results are coming, it means our performance is getting better every time and that is what we aim to achieve,” she surmised. “We are very prepared, we have camp where the overseas players come down and we train every day, two times for the day. Hopefully we’ll go to the third round and be ready mentally and physically and I am very confident we can reach the Olympics,” said Wright. “We have one week before we leave for the third round and we’re looking to qualify and put Jamaica on top. We want to pave the way for the younger volleyball players, so we will work hard, play hard and qualify for the Olympics,” she promised. VOLLEYBALL:
1 Kenya 6 3 2 112 Great Britain 3 0 0 33 Jamaica 2 0 1 34 Cuba 2 0 0 25 United States 1 3 5 96 Germany 1 2 2 57 Ethiopia 1 2 0 38 Poland 1 1 3 59 Canada 1 1 2 410 Colombia 1 0 0 110 Czech Republic 1 0 0 110 Eritrea 1 0 0 110 Spain 1 0 0 110 South Africa 1 0 0 115 Pr Of China 0 2 1 316 Netherlands 0 1 1 2
A large crowd, which included the Custos of St Andrew Donna Parchment-Brown, was on hand at the Stony Hill Primary and Junior School in Stony Hill last Saturday night to participate in Bruising Gym’s seventh anniversary boxing show.There were seven bouts featuring boxers from Bruising Gym going up against boxers from the St Thomas Boxing Club, Port Antonio gym, G. C. Foster Gym, and the Stanley Couch Gym. The exciting Bruising team, coached by Carl Grant, emerged victorious, 5-2.The standard of boxing was good, and the most exciting bout was the last one on the card, between light heavyweights Omar Campbell and Yovan Panton. Eighteen-year-old Campbell from Bruising gym is a promising young boxer who has represented Jamaica overseas as a youth boxer. He has now graduated to the Elite Open Class and showed on Saturday, in his win on points, that he is a boxer who deserves special attention.Satisfied crowdPanton definitely came to fight and challenged Campbell from the opening bell. He used his jab to good advantage and mixed this with hooks to the head and body. Campbell seemed surprised at his opponent’s early aggression, but fought back with a two-fisted attack that drew cheers from the crowd. There was non-stop action, and the crowd loved it.Another exciting bout was the all – Bruising Gym bantamweight contest, between Sanjay Williams and Dwayne Creary. It was action all the way, but the more accomplished and fitter Williams was always a step ahead of his opponent and drew loud cheers when he was declared the winner.In other bouts, Kirkpatrick Heron from Port Antonio defeated Cory Clarke from Bruising Gym, who retired in the third round; James Douglas from Bruising Gym defeated Joel Wedderburn on points; Ricardo Carter from G. C. Foster outpointed Bruising’s Kenry McDermott; Damion Fuller from Bruising outpointed Seantoine Johnson from St Thomas; and Michael Gardener from Bruising Gym won a unanimous decision over Akeem Sinclair of St Thomas.
MICO University College’s senior netball team, with natio-nal senior players Jhaniele Fowler Reid and Vangelee Williams in their line-up, sent an early message to their rivals after topping the Intercollegiate Netball Rally on Saturday.In the final, they turned back last year’s winners, G.C. Foster College A, 8-4, at the University of the West Indies (UWI) indoor netball court.A prelude to the intercollegiate open competition, which begins tomorrow, the rally also showcased several players who represented Jamaica at the Netball World Cup a few months ago and it was no surprise that there was a good turnout of spectators.There was also no surprise about the four top teams in Mico A, G.C. Foster College A, University of Technology (UTech) and UWI A advanced to the semi-finals after being unbeaten in the preliminary stage of the competition.It was close going in both semi-finals as national player, Stacyann Facey led G.C. Foster’s charge and they squeezed out a 4-3 win over UTech, with nationals Khadijah Williams and Althea Byfield on their roster. In the other semis, despite ace shooter Fowler-Reid not being at her best, Mico got by the Thristina Harwood-led UWI team 8-6 to set up a repeat of last year’s final.A close battle was expected, but Fowler-Reid found her shooting range and Mico raced to a 4-1 half-time lead, before the team added four more goals to race to an easy 8-4 win.Heavy showers and persistent lightning, which had caused two stoppages early in the competition, forced the matches to be switched to the indoor court.
The struggling powerhouse, which have already been disqualified from the Copa del Rey for fielding an ineligible player, will also have to be careful not to be caught by fourth-place Villarreal after Bruno Soriano scored his second of two goals deep into stoppage time to grab a 2-1 victory at Deportivo La Coruna. Benitez’s latest stumble, which arrived after losses at home to Barcelona and away at Sevilla and Villarreal in the last eight rounds, came in his return to a Mestalla Stadium where he established his reputation with two league titles and a UEFA Cup trophy. Benitez’s counterpart, Gary Neville, remained winless in his fourth league game since taking over at Valencia, but his team earned a morale-boosting result. Madrid’s strong start provoked panic in Valencia. Bale started the move with an audacious back-heeled flick to send Benzema’s pass to Cristiano Ronaldo, who slid the ball back for Benzema to slot his shot into the corner of the net. But instead of going for a second goal to finish the hosts off, Madrid let complacency creep in, and Valencia slowly began to push forward through midfielder Andres Gomes and forward Joao Cancelo. A Gomes incursion was only stopped when Pepe tripped him in the area, letting Parejo step up and level the score. Madrid recovered some of their attacking verve after the restart, but it was stalled by Kovacic’s sending-off for a lunging tackle on Cancelo in the 70th. Toni Kroos, however, placed a free kick for Bale to rise up and gracefully head in off the far post to momentarily restore Madrid’s lead. But Valencia charged right back to score when Rodrigo Moreno headed down a pass for Alcacer to nod home. Also Sunday, it was Athletic Bilbao 2, Las Palmas 2; Real Betis 0, Eibar 4; Granada 2, Sevilla 1; and Rayo Vallecano 2, Real Sociedad 2. Struggling powerhouse BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Real Madrid squandered a great opening goal and a chance to catch Barcelona in the Spanish league standings when they slipped to a 2-2 draw at Valencia in a match it ended with 10 men yesterday. Madrid seemed set to romp to an easy victory after Karim Benzema finished off a superb move in the 16th minute, but Valencia’s Dani Parejo levelled from the penalty spot just before half-time. Gareth Bale headed Madrid back in front in the 82nd, despite his team playing a man down after Mateo Kovacic saw a direct red card, only for Paco Alcacer to strike right back for the hosts a minute later to spark a thrilling finish by both teams. Coach Rafa Benitez will face even more scrutiny after Madrid failed to capitalise on Barcelona’s scoreless stalemate at Espanyol on Saturday and remained two points behind the defending champions, which have a game to play. Madrid also fell four points behind provisional leaders Atletico Madrid, the only title contender to win this round. Benitez said: “I can’t stop some people from speculating” about his future. “What I can do is get the team to work hard like they did today,” he said. “We missed an opportunity – only if you look at the result. But the effort that my team made deserves more praise that anything else.”
With the fancied horses having held their own at Caymanas Park last Saturday, both the Pick-9 and Super-6s start anew with guaranteed minimums of $1 million and $750,000 respectively.The Pick-9 will embrace all nine races on the card, the first Super-6 from race two to seven, the late Super-6 from race four to nine.We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a maiden special weight over 1500 metres for native-bred three-year-olds which should see PIANO MAN, PROUD PRESIDENT and MCCALLAN in serious contention at the end. The latter caught the eye when finishing a close second (running on) to VISION OF GOLD over 1200 metres on his debut last Saturday and will be better for the experience.Preference, however, is for the Philip Feanny-trained colt PIANO MAN, who was all the rage (4-5) on his debut in October, but dissipated his chances by rearing badly at the start, finishing 16 lengths fifth to the impressive fast-time winner DREAMING THE CODE over 1100 metres. Having impressed at exercise coming into this race, PIANO MAN should recoup losses with Orlando Foster now called up for the ride.DREALINLER, one of the top two-year-olds last season by virtue of winning the $2.95 million Cash Pot Only One For Me Trophy at 1200 metres on October 19, gets the nod over the speedy pair of BUBBLING KITTEN and ZUGULU in the next race for three-year-olds and up over 1100 metres.ABOVE THE RADAR and PERFECT FLYER, both runaway winners over 1820 metres in recent weeks, should fight out the finish of the fourth race over the same distance for $250,000 claimers.With ABOVE THE RADAR having achieved his win on a $325,000 claiming tag, the seven-year-old gelding (Walker up) from the stables of Lawrence Freemantle gets the nod over PERFECT FLYER and WATER WAVE.STrong runFLYING MIRACLE, who ran on very strongly to win over 1400 metres on Boxing Day, this on a $450,000 claiming tag, should resume winning ways with the improving apprentice Dane Dawkins aboard in the fifth race (fourth in Super-6) over 1500 metres for $350,000- $300,000 claimers.Trained by Victor Williams, the six-year-old gelding wasn’t disgraced in better company when finishing third to out of class BOLD AVIATOR over a mile on a $450,000 claiming tag on New Year’s Day and should rebound in this easier spot ahead of BRAVE PROSPECT and DOC HOLIDAY.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(2) PIANO MAN/MACALLAN(3) DREAMLINER/BUBBLING KITTEN(4) ABOVE THE RADAR/PERFECT FLYER(5) FLYING MIRACLE(6) SPEEDY PROCESS/GENUINE FRIEND(7) STERRI’S CHOICE/ROSY PARKS
The best of the native bred three-year-old fillies will hold centre stage at Caymanas Park today in the 77th running of the Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks over 2000 metres and given the presence of a top heavy favourite in NUCLEAR AFFAIR, victory for her should be a mere formality.Offering a total purse of $3 million, this the season’s third classic has attracted 10 starters, including the first eight past the post in the April 9 Post to Post 1000 Guineas, which saw the howling favourite, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, powering home by 9 1/4 lengths from A THOUSAND STARS and SORRENTINO’S STAR in a fast 1:39.2 for a mile.NUCLEAR AFFAIR was then ridden by three-time champion, Dane Nelson, who left the island last week for another riding stint in Canada. Her connections have called up big-race jockey Shane Ellis, the reigning champion, to replace Nelson, who will be back to ride her in the derby.Unbeaten in three starts this season, NUCLEAR AFFAIR has already stamped herself as an exceptional three-year-old filly and Subratie is looking beyond the Oaks to the June 25 derby where she will come face to face with the colts.GLORIOUS UNCERTAINTY”She has everything in her favour today, having beaten seven of her opponents in the Guineas. But she still has to go out there and execute for racing is a sport of glorious uncertainty,” said Subratie, who is seeking his first Oaks win, having finished second with the 99-1 outsider ZACAPA some years ago.”She has done everything asked of her this season and I was particularly pleased with how she carried herself at exercise last Sunday morning in a six-furlong gallop, looking pretty easy in 1:14.4.”Nuclear Affair can do anything … she can run with the pace or come from behind if the situation demands and I am confident she will deliver for her deserving owner Michros,” he added.”It is only left to be seen whether my other runner, Golden Glory, can complete the exacta after finishing fifth in the Guineas. She did not have much luck in running, however, and my hope is that she can beat the runner-up, A Thousand Stars, and the third horse, Sorrentino’s Star, for second, with Ameth Robles who rode Zacapa taking the ride,” said the second generation trainer.For me, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, a chestnut filly by Nuclear Wayne out of Commandra Affair, bred by her owner, is so much better than her opponents that it will take an act of God to deny her today.The Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS, a fast improving sort, should follow her home, again.Other firm fancies on the 12-race programme are CAMPESINO to repeat in the third race for open allowance horses; last year’s Oaks winner, MOM’S STUDENT, in the fourth; SOUND OF MIRACLE in the fifth; RUNAWAY GAL in the sixth for the Ricochet Cup; PROLIFIC PRINCESS in the seventh; and LORD EQUUS in the ninth.
COACH OF THE YEAR Montego Bay United Football Club captured the most awards at the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ)/Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) presentation ceremony on Thursday night at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston. Chairman of the PFAJ Don Anderson described the season as one of the most interesting. “It has been one of the most intriguing coming to an end. MBU has been most consistent in three years by competing in the last three finals and winning two times,” Anderson said. “I salute MBU. However, Portmore’s Michael Binns scored a goal in the final that was worthy of a World Cup final,” he shared. He admitted that there were challenges along the way. “Personally, throughout my 37 years in administration, my firm belief is that off the field issues must be dealt with around the table. Football needs us all, so let us work together,” he also added. The 2015-16 champions collected the coveted title and winning cash incentive of $2.5 million, plus 35 medals, while beaten finalists Portmore United walked away with $1.5 million and 25 silver medals. Last season’s champions, Arnett Gardens, finished third and were rewarded $1 million and medals, while Humble Lion received $500,000 for their fourth-place finish in the 12-team league. MBU were the best defensive and top-scoring team. Their striker, Owayne Gordon, received four individual awards. Gordon, who missed the final last Sunday at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, received Round Three top striker for scoring 10 goals, the leading goalscorer with 20 goals, the Most Valuable Player and the Tony Burrowes Player Personality Award. MBU’s Jacomena Barrett won the goalkeeper of the year award for the third consecutive season, while former national player Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis won the Winning Coach award, and Dwayne Ambusley won the Winning Captain award. Marcel Gayle of first-time team in the Premier League the University of the West Indies FC, won the Coach of the Year award. Portmore United won the regular season award for the team that finished on most points and were also the team with the most wins. Junior Flemmings, who is on loan from Tivoli Gardens to MLS club New York Red Bull, was the Junior Player of the Year. MBU’s Dino Williams was the Round One top goal scorer with six goals, while Cory Burke, who started the season at Rivoli United before transferring to MoBay, scored the most goals (six) in Round Two. Boys’ Town FC won the FIFA Fair Play award, while the top referee was Valdin Ledgister and top assistant referee was Richard Washington. The RSPL best XI players were: Damian Hyatt (Arnett Gardens), Ladale Ritchie (MBU), Oneil Thompson (Arnett), Khareem Manning (Portmore United), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Ricardo Morris (Portmore), Andrew Vanzie (Humble Lion), Renae Lloyd (Arnett), Owayne Gordon (MBU), and Dino Williams (MBU).