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: