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:
RED DEER, Alta. – The trial of a central Alberta man accused of killing his family heard evidence Thursday that was gathered during an elaborate RCMP undercover operation where Mounties posed as members of a crime organization.Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank are each charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Gordon, Sandra and Monica Klaus four years ago.The RCMP “Mr. Big” sting operation was aimed at coaxing Klaus into admitting he was responsible for their deaths.In the end, he insisted it was Joshua Frank who shot his family at a farmhouse near Castor on Dec. 8, 2013.Court heard that undercover Mounties spent four months building up trust with Klaus by making him an active part of what he thought was a crime ring.The whole time they drove home one underlying message – if Klaus was honest, the crime organization could make his troubles go away.One officer who testified said that the operation progressed quickly and that Klaus was enthusiastic. During the sting operation Klaus was paid more than $13,000 for the work he did for the crime organization.The Mounties involved in the sting can’t be named under a court-ordered publication ban.Justice Eric Macklin, who is hearing the case without a jury, is to determine if the evidence is admissable.To prevent Klaus from becoming suspicious, RCMP presented a dramatic scenario in which one of the gang members had beaten a prostitute nearly to death.A female Mountie played the role of the prostitute on June 2, 2014. She was put in the trunk of a car, apparenty unconscious.A Mountie testified that later that night Klaus confessed that he helped plan the murder of his family.After saying it was Frank who pulled the trigger of the gun that killed his parents and sister, Klaus said they could pay Frank to disappear.Nine days later, Klaus recanted his confession in a text message to his supposed friend.“Hey man, to be perfectly honest I don’t have a clue what happened at my parents’ house,” the late night message read.“[I’m] not going to put you guys at risk … for some reason the heat is on and I didn’t have any part of this.”However, after more time had passed, Klaus went back to his original story and told it to Mr. Big himself during a meeting in Calgary.Court heard that Mr. Big wasn’t entirely convinced and asked to meet with Frank.That’s when Klaus arranged a meeting in a parking lot.A Mountie testified that after being introduced to the group by Klaus, Frank met privately with one of the undercover officers and confessed to shooting the Klaus family before burning their house to the ground.Frank went further by taking them to where he threw the murder weapon, a pistol, into the Battle River. He also claimed that he still had the lighter used to start the fire along with one of the bullets from the gun.A police dive team from B.C. recovered the gun from the river. Klaus and Frank were arrested on Aug. 15, 2014.The Crown is expected to finish presenting its case Friday.