DUBAI, UAE (CMC): Cricket legend Brian Lara is among several West Indians who have signed up to play in the inaugural Masters Champions League (MCL) next month in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Lara heads a list that includes discarded West Indies cricketers Tino Best, Shiv Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, as well as Krishmar Santokie. Best and Santokie will play for Sagittarius Soldiers, Edwards will join Leon Lions while Chanderpaul has signed with Gemini Arabians. The former Windies skipper was among six icon players listed for an auction held in Dubai Monday ahead of the tournament. Lara was picked up by Leo Lions for their base price of $100,000. Former South Africa allrounder Jacques Kallis attracted the highest bid of US $175,000. The inaugural MCL is run by former Australia batsman Dean Jones’ company, Major Events Group.
well in Manchester Major LeagueHillstars dished out their second 4-1 win in the Magnum/Captain’s Bakery Major League, taking advantage of Greenvale at the Kirkvine Sports Club last Sunday.Shaquille Wellington powered the defending champions, scoring twice to effect a 2-0 lead and following Jermaine Green’s 54th-minute strike, which made it 3-0, returned in the final minute to complete a hat-trick. Tennison Brown’s 70th-minute for Greenvale goal proved merely consolatory.The previous week, Comfort had felt a similar beating. Jermaine Green was the hero on that occasion, netting twice.Ricam have also scored two impressive wins. The first came against Downs, a team which had just gathered a weekend highlight 5-1 win over Villa United.In a game that saw two goals being scored in time added on, Ricam achieved a 4-1 victory on the back of a Maxwell Robinson hat-trick. Ricam’s second win, which came last Saturday, was a 3-0 shut-out of Porus.Matches are scheduled for today and tomorrow at Brooks Park and Kirkvine.Mount St Joseph, Knox win Manchester Prep titlesMount St Joseph returned a mixed bag of football finals results in their defence of the 2015 Manchester FA-run Brumalia House-sponsored Howie Chin male and female Prep School League, which was completed recently.Mount St Joseph retained their female title when they defeated long-time rivals Belair Prep 2-1.However, a new champion was created in the male category after Knox defeated Charagape 1-0. The new champions actually dethroned the defending champions via the penalty shoot-out route in the semi-finals.In retaining their female title, Mount St Joseph spoiled Belair’s perfect-win-season record. They were, however, forced to do it the hard way, coming from a 0-1 deficit after Timika Scarlett scored for Belair in the 24th minute. Jada Blake earned the equaliser for the champions in the 28th minute before Dania-Lee Wint sealed the championship with a 45th-minute goal.The advance of Knox and Charagape to the male finals represented the first time that neither Belair nor Mount St Joseph had made it there. In a very tense final, Jamal Lovelace’s 32nd-minute strike gave Knox their first-ever hold, having reached the semi-finals last year.Rappa Pam Pam Shoot for MandevilleMandeville will host its final competitive shooting match of the year tomorrow when the Manchester Rifle and Pistol Club (MRPC) hosts its Christmas extravaganza dubbed “Rappa Pam Pam”. Venue will be the MRPC’s home in Lincoln.The tournament is the club’s “give-back” to shooters and patrons throughout 2015. The match will require 100 rounds, a count which is designed to attract regular contestants on the circuit as well as regular firearm holders. A feature of the day will be cooked food and soup for all, free of cost. Children will also be fÍted with play facilities, food, and ice cream.There is likely to be a new year-end champion other than club captain Orville Henriques based on the practice match earlier this week. The injured Henriques was beaten into third place, with Ellsworth Dixon and Thomas Jones taking first and second, respectively.Following the tournament, an awards ceremony will follow, where the Shooter of the Year and Most Improved Shooter categories will be announced.Holmwood athletes dominate Ron Hamilton 5KHolmwood Technical athletes dominated the second running of the Ron Hamilton 5K road race held in Christiana last Sunday.The event is named in honour of retired Holmwood Principal Ron Hamilton. It was also a fundraiser for the Holmwood track and field teams.Holmwood athletes took the first four places in the 5K road race that saw competitors run from the gate of Holmwood, take the new highway, turn at Christiana High before finishing back at Holmwood’s gates. The walk event was limited to 3K and began at the Christiana High School gate.Leading the Holmwood charge was Kajay Walker, who clocked 17 minutes five seconds to edge out Shaquille Onfroy, Shemar Legister, and Javion Lewis, respectively. Rodrick Reese ofKnox stopped the top 10 sweep, coming in at number five in 18 minutes and 25 seconds.It was a similar affair in the female section, where Chrissani May led a sweep of the top 10 places.Hanbury top historic Peter Bunting Football night showIn the first ever night game for the final of a community league, Hanbury won the Peter Bunting Central Manchester Community Football League with a 5-3 win on penalties over the Mandeville police team.No goal was scored throughout regulation and extra time, and it seemed fitting that Hanbury, as the historic host, triumphed to cop the $100,000 first prize. The lawmen earned $60,000. It was a cash-rich evening as earlier in the thirdplace play-off, Land Settlement won $40,000 after defeating Heartease 3-0. Ramon Senior netted a hat-trick.Individual awards were ignored, but the divisional winners were all awarded prize money. Divional winners were Blue Mountain (Bellefield division), Mandeville Police (Mandeville), Albion (Knockpatrick), and Land Settlement (Royal Flat).The occasion fetched thousands of spectators, and during the day, children of the community, as well as others from the wider central Manchester constituency were fÍted and fed.Mid-season finalists beatenBoth Cedar Grove and Braeton United, the teams that will contest the York Pharmacy-sponsored Portmore Division Two Football League mid-season final were beaten last Sunday. Cedar Grove suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Cumberland (five points), which won their first match in four tries. Braeton United remained on six points from three games as they were clipped 1-0 by Edgewater.In another game Daytona (seven points) spanked Southborough 4-2. The mid-season final is scheduled for Sunday, December 27, at the Cedar Grove playing field, starting at 3 p.m.Winter Football Junior camp a successChicago-based coach Dean Lothian and his team from the United States hosted a four-day football camp in Portmore dubbed Winter Football Camp Jamaica, which finished last Thursday at the Portsmouth Primary playing field.Lothian is from Portsmouth in Portmore and played for Rodwood FC in his earlier career. He received a scholarship and benefited from college football in the USA. He said that as a coach, over the years, he has received loads of equipment including balls from sponsors, and he decided to donate coaching expertise and equipment to local coaches and young players in Jamaica.Patrick Dunkley, the coach of East Portmore Portals, was instrumental in getting the Winter Camp team in Jamaica.The camp attracted scores of youngsters in the eight-16 year-old age group and ran from Monday, December 14 to Thursday, December 17. The vision of the project is to be a football club that produces high-quality players, playing in the highest level locally and internationally through the intentional emphasis on building self-esteem and self-awareness. Both girls and boys participated.The team of foreign-based coaches will now turn their attention to Westmoreland.Rivoli oust Old Harbour in FLOW Happy Sutherland KODefending champions Rivoli United sent Old Harbour Bay United packing with a 2-0 win in the feature match of a double-header in the quarter-final round of the Flow-sponsored St Catherine FA Happy Sutherland Knockout competition last Thursday night at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.In the opening game at the venue, Bodles eliminated Frazsiers Whip 2-0.In matches on Wednesday, former champions Portmore United defeated Marcus Garvey 2-0 and Royal Lakes clipped Dunbeholden 2-1.The semi-final pairings pit Rivoli United versus Portmore United and Bodles versus Royal Lakes on January 20, 2016, at Spanish Town Prison Oval.Westchester on topWestchester’s netball team leads the South East St Catherine Netball League with 16 points as the preliminary round comes to a close. Mega Angels, with 13 points, occupy second spot, Pro Santos (12) are third, while Pro Santos A and Express All Stars are tied for fourth on nine points apiece.In a recent game, Mega Angels dismissed Pro Santos B 24-11. The top three teams will progress to the semi-final automatically, while the next four will battle for the fourth and final spot. The competition continues on January 9. Nathan cops prestigious Abe Alexander TrophyFormer president Richard ‘Roots’ Nathan capped the prestigious Abe Alexander Memorial Trophy at the KSAFA Western Sports Business House Football Association awards presentation at the Red Stripe Sports Club recently.Petrojam, the 2015 Division One triple champions, won most awards, including the KO and Challenge Trophy against Division Two champions Peak Bottling.Former national player and Premier League winning coach Lenworth Hyde Sr, who guided Petrojam to the triple, was named Coach of the Year; Corey Samuels, Manager of the Year; Cornelius Simms KO MVP; and Jaron Richards the League MVP.Nathan, a former president of KSAFA and the Business House Football Association, was honoured for his outstanding contribution to football since 1973 as player and administrator. He received the award from newly elected president of Netball Jamaica, Dr Paula Daley-Morris, the guest speaker at the function.GraceKennedy, who went under to Petrojam 2-3 on penalties in the Division One final, walked away with the Division Two runners-up trophy, while Sagicor, who lost out to Peak Bottling in the Division Two final, collected he runners-up award.Troyland Williams of Peak Bottling won the leading goalscorer award in Division Two, and teammate Andrew Morrison the MVP award. Metrodade’s Kemar Beckford won the award for leading scorer in Division One.Carib Cement won the award as five-a-side champions, with ATL taking the runners-up award.Scotiabank was cited as the Most Prepared Team, Nicholas Scott (Scotia) the KO competition’s top scorer. Carvel Banton was named Referee of the Year, while Khonordo Johnson won the assistant referee award.Champions start
Jamaica’s Olympics-bound diver Yona Knight-Wisdom says winning the three-metre springboard silver medal at the FINA Diving World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a welcome bonus after his historic qualification to the Olympic Games. Knight-Wisdom scored 427.40 points in Monday’s semi-final to finish 11th in the 18-man field, before surprising the competition in the medal round of the competition, which was being used as a Rio 2016 test event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Center. The 20-year-old Britain-born diver pointed to his approach in the later rounds, noting that he was much more relaxed going into the semi-finals and final after already meeting his main objective of becoming Jamaica’s first Olympic qualifier in a diving event. REALLY HAPPY “It (silver medal) means the world to me. The focus was to qualify for the Olympic Games. I never expected that to translate to a World silver medal, so I’m really happy about that,” Knight-Wisdom told The Gleaner from Brazil yesterday. Knight-Wisdom returned to log 459.25 points in the final, to finish behind gold-medal winner Rommel Pacheco (Mexico), who scored 504.40 points, with the United States’ Kristian Ipsen tallying 362.05 points. “The qualifying spot was what I was aiming for, and once that was over, I was a lot more relaxed and so everything after that was a bonus. I was very relaxed going into the semi-finals and even more so in the final,” said Knight-Wisdom. Still, the youngster isn’t getting ahead of himself and is expecting the competition to be far tougher when the Olympics begin. He is, however, also hoping for improvement as he prepares to take on the world in Rio. “At the Olympic Games everyone will be at their peak and it will of course feature other divers that didn’t compete in this event, so it will probably be a harder competition. But I am also looking forward to getting even better as well,” Knight-Wisdom said. The Leeds-born diver booked his spot at the Olympic Games after finishing 17th in the preliminary round with a score of 397.90 points. firstname.lastname@example.org
Who can forget that fateful Saturday evening 26 years ago when Daniel England was pipped on the line by Donovan Powell.It was late evening on the final day of Champs when Asafa Powell’s brother performed the unthinkable.The seemingly indomitable high school legend was “famously” defeated on a day when historians were keen to see whether he could perform the feat of Kingston College’s Lennox “Billy” Miller, to win three 200-metre races in Class One at Boys’ Champs.England, running in one of his last events at the famed Championships, was finally dethroned as 200 metres champion.For four years, since he was in Class Two, the Calabar High athlete seemed indomitable.For until 1990, he was unbeaten not only in the 200 metres, but the 400 metres as well, ala Michael Johnson of Olympic fame.It was in the 400 metres that England rose to stardom, four years earlier, when he was in Class Two.There were the typical bouts of frenzied cheers when the popular athlete graced the track to produce a superlative clash.The little man did not appear to be perturbed, even when perennial rivals KC dispatched 200 metres and 400 metres specialists to upstage the mighty one.Quite aptly described as the little man with a big heart, the diminutive Calabar athlete collared and clobbered all and sundry.It was not that he was not tested by other stalwarts.Daniel England simply proved unbeatable against all opposition at Boys’ Champs in the late 1980s.That is, until the start of the new decade when he ran into St Jago High School’s Donovan Powell in the 200 metres.The gun went off and the roar went up. Less than 21 seconds later, a noisy debate replaced the cheers.The two super athletes had crossed the finish line together.After the dust settled and the deliberations and debates eased, Powell was adjudged the winner of one of the most exciting 200-metre races to grace the most magnificent of high school meets in the world.Even with the rare loss in the 200 metres, Daniel England left high school undefeated in the 400 metres.
LONDON, CMC:West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine has been cleared by the International Cricket Council to bowl again in international cricket.The 27-year-old successfully underwent tests at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on March 28 after spending months remodelling his action.He was banned last November after the ICC ruled his action to be illegal, exceeding the 15 degrees tolerance allowed under its regulations.Earlier yesterday, Kolkata Knight Riders coach Jacques Kallis had reported that the franchise was yet to hear from the ICC on whether Narine had been cleared to play in the Indian Premier League starting on the weekend.”He has done a lot of work. We have not got the official verdict from the ICC yet, but I am sure they will come out positive,” Kallis told reporters here.While in India training, Narine’s father passed away, forcing the player to return to Port-of-Spain. However, Kallis said the player would be under no pressure to return quickly.Knight Riders are set to play their opening match of the new Indian Premier League season at Eden Gardens here on Sunday.
LONDON (AP): As usual this season, Novak Djokovic was the best player on the court. The top-ranked Serb won his fourth straight title at the season-ending ATP finals yesterday by beating six-time champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic, who won three Grand Slam titles this year and reached the final in the other, capped the best season of his career with another superb display, including winning 16 of the 19 points on his second serve and saving both break points that he faced. “I couldn’t ask for a better finish of the season,” Djokovic said. “For some reason or another, I’ve been playing some of my best tennis after the US Open in Asia and also indoors, both Paris and London.” Federer beat Djokovic on Tuesday in the group stage, but the 17-time Grand Slam champion made too many mistakes in the final yesterday. Federer ended up with 31 unforced errors, including 15 from his usually reliable forehand. He even gave away the final point with his second double-fault of the match. “It would have been nice to serve a little bit better early on in the match, play better overall on his second serve, because he does allow you to play on his second serve,” said Federer, who lost to Djokovic in the 2012 final and pulled out of last year’s championship match against the Serb with a back injury. “Maybe at times I went for too much.” Federer finishes his season with a 6-5 record in finals, with all five losses to Djokovic. Two of those came at Wimbledon and the US Open, giving Djokovic his ninth and 10th major titles. For Djokovic, it was a season to remember. Besides becoming the first man to win four straight titles at the tournament for the top eight players in the world, Djokovic also will finish the season as the No. 1 player for the fourth time in five years. He won the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, and reached the final at the French Open. The latest victory, his 82nd of the year, evens the head-to-head record against Federer as 22-22. On Saturday in the semi-finals, he evened his head-to-head record against Rafael Nadal at 23-23. “Those two rivalries made me a better player, the player I am today, no doubt,” Djokovic said. “Made me understand what I need to do both on and off the court to be able to be in this position now.” MANY MISTAKES
“I am anxious to have my name cleared,” he wrote in the letter, a copy of which was seen by AP. “It is my hope that the investigations will be expeditious, fair and should include relevant authorities.” Mwangi’s leave was voluntary and started Monday, Tuwei told a news conference yesterday in Nairobi. The world governing body of track and field, the IAAF, has referred the athletes’ allegations to its ethics commission. It already was investigating allegations that AK officials sought to subvert anti-doping in Kenya, solicited bribes and offered athletes reduced bans. The probe has led to the suspensions of AK’s president, Isaiah Kiplagat, a vice president, David Okeyo and AK’s former treasurer, Joseph Kinyua. NAIROBI, Kenya (AP): The chief executive of Kenya’s track and field federation has taken temporary leave after two athletes alleged in an interview with The Associated Press that he asked them for a bribe to reduce their doping bans. Athletics Kenya CEO, Isaac Mwangi, said in a letter to the federation’s acting president that the allegations by 400-metre runner Joy Sakari and hurdler Francisca Koki Manunga were “unsubstantiated” and “have caused me a lot of mental anguish”. He asked for 21 days’ leave while the allegations are investigated. In the AP interview, Sakari and Manunga alleged that Mwangi asked them each for a $24,000 bribe in an October 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. The athletes, both police officers in Kenya, tested positive for a banned diuretic at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. They are serving four-year bans. The athletes told AP they never filed a criminal complaint alleging wrongdoing by Mwangi because they had no proof to back up their bribery accusation and also feared repercussions. In a separate AP interview, Mwangi dismissed the allegations as “just a joke”, denied ever meeting privately with the runners and said Athletics Kenya has no power to shave time off athletes’ bans. In his letter to acting federation president Jackson Tuwei, dated Monday, Mwangi asked for AK’s disciplinary panel to investigate. Investigations
NO LOOKING BACK New sprint superstar Elaine Thompson, who copped the sprint double in her first Olympics, is happy making her mark on the global stage with her own fast times and competing with her unique style but admits that she’s not paying too much attention to the women’s 100m world record at this time. Thompson, who has personal bests of 10.70, which is also a Jamaican national record, and 21.66 over 200 metres, swept the 100m gold from training partner and former champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, while outclassing Dutch athlete Dafne Schippers for the 200m gold in Rio. Thompson believes the women’s world record of 10.49 seconds, set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988, remains unattainable and has influenced how people view female athletes. “That record is really far from me right now, so I think that also contributes to the reasons why we don’t get that much respect because we don’t run a lot of world records or fast times,” Thompson told members of the media. “But I mean, 10.70 and 10.60 is also a good time for a female, but looking at 10.49, it’s unbelievable and way out of our lines, so I think the times have something to do with it as well,” she added. The 24-year-old was speaking at Tuesday night’s arrival ceremony for Olympians, coaches and the support team of her track club. It was held at the Pineapple Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. Meanwhile, since winning her individual double gold and relay silver in Rio, Thompson has not looked back, but went on to cop a brilliant season with a 10.72-second victory in the 100m to win the Diamond Trophy at the Memorial van Damme meet in Brussels last Friday. The Stephen Francis-coached athlete raked in a whopping US$100,000 and has hit the scene as one of the top 10 moneymakers of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League. Thompson confirmed that she is her own person, who is comfortable doing things her way and doesn’t want to be compared with anyone. “Honestly, I think it’s based on our personalities because we are not the type of a Usain Bolt who goes out there and have fun before our championships,” she said. “The females just want to stay focused and be themselves, so I think that contributes to us not getting that attention. But I will just continue being myself. If I can do a little thing before running I will try, but based on the personality we have going into the race that we run, we don’t normally do that,” she continued. Meanwhile, the athlete, who hails from Banana Ground in Manchester, said it was “great to be back home” while admitting jokingly that one of her first things is to “go to KFC”.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):Former Dominica, Windward Islands and Combined Islands opener Lockhart Sebastien has been appointed as a selector for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), the board confirmed yesterday.Sebastien, who was an alternate selector for the last four years, replaces Courtney Walsh, who stepped down from the selection panel last month after signing on as Bangladesh’s new bowling coach.Sebastien has played 92 first-class matches and scored 4,934 runs with the highest score of 219.He has managed the Windward Islands senior team for the last 12 years and has served as a director on the Windward Islands board for the last ten years.”I want to thank the directors for approving my term as a selector. I have always been a team player, and together with the other selectors, we will ensure the best West Indies team is selected at all times,” said Sebastien, manager for the West Indies ‘A’ team to India in 2013 and Sri Lanka in 2014.”Selectors have not always pleased everyone in the Caribbean but I am part of a team who will try the utmost to make Caribbean people happy”.The appointment was ratified at the Board of Directors meeting in Dominica, earlier this month.Sebastien’s term as a selector is for two years.
Kingston College and Edwin Allen Comprehensive High School started the 2017 staging of Boys and Girls’ Championships with big predicted winning margins on paper. However, when the five days of running, jumping and throwing was over, Calabar High School and Edwin Allen had defended their respective team titles. Kingston College were undone by a pair of untimely injuries and by a Calabar team that performed magnificently. Neither favourite scored at the predicted level, but Edwin Allen were deep enough to collect 316.5 points and win a fifth Girls’ Champs title. Hydel High won a frantic battle for second with their 265 points total out-lasting St Jago High, 246 and Holmwood 243. Coached by Michael Dyke, Edwin Allen suffered misfortune including a false start by prohibitive Class Three 100 favourite Kevona Davis and a baton fumble by Davis’ unbeatable 4x100m team. However, 800/1500m doubles in Class Two and Three by Cemore Donald and Rushana Dwyer, a steeplechase win by Jeima Davis and a hurdles double by Gabrielle McDonald, led Edwin Allen home. Injuries cost Kingston College dearly. Jhevaughn Matherson, favoured in the Class One 100m and 200m, managed just two of a predicted 18 points with Wayne Pinnock, leader of the Class Two long jump and 110m hurdles fields, getting just five of 18. With Calabar moving up on all four of those events, the points swing was almost 40 points. Nevertheless, it’s an oversimplification to say that’s the only reason Calabar won. The Michael Clarke-coached green-and-blacks were relentless, with Christopher Taylor leading the way. He debuted in Class One with a 200m and 400m double and legs on the winning 4x100m and 4x400m teams. One-two finishes in the 100m, 400m, 110m hurdles and a one-three result in the 200m and middle distance magic in Class Two did the business for Calabar. Kimar Farquharson took down Aldwyn Sappleton’s 20 year-old 800m record from 1 minute 52.27 seconds to 1.51.26 in the heats and went on to win the gold medal. He also set the pace for teammate Kevroy Venson who improved the 1500m mark to 3 minutes 55.38 seconds, with KC’s Aryamanya Rogers second and Farquharson third. Rogers, a Ugandan 16 year-old, went on to win the 5000 metres. When KC found it impossible to score in the Class Two hurdles, won brilliantly by Jeremy Farr, the die was cast. The final scores – Calabar 317 to 314 for KC – are the highest scores in the 21-year history of the current scoring system and it was just the second time the 300-point ceiling had been breached. The first time was 2014 when Calabar collected 305 points. Calabar and Edwin Allen now have the look of dynasties. With six Boys’ Champs titles on the trot, Calabar are now taking aim on the 1962 – 1975 Kingston College record of 14 consecutive wins. Edwin Allen moved to four straight, and five overall. The last team to win a consecutive quartet of Girls Championship crowns, Holmwood, ended up with nine back-to-back triumphs. Maintaining or breaking those dynasties will motivate all the contenders next year. – HUBERT LAWRENCE first went to Champs in 1980.