Former national champion, Oshane Bailey, is looking forward to an injury-free season and a bid for a place in the Jamaican Olympic team.Speaking just after a controlled 100-metre win at the Western Relays in Montego Bay on Saturday, Bailey was cautiously optimistic about his prospects for 2016.Asked to assess his early season races, he said: “Yes, fairly good start to the season right now.”At the Grace Jackson/Queens meet two weeks earlier, he looked zippy over 60 metres, as he stopped the National Stadium clock at 6.60 seconds. On Saturday in Montego Bay, he smoothly sprinted to a winning time of 10.32 seconds. His run was aided by a wind barely over the allowable limit at 2.2 metres per second.He said his move from Akan Track Club to the GC Foster College of Physical Education and the Sprintec Club has been “alright so far”. He had been coached by Michael Clarke ever since his transfer from Vauxhall High School to Calabar High, and stayed with Clarke at Akan when his schoolboy days ended in 2009. Now he is coached by Maurice Wilson.His new training partners include 2008 Olympic 100-metre silver medallist Sherone Simpson and 2014 Commonwealth 200-metre winner, Rasheed Dwyer.”I’m getting myself used to the camp right now,” he said of his new training environment at Angels, Spanish Town, where the college is located.His senior career started well as he beat Olympic finalist Michael Frater to win the 2010 national 100-metre title and reached the Commonwealth Games final. Now 26, he set his personal best of 10.11 at the 2010 NACAC Under 23 championships.Consistent since then in the 10.1 range, he got a taste of high-level international action as anchorman of the Jamaican 4×100 team in the heats at the 2013 World Championships.With injury trouble and the change of camps behind him, Bailey is taking the Olympic year step by step. The three-time individual Boys’ Championships medal winner has straightforward goals for this season.”Going to the Trials injury- free, going to make the final,” he said. “The rest will come.”
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC): Trinidad and Tobago coach, Stephen Hart, has warned his Soca Warriors about the danger St Vincent and the Grenadines will pose, when the two teams meet in the fourth round of CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifiers later this month. The Warriors will travel to Kingstown for the first leg on March 25 at the Arnos Vale Stadium before hosting the Vincentians four days later at the Hasely Crawford Stadium here. Hart said SVG were a dangerous side and T&T would have to be at the top of their game in order to earn a positive result. “I was quite impressed actually. They have some adventure going forward,” Hart said of the SVG side. “They are organised and if you are not concentrating fully they can surprise you like they did to the US. They started the game brightly, they opened the scoring and when a team scores on you particularly if they are at home, you sort of create doubt in your mind.” Unbeaten T&T lie second in Group C on four points, behind the United States who are also on four points but ahead on goal difference.
MANCHESTER, England (AP): Arsenal’s bid to capture a third straight FA Cup title ended with a 2-1 loss to Watford in the quarter-finals yesterday, while Anthony Martial’s late goal earned Manchester United a replay against West Ham. In the Premier League, Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham beat last-place Aston Villa 2-0 to trim the gap to Leicester to two points ahead of the surprise leader’s match against Newcastle today. Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura with a fiercely struck shot from the edge of the area scored second-half goals for Watford, which joined Crystal Palace and Everton in an unlikely line-up for the semi-finals at Wembley Stadium. It ended Arsenal’s best chance of silverware this season and was the worst possible start to a make-or-break week for Arsene Wenger’s team, which is likely to be eliminated from the Champions League by Barcelona on Wednesday before a crucial match against Everton next weekend in their fading Premier League title challenge. “Our fantastic run has come to an end on a day where we felt that our performance deserved a win,” Wenger said. United were held 1-1 by West Ham, which went ahead through Dimitri Payet’s sublime 30-metre free kick before Martial equalised in the 83rd at Old Trafford. Payet possibly shouldn’t have been on the field to score, having escaped a second yellow card for diving minutes earlier, while United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger could have been penalised for obstructing West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph for Martial’s goal. It means the Boleyn Ground will host one more FA Cup match before West Ham leaves for the Olympic Stadium next season. Kane moved level with Leicester striker Jamie Vardy as the league’s top scorer with 19 goals after scoring in the 45th and 48th minutes against Villa, which slipped even closer to relegation. Dele Alli, Kane’s England teammate, set up both goals at Villa Park. Given the struggles of Arsenal and Manchester City in third and fourth, it is looking increasingly like a two-team race for the title between Leicester and Spurs a highly unlikely scenario at the start of the season. Arsenal played a full-strength line-up an indication of Wenger’s priorities ahead of the second leg against Barcelona, who are 2-0 ahead. But an attack featuring Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud struggled to cause Watford’s defence many problems before a late flurry of chances, including Danny Welbeck’s 88th-minute goal and Alex Iwobi’s shot against the post. Arsenal have now won just one game in their last seven in a familiar early-spring collapse, with the pressure starting to grow on Wenger. Arsenal had been looking to become the first team in 130 years to win the FA Cup for three straight years. Ighalo opened the scoring in the 50th when he received a flick-on from strike partner Troy Deeney, evaded marker Gabriel and tucked a finish from eight metres into to the bottom corner. Guedioura made it 2-0 by smashing an angled drive into the roof of net, inside David Ospina’s near post, from Ighalo’s lay-off. Watford reached the semi-finals of the world’s oldest knockout competition for the sixth time in their history, in their first season under coach Quique Sanchez Flores. “I have memories on television of the old Wembley and watching in Spain and seeing the finals of this competition,” Flores said. “Now it is a new Wembley, I’ve just arrived in England and to get there is exciting.”
Scottish Championship Hibernian FC holding midfielder, Marvin Bartley, says he can bring stability and balance to the Jamaica national senior men’s team in their pursuit of a spot at the FIFA 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia.”As a holding midfielder, I can bring stability and balance into the centre of the park, allowing more attack-minded midfielders to do their business – although I’m not too shy in getting involved in an attack,” Bartley, who transferred from Leyton Orient FC in England to Hibernian in Scotland last summer, told The Gleaner.”I am also fit and athletic enough to cover a lot of ground in a game, allowing me to provide cover for fullbacks that like to push forward. But, I do believe that talk is cheap, and I’m more than happy for those watching to decide what I bring to the team should I receive a call-up,” he added.”With my current form being good and my fitness level high, I am more than ready to pull on the gold jersey and play for my family’s country,” Bartley assured.Born in Reading, EnglandThe 6″ 3′ (1.9m) player was born in Reading, England, but has Jamaican roots with his mother born in St Ann and father from Manchester.”I have had my Jamaican passport since 2012 and have been available to represent Jamaica ever since. It has long been an ambition of mine to play for the country, ever since I started my career as a footballer. I’ve had conversations on a few occasions since then, but due to me not feeling I was in the best form possible or being injured I’ve yet to represent Jamaica. But this is something I hope will change in the not too distant future as I feel in prime condition and believe I am playing well,” Bartley said confidently.”I’ve followed the national team’s results ever since being a young boy due to my family all being from the country. This interest was obviously taken up a notch or 10 due to the ’98 World Cup team. Even last year I found myself watching how the side got on in the Gold Cup as they reached the final, which was particularly impressive considering they had also competed in the Copa America earlier that summer too,” the 29-year-old reflected.Bartley says he visits Jamaica regularly and was here less than a year ago.”This has only helped to strengthen my desire to compete at international level for the Jamaican national team,” he emphasised.Bartley is yet to score for Hibs in 19 appearances in all competitions this season. He also represented Bumham, Hayes, Didcol Town, Hampton and Richmond Borough, Bournemouth and Burnley.
TEAM EFFORT “It was a very challenging meet, but I think the team performed with courage, and it was a real team effort by the manager, medical staff and athletes, as everyone had to go beyond the call of duty sometimes,” Carr said. “A lot of these athletes com-peted with injuries, and getting 13 medals at these Championships is very good as there were world-class performances, so to do so well at the back-end of our season, it was indeed a fantastic achievement,” added Carr. Late Sunday night, the country picked up three more medals, as both 4×400 metres relay teams finished second behind the United States for silver, while high jumper Clayton Brown picked up bronze in the boys’ high jump final. The female quartet of Candice McLeod, Ashley Williams, Runeisha McGregor, and Dawnalee Loney ran into a powerful United States team and had to settle for second in 3:38.71. The United States posted a world-leading time of 3:31.49. Unlike the Girls’ 4×400 metres where it was smooth sailing for the winners, it was a different story among the boys as Jamaica’s quartet of Ivan Henry, Marvin Williams, Renardo Wilson, and Demar Weller gave their opponents a run for their money. Jamaica had the lead at several stages in the race, even on anchor, but in the end they had to settle for second in 3:08.23, as the Americans won in 3:07.07. Brown continued his dominance over Christoffe Bryan in their high jump rivalry. Brown finished third for the bronze with a clearance of 2.13 metres, the same height Bryan cleared for fourth, as the former Wolmer’s Boys’ jumper failed to replicate the performance of two years ago in Colombia, where he took home silver in the event. The 13 medals garnered by the team was the fourth-best-ever performance at these Championships by a Jamaican team, as the 21 medals garnered in Tampa, Florida, in 1999 – nine gold, seven silver and five bronze – has been the best so far by a Jamaica team. With a little luck, there could have been more medals for the team, as five athletes finished fourth in their events. The successful Jamaican team to the XV111 Junior Pan Am Athletics Championships returned to the island yesterday afternoon, after making up for the disappointment by their younger counterparts at the World Youth Championships a few weeks earlier. The country had something to smile about over the past weekend, as after three days of competition at Foote Field, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Jamaica ended the meet with 13 medals – one gold, four silver and eight bronze. Head coach of the successful team, Michael Carr, who was at the helm when the World Youth team topped the World two years ago on the medal table, was very pleased with the team’s overall performance.
REHABILITATION PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): Embattled off-spinner, Sunil Narine, could be available again soon for West Indies in the longest version of the game, but first wants to continue fine-turning his action. West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, said he had spoken to the 27-year-old during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), who indicated he would make himself available only for the limited overs versions at this stage. Coach Simmons, meanwhile, confirmed that opener Chris Gayle would be available for all formats once he recovered from back surgery. “Speaking with Narine during the Caribbean Premier League, he still wants to be 100 per cent confident about the consistency of his action before returning to Test cricket,” Simmons told the Trinidad Newsday newspaper. CBA PAY STRUCTURE “He noted he is happy with the improvement (in) his action during CPL and is available for West Indies in the limited overs section at present.” Narine has not suited up for the Windies in over a year, with his last appearance coming during Bangladesh’s tour of the Caribbean last year August. His last Test outing was nearly two years ago. His action has since come under heavy scrutiny in the Indian Premier League and he was twice called for a suspect action during the Champions League Twenty20 and subsequently banned from bowling in the final for Kolkata Knight Riders. Narine opted out the West Indies World Cup squad earlier this year to focus on his rehabilitation and was forced to undergo Indian Cricket Board-sanctioned testing on his action before he could turn out for KKR in the 2015 season. West Indies will also have to do without all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and opener Lendl Simmons in the Test format, with the players indicating their unwillingness to return because of the pay structure of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. “I have had good discussions speaking with all the players. Yes, Bravo and Lendl said they don’t want to play Tests for reasons (CBA pay structure) you mentioned, but I’m happy that they were honest about that,” Simmons said. “My position is if you don’t want to play Test cricket for whatever reasons, we won’t select you. But if players openly state they are available for that format, I don’t really want them changing their minds when we select them.” Both Bravo and Lendl Simmons announced their retirement from Tests earlier this year. West Indies travel to Sri Lanka for a Test and one-day series next month.
NO EXCUSE “We will really have no excuse not to have a camp at G.C. Foster this year,” Blake asserted. A three-day camp actually was held to prepare Jamaica’s team to last year’s Pan-American Junior Championships. In former years, however, camps held at G.C. Foster College were staged on weekends during the summer term and on weekdays once the school year was completed. At the previous World Youth Championships, in 2013, Jamaica was outstanding with six gold medals. Some members of that team, including World Youth 110 metres hurdles champion Jaheel Hyde, are eligible for the 2016 World Junior Championships. The host city for the meet is yet to be finalised, but action will begin on July 19. With the World Junior Championships coming in July, athletics chief Warren Blake is promising that junior team training camps will be held this year. Blake, the president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), made the promise as he evaluated Jamaica’s performance at last year’s World Youth Championships. Jamaica won just one medal at the event. Blake said that was cause for concern. That single medal was golden, thanks to a fine performance by Christopher Taylor. While that was excellent, the modest team medal count was the worst by a Jamaican World Youth squad. “That is a bit of a concern for us,” he said candidly, “and this year we will be making sure that we have junior camps.” Such camps were standard fare up to 2004. However, the JAAA president said the unavailability of the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport prevented staging one last year. Now the college has a new track and has seen repairs to important facilities there.
Fifty-five year-old Greta Forbes’ right foot is heavily bandaged and swollen. ST ANDREW SOUTH WESTERN CANDIDATES PNP: Portia Simpson Miller JLP: Victor Hyde The Whitfield Town resident suffered a broken leg on Tuesday night at Portia Simpson Miller Square in St Andrew after gunshots were discharged at a mass People’s National Party (PNP) meeting, causing a stampede. More than two dozen persons received varying degrees of injury, among them Forbes. “I told ‘Sister P’ that whatever happens me still coming fi vote fi her,” Folkes told The Gleaner as she made her way to the polling station at Whitfield Town Primary School, the same place PNP president Portia Simpson Miller voted. Simpson Miller, who has been member of parliament since 1976, is being challenged for the seat by Victor Hyde of the Jamaica Labour Party. “Me naah let her down. She is a strong black woman and we want to give her the support. We nuh waah to gi Labourite nuttin caah dem naah deal aid nuttin,” Forbes said. The PNP supporter, who had to be assisted to the polling station, complained of tremendous pain in her foot. She said that the incident was horrifying. “Dem push me down and dem trample me and I get up running again and the crowd come down and my foot slide in a metal drain,” she said. Forbes said she also suffered the misfortune of having a pot of soup overturn on her. Luckily, the soup was not hot, which meant she escaped serious burns. Forbes expects to celebrate a PNP victory later today. She will return to the Kingston Public Hospital on Tuesday for the doctors to put her leg in plaster.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Mike Hesson will stay on as New Zealand cricket coach through the 2019 ICC World Cup after agreeing terms on a contract extension. New Zealand Cricket said yesterday that batting coach Craig McMillan, team manager Mike Sandle and strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson have also extended their contracts. Under Hesson, New Zealand have risen to the top-ranking in international Twenty20 cricket, No. 2 in one-day internationals and No. 5 in Tests. New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said Hesson’s decision to continue “is very positive in terms of our succession planning, our preparation for the major events and, not least, general team stability.” “It was really important for us to retain the intellectual property and institutional knowledge that these people have developed,” White said.
Western Bureau: When St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) line up for the ISSA-FLOW Ben Francis Knockout final against Lennon High at 2:30 p.m. this afternoon at the Manchester High School ground, it will be the first time these two will meet in a championship decider. STETHS have already won the trophy an unprecedented six times in a row and technical director Wendell Downswell is confident that a seventh title will be achieved this afternoon. CONFIDENT “We know what to expect from Lennon. They are a good bunch, but we are able to counter well against them and should be victorious at the final whistle in this one,” declared Downswell. Lennon’s coach Merron Gordon is equally confident his team will walk away with the trophy at the final whistle today. “We are looking to take home our first piece of silverware. I am sure STETHS will play a hard game as they usually do, but this team appears to be finding form just at the right time and we are looking to end the STETHS’ dominance,” Gordon said. Lennon’s strength is in defence. They were able to apply a vice-like grip on Cornwall College’s ace forward, Jourdaine Fletcher, in the semi-finals, and they will look to employ a similar strategy to contain the likes of Chris-Andrew Dixon, Alex Thomas, and the silky skills of Demar James upfront for STETHS. Lennon’s big central defender and captain Fitzroy Cummings leads a strong rock, solid back line-and they could deny STETHS this afternoon. Much is expected from Cummings today, and he should get good support from Ryan Morrison, Christopher Randall, Odane Grant, and the brilliant goalkeeper Tyrone Mullings. The two teams clashed earlier in the inter-zone round of the daCosta Cup, with STETHS coming from behind to edge a thrilling match 2-1. Their never-say-never attitude once again came to the fore in Monday’s 4-3 sudden death penalty win over Clarendon College in a semi-final thriller. They will no doubt be tested once more. Past winners: 1982 – Vere; 1983 and ’84 – Cornwall; 1985 – Rusea’s; 1986 – Herbert Morrison; 1987 – Rusea’s; 1988 – Herbert Morrison; 1989 and 1990 – Clarendon; 1991 – Cornwall; 1992 – Rusea’s; 1993 and 1994 – Glenmuir; 1995 – Cornwall; 1997 – No competition; 1998 – Clarendon; 1999 – Glenmuir; 2000 and 2001 – Cornwall; 2002 – Old Harbour; 2003 – Cornwall; 2004 and 2005 – Glenmuir; 2006 – Frome; 2007 – Garvey Maceo; 2008 – St James; 2009 -2015 – STETHS.