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.
Jamaica College’s captain, Oquin Robinson, says the more mature team will walk away with the Manning Cup prize, when they square off against Wolmer’s Boys in the final at the National Stadium this evening.In a team of accomplished schoolboy footballers, Robinson was chosen to lead the group and so far he has led with distinction. The team’s only defeat this season came in the Super Cup at the hands of Clarendon College, so he believes his leadership has been vital to the team and that it will be very important when they play the deciding game.”I am really important because we have a lot of leaders in this team, players in the national team, players in the Premier League, players from the daCosta Cup and players who have played in this competition before. So my responsibility has been really great. I have to make sure they are motivated, determined and focused on what is at hand,” he said.The central midfielder believes the more experienced team will take the title and he argued that he and his team fit the bill more than their opponent.”It’s going to be a very important game but as the name states, Manning Cup. So it’s the ‘manliest’ team that will win and we have the maturity and confidence,” he said.- L. S.
ONE of the highlights of tomorrow’s 16th staging of the Reggae Marathon will be the participation of Japan’s Tottori Prefecture Marathon winner Kata Taniguchi.Taniguchi won the event in 2 hours 29.29 seconds, and he will line up at the start of the event at 5:15 a.m. in Long Bay, Negril. The Japanese athlete is here as part of a twinning agreement between the Westmoreland and the Tottori Prefecture.As part of the agreement, this year’s Reggae Marathon winner will run at the Tottori Marathon in March next year.Race director, Alfred “Franno” Francis is expecting a big turnout for tomorrow’s event.”We are expecting a minimum of 2,500 participants from more than 35 countries,” Francis said. There will be a victory beach party and awards ceremony, dubbed “Finish Line Beach Bash” at Long Bay Beach from 7 a.m. to noon. This will feature Digicel Rising Stars and reggae performers Kelissa and Keznamdi.The International Association of Athletics Federations and USA Track and Field have re-certified the three race courses for the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K.”This is a requirement every five years. This also means that the course is a qualifier for the World Championships, the Olympics and the setting of a world record,” Francis said.- Raymond Graham
With horses such as TRADITIONAL STORM (29-1) and CLASSY AVIATOR (7-1) scoring notable upsets in the fifth and ninth races at Caymanas Park last Saturday, the Pick-9 had no takers and the carry-over to tomorrow’s programme stands at $1.7 million. Both Super-6s, however, start anew with the guaranteed minimum of $750,000. The Pick-9 will embrace races three to 11 on tomorrow’s card, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11. We look at the first Super-6, which commences with a restricted allowance race over 1100 metres, to be contested by seven starters, including the very fit BIMINI. Trained by Patrick Smellie for owner-breeder Don Wehby, the five-year-old chestnut mare ran a big race in defeat on New Year’s Day when finishing 11/4 lengths second to DR BANNER over this trip in a fast-run race (1:06.3) and with her main rivals JESSIE’S FAVOURITE, a recent winner, and RAISING THE BAR, both speedy types, not as impressive, the Seeking The Glory offspring looks the right choice with Paul ‘Country’ Francis aboard. She last won over the round five course on July 31 last year, and in light of the recent run, could be used as a banker. Next on the programme is a $350,000 – $300,000 claiming race over the round-five course and on the strength of his recent runaway win over the straight, FRANKENSTORM looks all set to repeat. True, he is steeping up in class for this race, moving from claiming $250,000 to $350,000, but he won by all of 6-1/2 lengths in a fairly good time and over this snappy trip, should provide in-form jockey Jevanne Erwin with another winner in this new season. DIFERENTGENERATION and ARGUMENT DONE are twin dangers in the eight-horse field. Race number three over 1200 metres, this for $250,000- $210,000 claiming horses, looks tailored for the consistent CHEERS, who lost out in a tight photo finish to LEGENDARY PLEASURE recently. Veteran trainer Robert Darby Sr, who claimed him from his previous trainer on December 10, will have another try with the 6-y-o mare and with the trip more to her liking and champion apprentice Bebeto Harvey up. The fourth race for maiden four-year-olds and up over 1300 metres should be won by SMASH AMUSEMENT, who has been knocking at the door. The 4-y-o filly, who will be ridden by Aaron Chatrie for trainer Andrew McDonald, finished 5-3/4 lengths third to hot favourite CORALANDO over the distance on December 31 and even with BUCKALUCK also running creditably for third to KIMALI STAR in division two of the same race, SMASH AMUSEMENT, who finished behind a faster time, is given the edge. FIRST SUPER- FANCIES (1) BIMINI (2) FRANKENSTORM/ DIFERENTGENERATION (3) CHEERS/ ROYAL GIRL (4) SMASH AMUSEMENT/ BUCKALUCK (5) BLUE TRADITION/ EARTH ANGEL (6) DEMOLITION BOY/ GIRSHOM EVERYTHING WRONG Race number five, the Eight Thirty Sprint (Division One) for maiden three-year-old fillies over the straight, will see 11 facing the starters, including five debutants. They include EARTH ANGEL and PAPER CHASER, both of whom have looked well forward at exercise, along with BLUE TRADITION and DELPHINIUM, both having disappointed on their recent debuts. It should prove highly competitive among the quartet, but BLUE TRADITION (Linton Steadman up), a bay filly by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Sense Of Tradition, did everything wrong (sis, ran wide) when finishing fourth as the howling favourite on her recent debut and with the tongue tie now fitted, is ready to rumble. Then, take the consistent DEMOLITION BOY (Harvey up) to lead home PARTY CITY and GIRSHOM in the sixth race over 1500 metres to be contested by 13 starters.
When Mario Forsythe lines up today to run the Olympic Development 400 metres at the second McKenley-Wint Classic at Calabar High School, he will open a new chapter in his sprint career. It will be his first race as a member of the Akan Track Club. Now, the former University of Technology and Racers sprinter is aiming to regain his best form in the 200 metres. A fine session of background training has Forysthe feeling optimistic about the 2017 season, which culminates with the World Championships in London this August. He chuckles with athletic joy when he recalls how well his preparatory work has gone. “Really, really good,” he said, “it’s been going on good.” A knee injury put the brakes on his Olympic campaign last year, but now he sees bright possibilities. “Right now, I’m at a new club, Akan Track Club, with Mr (Michael) Clarke, so I expect to do good this season,” he said brightly while spectating at the JC-Danny Williams Purewater development meet earlier in the month, “because I know I put in the work and we’ll see what happens this season coming.” In 2010, he broke the 10 seconds barrier twice in one day in Rieti, Italy, with times of 9.95 and 9.99 seconds. He was solid in 2011 and placed second in the 200m at the National Senior Championships and went all the way to the semi-finals at the World Championships. “That was my biggest moment in track and field,” he recalls. Forsythe, a 2002 Boys and Girls’ Championships Class Two 200m bronze medal winner for Muschett High School, has always been a safe pair of hands on the 4x100m relay. He was on the third leg when the Racers set a club ‘world record’ of 37.46 seconds in 2009 and started a Jamaican all-comers record of 37.82 in Kingston on April 14, 2012. He is now more focused on the curved sprint. He hasn’t given up the 100m but said, “I’m trying to make the team for the 200m. “That’s what I’m aiming for,” he explained. “From I put in the work and go out there and do what I’m supposed to do – at least 20.1, 20.0 at the National Stadium,” he estimated. His personal best is 20.27 seconds. Now 31, Forsythe has been coached by experts Stephen Francis and Glen Mills in the past but refrained from making any comparisons. Instead, he paid high compliments to Clarke. “You can talk to him about anything, reasonable coach although you train really hard,” he said with a playful and pained grin. Acknowledging his age, he revealed, “I have to put in the work more extra because I’m getting older so I have to put in the work, but I like Mr Clarke, I like his programme very much.” The rugged World Championships semi-finalist is looking for a breakthrough season. “I’m putting in the work,” he reasoned, “so I hope I get a good season.”