Laurie Foster | Time for the JAAA to take some action

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Ricardo Makyn
Blake

Team Jamaica ended the 2019 IAAF World Relay at the Yokohama International Stadium in Japan in a creditable No. 2 position with a 27 point tally equal to that garnered by the host nation. However, it was by some distance short of the usual table toppers, USA, who doubled the count of the aforementioned by accumulating 54 points.

Jamaica took home three medals comprising silver in the men’s 4x400m, silver in the women’s 4x100m and bronze in the women’s 4x200m. The team benefited from disqualifications to their USA rivals and were moved up one place from that in which they crossed the line in the first and last named event. A probable medal went a begging when Jamaica along with eventual gold medallist, USA, was an automatic qualifier from the heats of the Mixed Shuttle Relay on Day One, only to have Andrew Riley and substitute, Norman Pittersgill, downed by injury and unable to report for the final.

The moment the travelling squad was named, persons aligned to the sport, were disappointed with the team selected, some seemingly outraged. There was the usual talk about one local training camp or another being favoured in the selection of athletes. The popular term that “fren an fren” featured in the process was rife. Then, 2011 World Championships 100m champion, Yohan Blake, withdrew from the delegation, with his agent, Cubie Seegobin, expressing dissatisfaction with his charge “travelling so far to run one event.”

These unwholesome sounds escalated after some shocking displays of faulty baton changing during the women’s 4x200m relay. With a crack squad of world and olympic champions and finalists headed by Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, only the lane violation by the USA saved the country some blushes.

Whenever a team is selected without Trials being held, there is always going to be those who do not agree with or heatedly dispute a particular set of athletes who are named. There is nothing unusual about that and should not be deemed to be an act of prejudice or bias. Whoever departs for competition should receive the full support of our people, as the athletes chosen will be representing the black, gold and green of the country.

BLAKE’S WITHDRAWL

Regarding the Yohan Blake withdrawal and the reason put forward, it should not take a long debate to decide on what should be the outcome. Once he is not hurt, the athlete should be ordered quietly and without fanfare or public announcement to either board the plane or face a sanction. Our athletes, no matter how good they are or what they have achieved, should be reminded that their journey was accompanied by support from elsewhere. Sponsors play a big role in that scenario and they should have the best in quality of participating personnel to invest much needed funds in the event, as other outlets for their spending are available. There is a question to be asked. Why has Blake, who boasts a season best of 9.98 seconds in the 100m or Seegobin, not given in to the incontestable fact that the athletes in his event were forced to compete without their leader and the disadvantage to which they would be put? The pair in question seemed to have forgotten that this was a relay event and there was a dependence on each other to perform for the team. The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is urged to consider this, if or when such a situation resurfaces. In fact, Foster’s Fairplay is of the view that it would not be out of place for the JAAA to revisit Blake’s failure to “take up the baton” for Yokohama and at least issue a warning against a recurrence.

WOMENS’ RELAY

The matter regarding the women’s 4x200m relay was shameful and cries out for an investigation. From what has come out of the mishaps, there appears to have been disputes as to who should pass to whom. They seemed to have been centred around disagreements between two or more parties. Wherever lies the truth, what was seen on television is not acceptable given the talk as to what was the background to the two foul-ups.

Unfortunately, the JAAA has no tradition of probing into these situations, even when they are pointed out publicly by senior members of the team administrative staff. With that in mind, one should not expect any change in that stance.

Will the JAAA surprise us this time? Maybe, just maybe, the feeling within the administration, is that the adoring public does not have a right to know.

For feedback e-mail: [email protected]

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/laurie-foster-time-jaaa-take-some-action

Rusea’s football programme receives major boost

Kavarly Arnold
From left: Ms Pam Tulloch-McGlashan, Janet Madden, Shaka Hilsop, Emerson Henry, Technical Director of Rusea’s daCosta Cup team; Rev Glen Clarke, board chairman of Rusea’s High School; Isiaa Madden and Dr Wayne Frederick share a moment during the presentation of footballs from Dr Frederick and Hislop to Rusea’s High School at the Hilton Hotel recently.

Rusea’s High School’s football programme received a big boost ahead of the 2019 daCosta Cup season, after the president of Howard University, Dr Wayne A. I. Frederick and sports commentator of ESPN, Shaka Hislop through his foundation, Second Half Foundation, presented them with footballs at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay on Wednesday.

Hislop the former West Ham and Trinidad Tobago goalkeeper said that despite Rusea’s success at the schoolboy level in Jamaica, this initiative means more than winning daCosta Cup titles. He outlined that his foundation is really passionate about the initiative and believes it will go a far way to impacting other aspects of the young players’ lives more than football.

“I’ll be honest with you, our focus in doing this and being involved with and being involved with communities as we are now is less about winning titles. It’s more about giving kids opportunities to play the game, develop their own skills and maybe recognise some of their own dreams. Now if that translates to more daCosta Cup titles for any school or team we are involved with, then that’s icing on the cake, but right now it’s about fitting them out with needed tools of the game,” Hislop said.

FOOTBALL’S IMPACT

“The game has given me a lot over the years in a number of different capacities not just the ability to recognise my boyhood dreams of playing professionally or even more so represent Trinidad and Tobago at the World Cup level. It has provided me with some needed social skills and equipped me with some of my strongest friendships over the years. That’s just some of the things we believe this sport can give, which is why we are only too happy to help how and where we can,” Hislop added.

Frederick, who has been involved with numerous community service projects in Jamaica over the years, is excited about the partnership with Second Half Foundation and is looking forward to helping more schools and communities in the Caribbean.

The Trinidadian told The Gleaner that this initiative came into being through Isiaa and her mother Janet Madden, retired senator and director of Madden funeral home who does a lot of community service in Jamaica.

“Isiaa Madden and her mom do a lot of community service here and they have in the past tried to plug me into a lot of there projects, whether it’s with the cancer wing at the Cornwall Regional Hospital or different high schools. So they reached out to me about trying to get us to support one of the high schools with some equipment, ball and gear. Shaka has a foundation that he has started where he is trying to get gear and stuff to schools and teams in the Caribbean. I told her this time we would bring some balls down and then, later on, will bring some other forms of equipment,” Frederick said.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/ruseas-football-programme-receives-major-boost

UEFA investigators send Manchester City case to judges

AP
Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany (left) lifts the English Premier League trophy after the English Premier League match between Brighton and Manchester City at the AMEX Stadium in Brighton, England, on Sunday, May 12. Manchester City defeated Brighton 4-1 to win the championship.

GENEVA (AP):

Manchester City’s possible one-year ban from the Champions League is in the hands of a panel of independent judges.

UEFA said yesterday its club finance investigators have sent the file on the Premier League champions to the judges, but the governing body did not publish the recommended punishment or a timetable for the verdict.

City are suspected of breaking rules that monitor commercial income and spending on player transfers and wages. The most serious sanction, the ban from the Champions League, could apply next season.

The chief investigator in the case was Yves Leterme, a former prime minister of Belgium. The chief judge, José Narciso da Cunha Rodrigues of Portugal, also sits at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

City hit back yesterday at what it called “a wholly unsatisfactory, curtailed, and hostile process” overseen by UEFA.

“The accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false and the … referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City,” the club said.

UEFA’s club finance panel opened a formal case against City in March “for potential breaches of financial fair play regulations that were made public in various media outlets”.

Internal documents about City’s business and emails between club executives have been published in the Football Leaks series led by German magazine Der Spiegel. The revelations implied City officials deceived UEFA for several years, including by disguising that revenue from potentially overvalued commercial deals came from the club’s owners in Abu Dhabi.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/uefa-investigators-send-manchester-city-case-judges

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Nurse targets consistency ahead of World Cup

Randy Brooks
Nurse

DUBLIN, Ireland (CMC):

Off-spinner Ashley Nurse says he will be looking to improve his consistency so he can play the role expected of him in the ICC World Cup, which bowls off in England at month end.

The 30-year-old is the Caribbean side’s frontline spinner and will be carrying the burden of the slow-bowling responsibility in an attack replete with fast bowlers.

During the ongoing Tri-Nation Series here, he picked up three wickets against Bangladesh last Monday in a losing cause but believes he is finally beginning to find his rhythm.

“I’ve been bowling well in patches. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be but at the end of the day, getting wickets is the ultimate goal for a bowler,” he said.

“I got a four-wicket haul against Ireland in the first game and didn’t bowl that well but at the end of the day, you will take wickets [anytime].

“The other two games were a bit tough in terms of feeling the ball in your hands and stuff like that.”

Nurse grabbed four for 51 in the Windies’ opener when they crushed Ireland by 196 runs but then went wicket-less in the next two games.

He said a major hurdle remained the nature of the surfaces but assured he was up for the challenge.

“There haven’t generally been spinning decks and the wickets here haven’t been good for spinners,” he pointed out.

“I’ve been given a role in the team to be a bit tight and I haven’t been doing that role so it was nice [in the second game against Bangladesh] to come and do exactly what the team requires of me.”

BUILDING PRESSURE

He added: “The captain gave me the ball a bit early in the power-play, so it’s all about restricting the runs and building some pressure and obviously get some wickets. It worked out for us in that I got a couple wickets in one over, but to get the 10 wickets was the ultimate goal and we didn’t manage to do that.”

West Indies will face Bangladesh in the Tri-Nation Series final today in their final ODI before the side travels to Southampton the following day to begin a one-week camp at the Rose Bowl.

The Windies face Pakistan in their first match of the World Cup on May 31 at Trent Bridge.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/nurse-targets-consistency-ahead-world-cup

Special 3K for fathers, children at Everyone’s a Winner 5K

Contributed
Deniese Badroe (right), director, Business Development Division, Jamaica Association for the Deaf, pins a blue ribbon on the tie of Dr Christopher Tufton (second left), minister of health and wellness, while Lorraine Kemble (left), brand manager, The Best Dressed Chicken, and Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director, Running Events Jamaica, look on. They were at the media launch of the Everyone’s a Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken race event on May 14, held at the Tree House, Hope Gardens.

This year’s Everyone’s A Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken race day is set for Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16, beginning 6 a.m. at Hope Gardens. A 3K run has been introduced to encourage fathers to run with their children. That race is in addition to the established 5K Run, 5K Walk, 5K Stroller and 10K Run.

The event is part of the Jamaica Moves Corporate Challenge, an initiative of the Ministry of Health & Wellness, which will see corporate teams competing in the races. The Jamaica Moves programme encourages organisations to become ambassadors, by promoting healthy lifestyle habits amongst their employees.

Another new feature for the 2019 Everyone’s a Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken race day will be the Jamaica Mountain Peak’s Rise Up and Run initiative, where participants will be encouraged to sample the brew and collect stamps, which will entitle each runner or walker to receive gift bags once they have completed a number of races, and presented proof of purchase of a Jamaica Mountain Peak coffee product.

Additionally, the Best Dressed Chicken will be hosting a Kiddies’ Village, featuring face painting, among other treats, as well as a mini concert with performers Rondel Positive and Pastor Stephen Blake among others, together with a Father’s Day brunch.

“This race day brings together the entire family for fun and competitive camaraderie,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, race director, Runnings Events Jamaica Limited.

“The Best Dressed Chicken is very excited about this year’s staging, as the additional elements will ensure even more fun for every member of the family,” said Lorraine Kemble, brand manager, The Best Dressed Chicken.

THIS YEAR’S BENEFICIARIES

This year, both the Diabetes Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Association for the Deaf will benefit from the proceeds.

In fact, Running Events Jamaica will give participants an opportunity to purchase a ‘Blue Ribbon’ at a cost of $300 each, with all proceeds going to assist with the education of students of the Jamaica Association for the Deaf. About 70 per cent of the deaf students live in families that fall at, or below, Jamaica’s poverty line.

The Everyone’s A Winner/The Best Dressed Chicken race is considered a premium boutique experience, which offers post-race favourites such as tastings and refreshments, massages, a misting station and health checks, along with an awards presentation and live entertainment.

The first 2,000 finishers across all events will receive a commemorative medal, while the Roy Thomas Trophy, named after the veteran road runner, will once again be presented to the 10K run team champions.

Registration is now open to all individuals and teams (corporate, clubs, church groups and family teams) and can be done online at https://www.runningeventsja.com or in person at Running Events Jamaica, 87-88 Tower Street, Kingston.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/special-3k-fathers-children-everyones-winner-5k

Departing Griezmann, Godín to test Simeone

AP
In this April 2019 file photo, Atlético forward Antoine Griezmann (centre) vies for the ball with Barcelona midfielder Arthur (left) and Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet during a Spanish La Liga match in Barcelona, Spain.

MADRID (AP):

More than ever, Diego Simeone will be put to the test as Atlético Madrid coach.

Simeone will begin next season facing the difficult challenge of keeping Atlético competitive after the departure of their biggest star, Antoine Griezmann, and other players who have been key to the team’s success in recent years.

He will also be without captain Diego Godín and defender Lucas Hernandez and most likely will have to deal with the absence of players such as Juanfran Torres and Filipe Luís, who could be announcing their departures in the coming weeks.

Simeone will suddenly find himself having to put together a team without his core players, making his upcoming offseason work crucial to keeping Atlético in contention for the top titles in European football.

The hardest player to replace will be, by far, Griezmann, the forward who last year won the World Cup with France and finished third in the Ballon d’Or vote for world’s best player.

Simeone has constantly talked about Griezmann’s importance for Atlético, saying he is the player who sets the tone for the team in attack. He is among the few indisputable starters, having scored more than 130 goals in five seasons at the club.

Simeone appeared to be caught by surprise by Griezmann’s decision, saying a few days ago he didn’t fear losing the player in the upcoming transfer window.

“Simeone is disappointed, like everybody else,” Atlético president Enrique Cerezo told Radio Marca. “But (Griezmann) had made up his mind, and there was no way to convince him otherwise.”

Griezmann had a contract with Atlético until 2023 with a reported buyout clause of €200 million ($224 million), but the clause will be automatically reduced to about €120 million ($134 million) this offseason. Griezmann did not say where he will be next season, but Atlético rivals Barcelona were reportedly among the front-runners to sign the Frenchman.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/departing-griezmann-godin-test-simeone

WADA building Russia cases – Hopes to finish before 2020

AP
In this March 18, 2019 file photo, Poland’s Sports Minister Witold Banka, who is expected to be the next president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, speaks during an interview in Warsaw, Poland.

MONTREAL (AP):

Doping officials are using recently gained data from Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory to build “strong” cases against Russian athletes and expect analysis of the information to be completed by the end of the year.

Gunter Younger, the director of investigations for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), told the organisation’s foundation board yesterday that his office has “started preparing a number of strong cases” to be passed on to international sports federations, which will decide whether to seek sanctions.

WADA gained access to the Moscow lab in January after cutting a deal with the Russians to reinstate their banned anti-doping agency in exchange for the data. Last month, WADA also received urine samples that matched up with data on the cases it could pursue.

The cases stem from an investigation that found a widespread state-sponsored conspiracy designed to help Russia win medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and other major competitions.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/wada-building-russia-cases-hopes-finish-2020

Andy Murray receives knighthood from Prince Charles

AP
Britain’s Andy Murray receives his knighthood from Prince Charles during an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, yesterday.

LONDON (AP):

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray received his knighthood from Prince Charles yesterday, more than two years after he was awarded the honour by Queen Elizabeth II.

Murray was dubbed by the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his services to tennis and charity.

The knighthood was announced in the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honors list after a year in which he won a second Wimbledon title, retained his Olympic singles crown, and finished the season as No. 1 in the rankings.

Recipients are allowed to choose when to collect their honour, and the delay was due to a combination of Murray’s hectic schedule and the effect of the knighthood ceremony on his career-threatening hip problem.

Murray announced during a tearful news conference at the Australian Open in January that he plans to retire after Wimbledon this year due to the pain in the joint.

Murray, who turned 32 on Wednesday, has since had a hip-resurfacing operation, and it’s still unclear whether he can play at this year’s Wimbledon.

After yesterday’s ceremony, Murray issued a statement saying: “I’m very proud to receive it. It’s a nice day to spend with my family – my wife and parents are here. I’d have liked to [have brought] my kids, but I think they’re a bit young. I’ll show them the medal when I get home.”

Murray and his wife, Kim, are parents of three-year-old Sophia Olivia and 18-month-old Edie.

The Scot won his first Wimbledon title in 2013, ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a male singles champion at the grass-court Grand Slam.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/andy-murray-receives-knighthood-prince-charles

Coley, Richardson among Scorpions applicants

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Ian Allen
Coley
Ian Allen
Several Jamaica Scorpions players celebrate the fall of a Windward Islands Volcanoes wicket on the second day of the Regional Four Day Championships match between the Scorpions and the Volcanoes at Sabina Park on Saturday, January 5.
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The Gleaner has been reliable informed that Andre Coley and Andrew Richardson are among three ­individuals, who have applied for the head coaching position for Cricket West Indies professional franchise, the Jamaica Scorpions.

It is understood that former Jamaican fast bowler Richardson, who is the current manager of the Jamaica Tallawahs Caribbean Premier League team, along with fellow one-time Jamaican ­cricketers Coley and Brenton Parchment, have all submitted applications to the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) for the job.

When contacted yesterday, Richardson, the coach at local standouts Melbourne, the reigning all-island champions in both the two-day and 50-over formats, told The Gleaner that he will not be commenting on the matter.

Coley, a former Jamaican wicketkeeper, is the current head coach of the Windward Islands Volcanoes and boasts a wealth of experience.

He served as assistant coach with the West Indies men’s squad from January 2014 to July 2017, before taking up the Windward Islands job, and was also a part of the first management team at the High Performance Centre Programme. He has also served the Windies Women’s team as assistant coach and team director.

He was also the head coach of the West Indies Under 19 team that competed at the 2010 ICC Youth World Cup and coached Jamaica’s Under-15 and Under-19 teams from 2006-2009.

Meanwhile, Parchment is a former Jamaica and West Indies middle-order batsman.

The post became vacant after Robert Haynes, who was appointed interim coach last December, left the position last month to take up a new role as chairman of Cricket West Indies’ selection panel.

Courtney Francis, chief executive officer of the JCA, confirmed that three persons had applied for the job, while noting that these individuals will be interviewed by the franchise board sometime next week.

“We have received three applications, and the franchise boards meet next week Tuesday, and so when the franchise boards meet, then they will make a determination as to how the process will be and how the time frame will go,” said Francis.

“This includes the interviews and the selection and so, therefore, they will be able to announce the coach soon thereafter, and so by early June, we should have a head coach in place,” Francis said.

The Jamaica Scorpions are coming off an extremely disappointing season in this year’s regional four-day competition, finishing fifth in the six-team competition with a mere three wins and seven defeats.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190517/coley-richardson-among-scorpions-applicants

JCA T20 bashment cricket returns

Lionel Rookwood
Javelle Glenn (right), captain of Melbourne CC, demonstrates the proper way to hold a cricket bat to Billy Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, during the launch of the Jamaica Cricket Association Jam T20 Bashment Cricket Competition at Sabina Park, yesterday.

Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven, president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), said that this year’s renewal of the JAM Twenty20 Bashment competition, will provide a lot of excitement for spectators.

The competition, which was last held in 2014, will see 23 teams competing in the championships, which will be held over five weeks. The tournament, which begins this weekend, will run alongside the Wray & Nephew/Social Development Commission (SDC) National Community T20 competition, which began a few weeks ago.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch, which was held at Sabina Park in Kingston, Heaven said that his organisation is upbeat about this year’s staging because a lot of the island’s top young cricketers will be on show in the competition.

BRINGING IT BACK

“This is big (one) for the JCA because it was missing for the last five years and we are bringing it back and so that is a plus for us,” said Heaven.

“We intend to work as best as possible with all the stakeholders to see if there is any possibility to strengthening the competition as we move along and to see how best we can rationalise T20 cricket in Jamaica,” Heaven said.

“The board took the decision to add this format not only to add another dimension, but to expose more players because when you look across the landscape, this format of the game will provide more opportunities for more players,” Heaven stated.

The JCA boss added that his organisation will be covering all the costs associated with this year’s competition, but he is confident that they will be able to find a major sponsor next year.

“We have some money in our coffers that can allow us to fund this competition but what we want to do this year is to use this year’s competition to sell it to our sponsors,” said Heaven.

“We believe that it is one format of the game that sponsors will become interested in because it is not high cost, but it is high value for money,” he said.

The teams will be divided into four groups with the top team from each group advancing to the semi-finals of the competition.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20190516/jca-t20-bashment-cricket-returns