Alliance-McKay KSAFA Under-20 kicks off

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Gladstone Taylor
Stephenson

The Alliance-McKay Security Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Under-20 competition, which was won by Waterhouse FC last year, is set to get under way tomorrow.

Alliance Finance, which has been supporting KSAFA since 1996, handed over a cheque worth $1 million as title sponsor.

The other title sponsor, McKay Security, contributed $600,000. Western Sports will contribute a set of gear to each participating team for an overall value of $825,000.

Also, former Reggae Boyz striker Khari Stephenson, whose father, Stewart, is the head of KSAFA, has donated three pairs of boots to be presented to the Most Valuable Player, Leading Goalscorer, and Best Defender at the completion of the competition.

RJR Group and KLAS-ESPN Sports Radio will broadcast the games from the quarter-final stage.

Stewart Stephenson said he is grateful to the sponsors for their support.

“This cannot cover the cost of what the clubs need to prepare for competition, but we have done our best,” Stephenson said.

Both title sponsors say they are committed to the development of the sport.

“Due to the success last year, we are pleased to continue sponsorship of the Under-20 competition in KSAFA,” Arnie Francis, Alliance Finance’s general manager, disclosed.

“This competition provides an avenue for the players in their development. We are very passionate about what we do. This is a very good competition,” Francis added.

Rodney McPherson, McKay Security’s special projects manager, said: “It is good to be associated with this competition for another year. Our contribution is also part of our outreach programme.”

KSAFA Competitions Chairman Marc Williams said the competition – whose first-round fixtures were not confirmed at the press conference – serves as a critical part in the development of players.

“To have registered 31 of 33 clubs from KSAFA is a testimony of its importance,” Williams shared.

The teams will play in four zones based on their geography. At the completion of the group stage, the top two teams from each zone will advance to the knockout stage.

The champion team will receive $50,000 and the trophy; the beaten finalist is guaranteed $40,000, while the third- and fourth-place teams will earn $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160217/sponsors-endorse-affiliation-alliancemckay-ksafa-under-20

Blake opens season

Ricardo Makyn
Former world 100m champion Yohan Blake opens his season with a 400m run at the Camperdown Classics at the National Stadium on Saturday. Blake finished seventh in 48.14 seconds.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/blake-opens-season

Chris Gayle blasts quickfire half century in PSL

Jamaica and West Indian opener Chris Gayle has registered yet another explosive half century in his favourite format of cricket T20’s. Gayle blasted 60 from 34 balls (3 fours, 6 sixes) to guide his team Lahore Qalandars batting first to a total of 201-2. Azhar Ali and Umar Akmal waded in with half centuries also but it was not enough to prevent a loss to the Quetta Gladiators.

Dwayne Bravo scored 20 from 17 balls (3 fours) before returning to claim 3-30 from his 4 overs.

Scores:

Quetta Gladiators 203 for 8 (Bismillah 55, K. Sangakkara 37, M. Nabi 30) 

Lahore Qalandars 201 for 2 (A. Azhar 61, C. Gayle 60, U. Akmal 55)

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Elliott, Smith top national champs

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FIDE Master Warren Elliott contemplates his next move at the Digicel Absolute 2016 National Chess Championships.

FIDE Master (FM) Warren Elliott recovered from a poor start to win back-to-back titles and claim a historic eighth hold on the Digicel Absolute National Chess Championships.

Elliott, who needed at least a draw against National Master Peter Myers to retain the most prestigious local championships title, he stayed on course to win in 27 moves and topped the 11th and final round a point ahead of the field.

Elliott finished on 8.5 points, while second position went to fellow FIDE Master Damion Davy, who ended on 7.5 points. Third was National Master Andrew Mellace with seven points, while the fourth and fifth positions were secured by Candidate Master (CM) Brandon Wilson and CM Malaku Lorne, both with 6.5 points.

Rounding off the championships was Shreyas Smith (5.5), Kevin Merritt (five), Deborah Richards-Porter (4.5), Paul Brooks (four), Peter Myers (four), Daren Wisdom (four) and Ian Wilkinson (2.5).

Meanwhile, WCM Annesha Smith defeated Sheanel Gardner in the final round to finish on 5.5 points and secure her second hold on the Women’s Championship, which was played simultaneously with the men’s championship.

In second position was WCM Melisha Smith on 4.5 points, with third going to Krishna Gray on four points, followed by WCM Ariel Barrett and Sheanel Gardner, respectively.

The championships were sponsored by Digicel, the Jamaica Chess Federation, Chrystar Villas and the Jamaica Olympic Association. It selects the national champion and Jamaica’s representatives at the senior level.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/elliott-smith-top-national-chess-championships

Edwin Allen keen to dominate Central Champs

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File Dyke

THE 2016 track and field season will hit another high gear today as the two-day Digicel Grand Prix Central Championships will take place at G.C. Foster College, starting at 9:30 a.m., with the preliminary round of the girls’ 400 metres, starting with Class Two. Today, there will be 15 field events finals, along with eight on the track.

A prelude to next month’s GraceKennedy ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships, this event will definitely give some clue about who will win the girls’ section as the top five teams at the national championships last year, headed by defending champions Edwin Allen High, will be on show with Hydel High, St Jago High, Holmwood Technical, and Vere Technical being the leading teams, along with the much-improved Manchester High and its new coaching staff, led by technical director Jerry Holness and Dwayne Jarrett.

CONFIDENCE

A year ago when the meet was held at Kirkvine Sports Club due to the unavailability of G.C. Foster College Edwin Allen won the championships quite easily and went on to win the national title, also quite easily.

Head coach Michael Dyke is very confident of dominating once again and is taking this meet seriously as there is also a cash prize of $250,000 from Digicel for the overall winning team. Additionally, the top two finishers in the individual Grand Prix events in the Under-18 and Under-20 categories will advance to Saturday’s Grand final, the G.C. Foster Classics at the same venue, where the top male and female schools will each get $1 million in gym equipment.

There is also a Grace Most Improved School Award for each of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship meets, which sees the respective male and female high-school winners each receiving $125,000.

“We want to continue our winning ways this season and we are hoping to be well represented in all events as we want to keep this momentum going into Champs, and we will not be dropping our guard,” said Dyke.

St Jago High were absent last year and after a dominant performance at the Camperdown Classics at the National Stadium last Saturday – where Edwin Allen, Hydel and Holmwood were absent – they will want to prove that their performances were no fluke.

Last year, they were touted to unseat Edwin Allen at Champs, but placed third behind an improved Hydel and will want to prove that they have the ammunition to go all the way this time.

Since their introduction to these Championships, St Jago’s boys have dominated and the Danny Hawthorne-coached team, who were absent last year, are favourites for a massive win.

Defending champions Manchester High will have their hands full in containing the former champions.

It has been an excellent season so far for St Jago boys, especially in the middle-distance events where they are led by the outstanding Lerone Clarke, Keenon Lawrence and Joel Jean Pierre.

 

Field Events Finals

 

– 9:30 a.m.: Triple Jump Class 11 Boys

Discus – Class 1 Girls

– 10:30 a.m.: Long jump – Class 3 Girls

Discus – Class 1 Boys

– 11 a.m.: High jump- Class 2 Boys

– 11:30 a.m.: Long jump – Class 3 Boys

Shot Put – Class 2 Boys

– 2 p.m.: Triple jump – Open Girls

High jump – Class 1 Boys

Shot put – Class 2 Boys

– 3:15 p.m.: Long Jump – Class 4 Girls

High jump – Class 2 Girls

– 4:30 p.m.: Long jump – Class 1 Boys

Discus – Class 2 Girls

 

Track Finals

 

– 3:10 p.m.: 400m Hurdles Girls – Timed Finals

– 3:25 p.m.: 400m Hurdles Boys – Timed Finals

– 3:40 p.m.: 1500m Girls- Timed Finals – Class 3, 2,

– 4:10 p.m.: 1500m Boys – Timed Finals – Class 3,2,1

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160215/edwin-allen-keen-dominate-central-champs

Laurie Foster: Maintain the spirit

Contributed
Students chase their Champs dreams at The McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic held at Calabar High School on Saturday, January 23.

The pleasant aroma of a Jamaican high school boasting its own synthetic track still hovers.

Three weeks ago, the Calabar High School family was so blessed, kicking off by hosting a track and field meet in honour of two of its most illustrious sons, Herb McKenley and Arthur Wint. The atmosphere was electric, so many students of the sport voicing views as to how the wider arena of the sport could benefit.

To say that the future is pregnant with possibilities would be a most appropriate conclusion. For the homesters, the reality of this new day and how the facility upgrade can positively affect the fortunes of the school, must have been up for active consideration.

With four straight (titles) already secured, it could sound the trumpet on the start of a dynasty of Champs successes, only achieved by the Kingston College (KC) 1962-1975 reign.

The execution and maintenance of Champs glory comes with inbuilt, stiff challenges. The long standing major contenders, the two mentioned and Jamaica College (JC), must optimise their chances by having access to top class facilities for preparation.

Before the Red Hills Road ‘newbie’ surfaced, all three had to access the only city convenience, the National Stadium East, when it was time to sharpen up. This would have added great expense. The fact that Calabar now stands richly endowed in this area must give them not only incentive, but advantage.

Foster’s Fairplay suspects that they are eyeing an unbroken run similar to the Fortis crew. Already, there is in-camp talk of ‘having it locked’ until 2021. Five more would ensure them the honour. It would be a proud bunch, as was that cohort of not-often seen ‘Bar Lifers’, who flocked to the new track on Saturday, January 23.

However, all these C’bar black and green dreams could be thwarted by their closest and ever-persistent rivals from Old Hope Road and North Street.

Those responsible for fundraising at these two heavyweights, must now be knocking heads and pockets to unearth that J$50 million to follow suit. Occupying their minds, must be thoughts that “this Calabar take-off is to be commended, but a strident response is essential”.

CROSS PARTICIPATION

Having said all that, Foster’s Fairplay has been made aware of an ill wind that is blowing over cross participation of athletes in this or that meet. It is a pleasing tribute to the advances in the sport that the calendar offers multiple options on any given weekend. Choices must be made by team management as to where the athletes should go to seek the competition that is required.

Achieving the qualifying marks for Champs is also a major factor. If it means a squad split, taking in different locations, so be it, as long as selected requirements are met.

Unfortunately, there are instances when these decisions are known to be made for questionable reasons. This columnist has heard, coming from at least two camps, sounds that are unwholesome to the ear. To cite, “Oh, so I support you and you do not support me, so I will no longer give you my support”.

This is not what the country or its most globally prominent sport should be trying to build or maintain, and which it inevitably will be called on to repair. No one benefits from this malice aforethought.

This columnist will leave it at that for now. There is no desire to destroy reputations for fair play that could be long and burdensome in rebuilding.

The baton of abatement must now be passed to the custodians of high school sports. These are the principals. Working as the oversight group, they are known to be strident in the execution of their duties in several other areas. Rightly so, but these include pockets that are doing well, and in the view of Foster’s Fairplay need no meddling. This columnist sees the cauterising of confrontational thoughts, as mentioned, as matters for urgent attention.

As the process streams towards the gala event – Champs – let there be a resolve to participate in the meets which best suit the particular programme. It should never be out of spite or a payback for a perceived wrong.

High School sport is so sweet. Do not try to spoil it.

– For feedback email [email protected]

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/fosters-fairplay-maintain-spirit

Paul Wright: Super sporting spectacle

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Arsenal’s Theo Walcott (left) runs while celebrating after scoring his side’s first goal during the English Premier League football match against Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. Arsenal won 2-1.
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AP South Africa’s captain AB de Villiers raises his bat after he makes a century during their fifth ODI against England in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday.
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Last weekend provided a smorgasbord of sports that was just enough to make it the fantastic one the romantics promised.

As I settled in front of the television, the English Premier League (EPL) set the tone on Saturday morning, with six games before noon and one game after. The 1-2 loss by Manchester United to Sunderland ensured that their manager/coach Louis van Gaal will definitely be looking for new employment later on this year.

The afternoon game had a resurgent Chelsea Football Club, under the leadership of ‘super sub’ manager/coach Gus Hiddink, demolishing hapless Newcastle, whose players must now be looking at the possibility of life in the second tier of English football.

Then, Saturday night served up two fantastic cricket matches, both one-day internationals (ODI). First, was the final of the ICC Under-19 World Cup, with the West Indians facing India, who were unbeaten in this tournament and had not lost an ODI since a defeat to England in the quarter-finals of the 2014 tournament.

The ‘outsiders’ were the youngsters from the West Indies, who lost their three warm-up games against hosts Bangladesh, and who were beaten by England in the first game of the tournament.

Later on that night, England and South Africa met in the final game of a five-match series, with both sides winning two games each, as South Africa rebounded from losses in the first two games.

Then we came to ‘Super Sunday’ in the EPL, with third place Arsenal against leaders Leicester, and second place Tottenham against fourth place Manchester City. The supporters of Arsenal and Tottenham certainly felt the love permeating Valentine Sunday, as victories for both these clubs left them joint second in the League, with Tottenham ahead on goal difference.

However, losing sleep to watch both cricket matches on Saturday night (which takes some doing) was well worth it, as the games were of an exceptionally high standard.

In the England-South Africa game, the South Africans prevailed due in no small way to the batting of captain AB de Villiers and previous captain Hashim Amla.

England lost the series mainly because after going two up, they formed the impression that South Africa were soft and changed their previously successful game plan to one of non-stop aggression. This was brilliantly exploited by the South Africans. The moral there – never count your chickens before they are hatched.

In the Under-19 World Cup finals, the underdogs, the West Indies, triumphed because of (a) talent, (b) character and (c) a determination to relax and enjoy the game.

After winning the toss and sending in the favourites to bat, the fast bowling duo of Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder ensured that India were always going to play catch up. They never batted out the allotted 50 overs and were dismissed for a paltry 145.

The first wicket claimed by the West Indies appeared to be a ‘Mankad’, as I do not recall the wicketkeeper for the West Indies, Tevin Imlach, warning the Indian batsman, Rishabh Pant, that he had wandered out of his crease before removing the bails.

The decision is recorded as a stumping as Pant was not attempting a run, but had in fact left his crease.

According to the rules of the game he was OUT. Yet, not one murmur from those who condemned Keemo Paul for a similar dismissal in the match against Zimbabwe. I suppose that since it was the first wicket and India were supposed to win, that ‘Mankad’ was OK! Hmmm.

Then in the run chase we saw a lesson in batting concentration from the young West Indian Keacy Carty, whose 152-ball 52 was instrumental in the victory, belying the fact that for the entire tournament, Carty had faced 132 balls and scored 60 runs.

This victory validates my suggestion that the West Indies (senior team) withdraw from Tests and ODIs until this group of young men have two more years of experience playing international cricket.

Then, and only then, should the West Indies return to international Test cricket and ODIs, thus ensuring that we have a legitimate chance of returning to a place in the top echelons of world cricket, instead of the present scenario where we are represented by people who don’t appear to care one iota for the West Indian fan!

Well done young WI!

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/wright-view-super-sporting-spectacle

Coaches disappointed with Central Champs change of schedule

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Ricardo Makyn
Holness
DEVON CHIN
File McCarthy
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Coaches in the central region are expressing disappointment with an event schedule change – prompted by sponsors Digicel – which now has all but two track finals being contested on the second day of competition at the Central Championships.

The two-day meet, which forms part of the Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, gets under way today at the G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport.

Previously, several of the finals, including the 100m and 1500m events, were contested on the opening day of competition. However, chief organiser Chester McCarthy explained that every consideration was given to athlete safety and that there is ample time and facilities to aid in their recovery between events.

“Some coaches may decide to either switch around athletes or pull athletes because of the changes,” McCarthy admitted.

“What we used to do in the past is to have a number of finals done on Day One, but now, you will find that the 100m and 200m, for instance will take place on the same day. The major reason is that they are both (Digicel) Grand Prix events and the sponsors wanted it to be that way, so they wanted all the Grand Prix events to be focused in terms of finals for the last day for media purposes, and so on,” McCarthy explained before pointing to the systems put in place.

“Even though Boys and Girls’ Champs is over five days, you will find that a lot of athletes will compete in three finals on the final day at Champs. Some of these events will be a one run – a straight final. Some coaches are overly concerned, but I don’t think it is as bad as some people make it out to be,” he added.

“Also, remember that the sponsors have put in place things like ice therapy, which will help in the recovery there is an ice bath set up for all athletes. This was never there in the past, so a lot of consideration has been given.”

SHOULD NOT HAVEBEEN ALLOWED

Still, for experienced Manchester High coach Jerry Holness, these changes should never have been allowed.

“What about the athletes who double and possibly compete in relays, are we going to have them do all of those events on one day?

“People cannot allow sponsors to dictate to them,” said Holness. “As organisers, you have to stand up to the sponsors and meet them somewhere along the way. You can’t just because they are going to give you a little money to run the meet you are going to accept anything without thinking about the athletes. I think it’s crazy!

“We will probably end up using someone who won’t go to Champs to run some of the events, too,” said Holness.

Michael Dyke, coach of defending Central and Girls’ champions Edwin Allen High, was also critical.

“At this point, there is nothing that we can do. The coaches will just have to make the adjustment depending on the value they put on the meet,” said Dyke. “It may help to deplete the quality to the extent that you might not see some of the persons you would want to see competing, or they may just end up doing just one event.

“I mean, running a sprint double on the same day, for instance, is not a good idea, and there are three sprints – 100m, 200m, and 400m – plus the relays. Management is going to be very important, so it’s up to the individual coaches and teams to manage their athletes to the best of their ability,” added Dyke.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/coaches-disappointed-central-champs-schedule-changes

Going for gold – Parchment working hard for top spot in Rio

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Parchment

Despite the “unpredictable” and highly technical nature of the 110-metre hurdles, 25-year-old Hansle Parchment believes he has enough experience and confidence to upstage his main rivals and win Jamaica’s’ first-ever gold in this event at this year’s Rio Olympics in Brazil.

“Everyone is potentially a medal winner, it (110m hurdles) is a very unpredictable event and anyone can win,” said Parchment, adding “very, very difficult in my discipline. Sometimes you are very relaxed and that’s when you are running faster, sometimes you tense a bit and that’s when you slow down. So it’s unpredictable.”

He first crafted his hunt for supremacy with gold at the 2011 World University Games.

Parchment is now Jamaica’s most successful hurdler, courtesy of an Olympic bronze medal from the 2012 London Olympics and silver at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, last year.

“You don’t know when you will run fast. You just have to work on your technique and set goals each time, and go with God,” he continued.

With regard to this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he said of his target: “Gold. I am aiming for the highest, once I am healthy.

“I am working really hard and I feel I can be among the top three,” he told The Gleaner.

13-SECOND BARRIER

The former University of the West Indies athlete also holds a place in local history as the first Jamaican to break the magical 13-second barrier.

“I am very positive, I feel good, and remaining healthy is the main aim for this season. Once I can keep healthy, I will perform very well and I am really looking towards the Olympics this year, I think it will be great for a lot of people,” Parchment said, while tipping himself to medal.

Coached by the legendary Fitz Coleman, Parchment has already achieved what former outstanding Jamaican hurdles giants like Keith Gardner and Maurice Wignall before him did not.

He, however, maintains not taking anything for granted.

“I work tirelessly on getting my technique better each year. With this hard work that I am putting in, I want to give some really great performances this year.”

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/parchmnent-working-hard-secure-gold-rio

Malcolm happy with Reggae Boyz call-up

Rudolph Brown
File Malcolm

Arnett Gardens FC’s top marksman, Kemal ‘Tull’ Malcolm, is delighted about his first call-up to the national senior men’s squad, saying that hard work is paying off.

Malcolm is having a very good Red Stripe Premier League season with 12 goals so far, his latest coming in his team’s 6-0 swamping of FC Reno on Sunday evening at the Anthony Spaulding Complex in Trench Town.

“It was a great experience being in the senior team training camp last week. The training was intense, high class,” said Malcolm, who was among 22 local players, after a three-day camp broke last Thursday.

He is fully aware that it won’t be easy to get into the team.

“It will not be easy, but I intend to put in the hard work and see where it takes me,” the 26-year-old speedy striker told The Gleaner.

Malcolm represented the country at the under-20 and under-23 levels. The former Lannaman’s Prep and St George’s College Manning Cup star had refused contracts with clubs in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago in order to help his home club win back-to-back national league titles.

“Things are in the works. I got offers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and T&T but decided to stay at Arnett after having a poor season when Arnett won the title last year,” Malcolm disclosed.

“My main focus is to help the team, and I’m having a good time in front of goal with assistance from my teammates,” the diminutive player added.

TOP-SCORER AMBITIONS

He is also eyeing the top scorer’s award in the RSPL this season. Dino Williams (14 goals) and Cory Burke (12) are both away on overseas deals.

“Of course I want to win that award, so I will continue putting in the work in training and continue scoring goals for Arnett,” he said.

Arnett’s coach, Jerome ‘Jerry’ Waite, had high praises for the player.

“Hard work, consistency, and understanding his role has helped him. After scoring two goals last season and coming off the bench, he has improved, and with the absence of AndrÈ Clennon, was elevated to a starting role,” Waite said.

“He is always creating chances, so any team would want such a player. Sometimes the playing surfaces have not helped.

“Tull is a player who dominated prep school and Manning Cup football by scoring lots of goals. He is now doing better in the Premier League,” observed the veteran schoolboy and club coach.

News Credit: The Jamaica Gleaner | Read here http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/sports/20160216/kemal-malcolm-happy-reggae-boyz-call