Sprintec Track Club scored two big wins during yesterday’s 2016 Gibson McCook Relays at the National Stadium.The club’s female and male teams clocked fast times to capture the men’s and women’s sprint relays for clubs and institutions.The quartet of Gayon Evans, Anastasia Leroy, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby and Sherone Simpson turned back sister team GC Foster College to clock a winning time of 43.61 seconds. G.C. Foster were second in 44.17 and University of Technology, third in 44.35.McLaughlin-Whilby was overjoyed with her team’s run.”We just came out today to give of our best and I am very pleased with how the young ladies ran. I am happy I was able to finish injury free,” said McLaughlin-Whilby.The Sprintec men, who finished a close second to MVP Track Club at the recent Milo Western Relays, avenged that defeat with a quick 38.59 as Racers were second in 39.02 ahead of UTech, 39.55.The winning Sprintec quartet was Jermaine Hamilton, Oshane Bailey, Rasheed Dwyer and Chadic Hinds.PRETTY CONFIDENT”We were not focusing on time coming into the race, but in the end, we were very happy that we ran fast. We have a new set of guys and I am pretty confident that next year we are going to run much faster,” Dwyer said.There were two 4x100m relay wins in the high school section for Edwin Allen High’s girls and Kingston College (KC).Edwin Allen won the Class Three, and Four events. In Class Three they clocked 46.13 to hold off St Catherine High, second in 46.19, and St Jago High, third in 46.34.In Class Four, favourites Edwin Allen remained unbeaten this season winning in 47.58 ahead of Hydel High, 47.70, and Wolmer’s Girls, 49.88.St Jago’s girls ran away with the Class One sprint relay after favourites Holmwood Technical dropped the baton. The Spanish Town-based school won in 45.77. Green Island High clocked 45.81 for second and Camperdown High were third in 45.92.Holmwood made up for their Class One loss by taking Class Two as favourites Edwin Allen had baton problems on the second leg. Holmwood won in 46.02, defeating St Jago (46.07) and Edwin Allen, 47.77.KC won the Class Three sprint relay clocking 43.41 to finish ahead of Wolmer’s Boys, 43.41, and St Jago, 44.09.A brilliant second leg from former Vaz Prep star Terrique Stennett gave KC an easy win in Class Four. They won in 45.17 with Calabar High second in 46.60 and St Jago third in 47.68.Jamaica College captured the Class One boys 4x100m in 40.01. St Jago, 40.44, and Cornwall College, 40.57, were second and third, respectively. In this event, Calabar’s second-leg runner fell after the exchange, while Kingston College’s anchor leg runner pulled up 30 metres from the finish line.Calabar were hit by a hamstring injury to star Class Two sprinter Tyreke Wilson. Wilson almost went down on the lead off leg, but, despite the injury, still managed to hand over the baton to teammate Christopher Taylor on the second leg. They won in 41.21 with Wolmer’s Boys second in 41.98.
Wins in the college men’s discus and the high-school section by Pan-Am Fedrick Dacres of the University of the West Indies and Munro’s Kino Dunkley suggested good things for the future. With the University of Technology (UTech) having an off year, the G.C. Foster College men stepped confidently into the breach with a 4×100 win. Spare a thought for Rayan Holmes of Edwin Allen. Pulled from the start of the Champs 400-metre hurdles final through illness, Holmes redeemed himself with victory in the same event on the last day of the 122-year-old event. The boys’ 4x800m was as enthralling as Holmes’ success was heartwarming. St Jago, winners in the girls’ long jump, through Tissana Hickling, held off STETHS in 7: 33.71 seconds. It was the first win by the school in the 4x800m since 1990. For all of that, and the win by Jamaica’s men in the USA versus the World 4x100m, pride of place goes to JC. Their dominating 4x400m win was a shock. In a meet where most things went with the form book, here was one time where predictions crashed and burned. – HUBERT LAWRENCE has made notes at track side since 1980. OFF YEAR Most things ran according to the script last weekend at the 122nd Penn Relays. Big wins for Edwin Allen High, Kingston College (KC) and St Jago High were predicted by many. There was, however, one event staged inside the chilly Franklin Field venue that proved why we actually run the races. Jamaica College (JC) arrived there as one of the favourites for the Championship boys 4×100 metres, but flubbed the second baton change. Perhaps pressure had been applied by a high-speed second leg by Akeem Bloomfield for KC. The national junior 400-metre record holder helped his school to equal the meet record set by Calabar at 39.63 seconds in bright conditions last year. Hopes for a JC track victory seemed to end there. Calabar and KC held the high cards for the 4x400m, with the impressive TC Williams High School a clear and present danger. Bloomfield was withdrawn due to the threat of injury, and remarkably, a businesslike JC quartet ran the field off its feet in the final. Calabar, the winner at Boys and Girls’ Championships, got an urgent anchor leg out of wonder boy Christopher Taylor. Noah Lyles, runner-up to Taylor at the 2015 World Youth Championships, zoomed his team forward. It was all in vain as Maleik Smith, 200-metre sprinter Michael Campbell, Devaughn Baker and Phillip Lemonios produced a big surprise. Just third at Champs in 3:15.06, the Old Hope Road school blasted that season’s best down to 3:12.34. Though Baker gave them a decisive advantage on the third leg, his team had no baton carries as quick as those by Taylor and Lyles. Smart team running did the trick instead. With the Philly chill slowing sprinters all weekend, the improvement by JC from 3:15.06 at Champs to 3:12.34 at Penns is no mean feat. By contrast, Calabar clocked 3:09.77 seconds at Champs and 3:13.09 on the new track at Franklin Field. The rest of the high-school competition ran to the script, with the JC pair of Clayton Brown and O’Brien Wasome taking the high and triple jumps, respectively, and with Shanice Love of Excelsior High continuing a great season, with a national junior record in the discus.
MIAMI:As other runners wrap up their preparation for the World Championships in Beijing, Nick Symmonds plans to retreat into nature, seeking solitude after being left off the United States squad in a squabble over Nike uniforms the team must wear.Fishing and climbing rocks are a way for the middle-distance runner to clear his mind and deal with the “frustration and letdown that I’m experiencing right now”, he said.Symmonds, a silver medallist at 800 metres at the last World Championships, refused to sign a contract that USA Track and Field (USTATF) requires of all athletes before they’re placed on the team. When the official roster was named on Monday, Symmonds wasn’t on it despite his win at the US championships in June.For Symmonds, the issue is Nike’s standing as USATF’s official uniform sponsor. Anyone going to Beijing later this month on the US team is required to wear Nike gear at team functions. Symmonds is sponsored by a rival shoe company, Brooks, and wanted a clear definition of what a Team USA function was.”I guess a small part of me thought they weren’t stupid enough to leave me off the team,” Symmonds said. “Apparently, they are.”Emotionally and physically, I’m beat up right now.”Except for the exclusion of Symmonds, there were no surprises on the roster released Monday. There are five defending World champions on the US squad, including Ashton Eaton (decathlon), LaShawn Merritt (400 metres), David Oliver (hurdles), Brittney Reese (long jump), and Brianna Rollins (hurdles).Marquee sprinters such as Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay, and Allyson Felix are also on the team.Taking Symmonds’ place in the 800m is Clayton Murphy, who finished fourth at nationals.too much powerThe 31-year-old Symmonds is known for taking stances on social and business issues that surround what he believes is a widely corrupt world of track and field. He said he couldn’t sit idly by on this topic, believing that giving Nike so much power on what athletes can and can’t wear at major events may hinder sponsorship deals down the road.”We have to wear Team USA kit at all official Team USA functions, which is fine. I’m fine with it,” said Symmonds, who plans to eschew training for a bit to fish and rock climb. “The problem is they never define what a Team USA function is. They do that almost on purpose so they can call anything a Team USA function.”USATF makes about $20 million a year in a sponsorship contract with Nike that was recently extended to run through 2040.The federation issued a statement on Monday, saying, “The only restriction USATF places on athletes’ apparel or appearance at any time is when they represent the United States in national team competitions, award ceremonies, official team press conferences, and other official team functions tied to these national team events.”USATF said it invests more than 50 per cent of its revenue directly into athlete support.”We look forward to continuing to expand our programmes for athletes and we hope to see Nick on future national teams,” the statement said.Symmonds was a Nike-sponsored athlete for about seven years before switching to Brooks last year. He did so because “I needed a company that could work with me and match my personality a little bit better”, Symmonds said.He won the 800m at the National Championships in June, finishing in a time of one minute, 44.53 seconds. Symonds decided to skip lucrative competitions in Europe to concentrate on his training in Seattle so he could be in prime shape for Beijing. He felt like he was possibly in even better condition than when he earned silver at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.”We’re not going to get a chance to find out what I can do,” Symmonds said. “That’s a travesty.”Although he has an airline ticket and a visa into China, Symmonds isn’t sure if he will attend as a spectator or watch from home.”I want to apologise to the fans who want to see me run,” Symmonds said. “I just feel that I can’t go out there and put on that Team USA jersey and feel good about it, while all the athletes are being mercilessly bullied and threatened by USATF at the same time.”
Technical Director Jill McIntosh said the Sunshine Girls have no room for error in their remaining Pool E games at the Netball World Cup, warning that their opponents are no pushovers.”We have to win our two games to be in the semi-final. We have to win,” McIntosh pointed out. “If we lose, there is no way we will be in the semi-finals, so to win is our focus.”We have to play our best. We have to go out and play our normal style of netball as we have been doing and just take it one game at a time as we go. Uganda are looking good and Malawi are very good,” observed McIntosh, the former Australia coach.Jamaica lost their opening game 55-48 to New Zealand on Tuesday and played Uganda (earlier this morning) in their second match of the group, knowing they had to win to keep their semi-final chances intact.Malawi, in the meantime, had lost to New Zealand 57-49 yesterday.”Malawi only lost to New Zealand by eight (goals), so they are a very good team,” McIntosh noted. “They are number six in the world, so we have to be very careful when we play them on Friday, that one won’t be easy,” she said.Despite that, McIntosh is confident that the Sunshine Girls will have enough in the tank for the two African nations.”We have our tactics worked out, we played them (Malawi) last year at the Commonwealth Games and we know we can beat them, but in saying that we know that they are very good, they have improved again, they play a very nice style of netball, so we have to go out and play our best game,” she continued.New Zealand leads Pool E with maximum four points from two matches, while Malawi follow with two points from two games. Prior to last night’s fixtures, Uganda had lost both their matches, while Jamaica had lost once and were yet to get off the mark.
Coach of Barbican FC Charles Edwards says his team aims to continue its dominance in the local Women’s Football League. Barbican notched their 11th Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)/Sherwin Williams Women’s League title when they beat Waterhouse 4-2 in the final at Stadium East last Sunday. Tashika Small netted a brace for the champions, scoring in the 13th and 52nd minutes, while Kenesha Reid (11th) and Latoya Duhaney (61st) scored the other goals. Waterhouse’s national Under-20 player, Jessica Johnson, scored in the 68th and 90th minutes. LEAGUE TITLE It was also Barbican’s eighth consecutive league title. The east St Andrew club has won 24 trophies in women’s football and seven Sherwin Williams Colourscape knockout titles, plus six mid-season trophies. That has made them the most successful club in women’s football locally. Barbican had also beaten Waterhouse 4-1 in the KO final a week earlier. “We have not lost a game since 2011, so that is a record we would like to strengthen as long as possible,” Edwards disclosed. “It is a fantastic feat in winning so many titles and the girls want to win to add more, so they are motivated and certainly looking forward to next year,” the long-serving Barbican coach added. Barbican FC will be handed the trophy, medals, and $400,000 at the awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday at the JFF’s offices in New Kingston.
ZURICH (AP):Gianni Infantino is the new president of football’s corruption-scarred world governing body, winning the election after promising national leaders of the sport that he would share the wealth from FIFA’s $5 billion World Cup revenues.Infantino was chosen on the second-ballot yesterday to fill the unexpired term of longtime FIFA leader Sepp Blatter, who was forced out by the pressure of US and Swiss investigations of bribery and corruption that emerged two days before the previous vote in May 2015.The stunning outcome seemed to catch the 45-year-old Infantino off guard. He had to compose himself before starting his acceptance speech and saluted voters by patting his heart with his right hand.”We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA, and everyone in the world will applaud us,” said Infantino, who only became a candidate when a case of financial wrongdoing removed his own boss, Michel Platini, at Europe’s soccer body UEFA.”I am convinced a new era is starting,” said the Swiss-born former lawyer. Blatter headed FIFA for more than 17 years.Infantino pledged to meet quickly with World Cup broadcasters and sponsors, saying they “they need to regain trust and confidence in football and in FIFA”.There were only four candidates on the ballot after Tokyo Sexwale withdrew during his campaign speech to voters. The four were Infantino, UEFA’s general secretary; Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, the Asian confederation president; Prince Ali of Jordan; and Jerome Champagne of France.WORLD LEADERInfantino, who had waged a globe-trotting campaign in the four months leading up to the election, gave an impressive 15-minute speech only 20 minutes before the first-round vote. The Swiss-Italian spoke in several languages without notes and portrayed himself as a leader for the world, not just Europe’s wealthy confederation.His campaign promised to spread the World Cup largesse to more federations, including additional guaranteed funds. He also pledged to expand the World Cup from a 32-team tournament to 40 teams, and give more opportunities to countries to stage the World Cup with multinational regional hosting.”The money of FIFA is your money,” he said, jabbing his left index finger to the 207 members of soccer federations from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe before the election.”It is not the money of the FIFA president. It’s your money,” added Infantino, sounding more like a CEO promising a dividend to shareholders.A rare burst of spontaneous applause followed, signaling a shift in momentum towards Infantino, who since his 30s managed the billion-dollar Champions League revenues for the UEFA.
CHESTER-LE-STREET, England (AP):Alex Hales and Joe Root made half centuries to help England to 310-6 at stumps on the first day of the second test against Sri Lanka yesterday, although the tourists had a late boost with the dismissal of in-form Jonny Bairstow just before stumps.Hales made 83 and Root 80, and their third-wicket partnership of 96 pushed England into a solid position at a cold and cloudy Riverside Ground. However, both missed out on centuries when they appeared set for three figures.Hales was out to a reaction catch at slip by Angelo Mathews off spinner Milinda Siriwardana, dismissed after he had launched a big six down the ground off the slow bowler. Hales is still searching for his first test century.Root, who had played serenely, was surprised by the bounce of a delivery from Nuwan Pradeep (3-69) shortly after tea and was caught in the covers.Bairstow, coming off a century in England’s big win in the first test, contributed a typically attacking 48 from 57 balls with five fours before becoming seamer Pradeep’s third wicket of the opening day. Bairstow was dismissed four overs before stumps when he bottom-edged through to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.Moeen Ali was 28 not out and Chris Woakes undefeated on eight at the close.
PERFECT STYLE SINGAPORE (AP): Having seen his title rival win three straight races in four weeks, Lewis Hamilton could be forgiven for fearing the worst about the destiny of the 2016 Formula One title, but the Briton still believes he can reverse the current championship tide. Hamilton had a frustrating weekend in Singapore and was off the pace of his rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in all three practice sessions, qualifying and the race. That was compounded by a hydraulic failure in practice that cost him a lot of long-run practice. Given that, a third place finish and an eight-point championship deficit to Rosberg represented an acceptable level of damage limitation. “A very trying weekend, these ones come along sometimes and you just have to take it on the chin sometimes,” a philosophical Hamilton said post-race. Hamilton has overcome championship adversity already this year. When Rosberg won the opening four races of the season, the points gap was 43, but seven races later, the Briton had pulled ahead. Now he has to do it again. “It’s not as tough as you think, I don’t know why,” Hamilton said. “We’ve come from 43 points down, so theoretically, eight points isn’t anywhere near as steep as that. “With everything that’s gone on this year, I’m still in the fight, there’s still a long way to go and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.” Hamilton suffered through the first two-thirds of the race with overheating brakes on the punishing stop-start circuit. “I just had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamilton said. “Once I did my (last) stop, all of a sudden my brakes were under control.” Rosberg hung on for the narrowest Formula One victory for six years, celebrating his 200th career start in perfect style as he reclaimed the championship lead. Rosberg held on to beat a fast-finishing Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull by just 0.488 of a second at the Marina Bay street circuit, while Hamilton took third place, narrowly in front of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Rosberg’s third successive win and first in Singapore, took him back to the top of the drivers’ championship, eight points ahead of Hamilton with six races left. Ricciardo, having pitted for fresh tires with 14 laps left, sliced Rosberg’s lead from 25 seconds to under a second, but ultimately fell just short of overtaking the German. It was the closest F1 finish since the 2010 race at this venue when Fernando Alonso edged Sebastian Vettel by three-tenths of a second.
Vote white At the recent International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) special Congress, attended by Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) president Dr Warren Blake and secretary Garth Gayle, president Sebastian Coe asked the invitees to vote on a proposal to reform the IAAF, an organisation that has been under fire recently amid charges of corruption, which included an investigation by the police into activities of its previous president: Lamine Diack. As I understand it, there were three proposals to consider. The first was to make sure that more women were involved in the high echelons of the IAAF. Second, there would be term limits on the president and council members, and third, there will be an integrity unit to handle doping cases of international athletes, which would also see the speeding up of the disciplinary process. One hundred and ninety two delegates voted. This voting process for the very first time was not secret! The process had delegate votes recorded. Those voting to agree to the reform proposals recorded as “green”. Those against the proposal were recorded as “pink” and those with no opinion being recorded as “white”. One hundred and eighty two delegates supported the reform proposals. Ten delegates didn’t. There is information being circulated that Jamaica’s vote was recorded as ‘white’. Could this be true? Why would Jamaica not support these reform proposals? What objection could there possibly be against, more women in positions of authority in the IAAF? What objection could there be to term limits for the president and council members, and what objection could there be to having an integrity unit to handle cases of doping cases of International athletes and to oversee the speeding up of the disciplinary process? I do believe that if the Jamaican delegation did indeed vote ‘white’, then the public of this country deserves an explanation. We are well aware of the extraordinarily long time that it takes disciplinary processes against our international stars who are accused of running afoul of doping regulations to come to a conclusion. This creates unusual and unfortunate pressure on the athlete involved, who if innocent must be very interested in clearing his/her name in the shortest possible time. I am confident that there must be a very good reason why Jamaica’s vote was recorded as ‘white’ and not ‘green’. I am requesting ‘transparency’ as outlined by the IAAF president, who defended the decision to publicise the voting preference of delegates as the new transparency in the running of the organisation. Hopefully similar sentiments exist in the recently re-elected hierarchy of the JAAA. After the defeat of Jamaica by Malawi in a recent International netball, competition and a public spat between the president of netball Jamaica and one of its star players, there has been talk, of the “demise” of local netball since the retirement of long-time president Marva Bernard. This column has also been critical of coaching decisions that seem bereft of ideas when the game plan going into a game does not appear to be working. Well, Jamaica sent a relatively young team to England; (ranked third in the world) to play three Tests. After an opening win of 66-49, our Sunshine Girls succumbed in the second match to lose 63-50. England made the necessary adjustments and won the match decisively. However, in the final and deciding game of the series (attended by over 4000 fans) Jamaica, after leading 29-23 at half time overcame a late rally from England in the third quarter to win the match 64-57. Jamaica’s coaching staff and players made the necessary adjustments to their game to defeat a strong England team. Congratulations are definitely in order. Could this be the “turning of the corner” when Jamaica ceases to be sometimes third most times fourth, or was this just an aberration? Only time will tell. Let us support this new “vibe” in the camp, and urge our Sunshine Girls to “move on up”!
While giving her account of what transpired on the day in question – April 27, 2016, Spencer argued that she was never approached by JADCO testers, who had turned up at her then training base at Stadium East. She insisted that the group, led by Sample Collection and Testing manager Tajae Smith, had all opportunity to notify her of their intention to take a urine sample from her for testing purposes. Spencer further noted that she was later informed by her manager, Marvin Anderson, that the JADCO officials wanted a sample from her, while she was driving home from training, close to two hours after the JADCO team had arrived at Stadium East. The athlete continued by telling the panel that upon hearing from Anderson, she then started to make her way back to Stadium East before receiving another call from Anderson, where she was instructed to meet at the JADCO office in Half-Way Tree instead. There, she met executive director of the anti-doping watchdogs, Carey Brown, along with her then coach Bert Cameron and fellow teammate Riker Hylton, who is also facing similar charges. Close friend and training partner Christine Day was also with her at the time. Robinson, however, sought to establish that Spencer’s witness statement, and particularly her argument that she was never notified by the JADCO officials that she was needed for testing, while at Stadium East, was not truthful, raising and pointing to several conflictions between her original statement and her account before the panel. In her defence, Spencer pointed out that she simply did not remember some of the details of the day given that the incident occurred a year ago. Greene, who also called to the stand Spencer’s friend for over a decade and training partner Christine Day, Jonique Day, as well as the athlete’s former coach Bert Cameron, who JADCO sought to argue had told Spencer that she was to be tested – a point which was denied by the coach, underscored his assessment of the hearing. “All of them (JADCO officials) admitted under oath – Mr Carey Brown, Tajae Smith and Wilmot Rowe – all admitted that she was never notified under the WADA international standards under Article 5. Notification is when the period begins when the athlete is required to remain for testing. They all admitted that she was never notified by anyone from JADCO and that was clear in their testimony,” Greene said. “We are hopeful; you always have to be hopeful. Certainly, the panel is a world-class panel, and we are happy with the way things went, and we appreciate the opportunity to be heard so quickly. The hearing is over and will be done on a timetable that will allow Ms Spencer to come back and compete at nationals and have a chance to go to Worlds. Assuming we win and even if we don’t prevail, we will have an opportunity to go to CAS and seek a stay which would allow her to compete at nationals, also so we are thankful for that timetable,” added Greene. The other members of the panel are Herron Dale and Dr Donovan Calder. Brown, Smith and Rowe, along with Spencer, were all heard on Monday’s opening day of the hearing. NEVER APPROACHED Jamaica’s Olympic 400-metre hurdler Kaliese Spencer will know her fate in just about a month’s time after her anti-doping rules violation hearing was wrapped up at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday, where the athlete faced a testing 90-minute cross-examination. Four witnesses were called before the Kent Gammon-chaired Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, which will present its decision on June 15, 2017 following the second day of proceedings into the matter. Written submissions are scheduled to be presented on June 2, 2017. Spencer is facing a four-year ban. Spencer, who is alleged to have violated article 2.3 of the JADCO Anti-doping Rules 2015, which speaks to “evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection”, was placed under the microscope by Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) attorney Lackston Robinson, who sought to point out several discrepancies in the athlete’s witness statement, while seemingly bringing her credibility into question. However, Spencer’s attorney Paul Greene was quick to underline after the hearing that JADCO failed to establish that Spencer was properly notified that she was required for testing, adding that he was happy with the timelines established going forward, which he notes will give the athlete a chance to compete at the National Championships with an eye on a World Championships spot.