World records Dibaba and Wlodarczyk both set world records – three minutes 50.07 seconds for the 1500 and 81.08 metres for the hammer throw, respectively – before their wins at the World Championships. The Track and Field News panel could only separate them by three points, 312 to 309. In fact, 17 members of the panel felt that the Pole was number one compared to 16 who voted for Dibaba. Holland’s Dafne Schippers finished third with Jamaica’s 100-metre World champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, appearing at number six. Bolt and Fraser-Pryce were voted as the year’s top performers in the men’s 200 metres and the women’s 100m, respectively. American Justin Gatlin, and not Bolt, is the magazine’s number one in the 100 metres. Details aren’t available yet on the website, but in its 2014 Annual World Rankings issue, Track and Field said: “As important as major meets are, we should also note that no competition, not even the Olympic Games, is the be-all, end-all. We’re looking for people who maintain high standards over a whole year.” Restricted by injuries, Bolt did the 100 metres in only three 2015 athletics meetings, with clockings of 10.12, 9.87 and 9.79 seconds, respectively. The latter time pipped Gatlin in the World Championships. That was the American’s only loss of a seven-meet season that yielded times of 9.74, the fastest in 2015, 9.75 twice, 9.77, 9.78, 9.80 behind Bolt at the Worlds and 9.98 seconds. Gatlin isn’t the only athlete to top the rankings in an individual event despite losing at the World Championships. Others include Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, who was fourth in the high jump at the Worlds, French pole vault star Renaud Lavillenie, Kenyan Eunice Sum in the 800 metres, Croatian discus thrower Sandra Perkovic and American Dawn Harper-Nelson, who fell in the semis of the 100-metre hurdles. The respected United States publication, Track and Field News, has named American Ashton Eaton and Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia as its Athletes of the Year for 2015. Despite contesting just one decathlon for the entire season, Eaton won the bulk of the votes from a 36-member international panel to emerge ahead of triple jumper Christian Taylor and Jamaican sprinter supreme Usain Bolt. It was far closer among the women, with Dibaba edging Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, the 2014 Athlete of the Year. According to a notification appearing on the magazine’s Internet site, Eaton’s world record performance – 9,045 points – at the World Championships tipped the voting his way. In fact, it was voted the Performance of the Year. The magazine’s website notes that two members of the panel objected to the season on the grounds that Eaton’s single decathlon did not ‘constitute a full season’.
WESTERN BUREAU: Defending ISSA Western Conference double champions, Herbert Morrison Technical, will put both their Under-16 and Under-19 titles on the line, when they take on Cornwall College in the final of both categories. Ralique Grant and Devon Watson spearheaded the lopsided 106-58 win for Herbert Morrison, whose Under-16s brushed aside Muschett High 80-36, while Cornwall eased past Holland High 56-16. Cornwall’s Leacroft Lettman was the game’s high-point man, leading all scorers with 14 points for Cornwall College. He also held five rebounds to go with four steals and two assists. Teammates Jowayne Jones added 10 points and two rebounds and Alwade Thompson chipped in with a handy nine points for the winners. Owen Rodney was the only player with a significant performance for Holland, with eight points, two rebounds and five steals. In the Under-16 semi-final against Muschett, Okieffe Noble was brilliant, topping all scorers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. The outstanding Shaqueal Benti also made himself useful with a 19-point, 13-rebound game, while Davaughn Campbell’s 12 points added to the huge margin of victory. In the senior category, Grant outlined his liking for the big games when he and Watson combined for 55 of Herbert Morrison’s total output. Grant had a game-high 28 points, while Watson finished with 27 points and seven rebounds. Tafari Vassell grabbed 16 points, 10 rebounds and three steals to help stave off the William Knibb charge in the final quarter. Herbert Morrison led from the opening tip-off and held a 49-23 lead at half-time and never allowed their opponents to close the gap. The best-of-three final takes place with Game One set for Montego Bay Cricket Club this afternoon at 4 p.m. (Under-16) and 6 p.m. for the Under-19s.
Officials of one of the world’s foremost sports investment agencies, Doyen Sports Group, and Arsenal Football Club are expected to sign an agreement with the Phoenix All-Star Academy this afternoon in Kingston.The deal, which is being hailed by Phoenix co-founder Craig Butler as a major development for Jamaican football, will see the agency, which, among other ventures, manages the certain affairs for some of the planet’s leading footballers, partner with Phoenix in the establishment of a state-of-the-art football academy just outside of Montego Bay, as well as prepare, market and place talent from the club into the European market.Doyen’s website lists names such as Neymar, Radamel Falcao, Mangala, Alvaro Morata, Alvaro Negredo, and Marcos Rojo, but does not outline the nature of their involvement with the players.The group is considered to be an investment-based organisation that facilitates player transfers.Phoenix already has several players on overseas contracts, with Belgium-based Leon Bailey, who is already in the Genk first team, and Kyle Butler, both doing well. But Craig Butler is confident that this partnership will create opportunities for more players and open another avenue to the international markets.”This partnership between Phoenix Academy and Doyen has many positives. They will partner with us in the building of an academy in Trelawny, as well as the marketing and placement of players in Europe,” Butler told The Gleaner ahead of today’s signing, which is scheduled to take place at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.”Phoenix have done extremely well over the years in terms of our standard of developing players in technical, tactical and personal development. We are creating players that are ready for the European market,” Butler added, while referring to Arsenal’s interest.”Leon (Bailey), at 18 years old, is already one of the best players in Belgium, and is already in the first team there. Kyle is also doing well and should be in the first team soon.”Arsenal have taken note of that and want to come and take a look and see what our other players are about,” added Butler.”This is huge for the country. I still believe that with development, Jamaica can become one of the teams that challenge for World Cups, not just strive to participate and make up numbers,” Butler said.Butler also underlined that a 14-acre property has already been secured by Phoenix All-Star Academy and will be developed to accommodate a full academy, in collaboration with Doyen Sports.
Patrick Roberts, the man who has been chosen by the People’s National Party (PNP) to unseat leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness in St Andrew West Central is very displeased. Both Holness and Roberts crossed path at the Dupont Primary School, located on Olympic Way in the constituency. As Holness did earlier, Roberts expressed concern about the slow pace of the electoral machines being used in seven of the 63 constituencies, complaining that they are frustrating the electoral process. But unlike Holness, Roberts was fuming. He charged that some of the machines are malfunctioning. This, he said, has slowed up the process considerably. As such, Roberts charged that persons administering the electoral process in the constituency are taking as much as half hour per voter.
The useful but unpredictable GENUINE FRIEND, with 3.0kg claiming apprentice Odean Edwards aboard, is weighed to win the third race over 1200 metres for five-year-olds and up. The 6-y-o mare from the stables of Linton Calder has come down 4.0kg in the weights and if getting it right at the start, should win from the front running EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS with top jockey Dane Nelson up and SEMPER FIDELIS in a field of 11. IAN LINKS, who beat all barring the promising SOL SENOR over 1400 metres in March 5, should go one better in the fourth race over a mile – for maiden three-year-olds – with former champion Omar Walker riding for 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta. MR DOITBETTA and HEY CHAMP are twin dangers in a 14-strong field. Briefly, the last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by RAY RAY (Oneil Beckford up) and down in class UNCLE G with apprentice Patterson aboard. Their respective dangers are NO MONEY FRIEND and LEGAL ACCOUNT. With CAPTAIN GRANVILLE (21-1) and ZEEVA (10-1) scoring notable upsets at Caymanas Park last Saturday, the Pick-9 had no takers and the carry-over to tomorrow stands at $3.6 million. This should ensure a Pick-9 payout in excess of $5 million. Both Super-6s on the other hand were cornered and start anew with guaranteed minimums of $750,000. The Pick-9 will embrace races three to 11, 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 gets under way with a $450,000-$400,000 claiming race over the straight five course to be contested by six starters. Despite the small field, the race promises keen competition, what with the presence of last Saturday’s course winner, ZEEVA, ROCKETEER, FRANKENSTOR and OFFICIAL REPORT, who has beaten better in the not too distant past. Trained by Philip Lee, OFFICIAL REPORT last won over this trip via the Stewards’ Room last August on the disqualification of WOMAN IS BOSS in overnight allowance company and with a mere 48.0kg with apprentice Javaniel Patterson aboard, gets the nod over FRANKENSTORM and ZEEVA. Next on the programme is a maiden condition race for four-year-olds and up, which will more than likely come down to a straight fight between BIG BUCK with apprentice Jerome Innis and MR. TOPPER TOP MAN with in-form Aaron Chatrie aboard. Both finished second and third, respectively, behind FREE RANGE over 1200 metres last Saturday, but with Chatrie replacing female apprentice Andree Powell aboard the Donovan Plummer-trained MR. TOPPER TOP MAN, he should reverse the placings as only three-quarter length separated them at the finish. (1) OFFICIAL REPORT/FRANKENSTORM (20 MR. TOPPER TOP MAN/BIG BUCK (3) GENUINE FRIEND/EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS (4) IAN LINKS (5) RAY RAY/NO MONEY FRIEND (6) UNCLE G/LEGAL ACCOUNT USEFUL BUT UNPREDICTABLE FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
Scotiabank, who pride themselves as sponsors of the regional game, starting from the youth level, pumped a 25 per cent increase into this year’s Scotiabank/Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Prep Schools Cricket competition yesterday.The increase will bring the sponsorship package to $5 million, along with MVP cash prizes of $50,000 for players in the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey.”This increase in sponsorship is a testimony to our continued belief in the importance of investing in youth through developmental sports,” said Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president, Scotiabank Marketing.”Always play your best game. Strive to be the best on your team. Be champions in your own right and make a difference in everything you do,” she implored the youngsters during yesterday’s launch at Lucas Cricket Club, after which defending champions Quest Prep and Richmond Prep played the competition’s opening game.BETTER CITIZENSCourtney Francis, CEO, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), lauded Scotiabank for ensuring that “cricket is part of the medium to make you all (players) better citizens, more responsible, understand and learn at this stage how to be part of a team and how to be able to contribute to society”.Quest were crowned national champions for the first time last year, after defeating Hydel Prep by 10 runs in the final at Lucas.Hydel, the most successful school with two national titles (2012, 2013) and four in Surrey, followed by St Peter and Paul, Monymusk, Mona, Lannaman, Belair Prep and Quest one each.In Cornwall, there are only two winners; Denis Tobin in 2005 and 2006, while St James have been unbeatable since 2007.Quest’s coach, Leonard Malcolm, told The Gleaner his team is missing about eight players from last year, “but we are a competitive school and we are going to compete to try and retain our crown”.The competition will run to June 12 and feature a total of 48 teams, with approximately 121 matches across three counties.The competition began in 2003 and has grown from 24 schools to 48; 24 from Kingston and St Andrew and St Catherine, 12 from Middlesex and 12 from Cornwall.Prep school standouts to come from the competition include Brandon King, who has represented Jamaica at all levels, Brad Barnes (2013), Raewin Senior (2014) and Kirk McKenzie last year.West Indies’ World T20 men and women’s champions, Marlon Samuels and Stafanie Taylor, respectively, also participated and signed bats and balls for the youngsters.