TWO weeks before the biggest event on its calendar for 2015, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) is in turmoil, as it faces not only external threat, but accusations of betrayal from its own athletes.Last week, British newspaper The Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD/WDR published a report saying that the IAAF did not act on thousands of suspicious doping tests from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.This week, Olympic discus champion Robert Harting led several athletes in a video accusing the body of betrayal.The IAAF had already faced challenges to its credibility this year, given the exceptional season of the American, Justin Gatlin, who is the fastest man over 100m and 200m this season, coming back from two doping suspensions.Jamaican psychiatrist Dr Aggrey Irons, a member of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) Disciplinary Committee and a former member of the Anti-doping Disciplinary Panel, believes there is an attempt to damage the IAAF.”It is an attempt to damage the credibility of the IAAF. I don’t think it will work,” Irons said.Sports psychologist Dennis May agrees and said the turmoil may work in the IAAF’s favour.”Not this issue, because in a sense it has been dealt with already at the highest level. We have seen, too, many accusations in baseball and football. There was a lull, but it came back up. When fans see there is an effort to take out the unfair advantage, people will appreciate it. People love sport. What they want to know is that it is a level playing field,” he said.Opportunity for changeMay, who holds a master’s degree in advanced behavioural science from Antioch University in Seattle, said it is time for the IAAF to institute harsher penalties for cheating.”It’s an opportunity to say ‘here is a stake in the ground’. The sanctions going forward may be even harder.”The founder of Jamalco Track Club believes the tension will heighten interest in the World Championships, especially the men’s 100m, which will feature the tainted Gatlin and reigning world champion Usain Bolt.”It’s high drama,” he said. “It is almost like a soap opera and films you watch. Athletics is at a crux point. From the fans’ point of view, it’s the clean games versus the dirty games. It’s interesting. People say Gatlin tested positive and he has served his time and people will say it has happened with us too.”Upcoming electionMay added that the timing of the scandal was interesting, given that the IAAF will face an election just before the World Championships next week.The body will meet to decide its next president, with 1984 1500m Olympic champion Sebastian Coe facing Ukraine’s 1988 pole vault champion, Sergey Bubka.Irons also said it is in the athletes’ and specifically, Jamaican athletes’ best interest to remain focused.”Recently, there has been an attempt to make us run under a cloud and we have to try to run above that cloud. We have a vested interest in our sport staying clean,” said Irons.May said he is not sure Harting’s accusations are a popular opinion among athletes, which would have been noticed in this age of social media.”Has there been a ground swell? If (that was the case) there would have been a lot of responses and in today’s world with responses being so fast, if you haven’t seen that, I don’t think that will affect it,” he said.
Innswood High stayed atop of Group C in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/FLOW Manning Cup competition after scoring a narrow 3-2 win over Denham Town at the Edward Seaga Sports Complex yesterday.However, Denham Town had their goalkeepers largely to blame, with all three goals coming as a result of goalkeeper errors.Shawn Beckford fired the visitors ahead after 18 minutes, and although Tarrique Campbell equalised on 40 minutes for Denham Town, Ronaldo Grignion restored Innswood’s advantage three minutes later, and Sanjai Nelson extended Innswood’s lead from the spot, 12 minutes from the end.But although Rushane Facey reduced the deficit to one on 90 minutes, the visitors held on for the win and kept themselves atop of the group with maximum 12 points, three more than St George’s.Coach Anthony Thompson says he expected things are getting tougher for his team after their surprise win over St George’s, but after yesterday’s victory he is confident of completing the double against the ‘Georgians’.”It (Denham Town) was a hard game but you saw the fight that we fight and we prevailed,” Thompson commented.”We have to play more aggressively now, and we will have to move the ball more because we are playing some good teams like St George’s on Monday and we have to be prepared for that. Although some injuries are plaguing us we are going to prevail (Monday),” he stated.Innswood went ahead through Beckford, who beat goalkeeper Andrew Brown to a 50-50 ball that Brown looked favoured to win to score in an empty goal. But Denham Town pulled level when Tarrique Campbell beat Tajan Griffiths with a 25 yards free kick. Three minutes later, Innswood was back in front when goalkeeper, Brown, misjudged a ball into the area and allowed Grignion to score from six yards.Twelve minutes from the end, Shemar Guthrie beat Leroy Brooks who replaced Brown at half-time with a free kick from 40 yards though the goalkeeper should have done better.Denham Town got another goal back in minute 90 when Daquan Black was fouled in the area, and Facey dispatched the resulting penalty.
After the disappointment of missing out on a place in the Sunshine Girls’ netball squad to the 2015 World Cup in Australia, popular goal shooter Thristina Harwood is determined to get back to her best and retake her place as one of the most reliable shooters in the national team. The UWI student admitted that school commitments hampered her ability to train consistently with the team last year, which led the coaching staff leaving her out of the final World Cup squad. But although she thought the decision was a just one, she admitted it was disappointing. However, the 21-year-old who had an outstanding collegiate season with UWI and appears to be rediscovering her best form revealed that she has been putting in a lot of extra work on her own outside of her regular training time in order to shed some of the weight she has gained, maintain her fitness and help her return to the top of her game. “I think it was an okay decision (being left out of World Cup squad) because I had extra classes and I was really missing a lot of training, and you know school comes first,” she recollected. “So, days when they had fitness sessions, I could not make it because I had classes, even night classes. So I totally understand when they said I was not fit, and it is true. I wasn’t fit enough to go (World Cup). As far as shooting and movement are concerned I have that, but fitness plays a major part in games, so I totally understood that,” she told Saturday Sports. Going to school and representing the national team is very challenging as Harwood has found out, but she has made a commitment to get back to her best and has started putting in the groundwork so that when the next Sunshine Girl assignment comes around, she will be in the kind of shape she needs to be in, in order to stake her claim for a place in the team. UWI’s success this season was largely down to the 2013 Fast5 MVP, whose long-range shooting and movement in and around the circle, was unmatched and she intends to build on her progress. “I am very serious for this year because I want to get back to the old Thristina. I have shed a little weight because I gained a few pounds … . I will have classes and I will miss a day or two (of national training), but I am also going to play basketball, so that will help to keep my fitness level up. You can definitely look out for a new Thristina Harwood, new physical appearance, much fitter, and playing excellent netball,” she stated.
“We are having lots of complaints of chronic slow voting, in particular Central St Mary, Eastern Hanover, North West St Ann, Eastern St Andrew, South West St Elizabeth, and Northern Clarendon. We are also hearing about intimidation at the Harbour View Primary School,” Johnson Smith stated. “In respect to the slow voting, I would just love to get the message out to the people that if they are in the line, they should really try to be patient with the process. Even if it’s a little frustrating, they should take the time. If you are in the line at 5 o’clock, you are still entitled to vote. I encourage voters to stick to it.” North West St Ann, Eastern St Andrew, among other constituencies, are areas of concern for Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) spokesperson, Kamina Johnson Smith, who indicated that she was extremely concerned about the slow pace at which the voting process was going. Speaking with The Gleaner a short while ago, she used the opportunity to encourage electors to be patient, indicating that she was still confident of a victory.
VIJAYAWADA, India (CMC):Deandra Dottin’s 17th One-Day Inter-national half-century was in vain as West Indies Women slumped to their second straight loss of the three-match series against India Women with a five-wicket defeat here yesterday.Once again, the Caribbean side failed to mount a serious challenge when they batted, posting an inadequate 153 for seven off their 50 overs, and the hosts had little trouble overhauling the target with 12 overs to spare at the Mulapadu Cricket Stadium.With the defeat, West Indies Women remained agonisingly shy of automatic qualification for next year’s 50-overs ICC World Cup in England as they still require another two points to cross that line.Sent in, West Indies Women were struggling at 58 for four in the 26th over before Dottin stroked a typically fluent 61 to pull them out of trouble.She found an ally in former skipper Merissa Aguilleira, who made 25, but no other Windies Women player passed 15 in another disappointing outing.Both openers, Hayley Matthews (6) and Shaquana Quintyne (9), went cheaply, with just 20 runs on the board in the sixth over before captain Stafanie Taylor and Kycia Knight, both of whom scored 15, repaired the innings somewhat with a 25-run, third-wicket partnership.When both fell within 13 runs of each other, it left Windies Women to rebuild from scratch, and they did so through Dottin and Aguilleira, who added 70 for the fifth wicket.Both right-handers, Dottin counted six fours and a six in a 101-ball innings while Aguilleira faced 52 balls and notched two boundaries.Aguilleira was eventually bowled by left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht (2-28) at 128 for five in the 45th over, and Dottin fell to the last ball of the innings, bowled by seamer Jhulan Goswami (2-28).Defending their small total, West Indies Women got the early breakthrough they needed when opener Thirush Kamini was dismissed for two in the unlikeliest of manners – obstructing the field – with the score on 23 for one in the fourth over.Thereafter, however, India Women were never in danger of losing as captain Mithali Raj top-scored (45), opener Smriti Mandhana chipped in with 44, while Deepti Sharma got 32.Mandhana struck six fours and a six off 62 balls and put on 63 for the second wicket with Deepti, who counted four fours in her 63-ball knock.West Indies Women enjoyed a strong period when three wickets tumbled for 39 runs, but Raj erased any hopes of a comeback with a stellar innings, which came from just 51 deliveries and included six fours and a six.The final day game of the series is set for Wednesday at the same venue.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):Embattled West Indies will spend Christmas at number eight in the ICC Test team rankings.In the most recent rankings released yesterday, the Caribbean side were still languishing on 69 ratings points in the nether regions of the tables – a position they have occupied for most of the year.They are only four points clear of minnows Bangladesh in ninth.The year was another dire one for West Indies as they won just one of their eight Tests, while suffering four defeats and four draws.They went down 2-0 in a four-Test home series against India and lost 2-1 to Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.The other game was the drawn third Test against Australia in Sydney – a series West Indies lost 2-0.Once the dominant side in the game’s longest format, West Indies have struggled badly over the last two decades and their last success over a major Test-playing nation came when they defeated England 1-0 in a five-match series seven years ago in the Caribbean.In yesterday’s rankings, India stormed to 120 points following their crushing innings victory over England in Chennai, guaranteeing themselves top spot at the end of the year.They are 15 points clear of Australia, with Pakistan third on 102 points and South Africa fourth on 102 points. England, who started the series against India tied for second, have slipped to fifth after losing the five-match series 4-0.
Boys’ Town FC midfielder Jamiel Hardware is looking forward to a first appearance with the Jamaica National senior men’s team when it faces the United States of America (USA) and Honduras next month in two friendly international games. Hardware is currently a member of a 23-man local squad in training for theses games, in preparation for the Caribbean Cup and then Gold Cup tournaments this summer. After coming back from a two-year deal with St Louis FC in the United Soccer League (USL), the 24-year-old Hardware was named in the Reggae Boyz training set-up by the Jamaica Football Federation last week. INT’L CLEARANCE Following an international clearance, the player represented his home town club, Boys’ Town, in the last two Red Stripe Premier League games. “I was surprised that the call came so early, as I had played only one game for Boys’ Town at the time. However, I’m definitely happy,” Hardware told The Gleaner yesterday ahead of this week’s training camp, which starts today. “This is the second time I am in the senior team, as I was also called up while attending Bridgeport High, some years ago,” he informed. “It was a good week in training. We have a nice group of local players and was given encouragement by the coach (Theodore Whitmore) and the technical staff. I know that overseas players will be coming in for the two upcoming games, but we have to just work hard in order to be there,” he also added. Meanwhile, Boys’ Town is currently struggling in the local national league, in last position on 12 points, following only three wins, three drawn encounters and 13 losses, in 19 games this season. However, Hardware is confident that despite the situation, the team will dig deep and at least remain in the RSPL next season. “It is a difficult situation for us (Boys’ Town), but I’m looking forward to the team winning games and climbing up the table. I’m highly confident that we have the players to move up,” Hardware said. Hardware first represented Boys’ Town in 2010, then went overseas and played for Jefferson Vikings, Ventura County Fusion, Motala AIF (in Sweden), Harrisburg City Islanders and St Louis FC.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): The Jamaica Scorpions defeated Guyana Jaguars by 41 runs, in the day/night sixth game of the Regional Super50 at Kensington Oval yesterday. Led by half-centuries from Chadwick Walton (82) and Devon Thomas 56, not out, the Scorpions got up to 249 for eight off their allotted 50 overs. Jermaine also got among the runs with 52. Steven Jacobs took two for 27 for the Jaguars while Leslie Reifer bagged two for 41. Jerome Taylor, five for 40, and fellow fastman Reynard Leveridge, three for 38, destroyed the Jaguars’ innings. Veteran batsman Shiv Chanderpaul slammed 101, but he got little support and the Jaguars were dismissed for 208 off 44 overs. Anthony Bramble made 29 and Raymon Reifer 25.
The Jamaica All Stars versus Brazil All Stars match at the National Stadium on Friday, saw the generation of players from the 1998 World Cup Campaign, teaming up with the upcoming generation of Jamaican talent, such as Alex Marshall, Gregory Messam Jr, Chevon Stewart, Jahwani Hinds, Zhelano Barnes, among others to take on the illustrious Brazilians. The older counterparts were impressed by their young peers and believe the future of Jamaica’s football is bright. Former goalkeeper Aaron Lawrence, who pulled off a spectacular save to deny Rivaldo the equaliser from a free-kick with the last kick off the game, said it was an opportunity for the younger players to learn from them. “This is why we wanted it (the game), to teach these kids and show them how to play football. When most of the seniors came off, the game got faster. When we were out there we were patient, got the chances and put them away. We talked to them and let them know they should learn from us and learn off us and I think they are going to do well, they are ones for the future, they will do well,” he said. Former national captain Ricardo Gardener, was also impressed and encouraged the youngsters to adopt the right attitude if they want to make it as professional players. “I got goosebumps being among my ’98’ teammates with some of the youngsters, who are some of the best in the country. They can only learn from this as long as they believe in themselves and continue to work. We are not competing against fellow Jamaicans, but against talented South Americans, people coming through academies in Europe and talented players from Africa, if they want to be professionals. So they have to apply the right attitude, and once you apply the right attitude nothing is impossible,” he commented. Durrant Brown, the former national central defender, says he, too, sees promise in the youngsters. “To be here among the youths and the elders, it was a great joy and it looks good for the future because the youths look good,” he stated. Andy ‘Bomber’ Williams, who was returning home for the first time in years, says the country has something to build on with the young talent. “You saw a few younger guys and from what I have seen, I am pretty happy. I follow some of them (online), and I hope they can get these guys in the programme and lead them to Qatar (2022) and build from there,” he said. Walter Boyd, who stole the show, is also very encouraged from what he is seeing from the young local talent. “It was good to see the players from ’98 and we mesh well with the younger players. We are rich in talent; we have a lot of young talent. We just need to get our thing together and try move forward, and we have to believe in ourselves,” he said. – L.S. YOUTH LOOK GOOD
LATEST STORIES FILE – In this Aug. 17, 2013, file photo, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt competes to win the men’s 200-meter final at the World Athletics Championships, in Moscow, Russia. The man who reshaped the record book and saved his sport along the way is saying goodbye. His runs through the 100 meters and Jamaica’s 4×100 relay at next week’s world championships are expected to produce golds yet again, along with leaving people to wonder who could possibly take his place. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)Muhammad Ali stood alone on many fronts, but Joe Frazier, George Foreman and a few others still stood toe-to-toe with him in the ring. Jack Nicklaus contended with Arnold Palmer on the front end of his career and Tom Watson on the back end.Usain Bolt? Nobody has been a match for him, on or off the track.ADVERTISEMENT Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Mikey Garcia outpoints Adrien Broner to remain undefeated McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return He’s on that list, but when the lights go out after the relays Aug. 11 — 10 days before his 31st birthday — it will be time to say goodbye.“Once he’s gone,” McNab says, “there’s no major personality that would make any significant impact at the world level.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next At the worlds two years ago, Gatlin had Bolt beaten in the 100 but leaned in at the finish line a microsecond too early. Bolt passed him and won by 0.01 seconds. The American all but admitted he psyched himself out.Speaking to the pressure of racing someone such as Bolt, the Scottish sports historian and former Olympic coach Tom McNab compared sprinting to running in a tunnel.“And once you become aware of what’s happening outside your tunnel, you’re in trouble,” he said.In boxing, Ali wasn’t necessarily unbeatable, but he was incomparable as both a sharp-witted showman and an athlete with a social conscience, using his platform to preach tolerance and oppose war.Bolt hasn’t sought that sort of impact, at least not yet, but it’s hard to overstate the mark he made on his troubled sport and, thus, the Olympics, which have long featured athletics as the must-see event of the final two weeks.Over years and decades, the showcase sport of the Olympics has devolved into a sordid litany of doping scandals. The latest concerns widespread corruption and cheating in Russia, and heading into Rio, it undermined not only the sport and its managers, but the Olympics and their leaders’ willingness to deal with it.But when Bolt sauntered onto the track, flashed a peace sign and blew a kiss to the crowd, all was forgotten. Not just for the 9, or 19, seconds while he was running, but for the entire evening and beyond. He made track, and thus, the Olympics, eminently watchable.He’ll do it one more time on a smaller stage — track’s world championships — but a stage with plenty of symbolic meaning.When he headed to London for the Olympics in 2012, Bolt held all the records, but was portrayed as vulnerable, following the false start, a long list of nagging injuries and his losses to Blake.By the time he left, he had pretty much anointed himself as the greatest. Four years later, he said that was precisely his goal: “To be among Ali and Pele,” he said. Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ The man who reshaped the record book and saved his sport is saying goodbye. His sprints through the 100 meters and Jamaica’s 4×100 relay at the world championships, which begin Friday, are expected to produce golds yet again, and leave track with this difficult question: Who can possibly take his place?“You would have to have someone who’s dominating, and no one’s doing that,” said Michael Johnson, the former world-record holder at 200 and 400 meters and perhaps the sport’s brightest star in the 1990s. “You’d have to have someone who has that something special like he has, in terms of personality and presence. You’re not going to have that.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Though he will not retire undefeated, Bolt stands in the rarest of company: an athlete who was never beaten when the stakes were greatest. And with a showman’s flair as transcendent as his raw speed — Chicken McNuggets for dinner, his fabled “To The World” pose for dessert and dancing away at nightclubs till dawn — he hoisted his entire, troubled sport upon his shoulders and made it watchable and relevant.Since his era of dominance began in 2008, Bolt went undefeated at the Olympics — 9 for 9 — in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay. (One of those medals was stripped because of doping by a teammate on the 2008 relay team.) He has set, and re-set, the world records in all three events. His marks of 19.30, then 19.19, at 200 meters, were once thought virtually impossible. He set a goal of breaking 19 seconds in Rio de Janeiro last summer, and when he came up short, it became clear the barrier will be safe for years. At the world championships, Bolt’s only “loss” came in 2011, when he was disqualified for a false start in the 100 meters. Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake won the title that year, as well as the Jamaican national championships at 100 and 200 meters leading to the London Olympics. Heading back to London five years later, Blake is an afterthought.And Bolt’s mastery of this sport remains unchallenged.“I’ll be sad to see someone like him go,” said America’s Justin Gatlin, Bolt’s longest and sturdiest challenger, who has been disingenuously portrayed as the brooding bad boy set against Bolt’s carefree party guy. “He’s such a big figure in our sport. Not only is he a big figure, but the kind of guy who always will be a competitor when he steps onto the line.”Though it’s tricky to compare dominance in track to that in any other sport, there’s an element of Nicklaus in Bolt’s dominance. Impressive as his 18 major championships are, Nicklaus’ 19 second-place finishes and 73 top-10s spoke to his ability to get into the mix in most of the majors over the quarter-century while he was collecting titles. Nicklaus had to fend off Palmer, Watson, Johnny Miller and a dozen other legitimate contenders at every event. Bolt hasn’t faced anything like that.Yet they shared this important similarity: Often, the contests were over before they even began. Or, as Tom Weiskopf once said: “Jack knew he was going to beat you. You knew Jack was going to beat you. And Jack knew that you knew that he was going to beat you.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ View comments