So, I decided after my last 800m media race heroics at the World Championships in Moscow that I would hang up my spikes and go out in glory. I retired from the IAAF media race as the two-time Caribbean champion and with a personal best despite a back injury. Please note, I said 800m. As a Jamaican, I’m not wired for anything over 400m, so this is new frontier, people. Anyway, I decided to retire also to make a statement, having failed in my bid to get the IAAF to stop its prejudice against Jamaican journalists like myself and add a shorter race to the schedule … say a 100m … or 50m, so we can accommodate the … ‘not so fit’ among us. But I’ve received so many questions about whether or not I’m going to be competing – from colleagues, IAAF friends, fans – (laughs). I haven’t decided if I will change my mind about not competing yet, but I did take up an entry form and filled it out, just in case. After all, I can’t allow Jamaicans to go through another non-registration crisis after that Nesta Carter mess up! This is how it’s done JAAA. Wow! What a start to the 2015 World Championships. An amazing opening ceremony – especially by World Championships standards – huge crowd inside the Bird’s Nest, great action already in the men’s 100m as the top dogs sounded their barks ahead of what should be one of the best races in a while. The first day covering these championships is always such an adrenaline rush. After days of build-ups and previews, long drives to interviews and all that kind of stuff, it’s always, such a release to get the real thing started -the emotions, the thrill of competition, the sights, the sounds, and the wanton joy of capturing it all. There has certainly been enough happening to keep me busy for almost all 24 hours of each day since I’ve been here. From the Stephen Francis vs JAAA situation, the Nesta Carter debacle, Bolt vs Gatlin, Asafa and his chances, Shelly-Ann, Elaine, and the list goes on and on. TOUCH OF DRAMA NEW FRONTIER The truth is Jamaica’s track and field has always had a touch of drama about it. It’s a maze of politics, alliances, and relationships – all the ingredients for a good daytime series. I don’t always see eye to eye with Stephen Francis, or the JAAA, but in this case – in both cases – I think he has some solid points. Was the camp in Tottori fashioned to ensure that every athlete received optimal levels of preparation? How could a 5000m athlete possibly benefit from being at that camp, for instance? Has the JAAA management team done a good enough job? Is there enough accountability? No! Anyway, that’s for another discussion.
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls made a positive start to the third and final match in their netball tour of New Zealand yesterday. However, their hosts accelerated to complete a 3-0 series sweep when the teams met in the Energy Events Arena in Rotorua. In the end, the Silver Ferns beat the Jamaicans 66-38. With Shantal Slater and Shanice Beckford shooting at 100 per cent accuracy in the first quarter, Jamaica overcame a 4-7 deficit to lead at 9-8 and held the ascendancy to 13-11. The home team pulled even at 13-13 just before the quarter ended. The bright beginning was based on what coach Minneth Reynolds called “strong decisive movements” in defence and attack. However, shooting opportunities became scarce for Jamaica in the second quarter in the last match of this tour. With the visitors only attempting 10 shots, New Zealand took over and led 35-20. They had outscored the Jamaicans 22-7 in this period. That was the turning point in the match and the black-clad New Zealand team outlasted Jamaica 15-8 and 16-10 in the last two quarters to move the overall score to 50-28 and 66-38 at the end. By comparison, the scores of the previous encounters were 72-34 and 61-38. Slater ended with 22 goals from 26 attempts, with Beckford getting 15 from 19 tries. Notably, turnovers by Jamaica were progressively reduced with each match on the tour. After yielding 45 on September 11, the statistic fell to 37 on September 14 and 33 on September 17. Outscored
According to her coach/father, 11-year-old Kelsey Davidson is excited about her participation in an upcoming International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) training camp in Peru.He describes the camp as the opportunity of a lifetime for the Caribbean Pre-Cadet Under-11 runner-up and believes it will help her to improve her game. As a result, efforts are under way to raise the funds needed to make the trip.Kelsey, the national champion in her age group, is looking forward to the one-week camp, which will be staged in Lima, Peru, starting on October 18.”She’s really excited,” her father and coach, Richard Davidson, revealed in an interview on September 27.”Actually, it’s the first 11-year-old to be invited from Jamaica to this training camp so it’s an honour and a privilege for us and it’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” he noted.Kelsey was selected on the basis of her solid performance at the recent Caribbean Pre-Cadet Championships held in Kingston last month. She was second in the Under-11 singles and teamed with Lena Campbell to win gold in the corresponding doubles event.BIG PLUSPriyanka Khellawan of Trinidad and Tobago, who beat little Davidson to win that singles event inside Kingston’s National Arena, will also be among the 12 young players at camp in Lima. They will be instructed by top coaches from the ITTF.”Once she goes and sees that type of training, and it’s more focused, more disciplined, more organised, more structured, she will adapt to it and I can tell you that it will be a big plus for her,” predicted her father.Kelsey trains at the Angels Table Tennis Academy under her father’s watchful eyes and both will be making the trip, provided funding can be found in time.”Now we need approximately US$3000 because the ITTF will only be providing boarding and meals for Kelsey,” he reported. Since she is a minor, she has to go with a parent or coach.”So we’re going to need funding for her to go and for myself to go as father/coach,” he related.He said persons or wishing companies could contact him at 373-9126. Richard expects to learn in Lima, too.”I think I’m going to be meeting with coaches from the ITTF, from other countries to share their experiences,” he said.
LONDON, England (AP):The latest instalment of international football’s oldest rivalry is a jarring reminder for Scotland of just how far the team has fallen and keeps on plummeting.The balance of power has firmly been in England’s favour for decades.And yet thousands of Scotland fans will still travel south to London for today’s World Cup qualifier while fatalistic about their team’s chances.”I feel sorry for the younger fans because the future looks bleak,” said Hamish Husband, a 58-year-old member of a group of Scottish supporters. “The reasons are self-inflicted. Not unlike England, we have this belief that because we invented football, then somehow we had a right to success.”We have just been left behind. Modern football has changed, and Scottish football has not changed with it.”The rivalry that began in 1872 is being renewed at Wembley Stadium for the 113th time. It was forged on fading memories of fiercely competitive tussles on the field and fiery exchanges that often turned violent around the stadium. There were times when both England and Scotland contested major tournament finals and both teams could deploy gifted players.England constantly agonise over their limited international success, with the 1966 World Cup being their only title and no final appearance since then. But England are reaching tournaments with rare slip-ups unlike Scotland, who last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.QUALIFICATION PLACEWhen the newly expanded 24-team European Championship took place in France this year, all the British teams participated apart from Scotland.”We look at countries like Iceland, who are showing what can be achieved with limited population and limited resources,” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told the Associated Press.Thousands of members of the Tartan Army heading to Wembley will do so knowing there is little point booking trips to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. The Scots are only in fourth place in their qualifying group.After three matches in Group F, England are already out in front in the only automatic qualification place.In the FIFA rankings, Scotland are 57th, sandwiched between Macedonia and Mali, while England are 12th.”We are horrific in Scotland at the moment,” Scotland coach Gordon Strachan said. “We are in the worst state we’ve ever been. I am not talking about the Scotland national team, but the standard of kids coming through.”Only six members of the 25-man squad for the England game play in the cash-rich English Premier League. Another nine from are lower-league clubs in England. Just four are from Scottish champions Celtic. The standout name is winger Oliver Burke, who joined Bundesliga club Leipzig in August to develop his game.
KINGSTON:New promoters, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), will host their first two classics, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, at Caymanas Park tomorrow.Sponsored by Cash Pot Mega Ball, both races will carry a purse of $3.5 million. The new promoters took over on March 7.Fourteen horses will run in the 1000 Guineas (fillies), while a full field of 16 will battle in the 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings. The post-position draw for the 1600 metres races was done at Caymanas Park on Wednesday afternoon.Ante post favourite for the 1000 Guineas, the Wayne DaCosta-trained SHE’S A MANEATER, will jump from post position 10. FEARLESS SAMURAI, the early favourite for the 2000 Guineas, has been drawn in post position 11. The well-fancied SOTOMAYOR, last year’s champion two-year-old, will come from gate three.