BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):Former West Indies Women captain Merissa Aguilleira believes that the regional side is capable of securing championship honours in the forthcoming T20 World Cup, which starts next month in India.West Indies women have reached the penultimate stage of the competition on three successive occasions, but the Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman believes that they can go all the way this time.”I am really excited about this tournament because I truly believe it is time for us to win this T20 World Cup,” said Aguilleira.”It has been three consecutive times we have reached the semi-finals, so it’s about time, but I have all faith in the girls, and I truly believe we can cross that mantle.”Aguilleira has been in prolific form since she was relieved from her duties as captain, a title that has been handed to Jamaican cricketer Stafanie Taylor.She roared to two powerful half-centuries in St Lucia last October to help West Indies Women come from behind to beat Pakistan in an ODI series 3-1 and said consistency would ensure that Windies Women lift the World T20 trophy.LACKING CONSISTENCY”I must say consistency because we have been lacking that for quite some time,” said Aguilleira, a 10-year veteran who has played 86 ODIs and 73 T20s.”One minute we are up; next minute, we are down. But I think once we get that consistency going, everything will fall into alignment.”Aguilleira is part of a squad that includes a number of reserve players in a training camp at the West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados, preparing for a tour of South Africa before the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament in India. They are participating in an on-field training programme as well as a number of personal-development sessions before leaving for South Africa in two batches on February 9 and 10.”I will be going forward in South Africa with full fire, trying to continue from where I left off in St Lucia,” she said.”I have really been putting in some work so, hopefully, I can go out there and contribute for the team.”
CRICKET:CHENNAI, India (CMC):West Indies Women will begin their Twenty20 World Cup campaign later this week with question marks over their batting, after another brittle performance left them with a 43-run defeat to Australia Women in their official warm-up game here yesterday.Chasing 140 for victory at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the Caribbean collapsed to 96 all out off 19 overs without a single player passing 20.The total was their third low score in four T20 contests in recent weeks, following on from their 2-1 defeat in their three-match series against South Africa Women.Stacy-Ann King top-scored with 19 not out to lead five players in double figures, but the next best was captain Stafanie Taylor with 14.West Indies Women lost teenage opener Hayley Matthews for four to the third ball of the innings to be four for one, before crawling to 38 for two in the 10th over. However, Taylor’s dismissal triggered the final side as the Windies Women lost their last eight wickets for 58 runs.Leg-spinner Kristen Beams picked up three for nine, while seamer Rene Farrell finished with three for 18.Earlier, Australia Women eased to 139 for three off their 20 overs after they were sent in. Opener Elyse Villani stroked 51 from 42 deliveries, while captain Meg Lanning hit an unbeaten 49 from 39 deliveries.The right-handed Villani struck eight fours as she helped add 70 for the first wicket with wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy, who made 18 off 24 balls before she was caught and bowled by off-spinner Taylor in the 11th over.Villani fell soon afterwards in the 14th over but Lanning, who counted two fours and three sixes in her knock, combined with Alex Blackwell (14) to put on 47 and ensure Australia Women finished strongly.West Indies bowl off their group campaign tomorrow against Pakistan at the same venue here. They are in Group B also alongside India Women, Bangladesh Women and England Women.
NEW YORK (CMC): Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt says he is targeting a sub-19-seconds run in the 200 metres and has cast doubt over whether he will wind up his illustrious career following the Rio Olympics in August. The reigning World and Olympic champion in both the 100 and 200 metres, Bolt is seeking to become the first athlete to win the events at three successive Olympiads, following his conquests in Beijing in 2008 and in London four years later. “Just to defend my titles, to do the three-peat. That’s my main goal. That’s my main focus,” Bolt said here. “My secondary goal is to try and run sub-19. That’s something I really want, and I hope that everything goes smoothly and I can get it. That would be a big step for me.” The 29-year-old, who holds the 200 metres world record at 19.19 seconds, has struggled with an ankle injury this year but has slowly worked his way back into fitness and is scheduled to make his season debut next month at the Cayman Islands Invitational. Bolt is also expected to appear at the Ostrava Golden Spike later in May before participating in his own track club’s meet, Racer’s Track Club Grand Prix, in June, ahead of the Jamaica trials. “I’m feeling OK. My coach (Glen Mills) says my fitness is not exactly where he wants it to be,” Bolt said. “Starting out this season, I had a problem with my ankles, and it was a setback, but not that bad. We’re getting back on track, and he’s happy with the progress I’m making.” He added: “I have two months before trials and three and a half months before the championships. I’ll keep pushing myself, and hopefully, everything smooths out and I’ll be at my best when the Olympics comes around.” KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN Though he has hinted at retirement after Rio, he said Mills had urged him to keep his options open regarding the issue. “Coach says I shouldn’t say I want to retire just yet. I should focus on the year and see how I feel after the World Championships (in London),” he said, in reference to the IAAF event next year. “And if I still feel like I want to retire, I should. But he says to give it a chance because I think my coach is pushing for me to go a few more years. We’ll see what happens. “Personally, I don’t really want to continue for years and years because it’s getting hard. I have to sacrifice more and more. It takes up so much of your time.” He continued: “I’m never going to come out and joke or be a joke in a season. I’m a winner. I believe in winning. I hate to lose. I will never come out and say it is a farewell tour. I will want to compete at my best, go to the championships and win again.”
Last week, the team leader of the organising committee of the Gibson-McCook Relays (GMR) was interviewed on KLAS Sports Radio. Any sentimentally inclined sporting enthusiast must have been duly moved. Foster’s Fairplay was privileged to have been part of the audience. The show, configured for the ‘riding home’ pleasure of working class Jamaica and hosted by a Fortis stalwart in sports journalist, Stratton Palmer, drove home a salient point. The rich legacy of the event, conceptualised and cofounded by bright minds, was alive and kicking. Forty years ago, inspired by visits to the world acclaimed Penn Relays Carnival, Jamaica’s now departed track and field icon, the energetic and ebullient administrator, Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook, could no longer ignore the bee in his bonnet. The concept, aligned to the energy and enthusiasm to create and replicate for his own, led to the founding of the Gibson Relays, as it was first named. Why not, as the Reverend Percival William Gibson, born in the same year as Prime Minister Norman Washington Manley – had played such a significant and seminal role in the shaping and steering of the McCook of the 1950s. The term ‘no-brainer’, not yet hatched, would now be quite appropriate. It is no easy task to have Kingston College old boy and former athlete medical professor Rainford Wilks speak about the planning team and his achievements. However, it would be a journalistic faux pas not to try. He was quizzed on attempts to emulate the McCook model and sustain the principles, prestige and precision of the event. He explained: “The organisation and execution are based on the same principles as under Mr McCook. The committee consists of complementary personalities and skills required to execute the meet, many carefully chosen by McCook himself and serving long internship – are very prepared for the job.” The assessment demonstrated a stark and unapologetic resolve to laud the work of the man who threw the first die. There was more to come. “We have enhanced the organisation with modern information and communication technology, as well as organisational and accounting principles and requirements.” LOVE AND RESPECT The love and respect for the giant of a sporting icon, seeming to be ever present asserted itself even more in what the professor must have thought was the final query as he offered a sum up remark. “However, the basic attitudes, values and principles are the same ones enunciated by Bishop Gibson and the Honourable Neville Teddy McCook. We will not change a winning formula.” Foster’s Fairplay is not known to sideline those who are the major players – spectators. They should always receive value for funds spent. Many come to the park seeking innovations or features, new or established, which will heighten the appeal of and ensure lasting interest in the spectacle. With this in mind and alert to scarcity of disposable income to satisfy a sophisticated entertainment appetite, there would be no ignoring that. The man who seems to forget his auspicious title, calling himself simply ‘Rainford’, responded. “The GMR is a spectacle, its essence is high-quality athletics executed efficiently and on time. Jamaica is the focus and repository of high-quality athletics, and relay running in particular, and we feel no pressure to change anything, except being more efficient.” He referred to the GMR as “a training ground for track and field officials”. About overseas participation? “(It) would complement the meet and we would welcome it, but it is difficult to arrange for a variety of reasons. We continue to pursue that initiative and we will see how it goes when the opportunity presents itself.” On future plans? “We are in a strategic review process and will have to pay attention to several factors, including sustainable funding, penetration of the Caribbean and wider NACAC area in order to contribute to regional development of athletics. But short of extending to a second day, there is little room for change.” The chief organiser was less effusive on the 2016 features. “We will introduce a bit of spectacle for some of the championship events this year with the help of (sponsors) Digicel. Our emphasis is on quality and efficiency in a safe, fun-filled environment. The spectacle will come from the performances.” Rest well, Teddy. The Gibson McCook Relays will live on. n For feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CMC):Another lower-order collapse condemned West Indies Women to a four-run defeat to South Africa Women in their third and final Twenty20 International and a 2-1 series loss here yesterday.Chasing 120 for victory at Newlands, West Indies Women were sailing at 81 for three in the 15th over at one stage before losing five wickets for 16 runs in the space of 18 deliveries to end on 115 for eight off their 20 overs.They required 12 runs off the final over, but came up short as Shamalia Connell (13 not out) and Anisa Mohammed (five not out), failed to find the boundary.Deandra Dottin and opener Hayley Matthews both top-scored with 24, while captain Stafanie Taylor got 23. But they were just three of four batsmen to reach double figures.Off-spinner Yolanie Fourie was the best bowler with two for 20 from four her four overs.Winning the toss and batting, the Proteas Women were carried by Lizelle Lee, who struck an unbeaten 33, captain Mignon du Preez, who scored 32 and Marizanne Kapp, who finished on 24 not out.In reply, West Indies Women lost Kycia Knight for three at 15 for one in the third over, lbw to left-arm seamer Moseline Daniels.Taylor and Matthews then revived the innings in a 32-run stand before Fourie claimed the first of her two wickets when she had Matthews brilliantly caught by Daniels, leaping one-handed on the backward square boundary at 47 for two in the ninth over.Taylor followed 10 runs later, bowled around her legs after missing a sweep at leg-spinner van Niekerk.Dottin quickly counter-attacked in a 24-run fourth wicket stand with Kyshone Knight (9). She smashed a four and two sixes off 18 balls and looked be changing the course of the innings when she holed out to long on against seamer Masabata Klaas. Her dismissal triggered a slide and West Indies Women were unable to recover.The Caribbean side will now turn its attention to the Twenty20 Women’s World Cup in India from March 15 to April 3.
He left behind mother Nadine Sutherland, father Cavel, and five brothers, among other relatives and friends. Ryan Foote, his older brother, recalled Jordan as his “prized possession”. “My little brother who I looked up to in football, I love you. Words can’t describe,” he said. Ryan thanked the generous sponsors who rallied to Foote’s aid, the Holy Trinity High School, and others, while singling out Manning cup coach Devon Anderson as “man of the moment” for his role in Jordan’s life. Anderson later shared with The Gleaner: “I still think I didn’t do enough. He was like a son to me.” Jordan attended Elletson Primary School from 2004-2009 before moving on to Holy Trinity High between 2009 and 2015. Holy Trinity’s Manning Cup team’s vice captain Karim Brown, who has known Jordan for over five years, said: “It is very sad. He is the one who inspired me to start playing for Holy Trinity. Before I went to the school, I was hearing about him and I looked up to him.” Principal Margaret Brissett-Bolt affectionately called Jordan “my number 10”, adding farewell to to Jordan “who we all loved”. She added: “Jordan and his team put us on the map as football players that everyone had to take a second look at, and at the time when Jordan got ill, that was when I knew there was so much that was correct and right with Jamaica,” the Holy Trinity principal stressed as she spoke of the financial assistance Foote received to do his surgery. Central Kingston Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, shared: “On behalf of the people of Central Kingston, I offer sincere sympathies to his family and to the colleagues at Holy Trinity High School, the students making marvellous strides in wholesome education.” Captain Horace Burrell, Jamaica Football Federation president, on his way to Costa Rica for tomorrow’s return leg World Cup qualifying football match, stopped to deliver his message. “Having lost a son around about the same age, I kind of understand how it feels and sincere condolences to the parents, other family members, to the school, and to all the football fraternity and we mourn with the parents.We ask that those who are close to the parents give support,” Burrell outlined. Tributes Former Holy Trinity High School football representative Jordan Foote was remembered with glowing tributes during a packed funeral at the Arnold Road Seventh-day Adventist Church in Kingston yesterday. Jordan, who lived and breathed football, was laid to rest in a Manchester United-styled coffin. The lnternment took place at the Dovecot Memorial Park. He was born Jordan Jerome Foote on June 1, 1997 and lost his battle with bone cancer at the University Hospital of the West Indies on March 5. Foote almost single-handedly led the unheralded Holy Trinity High School to the FLOW Super Cup final in 2014. Other tributes came from Saccheen Laing, who read a poem to her ‘friend’; Michael Ricketts, Clarendon Football Association president; Holy Trinity and Hydel High Schools; Marlon Campbell – St Catherine High; family friend Karen Edmond, and the education ministry, courtesy of Sergeant Coleridge Minto, director of safety and security in schools. The offering collected will go towards the Jordan Foote Foundation. Left behind
One is the greatest athlete in history, another is a young champion, who is looking to find his way again, the other inspired them both – a timeless giant, perhaps, the nation’s favourite son. Sprint’s triumvirate will come together for only the second time on Jamaican soil as three of the four fastest men in history will test each other at the upcoming Racers Grand Prix meet at the National Stadium, each looking to test the waters and make an early statement ahead of the National Senior Championships – Jamaica’s Olympics trials. Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell will highlight the 100m clash at the June 11 meet, each at different stages of their impressive careers, but despite the common goal of Olympic success, their trajectories could not be any more different. The six-time Olympic champion has also enjoyed his face-offs against Blake, taking the edge with a 3-2 lead in their five 100m races, with Bolt’s Daegu World Championships false start also adding an ‘L’ to the double world record holder’s head-to-head record Powell holds a 5-3 lead over Blake in their 100m clashes, but there is precious little to choose from between the two with the pair splitting their last six meetings. Bolt, who is now on a 30-race winning streak, kick-started his season with a 9.98 win at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet last Friday, with Blake also teasing with a 9.95 run in April at the MVP Track and Field meet. Powell got a head start on his countrymen with a busy indoor season, which saw him getting a silver medal at the World Indoor Championships. He has, however, only ran once in the 100m so far this season, a solid 10.04 run in Guadeloupe. You can bet comfortably that he will need to go well below that if he is to strike first blood against his friendly rivals with the National Senior Championships just a few weeks away. Nightmare seasons World record While Bolt is keeping an eye on the Olympics with his three gold medals from the previous instalment tucked under his arm, Blake is looking to confirm that he is truly back after a couple of nightmare seasons, where he was dogged by injury after injury. Powell, on the other hand, is looking to change his fortunes under the five rings after two fifth places and an eighth-place finish, respectively, at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. Interestingly, despite their significance to Jamaican and international sprinting, the three have only raced together in the 100m on three occasions – first in Paris at the Meeting Areva, where Bolt clocked 9.84 to lead a Jamaican sweep, with Powell, 9.91, and a young Blake, 9.95, taking the other two spots. In 2012, weeks before the Olympic Games in London, Blake no longer the wide-eyed understudy that won World Championships gold a year earlier, beat Bolt at the National Senior Champion-ships, with Powell taking third place. The trio would again face each other and the rest of the best in the final at the London Olympics, with Bolt and Blake taking gold and silver as an injured Powell struggled to eighth place. Bolt has certainly been the alpha male where this showdown is concerned. In 16 races together, Powell has only beaten Bolt on one occasion, back in 2008 at the Stockholm Diamond League, in a close finish.
Meanwhile, in another main game of interest, former champions Charlie Smith are also looking to start on a winning note against Mona. Head coach Jerome ‘Jerry’ Waite says although he does not know anything about Mona, they are looking for a good start. “It’s a game we are all looking forward to. Raheem Hill dislocated his collar bone in training on Saturday and that is seen as a setback. However, we are still looking forward to the game. We don’t know anything about them (Mona), but we are expecting to start positively,” Waite reasoned. Mona are playing at home and, with home support, could pull off a surprise against Charlie Smith High. The Eltham vs Spanish Town game is viewed as a derby clash, so both teams will be coming for three points and bragging rights in the parish. WINNING START Excelsior vs Tarrant Greater Portmore vs Tivoli Clan Carthy vs Kingston Waterford vs Holy Trinity Mona vs Charlie Smith (Home teams named first; all games kick off at 3:30 p.m.) Excelsior High will seek to get off to a winning start against Tarrant High when both teams meet in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW Manning Cup football competition’s Zone A clash at Excelsior High today, starting at 3:30 p.m. The remaining games on the day read: Greater Portmore vs Tivoli High at Greater Portmore High; Clan Carthy vs Kingston High at Alpha Boys’ Home playing field; Waterford vs Holy Trinity at Waterford High; and Mona vs Charlie Smith at Mona High. Seven-time Manning Cup champions Excelsior, under the guidance of head coach Shavar Thomas, are expecting to get off to a flying start against Tarrant High. “The approach is to go ouT there and win the game. We are not taking any team for granted, but the ball is round and if the players don’t go out there and play to instruction, things could go the wrong way,” Thomas, who is a former national senior team captain, told The Gleaner yesterday. Tarrant High are back in the competition after a one-year absence and will certainly look to ambush Excelsior. Today’s games
More discipline Former champions Jamaica College and Haile Selassie High captured the last two semi-final spots in the ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup knockout competition following contrasting victories yesterday at the Constant Spring Sports Complex in St Andrew. Haile Selassie stunned Excelsior High 6-5 on penalties after yesterday’s opening quarter-final ended 1-1 after regular and extra time. In the feature match, JC easily got past Holy Trinity High 3-0. In the first game, Hamish Smith put Haile Selassie ahead when he converted a wonderful free kick from 20 yards past Excelsior’s custodian Romario Palmer in the 42nd minute. With time running out, Excelsior equalised when Cadine Graham scrambled home from close in with the teams playing injury time at the end of 90 minutes. Earlier during the first-half Excelsior were reduced to ten players after Tyrick Sutherland was shown a red card for stomping on a Haile Selassie player. Haile Selassie’s veteran coach, Geoffrey Maxwell, said his team played a good first half but lost their discipline in the second half. “I think we played hot and cold. I thought Excelsior would have played a running game. The players need more teamwork and more discipline. However, we give thanks for winning the game and going into the semi-final,” Maxwell told The Sunday Gleaner. Losing coach, Shavar Thomas said Haile Selassie were the better team for the 90 minutes of regular time. “For 90 minutes, we were second best, but got better in extra time. We will have to go back and prepare for the FLOW Super Cup and Manning Cup competitions,” Thomas said. In the second game, JC hardly broke a sweat in getting by Holy Trinity. The game ended as a contest in the first half. Duhaney Williams opened the scoring for JC in the 17th minute. Holy Trinity had the chance to get the equaliser when they earned a penalty, but Jabouri Howell’s kick was saved by JC’s custodian Rajay Johnson in the 18th minute. Former Holy Trinity player Ronaldo Brown put JC further ahead in the 20th minute and Maliek Howell sealed the deal in the 38th minute. “It was a wonderful first-half performance by the team. We dropped the intensity in the second half as the semi-final is on Tuesday,” JC’s head coach, Miguel Coley, said. The Walker Cup semi-finals are scheduled for Tuesday, October 18 at Constant Spring. Kingston College will face Bridgeport High in one game and first-time semi-finalists Haile Selassie tackle JC in the other.
MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC): Teenage West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews snatched a four-wicket haul to help Hobart Hurricanes stun Melbourne Renegades via the one-over eliminator in a thrilling contest in the Women’s Big Bash League here yesterday. Amy Satterthwaite’s unbeaten 52 had propelled Hurricanes to 121 for five off their 20 overs at Queen Elizabeth II Oval, and off-spinner Matthews then derailed the Renegades innings with four for 23 from her four overs, to ensure that the scores were level at the end. Set 13 to win from the one-over eliminator, Hurricanes easily reached their target with the 18-year-old Matthews and Satterthwaite gathering the required runs. The victory was the second straight for Hurricanes following their three-run verdict, also over Renegades, on Saturday. Sent in, Hurricanes lost Matthews cheaply for seven in the third over as they slumped to 56 for four in the 13th over. However, Satterthwaite struck four fours and a six in a 41-ball knock as she put on 45 for the fifth wicket with Corinne Hall (27) to bolster the innings. Renegades got a start of 32 from captain Rachel Priest (19) and Grace Harris (15) before Matthews, who shared the new ball, removed both in the fifth over to leave the hosts on 34 for two. However, Kris Britt (36) and Danielle Wyatt (35) added 70 for the third wicket, which seemed to put Renegades firmly in the driver’s seat at 104 for two in the 18th over. But Matthews intervened yet again, accounting for both Britt and Wyatt in her final over – the 18th of the innings – leaving six runs to get for victory off the last. Renegades were still favoured with one run required off the last ball, but Molly Strano (3) perished via the run-out route.