“I didn’t think it (participation) would have led to this and all what took place, so everything has been unexpected. I am really surprised, I didn’t know that anything like this was going to happen,” he exclaimed. “From the moment I came through the airport, my family and school was there cheering me on, and it was just a feeling of excitement and feeling good to know my school can support me like this; whatever happened, they still have me as a winner, and I feel good to know I can make my country proud and my family and school happy,” he told The Gleaner. Mayhew, who has only been in the sport for over a year now, revealed that the track was not the best. “The environment at the track wasn’t perfect to get the best times. All the competitors’ times were slower than their best in training, so that really affected everyone. But I tried my best although the track wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t enough to win the race. “But I am 13th in the world, and that is awesome,” he beamed. “A lot of support was there. There were few Jamaicans, but everyone supported me because they love Jamaicans, and that was one of the factors that caused me to get my best time, and I really feel good and hope for the best in the future,” he continued. “My motivation is to make everyone proud and put my best in everything I do. I feel I can make it. I know I have the potential as I am doing the sport for 12 months and qualified for the Youth Olympics with lack of training and factors needed to perfect the sport. “But I am going somewhere in life, and that’s a challenge. I will keep on doing what I am doing to make everyone proud,” he said. Charlemont High School gave Daniel Mayhew a hero’s welcome for his performance at the Winter Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway recently, with an open march celebration at the Linstead-based institution on Monday. The march started almost on the highway and the students travelled for little over a mile en route to the school, where the 17-year-old got an even greater reception from the waiting school populace, with banners and pictures of his achievement decorating the school. Mayhew became Jamaica’s first Junior Winter Olympics representative, finishing a creditable 13th in the monobob competition at the Games. “I thank Charlemont High School for putting it (celebration) on. The feeling I got was extraordinary, I felt so happy knowing I wasn’t a winner on the podium and I come home a winner because of the support everyone has shown me,” said Mayhew. SURPRISED
Good work JANIEVE Russell of the University of Technology (UTech), and G.C. Foster College’s Demish Gaye shone brightly on yesterday’s final day of competition at the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium. Russell, who had won the women’s 400 metres hurdles on Friday’s opening day, won her second title in fine style, clocking a personal best 51.17 seconds. Drawn in lane three, Russell covered her main rivals, Tiffany James and Dawnalee Loney of Mico University, very early and sprinted away from the field to win easily. James, 52.30 for second, and G.C. Foster’s Verone Chambers, who was third in 52.55, also clocked personal best times. Russell was very pleased with her performance. “I am very happy with my victory today. I was very confident going into the event, and this is a good sign for me,” she said, while praising her coach, Stephen Francis. Coach Francis had high praises for his charge. “It was, indeed, a good performance for Janieve, and to know that she ran a personal best just coming off a surgery,” said Francis. Gaye, the find of the season in the event, defeated a quality field, clocking a fast 45.57 and, in the process, broke the old record of 45.93 set by UTech’s Rusheen McDonald in 2014. Twayne Crooks (47.00) of UTech was second, with third going to Alvin Green of G.C. Foster College in 47.22. “It has been a very good season so far for me, and going to the recent World Indoor Championships as a part of the Jamaica team, has motivated me and I am looking forward to continuing the good work this season,” said Gaye. Oshane Bailey of G.C. Foster College completed the sprint double. Following his 100 metres win on Friday, Bailey pipped Kevean Smith of UTech on the line to take the 200m in 20.72 seconds. Smith did 20.77, with Everton Clarke of G.C. Foster, third in 20.82. Former Calabar High standout Michael O’Hara, now competing for the University of the West Indies (UWI), was fourth in 21.19. Shericka Jackson of UTech clocked 22.98 to win the women’s 200m ahead of teammate Shimarya Williams (23.33), with 100m champion Jura Levy of G.C. Foster College taking third in 23.48. The day started on a good note for the Mico University College. They picked up two wins in the first two finals, the women’s and men’s 1500m, through Samantha James and Alex Hutton. James, who won the 800m on Friday’s opening day, clocked 4:43.63. Hutton won the men’s event in 4:06.28. With the relays still to be completed last night, G.C. Foster College appeared set to take the men’s and women’s titles. • MEN: G.C. Foster College 126, UTech 83, UWI 81, Mico 38 and Exed 23 • WOMEN: G.C. Foster College 152, UTech 130, UWI 93, Mico 42, Church Teachers’ College 7.
And it’s certainly not unique to me. The 13-hour time difference between Jamaica and China and all the reasons listed above, and more, make this the situation for all the Jamaicans here. It’s something I’ve become used to over the years and it’s exactly what we signed up for, so, no complaints. Still, it’s probably a good thing there is a single-session day coming up soon. Anyway, when you’re staying up almost until the next morning’s session writing about Usain Bolt’s title defence after a tough season or O’Dayne Richards’ amazing and historic shot put bronze, or Rusheen McDonald’s 43-second national record in the 400m, things seem to flow a little better. You feel less tired; all is well with the world. The Bird’s Nest was rocking on Sunday night (Sunday morning Jamaica time), and I can only imagine the scenes in Half-Way-Tree as Bolt, in particular, sped to victory in the 100m. There was a camera crew at my station in the stands filming my reactions before, during and after the race. I hope my bosses don’t see that tape; I probably had as many interview requests as Bolt himself. Congrats again to the medallist and to Rusheen. Yesterday belonged to Jamaica. I think there will be a few more days like this to come. Which, of course, means … no sleep. jamaican experience You know what? I think the journalists here covering the World Championships should get some medals as well. Yeah, man! For solo journalists from a country like Jamaica with so may athletes participating, such a demanding and knowledgeable public, such high- profile athletes, it really is tough work covering major championships like the World Championships. Just yesterday, Yohan Blake’s manager, Cubie Seegobin, was making fun of me in the media tribune, telling a friend that I seem to be having trouble sleeping since I’m always sending messages at odd times and always ‘online’ since I have been in China. It certainly isn’t by choice. It feels like I haven’t really slept since arriving a week ago. For sure, since the meet itself started, I’ve been logging consistent days with nothing more than an odd hour or two.
NEW YORK (AP):Talk about going out on top: Flavia Pennetta won the US Open for her first Grand Slam title at age 33 and then announced during the trophy ceremony she has decided to retire.Pennetta did not have to beat Serena Williams in the final. Instead, Pennetta needed to get past the woman who ended Williams’ Grand Slam bid, Roberta Vinci. And Pennetta was able to do just that, pulling away in a matchup of Italians who were opponents and doubles partners as kids.In one of the unlikeliest major finals in women’s tennis history, the 26th-seeded Pennetta beat Vinci 7-6 (4), 6-2 at Flushing Meadows yesterday – then revealed she was ready to hang up her racket, a decision she kept private until that moment.”This is how I say goodbye to tennis,” Pennetta said as her fiancÈ, tennis player Fabio Fognini, captured the scene with his phone’s camera. “I couldn’t think to finish in a better way.”That announcement served as a perfectly out-of-nowhere conclusion to a surprise-filled tournament, the biggest shock being Vinci’s win against Williams in the semi-finals on Friday. That stopped Williams’ 33-match winning streak in majors and her attempt to become the first player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a single season.”I passed 24 hours with a lot of things on mind,” Vinci said. “And I was a little bit tight, especially in the first set.”Pennetta is the oldest woman in the Open era, which began in 1968, to become a Grand Slam champion for the first time. Vinci, who is 32, would have earned that distinction had she been able to follow her stunning upset of Williams in Friday’s semi-finals with another victory.This was the first major final for either participant and the first time since WTA computer rankings were instituted in 1975 that both US Open women’s finalists were ranked outside the top 20 (Vinci is 43rd). Pennetta entered the tournament with only a 17-15 record this season. Vinci was 20-20 in 2015 and 40-43 in majors for her career.Clashing for two decadesThey grew up 40 miles (65 kilometres) apart in coastal towns in Puglia, a region on the heel of Italy’s boot-shaped peninsula, and have been facing each other on court for two decades – with the stakes much lower, of course. They shared laughs and tears in the locker room Friday while watching a video of a TV interview they did back in 1999, when they won the French Open junior doubles title as teenagers.”It’s tough,” Vinci acknowledged, “to play against one player that you know (for a) long time.”And when yesterday’s match ended, after Pennetta flung her racket overhead, she went up to the net to find Vinci, not for a handshake but for a lengthy hug. Vinci patted her pal on the back repeatedly, while Pennetta cried. Then they sat on adjacent sideline chairs and chatted, just a couple of foes and friends.Vinci pantomimed throwing a punch as a joke, and Pennetta wrapped an arm around her. Vinci charmed the crowd later, saying she wanted the champion’s trophy, not the one for the runner-up, then pretending to steal Pennetta’s $3.3 million check.”We know each other since forever,” Pennetta said. “We spend so much time together, we could write a book about our lives.”Quite a chapter yesterday would provide.
Western Bureau: Forward Michael Kerr sparkled for St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) yesterday scoring four goals in their 8-1 rout of The Manning’s School to breeze into the semi-finals of the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup and a set date against Dinthill. The other semi-final will see Manchester take aim at Lennon. Kerr, who has been sizzling all season, took his goal-scoring feat for the season to 27 goals with his hat-trick plus one, while Demar James and Shawn Genus struck a brace each to condemn Manning’s to a most lopsided defeat. “This victory is a very pleasing one to me. It made a statement of intent that we want to return to the winners’ circle,” said Omar Wedderburn, the STETHS coach. “We continue to show class and work hard every day, which, as I always say, is how we approach every game,” he added. Wedderburn told The Gleaner that being in the semi-finals is reason to be happy but noted that the work is only half done. He said getting back to the final and erasing last year’s defeat to Clarendon College was firmly in their thoughts. “Not that we care too much about the past, but that was a lesson we learnt, and now we have a chance from here on to change that,” Wedderburn said, adding that his players continued to amaze him as they play to instructions and take nothing for granted. STETHS advance with maximum nine points from three quarter-final matches, while Vere Technical finished their season on a good note by edging Marcus Garvey High 1-0. They ended with six points and showed signs along the way that they could be in the running come next year, all things being equal.
LONDON (CMC): Usain Bolt’s impressive performance in track and field this year has landed him yet another international sports nomination. The Jamaican superstar is one of six athletes nominated for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC’s) Overseas Sports Personality of the Year 2015. The award recognises the overseas athlete who has made the most contribution to sport this year and will be presented at the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year award ceremony on December 20. Bolt’s exploits this year include victory in the men’s 100m and 200m at the World Championships in Beijing after recovering from injuries. The public in the United Kingdom is being invited to cast their votes to decide on the overseas athlete of the year for the first time in the history of the annual awards. Athletes competing for the award are Usain Bolt (athletics), Jamaica; Dan Carter (rugby union), New Zealand; Novak Djokovic (tennis), Serbia; Katie Ledecky (swimming), USA; Jordan Spieth (golf), USA; and Serena Williams (tennis), USA. Just last week, Bolt missed out on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Male Athlete of the Year award for 2015, an event he has won five times.
THIS WEEK’S MATCHESSPORTSMAX 2SATURDAY7:45 a.m. WEST HAM VS SUNDERLAND12:30 p.m. WEST BROM VS CRYSTAL PALACE5 p.m. SOUTHAMPTON VS CHELSEA7 p.m. WATFORD VS BOURNEMOUTH10:45 p.m. STOKE VS ASTON VILLASUNDAYSPORTSMAX 29 a.m. MAN U VS ARSENALSPORTSMAX9 a.m. TOTTENHAM VS SWANSEA
– 8:40 p.m. Montego Bay United vs Arnett Gardens at Catherine Hall Complex Tomorrow’s Game Fans crying out for excitement in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) will have it all today when title aspirants Humble Lion hosts former champions Portmore United in a first-leg semi-final at the Effortville Community Centre in Clarendon. Game time is 3:30 p.m. This ‘Clarendon derby’ will feature a number of former teammates at the schoolboy and club levels going against each other and should have fireworks aplenty. Perhaps the only drawback could be the capacity of the venue. Despite the above and the fact that there is a place in the RSPL final on offer, what perhaps will be most on the minds of the fans is whether the ‘vexed’ Humble Lion will have the chance to right what they believe was a wrong. Portmore United, the team many love to hate, were beaten 3-1 in their third encounter of the season with Humble Lion, but had the win erased when they protested the use of an ineligible player. The competition’s committee ruled against Humble Lion and awarded Portmore United three points and a 3-0 win. That result almost derailed Humble Lion’s season as they fell from fourth spot a position which had been their preserve for most of the season and one which would have guaranteed them a spot in the semi-final and fell to sixth. Those three points also enabled Portmore United to top the table on points, as they finished one ahead of defending champions Arnett Gardens and collected the bounty of one million dollars. “Obviously, the issue will be on the minds of all concerned, but we intend not to make it a distraction,” Vassell Reynolds, coach of Humble Lion, said of the impact the ruling will have on his players. “I have asked my team not to focus on that issue, but to focus on the game itself and what winning these two games will mean to us,” added the man who led Wolmer’s Boys’ to a schoolboy football title this season. While stating that he asked his players to put the past in a certain ‘space’, Reynolds confessed that in their matches leading up to this one, that disappointment was a major motivator. “Getting to this stage, we used this incident to motivate us. For about a round and a half, we were in fourth spot, but wouldn’t get any further. Since we lost the points in the boardroom, our only blemish in terms of dropped points was a 0-1 loss to Arnett Gardens. We pledged to fight to get back in,” Reynolds explained. Portmore United’s Geoffrey Hewitt acknowledged that the results and points reversal could play a part in the temperature of the match. “It is something that we are totally cognisant of, but this is a semi-final. It is a big game and several things can motivate us to perform. We are confident in our ability to win and we are motivated to do so,” said Hewitt, a very successful coach at the schoolboy level, in particular at Garvey Maceo. Not one to say a lot, Hewitt would only add that they are driven by ambition. “Our ambition drives us. That is our driving force. We are determined to succeed and we believe that we have what it takes to be champions, and Humble Lion is our first hurdle to the championship,” Hewitt said. Talent is something Portmore United have in abundance. Besides the steady Ewan Grandison, there is the duo of Ricardo Morris and Tramaine Stewart, who can decide a game on their own. Javon East is another player who comes to mind and, if fully fit, could cause problems. Defensively, they are also sound with the vertically-challenged, but commanding Damano Salmon, Ryan Wellington and possibly Uptsan Edwards. Humble Lion are themselves not humble in the talent department and should have at their disposal the on-form Levaughn Williams, Ricardo Cousins, Jermaine Christian, Wolry and Kemeel Wolfe and the fit-again Francois Swaby, who could come off the bench. The other semi-final, between Arnett Gardens and Montego Bay United, who finished third, will be played tomorrow at Catherine Hall Complex in Montego Bay. Today’s Game: – 3:30 p.m. Humble Lion FC vs Portmore United FC at Effortville Community Centre
West Indies Women will have to come from behind if they are to top their five-match one-day international series against England Women after going down by 112 runs in game three at Sabina Park yesterday.Asked to get 221 for victory the West Indies, who won game two to level the series, imploded, and were dismissed for 108 with 13.2 overs remaining.Yesterday’s win handed England a 2-1 lead in the series with game four set for tomorrow at Sabina Park.”It was a tough match,” West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said after the game and indeed it was, as England gradually took control after winning the toss and batting.England started cautiously and were 24 for two in the eighth over.BIGGEST TOTALHowever, led by opener Lauren Winfield, England posted what was their biggest total of the series.Winfield scored 79 and got good support from Natalie Sciver who made 58.The two shared a 94-run fourth wicket stand which took the total from 72 for three to 167 for four.Bowling for the West Indies Shaquana Quintyne took three for 36.When the West Indies batted they had a fair start and were 35 for one in the 13th over. However, as soon as captain Stafanie Taylor was bowled for nine by pacer Jenny Gunn to break a 20-run stand with opener Quintyne, it triggered a mini-collapse from which the home team never recovered.Quintyne hit a topscore of 21, and Shermaine Campbell got 20.Gunn, two for eight, left-arm spinner Alex Hartley, two for 24, and pacer Laura Marsh, two for 31, ended as England’s leading bowlers.”For us, it was just the kind of performance we were hoping for,” said England’s captain, Heather Knight.”Our batters did a good job to get us to a very competitive total, and when we bowled we kept the pressure up from the get-go.”SCOREBOARDENGLANDL. Winfield b Dottin 79T. Beaumont c King b Connell 4G. Elwiss b Dottin 3*H. Knight c Cooper b Fletcher 22N. Sciver c Dottin b Fletcher 58D. Wyatt b Quintyne 17+A. Jones c Campbelle b Matthews 12K. Brunt c Fletcher b Quintyne 2J. Gunn b Quintyne 7L. Marsh st Aguilleira b Matthews 0A. Hartley not out 1Extras (lb2, w12, nb1) 15Total (all out; 49.5 overs) 220Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-24, 3-72, 4-167, 5-185, 6-208, 7-210, 8-213, 9-214, 10-220.Bowling: Connell 8-0-42-1 (w1), Dottin 10-0-45-2 (w6, nb1), Fletcher 10-1-39-2 (w1), Mohammed 5-0-19-0, Quintyne 8.5-0-36-3, Matthews 4-0-20-2.WEST INDIES WOMENH. Matthews lbw b Brunt 5S. Quintyne c Knight b Gunn 21*S. Taylor b Gunn 9D. Dottin c Brunt b Knight 20+M. Aguilleira run out 0B. Cooper lbw b Marsh 4S. Campbelle b Hartley 18S. King lbw b Elwiss 8A. Fletcher c Knight b Hartley 0A. Mohammed c Elwiss b Marsh 9S. Connell not out 2Extras (lb3, w9) 12Total (all out; 35.4 overs) 108Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-35, 3-47, 4-48, 5-64, 6-69, 7-94, 8-94, 9-105, 10-108. (Mohammed, 35.4)Bowling: Brunt 5-1-11-1 (w1), Sciver 4-0-13-0, Marsh 9.4-1-31-2 (w1), Gunn 5-0-8-2 (w4), Hartley 7-0-24-2, Knight 4-0-16-1, Elwiss 1-0-2-1 (w1).Result: England Women won by 112 runs.Series: England Women lead five-match series 2-1.Toss: England Women.Umpires: G. Brathwaite, N. Duguid.
National Under-17 coach Andrew Edwards says the young Reggae Boyz face a daunting task if they intend to get something from their games against USA or Mexico and advance from what he calls the ‘group of death’ at the CONCACAF Under-17 championship to be staged in Panama in April and May. At the draw in Panama on Tuesday, the Jamaicans were placed in Group C alongside Mexico, USA and El Salvador. Group A contains the host, Panama, Honduras, Curacao and Haiti; while Group B will be contested by Costa Rica, Canada, Cuba and Suriname. On April 23, Jamaica open their campaign against USA, who defeated them 3-0 and 4-0 in friendlies in November. They then take on El Salvador in their second game on April 26, before closing off against Mexico on April 29. Edwards admits that his team faces a tough challenge, but thinks the Boyz can achieve their objectives with the right effort. “This is easily the group of death; a very difficult group and one in which we will have to perform above and beyond anything we have done to get something out of those two games. “Being drawn alongside CONCACAF powerhouses Mexico and USA is certainly a very daunting task, and it will make our passage to (qualifying for) the FIFA World Cup much more difficult if we can be successful,” Edwards said. Despite convincing losses to USA in their friendly games in November, Edwards believes the team will be competitive and says they will be targeting the Americans in their opening match. “This is football, and we have the capacity to develop our team sufficiently to create a few surprises, and definitely, we will be targeting the first game against the USA. We recently lost two practice matches to that team, but we will go in (to game against them) in a very determined and focused way to get a positive result and try to propel ourselves forward from there,” he said. Meanwhile, in an effort to give the team more competitive matches, a structure was designed for the tournament, which will see the top two teams from each group advancing to the Classification Stage. In this stage, the teams will be placed in two groups of three and will play on a round-robin basis. The top four teams from this round will qualify as CONCACAF’s representatives at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, while the top two teams from each classification group will play a final on May 7. FEW SURPRISES