WESTERN BUREAU: The 2015-16 Charley’s JB Rum Western Confederation Super League season got cracking on the weekend with six matches, including a less-than-auspicious start for defending champions Savannah Sports Club, who were held to a scoreless draw by Lucea FC at Frome Sports Complex on Sunday. This year’s staging has the 12 teams aligned in two groups of six based on how they ended the last campaign, with Savannah, Granville, Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club (MBBGC), Salt Marsh, Petersfield, and Lucea in Group One. Group Two comprises Wadadah, Sandals Whitehouse, Beaches Negril, Village United, newcomers Reggae Youths and Clarks Town, the St James and Trelawny champions, respectively. Another new development of note is that Livingston Berley has taken the hot seat as coach of the defending champions. RONIEL WHYTE ON TARGET While his team failed to shine against Lucea, Roniel Whyte was on target in the 19th and 36th minutes in leading Petersfield FC to a 2-0 victory over Montego Bay Boys and Girls’ Club. Former St James Premier League kingpins, Wadadah FC, were also in the winners’ corner as forward Javier Peak struck twice in Saturday’s 3-1 win over newly promoted Clarks Town of Trelawny. Ajai Black also found the net in that match for Wadadah, while Dwayne Brown netted the consolation for Clarks Town. Also on Saturday, Reggae Youths and Beaches Negril ended 1-1, with Oshane Russell getting a late equaliser for Reggae Youths in the 81st minute to cancel out Ashley Forrest’s 18th-minute strike. In another game on Saturday, Salt Marsh edged Granville 1-0 as Marvin Reynolds scored in the 20th minute to give them three points and a share of the early lead in Group One with Petersfield. Wadadah are early leaders in Group Two on three points. The league continues on Sunday with four matches, the pick of which should be the Granville-Petersfield FC clash, starting 3 p.m. at Granville Community Centre.
For her achievement in capturing the silver medal in the 200 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, in a personal best 21.66 seconds, the second fastest time of the year. Thompson also ran the third leg of the women’s gold medal-winning 4×100 metres team which set a Championship Record and World Leading time of 41.07 seconds.
Jamaica’s first ever competitor at the Winter Youth Olympics Daniel Mayhew finished in 13th position in the Monobob competition in Lillehammer, Norway on Saturday morning (Jamaica time). Mayhew, who was introduced to the bobsled event less than a year ago, stopped the clock at 58.85 seconds in his first run and then posted 58.62 seconds in his second run for a combined time of 1:57.47. This left him in 13th spot in the 15 athlete field. The gold medal went to Germany’s Jonas Jannusch (1:54.29) with Russia’s Maksim Ivanov (1:54.44) taking second and Norway’s Christian Olsen (1:54.53) finishing in third place. In his first heat, Mayhew’s push – off time was an impressive 5.67 seconds but he failed to get enough speed down the course and lost some speed in the fourth sector after hitting turn number 13.
PORTLAND, USA:Disappointing is the word Kemoy Campbell used to describe his race, and generally disappointing it was for most Jamaicans in the first session on the first day of action at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday.Asafa Powell was the only bright spark in the morning session as he clocked a world-leading 6.44 seconds to win heat five of the men’s 60m and advance to the semi-finals, which were scheduled for last night.”I was just focusing on my technique, wasn’t focusing on anyone or my time, just focusing on my technique and getting to the finish line,” Powell told The Gleaner.Neither Kevaughn Rattray nor Odean Skeen, though declared among the team, were in the line-up for the 100m.Campbell disappointedCampbell, who ran in the men’s 3000m, never got into a useful rhythm and finished eighth of nine competitors in heat one in a time of 8:00.22. The heat was won by Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha in 7:51.01.”I went out there thinking I would do better, but I was sick with flu and I was just flat. I tried my best and I wasn’t making any progress in the race, and all I can say it was a bit disappointing for me because I know I can run a lot faster. I’ve run a lot faster before and the time wasn’t even close to my PR, and I’m just disappointed. That’s all I can say,” Campbell said.Chrisann Gordon had a strange race in the third heat of the 400m. At the start, she stepped out of the block and the track umpire ruled a faulty start.When the race actually got under way, the athlete ran one lap of the two-lap event, and while on the curve, just stepped off the track. It appeared that she had been pushed, but video replays showed a voluntary departure from the track.She was later seen being attended to by medical officials and seemed to indicate that she had an ankle issue.Salcia Slack, who was recovering from a bout of pneumonia, had a poor start running in the women’s 60m hurdles, the first event of the five-discipline pentathlon, and finished last in heat two in a time of 8.72 seconds.She failed to record a score in the high jump after three failed attempts to cross the bar at the opening height of 1.64m.She had the shot put, long jump, and 800m to come later in the day.Earlier, Fitzroy Dunkley and Stephenie-Ann McPherson advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s and women’s 400m.Dunkley advanced running in heat two of the heats. He ran well on the first lap and grabbed the second qualifying spot in a time of 46.83 seconds behind Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago in 46.72 seconds.Chambers outRicardo Chambers failed to move past the first round as he struggled to finish third in heat three in 47.07 seconds.McPherson closed well in the final 50m to finish second in heat one of the women’s 400m in a time of 52.56seconds behind Olukawemi Adekoya of Bahrain in 52.27 seconds.Outdoor World champion Danielle Williams was to line up in lane five of heat two of the women’s 60m hurdles last night. Samantha Scarlett was scheduled to compete in heat one of the event.Meanwhile, six Jamaicans are set to bow into action today. Elaine Thompson lines up in heat one of the women’s 60m, while Simone Facey competes in heat three.National champion Natoya Goule will be the first Jamaican in action on the second day as she competes in heat three of the women’s 800m at 1:15 p.m. Jamaica time.Shanieka Thomas is down for action in the triple jump at 1:37 p.m. The men’s 60m hurdles also begins tonight, with Omar McLeod lining up in heat two of that event at 7:05 p.m. Jamaica’s men will compete in heat two of the 4x400m relay at 2:40 p.m.
Western Bureau:National Under-15 representative Shane Ricketts is brimming with optimism after the senior Reggae Boyz fell just shy of a historic first hold on the CONCACAF Gold Cup title on Sunday.Ricketts, who plays on the right of defence for Westmoreland in the JFF Western Under-15 Parish League, told The Gleaner that his time will come as the current crop of players continues building the foundation for Jamaica’s resurgence and domination of the region over the long term.”I plan on taking on football as a career, and I want to learn as much from these players as possible,” said the Little London High School player.”It is the same with the Westmoreland team. I want to learn and achieve with all the players because we believe we can win this competition,” he continued.He added: “I want to continue in football and play for Jamaica at the senior level.”Ricketts is blessed with skill and speed and is able to play well both in defence and attack, something he said has made him a more complete player in the mould of Brazil and Barcelona’s Dani Alves and Argentinean Marcos Rojo.But while he admires those international players, his main aim is to help bring Jamaica to a level that will rival the likes of Mexico and the United States.He said his transition from the Under-15s will be an important element of his progress, or lack thereof, noting that all great footballers are able to make the right transition from youth level to the senior ranks.”I want to be able to go from being a good youth player to being a great national player for Jamaica. I have a number of years in the daCosta Cup, plus there are the national age-group levels,” said Ricketts.”Hard work and dedication I know will take me where I need to be, so right now, it’s about helping team Westmoreland win the Under-15 title.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP):Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s 16-year term as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member ended yesterday when he did not seek re-election.Blatter was among a group of IOC members up for re-election for another eight-year term. But IOC President Thomas Bach said Blatter informed him by letter on July 23 that he would not stand again.”He does not deem it to be appropriate to stand for re-election for eight years, knowing that after seven months his term would come to an end,” Bach said on the final day of the IOC’s general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.Blatter, beset by a corruption scandal at FIFA and whose presidential term will end following a February 26 election, did not attend the IOC meetings in Kuala Lumpur.DECISION TORESIGNThe FIFA president, who usually attends the annual IOC meetings, has not been accused of wrongdoing, but made the decision to resign in the wake of the arrest of some of his close associates in Zurich by Swiss police on behalf of United States (US) authorities in May. Seven soccer officials are facing corruption charges.Blatter, an IOC member since 1999, would have had to retire from his IOC term next year anyway because he turns 80 in March. The IOC confirmed that Blatter’s membership ended yesterday.The other two members who were not re-elected – both due to age restrictions – were former World Archery president Jim Easton of the United States and Andres Botero of Colombia.Easton’s departure leaves three IOC members from the United States – US Olympic Committee president Larry Probst, Anita DeFrantz and Angela Ruggiero.Elsewhere, 14 other IOC members were re-elected for eight-year terms, while Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden was re-elected to another four-year term on the IOC’s executive board.Two new members were elected yesterday to the IOC: Nenad Lalovic of Serbia, head of wrestling’s world governing body, and Diagna Ndiaye, president of Senegal’s national Olympic committee.
MANCHESTER, England (AP): One point from two games. An unseemly spat with medical staff. A porous defence. A rival back to their rampant best. The problems are piling up for Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho early in their English Premier League title defence. In the first heavyweight showdown of the season, Chelsea were overwhelmed yesterday in a 3-0 loss at Manchester City that could have a lasting psychological effect among the two title favourites. Sergio Agüero scored a stunning individual strike in the first half, before Vincent Kompany and Fernandinho added goals in the final 11 minutes, as City displayed the kind of attacking swagger that took them to the title in 2014. “Today, we made the complete work,” said City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who punched the air with delight after the final whistle as a solemn-looking Mourinho headed for the tunnel. City top the fledgling standings on maximum points, ahead of Leicester and Manchester United on goal difference, while Chelsea are fifth from bottom after an uncomfortable start to the season. Such was Mourinho’s concern after a one-sided first half at Etihad Stadium that he removed captain and central defender John Terry at half-time, in order to add pace to his backline. It was the first time in 177 league matches that Mourinho has substituted Terry. “He was not dancing in the dressing room,” Mourinho said, “but I can tell you that he was not having a bad reaction.” Chelsea have conceded five goals in two games – they drew 2-2 at home to Swansea on the opening weekend – and aren’t looking as dynamic going forward. Throw in his much-publicised disagreement with two members of Chelsea’s medical staff during the Swansea game, which led to them being dropped from match-day duties at City, and these are tough times for Mourinho. City, which look the early title favourites on this evidence, are already five points ahead of last season’s champions. In yesterday’s other match, Arsenal won their first match of the campaign by beating Crystal Palace 2-1 away, restoring confidence after opening with a surprise 2-0 home loss to West Ham. A stunning scissor kick by Olivier Giroud set Arsenal on their way in the 16th minute, and they needed an own goal in the 55th by Palace defender Damien Delaney to secure the points at Selhurst Park. Joel Ward equalised with a drilled shot inside the far post in the 28th, but the Palace right back was then beaten in the air by Alexis Sanchez, whose header was diverted by Delaney into his own net for Arsenal’s winner. “To get the three (points) is already a little bit of a turning point in the Premier League for us. To lose today would have been a big blow mentally,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “We have shown our strong response.” At Etihad Stadium, Agüero made amends for a slew of early missed chances by exchanging passes with Yaya Toure, twisting inside his marker and placing a pinpoint shot inside the far post in the 32nd minute. Kompany headed in David Silva’s corner in the 79th, and Fernandinho drove in a third six minutes later for City’s second 3-0 victory in seven days, after beating West Bromwich Albion by that score last Monday. Senior stars Toure and Kompany look back to their best, and Agüero was a constant menace in his first start, having come back late in preseason. “I think Sergio Agüero is in the best moment of his career,” Pellegrini said. “He was the top scorer (last season). I believe this season he can be even better.”
THE SUSPENSION of Reggae Boyz coach Winfried Schäfer fC The specific offence of unsporting behaviour against a match official will cost the German his place on the bench for the games against Panama at home and Haiti away. Looking at the circumstances under which the offence itself was committed, I think it was totally unnecessary, unbecoming, and absolutely unforgivable for a coach of Schäfer’s experience. Don’t get me wrong. I love to see my technical leader involved, expressive and passionate while going about his job, but he has got to be controlled and smart about it, especially when so much is at stake. The point in the game at which the Jamaican bench flared up with indiscretion was when the Reggae Boyz had just seized control of their destiny. The crucial second goal scored by Simon Dawkins with less than five minutes of regulation time remaining was actually being celebrated when Lance Laing got yellow carded, then reacted, and got a red. Schäfer ’s impulsive reaction to that sequence of events landed him and the entire campaign in the current hot water. That’s not what is expected from such a senior and experienced coach who has seen and done it all at this level. Calm, cerebral leadership, and astute situational analysis is what is expected in those crucial minutes counting down to the Boyz achieving the bigger objective of advancing to the semi-final round. One could understand this kind of irrational reaction if the Jamaicans had not yet got the goal and were staring at World Cup elimination, or if the Jamaicans had been victims of bad refereeing decisions and reacted negatively. In those scenarios, if the players and the coach lost their cool out of frustration and desperation – it would be much more understandable. But to go down that road in that moment of glory was nothing short of stupid. This game was not against one of our more traditional regional rivals such as Mexico, the USA, or Costa Rica. The Jamaicans were playing against Nicaragua, caught in a precarious position – which was all of our own doing – after their disastrous display in the first-leg match at home. There was no room for an emotional meltdown having got so close to the finish line. The mission in Nicaragua was simply to right a temporary wrong against an inferior opponent with our eyes always on the bigger prize. ALL NOT LOST To get suspended in such a fixture when the wider objective was being met is a novice act. Fortunately, Schäfer’s suspension is exclusive of his presence on the bench and in the dressing room for those first two games. All, therefore, is not lost as the coach will still be allowed to instruct and travel with the team. If, however, Schäfer ’s absence directly or indirectly results in Jamaica losing crucial ground in this semi-final round in those two early fixtures and eventually exiting the World Cup at this stage, then all fingers should deservedly be pointed at Schäfer and his silly actions in those crucial moments in Managua. Not only would it be shameful on Jamaica and disaster for our football programme, it would even more so be a big shame on Schäfer.
tough win Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) will battle for Group B honours in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Women’s Under-20 Championships in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, today at 4:30 p.m. The young Reggae Girlz lead the group with maximum six points from two games, ahead of T&T (4), St Vincent and the Grenadines (1), and Curacao (without a point). Jamaica beat a tough Curacao team 2-0 last Saturday, courtesy of a double strike by Deneisha Blackwood in the 51st and 62nd minutes. In the other Group B encounter, T&T and St Vincent and the Grenadines drew 1-1. Jamaica, following a 4-1 win against St Vincent and the Grenadines in the opener last Thursday, and the win against Curacao, enter today’s final preliminary game needing just a point to top the group. – M.S.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (AP):Pakistan offpsinner Shoaib Malik struck twice in his farewell Test and left England struggling at 46-2 yesterday on the fourth day of the third and final Test.Malik (2-8) got Moeen Ali lbw for 22 and then clean bowled Ian Bell for a duck after Pakistan were dismissed for 355 to set up England with a tricky target of 284 for a series-leveling victory.England need a further 238 runs today but will face a stern test against the spinning trio of Malik, Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar on a turning wicket. England have never successfully chased more than 209 runs in a Test match in Asia.England captain Alastair Cook was holding one end up with unbeaten 17, while Joe Root was not out on six.Malik announced his retirement from Test cricket yesterday to focus on the 2019 World Cup after claiming his career-best 4-33 in England’s first innings score of 306. The off-spinner tied down Ali while bowling round the wicket before he got one straight enough to have the left-hander caught on the backfoot. Ali’s series ended with only 84 runs in six innings.Ali was struck on the back of the head by Wahab Riaz’s bouncer in the second over and needed extra cushion from the dressing room to place inside his helmet before continuing.Earlier, Mohammad Hafeez capitalised on two chances to score 151 with 15 fours and three sixes, while Asad Shafiq made 46 before Pakistan were dismissed after tea. Stuart Broad finished with 3-44, while James Anderson took 2-52.