‘US can’t handle pressure!’

first_imgBEIJING, China:Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt believes that Jamaica’s dominance over the United States in the men’s 4x100m relay over the past few years is down to the different approach of both teams towards the rivalry and pressure.Bolt, who completed his triple-gold-medal grab, also admitted that the team’s loss to the Americans earlier this year at the IAAF World Relays was a motivating factor for the unit, even though he had not taken that defeat too seriously and knew the team would respond strongly when it mattered.Jamaica yesterday won their fourth consecutive 4x100m relay title at the IAAF World Championships to push their medal tally to 11 with two finals to be contested today, providing the team with an opportunity to match its best ever return at a World Championships.SLIGHT ADVANTAGEGoing into the straight, the Americans held a slight advantage over the Jamaicans, but the final exchange between Tyson Gay and anchorman Mike Rodgers took place outside of the designated area. It didn’t matter too much in the end for the Jamaicans, as Bolt grabbed the lead shortly after taking the baton before powering Jamaica across the line in first place with a time of 37.36.USA were later handed their disqualification, meaning that home team China, 38.01, had been upgraded from a bronze to a silver, and Canada, 38.13, got the bronze.It is the fourth time at the past six editions of the World Championships that the USA had failed to finish or had been disqualified in a men’s 4x100m race.”This is a special win for us. This whole championship was special to me because coming back from adversity, stress, doubts, and all has just been magnificent,” said Bolt, who became the athlete with the most 4x100m relay gold medals (4) and overall medals (6) at the World Championships.”I wasn’t worried. The whole team at the World Relays was not in good shape, so I knew coming into these championships we would be good to go,” said Bolt. “The Americans know that we are the better team and maybe that’s why they panic so much when they see us.”RELAXED NATURELead-off man Carter, who has now won his third gold medal with Jamaica at the World Championships, said that the Jamaicans’ relaxed nature and the quality of coaching have been key in their stretch of dominance.”The USA has been doing a lot of talking and the pressure was on them. They seemed tense, but we were just having fun out there,” Carter said. “We have some great coaches in Jamaica and the athletes work with the coaches well. Both parties have to coordinate and work together. I think that’s the key to our success.”This is Jamaica’s sixth World Championships men’s 4x100m relay medal.last_img read more

Read More

Russell a ‘priority’ for Thunder

first_imgSYDNEY, Australia (CMC):Sydney Thunder are desperate to tie West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell to a new contract before the Big Bash season ends, after the player’s massive impact with the franchise during the current campaign.The 27-year-old, a lively seamer and a devastating lower order batsman, has been one of Thunder’s best players and has also found himself immensely popular with franchise fans. Such has been Russell’s impact that the Thunder’s general manager, Nick Cummins, said they planned to make his contract renewal “priority” as they begin to plan for next season.”Of the guys that are off contract he’s “our priority. We’re already in discussions and we’re hoping to have something done before the season ends,” Cummins said. “He’s definitely a priority, we couldn’t have asked anything more from him.”Russell has delivered for Sydney in style this season. He has a league-leading 13 wickets and had produced a couple of cameos at a strike rate of 181. The Jamaican is also a brilliant fielder, taking three catches.His interaction with Sydney fans has been fantastic and Cummins said the franchise wanted to move quickly to ward off any other attempts by rivals to secure Russell’s services next season.”I’d imagine there’s other teams wanting to recruit Andre. He can do everything with bat, ball and in the field,” Cummins noted.”At the same time he was available to be signed last year and Thunder was the team that saw that and hopefully he sees we were the ones who backed him . . . who stood behind him.”He is one of those players who plays the way we’d all love to and I think the way he goes about his cricket is why he’s so popular. He’s explosive, dynamic and spectacular.”Russell has morphed into a T20 specialist in recent years, campaigning in all the major leagues across the globe.Last year, he played in the Indian Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League, the South African Ram Slam and the Bangladesh Premier League.He is set to play in the inaugural Pakistan Super League next month.last_img read more

Read More

Bravo pulls out of World Cup – T&T batsman to focus on four-day championship

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Left-hander Darren Bravo yesterday became the third player to pull out of the troubled Twenty20 World Cup squad. Following the high-profile withdrawals by Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine last week, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced that Bravo had also opted out of the squad in order to be available for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship. In a letter sent to the board, Bravo said that while he was “very grateful and humbled” to be selected, he preferred to focus on developing his game in the longest format. “I’m of the firm belief that I have a very big part to play in the resurgence of West Indies cricket in the longer formats of the game, and I will like the opportunity to play in our Professional Cricket League (PCL) because it will put me in good stead and will allow me to achieve those goals that I have aligned myself for the year 2016 and beyond,” the Trinidadian said. Selectors will now mull over yet another replacement after having to find alternatives for Pollard and Narine. All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was named to replace Pollard while, yesterday, the board said that Barbados off-spinner Ashley Nurse had been chosen in Narine’s absence. Nurse has played four Twenty20s for West Indies and 60 overall. Pollard said that he had not fully recovered from an injury sustained last December, while Narine indicated that work on his new action had not been completed. He is currently banned from bowling in international cricket. Meanwhile, the remainder of the squad have all signed their tour contracts for the March 8 to April 3 ICC tournament in India. Fears of a player boycott were heightened last week when T20 captain Darren Sammy wrote to the WICB on behalf of the squad to indicate their discontent with the pay structure. In the communication, Sammy said the players “cannot accept the terms on offer”, but in a subsequent radio interview in Trinidad, he said the squad always intended to contest the World Cup and would sign the contracts. The WICB said the new terms of the contract had been hammered out almost 10 months ago in conjunction with players’ union, WIPA, and had been communicated then to all players.last_img read more

Read More

Battle on for RSPL fourth spot

first_img Tomorrow’s game With most people sold on the top three and writing Rivoli United and Waterhouse off as the teams to be relegated from this season’s Red Stripe Premier League, the focus will be on the fourth place, where there are about four teams in the running. Sitting in fourth place at the moment are Humble Lion who are 10 points behind third-placed Portmore United – who have 46 points. Waiting on a slip-up from the Clarendon-based team are first timers UWI FC, just two points behind on 34; Harbour View on 33; and Cavalier, the best placed on the three teams, on 30 points. Boys’ Town and Reno would possibly consider themselves in the running, too, but with their huge negative goal difference, it is highly unlikely. With the situation being what it is, none of the contenders can afford to lose. One loss for Humble Lion and a win for UWI FC could see both teams swapping places. Humble Lion’s opponents have designs of their own as they will want to keep on accumulating points to ensure that they are not caught by one of the two of Waterhouse and Rivoli. Portmore United recently broke their three-match losing streak with a win over the struggling Rivoli United. Despite the win being a narrow late one, Portmore United should still start favourites over Harbour View as they will have home advantage. If Boys’ Town report in form similar to what they did last week when they were spanked 4-0 by Montego Bay United, then UWI FC will get the better of them. That heavy loss could also have the effect of waking them up and inspiring in them the fighting spirit for which they were known in years past. The Marcel Gayle-coached UWI FC are playing with even more confidence now and must be convinced that they have what it takes to get the better of Boys’ Town, especially with the goal-scoring form of Girvon Brown and the creativity brought by Keammar Daley, who joined the club in the January transfer window. – 5 p.m.: Cavalier vs Waterhouse – Stadium East – 3 p.m.: Portmore United vs Harbour View – Juice Park – 3 p.m.: Tivoli Gardens vs Humble Lion – Edward Seaga Complex – 3 p.m.: UWI FC vs Boys’ Town – UWI Bowl, Mona – 8:40 p.m.: Arnett Gardens vs Rivoli United – Anthony Spaulding Complex Today’s gameslast_img read more

Read More

STETHS, Manchester blockbusters highlight daCosta Cup second round kickoff

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU:With the first round of the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW daCosta Cup now out of the way and the sifting of teams done, attention now turns to the inter-zone battles, of which several blockbuster matches are scheduled for today.One such is the Zone C clash between defending champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) and Holmwood. This game will be played at Manchester High School, starting at 3:30 p.m.STETHS, one of five teams identified with having the best chance of lifting the title this year, along with Dinthill, Cornwall College, Rusea’s and Clarendon College, have been slowly getting into gear. According their technical director, Wendell Downswell, the inter-zone round is the part of the competition that will trigger the usual STETHS tenacity.”We look forward to this part of the daCosta Cup. The players know what is to be done and now that we have passed the first stage, it is now time to just become bolder and stake our claim,” Downswell told The Gleaner.”The first round we kind of took it in stride. We didn’t need to push ourselves, but the inter-zone is a different thing. Here we will need to push because other teams are coming for our scalp. We wear the crown that others want and we will need to defend,” he added.STETHS are in Zone Three alongside Holmwood (first in Zone G), Mile Gully High (second in Zone F) and last year’s semi-finalists, Lennon High, out of Zone E. Mile Gully will tackle Lennon to complete today’s schedule in the zone.PERFECT WIN RECORDMeanwhile, the competition’s most prolific team, Dinthill Technical, face strong opposition in Port Antonio. Dinthill have scored 49 goals. They are one of two teams with a perfect win record, the other being Cornwall College.Over in Zone One, Cedric Titus will take on a Cornwall College team high on and confidence.The former many-time champions breezed through the first round, racking up 35 goals along the way. Also in that zone, Petersfield High will be in the hunt for all three points against Green Island.In Zone Two, Godfrey Stewart meet Rusea’s, while the improving Spot Valley take on St James High.Another big clash will see Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis’ Clarendon College locking horns with the always consistent Manchester High in Zone Four, while Lacovia and Spalding do battle at the Lacovia Community Centre.Second round zonesZone 1: Cedric Titus, Cornwall College, Green Island and PetersfieldZone 2: Godfrey Stewart, Rusea’s, Spot Valley and St. JamesZone 3: Holmwood, Lennon, Mile Gully and STETHSZone 4: Clarendon College, Lacovia, Manchester and SpaldingZone 5: Alston, Fair Prospect, St Mary Tech and Steer TownZone 6: Brimmervale, Dinthill, Port Antonio and BB Coke/AlstonZone 7: Glenmuir, Seaforth, Vere Tech and Ocho Rios/-Browns TownZone 8: Garvey Maceo, Kemps Hill, Little London and Paul BogleToday’s matchesCedric Titus vs Cornwall CollegePetersfield vs Green IslandSt James vs Spot ValleyGodfrey Stewart vs Rusea’sLennon vs Mile GullyHolmwood vs STETHSClarendon College vs ManchesterLacovia vs SpaldingDinthill vs Port AntonioGlenmuir vs Bog WalkSeaforth vs Vere TechPaul Bogle vs Kemps HillGarvey Maceo vs Little Londonlast_img read more

Read More

Conte blocks Oscar move

first_imgChelsea manager Antonio Conte dismissed the possibility of midfielder Oscar leaving Stamford Bridge in January, despite the Brazilian’s limited minutes in the Italian tactician’s new 3-4-3 system.Oscar has not started a Premier League match since Conte’s formation shift at the end of September, and several outlets have reported that the London club is prepared to listen to offers for the midfielder when the transfer window re-opens in January.”Oscar’s future is Chelsea, full stop,” Conte said. “For me, Oscar is an important player in the squad. He’s in good form. It’s logical I have to take the starting XI every week, but Oscar is a great player. For me, he stays at Chelsea.”It’s important that this message arrives for all. But Oscar will stay with us because I consider him an important player for Chelsea.”Conte also insisted that Cesc Fabregas will also be retained by the London club amidst interest from Serie A.”The same speech as for Oscar. I anticipate this question,” Conte said.Conte has made just one change to his starting XI in the last five Premier League matches – a run that has seen Chelsea take maximum points to rise to second in the table, scoring 16 goals and conceding none.”We have a complete squad,” Conte added. “It’s normal that, during a season, it can happen that there are some injuries. But now we have a good squad to have some substitutions if there are some injuries.”last_img read more

Read More

Jeter my toughest rival – Fraser-Pryce

first_imgShelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the most successful female 100 metre runner of all-time, has singled out American Carmelita Jeter as her fiercest rival. Fraser-Pryce described the American as an athlete, who forced her always to be at her best. During the interview with Christian sports website Cross The Line, Fraser-Pryce also spoke of her injury affected Olympic campaign. Asked to pinpoint her toughest rival, the Jamaican Empress of Speed replied, “I would have to say Carmelita Jeter, over the years, competing with her, whenever she is in the race you know that you must show up.” The sprinter added that her faith in God helped her through a challenging Olympic campaign, which was made particularly difficult due to a toe injury. “I had been injured so that was very difficult for me leading up to the Olympics but eventually I was able to just let go and know that God is in control,” added Fraser-Pryce. She was second when Fraser-Pryce won her second Olympic gold medal in 2012 and won a third World bronze medal in 2013 despite a nagging injury.    Jeter, now 37, had to be persistent in her drive to the forefront of world sprinting. She was third in the 2007 World Championships behind Veronica Campbell-Brown and US teammate Lauren Williams and third again in 2009 behind the Jamaican pair of Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart. Her time to mount the top of the podium came in 2011, when she defeated Campbell-Brown, Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago and Fraser-Pryce at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.center_img “You cannot have a bad race against her because she is a fierce competitor,” Fraser-Pryce explained.  In a response that unveiled her own love of athletic battle, she added, “I like that about her because I know that when I am racing against her, I need to be at my best, when it is time to run she is just focused and ready.” “In the long run, whatever happened I knew that He would work it all for my good, so going to the Games, I had a peace and was relaxed knowing that I had done everything that I could.” At the Olympics, she finished third in the 100 metre final, which was won by her training partner Elaine Thompson with Jeter’s compatriot Tori Bowie in second place. The bronze medal pulled Fraser-Pryce ahead of Americans Wyomia Tyus and Gail Devers, who both, like her, won the Olympic 100 metres twice. Neither Tyus nor Devers qualified for a third Olympic final in the 100 metre. “Getting there was hard, but then actually being there, I was just enjoying the moment,” Fraser-Pryce shared. Fraser-Pryce, who won in 2012, 2013 and 2015, is nominated to the 2016 RJR Sports Foundation National Sportswoman of the Year Award.last_img read more

Read More

Tensions rising at PSG after Barca defeat

first_img “What has been written by L’Equipe is absolutely false: We’re going to take legal action and we’re studying what path to take,” Di Campli told radio station CRC. “Verratti’s image is sacred and we won’t allow anyone to discredit it. It’s one thing to criticise the lad on a technical level and another to go into the personal aspect, saying things that are absolutely false.” Less than one hour after their first statement, PSG released another. This one denounced “lies” in an article claiming the club asked permission from police authorities to parade the Champions League trophy down the Champs-Elysees if it won the competition. “False. Extremely false. Why print such lies? What is L’Equipe’s goal here?” PSG’s second statement read. PSG players were also reportedly unhappy with L’Equipe’s pre-match coverage before Wednesday’s game, which appeared to be more about the threat posed by Barcelona than the fact PSG were odds on to reach the quarterfinals. In the end, PSG made history as the only team to be eliminated from the competition after winning the first leg 4-0. The shambolic way PSG conceded three goals in the last seven minutes drew scathing and widespread criticism. Angry PSG fans also waited to confront the players at the airport when they returned to France in the early hours of Thursday. This led to frustrations spilling over and one car, reportedly driven by midfielder Thiago Motta, lightly touched a fan who was standing in the way. That prompted another statement, late Thursday, explaining the situation. “Paris Saint-Germain players were confronted at Bourget Airport by several individuals. … These individuals verbally insulted the players before vandalising their cars. Several vehicles were damaged,” PSG said. “In this extremely hostile and aggressive climate, all vehicles were escorted to ensure the safe passage of the players, their families, and club staff members. One individual was struck by a car trying to escape the crowd that was physically threatening the players and their families.” PSG did not say if Motta or another player was driving the car, and added a police investigation was underway. Rocked by the astonishing defeat to Barcelona, the players must find their focus for the trip to play last-place Lorient tomorrow in the French league. PARIS (AP): Amid mounting tension at Paris Saint-Germain following their humiliating Champions League thrashing by Barcelona, the club have refuted reports saying two players were in a nightclub 48 hours before the 6-1 defeat, and launched a stinging attack on a leading newspaper. In the first of strongly worded club statements yesterday, PSG said it was an “insult to their professionalism and to the club” to allege players were in a nightclub. PSG aimed the first of two broadsides at sports daily L’Equipe, whose television channel reported that midfielders Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti were partying close to the game. “A defeat is never a reason to spread the most malicious rumors,” PSG’s statement said. “Shame on those – often L’Equipe – who spread them without even checking their ‘information.’ No credibility.” Verratti’s agent, Donato Di Campli, said legal action was being prepared. Reports denouncedlast_img read more

Read More

Windies snap losing run

first_img GOOD RECOVERY PAKISTAN (20 overs maximum) Ahmed Shehzad b Badree 4 Kamran Akmal c Simmons b Samuels 48 Imad Wasim st Walton b Badree 0 Babar Azam b Narine 43 Shoaib Malik c Lewis b Brathwaite 2 Fakhar Zaman run out (Narine/Holder) 21 *+Sarfraz Ahmed run out (+Walton/Holder) 3 Wahab Riaz c Pollard b Williams 1 Sohail Tanveer not out 2 Shadab Khan not out 1 Extras (b1, lb7, w2) 10 Total (8 wkts, 20 overs) 137 Hassan Ali did not bat Fall of wickets: 1-4 (Shehzad, 0.2 overs); 2-4 (Wasim, 0.4); 3-92 (Akmal, 12.1); 4-95 (Malik, 13.4); 5-115 (Babar, 15.4); 6-124 (Sarfraz, 17.2); 7-130 (Wahab, 18.3); 8-132 (Fakhar, 19.1) Bowling: Badree 4-0-22-2; Holder 4-0-26-0; Williams 4-0-21-1 (w1); Brathwaite 3-0-15-1; Narine 3-0-34-1 (w1); Samuels 2-0-11-1 WEST INDIES (target: 138 off 20 overs) E. Lewis c Wahab Riaz b Shadab Khan 91 +C. Walton c Fakhar Zaman b Sohail Tanveer 1 M. Samuels c Imad Wasim b Wahab Riaz 18 J. Mohammed not out 17 L. Simmons not out 4 Extras (lb3, w3, nb1) 7 Total (3 wkts, 14.5 overs) 138 K Pollard, *C Brathwaite, J Holder, S Narine, S Badree, K Williams did not bat Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Walton, 1.2 overs); 2-58 (Samuels, 7.6); 3-134 (Lewis, 14.4) Bowling: Imad Wasim 3-0-20-0 (w1); Sohail Tanveer 3-0-40-1 (nb1, w1); Hassan Ali 2-0-20-0; Shadab Khan 3.5-0-38-1; Wahab Riaz 2-0-6-1 (w1); Shoaib Malik 1-0-11-0 Result: West Indies won by seven wickets Series: Pakistan lead four-match series 2-1 Player of the Match: E Lewis (West Indies) Umpires: G Brathwaite, L Reifer Jr Video umpire: J Wilson Match referee: J Crowe (New Zealand) 4th umpire: N Duguid PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): Hometown boy Evin Lewis went on a six-hitting spree to lead the charge with a pugnacious 91 that ended West Indies’ home season losing skid in style with a convincing seven-wicket victory over Pakistan in the third Twenty20 International on Saturday here. Playing in front of a crowd of more than 6,000, the diminutive left-hander went ballistic upon the Pakistani bowlers, striking five fours and an incredible nine sixes from just 51 balls, as the Windies successfully chased 138 on a docile Queen’s Park Oval pitch to claim their first victory in six international matches on home soil for the year. The 25-year-old Lewis, from the remote village of Tableland, about 30 kilometres east of the southern Trinidad city of San Fernando, shared half-century stands with Marlon Samuels and compatriot Jason Mohammed to capture the Player of the Match prize and put the West Indies firmly on track for a morale-boosting victory before he was dismissed with four needed. Lendl Simmons, another Trinidad and Tobago native, carried the home team to the magic number with 31 balls remaining, when he scorched a drive back past leg-spinner Shadab Khan, whose bowling was the difference between the two sides in the first two matches in the series, but was reduced to rubble by a rampaging Lewis. The result meant that West Indies now trail 1-2 in the four-match series, following a six-wicket loss in the first T20I last Sunday at Kensington Oval and a three-run defeat in the second match last Thursday at this venue. The final match of the series will be contested today. SCOREBOARD West Indies did well to recover from a half-century, third-wicket stand between Kamran Akmal and Babar Azam to restrict the Pakistanis to 137 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs after they chose to bat. After leg-spinner Samuel Badree struck twice in the first over of the match, Akmal hit top score of 48 and Babar supported with 43 in a stand of 88 before the Pakistanis badly lost their way in the second half of their innings. The Windies then suffered a setback in the second over, when Chadwick Walton was caught at deep backward square-leg off Sohail Tanveer for one from a flick.last_img read more

Read More

Martial, Rooney score in ManU win

first_imgBURNLEY, England (AP):Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney made the most of rare starts by scoring first-half goals in Manchester United’s 2-0 win at Burnley in the Premier League yesterday, lifting the team to within a point of the Champions League qualification positions.With Zlatan Ibrahimovic injured and Marcus Rashford rested, Martial started as the centre forward and opened the scoring in the 21st minute at Turf Moor after exchanging passes with Ander Herrera on a quick counterattack.Rooney, playing on the left wing for only his third appearance in two and a half months, scored United’s second goal – with the aid of a slight deflection – from close range in the 39th after Martial had a shot saved.United stayed in fifth place but are now a point behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with the cross-town rivals meeting in an eagerly anticipated derby match at City’s Etihad Stadium on Thursday.Unbeaten in the league in 23 matches, United will go into the derby with confidence and with options in attack in the absence of Ibrahimovic, who sustained a serious knee-ligament injury in the Europa League match against Anderlecht on Thursday.BENCHED FOR ATTITUDERashford played 120 minutes against Anderlecht, so Jose Mourinho began with the 19-year-old striker on the bench and handed a start to Martial, days after the United manager warned the France international that he wanted to see an improvement in his attitude.Martial impressed with his movement and work rate, while his goal is set to cost United €10 million owing to a reported clause in his contract that says Monaco is owed that sum if Martial reaches 25 competitive goals for the English club. Martial moved to United for an initial £36 million (then US$55.5 million) in September 2015.Burnley have one of the strongest home records in the league and Mourinho made eight changes to the team that beat Anderlecht 2-1, making the prospect of an upset somewhat likelier.United – in the middle of a grueling run of games domestically and in Europe – coped well in the circumstances and avenged a frustrating 0-0 draw at Old Trafford in the first game between the teams, when United had 37 shots at goal but couldn’t beat Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton.last_img read more

Read More