Nodley WrightGleaner WriterAn own goal in the 41st minute, a clinical finish from Lennox Russell in the 45+ and Andrew Phang strike in the 48th minute from the penalty spot gave defending champions Arnett Gardens a convincing win over the encouraging debutants UWI FC on Monday night in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).The above statistics speak to the outcome of the match, but what will not be borne out by that is the importance of and increasing influence of Vishinul Harris on the Arnett Gardens team. The 22-year-old, who was a part of Jamaica’s Under-23 team which failed recently to qualify for the Olympics, was unplayable when he wanted.It was on one of his ‘hot knife through butter’ runs that he was brought down in the second half to earn the penalty, which Phang dispatched with ease. That and more gave the former Charlie Smith player enough to feel encouraged.”Actually, I have to give thanks for all things. The Father has made this possible. I just continue to work hard. I know I am still developing and that I have a lot to learn about the game,” he said.Monday night’s performance, Harris said, is only a start of what is to come later on in the season, as he works to raise his game.”You can expect a lot from me this season. My aim really is to make myself a better player and I am really looking forward to shining this season.”Last season was an injury-plagued one for me as I got a lot of injuries and played just about 10 games. Right now I am working hard on my fitness and trying to stay healthy and once I am healthy you will see what I can do,” stated Harris.The fire in Harris, who also played Under-20 football for the country, was fuelled by the country’s failure in to qualify for the Olympics.”It (not qualifying for the Olympics) was a big disappointment for the country in that we did not go any further in the competition and that we have never in our history. We have never qualified for the Olympic Games in football and we believed we could have done it so not getting it done was a big disappointment. It is really unfortunate as I was really looking forward to it and am working to make up for that disappointment now,” he said.With representing his country at football in the Olympics out of the way, there is just the Reggae Boyz now for Harris and that he said requires a lot from him.”It is still my dream to play for the country at the highest level, but it will take a lot of work and dedication from me. There is a team right now in competition so for me to get a chance I will have to show that I can do it and I am prepared to do that,” he declared confidently.
ISLAMABAD (AP):Ageing Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is thinking about quitting Test cricket, and this month’s three-match series against England could be his last in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”I have not yet taken the final decision about it (retiring), but I am thinking about it,” the 41-year-old Misbah told reporters yesterday.Misbah has already retired from Twenty20 and also stepped down from ODIs after Pakistan couldn’t progress beyond the quarter-finals at the World Cup this year.The delay in India’s confirmation for its scheduled series against Pakistan in December – also in the UAE – is one of the reasons Misbah is contemplating retiring from Test cricket.If the India-Pakistan series doesn’t go ahead, Pakistan’s next Test assignment is against England in July next year.”This is the point on which I am thinking, too. I have to see how I will keep myself ready for the next series because there’s not much domestic cricket during this period,” Misbah said.Pakistan defeated England 3-0 in their last Test series in the UAE in 2012, but Alistair Cook’s team will be confident after defeating Australia in the Ashes series at home.”It’s not correct to create a perception about our past victory against them,” Misbah said. “England is coming on the back of some very good recent performances at home against Australia and they will not be an easy opponent.”Misbah, who scored Test cricket’s fastest century against Australia last year in the UAE, will be forming a batting nucleus along with Azhar Ali, Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq, who all played in the 2012 series against England.Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar were among England’s spin ranks in the last series, but now England will be relying heavily on Moin Ali’s off-spin to trouble Pakistan’s strong middle order on the slow wickets in the UAE.”Last time their spin bowling was quite experienced and Swann was world’s No. 1 bowler in Test cricket, but now they have Moin Ali,” Misbah said.In the absence of Saeed Ajmal, Misbah hoped Yasir Shah, who played a key role in tormenting Australia last year, and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar would step up again to offset England’s batting line-up.”Yasir and Zulfiqar have given good performances and they did well against Sri Lanka,” Misbah said. “I hope that they won’t let us down in the absence of Saeed Ajmal and will do well.”
“I’ve said some stupid things,” an emotional Fury said of his pre-fight talk and antics. “Wladimir, you’re a great champion, and thanks for having me. It was all fun and games in the build-up.” It was Klitschko’s 28th title fight, but the premier heavyweight of this era relinquished the IBF belt he had held since 2006, the WBO title he’d owned since 2008, and the WBA crown he’d had since 2011. The other major belt, the WBC’s, was held by Deontay Wilder of the U.S. That was vacated in 2013 by Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, who was the major of Kiev. Fury was itching to go from the start, and he ran into the first round to put Klitschko off kilter. The Briton took the liberty of goading Klitschko during and after the round. Fury put his hands behind his back in the third round, though the defending champion improved in the next. Fury landed a big right on Klitschko in the fifth, when he opened a small cut under his right eye, and taunted him again. The Briton’s intensity seemed to drop as Klitschko improved, but still he needled him in the seventh, when he urged Klitschko to “come on” and baited him again with his hands behind his back, prompting more jeers. Fury had a point deducted for hitting behind the head in the 11th and both fighters gave their all in a furious final round before raising their arms in celebration. CONCEDED DÜSSELDORF, Germany (AP): Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision to end the Ukrainian’s nine and a half-year reign as heavyweight champion last night and took his World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight titles. After a bruising encounter that ended with cuts near both of Klitschko’s eyes, referee Tony Weeks went to the judges’ scorecards. Cesar Ramos and Raul Caiz Sr scored it 115-112 each, while Ramon Cerdan had it 116-111 in favour of the undefeated Briton (25-0, 18 KO). Fury, 12 years younger than the 39-year-old Klitschko, taunted and baited the champion at various stages, prompting jeers from fans at the 55,000-seat stadium in D¸esseldorf. Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) was cautious until attempting a recovery in the final rounds, but suffered his first defeat since April 2004.
Gibson McCook Relays organising committee chairman, Professor Rainford Wilks, believes this year’s 40th renewal is set to be one of the biggest, most exciting, and well-attended while revealing that they are hoping to make it an international staple, and calendar affair using the new media, broadcast and communication platforms of their sponsors.The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 27, at the National Stadium with the organisers making plans to stream and broadcast the event to audiences outside of Jamaica. Entries will close on January 31.The event’s main sponsors include the Wisynco Group, clothing/apparel partner PUMA and communications partner Digicel.The event is expected to attract as many as 4,000 athletes while a total of 37 billed sponsors, returning and new, have snapped up 42 events for the day’s action which will begin at 9 a.m.”We are hoping we can fill the National Stadium and that’s one of the reasons we have tried to keep the entrance fees low for the past two to three years. We feel it’s an Olympic year, so we are going to get a little boost out of that, and it’s two weeks before Champs and everybody will be in Champs mode,” Wilks outlined in an interview with The Gleaner.The chairman revealed that gate receipts are expected to be in the vicinity of $10 million, at the event which he thinks is “comparable to anywhere in the world because our senior athletes are going to be there”.This year, the meet has attracted sponsorship valued at approximately $5 million, which Wilks calls a “substantial amount of money”.”We feel that we will be able to make it an international staple and calendar event not just in Jamaica, but worldwide,” Wilks said.According to Wilks, all the top athletes in Jamaica will compete once available.”We see all of them performing. I expect Shelly (Fraser-Pryce) to be here this year. We can’t give any commitment that there will be star athletes, but we know that because they feel loyal and because they see Gibson as part of their nurturing and development, they always come to Gibson and give back, unless they have some good reason not to,” he told The Gleaner.
In the mixed doubles, the Austrian pair of Obernosterer and Baldauf are seeded number one, while the number two seeds are Mexican Mariana Ugalde and Bjorn Seguin (USA). Top mixed Jamaican pair, Henry siblings Gareth and Geordine, will face their Jamaican teammates, Kemar Valentine and Taina Daley in round one. The tournament is sponsored by Mayberry Investment Ltd, Sports Development Foundation, Jamaica Sport, RJR Group, The Gleaner, along with Sun Island, JMMB, Milex Security Ltd., Yonex, Tastee, Icool, North Business Eco Systems, Yardie Sport, National Outdoor Advertising, Pure National Ice, Zip Technologies, Hi-Lyte and Jamaica Producers. MIXED DOUBLES THE top seeds in the men’s singles event of the II Jamaica International 2016 badminton tournament Cuban Osleni Guerrero, Howard Shu of the United States, plus Austrians David Obernosterer and Luka Wraber progressed to the second round with byes. In the meantime, Jamaica’s number one, Gareth Henry, took on Barbadian Bradley Pilgrim in the first round. With a spate of withdrawals in the women’s singles, Mikaylia Haldane from Jamaica has been catapulted into the quarter-finals. Top Jamaican female, Katherine Wynter, faced last year’s runner-up, Czech Zuzana Pavelkova, in round one. The top seed in this event is Italian Jeanine Cicognini, followed by Austria’s Elisabeth Baldauf. In the men’s doubles, with the withdrawal of the number one seeds from Mexico, all eyes will be on Indian pair Kona Tarun and Alwin Francis, as well as the favourites and number two seeds from Belgium, Matjis Dierickx and Freek Golinski. The Ladies Doubles is an all Jamaican affair, with top seeds Wynter and Ruth Williams expected to be stiff competition for the rest of the draw.
THE sparingly raced 4-y-o filly BERRANCA should make amends for her near miss over 1100 metres on March 26 when she takes on seven opponents in the 4-y-o and up restricted allowance, the opening Super-6 race over 1200 metres on tomorrow’s Post to Post Guineas Day 11-race programme at Caymanas Park. The Adore The Gold – Charity Dance offspring, who, in 2015 finished third in the in 1000 Guineas and second in the Oaks, returned from a nine-month absence recently and lost out by a head to RAS EMANUEL in a driving finish in a highly competitive race. Now a lot better for the run and bang-in-form claiming apprentice Linton Steadman riding for trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes, BERRANCA will not be easily denied from the convenient mark of 53.0kg. She will find the distance ideal and should lead home SUPERTRONICS and COMMANDING AVIATOR. DOC HOLIDAY, who has won a number of races in the past six months, should prove too strong for rivals in the closing stages of the second race (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) over 1300 metres. The stretch-running 6-y-o gelding, who now takes orders from trainer Tyrone Prince, has lots of speed ahead of him in the likes of down-in-class DIFERENTGENERATION, AUNT HILDA, and recent winner LEGAL ACCOUNT, who has changed stables since winning easily on a $250,000 tag on March 19. With DIFERENTGENARATION, in particular, sure to make things pretty hot, the pace should come back to the closer DOC HOLIDAY, who notched his last win over this trip some months ago at this level. The improving claiming apprentice Jerome Innis has the ride. GRAND TRAIN, who found only FABULOUSCONNECTION too good over the straight recently, should provide top apprentice Steadman with yet another winner in the third race over 1100 metres for five-year-olds and up. The 5-y-o grey horse has most appeal in the 10-strong field and gets the nod over the free-running DR DEAREST with former champion Wesley Henry aboard. SUB STRUCTURE, now dropping down two classes for the fourth race over 1100 metres for conditional $180,000 claimers, should come into her own with Steadman astride and win from MANDEYA and BALA BAD GIRL LINKS in a field of 10. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by CONCLUSION (improving rapidly now) and the well-forward first-time runner SUPER COP (working brilliantly), with Omar Walker riding him for 15-time champion Wayne DaCosta in a field of 13 maiden three-year-olds. FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES (1) BERRANCA (2) DOC HOLIDAY/LEGAL ACCOUNT (3) GRAND TRAIN/DR DEAREST (4) SUB STRUCTURE/MANDEYA (5) CONCLUSION/MR DOITBETTA (6) SUPER COP
Three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson was on Tuesday cleared by the stewards of the Jamaica Racing Commission for his riding of highly-fancied COMMANDING CHIEF in the seventh race for overnight allowance horses at Caymanas Park on Saturday, March 19. Nelson rode the veteran campaigner to finish fifth to HOVER CRAFT over 1500 metres, but the stewards were not satisfied with his riding and summoned him to an inquiry. After hearing submissions from Nelson as well as his representative Ed Barnes, the stewards accepted the jockey’s submission that he had suffered an injury on the track on Friday, March 18 and had received medication from the doctor. They also accepted the argument that COMMANDING CHIEF displayed symptoms of breathing problems during the race, which affected his performance. Additionally, Nelson apologised to the stewards for his disrespectful behaviour in the scales area and in the vicinity of the Stewards’ Room. He was also cautioned regarding his conduct and what is expected of him as a professional jockey. Nelson, the leading rider with 22 wins so far this season, was second time lucky yesterday, when he successfully appealed the decision by the stewards to disqualify his mount, PAPER N LACE after winning division one of the McKay Security Trophy over 1820m on New Year’s Day. The horse was disqualified for causing interference to OH MY GRANDPA in the early stages of the event and the race was awarded to GRAN CORAZON. PAPER N LACE was reinstated to first by the full Commission.
Reigning national shotgun champion Shaun Barnes showed imperious form to hit a High Overall (HOA) score of 94 and win the 2016 Bernard Cridland Memorial Sporting Clays tournament at the Jamaica Skeet Club last Sunday.The five-time national shotgun champion dominated a field of 98 shooters, finishing two points ahead of runner-up Bruce Duquesnay, 92, and A Class first, Ruel Chung, 92.Barnes, who won the 2016 National Shotgun 200 sporting clays in July this year, returned after a three-month break to win again, convincingly, like he never left.The event witnessed a turnout of 98 shooters, and according to Jamaica Skeet Club president Khaleel Azan, this was “10 per cent more than 2015, it’s great for the sport and the Jamaica Skeet Club joins the Friendly Lodge 239 in thanking all the participants for their support”.He noted that the consistent performance of Barnes “must be congratulated”.Azan added that Oneal Brown and his team was setting a course totally on their own for the first time.”The consensus was that it was an excellent first attempt that satisfied the wide cross section of shooters; A to Hunters’ Class, Ladies, Juniors and Sub Juniors,” he noted.Meanwhile, there were class promotions for Omar Francis, to C Class and Jonah Subaran (13 years) to D Class.Matthew Morin was promoted to the E Class, while winners in the C, D and E classes all shot in the 80s.WinnersHOA Shaun Barnes 94R/U Bruce Duquesnay 92A ClassRuel Chung 92Robert Yap Foo 89Errol Ziadie 89B ClassKingsley Chin 87Nicholas Benjamin 87Jordan Thwaites 84C ClassBrandon Laing 84Matthew Josephs (Jr) 84Mark Harris 83D ClassOmar Francis 83Jordan Samuda 79Danzell Knight (Jr) 79E ClassJonah Subaran (sJr) 81Cameron Phang Sang (Jr) 80Mark Benjamin 77HuntersMatthew Morin 78Zaniel Knight (sJr) 72Nikolai Azan (sJr) 70LadiesRenee Rickhi 74Marguerite Harris 68Isabelle Chin (Jr) 63JuniorsMatthew Josephs 84Peter Mahfood 82Cameron Phang Sangh 80Sub JuniorsJonah Subaran 81Mark Desnoes 79Roman Tavares-Finson 79
The fifth and final game of the 2016-17 Jamaica Golf Association Juniors Series climaxed with much excitement, where 17 of the island’s top juniors stamped their class on the competition, taking top prizes at the Caymanas Golf Club, in St Catherine on Saturday. Last Saturday’s curtain-closer of the national junior series also signalled new and upcoming young talents in the classes of Beginners, Intermediate, Semi-Advanced, Red Tees, White Tees and Blue Tees. The youngsters were awarded 100 points for each match won in the series, 90 for second, while third place got 85, and participants earned 50 points for competing. After the five games, a confident Adrian Barnes emerged as the overall winner in the Beginners Class with a score of 365 points, while Cillian Hall (340 points) and Kemari Morris (325) were second and third, respectively. IN PHOTO: Bjorne Dennis takes a practice swing before teeing off The Intermediate Class went to the consistent Lek Drummond, who scored 490 points, to finish ahead of second placed Mattea Issa (445) and Samantha Azan (440) who took home a third-place finish. EXCITING PLAY-OFF In Semi Advanced, Brady Holmes showed his abilities in finishing with a score of 430 points – 40 more than second placed Sebastian Azan, who cleverly nudged Bjorne Dennis into third place in an exciting play-off after he too tallied 390 points. The Red Tees was highlighted by the brilliance of Tristan Brown. Brown won all five games with maximum 500 points, while Rocco Lopez finished a close second with 450. Emily Mayne was third with 385 points. SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE: http://bit.do/JuniorGolfers The White Tees category was won by Tajay Loban with 345 points. Luke Chin copped second with a score of 275, and Elric Li scored 150 for third. The Blue Tees competition went to standout Justin Burrows, who scored 365 points, while Navarra Nelson copped the runner-up spot with 200 points. Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) president Peter Chin praised the junior golf programme for how well it is doing locally, while noting Jamaica could very soon have a championship team in the juniors in the Caribbean. “You are going to lead that charge,” Chin told the youngsters. Game number five class winners Beginners: Cillian Hall 46 Adrian Barnes 47 Kemari Morris 48 Intermediate: Lek Drummond 39 Mattea Issa 39 Samantha Azan 44 Semi-Advanced: Sebastian Azan 86 Trey Williams 88 Bjorne Dennis 99 Red Tees: Tristan Brown 77 Rocco Lopez 81 Emily Mayne 94 White Tees: Luke Chin 77 Kei Harris 81 Tajay Loban 87 Blue Tees: Justin Burrows 85 Navarra Nelson 117
MADRID, Spain (AP):A day after the Spanish rival was demoralised by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Madrid produced one of their best performances of the season in a victory over Napoli to move closer to a seventh straight appearance in the quarter-finals.There was more good news for Madrid yesterday, as Gareth Bale practised with the rest of the team and will be ready to make his return to the line-up this weekend after a long injury lay-off.It means the ‘BBC’ trio of Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo will be reunited after nearly three months, just in time for the decisive stages of the season.The forwards will likely be playing together when Madrid hosts Espanyol in the Spanish league tomorrow, when they will have a chance to increase their lead over Barcelona and stay on track for their first league title since 2012.POSSIBLY THE BEST PERFORMANCEMadrid, defending their Champions League title, conceded an early goal, but recovered quickly to comfortably earn the victory ahead of the second leg in Italy.”We put in a great performance, possibly our best,” Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said.Madrid have already won two titles this season, the European Super Cup, in a final against Sevilla, and the Club World Cup in Japan. They have a one-point lead over Barcelona in the Spanish league, but with two games in hand, at Valencia and at Celta Vigo.Madrid were eliminated by Celta Vigo in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.COPA FINALBarcelona will play in the Copa final against Sevilla on May 27 at Atletico Madrid’s Vicente Calderon Stadium. They have already beaten Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup final.Winning a sixth Champions League title will be a long-shot after the resounding 4-0 loss to PSG in France on Tuesday, a result the prompted criticism of coach Luis Enrique and put in doubt his future at the club.”We are a team that has showed in past seasons that we know how to come up with good performances,” Luis Enrique said after taking the blame for the debacle in Paris, one of the worst in the club’s recent history. “We will have a small chance, but it’s still a chance.”Barcelona host promoted Leganes on Sunday in the Spanish league, a competition they have won the last two seasons.