THERE has never been a one-two-three-four sweep at the World Championships. Come next week, all that could change as the United States look set to dominate the women’s 100 metres hurdles, where Jamaica’s champion Danielle Williams will be the country’s main hope of advancing to the final. Jamaica has had good results in the event over the years through Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Delloreen Ennis-London and Michelle Freeman, all of whom won medals on the World stage. Foster- Hylton won medals of all colours, her best coming at the Berlin World Champion-ships in 2009 where she took the gold medal. Gillian Russell, Dionne Rose-Henley and Vonette Dixon have all been to the finals and the country will be hoping to advance athletes to their first final since 2009. It will be a very tough task for the Williams sisters, Danielle and Shermaine, along with Kimberly Laing. The United States appear to have a stranglehold on this event. The good thing for Jamaica is that only four can compete at the Worlds and there is realistic hope that one or two of the Jamaicans can squeeze into the final. The United States have so much depth, in spite of their second best athlete in the world this year – Jasmin Stowers (with 12.35 seconds) – not making the team after finishing fifth at their National Championships. The US also got a wild card through defending champion, Brianna Rollins, who is the fourth ranked American going into the Championships, with a season best 12.56 seconds. It will be interesting to see the finishing order of the top four as world leader Sharika Nelvis, with 12.34, Dawn Harper-Nelson, 12.48, Kendra Harrison, 12.50, and Rollins will definitely fight it out for the top positions. Harper-Nelson is the most experienced, having finished seventh in Berlin, third in Daegu and fourth two years ago in Moscow. She will be hoping to go all the way this time and add a second global title to her kitty, following gold at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. However, she will find her younger teammates too hot to handle this time around and will be hoping that a fast time is not done as usually she is hard to beat anywhere between 12.46 seconds or slower. Following her exit at the semi-final stage two years ago, Danielle Williams has a glorious opportunity to advance to her first World Championships final. She is ranked at number six behind the Americans and Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter (12.56). Williams won her first global title last month at the World University Games in Gwangju, Korea, and looks set to improve on her season best of 12.70. 1 Sharika Nelvis (USA), 2 Kendra Harrison (USA), 3 Brianna Rollins (USA) TOP THREE
STUDYING THE OPPONENT Asked about his opponent and whether he had watched tapes on him, Walters replied: “I don’t watch tapes. My trainers do that and then make suggestions as to how I should fight an opponent. When we get into the ring, however, I see what my opponent has to offer, and I then show him what I have. After that, may the best man win.” Based on the records of the two fighters, tonight’s fight promises to be explosive. Walters has a 26-0 record with 21 knockouts and Sosa has an 18-1 record with 14 knockouts. Sosa is on a 13-fight knockout streak. Walters has an 81 per cent knockout ration, while Sosa’s is 64 per cent. Because of these statistics, the predictions are that the fight will not go the distance, and Walters is starting as the favourite. Walters’ dad, Job, who has been assisting with his training for over a month, is confident that his son will win. “This will be an early Christmas present for Jamaica,” Job Walters said. Despite losing his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight super title on the scales last June 13 when he came in one pound overweight, Jamaican boxing star Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters gave a superb performance at the Madison Square Garden Theatre against Miguel Marriaga to win his 12-round non-title fight by unanimous decision. Tonight, he seeks to show the world that he is still championship material when he takes on American Jason Sosa over 10 rounds in the co-feature bout on an HBO promotion. The other featured bout is a WBA heavyweight title contest between Luis Ortiz and Bryant Jennings, and the venue is the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, New York. An interesting note with regard to tonight’s fight is that it will be in the super featherweight division, which is 130 pounds. Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Walters said that the decision was taken by his camp to make him fight at the higher weight class, to see how he handles it. “In boxing, three pounds of additional weight makes a lot of difference, and I just want to see how comfortable I am at that weight,” he said. He added: “There is big money in the featherweight class, particularly with Lomachenko on the horizon, but if I feel comfortable fighting at 130, I may just move up. There are some good boxers up there too, and the Japanese Super champion (Takashi) Uchiyama is a crowd pleaser. A fight against him would pull in some good money. “I am just going into this fight with an open mind. I have trained hard, I am feeling good and very strong, and I am going to let it all hang out.”
PORTLAND, Oregon, (CMC):Jamaica international Darren Mattocks scored his first goal for his new club Portland Timbers but it proved in vain as the hosts crashed to a 3-1 defeat to FC Dallas at Providence Park.The 25-year-old, who joined Portland last month after four years with the Vancouver Whitecaps, came off the bench in the 65th minute in the Wednesday night contest to pull one back for his side two minutes later, and rescue some pride after they had conceded three first-half goals.Portland now lie one from bottom in the western conference with five points from six games.FC Dallas, featuring St Kitts and Nevis international Atiba Harris, started quickly and were ahead as early as the fourth minute when Michael Barrios finished from close range.Colombian Fabian Castillo doubled the lead in the 26th minute before Tesho Akindele capitalised on a poor clearance inside the box, to force a shot past goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.In need of a lift, Portland turned to the pacey Mattocks and he rewarded them with a well taken goal in the 67th minute.Defender Chris Klute got down the left and sent a searching ball into the box which Walker Zimmerman failed to clear. The ball fell to Mattocks who curled his shot into the upper right hand corner, from about ten yards out.Despite the strike, Portland could not find a way back and FC Dallas held onto the scoreline.
St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) were crowned champions of the all-island ISSA/GraceKennedy Spalding Cup play-off for the 18th time after defeating Excelsior High by 10 wickets at STETHS yesterday.Starting the third and final day on 99 for five, a lead of one run, Excelsior were eventually dismissed for 152.National Under-17 batsman Raewin Senior led the way with 52 for Excelsior.STETHS captain Michael Frew, three for 20, and Odaine McCatty, three for 17, claimed the most wickets.Set 54 to win, STETHS posted 56 without loss with openers Jordane Hill and Okeeno Farquharson ending unbeaten on 26 and 22, respectively.Final scores: Excelsior 121 and 152; STETHS 219 and 54 without loss.
The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has designated his training partner and 2011 World 100m champion, Yohan Blake, as his heir apparent and said he expects his fellow Jamaican to pick up the mantle of the “face of global athletics” when he retires from the sport. Bolt, the reigning two-time Olympic 100m and 200m champion, has been the superstar of the sport for the last eight years. The athlete, who turns 30 in August, has said he plans to retire after next year’s International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Athletics in London and president of track, and field’s world governing body, Sebastian Coe, had said the sport will survive after Bolt’s departure. Speaking to The Gleaner at yesterday’s Bring the Beat launch at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston, Bolt said Blake, who is also coached by Glen Mills at the University of the West Indies-based Racers Track Club, is the man for job. “I said to Blake that he is the one that I have to hand it over to after I retire. To me, he is going to come back in form very great after the season to come because it’s going to take time after coming back from a big injury to get back into your running; so I think when I retire that Blake will definitely take over,” the athlete said. Blake, then only a 21-year-old, became the youngest 100m World champion in history in 2011 when he won the men’s 100m final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in a field missing Bolt, who had earlier false-started. He won silver in the event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, beaten into second by Bolt, and was a member of Jamaica’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team. In 2013, Blake suffered a hamstring injury and has since struggled to regain form, but Bolt believes that when he does, he will be the man to beat. “I know I train with Yohan Blake and I see him compete, and he was one of the top athletes before he got injured, and he’s going to get back to the top as long as he continues working and stays focused, as I know he will, so I give him the crown.” At the height of form, Blake beat Bolt in the final of the men’s 100m and 200m at the 2012 Jamaica National Senior Championships, clocking 9.75 seconds and 19.80 to Bolt’s 9.86 seconds and 19.83. Bolt, in the meantime, is looking forward to winning the 100m and 200m titles at the Olympic Games later this year. “Everything is happy, everything is going smooth; training is going well. My coach is happy and I’m taking my time and lowering my time, so I’m happy with where everything is going,” he said.
Olympic 4x400m relay silver medallist Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby says that coach Maurice Wilson was instrumental in the successes she had this year. The Sprintec Track Club athlete, who was coming off a year of being inactive, says that she surpassed her expectations for the year, when she claimed her medal at the Rio Olympics in the summer. “If somebody told me this time last year that I would end up finishing my season doing the 400m, I would tell them that they’re lying,” McLaughlin-Whilby said. McLaughlin-Whilby made a switch from the 200m to the 400m ahead of the JAAA National Senior Championships in July and says that it was because of how much she trusted Wilson, who had told her to give the longer distance a chance. “I was focusing on the 200m but coach was always saying I should not write off the 400m,” McLaughlin-Whilby says. She says that contracting the Zika virus less than a month before the trials also played a significant role in the switch. It set her training schedule back by a week. “He said I missed too much training after getting Zik-v, but he could always get me stronger. That’s what made me switch to the 400m for the National Trials. “I believe in my coach and once he told me that it was possible, I just worked with him. Whatever he gave me to do, even though the 400m workout is extremely hard, I tried my best to give 100 percent.” The 30 year old is already back in training, for the 400m, as she looks ahead to the IAAF World Championships in London, England next summer. She says it has been “fabulous” so far. “This is a new challenge for me, the 400m. I’m taking it on, head on, and it’s been going great,” she says. “It’s hard but it’s good.”
THREE-TIME CHAMPIONS The Dutchman is a three-time Champions League top scorer, and the fourth highest Champions league scorer in history, with 56 goals. Minister of Finance, Audley Shaw, who was a guest speaker at the launch, called it an important and significant event, labelling it as a special occasion for Jamaica to be the first Caribbean host of the prestigious trophy. Meanwhile, Ricardo Nuncio, Managing Director of Red Stripe, which is a member of the Heineken company also underlined the significance of the tour. “The trophy tour is very important, because we start the trophy tour here in Jamaica, and it’s the first stop of the trophy around the world,” Nuncio underlined. Following the Jamaican tour, other countries set to receive the trophy include; Panama, Colombia, Egypt, India and Vietnam. Ruud van Nistelrooy, one of the UEFA Champions League’s top scorers, will be gracing local shores as Heineken UEFA Champion League trophy tour brand ambassador with the much-coveted trophy spending time in the island from March 20 to 23. The mega event is dubbed Heineken UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, a four-day fan powered event. The ‘big ears’ trophy, will be showcased across the island, starting with an introductory press conference at Red Stripe’s head office shortly after its arrival in the island on March 20 and then a stop at the Triple Century Bar and Grill on the same day. Usain Bolt Tracks and Records and the National Stadium will be the other viewing venues on the 21st with Football Factory, Margaritaville (Ocho Rios) on March 22nd and Pier One in Montego Bay on the 23rd providing the other opportunities for fans to see the trophy. The event was launched in a colourful spectacle on Tuesday night at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Speaking via a video recording, Nistelrooy, who played as a striker for European giants Manchester United and Real Madrid, is looking forward to meeting local fans. “Hello, Jamaica, on the 23rd of March, I will be coming to Jamaica. I am an ambassador of Heinekin’s UEFA Champions League trophy tour. That’s the reason why I will be coming to Jamaica, and I am not coming alone. “I am coming with the UEFA Champions League Trophy, and I hope to meet you all there, respect Jamaica,” he said.
MANCHESTER, England (AP): With his brief and humiliating experience as coach of England’s national team behind him, Sam Allardyce is back on familiar ground in the Premier League and doing what he does best: Turning around the fortunes of a struggling team. ‘Big Sam’, as he is known in football circles, is a master at keeping clubs in the Premier League, so it was no surprise that Crystal Palace turned to him late last year as the south London club plunged towards the relegation zone. He made a slow start to life at Palace, but results over the last month have been typical of Allardyce: Three games, three gritty performances, three clean sheets and most importantly three wins. Palace have pulled four points clear of the bottom three. Another team saved by Allardyce? Not quite, but he certainly has Palace the worst-performing team in all four professional leagues of English football in 2016 heading in the right direction. The pragmatic, no-nonsense manager has done that by getting back to basics, starting at the back where Palace was extremely shaky under previous manager Alan Pardew. Fortunately, Allardyce had a transfer window to shake up the squad and two signings are starting to prove their worth. France centre back Mamadou Sakho was brought in on loan from Liverpool, where he was out of the team because of fitness issues and after getting a provisional ban for a failed doping test that was later dismissed by UEFA. Sakho has slotted into a newly formed five-man defence and Palace hasn’t conceded a goal with him in the team. Luka Milivojevic, a holding midfielder from Serbia, joined from Olympiakos and has been stationed in front of the defence for the wins over Middlesbrough (1-0), West Bromwich Albion (2-0) and Watford (1-0), offering great protection. It hasn’t been pretty, but Palace are grinding out crucial points. The hard work might just be starting, though. Tomorrow, Palace play at leaders Chelsea in the first game of a difficult 10-match run-in in the Premier League that includes trips to Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, as well as home games against Arsenal, Leicester and Tottenham. That four-point cushion could come in very handy for Palace, who are 16th in the 20-team league. Elsewhere, the future of manager Arsene Wenger and forward Alexis Sanchez are up in the air, and Arsenal are struggling for form on the field. Arsenal’s only wins in eight games since January have been against Premier League struggler Hull and non-league teams Sutton and Lincoln in the FA Cup. The team has dropped to sixth in the league, six points behind fourth-place Liverpool, who occupies the final Champions League qualification spot. Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League every year since 1998. With his latest deal due to expire at the end of this season, Wenger gave no new hints about his future plans yesterday, saying: “It’s a subject that, at the moment, is not sorted completely out.” MERSEYSIDE DEBY BACK TO BASICS Liverpool have established a reputation under manager Juergen Klopp for playing well against the league’s top sides and being less fluent against the rest. So where do Everton fit in these days? Everton have climbed to seventh in the standings after seven wins in its last 10 games and even has an outside shot at Champions League qualification. Liverpool have not lost any of their last 13 Merseyside derbies since a 2-0 win for Everton in October 2010.
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles “I’m surprised of the three San Sebastian players. They can play and they just play. The same goes with St. Benilde. They really enjoyed their time even if they came from different schools,” he said, praising the attitude of San Sebastian’s Ian Valdez, Kevin Baytan, and Alvin Baetiong, as well as St. Benilde’s JJ Domingo, Edward Dixon, and Gerard Castor.With the midseason festivities now done with, Fernandez’ focus is back in the second round as San Beda returns to action against St. Benilde.“We know the second round will come on Tuesday. We’re enjoying this now and tomorrow, we’ll already focus on the second round,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Fernandez was finally able to get one against Robinson, as the Saints team, made up of stars from San Beda, Letran, San Sebastian, Perpetual, and St. Benilde, escaped the late rally from the Heroes crew, comprised of standouts from Lyceum, JRU, EAC, Arellano, and Mapua.The Red Lion mentor the rare chance to have players like Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, and eventual All-Star MVP Prince Eze in his team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“They’re really good. You know them when you’re facing against them, but once you coach them, you can really see their basketball IQ,” he said.Fernandez was also caught by surprise with how the unheralded players from the Golden Stags and the Blazers worked hard in practice. Coach Boyet Fernandez. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netSan Beda coach Boyet Fernandez isn’t putting too much thought his victory over Topex Robinson when his Saints prevailed over the Heroes, 84-80, in the 2017 NCAA All-Star Game on Friday.“It’s a different situation. Even though Topex is coaching the other team, it’s still an All-Star game and we’re just enjoying today’s game. It’s for the fans and the students of the member schools of the NCAA,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT PBA: Globalport stuns TNT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay View comments Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles
OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene LATEST STORIES NBA fines Suns’ Jackson $35,000 for ‘menacing gesture’ View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ The Pacers got Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis from the Thunder in exchange for George. Oladipo is averaging 22.3 points per game. Donovan said Oladipo is in a good place because his athletic ability can be maximized in Indiana’s up-tempo style.“The greatest Victor has always had in my opinion has been his energy,” Donovan said. “That’s the way it was in college. He’s worked exceptionally hard to develop his shooting, develop his ballhandling.”Sabonis is averaging 12.3 points and nine rebounds.George’s adjustment has been a mixed bag so far. He’s averaging 21.3 points, but he’s shooting just 37percent from the field.“The more of these games come around, the more I see teams play us, the more opportunities I see that are opening up. The game is different for me now, in an easier way that I’m not taking advantage of.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers02:09‘I am prepared:’ Duterte reiterates openness to accept Rohingya refugees01:29Saudis cut loose at rave-like event02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award The disappointed Pacers opted to trade the face of their franchise to Oklahoma City rather than play a season with a star they had no long-term future with and perhaps get nothing in return.With the Pacers, George was a four-time All-Star and helped Indiana reach the Eastern Conference Finals twice. The Thunder host the Pacers on Wednesday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“It’ll be emotional from a standpoint of it’s an organization that I started with, had a wonderful journey with, that I had seven unbelievable years with,” George said.George was especially close to Larry Bird, who was team president when the Pacers made him the 10th pick in the 2010 draft. George said he appreciated the time he spent with Bird, who has stepped down as president but remains with the franchise as a consultant. “His stories, his knowledge of the game, talking with him through playoff battles and his understanding,” George said. “He’s a legend. Hall of Fame player, Hall of Fame across the whole board — executive, coach.It meant a lot as a young player coming into this league. I was grateful to have that time talking to him and sharing conversations.”New Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony had to face his old team, the New York Knicks, in the season opener. He said he spoke with George during the preseason about facing their former teams so soon.“If I sit here and say he’s not excited about that game tomorrow, I’d be lying to you,” Anthony said.Thunder coach Billy Donovan said he expects George to handle the situation well.“I’m sure that there’s things he’s going through, but he’s a pro,” Donovan said. “He’ll handle things how he sees fit to handle them. I think he’ll be fine.”ADVERTISEMENT FILE – In this Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) tries to get past Utah Jazz guard Alec Burks (10) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Salt Lake City. New Thunder star Paul George prepares to play the Indiana Pacers On Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, for the first time since he was traded during the offseason. (AP Photo/Chris Nicoll, File)OKLAHOMA CITY — Just four games into the season, Paul George has to face the team he just left under less than ideal circumstances.During the offseason, George’s camp let it be known he planned to become a free agent after next season.ADVERTISEMENT