DIGICEL SPORTSMAX2SATURDAY, DECEMBER 267:45 A.M: STOKE VS MAN UNITED10 A.M: MAN CITY VS SUNDERLAND12:00 P.M: NEWCASTLE VS EVERTON2:45 P.M: SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENALSUNDAY, DECEMBER 276:30 A.M: ASTON VILLA VS WEST HAM8:30 A.M: BOURNEMOUTH VS CRYSTAL10:30 A.M: SWANSEA VS WEST BROM1:30 P.M: CHELSEA VS WATFORD
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC- Four West Indies cricketers have been given permission to play in the inaugural Masters Champions League (MCL) T20 scheduled to start tomorrow in the United Arab Emirates. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday that so far No Objection Certificates (NOCs) have been granted to Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards and Krishmar Santokie. All four players have written to the WICB indicating that they have retired. The MCL is an approved tournament of the International Cricket Council for players who have retired from international cricket. However, the players are still eligible to compete for their respective Franchises in their member countries, regional tournaments and other worldwide leagues. The exception is Barbadian Edwards, who is a Kolpak player, having opted to play for Hampshire in the United Kingdom after giving up his right to play for his member country. West Indies batting legend Brian Lara, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara, Jacques Kallis and Andrew Symonds are also among stars to feature in the MCL. The MCL, which will feature six franchises, is set to run from Thursday, January 28 to Saturday, February 13 in the United Arab Emirates. MCL T20 will showcase 18 matches including the semi final and the final at the Dubai International Stadium.
LIVERPOOL (4-2-3-1)MIGNOLET,FLANAGAN, LOVREN, SAKHO, CLYNE,CAN, ALLEN,LALLANA, STURRIDGE, COUTINHO,ORIGIKANE,LAMELA, ALLI, ERIKSEN,DIER, DEMBELE,ROSE, WIMMER, ALDERWEIRELD, WALKER,LLORISSPURS (4-2-3-1)Tottenham Hotspur arrive at Anfield in second place in the Barclays Premier League, five points behind leaders Leicester City. Spurs can cut that lead to two points as they play tomorrow and the leaders are not in action, at home to Southampton, until the following afternoon.Tottenham have lost just two of their last 16 Premier League home games, winning nine and drawing five and away from home they have won eight and lost just two of their 15 games on the road. And Spurs have conceded just 12 away goals this season.Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored four goals in his last two League games – he also netted for England in the 3-2 win in Germany – to become the fifth Englishman to score 20-plus goals in consecutive Premier League seasons, following in the footsteps of Andrew Cole, Les Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler and Alan Shearer.Meanwhile, Liverpool lost 3-2 at Southampton last time out; it was the first time in their Premier League history that they have failed to win having led by two or more goals at half-time, having previously won 112 and drawn three of 115 games.Philippe Coutinho has scored more goals in all competitions for Liverpool in 2015-16 than in any other previous campaign with nine.Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet has saved three of the last five penalties that he has faced in the Premier League for Liverpool, after saving one of the previous five.Spurs last won in the league at Anfield in May 2011 and have lost five and drawn one of their last six league clashes.Liverpool test Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino while Spurs have a doubt over Toby Alderweireld.
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.