Top dancehall star, Bounty Killer, will headline the entertainment package at tonight’s Jamaica versus Nicaragua CONCACAF 2018 World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium.”In keeping with the total experience always provided to football fans at games organised by the Jamaica Football Federation, popular artiste Bounty Killer will spearhead the half-time show at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match,” the Jamaica Football Federation said in a release yesterday.The half-time is sponsored by Digicel.Gates open for the game at 5 p.m. and the pre-game period will also feature popular local artistes, including Khago. Kick-off time is 8 p.m.
WINNING WAYS Jamaica College captain Allando Brown, who has been a difference maker and leader for the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association/FLOW Manning, Super and Olivier Shield holders, is promising ‘no let up’ as his school fight to defend their titles this season. Brown, who also represented the national Under-20 football team and Arnett Gardens in the Red Stripe Premier League, has been rock solid at centre for JC. He has scored some crucial goals and provided priceless leadership in the heart of defence to either keep clean sheets or limit opponents scoring. “Jamaica College is always about fighting spirit. No one can beat Jamaica College at 1-0. Trust me, I like the fight from our team always,” he said recently after their Walker Cup quarter-final penalty shoot-out win over Charlie Smith. Brown pulled an equaliser back in that game and scored a penalty, and although his team was eliminated in the semi-finals by Wolmer’s Boys, Brown later led them back to winning ways, courtesy of a 2-1 win over Vere Technical in the Flow Super Cup on Saturday. “Still hard work. The hard work never stops for us,” he said. “Our aim is to get all titles”. The captain maintained that he is motivated to give his all to the team previously led by former outstanding JC footballer Junior Flemmings. “I have to give credit to Junior Flemmings. I have been playing with Junior from under-14, and seeing how he executed as a leader, I am happy to come out here and follow and get the job done,” he said. Flemmings netted over 20 goals for the JC team last season, and is seemingly missed by a JC team which seemed more ruthless and clinical in front of goal last season when they took three of four titles.
Western Bureau:A host of participants will descend on the resort town of Negril for the 15th staging of the Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K road races, which get underway early this morning.The races will begin at 5:15 a.m. at the customary location, the Long Bay Beach Park, and will end at approximately three hours later when there will be a victory beach party and awards presentation.It is expected that last year’s 1,800 entrants will be eclipsed this time around with male and female champions Rupert Green and Karlene Blagrove returning to defend their crowns.Green, who defeated a strong line-up last year in a smart two hours 34 minutes 35 seconds, may have to contend with 2013 winner Gregory McKenzie to retain his title.On the women’s side, Blagrove is yet again looking to be among the top-three finishers in the 26 miles long marathon race.Last year, Blagrove dominated the field to finish in front of Dana Martin-Kelly of Canada and Roberta Fontana from the Bahamas, who ended second and third, respectively.The Reggae Marathon also acts as a great opportunity for high school distance runners and this year it is anticipated that many, including the ever present St Jago High, Holmwood Technical and Bellefield High School will all compete.The event drew runners from more than 35 countries last year, surpassing the 2013 mark. This year, with registration going well, that number could also be eclipsed.
ALL IS set for today’s 40th staging of the Gibson/McCook Relays, which will take place inside the National Stadium at 9:00 a.m. Things will get started with the heats of the high-school boys’ 4x400m relays, with the final set to bring down the curtains on the event. A bumper crowd is expected as usual, with action set to feature competition among primary, prep, junior high, high schools and clubs and institutions, as they all prepare for their upcoming championships. Chairman of the Organising Committee, Professor Rainford Wilks, is very optimistic about today’s staging despite earlier concerns about the possible impact of the general election, which were held on Thursday. “Plans have gone on well. We have been affected by the general election, mainly resulting in the cancellation of the Howard Aris Memorial Lecture,” Wilks shared. Multiple Olympic and World Championships medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was scheduled to speak, but could not facilitate the alternate date. “We regret that and hope to hear from her in the future,” said Wilks. He pointed to a fallout in sponsorship, but was very pleased with the level of entries received for the meet. “Entries are at the robust levels. Our plans to welcome a US College team for the first time after many years have fallen through,” he said. Despite this, he expects the usual quality performances. “The quality will be excellent, as seen from the development meets since January. We are very happy with preparations, and patrons can expect a high quality, efficiently run meet in a safe, fun-filled environment,” he added. As usual, a lot of attention will surround the high-school competition as teams will be using the opportunity to fine-tune ahead of Champs. Defending girls champion Edwin Allen, after five victories a year ago will be hoping for another dominant performance at the Gibson/McCook Relays. Following performances so far this season they look well set to win the Class 2, 3 and 4 4x100m relays along with the 4x200m and 4x800m event. After two sub-45 seconds runs this season, Holmwood look set to maintain this high standard and should go all the way, while defending champions St Jago will be hoping to spoil their party. The most outstanding female high school athlete Junelle Bromfield of STETHS will be on show today as she will be hoping to bring her team to their third victory this season in the 4x400m, after brilliant anchor legs at the Milo Western Relays and Digicel Grand Prix finale, where she made up large deficits to guide her team to victories. CALABAR CLASS TWO BOYS Among the high school boys, all eyes will be on Calabar’s Class 2 4x100m relay team and with Christopher Taylor, in their ranks, they look set to create history by going sub-40 seconds. Last year’s top team, Kingston College, look set to dominate in the lower classes, while St Jago and STETHS should battle it out in a competitive 4x800m relays With this being an Olympic year, several leading senior athletes will be on show and following their outstanding performances at the Milo Western Relays, the Maurice Wilson-coached G.C. Foster College/Sprintec will be looking to Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby, Sherone Simpson, Gayon Evans and Anastasia Le-roy on the female side. Among the males, Andre Clarke, Colin King, Demar Murray and Rasheed Dwyer should feature prominently. The University of Technology/MVP team will be coming out much stronger this time around after playing second fiddle to Sprintec/GC Foster in Montego Bay and they are expected to parade the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Carrie Russell, Elaine Thompson and Stephanie McPherson on the female side, while the male side will have the likes of Nesta Carter, Kimarley Brown and Andrew Fisher.
Fifteen-year-old Janique Burgher won gold in the Class Three high jump on yesterday’s third day of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships to go with the bronze she won in the event in 2014 while competing in Class Four. Despite the Edwin Allen High School athlete’s exploits, her father is not totally satisfied, as his dream is for her to be on the track. “I am fairly proud, but I think she should doing something (running) on track as well, because I think she has the potential to do it,” 60-year-old Hopeton Burgher said. “I have been trying everything, but she is adamant on doing the high jump, so I just let her have her way.” Young Burgher said she finds running to be boring, hence her decision to stick to the high jump. “With the high jump I have something that I have to jump over, an obstacle,” the slim-built athlete said. However, her father, who represented Holmwood Technical High School in the 100m, 200m and 400m, is not giving up hope of her doing the sprints. “She is always saying she is going to be the next Shelly-Ann Fraser (Pryce), but I always tell her she can only be in the limelight if she does track,” he said. “Persons who are sponsoring they are looking for the hype, so they are not going to sponsor you if they don’t get the hype. “But in time to come I will take it back up with her and take her and make me and her go train. I think she needs to do some sprinting.” Janique was the only athlete in her event to clear 1.70 metres, which earned her the gold medal, with Hydel’s Shauntia Davidson taking the silver with her clearance of 1.65m, on the first attempt Three athletes, Kaliah Jones of Excelsior High, Lacovia High’s Kadian Myers and Camperdown High’s Ramona Hylton tied for the bronze, as they all cleared 1.65m on their second attempt. “I am happy to have won the gold medal, but I am a little bit disappointed, because my PR (personal record) is 1.75m. But my groin is hurting me right now and I am having a bellyache,” the champion athlete said. “I had to just focus on the event and forget about the pain.” email@example.com
DARTED IN With just minutes remaining, however, midfielder Bernardo Silva darted in to score the equaliser. In Group G, Riyad Mahrez struck the close-range winner in a 1-0 victory against FC Copenhagen that kept Leicester well on track for the next round after three straight wins. Leicester are five points clear of Copenhagen and FC Porto, which came from behind to beat Club Brugge 2-1 and condemn the Belgian side to a third successive loss. Juventus stayed top of Group H with seven points and ahead of Europa League champions Sevilla on goal difference. Sevilla won 1-0 at last-place Dinamo Zagreb, with French midfielder Samir Nasri scoring from close range during the first half. PARIS (AP): Gianluigi Buffon kept the shots out, while Cristiano Ronaldo failed to put them in. While Buffon starred in goal for Juventus, saving a penalty and making two remarkable saves in a 1-0 win at Lyon, it was a frustrating night for record-chasing Ronaldo in the Champions League. The Real Madrid forward needed only two goals to become the first player to score 100 career goals in European club competitions. But he could not muster even one for the holders in a 5-1 rout of Polish strugglers Legia Warsaw – which had lost five of their past seven matches. Madrid’s goals came from Wales forward Gareth Bale, an own-goal by Tomasz Jodlowiec and further strikes by Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Morata, sealing an emphatic victory in Group F. Madrid are level on seven points with Borussia Dortmund, but the German side leads on goal difference after winning 2-1 at Sporting Lisbon. Prolific striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – with his ninth goal in nine games – and Julian Weigl scored in the first half for Dortmund. Midfielder Bruno Cesar pulled one back midway through the second half after an indirect free kick was awarded near the penalty spot. Colombia midfielder Juan Cuadrado scored the winner for Juventus in the 76th minute with a brilliant angled strike, keeping the Turin team top of Group H. In Group E, Tottenham striker Son Heung-min came back to his old club Bayer Leverkusen, but the German side did most of the attacking in a 0-0 draw that suited Monaco perfectly. Monaco came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow and top Group E with five points, one point ahead of Tottenham and two clear of Leverkusen. CSKA Moscow striker Lacina Traore could barely contain his delight after scoring against Monaco – the club loaning him to CSKA – wheeling away in delight with his finger raised after pouncing from close range.
In July last year, then 17-year-old Romaine Evans bagged what was considered an elusive individual golf title for Jamaica.Now, the 18-year-old Tacky high school student, the only golfer in his St Mary-based school is looking to rediscover that winning form, which saw him become one of Jamaica’s most promising junior golfers.”The dream is there. It’s gonna need a lot of work for sure, without hard work, there is no success, and my goal is to keep on doing the right stuff and stay on the right path and try to achieve my goals,” he outlined in a recent interview with The Gleaner.Evans won the Caribbean Amateur Golf Championships (CAGC) in the US Virgin Islands and went on to cop a number of local titles here in Jamaica.After winning the prestigious Caribbean Championships, he went to England to play in the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, an international 54-hole stroke challenge, which features a number of PGA players annually.POSSIBLE TO WIN”It has pushed me really more into the game of golf because I know that it is possible to win tournaments in the Caribbean and internationally,” he pointed out.”It (the CAGE) is the tournament that motivated me to go further in the sport. After winning the tournament, it helped me to learn that I can accomplish a lot of stuff. That tournament motivated me to get my game to the next level,” Evans underlined.Admittedly, short of his best form now, the youngster, who developed as one of the most accomplished golfers in the Sandals Junior golf programme, has his eyes set on going over-seas to study, while playing the sport he loves.”My game is not in the best shape right now, I can tell you. I am not going to say I am going to play at my best, I just keep silently confident,” he continued.The Jamaican is currently ranked 6,154 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking with a 56.1728 points average.Evans added that at his school, golf is not the most favoured sport, but all his schoolmates support his dream.”Everybody is on board supporting me. Every tournament I play, they just want to know the results and (are) confident in me doing the right stuff and pursuing my dreams,” he firstname.lastname@example.org
LONDON (AP):Willian scored twice as leaders Chelsea overcame Stoke 4-2 to equal an English Premier League record for 13 straight wins in a single season.Bruno Martins Indi and Peter Crouch struck for Stoke to cancel out goals by Gary Cahill and Willian. But Willian struck for a second time moments after Crouch’s 64th-minute equaliser and Diego Costa netted a fourth.”After the second goal it wasn’t easy to go and have the good reaction, to show the great character, above all after 12 wins in a row,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. “When you win a lot, there is a great danger to be satisfied, to be relaxed.”six points clearChelsea are six points clear of Liverpool who beat Manchester City 1-0.Chelsea’s 34th-minute opener came when Cesc Fabregas’ corner was met by Cahill, who rose highest to head into the net.Stoke levelled a minute into the second half through Martins Indi. Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant was beaten again in the 57th. Victor Moses centred for Eden Hazard, who laid the ball off for Willian to score.Other results: Burnley 4 Sunderland 1; Manchester United 2 Middlesbrough 1;Leicester 1 West Ham 0; Southampton 1 West Brom 2; Swansea 0 Bournemouth 3.
SLAMMING RIVALS The season’s first grade-one race, the $1.2 million Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy over 1300 metres, takes centre stage at Caymanas Park today with six facing the starter. The field includes, the 2015 Superstakes winner FRANFIELD, from the stables of Richard Azan, his vastly improved stable-companion JAMAI RAJA, as well as the reigning Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint Champion CAMPESINO, and the imported horse BRAWN, winner of the CTL Invitational Mile last November. All four should ensure a close contest, especially the trio of JAMAI RAJA, CAMPESINO and FRANFIELD who finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively to SEEKING MY DREAM in the ultra-rich Diamond Mile on December 10, The then three-year-old JAMAI RAJA showed good speed that day before giving way on entering the straight and although racing for the first time since, reports in good nick on the convenient mark of 51.0kg. CAMPESINO, on the other hand, has already raced this season, slamming rivals in the St Catherine Cup feature over 1,100 metres on January 7, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:05.0. Although having to carry topweight of 57.0kg with Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, the consistent seven-year-old gelding from the stables of 14-time champion Philip Feanny is so well within himself at present that he can prove equal to the task. I take CAMPESINO to win from JAMAI RAJA and FRANFIELD. I expect him to stalk the leaders JAMAI RAJA and SIR BUDGET into the straight before taking command a furlong out. The 11-race programme should also provide the impressive three-year-old colt FEARLESS SAMURAI with his third consecutive win from four starts in the opening race over a mile for three-year-olds and up. From the stables of 16-time champion Wayne DaCosta, the Fearless Vision – Sayur offspring looked awesome when slamming LADY FAYE by 81/2 lengths over 1,500 metres on January 25 and having worked well since, should prove too good for the recent winner BIRD CATCHER in a field of seven. Champion jockey Omar Walker again has the ride. Other firm fancies on the card are FRANCIA’S PRIDE in the second race, JESSIE JAMES in the fifth, RAMBUNCTIOUS LINKS in the seventh and last season’s champion two-year-old SOTOMAYOR to win on his seasonal debut in the ninth race over 1500m for overnight allowance horses.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC): A muted West Indies displayed little of the bluster that made them World champions, as they slumped to a disappointing six-wicket loss to Pakistan in the opening Twenty20 International of the four-match series yesterday. In what appeared to be an extension of the malaise which condemned them to a 3-0 whitewash to the same side in the United Arab Emirates last September, West Indies struggled to get going and could only muster a paltry 111 for eight off their 20 overs at Kensington Oval. Only Captain Carlos Brathwaite, with an unbeaten 34, looked the part and he was the lone batsman to pass 20, in another anaemic batting effort. The hosts were stunned by the guile of debutant teenaged leg-spinner Shadab Khan, who claimed three for seven in four superb overs, to claim Man of the Match honours. In reply, Pakistan never really looked in danger and overcame a few early hiccups to reach their target in the 18th over, with the ever dependable Shoaib Malik taking the visitors over the line with an unbeaten 38 off 29 balls. Babar Azam, who shot to prominence with a string of one-day hundreds against West Indies last year, made 29 while shotgun Kamran Akmal struck 22. BEST BOWLER Seamer Jason Holder was the best bowler with two for 27. Hoping to erase the memories of their whitewash after being sent in, West Indies looked full of intent when left-hander Evin Lewis deposited off-spinner Mohammed Hafeez over the mid-wicket ropes in just the second over. But his fireworks were short-lived as he was run out by Ahmed Shezad’s direct hit from the deep, as he galloped back for a fateful second run in the next over, with the score on 13. Chadwick Walton (18) then added 22 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, who made seven before being harshly adjudged lbw to left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, off one which would have missed leg. His dismissal opened the floodgates as West Indies inexplicably lost five wickets for 14 runs in a devastating 26-ball slide. The 18-year-old Shadab proved incisive, removing Walton – plumb lbw and Lendl Simmons (1) bowled dragging on an attempted sweep – in his first-ever over in international cricket and the eighth of the innings. The series will head to Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad for the remaining games on March 30, April 1 and 2.