KAZAN, Russia (AP):One prominent swimming coach called it “irresponsible”. Another labelled it a “business decision”.World governing body FÈdÈration Internationale de Natation (FINA), meanwhile, placed the onus on the International Olympic Committee (IOC).Whatever the factors at play, the bottom line for swimmers is this: They’ll be competing until or after midnight at next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Finals will begin at 10 p.m. local time – about four hours later than swimmers are used to. To compensate, what are usually known as ‘morning’ heats will begin at 1 p.m.”We will prepare for it, but it’s a pretty irresponsible decision that has been made,” Australia head coach Jacco Verhaeren told The Associated Press.The schedule will suit the North American television audience with Rio one hour ahead of New York and four ahead of the US West Coast. It also suits Asia, where late-evening events in Rio happen in the morning the next day and may extend into the early afternoon.EUROPEANAUDIENCEAudiences in Europe, however, will be virtually shut out.”We said no. But it’s not us who decides,” FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu said before Sunday’s end of the World Championships, which had a more traditional 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. schedule. “It’s an IOC event and we have to respect it. We have to adapt. … Television is very important for everybody.”The schedule will be toughest on multi-event swimmers and, medallists. After post-race interviews, a news conference and a doping test, competitors might not return to the athletes’ village until the early hours of the morning.”Normally at two, three in the morning in the athletes’ village there’s a skeleton staff and there’s not a lot of (food) choice,” said Cameron van der Burgh, the South African hoping to defend his 100-metre breaststroke title in Rio.FINA is working to ensure that swimmers will be lodged on the top floors in the village to avoid disturbances and let them sleep later than other athletes.TEMPORARYPOOLS”The quality of food, availability of food and transportation will be assured,” Marculescu said. “And there will be two temporary pools in the village for training. … We are trying to facilitate as much as possible.”Swimming won’t be the only sport with late start times in Rio. Beach volleyball, volleyball and basketball games are also slated to run past midnight.The swimming schedule brings to mind the morning finals at the 2008 Beijing Games, enabling Michael Phelps’ record haul of eight golds to be seen live in prime time on NBC in the United States.”Who knows what will happen in 2020?” said John Rudd, coach of Lithuanian breaststroke standout Ruta Meilutyte. “At least we know and we’re not being told about it six weeks before. Plenty of time to prepare.””Sport is also a business,” Rudd added. “Everyone has to make sensible business decisions, as well as sensible athlete decisions, and there’s a balance there. Whether they got the balance right, that’s a matter of opinion. But for this sport to survive, we’ve got to take money where it is.”
Western Bureau:While reigning champions Clarendon College and other contenders are looking good after two rounds of matches in this year’s ISSA/Flow daCosta Cup, last year’s beaten finalists, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), have been ordinary in Group E.But with another edition of their storied derby on the horizon, STETHS and Munro College are gearing up for the clash, which will be played at Alpart Sports Ground in Gutters with kick-off slated for 3:30 p.m.It is a home match away from the cool comforts of Munro’s usual home in the hills of Malvern, which is undergoing renovation. But the shift in location will not take anything from what is expected to be a super-charged atmosphere.STETHS head coach Omar Wedderburn says confidence remains high within his squad, in spite of results that have not been favourable.”The two matches we failed to win [were] because of some mishaps in goal for us. We are still confident and are looking at this game earnestly. Three points are available; we want all of them,” Wedderburn said.”This is a big time derby – one of the truest derbies out there in schoolboy football – and just to know this game is scheduled, with the history between both schools, it’s motivation enough,” he stated.UNCHARTED WATERSSTETHS are in uncharted waters down in fourth place in the standings, trailing Lacovia, surprise team Maggotty, and B.B. Coke – all on four points. Munro have also failed to light up the park thus far either, and are fifth in the group after one draw and a 2-0 loss to Maggotty on Wednesday.They will want to get the edge on STETHS, who have enjoyed success in this fixture for a number of years running.Newell High sit at the foot of the group without a point and will have to be much better than in previous matches to stop the much-improved Maggotty. That game will be played at the Treasure Beach Sports Park.Another potentially hot derby pits Group H leaders Clarendon College against second-place Lennon High, while Edwin Allen tackle Kellits. Clarendon are perfect after two matches for six points, scoring 12 goals and are favourites to make it three from three.In Group A, St James High, coached by former national captain Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, take on Cornwall College in a key Montego Bay derby at Jarrett Park. Cornwall (four points) were held to a draw by plucky Green Pond last time out and are seeking a return to winning ways.But it won’t be easy against a St James High team (three points), who always seem to perform at their best when facing the former many-time champions. The game has all the elements to be the match of the round.
Helping Jamaica to a 2018 FIFA World Cup berth may be high on his agenda, but Reggae Boyz and Vancouver Whitecaps striker Darren Mattocks has other things on his mind these days. Mattocks, a former schoolboy star with Bridgeport High School, is looking forward to becoming a first-time father. The 25-year-old, who is currently in Jamaica on a break from his professional duties in the Major League Soccer (MLS), beamed with excitement as he confirmed the news. He noted that he is anxiously awaiting the birth of his firstborn, expected to be delivered later this year. “The child is not yet born,” a smiling Mattocks told Saturday Sports during a Red Stripe Premier League match between his former local club Waterhouse and Montego Bay United earlier this week. Clearly in high spirits, Mattocks, who has scored 12 goals in 31 appearances for the Reggae Boyz, says he feels absolutely ready for the commitment. “I think from a young age, I have been a responsible person as I have been living on my own since age 18,” said Mattocks. “As I get older, there are different things I want in life, and this is one of them. I’m looking forward to being a father for the first time,” Mattocks noted, while sharing a bit about his relationship with his significant other. “I’m with a special female. She is a wonderful person, someone to spend my life with, so I’m really excited. I know that I’m going to do a very good job. I take care of my entire family, so this (baby) is an extension,” he said. Mattock is a graduate of Bridgeport High in Portmore and also spent two years at Akron University in the United States. He was drafted into the MLS in 2012 and has represented Vancouver Whitecaps based in Canada since. He has made 93 appearances and scored 19 times for the MLS outfit.
Cavalier SC won the battle of the east on Monday night as they stopped their more storied neighbours and rivals Harbour View 1-0 at the Harbour View Mini-Stadium, and in the process, moved farther away from relegation. The victory and the gains that came with it were due largely to a beautiful left-footed strike from distance by Cleon Price in the 50th minute. It resulted directly from a move where Harbour View failed to capitalise on a scoring opportunity and the ball ended up with Price on a quick counter. “I am feeling overjoyed to know that I scored the winning goal for my team and that we came out victorious,” said an obviously pleased Price at the end of the game. The strike was only Price’s fourth of the season and his second for Cavalier, following a move from Portmore United in the January transfer window. Already, Price is seeing the benefits of his move. “I am happy with the move. I am happy with the players and the club. This team is a good team and I think I can move forward from here. “I left Portmore because I wanted a change, a change to see if I could get more playing time and more eyes on me to see if I could get in the national team,” the 21-year-old former Dinthill striker said. The comfort he feels at Cavalier Price said goes beyond the field and it inspires him to do even better. “I am more appreciated now. The fans are really nice to me. They really appreciate me coming to their team and are giving me the support,” he said. While he is happy with his performance and the reception that he has received, Price is still unsure if the loan move – which runs until September 2016 – will become a permanent deal. “It is not a long-term move. It is a loan until September. But right now, I have not decided what will happen. I guess we just have to wait and see,” said the player who is a handful for defenders because of his physique, pace, movement, and skill. Since being at Cavalier, Price’s returns have not been enough to turn the heads of the national coaches. “I have received no indication as yet that I am getting the kind of looks that I need. I guess I have to play harder, score more goals, because the league is very competitive. We have a lot of strikers who are scoring a lot of goals, so I have to be in that rank before the national coach can give me a look,” Price said. With eight games to go in the regular season, Price promised to make a statement. “Great things can be expected from me for the remaining games. There will be more goals from me and more victories for Cavalier and we will be staying up for sure,” Price declared of his team, which now sits in seventh position and eight points above the relegation zone.
As Holness did earlier, Roberts expressed concern about the slow pace of the electoral machines being used in seven of the 63 constituencies, complaining that they are frustrating the electoral process. But unlike Holness, Roberts was fuming. He charged that some of the machines are malfunctioning. This, he said, has slowed up the process considerably. As such, Roberts charged that persons administering the electoral process in the constituency are taking as much as half hour per voter. Patrick Roberts, the man who has been chosen by the People’s National Party (PNP) to unseat leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Andrew Holness in St Andrew West Central is very displeased. Both Holness and Roberts crossed path at the Dupont Primary School, located on Olympic Way in the constituency.
Trainer Lorenzo Robinson had the unique distinction of winning races in separate countries yesterday. MR DOITBETTA romping home by 13 lengths in the inaugural running of the Simply Magic Cup over 1820 metres at Caymanas Park and a 70-1 outsider to victory at Woodbine racetrack in Toronto, Canada earlier in the day. Robinson, a noted owner, trainer and breeder, was not present at Caymanas Park to see his fast-improving 3-y-o gelding, MR DOITBETTA (9-2), make hacks of his seven age-group rivals in the Simply Magic Cup to make it two in a row, but the news was music to his ears. Instead, Robinson was at Woodbine to lead in his other winner, having obtained a licence to train at Canada’s premier racetrack a fortnight ago, Speaking from Canada via telephone shortly after his double victory, Robinson said he was on top of the world. “Judging from the manner of his two recent wins, MR DOITBETTA, who, I understand, won in good time of 1:57.2, could develop into a live classic contender with the Derby, St. Leger and next month’s Lotto Clasic (Governor’s Cup) fast approaching. “The plan is to commute between Jamaica and Canada and, having started with a bang in Canada, it could open doors for me in no time up here,” he added. Ridden by the promising claiming apprentice Hakeen Pottinger, MR DOITBETTA was held off the early pace as the 7-5 favourite MY WAY led under pressure from ANOTHER FURY (5-1) approaching the final bend. By then, MR DOITBETTA had made rapid headway and, coming three wide into the straight, quickly disposed of MY WAY to win by a wide margin from 2-1 chance DR TRAIN. In the absence of Robinson, MR DOITBETTA was saddled by stand in trainer Lincoln Lungs. A roan gelding by Vibank out of Olympic Advice, “DOITBETTA” is owned and bred by Robinson as well. On a day when second-race winner, 3-2 favourite BARS OF GOLD was disqualified by the stewards for causing interference at the start, the nine-race programme proved challenging for punters. The upsets were provided by MIRACLE RECOVERY (made all) at 19-1 in the first race, KIRI at 7-1 in the third and TARANTINO at 9-2 in the fifth. Champion jockey Shane Ellis rode two winners in BAD BOY JUSTIN (3-1) and SURE MAN (5-2) in the sixth and seventh races, respectively.
EXCITING EXCHANGE Both men then tried to stamp their authority on the fight, and there was an exciting exchange over the last 20 seconds of the round, which was a signal to spectators that they were in for a fistic treat. And so it was. The excitement continued into the second round as a confident and sometimes cocky Gardener scored repeatedly with hard punches to the head and body. Lewis had his moments of ascendancy, but it was Gardener who scored consistently and methodically in the third round, which produced a lot of action and had spectators on their feet cheering wildly as the tempo of the fight increased. Things reached a crescendo in the fourth round as Gardener let loose with a barrage of punches. Lewis was not able to keep him at bay and he was hurt in this round. After a quick burst of two-fisted action from Gardener, Lewis seemed ready to fall and would have quite likely hit the canvas if he had not been caught up in the ropes. Referee Owen Nelson ruled this a knock-down, however, and gave Lewis an eight count. Gardener was all over him at the bell. When Gardener came out for the fifth and final round, he was more conservative and appeared winded. This was not surprising, however, as it was the first time that he had gone beyond three rounds. Lewis was not able to capitalise on this, however, and Gardener was able to end the fight on cruise control, and a with a victory neatly tucked away in his pocket. There was one amateur bout on the card which saw Samuel Grant of Sugar Olympic Gym scoring a points victory over Collel Hogg from Boys’ Town. Hard-hitting Michael ‘The Wasp’ Gardener moved one step closer to his goal of being the 2016 Wray and Nephew Contender champion when he scored a brilliant victory on points over his more experienced rival, Ramel ‘Sub Zero’ Lewis, at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium on Wednesday night. It was a unanimous decision as Judge Ransford Burton scored the fight 49-45, Laurence Neufville 49-46, and Peter Richards 50-45. This was easily the most exciting fight in the competition so far, and spectators had a lot to cheer about. Both men had signalled beforehand that they would be throwing a lot of punches, and they kept their word. The action started immediately after the signal to start was given, and it was Lewis who landed the first decisive punches. Gardener retaliated very quickly, however, and three jabs followed by a hook to the body sent the signal to Lewis that he was in for a hard night. The Gardener camp had something to think about before the round ended as he was cut over the left eye by a punch. The doctor examined it and ruled that it was nothing serious.
KINGSTON: For his outstanding leadership in guiding Leicester City to its first Barclays Premier League title, telecommunications firm Digicel, one of the main sponsors of the country’s senior men’s national senior football team, salutes Reggae Boy Wes Morgan on the club’s historic achievement. Describing it as “another proud achievement for Jamaica”, Digicel CEO, David Butler, is in high praise for the champion captain. “Against all odds, as captain, Wes Morgan demonstrated solid determination and the will to win in leading his team to a modern-day fairytale ending. Leicester’s accomplishment will go down as one of the greatest achievements in sport and we are so proud that it happened under the captaincy of a Jamaican,” said Butler. The inspirational defender is known for drumming up support globally for the Reggae Boyz, especially during the lead up to tackling other teams vying to qualify for the World Cup. In March, Morgan attended the handover ceremony at Digicel’s headquarters in Kingston, where the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) received another US$3 million (nearly J$350 million) towards the development of various national teams, including the Reggae Boyz, as they take on the Road to Russia. Morgan had tweeted a photo from the event with six other team members to further attract global support for the mission. Digicel is hoping that Morgan becoming the first Jamaican international football player to win the Barclays Premier League will add a fresh motivation to the national team. “This will surely lift the spirits of the Reggae Boyz as they prepare for the Copa America tournament and another important series of qualifying games. When Wes is a champion, Jamaica is a champion,” Butler praised.
The World T20 champions will play the series-opener against the visitors on Sunday at Kensington Oval in Barbados. From there the series moves to Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. All matches will start at 11:30 a.m. (Jamaica time). Full squad: Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Samuel Badree, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton and Kesrick Williams. Match schedule March 26: 1st T20 International – Kensington Oval, Barbados March 30: 2nd T20 International – Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad April 1: 3rd T20 International – Queen’s Park Oval April 2: 4th T20 International – Queen’s Park Oval Jamaicans Marlon Samuels, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton and Jerome Taylor have been named in a 13-man West Indies squad for the first two Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan.
Captain Nikita Miller has described as ‘refreshing’ the Jamaica Scorpions win over Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in their Digicel WICB Regional Four-day Tournament clash at Queen’s Park Oval at the weekend.The Scorpions who entered the game with back-to-back home defeats to leaders Guyana Jaguars and cellar dwellers the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, rebounded to score an 87 runs victory inside three days.Miller, in another man-of-the-match display, claimed four for 39 in the first innings and five for 45 in the second.There were also good displays from batsman Jermaine Blackwood and all-rounders Derval Green and Fabian Allen.Blackwood topscored with a game high 68 in the first innings while Green and Allen, in scoring maiden first-class fifties, netted 53 and 60, in the first and second innings, respectively.LOSING SPELL”It’s a bit refreshing that we could break the losing spell that we had,” assessed captain Miller, whose charges posted identical scores off 201 in both innings while Trinidad made 141 and 174.”I thought we showed a good level of fight, as there were parts in the game that we were down in both innings, and individuals stood up and came up with big innings for the team.”This includes Fabian Allen in the second innings and Derval Green in the first. Thomas as well should be congratulated as himself and Allen put on a 50-odd runs partnership that helped set up the game for us.”With the victory, Jamaica who returned home yesterday, moved into second position ahead of Barbados Pride, who drew their fixture against two-time defending champions the Guyana Jaguars.Miller said that drawn result has made it more difficult for the Scorpions to top the tournament.”I think Guyana are now 14 points ahead of us with two games to play at home, and, they are really good at home.”We will need the other teams to do us a favour (beat Guyana) and we continue to do what we need to do, which is win our final two games.”The 10-round tournament will now take a final break before resuming next weekend.