BOTH LaShawn Merritt of the United States and Grenada’s Kirani James have been dominating the men’s 400 metres for the past three years but Beijing 2015 could see a changing of the guard as South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk is a strong contender and could give that country its first major 400 metres title.Coming into the season all eyes were on the Merritt-James rivalry. James had won two global titles in a row, the Daegu World Championships in 2011 and the Olympic Games in 2012 and Merritt, the defending World champion, looked a cut above their rivals. However, things have changed significantly as this season there is more depth in the event.It is Botswana’s Isaac Makwala who is going into the championships as the number one athlete after his world leading 43.72 seconds at high altitude. Since then he has found the going very tough and it is unlikely he can trouble the top three.Merritt has not looked his usual self his season and has been beaten on a regular basis and if he hopes to retain his title he will have to improve on his season form and run much faster than his season’s best 44.36. He is a big occasion man, however, and could be waiting for the World Championships to show his class.destroying a strong fieldAfter winning his first major senior title four years ago, many experts thought then that the young James would have dominated for a long time to come and he underlined that a year later when he won at the London Olympic Games where an injured Merritt was absent. He started this season in fine style dominating the event with ease before running into Van Niekerk at the Paris Diamond League . The South African had shown at the New York meet earlier that he was on a mission after destroying a strong field to win impressively. Blessed also with good 200 metres speed the South African tracked James for the first 350 metres before running past him easily to win in an impressive personal and season best of 43.96 as James had to settle for second in 44.17.James who has a season best of 43.95 could have taken the South African a bit lightly and will know now that he could be his biggest danger and not Merritt and will want to set matters straight in Beijing. Despite being defeated by Niekerk he will still be the one to beat at the World Championships as, like Merritt, he has the experience of going the rounds at a big meet.While it looks like the medals will be shared among Niekerk, James and Merritt there are several athletes who are knocking on the door and these include the likes of young Stevon Gardener of the Bahamas who has been very consistent in the low 44 seconds, Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos of Dominica Republic who is peaking at the right time, Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio and Javon Francis who will carry Jamaica’s hopes in the event.MY TOP THREE: 1. Wade Van Niekerk (RSA), 2. Kirani James (Grenada), 3.Lashawn Meritt (USA).
Defending champions St George’s College will face a tough task when they oppose St Jago High in the feature ISSA-FLOW Walker Cup Knockout semi-final at the Constant Spring playfield today at 3 p.m.The game is the second of a double-header as the last four battle for spots in the November 28 final.In the opening encounter, Jamaica College square off against Wolmer’s Boys at 1 p.m.The feature game will see two quality teams in action. St George’s College will start as favourites but they will be severely tested by a robust St Jago team.St George’s will be looking to outscore their opponents, as they have found the back of the net 42 times in both the Manning Cup matches and Walker Cup so far.In the Walker Cup quarter-finals, St George’s beat Excelsior High 3-1 while St Jago blanked Kingston College 2-0.St Jago have scored a total of 28 goals in eight Manning Cup matches and one Walker Cup game.Marcel Gayle, assistant coach of St George’s College, is confident that his team will come out on top.”We are defending champions and so the aim is to win this game tomorrow,” Gayle told The Gleaner yesterday.Star GeorgiansSt George’s will look to star players Shevon Stewart, Alex Marshall and Gregory Messam Jr to get past their rivals.”It will be a good match-up against St George’s,” St Jago’s coach Glen Laing said yesterday. He added: “The George’s team is an attacking one, with quality players, but we also have a quality bunch. These guys are also talented in other sports and able to play in different positions on the field, which is a plus for us.”St Jago will look to Romario Douglas, Ryan Smart and Shaqon Bryan for victory.In the first game, Jamaica College are tipped to clip Wolmer’s.Both won their quarter-final games in penalty shoot-outs against Charlie Smith and Hydel respectively, last Saturday.JC won three titles last year but lost the Walker Cup in the final. With this in mind, the Miguel Coley-coached team will be determined to advance to the final.JC will look to Alando Brown, Norman Campbell, Donovan Dawkins and Ronaldo Brown to lift them past their rivals.Wolmer’s, under the guidance of Vassell Reynolds, have been quietly making their mark. The leading players for the Heroes Circle-based school are Rojay Smith, Alphanso Gooden and the diminutive Stuart Payne.B2: St Jago hunt North Street sweep
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):Opener Johnson Charles says he will be gunning for three figures in tomorrow’s final One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka as he looks to build on his exciting half-century in the second game here Wednesday.The 26-year-old pummelled a stroke-filled 83 at the R. Premadasa Stadium, but it proved in vain as West Indies went down by eight wickets to concede the three-match series with a game remaining.Despite the loss, Charles said he felt good about the knock and would be looking for something bigger in the next game.”I think it was a controlled innings, but at the end, I couldn’t carry on, and that was a disappointment, but coming back [into the team], it was a good start, and I’m looking to build on it and get some bigger scores – a hundred, 150 – [in the] next match,” he said.Though West Indies crashed to 29 for two in the fifth over, the right-handed Charles backed himself and played his shots, hitting seven fours and four sixes to post his fourth ODI half-century. In the process, he powered a 70-run third-wicket stand with Darren Bravo (21) before adding a further 40 runs for the fourth wicket with stand-in captain Marlon Samuels, who made 63.Remaining positiveCharles said it was important for him to remain positive despite the loss of wickets and especially facing a new-ball bowler like Lasith Malinga.”My approach basically is to be as positive as possible. From the time I’ve known myself, that’s how I’ve batted,” he said. “If I’ve got to start the rebuilding process, I’ve got to do it my way, and that’s how I chose to do it.”He added: “I know Malinga has a very good slower ball and a very good [bouncer], so I just looked out for these two, not barring the fact he swings the ball away from me. It’s always a difficult task to start an innings, but you’ve just got to stick in there and do it how you know to do it.”After a three-hour rain break forced a reduction in overs to 38 per side, West Indies saw their innings tail away badly in the dying stages as they lost four wickets for three runs in the space of five deliveries – with all four wickets falling via the run-out route.Charles said this could have been the turning point of the contest, with the Caribbean side limited to 214 and setting Sri Lanka 225 under the Duckworth/Lewis method.”Having four run outs and having one of our set batsmen [getting out] out, you never know how much we could have gotten,” Charles pointed out.”With two overs to go, we could have gotten 15 to 30 runs, and that could have been a major difference. I think it hurt us a bit, and had we not lost those four wickets at a crucial time, I think we could have actually pulled it off.”
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Former West Indies under-19 player Jeremy Solozano was leading a recovery by Trinidad and Tobago Red Force against Jamaica Scorpions at stumps on the first day of their rain affected third-round match in the Regional First Class Championship at the Queen’s Park oval yesterday.Solozano was unbeaten on 69 as Red Force rebounded from 69 for four to 145 for five at the close of play.His intelligent knock, during which he struck six fours, was the highlight for the hosts on an overcast day in which an entire session of play was lost because of rain.Only 57 overs were possible, 33 overs short of the target as rain which started during the lunch interval did not stop until after the scheduled tea break.Poor battingRed Force found themselves in deep trouble with poor shot selections, plunging to 48 for three after winning the toss and electing to bat.Kyle Hope scored 30 at the top of the order, but he was one of three batsmen who fell victim to Dave Bernard Jr who threatened to destroy the innings, taking three wickets for 25 runs.The Jamaicans dominated the morning session after Red Force lost their first wicket in only the second over of the day when opener Kjorn Ottley was bowled by Jason Dawes.Bernard Jr then teamed up with wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton to have the next three batsmen caught behind, Hope for 30, Narsingh Deonarine for three and Yannic Carriah for two.Yannick Ottley attempted to build a partnership with Solozano, but was interrupted by Marquino Mindley who trapped him lbw for 18.Bad light stopped play with Steven Katwaroo not out on 13 providing support to Solozano.Leeward Islands Hurricanes (24-7 dec) vs Windward Islands Volcanoes 104-5 1stday, 3rd roundWindward Islands Volcanoes, replying to Leeward Islands Hurricanes 24 for seven declared, were 104 for five at the close of the first day of their third round match in the Regional First Class Championship at Windsor Park.Scores:Leewards 24-7 declared (Mervyn Matthews 2-6, Kevin McCLean 2-2, Kenroy Peters 2-12) vs Windwards 104 for five (Tyrone Theophile 54 not out, Andre Fletcher 31; Alzarri Joseph 3-24)Windwards lead by 80 runs.Guyana Jaguars 170-2 vs Barbados Pride 1stday, 3rd roundGuyana Jaguars were 170 for two in their first innings against Barbados Pride at the close of the first day of their third round match in the Regional First Class Championship at the Guyana National Stadium here yesterday.Scores:Jaguars 170-2 (Leon Johnson 73 not out, Assad Fudadin 42, Vishal Singh 30 not out) vs Barbados Pride.ScoreboardRED FORCE 1st InningsK Ottley b Dawes 1J Solozano not out 69K Hope c Walton b Bernard jr 30N Deonarine c Walton b Bernard Jr. 3Y Carriah c Walton b Bernard Jr 2Y Ottley lbw b Mindley 18S Katwaroo not out 13To bat: Imran Khan, Marlon Richards, Kavesh Kantasingh, Daniel St.Clair.Extras (2lb 7nb) 9Total ( 5 wickets, 57 overs) 145Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-39, 3-48,4-62,5-104Bowling: Mindley 12-3-26-1, Dawes9-1-43-1, Bernard Jr. 14-2-25-3,Miller 19-5-43-0, Jacobs 3-1-6-0.Toss: Red Force.Umpires: J.Wilson, Leslie Reifer Jr.
Debutants UWI FC are holding their own in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL). They have taken 23 points from 19 games and are currently eighth in the standings with 23 points, trailing seventh-place Reno on goal difference.The league is more than halfway into the regular season, and according to the university’s director of sports, Dalton Myers, they will be making a big move in the transfer window to bring in two players to boost their chances of survival.Based on very reliable sources, the club is negotiating with out-of-favour national midfield playmaker Keammar ‘Dadda’ Daley and former Jamaica College and ex-UWI striker Anthony Grant.However, Myers insisted he could not confirm names until deals are completed.”We want to take some players in the January transfer window. We have been having trials and talking to players. We have a target from overseas who should start the next game, so we want to get that right, but until we confirm we cannot say much, because we don’t want anything to happen before closing the deals,” he offered.”They are Jamaican players: one of them plays overseas, the other one is here playing at another club. But it is very tight discussions and we are working on it,” was all he revealed.Daley is currently contracted to east Kingston outfit Harbour View, but has been woefully off form for the Stars of the East. Goalscoring ace Grant is a former McKendree and Bowling Green University player in the United States. He played in the USL for Michigan Bucks and Seacoast United Phantoms, before joining Richmond Kickers in the same league last year.Myers was full of praise for coach Marcel Gayle, adding that they are in a good position to achieve survival.”I have always said that he (Gayle) is one of the most underrated coaches in the island. He has shown that as he has taken players we barely knew and made us very competitive. Marcel has done great things with this team and we hope to have him here long term, to build the programme around him, give him a strong support system.He continued: “The goal is to finish 10th or better. Tenth or fourth is the same for us; we just want to survive. It’s a long season and there are roughly 14 more games to go, so anything can happen, as Waterhouse, Rivoli and Cavalier are more experienced teams than us, so we have to keep on picking up points.”We have to try and get a point in at least every game and make sure we don’t lose at home,” he added.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP):Sri Lanka cricket captain Angelo Mathews testified before police yesterday over a complaint that some national team players have been approached by a person with an offer to fix matches for money.Financial crimes investigators interviewed Mathews for several hours.”They wanted to know, as the captain, if I knew anything in detail. I answered all the questions,” Mathews said outside the police station. “We all want this game to be clean. Whoever has done something wrong, we want them brought before the court.”Mathews said the inquiry was only about the match-fixing approaches reported by players, not against the players themselves.”The cricketers felt really uncomfortable in the last few days because they were the ones who came forward and reported this to the ICC (International Cricket Council) and SLC,” Mathews said.The questioning came a day after Sri Lanka Cricket, the sport’s local governing body, suspended senior fast bowling coach Anusha Samaranayake for links with a practice bowler who is said to have brought the offers.Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and opening batsman Kusal Perera reported the approaches to the authorities.Samaranayake, who has been working with the fast bowling academy for many years and helped in the development of many leading bowlers, has been suspended for two months pending an inquiry. The net bowler identified as Gayan Wishwajith has been banned from all cricket activities.- AP
British sprinter Zharnel Hughes has come a long way since his first international experience at the 2010 Carifta Games. Fresh from a 2015 campaign highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the 200 metres at the World Championships, Hughes has his eyes on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is quietly confident and is expecting his hard work to pay off. In 2010, at the Carifta Games in Grand Cayman, Hughes was timid. “I was always thinking I probably won’t medal,” he recalled. He placed eighth and last in the Under-17 100-metre final won by Jamaica’s Odean Skeen, now at Auburn University in Alabama. “I just went out there and I didn’t know what to do,” he reminisced. The 6’5″ native of Anguilla is far more confident these days. World ranked at number five in the 200 metres by respected US publication Track and Field News, he said: “I just go out there with a positive mindset each time instead of having to doubt myself.” He ended his days as a junior athlete with gold medals from Carifta, the CAC Junior and Pan-Am Junior Championships and the ISSA Boys’ Championships Class One 100-metre record of 10.12 seconds. He entered 2015 with a 200m personal best of 20.32 seconds – from his 2014 season at Kingston College – and cut and carved it down to 20.02 seconds. That time and his fifth-place finish in the World final came despite a minor injury that first surfaced in the semi. Third position “If you look back at the race, I was actually in third position and then my back flared up a bit on me.” With his deep baritone unwavering, he said: “There was nothing I could have done.” Informed of his Track and Field News ranking, he said: “I wasn’t expecting it but I put in the work, and it definitely did pay off for me.” Hughes and his Jamaican coach, Patrick Dawson, a highly regarded assistant to sprint guru Glen Mills at Racers Track Club, have reviewed his 2015 efforts and are cautiously looking forward to Rio and a place in the 200m final. “As to the medal”, said Dawson, “I’m not one of those who like to count my eggs before they hatch, but it would be great to see him on the medal rostrum.” Hughes has started his 2016 programme with a 400-metre personal best of 47.12 seconds. That’s part of an effort to make the sprinter stronger. The plan also includes 100-metre races. He did only one last season and achieved a clocking of 10.15 seconds. While he is confident of lowering his 100-metre best, he is sombre about breaking 20 seconds in the 200m. “Expectations are there,” he said diplomatically. “Work is definitely being put in right now”, he revealed, with the advice that he is expecting the work again to pay off. “It’s just for me to continue to work hard, and to trust my coach and to stay injury free and to continue to climb to the top,” he said, full of hope and determination. “So definitely, maybe one day I could be the world record holder. “You never know.”
Rocked by the recent FIFA corruption scandal, regional football authority, the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), will continue its push towards turning a new page with upcoming elections for a new president.Long-time Bermuda Football Association president Larry Mussenden is looking to be the man to lead the confederation into a new age of transparency, credibility and growth and has been taking this message across the region as he drums up support ahead of the May 12 presidential election.CONCACAF has long held significance in FIFA’s corridors of power, but as a wide-ranging investigation revealed, many within the organisation played major roles in under-the-table operations.The organisation’s last three presidents, Austin ‘Jack’ Warner, Jeffrey Webb and Alfredo Hawit, have all been indicted by the US Department of Justice. Webb has since pleaded guilty to racketeering, money laundering and racketeering charges.Mussenden, who distanced himself from the culture that clearly existed in the previous dispensation of regional football leadership, believes his experience in football administration, coupled with his base as a former Bermudian attorney general, would serve the region well.”I have been the president of the Bermuda Football Association for a number of years, so I have been around a number of years, and I have been encouraged by presidents of other countries, who have asked me to consider running,” he told The Sunday Gleaner.GREAT CONSIDERATION”I have given it great consideration, and I have seen how the previous presidents and general secretaries operate and I thought that with the right effort, the right support and with my background in legal affairs and football, that I could be an effective leader,” added Mussenden.”We took some serious damage, but from the bottom, there is only one way to go and that is up. CONCACAF has started the process with the reform package that we have been through over the past few months. We have been working on changes to our statutes to bring in greater checks and balances,” he said. “That is the first and early step in us working hard to demonstrate that CONCACAF can be one of the greatest confederations in FIFA, but also that we could be a credible organisation in the eyes of the people in our 41 countries.”Mussenden, an attorney-at- law, promises, if elected, to transform the organisation into an effectively run body with strong marketing, communications and tech-driven execution, while crucially committing to put into good use some US$10 million, which is being withheld as part of the ongoing corruption investigations.”Funds that have been seized and due to be returned … I understand that a significant amount of that will be due to CONCACAF as the victim and the money that comes back to CONCACAF, whatever it is, I think it should be used for development,” he said, before outlining his planned breakdown.”Thirty per cent should be used to develop various programmes, 20 per cent should be divided on a needs basis between the three unions, and the other 50 per cent should be divided equally among the 41 countries of CONCACAF because it should have been delivered to those countries in any event, and I will pledge to put this forward if elected,” noted Mussenden.COACHING EDUCATIONMussenden is also hoping to improve coaching education across the region and outlined plans to introduce a multi-tiered licensing system similar to that which exists at UEFA.He is also promising to work to ensure that the region continues to produce top-class referees and assistant referees, even as he underlined the need to pay close and immediate attention to bringing the confederation in line with best practices.The candidate says he has received encouraging reception from the various associations and believes he will get their support when voting begins.”I have had great encouragement from countries across the board and I feel very confident about the support … I have a good plan, I think I can get the respect of our member associations, I can get the respect of the people that we have to do business with and the region on a whole,” Mussenden noted.The CONCACAF presidential election will take place in Mexico City on May 12.
To be healthy and able to perform well in sports needs a balanced diet for energy, repair, growth and good health. Food contains the basic materials and a balance and varied diet contains seven essential components: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibres and water. The main food types that supply energy should be in the greatest proportion. The body needs energy to keep the systems going. This is called our basal metabolic rate. It is the amount of energy we need to keep alive and healthy and is affected by age, sex, body size and body composition. The body also needs energy for physical activities. The energy needed depends on the type of activity or sport involved; age, sex and workload will affect the required energy level. Energy is measured in kilo calories or kilo joules. All food contains an energy value, which is usually calculated as the number of kilo joules per gramme of food. Therefore, exercise is measured by the number of kilo joules used per hour. The amount of energy in the food depends on the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats it contains. The amount of energy needed depends on the intensity of the activity. When we work hard, the energy we use comes from our store of glycogen, which is made from carbohydrates and fats that are stored in the muscles and in the liver. Glycogen breaks down to glucose, which is used with oxygen (anaerobic) or without oxygen (anaerobic) to release energy. For aerobic activities that involve relatively low intensity over a long span of time e.g., endurance running the glucose and fat are oxidised with oxygen to release much energy (fats can only burn in the flames of carbs). However, anaerobic activities which involves high intensity e.g., short sprints doesn’t give the body a chance to supply oxygen to the muscles fast enough for the aerobic breakdown of glucose and fats. Therefore, the muscles have to work without oxygen. Only glucose can be broken down without oxygen, therefore the glucose and glycogen store which releases glucose are rapidly used up. An athlete will ‘carbo load'(carbohydrate loading) by eating extra carbohydrates to build supplies of glycogen, at the same time reducing the level of physical activity for at least three days before competition, to have enough energy for long-endurance events. If the ‘best’ diet possible is eating, sport performance will gain an edge. The three-time phases we need to be aware of are: Pre-event: This meal should be eaten with plenty of time for digestion, at least three-four hours before and should consist of carbohydrates e.g., bread, cereal and fruits to give slow, steady release of energy. Simple sugars, and food high in fat and protein, should be avoided. Include fluids to avoid dehydration. During the event: Drink water in small sips and glucose-based drink if the activity lasts for more than one hour. Post-event: Get a carbohydrate-rich snack as quickly as possible after an endurance event or tournament is over. The post-event meal should aim to replace the stock of glycogen that has been used up during the activity and continue to replace up to a day or two after. Carbohydrates, along with vitamins, minerals and some protein, must be included to help the body repair itself and restore all nutrients used. Plenty fluid intake must be included. Fluid replacement: Only plain water is needed before and during activities lasting 60 minutes or less. Sport drink of glucose and electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium) are encouraged after high-intensity activity that goes beyond 60 minutes. This will help to restore lost fluids, energy and minerals. Next week: Issues related to PE and sports. Nutrition for sports
Witsel’s mega Chinese deal Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel will earn EU80m over four seasons with Tianjin Quanjian in the Chinese Superleague, according to reports. The player had a deal with Juventus in the summer, but Zenit St Petersburg pulled the plug on the transfer at the last minute. Both Witsel and the Bianconeri had declared that the transfer would be done in January 2017 or the summer, but the player admitted yesterday that he’ll opt for China because he could not turn down the mega deal. Witsel is believed will earn bonuses of between €13m and €15m, taking his total pay to around €80m. Kubiak confirms Broncos retirement The Denver Broncos are looking for a new head coach after Gary Kubiak confirmed reports that he is retiring. Kubiak’s future had come into question before the final set of regular season games on Sunday and he confirmed his decision yesterday after finishing his career with a 24-6 win over the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos won Super Bowl 50 at the end of Kubiak’s first season in charge and although they finished this season 9-7 that was not enough to make the play-offs. Mourinho pushes Schneiderlin to Inter Reports in Britain suggest Manchester United would rather sell Morgan Schneiderlin to Inter than to Everton. The French midfielder has been frozen out by Jose Mourinho this season, playing just 11 minutes in the Premier League so far. According to the Sun, while Everton are keen to bring Schneiderlin to Goodison Park, the Red Devils would prefer to sell him abroad. That puts Inter in pole position for his signature, with the Nerazzurri determined to bring in a defensive midfielder this winter.