All set for hot Gibson/McCook Relays

first_imgALL 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.last_img read more

Even with United in final, Van Gaal won’t discuss future

first_img Brought down LONDON (AP): Qualifying for the Champions League looks increasingly out of reach for Manchester United. The season could still end with silverware after Louis van Gaal’s side reached the FA Cup final by beating Everton yesterday. And yet van Gaal still has the air of a manager who could be leaving his job. Even amid the joy at seeing Anthony Martial score in the third minute of stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 victory over Everton in the semi-final, van Gaal responded curtly to a question about the team beyond this season. “I am not looking beyond this competition, the FA Cup, because we live in the present,” van Gaal said. “As for the future, I will discuss that with my board and not with you.” When it was pointed out that he had another season remaining on his contract, the 64-year-old Dutchman said: “Yes. You repeat what I have always said.” Martial set up Marouane Fellaini’s opener in the 34th minute against his former club. Although David de Gea saved Romelu Lukaku’s penalty early in the second half to preserve United’s lead after Ross Barkley was brought down by Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Gerard Deulofeu’s cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by United defender Chris Smalling with 15 minutes remaining. Martial’s winner was a slick completion of a rapid attack that prevented extra time. The 20-year-old France forward linked up with Marcus Rashford on the left flank and then played another one-two with Ander Herrera before slotting in the winner. The 11-time FA Cup winners will discover today whether Crystal Palace or Watford will be their opponent in the May 21 final. With four games remaining, United remain fifth, four points behind Arsenal, who play relegation-threatened Sunderland today. Crosstown rivals Manchester City are a further point ahead in third place after beating Stoke 4-0 in one of four Premier League games yesterday. Kelechi Iheanacho, City’s 19-year-old forward, scored twice after first-half goals from Fernando and Sergio Aguero from the penalty spot. Newcastle remained in the relegation zone despite coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Liverpool, who announced before the game that defender Mamadou Sakho failed a drugs test before a Europa League game last month. After conceding goals from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana in the first half, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle salvaged a point, thanks to strikes from Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback on the manager’s return to the club he won the Champions League with in 2005. Disappointing season Southampton kept alive their outside shot at qualifying for the Europa League by compounding already-relegated Aston Villa’s woes. Dusan Tadic scored twice in a 4-2 victory for seventh-place Southampton, between headers from Shane Long and Sadio Mane. Deposed champions Chelsea are a place behind after cruising to a 4-1 victory at Bournemouth, who have already secured a second season in the Premier League. Cesc Fabregas played a key role in all four goals, including Eden Hazard’s double that produced his first league goals of a disappointing season for the reigning player of the year. Pedro Rodriguez and Willian also scored for Chelsea. The focus shifts to the title race in the coming days. Leicester, who have a five-point lead over Tottenham, host Swansea today. Tottenham face West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane tomorrow.last_img read more

Remembering Munich … History-making Jamaican Olympic diver looks back at German memories

first_imgIn 1966, a Gleaner article declared: “Jamaicans are naturally athletic and agile people, and we could produce divers of world class if more attention was paid to this aspect of swimming.” This bold proclamation was made just after 10 year-old Betsy Sullivan had represented Jamaica in 3m diving competition at the 1966 Commonwealth Games held in Kingston. ” … at that age you kind of know no fear. Whatever is there to do you just do it. Life is just for living at that age, you’re enjoying yourself and having a great time, totally oblivious to the fact I had qualified to a games at age 10 and the magnitude of what that meant. I was just an average 10 year-old playing with my friends, having a good time,” she remembered. “I wasn’t there to win, I didn’t have any expectations at that age, it was just a good experience and I really enjoyed it.” Six years down the road, the then – teenager, Sullivan – now Betsy Sharpe, became the first Jamaican to qualify for the Olympics in the diving event. MUNICH 1972 It will become the scene of both her most fulfilling and horrific experiences, but for the Olympian, it was the moment that defined her for the rest of her life. “That one was the pinnacle, because once you are an Olympian, you will always be an Olympian. That is something no one can ever take away from you. I was proud to represent my country,” said Sharpe during a recent chat with The Gleaner. A great accomplishment for a bright-eyed 16 year-old; still, the Munich Olympics, which were ironically marketed as ‘The Happy Games’, will be mostly remembered for the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by a group of Palestinian terrorists who had taken them hostage. Sharpe reminisced on the scenes in the Athletes Village and how that incident not only changed the mood of the Games, but also her own perspective. “I remember probably more than I want to remember from it. We could see the terrorist standing outside on the balcony with his gun because of the way the village was set out,” she shared. “The mood of the Games changed. The last time it was held in Germany, it was held in Berlin, and the whole thing with Jesse Owens and (Adolf) Hitler, and so Germany was going out of their way to try and make this a comfortable, friendly games, and that’s how we felt about it.” The extra security detail and the jubilant reactions to the false news that the hostages had been freed are all still fresh in her mind. “I was going through the line at breakfast and I had a smile on my face and the lady that was serving me breakfast she said ‘You don’t know do you? Nobody knows.’ “And I said, ‘Know what?’ And she said, ‘They were all killed.” What didn’t die for Sharpe, is the resolve that she developed from that experience. “Its not something that I usually tell people. I don’t believe in tooting my own horn from that point of view. There is something inside of me that no one can take away from me; I know what my accomplishments are, I just feel like I can hold myself up so high from the experience of being an Olympian, and I always have that self confidence and that’s what reaching that level of sports gives you – you know who you are,” she beamed. This summer, she will have company in the chronicles of Jamaican diving history with Yona Knight-Wisdom set to carve his name beside hers as Jamaican diving Olympian after his qualification to the Rio Olympic Games.last_img read more