Coach of Barbican FC Charles Edwards says his team aims to continue its dominance in the local Women’s Football League. Barbican notched their 11th Jamaica Football Federation (JFF)/Sherwin Williams Women’s League title when they beat Waterhouse 4-2 in the final at Stadium East last Sunday. Tashika Small netted a brace for the champions, scoring in the 13th and 52nd minutes, while Kenesha Reid (11th) and Latoya Duhaney (61st) scored the other goals. Waterhouse’s national Under-20 player, Jessica Johnson, scored in the 68th and 90th minutes. LEAGUE TITLE It was also Barbican’s eighth consecutive league title. The east St Andrew club has won 24 trophies in women’s football and seven Sherwin Williams Colourscape knockout titles, plus six mid-season trophies. That has made them the most successful club in women’s football locally. Barbican had also beaten Waterhouse 4-1 in the KO final a week earlier. “We have not lost a game since 2011, so that is a record we would like to strengthen as long as possible,” Edwards disclosed. “It is a fantastic feat in winning so many titles and the girls want to win to add more, so they are motivated and certainly looking forward to next year,” the long-serving Barbican coach added. Barbican FC will be handed the trophy, medals, and $400,000 at the awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday at the JFF’s offices in New Kingston.
“I clearly won the fight; that was no draw. I am shocked by this decision,” were the words of a disappointed Nicholas ‘The Axeman’ Walters yesterday, when asked to comment on the majority draw decision of the judges in his fight against Jason Sosa, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York, on Saturday night.In what has been declared by journalists who watched the fight at ringside as ‘the worst scored fight of 2015’, one judge, Tom Schreck, had Sosa the winner 96-94, while the other judges, Wynn Kintz and Don Ackerman, had it 95-95. The Gleaner scored the fight 97-93 for Walters, and as another point of reference, experienced HBO scorer and former international boxing judge, Harold Lederman, scored it 99-91 for Walters.It was a hard-fought and entertaining fight, with Walters, (26-0), fighting as a super featherweight (130 lb) for the first time. Having lost his featherweight title in June on the scale, when he weighed in a pound over the featherweight limit of 126 lb, Walters was using this fight as a benchmark to see how he would perform at the higher weight class.On this occasion, he fought a bigger man in the person of Sosa, who entered the ring with a 18-1-3 record, but he held his own in a fight that was mostly at close range, and his vicious body attacks clearly bothered his opponent. If one could find fault with his work during the 10 bruising rounds, it would be that he did not use his jabs enough.Whenever Walters went on the outside, he looked far superior than his opponent, and it was surprising that his trainers, Celso Ch·vez and Job Walters, did not tell him at any time in the fight to use his jabs more.The impression given was that they wanted to prove a point. They wanted it to be seen that Walters could outslug a bigger opponent.This tactic nearly backfired, however, as the judges clearly did not give Walters full credit for the good, clean punches to the body that he landed repeatedly. Walters was clearly the better fighter, and in the fifth round, he shook Sosa with a left hook to the body and right cross to the head combination.Surprisingly, he did not follow through and Sosa weathered the storm.BEST ROUNDSWalters gained the ascendancy as the fight progressed, and in the eighth round, he seemed as if he was trying to end it. This was one of his best rounds.Ironically, Sosa came out aggressively for the ninth, which was perhaps his best round.Walters came back firing on all cylinders in the final round, using jabs and hooks to good advantage, and it seemed a mere formality when the fight ended that it would be the Jamaican raising his hands in victory for the 27th time. That was not to be, however, as he had to share the spoils.He told The Gleaner that he will be taking a break for Christmas and the New Year and will be in Jamaica for a holiday soon.”I am coming home for a short holiday, after which I will sit down with my team and decide what we will do in 2016,” said Walters.
Take one look at Jamaican Olympic triple jump hopeful Shanieka Thomas and her potential is obvious. At six-foot tall and 145 pounds, she is built almost exactly like world record holder Inessa Kravets. Thomas, 11th at the 2015 World Championships, knows the similarity and hopes one day to match the Ukrainian’s fine achievements. Kravets set the record – 15.50 metres – at the 1995 Worlds and took gold as well at the 1996 Olympics. “The fact that the world record holder has the same build as me is encouragement to show I’m able to achieve the world record or even more,” she observed after a training session at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies last week. “A lot of people don’t remember that the world record holder has a really slim build,” she pinpointed. Thomas, a three-time US collegiate champion at San Diego State University, left California to train at Mona last season. “Everyone was asking me, ‘Why come back to Jamaica and there’s not a lot of people doing well in the field events?’,” she recalled. “It’s hard to have a lot of people doing well in the field events if nobody actually comes home to show the talent the coaches have here,” she analysed. “So it’s a big jump, and it was risky at first, but I like the transition because it’s been going well.” With astute advice from her coach, Kerry-Lee Ricketts, the former Vere Technical High School student-athlete qualified for the Worlds at the last opportunity with a winning 14.23-metre jump at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica. Now their goal is to make her faster and stronger. MORE SPEED “This year,” she revealed, “we’re focusing on getting more speed down the runway, as well as strengthening, making sure I’m more powerful.” Now almost 24, Thomas has great respect for retired 2005 World Champion Trecia Smith and her former Vere Technical teammate, Kimberly Williams, who in 2014 succeeded Smith as Commonwealth champion. Mention of Smith’s national record of 15.16 metres and Thomas glows. “That’s a really big performance, and I would love to jump at least 15.01,” she envisioned, “just to be over the mark.” During her San Diego years, the 2008 Carifta Games Under-17 champion ran relays on a regular basis. Now she dreams of running the 4×400 in black green and gold. “Every season, I contemplate doing the 400, but when I start thinking about the training for the 400,” she shudders, “I’m like, no. I’m going to stick with the triple jump.” She is encouraged by the relay running of World and Olympic triple jump men’s champion Christian Taylor at the 2014 World Relays. “If it’s not the Olympics or the World Championships,” she said, “if it’s even like the Pan-Am Games or something like that, I want to run a 4×4 … for Jamaica.” Runs over 350 and 400 metres are part of her background training for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and she says “you’ll maybe see me on the 4×4 for UWI for the preparation towards Rio”.
West Indies Women’s cricket captain, Stafanie Taylor, has been added to the list of Sportswoman of the Year nominees, the RJR Sports Foundation announced in a release yesterday.The 2015 awards takes place on Friday, January 15 at The Jamaica Pegasus and Taylor joins eight other women vying for the National Sportswoman of the Year award. The other nominees are boxer Alicia Ashley; swimmer Alia Atkinson and track athletes Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Shericka Jackson, Sherone Simpson, Elaine Thompson and Danielle Williams.Taylor topped the tables in a recent ODI home series against Pakistan with a batting average of 130.50 runs and was the most economical West Indies bowler while taking four wickets. West Indies won both the T20 and ODI series. She was also recently named the International Cricket Council’s Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year.The Jamaican all-rounder recently became the only overseas player selected for the Sydney Thunder Women in the inaugural Australian Women’s Big Bash T20 League.
KOLKATA, India (CMC):In the space of just four deliveries on Sunday, West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite banished bitter memories that had haunted him for the last five years.Playing in his Twenty20 International debut against Bangladesh in Dhaka back in October 2011, a 23-year-old Brathwaite conceded 14 runs off the penultimate over with the hosts needing 22 off the two last overs, in pursuit of 133.With eight runs left off the final over, Bangladesh got home off the fifth delivery, to deal West Indies a three-wicket defeat and claim victory in the one-off T20 game.DEBUT IN BANGLADESH”I remember my debut in Bangladesh when I didn’t come through for the team and we lost and I made it my business to say Carlos Brathwaite will develop to be a match-winner.”Brathwaite became an instant hero at Eden Gardens as he blasted West Indies to a four-wicket win and to the capture of the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup.With the Windies needing 19 off the last six balls, Brathwaite clattered sixes off the first four deliveries in a stunning finish.”It’s better than a dream. Initially, the plan was just to get bat on ball and run as hard as possible. We knew we couldn’t waste any balls and that was just the first plan,” Brathwaite said afterwards.”Fortunately, I got the first couple of away, that kind of settled the nerves a bit. Then after the third one I knew that all I had to do was get bat on ball on the fourth one and we were world champions. Fortunately, all four went for sixes and here we are, world champions, a treble for West Indies cricket.”Brathwaite finished on 34 not out off 10 deliveries, in an exhilarating 54-run stand with Man-of-the-Match Marlon Samuels, who was unbeaten on 85 off 66 balls at the end.”It’s one of those out-of-body experiences. As a young man you dream of winning a World Cup – probably just winning a game – and to be able to do it among all these legends in T20 cricket, to be able to do it for the people of the Caribbean (is special).” he explained.Brathwaite had earlier contributed with the ball, taking three for 23 as West Indies restricted England to 155 for nine off their 20 overs.
Janieve Russell remains confident of excelling again at the upcoming Penn Relays, which will be held at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, from April 28-30.”They (fans) are expecting great times. They are expecting a show and I am just going out there to use Penn Relays as a training ground again,” said Russell.Russell, a University of Technology (UTech) student, competed at Penns for eight years – five for her alma mater Holmwood Technical and three years for UTech.”I have a lot of experience. Penn Relays is very cold and thing, and a lot of athletes are not used to the climate because they are always in the tropical area, and to know that I have been travelling to Penn Relays for eight years, I know the feeling, the crowd and the atmosphere that we are going into,” Russell observed.While clocking a personal best in the 2015 World Championships last year, Russell not only reached the final, but placed fifth with a lifetime best of 54.64 seconds.”Yes, I am ready. There is a lot of expectation from other athletes and your fans and people who are looking out there and saying she is a World Championship finalist and she is representing her school,” said Russell.”They are expecting great times. They are expecting a show and I am just going out there to use Penn Relays as a training ground again.”She added: “The 4×400 will help with my endurance and the 4x200m will help with my speed. I am just going out there confident and just ready to perform.”So it’s a good feeling to know that I am well prepared and just going out there to showcase,” she told The Gleaner in an interview after FLOW Foundation gave a 16 per cent increase of $4 million and 30 thousand to 28 high school and tertiary institutions to offset costs associated with competing at the event, at their head office on Half-Way Tree Road on Tuesday.OTHER ATHLETESThere were a number of other outstanding athletes present.Calabar High’s sensation, Christopher Taylor, who will compete at his first Penn Relays, said: “I feel very excited. I am gonna go out there and do the best for my school.”Also, the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha) Zinedine Russell, who finished second overall in the girls Open heptathlon at Champs, said: “I am looking forward to getting the plaque for my school.”She will compete in the 400m.