The St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) recently received boxing equipment worth just over US$45,000, thanks to the generosity of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The equipment includes punching bags, headgear, gloves, hand wraps, mouth guards, uniforms, and skipping ropes.

SLBA President David “Shakes” Christopher said the new batch of equipment will enhance the SLBA’s boxing programmes as the association continues to build awareness and attract new boxers to the globally popular sport.

“It will also help us immensely as we continue to decentralize our progammes,” Christopher said. “Right now, we can focus on programmes for the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF), Boys Training Centre (BTC), our school programmes, and our chapters in Soufriere, Vieux Fort, Laborie, and Dennery.”

The equipment follows a commitment made by AIBA’s president, Umar Kremlev, a year ago to support the local boxing association by way of providing much-needed equipment. Christopher said this week’s receipt of the new equipment proves that building relationships among associations is essential.

“We’re very grateful to AIBA, especially president Umar Kremlev, for keeping to a promise he made last year in Panama,” said Christopher. “We intend to manage this equipment in the best way as we continue to create more champions and better citizens through boxing.”

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Boxing Association, or AIBA (originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur), is a sports organization that sanctions amateur (Olympic-style) boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships. 

Christopher said one of the major challenges the Association now faces relates to the heavy workload being carried by its National Head Coach, Conrad Fredericks. He noted that it’s a daunting task for Fredericks, who desperately needs extra hands to undertake the Association’s many programmes.

“We appeal to past boxers to give back to the programme. We’ve noticed that in other fields of sport, athletes would pay it forward by becoming coaches and administrative representatives. However, for boxing, that seems to be lacking,” the SLBA president explained.

Meanwhile, Coach Conrad Fredericks noted that the new batch of equipment came at the right time as the Association plans to open other boxing gyms across the island. He also added his voice to the president’s appeal for more coaches to come on board.

Since the pandemic began, the boxing gym at Vigie has had to be closed at various times as the COVID-19 protocols were adjusted. However, Coach Fredericks emphasized that during the periods the gym does open, the necessary safety precautions are enforced.

“We’re pleased to share that since the pandemic began, no case of COVID-19 has ever been recorded at the gym,” he said. “We try our utmost to follow all the relevant COVID-19 protocols. However, we find that as the number of cases increases nationally, many boxers are staying away from the gym. After all, boxing is a contact sport, so we do understand their concern.”

Women’s 400 Metres

 Five Caribbean women advanced to the final.

Marileidy Paulino of The Dominican Republic won semi-final 1 in a national record of 49.38 to advance.

Jamaica’s Candice McLeod and Cuba’s Roxana Gomez also progressed from semi-final 1.

McLeod ran a personal best of 49.51 to finish second and advance automatically while Gomez finished third in a personal best 49.71 and advanced in a fastest loser spot.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo advanced by running 49.60 to win the second semi-final.

Jamaica’s Roniesha McGregor and Guyana’s Aliyah Abrams were also in semi-final 2 but failed to advance, finishing third in 50.34 and seventh in 51.46 respectively.

Stephenie Ann McPherson won semi-final 3 in a personal best 49.34 to qualify.

Sada Williams finished third in that race in a national record of 50.11 but that wasn’t enough to get her into the final.

 

Men’s 200 Metres

 Canadian Andre DeGrasse ran a Canadian record 19.62 to take gold.

DeGrasse, silver medalist behind Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio games, will be joined on the podium by Americans Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles.

Bednarek ran a personal best 19.68 for silver and Lyles ran a season’s best 19.74 for bronze.

Jamaica’s Rasheed Dwyer finished 7th in 20.21 and Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago finished 8th in 20.39.

 

Women’s High Jump

 St. Lucian Levern Spencer finished 22nd in qualifying.

 

Women’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 The Jamaican team consisting of Briana Williams, Natasha Morrison, Remona Burchell and Shericka Jackson ran 42.15 to finish third in heat 1 and advance to the final.

 

Men’s 4x100 Metres Relay

 Jamaica qualified for the final after running the fastest time in the heats.

The team of Jevaughn Minzie, Julian Forte, Yohan Blake and Oblique Seville ran a time of 37.82 to win heat 1.

Trinidad & Tobago were also in heat 1 and finished 6th with a time of 38.63.

Their team consisted of Kion Benjamin, Eric Harrison, Akanni Hislop and Richard Thompson, silver medalist from the 2008 Beijing games.

 

Men’s 110 Metres Hurdles

 Jamaica secured two medals in the final of the men’s 110 metres hurdles.

Hansle Parchment, a bronze medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, ran a season’s best of 13.04 to win gold ahead of the prohibitive favourite, Grant Holloway of the USA, who took silver in 13.09.

 Ronald Levy ran 13.10 for bronze, his first Olympic medal.

 

 

 

The Caribbean made a big wave in the pool at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games earlier today.

It all started with Vincentian Shane Cadogan winning heat 4 of the Men’s 50m Freestyle in a time of 24.71 seconds. He finished ahead of Nigeria’s Alassane Seydou Lancina (24.75) and Bangladesh’s Ariful Islam (24.81).

Trinidad’s Dylan Carter and Cayman’s Brett Fraser tied for second in heat 6 of the same event. Their times were faster than Cadogan’s, finishing in 22.46 seconds. Renzo Tjon-a-joe of Suriname was also in that heat. He finished 6th in a time of 22.56 seconds. Serbia’s Andrej Barna won the heat in 22.29 seconds.  

Meanwhile, Aleka Persaud finished second in heat 4 in the women’s equivalent. The Guyanese swam a time of 27.76 seconds. St.Vincent’s Mya de Freitas also swam in heat 4, finishing 4th in a time of 28.57 seconds. The heat was won by Papau New Guinea’s Judith Meauri in a time of 27.56 seconds. More Caribbean swimmers turned out in the following heat. St. Lucian Mikali Charlamagne (26.99) and Antigua’s Samantha Roberts (27.63) finished 2nd and 6th respectively. Cameroon’s Norah Milanesi finished 1st in a time of 26.41 seconds. Elinah Phillip from the British Virgin Islands swam well for second place in heat 6. She finished behind Ecuador’s Anicka Delgado (25.36) in a time of 25.74 seconds.

None of these competitors were able to advance to the semifinals of their event. The semifinals of the men’s and women’s 50m Freestyle will take place tomorrow.

St. Lucian Swimmer, Mikaili Charlemagne, has set a new national record in the women’s 50m freestyle.

Despite failing to advance to the semifinal round, Charlemagne who competed earlier today swimming out of lane 5, in heat 5, finished 2nd with a time of 26.99, lowering the previous national record of 27.27 which she had set in 2019.

The heat was won by Cameroon’s Norah Elizabeth Milanesi who was clocked a time of 26.41 and Fiji’s Cheynne Rova rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 27.11.

Also competing in the heat was Antigua’s Samantha Roberts, who finished 6th, touching home with a time of 27.63, her fastest time since 2016.

This was the first time Charlemagne has competed in the Women’s 50m Freestyle at a major senior competition since 2017 when she participated at the World Championships held in Budapest, Hungary.

Charlemagne, who recently turned 18-years-old, is a student-athlete at Springfield College in the United States. She is the second St. Lucian swimmer to compete at this year’s Olympics, her teammate Jean-Luc Zephir competed yesterday in the Men’s 100m Freestyle, finishing his heat in 6th place.

 

 

West Indies stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran has backed Andre Russell’s decision to face all six deliveries of the final over of Wednesday’s T20 match that was bowled by Mitchell Starc and from which the home side required 11 runs to take a 4-0 lead in the series.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and off-spinner Kevin Sinclair have been named in the match-day squad as replacements for Shimron Hetmyer and Obed McCoy for the fourth and fifth matches of the CG Insurance T20 International (T20I) series against Australia.

Hetmyer and McCoy are both nursing injuries and will be unavailable.

West Indies have already clinched the series following their six-wicket victory on Monday night that came after an 18-run victory last Friday night and an impressive 56-run triumph on Saturday night.

The next two matches will be played under lights at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium (DSCG) on Wednesday, July 14 and Friday, July 16 with the first ball at 7:30 pm (6:30 pm Jamaica Time).

“The team has played really well to win the first three matches and the CG Insurance Series – they have played good cricket in every department,” said CWI Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“The aim is to continue to build on the momentum created and strive to win the remaining games. Winning builds confidence from a team perspective and will give the players greater belief in the roles they are playing. So, it is important to keep winning. We took the decision to rest players who have picked up some niggles and give opportunities to other players in the squad.”

This CG Insurance T20I Series forms part of the West Indies T20 World Cup preparation. The defending champions have a total of 15 T20Is to be played across three months in the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup which is being staged in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14.

Fully vaccinated patrons will be able to buy tickets for the series from the stadium ticket office at the East Gate on presentation of their vaccination documentation and their national ID, with tickets available at EC$50 per match.

The full squad comprises Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Akeal Hosein, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Kevin Sinclair, Evin Lewis, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, and Hayden Walsh Jr

Fidel Edwards, Shimron Hetmyer and Obed McCoy are the travelling reserves.

Iconic St Lucian high jumper Levern Spencer is yet to achieve her dream of standing on the Olympic medal podium, but very few could dispute the great heights she has already achieved for the tiny island and the wider Caribbean as a whole.

It would have been easy to sit back and accept that odds are stacked against her.  After all, she hails from an island with a population of less than 200,000 and much fewer resources to spare for sport than much bigger nations. 

She did not begin competing in the sport until 14, much later than many of her peers, and at 5’ 9’ in a field where competitors consistently range well over 6ft she is routinely one of the smallest.  But, throughout her life and career, Spencer has habitually slain her fair share of Goliaths.

What she may lack in height, is more than made up for in a big heart filled with determination that has driven her journey of unprecedented achievement so far and the burning desire to keep flying higher.

In total, Spencer, who began representing St Lucia as a junior some 22-years ago, has claimed 21 gold medals for her country so far.  Most famously, she won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, a first for both herself and her country.  It was a proud moment.

“St Lucia had never won a gold medal at this event, and it was my fifth Commonwealth Games, and winning a gold, having won two bronze medals in 2014 and 2010, it was a big deal for us,” Spencer recalled.

 Levern Spencer Wins High Jump Title At Hvezdy v Nehvizdech | World-Track  and Field Website

 

“Being the one to create history is something I will always remember…whenever I stand on the podium hearing my country’s national anthem, seeing the flag being flown, it’s always very special and emotional.  I always had in the back of the mind that it is because of my efforts, because of something I did,” she added.

As with a great many things, barring a twist of fate, the world might never have heard of Spencer.  Things could have turned out much differently for herself and the country.  The athlete did not consider doing the jumps as a very young athlete and only gave it some consideration after it was suggested by a teacher.

“One of my teachers at the time just advised that I do the high jump for my house (intra-school team) and I won the event not knowing anything about technique or the high jump.  So, I’m so thankful that I did not say no and gave it a try,” Spencer said.

“I’m just happy that, that teacher who was my first coach as well, Mr. Gregory Lewin, introduced me to the sport.  Sometimes it’s good to listen and say yes, you’ll give it a try.  Maybe if I had said no, I probably would not have been the high jumper I am today.”

The rest as they say is history, in addition to winning numerous medals and awards, Spencer went on break the county’s national records on several occasions.  In fact, she set the first when she was just a 14-year-old, not too long after starting the event.  She set the current mark of 1.98m in 2010.

At 37, the jumper is heading into the twilight of her career and the time for Olympic glory has all but run out.  Heading into her fourth Olympic Games, however, hope burns eternal that she may be able to create history for St Lucia, yet again, but this time on the grandest of stages.  Spencer knows it will take something extraordinary.

“In order to win Olympic gold, I would definitely need something special on that day.  It might take around a clearance of 2m, which I haven’t done but it’s possible, anything is possible.  I would need something special on that day,” she said.

“Two high jumpers that inspire me are Ruth Beitia and Chaunte Lowe, Ruth despite her age and not having an Olympic medal after three attempts, just like me, she kept going until she won her gold medal and 37 and Chaunte because like me she is one of the smallest in the field and always manages to be competitive despite having to overcome so many challenges.”

In truth, however, even if the athlete were to leave the Games empty-handed, perhaps, for the final time, she had more importantly already served as inspiration for future generations and when it comes to putting her country on the map, flew well clear of that bar, with plenty to spare, a long time ago.

“Despite the many medals that I have won, what I regard as my biggest success in my athletic career is that coming from a tiny nation of only 180,000 people I was able to work hard and be competitive against the best in the world.  Sometimes on many occasions defeating them.  I am happy I have served as an inspiration for up-and-coming St Lucian athletes and I know that I gave my all and my best at whatever I did and persevered to the end.”

The Cricket West Indies Selection Panel has announced the 14-member squad for the first of the five-match CG Insurance T20 International (T20I) series against Australia. The match will be played under lights at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium on Friday, July 9 with the first ball at 7:30 pm (6:30 pm Jamaica Time).

Leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr has been named in the match-day squad while all-rounder Fabian Allen returns from an injury sustained in the recent series against South Africa. All-rounder Jason Holder is being rested for this series as part of his workload management, and he is expected to feature in upcoming One-Day Internationals and Test matches.

Roger Harper, Lead Selector said: “Hayden Walsh Jr adds variety and another wicket-taking option, while Fabian Allen, who was unavailable for the last game because of injury, returns. Considering the opposition, it is important that the team plays well in all departments, especially the batting, which needs to deliver more consistently.”

This CG Insurance T20I Series forms part of the West Indies’ World Cup preparation with a total of 15 T20Is to be played across three months in the build-up to the ICC T20 World Cup to be played from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Fans in the Caribbean can watch exclusively live on Flow Sports or via the Flow Sports app. West Indies fans can also follow live ball-by-ball scoring in the www.windiescricket.com live match centre, featuring the new live match blog. Live radio commentary is available on a number of radio stations across the Caribbean and available worldwide, except in India and Bangladesh, on the Windies Cricket YouTube channel.

Fans in Australia can follow this match and the entire West Indies vs Australia CG Insurance T20I and ODI Series live on Foxtel’s Fox Cricket channel as well as via live stream on Kayo Sports.

Fully vaccinated patrons will be able to buy tickets for the series from the stadium ticket office at the East Gate on presentation of their vaccination documentation and their national ID, with tickets available at EC$50 per match. A three-match ticket promotion is available for just EC$120, with a special Series five-match season ticket special at EC$200.

FULL SQUAD: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran (Vice-Captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Travelling Reserves: Akeal Hosein, Kevin Sinclair, and Oshane Thomas.

As the West Indies heads into their five-match T20 series against Australia, white-ball captain Kieron Pollard has conceded that the team struggles with rotating the strike but says they are constantly working to resolve the problem.

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has been appointed as a member of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) board after recently being confirmed as an independent non-member director.

The 37-year-old Sammy led the regional team to the T20 World title in 2012 and 2016, memorably criticising the then administration after claiming the latter title.

Earlier this year, Sammy stepped aside from Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team St Lucia Zouks, moving behind the scenes to become a T20 cricket consultant and brand ambassador.  He is also the current head coach of Pakistan Super League (PSL) team Peshawar Zalmi.

According to Cricket West Indies (CWI), it is hoped the appointment of the former captain will provide a fresh and youthful perspective to some of the challenges faced by the board.

“I am delighted to welcome Daren Sammy as an independent, non-member Director whose role will be to ensure that all the right questions are being asked while contributing to the shaping of new ideas and solutions. Daren’s fairly recent experience as a two-time World Cup-winning captain will bring with him a much-needed modern-day cricketer’s perspective, which should add valuable insights to Board discussions and decision-making. His appointment is testament to our commitment to strengthen CWI’s governance, and to utilize expertise from across all stakeholder groups,” CWI president Ricky Skerritt said.

For his part, Sammy expressed delight with the opportunity to continue playing an active role in West Indies cricket.

“It is an honour to be appointed as a CWI Director; this is another great opportunity for me to give my best to West Indies cricket in a new way, off the field. All my local, regional, and international experiences have prepared me to make a significant ongoing impact in West Indies cricket. I am excited and thankful for the chance to serve and look forward to giving back to the sport and region that I love so much,” Sammy said.

Sammy is one of three appointed Independent Directors approved at last Thursday’s CWI Board of Directors’ meeting.  The appointees will serve for the next two years. He joins Trinidadian Attorney Mrs. Debra Coryat-Patton and Jamaican Surgeon and University Administrator, Dr. Akshai Mansingh, who were both re-appointed to serve a second term.

“We are sorry!”

Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

“As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

“We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

 

 

 

 

 

Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel and middle-order batsman Darren Bravo have been recalled to the West Indies squad ahead of the second Betway Test match at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia starting on Friday, June 18.

Despite being shot out twice for less than 300 runs at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in the first Test against South Africa last week, West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach says pitches like the one they played on will help West Indies cricket in the long run.

On a grassy surface that offered bounce and pace to fast bowlers, South Africa bowled the West Indies out for scores of 97 and 162 while securing victory by an innings and 63 runs inside three days. South Africa made 322 in their only turn at-bat.

However, according to Roach, who took 2-64 from the 20 overs he bowled, said pitches like the one they played on will ultimately benefit the players in the region.

“I think the pitches benefit us in the long run, especially when we go on tours to South Africa and Australia where the bounce is a lot more,” Roach said.

“We wouldn’t be unfamiliar when we go to these countries. I think it’s good to have a pitch like this in the Caribbean we can prepare ourselves for these overseas tours.”

The bowler, who is a few days shy of his 33rd birthday, had a successful stint in May with Surrey in the English County Championship where he took 22 wickets at an average of 20.54. Among the 22 wickets were nine that he took in his final match against Middlesex.

He said the pitches he played on were different in nature to the one in St Lucia.

“Pitches don’t bounce much in England. There is a lot of movement because of the atmosphere and the amount of grass they put on the pitch,” he said, adding that he believes he and his teammates will need to adjust their game to suit the surface.

“The pitch in St Lucia bounced a lot more than I have seen in a while. It reminds me of a wicket in Australia or probably South Africa, so it’s about us adapting. It’s about taking on the challenge and trying to be as positive as we can.”

The West Indies will see how much they have adjusted to the St Lucia pitch when the second Betway Test begins on Friday.

 

Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, and Jayden Seales have been included in a provisional 17-man squad for the upcoming Betway Test Series against South Africa set to begin on June 10. Opening batsman, John Campbell, however, has not made the cut.

Roston Chase scored an unbeaten 45 in an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 61 with Keron Kottoy, who remained not out in 19, helped steer Jahmar Hamilton’s WIBest ‘B’ side to a three-wicket win over WIBest ‘A’ on today’s final day of their four-day match at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

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