Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Abigail Schaaffe was a standout once again winning her last 600m for the season in a new personal best time and then ran her fastest ever split on the 4x400m relay team as the University of Minnesota’s women topped the Big 10 Championships at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

After achieving personal best marks in both long and triple jumps at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville last weekend, Tennessee’s Carey McLeod believes his best this season is yet to come as he aims to seal a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

It was all about the comeback for Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who rebounded from a disappointing first day at last week’s SEC Indoor Championships to win two gold medals and consequently, the coveted Cliff Harper Award for scoring the most points.

It was her second hold on the award and the first time an athlete has won it outright since 1997.

In two weeks, she will seek pentathlon redemption at the NCAA National Championships where she intends to break the collegiate record of 4703 points held by Georgia’s Kendall Williams.

“To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

“After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

“I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

It worked.

Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

“Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

“I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

 Shimron Hetmyer and Roston Chase are now available for selection to the West Indies teams after both players passed fitness tests during the past few days, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams announced today.

“We had done a press conference very recently and we had explained that there were some players that had missed the minimum fitness standard for selection, two of those players have since met that standard, that’s Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer,” Adams said earlier today.

“They would now be available for selection for the next selection meeting around the Test matches coming up later in March.”

The players were among four that the West Indies selectors said were not named to the T20 and ODI squads to face Sri Lanka starting March 3 because they had failed fitness tests.

Hetmyer’s omission, especially, caused a bit of a stir regionally, considering that the news of his non-selection came against the backdrop of him scoring a century for the Guyana Jaguars in the semi-final of the CG Insurance Super50 semi-final against the Windward Islands Volcanoes last week Thursday.

During a press conference last Saturday, Adams, in response to questions regarding whether the selectors would consider overlooking Hetmyer’s fitness considering his current form, said that was not likely to happen.

 “The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of fitness testing.  So on the yo-yo intermittent test, that minimum standard is 40 and for a couple of years we have had selection tied to the achievement of that minimum standard,” Adams said.

“It’s pretty simple and all the players are aware of it.  Failure to get to 40 makes them unavailable for selection. So when the panel sits, the first thing that they will consider, before looking at the teams and the squads they want to put together, is who are the players that are available through achieving that minimum standard.”

Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) have secured two additional club sponsors and a category sponsor for the upcoming season of the Jamaica Premier League, powered by Digicel.

The club sponsors are Kemtek Development & Construction and ConserveIT Limited, who were both announced at a recent press signing at the Jamaica Pegasus. Also back on board is former title sponsor, Red Stripe, who join the fold as a category sponsor. Red Stripe remains the “official beer of the Jamaica Premier League”.

These recent agreements bring the total number of sponsors to 13 as ConserveIT, Kemtek and Red Stripe join Digicel, SportsMax, Yummy Bakery, JMMB, Jamaica Producers, Indies Pharma, Wata, Tru Shake, Burger King and Mount Pleasant Academy as sponsors.

The Premier League seeks to get underway with applications submitted to the Ministry of Sport and the ODPEM for consideration. The club sponsors will be assigned to their respective clubs prior to the start of the season.

An excited Michail Antonio has begun the process of applying for his Jamaican passport and is eager to represent the country of his parents’ birth, Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

 The Reggae Boyz are set to face the United States in Austria in an international friendly on March 25, as the team ramps up preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers later in the year.

JFF President Michael Ricketts made the announcement during a virtual press conference earlier today.

Due to the current conditions related to the global pandemic, the match will be conducted under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol and will be played without fans at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Wiener Neustadt.

Ricketts said the JFF will be attempting to have a camp leading up to the match in Australia. They are to apply to the government for an exemption to the ongoing Covid-19 protocols. If not, they will try to leave for Austria on March 20, so the team will be able to spend a few days preparing in that country.

The meeting between the two teams will be the first since they clashed in the semi-finals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville, Tennessee on July 3, 2019. The USA won that encounter 3-1 courtesy of two goals from Christian Pulisic and another from Weston McKennie.

Shamar Nicholson netted for Jamaica.

Jamaica had won a previous encounter 1-0 when the teams met in a friendly on June 5, 2019, in Washington D.C.

Since 1988, the teams have met 26 times with the USA holding a 16-3-8 overall record.

Former Reggae Boy Jobi McAnuff has been appointed interim manager of League II club Leyton Orient after the club parted ways with head coach Ross Embleton on the weekend.

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

When Joshua Da Silva dedicated his 92-run match-winning knock in Bangladesh to Andrea Bharratt, Ashanti Riley and other Trinidadian women who have been victims of violence, he did so in part because a recent horrifying incident made the matter personal.

The Guyana Cricket Board elections scheduled for today have been postponed keeping the hopes of Guyana Cricket Board Secretary Anand Sanasie's hopes alive of challenging incumbent Ricky Skerritt for the presidency of Cricket West Indies. 

Should the current board be swept from power, it would delegitimize Sanasie's run for the presidency.

According to reports emerging from Guyana, the elections, the first in more than a decade, was put off after reported mounting pressure to have it delayed, according to cricket commentator and talk show host Andrew Mason, who reported early this morning that there was an attempt at the highest level to stop the elections.

He reported that a lot of pressure was being put on the counties that would have been voting and that the Minister of Sport in Guyana Charles Ramson Jr was to meet with the president of Guyana on the matter.

A later report just after midday Jamaica time, said that the elections would not be held.

“The Ombudsman turned up just before 1 ‘0’ clock and said as the result of an email he received last night (Thursday) the elections could not be held today."

This was due mainly to the no show of the Essequibo Cricket Board, one of three counties that would have been voting in the elections.

“The Essequibo board said it was simply not ready,” according to Mason, who added that the boards of Berbice and Demerara are upset about the development.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Secretary Anand Sanasie wrote to Guyana’s Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Charles Ramson Jr and Attorney Kamal Ramkarran, objecting to the appointment of both a cricket Ombudsman as well as the seven-day time period given for the staging of elections, claiming they were illegal under the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

In response, Ramson Jr said he was on firm legal ground and well within the powers of the Guyana Cricket Administration Act.

 

 

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young will miss out on the SEC Championships that began on Thursday because she has been exposed to someone infected by Covid-19.

Of all the important partnerships that Joshua Da Silva featured in during the West Indies successful Test series against Bangladesh, there was one that the Trinidadian wicketkeeper-batsman said he enjoyed the most.

Jamaica’s World Cup campaign is set to be bolstered by the addition of West Ham striker Michail Antonio, who reports say, is to accept an invitation from the Jamaica Football Federation to represent the Reggae Boyz.

Sunil Ambris, captain of the Windward Islands Volcanoes is not overly concerned about the team’s current form going into tomorrow’s semi-finals of the CG Insurance Super 50 against the Guyana Jaguars. However, he said he is expecting his team to be better with the bat if they are to avenge their defeat earlier this week to the Jaguars.

When the teams met on Monday, the final match of the preliminary round, the Jaguars walloped the Volcanoes, who plunged to a nine-wicket defeat. However, Ambris said his team is ready to dust itself off and go to battle once again.

“We started off (the season) really well. I think we played two really poor matches but the camaraderie in the team is still pretty good, the guys are still high-spirited and looking forward to the semi-finals,” he said, adding that he wants the team to get off to a better start with the bat, something that we have been struggling with throughout the season.

“That’s something that we definitely need to address,” he said.

The Volcanoes will be strengthened by the inclusion of Kavem Hodge and Ambris is delighted to have him in the team for the must-win encounter.

“He brings a lot. He is one of the better players in the team. He is an all-rounder. He is more than likely give us 10 overs and he is one of the better batters in the team and he has a lot of experience being a part of the Windward Islands team for the longest while and he knows what it feels like to win a championship, so he will definitely bring a lot to the team,” he said.

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