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.

Michail Antonio, Leon Bailey and Ravel Morrison will not be available for Jamaica’s World Cup qualifying opener against Mexico on Thursday as the Jamaica Football Federation tries to navigate a Covid-19 minefield laid by the United Kingdom and other European countries.

Coming off a successful series against Pakistan, West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh is expecting greater levels of consistency from his players when they take on South Africa in the first of three T20 Internationals in Antigua on Tuesday.

During the series that the West Indies won 3-2 over Pakistan, the Caribbean women benefitted from players like Kyshona Knight and Britney Cooper stepped up with the bat to support Captain Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews, especially in light of Deandra Dottin’s poor form.

On the eve of the series against South Africa, Walsh says he expects even better performances from his players against a tough South African contingent.

“We are looking to execute a lot better than we did against Pakistan. Obviously, South Africa being ranked above us we have to be a lot more consistent than we were against Pakistan, so we will be looking to execute a lot better and improve. We know that they are a decent team and we have to be ready for that,” said Walsh.

He said it was a good sign to see players other than the ‘big three’ step up and wants to see more of that against South Africa.

“That’s the only way we are going to get the team where I think we can compete against the top teams and give ourselves a chance of winning major competitions.

“We have to move away from one or two players consistently getting us out of trouble so it was very good to see all the other players who performed well in the last series and we want that to continue and to try to extend that consistency from them, and once we can complement it with both departments, batting and bowling it will be good for us.

“And then, if we can complete the whole thing when we are in the field it would be excellent. So we just need to keep improving, raising the bar in those areas that we have to. It’s good to see other players putting their hands up and we want to see more of that.”

Nicole Grant is of the view that the new additions to the board of the Jamaica Amateur Gymnastics Association will bring the required dynamism needed to take the sport forward in Jamaica.

The Jamaica Table Tennis Association finds itself in a race against time to raise approximately US$33,000 to fund a 12-member team to the Pan American Youth Championships set to serve off from September 12-19 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Jamaica plans to send U19 and U15 teams to the championships but according to JTTA President Andrew Lue, while the association has a team on paper, they need to raise the funds that will enable them to confirm participation by September 3.

“We have received permission for all players in the team events to also play singles, doubled and mixed doubles so it’s an excellent opportunity for not only the athletes but for Jamaica to gain international ranking points. The US$33,000 (approximately J$5million) will go towards travel, accommodations, entry fees, gear, Covid tests and stipends,” Lue told Sportsmax. TV.

“International competitions are an integral part of our strategic development and Olympic road map for Paris 2024.”

The full team includes Tsenaye Lewis, Kelsey Davidson, national women’s champion Solesha Young, Neveah Scott, Joel Butler, Jon Pierre Daley, Christopher Lyn, Jayden Ebanks, Brian Blake, Matthew Fung, Garu Whyte and Rasheed Clarke.

There are four players to each team, Lue explained, U19 girls, U19 boys and U15 boys. The players who have qualified to play singles are Davidson, Lewis and Alessio Tulloch. However, Tulloch is unable to go and will be replaced by Rasheed Clarke, who won the U19 title at the recent national championships.

However, everything depends on if the JTTA can raise the money required.

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Ricky Skerritt and Vice President Dr Kishore Shallow have offered words of encouragement and support to the members of the West Indies Rising Stars U19s ahead of their tour of England. They spoke to the squad via Zoom meeting before their departure for the trip, which will feature six Youth ODIs.

Skerritt also congratulated the players on their selection to the 18-member squad. He also reminded them of their responsibility to represent the people in the West Indies and to be ambassadors for the region on and off the field.

“We congratulate you on your selection to the West Indies Rising Stars U19 team for this tour. You have been chosen to represent the people of the West Indies and this is a great honour. This is a stage in your development we want to assure you that you have our full support as you embark on this stage of your journey,” Skerritt said.

“We want you to work hard, to support each other and always give us your best. You are from different countries, but you are now representing the West Indies and that is the most important thing.”

The West Indies Rising Stars U19s will be led by Ackeem Auguste, a left-handed top-order batsman. The vice-captain is Giovonte Depeiza, a right-handed middle-order batsman who also bowls left-arm spin. The six matches will be played at The County Ground, Beckenham and The Polo Farm, Canterbury from Saturday, September 4 to Friday, September 17. This is part of their preparations for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be hosted by CWI from January 4 to February 3, 2022.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a new lifetime best to turn the tables on Elaine Thompson-Herah and win the 100m dash at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.

Guyana Amazon Warriors kicked off the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with a nine-run win over defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders at Warner Park in St Kitts.

The Knight Riders won the toss and put the Amazon Warriors into bat and despite Shimron Hetmyer’s 50, they were able to restrict their opponents to 142-7. However, the Amazon Warriors were to produce an even better bowling performance taking wickets at regular intervals to get their campaign off to a winning start. 

The Amazon Warriors began their innings well with Chandrapaul Hemraj striking two sixes but he was caught at short third man once Sunil Narine entered the attack.

The Amazon Warriors then sprung a surprise with the hard-hitting Odean Smith entering at number three to maximise the PowerPlay overs. Smith justified his promotion with 24 runs from 15 balls but once he fell the Amazon Warriors innings lost impetus leaving them struggling at the halfway stage on 57-3.

When Isuru Udana removed Shoaib Malik for a laboured two runs from 12 balls and Akeal Hosein got rid of Mohammed Hafeez shortly afterwards it looked as if Guyana had given themselves too much to do.

 Captain Nicholas Pooran walked in at a surprising number seven with five overs remaining and tried to up the ante with Shimron Hetmyer but Pooran then fell to a stunning Darren Bravo in-out-in catch on the boundary.

 Vice-captain Hetmyer had anchored the innings throughout the flurry of wickets and he cashed in at the death with some lusty blows to score the first 2021 Hero CPL 50 and ensure Guyana ended on a tricky total to chase.

 Despite losing the wickets of Lendl Simmons and Colin Munro in the PowerPlay the Knight Riders were ahead of the game at the end of the 6 overs.

 The turning point came with the introduction of Imran Tahir as he removed both Sunil Narine and Bravo in quick succession and the Amazon Warriors then continued to take wickets at regular intervals.  Smith put the game in the balance when he forced Tim Seifert into a false shot to leave the Knight Riders on 78-5 after 12 overs and it was to go from bad to worse for the Knight Riders when Romario Shepherd got Kieron Pollard to nick behind to Pooran for two runs.

 Late hitting from Dinesh Ramdin kept the Knight Riders in the game but when he fell to a smart catch from Malik all hope was lost.

Scores: S.Hetmyer 142-9, Odean Smith 24. Smith 2-10 beat Trinbago Knight Riders 133-9 (Ramdin 28, Siefert 24; Narine 2/17, Hosein 2/17) by 9 runs. 

 

World Championship medalist Jura Levy was among four individuals to be inducted into the Oklahoma Baptist Hall of Fame on September 17, Oklahoma Baptist University Athletics Department on Monday.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce concedes that Elaine Thompson-Herah is much closer to the 100m world record than she is but says that it good that women are now able to challenge the 33-year-old standard set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner.

The Tokyo Olympics 100m silver medalist was speaking at a press conference Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she, Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson will once again line up for the 100m in a field that also includes local talents Mujinga Kamnundji, Ajla del Ponte and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast.

Talk of the world record heated up last weekend when Thompson-Herah sped to a world-leading and personal best 10.54 while winning the blue-riband dash at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. The time is only 0.05s off the world record of 10.49.

Fraser-Pryce, who ran a personal best of 10.63 in June, believes that the world record is now being challenged is a boon for the sport and women’s sprinting.

“As for running the world record, Elaine is much, much closer than I am so it’s good to be able to challenge a record that for women that for a long time we thought was impossible,” she told media gathered for the press conference,” and it speaks to the evolution of sprinting and what mechanics can do to sprinting and the different things that are involved in sprinting, so to be able to be in that conversation or to have that conversation is truly remarkable.”

Fraser-Pryce, who ran 10.73 while finishing second to Thompson-Herah in Eugene, expressed optimism that fast times – maybe even the world record - can be achieved on the track in Lausanne on Thursday.

“I know that Lausanne has a very good track; I ran 10.7 here in 2019 after coming off a plane, so I know it’s a very good track. So, hopefully, tomorrow the ladies will have a superb race and we will see how it goes at the end.”

 

 

 

Jamaica’s Olympic medalists and their coaches are set for a financial windfall under what the Jamaica Olympic Association has dubbed an ‘Olympic Rewards Programme’ worth J$41 million. The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) contributed $J5m to the programme while Supreme Ventures Foundation and Mayberry Investments, contributed JS30m and J$6m, respectively.

One US dollar is approximately J$155.

The money is to be placed in individual investment accounts at Mayberry Investments for a period of three years or until the athlete’s retirement from track and field, whichever comes first. At the end of the period, the athlete decides whether to cash in their investments or maintain his or her account.

Under the programme, a gold medalist gets J$6 million, a silver medalist gets J$4 million while a bronze medal winner will be rewarded with J$2 million.

A similar amount will be maintained for the relays but for the relay gold medalists, the J$6 million will be shared among members while for the women’s 4x400 metres relay team that placed third, J$2 million will be shared among the members of the squad.

Coaches will also be rewarded for their work. J$1 million will go to a coach whose athlete won a gold medal, $750,000 for the coach whose athlete won a silver medal and $500,000 for the coach whose athlete won a bronze medal.

The rewards programme, JOA President Christopher Samuda said is part of a broader vision of the association.

“For the Jamaica Olympic Association this partnership represents critical aspects of our vision for the future of the business of sport and emphasizes our conviction that the lives of athletes and coaches matter beyond the present,” Samuda said. 

“The Jamaica Olympic Association, Supreme Ventures Limited and Mayberry Investments Limited have come together in an investment trilogy, at the heart of which are Jamaica's athletes and coaches and the strategy of which resides in financial prudence and security.”

Meanwhile, Peter McConnell, Chairman, Supreme Ventures Foundation, praised the athletes for their success. “We are incredibly proud of all athletes who have ever represented Jamaica on the world stage, and we are grateful to have this opportunity to reward this year’s cohort of medalists,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Christopher Berry, the Executive Chairman of Mayberry Investments Limited.

“Mayberry wishes to congratulate all the athletes that represented us at the Olympics and all of the people who worked so hard to make this national effort yet another success,” he said.

Elaine Thompson won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m  at the Olympic Games while Hansle Parchment won gold in the 100m hurdles. Meanwhile, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won a silver medal in the 100m and a gold medal as a member of the 4x100m team. Shericka Jackson won a bronze medal in the 100m and gold as a member of the 4x100m that also included Briana Williams. Natasha Morrison and Remona Burchell were alternates.

Megan Tapper won a bronze medal in the 100m hurdles.

Jackson, Candice McLeod, Roneisha McGregor, Tovea Jenkins, Junelle Bromfield and Stacy-Ann Williams comprised the 4x400m relay squad.

 

 

Nine members of Jamaica’s successful delegation to the World Athletics World Under 20 Championships have tested positive for Covid 19, the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association announced today. Four tested positive earlier in the week while five more persons tested positive in the final set of tests that were done before travelling today. 

All are asymptomatic and are in isolation and will not be able to depart Nairobi until September 2.  The Jamaica team medical staff have remained with the nine persons and they will be accompanied home by senior staff including the medical personnel who have also remained with the group. 

 The main body of athletes and staff are now on their way home, the JAAA said.

Jamaica won 11 medals - three gold, six silver and three bronze - at the championships that concluded on Sunday, their second-best medal haul at the championships. Seven of those medals were won on Sunday’s final day when the girls 4x100m relay team set a new world record of 42.94.

 

Simon Tomlinson and Solesha Young successfully defended their national titles as the curtains came down on Jamaica’s national table tennis championships at the National Indoor Sports Centre last Thursday.

Tomlinson, who was winning his fifth national title, defeated Peter Moo-Young, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, for a 4-1 victory. Meanwhile, 17-year-old Young defeated Tsenaye Lewis 11-7, 11-3, 1-12, 11-3, 11-5 for the Women’s title.

Young also won the U21 female title and the Women’s Rural Singles Open title.

“The Women's Open title is the one that means the most to me simply because it tells everyone that I am the number-one female in the country. Two-time national champion; that for me, is an awesome achievement at age 17,” said Young, who said preparing for the competition presented its own challenges.

“Overall, my performance was outstanding despite limited training, the Covid-19 pandemic and preparation for CSEC exams I had to use strategy and tactics to defend my title.”

She revealed that in some instances she was only able to train twice a month because access to training facilities was limited because of the pandemic.

Tomlinson, meanwhile, said he it was not an easy path to the title.

“I went into the finals trying to be as calm as possible. I had a major battle in the semi-finals with David Williams, a veteran player who is now based in England, and that result was 4-3 so I had a trying match in the semi-finals, so going into the final I had to calm myself and go in with a good match plan, a good strategy and outwit Peter,” Tomlinson said.

“He is a very intelligent, crafty player.”

Tomlinson said that primarily because of the pandemic, he didn’t get a chance to play that much, especially after he came up short on his bid to qualify for the Olympics in April. However, that experience helped him navigate the challenging rounds of the national championships.

“The Olympic qualification was the most preparation I had going into this tournament, granted that was three/four months ago but it was the only work I was able to put in given the restrictions that we have had in Jamaica because of Covid so I was heavily reliant on that preparation and the knowledge that I had gained heading into the Olympics and it definitely helped. It kept me calm, centred during the matches. At no point, did I overreact or lose my cool. I was able to stay focused and get the job done.”

Other categories winners were as follows:

U13 Girls: Karecea Peterkin, U15 Boys: Jadeen Ebanks, U15 Girls: Tsenaye Lewis, U19 Boys: Rasheed Clarke, U19 Girls: Naveah Scott, U21: Joel Butler, Rural Men: Rudolph Sinclair, Men’s 40: Rudolph.

Andrew Lue, President of the Jamaica Table Tennis Association and runner-up in the Men’s 40 competition, characterized the tournament as a success.

“For the first time, we had the men and women champion winning the same prize money. As a part of our thrust for gender equality we thought it very critical for that to take place for us to set the pace for other sports to follow,” he said.

“Another historic first was that we had our U13 Boys title being shared by Gari Whyte and Brian Blake as that final was unable to be played.”

 

 

 

Jamaica had a medal-filled final day of the 2021 World Under20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday capped by a gold-medal run in world-record time by the Women 4x100m team. Jamaica won seven medals on the final day and 11 medals overall that included two gold medals.

The team of Serena Cole, Tia Clayton, Kerrica Hill and Tina Clayton, clocked a world-record 42.94 to win by about 10m over a fast-finishing Namibian team that ran 43.76 for the silver medal. Interestingly, Namibia’s anchor Christine Mboma clocked an astonishing 9.86s on the anchor leg.

Nigeria ran a season-best 43.90 for the bronze medal.

Jamaica’s winning time broke the previous world record of 43.27 set by Germany in 2017. The time also erased the championship record of 43.40 set by Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Aneisha McLaughlin and Simone Facey when the championships were held in Kingston in 2002.

It was Jamaica’s third gold medal of the championships following those won by Tina Clayton in the 100m and Ackera Nugent in the 100m hurdles.

Earlier, Jaydon Hibbert jumped a personal best 16.05m to win the silver medal in the triple jump competition won by Sweden’s Gabriel Wallmark with a mark of 16.43m, a Swedish national U20 record.

Frenchman Simon Gore jumped a personal best 15.85m for the bronze medal.

Jamaica also won a silver medal in the discus in the form of Ralford Mullings who threw a personal best 66.68m to finish behind the now two-time champion Mykolas Alekna of Lithuania who won with a new championship record of 69.81m.

Raman Khartanovich threw a personal best 62.19m for the bronze medal.

Devontie Archer was an unexpected medalist in the 400m hurdles after he finished fourth in a new personal best of 49.78. However, Sweden’s Oskar Edlund, who crossed the finish line first was disqualified which meant that Archer was promoted to third and a medal.

Neutral athlete Denis Novoseletsen won the silver after he too ran a personal best of 49.62 with the gold going to Turkey’s Berke Akcam whose winning time of 49.38 was a national U20 record.

Jamaica mined three additional silver medals in the relays as the 4x100m team of Alexavier Monfries, Bryan Levell, Andrew Gillips and Sandrey Davison clocked an area record 38.61 behind South Africa World U20 record of 38.51.

Poland was third in 38.90, which is a new area record as well.

The final two medals came in the 4x400m relays in which the teams delivered strong performances. The girls ran 3:36.57 to claim silver behind Nigeria’s winning time of 3:31.46. Italy was the other team on the podium clocking 3:37.18.

The boys clocked 3:05.76 in a valiant effort to finish second to Botswana, who took the gold medal in 3:05.22. Kenya clocked 3:05.94 for the bronze medal.

Overall, Jamaica finished fifth on the medal table with three gold, six silver and two bronze medals at the championships.

 

Half-centuries from Babar Azam and Fawad Alam wrested the early initiative from the West Indies and put Pakistan in a position of strength at the end of the first day of the second Betway Test at Sabina Park on Friday.

Kavian Kerr won Jamaica’s second medal at the WorldU20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya today when he claimed the bronze medal in the long jump competition.

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