THE qualifiers for this Thursday’s semi-finals in the JN Open League netball competition will be known today, following today’s quarter-finals at the Leila Robinson Courts, starting at 6:45 p.m.Defending champions Mico ‘B’, who topped Group Two with 24 points from eight wins, will be aiming to move forward in a bid to retain their title as they go up against the very dangerous Molynes ‘A’, which topped Group Seven with maximum 21 points from their seven wins.This game is expected to be very close, but Molynes ‘A’, the team with the second-highest number of goals in the competition, is given the edge to topple the defending champions.It could go either way in the UWI Pelicans vs Jamalco encounter, as both teams were red hot in the preliminary stage of the competition and topped their groups quite easily. The Conrad Parkes-coached UWI Pelicans topped Group One with maximum 21 points from seven games, and with the likes of former national senior players Nadine Bryan and Thristina Harwood, along with former national Under-21 player Shameera Sterling in their line-up, they could go all the way.After being beaten in last year’s final by Mico ‘B’, the Winston Nevers-coached Jamalco are determined to go all the way this time around, and after topping Group Seven with maximum 21 points from seven games, they will be hoping that ace shooter Marsha Murphy-Dawkins continues her impressive form and steers them to the semi-final.MICO ‘A’Last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Mico ‘A’, who were upstaged by sister team Mico ‘B’, have been the best attacking and defensive team so far this season, and after dominating Group Six with maximum 24 points from eight games, they will be hoping to get the better of Group Three winners Cablepro in the other quarter-final.Despite their impressive record, the Mico team will enter today’s encounter without ace goalshooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who played her final game on Saturday against UTech Knights.Fowler-Reid left the island on Sunday for the ANZ Championship in New Zealand, but the Annette Daley-coached team still has national senior defender Vangelee Williams in their line-up.The consolation quarter-finals will also take place today, starting at 5:54 p.m. The games are: Speg A vs Waulgrovians B, Tivoli Gardens vs Skibo, Ravens A vs UTech Knights, and Molynes United B vs Molynes United C.
LONDON (AP):Goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil helped Arsenal end a run of two consecutive defeats in the Champions League with a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich yesterday.Arsenal knew that victory in at least one of their next two matches against Bayern would be vital for advancing from Group F, and they managed to inflict a first defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola’s side.Arsenal now have three points in the group and are third after three matches, with Bayern staying top on six points. Olympiakos are second on goal difference with six points after beating Dinamo Zagreb 1-0.Substitute Giroud gave Arsenal the lead when he bundled the ball into the net in the 77th minute, after Manuel Neuer rushed off his line and failed to claim a free-kick into the penalty area from Santi Cazorla.Ozil sealed the win in stoppage time, converting a cross at the byline from Hector Bellerin. Neuer hooked the ball away, but only after it had crossed the line.Bayern controlled possession throughout the first half at the Emirates Stadium and Arsenal relied on saves from Petr Cech to deny Thiago Alcantara and Douglas Costa.Yet for all the German side’s dominance, it was Arsenal who went closest to taking the lead before halftime.Nacho Monreal delivered a precise cross from the left in the 33rd minute, finding Theo Walcott unmarked on the six-yard line.The striker flicked a header at goal, only for Neuer to make an astounding one-handed save to claw the ball off the line.Cech came to Arsenal’s rescue again in the second half, making an opening one-handed save when Robert Lewandowski was through on goal in the 75th minute. It was a particularly vital block as Arsenal got the free-kick, which resulted in the first goal in their next foray forward.Other results: BATE 0 Barcelona 2; Bayer Leverkusen 4 Roma 4; Dinamo Zagreb 0 Olympiakos 1; Dynamo Kiev 0 Chelsea 0; Porto 2 Maccabi Tel Aviv 0; Valencia 2 Gent 1; Zenit Petersburg 3 Lyon 1.
Jamaica’s Michael Frater is now a member of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Athletes’ Commission.Frater is one of six appointed to the commission by the IAAF Council.Frater, as well as Fabiana Murer (Brazil), Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain), Alina Talay (Belarus), Ashton Eaton (USA), and Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya), were appointed for the 2016-2019 period. A new chairperson will be decided by the commission when they hold their next meeting in January/February 2016.Frank Fredericks, the out-going chairperson, will continue in an honorary capacity to assist the commission during the transition and in their general contact with the IAAF Council.The IAAF Athletes’ Commission is made up of 18 members, 12 of whom are elected by their peers, and six appointed by the IAAF.Frater took silver in the 100m at the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki. After finishing sixth in that event at the 2008 Olympics, he formed part of the victorious Jamaican 4x100m team, setting a world record of 37.10.Frater also won 4x100m gold medals at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics, setting two more world records in the process.
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.
Marsh, Faulkner miss SA tour; Starc hospitalised MELBOURNE, Australia (AP): Batsman Shaun Marsh and all-rounder James Faulkner will not play in Australia’s one-day international tour of South Africa – Marsh has a fractured finger and Faulkner a calf injury. Australia physiotherapist David Beakley said in a statement that Marsh’s fracture was in a finger joint and that Faulkner sustained a low-grade calf strain during a training session in Sydney yesterday. Cricket Australia said Usman Khawaja will replace Marsh, while no replacement has been named for Faulkner. Australia will play a one-off ODI against Ireland in Benoni, South Africa to open the tour on September 27, followed by five one-day matches against South Africa, ending October 12 in Cape Town. Meanwhile, fast bowler Mitchell Starc needed 30 stitches in his left leg after a bizarre training accident yesterday, but is expected to be fit for the first test in Australia against South Africa, beginning November 3 in Perth. Chinese investors complete takeover of West Brom WEST BROMWICH, England (AP): The takeover of English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion by Chinese investors has been finalised. West Brom said in a statement that the purchase of the club by Yunyi Guokai (Shanghai) Sports Development Limited, announced in August, was completed yesterday. The takeover had been subject to approval by the league and English financial authorities. Lai Guochuan will head the new ownership group. He oversaw the development of the landscaping company Palm, which started out as a plant nursery business and now develops eco-towns in China and is worth 1.8 million pounds ($2.36 million). He has purchased an 88 percent stake in the club owned by chairman Jeremy Peace, who is stepping down. Ronaldo’s warning MADRID (AP): Cristiano Ronaldo hopes Real Madrid learned their lesson after almost losing at home to Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League opener. Madrid’s late comeback on Wednesday night gave the defending champions a winning start in the group stage, but the team’s disappointing performance at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium raised some concerns. Ronaldo grabbed an 89th-minute equaliser with a superb free kick, and substitute Alvaro Morata netted the winner with a powerful header four minutes into injury time for a 2-1 win over the Portuguese side with which Ronaldo started his career. “This game serves as a warning that we can’t be starting games so poorly,” Ronaldo said. “Because teams will sweep the floor with us and we don’t want that. We want to finish top of the group and win.”
The United States’s Under-17 head coach, John Hackworth, was not pleased with the playing surface after his team went down 1-0 to an Arnett Gardens FC Under-20 select team at Jamaica College yesterday. Arnett’s central defender Lemmar Stewart scored from a goal-mouth melee in the 89th minute. “I am not pleased with the surface, we had requested a hard one, but it was also bumpy and uneven and prevented us from playing our football,” Hackworth told The Gleaner at the end of the game. “The surface affected our style of play,” he added. Hackworth said he played against older players as he wanted to test his team as part of their preparation for the upcoming CONCACAF Under-17 championship which serves as a FIFA World Cup qualification.. “It is really important for us as they are 16 year-olds playing against older players. We had two good looks in each half. They had a soft goal from a corner kick,” he said. “We are not looking at performance, but working on plays,” Hackworth concluded. Coach of Arnett Gardens Jerome Waite described the game as a spirited one. “It was a spirited performance from both teams. I had seen them in the game against Jamaica Under-17s and identified their strengths and weaknesses. We created numerous chances and could have won by a wider margin. It was a good game,” Waite assessed. Arnett got into action early but the pint-sized Damani Deacon missed a clear chance which he booted wide of the goal. The Arnett backline marshalled by former JC winning Manning Cup captain Alando Brown, goalscorer Stewart and Alton Lewis was organised and made few mistakes. Arnett’s goalkeeper Shamarley Clayton was also outstanding and made a point blank save from USA captain George Acosta during the first half. The USA team will close their series of games against the Jamaica Under-17 team tomorrow on Sunday at Winchester Park, St George’s College, starting at 3 p.m. The Jamaicans will seek to avenge the 3-0 loss to the Americans last Wednesday at Stadium East.
LONDON (AP): Without a doubt, Andy Murray will be the No. 1 player in the world for the rest of the year. The Wimbledon champion needed to win the final match of the season to ensure his place at the top. And he did it, rather easily. Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to earn his first title at the ATP finals, and make sure he remained No. 1 until next season. “I would like to try and stay there, obviously. It’s taken a huge effort the last five, six months to get there,” said Murray, who took over the top ranking two weeks ago and has now won 24 straight matches. “I’m aware that’s going to be extremely difficult because I had a great year this year. I only managed to do it by one match.” Murray replaced Djokovic as the top-ranked player in Paris, but the second-ranked Serb could have regained the No. 1 position by winning yesterday at the O2 Arena. And Murray seemed vulnerable heading into the final, especially after playing three sets against Milos Raonic in Saturday’s semi-finals. He started against Djokovic with a pair of double-faults in the opening game, but it was soon his opponent that was struggling with his serve as the unforced errors piled up. “There was no serious chance for me to win today’s match,” Djokovic said. “From the very beginning, we could see that. He was just a better player all in all.” Normally so steady with his groundstrokes, Djokovic found himself missing easy shots time after time, finishing the match with a whopping 30 unforced errors and only 13 winners. Murray had 15 unforced errors and 13 winners. In the first set, Djokovic had a routine smash that he whacked wide. And in the second, he netted a basic forehand volley. It never got much better for the 12-time Grand Slam champion, who was trying to win a record-tying sixth title at the season-ending tournament and finish the year as the top-ranked player for the fifth time. TOP SPOT Murray is the first man other than Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal to finish the year as the No. 1-ranked player since Andy Roddick in 2003. He took over the top spot on November 7 after winning his eighth title of the season at the Paris Masters. He also reached the Australian Open and French Open finals, losing to Djokovic on both occasions, but won his second straight Olympic gold medal in singles at the Rio de Janeiro Games after claiming his second Wimbledon title. Yesterday, he capped a long stretch of playing some of the best tennis of his life, and the best tennis in the world.
Ashton Eaton may be right about retiring from the decathlon before the 2017 season begins. When you’ve set three world records, won the Olympics twice and have collected three gold medals at the outdoor World Championships as the 28 year-old American has, you’re entitled to think you’ve done everything there is to do in the sport. No one can argue with that. The stat freaks can sit in their corner and grumble that he should stick around until 2020. Then he could try to outstrip the likes of Great Britain’s Francis Daley Thompson, who won the Olympic decathlon twice. Thompson just missed a medal in 1988, when he went for the hat-trick in Seoul, South Korea. They don’t know what the lactic acid burn feels like. Even so, somebody has to convince Eaton not to retire. The mission, if he chooses to accept it, belongs to Eaton’s coach Harry Marra. Marra has to persuade the decathlon king to come back in 2017, but not to the decathlon. His new target should be the 400-metre hurdles. In 2014, Eaton took a holiday from the ten-in-one two-day marathon and had fun running the hurdles. The result was a personal best of 48.69 seconds and a TRACK AND FIELD NEWS world ranking of number 6. His potential in this event is enormous. He has a 400 metres personal best of 45.00 seconds, but there’s more to that number than meets the eye. That time came at the end of the first day of the 2015 World Championships decathlon. That means that he had already run the 100m, long jumped, competed in shot put and high jump by the time he settled in the blocks for the 400m. To put it in perspective, 45 flat would have easily won a spot on Jamaica’s 2016 Olympic team. At our National Senior Championships, the Olympic Trials, only Javon Francis went faster than Eaton’s personal best. Eaton, a 110-metre hurdler, too, with a personal best of 13.35 seconds, would probably find training for the 400 hurdles easy. Track fans nickname it the ‘man killer’, but Eaton’s decathlon background should enable him to manage. Athletic development doesn’t travel in a straight line from theory to performance. Yet, it’s hard to see Eaton struggling to break 48 in the hurdles. In fact, he can probably run as fast as 47.69 in 2017 if he concentrated on it. Times in that range would put him in the medal picture at the World Championships. In fact, the winners in Rio and in Beijing at the last Worlds clocked 47.74 and 47.79 respectively. In the same way that fans are quietly hoping that sprint guru Glen Mills will coax the incomparable Usain Bolt not to retire from the 200m a year early, I hope Marra will get Eaton up and over the hurdles. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC: All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall says the hard work on his batting is now paying dividends, after he hit a classy half-century to steer Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a pulsating four-wicket win over Windward Islands Volcanoes here Wednesday night. With the hosts tottering on 208 for six in the 39th over after losing five wickets for 44 runs, the 24-year-old Cornwall stepped up to stroke an unbeaten 74 off just 50 balls and see his side over the line with eight balls left in the innings. “For the past few years, my batting was giving me a little bit of a problem but I spent some time with Kenny Benjamin and sorted it out,” said the burly right-hander, who hit 10 fours and one six during his cameo. “All he said was do the basics and everything will fall back into place. I think I am doing the basics and everything is falling back [into place].” Unbeaten seventy The half-century was Cornwall’s second of the tournament following his unbeaten 70, also against Volcanoes, in Hurricanes’ third outing of the Regional Super50. The victory was the sixth in seven games for Hurricanes and it allowed them to inch even closer to confirming their status as Group A winners, with their final game on Sunday against reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force. “It’s a good feeling. Once you get the team over the line it’s a good feeling,” Cornwall noted. “We were playing this game so we can top the group so we can play whoever is coming from Barbados. I think the team is gelling well, the captain (Kieran Powell) is batting well, I’m getting some runs on the lower end so the feeling is good.” Cornwall is expected to be a key player for Hurricanes in their title bid. Not only is he an aggressive lower batsman but his stingy off-spin has also been a feature of his side’s attack. And the West Indies A star is hoping he can successfully combine both aspects of his game to good effect for Hurricanes. “I am a genuine all-rounder and once I can get the two [components] to click together that would make me an even better player,” he stressed.
NBA superstar LeBron James soars for a dunk as PBA player Ranidel de Ocampo attempts a chasedown block in an exhibition game featuring former and current national team players at Mall of Asia Arena. INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonThe King was back in Manila like he never left his throne.Returning to the city known for its unparalleled love for hoops, LeBron James thrilled Filipino fans for the third time in five years.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles LATEST STORIES View comments Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ “I said it two years ago that I was coming back. Last year, some unfortunate event happened but I’m back,” James told the packed crowd at Mall of Asia Arena Saturday night.“I’m happy spending this time with you guys throughout my busy schedule, but there’s no way I wasn’t going to be back here in Manila this year and I’m happy I’m celebrating this time with you,” added the NBA superstar of the Cleveland Cavaliers.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 32-year-old James had the fans on the edge of their seats with his electrifying dunks when he entered at the five-minute mark of the exhibition game pitting the young guns of Gilas Pilipinas against the former and veteran national team players. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu LeBron thanks ‘patient’ Philippines for welcoming him back Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles The three-time NBA champion drew a thunderous roar from the crowd after shaking the rim with his patented Statue of Liberty dunk wherein his arm is stretched in the air and as far back behind his head before emphatically putting it through the hoop.James was just warming up.The four-time MVP delivered another one-handed throwdown, but this time, taking off farther than the first. James fittingly closed the show with a windmill to beat the final buzzer before he was mobbed by Ravena and company, who beat Jayson Castro and the rest of the OG team, 91-72.“You guys are unbelievable and I thank you so much for being part of the LeBron James Tour 2017 and I hope you guys continue to welcome me because I would love to come back.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. James, who, arguably, has been the best basketball player for the past decade, gave the fans what they were waiting for as he teamed up with the likes of Kiefer Ravena, Ray Parks and Baser Amer for the Youngbloods and left them wanting more.