LONDON, England: How does a girl from the banks of the Mississippi River come to be on the verge of representing Jamaica – of all events, in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at next month’s IAAF World Championships? A Jamaican in the steeplechase isn’t a totally unusual occurrence, but the bright-eyed Aisha Praught likens her Hollywood-style twist of fate to one of her favourite movies. “It’s like you grew up watching the movie Cool Runnings and I’m here now doing my own weird thing,” she laughed. The 25-year-old Oregon-based distance runner told The Gleaner that meeting her Jamaican father for the first time, two years ago in Berlin, played a big role in her decision to represent the Caribbean island that she has always felt deeply connected to. “I’m really excited, this will be my first appearance at the World Championships and I’m looking forward to having a spot on the line. Anybody on the line has a shot at doing something great so I’m excited about that,” said Praught, who was born in Wisconsin but grew up in Illinois, USA. Now, with a few weeks to go before Jamaica, known for its sprinters, enters athletes in the men’s 5,000m and women’s 800m in Beijing, Praught, who started out a sprinter, is hoping that she can help to drive new interest in the middle-to-long distances. “I think there is a wealth of distance-running talent that Jamaica has not realised yet. When I was in Jamaica at the trials, I was looking at the body types … it’s (distance running) probably not the cool thing to do, but I was really encouraged at the championships,” said Praught. “I spoke to a lot of them and I hope that more people will get involved and maybe that we can put it on a bigger level and some of the young Jamaicans can be inspired and try it.” “I think that I could potentially make a bigger impact that way and I hope to inspire someone, even just to get another pair of eyes on the event, get maybe a couple of kids curious. Maybe they have been running around and they are not the fastest, but they can outlast everyone else, maybe they will turn to the sport and distance running,” added Praught, who is already planning to return to Jamaica after the World Championships. The athlete who made her first trip to the island to compete at the National Senior Championships a few weeks ago, where she won the 1,500m in 4 :15.92, admitted that she never really considered representing the island until meeting her father a couple years ago. “I grew up knowing I was Jamaican, but I really didn’t know my father until I was an adult. I sort of just grew up with the knowledge that he was there, but I didn’t meet him until the summer of 2013 when I was in Europe, and he lives in Berlin. Our meeting was really life-changing; just looking into his eyes for the first time was really incredible,” Praught shared. “It’s like there was no time, like we always knew each other.” “It sort of felt serendipitous, it was like, all of a sudden, that was my identity. It was such a warm and welcoming feeling; it felt real and genuine and I felt like a part of myself that had been missing was suddenly there, and it just felt right,” she said of her subsequent decision to represent Jamaica. excited Now, Praught, who competed at the recent IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco where she was the pace-setter for the women’s 3000m steeplechase, can hardly contain her excitement at the chance of wearing Jamaica’s gold singlet in Beijing next month. “I am so excited and a lot of my friends – I am pretty close with a lot of the American female steeplechasers and it has been the big topic. They are like ‘As soon as you get the kit, you have to send us some pictures,” Praught exclaimed. “Everyone is a little jealous, Jamaica is the coolest team in athletics and putting on that vest is going to feel amazing. I picture it every day and I can’t wait to see it.” Praught will be the first Jamaican entrant in the 3,000m steeplechase at the World Championships since Mardrea Hyman at the 2011 edition in Daegu. Hyman failed to finish in Daegu, as well as the 2008 Olympic Games, her last two major championships. Korine Hinds also represented Jamaica in the event up to the Daegu World Championships. – Andre Lowe
“Unfortunately, I think my run-up was too slow for the first hurdle, and from there I wasn’t able to catch my rhythm and it cost me,” Spencer explained. “I wasn’t actually getting my stride pattern properly. “I’m not even going to think about those negative vibes, I am just going to stay focused, continue training; next year is the Olympics, so I’m looking forward to coming back and regrouping from there,” added the hurdler, who said she would steer clear of criticism around her poor record in major finals. Spencer, a dominant force on the circuit, finished fourth place at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. “I am very strong. I have been going through this for a few years now and I have a lot of people who motivate me – my church, family, friends – so there is no need to break down or be disappointed, I just have to go ahead and continue training. I am still hopeful (of that medal),” said Spencer, who won medals at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships (silver, 400m) and the 2014 Commonwealth Games (gold, 400m hurdles). “Right now, I am kinda okay. I don’t know if when I go back to the hotel, I will be thinking about it too much, but for now I am okay,” Spencer said. “To God be the glory. I came out here and made it to the final and I have to give thanks because it was an up-and-down season for me, so I have to be grateful. I wasn’t feeling pressured at all, I was really relaxed and ready to go.” BEIJING, China: Another major final, another big disappointment for Jamaican hurdler Kaliese Spencer. However, after her shocking eighth-place finish in the 400m hurdles final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, yesterday, Spencer says she isn’t paying too much attention to criticism about her mental strength in finals. Running from lane seven, Spencer had early issues with her approach to her first hurdle, clipped another and almost fell as she struggled to really get going, eventually crossing the line at the back of the pack in 55.47 – her worse time since June 2012. It was also only Spencer’s third loss since May last year. The event was won by Zuzana Hejnova, who clocked a world-leading 53.50 ahead of Americans Shamier Little, 53.94, and Cassandra Tate, 54.02. Young Jamaican Janieve Russell finished in fifth place with a personal best 54.64. Slow start
Despite admitting “respect for a very good Jamaica College team”, St George’s College’s coach, Neville Bell, said his charges are looking forward to ending the ‘dark blues’ reign in their backyard in today’s ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup final at Sabina Park.Bell is eyeing a clean sweep of all titles this season.”We want to win everything, but again, this is football and we are going to go up against a pretty decent team. We wanted to be in the final. This is what we have played for all season.”We know the Jamaica College team and they know us. They are a very very good team. We have a lot of respect for them,” Bell said.Bell’s team beat the defending champions 4-0 in the FLOW Super Cup recently, but he is aware that game is in the past, and today’s game is another massive encounter.”The ball is round and we certainly hope that we can execute just as well as in the Super Cup. We did well last week, that’s finished. They lost the FLOW Cup, they are now thinking about the Manning Cup, and so are we. Hopefully, we can get as good or even a better performance than we got last week,” Bell told The Gleaner.- S.F.
After four decades and 1,926 Caymanas Park victories, trainer Wayne DaCosta became the record champion trainer at Caymanas Park after topping the field for the 15th time with 67 wins in 2015. DaCosta also surpassed legendary trainer and former record holder Phillip Feanny, who has 14 titles. His achievement, surpassing one of the all-time greats of regional training, has given DaCosta great satisfaction, but to him, winning the title in 2015 was no great surprise. “I was confident (coming into the year). I had a full stable of horses, so I didn’t see why the results would have been any different from last year (2014),” he told The Gleaner. “He (Feanny) is still one of the great trainers of Caymanas Park, so it’s definitely a honour to surpass his record. It (15th championship) was indeed satisfying, it’s a great feeling to be number one. I don’t know how long it will last, but I am on the top now, and it is really a good feeling getting the 15th win,” he stated. DaCosta, who is second on the all-time list of winners saddled at the Park, says his love and passion for racing is the secret to his success and he has no plans to take a break anytime soon. “I can continue [training horses] until I die. I am doing something that I like, and from 1976 when I got my licence, I have always liked it. I see no reason why I should stop. “However, you never can tell (how long it will continue) because the sport can change in the turn of a dime. But now everything looks good and I have some good horses in the top class and some nice three-year-olds coming next year, so it could be the same old, same old you never can tell. “I want to thank all of my owners who have stayed with me over the years and my groom, Linval McFarlane, who has been with me for more than 30 years as an assistant trainer. racing has good times and bad times, and you will never know when your bad time is going to come. But I have some nice horses. I hope they keep sound and make it a memorable year again,” he stated. DaCosta trained the top three horses in stakes last year – Derby and Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM ($13.58 million), ALI BABA ($5.37m), PERFECT NEIGHBOUR ($5.08m). He was also the leading trainer for two-year-olds, earning $9.06m. Supreme Ventures Jamaica Two-year-old Stakes winner FUTURE KING was the leading earner in this category with $3.66m.
Reggae Boyz and Leicester City captain Wes Morgan is hoping to continue his finest year in football to date with the Reggae Boyz as he rallies Jamaicans to help the national senior team to victory over Costa Rica next month in their key World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium.The Jamaicans will face off against a strong Costa Rican outfit on Friday, March 25, with the aim of pushing up the table after losing their opener to Panama (0-2) before their close 1-0 win over Haiti.Jamaica sits third in Group B with three points, with Costa Rica leading the way with six, followed by Panama on three and Haiti without a point.”I am asking the Jamaican people to come and support the Reggae Boyz and help us in our conquest to try and qualify for the World Cup,” said Morgan, who has captained Leicester City to the top of the Barclays Premier League.Morgan was speaking via a recording played at the Jamaica Football Federation’s (JFF) secretariat yesterday.”We need you guys to come to the Stadium and make as much noise as possible and give us the drive and determination to perform and give our very best. We need you all there, so the more the merrier. Please come and support us. We need you guys, and, of course, see you guys at the game, and all the very best,” he said.
St Jago High School’s Class One 400-metre star Sean Bailey wants to follow in the footsteps of his elder sister and former World and Olympic champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown.Bailey who won his 400m semi-final yesterday in 47.78 seconds, said the former world and Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion serves as his greatest motivation, and though he knows it will not be an easy task to reach her levels of accomplishment internationally, he is seriously trying to get there.”She is my biggest motivation. Every day before an event, she tells me to do my best and enjoy myself. She always tells me that track and field does not stop at high school and that it’s much greater than that, and it can be a profession. So she is very involved (in life), especially educational wise and I am glad to have a sister like her,” Bailey told The Gleaner.The youngster dreams of becoming a world-rated athlete in the future, and he is aware of the amount of effort that is needs to get to the top.’Great legacy'”It’s a great motivation to strive to be a World champion like VCB, as I would like to keep up the tradition of her. It’s a great legacy,” he said.Bailey, who is expected to be one of the main challengers to Kingston College’s (KC) Akeem Bloomfield’s, says upsetting the big KC runner and taking the gold would be very satisfying for himself and big sister.”She is always telling me that everyone is human being and they breathe the same breath, so I can beat anybody, so it would mean a lot to her (if win 400m final),” he said.The quarter-miler, who is still recovering from an injury, hopes to complete the championship healthy so that he will be fit for the Carifta Games.”I know I am not 100 per cent and I went out and gave it my best just to make sure St Jago wins this championship. My expectation is to finish injury-free so I can go and represent Jamaica at the CARIFTA Games. That’s my aim,” he said. – L.S.
G.C. Foster College has made a strong statement following competition on day one of the NCB Intercollegiate Track and Field Championships at the National Stadium with their male and female teams taking the early lead.The male team sits on 93 points, ahead of the University of West Indies (UWI) on 61; University of Technology (UTech) 49 and Mico on 23. On the female side, G.C. Foster are on 83 points, ahead of Utech (63); UWI (61) and Mico (16).G.C. Foster College athletes dominated the 100m finals as Jura Levy and Oshane Bailey were victorious. Levy won the women’s event in 11.38 seconds, ahead of teammate Gayon Evans in 11.42, with Christania Williams of UTech getting third in 11.47.Bailey won the men’s event in 10.15 as Kevean Smith of UTech was second in 10.21, with third going to Colin King of G.C. Foster College in 10.36.TITLE KEPTDefending champion Janieve Russell (UTech) retained her title in the women’s 400m hurdles winning in 56.76. Rushelle Clayton (UWI) was second in 57.81, with Rhonda Whyte (G.C. Foster) coming third in 58.36 seconds.Making his season debut for UWI, World Junior champion Jaheel Hyde captured the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.57. Second went to Marsel Miller (G.C. Foster) in 52.13 seconds with Damar Murray (G.C. Foster) finishing third in 52.60.Mico’s Samantha James captured the women’s 800m in 2:11.30 as Danielle James (G.C. Foster) was second in 2:15.84 with third going to Roshea Burrell (G.C. Foster) in 2:18.90.Knox College’s Chadoye Dawson 1:52.67, got the better of G.C. Foster’s Kegan Campbell (1:52.72) in a close finish in the men’s 800m finals. Third went to Rory Rhoden (G.C. Foster) in 1:53.96.In the field events, Fredrick Dacres (UWI) led in the men’s shot put with a heave of 17.98m. Demar Gayle (G.C. Foster) finished second with 17.61m, with third going to Alec Vern Longmore (Utech) with 18.08m.The meet, which ends today, will begin at 1 p.m. with preliminary-round action in the women’s 200m. Some 22 finals will be contested.
FRANCIA’S PRIDE will report in good nick, and despite the strong claims of the Anthony Nunes-trained COUNTER ATTACK, she should make amends in a field of seven. TWO STEPS UP, who has been running consistently well, looks the one to beat in the third race 1100 metres for $250,000 – $210,000 claiming horses. She finished a close third to DIFERENTGENERATION and FIERY PATH over this trip in the Millard Ziadie Memorial Cup on February 8, and now dropped in class, should make no mistake in a field of nine. SHE’S A LEGACY, the mount of three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson, should be good enough to win the fourth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds, following her close second to BILINGUAL over 1100 metres last November. That represents better form than most and although she can expect stiff competition from lightly-raced ZI BEAST and first time runners PAINTTHISTOWNRED and RAGE OF ANGELS, SHE’S A LEGACY is given the edge in a field of 11. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by JESSIE JAMES and BALLON D’OR, with top apprentices Bebeto Harvey and Linton Steadman aboard. Their respective dangers are recent winner NATASHADONTPLAY and Nelson’s mount, LAZZA, a recent course winner. RUNNING CONSISTENTLY FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES With eight favourites having obliged last Saturday, both the Pick-9 and Super-6s were caught by scores of punters and all start anew with guaranteed minimums of $1 million and $750,000, respectively. The Pick 9 will embrace races three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from six to 11. We look at the first Super-6, which commences with a three-year-old and up restricted stakes to be contested by seven starters, including hat-trick seeker FEARLESS SAMURAI and recent winner BIRD CATCHER. With 16-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta ensuring that the race will go through by saddling all of four starters, it will take a brave punter to oppose his impressive 3-y-o colt, FEARLESS SAMURAI, with champion jockey Omar Walker again in the saddle. A winner of his last two races, FEARLESS SAMURAI looked a live classic contender on January 25 when strolling home by 81/2 lengths from LADY FAYE over 1500 metres. And before that, on October 17, he easily accounted for HENRY THE SECOND and subsequent champion, 2-y-o SOTOMAYOR, over 1400 metres, The son of Fearless Vision, Sayur, obviously has a touch of class and, having looked razor sharp at exercise, should lead home BIRD CATCHER, a narrow winner from over 1400 metres on February.4 Trainer Fitzroy Glispie, who conditions BIRD CATCHER, should have better luck with highly-fancied FRANCIA’S PRIDE in the second race over 1820 metres. The 4-y-o filly finished a length third to DANCING QUEEN and ANOTHER FURY over a mile on February 8, but the result would have been different had she not suffered interference from stable-companion, ANOTHER FURY, entering the straight. (1) FEARLESS SAMURAI (2) FRANCIA’S PRIDE/ COUNTER ATTACK (4) TWO STEPS UP/ ABOGADO (5) SHE’S A LEGACY/ ZI BEAST (5) JESSIE JAMES/ NATASHADONTPLAY (6) BALLON D’OR/ LAZZA
787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend After all, according to Nepomuceno, the country has nowhere to go but up after just coming up with just two bronzes (women’s trios and women’s team of five) two years ago in Singapore.The Philippine team is composed of Anton Jose Alcazaren, Kenneth Chua, Kevin Oliver Cu, Jomar Roland Jumapao, John Paule Macatula, Mervin Matheiu Tan in men’s division.Del Rosario, Ma. Lourdes Arles, Dyan Arcel Coronacion, Marian Lara Posadas, Marie Alexis Sy and Krizziah Lyn Tabora will compete in the women’s category.Forty years ago, also in Kuala Lumpur, the Philippines dominated bowling’s maiden feature in the SEA Games, winning seven gold medals and one silver in all eight events.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Top skater, cyclist out as PH SEAG team gets trimmed by injuries Teen gunned down in Masbate Paeng NepomucenoBowling legend and national head coach Paeng Nepomuceno admitted that the Philippines’ keglers will have their work cut out for them in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games which starts next week.“Yes it’s going to be tough. But rest assured that we’ll be doing our best and I assure you that the players are ready,” Nepomuceno told the Inquirer Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ LATEST STORIES The four-time World Cup champion and inaugural Hall of Famer said the team could have used more international exposure but added that he’s happy with the preparation for the biennial event.They saw action in the Singapore Open last June where Nepomuceno gauged the SEA Games field against the Philippine team, which is a “mix of veterans and young players.”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’Liza del Rosario, the 2003 World Tenpin Championships trios champion, will lead the 12-man crew.“We don’t want to be bothered by pressure, we will just work very hard,” added Nepomuceno, a Gold Level coach, who took on the job last year to help resurrect the sport’s golden age. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next They are not the best version of the Gilas program, but the country has employed collegiate players and still won the SEA Games gold through the years.“I told them to just make the basket, that’s all,” said Uichico, referring to the tense moments of the game when Thailand was trading leads down the stretch.He said the Philippines wasn’t able to practice at the 5,000-seater stadium whose administrators had to send away hundreds of people who would like to watch the games live.“But this is the toughest team out there, and we hope to face them again because that means we are in the next round,” Uichico said.Gilas won’t have a game Monday but will practice based on its performance Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT PH bets also snatch gold, silver in women’s triathlon Gilas shot 6-of-30 from the downtown.“Four more shots and we are shooting 30 percent, that’s still not good but we could have won the game by a big margin,” Uichico told reporters, who stayed out until before midnight at MABA Stadium.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’Uichico has valid reason to be upset.He has a first-rate team with first-rate players like Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks Jr., Mike Tolomia, Troy Rosario and Fil-German Christian Standhardinger. National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her Gilas big man Troy Rosario tries to protect the ball against Thailand during the 2017 SEA Games basketball tournament. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOKUALA LUMPUR — Miserable shooting was the main reason Gilas Pilipinas struggled against Thailand Sunday night.“If we made four more shots from the three-point line instead of six (Gilas shot 6-of-30), then it would have been a different score,” said Uichico, who emerged from the dugout where he was overheard dressing down the team.ADVERTISEMENT Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:11SEA GAMES 2019: PH’s Nesthy Petecio boxing featherweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold05:02SEA Games 2019: Philippines clinches historic gold in women’s basketball05:21Drama in karate: Tsukii ‘very sad’ over coach’s bullying, cold shoulder03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) Teen gunned down in Masbate Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES 2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings View comments