Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) is losing money on a daily basis. The Government of Jamaica, the only shareholder, insists that the company will be divested. Timeline after timeline for divestment passes by with a regularity that defies logic. A “divestment committee” is formed and the chairman insists that he is “working on it” (reminds me of a Burger King advertisement of recent vintage) when questioned by worried stakeholders. One could not be faulted for thinking that the Government-appointed board of the company would develop a more hands-on policy as frantic attempts are made, first to minimise losses, and second, to improve the handle (the amount of money bet on its programmes), both locally and overseas. Instead, punters, the life blood of the sport, are treated as if ‘dem-mus-come’. Races never start on time. The official reason is always “technical difficulties”. The air-conditioned North Lounge at the track is subject to the whims and fancies of the employees. For example, no ticket sellers are in place half-hour before the start of the first race, and air-conditioned units are either not working or not turned on at least one hour before the start of the first race to welcome the early punter. Also, food is running out during well-established ‘big’ racedays, and recently, word has surfaced that fans/supporters of racing who buy four reserved seats for six months to enable these supporters of racing to bring guests to the track from time to time are told by the promoters that they will be issued with only two tickets, and if they are bringing guests who do not come to the track with the person who paid for the seat, “just ask for one of us at the gate” and it will be okay! Woe on to the guest if the named official is not available at the time of arrival of the guest. There is a story making the rounds at the track that last week Thursday (September 3), CTL was simulcasting races from Gulf Stream Park in the USA. The second race was won by horse #5, Behzads Pride. However, when the results were posted by the company, another horse (my source insists that it was horse #4, Unspoken Quality) was posted as the winner and dividends declared. It is further alleged that punters who backed the posted winner promptly cashed their tickets. Minutes later, after a telephone call to “control”, the error was corrected, and punters who correctly selected #5, Bezhads Pride, as the winner, were duly paid. My source insists that losses to CTL were in the region of J$190,000. Another loss. The standard answer of “Oops!” will be accepted and the company moves right along to another day. Another loss! Finally, the action of the raceday stewards in suspending jockey Aaron Chatrie after his mount, Woman is Boss, was disqualified for interfering with Asia’s Dream in the seventh race on Saturday August 29 was understandable after a slow-motion review of the race. However, to suspend the jockey from taking further part in the race meet (he had two more rides for the day) because he was guilty of “ungentlemanly behaviour” when told of his disqualification, begs the question: Are the raceday stewards competent enough to make a decision that a jockey is in “no condition to ride?” I maintain that that decision is a medical matter. Even if it is psychological, evidence from a doctor/psychologist MUST be obtained. No decision that affects a livelihood should be made arbitrarily. It must be evidence-based. As the operation steward stated when questioned by The Gleaner reporter, Ainsley Walters, they do have a discretion (according to the rules) that is unassailable. BUT ONLY IF THERE IS EVIDENCE! Each individual deals with anger and disappointment differently. One jockey may remain quiet and take it out on the horse or his competing jockey. Aaron Chatrie may have “blown his top” to get it all off his chest and thereafter ride in a most professional manner. Only a steward with a crystal ball would know which is about to happen and anticipatory breach of rules just isn’t allowed. This wrong MUST be corrected. J$190,000 in losses
MONTREAL (AP):The World Anti-Doping Agency has published a list of 114 support staff with “disqualifying status”, giving athletes advance notice of some people to avoid when they’re considering coaches, trainers or medical consultants.Under the new Prohibited Association rule, athletes subject to the WADA code are not allowed to work with support personnel who are currently sanctioned, or have been sanctioned within the previous six years, for an anti-doping rule violation.It leaves athletes open to sanctions for knowingly working with support personnel who have been banned.WADA president Craig Reedie said Monday that anti-doping authorities are “increasingly of the belief that athletes do not dope alone, and that often there is a member of their entourage encouraging them to cheat”.He said the new rules sent a message to athletes: “Do not associate with individuals that have breached anti-doping rules as they could encourage you to cheat the system and to rob your fellow athletes of their right to clean sport.”By publishing this list, WADA is helping athletes know which individuals to evade if they are to avoid violating the rules themselves,” he said.The list, which is expected to be updated on WADA’s website every three months, does not include cases that are currently under appeal.Anti-doping agencies in some countries previously made a list of banned coaches and trainers available in certain cases and have gone after support personal before. The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) gave a lifetime ban to Trevor Graham, who worked with Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and others involved in doping scandals.Graham and Jon Drummond, who was banned last December for eight years by USADA for his role in sprinter Tyson Gay’s doping case, were included on WADA’s list of 114.More than half of the staff on the list are Italians, something that Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said was a sign of a robust anti-doping program.”The fact that there are 61 Italians on this list is a matter of pride for us,” Malago said. “It means we’re doing our job seriously.”The list, which covers sports as diverse as weightlifting and basketball, includes some staff who had never previously been declared to be serving bans. They include Pavel Korolyov, a coach for Russian cyclists, and Evgeny Evsukov, the coach for a Russian race walker who withdrew from the world championships last month amid doping allegations.
CAPE TOWN (AP): Oscar Pistorius’ case will be heard by South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal on November 3, when prosecutors will ask a panel of five judges to reject his trial verdict and convict the double-amputee athlete of murder for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The Supreme Court announced the date yesterday. The court said the appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius’ acquittal for murder will be heard by a panel headed by the president of the Supreme Court. Two of the five judges are women. Pistorius was last year found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home in 2013. He testified he mistook her for a dangerous intruder. Prosecutors accused Pistorius of killing Steenkamp intentionally after a fight and said Judge Thokozile Masipa made errors at the murder trial last year. They want the Supreme Court to re-examine her verdict. The Supreme Court could overrule Masipa and find the Olympian guilty of murder, order a new trial, or decide Masipa was correct. A murder conviction in South Africa carries a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail. The country no longer has the death penalty. Pistorius was sentenced by Masipa to five years in prison for culpable homicide an unintentional but still unlawful killing equivalent to manslaughter. He is currently in jail in Pretoria waiting for a parole review board to decide if he should be released early to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. A second hearing to decide if he should be released was postponed last week with no date given for when it will take place.
AT GUYANA NATIONAL STADIUM: Guyana Jaguars, leading Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by 58 on first innings, reached 244 for four at the close on the third day of their sixth-round match yesterday. Scores: JAGUARS 237 (Vishaul Singh 104 not out, Veerasammy Permaul 47, Leon Johnson 23; Marlon Richards 3-41, Rayad Emrit 3-44, Jon-Russ Jagessar 3-59) and 244 for four (Leon Johnson 111 not out, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 42, Anthony Bramble 39 not out; Jon-Russ Jagessar 4-67). RED FORCE 179 (Yannic Cariah 68, Jason Mohammed 30, Evin Lewis 26; Veerasammy Permaul 5-65, Devendra Bishoo 3-48). VOCANOES IN TROUBLE NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC): Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall grabbed his first-ever 10-wicket haul in first-class cricket to inspire Leeward Islands Hurricanes to an 85-run victory over Jamaica Scorpions and their first win of the Regional first-class championship here yesterday. Starting the final day of their sixth-round clash on 58 for two in search of 366 for victory, Scorpions were dismissed for 280 – undermined by Cornwall – who claimed seven for 131 to end with match figures of 12 for 205. Barbadian right-hander Kirk Edwards converted his overnight 28 into a top score of 93, while tail-ender Sheldon Cottrell got 39 and Carlton Baugh Jr, 25, but the task of scoring 308 on the final day proved too much for the visitors. Hurricanes had lost all five of their previous outings this season to languish at the bottom of the six-team standings. However, they broke out of their slump in style, taking wickets at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure that there was no way back for Scorpions. Edwards seemed to be steering Scorpions to safety when he anchored a series of small partnerships. He struck 13 fours and three sixes in an innings spanning 142 deliveries and 189 minutes before he was sixth out. He extended his overnight third-wicket stand with AndrÈ McCarthy to 41 before Cornwall grabbed his first wicket of the morning, trapping McCarthy lbw for 22 after 35 balls at the crease. Edwards then put on 38 with Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood, who made 21, and added another 47 for the fifth wicket with Antiguan Devon Thomas, who got 15. Unbeaten on 78 at the break, Edwards combined with Baugh afterwards to add 22 for the sixth wicket and looked set for his 10th first-class hundred when he edged Cornwall to slip at 189 for six. Cornwall then pulled off a fine return catch three balls later to remove David Bernard Jr, with no runs added to the score, as the death knell sounded for Scorpions. With hope dwindling quickly, Cottrell threw his bat around for three fours and three sixes in a 47-ball cameo, which unnerved Hurricanes, as he and Nikita Miller (15 not out) put on 34 for the last wicket. Fittingly, Cornwall took the final wicket to hand Scorpions their third defeat of the season. AT KENSINGTON OVAL: Windward Islands Volcanoes, trailing Barbados Pride by 200 runs on first innings, were 134 for seven in their second innings at the close on the penultimate day of their sixth-round match yesterday. Scores: VOLCANOES 250 (AndrÈ Fletcher 84, Kavem Hodge 53, Shane Shillingford 28; Miguel Cummings 5-47, Sulieman Benn 3-65) and 134 for seven (Keddy Lesporis 29, Johnson Charles 25, Andre Fletcher 25; Roston Chase 3-19, Sulieman Benn 2-38). PRIDE 450 for five decl. (Shai Hope 162, Kraigg Brathwaite 117, Roston Chase 40 not out, Kyle Corbin 38, Carlos Brathwaite 27; Johnson Charls 2-51, Shane Shillingford 2-131). JAGUARS IN COMMAND
Sprintec Track Club scored two big wins during yesterday’s 2016 Gibson McCook Relays at the National Stadium.The club’s female and male teams clocked fast times to capture the men’s and women’s sprint relays for clubs and institutions.The quartet of Gayon Evans, Anastasia Leroy, Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby and Sherone Simpson turned back sister team GC Foster College to clock a winning time of 43.61 seconds. G.C. Foster were second in 44.17 and University of Technology, third in 44.35.McLaughlin-Whilby was overjoyed with her team’s run.”We just came out today to give of our best and I am very pleased with how the young ladies ran. I am happy I was able to finish injury free,” said McLaughlin-Whilby.The Sprintec men, who finished a close second to MVP Track Club at the recent Milo Western Relays, avenged that defeat with a quick 38.59 as Racers were second in 39.02 ahead of UTech, 39.55.The winning Sprintec quartet was Jermaine Hamilton, Oshane Bailey, Rasheed Dwyer and Chadic Hinds.PRETTY CONFIDENT”We were not focusing on time coming into the race, but in the end, we were very happy that we ran fast. We have a new set of guys and I am pretty confident that next year we are going to run much faster,” Dwyer said.There were two 4x100m relay wins in the high school section for Edwin Allen High’s girls and Kingston College (KC).Edwin Allen won the Class Three, and Four events. In Class Three they clocked 46.13 to hold off St Catherine High, second in 46.19, and St Jago High, third in 46.34.In Class Four, favourites Edwin Allen remained unbeaten this season winning in 47.58 ahead of Hydel High, 47.70, and Wolmer’s Girls, 49.88.St Jago’s girls ran away with the Class One sprint relay after favourites Holmwood Technical dropped the baton. The Spanish Town-based school won in 45.77. Green Island High clocked 45.81 for second and Camperdown High were third in 45.92.Holmwood made up for their Class One loss by taking Class Two as favourites Edwin Allen had baton problems on the second leg. Holmwood won in 46.02, defeating St Jago (46.07) and Edwin Allen, 47.77.KC won the Class Three sprint relay clocking 43.41 to finish ahead of Wolmer’s Boys, 43.41, and St Jago, 44.09.A brilliant second leg from former Vaz Prep star Terrique Stennett gave KC an easy win in Class Four. They won in 45.17 with Calabar High second in 46.60 and St Jago third in 47.68.Jamaica College captured the Class One boys 4x100m in 40.01. St Jago, 40.44, and Cornwall College, 40.57, were second and third, respectively. In this event, Calabar’s second-leg runner fell after the exchange, while Kingston College’s anchor leg runner pulled up 30 metres from the finish line.Calabar were hit by a hamstring injury to star Class Two sprinter Tyreke Wilson. Wilson almost went down on the lead off leg, but, despite the injury, still managed to hand over the baton to teammate Christopher Taylor on the second leg. They won in 41.21 with Wolmer’s Boys second in 41.98.
NATIONAL TREASURES The Rio Olympics are over and can claim to have been an athletic success. Pre-game warnings about guests and athletes running a great risk of being robbed, shot, falling sick with the Zika virus, or getting violently ill by coming in contact with sewage-contaminated water proved to be greatly exaggerated. Of course, there were reports of robberies and athletes and guests becoming ill, but so far, nothing on the scale of the pre-game predictions. Jamaica had a very successful Rio Olympics. We ended up with 11 medals, one short of the 12 garnered in Beijing, but with more gold than the record Beijing haul. Sadly, our nation says goodbye to the greatest male athlete of all time, as our ‘hero’ Usain Bolt has stated that Rio would be his last Olympics. The question for me (and hopefully the nation) is: what next? Without Bolt’s guaranteed three gold medals, will our medal tally suffer in Tokyo, the venue of the 2010 Olympic Games? The answer lies in planning. The nation’s sports administrators need to start planning for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from September 2016. Talent of Jamaicans in multiple sports need to be identified and nurtured in order to qualify for the next Olympics. Once identified, these athletes need to be supported financially, medically and with the best coaching that money can buy. Yes, what money can buy; as a previous prime minister said, “it takes cash to care.” Money is a performance enhancer. When communism was rife, countries that realised the importance of sports would ’employ’ athletes in order to ensure that they could spend all their time practising (training), thus resulting in them being better able to win medals in games like the Olympics. Western countries frowned on this practice as these countries (albeit with the aid of drugs and corruption) dominated the medal table. With communism being defeated, what now entails is much of the same. Some of the countries that were most vociferous in condemning the practice of state-sponsored professional athletes now find themselves doing the same thing. In 1996, England subsidised the participation of its athletes in the Olympics to the tune of £5 million. They won 15 medals at the Olympics. This embarrassing result saw England subsidising sports to the tune of £54 million in 2000. England garnered 28 medals. In 2012, England subsidised sports to the tune of £264 million: England garnered 65 medals. This year (2016), England subsidised sports to the tune of £350 million and they surpassed that amount of medals this year. England gave their athletes £28,000 annually to allow them to concentrate on training. This is exactly what communist countries were doing in the past. This year at the Rio Olympics, England increased their medal tally and was just edged out on the last day of competition from second place in the medal tally. Back home, here in Jamaica, the Government has announced a subsidy reported to be in the region of J$60,000 monthly. It is a literal drop in the bucket, but a very important start that needs to be increased, especially with no present male superstar on the horizon. When one looks at the reality of an Olympic athlete’s financial support in the build-up to Olympic qualifying performances, it is soon recognised as very obvious that if it wasn’t for our natural west African genetic superiority, Jamaica would not be the world athletic power that it most certainly is now. We need to understand the potential benefits to be reaped from our athletes’ performances on the world stage. We need to invest more in their preparation (facilities, coaching, medical issues and anti-doping) and upon doing so with taxpayers’ money, we (Jamaica) need to ensure that these athletes are not exploited by greedy support staff, who see these athletes as a money tree and not as national treasures. It takes cash to care. Let us, with one accord, insist on a state-sponsored fund geared specifically for Olympic preparation. Our athletes deserve no less. Congrats to our Jamaican Olympians. You are all national treasures. Thanks.
It’s semi-final day in the prestigious ISSA-FLOW Super Cup.At 4 p.m., it’s a clash of the CCs – Clarendon College versus Cornwall College – while at 6 p.m., the lone Manning Cup representatives, Wolmer’s Boys, face top rural team St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS).The feature match should be very competitive. After two rounds of matches, Wolmer’s, one of the more balanced teams in the tournament, are yet to concede a goal. They won their round-of-16 match 6-0 over Little London before clipping highly rated Kingston College 1-0 in last Saturday’s quarter-finals.Their leading scorer is Alphanso Gooden with four, followed by Rivaldo English (two) and Andrew Daley one goal.FIRST IN KINGSTONSTETHS, meanwhile, edged 2014 finalists Holy Trinity 4-3 and blanked former Manning Cup champions Bridgeport 2-0. This will be STETHS’ first Super Cup game in Kingston this year, having played their two matches out west in Montego Bay.Key players for STETHS are Jovoney Brown (two goals), Demar James, also two, and Rujay Robinson and Alex Thompson, one each.The all-daCosta curtain-raiser could favour the attack-minded Clarendon College, who have netted eight times, while conceding once.They have dispatched two of the competition’s heavyweights in Jamaica College 1-0 and Excelsior 7-1. Their irrepressible talisman, captain and forward Creggton Charlton, has four goals and three assists. Charlton is definitely one of the most talented players in schoolboy football, and he will have to be stopped if Cornwall are to emerge victorious from this afternoon’s encounter. Other top players for Clarendon include Dominic Lemont, Donovan Noble, Shande James, and Nicque Daley.OUTSTANDING ATTACKERRivals Cornwall also have a very outstanding player in Jourdaine Fletcher, who could make it a very busy afternoon for Clarendon’s defenders. He has scored four times so far for Cornwall in the tournament. Another Cornwall player to watch is the very skilful Peter-Lee Vassell, who was one of the standout players in their quarter-final win.Cornwall defeated Denham Town 3-0 in the round of 16 before getting past Rusea’s High on penalties after the teams had played to a full and extra-time 1-1 scoreline.Today’s matches4 p.m.: Cornwall College vs Clarendon College6 p.m.: Wolmer’s Boys vs St Elizabeth Technical
Spence will receive support from national players Shanice Beckford and Adean Thomas, along with former national players, Simone Forbes, Althea Byfield and Kimone Tulloch. Meanwhile, the Hummingbirds coach Marvette Anderson, said they will overcome the game two setback and wrap up the series today. “We know where we went wrong and so we are going to fix it on Saturday,’ said Anderson. “It was a bad night for our shooters, but I expect them to come back on Saturday,” she said. The Hummingbirds will look to top shooter Thristina Harwood, who netted 27 goals in the game two defeat. Harwood is expect to receive support from Shameera Sterling, Stacian Facey and Tracey-Ann Robinson. The Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology will be buzzing with excitement today when Kingston Hummingbirds and St Ann Orchids clash in the deciding game of the best-of-three finals of the Berger Elite League. The match is set to start at 6 p.m. The Janet Guy-coached Orchids will enter today’s game oozing with confidence after they outclassed the Hummingbirds 58-39 to the level the series on Thursday. The Hummingbirds, who are seeking their second hold on the title, won the opening match 57-43. However, the Orchids, who are aiming to win the title for the first time, are highly favoured to win today’s contest. Guy said her team is highly motivated ahead of today’s contest and so she is expecting an excellent performance from them. “They are going to come strong, but we are coming too, and so we are expecting stiff competition,” said Guy. “We just have to stay on top, score off our centre passes and ensure that we execute for the entire game, and once we do this, then we will win because they are very confident,” she said. The Orchids will be depending heavily on goal shooter Sabrina Spence, who netted 43 goals from 49 attempts in the game two victory over the Hummingbirds. SUPPORTING PLAYERS
Chelsea striker Diego Costa says he was always amazed by club legend Didier Drogba and shares that the Ivorian has helped his development. Costa has been a hit at Chelsea, scoring at a rate of a goal every other game with 51 strikes in 103 games for the Stamford Bridge club since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2014. He and Drogba won the league together in Costa’s first season at the club and the 28-year-old said he has been largely impacted by the well-loved Drogba. “I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward,” Costa said in an interview with the club’s in-house TV channel. “He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player. “Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed. This is because – and I’m not making this up at all – I specifically used to watch Chelsea [before he joined], who are obviously a big club, just to see Drogba. “He was famous and everyone would talk about him. I even liked watching him when he played for the Ivory Coast. When I arrived here, he was never cold with me, quite the opposite. I wasn’t exactly scared of him, but he was such a legend who had helped the club grow and been a part of all that.” Costa says Drogba was very supportive of him when he arrived at the club and believes he has much to thank him for. “He made history here, so could have been dismissive of me but, no, he was always fantastic with me,” Costa said. “I will always have fond memories of him and whenever I see him, I thank him. It’s not always easy for someone with so much history to be in that position. “I was playing well, scoring goals, and he would support and motivate me, whereas others might not have done the same. I take my hat off to him.” Drogba won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the Champions League trophy with Chelsea, while Costa is well placed to win his second league title with the club, which sits comfortably atop the Premier League table.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, (CMC): West Indies Cricket Board president, Dave Cameron, has remained vague on the future of embattled left-hander Darren Bravo. With the career of the Trinidadian up in the air following his sending home ahead of the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe last November, Cameron refused to be drawn definitively on the player’s future, saying only “the ball is in his court”. “My understanding is that Mr Bravo has met with the executive of the WICB and the ball is in his court, as to whenever he is willing to come back and play cricket,” Cameron said at a recent WICB town hall meeting here. Clearly incensed by Cameron’s criticism of his “declining” form and “poor performances”, Bravo slammed the Jamaican administrator in a Twitter outburst, labelling him a “big idiot”. The WICB promptly cancelled Bravo’s match/tour contract and sent him home from the tour but also gave him until 4 p.m. of November 11, to remove the offending tweet and issue an apology for his actions. Failure to do so, the WICB said, would result “in further disciplinary action, including referral to the WICB disciplinary committee”. Asked at the town hall meeting if he had received an apology from Bravo, Cameron again repeated, “The ball is in his court.” Bravo did not play in the WICB’s Regional Super50 for his native Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, and with no clear information emerging from the regional governing body on the matter, it remained uncertain when the impasse with the player was likely to end. On Monday, Bravo was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League auction, but will need a No Objective Certificate from the WICB in order to participate. Bravo is West Indies’ leading Test batsman with 3400 runs from 49 Tests and at average of 40. Only last October, he stroked a superb century in the day/night first Tests against Pakistan in Dubai. FURTHER DISCIPLINARY ACTION