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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Carter set to make splash in Rio

17 hours 17 min ago

World Youth Olympic silver and bronze medal medallists Dylan Carter says he is elated about the opportunity to represent T&T in the 100-metre freestyle at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, which takes place from August 5-21. 

That’s the event for in which FINA, the world governing body for aquatics, invited him to compete.

But in a T&T Guardian interview the Olympic medal hopeful cited other strong B-time he recorded during the past year and was holding out hope FINA would issue another invitation that would allow him to compete in either the 200-metre freestyle or the 100-metre butterfly, too.

He registered one of those qualifying times at the Pan Am Games, held in Canada in 2015 and steadily climbed the world rankings through his consistency in the pool.

On July 6, the 20-year-old student who attends the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, received news that FINA had issued an invitation to him to participate in Rio.

As a direct consequence, Carter got to join Olympic bronze medallist George Bovell in the pool, where he hoped to boost this country’s medal chances.

The Fatima College past pupil recalled it was around 6 a.m. in Los Angeles when he heard his mobile handset ringing.

“I was actually asleep. I realised my coach Franz Huggins had sent me a message. He said you’re in! It was so relieving because we thought we would have heard it a couple days before. I believed it. I didn’t think I was being pranked in anyway. It certainly gave me a lot of energy and a lot of motivation. I am very happy to be representing T&T in the Rio 2016 Games. I was fairly certain for quite some time. My times were looking strong coming down to the cut-off time for qualification. After the cut-off date it was a bit of a waiting game for us as FINA worked out how many A-times and how many B-times there were,” he said.

Carter continued, “I had the fastest B-time in the world in the 100-metre freestyle and then second or third in the 200-metre (freestyle) and third in the 100-metre butterfly. I was pretty sure that I was going to get picked, but at the same time when you finally get the email, it was such a moment. 

“I called my mom (who was driving) she had to pull over on the Foreshore and she was crying because it’s been such a long year for us and it was a really beautiful morning for me. I decided to take the year off school this year just to train and try to go to the Olympics. It all kind of came together. It was all worth it. These past few days, I have been training so well. I’ve been beating everybody in my training group out here, just because I am riding such a high from qualifying.”

“Relieved,” however, is not the word of choice Carter wanted to use to describe the moment he got the news. The young athlete believed his confidence was well placed and that the FINA invitation would come to secure his place on the T&T Olympic team.

“The moment it actually happens, it’s a real special moment and it is something I will hold close to me heart for the rest of my life. Speaking to my dad and my family was really a beautiful moment for me. Then I started looking forward to my future, and the next month that I have of preparation, just doing everything that I possibly can to be ready for those races in Rio. 

“As soon as my mom found out, she booked a flight to LA to come and spend the next few weeks here with me. My dad is just over the moon. He’s been waiting so long for this news. I’m so glad I could make them this proud. They’re the happiest people in the world right now,” he said.

Carter continued, “2015 coming into 2016 was tough because I placed a lot of expectations on myself, this being an Olympic year. I trained really, really hard. I did a lot of things that I’ve never done before. I think beginning of the year sort of stressed me out–the meets. I was preparing so much, I felt like I should be a bit ahead of where I was, but I kept fate and I trusted my coaches and it paid off later on in the year, when I least expected it. I actually came home in January and worked with my coach Franz Huggins and my longtime age group coach and training partner Joshua Romany. We spent some months home training in Marlins swimming pool. I think that one-on-one kind of attention really helped me.”

His family and technical team weren’t the only bunch thrilled to receive news that Carter is heading to Rio.

Officials at the University of Southern California (USC) where he was still a Trojan–on the swim team–were thrilled as well. It turned out the school had a huge Olympic tradition. At every Olympic Games since 1912 to 2012 a Trojan had won a medal.

So revered is the Olympic culture at the university, the Games was flown above its swimming pool.

“My school is very excited. I got a call right away from the athletics department. We have some stuff for you said the person on the other end of the call: the Trojan Olympian gear. And they are going to put my name up on the wall in the waiting room. They were really, really excited to add a new Olympic medal hopeful to the list,” said Carter.

As he tried to contain his many emotions, between making Team TTO and realising a personal dream shared by his family and coaches, he reflected on the journey so far and added, “It has thought me to never-say-never: mental toughness. When I started swimming I was a little bit slower than all the people in my group, my age. And I was always chasing them. Eventually I surpassed them. I moved to a new group with faster people and I would surpass them, too.”

Best juniors on display in Grenada

17 hours 20 min ago

ST GEORGE’S—Former West Indies leg-spinner Rawl Lewis says the WICB Regional Under-15 tournament, which started in Grenada yesterday, provides a platform to uncover the “depth of talent that exists in the region”.

Lewis, now WICB project officer for junior cricket, says the tournament also gives officials an indication on where to place the emphasis “in the development cycle”.

The Tournament, into its 21st year, is being contested under a round-robin format, featuring five rounds of matches with the team accumulating the most points being declared champions.

“Having regional matches for players in this age group is also extremely valuable and productive for us because it will give a clear understanding about the depth of talent that exists in the region,” said Lewis, also a former Windward Islands captain.

“So we know where we need to place the emphasis in the development cycle, as the players work to move up through the age groups in their respective territories.”

Guyana captured the title last year on home soil by topping the points table, following victories over Leeward Islands, Jamaica and Windwards, and in spite of no-results against Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.

“This competition gives our junior players an opportunity early in their development to showcase their ability on the regional stage and test themselves against the best players in their age group,” said Lewis.

In first round matches, Guyana faced Windward Islands at Progress Park, Barbados met Trinidad & Tobago at La Sagesse and Jamaica tackled Leeward Islands at the Tanteen Recreation Ground.

The Regional Under-15 tournament commenced in 1996 with then hosts T&T taking the inaugural title.

They hold the record for the most RU15 titles with seven, also winning the title in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2010 and 2013.

Top chess players take to board at Normandie

17 hours 22 min ago

T&T finest chess players will take on some of the best in the world as the T&T Chess Association (TTCA) hosts its first International Masters and Open Chess Tournaments at The Normandie Hotel, St Ann’s starting today until August 5. 

The event is part of TTCA’s celebration to commemorate its 80th anniversary.

National men’s champion FM Kevin Cupid will lead the local men of FM Ryan Harper, FM Joshua Johnson and FM Adrian Winter Atwell who are all a part of T&T’s Olympiad team as well as FM Michael Pouchet and FM Allan Munro in the Masters section.

Most of the country’s players, of various ages, will be taking part in the Open tournament, which promises to be monumental. WFM Javanna Smith, WCM Aditi Soondarsingh (nine-time women’s national champion), WCM Gabriella Johnson, WCM Shannon Yearwood and WCM Shemilah James all members of the women’s Olympiad Team and WFM Sadiqah Razark. Other players include FM Frank Yee, CM Esan Wiltshire, former Caribbean Champion CM Frank Sears, Dev Sundarsingh, Cecil Lee, Daryl Davis, Sean Yearwood and nine-year-old Rayden Rampersad. Other top junior players include Alan-Safar Ramoutar, Kelvin Dover, Daenon Ramsumair, Zaakir Razark, Gerard Sealy, Reece Roopnarine, Brad Munroe-Brown, Chaya Johnson and Female National Under-12 champion Marliyah Mason-Phillips.

Grand Masters and International Masters from countries including India, Germany, Uganda, England and The Netherlands have registered to take part in the international competition along with players from Venezuela, Cuba and Chile. 

Players arrive today from their respective countries. The opening ceremony will take place tomorrow at 4 pm and will be followed by round one at 6 pm. Rounds 2 and 3 are on Saturday from 10 am and 5 pm, respectively; Round 4 is Sunday at 10 am; Rounds 5 and 6 on Monday from 10 am and 5 pm; Round 7 is on Tuesday at 5 pm; Round 8 is the following day also from 5 pm and Round 9 is on Thursday 10 am. 

An Open Blitz Tournament is scheduled for the final day at 3 pm followed by the closing ceremony at 7 pm.

Ebird joins Great Race as safety enhanced

17 hours 24 min ago

Officials of the T&T Powerboat Association (TTPBA) will introduce the Ebird personal tracking device, to be worn by each team member aboard vessels competing in the Carib Great Race 2016, says it vice-president Garth Marshall.

The new measure, he said, was in keeping with the organisation’s efforts at promoting safety in the sport, which had always been the priority at the tournament for over four decades.

“Once you do into the water, it can say that boat X is in serious trouble,” he said, of the new safety device.

Introduction and implementation of the new system was a direct result of last year’s sinking of Rugrat, said the official. Marshall revealed this among other measures aimed at retaining a culture of safety in the sport during a T&T Guardian interview at Tuesday’s launch of the competition held at RuStreet in St Clair.

He underscored that over the years the level of safety measures implemented for all involved in the Race had grown exponentially and as a consequence preserved its integrity and reputation.

“…from the types of life jackets that people wear, the types of helmets that people wear, the inspection of the boats to ensure that each boats has the required safety equipment in it. You would appreciate, it is not like a car that you can stop at the side of the road and hail out somebody. You’re outside there alone, so you have to be self sufficient. 

“We provide air coverage, coast guard coverage, medics at different points, ambulances. Even though we use the GPS units to track the boat from a speed perspective, but also from a position perspective, so we know that this boat was at point X, or we know this boat is at point Y, other things are being put in place,” said Marshall. 

Amabilis looks special

17 hours 27 min ago

Amabilis has a professional special look for the Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over seven furlongs of good to firm Glorious Goodwood this afternoon, third stage of the fabulous five-day meeting which is as fiercely-competitive as any other in the racing calendar. 

Form is golden, often works out superbly for the remainder of every season and with this being staged on a lightning fast surface we’re looking forward to the next few weeks. 

Don’t send a thoroughbred to this venue for two-year-old race in late July unless convinced it is above average. Ralph Beckett knows instinctively what is required and he’ll be expecting Amabilis to go one better, judged a promising debut over a similar distance at Newmarket nineteen days ago, when beaten half a length by Dabyah. That resulted in a useful time-handicap mark.

Frankie Dettori takes over from Ryan Moore who is claimed by Aidan O’Brien for Rhododenron, also second first-up to Rehana at Leopardstown last month when faring best of three Coolmore runners.

Obviously, Rhododendron will be strongly-fancied and probable favourite but Amabilis hit a mark that wins this-type race nine times out of ten. If this Khaled Abdulla-owned Champs Elysees filly is available at 2/1 or better she will carry my wedge.

Five go to post for the £20000 group two Richmond Stakes over six furlongs. That’s a pathetic turn-out and because it’s too difficult I’m more interested in backing Whigwham each-way in an eight-runner Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over five furlongs at Nottingham where good to firm is also forecast.

Whigwham ticks all the necessary boxes; two runs, better second time out, trained by Richard winning machine Fahey and mount of proficient stable jockey, Tony Hamilton. 

My play will be an each-way double (if all go to post!) into Amabilis.

Safest bet of the day is oncer-raced Serengeti Sky, clear ‘best-in’ for a seven-runner Maiden Stakes at Epsom under James Doyle.

Charlie Appleby’s charge will go off at a short price but represents a definitive anchor for our DAILY PATENT.

SELECTIONS

10.20 WHIGWHAM (e.w)

12.20 AMABILIS

3.00 SERENGETI SKY 

‘So far, so good’ says TTOC boss

17 hours 33 min ago

“So far, so good.” This was the assurance given by T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis of the pre Olympic training camp presently unfolding in Braganca Paulista, Sao Paulo in Brazil.

“All the feedback suggests that the athletes are happy,” said Lewis yesterday. “Things are progressing well at the camp. It is achieving its purpose.”

The team has settled in well at the Villa Santa Agostinho Hotel with little distractions and of course with both medical and nutritional support.

Deputy Chef de Mission Lovie Santana along with TTOC secretary general Annette Knott were among the first personnel to arrive, to ensure that all was in order with the T&T Pre Rio camp and from all reports were happy with the facilities provided for housing, dining hall and meals and of course training.

Chef de Mission Dr Ian Hypolite and Chief Medical Officer Dr Terry Ali were next to arrive and only yesterday were welcomed by local media at the Colegio AZ Bilingue in Braganca.

On the panel for the press conference from Team TTO were Dr Hypolite, Knott and George Commissiong, the athletics team manager. They discussed their selection of the venue for the training camp, the local contingent and the Olympic Games.

According to the group, the T&T contingent has been well received by the city, who in turn revealed that they are happy to host T&T.

Taking full advantage of the facilities thus far are reigning Olympic champion javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott, shot putter Cleopatra Borel, a four-time Olympian, hurdlers Jehue Gordon and Mikel Thomas, boxer Nigel Paul, Kyle Greaux and gymnast Marisa Dick.

The local athletes are using the camp to get into prime physical condition and training in Sao Paolo will help them to acclimatise ahead of the Games which start on August 5. The camp is scheduled to run until August 4 before they head off to Rio de Janiero to settle into the Olympic Village and prepare for the opening ceremony in the Maracana Stadium, the following day.

The track athletes have access to an eight lane, IAAF certified synthetic track with a grass infield for its training facility. The runways has a synthetic surface and the facility is fully outfitted with pits and hurdles, which makes it an excellent training venue for the local team. The facility also offers a weight room. 

On Saturday, another group of athletes will join the camp according to Lewis including national sprint champion Richard Thompson, quartermiler Machel Cedenio and sprinters Keston Bledman and Semoy Hackett.

The facility however, does not cater for swimmers George Bovell III and Dylan Carter, who will be representing T&T in the 50m and 100m freestyle events, respectively. Before his departure, Hypolite had mentioned that the venue only had a 25 metres pool which would not have been sufficient for the swimmers to prepare properly.

“Our swimmers will be going into the village on August 1 (Monday) to train at a separate training camp,” said Lewis, who himself will be departing next week to witness T&T being represented by its largest Olympic contingent in history, as 32 athletes in eight disciplines will compete.

Ruthless Akmal deprives Zouks

17 hours 35 min ago

GROS ISLET—A ruthless half century from Umar Akmal helped Trinbago Knight Riders spoil a winning streak by St. Lucia Zouks in the 25th game of the Caribbean Premier League at the Darren Sammy National Stadium here Tuesday.

Akmal blasted an unbeaten 73 from 35 balls to single handedly take the game away from the resurgent Zouks who had won their last three consecutive matches before attempting to make it four in a row against the Knight Riders.

Chasing 167, Knight Riders crashed to 63 for five wickets inside the first ten overs and appeared to be headed for a defeat at the hands of Darren Sammy’s rampaging Zouks.

But the Pakistan batsman launched a merciless counter-attack by targeting all of the bowlers to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with an over to spare in front a packed stadium.

The momentum of the game swung back and forth, triggered by performances from players on both sides.

In-form Sammy top scored for Zouks with 37 from 18 balls to gather crucial runs at the latter stage of the innings after Knight Rider’s bowlers had restricted the batting earlier..

Zouks total was also built on a 32 run input from Shane Watson followed by 27 from Johnson Charles and 25 from Andre Fletcher.

Delorn Johnson was the pick of the Zouks bowling with three for 22 including the scalp of Anton Devcich for 25.

Devcich’s dismissal ended a half century stand with Akmal that had brought Knights Riders back into the game after they had imploded to 41 for four.

Akmal’s batting heroics have earned Knight Riders a vital win and have lifted them from fifth to third place on the CPL table, displacing Zouks.

Knight Riders’ play-off hopes seemed in jeopardy until the arrival of Akmal who scored three fours and seven sixes to swing things around.

In the 17th over, Akmal, who was dropped on 64, targeted Jerome Taylor for three sixes in a row and ended with a four which reduced Knight Riders target to 23 off the final 18 balls.

Sunil Narine impressed with a late cameo in which he bashed Watson for two sixes to bring the target down to nine from 12 balls.

Kevon Cooper scored the winning runs two balls later to clinch victory with six balls to spare.

Earlier, Charles and Fletcher provided Zouks with a solid start to their innings by posting 60 runs before the fall of the first wicket, after they were sent in by Knight Riders.

Fletcher, who hit three boundaries in his 22 ball stay at the crease, was first to go in unfortunate run out circumstances.

He dived full length to complete a single after Charles forced a ball down to long-on but television replays showed his bat was in the air as the bail came off the groove.

Charles was dropped in the first over and was given another reprieve in the fourth over when replays showed Devcich overstepped.

The St. Lucian batsmen departed in the next over, deceived by a slower ball from Dwayne Bravo and was caught at deep midwicket by Ronsford Beaton

Watson stuck around for a while to pick up two boundaries in a crucial innings which stabilized the middle order although Zouks struggled to increase the run flow until Sammy arrived.

Sammy triggered a late surge by hitting Kevon Cooper for a four and a six before smashing two more fours and a six in his 37 not out from 18 balls.

SCOREBOARD

Knight Riders vs Zouks 

St Lucia Zouks

J Charles c Beaton b Bravo 27

ADS Fletcher run out (Cooper/McCullum) 25

SR Watson run out (Beaton/†Ramdin) 32

MEK Hussey c Umar Akmal b Cooper 12

GD Elliott c & b Bravo 12

DJG Sammy not out 37

KR Mayers c Cooper b Beaton 6

DE Johnson not out 1

Extras (lb 1, w 13, nb 1) 15

Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 167

Bowling: Beaton 4-0-25-1 (4w), Devcich 4-0-32-0 (1nb, 2w), Cooper 4-0-43-1(2w), Miller 1-0-10-0, DJ Bravo 4-0-34-2, Narine 3-0-22-0.

Trinbago Knight Riders

WKD Perkins c Johnson b Mayers 11

BB McCullum c Charles b Taylor 3

C Munro run out (Sammy) 21

D Ramdin c Watson b Johnson 4

Umar Akmal not out 73

DJ Bravo c †Fletcher b Sammy 4

AP Devcich c Shillingford b Johnson 25

SP Narine b Johnson 17

KK Cooper not out 2

Extras (lb 3, w 4, nb 1) 8

Total (7 wickets; 19 overs) 168

Bowling: Mayers 3-0-15-1, Taylor 3-0-38-1(1w), Watson 4-0-43-0, Johnson 4-0-22-3(2w),Sammy 4-0-29-1 (1nb,1w), Elliot 1-0-18-0

Result: Knight Riders won by three wickets

Points: Knight Riders 2, Zouks 0.

Man-of-the-match: Umar Akmal

Umpires: JD Cloete (South Africa) and PA Gustard; TV umpire: Z Bassarath

Sammy blames loss on poor fielding

17 hours 37 min ago

GROS ISLET—Captain of the St. Lucia Zouks Darren Sammy has blamed poor fielding and failure to execute the game plan as the reasons for his team’s three wicket loss to Trinbago Knight Riders in the 25th game of the Caribbean Premier League at the Darren Sammy National Stadium on Tuesday.

Chasing 167, Knight Riders crashed to 63 for five wickets inside the first ten overs and appeared to be headed for a defeat before a merciless unbeaten 73 from 35 balls by Umar Akmal stole the match from Zouks.

Zouks, who surged on the points table after three back-to-back wins, have now lost their third place to the Knight Riders heading into the final league matches in Florida.

“Halfway through the match, we were pretty happy with the total and confident we could have got it home. I don’t think we executed our plans as well as we did in the last three games, but Umar played well,” said Sammy.

“We were beaten by a blinder of an innings. Catches win matches and we dropped three. That was tough. We are still in with a chance. We play Jamaica twice in Florida. We are still in a good space and will press forward. Would have been nice to make it four out of four”.

Knight Riders were imploding on 41 for four and 65 for five before Akmal launched a ruthless attack on the bowlers hitting three fours and seven sixes which included three in a row of Jerome Taylor.

“Brilliant comeback. Congrats to Umar Akmal, words can’t explain that innings. 65 for 5, we had messed it up earlier,” said Bravo, who also explained why Sunil Narine was not allowed to bowl his four overs.

“You would not want your best bowler [Narine] to bowl only three overs, but the game plan that time was to bowl full and wide with the seamers”. (CMC)

​Alzarri Joseph called up for Test duty

17 hours 38 min ago

ST JOHN’s—Promising Antiguan fast bowler Alzarri Joseph is set to make his Test debut after he was drafted into the West Indies side for the current home series against India.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday that the 19-year old pacer has been added to the squad for the second Test which bowls off in Jamaica on Saturday.

Joseph’s inclusion increases the squad from 13 to 14 following their innings and 92 runs defeat against the Indians in the first Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground. Earlier this year, Joseph snared 13 wickets to lead West Indies to title honours during the ICC’s Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh which included a haul of 3 for 39 in the final against India.

The 6ft 4in pacer was clocked delivering the fastest ball in the ICC Under-19 youth World Cup at 91.5mph and consistently hovered around the high 80s-90mph. He claimed at least one wicket in each of his opening bursts, hitting Helmets and gloves.

“We feel that Alzarri, who led the attack so expertly in the ICC Youth World Cup earlier this year in Bangladesh, will now benefit from the professional guidance of our coaching staff and the presence of fast bowling legend Joel Garner as manager,” said Courtney Browne, chairman of the West Indies selection panel.

“As we develop our Test team, we see this as a positive step in the process. We would like to wish the team every success for the rest of the series.”

Joseph performed outstanding bowling feats for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the first-class Professional Cricket League, before the ICC Under-19 World Cup.

He grabbed seven wickets for 76 runs against Windward Islands at Windsor Park in Dominica last November. Joseph’s last assignment has been with the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in matches of the current Caribbean Premier League earlier this month.

Worries over Cooper as Knightriders strikes back in St Lucia

17 hours 41 min ago

After defeating the St. Lucia Zouks in their eighth match of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament on Tuesday night, the attention of the Trinbago Knight Riders team fell on all rounder Kevon Cooper, who is having work permit issues to play in their next match against the St. Kitts Patriots on Friday night.

As the team was due to leave St. Lucia yesterday evening for Fort Lauderdale, USA, officials were hastily trying to arrange a work permit for Cooper. It is understood that the Queen’s Park player ran afoul of requirements for the visa and TKR was trying to arrange it at the last minute.

Another player who is having problems obtaining a work permit is Pakistani Ahmed Shehzad who is playing for the Barbados Tridents. The team went through their paces at the Central Broward Regional Park yesterday afternoon and the right hander was a noticeable absentee.

Meanwhile, fellow Pakistani Umar Akmal finally came to the CPL party and his timing could not have been better, we he rescued the Trinbago Knight Riders from a precipice of disaster to keep alive their hopes in the 2016 edition of the tournament.

The defending champions were dead and buried at 63/5 in the 11th over going after a victory target of 168. A loss would have taken the TKR to the brink of elimination but Akmal counter-attacked the home team, to score a rapid unbeaten 73, which took them over the line.

Zouks skipper continued to celebrate the naming of the Stadium after him with a top score of 37 not out, to lead his team to a good 167/6 in their 20 overs. 

Sammy’s attack then ripped out the top and middle order of the TKR’s batting to leave them half down and over 100 runs still needed for victory. Akmal, whose brother Kamran scored a half century in the finals of the CPL last year, to lead the Red Steel to the title, never gave up and found an ally in New Zealander Anton Devcich to revive the innings. They needed to score at a fast rate, while preserving their wickets and was able to come through. Devcich made 25 and when he left it took the efforts of Sunil Narine to assist Akmal in taking the team over the line. Narine slammed 17 as he supported Akmal who was left with the task of getting 50 runs in the last five fours at the fall of Devcich’s wicket.

With only four runs coming in the 16th over, TKR required 46 runs from four overs. Akmal targeted Jerome Taylor and slapped him for three straight sixes and a four. In the process he raised his half century of 27 balls. A total of 23 runs came from Taylor’s over and the equation was a manageable 23 from 18 balls. Three dot balls followed from Watson but Narine struck two sixes of the last three balls to give TKR a final decisive advantage. Akmal remained unbeaten on 73 of 35 balls with three fours and seven sixes.

STANDINGS

Teams M W L T NR PTS NRR

Jamaica Tallawahs 8 6 1 0 0 13 +1.502

Guyana Amazon Warriors 8 5 3 0 0 10 +0.017

Trinbago Knight Riders 8 4 4 0 0 8 -0.029

St Lucia Zouks 8 4 4 0 0 8 -0.101

Barbados Tridents 8 3 4 0 1 7 -0.184

St. Kitts Patriots 8 1 7 0 0 2 -1.022

WI to host Afghans

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 02:00

KABUL—Afghanistan will tour West Indies for an eight-match limited overs series next June, marking the first time the ICC associate nation will face the Caribbean side in a full series.

The Afghanistan Cricket Board announced yesterday that the Asian side would play the Windies in five One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals starting mid-June, but revealed no specific dates.

For the Afghans, it will be only their third full series against a Full ICC member following similar tours against Zimbabwe last year, and ACB chief executive, Shafiq Stanikazi, said the tour would be a crucial one for them.

“This is a major series with very attractive teams featuring some of the world’s best players,” he pointed out.

“We look forward to some very entertaining cricket in T20s and ODIs. On behalf of Afghanistan Cricket Board, I am very thankful to West Indies Cricket Board for agreeing to be hosts for the series.”

ACB chairman, Nasimullah Danish, said facing a nation with the calibre of West Indies, would be a boost to Afghanistan.

“Playing with [the] Twenty20 champions will boost technical prospects for us,” he noted.

Afghanistan made a bold statement during the Twenty20 World Cup in India last March when they stunned eventual champions West Indies by six runs in Nagpur, in the first ever meeting between the two teams in an international.

The success came against the backdrop of positive results last year when they beat Zimbabwe in limited overs series in Harare and in Sharjah. West Indies Cricket Board chief executive, Michael Muirhead, said the upcoming series was a welcomed one.

“This series will add to the variety of cricket our teams will be playing for the next year and we are happy to be able to have teams visit the region to add exposure for all our players,” he was quoted as saying.

West Indies are currently ranked eighth in ODIs, two spots above Afghanistan, and are third in the T20I rankings with the Afghans lying ninth.

Do or die for Knight Riders against host

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:54

The emergence of the St Lucia Zouks in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament has left the Trinbago Knight Riders in a dicey position.

With the top four teams entering into the play-offs, Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Barbados Tridents and TKR were the top teams expected to enter the play-offs as they had done in all previous editions of the CPL.

However, the Zouks led by a re-energised Darren Sammy have now won their last three matches in succession and are now third in the standings, as we reach the business end of the tournament. They have played seven matches and have eight points, while TKR has played seven matches as well and they have six points.

The TKR has been in St. Lucia over the last three days going through their drills and they will be looking to put things right tonight at 7pm. They go into the clash with the knowledge that the Zouks defeated them in Port-of-Spain during their opening match of the tournament.

The Knight Riders are currently fifth in the standings and they know that from this point they are playing catch-up with the rest of the pack. A loss tonight against the Zouks would push them close to the edge of not making the play-offs.

Manager of the team Colin Borde believes that his team can do it: “We have prepared as best as we can, the boys have been working very hard over the last few days and they are fiercely focussed on the job at hand. At the end of the day, they know what needs to be done and they are taking each match as a finals and showing that intensity.”

Standings
Teams    Mat    Won    Lost    Tied    N/R    Pts    Net RR

Jamaica    8    6    1    0    1    13    +1.502
Tallawahs

Guyana    8    5    3    0    0    10    +0.017
Amazon Warriors

St Lucia Zouks    7    4    3    0    0    8    -0.050

Barbados    8    3    4    0    1    7    -0.184 
Tridents

Trinbago    7    3    4    0    0    6    -0.102
Knight Riders

St Kitts and 
Nevis Patriots    8    1    7    0    0    2    -1.022 

teams
Trinbago Knight Riders: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Denesh Ramdin, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq, Anderson Phillip

St. Lucia Zouks: Darren Sammy (capt), Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, David Miller, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Morne Morkel, Nitish Kumar, Derone Davis, Jerome Taylor, Eddie Lele, Keron Cottoy, Keddy Lesporis, Kyle Mayers, Delorn Johnson, Shane Shillingford, Gidron Pope.

Imperious Charles makes it three straight for Zouks

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:50

GROS ISLET—West Indies opener Johnson Charles produced an imperious innings as St Lucia Zouks clobbered Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets here Sunday night, to march to third spot in the Caribbean Premier League.

Chasing 160 for victory at the Darren Sammy National Stadium, Zouks sped to their target off the first ball of the 16th over, with the right-hander Charles striking a whirlwind unbeaten 94 off 52 deliveries.

He lost Andre Fletcher in the third over for three but allied with Australian Shane Watson in a rollicking, unbroken 151-run second wicket stand to see Zouks to their third straight win of their home leg.

Johnson belted five fours and seven sixes while Watson, also a right-hander, carved out an unbeaten 57 off 39 deliveries with seven boundaries.

Amazon Warriors had earlier rallied to 159 for four off their 20 overs, after they were sent in, with Australian Chris Lynn pummeling 86 from 45 balls and Dwayne Smith stroking 56 from 51 balls.

The pair added exactly 100 for the second wicket to pull the visitors around from 13 for one in the fourth over when they lost Aussie Nic Maddinson, bowled by fast bowler Jerome Taylor for two, in his maiden game for Amazon Warriors.

Lynn slammed six fours and sixes and reached his half-century off 32 balls in the 16th over while Smith counted five fours and two sixes in a much more measured knock before perishing in the same over, holing out to Mike Hussey in the deep off captain and medium pacer Darren Sammy.

Lynn took command of the remainder of the innings, posting 45 with wicketkeeper Anthony Bramble (8), as Zouks gathered 40 runs from the last five overs.

In reply, Zouks lost Fletcher early when the Windies right-hander was deceived by a slower ball from left-arm seamer Sohail Tanvir, and bowled with the score on 11.

But any hopes of a collapse were quickly erased as Charles dismantled the Amazon Warriors with an astonishing display of power-hitting.

In one over from seamer Orlando Peters – the seventh of the innings which leaked 19 runs – he blasted two sixes and a four, and continued to pick off boundaries at will to reach his half-century off just 31 balls in the 10th over.

The victory lifted Zouks to eight points, overtaking Barbados Tridents who have now slipped to third. Jamaica Tallawahs lead with 13 points while Amazon Warriors remain second on ten points.

Zouks play their final game against Trinbago Knight Riders here today.

CMC

Scoreboard
St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors

AMAZON WARRIORS
D Smith c Hussey b Sammy     56
N Maddinson b Taylor     2
C Lynn c Lesporis b Watson     86
A Bramble b Taylor     8
S Hetmyer c Mayers b Watson     0
R Emrit not out     1
J Mohammed not out     0
Extras (lb1, w5)     6
TOTAL (5 wkts, 20 overs)     159
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-113, 3-158, 4-158, 5-158.
Bowling: Mayers 3-0-20-0, Taylor 4-1-26-2 (w1), Watson 4-0-27-2, Johnson 4-0-37-0 (w4), Sammy 3-0-30-1, Elliott 2-0-18-0.

ZOUKS
J Charles not out     94
A Fletcher b Sohail Tanvir     3
S Watson not out     57
Extras (b1, lb2, w5)     8
TOTAL (1 wkt, 16.1 overs)     162
Fall of wickets: 1-11.
Bowling: Sohail Tanvir 4-0-47-1 (w2), Permaul 3-0-27-0 (w1), Emrit 2-0-12-0, Peters 1-0-18-0, Zampa 3.1-0-31-0, Smith 3-0-24-0 (w1).
Result: Zouks won by nine wickets.
Points: Zouks 2, Amazon Warriors 0.
Man-of-the-Match: Johnson Charles.

Umpires: Z Bassarath, J Cloete; TV – P Gustard.

T&T women cruise past Guyana

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:48

GEORGETOWN—Trinidad and Tobago’s revival continued when they beat hosts Guyana by five wickets in the third round of the Twenty20 phase of the Regional Women’s Championship here Sunday at the Guyana National Stadium, to win their second straight game.

Asked to field, they limited the Guyanese to 63 for eight with West Indies off-spinner Anisa Mohammed hurting the innings with four for nine from her four overs. Opener Melanie Henry and West Indies player Tremayne Smartt, both with 14, were the only two to reach double figures.

T&T then cruised to their target off eight overs with Britney Cooper dazzling briefly with 18 off ten balls, with a four and a six. Jamaica remained unbeaten but inflicted Barbados with their first defeat, when they pulled off a narrow three-run victory in the other match.

The Jamaicans were powered by an excellent unbeaten half-century from captain and West Indies star Stafanie Taylor as they reached 126 for four off their 20 overs, after opting to bat first.

Taylor, who also struck a half-century in the opening round against Windward Islands, carved out 68 off 49 deliveries with seven fours and a six.

Jamaica were struggling at 45 for three when Taylor joined with Chedean Nation, who scored 23 from 34 balls, to repair the innings in a 68-run fourth wicket stand.

West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin was the best bowler, grabbing three for 18 from her four overs of medium pace. In reply, Barbados came up short with 123 for six off their 20 overs, with captain Shaquana Quintyne top-scoring with 34, Charlene Taitt getting 23 and Kycia Knight weighing in with 22.

Barbados were stuttering at 44 for three but were revived by a fourth-wicket stand of 47 between Taitt and Quintyne.

However, they were two of three wickets to perish for the addition of ten runs as Barbados slumped to 101 for six to see their hopes fade.

The other game between Windward Islands and Leewards Islands finished in a no-result after rain ended the game prematurely, with the Leewards set to chase a target of 79 off 11 overs.

CMC 

Team TTO settles in at camp

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:47

Team Trinidad and Tobago’s (Team TTO) Pre – Olympics Games camp officially opened on Sunday. A number of athletes, officials and medical staff arrived in São Paulo between Thursday and Sunday to settle into the Villa Santa Agostinho Hotel in Bragança Paulista.

Former IAAF World 400m hurdle champion Jehue Gordon stated that he was happy with the training camp so far. 

“It’s always great when the TTOC makes the athletes comfortable and so far they’ve made sure that we’re comfortable with the conditions and the facilities, he said.”

The training camp will come to an end on August 4. Team TTO will journey from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro to settle into the Olympic Village and prepare for the Opening Ceremony in the Maracanã Stadium on August 5.

Marilyn—nap at Goodwood

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:36

Pyra Mountain will be a major surprise if successful in the Maiden Stakes over six furlongs of ‘good to firm’ Glorious Goodwoood this afternoon, first of five days on the famous, picturesque, Sussex Downs which, at one time, represented a tough assignment during my career as a racing journalist on racecourses.

It’s a magic environment, long journey, but worthwhile on so many occasions because framing of two-year-olds there always suited my modus operandi; this particular race was a real ‘favourite’ and we know exactly what is required to gain reward.

Twice-raced Pyra Mountain looked a potential ‘class act’ when runner-up to Thunder Snow in a strongly-run race at Leicester first up, travelling superbly throughout; next time out was disappointing because Charles Hills ran this  colt in the group two ‘Coventry’ at Royal Ascot as against keeping to a low grade maiden.

A high draw and inexperience were against Pyra Mountain but he shaped well and, sensibly, wasn’t ‘knocked about’ in the closing stages of a serious dash won by Carravaggio, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden tough by Ryan Moore. There wasn’t an ounce to spare.

Harry Angel is the likely favourite, judged on an encouraging Ascot debut back in May, and with Clive Cox having tremendous success with juveniles at the highest level, definitely the one Parys Mountain has to beat.

Thunder Snow is one of twelve ‘decs’ for the group two Vintage Stakes over seven furlongs but he’ll surely be out of his league against unbeaten Boynton and O’Brien-trained War Decree.

Three-quarters of a length separated them at Newmarket 17 days ago when Boynton proved too strong on the final climb; this magnificent Godolphin-owned colt, by More Than Ready, is penalised three pounds.

Is it a two-horse race on my time-handicap?

Not by any means because recent top-weight Newmarket nursery winner, Pleaseletmewin, is progressing at a rate of knots and looks set to grab one of three places; that’s my play, ‘guessing’ as to which of the ‘big two’ will prevail doesn’t appeal.

On the TH Marilyn will be difficult to catch in the Maiden Auction Stakes over seven furlongs of a ‘good to firm’ surface which, according to jockey Jamie Spencer, is currently ‘riding like a carpet’, following extensive agricultural remedial work.

SELECTIONS
9.50 Marilyn 
10.35 Pleaseletmewin
12.30 Pyra Mountain

Crawfie’s greatness celebrated at Cycledrome

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:35

Celebration in recognition of the 40th anniversary of Hasely Crawford’s gold medal performance at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games in Canada was marked on Sunday on the second day of the opening event at the National Cycling Velodrome in Couva.

Crawford was invited by the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, where he was presented with a commemorative gold medal by the Minister. 

The brief ceremony as well as Crawford’s response were duly acknowledged with a standing ovation from the sizeable crowd in attendance, which included national gymnast Thema Williams. 

An avid cycling fan himself, 66-year-old Crawford enjoyed the international racing at the event in the presence of local cycling greats Roger Gibbon and Gene Samuel. 

Intense pressure for IOC, athletes

Tue, 07/26/2016 - 01:30

It takes two hands to clap. As we strive to achieve the vision of ten or more gold medals by the year 2024, the major hurdle that we have to overcome is attitudinal. Those who say it can’t be achieved, you are very right. You will never achieve it. It’s as simple as that. If your attitude is we can’t or I can’t, then that’s your reality. 

It begins with believing that you can and will be the best prepared that you have ever been. You want to be in the best shape of your life. Chris Hoy said the goal of being in the best shape of your life takes away all the other distractions and brings it back to yourself.

“If you get beat it is because they deserve it and not because I didn’t train hard enough or prepare properly.” He further said it is about leaving no stones unturned.

Olympic champions will tell you that nowhere is the pressure more intense than at the Olympic Games. Ian Thorpe puts it this way: “No matter what you have experienced, until you get to the Olympic Games, you haven’t experienced anything.”

Making excuses before the competition or feigning indifference are strategies some adopt to manage expectations or deal with the pressure. 

The Olympics is a high stakes games said Michael Johnson. “ You can’t have it both ways. You can’t attempt to hedge your bets. You are either all in or you’re out. You can’t stop believing in yourself.”

The key, according to Johnson, is not to try to ignore the expectations or pretend they are not there, but to acknowledge they exist and develop a plan to deal with them while focusing on your own goals.

You have to prove yourself in the Olympic cauldron. Those who bring potential alone will be found out.  Olympic success isn’t an entitlement. At the Olympics, it’s about wanting to be the best in the world by taking on the best in the world... and winning.

There is this delicate balance that has to be struck between taking care of our athletes and keeping the competitive fire and hunger burning.

Attitude defines the successful champion. They thrive on competition. Any chance they get to battle they take it and when the inevitable defeat comes, they don’t look for people to blame instead they focus on what else they need to do in order to win.

The Olympic Games is the pinnacle.  In recent weeks the pressure has heightened. The IOC and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee are both facing intense scrutiny. 

They have to deal with it just as the athletes have to deal with the intense pressure that is part and parcel of the Olympic Games.

This is the time when the athletes,  coaches and Olympic Committees  who are able to zone out the distractions and stay focused on the task at hand will be best able to perform and overcome.

Brian Lewis is president of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Olympic Committee. 

Ahye holds off Fraser-Pryce for silver

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 03:52

Sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye and quarter-miler Deon Lendore matched the performance of thrower Keshorn Walcott on Friday, by also nabbing silver medals in their respective events as the Muller Anniversary Games of the IAAF Diamond League returned to The Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, yesterday.

Ahye, the national sprint double champion, placed second in the women's 100 metres dash in a time of 10.99 seconds behind Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who matched her personal best run of 10.96 which she also clocked in the first round. Ahye had then followed Ta Lou to the line in 11.03.

Olympic sprint double champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, who entered the final as the winner of the second heat in 11.03,  took the bronze in a slower time of 11.06.

Earlier, Lendore's clocking of 45.34 saw him finish runners-up to Great Britain's Matthew Hudson- Smith, who won in a time of 45.03. Third was another British athlete Rabah Yousif with a season-best 45.45.

On the opening day of the two-day event, Walcott placed second in the men's javelin event.

The reigning Olympic champion had a best attempt of 83.60 metres to finish behind Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch, who won with a 85.72 effort. Third was Hamish Peacock of Australia with an 82.94. National sprint champion Richard Thompson crossed in eighth place in a time of 10.26 in heat two of the men's 100m. Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut won the heat in 9.96 and went on to win the final in 10.02.

Second was American  Isaiah Young in 10.07 and  third was Churundy Martin of The Netherlands in 10.10.

In the feature race on Friday, Jamaican Usain Bolt celebrated a winning return in London four years after his Olympic glory, easing to the gold in the men's 200m. He stormed to victory in a time of 19.89. 

Following him to the line were Alonso Edward of Panama in 20.04 and Great Britain's Adam Gemili in 20.07.

Windies follow on against Indians

Sun, 07/24/2016 - 03:50

The West Indies were sent to follow on late on the third day of the First Seagrams Test against India at the Sir Vivian Richards Ground in North Sound, Antigua, yesterday.

Despite a battling 74 from Kraigg Brathwaite, an attractive unbeaten 57 from wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich and an aggressive 36 from skipper Jason Holder, the West Indies fell for just 243 in reply to India’s mammoth 566 for eight declared. 

Batting a second time the West Indies lost Brathwaite early to close at 21/1 in 13 overs. When play resumes today, the home team will face a mounting challenge to make India bat again, as they are still 302 runs behind.

Indian pacers Mohammed Shami 4/66 and Umesh Yadav 4/41 extracted generous bounce on the surface and maintained an immaculate line to destroy the West Indies batting line-up. 

West Indies resumed on the overnight position of 31 for one with Brathwaite and nightwatchman Devendra Bishoo doing battle. The Guyanese Bishoo did his job well and aided Brathwaite in taking the score to 68 before he left. He went for a sweep shot of leg-spinner Amit Mishra and was stumped by Wriddhiman Saha for 12.

Darren Bravo was up next in the batting order and he was the man expected to take the fight to the Indians. He looked comfortable until Mohammad Shami got a delivery to misbehave outside off stump and it took the edge of Bravo’s bat enroute to Saha. Brathwaite, averaging only 9.0 in his last six Test innings at home, was just being himself all the while, leaving potentially harmful balls outside off-stump and only playing at compulsory deliveries.

At times he showed aggressive intent and got three solid boundaries and a streaky on, on his way to 46 not out at the lunch break, which was taken with the West Indies at 90/3.

On the resumption, Shami showed he had enjoyed what the food van brought, as he steamed in from the Curtly Ambrose End to rip out two batsmen in no time. Shami adapting a fifth stump line outside off stump got Marlon Samuels to edge to Saha, as the Jamaican was unwilling to move his feet. 

Next man out was Jermaine Blackwood, again Shami holding that line outside the off-stump and this time keeping it back of a length, getting the extra bounce, the right hander could only push at it - the result a catch to third slip. Shami joined Venkatesh Prasad as the fastest Indian bowler to reach 50 Test wickets. Both got to the milestone in 13 Test matches.

Debutant Roston Chase then came and added some calm to the situation. Choosing to rotate the strike he was able to settle in nicely to the big times and looked good. He was able with Brathwaite to add 47 runs for the sixth wicket, before Umesh Yadav got him for 27. His first look in lasted 70 minutes in which time he faced 45 balls, hitting one four.

Wickets then continued to come in pairs for the Indians, as Yadav removed the obdurate Brathwaite five runs later. The Barbadian gave Saha his fifth victim as he was caught for 74. He batted for 291 minutes, faced 218 balls and struck seven fours. Saha became the first Tea was taken soon after at 157/7—another session belonging to the Indians, as West Indies scored 67 runs for the loss of four wickets.

After the break Holder and Dowrich fought back brilliantly. They stood tall and negotiated the spin and pace offerings to good effect. Holder using his reach was able to quell the threat of the spinners bit after having done the hard work, he again fell well set for a big score. The right-hander worked the score nicely along to 213 when the Indians again bagged a pair of dismissals. Holder hung his bat out to a wide ball from Yadav and was caught by Saha for 36. His innings spanned 52 balls and struck seven fours and a six.

Yadav then could not believe his luck next ball as he saw Carlos Brathwaite shouldered arms to a straight one that crashed into his stumps. On a hat-trick he saw Shannon Gabriel clip the ‘glory ball’ away for two. 

Gabriel hung around to see Dowrich raise his second Test half century of 75 balls with 10 fours and then soon left, as West Indies closed on 243.

SCOREBOARD
WI vs India

India 1st inns 566/8 dec
WI 1st innings
(overnight 31/1)

WI innings 
R Chandrika    c Saha b Shami            16
K Brathwaite   c Saha b Yadav            74
D Bishoo        st Saha b Mishra            12
D Bravo         c Saha b Mohammed Shami    11
M Samuels    c Saha b Mohammed Shami    1
J Blackwood   c Rahane b Mohammed Shami    0
R Chase         c Kohli b Yadav            23
S Dowrich       not out            57
J Holder          c Saha b Yadav            36
C Brathwaite    b Yadav            0
S Gabriel        b Mishra            2
Extras    2lb, 4b, 2w, 3nb            11
Total all out            243
Fall of wkts: 30, 68, 90, 92, 92, 139, 144, 213, 213, 243. 
Bowling: I Sharma 20-7-44-0, U Yadav 18-8-41-4, M Shami 20-4-66-4, R Ashwin 17-5-43-0, A Mishra 15.2-4-43-2.
 
WI 2nd innings
K Brathwaite    lbw Sharma            2
R Chandrika     not out            9
D Bravo           not out            10
Extras            0
Total for 1 wkt            21
Fall of wkts: 2.
Bowling: I Sharma 4-2-3-1, M Shami 4-3-2-0, U Yadav 3-1-8-0, R Ashwin 2-0-8-0.

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