Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Jamaica’s Reggae Girlz will play two international friendlies against Nigeria and the United States in June as the team begins preparations for the 2023 World Cup qualifiers that are scheduled to begin in November 2021.

Yona Knight-Wisdom became the latest Jamaican athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan this summer.

For the second week in a row, Natoya Goule ran a time in the 400m that is giving her cause to be optimistic about the season ahead.

Jamaica’s Rugby League team is set to face Greece in October just ahead of the start of the Rugby League World Cup later this year.

Changing a few ‘little things’ and a shift in mindset paid off in a big way for Joella Lloyd when she set a new national record in the 100m at the Tennessee Challenge at Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday.

Her time of 11.19 not only broke Heather Samuels Daley’s Antiguan record of 11.20 set in May 1993 it is also the World U-20 leading time for 2021, bumping the USA’s Tionna Brown’s 11.29 from the top spot. Lloyd said she was astonished when she saw the time given how poorly her outdoor season had started with times of 11.52 and 12.05 in her two previous races.

“I was surprised when I looked at the clock and I saw 11.19 because earlier in the season I did not transition as well as I wanted to from the indoor season,” she said.

“I was working with my coach (Ken Harnden), we were talking and he was telling me to do the little things like eating well, sleeping on time and having a better mindset at practice and ever since I implemented that, in practice, I didn’t feel as fatigued and I felt like I was getting back into the right mindset of being competitive and pushing to the line.

“Though my start wasn’t too good, my transition was good and I fought to the line.”

Lloyd's Tennessee teammate Maia McKoy, a senior, was second in 11.23 while Louisville's Brooke Raglin was third in 11.68.

The Tennessee freshman said it was special that she was able to break the record that was previously held by the woman who was her hero growing up.

“It’s really amazing having the national record now knowing that I made history for Antigua,” she said.

“I knew the old record holder Heather Samuel Daley and I have always held her in high esteem and wanted to be like her when I was growing up. Knowing that I am here, I’ve made it, it’s a relief and I feel like this will propel me through the rest of the season. I will drive off of this and keep getting faster.”

It has been a record-breaking season for Lloyd, who turned 19 on April 12.  Lloyd, the 2021 SEC 60m Indoor champion, set a new national indoor record of 7.15 for the 60m and 23.62 for the 200m.

 

Cricket great Sunil Gavaskar believes having Sunil Narine batting in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ middle order is a complete waste of time as the team needs quality batsmen in their line-up to be able to reverse their fortunes in the IPL this season.

KKR are currently eighth in the IPL standings after just two wins from their seven matches to date, a position that Gavaskar believes comes down to one thing.

"To be honest, they don’t have too many classy batsmen. I don’t know how many in the dugout they can look to and say, ‘Look… why don’t you come in and bat up the order.’ Because if you have a look at their batting, apart from Shubman Gill and Morgan himself, there is no class," Gavaskar said on Cricket Connected.

"There is Andre Russell down at five or six and Dinesh Karthik,” Gavaskar continued.

“I would look at promoting Karthik up the order, because for simple reasons. There is Rahul Tripathi up. Sunil Narine at 4 or 5 whatever is a waste of space. It doesn’t make any sense having him there. If you want to have Sunil Narine, have him at the top of the order where he can throw his bat around, and maybe if he connects a few, that’s fine.

“KKR’s problem is that they haven’t got anybody at three, four, five who can play an impact innings."

 

Defending Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah ran a season-best 10.78s to win the 100m at the Pure Athletics Elite Meet in Clermont, Florida today.

West Indies Women’s head coach Courtney Walsh plans to focus on improving the mental and technical skills of the 30 players currently encamped in Antigua for the next month in preparation for international matches including the World Cup qualifiers later this year.

According to the former West Indies fast bowler turned coach, the upskilling of the women will be a continuation of what began when the women were called to camp in January this year.

Over the past few years, West Indies Women, world champions in 2016, has fallen down the pecking order in world cricket, struggling to make high scores when players like Deandra Dottin, Stafanie Taylor or Hayley Matthews fail to make big scores.

This was evident when the West Indies were swept 5-0 during a five T20 series against England in September 2020, when the side failed to achieve a score of 140 runs in any of the matches. England, meanwhile, scored over 140 runs in all but one of the matches.

Walsh believes that for that trend to end the team cannot rely on just two or three players.

 “Consistency can’t be just three players. If we are playing six or seven batters, not everybody is to come off all the time but we need to have four or five batters to be consistently producing. It can’t be the same three all the time,” said Walsh, who also indicated that there are other areas in which they have to improve as well.

“They also have to be aware of the game situation, so we are going to combine both as we are going to have the batters being a lot more consistent and not just depend on two or three players.”

Walsh revealed that there are signs that the camp in January had already begun to yield positive indicators of the change required.

“We started some drills in the last camp so it will be a continuation of that. We saw where we were getting a little more consistency. We saw where we able to bat 50 overs because in the first game that didn’t happen but in the last two games that happened,” Walsh said referring to three intra-squad practice matches played while in the camp that month.

“I also think it was the mindset as well so those areas we are going to be working on, with the mental skills we are going to stay there (at the crease) and we want them to be technically sound as well to be able to deliver.”

 

 

 

 

 

After the high of Saturday’s victory over three-time champion Johan Kristofferson, Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell had to settle for third place in today’s (May 2) round of competition at the 2021 RallyX Nordic Supercar competition in Denmark.

Kemar Roach took career-best figures of 8-40 and 10 wickets in the match as Surrey defeated Hampshire by an innings and 289 runs in their English County Cricket match that ended on Friday.

Roach began the match taking 2-40 in Hampshire’s first innings of 92 all out. However, it was Jordan Clarke who did the bulk of the damage taking 6-21. Lewis McManus top-scored with 31 for Hampshire in their innings that lasted just 34.3 overs.

The situation would only become even direr for Hampshire as 215 from Hashim Amla, 131 from Ollie Pope 131 and knocks of 80 and 78 from Jamie Smith and Roy Burns, respectively, propelled Surrey to 560 for 7 declared.

Roach then moved in for the kill.

Getting prodigious swing both ways, the Barbadian took three in eight balls towards the end of his first spell, two in seven in his second, and three in 13 in his third as Hampshire folded for 179 in their second turn at-bat. 

“It was going conventionally, not reversing," Roach said.

"The way I gripped the ball was a little looser today. It was overcast conditions so the ball was going to do something once you put it in the right areas and stayed strong at the crease. The guys worked incredibly well on the ball and the information I got on the field about different batsmen and their weaknesses worked fantastically."

Once again, McManus was Hampshire’s top scorer with 51.

Roach’s 10-80 was also a career-best for the veteran West Indies pace bowler.

Dwayne Bravo has been traded by the Trinbago Knight Riders to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. The 37-year-old Trinidadian requested the trade that will see compatriot Denesh Ramdin move the other way prior to the start of the new season.

Reggae Girlz striker Khadijah Shaw could be making a move to England next season based on reports that she is to sign with Manchester City.

It is the clash the world has been waiting for and it comes May 23 at the Müller Grand Prix in Gateshead, the first Wanda Diamond League meeting this year.

The University of Minnesota’s Abigail Schaaffe emerged from last weekend’s Fighting Illini Big 10 Relays with two gold medals but armed with the knowledge that she has to work on being more consistent before the conference championships in mid-May.

Following his impressive win over 200m at the USATF Grand Prix Oregon Relays at Hayward Field last weekend, Jereem Richards feels his move to Pure Athletics has helped bring the best out of him.

The 27-year-old Trinidad stormed to victory in 20.26s leaving Josephus Lyles (20.46) and Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor (20.73) in his wake.

It was his second win from three 200m starts this season following his victory at the Pure Athletics Spring Invitational in Clermont, Florida on April 4 and a second-place finish at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida on April 16.

On each of those two occasions, he has run faster – 20.37 in Clermont and 20.30 in Gainesville - but his victory on the weekend was even more impressive considering the -1.3m/s wind he was running into.

“I’m very pleased with my performance last weekend. It gives me a lot of confidence going forward and I’m just trying to keep on building on my progress thus far,” he told Sportsmax. TV.

Richards moved from the University of Alabama under coach Blaine Wiley, who was his coach in 2017 when he won 200m bronze at the World Championships in London and then ran a 43-second relay leg as Trinidad and Tobago upset the USA to win the 4x400m gold medal.

He won the 200m Commonwealth Games title in 2018, silver at the Pan Am Games and then gold in the 4x400m relay at the World Relays in Japan in 2019.

However, moving from Alabama to Florida, he said, was down mainly to the impact of the pandemic.

“With the things that are happening in the world and not being able to train sufficiently with regards to COVID-19 and let’s say it gets back bad and we wouldn’t be able to use the facilities in the College (University of Alabama), I didn’t want to take chances and I decided to put myself in a position where, in the event that this happens, I’m somewhere that I will be able to train, somewhere where I have other professional athletes that might be going through the same struggles,” he told the Trinidad Guardian.

At Clermont, he rubs shoulders with the likes of World Champion Noah Lyles and his brother Josephus and several of the world’s elite sprinters. Training with them each day, he said, has allowed him to bring out his best.

“An improvement that I’ve seen since I moved is being around a lot of talented athletes from all around the world which motivates you to always be your best and push you beyond your limits,” he said.

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