Four-time 100-metre world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser is among six women nominated for the prestigious Laureus Sportswoman of the Year.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has been unable to take part in training with Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen due to an unspecified muscular problem.

The 22-year-old winger has been plagued with injury issues for the last several months. After suffering a hamstring injury towards the end of last season, Bailey sat out of a full month of action early this season after suffering a thigh muscle injury during the Champions League.

After returning in November, the player again had a brief spell on the sideline.  The player’s latest minor set-back will not impact his chances of appearing for the club as the club resumes the Bundesliga campaign against Paderborn on the weekend. 

Bailey is currently serving a three-match after being sent off against FC Koln.  The card was the player’s second of the season after also picking one against Borussia Mönchengladbach earlier this season.  The player was also fined €20,000.  The dismissals were the first of the player’s career.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has insisted he is ready to move on from a tumultuous start to the season, which saw the player pick up two red cards in five appearances.

The 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger was given his marching orders in matches against FC Koln and Borussia Mönchengladbach, a strange position for him to find himself in as they were the first of his career.

 Against Koln, where Bailey was given a red card for pushing his hand into the face of Kingsley Ehzibue, he was asked to apologize to the team by captain Lars Bender.  The Jamaican insists the request was completely understandable.

“Of course I had to apologize to the team for that. That was also important to me,” Bailey said in an interview with RP Online.

“We are a unit and the team should understand how I see the situation and that it was very tough for me. I regret what happened. It was a mistake - especially in the game in Cologne that was so important to the fans, but it was never a bad intention behind it. It was just some very bad reactions from me. But now everything is fine again. In the second half of the season, I want to be more relaxed and, above all, more efficient on the pitch so that we can achieve our goals,” he added.

After a troubling several months that have seen the player plagued by injury and inconsistent form, Bailey has attributed the increased aggressiveness to high levels of motivation.

“It is relatively easy for me to stay cool - no matter how much I am provoked by an opponent. But last season I had a lot of ups and downs and some injuries. It also affected my head and my psyche. That's why I was over-motivated in the first half of the season in the two situations and much too aggressive.”

 

Antigua and Barbuda football technical director Rolston Williams has stuck to his guns despite heavy criticism following his insistence that locally-based players were not good enough to match the region’s best teams.

Williams stoked the flames of discontent recently, following claims that the country would have to turn to its internationally based players if it is to compete with the likes of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Grenada.

“I don’t care who bash and who make their negative comments, I am dealing with the reality because you’re looking at teams like Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada who [have] gone to the Gold Cup with 15 overseas players. Suriname brought in the same amount so why are being naïve to say that we can make it on our own when we know it’s difficult?” Williams told the Good Morning Jojo Show.

The Benna Boys recently missed out on qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Jamaica.  On that occasion, the team had featured a number of locally-based players.

“We had the Barracuda [professional team] that were playing 20 games in a season. The players came home and they were playing 18, so that’s 38 games they played in one year, and that’s the same amount of games the English Premier League is playing; but still, we brought in players,” he said.

“Now, we don’t have any Barracuda so the players are only playing amateur football. So why can we do it on our own now and when we had better players and more seasonal players, we did not think we could do it on our own? We still brought in players, but all of a sudden we can do it on our own with all amateur players,” he added.

 

 

He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart.

"That's all?" LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief.

No, that's not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called "King" spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down.

 James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

"You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences," James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. "A decade ago, I just turned 25. I'm about to be 35 and I'm just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life."

Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history's most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth.

Jamaica international and rising Bundesliga star Leon Bailey has been cautioned about his poor disciplinary record so far this season by his agent and guardian Craig Butler.

The 22-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger has received two red cards in five appearances so far.  The dismissals, which came against FC Koln and Borussia Mönchengladbach were the first of his career. 

The player’s latest infringement, which occurred against Koln, was pushing his hand into the face of Kingsley Ehzibue.  Bailey has, as a result, been suspended for three Bundesliga games and handed a fine of €20,000. Butler has insisted the player’s recent trend is one that cannot continue.

"Of course, I talked to Leon about his red cards again,” Butler told Bild.

"Leon has to understand that defenders want to stop and provoke fast players,” he added.

“I told him that I would not come back to the stadium if it happened to him again.  It will be interesting to see whether this threat actually bears fruit.”

Bailey, who has scored three goals and claimed one man-of-the-match award so far this season, will miss the start of the second half of the season against Paderborn in two weeks time.

With the Olympics in Tokyo just months away, Japan has ramped up their preparations and showed their might on Saturday with a comprehensive 9-0 thrashing of Jamaica’s Young Reggae Boyz at the Transcosmos Stadium in Nagasaki.

The under 22s from Jamaica were no match for their hosts, who are also preparing for the Asian Cup next month, a competition which also acts as a qualifier for Tokyo.

Though Japan has already booked their place in Tokyo by virtue of being the hosts, they would still like to do well in the Asian Cup and have laid down a marker for their rivals.

Japan will be in Group B of the Under-23 Asian Cup, where they will first take on Saudi Arabia on January 9, 2020, before turning their attention to  Syria on the 12th.

Qatar is next for the Japan side before what they will hope are quarterfinal match-ups. There are four groups with the top two from each making the quarterfinal.

Reggae Boyz coach Theodore Whitmore was the man in charge of the under-22s, saying the encounter would have given him the chance to take a look at some of the emerging talent from the country with a bid to fitting them into senior World Cup qualification games.

Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson has been named the 2019 Swammy Awards CAC Female Athlete of the Year.

 Jamaica had a creditable showing at the Men’s World Team Squash Championships finishing 18th out of 23 as the tournament concluded over the weekend in Washington DC in the United States.

Competing against the best players on the planet, the Jamaican Team, which included 9-time national and regional champion, Chris Binnie, Lewis Walters, Bruce Burrowes and Tahjia Lumley, improved on the country’s performance in the previous championships in 2017 when the team finished 21st.

The week-long campaign got off to a challenging start with 3-0 losses to Hong Kong, the number 6th ranked team and Australia, who were seeded at 7; as well as a 2-1 defeat at the hands of rising global stars, Kuwait.  The results landed Jamaica in the playoff for places 13 to 23.

The playoff round brought brighter moments with the highlights being a surprise 2-0 win over South American stalwarts, Colombia and a 2-1 victory against Singapore.  However, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the US and a 2-0 loss to Ireland landed Jamaica in 18th place overall.

“We are extremely proud of our performance at the World Team Championships, we improved on our position from the last tournament, two years ago, we finished ahead of higher-ranked teams like South Africa and a powerhouse like Colombia who we actually beat in the playoffs,” said the Jamaica Squash Association’s President, Chris Hind.

“We are extremely proud of our performance at the World Team Championships, we improved on our position from the last tournament, two years ago, we finished ahead of higher-ranked teams like South Africa and a powerhouse like Colombia who we actually beat in the playoffs.

“There were great wins along the way from our number one and two players; Chris Binnie and Lewis Walters and there was a hard fight from our other players Bruce Burrowes and Tahjia Lumley and it’s onwards and upwards for Jamaican squash in 2020.”

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls will end 2019 as the number-four ranked netball in the world.

The awards keep rolling in for 2019 World 100-metre champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says she is targeting dipping under 22 seconds for the 200m next season as she eyes the sprint double at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Twenty local coaches are benefitting from a Cricket West Indies (CWI) Level 2 Coaching Course delivered with the assistance of tutors from University of the West Indies and the governing body’s recently appointed Coaching Education Manager – Chris Brabazon.

 The course that began on December 12 and concludes on December 16, is being delivered at Sabina Park and also incorporated the services of two CWI Cricket Specialists, Jamaicans Phillip Service and David Bernard Jr. Prior execution in Jamaica it was delivered in Barbados, Guyana and the Windward Islands.

 “This course is part of the CWI’s ‘cricket-first’ strategy which is aimed at improving the human capital in the which supports talent development at all levels. This coaching education focus is done for the foundation through to Level 3. We are building capacity in different areas so that we can develop quality players and winning teams,” said CWI Director and Jamaica Cricket Association President Wilford “Billy” Heaven.

 “The Cricket Education Manager will add to the process a focus on the methodology used by the coaches. The pedagogy of any subject is quite important. All our players don’t learn the same way and that is being taken into consideration.”

 Meanwhile, the CWI Cricket Education Manager Chris Barbazon believes that coaching in the region is trending in the right direction but the region is behind in this regard.

 “Other countries are more advanced in terms of their accreditation systems already being in place. Once the system is in place then more workshops and seminars can be done to build more on what is learned during a course. It allows for greater focus to be placed on getting coaches to the top levels over shorter periods than currently exist,” he said.

 “I’m enthused by the positive attitude of the coaches. The next step is to take a look at all the Level 2 coaches across the region and organize a Level 3 course over the next 8-12 months. Thereafter we will seek to strengthen the various cohorts and better the franchise coaches and so on.”.

 UWI Tutor Ryerson Bahgoo noted that Level 2 focuses on identifying a player’s strengths and weakness and with the intention to reinforce and strengthen. The Level 2 course uses a more cooperative approach to coaching through observation and implicit learning using cricket drills. Coaches who have successfully completed the level 2 certification may coach in senior clubs and secondary schools that play competitive cricket.

 

Patrick Cover of the USA won the 52nd Alacran Jamaica Open on Saturday, posting a five-under-par 67 and a three-day score of 12- for the tournament held at Tryall Golf Club in Hanover for the first time. 

A Level 2 coaching course which begins on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica signals the start of the tenure of Chris Brabazon as Coach Education Manager, a new role created as part of CWI’s strategy to strengthen and invest in the development of coaching talent within the region. Chris has immediately travelled to Jamaica to observe the delivery of the Level 2 course.

Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, welcomed Brabazon to CWI and highlighted the selection of Brabazon to the position.

“I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Caribbean where he will be taking up the role of CWI’s first full-time Coach Education Manager.  His appointment is a critical feature of our strategic plan to produce world-class players and winning teams through the development of West Indian coaches,” Adams said.

“Chris brings a wealth of experience having held a similar role of Coach Development Manager in Western Australia for the past six years.

“He has worked at every level of the Cricket Australia coaching development pathway, from grassroots to international level, and is well-placed to drive CWI’s objective of developing our coach education programs.  I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant role in advancing our regional game and am very excited to be working with him on improving coaching standards throughout the Caribbean.”

Speaking on his appointment, Brabazon was delighted to join the legacy of West Indies Cricket.

“I am incredibly excited to join the team at CWI. In particular, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the coaches and coach developers throughout the Caribbean to ensure that all local players have access to inspirational learning environments that fosters their love of cricket.”

Brabazon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, with over twelve (12) years’ experience specifically in cricket. He has functioned in coaching and talent development, as well as cricket management and accounting in his native Australia.

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