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.

With a personal best of 9.86 in the 100m, Keston Bledman is arguably one of the most-talented sprinters ever to come out of Trinidad and Tobago.  His talent was evident from very early on when he won a bronze medal in the 100m at the World U18 Championships in Marrakech in 2005.

Oliver Kahn is one of the most successful German players in recent history, having won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Cup in 1996, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup, both achieved in 2001.

Regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, his individual contributions have earned him a record four consecutive UEFA Best European Goalkeeper awards, as well as three IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper awards, and two German Footballer of the Year trophies.

At the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Kahn, who had 86 caps for Germany, became the only goalkeeper in the tournament's history to win the Golden Ball. He placed fifth in both the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper of the 21st Century and Best Goalkeeper of the Past 25 Years elections.

From 1994 to 2006, Kahn was a member of the German national team, in which he played as a starter after the retirement of Andreas Köpke.

In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, although Germany was not among the tournament favourites, Kahn's prowess in goal was key to the team reaching the final, where Germany lost 0–2 to Brazil, featuring Kahn's only mistake of the tournament. Still, Kahn's performances were strong enough for the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament.

To vote for Oliver Khan to be part of SportsMax's Ultimate XI, visit SportsMax's Ultimate XI page and watch the SportsMax Zone as Brent Sancho, Warren Barrett, and Juan G Arango take a look at your picks. The SportsMax Zone airs on SportsMax at 4:30 pm Jamaica time/5:30pm Eastern Caribbean time with a repeat on SportsMax 2 at 6 pm Jamaica time/7 pm Eastern Caribbean time.

 

Full name: Oliver Rolf Kahn

Date of birth: 15 June 1969 (age 50)

Place of birth: Karlsruhe, West Germany

Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

Playing position: Goalkeeper

Club Honours

Karlsruher SC II

Oberliga Baden-Württemberg: 1989–90

Verbandsliga Nordbaden: 1988–89

Bayern Munich

Bundesliga (8): 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08

DFB-Pokal (6): 1997–98, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08

DFB-Ligapokal (5): 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2007

UEFA Champions League: 2000–01

UEFA Cup: 1995–96

Intercontinental Cup: 2001

International Honours

UEFA European Championship: 1996

FIFA Confederations Cup Third place: 2005

FIFA World Cup Second place: 2002

FIFA World Cup Third place: 2006

Individual

Best Bundesliga Keeper: 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

Kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season: 1996–97, 2001–02[105][106]

IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper: 1999, 2001, 2002

Best European Goalkeeper: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

UEFA Club Football Awards – Best Goalkeeper: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002

ESM Team of the Year: 1999–2000, 2000–01

UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 2001

German Footballer of the Year: 2000, 2001

Ballon d'Or – Third place: 2001, 2002

UEFA Fair-Play Award: 2001

FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2002

FIFA World Cup Yashin Award: 2002

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002

FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver award: 2002

FIFA 100

Golden Foot: 2017, as football legend

The world knew Gordon Banks as the man who stopped a header from Pele in the 1970 World Cup, but he was so much more than that.

Daren Sammy will return as captain of the St. Lucia Zouks for the 2020 season.

Nicknamed the Black Spider or the Black Panther, Lev Yashin is considered by many to be the best goalkeeper that has ever lived.

Despite standing at 6' 2", Yashin was an imposing figure, revolutionising the role of the goalkeeper with his athleticism, positioning in goal and his bravery.

He was also a vocal presence in goal, shouting orders at his defenders and rushing off his line to intercept crosses and onrushing attackers, stark differences in a time when goaltenders were keen to stay on their lines until they were called into action.

Yashin came to global prominence with standout performances at the 1958 World Cup where he also earned his name, the Black Spider because he was dressed head to toe in a dark blue kit that appeared black.

Yashin, who made 74 appearances for Russia, played in four World Cups – ’58, ‘62’ ’66 and 1970. During an impeccable career, he saved more than 150 penalty kicks in professional football, more than any other 'keeper in history and kept more than 270 clean sheets. Four of those clean sheets came in the 12 World Cup matches in which he played.

In the 1970 World Cup, he was the third-string goalkeeper and an assistant coach for the Russian team.

Yashin was in goal when Russia won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics football tournament and the 1960 European championships. Three years later he won the coveted Ballon d’Or, the only goalkeeper ever to win the award.

He was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or in 1961.

In 1994, Yashin was chosen for the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, and in 1998 was chosen as a member of the World Team of the 20th Century.

He spent his entire professional football career with Dynamo Moscow, from 1950 to 1970, winning the USSR football championship five times and the Soviet Cup three times in 326 appearances.

Yashin, who was born on October 22, 1929, died on March 20, 1990, at the age of 60.

To vote for Lev Yashin to be part of SportsMax's Ultimate XI, visit SportsMax's Ultimate XI page and watch the SportsMax Zone as Brent Sancho, Warren Barret, and Juan G Arango take a look at your picks. The SportsMax Zone airs on SportsMax at 4:30 pm Jamaica time/5:30pm Eastern Caribbean time with a repeat on SportsMax 2 at 6 pm Jamaica time/7 pm Eastern Caribbean time.

 

Full name: Lev Ivanovich Yashin

Date of birth: 22 October 1929

Place of birth: Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Date of death: 20 March 1990 (aged 60)

Place of death: Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Height: 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]

Position: Goalkeeper

Club career

1950–1970 Dynamo Moscow 326 games      

International career

1954–1967 Soviet Union 74 games         

Honours

1956 Olympic Games Gold medal

1960 UEFA European Championship Winner

1964 UEFA European Championship Runner-up 1964 Spain

 

 

Danielle Williams, the 2019 World Championship bronze medallist, says she is humbled that she will be enshrined into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class.

Amidst money worries and their ongoing dispute with FIFA, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association now has to contend with a demand from former coach Russell Latapy who says the TTFA has owed him money for years and he needs to be paid immediately.

Last week I looked at the trends linking timespans between the great eras of Jamaican male sprinting.

Meanwhile, the island’s women were more consistent but, alas, to the Jamaican public, sprinting success only seems to matter when the men do well.

When Jamaica’s men have struggled to win medals, their women – Merlene Ottey, Juliet Cuthbert, Sandie Richards, Merlene Fraser, Juliet Campbell, Beverley McDonald, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, kept the country’s flag flying by winning medals.

However, these days I worry about what I believe is happening with a lot of Jamaica’s emerging male and female sprinters who seem unable to navigate the gap between their amateur status and the professional ranks.

There are several reasons why I believe this is happening, injury being one of the major factors, but today I will focus on what I believe to be another.

It was the 18thcentury American political activist Thomas Paine who said:

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble that can gather strength from distress and grow.”

It is a lesson many Jamaican youngsters would do well to learn.

After Usain Bolt blew up in 2008 with three gold medals and three world records in Beijing, many aspiring young athletes were inspired to be like him. They were coming out of the woodwork by the dozens. High-school track and field coaches experienced a boon in talent as they had never experienced before.

Along with the emergence of new talent came global sponsors seeking to snap up the next star early and cheaply.

After all, Bolt was signed early and cheaply by his sponsors who benefitted greatly as he rocketed to stardom. This came on the heels of a period of uncertainty when it seemed as if he was going to be yet another casualty of a system that many argue asks too much too soon of our high-school athletes.

However, when Bolt and company stunned the Commonwealth in 2006 in Melbourne and then the world two years later, there seemed to be a mad rush on to sign any child in the Jamaican high school system that displayed a modicum of talent.

Kids were signing contracts left, right and centre and 12 years later, it is almost embarrassing to see how few have successfully transitioned to the senior ranks.

Mind you, there are good and bad sides to what was happening.

On the good side, a few Jamaican kids from humble backgrounds were able to secure small contracts that allowed them to ‘eat’ and maintain a fairly decent lifestyle as they prepared to launch into professional track and field.

When you have nothing and someone offers you something more, it is easy to lose perspective. A few kids and their families were able to secure homes, a nice car, and a little money in the bank.

However, in too many instances all this seemed to do was take away the hunger that is oftentimes necessary to keep athletes focused on what the real goal is. Yes, a few thousand US dollars can make life better but imagine what could be, if you actually won something or became the best in the world.

Alas, for too many kids, the morsel seemed to be enough.

I remember attending the signing ceremony of a particular youngster who had promised so much during his years in high school. I believe the value of the contract was somewhere in the six figures, a life-changing amount of money for someone who before had relatively very little.

I was truly happy for the youngster. However, months later all I saw from the athlete was the purchase of a shiny new car and a frequency on the club circuit in New Kingston. Meanwhile, performances on the track progressively got worse.

Unfortunately, this has become the norm for too many.

Putting the carrot before the horse can be a good thing. However, giving the horse the carrot before the journey has even begun can have disastrous consequences.

As Paine suggests, working hard and making sacrifices tend to make any reward a lot more meaningful. You are less likely to take that reward for granted. However, when fortune literally falls into your lap when you have accomplished nothing, it can make you feel a bit entitled.

I think Michael Frater, the 2005 World 100m silver medallist, a man who has run the 100m dash in 9.88 seconds, was onto something when he spoke to the media recently about why some of Jamaica’s youngsters are failing to make the grade.

“They feel like it's a sense of entitlement where they feel they are just going out there and other athletes are going to roll over and let them win, and that's not the case,” Frater said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

“They weren't hungry enough to go out there and get it. You have to go out and fight for what you want.”

It is hard to fight for what you want when things come too easy. Too many of these kids now believe all they have to do is run fast in high school and things will come easy after. That only happens for a few.

People see Bolt and his success, the flashy cars and the lavish lifestyle and forget how he got there. It took four years of blood, sweat and tears, disappointment and getting his butt handed to him on the track before he finally realised what was required to be the best in the world.

The lesson seems to have fallen onto deaf ears.

Many would do well to learn that lesson… or to borrow a Jamaican phrase, “If yuh waah good, yuh nose haffi run.”

 

 

Jamaica’s 400m hurdler Dinsdale Morgan is to be inducted into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 Class.

Lawyers representing William Wallace and his executive have threatened legal action against First Citizens Bank in Port of Spain should they find that the bank has changed signatories to the accounts of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) without the required authorisation.

William Wallace, the ousted president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has written to the Dr Keith Rowley government expressing concern over its negotiations with the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee about the use of the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva as a facility to host COVID-19 patients.

Wallace and his executive are locked in a dispute with FIFA over the appointment of the normalization committee that football’s world governing body named in late March. The matter is before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

However, while he supports the use of the stadium as a holding facility, Wallace said he is the person the government should be discussing such issues with, as the normalization committee has no legal standing to do so. He also suggested the possibility of the committee profiting from the use of the stadium during a national crisis.

“I note with some concern reports in the media that the government has apparently entered into discussions with the Normalisation Committee led by Mr Robert Hadad, who was purportedly appointed by FIFA, in respect of the use of the Home of Football in Balmain, Couva,” Wallace wrote on official TTFA letterhead on Thursday.

“This Committee has no legal or other standing in Trinidad and Tobago. As you are aware, the TTFA was formed by an act of Parliament(Act 17 of 1982) and is to be governed by its Constitution. The Constitution of the TTFA places the responsibility for negotiating and entering into any contracts or agreements on the President of the TTFA, a post I have held since the 24th November 2019.”

 

For the West Indies to be a consistently competitive force in world cricket, it has to revive the culture that helped create the juggernaut that dominated world cricket for 15 years, says former captain Sir Richie Richardson.

Danielle Williams, the 2015 World 100m hurdles champion and 2019 bronze medallist will be enshrined in the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame as the Class of 2020.

Andre Russell might be Wisden’s 2019 T20 Cricketer of the Year but the power-hitting Jamaica has no intention of resting on his laurels.

Sam Clayton Jr., who was a member of the Jamaican bobsled team in the early days of the programme leading up to the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, died on March 31 in Kingston after being infected by COVID-19.

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