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.

After an absence of a year, the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) will return to the track and field calendar in 2020 as a part of the World Athletics Continental Series.

 However, the meet will carry a silver designation in the World Athletics Continental World Series launched earlier year.

The Continental World Series will replace the World Challenge events as the second tier of competition under the Diamond League, and the four events that have been controversially cut, either partially or completely, from the latter competition for next season will have senior status within the new format.

The four events - triple jump, discus, 200 metres and 3,000m steeplechase - will be part of the core events in the top, or Gold level of the Tour, which will also have Silver and Bronze levels.

The JII meet was first held in 2004 and for eight years was a World Challenge meet, one tier down from the prestigious Diamond League designation. However, in 2019, due largely to financial constraints, the meet was cancelled.

“It is with regret that we inform you that due to budget issues the 2019 staging of the Jamaica International Invitational IAAF World Challenge Meeting has been cancelled,” a statement on the meeting’s website said.

However, Dr Warren Blake, President of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) said then that he was confident the meet would return in 20020. On Friday, he confirmed that the meet would be back.

According to the JII website, the meet is set for May 2, 2020.

 “There will be a meet this year,” said Dr Blake who added that Athletes’ Liaison Donald Quarrie has been assembling a quality field of athletes to participate at the meet.

However, the meet will be taken down a peg, as it will only have a silver designation among the meets that fall under the umbrella of the Continental World Series.

Dr Blake explained that following the debacle that led to the cancellation of the meet in 2019, earlier this year, World Athletics had sought assurances that there would not be a repeat of what occurred in 2019. They demanded a written guarantee that funding would be in place for this year’s meet.

However, the local organisers missed the deadline by a few days, which resulted in the meet missing the gold-level designation now enjoyed by the Racers Grand Prix set to run off in June.

Dr Blake said World Athletics will be reviewing the Continental Series at the end of the season and they are hopeful that the JII will obtain a gold designation going forward.

A press conference to announce details pertaining to the 2020 Jamaica International Invitational is set to be held sometime in March.

 

 

 

 

A world-class cast of athletes including double-Olympic champion Elaine Thompson Herah, world-champion Anderson Peters and fast-rising teen star Briana Williams, have been confirmed for the 2020 edition of the Grenada Invitational that was launched on Wednesday at the Radisson Beach Resort, St. George’s.

A seven-fight Jamaica versus Panama card under the banner of Gloves over Guns programme is scheduled for Saturday, February 29, at the Montego Bay Cricket Club starting at 7:00 pm.

Women’s Cricket in Jamaica got a well-needed boost on Wednesday when the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) announced a multimillion-dollar sponsorship with local firm Pace Electrical Works and Building Contractors.

Rising sprint star Kevona Davis and the ever-impressive Clayton twins – Tia and Tina – were among the star performers as Edwin Allen defended their girls’ title at the annual Central Championships held at the GC Foster College in St. Catherine.

Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson and Chanderpaul Hemraj have been named among the players down to play in the Golden Republic T20 Bash between the Hetmyer Hurricanes and the Rutherford Renegades in celebration of Guyana’s golden anniversary as a republic.

A number of regional cricketers who have played in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) are also set to provide exciting cricket for the cricket-loving nation.

The Hurricanes have picked Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies batsman Lendl Simmons, former West Indies T20 all-rounder Christopher Barnwell as well as West Indies U19 2020 World Cup 2020 players Kevlon Anderson and Ashmead Nedd.

Meanwhile, rookie fast bowler Nial Smith, West Indies opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, West Indies ‘B’ captain Anthony Bramble as well as all-rounders Rayad Emrit, Raymon Reifer and current Jaguars captain Leon Johnson will take the field for the Renegades.

The match is set to begin at 6:00 pm.

At 2 p.m., national champions Regal All-Stars will take on their arch-rivals Ariel Speed Boat in a softball match.

Teams: Hetmyer Hurricanes; Shimron Hetmyer (captain), Trevon Griffith, Lendl Simmons, Raymond Perez, Kevlon Anderson, Kemol Savory, Christopher Barnwell, Ronaldo Ali-Mohamed, Ashmead Nedd, Gudakesh Motie, Nial Smith, Qumar Torrington, Richie Looknauth, Vishal Singh, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (Technical Director), Steven Jacobs (Coach), Akshaya Persaud (Manager) and Neil Barry Jr. (Physiotherapist).

Rutherford Renegades; Sherfane Rutherford (captain), Chandrapaul Hemraj, Jonathan Foo, Anthony Bramble, Leon Johnson, Raymon Reifer, Tevin Imlach, Kevin Sinclair, Rayad Emrit, Quintin Sampson, Joshua Jones, Ramaal Lewis, Keon Joseph, Ricardo Adams, Esuan Crandon (Technical Director), Veerasammy Permaul (Coach), Devendra Bishoo (Manager) and Ernest Campo Gonzalez (Physiotherapist).

Guyana’s Ministry of the Presidency Department of Social Cohesion with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport in collaboration with the Guyana Cricket Board organised the event.

 

Fresh off his new national indoor 400m record set at the Tiger Paw Invitational on Saturday, Kyron McMaster said he will focus on maintaining good health this season and he prepares to match strides with the world’s best at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in July.

Jamaican diver Yona Knight-Wisdom has expressed delight at having won his first-ever Grand Prix medal at the FINA Grand Prix at the Centro de Natación M’86 in Madrid on Saturday.

Jamaica and West Indies pace bowler Oshane Thomas is said to be home resting as he recovers from mild injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Sunday night, and is expected to return to training later this week.

International T20 stars Rayad Emrit and Lendl Simmons have been confirmed for the Golden Republic T20 Bash set for February 21, 2020, at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.

Reggae Boyz striker Darren Mattocks is in hot water as he is facing two felony charges in Pennsylvania, according to media reports from the United States.

The 21st annual KPMG Squash League will kick off on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, with a jam-packed roster as 22 teams do battle for top honours. 

The popular handicap tournament will have close to 90 players in action with ages, gender, experience and skill-levels ranging across the spectrum.  The competition’s unique format will ensure that each player is on a level footing with their opponent, which makes for exciting matches and unpredictable outcomes game by game.

Defending champions, the Adams Family are back in the hunt, fielding the same four-man line-up of Robert Roper, Adam Hugh, Adam Lee and Allan Roper, who got the job done last year.

Similarly, 2019 runners up, the Power Bolts, have kept their roster intact and the team, which includes four junior national squad players; Aman Dhiman, Savannah Thomson, Mia Todd and Dylan Vaz, is determined to take the title this time around.

Also in the mix are multiple-time champions, the Milex Eagles whose star-studded slate includes former Caribbean Junior Champions, Larissa and Akelia Wiltshire, former All Jamaica Junior Champion, Tahjia Lumley as well as Shane Slater, an experienced competitor.  In the same vein, 2018 winners, the ‘Cereal’ Killers, another all-juniors team, are also hoping to return to the winner’s circle.

“The KPMG League is a tournament that the entire squash community looks forward to because the participation cuts across the board and showcases the range of players who compete in the sport,” Chris Hind, President of the Jamaica Squash Association said.

“We are also pleased that this year we have strong representation from our junior players, and this will sharpen their skills for the national and Caribbean championships that are coming up later this year,” he added.

Tarun Handa, Managing Partner for KPMG in Jamaica said, “KPMG has supported this tournament for over 20 years and we continue to be impressed by the way the competition brings out a wide cross-section of players and spectators making it a true community event, and this year should be no different.”

The first phase of the tournament, which will feature a round-robin format is expected to run until the end of March.  The top 8 teams will advance to the knockout stage which will be played in the first half of April.

Guyana Jaguars captain Leon Johnson found a slice of form to steady his side’s batting, after Keron Cottoy and Shane Shillingford hit half-centuries to beef up the Windward Islands Volcanoes first innings total at St. George's, Grenada.

Johnson was 65 not out and shared two successive, significant stands to prop up his side’s batting as the Jaguars closed on 145 for 3 after they had stumbled to 25 for two.

He added 74 for the third wicket with West Indies batsman Shimron Hetmyer, who got 32, and has added 46 – unbroken – with Christopher Barnwell, not out on 28.

Earlier, Cottoy made 56 and Shillingford hit 53 to give proof that there was a sting in the Volcanoes’ tail after they resumed from their overnight total of 212 for six.

Cottoy and Shillingford became the second and third batsmen to score half-centuries in the Volcanoes’ innings after their captain Kavem Hodge scored 53 on an opening day.

After Cottoy fell to left-arm pacer Raymon Reifer, Shillingford added 57 for the eighth wicket with Shermon Lewis to further frustrate the Jaguars.

But Shillingford was one of three wickets – two to Test left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul – that fell for 23 in 42 balls to bring the innings to a close at 318.

Permaul ended with 4-59 from 33.5 overs and West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo finished with 3-73 from 20 overs for the Jaguars.

Test batsman Jermaine Blackwood narrowly missed out on a hundred but anchored Jamaica Scorpions to 33-run,first-innings lead so far against the Leeward Islands in Trelawny on Friday.

Blackwood hit the top score of 98 and the Scorpions batted consistently down the order to finish the day with a tidy advantage as the Scorpions closed on 260 for 6.

Blackwood shared stands of 52 with Paul Palmer for the third wicket and 58 with Oraine Williams for the fifth wicket to power the Scorpions’ innings.

Several others got starts, but they failed to carry on – Grenadian wicketkeeper/batsman Denis Smith, one of the Scorpions draft imports, was not out on 36; West Indies left-handed opener John Campbell, the Scorpions captain, made 35; Williams got 30 and Palmer added 21.

 West Indies off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall was the pick of the Hurricanes bowlers, taking 3-72 from 28 overs, and pacer Sheno Berridge captured 2-47 from 10 overs.

 Earlier, Hurricanes resumed from their overnight total of 215 for nine and were bowled out inside the first hour.

 Pacer Nicholson Gordon took the last wicket of Berridge for one and finished with 2-54 from 20.4 overs.

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