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.

Left-hander Vishaul Singh kept five-time defending champions and current leaders Guyana Jaguars afloat on Saturday with a purposeful, unbeaten half-century against hosts and long-standing rivals Barbados Pride, who led by 180 on first innings.

A maiden hundred from rookie tail-ender Terrance Hinds combined with a destructive spell from left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein put hosts Trinidad & Tobago on the brink of victory over Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship on Saturday.

Briana Williams has gone pro!

The 17-year-old Jamaican, who had an outstanding year in 2019, has signed a multi-year contract with Nike. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Recognized as one of the rising stars in track and field having won the sprint double at the World U20 Championships in Tampere in 2018, Williams was courted by a number of shoe companies with PUMA and Nike being the frontrunners.

Nike eventually won the right to the signature of the talented teen, whose coach Ato Boldon confirmed the signing to Sportsmax.TV.

“Briana has had people dedicated to her abilities for many years. Even before me, Coach Tennessee and Coach Damion Thomas, have done right by her,” Boldon said.

“I was just handed the baton for this leg of the race, but I’ve been around this industry a long time and for a company like Nike, who can back anyone, to put this level of support behind Briana, makes all of the work over the last five years, worth it. She is extremely blessed and fortunate to be where she is at just 17.”

Williams, who turns 18 in March, said the Nike deal has provided a platform for her to chase her dreams.

“I’m extremely proud. I have come a long way. This is a big deal for me because I’m young but I’m ready to show the world what I am capable of,” said Williams who now belongs to the group (HSI) that includes indoor 400m WR holder Mike Norman and world champions Christian Coleman and Dalilah Muhammad.

“I’m glad that Nike gave me this opportunity. It means the world to me as a girl with big dreams.”

The year 2019 was a big year for Williams. She won the 100m at the NACAC U18 Championships in Mexico and the Pan Am U20 Championships in Costa Rica during the year in which she ran unbeaten at the junior level.

She also won the Austin Sealy Award at the CARIFTA Games for the second year running after winning three gold medals, duplicating her achievements in 2018. In June, she set a Jamaican junior record of 11.02s in New Mexico.

Track & Field News, considered the bible of the sport, recognized her stellar year by naming her their High School Athlete of the Year for 2019.

The prodigious teen suffered a setback during the year when she returned an adverse finding for a banned diuretic found in her urine sample at the Jamaican National Championships in June where she finished third in the 100m behind two-time Olympic champions Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

As such, her time of 10.94s, which would have been a U18 world record and a national junior record for Jamaica, was subsequently struck from the record books.

Following a hearing before an Independent Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel in September, Williams was reprimanded but was free to compete. However, due to how late the verdict came, her chances of competing at the 2019 World Championships in Doha were effectively dashed.

West Indies U19 Head Coach, Graeme West is backing the young team to show the qualities they have developed in the last year, when they bowl off their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign against three-time tournament winners Australia in Zone B at the De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Saturday, January 18.

The team is gaining confidence after wins in the two warm-up games against Canada and Scotland. All 15 players are fit and available for selection as the team begins their preparations for the opening group game against Australia.

West provided a detailed account of the team’s work as they prepare to start the ICC U19 World Cup which West Indies famously won in 2016.

“The two warm-up games were certainly competitive and provided all squad members with opportunities to demonstrate their skills and show that they had made the necessary adjustments to the conditions and wickets to be effective,” said West.

“The Scotland performance was an improvement on the Canada game when Nyeem Young and Antonio Morris batted superbly to turn the game around.

“The bowling unit was slightly below par against Canada given how well they have performed since the Tri-Series in December, but on Wednesday against Scotland we were far more controlled and disciplined.”

West said the most pleasing aspect of the Scotland game was the contribution from the top four batters, who needed time in the middle.

“Kevlon Anderson’s hundred was well-paced as he mixed good strike rotation with some power hitting. Captain Kimani Melius and Leonardo Julien set the tempo for the innings with run-a-ball half-centuries on a wicked that was well suited to their stroke play and positive intent,” West said.

“We are well aware of the quality Australia and England possess  and both games will provide great opportunities for our players to demonstrate the learning that has taken place over the last year, we know we will have to produce a perfect performance to beat both sides.”

He urged the West Indies fans to support the young team as they seek to emulate the title-winning class of 2016.

 “They know the importance of the tournament and the stage they are about to perform on and we would love to have everyone supporting and following us. The boys will be doing everything they can to make their friends, families and all the Windies Cricket fans proud,” he said.

 

The statue of former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell will be unveiled at the National Stadium on Sunday, February 9 at 4:00 pm.

Half-centuries of Kavem Hodge and Devon Smith have put the Windward Islands Volcanoes in a strong position of 314 for 5 at stumps at Sabina Park on day one of the Regional Four-Day Championships.

Odean Smith was the chief destroyer as the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force gained the early ascendancy on the first day of their second-round regional-four day match against the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Tarouba on Thursday.

Jamaican defender Chantelle Swaby said she was very excited to be drafted by the Sky Blue FC during Thursday’s National Women Soccer League College Draft.

Reggae Girlz captain Konya Plummer was on Thursday drafted by the Orlando Pride in the 2020 National Women’s League Soccer College Draft.

She is the first-ever Jamaican-born player to be selected in the NWSL draft.

Plummer, 22, led the Reggae Girlz during their inaugural FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign in France last summer while a student of the University of Central Florida.

She was the 10th overall pick and the first in the second round of the draft held at the Baltimore Convention Centre on Thursday morning.

“I am very humbled for this moment,” she told Sportsmax.TV moments after her historic selection.

“I feel like this will impact the younger kids in Jamaica to show that if they work hard they can achieve what they want.”

Her sentiments were echoed by former reggae Girlz Assistant Coach Andrew Price.

“It does a world of good for the national programme, especially with Konya being the national senior captain,” he said.

“It will inspire young girls to understand that with hard work and perseverance they can achieve anything.”

Plummer is a former student of Titchfield High School. She represented Jamaica at the junior level before joining the national senior programme just over four years ago.

She led the team through the World Cup qualifying stages in 2018, eventually helping the team secure a World Cup spot in October when the Reggae Girlz defeated Panama on penalties to secure the third and final spot during the CONCACAF qualifiers in Texas in the United States.

In 2019, her final year in college, she was American Athletic Conference Defensive of the Year, earned AAC Defensive Player of the Week twice and earned first selection to the First Team All-Conference.

St Mary High School will be aiming to defend the boys and girls titles when the Northern Championships track and field meet gets underway at Grizzlys Plantation Grove in Priory, St. Ann on Saturday, January 25.

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

Nkrumah Bonner, Jamie Merchant and Oraine Williams have been recalled to the Jamaica Scorpions squad for their second-round CWI 4-Day PCL match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at Sabina Park starting on Thursday.

Alia Atkinson won a bronze medal time in the 100m breaststroke at the FINA Champions Series on Tuesday, following up in the bronze she won in the 50m breaststroke on Monday.

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