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.

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach has signed with County Championship side Surrey for the first seven games of the season.

Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson is among the headliners for the Piranhas Senior Invite that began yesterday and runs until Sunday, March 7.

Atkinson, who will be heading to her fifth Olympics in Tokyo, is the number one seed in both 50 and 100-metre breaststroke as well as the 50 and100-metre butterfly at the meet being hosted by the Plantation swim team.

In addition to Atkinson’s presence, another potential highlight is the anticipated heavyweight clash between Brazilian World Championship 50m freestyle silver medalist, Bruno Fratus, and Suriname’s Central American and Caribbean Games 50m freestyle champion Renzo Tjon A Joe, in the sprint freestyle races.

Other swimmers from the Caribbean region looking to sharpen up for the respective bids for the Tokyo Games include St Lucian Jayhan Odlum Smith, Haiti’s Davidson Vincent and Aruba’s Patrick Groters.

Team Jamaica Bickle (TJB) said it is disappointed but understands the reasons for the cancellation of the 2021 Penn Relays that were set to run off from April 22-24, 2021.

Hearing dates for the consolidated appeals of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and World Athletics against 2019 400m World Champions Salwa Eid Naser have been set for Thursday, April 22 and Friday, April 23, 2021.

Jamaica’s Olympic-bound gymnast Danusia Francis believes her inclusion in Simone Biles’ Gold Over America Tour is another opportunity for her to highlight Jamaica’s gymnastics on an international stage.

In a bizarre game of fluctuating fortunes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in which a bowler took a hat-trick and then got hit it for six sixes in an over, the West Indies battled to a four-wicket win against Sri Lanka with 41 balls to spare.

Chasing a modest total of 132, the West Indies, who took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, started strong as Evin Lewis hit three sixes off the first over bowled by Angelo Matthews that yielded 19 runs.

However, in the fourth over with the home side sailing merrily along at 52 without loss, the match evolved into an even more entertaining spectacle.

Lendl Simmons had hit a six and a four off from the first two balls of the third over bowled by Dushmantha Chameera that yielded 14 runs. At the end of the over West Indies were 48-0 but it was the start of the most bizarre period of play in the match.

It all began with Lewis hitting Akila Dananjaya’s first ball of the fourth over for four as the West Indies raced to 52-0.

Lewis was caught in the deep for 28 off Dananjaya’s second ball, Gayle was trapped lbw first ball before Nicholas Pooran’s wicket completed the hat-trick caught behind off a thin edge. In three balls the West Indies had slipped from 52-0 to 52-3.

Lendl Simmons hit a six and a four before Hasangara de Silva trapped him lbw for 26. The West Indies were then 62 for 4.

There was another dramatic twist in over number six, Dananjaya’s third.

With Captain Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder at the crease and the West Indies still needing 70 runs, Pollard went on the offensive hitting the spinner for six consecutive sixes rushing to 38 from 10 balls.

The match would swing again in the seventh when Hasangara trapped Pollard lbw for 38 and then Fabian Allen for a duck with consecutive balls as both players failed to read the spinner.

Dwayne Bravo, who was unbeaten on four at the end, survived the hat-trick ball and together with Holder, who was 29 not out, produced an unbroken stand of 31 after Holder drove Pradeep for six over long-on to seal the victory.

Hasangara ended with 3-12. Dananjaya’s figures that read 3-17 after two overs ended with 3-62.

Pollard had won the toss and put Sri Lanka into bat. The visitors lost their first wicket at 20 when Pollard diving to his right pulled off a spectacular catch at short midwicket to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka for four and hand debutant Kevin Sinclair his first international wicket.

Niroshan Dickwella (33) and Pathum Nissanka (39) put on 51 for the second wicket but there were no other noteworthy partnerships for the Sri Lankans who crawled to 132 for 9 from their allotment of 20 overs.

Obed McCoy was the best of the West Indies bowlers with 2-25 and there was a wicket each for Jason Holder, Allen, Sinclair, Dwayne Bravo and Fidel Edwards, who bowled tight lines and lengths, hardly giving anything away to the Sri Lankan batsmen.

 

Abigail Schaaffe was a standout once again winning her last 600m for the season in a new personal best time and then ran her fastest ever split on the 4x400m relay team as the University of Minnesota’s women topped the Big 10 Championships at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

After achieving personal best marks in both long and triple jumps at the SEC Championships in Fayetteville last weekend, Tennessee’s Carey McLeod believes his best this season is yet to come as he aims to seal a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

It was all about the comeback for Texas A&M’s Tyra Gittens, who rebounded from a disappointing first day at last week’s SEC Indoor Championships to win two gold medals and consequently, the coveted Cliff Harper Award for scoring the most points.

It was her second hold on the award and the first time an athlete has won it outright since 1997.

In two weeks, she will seek pentathlon redemption at the NCAA National Championships where she intends to break the collegiate record of 4703 points held by Georgia’s Kendall Williams.

“To win the Cliff Harper Award for the second time was definitely a good feeling. After my performance on Thursday, I was definitely down, I was definitely embarrassed, I was definitely upset but it’s all about the comeback. It’s all about how you come back from a terrible performance,” she told Sportsmax.TV.

“We are all human. We are all going to have those days as athletes but I was very proud of myself. This is my first time winning two gold medals at SECs and I was so happy to be able to put up 23 points. It’s reassuring knowing my team can rely on me and I know I can rely on myself to come back from devastating situations.”

Expected to do well in the pentathlon, after scoring a personal best 4612 points at the Texas Tech Invitational on January 29, things could not have gone worse for the 22-year-old Trinidadian in her efforts to defend the title she won in 2020.

The worst of those performances came in the long jump where she only managed to register a mark of 4.11m, well below her season-best of 6.62m.

She was forced to settle for sixth place, her score of 3818 points, a massive 703 shy of the 4501 scored by the newly crowned 2021 champion, Anna Hall of Georgia.

Despondent and embarrassed by her poor showing, Gittens turned to family for refuge.

“After talking to my family and talking to my sister, she played college volleyball, and she said anytime a negative thought would come in she would grab the thought and just throw it away and all of last night (Thursday) that is what I was doing,” she revealed.

“I wouldn’t even let it linger. As soon as I felt some negativity, I just grabbed it and threw it away and it worked because today (Friday) it was only positive and negative Tyra was out of sight.”

It worked.

Within an hour late Friday, Gittens won two gold medals for Texas A&M. First, cleared 1.89m – just shy of her personal best 1.91m - in the high jump to defeat LSU’s Abigail O’Donohogue and avenge her pentathlon loss to Hall, who were second and third, respectively, each having cleared 1.86m.

She then equalled her personal best (6.62m) to win the long jump ahead of LSU’s Aliyah Whisby (6.61m) and Georgia’s Titiana Marsh (6.39m).

“Today (Friday) was all about beating myself because yesterday I let the negative Tyra, the bad Tyra that we don’t like to see, overtake,” said an elated Gittens afterwards.

“I let her win yesterday and today (Friday) I relaxed, I had fun. I did everything that I wanted to do with executing and I cannot be happier. I am exhausted, but I am so proud of myself, and I am very happy.”

The comeback completed, redemption comes next and that will be the point of her focus over the next two weeks.

“These two weeks are going to be very important. I have a lot to work on,” she said. “I am going to use it to train and just get consistent and I am coming for the NCAA record.”

 Shimron Hetmyer and Roston Chase are now available for selection to the West Indies teams after both players passed fitness tests during the past few days, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams announced today.

“We had done a press conference very recently and we had explained that there were some players that had missed the minimum fitness standard for selection, two of those players have since met that standard, that’s Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer,” Adams said earlier today.

“They would now be available for selection for the next selection meeting around the Test matches coming up later in March.”

The players were among four that the West Indies selectors said were not named to the T20 and ODI squads to face Sri Lanka starting March 3 because they had failed fitness tests.

Hetmyer’s omission, especially, caused a bit of a stir regionally, considering that the news of his non-selection came against the backdrop of him scoring a century for the Guyana Jaguars in the semi-final of the CG Insurance Super50 semi-final against the Windward Islands Volcanoes last week Thursday.

During a press conference last Saturday, Adams, in response to questions regarding whether the selectors would consider overlooking Hetmyer’s fitness considering his current form, said that was not likely to happen.

 “The policy asks for a minimum standard in certain aspects of fitness testing.  So on the yo-yo intermittent test, that minimum standard is 40 and for a couple of years we have had selection tied to the achievement of that minimum standard,” Adams said.

“It’s pretty simple and all the players are aware of it.  Failure to get to 40 makes them unavailable for selection. So when the panel sits, the first thing that they will consider, before looking at the teams and the squads they want to put together, is who are the players that are available through achieving that minimum standard.”

Professional Football Jamaica (PFJ) have secured two additional club sponsors and a category sponsor for the upcoming season of the Jamaica Premier League, powered by Digicel.

The club sponsors are Kemtek Development & Construction and ConserveIT Limited, who were both announced at a recent press signing at the Jamaica Pegasus. Also back on board is former title sponsor, Red Stripe, who join the fold as a category sponsor. Red Stripe remains the “official beer of the Jamaica Premier League”.

These recent agreements bring the total number of sponsors to 13 as ConserveIT, Kemtek and Red Stripe join Digicel, SportsMax, Yummy Bakery, JMMB, Jamaica Producers, Indies Pharma, Wata, Tru Shake, Burger King and Mount Pleasant Academy as sponsors.

The Premier League seeks to get underway with applications submitted to the Ministry of Sport and the ODPEM for consideration. The club sponsors will be assigned to their respective clubs prior to the start of the season.

An excited Michail Antonio has begun the process of applying for his Jamaican passport and is eager to represent the country of his parents’ birth, Jamaica Football Federation President Michael Ricketts told Sportsmax.TV this morning.

 The Reggae Boyz are set to face the United States in Austria in an international friendly on March 25, as the team ramps up preparations for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July and the World Cup qualifiers later in the year.

JFF President Michael Ricketts made the announcement during a virtual press conference earlier today.

Due to the current conditions related to the global pandemic, the match will be conducted under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol and will be played without fans at the Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Wiener Neustadt.

Ricketts said the JFF will be attempting to have a camp leading up to the match in Australia. They are to apply to the government for an exemption to the ongoing Covid-19 protocols. If not, they will try to leave for Austria on March 20, so the team will be able to spend a few days preparing in that country.

The meeting between the two teams will be the first since they clashed in the semi-finals of the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup in Nashville, Tennessee on July 3, 2019. The USA won that encounter 3-1 courtesy of two goals from Christian Pulisic and another from Weston McKennie.

Shamar Nicholson netted for Jamaica.

Jamaica had won a previous encounter 1-0 when the teams met in a friendly on June 5, 2019, in Washington D.C.

Since 1988, the teams have met 26 times with the USA holding a 16-3-8 overall record.

Former Reggae Boy Jobi McAnuff has been appointed interim manager of League II club Leyton Orient after the club parted ways with head coach Ross Embleton on the weekend.

Joella Lloyd and Carey McLeod shone brightly for the University at Tennessee at the SEC Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Centre in Arkansas on the weekend.

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