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.

Jamaica has selected a 20-man squad devoid of its European-based players for an international friendly against Cameroon at the Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidja in Cameroon on Saturday, November 9.

The local-based members of the delegation are scheduled to leave Thursday from the Sangster International Airport.

Because the match falls outside the FIFA-approved international window, the squad is comprised of players from Jamaica’s local premier league with the rest coming from the American soccer leagues.

According to the JFF, Kemar Lawrence’s availability is yet to be confirmed but he has been named in the squad regardless as there are efforts being made to ensure that he is available.

The full squad is Alwayne Harvey – Mount Pleasant, Colorado Murray – Harbour View FC, Damion Lowe – Inter Miami, Demario Phillips – Mount Pleasant, Devon Williams – Miami FC, Dwayne Atkinson – Cavalier SC, Jahmali Waite – Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Jamoi Topey – Mount Pleasant, Javain Brown – Vancouver Whitecaps, Jourdain Fletcher – NEROCA FC, Kevon Lambert – Phoenix Rising, Lamar Walker – Miami FC, Maliek Howell – Memphis Tigers, Ricardo Thomas – Dunbeholden FC, Richard King – Cavalier SC, Kemar Foster – Waterhouse FC, Kemar Lawrence – Minnesota FC, Peter McGregor – Dunbeholden, Justin McMaster – Minnesota FC, Trivante Stewart – Mount Pleasant.

The number 64-ranked Reggae Boyz heads into this maiden encounter against the Indomitable Lions having one win, two draws and three losses in the last six matches, the last of which was a 3-0 loss to Argentina on September 28.

Cameroon, meanwhile, has a similar record from their last six matches. They lost their last match on September 27, 1-0 to South Korea.

 

Alick Athanaze scored his second ton in as many games as the Windward Islands Volcanoes scored a 50-run (D/L) victory over the Combined Colleges and Campuses during the CG Insurance Super50 competition that resumed in Antigua on Wednesday.

Athanaze scored 140 and shared in a second-wicket partnership of 208 with Kavem Hodge(106 not out)  after the Windward Islands Volcanoes had lost the wicket of Johnson Charles for nine with 26 runs on the board.

Athanaze was eventually dismissed in the 42nd  following a stay of 129 deliveries during which he hit 16 fours and three sixes.

Three wickets fell for 18 runs as the Windwards lost Shadrack Descarte for one and Sunil Ambris for five to slip to 252-4 in the 46th over.

However, Hodge, whose runs came from 131 balls and included four fours and two sixes, and Andre Fletcher who smashed two sixes in a 19-ball 30, plundered the bowling for 48 from 29 balls as the Windwards raced to 300-4 from their 50 overs.

Amari Goodridge was the best of the Combined Colleges and Campuses bowlers with 2-56 from seven overs. Michail Powell took 1-45.

With the weather intervening, CCC were required to score 160 for victory but it proved a tall ask.

Demario Richards (24), Kirsten Kallicharan (23) both got starts but failed to capitalize as the CCC slipped to 39-2 in the seventh over.

Kallicharan and Johnathan Drakes put on a painstaking 41 in 53 balls falling further behind the required run rate with each passing over.

Denesh Ramdin was unbeaten on 21 at the end as the CCC ran out of balls and out of time.

There was a wicket each for Preston McSween, Hodge, Justin Greaves, who was the pick of the bowlers with 1-21 and Larry Edward who took 1-22.

 

Fraser McConnell believes his dominating performance in the Nitro Rallycross fourth leg in Los Angeles on the weekend, is an indication of how much he has grown in the sport. However, he said he has no plans to be complacent now that he has won his first meet.

The 24-year-old Jamaican won his Group E heat on Saturday at the Glen Helen Raceway and then took his first-ever win on Sunday. In doing so, he defeated his more seasoned rivals Robin Larsson, Andreas Bakkerud and Oliver Bennett.

So impressive was his dominance on the weekend that some pundits have begun to see him as a near-future champion.

He told Sportsmax.TV that a lot of hard work has gone into him making progress this season.

“I have made a step forward. I have been working towards that and I knew we always had it in us to have the result come to fruition but it’s easier said than done,” he said.

“For everything to come together on the weekend just like that is really special. We won every single race and were by far the fastest out there the whole weekend, so I am very pleased to be able to represent Jamaica on that level with that level of dominance.”

He warned that now that he has won his first-ever Group E meet, means that he is going to be resting on his laurels.

“The key is to grow and keep going forward, not get complacent and keep working towards even better results,” said McConnell, who arrived home in Jamaica on Tuesday night telling local media that it was great to break through on the circuit at Glen Helen. (See video below)

“It’s a good feeling. We have been scratching at the door for a long time and had our foot in close enough a lot of the time but we never got to seal the deal and stand on the top step but to do it twice this weekend with the top qualifier and the P1 in the final was a great feeling and we are going to aim to do this more often and keep winning some of these,” he said, nodding toward the trophy he was holding.

 

Head coach of Jamaica Rugby League World Cup team Romeo Monteith said he is “good” with how the team performed at the World Cup in Birmingham, England notwithstanding the Reggae Warriors’ three lop-sided losses in the competition.

Playing in their very first Rugby League World Cup, Jamaica were beaten 48-2 by Ireland on October 16 and 68-6 by New Zealand on October 22. They concluded their maiden world cup appearance with a 74-12 drubbing at the hands of Lebanon.

Monteith, however, remains optimistic about the team’s progress and believes the team will continue to get better as it begins preparations for the next qualification process in November 2023.

Overall I’m good with the team’s performance,” he told Sportsmax.TV.

“As a coaching staff, we spoke to the players about effort and I think in each game there was plenty effort from us as a collective. Of course, the results didn’t go our way and we wanted to put more points on the board and get a win or two.”

The reality, Monteith explained, is that Jamaica’s Rugby League development is still in its infancy and it will take time and resources to bridge the gap between the Reggae Warriors and the best teams in the world.

“At the end of the day, our squad had two full-time players and the other three teams had either all full timers or at least half as full time,” he said.

“It’s extremely difficult to bridge that gap; over 80 minutes the difference in conditioning will show. What we can control is our effort, output when faced with such quality and that’s what we will continue to work on as we can control that. For the next qualification journey, I think we have enough experience and know how to put ourselves in a good position to qualify.”

He said Jamaica Rugby League will do a review of the campaign, identify areas to strengthen and implement whatever change is needed as the Reggae Warriors head into 2023.

 

 

Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell claimed his first-ever Group E win on Sunday at the fourth leg of the 2022 Nitro Rallycross championship at Glen Helen Raceway in Los Angeles.

Khadijah Shaw is on a hot streak, scoring once again Sunday in Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Women’s Super League in England.

The goal-hungry Reggae Girlz captain has now scored five goals in her last three matches having scored twice against in Manchester City’s 4-0 win over Leicester City on October 16 and then scored another brace in her side’s 3-0 win over Tottenham on October 22.

On Sunday, Shaw opened the scoring for the Citizens, who have temporarily moved up to fourth in the WSL standings after taking maximum points from the last three matches.

The opening goal came in the 21 minute when Lauren Hemp beating her marker at the edge of the box before threading a low pass through for Shaw, who slotted home into the bottom-right corner past goalkeeper Rachael Laws.

City’s lead would last all of 12 minutes when Liverpool’s Katie Stengel robbed Alex Greenwood of the ball deep inside the opponents half and found herself one-on-one with shot-stopper Ellie Roebuck. She tucked the ball away nearly to tie the score 1-1.

Shaw played a part in City’s winner after a searching run to the edge of the box after which she passes to Hayley Raso, whose shot in parried by Laws. However, Raso follows up the rebound and smashes the ball into the roof of the net to give her side another valuable three points.

City, who were winless after their first two games in the season, not have nine points from five games.

Jamaica Defence Force Captain Dwayne Ford dethroned Guyana’s Lennox Brathwaite to win the Wogarth Cup as Jamaica won the Team Match by the smallest of margins as the West Indies Full Bore Shooting Council Championship came to an exciting climax at Twickenham Park on Saturday.

Jamaica’s eight-member team were forced to dig deep to hold off a hard-charging Guyana which made the victory satisfying for Jamaica Rifle Association Vice-President Karen Anderson, who was also a member of the winning team.

"Jamaica is positively thrilled to have won the West Indies Cup team match on home soil and defeating Guyana in the process," she said.

"It has been a long slog in trying to beat them over the years and to do it on home soil, in particular, after a really tough tournament. We showed a great level of consistency. There might have been some doubt after the long-range team match the day before where we finished last but it bodes well for the team's confidence how we managed to end the tournament and win that particular cup."

She also reserved special praise for team leader, Captain Ford.

"It is even more heartening when you see Dwayne Ford win the Wogarth Cup which is a tremendous achievement in defeating Lennox Brathwaite, who is a seven-time Wogarth winner. We are on a high and we are just going to build on this going into next year's competition."

Captain Ford, a recently crowned O-Class champion, led his team by example. He and teammate Nicola Guy shot impressively at 300 yards, each scoring perfect scores of 50.4 to give Jamaica an early five-point lead. The home team scored 373.23 over its nearest rivals Antigua and Barbuda with Guyana on 360.16.

Jamaica extended its lead after 500 yards with a score of 379.20 but Guyana eventually narrowed the gap and claimed victory with a score 383.23.

Braithwaite answered the call at 500 yard with score of 50.3 that would prove pivotal at the final range as he and Ford battled for the Wogarth Cup that goes to the top-scoring shooter in the West Indies Cup.

At 600 yards, Jamaica dropped 10 points early on and found themselves in a major shoot-out with Guyana. However, the shooters managed to steel themselves and recovered to score 1114.58 to hold off Guyana who shot a 1113.63. 

In the end, Ford defeated the seven-time champion Brathwaite by 0.1 to take the Wogarth Cup.

US Elite International Track and Field Incorporated is to adopt two Jamaican high schools under an MOU with the country’s National Education Trust, Sportsmax.TV has learnt.

The initiative is expected to be announced at this year’s U.S Elite International’s Annual Scholarship and Athletic Convention in Jamaica that will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Downtown Kingston on November 5.

Founded by 2021 Global Teacher Prize winner Keishia Thorpe and her twin sister, Dr Treisha Thorpe, US Elite International Track and Field, Inc., a registered non-profit that provides student-athletes across the globe with opportunities to use their talents as a vehicle to access fully-funded scholarships to US colleges and universities.

The decision to adopt the schools is part of an initiative by Ambassador, the Honourable Audrey Marks in commemorating Jamaica's 60th year of independence and is also part of the Diaspora’s contribution to Jamaica in advancing its goals in education.

The convention will be held in person this year and Thorpe is expecting that there will be a strong turnout now that there is better management of the ongoing global pandemic.

 “We anticipate over 250 attendees, who have a lot to look forward to,” said Thorpe, who hinted that there will be incentives for the schools to get their student-athletes to attend.

“We will have college representatives to share critical information on COVID updates for international students, NCAA eligibility requirement updates, especially around athlete compensation, Optional Practical Training (OPT) for international students when they graduate college, changes in college admissions and areas in which SAT scores are mandatory and optional.

 “Of course, there will be our usual college fair at the end and we have athletic giveaways.  Another addition is that the school with the most students in attendance on that day will receive a cash prize to go towards developing their school programs.”

Outstanding shooting from their eight-man Long Range Team team helped Guyana land the Milex Cup at the 2022 West Indies Full Bore Championships currently underway at Twickenham Park in Jamaica on Friday.

The shooters from South America aiming at targets at 900 yards were the only team to score over 700 out of a possible 800, with a total of 715.35 to take the title over Canada (682.32), Antigua & Barbuda (655.22). Hosts Jamaica finished fourth with a combined score of 652.16.

Four of their shooters score higher than 90 points during the competition - Sherwin Felicien shot 93.3, Roberto Tewari, 92.7, Peter Persaud, 91.5 and Dylan Fields 90.6 – as Guyana dominated the competition.

However, the best shooter on the day was Antigua & Barbuda’s Anderson Perry who scored 49.1 on the first detail and 48.2 on the second for a combined score of 97.3 out of a possible 100. His teammate Christopher Joseph was also excellent with a score of 96.6.

Karen Anderson was Jamaica’s top shooter with her score of 88.3.

Guyana will go for the sweep on Saturday in the Short Range Match at 300/500/600 yards in which Lennox Brathwaite is defending champion in the Wogarth Cup.

 

 

 

After a four-year wait to receive monetary damages from the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF), gymnast Thema Williams received payment on Thursday afternoon, following a ruling from a High Court judge.

High Court judge Frank Seepersad ruled on Thursday that Republic Bank at which the TTGF held an account, make out a cheque payable to Williams for $223,800.19. The amount includes interest accrued on the original judgement in 2018 of TT$200.000.00. According to the Newsday publication, the bank complied with the order about two hours before the 4:00 pm deadline set by the judge.

Her lawyer Martin Daly SC, meanwhile, has expressed concern over how the athlete was treated by the federation while it was collecting funds from the Trinidadian government mirroring comments made by Judge Seepersad in his ruling.

In his written judgement the judge stated; "Transparency of conduct, strict compliance with the law and accountability must define the way in which persons, organizations and entities operate. It is difficult to comprehend why the Judgment Debtor has continued to be in receipt of State funding and donations when it stands in violation of a court order."

In 2018, Williams won a court battle against the TTGF that was deemed to have discriminated against the gymnast when they withdrew her from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio Brazil. In her place, the TTGF selected Canadian-born gymnast Marisa Dick.

Williams had sought to recover damages of TT$11 million but the court ordered that she receive TT$150,000 in exemplary damages and a further TT$50,000 in lost earnings.

At the time of Thursday’s order, the amount in the TTGF’s account was just over TT$257,000.

Daly told Sportsmax.TV that he was delighted at the outcome but expressed concerns over how the state had treated the athlete who had to wait as long to be compensated after being egregiously wronged.

"I am pleased that she has finally got her money," he said while highlighting comments from Judge Seepersad during his ruling on Thursday.

 "I think the most important comments in the judgement yesterday is the criticism of the state for continuing to provide funds for a federation that had behaved in the way that it did."

It brings into question the accountability of sporting bodies and why would a government continue to provide subvention to a body that had behaved in that way. One of the things that had greatly upset me was that as few as 14 days after the original judgement there was a picture in the newspaper of officials from sporting bodies receiving money from the state and included in that was the TTGF and I just could not understand why they couldn't have, as we say colloquially, 'mash brakes and think about what they were doing.

"So I think there is a very important long-term outcome of this which is the judge's criticism of the state being blind to egregious acts by sporting bodies. That is the long-term message we should take from this."

 

 

 

After almost a decade of offering scholarships to needy student-athletes across all sports in Jamaica, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s Pocket Rocket Foundation is planning to go a step further in the near future to help prepare beneficiaries for the next stage of their lives.

Founded in 2013, the Pocket Rocket Foundation has since offered scholarships to 62 student athletes. Some of the recipients in pursuit of careers outside of sport have achieved great success.

Among them are commercial pilot Jovaine Atkinson, a former student-athlete of Kingston College, Brenton Bartley, a former Campion College volleyball player, who now holds a degree in Civil Engineering and J’Voughn Blake, a former Jamaica College student now studying a Dartmouth College in the United States.

The five-time world 100m champion and two-time Olympic champion takes great pride in these achievements and others that she has been able to make possible through the work of the foundation.

“We were able to assist 62 students and also participate in our Christmas treat, our football Peace Through Sports Initiative, the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce Resource Centre in Waterhouse with computers and tablets for the students in the community, donated to children’s homes and just have a presence,” said the super-star athlete who holds a degree in Childhood Development from the University of Technology.

“I think for us as a foundation, where we want to go is having programmes geared towards student-athletes, educational equity, as well as sports and play community initiatives and I am really excited about the progress of the foundation and where we are heading and this time around we are making sure that we create impact when it comes to our student-athletes and making sure that they, too, have a future.”

Of the nine cohorts that have benefitted from the foundation’s largesse there is one that stands out, she said, even though all have a special place in her heart.

“I would have to say the first cohort is very dear to me. Out of that cohort we have had Brenton as well as Jovaine, who is a pilot and it’s just remarkable to see the transition. I am proud of all of them, to be honest, recently we saw J’Voughn Blake matriculate to university overseas and it’s just incredible to see what we have been able to accomplish being a part of the Pocket Rocket Foundation and the lives we were able to change.”

Not one to rest on her laurels or those of the foundation, Fraser-Pryce revealed that come January 2023, there are plans to introduce a new facet that will go even further in equipping student-athletes with the skills needed to thrive.

“What’s next is making sure that is having more community-based initiatives, mental wellness and we are definitely come January having our PR and Etiquette seminar for student-athletes making sure we equip them for the next stage of life, making sure we are giving them access to different things that will help them to advance their lives.”

 

 

 

In a career spanning more than a decade during which she has five 100m world titles, two Olympic 100m titles, and is one of the fastest women to have ever lived, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is just now accepting that she is among the greatest, if not the greatest of all time.

Since she became the first Jamaican woman to win an Olympic 100m title when she crossed the line first at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Fraser-Pryce has established a number of firsts that have augmented her incredible legacy of dominance on women’s sprinting. She would eventually win back-to-back 100m gold medals and at the Tokyo Olympics became the first woman in history to win 100m medals in four consecutive Olympic Games when she finished second to compatriot Elaine Thompson-Herah.

She was also the first to simultaneously hold Olympic and World 100m titles; she has done it twice (2008/2009 and 2012/2013) and she also became the first female sprinter to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at a World Championships (Moscow 2013).

And this past summer, she became the first running athlete – male of female – to win five world titles in a single event, the oldest woman ever to win a world 100m title and capped it off running a record seven times below 10.7 in the 100m including the world-leading 10.62 in Monaco in August.

However, with all that under her belt she never believed herself to be in the conversation on who is Greatest of All Time.

“As an athlete, especially as a young athlete growing up I never had that belief in myself,” she said. “The mindset has been the greatest asset that I have had throughout my years and I always think I am very good at what I do because that is why I continue to show up knowing that I know that I can do it.”

However, her accomplishments during this past season has opened her up to the reality of the true strength of her legacy.

“To be able to accomplish the things that I did is only because of the grace of God because I have worked really, really hard and I think this time around I was more contented than ever knowing that I belong, having fun and a sense of being at peace and to be even considered one of the greatest is truly remarkable,” she said speaking to Sportsmax.TV at the conclusion of her Pocket Rocket Foundation’s ninth annual scholarship awards at the Jamaica Pegasus.

“So I am glad to even be able to me mentioned in the conversation. For me, I am just happy to be mentioned.”

Fraser-Pryce, who turns 36 in December will be going after a sixth World 100m title in Budapest in 2023 and what would be a record third Olympic 100m gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 2024.

 

Getting a bronze medal 10 years after competing at the 2012 London Olympics would be a dream come true for Jamaican 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer.

As the fallout begins regarding the West Indies’ disastrous performance at the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, Phil Simmons, head coach of the two-time world champions, has reportedly tendered his resignation, Sportsmax.TV sources have indicated. Members of the CWI board are said to have convened an emergency meeting over the matter.

Simmons tendered his resignation on Saturday, sources said, and it is expected to take effect in January 2023 as his contract requires that he give his employers 12 weeks’ notice.

The timing of the resignation comes at an inopportune time as the West Indies are scheduled to Australia for two Tests in late November. The team begins with a four-day pink-ball match from November 23-26. The first Test bowls off on November 30.

Simmons was appointed head coach in 2019 shortly after Ricky Skerritt and Dr Kishore Shallow came to power at Cricket West Indies Annual General Meeting in Kingston. Since then, West Indies have fared poorly in international competition.

The team is currently ranked eighth in Tests, ninth in ODIs and seventh in T20I.

At the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, the West Indies won one match before bowing out of the competition. Then just last week, at the 2022 competition, the West Indies put in an even more disappointing performance, failing to get to the Super 12 round for the first time ever having lost their opening match by 42 runs to Scotland before being dumped out of the competition following a humiliating nine-wicket loss to Ireland in the qualifying round.

Following the nine-wicket drubbing, the CWI boss laid the blame squarely at the feet at the batsmen while promising to conduct a thorough investigation into the reasons behind the poor showing.

"Untimely shot selections seem to be deeply embedded in the T20 batting culture of our senior team," the CWI president said.

Australian captain and great Ricky Ponting called the showing “embarrassing”.

 

Five-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has revealed that having won a record five 100m world championship and two Olympic 100m gold medals, she is now focused on going as fast she can before she hangs up her spikes for good.

The 35-year-old Mommy Rocket made the revelation recently at the annual Pocket Rocket Scholarship Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston where seven new awardees received bursaries and gifts valued at J$190,000, a significant increase over previous years since the foundation began awarding scholarships in 2013.

At the start of last season, after a 200m race at the National Stadium in Kingston, Fraser-Pryce announced that her goal for the season was to run as fast as 10.5 or 10.4s and, of course, win a record-extending fifth 100m title having previously won in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2019.

Speaking to Sportsmax.TV afterwards the awards ceremony, Fraser-Pryce, who ran a record seven-times under 10.70 seconds last season, more than any other woman has ever done, explained why she was not disappointed at not going faster than the world-leading 10.62 she ran in Monaco on August 10.

“Honestly, I am not disappointed because the conversation I had with my coach before was that to be able to run 10.5 or 10.6 you have to be able to run 10.6 consistently and I think I was able to do that,” said Fraser-Pryce.

“It was almost like second nature, automatic that I could switch on, so now that I have had that work done this season then it’s going back to the drawing board and cementing the things that I have learnt this (past) season and also getting better at some other things, hopefully I will be able to go below 10.6 soon.

“At this stage of my career that is what I am chasing, fast times that is what I am really chasing. I have accomplished a lot of things, I won my fifth world title…and I want to make sure that when I leave I (would have) given everything. That’s just the goal to make sure that the day I depart and I sit at home I would be contented that I gave everything that I could and I left no stones unturned.”

To do that, she said, there are certain things that she must improve for the coming season when she could be gunning for a sixth world 100m title in Budapest.

“Practicing relaxation has been the key and I need to be confident in my technique,” she said. “I need to have that confidence…I need to trust that technique and trust that it is not going to fail me; just making sure that I stay relaxed and execute the phases of the race the proper race all should go well.”

 

 

 

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