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.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter won his third gold medal at the opening leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup in Berlin, Germany on Sunday.

Forty shooters from across the Caribbean are in Jamaica for the 2022 West Indies Full Bore Shooting Council Championships set to run from October 24 - 29 at the Twickenham Park range in St Catherine following a two-year hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The best shooters from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Canada, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago will be vying to claim the title held by Trinidad and Tobago when the tournament was last held in 2019. However, there will likely be a new champion as the twin-island republic has sent only one shooter to the tournament this year. Barbados, too, has sent a single shooter.

The six-country championship will feature shooters aiming at targets from a minimum of 300 to a maximum of a 1000 yards.

Guyanese Lennox Braithwaite, Wogarth Cup champion, is back to defend his title having had the highest score in the short-range team match last time out. However, he admitted to Sportsmax.TV that his confidence is not where it should be going into competition.

“As a sportsman we try our best to prepare ourselves but there were two years of not shooting and so the kind of preparation that we would have liked we have not been able to on the outdoors but on the indoors, we would have done some of the exercises that would keep the muscle memory,” he said, but in terms of reading the weather conditions and so on for two years we would have been off.

“I am not so confident because I would guess that all the other teams maybe going through similar or had a better position in preparing. In Guyana, we hadn’t had the use of the ranges until about a month ago, so we had some challenges there.”

Notwithstanding the challenges, Brathwaite said he plans to offer a stern defense of his title.

“I would want to defend that position but at the same time I have to realistic because there are people who want to win also.”

He pointed out the shooters from Antigua and the host country as those he has to be wary of. “Nobody wants to lose at home,” he said laughingly.

Indeed, Jamaica would not want to lose at home and as such have fielded a strong team led by Phillip Scott and that includes national champion Dwayne Forde, who has been deemed a ‘definite contender’ for the individual title.

The team also comprises Karen Anderson, Denis John Nelson, David Rickman, Denis Lee, Claude Russell, Nicola Guy, Jose Nunez and Canute CC Coley.

Hayden Walsh scored a timely unbeaten half-century to lead the Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a two-wicket victory over the CWI Emerging Players Academy in the Super50 warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on Sunday.

Walsh struck a 67-ball 53 that included five fours as the Hurricanes, chasing 239, reached 242-8 from 49 hours. The leg-spinner featured in a 54-run seventh-wicket partnership with Jahmar Hamilton, who scored 36 from 37 balls as the Leewards recovered from 93-6.

After Hamilton was dismissed, Walsh and Jeremiah Louis added a further 38 for the eighth-wicket before the latter was dismissed for 24 and the Leewards still 53 runs shy of the target. However, Walsh found a more than useful partner in Colin Archibald, who remained unbeaten on 27 at the end.

Johan Layne took 2-29 and Kevin Wickham 2-47 for the CWI Emerging Players.

Earlier, Teddy Bishop scored a mature 77 in the Emerging Players 238 all out. Wickham contributed 47 with Ackeem Auguste and Leonardo Julien chipping in with 20 apiece.

Bishop and Julien shared in a 78-run second-wicket partnership after Louis had dismissed Kirk McKenzie for eight. He followed up with a third-wicket stand of 68 with Wickham that was broken for Kofi James, who also took the wickets of Auguste and Joshua Bishop to return figures of 4-26.

Terrence Warde took 3-42 while Karima Gore took 2-40.

 

Seven student-athletes from six high schools across the island of Jamaica received scholarships valued at J$190,000, a significant increase from previous years, from the Pocket Rocket Foundation on Thursday.

This was the ninth cohort to be awarded scholarships since the foundation began offering bursaries in 2013.

At the ceremony held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Fraser-Pryce, who on Monday was conferred with the Order of Jamaica for her sustained excellence in the sport of track and field presented Ranicka Bryan, a netball player who attends the Convent of Mercy, Athilia Pryce, a track and field athlete who attends Clarendon College and Zavier Brown, a track and field athlete from York Castle High scholarships that will run throughout the remainder of their high school careers once they continue to attend school, maintain good grades and participate in sports.

Football player Kymani Francis, a student of Alphanso Davis High, Kaysian Sewell of Wolmer’s Girls, Cael Samuels, a footballer player of Wolmer’s Boys and Euvia Bennett, a track and field athlete of St Elizabeth Technical High School, were also among the recipients.

With the help of sponsors, the foundation was able to raise the student scholarship grant from J$50,000 to J$1000,000 per student.

Also, as part of what is the most valuable scholarship ever offered by the Pocket Rocket Foundation, each student-athlete received a Digicel Tablet valued at J$25,000 and J$2000 credit, a J$10,000 GraceKennedy food basket, a J$15,000 book voucher, a J$15,000 Nike gift card, J$7500 Nike book bag as well as a J$10,000 HiLo supermarket voucher.

The seven students who were selected from 72 applicants were encouraged by the five-time 100m world champion to try their best in pursuit of their respective goals.

“Giving you this start is basically telling you that you too can see beyond where you are right now and have a bright future and we believe that with the support of our sponsors, board of directors, the parents, the coaches, the school, we are able to give you access because access equals opportunity,” she said.

“And I want to make sure we are there for you, not just monetarily but holistically, to make sure we provide for you an environment that helps you to thrive.

“I hope that you continue to excel in the classroom. I am not asking you to be perfect but I am asking you to try and to do your best.”

She also implored the parents of the scholarship recipients to do their best to support them along the way.

“It is also important that you go along the journey with them to provide support and make sure you are encouraging them to continue because it can get difficult, it can get stressful at times but if they know that you are there to help and sustain them and cheer them on, it makes a difference,” she said.

“And I am always cheering on the sidelines for you.”

 

 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, 2022 world champions in athletics were conferred with national honours at Jamaica’s annual National Honours and Awards held on the lawns of Kings House in Kingston, Jamaica on Monday, October 17, which is celebrated as National Heroes Day.

The 35-year-old Fraser-Pryce was conferred with the Order of Jamaica, Commander Class for Outstanding Performance in the field of athletics at the international level. The woman known internationally as the Pocket Rocket for her incredible speed that has been on display for more than a decade, won her fifth World 100m title in Eugene, Oregon in July becoming the first running athlete to accomplish the feat.

It was also her second world 100m title since she gave birth to her son Zyon in 2017. During the just-concluded season, Fraser-Pryce another global benchmark when she became the first woman in the history of the sport, to run faster than 10.7 seconds seven times during the any one season.

She has now run under 10.7s nine times which is more than any other woman has ever run.

She is also the holder of three Olympic gold medals and 10 World Championship gold medals in her illustrious career.

Jackson, 28, was conferred with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class for exceptional achievements in the sport of Track and Field Athletics at the national, World Championships and Olympic levels.

 The former Vere Technical star won her first global title in Eugene, Oregon in July when she ran 21.45 to claim the 200m gold medal. The time makes her the second fastest woman in history and is a national record breaking the previous mark of 21.53 set by Elaine Thompson-Herah at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jackson has also won bronze medals in the 400m at the World Championships and Olympics and is the highest-ranked active combination sprinter in history with personal bests of 10.71 in the 100m, 21.45 in the 400m and 49.49 in the 400m.

Only two women in history have been better.

Also, receiving national honours were Dr Warren Blake, former president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), who was conferred with the Order of Distinction, (CD), for contribution to Medicine and as a team doctor in national sports; Claude Bryan, a sports agent, the Order of Distinction for contribution to the sport of Track and Field and Michael Clarke, a veteran coach, who was conferred with the Order of Distinction for contribution to sports in the area of Track and Field.

 

Connie Francis, the head coach of Jamaica’s senior netball team was effusive in praise of the young, inexperienced team that soundly defeated a game St Vincent and the Grenadines team 74-35 in an exhibition match at the Americas Netball Qualifier at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, Jamaica on Sunday night.

Led by Jhanielle Fowler, the best shooter in the world, the Sunshine Girls was comprised of Goal Attack Amanda Pinkney, Wing Attack Quannia Walker, Centre Abigale Sutherland, Wing Defense Tafiya Hunter, Goal Defense Kimone Shaw, and Goal Keep Theresa Beckford.

Passing at speed before feeding Fowler and Pinkney in the circle, Jamaica quickly established a lead in the opening quarter 18-8 with Fowler scoring 11 goals. Pinkney added six goals before being subbed off for Gezelle Allison who played the rest of the half.

Francis explained afterwards that taking Pinkney out early in the game was at the request of the player who was feeling the frantic pace.

“She indicated to us that she was winded and it was only fair for us to pull her because we have eager players willing to go out there and play,” the coach said.

“I thought that she was really having a fantastic game but you could see that the intensity from attack to defense was not there so we pulled her and re-inserted her and she came in and she did a really fantastic job.”

Allison’s entry into the game caused a temporary disruption to the flow which resulted in several unforced turnovers. However, she quickly settled in to support Fowler who was not at her sharpest missing five shots by the half-time break as Jamaica widened their lead 42-15.

Pinkney returned as a replacement for Fowler to start the third quarter and demonstrated her natural shooting skills scoring 25 from 30 for the game as Jamaica took a 61-24 lead into the final quarter.

Jamaica outscored their opponents 13-11 in the final stanza to secure an easy win before a vociferously vocal crowd.

Francis said the close margin between the teams in the final quarter was caused by a couple of factors.

“I think it’s just how we take care of the ball. We had lots of ball in our possession and we gave up some. It’s about sticking to the tactical play because at times St Vincent had this front play and it was really giving us some form of headache,” she said, “but we keep reinforcing that we have to recognize and do allow the coaching staff to say people are making a run because of this particular play, but overall I think that this young bunch, six debutantes in a game like this, this is the type of exposure that we need to give our young players to grow in order to make the final cut for Cape Town.”

The Netball World Cup will be played in South Africa next summer.

During the game, St Vincent and Grenadines head coach Godfrey Harry frequently switched out their attacking players, which created some problems for the inexperienced Jamaican team. Chief among the disrupters was Joseann Antoine whose movements off the ball challenged Jamaica’s defenders, who struggled to keep up with her.

She was the best of the scorers for her team netting 17 goals from 20 attempts and got good support from Shellise Davis, who scored three goals from five attempts.

Francis conceded that the frequent substitutions did create problems.

“I thought that their players actually were making an impact. I thought that was really a good tactical play because the first change that he made it really inspired their team and they were having a run at us so it’s for us to recognize when teams come up with tactical plays and making changes that we just stick to the game plan and keep pushing forward in order to put more points on the board,” she said, while praising her girls for facing up to the challenge.

“It’s a young team. We just have to big them up for all the effort because I thought that we were contested. The Vincent and the Grenadines team is not an easy team. Not because the scoreboard didn’t reflect that; I thought that it was not a true reflection of what was happening on court but all in all I love this bunch of young players who came in and gave 110 percent.”

In other games on Sunday night, Trinidad and Tobago defeated St Lucia 63-25, while Grenada came from behind to beat the Cayman Islands 50-40. Meanwhile, the USA defeated Antigua and Barbuda 34-22.

 

 

Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors' Rugby League World Cup debut got off to an inauspicious start on Sunday when they clobbered 48-2 by Ireland at Headingley Stadium in England.

The Irish team scored 10 tries against the Reggae Warriors porous defense that will need to improve if the team is to have a better go of it when they face New Zealand on Saturday, October 22.

Ireland scored first-half tries courtesy of Louis Senior, Captain George King, Brendan O'Hagan and Ed Chamberlain. Six tries came in the second half as Innes Senior, Louis’ twin brother, scored twice while Toby King, James McDonnell, James Bentley and Frankie Halton completed the rout.

Meanwhile, Kieran Rush scored Jamaica’s first-ever points in a Rugby League World Cup when kicked a penalty.

Reggae Warrior Michael Lawrence, who plays at loose forward, expressed his disappointment afterward citing several areas in which his team needed to improve going forward.

"I was disappointed with the way we dropped off a little bit. But it's a proud day for the team and nation. This was a starting point,” he said.

"We need to work on defense. That was a big area for me. We have to improve defensively. We've got to come out again and stick together. We have a great team spirit.

"This is massive, the way we perform. It's encouraging kids to pick up a rugby ball. We want to perform well but this is just the start. We want to keep coming back to the World Cup."

This was the second meeting between the two teams and their first in the World Cup.

Reggae Girlz captain Kadijah ‘Bunny’ Shaw scored a brace as Manchester City Women defeated Leicester City Women 4-0 at the Manchester City Academy Stadium on Sunday.

Shaw scored in the 24th and 79th minutes to lead City to their first win of the season.

Shaw opened the scoring for City who took a 1-0 into the interval.

Lauren Hemp made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute before Shaw put the game to bed.

Yui Hasegawa added a fourth two minutes from the end of regulation to give Manchester City Women their first three points of the season and up to eighth in the league.

Manchester City Women were dominant throughout the game taking 23 shots with eight on target.

Shaw now has three goals this season.

Despite concerns over his Jamaica Premier League champions Harbour View FC having a target on their backs this season, head coach Ludlow Bernard believes his team is prepared enough to get off to a good start to the 2022/2023 season which gets underway in just over a week’s time.

Harbour View opens its title defense against newcomers Chapleton Maroons at the Tony Spaulding Sports Complex in Arnett Gardens and Bernard knows that to go from being underdogs to defending champions can bring unwanted pressure and is a cause for concern.

“It has to be a concern because some of the players will be in a territory that they are not accustomed to,” he told Sportsmax.TV at the launch of the 2022/2023 Jamaica Premier League season at Chillin Restaurant and Bar on Holborn Road in Kingston on Thursday night.

“What is even going to make it even more challenging is that we will be going to the oppositions’ venues.”

However, Bernard, who in 2021 became the first coach to win titles with a high school team (Kingston College) and the Premier League title, believes the expected pressure could make the team better.

“Development-wise I think it’s good for them. It’s good that they get that kind of experience but I think we would have prepared them well over the last season to deal with the rigours of relegation, going to the opposition home venue and the thrust and grind of the league itself so we are looking forward to it and we will be prepared.”

Harbour View lost a couple of players in the form of influential mid-fielder Shamar Dyer who is now playing in Antigua and Phillan Lawrence, who has not reported back to the club for reasons unknown.

 However, they have bolstered the roster with Trayvon Reid, goalkeeper David Martin, Romario Palma and Demar Rose, who Bernard believes will be a good addition to the club.

“Demar Rose is somebody that I have worked with before and a player that I admire and think would fit into our system so we expect that the fire-power will be there and we are looking forward to a good start,” Bernard said of the midfielder who came up through the Harbour View FC youth system having played with the Stars of the East from the U13 through to the U20 programmes.

A good start, Bernard continued, is going to be instrumental to the club enhancing their chances of a winning sixth Premier League title this coming season.

“The aim is to get out of the blocks as quickly as possible because there will be a break in November and we don’t want to get caught behind,” he said.

“Preparations have been a little bit behind. I think, probably, we need a couple more games but the experience that we have I think we should be able to manage ourselves in the early rounds at the start.”

 

 

 

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah created quite a stir last week Wednesday, October 5, at the Princess Margaret School in St. John's, Antigua.

Brandon King scored a half-century and Raymon Reifer claimed three wickets as the West Indies won their warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates at Junction Stadium by 17 runs on Sunday night.

It was not an easy win for the Caribbean men who would have suffered jitters when medium pacer Junaid Siddique took career-best figures of 5-13 to restrict West Indies to 152-9 from their 20 overs.

The West Indies owed their eventual match-winning score to a 95-run fourth wicket partnership between King and Captain Nicholas Pooran that spared the Caribbean men blushes after UAE won the toss and decided to bowl.

It seemed the right decision as the West Indies were struggling at 22-3 inside the Powerplay.

The dismissal of Evin Lewis (2), Johnson Charles (1) and Sharmarh Brooks (4) brought King and Pooran together in the fifth over and together they dragged the West Indies into a position of relative strength.

The West Indies captain hit five fours in his 31-ball 46 before he was bowled by Zahoor Khan, who had earlier dismissed Brooks. It was then 117-4 in the 15th over.

The loss of Pooran’s wicket saw the West Indies slip to 122-7 as Siddique, who had earlier removed Charles, scythed through the middle order with three wickets in four balls claiming Reifer for one, King for 64 and Akeal Hosein without scoring.

King's runs came from 45 balls and included seven fours and two sixes.

Siddique picked up his fifth wicket in the 18th over when he bowled Odean Smith for five.

Alzarri Joseph helped the West Indies past 150 with 15 well-needed runs from 11 balls before being the last man out, leaving Rovman Powell unbeaten on seven and Obed McCoy on four at the end.

Khan ended with 2-24.

Needing 153 for victory, UAE were 19-1 at the end of three when McCoy dismissed Chirag Suri for nine.

Muhammad Waseem and Vriityia Avarind took the score to 50 in the eighth when Reifer dismissed the latter for nine and CP Rizwan for one in the space of four balls as UAE slipped to 52-3 in the ninth.

The UAE ran into further trouble three balls later when Evin Lewis ran out Aayan Afzal Khan for a duck.

Waseem and Basil Hameed inched the score along to 66 by the 13th over when Reifer claimed his third after dismissing Hameed for five. It was soon 82 for 6 in the 16th when Odean Smith dismissed Kashif Daud for seven.

With nothing to lose UAE went for broke smashing 53 from the final 26 balls.

Waseem brought up his 50 with a six from the last ball of the 17th over bowled by McCoy that yielded 16 runs. The pair also took 15 from the 19th bowled by Alzarri Joseph, whose last ball was smashed for six by Zawar Farid, who ended unbeaten on 29 from the 14 balls he faced.

Waseem’s heroic unbeaten 69 came from 52 balls and included four fours and three sixes as UAE closed on 135-6.

Reifer took 3-13 while Odean Smith had figures of 1-20 from his four overs. McCoy gave up 49 runs from his four overs.

 

 

Barbados is to get a new national stadium following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Caribbean nation and China on Friday.

Attorneys representing Jamaica and West Indies opening batsman John Campbell have expressed disappointment at the decision of an independent anti-doping panel to ban the cricketer for four years effective May 2022.

Campbell was charged with evading, refusing or failing to submit to sample collection in April 2022. In their 18-page ruling, the panel said in part: "The panel is persuaded to a comfortable degree of satisfaction that the athlete committed an anti-doping rule violation, namely a breach of JADCO rule 2.3. The panel does not find, on the evidence presented, that the athlete's anti-doping violation was not intentional.

"In the circumstances of this case, the athlete is ineligible for a period of four years."

This means the 29-year-old batsman will not be able to play cricket until he is 33 years old, which could significantly impact his ability to represent the West Indies beyond 2026.

Campbell has scored 888 runs in 20 Tests for the West Indies.

In response to the ruling, attorneys Ayana L. Thomas and Mark-Paul Cowan of the noted legal firm Nunes Scholefield Deleon and Co. made clear their disappointment and did not rule out appealing the judgement.

“Mr Campbell has been a clean athlete throughout his outstanding career as a batsman and he remains committed to a clean sport,” the statement read.

“It is important to emphasize that the allegations against him was not relating to an adverse analytical finding or banned substances. The allegation concerned refusing or failing to submit a sample collection after proper notification pursuant to Article 2.3 of the JADCo Anti-Doping rules.

“Our client has to date, never returned an adverse analytical finding for banned substances.”

According to the attorneys, JADCO committed several breaches of the International Test Standards (IST).

“We have read the written decision of the disciplinary panel and believe there are legitimate grounds for an appeal concerning whether the necessary ingredients to sustain the alleged anti-doping rule violation were proved before the panel particularly as it relates to the notification requirements,” the lawyers said.

“Mr Campbell’s position was that he was not properly notified by JADCO. There were several breaches by JADCO of the mandatory International Testing Standards and Investigations in respect of the notification of the athlete of which, in our view, were not adequately addressed by the panel.”

That matter was not the only issue concern for Campbell’s attorneys.

“Additionally, there were several mitigatory factors supported by evidence which were not challenged by JADCO and which ought to have been mitigated against the imposition of the maximum penalty,” they said, “even if the panel found that the athlete committed a violation.

“It does not appear from the written decision that these factors in mitigation were adequately considered by the panel.

“Our client will, therefore, at this time, consider exercising his right of appeal after further consultation with his legal team and will make a decision shortly.”

 

 

 

 

West Indies lost their opening T20 International against Australia in Queensland on Wednesday by three wickets with a ball to spare to go 0-1 down in the two-match series.

During a dramatic weekend of racing, Jamaica’s Fraser McConnell overcame a significant challenge on Saturday to finish third on Sunday in the Group E final at the Nitro Rallycross Minneapolis.

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