Stephens wins WTA title

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP): Sloane Stephens sat at a table for her postmatch news conference, eyed the big glass trophy sitting at arm’s length, and asked, “What happens to this?” Forgive the 22-year-old American for not knowing. She’s never been given championship hardware at a professional tournament before. Stephens earned a WTA title for the first time yesterday, overwhelming Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the hard-court Citi Open. “Nothing was rushed. Nothing was given to me. I had to work for everything. It was just nice that all of the hard work and everything I’ve put into it – now I can say that I have a tournament title,” Stephens said. “Everything happens when it’s supposed to happen.” It was her first final as a pro. Entering this tune-up for the US Open, she owned a .685 career-winning percentage at Grand Slam tournaments, including getting to the second week in seven appearances, with a semi-final showing at the Australian Open and quarter-final run at Wimbledon, both in 2013. At her news conference, a reporter mentioned that Stephens has been considered the best women’s tennis player without a title for quite some time. “Now you’ll have somebody else to talk about,” Stephens replied. “I’m sure there’s someone else, so I will pass that torch on to whoever’s behind me.”last_img read more

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More sports in brief

first_imgINSPORTS/Chubby Portmore PrimarySchool FootballPortsmouth Primary advanced to the semi-finals of the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS)/Chubby Portmore Primary School Football competition on Tuesday, with a 3-1 victory over Gregory Park Primary.The win pushed Port Henderson in the runner-up spot in Group One, which was topped by Portsmouth Primary.In another Zone One match on Tuesday, Southborough Primary beat Kensington Primary 4-2. Also securing their spot in the semis on Tuesday were Naggo Head Primary, which beat Greater Portmore Primary 2-0 to cement their place atop Zone Two. Belmont Park Primary clipped Ascot Primary 1-0 in the other group game earlier this week.The semi-finals will take place next Tuesday at Cedar Grove Community Field, with Portsmouth Primary tackling Waterford Primary at 10:00 a.m., followed by the second semi between Naggo Head Primary and Port Henderson Primary at 11:30 a.m.The final will be played at the same venue on Thursday, December 3.FIFA to host coaching courseFIFA will host a coaching course from November 30 to December 4, which will focus on the coaching of female players. The course will be under the instruction of well-known former England international footballer, Hope Powell. The course, which will be held at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Football Centre, UWI, will have as participant coaches from the Sherwin Williams Women’s League, selected former national female players, national coaches, and representatives of parish associations.The JFF has also invited G.C. Foster College, the University of Technology and the Ministry of Education to send representatives.Powell, who has parental roots in Jamaica, is a former international football player who was the coach of the England women’s national football team and the Great Britain women’s Olympic football team up until 2013. She won 66 caps for England, making her debut for England at the age of 16, and played in the 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup. At 31, she became the youngest ever coach of an England national football team, as well as the first woman and first black person to hold that position.The JFF’s coaching development programme is supported by the Joan Duncan Foundation of the Jamaica Money Market Brokers.Intercol table tennis finalsTeam and individual finals in the intercol table tennis competitions will be played today at G.C. Foster College, starting at 9:00 a.m.In the men’s team final, three-time defending champions University of Technology (UTech) will face University of the West Indies (UWI), while in the women’s final, UTech will oppose G.C. Foster College. The female winners will be new champions as six-time defending champions UWI did not enter a female team this year.Individual events to be contested are male and female singles, male and female doubles and mixed doubles.last_img read more

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SOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENAL

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON VS ARSENALSOUTHAMPTON (4-2-3-1)GAZZANIGA, SOARES, FONTE, VAN DIJK, BERTRAND, WANYAMA, CLASIE, S. DAVIS, MANE, TADIC, PELLEARSENAL (4-2-3-1)GIROUD, CAMPBELL, OZIL, WALCOTT, FLAMINI, RAMSEY, MONREAL, MERTESACKER, KOSCIELNY, BELLERIN, CECHArsenal go into the Christmas period in second place and just two points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester City. Interestingly, Arsenal have gone into the Christmas period in second place twice – and on both occasions they went on to win the title.They should travel with confidence; the Gunners have more wins away than at home (six to five at the Emirates) and have also scored five more goals on the road (18 to 13 at home).And Southampton have failed to win in their last five games in the Premier League, dropping from seventh to 12th in the process. It is the Saints’ longest run without a win for a year; a sixth would represent their longest non-winning sequence under manager Ronald Koeman and their worst since December 2013.They have a good record on Boxing Day, winning five and losing one of the last six. They last lost on this day in 2008, at Plymouth Argyle in a second-tier game.But Arsenal’s record on Boxing Day is even better. Since they last lost on this day, at Coventry City in 1999, the Gunners have played 14 times, winning 11 and drawing three.But three of the last four Premier League games between these teams at St Mary’s have been drawn while Arsenal last won at Southampton in December 2003.Southampton test goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, with Paulo Gazzaniga on stand-by to continue at the back. Another keeper, Fraser Forster, is still out, as is Florin Gardos and Jay Rodriguez.Arsenal miss Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Danny Welbeck and Francis Coquelin among others.last_img read more

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Brathwaite pair rescue Windies, but Aussies in control

first_img Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has been the most successful bowler with two for 68. West Indies once again had a dodgy start, losing the right-handed Hope in the morning’s fifth over, sparring at an out-swinger from seamer Josh Hazlewood and nicking a catch behind. Brathwaite and Bravo then countered with dominant stroke-play as West Indies enjoyed one of their finest sessions of the series. Emerging from a typical watch start, Brathwaite blossomed nicely to stroke 10 fours in an innings lasting 174 balls, while Bravo showed glimpses of his good form in a 95-ball innings, which contained six fours. Bravo twice drove pacer James Pattinson for exquisite offside boundaries in the 11th over before aggressively pulling the same bowler through mid-on for another four, in the right-armer’s next over. Brathwaite was uncharacteristically audacious, twice coming down to Lyon and lifting the bowler back overhead for boundaries. He brought up his second half-century of the series and eighth in Tests in the third over before lunch when he punched Mitchell Marsh to the ropes at point and then followed up with a couple to square leg. Unbeaten on 32 at lunch with West Indies on 92 for one, Bravo added just one after the resumption before falling in the third over at 104 for two, caught by Usman Khawaja at backward square as he failed to keep down a pull off Pattinson. West Indies then threatened to implode. They lost Marlon Samuels for four before rain forced an early tea break, and then lost a further three wickets following the resumption. Samuels, with a wretched 31 runs from four innings in the series, steered Lyon to Hazlewood at point and immediately set off for a non-existent run. Both he and Brathwaite started and stopped before Samuels was left stranded by the throw to the keeper’s end. On 115 for three at the tea break, West Indies looked to be flourishing afterwards when Jermaine Blackwood pulled Lyon and drove Pattinson for boundaries in moving to 10. An error in judgement caused his downfall, however, offering no stroke to one from Lyon that ripped back to hit the off stump with West Indies on 131 for four. Kraigg Brathwaite added 27 for the fifth wicket with Ramdin before he, too, perished at the hands of Lyon, gloving a cut to captain Steve Smith at first slip off one that bounced. SYDNEY, Australia (CMC): Opener Kraigg Brathwaite stroked an enterprising half-century but West Indies’ batting wobbled to give Australia the advantage on the opening day of the final Test here yesterday. Opting to bat first, the Caribbean side finished the rain-hit day at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 207 for six, with the right-handed Brathwaite top-scoring with 85. All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, in his second Test, was unbeaten on a cameo run-a-ball 35 and was partnered by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin on 23. Left-hander Darren Bravo also sparkled, albeit briefly, in scoring an attractive 33. He and Kraigg Brathwaite put on 91 for the second wicket following the early loss of Shai Hope for nine but the familiar middle-order collapse followed, with the Windies losing five wickets for 55 runs, to slump to 159 for six in the final session. However, Carlos Brathwaite and Ramdin came together in a seventh-wicket stand currently worth 48 to stall Australia’s progress and ensure West Indies were still afloat at the close. Lyon in top form BRILLIANT CATCH With one run added 15 balls later, captain Jason Holder was brilliantly caught low down by Joe Burns at forward short leg for one, off a firm leg-side push off left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe. Tottering, West Indies were rescued for the second straight Test by the authoritative Carlos Brathwaite, who counter-attacked to pull the innings around. The right-hander, who got a half-century on debut in the Melbourne second Test last week, blasted four fours and two sixes, while Ramdin played a supporting role, facing 72 deliveries and counting two fours. Brathwaite was off the mark in style, clearing the ropes back overhead with O’Keefe off the second ball he faced and then twice swept the same bowler behind square for boundaries in later overs. In the day’s final over, he deposited O’Keefe several rows back and followed up with a full-blooded cut to the point boundary, as West Indies finished strongly.last_img read more

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Super Sunday in EPL

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP):Amid the buzz about surprise leader Leicester and the stuttering challenges of Arsenal and Manchester City, another title contender in the English Premier League (EPL) has been working pretty much in the shadows.Not anymore.For the first time in a generation, Tottenham are real factors in the title race, and are showing the kind of form that could see the club rid itself of the underachievers tag that has followed it around for years.The team from north London has climbed into second place, ahead of neighbours Arsenal on goal difference, and five points behind Leicester, with 13 matches left. Not since 1985 have Spurs been this high in the standings this late in the season, as they look to capture a first League title since 1961.This weekend could be pivotal, with the top four facing off. Leicester are away to Arsenal, and Spurs are at fourth-place to City.City have won the last five home meetings with Tottenham, racking up 10 goals in the past two fixtures. There’s a feeling it could be different this time.There are positives all over the field for Mauricio Pochettino. His defence has conceded fewer goals than any other team this season; Eric Dier has been converted from a defender into a powerful holding midfielder; previously inconsistent attacking midfielders Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, and Mousa Dembele are delivering consistently effective performances; Dele Alli, in the No. 10 role, is arguably the hottest young prospect in English football; and striker Harry Kane is the third best scorer in the league.With just three losses, Tottenham could have too much energy for an aging, injury-hit City side that was blown away last weekend by Leicester – another team filled with hard-running players. City lost to Spurs 4-1 at White Hart Lane in September.A problem for Spurs could be fixture congestion, with the team set to resume its Europa League campaign next week – over two legs against Fiorentina in the last 32 – and was still in the FA Cup. Progress deep in those competitions, and Pochettino’s players could be burnt out before the end of the season.Leicester, meanwhile, just has the Premier League to focus on.MAN CITY’S INJURIESCity’s star-studded midfield is beset with injuries at just the wrong time.Star playmaker David Silva hurt his ankle against Leicester and joins an injury list that already includes attacking midfielders Kevin De Bruyne, Jes?s Navas, and Samir Nasri.Silva have had ongoing problems with his ankle, which must be a worry for City given the congested fixture schedule that includes a League Cup final against Liverpool and the Champion League last 16.PRESSURE ON LEICESTERNow the world has finally recognised Leicester as legitimate title contenders, the team has to deal with the pressure of expectation.Star striker Jamie Vardy doesn’t see it as a problem.”We’re just enjoying the ride,” Vardy said. “If you start thinking about it too much it’s going to affect you, it’s as simple as that. We’ll just continue to do exactly the same thing we’ve done all season.”One of the few things Leicester would change was its result against Arsenal in its first meeting this season. Arsenal won 5-2 at King Power Stadium, one of just two defeats for Leicester in this campaign.last_img read more

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All is not well at FC Reno

first_imgWestern Bureau:Following their narrow escape from relegation in the 2015-16 Red Stripe Premier League, FC Reno head coach Michael Graham fired some stinging criticism at the attitude of club officials, which he says is the reason for the former champions yearly struggle to maintain a presence in the nation’s top league.Graham told The Gleaner, after his team’s 2-1 to UWI FC on Sunday, that the plan to return to being a force in local football circles and to once again battle for the title must never begin with the coach or the players.”That conversation must begin with the club’s executive. That winning mentality must start with those at the top and filter down to the coaches and the players,” he said.Reno struggleFC Reno have been in a state of flux over the past five seasons, creating a situation where they are either relegated from the league or struggling to avoid the drop, something they have successfully managed twice in successive seasons.But for Graham and Wendell Downswell, the club’s technical director, not much will change come next season if matters having to do with the club’s well-being are not addressed in the boardroom.”How can a club survive when there are no serious plans on how to do so? This is the current state of affairs at FC Reno. If it weren’t for Mr Downswell and I, we would all be thinking about the lower leagues, if any, at the moment,” stated Graham.He said acquisition of gears boots and ball, among other needed pieces of equipment necessary for the club to carry out training and match-day necessities, are all being sourced by him and Downswell, noting that they receive no help from those who hold “positions” in the club.”Yet these are some of our fiercest critics when the team fails to win. The fact is, unless issues at the executive level are fixed, the club is doomed to failure,” Graham said.”This is a case in which it shows how a club should not be managed,” added Graham.FC Reno were the first club to win three Premier League titles, the last of which came in the 1995 season during a period of dominance. They also won titles in 1990 and again in 1991.The Westmoreland-based club are also winners of three national knockout titles, Winning the now named Flow Champions Cup in 2014. But since then, they have endured two seasons of utter chaos, resulting in near relegation.last_img read more

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Stephens creates history by winning Hi-Pro senior title

first_imgTennis history was created at the Eric Bell Tennis Centre last Sunday when 13-year-old Michaela Stephens, a student at Liberty Academy in Kingston, became the youngest player to win the female singles section of a Tennis Jamaica senior All-Jamaica tournament. Stephens defeated 28-year-old Pauline Henry 6-1, 6-1 in the final of the Hi-Pro All-Jamaica Senior Tennis Championships. In the male section, the No. 1 seed, Damion Johnson, who was runner-up last year, defeated Dwayne Pagon 7-6 (7-4), 6-4. Stephens, who will be 14 years old in October and is also the All Jamaica Junior champion, controlled the game from the start and used her superior service to set up winners, while staying aggressive throughout the match. She also adjusted to the windy conditions much faster than her opponent, who served a spate of double faults. Henry, who is an entertainment coordinator at the Holiday Inn Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, had been off the tennis scene for some time. She told The Gleaner that her last tournament was two years ago and she was coaxed into entering this tournament, thus, she was only able to practise for a few weeks. She was disappointed at not taking the top prize, but took consolation in the fact that she had reached the finals, which will encourage her “to return to the game and play as much as my work schedule will allow me”. Stephens’ mother, Jacinth Bryant, toasted her daughter after the victory with a bottle of sparkling grape juice. “I am a happy woman today,” she told The Gleaner. “Michaela works very hard, and it is good to see her achieving this type of success.” In the men’s Class Two, Barry Hazel defeated Leighton Burton 6-2, 6-2 and in Class Three, Sean Martin defeated Marlon Hosang 7-5, 4-6 and 10-6 in the Super tie-breaker. In the men’s doubles, Pagon and Matthew Rodriguez defeated Jeremy Miller and Cliff Dwyer 6-4, 3-2 and in the women’s doubles, Stephens and Jenna Harrison defeated Gina Delisser and Pauline Harrison 10-5.last_img read more

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Hubert Lawrence | A victory over grief

first_img2016 has seen its fair share of big sporting moments. For Jamaicans. The Olympic sprint doubles by Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson probably top the charts with the twin triumphs by the West Indies at the World Twenty20 World Cup being the biggest accomplishments early in the year. Ranking right up there is a victory over grief. Just days after their son Dominic James collapsed during a Manning Cup game, his parents – David and Denese – came to watch last Friday’s match between St George’s College, which their son captained at the time of his death and Greater Portmore High School. To make their intent clear, they came wearing shirts their son wore during his time representing St George’s. It would have been easier to stay away but the James’ came forward to inspire their son’s team-mates. They wore light blue but their courage and dignity is an example for every Jamaican. I don’t know how many of us could do that. I know I couldn’t. In some ways, it’s even more of a shot in the arm than those famous triumphs by Bolt, Thompson and the West Indies. It is said that sport builds character. It tests character too and not just for those on the field of play. The West Indies’ double T20 triumphs showed that regional cricket, in the shortest form of that venerable game, had the potential to be the best in the world. In Rio de Janeiro at the Olympics, Bolt, Thompson and Omar McLeod showed our world class prowess in athletics. Last week Friday, James’ parents showed that there are times when Jamaicans are ‘tallawah’ off the field of play as well. It won’t be easy for Mr and Mrs James to get over the loss of their only son. Their memories will be bittersweet. Even though they too played on bravely, the St George’s Manning Cup players will need time to mend. Thankfully, all affected parties, led by James’ parents and their son’s team-mates, have faced the tragedy bravely. Together, they made Friday, September 23 one of the biggest days ever in sport. • Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980.last_img read more

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Foster’s Fairplay | Recruit responsibly

first_img In such a case, even if not previously in place, there must be an effort to upgrade academic skills to bring them closer and hopefully aligned with what is required in the classroom. Whenever this is not done, those responsible for the transfer would have failed miserably in their bid to steer a life in an acceptable or positive direction. The country is bedeviled by rampant and raging crime. The authorities seem to be at their wits end to stem, much less to stultify this scourge. To virtually abandon a young life because he or she does not meet the requirements in an area of another’s choice, will not provide the remedial solutions that are being sought, and which are now of national concern. Another growing problem, is that a significant portion of developing sporting talent is not steered towards the outlet that offers the best opportunity for further advance. Many are the youngsters who, given the lack of attention, fall by the wayside, ending up in the precipice of the talented but forgotten. The failure to master the Arts and the Sciences ought not to be a recipe for abandonment and total rejection. There must be a better way to uplift our children and not allow them to follow the wrong paths. The Intersecondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) has a designated role here. The organisation has limiting regulations to address the issue, but more are needed and the execution must be strictly monitored and rigidly enforced. The United States Collegiate system with its attendant rules and administration may provide good examples. Let the recruiting continue, but at the same time, the school system should provide a more fertile pathway for our athletes to make the transition to the national level. – Feedback: Email lauriefoster2012@gmail.com ACADEMICS IMPORTANT There seems to be a stigma attached to schools, which facilitate their advance in sporting endeavours by a particular type of recruiting. This strategy, by no means new, involves attracting student athletes, who were brought to recognition elsewhere in the system. The objective is to enhance the progress or success on the playfields of the receiving institution. It is said, and not without justification, that there are monetary gains that accrue to the facilitators, who have decisive inputs in “swinging the deals.”A recent post on social media, saw a prominent and currently high-performing Kingston school, having its name tarnished as their football team has been assembled by several “raids” conducted at other schools. The label given them was St Wolbar (meaning: the recruited players were drawn from St. Jago and Calabar). This speaks in stentorian terms to what is now being manifested among the schools. Foster’s Fairplay, having first opposed, and later agreed with colleague and friend, former national football representative, Dr. Lascelve “Muggy” Graham, has taken another look. The former brilliant St. George’s College ball handler, remains firm in the view that admission to high school should have a distinct academic bias. Any other talent should find a home away from the laboratories and study rooms of learning environs. Never should the ability to influence a sporting outcome, be considered. This columnist has developed some empathy for the practice, for which the Doctor has little or no time. However, there needs to be an established template for this cross fertilisation, which must be set in the interest of all concerned. What must be foremost in the mind of the relevant parties, is the future of the young boy or girl. It is ideal that both the academic and sporting potential of the individual are considered, so once the switch is completed, there must be equal attempts to address both aspects. This columnist is aware of programmes where if the performance on the field of play does not live up to expectations, there is a total separation from the new school. This should not be.last_img read more

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Bowen scores exciting win on Barbican boxing card

first_imgJamaican light-heavyweight boxer Jermaine Bowen stole the spotlight last Saturday night when he scored an exciting unanimous points victory over Sheldon Lawrence from Trinidad and Tobago, at the Barbican Beach Sports Complex on East Kings House Road, in a six-round contest. Judges Ransford Burton and Clifford Brown both scored it 59-55 and 59-55, while judge Lindell Allen had it 58-56. This was the highlight of a seven-fight Pro-Am card, which also featured four bouts between boxers from Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. This ended with two victories each by the two countries. In the other fight on the card, Jamaica’s Sakima Mullings scored a 2 minute 47 seconds fourth-round knockout victory over Courtney McCleave from the USA in what was definitely a mismatch. The was shared between the Jamaica Boxing Board, who where responsible for the amateur portion of he card, and two new boxing promoters, I-Fight Promotions and Creative Sports and Entertainment, who had one pro-fight each. It was the start of a new experiment designed to ensure that there are more boxing events over the next 12 months. The cost of putting on regular boxing cards is said to be the main deterrent, so the promoters shared the costs with the board. Sponsors who also assisted were Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records, Locker Room Sports and Stoneleigh Coffee. Bowen, who went into the bout with a 1-3 record, was seen as the underdog because his opponent had a 6-0 record, with five knockouts. After a brief feeling-out process, Lawrence, who is a south-paw, made it clear that his aim was to knock out his opponent with body shots. He therefore kept the action at close range, and the Jamaican had to use a tight defence to weather the early storm. Battle of wits In the second round, Lawrence tried to resume where he had left off, but Bowen kept on the outside this time, and used his jabs to good advantage. It then turned out to be a battle of wits, and Bowen’s jab eventually turned out to be the superior weapon. He cut Lawrence over the left eye in the fifth round and referee Owen Nelson asked Dr AndrÈ McDonald to take a look at it. He allowed the fight to continue. Both men were winded at this stage and into the final round, and Bowen came away with a hard-earned but decisive victory. Mullings, at 18 wins and two losses, went against an opponent with one win and three losses and toyed with him all the way. McCleave, who does not have much boxing skills, was knocked down in the third and then knocked out in the fourth with a flurry of body shots. The amateur bouts were well contested. Two Jamaicans met in the first, and Collel Hogg ended his bout with Samuel Grant in the third round by technical knockout. There was a female bout between two boxers who are new to the sport, where Chambria Dolhouse from Cayman won on points over Keron Thomas. Young Daniel Hylton, who is a very talented boxer, won on points over Alexander Smith from Cayman in a junior light welterweight contest, Jamaica’s Ricardo Carter outclassed Cayman’s Eduardo Montalvo in a lightweight contest, and in the final bout, Cayman’s Dariel Ebanks outpointed Jamaica’s Alando Lewis in a light heavyweight contest.last_img read more

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