Points standingP W D L GF GA GD Pts1. Arsenal 21 13 4 4 37 21 16 432. Leicester 21 12 7 2 38 25 13 433. Man City 21 12 4 5 39 21 18 404. Tottenham 21 9 9 3 34 17 17 365. West Ham 21 9 8 4 33 24 9 356. Man United 21 9 7 5 27 20 7 347. Stoke City 21 9 5 7 24 22 2 328. Crystal Palace 21 9 4 8 23 20 3 319. Liverpool 21 8 7 6 25 27 -2 3110. Watford 21 8 5 8 25 24 1 2911. Everton 21 6 10 5 36 29 7 2812. Southampton 21 7 6 8 28 24 4 2713. West Brom 21 7 6 8 22 27 -5 2714. Chelsea 21 6 6 9 28 31 -3 2415 Norwich City 21 6 5 10 24 35 -11 2316. Bournemouth 21 5 6 10 23 37 -14 2117. Swansea City 21 4 7 10 19 30 -11 1918. Sunderland 21 5 3 13 26 41 -15 1819. Newcastle 21 4 6 11 22 38 -16 1820. Aston Villa 21 2 5 14 17 37 -20 11
KINGSTON: Top high school athletes from across the island will do battle for $16 million in cash and prizes in the 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championship, which gets under way this Saturday with the Western Championships at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay and the Youngster Goldsmith National Athletics Classics at the National Stadium in Kingston. Events to be contested in the seven-event Grand Prix Series are the 100 metres, 200m, 400m, 800m, long jump, high jump, discus, and 4x400m. The Grand Prix will continue with the Corporate Area Development Meet at the National Stadium on Thursday, February 11; Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium on Saturday, February 13; Central Championships at G. C. Foster College on Tuesday, February 16; and the Grand Prix final at the G. C. Foster Classics at G. C. Foster College on Saturday, February 20. The top two athletes from each event from the first five meets will earn the first six spots in the finals. There will be two wild card positions for the two next best athletes from any meet. POINT SYSTEM Athletes will get nine points for a win; seven for second place; six, five, four, three, two, and one point for individual events; and 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 for the relay. Points will be accumulated from the regional meets and carried over to the Grand Prix Final to determine the overall school champions. Technical committee chairman Maurice Wilson is expecting stiff competition in the sprints at the Western Championships, while the field events should take the spotlight in Kingston. “The 100m and the 200m should bring a lot of attention because the athletes from that region are comparable to athletes from the central and other regions. With the Youngster Goldsmith, the long jump should be of interest because of athletes coming out of Calabar High and even as far as Oberlin High. With Kingston College and Calabar, we are expecting good competition in the throws and the discus,” he said. St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), the defending boys’ champions, should get a head start with defending 200m Grand Prix champion Nigel Ellis expected to perform well again this season. Wilson also challenged athletes to hunt for prizes that would add to their schools’ programmes. The champion schools will receive $1 million, runner-up $500,000, and third-place $200,000 worth of gym equipment. Should an athlete break a record at any of the six meets, he/she will be awarded a scholarship that will be made payable directly to the school that the athlete will be attending in September 2016. The coaches of the 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletic Championship-winning male school and female school will each receive $50,000. *Earlier this story had said that the Camperdown Classic would be held at the Usain Bolt Track on Saturday, February 13. That was incorrect. It will in fact be held at the National Stadium.
Wolmer’s Girls ‘B’ were seventh with three points and Excelsior High ‘B’ took eighth place on a tiebreaker over Green Island ‘B’, as both teams ended on two points. The Best Rural team award went to Green Island ‘A’. Individual category prizes were awarded to Campion’s Sheanel Gardner, Aulanni Kidd and Janique Lee, who were declared Best Board One, Best Board Two and Best Reserve, respectively. The Best Board Three prize went to Alliyah Yankana of Wolmer’s Girls ‘A’. Campion’s coach, National Master Ryan Blackwood, was adjudged best coach. In closing the championship, chair of the Jamaica Chess Federation’s (JCF) women’s chess committee, Listra Clemetson, said they want to use the championship as a springboard. “The JCF’s women’s chess committee is very pleased with the revival of schoolgirls chess, and we plan to use the foundation we have laid this year to build for the future,” said Clemetson. “We are thankful to the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, who, over the last year and a half, has embraced the vision for the growth of the sport of chess in Jamaica at the junior level, through their support of the high schools chess championships, and we are encouraging other corporate bodies to throw their weight behind the sport,” she added. KINGSTON: Campion College are winners of the PCJ Group National Schoolgirls Chess Champion-ship, securing a 1.5-1.5 draw against Immaculate Conception High in the final round of the tournament at PCJ Auditorium, in St Andrew. Campion went into the fourth and final round on six points, needing only a draw against Immaculate to secure seven points and top honours. Despite being the superior team on paper, Campion’s Sheanel Gardner, Aulanni Kidd and Janique Lee decided not to take any chances, eventually offering draws to their less-fancied opponents on all three boards. Three teams ended on six points each, including Wolmer’s Girls ‘A’, Immaculate Conception and Excelsior High ‘A’. Wolmer’s Girls ‘A’ took home second place on a tiebreaker over Immaculate, adjudged third. Excelsior ‘A’ ended fourth. Green Island High ‘A’ and Holy Childhood High ended on four points each. However, when the tiebreaker system was employed, Green Island ‘A’ took fifth place over Holy Childhood, who had to settle for sixth position. TIEBREAKER
CASTRIES, St Lucia, (CMC):Caribbean Premier League organisers believe the upcoming season will be most successful yet, especially with the new move to host matches in the United States expected to reap dividends.For the first time in the three-year-old tournament, games have been scheduled outside of the Caribbean with six being played at Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.And as tickets went on sale for the first time yesterday, CPL chief executive Damien O’Donohoe said organisers were expecting a strong response.”We are really excited about the forthcoming CPL season and look forward to welcoming even more supporters to our matches for the season ahead,” he said.”We at CPL are acutely aware of our responsibilities to promote West Indies cricket and the tickets are competitively priced for single tickets and families across the Caribbean and Fort Lauderdale.SUCCESSFUL SEASON AHEAD”As we now all know, the West Indies is the home of the ICC World T20 champions, and with a number of hugely talented emerging local players from the Under-19 squad and regionally, as well as our most talented roster to date of international talent, we’re shaping up for our most successful season yet.”The tournament will this year run from June 29 to August 7, and will again feature six franchises – Barbados Tridents, Trinbago Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Zouks.Fixtures have only been released for two venues – Warner Park in St Kitts and Central Broward Stadium – with the remaining dates expected to be announced in coming days.Warner Park hosts four games starting June 30, while Central Broward will feature six games, starting July 28.O’Donohoe said he expected the Florida games to provide a major boost to the tournament.”This year we will also be playing six matches in Fort Lauderdale which is a new and exciting departure for CPL, and I would urge all supporters to book their tickets early because we’re expecting huge numbers to attend again this year.”
Michael Binns was easily Portmore United’s man of the match for his double strike and all-round classy performance in their 3-1 second-leg semi-final win, which gave them a 4-3 victory on aggregate and a place in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) final against Montego Bay United. Tramaine Stewart scored Portmore United’s third goal, while Kemeel Wolfe was responsible for Humble Lion’s sole strike at Arnett Gardens’ Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex on Monday night. Binns’ classiest performance of the night, though, came off the field and occurred when he dedicated the win to the deceased father of one of his opponents, Ricardo Cousins. “This victory means a lot to me, and I just want to dedicate it to my friend Ricardo Cousins’ dad, even though Ricardo was on the losing team tonight,” the midfielder said, as he soaked up all the adulation at the end of the game. He also went over to console Cousins and some of the other Humble Lion players. “Ricardo is a very good friend to me, and his dad was a member of Portmore United. He was a big fan of Portmore, so I want to dedicate this one to him,” added Binns, who was captained by Cousins to the schoolboy triple crown while playing for Glenmuir High in 2004; and who also played alongside him when Portmore United won the RSPL in 2008. Of the game itself, Binns said that things went better than they planned. “Our intention coming into the game was to keep our head and try to get an early goal and take control of the game, and we got two, so that was great,” added the 27-year-old, who confessed to being overwhelmed. While not being a prolific scorer, Binns, who returned to the club in October last year after a number of years living in Florida, said he was prepared for the opportunities to come. “I am the dead-ball kicker in the team, so I was not surprised when the opportunities came. I had been practising them all week, and whenever I get a chance, I am pretty confident that I am going to put them away. “I have scored six goals so far this season and these are my most important two,” continued the man who is dreaming of playing a part in taking Portmore United from promoted team to champions. While stating that he was looking forward to going back to the States to his wife and family, Binns said that will come after the finals. “It is great to be back. It is really wonderful, and while I have to go back to the wife and family, I am staying until after the final,” he said, with a broad smile.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York (CMC):Jamaican Shaun Bridgmohan brought 9-1 outsider White Rose with a sharp late run to edge the field and win the US$200,000 Glens Falls Stakes in track record time at Saratoga racetrack Saturday.The race was an open affair at the top of the stretch, but Bridgmohan got the best out of the five-year-old mare as she eased clear of her rivals to reach the wire three-quarter lengths clear in a time of two minutes, 22.46 seconds.The victory was the first for White Rose in six outings this season and the first since October last year, as she improved her record to 6-4-3 from 24 starts and pushed her career earnings to US$558,663.”I had a perfect trip,” Bridgmohan said afterwards.PHENOMENALJOB”It was pretty straightforward: I got to the fence, saved every inch of ground and angled off at the top of the stretch, and she gave me what she had today. Obviously, (trainer Bill Mott) does a phenomenal job with her and she showed it.”Mott was also quick to praise Bridgmohan for a superb ride.”She had a ground-saving trip the whole way, it was beautiful,” Mott said.”I thought, even down the backside, maybe he’ll (Bridgmohan) tip her out and go outside of Goldy Espony, but he went inside. He cut the corner the whole way, so really it was a great trip.”Going a mile and three-eighth, Maximova, another 9-1 bet, set a lively pace with fractions of 23.69 for the quarter mile and 46.70 for the half.Ceisteach tracked from second and Goldy Espony from third, with Bridgmohan saving ground with White Rose in fourth.Maximova opened up down the backstretch to reach three-quarters in 1:10.57 and to carve out a three-length advantage.Bridgmohan had moved White Rose up to the third by the time the race reached the final turn and the mare then unleashed a thunderous stretch run to overhaul the front runners and reach the wire first.
WESTERN BUREAU: Defending ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup champions, Clarendon College, are clinging to their cup by the slimmest of threads, knowing that only a victory over Rusea’s High in this afternoon’s quarter-final match at the Juici Field is good enough to save their season. Only four of six matches are scheduled today with the other two, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) versus The Mannings School at STETHS and Vere Technical up against Marcus Garvey at Wembley set for tomorrow. The ‘Russians’ are on four points from one victory and a draw in this round of the competition and are matched by Dinthill Technical on points, but boast a one-goal difference to lead Group S. Clarendon College sit on three points and cannot lose today if they are to keep their title, at least through to the semi-finals. In the group’s other fixture, Dinthill will need to avoid defeat to Glenmuir and hope that Rusea’s draw with Clarendon College, if they are to advance ahead of all the others. It’s all a tricky situation and not dissimilar to what obtains in the other three groups. It is all even in Group P, with Manchester High, Lacovia High, St James High and Paul Bogle High on three points apiece. The separation, however, should come after St James host Manchester at Jarrett Park at 3:00 p.m. and Lacovia welcome Paul Bogle to Santa Cruz (at STETHS) in the opening game of a double header. Group Q is equally poised, with the impressive Petersfield High taking aim at Lennon at Frome Sports Complex, where a win and a draw or loss for either team in the Port Antonio vs Seaforth clash at Carder Park, will see them claim a spot in the last four. STETHS will tackle Mannings at 3:00 pm in their Group R encounter tomorrow, while Vere Technical could still advance with a win over Marcus Garvey and enough goals to add to a loss for STETHS. “We are a confident set of people at STETHS, the players have been through a lot so far this year but are ready,” said STETHS coach Omar Wedderburn. “It continues to be work in progress and we look forward to the Mannings game, because as I told my players, each team is in it to win it. We must want it more than the others,” Wedderburn said firmly. Today’s matches Lacovia vs Paul Bogle at STETHS St James vs Manchester at Jarrett Park Petersfield vs Lennon at Frome Sports Complex Port Antonio v Seaforth at Carder Park Clarendon College vs Rusea’s at Juice Field Glenmuir vs Dinthill at Juice Field All matches start at 3:00 pm, except the Juice Field double-header, which begins at 1:00 p.m.
Experienced campaigner Richard ‘Spoon’ McCallum has retired as goalkeeper of Red Stripe Premier League club Waterhouse FC. He is now acting general secretary at the Drewsland-based club. “I have retired because of personal reasons, to pursue a bachelors degree in production and operation,” said McCallum, who stood between the sticks at Waterhouse for 12 years, during an interview with The Gleaner yesterday. “The club was notified two months ago, and it is effective as at December 31, 2015,” he added. McCallum was approached to take up a position as general secretary, at the club because Felix Porter has vacated the post due to health reasons. “The club (Waterhouse) approached me to be acting general secretary, and I duly accepted the post,” McCallum informed. He said the players in the senior team at the club expressed regrets with him leaving at this time. “I spoke to the players, and some have expressed regrets and want me to delay the decision, but I have to think about life after football. I can’t continue to focus on goalkeeping and school at the same time,” McCallum said. McCallum also represented Invaders FC for one year and Seba (now Montego Bay United) for three years, before journeying from St James to St Andrew. He made his international debut for Jamaica in 2006, and also represented the country at the Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 levels.
Trinidad and Tobago are on top in the Caribbean Regional Table Tennis Pre-Cadet Championship after yesterday’s second day at the National Indoor Sports Centre. The leaders have four points, one more than Jamaica A, while Jamaica B are third with two points. Jamaica went down 2-3 to T&T in the Girls’ Under-11 category. The Trinidadians won their second title following victory in the Girls’ Under-13 category on Monday. Dexter Abbott, coach of Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-11 girls, admitted that it was a very close and exciting match-up. “It was very exciting and very close match. I think our team held their nerves. We did not panic,” Abbott told The Gleaner. “I hope it (girls’ victory) does well for the sport in the future. I hope that the powers that be invest in the programme,” the coach said. Richard Davidson, coach of Jamaica’s girls’ Under-11 team, said he wasn’t disappointed as the girls played very good. “My girls played well under the circumstances. And, kudos to Trinidad, we’ll see them next time,” Davidson said. The championship continues today, starting at 10 a.m. Tournament sponsors include Jamaica Tourist Board, Cal’s Manufacturing, Hi-Lyte, Independence Park, INSPORTS, Jamaica Olympic Association, Jamaica Urban Transit Company, Nestle Jamaica, Reggae Jammin, Seafreight, Shortwood Teachers’ College, Sports Development Foundation, Tenergy Sound System, Tropical Blue and Xsomo. – M.S.
BUSY PORTFOLIO IAAF President Sebastian Coe underlined the importance of Usain Bolt’s continued involvement in international track and field after he retires and again pointed to Jamaican athletics as a valuable element in the efforts to build a positive global image for the sport. Coe, who is in the middle of a campaign to reform the organisation’s governance following massive doping and corruption scandals, believes that it is extremely important that the IAAF finds a way to make the most of the Jamaican superstar’s international appeal in its drive to increase the reach of a sport that has struggled to keep pace with others where revenue and influence are concerned. The IAAF boss spent some time with Bolt during last summer’s Olympic Games, which was the athlete’s penultimate championships with next year’s World Championships in London already declared to be his last and gave an idea of what the conversation was about. “We had a very broad conversation, very broad discussion; I am the very last person who would want to usher Usain into retirement. He will decide at the right moment, and we are delighted he is committed to run in London; that’s a good position to be in, but when Usain does decide it’s time to go off and do other things, it’s inevitable he will have a lot of demands,” Coe told The Gleaner. “He (Bolt) is a hugely popular global figure and all sorts of organisations, businesses and third-sector organisations are going to have his time, and I just want to make sure that someone who has delivered so supremely well for our sport carves out a little bit of time in what is going to be a busy portfolio not to be lost to athletics.” Coe was not prepared to go into detail on what Bolt’s role within or with the IAAF would look like but stressed that there is an understanding between himself and the nine-time Olympic gold medal winner. “We have a working proposition that when the right moment comes, he can come and sit down and we can have a very good discussion about what that role can look like, and I think it’s important that we plan for the future. I would be crazy for our sport not to utilise the experience and global status of a guy that not since Muhammad Ali – only since Ali – someone has grabbed such a global space; it’s an extraordinary experience,” Coe added. The Brit also singled out the Jamaican performance at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a positive point in a challenging year for the organisation. “Rio was, in terms of performance for track and field, top draw, in large part, courtesy of Jamaica, and I say that with massive respect,” said Coe. “As I have continuously said, we owe a great debt of gratitude to Jamaican track and field, it’s an extraordinary story, and the country remains one of the powerhouses of track and field. I am grateful for the exploits of Usain Bolt and the other extraordinary athletes. This is a huge bonus, a huge asset (for the IAAF),” added Coe. The Jamaicans ended the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with 11 medals. With Bolt (100m, 200m), Elaine Thompson (women 100m, 200m), Omar McLeod (110m hurdles), and the men’s 4x100m relay team mining gold.