The final set of preliminary games in the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) Community Mini Basketball Tournament will be played today at the Breezy Castle Sports Complex on Harbour Street in Kingston.Last weekend, there were six matches – four on Saturday and two on Sunday – in round-robin play at the National Stadium Courts. Majesty Lakers and Rae Town Bulls each scored two victories.The Lakers registered the most comprehensive win, a crushing 24-0 margin against Delacree Young Stars. In other matches that day, Majesty Lakers netted a second win, eclipsing Rae Town Bulls 10-8 in one of the most competitive matches.Rae Town Bulls, however, got better results in their other games as they beat Palm Grove 11-7 and turned back Delacree Heats 6-4.Two games were played on Sunday and Palm Grove pulled off a shocker in the first by hammering Majesty Lakers 20-0. In the other Sunday match, Delacree Heats beat Delacree Young Stars 6-2.In today’s matches, the top two teams on points will meet in the final. Games start at 1 p.m.Meanwhile, Selassie FC ran out the biggest winners in the Kingston and St Andrew leg of the INSPORTS All-Island Community Football League last weekend.BIGWINSelassie FC thumped Mandela 8-0, while four other teams recorded wins. Uplink Youth slammed Kingston and St Andrew Strikers 4-0, Sandy Park beat Future FC 2-0, Majesty Gardens beat Conscious United 2-0 and Dallas Castle clipped Whitehall FC 1-0.Meanwhile, Nannyville Youths drew 2-2 with African Gardens and St Albans and Hagley Park played out a similar scoreline.Also, there were four matches in Westmoreland. Rose Street turned back Grotto 2-0 and Shantilly also won 2-0 over Russia. Stratbogie edged Sholin 1-0, while Innswood and Gully Bank played out a goalless draw.A total of 33 teams are participating the Westmoreland League, which kicked off last Sunday with the four matches and an opening ceremony at the Llandilo playing field.Sixteen games will be played tomorrow at four venues – Llandilo, Godfrey Stewart High, Petersfield High and New Market Oval.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):Around the world, players, commentators, and fans echoed the call of Roger Federer, who wants to know names of those suspected of match-fixing in a growing scandal that one ex-pro described as a “major wake-up call for the world of tennis”.Many called for clarity, saying that the public and players have a right to know who is suspected of cheating. Others warned that the match-fixing scandal has the potential to damage the reputation of tennis, just like doping or corruption scandals have hurt professional cycling, athletics, baseball, and soccer.Martina Navratilova, the 18-time Grand Slam champion, tweeted: “We need facts, not suppositions.”The scandal broke on Monday when the BBC and BuzzFeed News published reports – timed for the start of the Australian Open – alleging that tennis authorities have ignored widespread evidence of match-fixing involving 16 tennis players who have ranked in the top 50 over the past decade.BuzzFeed titled its story ‘The Tennis Racket’ and said that half of those 16, including a Grand Slam winner, were at this year’s Australian Open.”This really casts a very dark shadow on our sport right now,” Mary Jo Fernandez said on ESPN as part of a panel discussion yesterday on the controversy.”Hopefully, because the world is watching, something will be done about it. We need to flag who these players were,” said Fernandez, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, winner of two Grand Slam women’s doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals.Federer was among the first to demand more information: “I would love to hear names,” the Swiss star said on Monday at a post-match news conference. Referring specifically to the claim about a former Grand Slam winner, he asked, “Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which Slam? It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.”His comments have resonated with those who say that not knowing leads to dangerous speculation.”This is turning into a witch hunt,” said Patrick McEnroe, a former French Open doubles champion and captain of the US Davis Cup team who was in Melbourne commentating.No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic was put on the spot yesterday at a post-match news conference, where a reporter told him that an Italian newspaper had just reported that he “wanted to lose” a match in Paris in 2007.”You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it,” Djokovic said.”This is now the main story in tennis, in the sports world. There’s going to be a lot of allegations,” he said, calling it “just speculation” and saying “it is not true”.GAMBLEDONHEAVILYUntil now, the average fan may have had little idea that tennis is one of the most gambled on sports in the world, with bookmakers actively taking bets mid-match. Between matches at the Australian Open, tennis experts have explained the mechanics of match-fixing, spelling out that it doesn’t necessarily mean throwing an entire match but could involve taking money just to double-fault or lose a set.”We in the tennis world have all heard the stories about this going on at the low levels. No one knew it was happening at the Grand Slams,” McEnroe said. “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. This is a major, major wake-up call for the world of tennis.”The BBC and BuzzFeed report prompted an immediate news conference by tennis’ governing bodies on Monday in Melbourne Park, where representatives denied allegations that any evidence about match-fixing had been suppressed. Officials noted that the sport’s anti-corruption division, the Tennis Integrity Unit, has pursued 18 disciplinary cases that resulted in life bans from the sport for five players and one official. It was set up in 2008 after a surge of suspicious betting activity in tennis.
MANCHESTER, England (AP):It sums up the erratic nature of this season’s Premier League that a match between Chelsea and Manchester United has been relegated to a mere sideshow just as the title race is getting interesting.Instead, this weekend is all about whether Leicester can pull off their biggest shock yet and finally be recognised as genuine title contenders.Leicester, who battled relegation all of last season, take a three-point lead to Manchester City tomorrow in a match between the top two sides in the league. A victory would guarantee Leicester at least a five-point lead with 13 matches remaining.Surely that would make them team favourites for the title and set up one of the most unlikely story lines in English football history.”It’s not a coincidence we’re top of the table,” Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater said. “This is team spirit at its highest. We won’t stop believing.”We’re staying on the ground but if we carry on the way we are, then why not have the belief (to win the league)? It would go down in history surely.”Even a draw would be fine for Leicester, who visit another title challenger in Arsenal the following weekend before a benign run of games.City, though, will want to send a message to Leicester’s upstarts and collect a fourth straight win in all competitions to take over in first place on goal difference.Seeking a third league title in five years, City have extra motivation for the run-in – giving departing coach Manuel Pellegrini a successful send-off after it was announced this week that Pep Guardiola would the club’s manager from next season.MANCITYBUILTTOWIN”Manchester (City) are built to win the title, to win the Champions League,” Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri said yesterday as he continued to downplay his team’s chances of winning the league.Asked who will win the title, Ranieri chuckled and said with a smile: “The others.”City said yesterday that captain Vincent Kompany is back in training after a six-week layoff with a calf injury.Chelsea – the defending champion – and Man United – a record 20-time champion – already are also-rans in the title race, although United will boost its ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League with a win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. United is in fifth place, five points off the Champions League qualification spots and 10 points behind Leicester.Chelsea is 13th and can probably forget about making up ground to the European positions in the top five.Arsenal is winless in its last four league games and has dropped to fourth, behind Tottenham on goal difference, ahead of a visit to Bournemouth on Sunday.Also tomorrow, it’s: Liverpool vs Sunderland; Aston Villa vs Norwich; Newcastle vs West Bromwich Albion; Swansea vs Crystal Palace; and Southampton vs West Ham.Wayne Rooney often scores goals in bursts and the Manchester United striker is in the middle of another hot streak.He has scored seven goals in seven games after his latest strike, in a 3-0 win over Stoke on Tuesday that relieved pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.”He has his momentum,” Van Gaal said about Rooney, “but also the team is now playing more for him, I think. We have to wait and see where he goes with this rhythm of making goals, with this then he is a fantastic striker.”
Carifta homecoming! – Swimmers, track and field athletes lauded for achievements at regional championships
“I was really passionate. I was there with you in spirit, and I just want to say the Carifta Games has been our stamping ground over the last 45 years so it is not surprising that we dominated the competition, equalling last year’s medal haul in the process,” Grange underlined of the track and field stars. In lauding the swimmers, she said: “You have done exceptionally well. You have come back from Martinique with 25 medals and you have made us exceptionally proud.” Jamaica hold the record for the most medals at the track and field championships, 88 overall. The record-breakers on the track and field team were Zico Campbell (U18 boys’ shot put), Warren Barrett Jr. (U20 boys’ shot put), female Under-20 400m hurdler, Shannon Kalawan, who replaced a 13-year-old record, Shian Salmon (U18 400m hurdles) and the boys’ Under-18 4×100 metres relay team of Michael Stephens, Christopher Taylor, Jhevaughn Matherson and Dejour Russell. “We feel really excited,” said head coach Reynaldo Walcott. “To be fair, it was a conservative effort; we have to ensure the safety of our athletes first and foremost, so we feel good team Jamaica did well, and I’d like to just encourage the kids to keep doing their best.” In the pool, Keanan Dols set a new 15-17 age group record of 2:07.80 minutes in the 15-17 boys’ 200-metre individual medley. In the preliminaries of the event, he lowered the 2004 record of 2:08.15 by Barbadian Olympian Bradley Ally. Emily McDonald broke Olympian Alia Atkinson’s 50m freestyle record (28.23) with a time of 28.15 seconds. The swimmers, who were experiencing financial challenges, received a $1 million boost from the Sports Development Foundation. ASAJ president, Handel Lamey, thanked the minister, sponsors, parents, stakeholders and the supporters on behalf of his team. “On behalf of the swimming fraternity, aquatics in Jamaica, we would like to say a big thank you and continue to support us,” said Daley. The sports minister said celebrations would soon be announced for both teams. Jamaica’s junior athletes in swimming and track and field were recognised for their achievements at the Carifta Championships at a function hosted by Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange at the Norman Manley International Airport’s VIP Lounge. Jamaica won 86 medals – 42 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze – at the Carifta Games in St Georges, Grenada. The total accumulated by the team of 80 boys and girls was the second highest number won by Jamaica at the regional showpiece. This year 20 swimmers swept 25 medals – eight gold, nine silver and eight bronze. The team also had 12 other swimmers making finals along, with 25 personal bests. MEDAL HAUL