Track superstars, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, headline a stellar cast of five men and eight women nominated for the 55th annual RJR Sports Foundation’s 2015 National Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards.Sports persons from seven categories will be up for awards on January 15, 2016, where the winners will be named.Bolt has won the main award on five occasions while Fraser-Pryce has won it twice.Bolt was the outstanding male athlete at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. He won gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4×100 metres.Fraser-Pryce won the 100m at the World Championships in a brilliant 10.76 and also anchored the 4x100m team to victory in a championship record 41.07 seconds.The other male nominees are Fedrick Dacres for his discus gold at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto and coming seventh in the final at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing; World Championships 110m hurdles silver medallist Hansle Parchment; shot putter O’Dayne Richards, who won bronze in Beijing; and Pan American Games 200m silver-medal winner Rasheed Dwyer.other nomineesIn the women’s category, the other nominees are boxer Alicia Ashley, who regained the WBC World Super Bantamweight title with a 10-round unanimous decision over veteran Irish Boxer Christina McMahon; swimmer Alia Atkinson, who set a national record 30.11 seconds in taking silver in the 50 metres backstroke at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia; World 100 meters hurdles gold medallist Danielle Williams; Veronica Campbell Brown, who earned bronze at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing with a season best of 21.97 and also ran on the winning 4x100m relay team; Shericka Jackson, who earned an individual bronze in the 400m and gold in the 4x400m; World 200m silver medallist and 4x100m gold-medal winner Elaine Thompson and Sherone Simpson, who won gold in the 100m at the Pan Am Games in Canada in a season best 10.95 seconds, her fastest time in seven years.Michael Fennell, Jamaica Olympics Association president and chairman of the selection committee, praised the outstanding performers of 2015 at yesterday’s press launch at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.In defending those nominated, Fennell told The Gleaner: “Those are the people who have been preparing for the Rio (2016 Olympics). The only one outside of that would be Alicia (Ashley), who is a professional boxer, but these are the people who have been fine-tuning for Rio and it was a fantastic year for those people.”Gary Allen chairman, RJR Sports Foundation; Ingrid Card, vice-president group marketing and public relations at Sagicor Life; Christopher Denny, vice-president distribution Victoria Mutual; and Sean Latty, chief operating officer Digicel Jamaica Limited, also spoke at yesterday’s launch.Sir Hilary Beckles, vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, will be the guest speaker at January’s awards function.
“We came here after winning [the] tournament in 2012. A hail storm knocked us out in Bangladesh [in 2014]. It’s a format we’ve been consistent in, but nobody gives us a chance,” Sammy pointed out. “We just wanted to take six steps. It’s a six-step process to the Cup. We have taken five steps. We took a big one against India. We had a bit of a skid on the way [against Afghanistan], which kind of knocked us off, but we got up. We are left with one more step. “We have improved, we believe in each other. We enjoy each other’s success. Just thinking about lifting that Cup tomorrow, I could almost foresee what’s going to happen after. We have a cricket game to play first.” Sammy has been lucky enough to win the toss in every game to date, opting to chase on each occasion. And while they uncharacteristically struggled against the Afghans, they have been dominant in their pursuit of targets, especially packing a battery of big hitters like Gayle, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher and Andre Russell. He warned that West Indies were not only a chasing team and would bat well regardless of if they were asked to bat first or second. And with criticism that West Indies’ batting was one-dimensional with all power-hitters, Sammy said the side would continue to play to their strengths. “Whatever we do, we just have to do it well. I’ve been lucky enough to win all five tosses that I’ve taken, but in case England win [the toss], we’ve just got to bat well, bowl well or defend when that time comes. It’s a final and whatever each team does, we just have to do it well,” he outlined. Note: The match starts at 8:30 a.m. (Jamaica time) on ESPN. Strong belief Consistent KOLKATA, India, CMC: Confident West Indies will rely on their unshakable self-belief and devastating power hitting when they clash with an inform England in today’s final of the Twenty20 World Cup in a quest for their second title in five years. Ranked as outsiders before the start of the tournament, the Darren Sammy-led unit has torn up the form books and silenced critics, topping their group in the preliminaries, with just one defeat, before stunning title favourites India in last Thursday’s semi-final, to reach the championship game. While acknowledging the threat posed by a strong England side, Sammy told reporters there was strong belief in the squad that they could defeat whatever opposition was placed in front of them. “I feel very excited. We left the Caribbean with one goal on that journey, which was to win the Cup, and both our men’s and women’s teams have created that opportunity to do that and, as a group, we are really excited,” Sammy said. “The confidence in the group and the belief in the group are really high and really good, and we’re looking forward again to playing England. They are a very good side. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s a step we’re willing to take.” West Indies will carry into the final the confidence of having beaten England already in the tournament. In their opening game in Mumbai, the Caribbean side chased down England’s 183 to win with 11 balls to spare, with superstar opener Chris Gayle lashing an unbeaten hundred. Since then, they defeated Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Bangalore, edged South Africa by three wickets in Nagpur before suffering their only defeat days later at the same venue with a shock six-run loss to minnows Afghanistan. They remarkably chased down 193 to beat the Indians in Mumbai last Thursday, and Sammy said everyone was aware they were on the brink of their ultimate goal.
On a day when American Justin Gatlin dropped a wind-aided 9.90 seconds run in The Bahamas, 2011 World 100m champion Yohan Blake signalled his return after injury issues, with a world leading 9.95 (+1.4) win in the 100m at the MVP Track and field meet at the National Stadium on Saturday night. Blake, who has been bothered with hamstring injuries, which caused him to miss the 2013 World Championships and much of the subsequent seasons, confirmed whispers out of his training camp, which pointed to an athlete in good shape, after bursting out of the blocks and out-sprinting a solid field. 200m specialist Rasheed Dwyer and Zharnel Hughes both clocked 10.10 seconds for second and third respectively. Earlier, Gatlin, while competing at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational at the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau, stopped the clock in 9.90 seconds but had an illegal +2.3 wind pushing him along. Qatar’s Femi Ogundoe, was second in 9.94 with Trinidad and Tobago’s Adrian Griffith taking third in 10.03. Also in The Bahamas, veteran Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown had to settle for third place in the women’s 100m, 11.17 in a tight finish behind Trinidadian Michelle-Lee Ahye, 11.14 and Murielle Ahoure (Ivory Coast), 11.17. Another Jamaican Aleen Bailey fell during the early stages of the race and was reportedly taken to hospital after hitting her head on the track. Quarter-miler LaShawn Merritt was a highlight at the meet, stopping the clock in a brilliant 19.78 (+0.9) to win the 200m event. Wallace Spearmon, 20.40 was next best with Mike Rodgers 20.42 finishing third, while Jamaica’s Jason Livermore was fifth in 21.01.
ROME (AP):The Italian football federation has announced it has been selected by the International Football Association Board to test video replays.Federation president, Carlo Tavecchio, said, “We were among the first supporters of using technology on the pitch and we believe we have everything required to offer our contribution to this important experiment.”Video will be restricted to referees ruling whether a goal has been scored, a penalty should be awarded, and a player should be sent off, or in cases of mistaken identity.Tests initially will be in private before moving to a live pilot phase with replay assistance by the 2017-18 season at the latest, the IFAB decided last month.The Italian federation said it was selected at a meeting in London last week.