LEICESTER, England (CMC): Senior player Anisa Mohammed has praised the 17-day preparation camp in Southampton and says it has left West Indies Women equipped and focused enough to win the upcoming ICC Women’s World Cup. The Windies Women wrapped up the camp on Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl, where they focused on all aspects of the game, and more importantly, used the time to acclimatise to the notoriously difficult English weather. “We’ve had a chance to get acclimatised to the conditions and also the pitches, so over the last two weeks, we have learnt some of the lengths and lines we have to bowl and the pace we need to bowl at and the fields we have to set,” the seasoned off-spinner said. “It’s not going to be like back home in the Caribbean or the Asian conditions, so it was good to be here for two weeks in advance and trying to get all boxes ticked for the World Cup.” Mohammad was part of the West Indies side that was good enough to reach the final of the last 50-overs World Cup in India four years ago, before going down to champions Australia. The Trinidadian has been an integral part of the side’s success in recent years and also featured prominently last year when the Caribbean side lifted the Twenty20 World title in India. Mohammed said she believed West Indies Women could now go one step further and also pull off the 50-overs title. “I think we have a really good chance of winning this World Cup,” she asserted. “We’ve made it to the finals of the last 50-overs World Cup and I think after winning a T20 World Cup last year that is also motivating us to want to win the 50-over world Cup as well. The spirit in the camp is excellent and we’re looking like we will win this.” West Indies will play official ICC warm-up games against Pakistan and South Africa next week before opening their campaign against reigning champions Australia on June 26. This year, the World Cup will be contested under a round-robin format and Mohammad warned that all the teams would pose a serious threat to West Indies. “We can’t underestimate any of the teams because all these teams have played in these conditions before, and we were very fortunate to be here for two weeks to acclimatise to these conditions,” she explained. “All the games will be tough but we just need to play one game at a time.” The World Cup runs from June 24 to July 23.
LIFTED GAME After Rashawn Crutchley fired Campion College into a fifth-minute lead against hosts Charlie Smith in their Group G ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup game at the Anthony Spaulding Complex yesterday, fears of a second-straight defeat briefly circulated through the majority Charlie Smith support in the venue. The former winners then wasted numerous chances before captain and playmaker Romeo Guthrie took things into his own hands and fired home two splendid goals from the edge of the area to tie the game, and then put his team ahead before they went on to win 6-2, and the 18-year-old midfielder says he is only getting better. “My first two games, I didn’t perform the way I know I can, but today (yesterday), I lifted my game more, and out of my three games, I played this was my best game in the tournament. “I feel great about my performance. I did what I had to do. I encouraged the guys and I got two goals so we could come back in the game. And I was always confident with the kicks. Even though the second wasn’t the best shot, it turned out excellent,” he reasoned. Playing in central midfield, Guthrie was a picture of composure throughout the match, picking his passes with vision and precise weight of passes. His first goal was a beauty from the top of the box, and although the second was not as fiercely struck, it gave Rivaldo Harris no chance in goal. Now he wants to carry on scoring and playing good football through the season for his school. “I want to keep this up. My target for the season is 10 to 12 goals. I scored in my first game, and in the second, I had none. But today I came and again executed, and I will try my best to keep up my standard,” the Maverley-Hughenden club player added.
Heavy police presence in ParisParis is pouring police into the streets this weekend for what the French people hope will be back-to-back celebrations — Bastille Day and, they’re crossing their fingers, a World Cup title.Paris police chief Michel Delpuech says 12,000 officers and 3,000 rescue workers will be mobilised in Paris and its suburbs for France’s national day today, marked by a military parade down the Champs-Elysees Avenue, and tomorrow when France plays Croatia in the World Cup final at a stadium in the Russian capital.Should France win, revelers will pack the Champs-Elysees to celebrate. Tens of thousands can watch the match from screens in a fan zone near the Eiffel Tower.The fun will be mixed with high tension for security authorities: Delpuech says a “real terrorist threat” exists.No DopeFIFA has reported no doping cases from almost 4,000 samples taken since January in a testing programme for the World Cup finals.The last World Cup doping case involved Argentina great Diego Maradona at the 1994 tournament in the United States.The 2018 testing programme includes 626 samples taken during the competition, including two players from each squad drawn to give samples after games. A total of 108 of the samples were collected on non-match days.Some players from the four teams still playing in Russia have been tested eight times this year, football’s world body said.Unruly England fansFIFA has opened a disciplinary case against England’s Football Association over misconduct by fans at the World Cup semi-final.FIFA says the investigation is into reports of offensive chants and discriminatory behaviour by a small group of fans at Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.England took an early lead before losing 2-1 to Croatia in extra time in its first World Cup semi-final since 1990.FIFA holds member federations responsible for fan behaviour at stadiums.Football’s international governing body is working at with anti-discrimination group Fare, which places expert monitors in stadiums.
TOP SHELF yesterday stunned the favourites at odds of 30-1 in the Cash Pot Trophy for two-year-olds, and six-time champion jockey Omar Walker attained his 1,000th winner locally with a three-timer, reaching his milestone with a thrilling finish aboard WITHOUT EXCEPTION in the seventh event at six furlongs. Kicked out of the betting as Gary Subratie’s CASUAL DRINK lit up the tote board at odds of 3-5, and BALTUSROL drifted out to 5-2, TOP SHELF sat third in the cat bird’s seat down the backstretch, watching TREVOR’S CHOICE playing spoiler on the lead shortly after the start. Led for the first time after virtually making all on debut earlier this month, CASUAL DRINK failed to kick when TOP SHELF swooped down off the final turn and grabbed the lead entering the straight. Hakeem Pottinger kept TOP SHELF rolling up the lane as CASUAL DRINK tried in vain to reel her in but was no match for the Soul Warrior-First Choice offspring, who won by two lengths, clocking 1:14.1 for her second consecutive win from three starts. PRINCESS ANNIE improved into third a furlong out, getting the better of BALTUSROL, who finished a disappointing fourth after beating TOP SHELF on their debut in August. Walker’s 1,000 winners, the fastest of five recorded at Caymanas Park, hogged the spotlight from the new apprentices, two of whom entered the winners’ enclosure on their first day of competitive riding, Tyrone Foster and Christopher Mamdeen, who won aboard MILARGO and CRUCIAL’S TREASURE, respectively. FIRST CAREER WIN Walker won the opening event astride MR LYNDHURST, grabbed his second with CALL TO DUTY in the fifth, handing trainer Leroy Francis his first career win, before returning to outbattle ZEPHYR aboard 4-5 favourite WITHOUT EXCEPTION. Trainer Anthony Nunes and Dick Cardenas combined to win three of the last four events on the 11-race card, including FAYROUZ in the seven-and-a-half furlong Fontainbleu Trophy, outduelling her St Leger conqueror, MARQUESAS, in a last-furlong thriller. Cardenas and Nunes’ other winners were 6-5 favourite ICE COLD in the eighth and ADONIS at 5-2 in the closing event, a battling victory over Spencer Chung’s 7-5 favourite, SEA SWAN, with Aaron Chatrie astride. Cardenas’ three-timer has moved him to within 17 of leading rider Anthony Thomas, who logged one winner, QUEEN’S HIGHWAY, in the ninth, setting the stage for an interesting last quarter in the jockeys’ championship. Racing continues at Caymanas Park on Wednesday.
Defending Corporate Area and all-island senior schoolgirl netball champions Excelsior High are off to a good start this year. In their first match in the second round, of the ISSA urban competition on Wednesday, they defeated Merl Grove 48-14 in a Group Two encounter at the Leila Robinson Courts. After winning six games in the preliminary round coach Christopher Smart was pleased with his team’s good start in the second round. “It was an okay win for us. The opponents were not as strong as I had hoped, but our girls did reasonably well. I started a strong team to see what they were going to look like in the second round, but as I have said, my opponents were not strong enough, so we are looking forward to Friday’s game against Camperdown,” said Smart, who thinks the east Kingston-based girls will give his team a tougher challenge. With the impressive Rocoya Douglas at the goal-shooting position in partnership with goal attack Rayanna Myers, Excelsior dominated the first two quarters 13-3 and 30-5 before resting most of their top players for the remainder of the game to pull off their easy win. Camperdown have also been doing well. They joined the defending champions atop the group with six points after getting by Ardenne 44-10. Former champions the Queen’s School were also winners after defeating St Andrew High 52-37. Last year’s beaten finalists Gaynstead, St Catherine High and St Andrew Technical were winners in Group One action. The Dalton Hinds-coached Gaynstead outclassed Jose Marti 53-3, while St Catherine overcame a stubborn Holy Childhood 39-31 and STATHS squeezed out a narrow one-goal win over Meadowbrook with a 22-21 victory .
Personal best If the 2018 track and field season ended in April, shot putter Danniel Thomas-Dodd might have been Jamaica’s Female Athlete of the Year. Thomas-Dodd bombed her way to silver at the World Indoor Champion-ships and then launched a national outdoor record of 19.36 metres to beat shot legend Valerie Adams of New Zealand to the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games early in April. She might have won despite the matching World Indoor silver/Commonwealth gold performance by triple jumper Kimberly Williams. However, as the season progressed, Janieve Russell, Natoya Goule, Danielle Williams, Aisha Praught-Leer and Shanieka Ricketts pulled into the fast lane. Ricketts showed her intentions with a big triple jump in January, 14.49 metres at the Ted Dwyer Invitational. Later, she would win silver at the Commonwealth Games and gold at the Athletics World Cup where she set a new personal best of 14.61 metres. Even so, with a 2-4 win-loss record against fellow triple jumper Williams, the top spot eludes her. Roommates Danielle Williams, the 2015 World 100-metre hurdles champion, and Goule seemed to inspire each other. They both started with medals at the Games and routinely traded personal bests. Williams won the Oslo Diamond League and then revved up to a lifetime best of 12.48 seconds as the Stockholm runner-up, before ending the season with a win over world record holder Kendra Harrison at the Continental Cup in 12.49. Goule won her Commonwealth bronze in the personal best time of 1 minute 58.82 seconds and broke Kenia Sinclair’s national record of 1 minute 57.88 seconds in Paris – 1.57.69 in fifth. The coup de gr‚ce came in Monaco when she zoomed home in 1 minute 56.15 seconds. Wins were hard to come by, but that is understandable when you recall her opponents include undefeated South African Caster Semenya. Praught-Leer made history with her Commonwealth 3000-metre steeplechase win and late in the season, succeeded in resetting her national record to 9 minutes 14.09 seconds. Notable seasons were also produced by MVP teammates Shericka Jackson and Stephenie-Ann McPherson, with their main prizes being Commonwealth medals, silver in the 200 for Jackson, and bronze in the 400 for McPherson, and dual wins in the NACAC Championships in Toronto and the Athletics World Cup in London. Despite all that, there is only one sound choice for Jamaican Female Athlete of the Year and it is Janieve Russell. Never placing lower than third in any of her 400-metre hurdle races, Russell won the Commonwealth Games, the Athletics World Cup and the Continental Cup, with a personal best of 53.46 seconds coming in Lausanne. She lost that race by 0.05 to the girl who succeeded her as World Junior Champion, Shamir Little of the United States. If not for Little, who also beat her in London and at NACAC, Russell might even be world number one. Her remaining losses to compatriot Leah Nugent at the Racers Grand Prix and to Americans Georgiana Moline and Olympic champion Dahlila Muhammad, and Swiss star Lea Sprunger, were frequently avenged. Her trump card was consistency. Hopefully, her steady performances will be a springboard to even better campaigns in 2019, when the World Championships roll into view, and in 2020, when Japan hosts the Olympics in Tokyo. She will also have the fastest woman of 2018, Sydney McLaughlin, to contend with. The young American ran no race after dominant displays on the US college circuit and which a world junior record of 52.75 seconds. They will no doubt meet next season when Russell, Jamaica’s 2018 Athlete of the Year, seeks another consistent year at an elevated level. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.
MANCHESTER, England (AP): Jose Mourinho was fired by Manchester United yesterday after failing to restore the club’s status as a major European force in a turbulent 30-month spell marked by clashes with players and increasing disgruntlement at the team’s style of play. The end for Mourinho at English football’s most prestigious club came two days after a 3-1 loss at Liverpool, which was the latest reminder of just how far United have slumped behind the top teams in the Premier League and Europe. United said it will not hire a permanent replacement for Mourinho until the off season. The club will appoint a caretaker manager for the remainder of the season in the coming days. Mourinho, a serial winner of trophies throughout his coaching career, arrived at Old Trafford in 2016 as a supposed quick fix for United following their struggles after the retirement of long-time manager Alex Ferguson three years earlier. He leaves with United sixth in the Premier League – 19 points off the lead after 17 games – and with his coaching career at a crossroads, with critics questioning if his abrasive approach to management, on and off the field, still suits modern-day football. United won two titles in Mourinho’s first season – the English League Cup and the Europa League – but failed to capture a trophy in his second season, although second place in the league was their highest finish since Ferguson left. REPLACEMENT Mourinho has historically encountered problems in his third season in charge at clubs he has managed, and it was no different at United. His relationship with Paul Pogba, United’s record signing at US$116 million and the marquee arrival in Mourinho’s reign, appeared broken following a spat that started in the off season. Mourinho had also been unhappy that United’s board failed to back his wish to sign a central defender in the off season. United have already conceded more goals in the league (29) than they did in all of last season. Then there was United’s pragmatic and often ponderous style of play under Mourinho that always seemed at odds with United’s preference down the years for free-flowing, attacking play. Mourinho’s final match in charge was the loss at Anfield, after which he said his players were brittle and couldn’t cope with the intensity and physicality of Liverpool – historically United’s biggest rivals. United also lost 3-1 to neighbours Manchester City in the league in recent weeks in another display that highlighted the team’s demise. Mourinho lasted the same length of time at United as he did in his previous job at Chelsea, when he was also fired just before Christmas in his third season after accusing his players of “betraying” him. In his six major coaching stints – at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Chelsea again and United Mourinho has only lasted more than three years once. That was in his first spell at Chelsea. Having signed a new contract with United in January until June 2020, the Portuguese coach will reportedly receive compensation of £24 million. BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS Whoever replaces Mourinho – Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is among the favourites with British bookmakers, while former Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is out of work – will take over a team that reached the last 16 of the Champions League, where it will play Paris Saint-Germain over two legs in February and March. More important, the interim coach needs to claw back an 11-point deficit to fourth-place Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification the minimum requirement for big teams like United at the start of the season. In some of Mourinho’s final public comments as United manager, he said, “for sure we are going to finish in the top six … but the best we can get is fourth position.” It smacked of a lowering in standards that he used to criticise other managers of having. By the end, the old magic that marked Mourinho out as one of the greatest coaches of his generation had gone. Assistant coach Michael Carrick will take charge of training until a caretaker coach is announced. United’s next league match is against Cardiff on Saturday as the team looks to bounce back from its worst 17-game start to a league campaign since the 1990-91 season.
HOBART, Australia, CMC – Barbadian fast bowling sensation Jofra Archer starred yet again as he helped power Hobart Hurricanes to a six-wicket win over Dwayne Bravo’s Melbourne Stars in the Australian Big Bash here Monday. The 23-year-old, currently eyeing selection for England’s World Cup campaign, snatched three wickets which restricted Stars to 155 for five off their 20 overs at Bellerive Oval. Sent in, Stars were set back early when Archer removed both openers inside the first six overs, with Travis Dean (11) and Ben Dunk (10) both departing cheaply with 32 on the board. Captain Glenn Maxwell then stroked 47 from 31 balls with five sixes, reviving the innings in an 87-run, third wicket stand with Nick Larkin whose 45 required 33 deliveries. When both fell in successive overs to leave the Stars on 123 for four in the 16th over, Marcus Stoinis chipped in with a 15-ball unbeaten 22 to keep the innings going. However, there was no such enterprise from Bravo who laboured for a run-a-ball 12 before holing out to square on the leg-side. Archer finished with three for 25 from his four overs. In reply, captain Matthew Wade hit 52 off 37 balls, putting on 55 for the first wicket with D’Arcy Short who made 34. Ben McDermott (28) and George Bailey (27) added 52 for the third wicket to keep Hobart on course for victory. Bravo’s first over leaked 20 runs and overall conceded 38 runs from three overs.
– no participation from GuyanaMore than 105 songs were submitted for screening for this year’s Pick 2 Chutney Soca Monarch and it has come down to 33 of the best entries.The organisers, Southex Trade Shows and Promotions Limited, announced a few days ago the list of the 33 top singers who will be competing in the semi-final on January 28 at the LIV Nightlife, South Trunk Road, La Romaine, Trinidad and Tobago.Although there is a lack of Guyanese participation in this year’s competition, some of the names selected to perform at the semi are well known to Guyanese and have their fan base her in Guyana.From the semi-final round, only nine contestants will be selected to compete against the reigning Chutney Soca Monarch, Kris “KI” Persad at the grand final, scheduled for February 11 at Skinner Park, San Fernando.Nevertheless, KI will make a special guest appearance at the semi-final on January 28.Those who will compete in the semi-final are Shivan R and Slammer Cutter, Rawythee Ramroop, Jason Peru, Heeralal Rampartap, Vishan Mohammed, Anthony Batson, Amit Sooknanan, O’Neil Bhajman, Veekash Sahadeo, Michael Ramroop, Xavier Pouchet, Jesh Ramnanan, Hemlatha Dindial, Reshma Ramlal, Drupatee Persad and Asha Kamachee.In addition, Jadel, Robin Jagdip, Imran Beharry, Aaron Duncan, Nishard Mayrhoo, Lalchan Babwah, Neval Bissambhar, Adesh Samaroo, Ravi B, Orlando Octave, Rick Ramoutar, Saleem Beharry, Rikki Jai, Rooplal G, Omadath Maharaj, Aaron Jewansingh and Sally Sagram will be competing with the hope of making it into the finals.
Looking for something to show dad how super amazing he is? MovieTowne has the perfect package!Dress dad like a super-agent, in all black, and enjoy free access to any movie this Father’s Day – June 16, 2019.The rules are simple, fathers must be dressed in black and they will be allowed entry into any movie for free. Non-fathers and children will be required to purchase their movie tickets. This offer only applies to one showing on Father’s Day.MovieTowne – which aims to brand itself as the number one stop for entertainment in Guyana – says this initiative is a great way to encourage family activities, especially in celebration of fathers.