King and queen of the sprinting world and now, yet again, Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce have claimed the RJR Sports Foundation 2015 Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year crowns after last night’s coronation as Jamaican sporting royalty. Like he was last year, shot-putter O’Dayne Richards, who twice hit a national record – 21.69m – on his way to winning Pan American gold and a historic World Championships bronze, was presented with the runner-up to the Sportsman of the Year award. Sprint hurdles world champion Danielle Williams capped a terrific year with the runner-up to the Sportswoman of the Year trophy, after her personal best 12.57 brought her the gold in Beijing last summer. Exceptional seasons The lack of surprise around what was Bolt’s sixth and Fraser-Pryce’s third Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year titles speaks volumes to the exceptional seasons that both sprinters enjoyed, considering the highly successful year that their peers also registered. They are used to topping medal podiums, and the pair again shared the spotlight at the glitzy ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus – as they did in 2012 and 2013. Bolt helped himself to gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m in Beijing, while Fraser-Pryce followed up her World Championships gold medals in the 100m and 4x100m with the Diamond League 100m title. This win by Bolt means that a track and field athlete has won the National Sportsman of the Year title for 13 of the last 15 years, with cricketer Chris Gayle in 2010 and last year’s winner Nicholas Walters (boxer), being the exceptions. His other wins came in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The athletics dominance is even more pronounced on the female side, with only three non-track and field athletes winning the National Sportswoman of the Year award in its 54-year history. Fraser-Pryce also won this award in 2012 and 2013. The MVP Track Club star, who has won two Olympic and seven World Championships gold medals over a decorated career, was also presented with the Sagicor Icon Award. Novlene Williams-Mills, whose determined anchor leg lifted Jamaica to a gold medal in the World Championships 4x400m relay and who also successfully fought breast cancer, was recognised with the Chairman’s Award. Former Netball Jamaica president Marva Bernard was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Injury may have ruined his 2015 season but that hasn’t stopped Jason Livermore from thinking big. Axed by a leg ailment during last year’s National Championship 100 metre final, the 27 year-old Livermore is already looking forward to this season’s Nationals. He says his coach, Michael Clarke, is helping him to get back to his best. A late developer, the powerfully built Livermore slowly improved after finishing fourth in the 2007 Boys and Girls’ Championships Class One 100 metre final won by Yohan Blake for St Jago High in the record time of 10.21 seconds. His patient work paid off in 2013 when he took a bronze medal in the 200m at the Central American and Caribbean Championships and reached the semis of the event at the World Championships in Moscow. He followed that with a solid 2014 campaign and a bronze in the 200m at the Commonwealth Games. Sadly, the progress stopped last year. Not long after he helped Jamaica to win the 4x200m at the IAAF World Relays, his dreams of running in Beijing at the World Championships were crushed by his injury at the Nationals. He isn’t looking back at that disappointment. “Things have been going great, thanks to God,” he said. “My coach is ensuring that I do the necessary things to get me back where I was and better than I was before.” His coach Michael Clarke had directed him to personal bests of 10.05 for the 100m and 20.13 seconds in the 200m in 2013. He knows that he may need to be better than he was before to qualify for the Jamaican team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In 2015, six Jamaicans ran faster than his 100m lifetime best and three surpassed his career best in the 200m. Livermore is undaunted and seems to relish the competition. “Things are looking forward for now in the sprints because there are a lot of athletes in Jamaica, especially young sprinters,” he observed. “Looking at the sprints right now,” he projected, “2016 Jamaica trials is going to be a very lovely.” His target is simple. “It has always been the same … just go to trials, make the finals and be in the top three,” he said.
Club faces sanction after player shows Putin shirt ISTANBUL (AP): European football’s governing body charged Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow and one of its players with improper conduct on Wednesday for revealing a picture of Russian President Vladimir Putin on his T-shirt after a politically charged game in Turkey. UEFA rules prohibit political statements at its matches, and the laws of football ban players from revealing images and slogans on underclothing. Lokomotiv player Dmitri Tarasov took off his team shirt to reveal the Putin T-shirt after his team lost to Turkish side Fenerbahce 2-0 in Istanbul on Tuesday in the Europa League. Emblazoned beneath the image of Putin wearing a Russian navy cap were the words in Russian: “The most polite president.” UEFA said its disciplinary panel will judge the case on March 17. Sri Lanka pick Herath in WT20 squad COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP): Star spin bowler Rangana Herath returns to the shortest format of cricket after two years as Sri Lanka chose a mix of experience and youth for their 15-member squad for the World Twenty20 starting next month. Herath hadn’t played in a Twenty20 international since the final of the last edition of World T20 in 2014. Sri Lanka won the title, defeating India in the final. The squad announced yesterday also includes captain Lasith Malinga and his deputy Angelo Mathews, who because of injuries missed a three-match series against India that ended this week. The tournament begins in India on March 8. The squad: Lasith Malinga (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Niroshan Dickwella, Shehan Jayasuriya, Milinda Siriwardana, Dasun Shanaka, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath and Jeffrey Vandersay.
Weather: Fine Track: GoodRace 1 1000 M (S) (Purse $768,000) IMP3YO&UP(NW3&MDN)/NB3YO&NB4YO(NW3O/T)-REST.STAKES1. * SILVER CLOUD OWalker 53.02. BLUE DIXIE DaneNelson 54.0 1 1/4L3. DRIPPING IN GOLD RHalledeen 53.0 1L4. CRUISING MOTION PFrancis 52.0 3/4LLate scratch : #7 SUPERTRONICSWIN: $90.00Final Time : 0:59.0 Splits : 22.3, 45.4, ,Winner : 4yo gr colt – HE’STHEREALTHING out of PREACH PREACHER by ROYAL MINISTERTrainer : DACOSTA,WAYNE A Owner : ELIZABETH A DACOSTABred by WAYNE A. DACOSTAQuinella : (2,3) $115.00 Exacta : (2-3) $223.00Trifecta : (2-3-4) $77.00Race 2 1100 M (Purse $768,000) NB3-Y-O MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT (DIV.I)1. * MACALLAN OEdwards3 51.02. BLUE MOON JInnis4 48.0 3L3. BOLD SYMPHONY AChatrie 54.0 Head4. KING D OMullings 56.0 1 3/4LWIN: $78.00PLACE: $55.00, $65.00, $55.00Final Time : 1:08.0 Splits : 23.2, 47.0, ,Winner : 3yo b colt – MARKET RALLY out of TAIWANA by LANGFUHRTrainer : AZAN,RICHARD N Owner : MILADE AZAN & RICHARD AZAN & WILBERT BAGWANDEEN & GRAHAM BROWNBred by HAM STABLES LTD.Quinella : (2,3) $525.00 Exacta : (3-2) $610.00D/E : (2-3) $212.00Superfecta : (3-2-7-6) $2,753.00Race 3 1200 M (Purse $560,000) NB4-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE IV(NW3)1. * BONGO KING SEllis 53.02. DINNER BY SEVEN DaneNelson 52.5 3 1/4L3. COMMANDING AVIATOR AChatrie 53.5 2 1/4L4. WINGS OF HOPE OWhite 52.0 3 1/4LWIN: $104.00PLACE: $56.00, $74.00, $80.00Final Time : 1:14.0 Splits : 23.0, 46.1, ,Winner : 4yo ch colt – URBAN KING out of VALADY by Trainer : FRANCIS,EVERAL C Owner : EVERAL C FRANCISBred by ARGYLL FARMS LTD.Quinella : (3,7) $217.00 Exacta : (3-7) $384.00D/E : (3-3) $189.00Trifecta : (3-7-1) $314.00Rolling Triple : (2-3-3) $373.00Race 4 1100 M (Purse $768,000) NB3-Y-O MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT (DIV.II)1. * BIG DATA DaneNelson 54.02. SWEET DESTINY SEllis 54.0 2 1/2L3. BUCK CALL AGray4 50.5 2 1/2L4. BURNING EXIT OWalker 54.0 3 1/2LWIN: $79.00PLACE: $58.00, $83.00, $115.00Final Time : 1:08.0 Splits : 23.0, 46.3, ,Winner : 3yo b colt – MARKET RALLY out of HISHI BLOSSOM by MACHO UNOTrainer : SUBRATIE,GARY A Owner : OAKRIDGE FARMSBred by HAM STABLES LTD.NOTE: HORSE #4 NEHEMIAH FINISHED 1ST BUT WAS DISQUALIFIED AND PLACED 8THQuinella : (5,7) $84.00 Exacta : (7-5) $127.00D/E : (3-7) $160.00Superfecta : (7-5-6-3) $730.00Rolling Triple : (3-3-7) $243.00Race 5 1000 M (S) (Purse $500,000) NB5-Y-O & UP MAIDEN CONDITION RACE1. * QUEEN OF THE TOWN SEllis 55.02. DEPUTY HEADGIRL JErwin 53.0 Neck3. MEGAHERTZ OWhite 48.5 5L4. DANISH BROWN OMullings 52.0 Sh.Head5. IDON’TKNOW MWard4 48.0 3/4LLate scratch : #7 KING DIAMONDWIN: $112.00PLACE: $78.00, $82.00Final Time : 1:02.0 Splits : 23.2, 47.4, ,Winner : 6yo b mare – RIZZI LEE out of ISSEY MIYAKE by ROYAL MINISTERTrainer : PLUMMER,DONOVAN Owner : GERAINT E PARCHMENTBred by DONOVAN PLUMMER & ALRICK MIGNOTTQuinella : (5,8) $245.00 Exacta : (5-8) $390.00D/E : (7-5) $196.00Trifecta : (5-8-4) $798.00Hi-5 : (5-8-4-6-9) $13,450.00Rolling Triple : (3-7-5) $255.00Race 6 1300 M (Purse $530,000) NB5-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2) (DIV.I)1. SEAL THE DEAL DaneNelson 55.02. MEDICAL INSTINCT JPatterson4 49.0 1/2L3. MIRACLE TRAIN RMairs 54.0 Neck4. SEQUOYAH KPowell 54.0 1/2L5. EAZY STEPPING ADancel 52.0 1L6. * WICKED TUFF RLahoe 56.0 3/4LWIN: $140.00PLACE: $75.00, $133.00, $107.00Final Time : 1:23.4 Splits : 23.4, 48.1, 1:15.2,Winner : 5yo b colt – SHUFFLING MADDNES out of HAIL THE I by HAIL ORPHANTrainer : DARBY,RYAN O Owner : RAPHAEL E GORDONBred by RAPHAEL E. GORDONQuinella : (1,4) $1,103.00 Exacta : (1-4) $1,696.00D/E : (5-1) $409.00Trifecta : (1-4-2) $843.00Hit-6 : (1-4-2-6-10-) $32,222.00Rolling Triple : (7-5-1) $438.00Pick-4 : (3-7-5-1) $1,004.00Super-6 : (2-3-3-7-5-1) $1,125.90Race 7 1300 M (Purse $530,000) NB5-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2) (DIV.II)1. LARUSA JInnis4 48.02. * OMEGA RMairs 54.0 1/2L3. GIRSHOM LSteadman3 53.0 1L4. TO THE WORLD SMuir 53.0 1 1/4L5. COOL U BOOTS RHalledeen 53.0 3LDNF #11 MISS ADDI OWhite 52.0WIN: $4813.00PLACE: $318.00, $81.00, $74.00Final Time : 1:23.3 Splits : 23.4, 48.0, 1:15.1,Winner : 6yo ch mare – TRACKING out of YOURPOINTISMADE by YOUMADEYOURPOINTTrainer : HARDIAL,RUDOLPH M Owner : RICARDO M DURRANTBred by PHILIP A. AZARQuinella : (3,10) $9,338.00 Exacta : (10-3) $22,154.00D/E : (1-10) $89,961.00Trifecta : (10-3-9) $89,520.00Hi-5 : (10-3-9-6-4) $79,888.25Rolling Triple : (5-1-10) $358.00Race 8 1000 M (S) (Purse $530,000) NB4-Y-O & UP RESTRICTED ALLOWANCE V(NW2)-FILLIES & MARES1. WELL BLESSED OWalker 51.52. FOREST FLAME AMartin 54.0 2 1/2L3. * FIRE ALARM DaneNelson 53.0 2 1/2L4. MONALISASMILE JErwin 53.5 3 3/4L5. VALLEY OF QUEENS MWard4 48.0 NeckLate scratch : #4 NASDAQ PRINCESS, #6 DOOLAHIN, #11 I HAVE A DREAMWIN: $194.00PLACE: $54.00, $53.00, $52.00Final Time : 0:59.0 Splits : 22.2, 45.3, ,Winner : 4yo b filly – BURNING MARQUE out of SO BLESSED byTrainer : THOMAS,JOSEPH Owner : JOSEPH THOMASBred by DUNKLEY (SR.), TREVOR ROYQuinella : (8,12) $443.00 Exacta : (8-12) $670.00D/E : (10-8) $9,635.00 (10-4) $115.00Trifecta : (8-12-5) $345.00Hi-5 : (8-12-5-7-1) $19,862.00Rolling Triple : (1-10-8) $39,962.00Race 9 1000 M (S) (Purse $845,000) 3-Y-O & UP OPEN ALLOWANCE1. POTCHEEN JErwin 57.02. PUDDY POOH OEdwards3 50.0 1/2L3. * ROYAL ASSAULT PFrancis 51.0 1 1/4L4. #2 SMOKEY TOPAZ DaneNelson 52.5 1 1/2LLate scratch : #1 TARANISWIN: $186.00Final Time : 0:57.2 Splits : 22.2, 44.3, ,Winner : 7yo b horse – TRADITIONAL out of BUBBLE GUM HOTTIE by HERMITAGETrainer : PARSARD,HARRY Owner : CURRAGH JAMAICA AGENCYBred by PERCY TOMLINSONQuinella : (4,5) $301.00 Exacta : (5-4) $581.00D/E : (8-5) $1,951.00Trifecta : (5-4-6) $131.00Rolling Triple : (10-8-5) $1,802.00Race 10 1600 M (Purse $500,000) 3-Y-O & UP CLM($180,0)/NB6YO&UP(NW3)1. SIRMANDI LSteadman3 53.02. * TECHNOCAT ADancel 57.0 2 1/4L3. CAUSE FOR CONCERN JErwin 54.0 2 1/2L4. YES WE WILL RWilson 54.0 Neck5. WRIGHT AWAY DaneNelson 55.0 1/2LDNF #4 POWERFUL RED RMairs 54.0 32/1WIN: $259.00PLACE: $156.00, $95.00, $223.00Final Time : 1:44.1 Splits : 25.0, 48.4, 1:15.0,Winner : 7yo b horse – GHOST RANSOM out of DAME O’ MANDY by WISE EMISSARYTrainer : BEECHAM,MICHAEL A Owner : MICHAEL A BEECHAMBred by DR. PATRICK GRAHAMQuinella : (5,10) $495.00 Exacta : (10-5) $1,129.00D/E : (5-10) $1,197.00Trifecta : (10-5-12) $3,679.00Hi-5 : (10-5-12-14-11) $136,042.00Rolling Triple : (8-5-10) $15,622.00Pick-4 : Carry-over : $511,782.05Super-6 : Carry-over : $3,820,822.68Pick-9 : (3-3-7-5-1-10-8-5-10) $10,457.00 (3-3-7-5-1-10-8-5-10) $188.00 Carry-over : $2,708,382.60PlacePot 8 : (3,7-5,7-5,8-1,4-3,10-8,12-4,5-5,10) $3,451.00
MUMBAI, India (CMC): Chris Gayle says it was a remark from close teammate, Sulieman Benn, before the start of the West Indies innings, that inspired his scintillating hundred against England on Wednesday. “I was focused and I was a little bit pumped as well. Just before I went out to bat, Sulieman Benn said to me ‘Chris you’ve got to entertain me’,” Gayle said. “Sometimes when someone says such things like that, it kind of actually gives you a bit of buzz as well so Sulieman gave me that spark. I said ‘I’m going to entertain my teammate’. He’s my drinking partner as well so we’re going to have few beers … it’s good to get off on a winning note.” The left-handed Gayle was superb, smashing five fours and 11 massive sixes as he stormed to exactly 100 not out, in the Windies opening game of the Twenty20 World Cup. He needed just 47 balls to reach his landmark, to record the third fastest hundred in T20 Internationals. He put on 55 for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, who hit a cameo 37, added a further 46 for the third wicket with Denesh Ramdin (12), before combining in a match-winning unbroken fifth wicket stand of 70 off 35 balls with Andre Russell, who finished with a run-a-ball 16 not out. “The preparation has been really, really good. There (were) a lot of throw downs with (coach) Stuart Williams and it has helped a lot,” the 36-year-old said. “It’s all about practicing your skills and then you can exploit them out there in the middle. It worked for me today, it’s a good wicket to bat on and we were chasing a decent total on that sort of wicket, but the dew played a part as well so it was good to get set and take it from there.” On 15 from 12 balls when Samuels fell, Gayle then opened up, racing to his half-century off another 15 balls and then using another 20 deliveries to get to three figures. Gayle said Samuels’s cameo had paved the way for him to play freely. “After facing (my first) over, it actually took a while to get back on strike, but I didn’t lose my composure,” Gayle recalled. “He (Samuels) was getting the boundaries as well so that was actually pretty good because then that kind of eased the pressure a bit and actually gave me a chance to pace my innings and then work out which bowler I was going to take down … and keep ahead of the run rate or keep within the run rate. “It was a fantastic innings and I am really happy to finish the game and not leave it for anyone.” Preparation
WEST BROMWICH, England (AP):Yaya TourÈ scored twice in the first half yesterday as Manchester City began their English Premier League campaign with an impressive 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.TourÈ scored with two shots from just outside the area in the ninth and 24th minutes as the visitors dominated the match from the start. Captain Vincent Kompany headed in the third in the 59th in a fluid team performance that signalled that Manuel Pellegrini’s side will again be serious contenders for the league title after relinquishing the crown to Chelsea last season.New signing Raheem Sterling also looked lively for City, but fluffed his best chance to score with a weak effort when through on goal in the 41st minute.The margin of victory puts City atop the standings after the opening weekend. And with Chelsea held to a draw, Arsenal losing and Manchester United and Liverpool both earning unconvincing 1-0 wins, this was by far the best performance of the first round. Even more worrying for their rivals is that City did it largely without star striker Sergio Ag¸ero, who only came on as a substitute for the last 25 minutes. He’s likely to be back in the starting line-up for a tougher test next weekend, when City hosts Chelsea in an eagerly anticipated matchup.”We came here today knowing we had a point to prove,” Kompany said. “Me more than anyone else probably. … I just want to get back to my best level.”
Jamaican sport has reached a pinnacle of excellence which all Jamaicans have a collective responsibility to maintain and sustain.That was the message from Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who was guest speaker at Friday night’s RJR Sports Foundation Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards Ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.”This extraordinary nation has made a most incredible contribution to sport,” Sir Hilary told the audience at the ceremony to honour Jamaica’s best in sport for 2015.Sir Hilary, who has an affinity to cricket in particular, noted that Jamaican sport history was unique in its style, quality, and performance, and its capacity to establish gender equality in the process.”Jamaica has done what many countries have aspired to do in many areas, but especially in sporting culture. This phenomenal achievement has been recognised and it has been respected,” he said.”There is a tradition of excellence in Jamaica, and this excellence has to be maintained and it has to be sustained. It must be institutionalised and it must be industrialised,” the Barbados-born educator said.some societies”If it is not institutionalised and industrialised it will be lost. I have seen how many nations have lost that excellence they have achieved,” Sir Hilary added.Sir Hilary used West Indies cricket as an example of a sport which had at one stage been excellent but later deteriorated dramatically.”In some societies it is considered a crime to lose that excellence,” he said.”This must never happen to Jamaican sport. I don’t wish to be writing in the closing stages of my career about the fall of Jamaican sport,” he added.”Every child in Jamaica must grow to see that things are designed in Jamaica, patented … exported from Jamaica, representing the legends in Jamaican sport. We are here to celebrate this monument. It must not fall.”Sir Hilary, who gained tenure at age 37, said the University of the West Indies had an important role to play in ensuring that Jamaican sport does not lose its value.”Research, innovation, bringing culture, manufacturing, finance, and technology together to sustain this incredible achievement,” he said.”We all have a responsibility. There has to be accountability. It must not be taken lightly. The efforts of generations must not be dashed overnight.”
MUMBAI, India (CMC):West Indies all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard both failed, but new boys Gujarat Lions remained unbeaten with a three-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians off the last ball in the Indian Premier League here yesterday.Needing one run off the final delivery in pursuit of 144 at the Wankhede Stadium, Australian Aaron Finch lashed a boundary to seal Lions’ third straight win in the tournament.Opener Finch top-scored with an unbeaten 67 off 54 balls, with seven fours and a six, while captain Suresh Raina chipped in with 27 in a 53-run, second-wicket stand.Bravo, batting at number five, made just two before he got himself in a tangle to the sixth delivery he faced and fell to a catch at the wicket in the 13th over from seamer Jasprit Bumrah at 83 for four.POLLARDFAILEDEarlier, Bravo’s fellow Trinidadian, Pollard, also failed, falling for one as Mumbai tallied 143 for eight off their 20 overs after being asked to bat.Opener Parthiv Patel top-scored with 34 while number nine, Tim Southee, struck a breezy 25 from 11 balls.Ironically, Bravo had a hand in Pollard’s dismissal, taking a skier at long-off as the big-hitting West Indies teammate holed out off 44-year-old leg-spinner Pravin Tambe in the 11th over at 59 for four.Bravo’s four overs of medium pace went for 39 runs and yielded just one wicket.In the other game played in Hyderabad, West Indies all-rounder AndrÈ Russell endured mixed fortunes as his Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) completed an uncomplicated eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.BRILLIANTSPELLHe produced a brilliant spell of one for 19 from four overs to help limit Sunrisers to 142 for seven off their 50 overs. England T20 captain Eoin Morgan top-scored with 51 from 43 deliveries.The game was marked by the return of champion West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine, who finished with none for 26 from his four overs, in his first international game since being banned by the ICC last November for having an illegal action.He was cleared to return to action after his remodelled action was approved by the ICC last month.In reply, KKR were propelled by captain Gautam Gambhir, who stroked an unbeaten 90 from 60 balls in a 92-run first-wicket stand with Robin Uthappa, who struck 38.Russell, sent in at three, lasted only five balls and scored two before he had his middle stump removed by a yorker from 20-year-old left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman.
It can only mean one thing. If Usain Bolt is contemplating an extension of his career beyond the 2017 World Championships, then his coach, Glen Mills, must have again set new acceptable targets for the tall man. Mills has done it before, and the sport of athletics is breathing a slow sigh of relief because he is doing it again. Had Bolt retired after his sport-altering 2008 and 2009 seasons, he would already have been the king of sprinters. It’s a no-brainer. The world-record doubles at the Beijing Olympics and the Berlin World Championships were, and still are, the stuff of legend. Mills had the tall man focused and led him on consistency. He came back to show how human he was with the infamous 100-metre false start at the 2011 Worlds and how brilliant he was with the rip-snorting Olympic double title defence in London almost four years ago. When he retained his Olympic crown in the 100m, he did it in 9.63 seconds. That’s inferior only to his world record of 9.58. Had he retired then, he would still be the best sprinter of all time. After all, no one had done the Olympic sprint double twice. Had he retired then, he’d have missed the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where he reigned supreme. In 2015, his absence would have left Justin Gatlin as World 100-metre champion. Bolt will be 34 when the 2020 Olympics roll around. Glen Mills, however, has seen something in the athlete he has coached for more than a decade. Perhaps if and when Bolt loses the snap required to rule the 100m, they will concentrate on the 200 metres. If he doesn’t break the 19-second barrier this year or in 2017, that will be one reason to continue. If that barrier is breached by next season, it’s my guess that Bolt’s retirement would probably come as originally contemplated at the end of the 2017 season. There would hardly be any reason to run another step. The only target left would be the 400 metres. No one has ever won global titles at 100, 200, and 400 metres. If he sticks around past 2017, even with his well-known disinterest in the longest of sprints, Bolt could be the one. • Hubert Lawrence has been amazed by Bolt since 2002. AIMING FOR A RECORD
centy Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, minister of culture, gender affairs, entertainment & sport, revealed that the Government will spend over $82 million to honour their Olympic and Parlympic stars this Heroes weekend for their rich medal returns from the Summer Games. The celebrations will run from October 14-16. “The celebration is costing, altogether when totalled up, the amount for the cash award (to the delegation) is Jamaican $42 million, and the remainder in cash and kind would be another $40 million in cash and kind (to stage the three-day event),” Grange told The Gleaner. According to Grange, the hard work and exploits of Jamaican athletes at the Olympics and Parlympics in Rio, Brazil, could not go down without a national celebration. “A special planning committee was convened to discuss how best to demonstrate, in tangible ways, our gratitude to our athletes and their management team. Whatever we do, ladies and gentlemen, we acknowledge that there can be no monetary award that is adequate to demonstrate our appreciation of the achievements of our champions,” she explained. Grange was speaking during the launch of what was titled ‘A Programme of celebration for Rio Olympians and Paralympians’, which was held at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday. Jamaica’s 63-member Olympic team finished 16th overall and third in the track and field athletics category behind Kenya and the United States of America. The nation’s Olympic heroes returned 11 medals: six gold, two silver and three bronze, while a three-member Paralympic team represented Jamaica at the Games in the same country. Grange explained that the sporting heroes will be celebrated and rewarded, in keeping with the existing policy, despite the country’s limited resources. “We hope that this, in some way, will give credence to our gratitude, so for the awards, we looked at other countries and we tried our best within our limited resources to provide the monetary reward in keeping with the existing policy,” Grange pointed out. According to the sport minister, it is value for money and “not just having a big party”. There will be an improvement in prize monies for athletes this year, adding the 2012 London Olympics figure. The reward system for athletes will be as follows; for a gold medal, athletes will receive US$10,000, US$7,500 for silver and US$5,000 for bronze. For relay gold medals the equivalent of US$6,000 will be shared by all six squad members, and for relay silver, the amount to be shared is US$4,000. Relay bronze medal squad members will split US$3,500. Also, finalists who did not medal will receive US$3,500 and non-finalists will get US$2,500. Grange said they did not “want to leave anyone out, so managers and the officials will get a touch, and they will, each get the equivalent of US$1,000”. The same pay structure applies to Paralympians. Meanwhile, 17 athletes will be flown in from overseas for the three days of celebrations. The athletes will be the guests of honour at a sports gala and awards ceremony to be held at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Saturday. Prior to that, on Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness will host a reception on the lawns of Jamaica House in their honour. On Sunday, Jamaica National will host a 5K Run/Walk fundraiser for charities in western Jamaica, sponsored by the JN Group and supported by the Usain Bolt Foundation, in Falmouth, Trelawny, as part of the festivities. It will follow with a western Jamaica reception at 7 p.m. at the Braco Melia Hotel, co-hosted by the ministries of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, and Tourism.