Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Tokyo Olympics triple gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah says she has no intention of going after the World Indoor 60m record this season but based on how well she has been training she would not rule out the possibility.

Olympic and world 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod has told his clubmates at Tumbleweed Track Club in Jacksonville, Florida that he is leaving, multiple sources have confirmed for Sportsmax.TV. However, he has given no reason why or indication of where he is headed.

Free of injury and embracing a new mindset are among the key factors why Danielle Williams is enjoying her sport once more.

Barbados were 27-0 against the Leeward Islands at stumps on the opening day of the West Indies Championships at Kensington Oval on Wednesday. This was in reply to the Leewards’ score of 172-9 declared in 53.3 overs.

After a relatively disappointing season in 2021, Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards announced on Sunday that he is determined to make 2022 a better year.

West Indies lost their second ODI against India at Ahmedabad by 44 runs on Wednesday and with it the three-match ODI series.

After a disappointing 60m run at the Millrose Games in New York on January 29, Briana Williams ran a massive personal best at the New Balance Grand Prix on Staten Island, New York on Sunday but her coach believes she can go even faster once she breaks out of her ‘starting slump’.

If she can before March, a medal at the World Indoor Athletics Championships could be in the offing.

The 19-year-old Olympic gold medalist opened her season equaling her previous lifetime best of 7.18 at the Purple Tiger meet in Louisiana on January 14 but after promising to go even faster at the Millrose Games, two weeks later, she finished a disappointing fourth in 7.22.

To rub salt into her emotional wound, Williams, the youngest ever Jamaican Olympic gold medalist was beaten by 16-year-old Shawnti Jackson, who equalled the Jamaican’s lifetime best of 7.18, which for her was a personal best as well as an American high school record.

Fast-forward to Sunday and the preliminary heats of the 60m dash where Williams exploded to a brand new personal best of 7.09, which at the time, was the second-fastest time in the world this year. It was the fastest time going into the final that was won by Mikiah Brisco, who caught Williams late in the race before edging in front to record a new world lead of 7.07.

Williams ran her second-fastest time ever, 7.11, for second place.

Her times of 7.09 and 7.11 make her the fastest Jamaican in the world this year, 0.05 faster than Kemba Nelson’s 7.16 set a week ago and 0.14 faster than Kevona Davis’ 7.25.

“My coach and I knew this was coming. It was just for me to have the patience and the right race,” said Williams after her races on Sunday.

“I was happy with my personal best in the preliminaries and to follow that up with 7.11 in the final. There are still things to work on as you can see from the final, but I'm happy with my finish today.”

Among the things she has to work on is getting back the electric start that had defined her career to date as one of the best in the world but which has seemingly deserted her recently.

Williams’ coach, Ato Boldon, believes Williams is primed to go faster but her start has become an issue of concern.

“This is just her third race of the season, her rhythm is better and she is out of the weight room. We still have things to figure out. She is still not starting well,” he said, suggesting that he believes it’s all in her head.

“She is thinking about it. It’s a starting slump.”

Boldon said he would rate her performances on Sunday as an eight-out-ten, believing that once she gets back to instinctively starting well, she will go faster; seven-zero-low.


 

 

 

Tokyo Olympic finalist Natoya Goule established a world-leading time in the 800m at the New Balance Grand Prix on Staten Island, New York on Sunday.

The diminutive Jamaican was among several Caribbean athletes, who delivered outstanding performances at the meet as Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards ran under 46 seconds indoors for the first time to win the 400m while Danielle Williams ran a lifetime best to win the 60m hurdles.

The 30-year-old Goule, who was second to Ajee Wilson at the Millrose Games on January 29, ran 1:59.62 to win the 800m ahead of Olivia Baker, whose 2:00.63 was a personal best. Isabelle Boffey also ran a personal-best 2:01.37 for third.

Goule said afterwards that she was very grateful for the performance because she went into the meet heavily loaded after a hard week of training.

Richards had an encouraging start to his indoor season when he sped to a personal indoor best of 45.84 to win the quarter-mile sprint.

The Trinidadian held his form down the home stretch to hold off Vernon Norwood of the USA, who was second in a personal-best 46.06. Khamari Montgomery was third in 46.24.

The women’s event was won by the USA’s Jessica Beard in a season-best 52.88. Kyra Constantine of Canada took the silver with her time of 52.96 while Jamaica’s Roneisha McGregor ran a personal best 53.01 for third.

Jamaica went 1-2 in the women’s 60m hurdles won by Williams, the 2015 world champion, in a season-best 7.83, just holding off her fast-finishing compatriot Britany Anderson, who ran a personal-best 7.88. The USA’s Gabrielle Cunningham clocked 7.92, a season-best, for third

The meet represented an opportunity for 19-year-old Briana Williams to rebound from her disappointing performance over 60m at the recent Millrose Games where she finished fourth in 7.22, beaten by Aleia Hobbs, Mikiah Brisco and 16-year-old high school student Shawnti Jackson, who ran a USA high-school record and personal best 7.18 for third, which was also Williams’ lifetime best.

On Sunday, Williams bounced back in style, uncorking a personal best 7.09 to win her preliminary heat and advance to the finals with the fastest time. It took a world-leading run of 7.07 from Brisco in the final to deny Williams, who ran a smart 7.11 for second place. The USA’s Destiny Smith Barrett clocked a personal best 7.14 for third.

Noah Lyles won the men’s equivalent in a personal best 6.56 ahead of Barbados’s Mario Burke, who crossed the finish line in a season-best 6.63. Travis Collins ran 6.64 for third.

In the men’s 200m, the USA’s Trayvon Bromell pulled out all the stops to hold off Jamaica’s Christopher Taylor and win in 20.64. Taylor stopped the clock in 20.81. The USA’s Elijah Hall was also in the mix, finishing third in 20.82.

 

 

 

 

West Indies Women lost their final ODI by six wickets to South Africa’s Women in Johannesburg on Sunday and with it the series 2-1.

Khadijah Shaw got a belated birthday president on Thursday when she scored in Manchester City Women’s 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur to secure a place in the final of the WSL Continental Cup where they will face champions, Chelsea.

In the semi-final encounter played at the Academy Stadium Jess Park put City up 1-0 in the 21st minute before Shaw doubled the lead in the 27th after she tapped into an empty net after Caroline Weir’s shot took a deflection following a terrific run from Lauren Hemp.

Shaw, who celebrated her 25th birthday on Monday, January 31, actually had a chance to open the scoring when she surged into the box early in the game but she shot past goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer but wide of the far post.

Hemp sealed the victory in the 71st minute to send City into the final set for March 5.

 

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein and allrounder Jason Holder have achieved career-best rankings in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings after helping the West Indies to a series-deciding 17-run victory in the fifth Betway T20 International against England at Kensington Oval last Sunday.

In the latest weekly update to the men’s rankings, which considers performances in the last three matches of the series, Hosein moved up 15 places to 18th position after a haul of 4-30 that helped him finish with six wickets in three matches.

“It’s not something I pay close attention to. However, when I play or train, it’s always about aiming to become the best,” Hosein said while speaking with CWI Media.

“It’s about having that mindset of wanting to improve and wanting to be at the top, so definitely it is an aspiration of mine to be the number one bowler in the world someday. Therefore, this move means a lot to me. It shows that my hard work is paying off and that I will be rewarded if I perform well. It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Holder was the star performer with the unique feat of grabbing four wickets in four balls in front of his home crowd. He finished with figures of 5-27 – the best in a T20I at the historic venue. This took his tally to nine wickets in those three matches, as he advanced three places to 23rd with a massive gain of 20 rating points. Overall, he took 15 wickets in the five matches, a new record for the most in a bilateral series, and was named the Player-of-the-Series.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell (up 10 places to 31st) is another West Indies bowler to move up in Wednesday’s update while England spinner Moeen Ali (up three places to 32nd) and Liam Livingston (up 33 places to 68th) have also advanced.

In the ranking for batters, Nicholas Pooran is up eight places to 18th after scoring 113 runs in the three matches including a knock of 70, while opener Brandon King (up 25 places to 58th) and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard (up 15 places to 60th) have also advanced. King made a stylish 52 not out in the first match as West Indies won easily, while Pollard had a crucial 41 not out off 25 balls in the final match.

“This definitely means a lot to me, because I put a lot of work into my craft. I work day in and day out, so moving up the rankings is important. The ultimate goal is to be the best. I do pay attention to it (the rankings) because it is a good way to track your growth,” Pooran said.

Rovman Powell made the most of his return to the team with a brilliant 107 in the third matchmaking him the third West Indian to record a century in this format. He followed up with 35 not out off 17 balls in the last game.

Speaking at the end of the enthralling series, West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick said the improvement shown was extremely pleasing.

“After the last couple of months that we’ve had, it’s really pleasing that we’ve won a series. Improvement for me is actually more important than winning the series because you’ve got to focus on getting to the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 and doing a lot better than we did in the last one,” he said.

“The crowds coming back to the stadium is very important. The players were a lot freer this time around. The bubble was still there but a lot more relaxed and you could see the players responding to it so credit to the medical staff of the Cricket West Indies.

“Akeal Hosein was really brilliant for us when the chips were down along with Fabian Allen. They turned the tide, put England under pressure, continued to get wickets and that’s all we can ask, that people put their hands up when they need to and lead and fight and battle.”

In her first race since her incredible 2021 season, five-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah said she felt really good after winning the 60-metre dash at the Queens/Grace Jackson meet at the Stadium East in Kingston on Saturday.

Running into a stiff headwind of – 1.9m/s, the fastest woman alive clocked 7.19 to win ahead of Remona Burchell, who ran 7.29 and Sprintec teammate Shashalee Forbes 7.37.

“The run felt good. It was my first time in spikes since the start of this season,” Thompson-Herah told Sportsmax.TV.

"Obviously, the -1.9 wind would be a factor in the time (but) the run wasn’t about time. It was just to get a race at the end of a very heavy week, to see how I would feel and I felt great.”

No longer with MVP Track Club and under the guidance of its globally respected head coach Stephen Francis, Thompson-Herah now trains under the watchful eye of her husband Derron Herah and has reportedly set several targets for this season when she will go for her first world title in Eugene, Oregon in July.

On the basis of what she accomplished on Saturday, she is off to a good start

Two Plate competition matches at the ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup have been cancelled after nine Canada players tested positive for COVID-19, organizers revealed today. The players will now undertake a period of isolation where their welfare will be monitored by the event medical team.

As a consequence, the Canadian team has insufficient available players to be able to take any further part in the event. Canada’s plate play-off semi-final with Scotland on 29 January is cancelled and in accordance with the playing conditions, Scotland will progress to the 13th/14th play-off as a result of having a better net run rate than Canada from all matches played in the event.

The 15th/16th play-off that would have featured Canada against either Uganda or PNG will also not take place.

“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel two ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup games due to COVID-19 at this stage of the event,” said ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley.

“We were expecting to see some positive cases throughout the event and to date, these have been managed in accordance with our bio-safety plan without impacting on fixtures. However, with so many players from the Canadian team testing positive it will not be possible to stage these games.

“The players are now self-isolating and will receive full support from the event medical team under the guidance of the Bio-Safety Advisory Group.”

The cancelled matches are as follows:

29 January - Canada v Scotland, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

30 January - 15th/16 Play-Off, Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad and Tobago

The meeting between representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and Cricket West Indies over claims that players in the senior squad are being victimized has been postponed until the end of the ongoing Betway T20 Series against England.

The West Indies lead the series 2-1 with the final two matches scheduled to be played on Saturday and Sunday.

Wayne Lewis, Honorary Secretary at WIPA confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that WIPA received an email from CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams Thursday afternoon informing of the delay to the discussions surrounding the issue that, according to sources, has caused discord within the senior team. He expects the meeting to be held sometime next week.

The matter surfaced earlier this week when allegations were being made that Jamaican all-rounder was being victimized by the team leadership and was eventually dropped for the third match played on Wednesday that the West Indies won by 20 runs. Smith’s replacement Rovman Powell scored his maiden T20 hundred for the West Indies.

Afterwards, Coach Phil Simmons pushed back on assertions that Smith was being victimized. The burly allrounder conceded four runs in the one over he bowled in the second T20 and dropped for the next match. He has also scored useful runs batting at number 10 but according to Phil Simmons, players are selected in the best interest of the team.

“We need to stop this foolishness that we are going on with. We sit here and look at the best team for the day and if Odean was not in the best team for the day it was because we thought Rovman Powell was better suited,” Simmons said afterwards while speaking with the media.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies has described the claims as being unsubstantiated and mischievous as it moved to head off any fallout.

In a statement released late Thursday, CWI said it was aware that “voice notes were circulated on social media, and in sections of the regional broadcast media, suggesting that there is a rift within the West Indies Senior Men’s team.

“Contrary to the unsubstantiated statements, containing unfounded and mischievous allegations, CWI is satisfied that there is no discord between the team captain and any member of the West Indies team.”

CWI President Ricky Skerritt indicated that the rumours represent an unwarranted attack on Captain Kieron Pollard.

“I view this as a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies captain, designed to sow division within our team that has just recorded three very impressive T20I performances against very strong opponents, including two outstanding wins and one heroic comeback to get within one run of victory,” Skerritt said.

“This clear attempt by well-known mischief makers to discredit the captain and to derail the team’s momentum in the ongoing Betway T20I Series should not be tolerated or encouraged.”

 

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