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.

Athletes competing in the 100m and sprint relays at the 2022 ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships next month, will have extra incentive to win after the title sponsor’s CEO announced on Monday, that there will be a financial benefit for their respective victories.

Speaking at the launch of the championships at the National Stadium in Kingston, Don Wehby, GraceKennedy's CEO, announced the sweetener before an audience across multiple platforms.

 “The winner of each class of the 100m finals – seven winners in all - will receive an educational grant valued at J$100,000 (approximately US$600). We will also award each winners’ school a J$100,000 grant to invest in a school upliftment project, which is to be chosen by their Champs team.  Similarly, the winning teams for the 4x100m – seven classes total - and their school will also receive a J$100,000 grant,” the CEO said to applause.

The 111th staging of the championships will be held from April 5-9 and will see 69 Boys’ teams and 68 Girls’ teams from across the island participating in 88 events over the five days.

The finals will be spread across four days as the Inter-Secondary-School Sports Association (ISSA) moves to make all the days of the championships memorable. The opening day, April 5, will be all preliminary rounds of competition.

On Wednesday, April 6, there will be 17 finals including the blue-ribbon 100m finals for boys and girls. ISSA says the move to have the 100m finals on the second day of the championships is in keeping with international trends where the 100m is contested early in the competition.

On Thursday, April 7, fans will get to enjoy 13 finals including the 400m for boys and girls, while on Friday, April 8, 13 more finals involving field events and the 400m hurdles will unfold.

On the final day of the competition, April 9, the 43 finals will include battles in the 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays.

In 2022, GK’s sponsorship of Boys’ and Girls’ Champs, totals over J$88 million.

“We see this as a major investment in nation-building which underlies GK’s long-term commitment to Jamaica. It’s an investment in our youth, our schools, sports development, and our country,” Wehby said.

 

Interim Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall has named a 24-man squad for the final three FIFA World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

West Indies Women’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup took a major hit Sunday night after they lost to Pakistan by eight wickets in a rain-shortened match in Hamilton.

In the match reduced to 20 overs per side because of persistent rain and a wet outfield, the West Indies were restricted to 89-7. Deandra Dottin, who scored 27, Stafanie Taylor, 18, and Afy Fletcher, 12, were the only batters in double figures as Nida Dar tore through the line-up with 4-10 from her four overs.

Pakistan duly achieved their target without much fuss as opener Muneeba Ali scored 37. Captain Bismah Maroof was unbeaten on 20 and Omaima Sohail 22 not out to lead their team to victory with seven balls to spare.

Shakera Selman with 1-15 from 3.5 overs and Fletcher 1-23 were the wicket-takers for the West Indies Women, who will now face a must-win match against unbeaten South Africa if they are to have any chance to advance.

Jamaica closed the 2022 World Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade with a gold medal after winning the women's 4x400m relay on Sunday.

Less than a year after she shattered the outdoor world record of 15.67m at the Tokyo Olympics last summer, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas shattered the world indoor record in the triple jump with a massive 15.74m on Sunday’s final day of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk produced a lifetime best of 14.74m to bump Jamaica’s Kimberly Williams, who jumped a season-best 14.62, down to third.

Williams medal means Jamaica now has two medals from the championships following Stephenie-Ann McPherson’s bronze medal in the 400m on Saturday.

However, it was Rojas, who stole the spotlight when on her final jump, she flew beyond her own world record of 15.43m, to establish a new mark and become the first woman to win three world indoor titles.

She also shattered the previous championship record of 15.36 set by Tatyana Lebedeva in 2004. She has equalled that mark on her penultimate jump of the competition.

Rojas already owned the world-leading mark indoors with 15.41m she set in Spain on March 2.

 

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambudji ran a massive lifetime best of 6.96 to win 60-metre gold at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Belgrade on Friday.

Briana Williams ran a lifetime best to cruise into the semi-final round of the Women’s 60m dash as she debuted at the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade on Friday morning Caribbean time.

Hydel High School’s Kerrica Hill set a new sprint-hurdles record on her way to two individual gold medals on Day 2 of the Central Championships at the G.C. Foster College on Wednesday as their rivals Edwin Allen comfortably won the girls’ title.

Christopher Young of Edwin Allen High established a new meet record in the Class I shot put on Day 2 of the 2022 Central Championships at the G.C. Foster College in Spanish Town, St Catherine in Jamaica on Wednesday.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh said he and his team have to move on quickly from the shellacking they took from India on Saturday as they are about to face Australia, perhaps their toughest opponent, on Tuesday (Monday night Caribbean time).

He also revealed that there are concerns about the fitness of opener Deandra Dottin, who suffered an injury in the match against India but remained hopeful she will be fit to face Australia.

It was a disappointed Walsh that faced the media on Monday when he conceded that the West Indies Women did not play well against India.

“We had one really bad game against India. I think India did pretty well against us and it’s something that we have to look at,” Walsh said, adding that India should not have scored as many as the 317-8 they put on the board before bowling the West Indies Women out for 162.

“It was not a 320 pitch I think; when I looked at it. I thought if we could restrict them to 270-250. We didn’t execute as well as we could have or should have.”

In reply, the West Indies Women got off to a good start reaching 100-0 in the 13th over before everything went off the rails.

“It was a decent batting track, I thought, at the start of it and they did make full use of it. They’ve got a little bit more turn as the game went on. But that doesn’t make it any issue is we just executed poorly (sic)," Walsh said.

"The team knows that once you play well enough, we can beat any team, so we are hopeful we are going to play good cricket [on Tuesday]."

Following up on her podium finishes at the Liga Autonomica de Féminas in Spain on Saturday, Llori Sharpe enjoyed another good day in competition on Sunday when she was second in the U23 category and seventh overall in the Trofeo Dulcinea.

Sharpe, who signed with German cycling outfit Canyon-SRAM Generation in December 2021, tells Sportsmax.TV that both she and her coach, Adam Szabo, were quite pleased with her accomplishments on the weekend.

“I'd say it went pretty well,” she said of how she performed on Sunday. “The weekend, in general, was a great way to start the season. He (Szabo) too said both races went extremely well.”

All-in-all, it was a solid start to her career but Sharpe said there is much to improve upon. 

“I'd say to be more aggressive in the pack and to believe in my capabilities more,” she said about what she took away from her race on Sunday.

On Saturday, on what was her professional debut, Sharpe finished in third place in the Elite Category and second place in the Under 23 Category.

She now looks forward to her next race which comes up on the weekend.

Edwin Allen’s Bryan Levell and Hydel’s Brianna Lyston won their respective U20 200m races in impressive fashion on Sunday’s final day at Jamaica’s Carifta Trials at the National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday.

Rayon Campbell threw the gauntlet down to his rivals locally and regionally on Sunday when he ran a blistering 49.52 to win the U20 Boys, 400m hurdles at Jamaica’s Carifta Trials at the National Stadium in Kingston. By the looks of it, Jamaica will field a formidable duo in the event set for April 16-18 in Kingston as Roshawn Clarke of Camperdown High was close behind in a time of 49.85.

Campbell’s Kingston College schoolmate Antonio Forbes ran 50.48 for third place.

Jordan Mowatt, also of Kingston College, won the U17 final in 52.53 over Martin Princewell of Jamaica College, who stopped the clock at 53.01. Daniel Wright of Excelsior High School was third in 54.77.

The Girls U20 final was won by Safhia Hinds of St. Jago who ran 58.06. She was a comfortable winner over Hydel High School’s Oneika McAnnuff, who took second place in 59.35. Shackelia Green of St Elizabeth Technical High was third in 59.77.

Deandra Harris of Spot Valley won the U17 event in 61.78. She finished miles ahead of Edwin Allen High’s Kelly Ann Carr, who completed the race in 65.22, just ahead of St Jago’s Olivia St. John (65.30).

Already blessed with the world-class talents of 400m hurdler Kyron McMaster and long jumper Chantel Malone, the British Virgin Islands seem to have found another potential global star.

When Rikkoi Brathwaite of Indiana University finished second in the 60m dash at the NCAA Division I Indoor Finals in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, he created history for the BVI in that no other athlete from those islands has ever finished higher in an event at the NCAA level.

It was a close finish between the winner, Jamaica’s Davonte Burnett of USC, who won in a personal best of 6.50 and Brathwaite, who is now the only BVI athlete to secure two medals (bronze and silver) at the NCAA Championships and the only male athlete to secure a podium finish at the NCAA level.

The time of 6.52 is also a lifetime best for the sprinter, a national indoor record for the BVI as well as a school record. Last season, Brathwaite won a bronze medal at the Division I 60m finals.

Next up for the Big 10, 60m champion is the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade where Brathwaite will be hoping to run even faster and probably bring home a medal for his island nation before returning to the USA for the NCAA Outdoor season.

 

It was with a sense of disbelief that Llori Sharpe stepped onto the podium in Spain at the conclusion of the Liga Autonomica de Féminas in Spain on Saturday.

In what was the first race of her professional career, Sharpe finished in third place in the Elite Category and second place in the Under 23 Category.

Her Rwanda teammate Valentine Nzayisenga finished in fifth place from a line-up of 110 riders. The 79 km, three-lap event included 6 km of gravel.

Sharpe signed a one-year contract with the German cycling team Canyon-SRAM Generation in December 2021, becoming the first Jamaican cyclist to sign with a European ream. On Saturday, the former triathlete began repaying their faith in signing her.

Still, it was a surreal moment for the 21-year-old Sports Science student at the University of the West Indies.

“When it just happened, I honestly couldn't believe it, but it has finally sunk in and I'm really proud of myself and my efforts today (Saturday),” she told Sportsmax.TV while explaining the successful strategy.

“I think I was able to read the race and my competitors well and just had to make my move when I felt the time was right.”

The success she enjoyed on Saturday, has not come without sacrifices. Sharpe has been living in Spain since mid-January, away from her family and those closest to her. She reveals that it has not been easy.

“Some days I feel really good and on others, I really miss my friends and family back home. The weather doesn't make it any easier since it’s not what I'm used to. But, I think to advance in anything in life whether personally, professionally or otherwise, one has to get out of their comfort zone, so although the adjustment has been tough at times, that's how I'll grow and develop not just in cycling, but as an individual,” she reasoned.

Otherwise, she has been pleased with her progress as she takes the first steps into competition in her professional career.

“Preparations have been going well, I'd say, and I'm glad that I'm now in an environment that's conducive to my progression in cycling,” she said.

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