CRYSTAL PALACEVS ASTON VILLAAston Villa won five away games in the Barclays Premier League last season, including the 1-0 victory at Selhurst Park. Yet they beat AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on the season’s opening day and must decide whether to give a first start to new striker Rudy Gestede. Palace miss Fraizer Campbell while Villa are without Gary Gardner, Chris Herd and Jack Grealish.LEICESTER VS TOTTENHAMLeicester City have a 100 per cent record from two games, their best start to a top-flight season for 88 years. A third win would represent their best ever start at this level. Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, have yet to win this season but they have beaten Leicester on their last two visits.NORWICH CITYVS STOKE CITYNorwich have never lost at home to the Potters in the Barclays Premier League, winning one and drawing two. Stoke last won at Carrow Road in March 2008, in the Championship, while they have never won there in the top flight, in 24 attempts. Overall, Stoke have won just three, lost 12 and drawn nine.SUNDERLAND VS SWANSEA CITYSunderland failed to win in their last three Barclays Premier League last term and have started as they finished, losing both games and conceding seven goals in the process – their worst top-flight start for 10 years, when they lost their first five. Swansea have failed to score in three of their four Premier League visits to the Stadium of Light.WEST HAM VS BOURNEMOUTHIn five games in all competitions Bournemouth have never beaten West Ham, drawing two and losing three. Three home games have seen the Hammers win all three and scoring nine goals. Bournemouth have lost their first two in the Barclays Premier League, their worst start at any level since 2001. They last lost their first three in 1994 (they actually lost their first seven in the old Second Division).WATFORD VS SOUTHAMPTONOver recent years these teams have been more used to meeting in the lower leagues; this is their first clash in the Premier League since April 2000 when Saints won 2-0 at home, while Watford, who have opened this Barclays Premier League season with successive draws, won 3-2 at Vicarage Road that season.
BEIJING, China: Sprint king Usain Bolt will lead the Jamaican trio completed by Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade into the semi-finals of the men’s 100 metres with one eye locked on the final a couple hours later as the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China kicks into high gear. Bolt and Powell were both comfortable in winning their respective heats with the other main players Americans Justin Gatlin – now unbeaten in 30 consecutive races – and Tyson Gay, also easing to victories in the opening round of the marquee event. Jamaicans have won five of the nine available medals in the men’s 100 metres since the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and have won the gold medal at each event since then. There is a real threat that this streak will be broken this time around with Gatlin showing the type of form he has for the past two seasons. The world leader looked ominous, advancing as the fastest qualifier after he stopped the clock at 9.83 seconds to win his heat, even if there was an illegal +2.1 metres per second wind pushing him along. Bolt, who says he is fit and ready to run fast, shows why his handlers have become so confident that he will retain his title over the past few weeks, nonchalantly winning his heat in 9.96 (-0.2) with Powell, 9.95 and Gay, 10.11 also keeping a lot in the reserve tank ahead of today’s expected double assignment. The men’s 100-metre semi-final faces the starter at 6:10 a.m. with the final set for 8:15 a.m. Also today, Commonwealth champion and national record holder O’Dayne Richards will start his campaign in the men’s shot put at 6:30 a.m. In yesterday’s men’s 400m hurdles action, the Jamaican pair of Annsert Whyte – the national champion – and Leford Green booked their spots in today’s semi-final round, where they, too, will be looking to qualify for the final set for Tuesday. Roxroy Cato struggled to get going and never looked comfortable from the beginning in the end and finished sixth in his heat with a time of 49.47. The event was won by Kenya’s Nicholas Bett in 48.37 seconds ahead of Russia’s Timofet Chalyy, 49.05 with Jeffery Gibson of The Bahamas taking third place in 49.09. Leford Green 49.33 had a nervous wait to see if he made it through as one of the fastest athletes outside of the automatic spots and couldn’t contain his excitement as he booked his spot after an aggressive run in his heat. Green took on the entire field from the sound of the gun, but faded towards the end with his legs getting heavier with each stride as he crossed the line in fifth position behind winner Boniface Mucheru Tumuti, 48.79, also of Kenya; Michael Tinsley (USA), 48.91, and and Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, 49.02. “I tried a new strategy here in this race. I decided I was going to attack the race, run aggressively from the first hurdle, and it’s a strategy that I will be using as I go through the rounds,” explained Green. Despite a early scare in his event when he clipped the second hurdle and lost some momentum, national champion Annsert Whyte was the most impressive Jamaican of the lot and was relatively comfortable in crossing the line fourth with a time of 49.10 to claim an automatic spot to the next round. Kerron Clement (USA) in 48.75 was the first athlete to finish the race with Great Britain’s Niall Flannery, 48.90 and Kariem Hussein (Switzerland), 49.08 taking the top-three spots. There were a couple of high-profile casualties in the events as world leader and gold medal favourite, American Bershawn Jackson, 50.14, who finished seventh in his heat, and defending champion Jehue Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago, also seventh in his heat in a time of 49.91. Both failed to advance in the event. Danniel Thomas became Jamaica’s first World Championships representative in the women’s shot put, but she had to settle with a 12th-place finish in her qualifier and a mark of 16.62m, which was sandwiched between two fouls. There was success for Jamaica’s female triple jumpers, with Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Thomas both qualifying for Monday’s final. Williams was third in her qualifying group with a 14.23m effort with Thomas finishing fourth with a mark of 14.05m. HURDLES ACTION
SEOUL, South Korea (CMC): Jamaica were outplayed by South Korea 3-0 in a friendly international here yesterday ahead of their crucial World Cup Qualifiers starting next month. South Korea broke the deadlock 35 minutes into the game and scored twice again in the second half, denting Jamaica’s confidence as they prepare for important qualifiers in November and March next year. The South Koreans breezed to an easy victory over the Reggae Boyz on an opening goal from Ji Dongwon, a 57th-minute penalty from captain Ki Sungyueng, and a 63rd-minute conversion by the lurking Lee Jaesung. The Jamaicans were not all out aggressive against the Koreans, sitting deep while employing a counterattacking style. But the home side dictated the pace of the match as Ji Dongwon opened the scoring by nodding home a header from a left-sided corner. Ki Sungyueng doubled the score 10 minutes into the second half after the Japanese referee wasted no time in awarding a penalty when a Korean player went down in the area under minimal contact from Shaun Cummings. Final blow South Korea delivered the final blow by punishing Jamaica for conceding possession at the back. Lance Laing’s underhit cross-field pass was picked off by an alert South Korean, who dribbled to the edge of the area before rifling a shot, which AndrÈ Blake could only parry into the path of Lee Jaeung, who delivered the ultimate punishment. In fact, Blake was the standout performer for the Reggae Boyz by way of his quick reactions that consistently denied the rampaging Koreans. South Korea have now recorded their second win in their three-match history with Jamaica, which also includes a nil-all draw. Jamaica used the match to prepare for their World Cup Qualifiers against Panama on November 13, Haiti on November 17 and Costa Rica on March 25, 2016.
VISAKHAPATNAM, India (AP):Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin recorded the best bowling figures by an Indian in Twenty20 Internationals to help his side beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets yesterday and clinch the series 2-1.Ashwin ripped through the top order with 4-8, improving on his own best of 4-11 against Australia at the World Twenty20 two years ago as Sri Lanka were bowled out in only 18 overs for 82, their lowest T20 total.In reply, India reached 84-1 in only 13.5, overs with opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring in the third and final match with an unbeaten 46.Ashwin drew first blood with his third delivery as a vicious spinner beat left-handed opener Niroshan Dickwella (1) for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to complete an easy stumping. The spin bowler then trapped Tillakaratne Dilshan leg-before wicket off the last ball of the over to trigger a collapse.Captain Dinesh Chandimal (8) fell to the first delivery of Ashwin’s second over, caught on the off side while trying to clear the infield. Debutant Asela Gunaratne (4) was his fourth victim, caught at leg slip by Suresh Raina as Ashwin finished his three-over spell at 4-5 and the score at 20-4.”I want to keep the batsmen guessing and (getting) wickets makes me a different bowler,” Ashwin said. “I’ve the courage to go for runs. That’s why I’ve the courage to flight the ball.”
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has seen “no evidence” so far to support allegations of possible bribery in the bidding for the 2016 and 2020 Games, an IOC spokesman said yesterday. The IOC said it has applied to be a party to the investigation by French authorities into corruption in track and field that could spread to possible bribery in Olympic bidding. The IOC said it was in “close contact” with French prosecutors, who have been investigating bribery and money-laundering involving doping cover-ups at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The Guardian newspaper reported yesterday that the prosecutors have widened the probe to include the bidding for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo. “The IOC has been in close contact with the French prosecutors since the beginning of this investigation last year,” the Olympic body said in a statement. “The IOC’s chief ethics and compliance officer had already asked for the IOC to be fully informed in a timely manner of all issues that may refer to Olympic matters and has already applied to become a party to the investigations led by the French judicial authorities.” IOC spokesman Mark Adams, speaking to reporters, said no proof of any Olympic wrongdoing had been uncovered to date. “At the moment, there is no evidence,” he said. “We have the structure in place. We have an independent ethics commission. But so far there is no evidence. When we get evidence, we have shown we will act on it. “It is any easy thing to talk about, but no one has any evidence,” Adams added. “There is nothing that has been put forward to us. At the moment, there is nothing to act on.” The Guardian reported in January that it had seen leaked e-mails linking the son of former IAAF President Lamine Diack to alleged “parcels” to be delivered to six IOC members during the bidding for the 2016 Games. The British newspaper said the e-mails were sent by Papa Massata Diack to a Qatari business executive in May 2008. The Qatari capital, Doha, was bidding for the 2016 Olympics at the time. The Guardian said the email suggested that six people, referred to by their initials which corresponded with six IOC members at the time, requested “to have their parcels delivered through Special Adviser in Monaco”. The paper said the “special adviser” was believed to be Lamine Diack, who was then an IOC member. The Guardian said it wasn’t known whether any “parcels” were sent. In any case, a month after the email was sent, Doha failed to make the list of finalists in the 2016 bidding. Papa Massata Diack was banned for life by the IAAF ethics commission in January for corruption and cover-up allegations linked to Russian doping. He has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Papa Massata Diack is also wanted for questioning by prosecutors in France. Interpol has issued a wanted notice for him to face corruption charges in France. The elder Diack, who headed the IAAF for 16 years until he stepped down in August, is accused by French prosecutors of pocketing more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) from bribes in exchange for covering up doping cases, mainly involving Russian athletes. Lamine Diack resigned as an honorary IOC member in November, a day after he was provisionally suspended by the IOC executive board. He served as a full IOC member for 15 years until 2014.
LAST year’s Class Four sprint double champion, St Jago High’s Joanne Reid, says she has no competition in the Class Three 400 metres at this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships. The lanky 14-year-old cruised to victory in heat two of the girls 400m qualifiers in 57.77 seconds, and despite producing only the ninth fastest time in her category for the day, she is confident that she could take the record along with her as well. “I am very confident of winning the event,” she told The Gleaner. “There’s nobody (competitions) right now, and I believe I can run a record time.” Reid described her race as easy and the Class Four 200- metre record holder expects a much stronger performance from herself when she turns out for the semi-finals and final. “It (heats) was alright. It wasn’t my best time, but it (race) wasn’t hard, it was a comfortable race,” she told The Gleaner. “But I expect a much better performance from myself for the semi-final and final. I don’t know what time I might run as yet, but I expect to win,” she stated confidently.
KINGSTON:Digicel continues to expand its support for the region’s talented young athletes with the launch of its 2016 Kickstart grassroots football programme at the Liberty Park in Kingston.Coaches from top Barclays Premier League team, Manchester City FC will be hosting the Clinics and the Academy for the first time.For the past eight years, the Kickstart programme has helped thousands of players across the Caribbean and Central America to benefit from world class training by coaches from top football organisations. The partnership with Manchester City FC, which sees coaches from the City Football Schools Programme travelling to the region to deliver these intensive training courses as part of the Digicel Kickstart clinics, is another step towards ensuring that aspiring young players have an opportunity to take their game to the next level as they benefit from the Club’s expansive footballing expertise.PROFILE AND IMPACT”We are excited to be partnering with Manchester City FC, one of the best clubs in the world, for the 2016 Digicel Kickstart Clinic programme. This has certainly raised the profile and impact of Kickstart as we see our aspiring young athletes who take part in the programme become better players and better individuals,” said Kamal Powell, Digicel Jamaica’s senior sponsorship and development manager.He added: “I want to encourage you to take this as a stepping stone to truly kick start your dreams. Make the most of the opportunity, do your best, be proud of yourselves and what you will have accomplished by being a part of the programme, but most importantly, have fun.”Alan Dixon, one of the Manchester City coaches, said: “We are delighted to be in Kingston for the launch of this year’s Kickstart Academy. We believe that this partnership between Digicel and Manchester City provides a great opportunity for young, aspiring footballers to gain an insight into what it really feels like to train as a Manchester City player does.”Lauding the initiative, Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, said: “I would like to see it (Kickstart Clinic) replicated in schools, communities and even religious entities as it inculcates in our youth the characteristics for success.”The coaches will travel to 14 countries across the Caribbean and host intense two-day sessions where they will select the best three boys to attend the Digicel Academy. The Kickstart Clinics will be held in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“We playing well, but we can do better. If we get better opposition, we will play better football, because we are laid-back sometimes,” he said. Brown admitted they are feeling some pressure to deliver the school’s first title in 30 years. “We are being pressured, but Coach told us to go out and concentrate and execute. We just want to get through the group and go on from there.” MacKinson opened the scoring for the ‘Purples’ after 12 minutes, and Reid added a second 10 minutes later. MacKinson added his second on 28 minutes to make it 3-0 at the break. Donaldson made it 4-0 before Reid completed his hat-trick in the 67th and 78th minutes. In other Group C games, St Mary’s College beat Ascot High 2-1 while Denham Town turned back Papine 1-0. Other results: Wolmer’s 1 Kingston Technical 0; Camperdown 4 Dunoon 0; Edith Dalton James 0 JosÈ Marti 3; Cumberland 0 St Jago 3; Bridgeport 3 Campion 0; Hydel 2 Calabar 1; St Mary’s College 3 Ascot 2; Denham Town 1 Papine 0 ; St Catherine 1 Haile Selassie 0. NO COMPETITION SO FAR Red-hot Kingston College produced a seven-star performance in their Group C ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup match at the National Stadium yesterday, blanking Norman Manley 7-0 to register their fifth win from as many games. Trayvon Reid led the way with a hat-trick, followed by Rashawn MacKinson with a brace and one each from Dashawn Donaldson and Shamar Bloomfield. Kingston College lead the group with maximum 15 points and team captain and central defender Javian Brown said they are not getting any real challenge in the group.
LONDON (AP): Thirty years after Diego Maradona’s goal of the century, West Ham winger Dimitri Payet wound back the clock with a brilliantly executed solo goal yesterday evoking memories of the Argentina great. Unlike Maradona’s 1986 World Cup strike , after charging through brittle English resistance, Payet’s mazy run through Middlesbrough’s defence came on a far less significant occasion. But the English Premier League point it secured might just have saved Slaven Bilic’s job, preventing West Ham from crashing to a fifth successive loss. Payet lit up a drab game in the 57th minute at the Olympic Stadium, with home fans restless after Cristhian Stuani’s header six minutes earlier. The France international dropped a shoulder to turn past Antonio Barragan on the left touchline, jinked around Marten de Roon, and skipped past Calum Chambers and Ben Gibson. After cutting through the defence with ease, Payet provided the perfect finish to score his first goal of the league. One that evoked memories for Payet’s manager of Argentina’s current star rather than Maradona. “It reminded me of Lionel Messi’s goals,” Bilic said. “It was a brilliant moment of magic.” But West Ham remain winless since the opening day of the season, lodged in the relegation zone with four points from seven games. Promoted Middlesbrough are two points better off. HULL 0 CHELSEA 2 After a miserable September yielded one point from three games, Chelsea started the new month in style thanks to Diego Costa’s second-half contribution. First, Costa picked out Willian, who turned Markus Henriksen and David Meyler before curling a shot into the top of the net. Then Costa curled in his own strike from a similar position. The response to last week’s 3-0 loss at Arsenal was manager Antonio Conte dropping Branislav Ivanovic and switching to a three-man defence. It produced a second clean sheet of the season. “It is very important for the confidence,” Conte said. “It was a big change in the tactical aspect but we feel we must find the right solution to be more compact. We must trust in the world we are doing and it is important to understand we must play this way.” Chelsea are sixth, while Hull are in 15th place. SWANSEA 1 LIVERPOOL 2 With Liverpool trailing at halftime to Leroy Fer’s tap-in, Juergen Klopp entered the dressing room in a rage. “I was very angry,” the Liverpool manager said. “We were not ready and it is my responsibility. It was not good. The buildup was too static, no movement. “We were never compact enough and we lost a lot of balls … the second half was better, but still not brilliant.” Crucially for Klopp there were two goals — Roberto Firmino’s header and James Milner’s penalty — which were enough to take Liverpool up to second. Swansea, though, are on a six-game winless run since making a triumphant start to the season. Francesco Guidolin’s future as manager is looking increasingly precarious, with former Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs linked with the Italian’s job. WATFORD 2 BOURNEMOUTH 2 Watford twice fought back to ensure manager Walter Mazzarri didn’t endure a miserable 55th birthday. Both teams, though, remain in the bottom half of the standings. Callum Wilson’s downward header was cancelled out by Troy Deeney. Josh King restored Bournemouth’s lead but Isaac Success scored his first goal since joining in the summer transfer window to secure a point. SUNDERLAND 1 WEST BROM 1 David Moyes remains winless as Sunderland manager but the northeast team did capture its first point in more than a month. Patrick van Aanholt, who was forced out of the Sunderland team last month on the advice of a cardiologist, came off the bench to wipe out Nacer Chadli’s goal.