SYDNEY, Australia (CMC): All three Caribbean teams were beaten on the second day of competition in the Netball World Cup in Sydney yesterday. England edged Jamaica, while Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados suffered huge losses against New Zealand and Australia, respectively. Following comfortable wins on the opening day, both Jamaica and England were fighting to maintain the Pool B lead, but England took a four-goal win over the Sunshine Girls to confirm their status as World Cup title contenders. Jamaica, led by goal shooter Romelda Aiken, took a 14-11 first-quarter lead and doubled their score by the half-time interval. With Jhaniele Flower-Reid replacing Aiken, England stormed back to outscore their opponents, 16-9, and take the lead, 39-37, in the third quarter. The Jamaicans were relentless, but England held onto their narrow lead to seal an important 54-50 win. Aiken finished with 27 goals from 29 attempts, and goal attack Shanice Beckford, 17 from 20, for Jamaica. Joanne Harten, 37 from 46, and Helen Housby, 11 from 13, led the way for England. Trinidad & Tobago, who lost to the hosts on the opening day, were no match for New Zealand in their Pool A match. Despite Rhonda John-Davis becoming the highest test-capped player of the tournament with 150 games for the Calypso Girls, the milestone didn’t stop the Silver Ferns from a second straight victory. Goal shoot Samantha Wallace, 24 from 31, and goal attack Joelisa Cooper, nine from 11, led the shooting for Trinidad & Tobago, but New Zealand led in all quarters, 16-12, 37-25, 56-33 and, finally, 74-38 for the win. In the other Pool match, the Barbadians were no match to Australia as they were limited to single-digit scores in the quarters. The Australian Diamonds restricted the Bajan Gems to three goals in the first quarter, 20-3, and extended their lead, 38-7, 61-11, and 83-16 for a 67-goal margin of victory. Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados are on today, with Jamaica playing Scotland tomorrow to determine who will join England as the second team to advance from Pool B.
His time on the track may be winding to a close, but influential Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell is hoping that when he does hang up his spikes, his time off the track will be largely spent giving back to the society. “It is really amazing, the effect that we (athletes) have on people. There is a lot more that we can do as athletes,” Powell said. “Post retirement, boy, this retirement thing!” Powell laughed. “I really just want to help Jamaica. You have kids coming up who would want to be in my shoes one day and want to be in all the athletes’ shoes, so I am just trying my best to do as much as I can to be a good role model for everyone,” he pointed out. Powell, through his Asafa Powell Foundation (APF) handed over $560,000 to the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) yesterday. The funds were raised via an online #SpreadABed4KPH crowd funding campaign. “To see that we can stop traffic, crime, everything in maybe nine seconds or whatever time it is … just for us to come together,” he pointed out, while assuring he would like to see social initiatives in the fight against crime. “It’s up to Jamaica and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association to really form something for the athletes to help a lot more,” he continued. The athlete, who also contributed part of his personal funds from participating at Rio 2016 Olympic Games, said he wants to live a life of making a difference in the country and help with social responsibilities. Powell called it “a great feeling” to give back to Jamaica. “When I am home sitting down, where I go on the balcony and chill, everyone who pass by can see me, they pass by they shout ‘Asafa, Asafa, big up!'” the sprinter reasoned. “The reception I get from people is just amazing, and sometimes I sit back and ask why these people love me so much. It’s just crazy how the people of Jamaica love me. You want that from your country, this is where you should get the love,” he explained. While Powell’s foundation, which was started a few years ago, may have been dormant for some time, Powell said he has changed a few members and will be restarting it in full effect. “We have a lot more things in store. As the years go by, we have a lot more plans and bigger plans.We will re-launch the foundation and will be doing other things,” continued Powell. Speaking of reaching out, the Sub-10 Sprint King said he personally got in touch with American sprinter Tyson Gay, who lost his daughter recently to gun violence in the United States. “Definitely reached out to him. This is something that is so sad and shouldn’t happen to anybody, and I felt really bad knowing he is a fellow competitor of mine. “I reached out to him, and the response that I got is very surprising. I didn’t know he is someone who respected me that much, and now I have a different kind of respect for him now after this tragic incident,’ Powell outlined.