Getting ready for World Juniors

first_imgIn 2002, there was no clue that Usain Bolt would become the best 100-metre, sprinter in history. Save for a forlorn Class Three effort at Boys and Girls’ Champions two years earlier, he had concentrated on the 200 and 400 metres with much success. The penny dropped at a training camp hosted by the G.C. Foster College. The nation’s finest junior athletes were assembled at the G.C. Foster College for an ongoing training camp. It was a key plank of Jamaica’s preparation for the World Junior Championships which were set for Kingston in July 2002. Bolt lined up against many of the best junior 100-metre sprinters of the day and cleaned their clocks. Those present were stunned by his speed. It was a glimpse into his famous future. In those days, training camps were a standard part of preparation for our junior teams. In the late 1990s, stalwarts like Ian Forbes, Juliet Parkes and Brian Smith manned these camps. They ensured that our juniors faced the world’s best at their best. There was even a time when support camps were held outside of the Corporate Area, with the late Constantine Haughton sharing his expertise with those who couldn’t reach Kingston. The conversion of Melaine Walker to the 400-metre hurdles was done at camp by World Junior head coach Stephen Francis with the blessing of Walker’s high school Raymond ‘KC’ Graham after an injury had threatened her 2000 season. Walker took a bronze in the World Juniors in her new event and the rest is history. In 2002, the juniors were housed each weekend at G.C. Foster and their school coaches freely attended and shared their knowledge. The out-turn was a brilliant performance by the team when the big show rolled around. Bolt famously won the 200m. Sherone Simpson, Kerron Stewart, Anniesha McLaughlin and Simone Facey clicked to gold in the 4×100 metres. Facey and McLaughlin took silver medals in the 100m and 200m respectively, with Jermaine Gonzales and Sherul Morgan third in their respective 400-metre finals. Walker moved up to second in the hurdles, behind a world junior record by Lashinda Demus of the United States. It’s a pity that the World Junior Championships won’t come to Jamaica in 2016 but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for it well. The aforementioned training camps have largely dropped off the calender. Where team members come from schools with self-sufficient programmes, they can arrive ready for national duty. That isn’t often the case. In 2010, distance ace Kemoy Campbell was slowed when funding for track at his school ran out after Champs. A camp, like the one that heralded the sprint future of Bolt, would likely have seen to his welfare. Perhaps, a better prepared Campbell would have advanced past the first round on the 1500-metres in the World Juniors in Moncton, Canada. Our top seniors largely have camps of their own, but our juniors suffer if left alone. Our medal haul at the World Juniors tell the story. In 2002, the team’s 11-medal performance may have been boosted by brilliant home support. Since then, the take has settled at lower levels. Jamaica garnered nine medals in 2004, eight in 2006, six in 2008, three in 2010, five in 2012 and six in 2014 at successive stagings of the Under-20 championships. This year, a three-day camp helped to prepare Jamaica’s 2015 Pan-Am Junior team for a 13-medal haul. The 2002 World Junior Championships in Kingston were wonderful. The support by a capacity audience, night after night, and the performances by the likes of Carolina Kluft, Blanka Vlasic, Meseret Defar, Darrell Brown and Bolt make it worthwhile for the authorities to consider a return to Kingston at some point in the future. In the meantime, it makes sense to prepare well for the 2016 renewal, wherever it is staged. The revival of preparatory junior camps would be a good way to get out of the blocks. – Hubert Lawrence was present at the 2002 World Juniors.last_img read more

Man City sends out another statement with 4-0 win at Basel

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Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases St. Jakob-Park hasn’t been a happy ground for English teams, with Liverpool, Chelsea and — in this season’s group stage — Manchester United all losing at Basel’s atmospheric home in recent seasons in the Champions League.Basel had its moments against City, especially early on when the visitors looked susceptible to a long ball behind center backs Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi. Oberlin could also have earned a penalty, after tumbling under a challenge from Otamendi.“After 10 minutes, we could have been 2-0 down,” Guardiola said. “After 20 minutes, we were 3-0 in the lead. We were clinical today.”It was a stroll for City from the moment Gundogan, playing in front of Germany coach Joachim Loew, met a corner by De Bruyne with a header that flew in at the near post. It was De Bruyne’s 19th assist of a stunning season.Four minutes later, Sterling crossed from the left, Silva chested the ball down and sent a dipping volley beyond the goalkeeper, who could only get his fingertips to the ball.ADVERTISEMENT Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, front, celebrates his team’s third goal, as Basel’s Marek Suchy, left, and goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik watch, during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between Switzerland’s FC Basel 1893 and England’s Manchester City FC in the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP)BASEL, Switzerland — Manchester City sent out another statement to the rest of Europe by thrashing Basel 4-0 away in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 match on Tuesday, with Ilkay Gundogan scoring two of the goals.The Premier League’s runaway leaders scored three times between the 14th and 23 minutes — through Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero — before Gundogan added a fourth goal from long range in the 53rd minute.ADVERTISEMENT City, which enjoyed 74 percent possession, scored four goals away from home for the third time in this season’s Champions League and has only lost two games in all competitions, one of them against Shakhtar Donetsk when qualification for the last 16 was already guaranteed.This is the best chance City has had to win Europe’s biggest prize, especially with one of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain sure to be eliminated this round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkCity didn’t even have to be at its best on a bobbly pitch and near-freezing conditions to see off the Swiss champions, whose striker Dimitri Oberlin wasted chances either side of the visitors’ flurry of goals. With his team still trying to win a quadruple of trophies, Guardiola had the luxury of substituting Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling around the hour mark for fit-again pair David Silva and Leroy Sane.The return match is on March 7, when Juventus and Tottenham will also play their second leg after drawing 2-2 in Turin on Tuesday. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Viva Arianna: Italy’s Fontana wins 500 meters in short track MOST READ LATEST STORIES Aguero came into the match with 13 goals from 10 games in 2018 — four coming in one half against Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday — and naturally he got involved in the scoring.Fernandinho was tackled 30 meters out but the ball fell to Aguero, who took one touch and shot low into the corner for his 198th goal for City.Gundogan saved the best goal for last and it was another long-ranger that curled into the top corner from 25 meters.That margin of victory gives Guardiola the option to rest key players for the second leg at Etihad Stadium, by which time City might have won the English League Cup — it plays Arsenal in the final on Feb. 25 — extended its 16-point lead in the Premier League, and advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals.“If we play like we did today and in the past few weeks,” Gundogan said, “we will be successful, for sure.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more