Dwayne Bravo has been out of international cricket for a while and when he returned most recently for the West Indies, he looked rusty.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has paid a special tribute to the legendary track and field icon, Dr Arthur Wint on the anniversary of his birth, for his ‘historic and pioneering’ achievements as one of Jamaica’s ‘greatest athlete and administrator’.

The Commentators, Donald Oliver and Ricardo Chambers, as noted sports journalists, have been at the forefront of tracking the careers of sportsmen and women worldwide.

The Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled if the coronavirus makes hosting the event in its revised 2021 date unsafe.

That is the stark warning from International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, who sees no viable option to further delay the Games.

Local organisers have admitted there is no scope to push the Olympics – originally scheduled to begin in July this year – back to 2022.

And Bach acknowledged the fact the Games would either have to be staged next year, or not at all.

"Quite frankly, I have some understanding for this, because you can't forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an Organising Committee," he told the BBC.

"You can't every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You can't have the athletes being in uncertainty."

Key stakeholders are having to consider contingency plans for a variety of scenarios should the Tokyo Olympics go ahead, but the IOC is resistant to the idea of them taking place behind closed doors.

"This is not what we want," Bach said. "Because the Olympic spirit is about also uniting the fans and this is what makes the Games so unique that they're in an Olympic Stadium, all the fans from all over the world are together.

"But when it then would come to the decision... I would ask you to give me some more time for consultation with the athletes, with the World Health Organisation, with the Japanese partners."

 

 

 

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has thrown out the appeal of Grenadian quarter-miler Bralon Taplin’s against a four-year ban for intentionally avoiding a drug test in April 2019. The athlete will now serve a ban set to end in September 2023, when he will be 32 years old.

Taplin, 28, who was seventh in the 400m final in Rio, four years ago, was sanctioned by the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization in November 2019 for avoiding a drugs test.

The sanction stemmed from an incident at the Grenada Invitational on April 13, 2019, when Taplin won the 400m at the Grenada Invitational.

Following the race, Taplin left the stadium without completing doping control even doping control officers had informed him that he was to undergo a drug test. Reports said he left the island early the following day.

According to a summary released by the CAS, Taplin was notified on August 20, 2019, that he was being charged with intentionally evading sample collection on at the 2019 Grenada Invitational.

Following an investigation, the Caribbean RADO Panel issued its decision on November 8, 2019, in which it found, “to its comfortable satisfaction”, that Taplin sought to evade the chaperone and doping control officers and that he was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection.

He was banned for four years.

However, in his appeal to the CAS, Taplin requested that the decision be set aside and that he be declared immediately eligible to compete on the grounds that he had not been properly notified that he had been selected for the doping control test.

The CAS arbitration was conducted by Canadian The Honourable Hugh L. Fraser, who held the hearing at the offices of the Grenada Olympic Committee on February 27 and 28, 2020.

The sole arbitrator found that Taplin’s evidence that he was never approached, followed, or accompanied by anyone from the Grenada NADO to be implausible.

The arbitrator stated that he was comfortably satisfied that Taplin was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection and confirmed the four-year period of ineligibility, which commenced on September 25, 2019, the date on which the provisional suspension began.

 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) anticipates incurring costs of up to $800million over the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games.

It was confirmed in March the Games would be put back to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The IOC executive board on Thursday approved a financial plan to deal with the crisis months before the Olympics were due to start.

A mammoth sum of up to $650m will be set aside for the IOC to cover the cost of organising the rescheduled Games.

An aid package of up to $150m for the Olympic movement - including international federations, national Olympic committees and IOC-recognised organisations - has also been approved.

The IOC stated it is "undergoing a deep analysis process to evaluate and assess the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on all of its operations".

IOC president Thomas Bach said: "The Olympic movement is facing an unprecedented challenge.

"The IOC has to organise postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis.

"This new situation will need all our solidarity, creativity, determination and flexibility. We shall all need to make sacrifices and compromises. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures.

"This situation requires every one of us to do our part, and this applies to all of us, including the IOC. With today's financial plans, we are addressing these needs."

Rhonex Kipruto’s world records over 5km (13:18) and 10km (26:24), as well as Sasha Zhoya’s world indoor U20 60m hurdles record of 7.34 have been ratified.

An international athletics season of one-day meetings is taking shape between August and October this year following the commitment of most Continental Tour Gold and Wanda Diamond League meeting directors to organise their events on rescheduled dates in 2020.

A small number of countries will be able to stage meetings through June and July (Oslo’s Bislett Games will go ahead in an altered format called The Impossible Games on 11 June), but the international season is likely to commence in earnest directly after the National Championships window of August 8-9.

The first World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting of the year, the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, will be held on August 11

Eight of the 10 Continental Tour Gold meetings originally scheduled for 2020 have been confirmed for this year, although many have been rescheduled to fall between August and October.

The Nairobi meeting, originally planned to open the tour in May, has been rescheduled for 26 September, and the Nanjing and Tokyo meetings are considering dates in September-October, but these have yet to be finalised.

A total prize money purse of at least US$200,000 will be offered for each Gold meeting

Some Continental Tour Silver and Bronze meetings will also be able to go ahead, primarily as domestic competitions, starting from the Memorial Josefa Odlozila in Prague on 8 June.

 As the Wanda Diamond League has announced today, its schedule of one-day meetings will begin with the Monaco meeting on 14 August and continue through until mid-October.

 Due to the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Diamond League organisers have announced that these will be individual meetings and will not include a series point score, so there will be no overall league winners this year and the final in Zurich will not be held.

 The format of each Diamond League meeting and the disciplines included will be announced by each meeting organiser two months in advance.

 World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has praised the cooperative efforts of the meeting organisers to work with World Athletics to put together a substantial competition season for the sport’s top athletes.

 “As we have worked through the challenges posed by the pandemic and the disruption it has caused to our sport, as well as the wider community, our first priority was the health and safety of our athletes. And the next priority has been to find a way to get our professional athletes back into international competition this year as their incomes rely on this.

 “I’m delighted that it now looks like we will be able to offer them a solid international season between August and October where they can earn prize money and assess their training progress in preparation for next year’s Olympic Games, although we know this will not be easy for everyone.

 “Inevitably international travel restrictions will affect the ability of some athletes to attend some meetings, but we hope that there will be a wide enough range of meetings available for most elite athletes to access some competition before the end of the year.”

 Of the World Athletics Series events that were scheduled for 2020, only the World Half Marathon Championships will go ahead this year, on 17 October in Gdynia, Poland.

 The World Indoor Championships will be held in Nanjing,  March 19-21, 2021, but the World U20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, and the World Race Walking Team Championships in Minsk, Belarus are still being rescheduled.

 

2020 international competition calendar:

August

11 Turku – Continental Tour Gold

14 Monaco – Wanda Diamond League

16 Gateshead – Wanda Diamond League

20 Szekesfehervar – Continental Tour Gold

23 Stockholm – Wanda Diamond League

 

September

2 Lausanne – Wanda Diamond League

4 Brussels – Wanda Diamond League

6 Paris (tbc) – Wanda Diamond League

6 Silesia – Continental Tour Gold

8 Ostrava – Continental Tour Gold

15 Zagreb – Continental Tour Gold

17 Rome/Naples – Wanda Diamond League

19 Shanghai – Wanda Diamond League

26 Nairobi – Continental Tour Gold

 

October

4 Eugene – Wanda Diamond League

9 Doha – Wanda Diamond League

17 World Athletics Half Marathon Championships

17 China (venue tba) – Wanda Diamond League

 

Note: dates for the Continental Tour Gold meetings in Tokyo and Nanjing are still to be finalised.

On this week’s episode of ‘The Commentators’, Donald Oliver and Ricardo Chambers are discussing Chris Gayle like everybody has.

For the past couple of seasons, the Wonder Twins, Tina and Tia Clayton have excited fans of track and field across the globe with their brilliant exhibitions of raw speed.

Wednesday marked the 66th anniversary of Roger Bannister's fabled sub four-minute mile.

Although sporting records are always there to be broken, some best marks will forever hold a special place.

Here, we look at some of the competitors whose defining performances will continue to echo through the ages.

 

ROGER BANNISTER

Helped by two pacemakers, Bannister thrilled crowds at Iffley Road, Oxford by clocking 3:59.4 for his four laps of the cinder track.

The record lasted only 46 days before Australia's John Landy shaved more than a second off Bannister's mark, while Morocco's Hicham El Guerrouj is the current men's mile record holder with 3:43.13. But Bannister's name will always be associated with the distance more than any other.

NADIA COMANECI

Elite stars at the top of their sports will often contend there is no such thing as perfection in competition, although the great Comaneci can always beg to differ.

As a 14-year-old at the 1976 Olympics, the Romanian superstar became the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect 10 for her performance on the uneven bars. She went on to achieve the same mark six more times in becoming the youngest all-around Olympic gold medallist.

BOB BEAMON

Before the long jump final at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, no man had jumped beyond 28 feet. American favourite Beamon broke through that barrier and the 29-foot mark for good measure with a truly remarkable leap.

Beamon's 8.90 metres remained a world record until Mike Powell hit 8.95m during his titanic tussle with Carl Lewis at the 1991 World Championships.

JIM HINES

Another United States track and field star to revel amid the altitude of Mexico City in 1968 was sprinter Hines.

He took gold in the 100m final with a time of 9.95 seconds, making him the first man to dip below 10 seconds without illegal wind assistance.

PELE

Three World Cup wins as the shining star of Brazil's prolonged golden era mean Pele does not need statistics to burnish his considerable legend.

And yet, at the Maracana on November 19, 1969, the 29-year-old Pele slotted home a 78th-minute penalty for Santos against Vasco da Gama for his 1,000th career goal. Even allowing for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo's phenomenal exploits, it is hard to envisage anyone ever matching the 'milesimo'.

ARSENAL

Arsene Wenger invited widespread derision in 2002 when he suggested it was possible for his Arsenal team to go a whole Premier League campaign unbeaten. The season after, they did just that.

Preston North End had their own "Invincibles" back in 1888-89, although the First Division season was a mere 18 games long in those Victorian times. Formidable Manchester City and Liverpool sides falling short of Arsenal's unbeaten exploits in recent seasons have only underlined the scale of the achievement Wenger masterminded.

BRIAN LARA

West Indies great Lara made the biggest individual score in Test history when he plundered a mammoth 375 versus England in 1994 – a record that stood until October 2003, when Australia opener Matthew Hayden hit a merciless 380 at Zimbabwe's expense.

Back at St John's against the same opponent as in his initial exploits, Lara took the record back into his ownership a mere 185 days after Hayden's heroics, bringing up 400 not out for the first quadruple century in cricket's longest format.

AL GEIBERGER

Golf's modern era is increasingly littered with players hitting hot streaks and low scores but going below 60 for a round still holds considerable allure.

It was a different time in 1977 when Geiberger became the first player to shoot 59 on the PGA Tour, illuminating the second round of the Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club. No one managed the feat again on a major tour for 14 years.

Roger Bannister produced a feat most thought impossible on May 6 many years ago, while more recently Shaquille O'Neal was rewarded for a memorable debut season in the NBA

Bannister laid to rest the demons of Olympics heartbreak to produce a moment that would stand the test of history in 1954.

Almost 40 years later, NBA legend O'Neal was receiving one of countless prizes he earned during a sensational career.

Here are the best sporting moments from this day down the years…


1954 – Bannister breaks through the barrier

It was described as "sport's greatest goal" and there were warnings from physiologists that running a sub four-minute mile was impossible and dangerous to attempt.

Yet Bannister, a medical student who had suffered disappointment when finishing fourth in the 1500 metres at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, achieved what was deemed unthinkable.

Helped by two pacers, Bannister managed to do a mile in three minutes and 59.4 seconds at Oxford University's Iffley Road track.

The record stood for just 46 days before John Landy of Australia shaved almost a second off that time, but it was Bannister who broke the barrier.


1970 – Feyenoord's Dutch courage downs Celtic

Just three years previously, Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' had become the first British team to win the European Cup in a famous triumph over Inter.

On this occasion, the Bhoys were favourites at Milan's San Siro stadium for European football's showpiece.

But it was Feyenoord's turn to make history in a 2-1 triumph over Celtic, who had overcome the heavily fancied Leeds United in the semis.

Tommy Gemmell's 30th-minute opener proved a false dawn as Rinus Israel equalised. Swede Ove Kindvall then scored an extra-time winner three minutes from the end as Feyenoord became the first Dutch team to win Europe's top prize.

 

1993 – Shaq's rookie reward

Big things were expected of the gigantic O'Neal when he was selected first in the 1992 draft by the Orlando Magic - and he did not disappoint.

The center averaged 23.4 points (eighth in the NBA), 13.9 rebounds (second) and 3.53 blocks per game (second) as the Magic finished 41-41 to improve by 20 wins, though they still missed out on the playoffs.

O'Neal was named Rookie of the Year and went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.

He won three NBA Championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and another with the Miami Heat, while he was named Finals MVP three years running between 2000 and 2002.

Bruny Surin won gold in the 4x100m relay at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996.

The University of Texas-bound Kevona Davis said Jamaica missed something special this past March when the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) cancelled the annual Boys and Girls Championships because of the threat of the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19.

I remember it like it was yesterday; my anxiety at the beginning of races. I’d kneel in the starting blocks and timidly look at the finish line. I knew it would be out of reach. Running was difficult for me.

Though I wanted out, the races continued. Coaches would classify runners by age and gender. There were four classes for girls. Class 1: under 19, class 2: under 17, class 3: under 15 and class 4: under 13. For the most part, runners were free to choose five other competitors— as long as they were from the same class and gender.

I was in class two. Class two had really good runners- and by good, I mean fast. The athletes were dedicated and gave races a lot of effort. They were so good that they made running look easy. While I participated in the same exercises for the same amount of time and shared a similar diet as them (since we were told what and what not to eat), running didn’t come easy for me. This is how it actually felt:

Lonely

I remember vividly not having any friends. All the girls had something in common- they were fast runners. I’d watch them share tips about posture and form with each other. Other times they’d discuss the personal strategies they use to dominate the track. Meanwhile, I couldn’t relate.

Awkward

 I didn’t run like the others. The only similarity was my laser focus on what was ahead of me – everybody else. I was always dead last.

In addition, my hands did their own thing. It’s recommended that you keep your hands at waist level and run with opened palms. I never did that. It was natural for me to run with my arms in front of my chest and my hands in fists. I also shrugged. Sometimes my form made it difficult to see. My hands were too close to my face, which affected my vision.

Neither my feet nor legs did what they were supposed to either. I ran on my toes. Coach hated it. She wanted me to use more of my feet, almost flat. To make matters worse, my legs kept bending— putting me in a sitting position almost. While my hips were sinking, other runners ran tall.

Exhausting

I was always doing more work than others. It was obvious because I would breathe heavily during races. I would be so exhausted that I would forget how to breathe. Most times I breathed through my mouth instead of inhaling from my nose and exhaling through my mouth.

I also thought the 100 metres race wasn’t for me. It was way too long. A 50-metre race would’ve been more my speed.

Painful

Running was also painful. I couldn’t feel my legs at the end of races. Especially if I did multiple that day. My shoes weren’t tight or anything but my feet hurt. I simply wanted to give them a break and lie on the ground at the end of a race. I couldn’t and that hurt. Coach didn’t allow me. She’d shout, “walk it out!” I hated that. It took everything in me to comply.

Pointless

Frankly, running felt pointless. Especially because I wasn’t planning on sticking around to see if I would get any better at it.

And just like that, running led me everywhere but the finish line.

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