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.

Jodi Munn-Barrow on Thursday was elected the first-ever female president of the 96-year-old Jamaica Golf Association and promised to expand the reach of the sport. Munn-Barrow replaces Peter Chin, who did not seek re-election after serving as president for the last decade.

Her executive includes Vice President Dr. Mark Newnham, Honorary Secretary Fred Sutherland, Assistant Secretary Bruce Lopez and Treasurer William Brown. Alison Reid is the junior golf chairperson while Dave Lyn, Michael Bradford, William Knibbs, Rowena Coe and Vikram Dhiman are committee members.

Munn-Barrow said she never dreamed of becoming president of the JGA which was formed in 1925.

"When I started my golfing career some 30-odd years ago, I never envisioned that I would ever take over the helm of this august body,” she said.

“I remember all of those who have done this before me and I have always looked up to them throughout my career.  I hope that I can make them proud as well as the members of the association and I look forward to working with all of the members in ensuring that the game of golf grows and continues to be very successful."

She said she wants to raise the profile of the sport so as to be able to attract international partnerships.

"I will endeavour to increase the optics of golf in Jamaica.  Some of the areas I would like to focus on include marketing Jamaica as a golfing destination through dialogue with the ministries of Sports and Tourism, reaching out again and having dialogue with the member clubs, trying to bring an AJGA (America Junior Golf Association) event to Jamaica thus lifting the image of our junior golf programme and also increasing the membership of the association by speaking with the presidents of other sporting bodies to try to get their members interested in golf as a second sport," she said.

 

 

Waterhouse FC blanked Mount Pleasant FA 2-0 in Saturday’s clash between two Jamaica Premier League heavyweights at the UWI-JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic triple gold medalist, will take on American upstart Sha ‘Carri Richardson and a stacked field that includes the Olympic 100m silver and bronze medalists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, respectively, in a blue-ribbon showdown at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meet on Saturday, August 21 in Eugene, Oregon.

Thompson-Herah, who won the 100/200m double at the 2016 Rio Olympics, created history in Tokyo earlier this month when she became the first woman to successfully defend both titles at the same Olympics.

She won the 100m in an Olympic record of 10.61, eclipsing the 10.62 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul in 1988 and followed up by winning the 200m in a personal best of 21.53, which made her the second-fastest woman in history.

She then added a third gold medal as a member of Jamaica’s 4x100m sprint relay team that established a new national record of 41.02.

The 21-year-old Richardson, who ran a personal best 10.72 in April, won the 100m at US trials in July in 10.86. However, she was subsequently banned for a month after testing positive for THC, a derivative of marijuana. Her omission triggered a debate about whether she would have won had she been allowed to compete in Tokyo.

However, the much-touted American will not only be facing the Olympic champion in the blue-ribbon sprint. She is also facing a motivated Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman in the world this year and the third fastest all time, who is likely to be still smarting from her loss in the Olympic 100m final.

The 34-year-old two-time Olympic champion (2008, 2012) was considered the overwhelming favourite to land a third 100m Olympic title following her 10.63s run at the National Stadium in Kingston on June 5. However, she finished second to Thompson-Herah in 10.74.

The Olympic 100m bronze medalist Jackson, who ran a personal best 10.76 in Tokyo, has also been included in the line-up that will also feature, Tokyo relay gold medalist Briana Williams (10.97), Teahna Daniels (10.98), Javiane Oliver (10.96) and Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who ran a personal best 10.78 in Tokyo.

Switzerland’s Mujinga Kambundji who has run a season-best 10.96, is also listed for the clash that is perhaps the fastest field ever assembled.

 

Briana Williams, a sprint relay gold medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has dedicated her gold medal to her late grandmother, Vive Colquhoun-Simpson, who passed away shortly after she departed for Japan. Vive was her mother, Sharon Simpson's, mother, who had been ailing for some time.

World Netball has declared its intention to make the case for the Olympic Games to include netball by the Brisbane games in 2032.

The sport’s governing body acknowledges that the best opportunity to showcase Netball on the Olympic stage will come when the host nation is a strong Netball nation and one that supports and proposes netball’s inclusion to the IOC as one of its additional sports.

 “All our Member Nations are excited at the potential of being part of the Olympic Family in 2032. We are committed to ensuring that our case for inclusion adds significant value to this very special Olympic movement,” said World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE.

The governing body outlined its objectives in a statement released earlier today.

“World Netball congratulates the City of Brisbane on the announcement confirming that it will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and declares its intention to work with Netball Australia to make a compelling case for Netball’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games,” WN said in a statement.

“As the first step towards Olympic inclusion, a sport has to be governed by an IOC ‘recognised’ federation – World Netball achieved this recognition in 1995 and has enjoyed a good relationship with the IOC since then.

“As Netball Australia currently holds the number 1 world ranking and Sydney has already been confirmed as the host venue for the Netball World Cup 2027, 2032 provides the perfect opportunity. World Netball is aware that Organizing Committee and IOC decisions on this matter will be made many years from now and so we will use the time available to work with our colleagues at Netball Australia to present a compelling case for inclusion.”

Netball was originally developed by women for women and girls at a time when their opportunities to participate in and achieve through sport were very limited. The sport initially spread across the Commonwealth through the education sector but soon developed and grew.

It now has more than 20 million participants across 76 Member nations and 5 continents and TV, digital audiences and social media followers are rapidly growing. Netball is a core sport in the Commonwealth Games programme and the 5 top-performing nations at the world level are spread across five continents.

Netball’s World Cup attracts record crowds. When the event was held in Liverpool 2019, over 100,000 tickets were sold to over 30,000 unique spectators from across 40 nations; over 6 million people attended, watched and/or followed the event which achieved a Net Promoter Score of 81 per cent.

“Over 30,000 adults were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more, and 60 per cent of spectators were inspired to increase their participation in sport or active recreation as a result of attending the event,” it said.

According to World Netball, it recently launched strategy focuses on further growing global participation, reach, revenue, impact and capacity and also commits to the sport being ‘open to all', with a focus on three core strategies to grow, to play and to inspire, all underpinned by great governance.

“Over recent years the number of participants and Member nations has increased and more men and boys are participating in Netball. There is significant growth potential, and World Netball is committed to supporting increased engagement from men and boys while building on its female-focused foundations that have shaped the culture and values of the sport,” the statement said.

“World Netball will continue to drive game development and the worldwide delivery of thrilling major events - which will include the further development and promotion of Netball's modified format of the sport, Fast5 – has 5 players a side and features dynamic rules changes, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots.

World Netball is also in the process of establishing a new Foundation to harness the power of Netball to change lives by creating a vehicle to promote, support and fundraise and partner with NGOs to deliver life-changing projects through netball.”

Portmore United FC continued their impressive run in the Jamaica Premier League on Sunday, defeating Humble Lion 3-0 at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence.

Paul Authurs won the Lindy Delapenha Golf Classic held at the Caymanas Golf Club recently. The charity event was in its fourth staging following a one-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tournament that is sanctioned by the Jamaica Golf Association (JGA) was first staged by the Munro College Old Boys Association (MCOBA) to commemorate the life of celebrated sportsman and broadcaster Lindy Delapenha, who was a student at Munro College.

Authurs scored 41 points to be crowned the overall champion in the tournament contested by the Stableford method. Meanwhile, Jodi Munn-Barrow emerged the winner among the women while Diane Hudson, Yadires Fonseca and Jennifer Mendes were second, third and fourth, respectively.

In the male category, Erik Gutierrez was first, Jose Melo finished second while Gordon Munn was third.

Clive Newman won the Male Senior category and Bela Szabo and Nigel Davy were second and third, respectively. Former Sportsmax President and CEO, Oliver McIntosh, was fourth and former Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, was fifth.

Fred Sutherland was first in the Male Super Senior category followed by Dave Lyn and Peter Chin, the latter being Jamaica Golf Association President and CEO of Alliance Investments.

Nearest to the Pin Winners were Jodi Munn-Barrow (Hole #3), Dale Wanliss (Hole #8), Dennis Atkinson (Hole #10) and George Wright (Hole #17).

The Lindy Delaphena Golf Classic that serves as a major fundraiser for Sports and Academic Programmes at Munro College, this year raised a record $1.5m, with more than 40 sponsors coming onboard including Alliance Investment, the title sponsor, as well as platinum-sponsors Keller Williams Realty, JMMB Bank, Jamaica Inn, Spanish Court Hotel, ATL Motors (Audi, VW, Honda, Kia) and several other Tee Hole Sponsors. 

“This flagship event was a major success. With so many sponsors supporting the vision and raising the profile of the event and more so realizing record revenues to assist our beloved alma mater, Munro College, we are absolutely blown away,” said Tournament Manager, Telroy Morgan, who hailed the event as a major success.

During the tournament, Delaphena’s ashes were sprinkled by a palm tree near the ninth hole as per his last request. His family and the MCOBA erected a headstone nearby that was unveiled by the Minister of Sports, Olivia Grange.

MCOBA President, Victor Tomlinson, was delighted with all aspects of the event and thanked the many golfers, sponsors and donors, and more so the management and organizing committee of the event.

“There is tremendous potential for the event and plans are afoot to grow the event to attract golfers and sponsors regionally and internationally,” he noted.

Jamaica has suffered an injury blow ahead of the start of the Tokyo Olympics this weekend.

The artistic gymnastics competition for women is scheduled to begin on Sunday morning in Japan (Saturday night in the Caribbean)

Members of the country’s 62-member team are arriving in Tokyo ahead of the games that officially begin tomorrow morning and right off the bat, it appears as if injury is playing an early role.

Gymnast Danusia Francis has revealed that she had an injured left knee. The severity of the injury is unknown but she is still managing to get her practice sessions in albeit with some amount of caution. The athlete, only the second female gymnast to represent Jamaica at the Olympics, posted pictures on her Instagram account knee on Tuesday and again on Wednesday that showed her heavily bandaged knee.

On Friday morning, she confirmed what the pictures were showing when she posted, “The arena is stunning. Unfortunately, I do have a knee injury so only bars today, but happy with my performance and enjoyed myself out there.” It is unclear whether she suffered the injury prior to or after her arrival in Japan.

She also posted a video of herself leaping and landing with stability, which might be an indication that the injury is not too severe.

Francis is expected to perform well at the Olympics on the strength of outstanding performances in her routines in Spain in June while competing for gymnastics club Xelska.

“My performances were really good. I was extremely happy with my bar routine, I got a really good score there, and then my vault was good,” she said at the time.

“I did make a mistake on (the) beam but as I mentioned, I was only supposed to do three of the events and the beam was a last-minute decision so I was a bit flustered and it was kind of an uncharacteristic mistake so nothing that I can’t fix.”

 

 

Portmore United F.C. emerged as 3-1 winners against Tivoli Gardens in the final fixture of match-week four of the Jamaica Premier League at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence at the UWI, Mona campus today.

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard sees more specialist players coming in as replacements for some of the all-rounders, who played in the just-concluded T20 series when the team takes on Australia in the first of three ODIs starting tomorrow at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

It almost went unnoticed among Jamaican track and field fans when Jazeel Murphy ran 10.17 in the preliminary round of the 100m at the American Track League meeting in California on Sunday. He would run a wind-aided 10.15 in the final while finishing sixth.

The performance prompted TITANS International Coach Michael Frater to express his pride in the achievement. “Proudest moment as a coach, so far. @JazeelMurphy finally lowering his PB after almost 10 years,” Frater posted on Instagram.

It was some achievement indeed and a long road back for one of the more promising talents from just over a decade ago.

Murphy was once a standout high school sprinter at Bridgeport High School. Blessed with raw speed and electric acceleration, he was among a talented group of young sprinters like Odean Skeen and Kemar Bailey-Cole from the era of the early 2000s, who seemed destined for greater things.

“Jazeel, as a youngster was on several junior teams and ran sub 21 at Carifta,” recalled David Riley, one of the top coaches in the country. “He was one of more the more promising athletes from that era but he had some lingering issues due to differences in his leg length (but) definitely the ability was always there.”

Murphy won the U17 sprint double at the Carifta Games in St Lucia in 2009 in 10.41 and 20.97, respectively, the latter a championship record. He won the U20 100m title in Jamaica in 2011 in 10.27.

Building on his momentum and rising status as perhaps the next great sprinter from Jamaica, the former Bridgeport High School athlete, won another Carifta U20 title in Bermuda in 2012 in a very windy 10.31 (5.7m/s). He later ran 10.29s for fifth place at the World U20 Championships in Barcelona, Spain, that same year.

The future loomed bright for Murphy, who would later join the Racer’s Track Club where it was hoped he would follow in the footsteps of Usain Bolt, who by then had won his sixth Olympic gold medal. However, in the years that followed, through injury and other related issues, Murphy failed to live up to expectations and began a steady decline.

After 2012, when he ran his personal best 10.25 into a headwind of -1.2m/s in Barcelona, Murphy seemed to get slower over time. Between 2013 and 2020, Murphy ran season-best time of 10.25 in 2013, 10.65 in 2014, 10.39 in 2015, 10.50 in 2016, 10.61 in 2017, 10.51 in 2018 and 10.85 in 2020. After almost a decade, no one remembered Murphy or even cared. He had become a statistic. Another of Jamaica's talented athletes who had fallen through the cracks.

Last summer, all that began to change.

Murphy, now 27, joined TITANS International in June 2020, weighing in at a whopping 260 pounds, Coach Gregory Little revealed to Sportsmax. TV. The first order of business, Little said, was to get his weight down under a two-year plan that will see him running even faster in 2022.

“This year was about conditioning and we want to get him up and running next year, getting him back to the feeling of running fast,” said Little, who believes Murphy, now down to about 185 pounds, should be running 9.9s by 2022.

“Hopefully, he can. He is just starting to learn everything about track and field.”

The first signs of Murphy’s revival came at the Olympic Destiny meet on May 22 when he ran 10.35. The following week he ran 10.28 just off his personal best at the time. Another 10.28 followed on June 5.

At the national championships, he ran 10.34 in the preliminary round but only after coming to an almost complete stop after emerging from the blocks thinking there was a false start. Realizing his mistake, he sped down the track but ran out of room and placed fifth.

His next stop was Mission Viejo in California on Sunday where he made the breakthrough, clocking a lifetime best of 10.17.

Little is hopeful that this is just the beginning of a revival for the ages, one that could see Jazeel Murphy take a major step forward in fulfilling his true potential.

Yohan Blake and Megan Tapper scored impressive victories in their respective events at the American Track League meeting in California on Sunday.

West Indies stand-in captain Nicholas Pooran has backed Andre Russell’s decision to face all six deliveries of the final over of Wednesday’s T20 match that was bowled by Mitchell Starc and from which the home side required 11 runs to take a 4-0 lead in the series.

Ten-time Jamaican national shot put champion Dorian Scott has been appointed head coach of the women's track & field/cross country programs at UNLV, the university announced on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Scott takes up the appointment after serving for the last nine years as the Director of Field Events and Throws Coach at Florida State University where he coached the likes of Gleneve Grange, Shanice Love, Kellion Knibb, who were each national junior record holders as well as Emmanuel Oniya and Chadwick DaCosta.

According to UNLV’s Athletics Director Desiree Reed-Francois, Scott, a two-time Olympian was the best fit for the school.

"Dorian's values-based leadership, preparation both as an Olympic athlete and as a coach at the highest levels, along with his commitment to the student-athletes holistic development became apparent throughout this process," Reed-Francois said.

"He has an infectious enthusiasm, a relentless work ethic and he will bring a very high energy to our program. His focus on excellence both on and off the track and field, as well as his coaching and recruiting experience at Florida State will continue our upward trajectory and positive momentum.

 "Dorian's plan and vision for the future of the UNLV track & field and cross country programs were impressive, and we look forward to competing for championships under his direction in the near future. Thank you to Sarah Wattenberg and the search committee for their leadership throughout this search."

Scott, who is also a two-time Commonwealth Games silver medalist said he was grateful for the opportunity.

"I would like to thank UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield and Director of Athletics Desiree Reed-Francois for the opportunity to join such an exciting and dynamic athletics department. It is a true honour to become the head coach of track and field/cross country at UNLV,” he said.

“I'm excited to elevate the program and to bring some special student-athletes to this amazing city. My family and I can't wait to join the UNLV community!

"I would also like to thank the administration and staff at Florida State, especially head coach Bob Braman, for his leadership and support. He entrusted me to help build up the field events and gave me a lot of freedom to make FSU throws my own. I would not be the coach I am without my experience at FSU."

During Scott’s tenure at FSU, the women’s programme won seven ACC titles while the men have won nine. His throwers have also set seven school records.

Scott, who was named the 2017 USATFCCA South Region Women's Assistant Coach of the Year, rejoined the Florida State program in 2012 after coaching the 2012 season at San Diego State University as an assistant. While there, he coached one of SDSU's student-athletes to the 2012 NCAA Outdoor discus title, which contributed to the Aztecs finishing in the top 10.

 As a student-athlete at Florida State, Scott became the No. 2 shot-putter in school history. He earned first-team All-America honours in 2005, contributing to the team's fourth-place national finish - the program's best in 25 years. The 2005 ACC Outdoor shot put champion, he was a five-time All-ACC honoree and part of five conference team titles. He still holds FSU's Mike Long Track record (21.45 meters/70-4.50), which he set as a professional in 2008 prior to the Beijing Olympics. Scott also became the first Jamaican thrower to reach the finals in the shot put during the 2012 London Olympics.

The Jamaica Premier League’ Mount Pleasant Football Academy has announced that Head Coach Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis and his technical have left the club with Technical Director Walter Downes taking over the team with immediate effect.

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