Last-place Aston Villa are heading into their home match against Chelsea without a manager following the departure of Remi Garde on Tuesday. With seven games left, Villa are 12 points from safety and has only won three league games all season. MANCHESTER, England (AP): There have been considerable knock-on effects for Leicester following the team’s giddy rise to the top of the English Premier League. A ramping-up of global interest and adulation? Definitely. Qualification to the Champions League for the first time? Almost certainly, especially if the surprise leaders beat Southampton at home on Sunday. Then there’s growing international recognition for their star players. On Tuesday, England started with two Leicester players in this case, Jamie Vardy and debutant Danny Drinkwater for the first time in 42 years in the 2-1 loss to the Netherlands. And on the same night, N’Golo Kante, Leicester’s enforcer in central midfield, made his full debut for France on his 25th birthday and marked it by scoring one of the goals in a 4-2 win over Russia. “Things are going fast,” said Kante, who was playing for Caen in France’s second tier only three years ago. “I wouldn’t have said it was possible four or five years ago,” said Vardy, a goalscorer against the Dutch and a striker who once worked in a carbon-fibre factory. Leicester’s fans will be saying the same kind of things. After narrowly escaping relegation last season because of an incredible run of results in the final nine games, Leicester are mounting the most unlikely of title challenges and are five points clear of second-place Tottenham with seven games left. The club has never won a top-flight English league title. Training would have been unusually quiet for Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri over the recent international break, given the increased number of national-team call-ups. Ranieri, therefore, must reignite the team’s momentum from before the two-week hiatus ahead of the biggest six weeks in the club’s 132-year history. Southampton could be one of the toughest remaining opponents for Leicester, with the visitors from the south coast having won their last two games to climb within four points of the Champions League places. But Leicester are showing remarkable resilience under pressure, winning its last three matches 1-0. “They’ve been the best team this season, without question,” Alex Ferguson, a managerial great in English soccer, has told Sky Sports, “and they deserve to win it.” Tottenham would pile the pressure on Leicester by beating Liverpool tomorrow, a day before Leicester play. MAN CITY’S REINFORCEMENTS In danger of dropping out of the top four, out-of-form Manchester City have been handed a much-needed boost on the injury front. Three midfielders Samir Nasri, Kevin De Bruyne and Fabian Delph were back in training this week after long injury layoffs and could be in line to play against Bournemouth tomorrow. De Bruyne’s return after two months out with damaged ankle and knee ligaments is especially important for City, who have not scored in their last three matches and have been short of creativity. City broke their transfer record last August to sign De Bruyne for more than US$77 million. City are in fourth place the final Champions League qualification position and only one point ahead of West Ham and Manchester United. West Ham host Crystal Palace tomorrow and Manchester United are at home to Everton on Sunday. MANAGERLESS VILLA
SHANGHAI (AP):Formula One’s drivers have made another statement of unity, this time in the form of a selfie over a group dinner in China.Nearly all of the drivers on the circuit got together for dinner before the start of the Chinese Grand Prix on Wednesday night and posed for a group selfie that Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg posted on Instagram with a message targeted at F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.Rosberg hash-tagged the photo, #RacingUnited, and then wrote, “or in Bernie’s words: #windbagsunited.”The barb was in reference to comments that Ecclestone made to the media in Bahrain after F1 drivers wrote a joint letter demanding an overhaul of F1’s administration.The Grand Prix Drivers’ Association wrote the letter to F1 stakeholders amid frustrations over the much-criticised rolling elimination format of qualifying that was introduced this season and then promptly dropped for the Chinese GP, as well as other problems in the sport.WINDBAGS COMMENTEcclestone dismissed the drivers’ concerns, and when asked by reporters if he believed they were “windbags,” he replied, some of them were.Rosberg, said yesterday he wasn’t upset by Ecclestone’s comments, adding the drivers were only “trying to help” with the letter.”We love the sport, we want the sport to be the most fascinating, exciting sport in the whole wide world,” he said. “And if we’re together and we raise our opinion, we have a certain power.”Apparently, the only thing the drivers can’t agree on is who should have picked up the bill for dinner.Reigning F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, who chose the restaurant and put down the deposit for the tables, said after the meal he suggested one driver pick up the bill and someone else could pay next time.”And then someone said, ‘Let’s just share it, so it’s 17 drivers sharing that freaking bill,” he said. “We all got a receipt – it was 17 receipts, 17 credit cards. It was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.”When asked who insisted on paying individually, Hamilton joked. “I’m pretty sure it was Nico.”Rosberg responded in kind by saying his Mercedes teammate should have treated because the “agreement usually is that the world champion pays.”
AFTER mixed results from two junior teams at international meets over the past month, head coach of the Pan Am team that earned 13 medals, Michael Carr, thinks good planning for next year’s 16th World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia, is needed if the country’s young athletes are to excel.The country’s juniors recently participated at the World Youth (Under-18) and Junior Pan Am (Under-20) Championships.”It is no doubt that Jamaica has a lot of talented young athletes, and there are several things we need to do right if we hope to be competitive next year at World Juniors,” Carr told The Gleaner on their return to the island yesterday from Canada.”We need to identify our top athletes after Boys and Girls’ Championships and the Penn Relays and have weekend camps. This does not necessarily have to be in Kingston alone, as there can be county camps,” said Carr.”We have a lot of elite coaches in the country, and the JAAA (Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association) can invite some of these coaches to work alongside the young athletes, as there are several technical flaws among these athletes, and working with these elite coaches, they can be fixed,” he observed.Carr also thinks that high-school coaches need to prioritise.”Some of our coaches in high schools also need to prioritise, as they should decide what is important to these athletes, Boys and Girls’ Championships or being national representatives, and some of them need to let go,” he said.PRIVATE SECTORCarr also called on the private sector to get involved.”Leading up to Champs every year, there are several business companies which helps insponsorship, but they should not stop after Boys and Girls’ Championships, they should pick up the baton after these Championships and continue for the next level, and they need to link up with the JAAA to do so,” said Carr.”I am a bit disappointed that some of these companies only come on stream when these athletes do well, but they need to help before because it is not only physical preparation that is important, as nutrition also plays a very significant role in the preparation of these athletes,” said Carr.Jaheel Hyde, Christopher Taylor, Jhevaughn Matherson, Martin Manley, Raheem Chambers, Nathaniel Bann, Akeem Bloomfield, and Obrien Wasome are some of the outstanding local talents that will be available for next year’s World Junior Championships.Last year, in Eugene, Oregon, Jamaica finished in 11th position overall after winning one gold, two silver and one bronze. Hyde was the gold medallist in the boys’ 400 metres hurdles.
Shericka Jackson – AthleticsFor her achievement in claiming the bronze medal in the 400 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, running a personal best 49.99 seconds. Jackson ran a personal best in all three rounds of the competition. The 21-year-old Jackson also ran the second leg of the winning 4×400 metres women’s relay at the Championships, opening an almost two-second gap on her United States competition.Sherone Simpson – AthleticsFor her achievement in winning the gold medal in the 100 metres at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Simpson ran a season best 10.95 seconds to take victory in the event, her fastest time in seven years. Simpson also won a gold medal in the 4×100 metres relay at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, running as an alternate in the semi-final; and a silver medal in the 4×100 metres relay at the Pan American Games, again running in only the semi-final.Rasheed Dwyer – AthleticsFor his achievement in claiming the silver medal in the 200 metres at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. In the process, Dwyer smashed Don Quarrie’s 44-year-old 200 metres Games Record (19.86), setting a new mark of 19.80 seconds in the semi-finals. Dwyer was also part of the gold-medal-winning 4×100 metres Jamaica relay team at the IAAF World Relays in The Bahamas and was a member of the 4×100 metres relay team, which won the IAAF World Championship (running in the semi-final only).
At 3 p.m yesterday, Calabar High were half of a point behind Kingston College in the race for the Mortimer Geddes trophy. An hour later, the defending champions took over and strangled the life out of their rivals’ challenges in a show of confidence and efficiency, as they powered to their fifth straight and 28th hold on the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships title. In a 4x400m finale that many had dreamed to witness, Calabar’s Christopher Taylor underlined the title when he anchored his team to the win in 3:09.77 in a blockbuster showdown with KC’s Akeem Bloomfield, who stormed around to the front only to see Taylor outsprint him in the final 100m. KC was timed at 3:10.26 with JC taking third in 3:15.06. Bloomfield, who had to make up a 30m deficit was unofficially clocked at 44.5 seconds on his leg, with Taylor timed at 45.3 seconds. Calabar closed their account on 287.5 points to KC’s 250 with JC ending on 227.5. St Jago were fourth on 175 points, ahead of fifth placed St Elizabeth Technical (100 points) As expected, Edwin Allen formalised their third straight girls’ title, with a comfortable win to continue the Frankfield machine’s growing dynasty with 329.5. Hydel was second on 263; St Jago (241.5); Holmwood (184); Vere (139); Excelsior (80) round out the top spots. Powered by champion girl Junelle Bromfield, St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) finished with 72 points in seventh. In the Class 2 boys 400m final, Taylor, having already covered the field with 100m to go, looked left; then right before jogging to the line in 47.76, while waving his arms, encouraging his team-mate Brandon Heath, 48.03, to the finish line as Calabar secured a big 16 points. Munro’s Romel Plummer, 48.43 was third. The Calabar titan was again at the front of a one-two finish for his school when he returned to win the 200m title in 22.14 ahead of team-mate Dejour Russell, 21.38 and St Jago’s Gary Gordon, 22.09. In the Class 1 girls 200m final, Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, 24.02 pulled away to win ahead of Green Island’s Kimone Hines, 24.35 and St Jago’s Shanice Reid, 24.42. KC has a special 400m talent of their own and in one of the most predictable results of the day, Akeem Bloomfield manhandled the Class 1 boys 400m field even if his 46.12 was expectedly not as shiny as last year’s 44.93 bomb. St Kago’s Collin Sewell, 47.51 was next best with Calabar’s Aykeeme Francis, 47.66, third. Bromfield, the Class 1 1500m champion, was powerful over the last 100m, as her long legs pushed her to a world junior leading 51.74 win in the Class 1 girls 400m with Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, 52.87, who led up to 250m, coming in second ahead of Petersfield’s Segale Brown, 54.19. She would make it three individual gold medals with an equally impressive win in the 800m, stopping the clock at 2:09.70, with Janiel Moore, 2:15.47 and her Edwin Allen team-mate Asshani Robb, 2:16.73 taking second and third respectively. KC’s Shanthamoi Brown, 50.07 obliged in the Class 3 boys 400m final with a comfortable win over Munro’s Devante Heywood, 50.92, and Daniel Binns (Herbert Morrison), 51.48. The afternoon belonged to Calabar and Seanie Selvin, 14.05 and Tyrone Bryan’s, 14.16, quinella in the Class 1 boys 110m hurdles summed up their mood. JC’s Phillip Lemonios, 14.33 was third. Dejour Russell (Calabar) matched Michael O’Hara’s 13.45 Class 2 boys 110m hurdles record (2013) as he won ahead of Oquendo Bernard (JC), 14.18 and another Calabar man, Orlando Bennett, 14.22. KC’s Davion Williams, 13.62 win the Class 3 boys 100m hurdles event and took his celebration to the KC supporters in the stands. Calabar’s Schavon Carr, 13.89 was second with Warren Henlon (STETHS), 13.94 next best. Janell Fullerton (St Jago) broke the Class 1 girls shot put record (14.27m), dropping a 14.39m mark to win ahead of Tavia Dixon (Excelsior) 13.61m and Sahjay Stevens (STETHS), 13.17m. St Jago’s Keenan Lawrence, 1:54.84, who broke the 1500m record on Friday also won the Class 2 boys 800m title ahead of Anthony Cox, 1:56.60, also of St Jago and JC’s Dugion Blackman, 1:56.65. In a big upset, the little fancied Nathan Brown (Excelsior), 1:55.21, outlasted St Jago’s Leon Clarke, 1:55.43 and STETHS’ Jauavney James, 1:55.44 in a close Class 1 boys 800m. Calabar secured the two top spots in the Class 1 boys shot put with Kyle Mitchell, 19.27m winning ahead of Warren Barrett Jr, 19.08m and Vashon McCarthy (JC), 18.14m.
Tomorrow’s race meeting at Caymanas Park offers no carryovers, but the 10-race programme looks a bit more challenging than last Saturday’s, and punters should be on guard for upsets.The first Super-6, with a guaranteed minimum of $750,000, gets under way with restricted stakes for three-year-olds and up to be contested by seven starters, including last Saturday’s fast-time winner CHOO CHOO BLUE, the speedy POLLY B with female apprentice Melissa Ward aboard, ZUGULU, and in-form DINNER BY SEVEN.The winner is almost sure to emerge from this quartet, but the lightly raced American three-year-old filly, CHOO CHOO BLUE, looked so improved when running on Lasix for the first time on May 14, clocking a fast 59.0 over the round five course, that she is given the edge over the consistent POLLY B, with in-form Robert Halledeen retaining the ride.Next on the programme is division one of a 3-y-o maiden special over 1200 metres in which 12 have been declared.This race looks tailored for the Patrick Fong-trained NEHEMIAH (Jevanne Erwin up), who, despite a below-par fourth to DYSFUNCTIONAL over 1500 metres on April 16, had run some good races prior to that.Chief among them was his blanket-finish fourth to DR TRAIN over 1300 metres on March 28 but was a disqualified winner over 1100 metres earlier that month. The son of Burning Marque, Luvvy Duvvy should win from KANALOA and THAT’S THE MAN, who ran an improved race for second to PRINCESS EMANUELLE when Lasix was administered last Saturday.The ultra-consistent FLYING MIRACLE caught the eye with a fast-finishing third to SIR SOUTH over 1200 metres on May 11, a distance short of is best. The 6-y-o son of Miracle Man gets the ideal trip of a mile in the third race, and despite the presence of the down in class trio of UNBREAKABLE with champion jockey Shane ELLIs, STAR NEW VISTA and BIGBROWNGREYHOPE, FLYING MIRACLE with apprentice Dane Dawkins riding for trainer Ryan Darby, has most appeal among the eight starters.PHOTO FINISHThe recent winner, WINESHA, with apprentice Javaneil Patterson aboard, is tipped to repeat the expense EUSEBIA and CLEARLY OURS in the fourth race over 1100 metres for $180,000 claimers.Then, take DI COBRE (apprentice Jerome Innis up) to go one better in the fifth race over the straight following his photo-finish second to ELVIRA over the course on April 23; and LUCKY NINE with apprentice Hakeem Pottinger in the sixth. Their respective dangers are the very fit ELVIRA and OK DUDE.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(10 CHOO CHOO BLUE/-POLLY B(2) NEHEMIAH/KANALOA(3) FLYING MIRACLE/-UNBREAKABLE(4) WINESHA/EUSEBIA(5) DI COBRE/ELVIRA(6) LUCKY NINE/OK DUDE
“We never lost confidence and every game we just played with fearlessness and that confidence that we could get back to the Finals, however we had to get it done,” MVP Stephen Curry said after his 36-point performance in Monday night’s 96-88 clincher of the Western Conference finals. “I knew we were ready for the moment. We were a mature basketball team that tried our best not to listen to the noise outside when six, seven days ago, we were down 3-1, everybody thought the wheels were falling off and it was kind of the end of our run,” Curry said. “But in that locker room, the talk was positive. It was, ‘Let’s figure this out. Let’s go out and take it one game at a time and claw our way back into the series and see what happens’. We followed that kind of mindset these last three games.” OAKLAND, California (AP): A heart-to-heart was in order. As the Golden State Warriors made the long, frustrating flight home from Oklahoma City last week suddenly facing elimination, Draymond Green gathered with a few fellow starters at a table in the front of the plane to discuss how to get the defending champions back to winning and fast. No other choice to avoid a premature end to this record-setting season. “We just kept talking about what we needed to do and what we were going to do,” Green said. Somehow, six days later, the Warriors had won Game Seven with a third straight victory against the Thunder after falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Now, they are headed back to the NBA Finals for a rematch with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the title defence still very much within reach. Game One is tomorrow night on Golden State’s Oracle Arena home floor. Never lost confidence
QUEENS, New York (CMC): Rajiv Maragh made his presence felt on the eight-race card at Aqueduct here on Thursday as he muscled his way back into contention in the jockeys championship with an impressive triple. The 31-year-old opened the programme with a dominant win aboard 3-1 chance She’d Had Enough, followed up with victory in Race Five aboard favourite Bee Noteworthy before pairing with 2-1 bet Big Al Parker to win race six. With his latest success, the Jamaican climbed into third spot in the meet standings on 28 wins, only three adrift of Irad Irtiz Jr and right alongside second-place Kenrick Carmouche, also on 28. Maragh, who only last week won half the races on an eight-race card here, once again showed his class by taking the headlines at the eastern United States racing oval. He opened his account in style, making all the inning with chestnut filly She’s Had Enough to slam the three-year-olds by 13-1/2 lengths in a mile trip. The pair produced easy splits of 25.37 seconds for the quarter and 50.26 seconds for the half while being tracked by Unbridledadventure but began to pull away approaching the five-sixteenth pole and was never challenged thereafter. Maragh was again dominant in Race Five as he carried five-year-old bay mare Bee Noteworthy to a comfortable eight-length victory over the four-year-old and upward fillies and mares. Going six furlongs, Maragh raced Bee Noteworthy off the pace as 2-1 choice Sing For Beauty posted the early fractions. The pair then made their move at the three-sixteenth, got to the front quickly, and stormed to the finish. In contrast, in Race Six, Maragh was forced to battle before he could get five-year-old bay gelding Big Al Parker to a half-length win over the four-year-old and upwards. Going a mile, The Undersheriff made most of the running with Big Al Parker, bumped at the start by the leader, well off the pace. Maragh bided his time in the stretch before unleashing a challenge along the rails, barely getting up in the final yards to pip the leaders, with Dan the Man finishing second. The Aqueduct meet opened on New Year’s Day and wraps on March 26. SLAMMING THE RIVALS
Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket newcomers Nazareth Primary, out of Manchester, dethroned defending champions Hastings, from Trelawny, on Friday at the cricket festival at Sabina Park, where the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final were held.In the final, Nazareth made 144 for four off their allotted 10 overs while Hastings replied with 133 for 5 in their 10 overs.The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket competition is a modified version of the game, where each team plays ten overs on a smaller field and shorter pitch (18 yards). During the game, every player bowls, fields and bats. The fielders are rotated after each over. All teams must include at least four girls.Nazareth’s coach Dean Lalor was very elated to win the competition despite the challenges along the way. He pointed to the challenge of teaching the sport to the girls and including them in all the matches.Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president of marketing at title sponsor Scotiabank, was very pleased with this year’s staging of the festival. She said that the fact that newcomers topped the competition showed that the programme works and that the kids are learning the sport well.Several players got awards after the final.The best bowler (female) award went to Kade Wilmoth of New Works and the male award went to Chrismar McDonald of Priory.BEST PLAYERSBest batter (female) was Annalese Johnson of Priory and the male awardee was Ethan Henry of Hastings.Best fielder (female) was Janeil Deer and the male, Jordane Morrison. Both players hail from Hastings Primary.The parish champions are St Mary – Goshen; St Catherine – St John’s; St Elizabeth – Barbary Hall; Westmoreland – New Works; St Ann – Priory; Clarendon – Brandon Hill; St Andrew – Duhaney Park; Portland – Windsor; St James – Cambridge; Hanover – Church Hill; Kingston – St Benedict; St Thomas – Middleton; Trelawny – Hastings; and Manchester – Nazareth.
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Melbourne United center Majok Majok (22), left, and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, reach for a loose ball in the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game in Oklahoma City. APOKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder needed a big defensive stand to hold off Melbourne United.Josh Huestis had two massive blocked shots in the final seconds to help the star-studded Thunder escape with an 86-85 exhibition victory Sunday (Monday Manila time).ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ How to help the Taal evacuees MOST READ DAY6 is for everybody Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Huestis blocked Josh Boone’s shot out of bounds, then blocked Casey Prather’s shot to clinch the win.Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman said he was proud of the way his team played against the All-Star trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Melbourne withstood a run by the Thunder with their stars in the game in the third quarter and made it competitive down the stretch.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I felt coming into the half that they were really going to try to make a run with their best group,” Vickerman said. “We weathered that storm, and they had to keep some of those best players coming back to win the game.”Casper Ware Jr. scored 20 points, Boone added 15 and Prather had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Melbourne, a member of the Australia and New Zealand-based National Basketball League. “To have the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the world and to know that our league can challenge those best teams in the world — it does a lot for our reputation in the league and it does a lot for our club’s reputation,” Vickerman said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Melbourne, an Australian team, also was up against a time adjustment.“I know most of the guys couldn’t really get a good sleeping pattern, including myself,” Prather said. “My legs are a bit fatigued, but once you come to a game like this, you know all the adrenaline going and the energy to get going, so you know, we really don’t feel it too much.”Oklahoma City’s stars shot poorly. George had 22 points on 5-for-17 shooting, Anthony scored 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting and Westbrook was limited to nine points, going 3 for 10.“I was pretty impressed by the statistics that we held some people to,” Vickerman said. “For us, because we’re a little bit smaller, we try to fight through everything, and I guess that maintained some pressure on them rather than when you switch, there’s a little more separation.”Ware made a 3-pointer to tie the score at 80 but the Thunder responded with a 6-0 run that gave them the cushion to hold on.ADVERTISEMENT After winless season, McIlroy plots return to top of golf LATEST STORIES In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide View comments