Fire on Ice! … Mayhew looks forward to historic bobsled competition

first_imgMeet 17-year-old Daniel Mayhew.He cannot drive a car, but he is quite competent, and on evidence, very comfortable guiding a bobsleigh downhill at 110km/h.The Charlemont High school student will head off to a training camp next week before taking his place as Jamaica’s first representative at the Winter Youth Olympic Games where he will feature in the Monobob competition.Remember that movie Cool Runnings?Well this is yet another version of Jamaicans defying logic and excelling on ice.Mayhew’s case becomes even more outstanding when the fact that he only stepped in a bobsleigh for the first time a mere 11 months ago at a Swiss training camp is taken into consideration.”I can’t recall exactly what I was feeling, but I know I was very nervous at first. They started me at the middle of the track, so that I didn’t get as much speed as I would if I started at the top,” Mayhew recollected during a recent chat with The Gleaner.HEARD HORROR STORIESHe heard many horror stories before that maiden voyage, but his first few runs were incident free, and as his confidence grew, so did his popularity among the other young athletes at the camp.The Jamaican, who lives in the St Catherine community Orange Field, which was also home to former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell, went on to win two ‘B’ finals and book his place among the qualifiers for the February 12 – 21 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.”I am a little bit surprised. I was the underdog and coming out on top in the B finals shows that I am going somewhere and I can see that I am improving my driving skills and my overall performance,” Mayhew added.”Going to the Olympic Games is a really extraordinary feeling. When I finished my qualifying run and knew that I qualified, it was an overwhelming feeling. I am hoping to get a medal possibly even the gold. The potential is there for me to do it, all I have to do is listen to my coach and I know I can come out on top,” he said.It was that well-rounded coach Harry Nelson, his eighth grade physical education teacher, who took the academic enthusiast out of a class one day and greeted him with the words: “I am have mission for you. You are going to compete in the bobsled.”Hard words to process for a teenager, who had little interest in actually competing in sports. But Nelson, who was impressed with the form shown during eight grade PE, was convinced he had the potential.”At first I was not attracted to the sport, it all happened really suddenly … I really wasn’t that interested at first; who wants to do that (bobsled)?” he laughed. “It’s a very different experience, but it has been extraordinary.”Mayhew, who has passed eight subjects all with ones and twos has hopes to become a commercial pilot in the future but is, however, happy that he decided to take the leap in the bobsleigh and is looking to do his best in Norway.But has he seen the movie Cool Runnings?”I saw that movie before. It was really just like any other movie to me. It really wasn’t that interesting to me at first, but before I left I watched it again because I had a feeling people were going to ask me about it,” he laughed.Maybe his story will play a part in a sequel.last_img read more

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Gov’t has Zika plan for athletes

first_imgWhen it comes to the Zika virus, pregnant women are not the only persons the government is concerned about.    This summer Jamaica will send a strong contingent to the Olympic Games in Brazil where in 2015 there were just under 3000 cases of the virus that manifests in symptoms similar to yellow fever and dengue.  The virus is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The outbreak hit mostly the Brazilian northeast region, but cases have been reported as far south as Rio de Janeiro, where the Olympic Games will be held this coming August. Working on the assumption that Jamaica’s athletes do not contract the virus while training here in Jamaica, they would run the risk of contracting it while preparing to compete while in Brazil. This has become a concern for the government that is expecting another outstanding performance from its elite athletes in what will be Usain Bolt’s final Olympic campaign. As such they are taking steps to minimise the possibilities of the virus affecting the nation’s athletes. “We have been looking at it. It has occurred to us, we have been having discussions with the Ministry of Health,” said Minister Natalie Neita-Headley, who has responsibility for sport. “They (officials at the ministry of health) have been having planning sessions looking at sensitising our athletes.” “As much as can be done, we will seek to do it,” the sports minister said. About one in five people infected with the Zika virus become ill. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis. Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. If an athlete contracts the virus and it develops into full blown Zika just prior to competition, it will affect the athlete’s performance. In the meantime, track clubs here are doing what they can to protect the athletes but there are limitations. President of MVP Bruce James revealed that several athletes from his club contracted the Chikungunya virus last year as they prepared for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. Like then, James said, the club had put protocols in place to minimise the impact of the virus but as was the case then, there is only so much they can do.last_img read more

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Simmons pulls out of T20 squad

first_imgDUBAI, UAE, CMC – Batsman Lendl Simmons has become the latest player to withdraw from the West Indies squad for next week’s Twenty20 World Cup in India.The 31-year-old has failed to recover from a back injury and missed the ongoing preparation camp here. He will remain in Trinidad and Tobago to recuperate.Simmons, one of the leading Twenty20 openers, joins Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo, who have all pulled out of the squad.Pollard withdrew because of injury, Narine requested more time to work on his action while Bravo opted to play for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship.last_img

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Jennifer Ellison Brown: Indentifying and treatment principles for sport injuries

first_imgThe following injuries are considered as dangerous conditions: – Concussions: Injury to the brain after a knock on the head. Sometimes there is a delay between the injury and losing consciousness. The casualty may be unconscious, sick or drowsy, get confused, stare and suffer memory loss. These signs may not appear until hours after the injury. – Shock: When enough blood is not circulating around the body due to fluid loss from severe bleeding or burns, vomiting, diarrhoea, or heavy sweating. The signs and symptoms are cold clammy skin, blue lips, rapid weak pulse, rapid shallow breathing, thirst, dizziness, nausea. The casualty may become restless, anxious and aggressive, may yawn and gasp for air and may even become unconscious and dies. – Hypothermia (freezing): The internal body temperature becomes dangerously low (below 350C). This happens when the body is being exposed to cold and wind or in very cold water for too long. The signs and symptoms are shivering, cold, pale dry skin, slow shallow breathing, slow weakening pulse, feeling confused and lacking energy. The casualty may collapse, become unconscious and die if not treated. – Hyperthermia (overheating): The body temperature has risen above 390C and can lead to several different conditions such as: • Heat exhaustion: the body temperature rises and water and salt is lost through excessive sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion includes headaches, lightheadedness, pale grey skin, weak rapid pulse, dizziness, muscle cramps. Shock may develop if water loss is severe. • Dehydration: this is like heat exhaustion, but less severe. The individual feels weak and dizzy through the loss of water and salts from the body. – Heat stroke: this is when the body suddenly stops sweating and the temperature rises out of control. This usually happens during long, vigorous physical activity in a hot and humid environment. The signs and symptoms are sudden lapses into confusion or delirium, rapid strong pulse and hot dry skin. He or she may become unconscious and die if not treated quickly. This routine is used in the case of most soft tissue injuries. Such injuries must be treated as soon as possible after they occur to prevent them from getting worse. The purpose of RICE is to reduce pain, swelling and bruising around an injured area and speed up the healing process. Rest: Stop activity and support the injury in a comfortable position to prevent further injury. Ice: Put an ice pack on the injury for 10-15 minutes every hour. Remove the ice pack after every 15 minutes. This reduces blood flow and swelling. Compression: Wrap a bandage firmly around the injured area. This reduces internal bleeding. Elevation: Raise the injury above the level of the heart. This reduces internal bleeding, swelling and throbbing. We also need to continue to treat the injury properly throughout the recovery. First 48 hours: Ice 10-15 minutes every hour. Avoid using heat because it increases blood flow, avoid drinking alcohol, it increase swelling, avoid activity and do not massage. 48-72 hours: Apply ice and heat alternate for 5 minutes periods to increase blood flow to and from injured area. This encourage healing. 72 hours and after: Heat baths, hot water bottles etc, start rehabilitation activities. (Active movement, passive stretching and active strengthening). Rice should not be used for fractures and dislocations. These should be moved as little as possible and professional medical assistance sought. Treatment principles for common sport-related injuries The R.I.C.E Principle The immediate action to be taken when an individual suffers an injury during physical activity is to get the person from the pitch or playing area and seek appropriate help. We can reduce the time before we return to sport by acting quickly when we are first injured. The following procedures are used: DRABC Principle This routine is used when a person has collapsed and may be unconscious. The aim is to keep the casualty breathing until an ambulance arrives. Lack of oxygen very quickly leads to brain damage. D: Danger – check for danger, this could mean stopping the game. R: Response – shake the casualty gentle to get a response. If the casualty is conscious and can speak find out where the pain is. Stop any bleeding and support broken bones. Send for an ambulance. If the casualty is unconscious move on to resuscitation (A, B, C) A: Airways make sure the tongue is not blocking the airways. Loosen tight clothing, raise the chin and tilt the head backwards, remove obvious obstructions such as gum, or vomit. B: Breathing – look for signs of breathing. If the casualty is breathing, stop any bleeding and support broken bones. Place in the recovery position while you get help. If no sign of breathing move to C. C: Circulation – feel for the carotid pulse in the neck. A pulse will show that the heart is beating. If there is a pulse, give mouth-to-mouth ventilation to restore breathing. If there is no breathing, phone for an ambulance as quickly as possible. Give cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth ventilation to restore circulation and breathing. Next week: Emergency Procedureslast_img read more

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Oral Tracey: RSPL format works

first_imgIt has been a constant going around in circles in recent years as it relates to the format for the top local football league, now the Red Strip Premier League (RSPL). Four seasons ago, the semi-final and final playoff knockout format was restored after yet another cycle of having the traditional league format, where the champion was the team that accumulated most points at the end of the season. The conventional league format was always the most just and credible way to go. It smacked of injustice and lacking total integrity to have a team accumulating the best record and most points at the end of the regular season, then having one bad game in a concocted semi-final and final knockout game against a team that finished in fourth spot 10 or 15 points adrift the top team, then that fourthplace team could go on to be crowned league champions. There still remains a certain level of innate unfairness in that kind of scenario. This is one of those occasions on which I have been convinced by the unfolding reality to reconsider my previous position. It is a matter of the good of the situation outweighing the bad of the situation. The dynamics of the local football reality make it an unfair comparison to make between our top-flight football in Jamaica and what obtains in the elite leagues of England, Spain and Italy. These leagues have the advantage of huge television deals, more vibrant and richer economies and better infrastructure, which all contribute to better general spectator attendance and a more viable product to market throughout the season. IRRELEVANT, BORING AND USELESS The current format of the RSPL, with the top four teams pooled into a post regular season knockout phase, has worked and continues to work. The level of interest and buzz generated by the approach to the ‘playoffs’, as well as during the current phase, has increased exponentially. There was no disputing the fact that the four top teams in the league, on merit, all made it to the knockout round Montego Bay United, Portmore United, Arnett Gardens and Humble Lion were all rewarded for their consistency and that, of course, helped in the selling of the playoff intrigue and drama. There is also a particular spectacle and almost guaranteed excitement associated with a knockout series that does not exist in the straight league format, where there is always the possibility of one team running from the pack leading by 10 or 15 points, which would render the last three or four games of the season irrelevant, boring and useless. There is no possibility of that happening in a knockout play-to-win scenario. It is also quite instructive that in other regional football jurisdictions such as Mexico, the USA and Costa Rica, and in the majority of the South America countries, it is the post-season knockout format that is used to determine the national league champions. While there can be no real value placed on the unfortunate scenario of the best and most consistent team throughout the season losing a knockout semi-final or final, thus losing the league title, there is some credence to the decision to offer the top performing team at the end of the regular season $1m incentive. All things considered, the format of the RSPL working and is working well. The intensity and interest at this point in the season, as they have been ever since the re introduction of this format, are at an all-time high and I suspect that most, if not all, the previous dissenting voices against this format, have been duly silenced by its success.last_img read more

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13 championship events for Gibson McCook Relays

first_imgThe prestigious and exciting Gibson McCook Relays, slated for Saturday, February 27, will see the 4×200 metres Girls’ Open and the 4×200 metres for Class One and Two boys upgraded to championship events.These events will be part of a stellar cast of 13 mouthwatering championship showpieces inside what is expected to be a jam-packed National Stadium.The three events have been added by the organisers due to their prominence at the IAAF World Relays in recent years.Local appliance and furniture retail franchise Singer expressed delight with being drawn as sponsor of the 4x100m Institution Men’s Championship race, an event that could see Racers Track Club kingpins Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, and other members of their institution square off against other top-level challengers.Besides Singer, 12 other championship marquee event sponsors were named last Thursday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, ahead of the Gibson McCook Relays’ 40th staging.Advanced Scales and Equipment snapped up the 4x100m high school boys’ Class One Championship, while the 4x100m High School Girls’ Under-19 Championship will be sponsored by Consumer Brand (Oral B).Beverage brand Lucozade will sponsor the 4x100m High School Boys Class Two Championship, while for the girls, Wisynco will sponsor the 4x100m High School Under-17.EVENT SPONSORSThe 4x400m High School Boys’ Open went to SOS Foods Limited and the girls’ equivalent went to CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, while Grace Foods will be the sponsor of the 4x400m Institution Men’s Championship.The 4x400m Institution Men’s Championship will be sponsored by Grace Foods, 4x400m High Schoolgirl’s Open by CIBC First Caribbean, and the 4x400m High School Boys’ Open sponsored by SOS Foods.Jamaica Biscuit Company and Consumer Brands (Head and Shoulders) selected the Boys and Girls’ High School 4x800m Open, respectively.There were 42 sponsored events for the Gibson McCook Relays, which is one of the most prestigious relay meets in the world.It began in 1976 in honour of Kingston College founder Bishop Percival Gibson and was later renamed after Neville ‘Teddy’ McCook.last_img read more

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Reno relieved to escape relegation

first_imgWESTERN BUREAU:It all looked good when Girvon Brown tapped home from close range to give UWI FC a 60th minute lead against FC Reno in yesterday’s Red Stripe Premier League match at the Frome Sports Complex.Although the university team went on to win 2-1, they failed in their objective to land a semi-final spot.The result was equally bittersweet for UWI and FC Reno, the latter, in particular, because of their struggle to avoid relegation, which neither Rivoli United nor Cavalier SC were able to accomplish.It was palpable relief for Michael Graham, the Reno coach, after news filtered through that Cavalier had lost 0-1 to Tivoli Gardens FC.”I can’t tell you how relieved we are to know we are still in the league. We started as planned in this game, but lost our way after not taking advantage of that missed penalty opportunity,” said Graham.”It was a good enough game for us to win, but we just never got that second goal we wanted so badly. I am still grateful because next season will see us in the league,” added Graham.PENALTY SAVEDReno should have opened the scoring when the usually reliable Rondel Morris had his penalty kicked easily saved by national invitee Amal Knight for UWI in the 40th minute.He would regret missing from the spot as Brown was on hand for a simple tap-in at the 60th minute.Reno were again awarded a penalty, but this time the responsibility fell to Afiba Chambers and he found the equaliser in the 62nd minute.Just as Reno were looking at scoring another to take the game away from UWI, the visitors pounced. Anthony Greenland found space at the top of the Reno penalty area and he struck a beautiful curling shot that left the Reno goalkeeper beaten in the 75th minute.Marcus Gayle, UWI’s head coach, was disappointed as 49 points was only good enough for fifth, while Reno’s 34 points was as lucky as it gets, keeping them in tenth place.”Although disappointed at not making the semis, I think it was a terrific, wonderful first season in the league for us. Now we can build on this and become a major force in years to come,” stated Gayle.last_img read more

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Hawthorne under pressure at St Jago

first_imgHawthorne under pressure at St Jago… Axe looms for veteran as Wolmer’s also parts company with entire staffFollowing the recent restructuring of the Wolmer’s Boys School track and field programme, another high profile high school coaching job is reportedly on the line.Christopher Harley is the first major casualty following last month’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, with the team’s uninspiring performances said to have upset several influential members of the school’s support.As a result, Harley, who took over as head coach in 2012, along with his entire coaching staff, was shown the door at the Heroes Circle – based school earlier this week.The Wolmer’s programme will reportedly be overseen by past student and patron Stephen Francis, who runs the powerful MVP Track Club.Harley may have some company soon, with sources telling The Gleaner that long-time St Jago High school boys team coach Danny Hawthorne may also soon find himself on the sidelines, with a large section of the Monk Street-based school’s past student body pushing for a new direction.Hawthorne, a veteran, who has guided the likes of Yohan Blake and Nickeal Ashmeade over the years is under immense pressure as he is, according to several sources, seen by some of the programme’s backers to be incapable of guiding the school to a championship.St Jago’s boys finished in fourth position at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships, 112.5 points behind winners Calabar, with Wolmer’s – winners in 2010 under David Riley’s leadership, finished 10th this time around after managing 50 points.St Jago’s last boys’ title came in 1993.The Gleaner tried to get in contact with both coaches but was unsuccessful.last_img read more

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After ‘long’ coach’s speech, Williams gets by

first_imgPARIS (AP):Serena Williams was ahead, yes, but hardly at her best, when claps of thunder and a heavy downpour interrupted her third-round French Open match at a critical juncture.So during what turned out to be a delay of more than 21/2 hours right before a second-set tiebreaker yesterday against 26th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France, Williams met with coach Patrick Mouratoglou.”I spoke 10 minutes, which is far too long. Actually, at the end, I said: ‘Sorry. I spoke too long; much too long.’ Because a long speech is not a good speech; it has to be short and powerful,” Mouratoglou recounted later. “My point was just to make her think the way she thinks when she’s good, when she’s playing like Serena plays.”Did it work?”Just look at the score,” Mouratoglou said, “And, more than that, look at the way she did it.”Coming out of the locker room determined to dictate play more than she had been, Williams edged Mladenovic 6-4, 7-6 (10), a victory that set up a fourth-round matchup against a woman whose coaching consultant is the 34-year-old American’s former rival, Justine Henin.”Up until that point, I had not been playing my game. I was playing really defensive. It’s not me,” said the top-seeded Williams, who compiled a 5-2 advantage in winners in the tiebreaker. “So I just wanted to be Serena out there.”at stakeHer sister, Venus, seeded No.9, beat France’s Alize Cornet 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-0 to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2010. And another American, No. 15 Madison Keys, got that far at Roland Garros for the first time with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Monica Puig.Quarter-final berths will be at stake in these matchups tomorrow: Venus vs No. 8 Timea Bacsinszky, Keys vs Kiki Bertens, No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro vs Yulia Putintseva.Next up for Serena Williams is No. 18 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who was 0-7 against Ana Ivanovic before beating the 2008 French Open champion 6-4, 6-4.Svitolina, 21 and the winner of the girls’ title in Paris in 2010, is 0-3 against Williams.In men’s action, No. 1 Novak Djokovic finished his 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Aljaz Bedene just before nightfall, while No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga quit after seven games against Ernests Gulbis because of an injured right leg. Other winners: No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 11 David Ferrer, No. 12 David Goffin, No. 13 Dominic Thiem and No. 14 Roberto Bautista Agut.Thiem, 22, got past Alexander Zverev 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to close in on his first Grand Slam quarter-final.While the draw set up a potential fourth-round match for Thiem against Rafael Nadal, the nine-time French Open champion’s withdrawal Friday because of an injured left wrist means that a far less daunting opponent awaits.Instead, Thiem faces 56th-ranked Marcel Granollers, who never has reached a major quarter-final either.”Against Rafa, I’m the underdog,” Thiem acknowledged. “Against Granollers, I’m probably the favourite.”last_img read more

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Chelsea, Liverpool on course in League Cup

first_imgMANCHESTER, England (AP): With no European competitions clogging up their schedules, Chelsea and Liverpool are placing more importance on the English League Cup than usual this season. They both advanced to the last 16 on Tuesday, but took different routes. Chelsea came from two goals behind at Premier League champions Leicester, taking an end-to-end game to extra time at 2-2 thanks to goals from defenders Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpilicueta before Cesc Fabregas’ double clinched a 4-2 win. Liverpool had it much easier, dispatching second-tier Derby in a 3-0 victory with Ragnar Klavan, Philippe Coutinho and Divock Origi scoring the goals. Chelsea and Liverpool both rested key players, but still fielded strong line-ups in a bid to stay alive in one of three competitions they’ll enter this season. Liverpool are record eight-time League Cup winners, while Chelsea are joint second in the all-time list of trophy winners with five titles. BIGGER PRIORITIES Leicester have much bigger priorities this season. Aside from attempting to retain their Premier League title, Claudio Ranieri’s team are in the Champions League for the first time and likely will not be too concerned about exiting a competition of the least importance. Japan forward Shinji Okazaki took advantage of defensive errors to score twice for Leicester at King Power Stadium, but the hosts were undermanned in extra time after Marcin Wasilewski collected his second yellow card in the 89th for elbowing Diego Costa in the face. Fabregas’ two goals sent a message to Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who has marginalised the Spain midfielder at the start of the season. Everton failed to transfer their strong Premier League form to the League Cup by losing 0-2 to second-tier Norwich, which played almost a complete reserve team. Lucas Perez, a recent signing from Spanish side Deportivo La CoruÒa, scored twice in the second half for his first goals for Arsenal in their 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest. Granit Xhaka scored from long range – as he did against Hull in the Premier League on Saturday – to put Arsenal ahead and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up the victory for a visiting team featuring a mix of youth-team players and fringe squad members.last_img read more

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