Calabar High School’s Christopher Taylor delighted with a record run on the opening day of the 106th staging of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships inside the National Stadium.With six finals on the card, Jamaica College (JC), though, are expected to lead at the end of today, with yesterday’s curtain-raiser giving little indication of the fierce race to the titles that await.Still, yesterday was not without its fair share of ‘oohs’ and aahs’, and the main reason: Taylor.It says something that his run surprised nobody inside the National Stadium because of course, when your name is Christopher Taylor, you break records.The wiry Calabar standout missed the record mark at last year’s Champs, but wasted little time in erasing Devaughn Baker’s (JC) time of 46.64 set in 2013 with a smooth 46.33 in yesterday’s boys’ Class Two 400m heats.”Yes, I wanted to break the record today,” he confirmed afterwards. “That was my intention, and I am happy I was able to get it done.”Kingston College’s Akeem Bloomfield was also impressive, frighteningly, as he jogged the final 100m or so and stopped the clock at 48.36 to win his Class One boys’ 400m heat. Let’s not forget that he is responsible for that 44.93-run last year, and despite his injuries over the past 12 months, it is hard to see another winner in this event.St Elizabeth Technical High School’s (STETHS) Junelle Bromfield has certainly been a class act this season, and she was comfortable in qualifying from her Class One girls, 400m heat in 53.63 seconds.She is expected to do battle with Holmwood’s Ashley Williams, who clocked a solid 55.07 in winning her heat, with another medal favourite, Edwin Allen’s Shannon Kalawan, the fastest qualifier with a time of 54.37 ahead of Hydel High’s Taqece Duggan, 54.85.Jamaica College’s high-flyer, O’Brien Wasome, is comfortably through to today’s boys’ Class One final (5:50 p.m.), where he is expected to dominate and pick up some valuable points for the 2011 champions.Wasome produced his best jump this year, disturbing the sand at 7.74 metres, a clear demonstration that he not only intends to defend the title he won last year as part of a JC horizontal jumps sweep, but also to break Leon Gordon’s 28-year-old record of 7.87m.He is followed into the final by Calabar’s Leroy Paige, 7.17m; Tasrico Bell (Vere Technical) 7.14m; KC’s Dameon Creary, 7.11m; Campion College’s Lorne Barrett, 7.10m and Paketo Dudley (JC), 7.10m, among the top qualifiers.Earlier, Vere Technical’s Avery Pryce a bronze medal winner at Central Champs was most impressive in qualifying to today’s Class Two girls shot put final (5:30 p.m.), after registering a 13.90m mark in yesterday’s preliminary round.Next best was Buff Bay High’s Ashtina Dobson, 13.08m, with St Jago’s Shania Scott also booking her spot with a 12.13m effort.Delarno Beckford (Happy Grove) was the best qualifier to the boys’ javelin Open event with a mark of 56.94m, with Petersfield High’s Kevin Nedrick, 53.68 and Morant Bay’s Tyrik Sewell, 53.09m, showing themselves to be a cut above the rest of the field in yesterday’s qualifying.Gold medal favourite Brittany Anderson (Vere) is the fastest qualifier to the next round in the girls Class Three 80m hurdles, winning her heat in 11.43. Winsome Harris (STETHS), 11.48, Codesha Lewis (Vere), 11.51, Ackera Nugent (Excelsior), 11.61 and Kimeone McLeod (St Jago), 11.69, are the top qualifiersLast year’s Class Three champion, Shanette Allison (Holmwood), looks ready to take her shot after graduating to Class Two, after topping all qualifiers in the 100m hurdles in 13.59. The Manchester High pair of Sidney Marshall (13.86) and Daszay Freeman (13.92) are also through to the next round, as are Casheena Chen (Wolmer’s), 13.94 and Edwin Allen’s Khamoy Farquharson, 13.97.After dominating Class Three for the last two seasons, Edwin Allen’s Annia Ashley, 5.68m, was impressive in booking her spot in the Class Two girls long jump, with Monief Heslop (Camperdown), 5.54m, Shiann Salmon (Hydel), 5.50m and Rhian Chong (Alpha), 5.44m, also showing good form.In the Class I girl’s high jump preliminaries, Hydel’s Britny Kerr (1.60m) is safely through to the final where she will face St Jago’s Athaliah Boyd and Tissanna Hickling; as well as Hydel’s Samara Spencer, Alpha’s Gabriel Foster and Petersfield’s Colistia Baker, who also cleared 1.60m in qualifying.Competition is set to start at 8:30 a.m. today with the preliminary round of the Class Four girls long jump.
SAMMY CRITICAL The meeting was also attended by current men’s T20 captain Darren Sammy, who criticised the board following the final of the T20 World Cup in India earlier this month. The WICB said that only recently, it took the decision to review all governance reports to determine if there were relevant parts that could still be implemented. The Patterson Report, authored by former Jamaica Prime Minister PJ Patterson, was produced in 2007, but its main recommendation of a Council of Stakeholders, comprising 23 members, has been ignored by the WICB. “The one recommendation that has not been favoured by the current, or the previous board, is the adding of another layer to the existing body,” the board said. “That has been the bane of contention in recent times, with a few groups calling for the dissolution of the board.” Despite the heavy criticism it received, the board maintained it had performed well. “The board, so far, has lived up to its promises, and while that is being done ‘let’s trust the process’.” ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): Regional governing body, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has once again pushed back on growing calls for its dissolution, claiming yesterday that it had “lived up to its promises” and urging the region to “trust the process”. Referring to “small groups” that were “clamouring for its dissolution”, the board, in a statement, defended its stewardship, repeating the argument that it had already implemented 90 per cent of all recommendations from the various commissioned governance reports. The fact that it had opted not to restructure along the lines suggested by the Patterson Report was not enough reason to justify dissolution, the Dave Cameron-led WICB contended. Further, the board pointed to the Under-19 team and the senior men’s and women’s Twenty20 World Cup teams and said their recent success was proof of the board’s efficiency. “In under 100 days since the start of 2016, three teams from the West Indies in two formats won three world titles,” the WICB said. “That accomplishment has come as part of the high-performance programme implemented just over two years ago. That there are small groups clamouring for the board’s dissolution is reason to ask. What more could a region want? “The acceptance of an average of 90 per cent of all the commissioned reports received have been implemented, minus adding another layer of bureaucracy cannot justify calling for the board to be dissolved. “Instead, the small groups should consider, among other things, promises made by governments to contribute to the growth of cricket by hosting matches or international series; continuing to facilitate development that aids in the growth of the sport; creating a more enabling environment for movement around the region; revitalising cricket in the schools across the region; (and) assisting in the setting up of territorial academies.” The board statement comes one day after several West Indies legends, including Sir Garry Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, Sir Vivian Richards, and Sir Andy Roberts issued a joint statement backing the CARICOM Governance Panel recommendation for the dissolution of the WICB and also calling for the immediate resignation of the board of directors. Outstanding former players Deryck Murray, Charlie Griffith, and Desmond Haynes were also among the group, which met in Grenada last week to discuss the matter. The legends also met with Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Mitchell, the chairman of CARICOM’s subcommittee on cricket, who has been at forefront of the push for the WICB to be restructured. read more