Jamaican basketball player Kimani Ffriend was once again found guilty of vehicular manslaughter in a Serbian Court yesterday. Ffriend, now 36, was being retried on the charge of being responsible for the death of Nevena Dragutinovic, a 30-year-old account executive, on November 3, 2012. He was first found guilty of the charge in September 2014 for the woman’s death and sentenced to serve three years in prison. However, an appeals court ordered a retrial, citing several mistakes made by the presiding judge. Ffriend, who has five months left on his sentence, will once again appeal the verdict, and this time, the appellate court’s decision will be the final verdict in the case. He will remain free until the appellate court makes its decision. FINAL APPEAL A date for the final appeal will be determined once the judge submits a written verdict explaining her latest decision, including why she chose to ignore the court-appointed expert’s testimony that, having reconstructed the scene of the incident, that the Jamaican’s explanation was plausible and that it was possible that he was not guilty. The judge had based her initial guilty verdict on the expert witness’ testimony, but this time chose to ignore it. “It’s just sad, man. It feels like somebody just took the air out of me,” said Ffriend in reaction to the verdict. However, he remains hopeful, as his lawyers have said that they now have a stronger case to take to the appeals court. During the first appeal, the court ruled that there were six mistakes that needed to be addressed during the retrial, and even suggested that the scene of the incident be reconstructed. During the retrial, the scene of the incident was reconstructed, during which Ffriend testified about what occurred on that fateful night three years ago. The court-appointed expert testified on his new findings, which corroborated with the Jamaican’s testimony, but the judge chose to ignore the new information he provided to the court. She claimed that she would not accept the verdict of the expert, as he had changed portions of his testimony from the first trial and that she was not obligated to accept his findings. In her opinion, Ffriend was guilty. – Leighton Levy
The three-year-old campaign leading up to the season’s first classic continues at Caymanas Park today, with the Mercury Sprint for native bred maiden three-year-old colts and geldings over the straight taking the spotlight. The race, which has been divided into two sections, follows on the heels of the Eight Thirty Sprint for the fillies last Saturday, which saw the highly-fancied debutante DANCING QUEEN and odds on favourite POISON GAS winning their respective divisions in contrasting fashion. Division one of the Mercury Sprint has attracted 12 starters and indications are that first-time runners MEGATRON and BOLD SYMPHONY, to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis and Orlando Foster, respectively, will fight out the finish. Both have looked well forward at exercise in preparation for the race, especially the Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes-trained MEGATRON. The roan colt by Seeking The Gold out of the Slick Trick mare Chikiney looked real sharp at exercise last Saturday morning, galloping from the gates in 1:00.0, the last three in 46.1, beating stable-companion LITTLEMISSEMMY, who is no slouch, quite easily. A week before that he clocked 1;00.1 and with his preparation complete, gets the nod over the Philip Feanny-trained BOLD SYMPHONY, a bay colt by Image Maker out of Tejano Symphony, who galloped from the gates in 1:00.4 last Saturday morning as well, the last three in 46.1. So it’s MEGATRON to win from BOLD SYMPHONY and the Wayne DaCosta-trained LITTLE BIG HORN, who has shown promise in two of his three starts to date. Division two looks tailored for the Feanny-trained newcomer DR BANNER, with Oneil Mullings aboard. The chestnut colt by Adore The Gold out of the Schism mare Deja Vu caught the eye at exercise recently when clocking 1:01.0 out of the straight. Having secured a favourable high number draw in another 12-horse field, DR BANNER should lead home Gary Subratie’s NOLAN HILL, who ran well on his recent debut over the round course when chasing home CRUISING MOTION, and returns with Lasix administered. Other firm fancies on the 10-race card are SOUTHERN CRUISE in the opening race over 1400 metres, NUCLEAR AFFAIR in the third, EL CLIENTE in the fourth, TURBO MACHINE CAT in the fifth and STORMING in the ninth.
Jamaica’s Tsetsi Davis, one of the favourites to take the 2016 version of the Wray and Nephew Contender title, had an easy first fight, on Wednesday night, as he completely overwhelmed his young American opponent Courtney McCleave in their five round fight at the Chinese Benevolent Association auditorium. McCleave’s corner threw in the towel at two minutes and 10 seconds of round four. McCleave, who is 21 years old, and has been a professional boxer for only a year, showed his inexperience right from the start of the fight. He really looked like a boxer with only three previous fights, two of which he lost, and his record is now one victory and three losses. Davis, who now has a 15-4 record, had won the three previous rounds easily and seemed to be on the brink of a knockout victory when McCleave’s corner threw a towel in the ring to signal to referee Ransford Burton, that their fighter was in no condition to continue. It was the right decision for them to make, as McCleave would just have been beaten up badly and knocked out, if the fight had continued. Davis, who last fought on July 1 last year, when he dropped a majority decision to Richard Holmes, showed that he was in need of a fight. He stalked McCleave from the opening bell, but missed with several punches that were thrown to his opponent’s head. His timing was badly off and he would have been better served if he had tried to build up his attacks behind his jab. McCleave showed some boxing skills as he tried to score points with his jabs, but these were tentative and had no muscle behind them. A few landed to Davis’ head and body but had no visible effect on him and certainly did not dissuade him from coming in. After repeatedly missing with punches to the head, Davis changed strategy and made the body his target, and this paid dividends, as McCleave was definitely hurt a few times. He increased the pressure each round and after round three it was clear that the fight would not last much longer. Davis stepped up the pace at the start of this round, and his hooks to the body made McCleave wince in pain. His corner saw what was happening and correctly gave the signal to the referee that their fighter had had enough. Davis now moves on the quarter-finals, where he will certainly get better opposition. He has a lot of work to do in the meantime, however, as his conditioning seemed suspect. He is, however, one step closer to the first prize of $2-million and the title that has eluded him over the years. In the amateur bouts that preceded the main event, Raheim Pitter from Boys’ Town scored a first round technical knockout victory over Shaquille O’Neil from Sugar Olympic gym, while Joshua Forrest-Davidson from Seaview Gardens gym had a similar second round victory over Joel Wedderburn from the St. Thomas Boxing Club.
The possession of the worst record over the last five games in the Red Stripe Premier League could seriously cost one of the more storied clubs in local football when the final whistles are blown today to signal the end of the 2015/2016 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) regular season. Four losses in the last five games including three successive ones over the last three games and the only other result being a draw means that Cavalier have attempted the tragic act of committing suicide. Only a miracle or a lack of interest in the proceedings by their opponents, Tivoli Gardens who have very little to play for, could save them. With two teams set to be relegated the lower leagues today, Cavalier, who just weeks ago were in with a chance, albeit slim, of finishing in the top four now find themselves the second least likely team to survive of the four that could go down. Of the four the favourites tag still belongs to Waterhouse who have basically made the relegation zone their residence more most of the season. Waterhouse have shown fight of late and with a victory over Boys’ Town today could end up on a maximum 34 points, one above the total currently held by both Cavalier and Rivoli. Their survival therefore depends on the loss of both teams and in the event of a Rivoli draw Waterhouse would have to win by at least five clear goals – improbable. Cavalier can end the season with a maximum 36 points and stay up but would have to beat Tivoli Gardens and see Rivoli lose to Humble Lion or Reno lose to UWI FC. The University team still has chance of being on the right side of another decision to be made today that of the fourth semi-finalists and they will not give up that fight easily even though Reno will be at home. That situation makes Cavalier’s task much tougher. Today’s games 3:30 p.m: Portmore United vs Arnett Gardens – Juici Park, Clarendon 3:30 p.m: Montego Bay United vs Harbour View – Montego Bay Sports Complex 3:30 p.m: Reno vs UWI FC – Frome Complex 3:30 p.m: Humble Lion vs Rivoli United F – Effortville Community Centre 3:30pm Tivoli Gardens United vs Cavalier – Edward Seaga Stadium 3:30 p.m: Waterhouse vs Boys’ Town – Drewsland Stadium Points standing P W D L GF GA GD Pts Portmore 32 18 7 7 41 26 15 61 Arnett 32 17 6 9 46 28 18 57 MoBay United 32 15 11 6 51 26 25 56 Humble Lion FC 32 12 11 9 28 27 1 47 UWI FC 32 12 10 10 37 40 -3 46 H.View 32 10 13 9 39 32 7 43 Tivoli 32 11 7 14 38 40 -2 40 Boys’ Town 32 10 8 14 35 49 -14 38 Reno 32 7 13 12 34 52 -18 34 Rivoli 32 8 9 15 38 45 -7 33 Cavalier SC 32 8 9 15 24 35 -11 33 Waterhouse 32 7 10 15 29 40 -11 31
SUNDERLAND (4-1-4-1)MANNONE, YEDLIN, KONE, KABOUL, VAN AANHOLT, KIRCHHOFF,BORINI, CATTERMOLE, M’VILA, KHAZRI,DEFOEVARDY, OLAZAKI,ALBRIGHTON, DRONKWATER, KANTE, MAHREZ, FUCHS, HUTH, MORGAN,SIMPSON,SCHMEICHELLEICESTER (4-4-2)Leicester City’s quest to win the Barclays Premier League continues at the Stadium of Light. The Foxes need four wins from their remaining six games to confirm the most unlikely of Premier League triumphs after a fourth straight 1-0 win, the slim but effective victory over Southampton last weekend.That extended their advantage to seven points ahead of second-placed Tottenham Hotspur and 11 ahead of Arsenal, in third. After their trip to Sunderland, Leicester face home games against West Ham, Swansea and Everton and visit Manchester United and Chelsea.However, such a lead has been squandered before. In the 2011-12 campaign, Manchester United led by eight points with seven games left and lost the title on goal difference, to Manchester City.So a win at troubled Sunderland is crucial ahead of two difficult away games. The home side remain in the bottom three, now four points behind 17th-place Norwich.The Black Cats, indeed, have drawn their last four league games and have won just once – at home to Manchester United – in their last 10. Four of their six wins this season have come at home.Leicester, meanwhile, have scored 29 goals on the road, the equal best with Arsenal, while they have won 10 on the road, the best in the Premier League.When the teams met in August, at the King Power Stadium, Leicester led 3-0 after 25 minutes and went on to win 4-2. But their record in the Premier League at Sunderland is poor, with three 0-0 draws and two defeats.Sunderland’s only injury victim is Duncan Watmore. Leicester, meanwhile, have one doubt, over Jeffrey Schlupp.
NEW DELHI, India (CMC): Twenty20 World Cup hero Carlos Brathwaite once again put his all-round qualities on display with a superb Man-of-the-Match effort as Delhi Daredevils trounced Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 27 runs in the Indian Premier League here yesterday. In his first game in two weeks, Brathwaite belted a whirlwind 34 from a mere 11 deliveries as Delhi stormed to 186 for eight off 20 overs after being asked to bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla. The West Indies all-rounder then returned with his medium pace to claim three for 47 as KKR were restricted to 159 all out off 18.3 overs. Six outings First game Off-spinner Sunil Narine, meanwhile, claimed three for 22 from three overs. West Indies Test and one-day captain Jason Holder finished with none for 35 from four overs in his first game of the season. In reply, opener Robin Uthappa stroked 72 from 52 balls, but Suryakumar Yadav, with 21, was the only other batsman to pass 20, as KKR collapsed. Brathwaite proved the architect of their demise, slicing through the middle order with a potent spell. He removed the dangerous Yusuf Pathan for 10 in his first over – the eighth of the innings – before accounting for Yadav in his third over and Rajagopal Satish for 17 in his final over. For Delhi, the victory was their fourth in six outings and it moved them into second spot on eight points while KKR lost their third in seven games and slipped to third, remaining on eight points. Brathwaite was a vital part of Delhi’s revival after the hosts slipped to 32 for three in the fifth over. Karun Nair top-scored with 68 from 50 deliveries, adding 105 for the fourth wicket with Englishman Sam Billings, whose 54 came from 34 balls and included three fours and two sixes. When Nair and Chris Morris (0) fell in the space of three deliveries in the 17th over, Delhi were stuttering on 137 for five, but Brathwaite and Billings put on a frenetic 37 off just 12 balls to give the innings impetus. The first two deliveries that Brathwaite faced disappeared for boundaries and he followed up by smashing left-arm spinner Brad Hogg over square leg for six in the next over, which leaked 18 runs. In the final over, he slammed the first ball from West Indies teammate Andre Russell over midwicket for six, but fell to the next delivery, caught at short fine leg off a slower ball. Seamer Russell conceded only four runs from the remaining four deliveries to finish with the excellent figures of three for 26 from his four overs.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has joined the local football fraternity and general public in mourning the tragic passing of St George’s College schoolboy footballer Dominic James.The Jamaica Football Federation’s South Central Confederation Chairman Michael Ricketts, while speaking at James’ memorial service on Saturday at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, relayed Infantino expression of condolences at the youngster’s death.”President Infantino, who, from as far away as Switzerland, was moved by the news and reality of Dominic’s passing,” the long-time JFF official outlined.He was speaking on behalf of JFF President Captain Horace Burrell, who was not well and unable to attend.”In memory of Dominic James,” read the FIFA boss’ letter.”Dear President Burrell, please accept my deepest condolences on hearing that Dominic James, a student and captain, has passed away at just 18. Dominic left us too soon and we here at FIFA are truly sorry to hear of his passing.”DEEPEST CONDOLENCES”On behalf of members of the international football community, I should be grateful if you could extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”We hope that in some way our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace in this time of sadness.President, FIFA.”Ricketts noted that the letter was received last week from FIFA.James, who was born on September 26, 1997, was an endearing Manchester United fan, and dedicated footballer from as early as his formative prep-school years.He attended Jamaica College (JC) and then left for St George’s last year, where he won his second FLOW Super Cup.Owing to him winning successive FLOW Super Cup titles, an MVP award will be named in James’ honour.He wanted to become a professional football player.James died after being rushed to hospital following his collapse during a Manning Cup match against Excelsior High on September 20 at the Stadium East field.Ricketts’ tribute also paid respect to Dominic’s parents David and Denese James, members of the extended James’ family and members of the St George’s College fraternity.James, who was also very successful academically and had attained impressive passes in his external examinations, was hailed as a model student.on Saturday. “How could we not celebrate positively, a life which achieved such enviable academic and sporting excellence.”
As can be expected, Bert Cameron watched the Olympic men’s 400 metre final and the performance of South African Wayde van Niekerk with great interest. Even now, four months later, Cameron, the first World Champion in the one-lap event is still impressed with the world record performance by van Niekerk. Interestingly, the Jamaican thinks the new Olympic champion may feel that he has nothing left to accomplish in the 400m. Speaking just before a Cameron Blazers training session in Kingston earlier this week, the 57-year-old Cameron said that it seemed that the 2015 World champion had started too quickly. “At one point, I said van Niekerk was probably going too fast because I saw the rest of the guys looking like they were comfortable and in control. “When he reached about 280m, there I said he could not maintain that,” Cameron recalled, “but when I saw him come off the turn and I saw the way he was composed … and I saw him move, I said ‘this is a world record’.” LIGHTNING PERFORMANCE He was right as the 24-year-old ace clicked to a winning time of 43.30 seconds. That’s 0.15 seconds off the old mark set by Michael Johnson in 1999. The 1983 World and 1982 Commonwealth champion gushed: “I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire lifetime, not even when people are running 4x4s, so to me, this is a lightning performance.” He placed it in perspective, saying, “I’ve seen Bolt and now I’ve seen van Niekerk.” Reminded that the new star passed the 200 metres mark in 20.7 seconds and that his own personal best for the half lap sprint is 20.74, the 1984 and 1988 Olympic finalist chuckled. Then he asked admiringly, “How can a man do something like that and he’s only 24?” In a reference to van Niekerk’s expressions of interest in shorter sprint events, Cameron said: “I just believe that there’s nothing else that he wants to accomplish in the 400m. “I believe that for a man to run 43.03,” Cameron marvelled,. “I think he’s just ready to run a 200m now. I just believe that.”
In an effort to improve the standard of netball across the island, Netball Jamaica (NJ) and sponsors Jamaica National (JN) Bank launched the Parish Netball League competition yesterday.President of NJ Dr Paula Daley-Morris, announced details of the competition during a press briefing at JN Bank’s head office in Half-Way Tree.Teams in each parish will first compete in a round robin tournament, with the parish champions collecting $70,000, the runners-up $30,000 and the third-place team taking home $20,000.The top two in each parish will then advance to the county Major League; third and fourth, a county Intermediate League, while fifth and sixth-place teams will move into the county Minor League.The top-two Major League teams from each county will move on to a six-team national final.GOOD FIRST STEPDaley-Morris heaped praise on JN for supporting the new league.”I am happy. JN is always supporting Netball Jamaica. We have expanded the league and they have stuck with us,” she said. “It is a good first step to expand netball across the island because all the parishes will benefit from it, and we are happy that the JN Bank team saw it fit to provide support.”Carlene Edwards, sales promotions and events manager at JN Bank said her company is committed to the development of netball in Jamaica.”Over the years, we have realised the significant impact of sports on our young people through the promotion of teamwork,” said Edwards.”At JN, we value our more than two decades of association with Netball Jamaica. This long-standing relationship is indicative of our commitment in creating a sustained netball programme in Jamaica and since 1991, we have built a solid, strong relationship with Netball Jamaica, to energise teams across our country,” she said.Edwards added that the league will provide excellent opportunities for more young women in all parishes to compete in high-level club netball competitions.The rural area opening ceremony and dress parade for the new league will be held at St Elizabeth Technical High tomorrow, while that for the urban area will take place on February 26 at the Leila Robinson Courts. The best dressed team will win a cash prize of $20,000.
BILINGUAL, MONEY MAGNET, and MARLENE MY LOVE, fillies who have played second fiddle to SHE’S A MANEATER in their last two races, finally get a chance to emerge from the 1000 Guineas winner’s shadow in this afternoon’s Caribbean Choice Jamaica Oaks. The trio was second, third and fourth, respectively, behind SHE’S A MANEATER in the 1000 Guineas three weeks ago, almost the same order in which they had finished in last month’s Thornbird Stakes, save MONEY MAGNET being second then. With SHE’S A MANEATER out of the Oaks, nursing a pulled muscle and being reprogrammed by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta for June’s Jamaica Derby, the Oaks plot has been thickened by her withdrawal. The distance of 10 furlongs is virgin territory for the top three contending fillies. None have gone past a mile or have attempted two turns in a competitive race, a factor which could turn the race on its head despite BILINGUAL appearing to be the best closer of the lot. Going a mile in the Guineas, MONEY MAGNET and BILINGUAL ran practically the same race, trying to keep pace with SHE’S A MANEATER, who changed gears inside the final half-furlong to win by four lengths. MARLENE MY LOVE, meanwhile, ran a contrasting Guineas race, opting to sit in the pace instead of taking charge as she had done on the lead in the Thornbird Stakes. However, the change in tactics didn’t make a difference as she again proved fourth best. CUNNING JOCKEY Whereas MARLENE MY LOVE will have to improve on her Thornbird stakes and 1000 Guineas efforts, MONEY MAGNET, in particular, is rather game and should not be underestimated, having twice finished ahead of BILINGUAL before the Guineas. Though BILINGUAL got the better of her for second behind SHE’S A MANEATER in the Guineas, MONEY MAGNET’s new rider, Shane Ellis, who replaces apprentice Bebeto Harvey, is a cunning jockey, who could use his smarts to steal the race from in front. What BILINGUAL has going for her is a super-confident rider, Robert Halledeen. He rode the perfect race in the Guineas, sitting almost atop SHE’S A MANEATER’s hind quarters from a half-mile out, but was simple outclassed in the stretch run. BILINGUAL, on breeding, should stay 10 furlongs better than MONEY MAGNET. Halledeen is bang in form and relishes the big occasions, which should counter any scheme Ellis could have up his sleeves to steal a march on the field.