Marquee 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer recalls last season as bittersweet but remains confident that should she medal at this year’s Olympics in Rio, Brazil, it would put the icing on the cake as her greatest year ever.Spencer is one of the most successful track athletes in the history of the Diamond League circuit with a total of 21 wins.In an interview with The Gleaner, Spencer said that 2015 was a bittersweet season for her. “It began great. Unfortunately, I got an injury and I wasn’t able to complete my season as I would have wanted to but just using that as a stepping stone for this season.”Jamaica and the world have definitely not seen Kaliese Spencer’s best. I think this season is going to be a great season, so just watch out.”Despite her recent IAAF World Championships medal failures in the finals, Spencer maintains that she is over those disappointments, settled in her new training club, and looking at improving.”I have a great set of coaches working with – great people, great athletes – and it’s like a family,” she outlined at Cameron Blazers, adding that it would help her medal this year.”Definitely, I will be on the medal podium (Rio Olympic Games). I just want to stay healthy, and once God is in it, I will be a winner and I will be there,” Spencer continued.”I am over that (disappointments) long time ago. I don’t stay long on one thing. I just get going. OK, that was it. I am strong in faith, and I believe that God is by my side, and I believe that one day I will be victorious, and I am just working towards that,” she said.Though Spencer admits that she has a lot left in the tank, she did not want to predict how fast she could run this year.”I am not thinking about (times) that. I am just thinking about focusing and getting my technique better and getting stronger and staying healthy, and once I stay healthy, the times will come,” stressed Spencer.
After a quiet season, Dyke finally showed his hand in the 4×400 metres. They came to the Relays as underdogs despite retaining three members of last year’s winning team as St Elizabeth Technical, with the hot Junelle Bloomfield on their team, were howling favourites to bring home their first title in the event. However, Dyke silenced the very overconfident St Elizabeth Technical. It was a plucky Holmwood Technical who gave them much to worry about. Holmwood, the record holders in the event, looked like pulling off a win, but their outstanding Ashley Williams fell on the anchor leg and Edwin Allen went on to win in 3:40.88. St Elizabeth Technical was second in 3:41.17, with Union Catholic out of New Jersey third in 3:42.59. Unlucky, Holmwood ended at the back of the field in 4:03.74. Shannon Kalawan, who ran the third leg for her team, was delighted with the win. “We came to Penn Relays as underdogs, but we were very confident that we would have won. I am extremely happy that I played my part by giving the team the lead, and it was good to be on the podium for the second time on the day, and I want to give God thanks for this,” said Kalawan, who finished second in the 400 metres hurdles on Thursday’s opening day. The other members of the team were Joneil Moore and Davia Smith. PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania: Edwin Allen High’s girls were brilliant on yesterday’s penultimate day of competition at the 122nd renewal of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia yesterday. The Clarendon-based school had two three-peats as they captured the 4x100m and 4x400m for the third consecutive year at the prestigious relay carnival. Unlike Thursday’s opening day when it was very cold, things warmed up yesterday and this lifted the performances. Despite coming into the finals of the 4×100 metres as the second-fastest qualifiers behind Holmwood Technical, Edwin Allen had few problems in achieving victory. They shrugged off early pressure from first-time finalists St Catherine High on the first two legs. Then the classy Shellece Clarke on the third leg put her team into the lead. Khamoy Farquharson on anchor then coasted home as Edwin Allen clocked to win in 45.73 seconds. St Catherine finished second in 46.11, with Nansemond River out of Virginia third in 46.26. Holmwood were fifth in 46.66 and Green Island seventh in 47.85. The other members of the winning Edwin Allen team were Kasheika Cameron and Patrice Moodie. Coach Dyke hailed his girls as before the race, he had told them that winning was the main focus. “Based on the preliminary round, we were very confident of victory, and with the type of weather, I told the girls that our main focus was just to win. The time was not important as the objective was for them to get on top of the podium,” said Dyke, who added that his young team could win the event for another three years. UNDERDOGS IN RELAYS
0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Real Madrid came from behind to beat PSG 3-1 in their Champions League last 16, first leg © AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMONMADRID, Spain, Feb 15 – Zinedine Zidane warned his Real Madrid players that they can expect to suffer in the return leg of their Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain despite seeing Cristiano Ronaldo inspire a 3-1 comeback victory on Wednesday.The reigning European champions stunned the PSG of Neymar in the last 16, first-leg showdown with two goals in the final seven minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu from Ronaldo and Marcelo. Ronaldo had earlier drawn Madrid level with his 100th Champions League goal for the club from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s opener for the French side.“We can afford to have a bit of euphoria tonight. We have to be satisfied, and enjoy this,” said Zidane.“But there is a second leg to come where we will need to play with a lot of intensity. We know we are going to suffer.”Real had already suffered for large spells of Wednesday’s match, before PSG collapsed defensively in the closing stages, unable to adjust after Zidane sent on Marco Asensio.Striker Asensio set up the two late goals, and Zidane will take plenty of credit for the impact his substitutions had on the game just when it looked as though PSG would leave the Spanish capital with the edge in the tie.Zidane, under pressure because of Real’s indifferent domestic form, again saw the Champions League bring the best out of his team and Ronaldo.“With Ronaldo it’s difficult to always say the same thing. He has shown once again that he always turns up in the big games,” said Zidane, after the Portuguese became the first player to score 100 Champions League goals for the same club.He has scored 11 this season in Europe in just seven matches, and he won the battle of the superstars at the Bernabeu with PSG’s Neymar.“Real Madrid love the Champions League and as players we can feel that on the pitch,” Ronaldo said after collecting his man of the match prize.“Today things worked out for me, scoring two goals and helping the team win, but we know the tie is not finished yet.”– Soft penalty, say PSG –Neymar had his moments but it was a frustrating night on the whole for PSG’s Brazilian superstar in Madrid © AFP / CURTO DE LA TORREWhile Real are looking to win the European Cup for the third year running — something no club has done since Bayern Munich in 1976 — and the 13th time overall, PSG risk seeing their wait for a first Champions League crown go on.A year after they fell apart in historic fashion to lose 6-1 in Barcelona at the same stage of the competition after winning 4-0 at home, here was another late collapse on Spanish soil.Coach Unai Emery surely needs to win this tie to remain in the job, but he took big decisions that backfired.Captain Thiago Silva was left out, 21-year-old Giovani Lo Celso started in midfield and Angel Di Maria stayed on the bench even when Edinson Cavani came off in the second half.“The team played well and deserved better. We have to be optimistic and positive for the match in Paris. We still have a good chance of getting through,” claimed Emery, who has drawn once and lost 10 times in 11 visits to the Bernabeu as a coach.Emery tried to turn the focus on Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi, saying the penalty the hosts got for a Lo Celso challenge on Toni Kroos was soft. He also felt his side should have had a spot-kick for a Sergio Ramos handball.“When we play against a big team, it’s the same, always,” bemoaned PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi.“Last year against Barcelona, this year against Real Madrid. OK, Real Madrid are a big club, but that’s enough now. UEFA have to do something.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)