RJR Sports Awards Nominee | Jackson’s rise

first_imgShericka Jackson is making a habit of peaking right on time. In 2015, the young 400-metre ace set a personal best to win a bronze medal at the World Championships. In the just-concluded Olympic year, she did again and earned a repeat nomination for the prestigious RJR National Sportswoman of the Year Award. The first signs of a big peak appeared at the National Senior Championships when she secured her place on the Jamaican Olympic team. Though she finished third to Stephenie-Ann McPherson and Christine Day, Jackson had done her best run of the campaign at 50.42 seconds. Her eyes were bright with wonder when the clock stopped at 49.83 seconds at the end of an easy effort in her Olympic semi-final in Rio de Janeiro. That time carved a chunk off the 49.99 personal best that gave her the bronze medal at the World Championships. With the final still to come, she was honest enough to say, “I really didn’t know I was going that fast.” The new mark moved her past McPherson and Rosemarie Whyte to the number six spot on the Jamaican all-time 400-metre performance list. Lorraine Fenton, Shericka Williams, Grace Jackson, Novlene Williams-Mills and Sandie Richards are the only Jamaican ladies ahead of her. In the Olympic final, she proved that she was no one race wonder with a time of 49.85 seconds and a bronze medal that moved her into an elite group of Jamaican 400-metre runners. Fenton, who shared the 2001 Sportswoman of the Year Award with hurdler Deon Hemmings before winning outrightly in 2002 and 2003, and Williams are the only other Jamaican 400-metre ladies to win both World Championship and Olympic medals. At 22, Jackson is the youngest to achieve the feat. “I think I’ve kind of grown to love the 400 a bit more,” she said recently. “Being the youngest from Jamaica to win a medal, it’s a great feeling.” That’s a reflection on her days at Vere Technical High School where she was a reluctant 400-metre runner. Coached now by Stephen Francis at the University of Technology (UTech), Jackson had been ushered towards the 400 metres by the late Vere coach Constantine Haughton. However, because of her prowess at the 200 metres, it wasn’t easy to convince her. Haughton nurtured dozens of Olympians while he was at Vere and in his last interview, he said, “That’s one of the real problems I’m having, trying to get her to really recognise her real ability in the 400 metres because she can do so well in the 200.” In her last year at Vere in 2013, she won both the 200-metre and 400-metre at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships. In a heartfelt tribute to Haughton, who died before Champs, she zoomed around the track in 51.60 seconds to win the Class I 400 metres. That was the climax of Jackson’s outstanding junior career. In the 200-metre, she raced to five gold medals at Champs and two at the Carifta Games. In addition, she reached the 2012 World Junior Championships 200-metre final. As true testimony to her sprint speed, her 2013 Carifta Games runner-up time of 22.84 seconds is the second-fastest ever by a Jamaican junior athlete. Thanks to Coach Haughton’s urging, she was almost equally successful at 400 metres with three wins at Champs and two at Carifta. On top of all that, she anchored Vere to a high school 4×400 metres record of 3:30.51 in her last-ever Champs race. Haughton would probably be pleased to know that in three years, Jackson had become one of the very best in the world at the distance she once shied away from. Her memorable 2016 season include winning the Intercollegiate title in the 200 metres, zooming to success over 400 metres at the inaugural Racers Grand Prix in 50.72 seconds and gaining experience on the Diamond League circuit. The UTech student-athlete buttressed her claim to greatness with a big contribution to Jamaica’s silver-medal run in the women’s 4×400 metres. She ran the third leg urgently and covered the ground in 49.5 seconds, faster than any of her teammates. That performance, far faster than her 52.2 second anchor for the University of Technology at the Gibson-McCook Relays in February, simply underlined her quality and helped to earn her a second Sportswoman of the Year nomination in a row. Tribute to Haughtonlast_img read more

Kohli, Rohit part of meeting where Dhoni was dropped. What lies ahead for ex-captain?

first_imgMS Dhoni’s fans got a rude shock late on Friday as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India T20I squads for West Indies and Australia series and the team did not feature former India captain Dhoni.Soon, experts and fans begun contemplating if this was the end of Dhoni’s T20I career amd took to social media to express their displeasure over the selection snub.While fans showed their anger on social media, many argued that Dhoni will most definitely not be around by the time the 2020 World T20 in Australia comes by and so, this decision was simply a move towards the future.The selection committee has always maintained that they remain in touch with the requirements of the captain and the Indian team management and the same was backed up by a senior BCCI official.”It’s a given that Dhoni won’t be around when next ICC World T20 happens in Australia in 2020. So, there wasn’t any point continuing with him if he will not play World T20,” a senior BCCI official privy to selection policy told news agency PTI on Saturday.”Obviously, the selectors and team management had a good deliberation on this issue. Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were present at the selection committee meeting.”You think selectors could have gone ahead without their approval?” the official added.All through his career, Dhoni has been calling the shots and has had absolute control over his career. It is not outrightly known if Dhoni was privy to the decision but many believe the selectors would not have gone ahead with the their decision without having Dhoni in the know how.advertisementAll this seems like the beginning of the end for the legendary stumper. The selection committee has now shown early signs of phasing him out and it looks likely that the 2019 ICC World Cup will be the last time he will don the India blues.Chief selector MSK Prasad addressed the queries related to what lay ahead for Dhoni’s T20I career with a “this is not the end of Dhoni in T20Is”.”He [Dhoni] is not going to be play the six T20Is [West Indies and Australia] because we are looking at the second keeper’s slot. So I think we will retain Rishabh [Pant] and Dinesh Karthik. So they will be getting a chance to keep and bat,” Prasad said.But what if Rishabh Pant clicks with the bat in Australia? There is no questioning Dhoni’s wicketkeeping skills but it is evident that his batting prowess is in the wane. What if the team combination in England next year requires smashing batting skills? — an attribute that Dhoni has been missing since a while.”If Pant plays well and Dhoni’s inconsistent run continues, would you still call him a certainty for World Cup? On what basis?” questioned a former India player.”The lack of game time has been pretty evident this year. I don’t know maybe he is thinking that from January till World Cup, he will be playing a lot of games including IPL for CSK and he doesn’t need practice,” the former international added.Questions have been raised recently about Dhoni not choosing to play domestic cricket. Recently, Dhoni had refused to play Jharkhand’s Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-finals against Maharashtra despite the national selection committee chairman MSK Prasad’s public announcement of him playing the game.Jharkhand coach Rajiv Kumar had informed that it was Dhoni’s view that it was not fair on the team for him to join at that stage.”Dhoni feels that it would not be fair for him to join us at this stage, given that the team has done so well and reached the quarter-final stage in his absence. He does not want to upset the team balance.”He has to go to Hyderabad on October 16 to report for the ODI series. Maybe he will come for a day, I don’t know yet what his plan is, but so far, he is not coming. But it may be possible. You know he takes his own decisions. He is saying the boys are doing well, so there is no point coming for just one game and taking somebody’s place,” Kumar said.India great Sunil Gavaskar had also expressed his concern and said that Dhoni should play domestic cricket to get back in form.”Absolutely [when asked if Dhoni should feature in domestic cricket]. Dhoni should be playing domestic cricket and should be playing the four-day games as well because he will help so many of the emerging players from Jharkhand,” Gavaskar told India Today.advertisementEvidently, the road ahead for MS Dhoni is only getting trickier. While there are no questions raised on his contribution to the team in terms of fielding, wicketkeeping and captaincy, his batting form has been a topic of great debate.And it is that one aspect that Dhoni needs to fix as soon as possible for him to keep his stranglehold on his career decisions.last_img read more

BC files second legal challenge against Alberta over turnofftaps law

first_imgVANCOUVER — The British Columbia government has filed a second lawsuit against Alberta over its turn-off-the-taps legislation.A statement of claim filed in Federal Court on June 14 is similar to a document filed last month in Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench that alleges Alberta introduced the bill to inflict economic pain on B.C. by limiting the supply of petroleum products to the province.The claim says Alberta’s attorney general brought an application to have the action dismissed in the Court of Queen’s Bench on the grounds that B.C. has no standing to challenge laws created in the Alberta legislature and that the legal action is premature.The B.C. government says it believes the case can be heard in Alberta but if it is found not to have standing there, it wants the Federal Court to declare Alberta’s Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act unconstitutional.Alberta’s former NDP government passed the bill but it wasn’t proclaimed into law until after the United Conservative Party was elected earlier this year.The Canadian Presslast_img read more