Elaine Thompson ended the 2016 season as the most dominant female sprinter in the world, earning her a nomination for the 56th RJR Sports Foundation National Sportswoman of the Year award.Thompson catapulted to the forefront of female sprinting last year as she embodied the motto of one of her alma maters and allowed her light to shine.She became the first Caribbean woman to win the sprint double at the Olympic Games.The 24-year-old Thompson also earned a silver medal as part of Jamaica’s Olympic 4x100m relay team, bronze in the 60m at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, and the IAAF Diamond League trophy for the 100m as she ended the season undefeated in 12 finals in that particular event.She also registered the three fastest times in 2016 in the 100m (10.70, 10.71, and 10.72) and the two fastest times in the 200m (21.78 and 21.85).”It is a good feeling to be on top now, and I am also a role model to everyone looking up to me, and I just have to maintain that level that I am at right now and just push myself further in the future,” Thompson said.WINNING WOULD BE A PRIVILEGEBut despite the many accolades earned in 2016, including having being one of three females shortlisted for the 2016 IAAF Women’s World Athlete of the Year, Thompson said that winning her first National Sportswoman of the Year award would be a privilege.”Winning this year’s RJR [Sports Foundation National] Sportswoman of the Year award would be an honour and also a motivation to push me further, knowing that last season I did well and dominated both in the 100m and 200m, and I accomplished my dream by making the Olympics team for the first time,” Thompson said.To put Thompson’s spectacular rise into proper perspective, one has to examine where she is coming from and how quickly she has ascended to the top of female sprinting.Born in Banana Ground in Manchester, Thompson attended Christiana High School and later, Manchester High, which has as its motto ‘Let your light so shine’. But like many of her MVP club mates, Thompson was not a track star in high school. Representing Manchester High at the 2009 Boys and Girls’ Championships, she placed fifth in the Class Two 100m final with a modest 12.01 seconds clocking and did not even make the team in her final year.Just three years (2013) prior to her Olympics triumph, Thompson’s 100m personal best (PB) stood at an unremarkable 11.41 seconds, but she continued her improvement in 2014, dropping her 100m PB to 11.17. In 2015, however, she got the world to start taking notice after getting the better of a field including American Allyson Felix and Nigerian Blessing Okagbare inside Jamaica’s National Stadium and then improved her PB to 10.84 at the Eugene Classics.She also took on the 200m in 2015, running four races, registering times of 22.37, 22.31, 22.10, and then 21.66 to win silver behind Dafne Schippers in the final of the half-lap event at the World Championships.The bit of history was necessary to show how Thompson has progressed as the last two females to have achieved the feat of claiming the sprint double at the Olympics, one, Marion Jones, has since admitted to taking drugs and has been stripped of the titles. As for the other, Griffith-Joyner, there is a negative tension and a feeling of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ that accompanies any mention of her achievement, with both victories having come in yet-to-be challenged record times.Thompson, like many others before her, did not even come close to Florence Griffith-Joyner’s Olympic records of 10.54 in the 100m and 21.34 for the 200m, but she certainly evoked that same kind of excellence.Her winning time in the Olympic 100m final of 10.71 was the best at an Olympics since Griffith-Joyner in 1988 and was just 0.01 (10.70) shy of her lifetime best and the Jamaican national record, which she shares with club mate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, and is the joint fourth-fastest time over the distance on the all-time list.NO FLUKEIn the 200m final, she was just as impressive, winning in 21.78, also a world lead, after handily fending off a late-race challenge by Schippers to reverse their finish from the IAAF World Championships in Beijing.Thompson proved that her Olympics 200m triumph was no fluke as in the first post-Olympics clash in the 200m, in Laussane, Thompson showed versatility in racing style, timing her surge perfectly to pip Schippers (21.86), winning in 21.85.The race also included two-time Olympic champion and three-time world champion Allyson Felix, who was third in 22.02 seconds.Thompson further reaffirmed her title as the fastest woman on the planet when she won the 100m at the final Diamond League meeting of the season to claim the overall Diamond League 100m title. She took the race at the Brussels meet in 10.72, again seeing off Schippers, as she equalled the meet record of her compatriot Fraser-Pryce.The RJR Sports Foundation is for the 56th year honouring outstanding achievements in sports by professional or amateur Jamaican athletes who have represented the country in an internationally recognised sporting competition between January 1 and December 31.The 2016 RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards will be handed out at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on January 13.
The government is yet to appoint a full-time Secretary for the agriculture department, one of the most crucial departments, as the State faces one of the worst droughts in recent times. Since the retirement of Bijay Kumar in August last year, Eknath Dawale, Secretary, Water Conservation and Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) has had additional charge of agriculture. Though there was a major bureaucratic reshuffle with the appointment of a new Chief Secretary, and Commissioner of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the crucial agriculture department seems to have been overlooked. Besides a Secretary, the department also does not have a full-time minister since May 31 last year when the incumbent Pandurang Phundkar passed away. Since then Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil has had additional charge of the ministry. The buzz in political circles is about a possible Cabinet expansion after May 23 when a senior opposition leader is likely to join the Bharatiya Janata Party and be made incharge of the agriculture ministry. Sources within the government said Mr. Dawale is being asked to focus more on agriculture department and a decision to hand over charge to him is likely to be taken soon. Apart from agriculture, the Home department too does not have a full-time secretary, At present Additional Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar is holding additional charge along with Housing. Last week, Mumbai civic body chief Ajoy Mehta was appointed as Chief Secretary while Praveen Pardeshi, Additional Chief Secretary with the Chief Minister’s Office, replaced him. The reshuffle took place after former Chief Secretary UPS Madan abruptly opted for voluntary retirement and was later appointed advisor to Chief Minister on a one-year contract.
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) celebrates with center Bam Adebayo (13) in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. The Heat won 102-96. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — Dwyane Wade fondly remembers his dominant first game in New Orleans as an emerging college star with Marquette. He won’t forget what was likely his final performance as a pro in the Big Easy, either.Wade walked off the court to chants of “D-Wade! D-Wade!” from fans converging on the tunnel to the visitors’ locker room after his 19 points — highlighted by tough shots over Anthony Davis at the end of each half — helped the Miami Heat beat the Pelicans 102-96 on Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Hassan Whiteside had 17 points and 12 rebounds in his matchup with Davis.Davis had 27 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and three steals, but curiously did not take his first shot of the second half until hitting a 3-pointer with 5:43 left in the fourth quarter.“Every time he got the ball they were running two guys at him. Once again, A.D. is not going to force shots,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “He did what he was supposed to do and he had seven assists — probably could have easily had double figures. We did not make some (open) shots.”Both teams shot worse than 42 percent and Miami missed 25 3s, but the difference in the game was Miami’s rebounding. The Heat outrebounded the Pelicans 57-38, pulling down 22 offensive rebounds and converting them into 25 second-chance pointsTyler Johnson added 15 points off the bench for Miami, whose reserves outscored New Orleans’ bench 58-20.Julius Randle had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Pelicans, but limped to the locker room with 6:49 to go after rolling his right ankle during a lost scrap for a rebound. Holiday had 22 points.TIP-INSHeat: Reserve wing player Derrick Jones Jr. scored 11 points in 21 minutes. … Guard Goran Dragic sat out for the fourth time in five games with right knee soreness. … Starting forward Justise Winslow left the game in the first half with right ankle soreness and did not return.Pelicans: Forward Nikola Mirotic missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury. … Forward Darius Miller missed eight of nine shots, including seven of eight from 3-point range, where he normally hits 38 percent.MEMORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Wade, who turns 37 in January and plans to retire after this season, said the efforts of fans around the country to see him play one last time is “definitely not lost on me.”So when a sore back sidelined him for Miami’s previous game at Memphis, he was determined to do what he could to loosen up in time to give it a go in New Orleans.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chief“I definitely understand the sacrifices people make to be at our games,” Wade said. “I just wanted to make sure tonight I was able to get out there. And then I started feeling pretty good as it went on, got a couple shots to fall and the rest is history.”Wade received an enthusiastic ovation when he first checked in and then made his first three 3-point attempts, the last of which he banked in with Davis guarding him closely in the final seconds of the first half. Wade stopped short of saying he meant to use the glass, but recalled thinking that was the only chance the shot had to fall when he released the ball over Davis’ long arms. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Wade said Marquette’s visit to Tulane in January 2003 was the first time he was aware of NBA scouts in attendance for one of his games. He scored 35 points in an 85-73 win. He returned to New Orleans that season for the Final Four in the Superdome. Then as an NBA rookie, his first playoff series was against New Orleans, which was then in the Eastern Conference, and Miami won that series.“I’ve had a lot of great moments here,” Wade said. “I was glad I was able to get out there today and kind of finish it off the last time being here.”UP NEXTHeat: Host Houston on Thursday night.Pelicans: Visit Milwaukee on Wednesday night. SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion View comments MOST READ “I decided to ask God to put it in for me — just prayed on it,” Wade said with a laugh.The Pelicans were as close as 96-90 after Davis’ 3 with 2:32 to go. But Miami, which led nearly the entire game — and by as much as 17 — squashed any hope of a late comeback with Wade’s driving floater over Davis to make it 100-92 with 51 seconds left.Wary of the pressure Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was putting on Heat ball handlers, Wade said he acted decisively to explode past Holiday toward the hoop.“And then when I got down there I saw the big fella coming, so the only chance I had to get the shot off, I had to throw it high, kind of like the 3, but just in the paint,” Wade said. “It was kind of the icing on the cake.”Josh Richardson scored 22 points for Miami, which closed out a six-game road swing with its fourth victory on the trip.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Nuggets beat Raptors in matchup of conference leaders Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion