Jamaica finished fourth at the Netball World Cup. Sixteen teams participated. After months of intensive training, improved nutrition packages, foreign coaching etc., Jamaica finished fourth. The good book reports that Jesus told Lazarus to come forth. I am confident that this should not be interpreted as a directive to the Sunshine Girls in international competition. Besides, he is reported to have said ‘forth’, not fourth. Sometimes third, most times fourth, has been the mantra of our Sunshine Girls for too long. I maintain that our Girls are much, much better than fourth out of 16. Our Girls deserve better. I am hoping that after the hype and promises of the leaders of the team before departure, decency will prevail and resignations offered. We started every match in this tournament the same way, outplaying and outscoring our opponents, then they make tactical adjustments, we don’t, and we lose. In the third-place play-off against England – who we beat for bronze medal in the last Commonwealth Games in Scotland – Jamaica finished the first quarter five goals ahead of their English opponents. England never panicked. After the defeat in the Commonwealth Games, they changed coach, who immediately began concentrating on the defensive aspect of their game. Thus, the act of falling behind to Jamaica in the first quarter meant that tactics and personnel needed adjustment. Experienced defender Sonia Mkoloma was inserted (her acrobatic interceptions defied gravity) and wing defender Serena Guthrie adjusted her style, cutting off looping balls to our ace shooters, resulting in a humiliating exit for our Girls, beaten by a whopping 22 goals. The advocates of mediocrity, who seem to revel in the fact that the Sunshine Girls are the highest ranked Jamaican team in international competition, are doing our girls a great disservice. We are better than sometimes third, most times fourth. All these girls need is proper coaching. As the start of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China, gets closer, the awful spectre of doping with impunity by elite athletes continues to grab headlines. I repeat the fact that the best weapon against doping in sports now seems to be confessions and leaks. The defenders of elite dopers seem to have a morbid fear of “bringing the sport into disrepute”, and will do everything in their power to hide information, quite oblivious to the fact that this lack of transparency only serves to provide incentive to dopers. At the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, a group of university professionals got permission from the World Anti Doping Association (WADA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to interview 1,800 of the athletes at the Championships. They discovered that an astonishing 29-34 per cent of the athletes confessed to violating the rules of doping in the previous 12 months. This information could have alerted national anti-doping agencies to add ‘target testing’ to their regime, thus increasing the possibility (however, remote that might be) of unmasking elite cheaters. Transparency is the key to good governance and ought not to be feared by those who have nothing to hide.
…days after rehabilitation works commenceEven though residents were reassured that the dilapidated stelling at Leguan, Essequibo River, would be upgraded to its required standard, yet another section of the stelling has collapsed, inconveniencing residents in the area.The collapsed section of the stellingGuyana Times understands that part of the structure collapsed at about 15:00h on Monday.When contacted, the Public Infrastructure Ministry confirmed that it had received reports of the destruction while noting that a statement on the issue will be released today.A resident in the area, Hans Buer, briefly told this publication that the contractors were at the scene assessing the damage since some rehabilitation works have only begun sometime last week.“The contractor is already on the stelling because they started last week with some rehabilitation of the stelling”, he added.Just last month, Minister David Patterson assured commuters that works on the deteriorating structure would commence since residents have reported collapses in other sections.Back in September 2018, the Government revealed that a contract, to the tune of $413.2 million, was awarded to Maraj Contracting Services.Construction work was slated to commence this year since the stelling is the main entry and exit for persons living on the Island.The project came on the heels of outcries from residents on the island in the Essequibo River on the state of the facility.This newspaper had previously visited the stelling, where it was observed that the timber planks supporting the stelling have rotted, making residents fearful since heavy vehicles traverse the stelling.In addition, the decking was observed to be loose and uneven, with rails having no support at certain sections on the ramp.