Foster's Fairplay: Danielle Williams - best of 2015
In a matter of days, it will be time to put a wrap on the sporting experience that was 2015. As is usually the case elsewhere, there was a mix of good days and some not so good. To further qualify the sentiment, one could say brilliance and the atrocious, respectively. In reviewing, Foster's Fairplay assesses the four disciplines which enjoy the widest international reach.
Track and field continues to massage our taste buds, with the quality of performances at the global level being as delectable as it can get. The brightest spark, the icing on the cake, came in the August Beijing World Championships. Some will view the reaction to the Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sprint victories at the event as unappreciative and undervalued, even disrespectful. This is not a guilty plea, but the monotony (was searching for a kinder word) tends to decrease the impact. With that thought, which could return to haunt, this columnist is considering as the performer and performance of the elite spectacle, the precocious 23-year-old miss, out of coach Lennox Graham's US Collegiate programme at the Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, Danielle Williams.
The new 100m hurdles World champion had her event shorn of its most illustrious practitioner, Australia's Sally Pearson,
due an early-season mishap. Then, with the well-lettered Americans, including defending champion Brianna Rollins, bowing out at different stages, the way was clear for a shock winner. It need not have been the former Queen's School, Lloyd Clarke-conditioned younger sister of fellow finalist, Shermaine. The inescapable fact is that it was another Danielle, unscathed and unfazed, after being in a den of lions (or lionesses, if preferred).
That she seized the platform of her golden moment to recall, in her post-race interview, her upbringing during her sojourn at the Kingsgate Prep School is, for this columnist, the final ingredient that befits the tag of 2015's best.
The black, green and gold boasts a healthy tradition to be maintained in the sport. With that in mind, it brought great pleasure to record the result of the early exposure to the big times, coming from Janeive Russell (6th in the 400mh) and Shericka Jackson's surprise (is it really?) bronze medal in the 400m.
The mighty dollar
Football in 2015 saw an administration further entrenching itself, successfully withstanding a weak challenge to its holding on to the reins of power. When will those who struggle come to the realisation that strength is all about money and the ability to manipulate and steer others, utilising the mighty dollar as the main tool? Is not that what is being seen, as the world's top administrator in the game, is being exposed - his own power base threatened and having great difficulty evading the searchlights of scrutiny? An often belittled and disrespected press (most definitely so, in this corner of the woods) can take pride in that it all started with the insistence of a British journalist. He was not giving up on his substantial claims that there was something rotten in the state of Switzerland (the FIFA headquarters).
The country has begun its quest to be in the final 32 who will adorn Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2018. There is an overabundance of reliance on players who know little, if anything, about Jamaica to get us there. The decision makers face a dilemma. Do they stick with the current mantra and still not make it or try to build from among 'our own' and delay the process? Foster's Fairplay shares their pain in trying to respond.
The Sunshine Girls netball boss, workaholic Marva Bernard, has stepped away from the steering wheel, after generations of sheer passion and commitment. It was consistent contribution to a cause that had criticisms as constant components. Her unswerving faith in Australian coach supreme, Jill Patterson, was severely tested. Ability to enter the marketplace and win deep-pocketed friends in support was put on the line.
There was talk of the Age Animo graduate and one-time national airline executive being too intimately involved with her role. Despite the team seemingly stuck in the 3-4 ranking in world reckoning, the fact that 'my girls' held on to it was something about which the supporters must be thankful. This, as some African countries are catching up. Only time will tell whether the new regime under leader, Dr Paula Daley-Morris, and her support group can mount a long-awaited return to the No. 1 status once enjoyed. It feels like so long.
Given space afforded this column, very little is left to address cricket. Thank God, as the least said, the better. As this is being written, the West Indies team is once again embarrassing itself in the Boxing Day Test in Australia with another gutless display of inept batting and lack of the penetration that can net wickets on a regular basis. Did someone just say, "He who cares not cannot be embarrassed"?
Foster's Fairplay suggests withholding salaries, pending some investigation.
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