Month: January 2020

Apologies to Usain Bolt

first_img His innate superiority as a sprinter was never in question. What was in doubt was him getting into championship, winning shape in limited time, relative to Justin Gatlin’s flying form. Neither was it a matter of the big Jamaican being able to cope with the pressure of the moment. Even after his slip in the semi-final and his overall unimpressive sprinting up to the final, compared to Gatlin’s conspicuously immaculate preliminary run in the rounds, in what must be a true index of his greatness, Bolt never seemed troubled. To the other mere mortals, the increased pressure would have likely taken a toll, but the undisputed ‘world boss’ of sprinting was not the one who buckled in the final. Instead, Gatlin was the one who fell apart technically. While Bolt ran his race, the American champion, crumbled and ended up over-striding and tying up as the big Jamaican calmly took home the bacon. Admittedly, this was one prediction I didn’t mind getting wrong. I never wished or hoped that Bolt would lose to Gatlin. The form books and logical analysis were pointing squarely in that direction. The form book, however, did not measure the heart, desire, competitiveness, and the champion mentality of Bolt. The build-up and the spectacle of the race itself were great for the sport of athletics. Bolt’s rivalry with Gatlin, with all the peripheral ingredients, provided good seasoning for the athletics pot. Despite all the whispers and loud shouts of disapproval, Gatlin’s presence in the sport has helped its visibility. Gatlin the villain was a major character in writing this latest chapter in the book on the greatness of Usain Bolt. In the eyes of the world, good prevailed over evil this time around. For now, the issue is settled and the ARGUMENT DONE. We underestimated the heart and quality of a champion. That was the mistake that the majority in the track and field world made, myself included, leading into the Beijing World Championships. For that underestimation, apologies are in order to the big man, who is easily, not just the greatest sprinter of all time, but, arguably, the greatest sportsman of all time. Bolt never needed that victory over the previously imperious American, Justin Gatlin, in the 100 metres event in Beijing to confirm that status. But it was, indeed, a timely reminder of just how great an athlete Usain Bolt really is. The dynamics surrounding the build-up to this race are well documented and made that victory perhaps, the greatest of Bolt’s decorated career. Bolt was not just being asked to defend his title, but to save the sport, to right the wrongs, and to correct some of the administrative shortcomings of the sport. He was mandated to do the ‘dirty work” of ensuring that the double-convicted drug cheat, Justin Gatlin, did not become the face of the sport. The pressure must have been immense, but the big man responded like a true champion, as the entire world breathed a collective sigh of relief. Leading into the World Championships, all the indicators were, indeed, pointing to a Gatlin win. The American was unbeaten in 27 sprint races across two seasons. In contrast, Bolt was ordinary over the same period. Gatlin was, obviously, the man to beat up the start of that final. If all the circumstances leading into these championships should arise again, I would set emotions aside and probably make the same call. There is absolutely no shame in getting a prediction wrong, courtesy of this calibre of greatness by Bolt. unimpressive sprintinglast_img read more

Read More Apologies to Usain Bolt

Taylor contented despite limited role at World T20

first_imgWest Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor said though he only played in one of six matches in the just-concluded ICC World Twenty20 World Cup in India, he is more than elated that the team was able to recapture the crown.”It’s a team effort, and a win is a win,” he said, shortly after the arrival of the Jamaican members of the team on Tuesday in Kingston.”We knew when we left here (the Caribbean) that all 15 of us could not play at the same time.”The nature of the wickets called for adjustments to be made, and the selectors chose horses for courses,” he added.Taylor, who claimed none for 30 off three overs in the team’s tournament-opening six-wicket win over England, also explained that the decisions taken were supported by team members.”It (to leave him out) was a team decision, as both players, management and everyone, we took unto ourselves to say that if that’s the best case, then go with whatever decisions are made.”The 31-year-old, who said his focus would now turn to the upcoming Caribbean Tri-Nation series, involving Australia and South Africa, as well as the planned Test tour by India, also gave insight as to what the feeling was like in the players’ dressing room in the last over of the final.Needing a challenging 19 runs off the over with the previously unheralded all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who made 34 not out off just 10 balls, smashed four sixes off the first four deliveries to seal the win at 161 for six.England had earlier made 155 for nine.”For me, it was never over until the fat lady sings,” Taylor said.”We had some guys, who were feeling down and out by the moment. But we had guys, like myself, who was still pretty optimistic, this knowing the power hitters that we had at the wicket in Carlos Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels, who were set at the time and striking the ball pretty well.”He said he was happy to have played a part in making the Caribbean proud.”The way the guys turned up and put the team and the people of the Caribbean in front was brilliant,” he said.- J. L.last_img read more

Read More Taylor contented despite limited role at World T20

Spotlight on 110m hurdles

first_imgDOHA, Qatar:Seven Jamaicans will be in action on today’s first of 14 Diamond League meets in this the seventh year of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) track and field series.Among the Jamaicans slated to face the starter when the 23-event meet gets under way at 9:41 a.m. (Ja time) in Doha, Qatar, are Hansle Parchment and Omar McLeod. The two are in a star-studded 110m hurdles field, which will also feature reigning Olympic champion Aries Merritt and his American compatriot David Oliver.Twenty-two-year-old McLeod, fresh off his 60m hurdles World Indoors triumph and his sub-10 100m run, will be aiming to give an impressive showing on his first Diamond League outing.”I am just trying to go out there and have fun and try to execute a good race. I just want to make a great debut to my Diamond League season,” McLeod told The Gleaner.World and Olympic medallist Parchment opened his season with a 13.42 stroll but believes the conditions in Qatar will see him clocking an improved time.”The temperature is much better, so it is one thing to look forward to. I am feeling good so far, so I am just going to go out there to execute my best race possible on the day,” Parchment said.The country’s most successful Diamond League athlete, 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer, will renew her rivalry with two-time reigning World Champion and Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova of the Czech Republic.The Jamaican looked on course for a Diamond Trophy last year only for Hejnova to win the last four meetings and pip her to the prize.Spencer, who is celebrating her 29th birthday today, won the 400m hurdles Diamond Race in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. She has, however, since changed coaches, having left the Stephen Francis-led MVP to join Bert Cameron’s Blazers.Having opened her season with a modest 56.39, Spencer is hoping to gift herself a victory with a much improved time.”It is my 29th birthday, so I want to come out with a victory. That would be something special,” Spencer said. “It would be good to run a 54 (seconds) right now. It is a bit early. Anything faster, I would be grateful, but somewhere in that region.”TRIPLE JUMPER SHANIEKA THOMASThe first Jamaican in action will, however, be triple jumper Shanieka Thomas, who comes in with the longest jump so far this season after her personal best effort of 14.57m in Kingston last month.The 24-year-old can expect to face strong competition from two-time World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia.The very competitive women’s 100m field will feature two Jamaicans, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Simone Facey.Campbell-Brown, who won the Diamond Trophy in the event in 2014, is looking forward to the competition.”I am excited. My objective is just to go in the race and focus on what I have to do and run a good race,” said Campbell-Brown.The Jamaican duo will have for company Dafne Schippers, who took silver in the event at last year’s World Championships; American Tori Bowie, who shares the world-leading time in the event, 11.00 seconds; with Facey also in the line-up.Nickel Ashmeade will line up in lane eight when he goes against Qatar’s Ogunode Femi in the men’s 200m. The fastest man in the field so far this year will be American Ameer Web (19.91), and he will be joined by compatriots Walter Dix and Isiah Young.This season’s Diamond League will feature a new points structure, which sees the top six finishers in each event gaining points instead of just the top three.ryon.jones@gleanerjm.comlast_img read more

Read More Spotlight on 110m hurdles

Hydel’s Salmon hunting high jump, hurdles double

first_imgHydel High’s Shian Salmon is aiming at career-best performances at this year’s ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships.In 2016, she had a second-place finish in the Class Two high jump final and was fifth in the 400-metre hurdles open. At next week’s meet, Salmon will compete in Class One for the first time, and based on her good form all season, she is hoping to be on top of the podium in both the high jump and 400m hurdles.She is competing for a third year in a row in the intermediate hurdles. Two years ago, she finished second, and will this year join five other finalists from last year’s event at this year’s Champs.The Corey Bennett-coached athlete has been doing well so far in both events and is hoping to score good points for her team. She showed at the Carifta Trials that she has improved a great deal in the hurdles event. After leading for the majority of the race, she was caught on the line by Holmwood Technical’s Nicolee Foster. Salmon’s time was a fairly good 57.89 seconds, and she is confident of leaving Champs with a win in the event this time around.”I do respect all my competitors in the event, but every time I have competed in the event this season, I have shown improvement, and I am hoping for a big run at Champs to be at the top of the podium,” she said. Salmon said her improvement is down to the hard work she has put in this year under the guidance of her coaches.GREAT COACHES”I have great coaches who have helped me to improve a lot with my technique. The high jump final will be taking place at almost the same as the 400 metres hurdles, so I will have to remain focused and do what I have to do to win,” she added.Now Salmon is aiming to run below 57 seconds in the hurdles.”I am in great form and I have no injury concerns, and I think I can run 56 seconds,” she said.Salmon was beaten into fourth spot in the Under-20, high jump at the Digicel G.C. Foster Classics but is very confident, she will rebound.”I expect a good result in the high jump, and I am hoping to go better than my season best of 1.75 metres, which I cleared in winning at the Carifta Trials,” she said.- R.G.last_img read more

Read More Hydel’s Salmon hunting high jump, hurdles double

If splits could talk

first_imgIf relay split times could pick 2017 all-schools 4x400m teams, the result would be mighty impressive. That may never happen. However, with the boys’ 4x400m ending Jamaican participation in the 123rd Penn Relays on Saturday in Philadelphia, the best splits per leg of the current season give a hint at which Jamaican high school runners are the best baton carriers of 2017.Boys 4x400m1st leg: Anthony Carpenter is by far the best schoolboy first leg runner and proved it at Boys and Girls Championships by giving Calabar High a 46.6 second start. That compares well to his personal and seasonal best of 46.53 seconds.2nd Leg: Dashawn Morris hustled Kingston College (KC) to the fore in the heats at the Gibson-McCook Relays. The result was a 47.2 second leg. KC moved him to the anchor leg for the final but got another 47.2 second leg, this time from Tyreke ‘The Jet’ Bryan.3rd leg: If full fitness is assured, KC would have a third member on this all-split team. Jhevaughn Matherson turned heads with a nippy 47.0 circuit for the purple-and-whites at the Western Relays.Anchor: Bryan could make the team if Morris moved to anchor but that spot belongs to Christopher Taylor of Calabar. Taylor cruised to splits of 46.5 and 46.6 for his school at the GC Foster Classic and at Boys and Girls Championships and zoomed 19.7 for the first half of a losing 46.4 second anchor for Jamaica at the Carifta Games.Yesterday, he made up a deficit with a 46 flat anchor. His run brought Calabar home in a record time of 3:08.59 seconds.With Matherson recovering from injury, the split fantasy selectors could call on STETHS anchorman Rayon Butler. He stepped to a flying 46.6 anchor in the heats at Champs. Butler, the class one 800m winner, added a 46.8 second closer added in the final.The numbers suggest that the Carpenter – Morris – Butler – Taylor quartet would speed to a Jamaica and world high school record time of 3:04.70 seconds.last_img read more

Read More If splits could talk

UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping test

first_imgPolice seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Jones won the fight and reclaimed his 205-pound belt after sitting out the previous year for a failed doping test. The victory appeared to be a return to glory for a long-troubled fighter who has repeatedly hindered his stellar career with misbehavior outside the octagon.Jones was stripped of his belt in 2015 after being involved in a hit-and-run accident. He was scheduled to fight Cormier for the title in July 2016, but was pulled from the UFC 200 card for what he claimed was a failed test due to a sexual enhancement pill.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Jones hasn’t yet been stripped of his title for a second time, UFC President Dana White said. Cormier held the belt for most of Jones’ absence, and he had said he didn’t plan to retire after his second loss to Jones.Jones’ camp and his manager, Malki Kawa, released a statement: “We are all at a complete loss for words right now. Jon, his trainers, his nutritionists and his entire camp have worked tirelessly and meticulously the past 12 months to avoid this exact situation. We are having the samples tested again to determine the validity or source of contamination. Jon is crushed by this news and we are doing whatever we can as a team, to support him.” Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next If the violation is confirmed, Jones seems likely to face a multiyear suspension from the sport, taking away even more of his fighting prime. The UFC also will be harmed by the lengthy absence of its best fighter and a burgeoning pay-per-view draw.The UFC also could lose its dream matchup between Jones and former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. The superstars both appeared eager to meet next year in a heavyweight fight that would be among the biggest events in the UFC’s history.The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency administers the UFC’s doping policy. The California State Athletic Commission has jurisdiction over Jones’ test along with USADA.ADVERTISEMENT Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies FILE – In this April 9, 2017, file photo, mixed martial arts fighter Jon Jones watches a bout at UFC 210 in Buffalo, N.Y. Light heavyweight champion Jones has been notified of another potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy. The UFC announced the potential violation Tuesday night, Aug. 22, for Jones, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)LAS VEGAS — Jon Jones could face a lengthy suspension from mixed martial arts after the UFC light heavyweight champion was notified Tuesday of his second potential violation of the promotion’s anti-doping policy.Jones is widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport, but his potential violation stems from a sample collected after his weigh-in July 28 for his title fight against Daniel Cormier at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California.ADVERTISEMENT View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal MOST READ Carnival hits town as Mayweather and McGregor ready to fight Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacsonlast_img read more

Read More UFC champ Jon Jones flagged for another failed doping test

Arellano, NU banner PVL Collegiate conference

first_imgTristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netReigning NCAA champion Arellano and former titlist National University headline the upcoming Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference that is set to start on Sept. 2 at Filoil Flying V Centre.The Lady Bulldogs, who won the collegiate conference title in the 13th season of the Shakey’s V-League, banner Group A that includes Ateneo, San Sebastian, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Far Eastern University, and Jose Rizal University.ADVERTISEMENT The Lady Chiefs, meanwhile, join University of the Philippines, Technological Institute of the Philippines, San Beda, Adamson, and College of St. Benilde.FEU is on its first campaign in a major tournament under the tutelage of head coach George Pascua, who replaced Shaq Delos Santos for the position.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The top four teams from Group A compete with the best four from Group B in the cross-over quarterfinals.The four winners then advance to the best-of-three semifinals with the best two teams advancing to the final round that has the same format. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu LATEST STORIES Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taalcenter_img Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Ray Allen visits Lyceum, tells unbeaten Pirates: ‘You have to work harder’ View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasaylast_img read more

Read More Arellano, NU banner PVL Collegiate conference

Sarr makes season debut but says he’s still not 100 percent

first_imgLATEST STORIES “I just feel like I’m not 100 percent but I’m on my way there,” said Sarr Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum after helping Adamson beat University of Santo Tomas, 88-81. “I’m trying to get back and just help the team. I think I’m just at 50 percent and I was trying to push myself just to help my team.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogSarr finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists in just 11 minutes of play.The Cameroonian said he felt sluggish during the game and he wasn’t as mobile as he wanted to be. A costly, catty dispute finally settled For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. MOST READ High-flying Hill promises more poster dunks: ‘I’m here to put on a show’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Winning start End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Break new ground OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacsoncenter_img It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ “I was literally heavy, I was tired. My body was so tired and so heavy that I’m hoping by next game I’ll be back to normal,” said Sarr. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award A costly, catty dispute finally settled Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson center Papi Sarr admitted he is still not his normal self after making his debut in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday.The 6-foot-8 big man missed the Falcons’ opening game loss to the Ateneo Blue Eagles due to a groin injury.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Read More Sarr makes season debut but says he’s still not 100 percent

Belingon eyes huge win in Manila, ONE title shot

first_imgJake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Belingon is well aware of the caliber of the American Chung and the Baguio native made it clear that he’s not taking his upcoming match for granted.“My opponent is not easy, and I am not taking him for granted, which is why I am completely focused on my upcoming bout this November 10. This is a dangerous game we play, and we cannot underestimate anybody. I need to be at my absolute best so I can turn in another great performance for the fans. Competing in front of my hometown crowd, the pressure is on to score another huge victory,” he said.But Belingon is looking at this as a stepping stone in getting one more shot again at Fernandes as he looks forward on showcasing how capable he is joining the ranks as ONE’s world champions.“I want to show everybody that I am the real title challenger-in-waiting. I have realized my mistakes in my first encounter with Bibiano, and I have worked hard to erase those flaws. He is a great world champion, but I feel things will go differently if we ever meet again. The time will come when I will be able to showcase my improvements,” he said.“I know I will meet Bibiano again in that cage, and when that day comes, I need to be prepared. There is not a day that has passed that I have not thought about that first bout. But for now, my objective is to win against Kevin Chung on November 10.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Dame time: Lillard’s 3 gives Trail Blazers 113-110 win over Lakers Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Belingon (16-5) failed in his first attempt to dislodge reigning ONE Bantamweight Champion Bibiano Fernandez from his throne in their clash in January last year.But since that setback, the 30-year-old has made tremendous strides, racking up thrilling victories against Muin Gafurov, Toni Tauru, and finally, Reece McLaren last August.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogAnd on November 10 at Mall of Asia Arena, Belingon is seeking to add Chung (5-0) to his growing list of victims as he eyes another crack at the title.“My mindset remains to showcase my skills and remain focused on executing the game plan. My team and I have devised a tremendous strategy in dealing with my next opponent. Even though I have scored some recent knockouts, I am not going in there recklessly,” he said. “If at any point, I sense that my opponent is ready to go, and the knockout presents itself, I’m like a shark in a fish tank. There is no doubt I will go for the finish, and I will end matters quickly. I will strike my opponent until the referee pulls me off him.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at Mall of Asia Arena last April 21. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netWinner of three straight bouts, Kevin Belingon believes that scoring a decisive win against Kevin Chung at ONE: Legends of the World will be the bout to put him in the conversation for the promotion’s bantamweight title once again.“Make no mistake about it: my performances in the cage as of late are a message to the organization and to the reigning ONE Bantamweight Champion. I am coming for that belt, and no one can stop me. Whoever they put in front of me, I will be looking to destroy. I am a man on a mission,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments LATEST STORIES Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scenelast_img read more

Read More Belingon eyes huge win in Manila, ONE title shot

Hamilton targets win as pack scramble for points

first_imgMercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton powers his car during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix, at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / EVARISTO SALewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team will be aiming to end an already-triumphant season on a high while the chasing pack scrap for points, positions and prize money at this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.Much more than pride will be at stake for the middle and lower order teams, as they seek to finish strongly and boost their 2018 budgets, in the twilight showdown at the Yas Marina circuit.ADVERTISEMENT Howard, Hornets rally to beat Wizards in overtime Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours While the championship is already decided, the leading drivers may well also be challenged by their teammates Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo.While they scrap at the front, it will lower down the field that some of the most ferocious battles are likely to take place.The Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas teams are separated by six points, and an estimated payout of around $12 million (10.2 million euros), in sixth, seventh and eighth places in the championship.Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul, whose outfit are two ahead of Haas and four ahead of Toro Rosso, said: “This race is almost a championship in itself.”As the tension eats up the midfielders, it will be an emotional release for Williams’ Felipe Massa again as he competes in his final race before retiring.The 36-year-old Brazilian said: “I’m looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula One career on a high note.”F1 may also bid farewell to the Sauber drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, tipped to be replaced next year, and to the McLaren-Honda partnership.McLaren are to be powered by Renault next season while Honda will supply Toro Rosso.The final race of 2017 may also prove the final event with fully open cockpits on the cars before next year’s planned introduction of a ‘halo’ closed cockpit protection system. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson LATEST STORIES Hamilton has already wrapped up his fourth drivers’ world title and Mercedes their fourth consecutive constructors’ championship, but team chief Toto Wolff said the team is determined to win in Abu Dhabi for the fourth year in succession.“Regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throne“Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our ‘diva’ in her final race and to win.“We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did, and this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’center_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ “But we have not been on the top step of the podium since winning in Austin and we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi.”Hamilton was the victor in Texas a month ago and, like his team boss, wants to end his season strongly with a 10th victory this year. “I’m going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi,” said the Briton, who has seen rivals Max Verstappen of Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari win the last two contests.Vettel will also be keen to impress again and clinch second place behind Hamilton in the drivers’ championship. He goes into the weekend with a 22-point advantage ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.And Verstappen, buoyed by high praise from Mercedes executive chairman Niki Lauda, will be a threat as he seeks a third win of the season. Three-time champion Lauda last week described the 20-year-old Dutchman as the best young driver to enter F1.“In all my many years in motor racing, Max is the most fantastic young driver I’ve ever seen, no doubt,” said Lauda. “He impresses me – he is aggressive and fast. The only thing I would tell him is to keep his feet on the ground.”ADVERTISEMENT Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? View commentslast_img read more

Read More Hamilton targets win as pack scramble for points