Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), says Jamaica’s 86-medal haul at the recent Carifta Games comes as no surprise.Jamaica equalled their record medal haul from the previous year, winning a whopping 42 gold, 28 silver and 16 bronze.They also broke three field events and one track record in the process.Blake was present at the welcome-home press conference held inside the VIP Lounge at the Norman Manley International Airport on Tuesday.”The future really looks very good; the assign athletes have performed really well, and as usual, we have topped the medal table yet again and in terms of our overall medal performance, this is one of our better performances,” said the president, adding that the dominance at CARIFTA is now routine.”It shows that people respect our brand and value the training that we give to our athletes and that as you see year in, year out quite a number of athletes from other territories come to Jamaica to benefit from the training that is offered here, not just the physical training, but the mental training as well, and I think it’s something very good for us here in Jamaica and for the Caribbean,” he pointed out.When asked if it was a concern that no Jamaican athlete was selected for the Austin Sealy Award for the best young athlete of the championships, he said he was a little surprised.”This year, I was a little surprised at the choice of the athlete. This is not to take anything away from the winner because the winner really did very well in breaking Kashawn Walcott’s javelin record, but we had people who broke records as well and won more than one gold, so that is something that we will be bringing up and speaking to NACAC (North America Central America Caribbean Association) about,” Blake told The Gleaner.Grenada’s Anderson Peters was presented the Austin Sealy award at the 45th Carifta Games as the most outstanding athlete. The host country’s athlete produced a winning throw of 78.28m on the second round on Saturday.The last Jamaican to win the award was Yohan Blake in 2007.
Novak Djokovic won his third US Open title and equalled Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slam titles as he beat Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3 in the men’s singles final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Sunday.Djokovic was the favourite in the match considering the fact that this was his eighth US Open final appearance while for Del Potro, this was just his second Grand Slam final appearance after his historic US Open triumph in 2009.With the win now, Djokovic has extended his head-to-head record against Del Potro to 15-4 as the Argentine was unable to upstage the Serb.The win at Flushing Meadows enabled Djokovic to complete a Wimbledon-US Open double after lifting his fourth Wimbledon title earlier this year at the All England Club in London.US OPEN 2018 MEN’S SINGLES FINAL HIGHLIGHTS@djokernole defeats Del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win his 3rd title in Flushing Meadows!He now ties Pete Sampras for third place all-time on the Grand Slam singles titles list with 14.#USOpen pic.twitter.com/xwzzmr22E0 US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018Djokovic’s strength lay in his returns. Ahead of this match, he had a return percentage of 82 per cent, the most by any US Open competitor this year.On the other hand, Del Potro was relying heavily on his serves and power. Ahead of the final, Del Potro had fired 68 aces during the tournament, winning 82 percent of his first serve points.But against one of the best returners in the business, Del Potro needed to be far more assertive.advertisementJust like last night’s women’s singles final, the match was played under closed roof with rain in New York. However, unlike Saturday night, this match remained all about tennis and the brute quality that the two players put on the court.Relief…@DjokerNole#USOpen pic.twitter.com/TiKYL6TfXH US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018While Djokovic’s athleticism graced the Arthur Ashe Stadium, Del Potro was buoyed by the ‘Delpo, Delpo’ chants of his friends who have reverberated the stadium throughout the tournament.Throughout the tournament, the two struggled and rose above New York’s searing heat and difficult humidity. On the day of the final, Djokovic just showed why he was the holder of 13 Grand Slam titles.He put out his best tennis for the Arthur Ashe Stadium, countered some of Del Potro’s best play and shone at Flushing Meadows for the third time in his career.Pure class…@DjokerNole@delpotrojuan #USOpen pic.twitter.com/QsxuVU0fOf US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018Djokovic and Del Potro began the match judging each other’s moves and holding their serves comfortably. Both of them displayed their dominant self early on to exchange honours.Leading 4-3, Djokovic caught Del Potro off guard with his exceptional patience and strong strokes to break Del Potro’s serve. From there Djokovic comfortably served out the set.Djokovic began the second set in the same vein applying immense pressure on Del Potro’s serve. At 1-1 in the second set, Djokovic suffocated Del Potro from the baseline to force out errors from the big man and got an early break.Also read – Serena Williams fined USD 17000 for rule violations in US Open finalThereafter, there were two service holds and the set was poised at 3-2 and suddenly, Flushing Meadows saw a massive momentum shift.Backed by his singing boys, Del Potro roared back in the set by breaking Djokovic to go back on serve. And it all started with Djokovic getting erked by crowd reaction and constant singing for Del Potro.OléOléOléDelpooooo, Delpooooo#USOpen pic.twitter.com/aXM0eWecwM US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018For quite some time after that Djokovic looked towards Del Potro’s singing friend with utmost anger, unable to get them out of his head and that showed on the court.A 20-minute service game for Djokovic followed.In the middle of that there was some world class tennis on display. The Argentine put his all in the rally stretching out to put balls back at Djokovic. Twice, the Serb tried to attack at the net. In the end, it was an overhead smash that earned Djokovic the point.Djokovic fended off break points from Del Potro, wasted his own advantage points but eventually in a little over 20 minutes, he was able to make it 4-4.Also read – Is Serena Williams a bad loser? Opinions after Naomi Osaka wins US OpenAfter that, the two showed no signs of fatigue, held their serves comfortably and took the set down to the tiebreak.advertisementIn the tiebreak, Del Potro looked susceptible to forehand errors and Djokovic showed immense courage and quality to take it away from Del Potro, going up 2-0 in the final.Djokovic takes the 2nd set after 1 hour and 35 minutes of grueling tennis!He grabs the tie break and now takes a 2 set lead over Del Potro…#USOpen pic.twitter.com/xvSXOt8yZB US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018The third set followed the pattern of the second, where Djokovic took an early break to go 3-1 up in the set. What was different was that the quality of tennis only kept getting better.The noise levels inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium was deafening as Djokovic and Del Potro got the crowd roaring with their display on-court.Just when it looked like Djokovic would stay calm and take it to Del Potro, the Argentine fought back hard and how.Also read – When I step on court, I’m not a Serena fan: Naomi Osaka after US Open triumphHe broke Djokovic back with some brilliant movement on the court, leaving Djokovic stranded to take the third set back on serve.But the twist of the tale happened when leading 4-3, Djokovic broke Del Potro yet again to enforce a third break in the third set and set up the match on his serve.Without much trouble, Djokovic held his own and took the Championship in New York for a third time.