All season, track and field fans have had a dilemma. With the JAAA schedule packed on every Saturday from the start of the year, hard choices have been made. If you saw the slip-surge 10.44-second run by Calabar High School’s Christopher Taylor at the Camperdown Classic, it meant you missed the determined 52.4 4x400m anchor leg by Junelle Bromfield for STETHS at the Western Relays. Choosing either one meant almost certainly missing the 51.91-metre record discus heave by Excelsior throws princess Shanice Love at the King of the Rings at the Antrim-Mountain View Avenue-based institution. That dilemma disappears on Saturday with the Gibson/McCook Relays. As is customary, there are no other meets on the JAAA schedule on the day when the Gibson/McCook Relays presents a feast for sprint fans. First staged as the Gibson Relays in 1973, the meet is a festival of speed. The 4×100-metre relay is at the foundation of the meet, with preparatory, primary, secondary and tertiary student-athletes all attempting to move their batons around the National Stadium track at high speed. Bordered by the meet-opening and meet-closing 4x400m relays, Gibson/McCook also has competitions in the 4x200m, 4x800m, the sprint medley and selected individual events. Jamaica has always loved the sprints, so while other meets have come and gone, the Relays has retained its appeal. Many view it as a prelude to the ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships and use it as an indicator for the results of that high-energy high-school meet. Hence, the core of the support of the Gibson/McCook has long come from past students of the champion teams in the land. With no scheduling dilemma to split the attentions of the fan base, this Saturday should be no different. In recent years, interest has been boosted by the presence of superstars who have foregone the traditional move to the United States of America to study and train. This has given fans an early-season glance at Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Brigitte Foster-Hylton and the like. Very few have the opportunity to see them at the Olympics or the World Championships, so it’s a day aficionados cherish. Bolt has been a brilliant source of speed and excitement. His Racers team holds the men’s 4x100m record at a phenomenal 38.08 seconds. That was at the 2010 renewal, when the tall man also zipped through a 4x400m anchor leg in 44.2 seconds in vain. Last year, he made the news worldwide for a race his Racers team lost by inches, the men’s 4x100m to the University of Technology. Relays are the team event of athletics. It takes co-operation to pilot the baton, from start to finish, safely and quickly enough to win. The speed, the fine margins for error, and the excitement, has kept fans on the edge of their seats and on their feet during each of the previous 39 stagings of the event. Don’t be surprised if it happens again on Saturday. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.
zoom Norwegian shipping and logistics company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) has signed a concession agreement with Belgium’s Port of Zeebrugge to develop 49 hectares of land known as the Bastenaken West property located in the inner port. With this concession, in place until 2043, the company will nearly double its terminal footprint. WWL plans to invest about USD 20 million during the next two to three years.“The agreement marks the next step in WWL’s long-term commitment to the Port of Zeebrugge, the largest RoRo port in the world, and positions the company for continued growth and expansion all across Northern Europe,” Ray Fitzgerald, President & COO WWL Landbased, commented.“Both WWL and the Port of Zeebrugge have experienced significant growth together over the last two decades, and this expansion paves the way for an exciting future,” Hendrik Sohier, terminal manager, WWL Zeebrugge, said.The Port of Zeebrugge, which handled 2.8 million units of cargo in 2017, serves as an important hub for WWL with a network of deep-sea, short-sea and inland transportation connections. read more
Point Foundation (Point) will honor producer and broadcast executive Michael Lombardo with the Point Impact Award at the organization’s annual Point Honors Los Angeles gala October 1.Point presents its Impact Award to an individual who has made a significant impact on improving the lives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.During Lombardo’s decade-long tenure as President, Programming, for Home Box Office, the network launched some of its most successful series, including “True Blood,” “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” “Veep,” and “Looking.” Lombardo, who first joined HBO in 1983, continues to develop creative projects for HBO as a producer.“As someone in arts and entertainment, I am drawn to engaging stories about people. But not being able to get a college education because you’ve come out to family and friends as gay, lesbian, bi or trans, should not have to be part of anyone’s life story,” said Lombardo. “Thankfully Point Foundation makes it possible for LGBT young people to live a different story, one where they get their college degree and go on to become doctors, lawyers, filmmakers; whatever their ambition. It is a story of hope I’m honored to support.”“Michael Lombardo, in his leadership role at HBO, has brought more realistic LGBTQ characters to TV in the last decade than anyone else. Many young people have grown up finding reflections of themselves in LGBTQ characters featured in the shows he has helped develop,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “As an openly gay man who has earned the respect of everyone in his profession, Michael is an inspiration to Point Scholars and Alumni, and a good friend of Point.” Past honorees recognized by Point include Jeffrey Tambor, Lena Dunham, Jonathan Groff, and other allies and members of the LGBTQ community. Additional celebrity participation for the October 1 Point Honors event will be announced in the coming weeks. Information about attending or supporting Point Honors is at www.pointfoundation.org/LAHonors.Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer LGBTQ students of merit. Some of Point’s 84 current scholarship recipients and 244 alumni will be present at the event to share with the audience their inspiring stories about how they have overcome challenges to get their higher education degrees. read more