2001 Caribbean sports review
‘Sixhead’ Lewis, Moncur brought glory to the region By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
January 3, 2002

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) - Amid a depressing year for West Indies cricket and football, a number of athletes, headed by Bahamian Avard Moncur and Guyanese boxer Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis, brought glory to the Caribbean.

Whereas the year saw the West Indies enduring series whitewashes at the hands of Australia and Sri Lanka and a double home defeat to South Africa, there was plenty to celebrate in track and field, cycling, swimming, horse racing and boxing.

Kittitian sprinter Kim Collins, Barbadian cyclist Barry Forde, Jamaican swimmer Janelle Atkinson, teenager Trinidadian sprint sensation Darrel Brown and record-breaking Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands were the major headliners.

Young female distance runner Janill Williams of Antigua, Vincentian running machine Pamenos Ballantyne and cricketers Courtney Walsh and Brian Lara, also shone with scintillating performances in 2001.

However, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago’s failure to qualify for the 2002 World Cup finals represented a bleak year for Caribbean football.

The Caribbean’s biggest sporting success came in the boxing ring as Guyana finally celebrated a world boxing champion when Andrew ‘Sixhead’ Lewis impressively stopped American James Paige in seven rounds to claim the vacant WBA welterweight title and a US$200 000 dollar purse.

There was double glory for Lewis as he made a successful first title defence when he outpointed American Larry Marks in the United States to keep his WBA welterweight belt.

Moncur’s greatest moment came at the World athletic championship in Edmonton, Canada, when he won the men’s 400 metres as CARICOM athletes gained 12 medals (two gold, four silver and six bronze) at the year’s most prestigious meet.

Moncur clocked 44.64 seconds to earn his world label and was joined by the Jamaican girls, who powered to a world leading and new national record of 3:20.65 minutes in taking the 4x400 gold medal.

Silver medal winners were Bahamian Debbie Ferguson and Jamaican Chris Williams in the 200-metre races and Jamaica’s Lorraine Graham-Fenton in the 400m, and the Bahamas’ men’s 4x400 team.

Collins created OECS history with a bronze medal in the men’s 200 with a national record 20.20 seconds, the same time posted by Williams, who was second as Kostadinos Kenteris repeated his Olympic success.

Completing the bronze medal list were Suriname’s Letitia Vriesde in the 800 metres; Haiti’s sprint hurdler Dudley Dorival, Jamaica’s men's 4x400 team, quarter-miler Greg Haughton and a young Trinidad & Tobago team, powered by Ato Boldon with a national record 38.58 in the sprint relay.

Ballantyne had a sensational year. He recorded a record fifth straight victory in the Trinidad and Tobago international marathon, crushing his field in 2:16.57 hours.

Ballantyne also won the Martinique Invitational 15-K; retained his Run Barbados half-marathon title and collected US$5 000 for victory in Jamaica’s inaugural marathon.

At the World indoor track & field championship in Portugal, Jamaicans Sandie Richards and Juliet Campbell captured the 400 and 200 metres while Bahamian Chandra Sturrup landed the 60-metre title.

Across the Atlantic, Collins set the U.S. Collegiate championship in Arkansas ablaze with sprint wins in the 60 and the 200 metres.

On the regional front, defending champions Jamaica raced to their 17th consecutive CARIFTA Games medal-topping effort in Barbados with 26 gold, 20 silver, and 17 bronze in a 63-medal haul.

Improving Grenada took second with 8 gold, 7 silver and 2 bronze but the prestigious Austin Sealy award went to Jamaica’s World junior champion Veronica Campbell after a sizzling 22.93 seconds 200m victory.

At the inaugural Barbados Classic, 18-year-old Jamaican Melaine Walker surprised 1996 Olympic champion Deon Hemmings to win the women’s 400 hurdles while Jamaican Patrick Jarrett (10.21) pipped local star Obadele Thompson on the line in the men’s 100 metres.

Moncur led the Caribbean success at the U.S. Collegiate track & field championship, retaining his 400-metre title with Grenada’s Alleyne Francique second.

Jamaican Allison Beckford won the women’s title and got silver in the 400-hurdles. Shelly-Ann Gallimore of Jamaica gave the region an amazing seventh triple jump title in the last eight years.

At the Bahamas Classic, Collins put the brakes on the high-riding Jarrett, winning over 100 metres in 10.19 seconds while at the Primo Nebiola Memorial in Italy, Jamaica’s James Beckford had the year’s best long jump with a leap of 8.41 metres.

In Hungary, at the World youth (Under-18) championship, T&T’s phenomenal sprinter Brown took gold in the 100 metres in a championship record 10.31 seconds and Jamaican Camille Robinson won the girls’ 400 hurdles.

Jarrett, who had also defeated World record holder Maurice Greene was suspended for two years when he tested positive for the banned steroid stanazolol.

At the CAC Seniors, the returning Cuba, with 11 gold, six silver and four bronze, edged Jamaica for overall honours. Jamaica’s 20 medals of 10 gold and 10 silver included four meet records by decathlete Maurice Smith (7,555 points), long jumper Elva Goulbourne (6.77 metres), the women’s 4x100 relay (43.83) and the men's 1600-metre relay (3:00.83).

The Goodwill Games produced a 1-2 men’s 400m finish for the Caribbean with gold to Jamaican Greg Haughton and silver for Moncur while Ferguson claimed the 200m gold.

Graham-Fenton got silver in the women’s 400, as well as team-mates Chris Williams in the men’s 200 and James Beckford in the long jump. There were silver medals for Jamaica’s men’s sprint and 1600-metre relays and the women’s 4x400 relay.

Jamaican swimmer Janelle Atkinson was second in the 800 metres freestyle for her maiden global medal, which was also a first for a CARICOM swimmer at the Goodwill Games.

In Santa Fe Argentina, at the Pan-American Juniors, Janill Williams snared double gold in the 800 and 5 000 metres, becoming Antigua and Barbuda’s first ever gold medallist at this meet.

Trinidad and Tobago also got gold medals through Marc Burns in the boys’ 100 metres; Damion Barry in the 400m and Cleavon Dillon in the long jump.

Leading Caribbean cyclist Barry Forde was a double winner at the Pan-Am championship in Colombia capturing the match sprint title in a new national record 10.7 seconds and the kierin crown.

He was also the most outstanding rider at the Rest of the World versus the Caribbean Cycle Classic and went on to compete at the World championships.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC) - Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands scored the biggest win of his career when he guided 57-1 outsider exciting story to a stunning win in the US $750,OOO Met Mile at New York’s famous Belmont race track.

He also pushed 7-1 chance Numerous Times to victory in the Canadian 1-million dollar Atto Mile, by a nose in three-way photo finish to land another big high Stake event.

Canadian Todd Kabel (145 wins) unseated Husbands (140) as champion jockey in Canada with Trinidadian Emile Ramsammy (132) third.

But Husbands, who topped the money list -- his mounts earned CAN $7.46 million -- was named jockey-of-the-year for a record third time in a row, collecting Canada’s coveted Sovereign Award.

Jamaican racehorse trainer Ralph Ziadie won his second title in two years in Florida and was inducted into Calder racecourse’s Hall of Fame.

Jamaican jockey Winston Thompson also won his first Rockingham Park title in New Hampshire, tallyng 98 wins but on a sad note, top Trinidadian trainer Eric ‘Colt’ Durant passed away.

At the Caribbean amateur boxing championships in Grenada, Jamaica regained the overall title. Guyana retained the senior team crown with 25 points, five more than the Jamaicans.

Barbadian welterweight Junior Greenidge was named both best senior and best boxer of the tournament for the second straight year.

The English-speaking Caribbean sent several boxers to the USA Invitational tournament but Grenada’s super-heavyweight Sebastien Stiel and light-heavyweight Shawn Terry Cox of Barbados were the only gold medallists.

At the men’s Centro basketball in Mexico, Barbados lost 89-65 to Cuba in their opener and ended 7th in the tournament after beating Honduras in their last game.

In the Dominican Republic at the women’s Centro-basketball tournament, Jamaica beat Guatemala 85-59 but CARICOM champs Barbados lost to Puerto Rico 68-54. Jamaica also lost 78-74 to the Dominican Republic and Barbados lost 36-98 to Cuba.

CARICOM volleyball champions Barbados and Jamaica failed to make the top two at the World qualifying Americas tournament in the Dominican Republic.

Barbados snatched third over the Jamaicans after a tense five-set victory while in NORCECA action, Cuba beat host Barbados 25-16, 25-11, 25-19 en route to lifting the title from the USA.

Trinidad & Tobago’s international golf star Stephen Ames placed a season’s best eighth at the US$4 million Compaq Classic in New Orleans.

The Caribbean junior golf crown went to Trinidad and Tobago with Puerto Rico second and the OECS third.

Puerto Rico seized three titles at the Caribbean amateur golf championship in the U.S. Virgin Islands - lifting the Hoerman Cup, the women’s George Teale Trophy, and shared the Higgs and Higgs super seniors category with Jamaica.

The Puerto Ricans sat on top of the overall team standings with 148 points, followed by T&T, who took the Francis Steele-Perkins Trophy for seniors.

In netball, Jamaica predictably captured the American Federation of Netball Associations title, dismissing 2nd placed Barbados 70-36 in the decider to secure a 10th title in as many outings. Both Jamaica and Barbados earned spots at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The 2001 Caribbean Under-16 netball tournament in St Vincent produced a repeat win for the Jamaicans, who beat St Lucia 41-18 in the final for a third title in four years. T&T beat SVG 31-25 to take third position.

At the Caribbean junior squash championship in Barbados, Jamaican James Bullock and Guyanese Nicolette Fernandes secured the major titles while at the senior championship in the Bahamas, top seeds Luke Fraser and Marlene West retained their titles.

Fraser dismissed fellow Guyanese Garfield Wiltshire 9-2, 9-5, 9-0 for the men’s crown while Jamaica’s West stopped 18-year-old Fernandes 9-2, 9-4, 9-0.

Young Jamaica tennis star Ryan Russell upset 7th seeded American Yta Abougzir in the first round of the prestigious Wimbledon championship in London and moved through to the third round where he was eliminated by the 10th seeded Roman Valent of Switzerland.

Venezuela’s young table tennis players dominated the Caribbean junior tournament in Trinidad and Tobago, snatching both team awards and all the doubles titles.

T&T’s Rhean Chung won the girls’ singles and Kevin Farley of Barbados took the boys’ equivalent.

El Salvador’s Moraile Alvares outlasted local favourite Kibibi Moseley in a thrilling five-setter and Mexico’s Guillermo Munoz whipped Guatemala’s Alejandro Oviedo to land the main singles titles at the Caribbean senior table tennis championship in Barbados.

In badminton, hosts Jamaica maintained their dominance at the Caribbean championship. Nigella Saunders collected three titles including the ladies’ open singles.

Host country Bahamas took the Junior CARICOM basketball boys’ title with an 87-67 win against the U.S. Virgin Islands, but the USVI reversed the result in the girls’ final, winning 57-54 over the Bahamas.

Jamaica’s Paul Baker and Mily Pena of Venezuela were crowned Mr and Miss CAC but the Bahamas won the overall team title at the CAC championships with hosts Barbados second.

Jamaica hosted the big America’s Cup women’s hockey tournament and ended fifth when they beat Mexico 2-0 in the play-off. Argentina outgunned the United States 4-1 for the gold medal.

Trinidad and Tobago defeated Bermuda 23-12 for their sixth Caribbean rugby title in the Cayman Islands and earned a spot in the next round of the Caribbean zone 2003 World Cup qualifiers.

Jamaica narrowly won the Caribbean full bore rifle-shooting title in Trinidad, topping the hosts by a single point as they gathered 1 147 points.

Jamaican Ronald Brown won the Hogarth trophy as the tournament’s top shooter while at the Copa del Caribe in Suriname, Barbados won the team competition from Puerto Rico and Martinique.