Record-breaking performance In a year where several of Jamaica’s male juniors performed with distinction, two athletes, Christopher Taylor of Calabar High and Akeem Bloomfield of Kingston College, stood tall in the 400 metres. Taylor, who gave early signals at development meets early in the year with excellent times in both the 200 and 400 metres, continued his good form at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, where, in his first year in Class Two, he easily won the one-lap event along with the 200m and ran a brilliant leg in the 4×400 metres as Calabar clocked a record 3:06.76 to wipe out St Jago High’s one-year-old mark of 3:08.31. On the world stage, Taylor produced outstanding times. At the IAAF World Youth Championships in July in Cali, Colombia, he was just brilliant. After posting 45.30 seconds in his semi-final, where many thought he had gone out too fast and would have paid the price in the final, he went even faster in the final as he stopped the clock at an astonishing 45.27 to win the event and become the second-fastest ever at this level. Only American Obi Moore with his 45.14 in Santiago, Chile, in 1995 has gone faster. The 16-year-old Taylor (born October 1, 1999), who went sub 46 seconds four times in the year, was ranked number one on the IAAF Word Youth list and was sixth on the World Junior list for 2015. While Taylor was the talk of the town, Kingston College’s Akeem Bloomfield was not far behind. Competing in his fourth individual 400 metres of his career at the ISSA-GraceKennedy Championships in March, he created history in the one-lap event. Bloomfield (born October 11, 1997) dipped under 45 seconds in winning the Class One 400m in 44.93. In doing so, he became the country’s first junior to go sub-45 and, in the process, he shattered Davian Clarke’s national junior record of 45.21. Bloomfield, with that record-breaking performance, ended the year at number two on the IAAF list. Only Abdelalelah Haroun of Qatar was faster. Haroun, who had the seven-fastest times in the event, topped the list with his 44.27. Following these impressive 400m runs from Taylor and Bloomfield, all attention will now be turned to next year’s IAAF World Junior Championships as Jamaica could do something special in the 4x400m. With the likes of Martin Manley and Jaheel Hyde set to join Taylor and Bloomfield, the world record of 3:01.09 set by the United States in Grossseto, Italy, in 2004 could be in danger.
MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1)DE GEA,DARMIAN, JONES, SMALLING, BLIND,SCHWEINSTEIGER, SCHNEIDERLIN,MATA, ROONEY, YOUNG,MARTIALSWANSEA (4-2-3-1)GOMIS,SIGURDSSON, EMNES, BRITTON,CORK, SHELVEY,TAYLOR, WILLIAMS, AMAT, NAUGHTON,FABIANSKIThe pressure is on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal after six Barclays Premier League games without a win – and eight in all competitions. That is their worse run since January 1990.After losing 2-0 at Stoke on Boxing Day United drew 0-0 against Chelsea on Monday; van Gaal has overseen 11 goalless draws as United boss, six of those coming since 27 October. However, United have kept seven clean sheets and conceded just three goals in their nine Premier League home games in the 2015-16 campaign.And their 30 points from the first half of the season is their poorest return since the 1990-91 season, when they had 22.Swansea arrive still under caretaker Alan Curtis and are unbeaten in three games, drawing two and going 270 minutes without conceding. However, they have scored in two of their last six games and just three in their last nine.But when these teams met at the Liberty Stadium in late August, Swansea extended their unbeaten start to the season to four games with a 2-1 win with Andre Ayew cancelling out Juan Mata’s opener for United before Bafetembi Gomis struck the winner.That was the Welshmen’s third straight win over United; last season they beat them home and away including the 2-1 win at Old Trafford where Gylfi Sigurdsson claimed the winner.For the Chelsea game Van Gaal recalled Wayne Rooney, but they are still missing Marcos Rojo, Anders Lindegaard, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia. Swansea test Eder, Federico Fernandez and Wayne Routledge.