With more prize money up for grabs and the best local tennis stars looking to close out the year in fine style, this year’s sixth annual JN Open Tennis Championship is expected to be an exciting and action-packed affair.The championship will start on Saturday and end next Thursday at the Liguanea Cub in New Kingston.Jamaica National has raised the bar with increased prize money for the men’s event from $150,000 to $200,000, while women’s prize money has moved from $50,000 to $60,000.Tournament director Llockett McGregor has described this year’s event as “bigger and better”.The tournament which will start with a kiddie’s camp with 50 juniors on Saturday morning, will feature men’s open singles, ladies open singles, men’s amateur class two and class three as well as doubles event.”Once again, we want to say thanks to Toyota Jamaica, thanks to Singer but most of all we want to say thanks to JN for their continued support and we want to invite the general public to come out and support this wonderful event,” said McGregor at the event’s press launch at the Liguanea Club yesterday.Entries close today for the event which has total prize money of more than $600,000.Gavin Beckford, marketing executive at Jamaica National said his company views the JN Open Tennis Championship as an opportunity “to showcase the talents of Jamaica’s tennis players”.
– industry will not be used as political football – Opposition LeaderAs plans are moving apace to complete and ultimately presents its manifesto for the upcoming elections in Guyana, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) already has major plans for the oil and gas sector.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, at his weekly press briefing on Thursday explained that the PPP, as part of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the country’s oil and gas sector, will guarantee that members of other political parties be a part of its management once the party gets back into office.“So we have been looking at the oil industry and the oil and gas sector and we have been exploring models as to how this sector will be transparently managed. In fact, we would like to see the sector, even with a PPP Government in office, managed in a bi-partisan way where it rises above politics. That is the oil and gas industry and that the resources are used to benefit all Guyanese.”According to Jagdeo, the PPP has been exploring various models for the oil and gas industry that it will be implementing, should that party be returned to Government following the upcoming general elections that are to be held in the country.He noted that despite whatever advice it would receive from persons outside of the country with regard to the operations, management, and best practices for the future of Guyana’s oil and gas sector, the buck stops with Guyanese managing it.“We are not slaves to consultants who often work for the oil companies. We have been exploring ourselves, in house, using and studying a lot the experience of various countries, of course seeking technical advice and we will seek advice but the final decision will be made by the Government of Guyana. A decision that is appropriate for our country and that would benefit our people and not something that any consultant will come in, cut and paste, and hand over to us.”He stated that more often than not, in such situations the advice by consultants reflect the interests more in the favour of foreign companies than citizens of that country so the PPP will ensure that this does not occur in Guyana.The Opposition Leader also pointed out that his party has been working extensively on preparing several features of a local content policy in relation to the oil and gas industry that can be implemented once it is returned to power.“Benefits must be felt by all people wherever they live. Benefits should not be just for a few folks or for those who are wealthy but should benefit everyone from every sector… every ethnic group, every class,” he added.Presently, a Department of Energy is being established at the Ministry of the Presidency to handle the pending oil and has sector. The department is being overseen by Dr Mark Bynoe who in turn reports to his superiors, including Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman and President David Granger.Come 2020, ExxonMobil is expected to pump millions of barrels of oil from the Stabroek Block – a phenomenon that can make Guyana one of the richest oil nations in the work.But since the announcement of the find, there have been concerns with respect to the management of the country’s wealth with the recommendation of setting up the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to manage its impending revenues.
Young Guns aftermath…Having made good on his promise to win by knockout by the second of six rounds, Barbadian Boxer Keithland King was undeniably elated at carrying his professional record to three wins from three fights, especially in a foreign country.Keithland King (left) battling it out with Derick RichmondThe middleweight boxer, who exchanged punches with Guyanese Derick Richmond in the headline fight of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control’s (GBBC) ‘Young Guns- The proving ground’ card, told Guyana Times Sport he was happy to have achieved the goal he had set himself.“It feels good to pick up the win, because I came for the win,” ‘The King’ declared.Describing his mindset throughout the six-minute fight, King said he could have achieved the knockout sooner, but was not focused enough to get there.“It didn’t happen how I wanted it to happen. I think I was a little too anxious; I just needed to sit and relax some more, but I think I was rushing it too much,” King disclosed.Regarding this being his first time fighting at the Cliff Anderson Sport Hall (CASH), and because foreign conditions often pose problems to boxers who are not well adjusted, King noted that Guyana has been favourable. “The conditions were all right at the Sports Hall,” the ‘King’ said. “In terms of fighting, the temperature was good and everything,” he expressed.Looking to the future, the middleweight boxer has no problem with returning to compete on Guyanese shores. In fact, he is looking forward to doing so.“There’s a next card here in October. I want to get on it,” he revealed.On a more controversial note, King was very vocal in expressing his dissatisfaction with his opponent’s weight.Prior to fight night, King weighed in at 159 pounds, which is acceptable for the middleweight class, given that it averages at 160 pounds. However, the Guyanese boxer was not as close to the weight limit as King. Much to the concern of the Boxing Board, Richmond weighed in at 174 pounds, some 14 pounds over the class. Nevertheless, the fight was sanctioned with the blessing of both contestants.To this end, King passionately stated, “I mean, this guy that I just fought, I wish that he was 160 (pounds). Fifteen pounds is a lot, and it’s very disrespectful to the sport. As a professional boxer, coming into the round with 15 pounds (over the weight limit) is total disrespect to your opponent, yourself and your country.”Despite the hiccup, the boxer is grateful for the opportunity afforded him. “I just want to say, ‘Thank you,’ to the Guyana Boxing Board, the sponsors, the crowd, and everybody for turning out. Thank you for the opportunity to box in your country,” the ‘King’ says.