LONDON (AP):From Serena Williams’ near Grand Slam in tennis to Japan’s shock defeat of South Africa in the Rugby World Cup and Barcelona’s dominance on the football pitch, there was much to admire in international sports this year.But much of it was spent dwelling on scandal – from widespread allegations of bribery and corruption at FIFA to systemic doping and cover-up in athletics.Football officialdom endured a shameful year.Sepp Blatter, the FIFA president since 1998, and Michel Platini, European football’s top official, were banned from all football-related activity for eight years for a FIFA payment of about $2 million to Platini in 2011. The payment was judged by FIFA’s ethics commission to be a conflict of interest and disloyal to the world body. Both deny wrongdoing and will appeal the decision.And in athletics, Russia’s federation was suspended after it was accused of operating a state-sponsored doping program. The suspension could keep Russia out of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.Athletics had its more inspiring moments, Usain Bolt in many of them. A lunge to the line saw him see off Justin Gatlin in the 100 metres at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing – the scene of perhaps his greatest achievements in the 2008 Olympics.Golf got its own new superstar this year, too. Jordan Spieth won the first two majors, and just fell short in the other two.It was also a big year for Australia and New Zealand. The neighbours contested the finals of both the cricket and rugby World Cups. Australia won the former to claim their fifth Cricket World Cup while New Zealand got revenge when they became the first team to successfully defend the Rugby World Cup.Here are some notable moments in sports this year, as captured by photographers from The Associated Press.
Edwin Allen and St Jago High ruled supreme at the Digicel-sponsored Central Championships, which came to an end yesterday at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sports.Both teams had overwhelming victories to top the girls and boys sections and are both $250,000 richer thanks to sponsors Digicel.With five of the major teams among the girls on show, the Michael Dyke-coached team from Frankfield, Clarendon showed no mercy as their depth proved too strong for their opponents. Edwin Allen amassed 480 points, 162 more than their nearest rival, Holmwood Technical (318). St Jago (264), Vere (222) and Hydel (200) closed off the top five.”We were the defending champions and based on the team we put out there over the two days, we came to win back our title and I had no doubt about our winning chances,” said Dyke, who singled out Class 3 double winner Cemore Donald for her impressive wins in the 800m and 1500m.It was quinella for Edwin Allen in the 800m for Class 1 girls as Janiel Moore clocked 2:15.52 for the win ahead of Ashanni Robb 2:16.29 and Holmwood Technical’s Melissa Tyme (2:17.04).Holmwood’s Class 1 athlete, Ashley Williams copped a brilliant double. Earlier in the day, she raced to an impressive personal best of 52.72 seconds to take the 400m ahead of St Jago’s Andrenette Knight (54.18) and Edwin Allen’s Shannon Kallawan (54.33).She returned later to win the 200m in 23.83. Patrice Moodie of Edwin Allen was second in 24 with third going to St Jago’s Shanice Reid in 24.70.There were some outstanding results in the timed finals sprint hurdles with St Jago’s Andrenette Knight leading the way in Class 1 100m hurdles. After her disappointment in the 400m hurdles, Knight returned in fine style to win in 13.66 ahead of Holmwood’s Gabrielle McDonald who won her heat in 13.73.Holmwood’s Shanette Allison scored a major upset in Class 2 100m hurdles after a quick 13.59 to surprise Manchester’s, Sidney Marshall, who was second in 13.64.WELCOME RETURNIt was a welcome return to the championships for St Jago’s boys as the Danny Hawthorne-coached team which missed out last year, returned to steamroll the opposition, scoring a whopping 421 points.Edwin Allen (132), Holmwood (128), Manchester (65) and Garvey Maceo (62) closed out the top five.St Jago’s Keenan Lawrence had an impressive run in the Class 2 800m, stopping the clock at 1:54.96 as his nearest rival, teammate Keneil Samms was way behind in second with a time of 2:00.60 with Dwayne Moore of Spalding taking third in 2:00.70.Tiki Butler captured the Boys Class 2 100m hurdles in 14.39 seconds, ahead of teammate, Jahvel Granville second in 14.67 as Tijon Taylor of Hydel was third in 15.19.Gary Gordon (10.97), won the 100m Class 2 event for the Monk Street team, ahead of teammate, Taiwane Crooks (10.98).St Jago ended the meet in fine style as Sean Bailey, Colin Sewell, Leon Clarke and Timor Barrett posted 3:11.69 in winning the 4×400 metres Open, the fastest time so far this season by a schoolboy team.