Blake lights up MVP meet – Drops ‘Beast’ nickname, relieved after injury setbacks

first_imgFormer world 100m champion Yohan Blake sent out an early message to his rivals when he stole the spotlight at the MVP Track and Field meet inside the National Stadium on Saturday night. Blake seemed to be nearing his best after years of injury setbacks as he gave the fair-sized crowd something to talk about, stopping the clock in a world leading 9.95 seconds to win his 100m heat. After seeing his training partner at Racers Track Club, Warren Weir, posting 10.07 seconds to win his 100m race in the previous heat, Blake settled in his blocks in front of an anxious crowd inside the venue. The sprinter caught up to the field in the early part of the race then burst away from the pack to score an impressive win ahead of Sprintec’s Rasheed Dwyer and High Performance Training Centre’s Zharnel Hughes, who both clocked 10.10 seconds. Delivered “First and foremost, I must give God thanks. He has been present in my life and has changed my life over the past weeks, and I have gotten rid of that name the ‘Beast’. I am happy for the win as I came out and delivered and it is like a heavy load has been lifted off my head,” Blake said after his run. “While warming up before the race, I felt very good, and I am extremely happy with my first outing. This is a big step for me, and I can say Yohan is back,” Blake declared. Earlier, Blake had teamed up with Weir, St Kitts and Nevis’ Jason Rodgers, and Michael Frater to win the Open 4x100m for Racers in a zippy 38.45 seconds. Annsert Whyte effortlessly clocked a season best 49.39 seconds in winning his men’s 400m hurdles event – the fastest time for the night in the event. Javarn Gallimore was next best in 50.09 seconds, while Ricardo Cunningham of Cameron Blazers Track Club, who was running the event for the second time in his career, won his section in 50.28 seconds for the third fastest time overall. Racers-based Antiguan Miguel Francis delivered big time in copping the men’s 200m event with a 20.11 seconds clocking, getting the better of Sprintec’s Oshane Bailey, 20.42, with 400m specialist Javon Francis of Akan Track Club finishing third in 20.54 seconds. MVP’s Jonia McDonald continued to show improvements in the 400m as, competing in the final heat, he cruised to victory in 46.32 seconds for the fastest time, overall, with Peter Matthews finishing second in 46.38 seconds ahead of Josef Robertson, 46.45. Making his debut in the one-lap event this season, outstanding Junior Jaheel Hyde won his heat in 46.66 seconds to be fourth overall, School record Kingston College, Calabar, and Jamaica College warmed up for next weekend’s Penn Relays in impressive style as all three teams went under 40 seconds in the 4x100m relay, with Kingston College leading the way. The quartet of Shivnarine Smalling, Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaughn Matherson and Tyrese Bryan finished second behind Racers in 39.52 seconds, the fastest time by a schoolboy team this year and a Kingston College school record. Calabar were third in 39.60 seconds, while Jamaica College were fourth in 39.77 seconds. On the female side, it was Sprintec’s Ronda Whyte who stole the show with a big personal best in the women’s 400m hurdles. Whyte was at her best as she turned back a strong field to win the event in 55.58 seconds to be the top Jamaican female in the event so far this season. Trailing her in second was training partner at Sprintec, Ristananna Tracey, 56.04, and her sister, Nikita Tracey, 56.33, of MVP Track Club. World Championships 400m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson, 52.10, topped the field in the women’s 400m, getting the better of Namibia’s Herunga Tjipekapora, 52.81, and Dawnalee Loney, 53.14.last_img read more

Athletics can’t complete four-game sweep, fall to Astros in finale

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.OAKLAND — The A’s couldn’t complete the four-game sweep against a tough division rival, losing 4-1 to the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon.Alex Bregman was churning out hard contact against Brett Anderson, first with a single and a 102 mph double. His third time up, Anderson went 0-2 early with a first-pitch fastball followed up with a slider. He’d go back to that same slider again, and Bregman met it with barrel …last_img read more

Unemployment rises to 25.7%

first_img29 July 2011Unemployment in the second quarter of rose to 25.7 percent compared to the first quarter’s 25 percent, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reported on Thursday.“The unemployment rate increased by 0.7 of a percentage point between quarter one (25 percent) and quarter two (25.7 percent),” Stats SA said on releasing its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey.The number of unemployed persons increased by 174 000 to 4.538-million people. The survey was conducted from April to June 2011.“This is indication of an economy on a soft path and an uncertain global economy,” senior economist at Standard Bank, Johan Botha, said on Thursday.According to the report, most job losses were in manufacturing, which shed 68 000 jobs, followed by mining (31 000) and trade (18 000).“The story is discouraging for manufacturing in the second quarter, which reflects the global slowdown and the impact of the strong rand and rising cost pressures,” Nedbank senior economist Isaac Matshego said.He added that the sector was facing pressure following recent strike action.“We saw a recovery in this sector in the first quarter, but now it’s down again, which erases most of the gains in the sector,” Matshego said.According to the survey, the number of people in the South African workforce increased by 181 000 between the first quarter and the second quarter to 17.7-million.Formal sector employment contracted by 21 000 jobs, while work in the informal sector grew by 34 000 jobs.“The number of unemployed persons increased by 174 000 between quarter one and quarter two, while the number of discouraged work-seekers decreased by 16 000 in the same period,” Stats SA said.The biggest job losses between quarter one and two were recorded in Gauteng province (34 000), followed by North West at 31 000 and the Eastern Cape with 16 000 job losses.Meanwhile, job gains were observed in KwaZulu-Natal at 71 000 and the Western Cape at 21 000.Most of the formal sector job losses were in manufacturing (71 000) and mining (26 000).Formal sector employment increased in the finance (44 000), transport (31 000) and community and social services (16 000) industries. This translated to a net loss of 21 000 jobs in the formal sector.“The outlook is certainly clouded. It seems we are entering an extended period of relative weakness reflected by employment numbers,” said Botha.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Group B produces Afcon’s first goals

first_imgExcellent pitchThe pitch at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium played beautifully, allowing for flowing football, and both sides were able to put together some good passages of play. The DRC, showing no stage fright, took the game to their more fancied opponents, but it was Ghana who made the first breakthrough. An entertaining groupIt is difficult to read too much into Group B’s opening games, but they showed enough to suggest that it could be an entertaining group, with Niger possibly playing second fiddle to the other three teams. Then again, it took Mali, ranked 25th in the world, until six minutes from time to finally break through. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material For Ghana, John Pantsil, Kwadwo Asamoah and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, while Jean Kasusula, Cedric Makiadi and Tresor Mputu were the best of the Congolese players. After a tepid opening to Afcon 2013 on Saturday, when Group A failed to produce a goal in two matches, both teams looked a class above Group A sides South Africa, Cape Verde, Angola and Morocco, but the pitch, which was markedly better than the National Stadium’s, certainly contributed to a better game, and it is too early to make a final judgment on any other teams. PenaltyIn the 68th minute, South African referee Daniel Bennett awarded the DRC a penalty. Dieumerci Mbokani went down comically, but his shirt had been held and credit to Bennett for penalising something not always blown. Mbokani struck from the spot to level the scores. Five minutes into the second half, Asamoah put the Black Stars two goals clear with a headed goal, but the Congolese kept coming at them and were rewarded with a goal three minutes later by the industrious Tresor Mputu. 21 January 2013 The first goal of the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations was scored just before half-time in the third match of the tournament, but that contest turned into a superb spectacle, while the fourth match of the event finally produced the first win. At times, the play was a little scrappy, but there was much better structure than had been seen in Saturday’s games.center_img Ghana, one of the tournament favourites, were held to a 2-2 draw by a never-say-die Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, while Mali withstood a tough challenge from Niger to record a 1-0 victory and move to the top of the Group B standings. A draw was a fair result for both teams, but the DRC’s coach Claude le Roy was no doubt a lot happier than Ghana’s Kwesi Appiah after the contest. Keita led from the front, while Adama Tamboura performed excellent defensive work on Niger captain Moussa Maazou, and Italian-based striker Mamadou Samassa did sterling work when he came on as a substitute. For Ghana, it was an opportunity lost as they allowed the Leopards to come back from two goals down to snatch a draw. Some superb passing between Asamoah Gyan and Kwadwo Asamoah led to Gyan crossing the ball into the centre along the ground at the edge of the six-yard box where Emmanuel Agyemang-Badua met it and provided the finish. First winnersMali became the first winners in the 2013 tournament thanks to a late strike by captain Seydou Keita. Many had expected it to be an easier contest for the Eagles, but Niger showed plenty of toughness, which at times resulted in some rather reckless tackling. The Eagles, based on their consistency and results of recent times, must be considered one of the tournament front-runners. Ghana showed in the 2010 Fifa World Cup that they have the quality to go all the way, and the DRC showed they will not stand back for any other team, so good luck to anyone trying to predict how it all plays out – which is a good thing for the neutral football fan. Striker Modibo Sidibe, formerly with South African First Division club Jomo Cosmos, took a blow to his head early in the game, but that seemed to spur his fighting instincts and he was arguably Niger’s best player on the night. On the defensive side of things, Koffi Dan Kowa was a solid, steadying presence.last_img read more

Minnaar magnificent at World Champs

first_imgOn the last rocky section, he suffered a puncture, but he kept charging. “I could feel it was down, so through that last section I straightened the bike up as best I could. I knew I would carry speed on that flat wheel through the lines. I didn’t want to risk anything.” Australians Tracey Hannah, the winner of the UCI World Cup Pietermaritzburg in 2012, and Caroline Buchanan, led the standings until late, before the USA’s Jill Kintner passed Buchanan and then France’s Emmaline Ragot, a two-time world champion, nailed her run to finish four seconds up on Hannah. Men’s cross country eliminatorAustralia’s Paul van der Ploeg took out the men’s title ahead of Austria’s Daniel Federspiel and Argentina’s Andres Soto after making a memorable move to snatch the lead after the first tough ascent. Only France’s Fabien Barel in 2004 and the USA’s Greg Herbold at the very first World Championships in 1990 had previously won the downhill title on home soil. Minnaar did it in his home town. DOWNHILL RESULTS South Africa’s Greg Minnaar gave the big home crowd what they had been hoping for on Sunday, the final day of 2013 UCI MTB & Trials World Championship, when he blasted to victory in the men’s downhill race at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg. With bells, vuvuzelas, horns and cheers urging him on, he dug deep. With the finish in sight, he punctured, but that became evident only after he had finished as he maintained his speed through the Money Maker and down into the bowl at the finish, firing across the finishing line just 0.396 ahead of the powerful Australian. “I have to thank South Africa for backing me. It wasn’t just ‘Maritzburg. People travelled from far and wide to be here,” he told the media after successfully defending his World Championship title and capturing the prestigious rainbow-striped jersey for a third time. 1 September 2013 Minnaar admitted that he had “a terrible practice” on Sunday morning, but after his chiropractor worked on a troublesome right hip, he felt better and ready to race. ‘It was a shock’It was Atherton’s first time competing in South Africa. Previously injuries had kept her away. “It was a shock,” she said, about the Cascades downhill course. “The track was wild and it was very hard and that was unexpected.” It wasn’t long before Minnaar was swamped. His band of close friends, the One Life Crew, led the way, lifting him up and tossing him into the sky, his South African- themed helmet bobbing clear above the masses below. “On the trainer at the top [of the downhill course], I felt I was going pretty good. I got out of the gate and I went pretty hard.” “In my time trial, I actually had to unclip because I washed out in that top corner and then in the semi-final, I found this inside line because it wasn’t really ridden by many people. It was grassy and I thought I’ll put it on the line in the final and see if I can make the overtake again in the Big Final and it came off. He explained his daring move afterwards: “With the eliminator, the start is super- important and I knew that Daniel is super-quick off the start. I just tried to get a little bit of a slipstream off of him going into that first right hand corner. Neff, the winner of the under-23 cross country title, had an extra day of recovery over the Swede, but Engen afterwards said of racing on successive days: “It was good. I don’t think it made me slower. But I am really happy. Asked if her brother Gee had given her any advice, Atherton said no. “We’re separate people and it’s a tough race and we’re pretty much in our own zones. We know what we’re doing, or I do anyway,” she said jokingly to loud laughter. Thankfully, at that point, he was within reach of the electric crowd awaiting him along the lower reaches of the track. Womencenter_img It wasn’t over yet, however, as Steve Smith, the winner of the last World Cup event in Canada and World Cup standings leader Gee Atherton were still to come. Atherton, the final rider down the course, was a class apart, though. She was 1.73 seconds up at the first split and by the second split that advantage had ballooned to 8.108 seconds. She maintained her advantage to the end to win by 8.632 seconds over Ragot in 4:28.043. Hannah picked up the bronze medal. South Africa’s Mariska Strauss, the eighth place finisher in the women’s under-23 cross country, was in position to qualify for the semi-finals before taking a spectacular fall within sight of the finishing line. With her front wheel punctured, she ran her bike across the line to sympathetic clapping from the pro-South African crowd. Crashed outSmith, though, crashed out early on his run and his challenge was over almost before it began. That left Atherton, a big and smooth rider, much in the mold of Minnaar, as the only man who could end the South African fairytale. ‘I could hardly breathe’Near the bottom, he said: “My legs were on fire. They were burning. I could hardly breathe.” Women’s downhillRachel Atherton has dominated the women’s World Cup downhill scene in 2013 and she carried that same form into the final, which preceded the men’s event. Women’s cross country eliminatorSweden’s Alexander Engen was successful in her defence of the women’s eliminator title, holding off Jolanda Neff, who had been very impressive in her three races leading up to the Big Final to take victory. Linda Indergand came home in third to give Switzerland two riders on the podium. “From there, it was just about defending and not looking back.” Hannah, second in the 2009 World Cup in Pietermaritzburg, the fastest qualifier in 2011 before he crashed out in the final, and third in 2012, finished as the only other man to crack four minutes and picked up the silver medal, while his fellow Australian Jarde Graves took the bronze. At split one, he trailed Minnaar by 1.536 seconds, but was still in contention. When the timing board showed he was 4.399 down at the second split the crowd roared, and when the Great Britain star came into sight of the finish and Minnaar’s time was out of reach the Cascades MTB Park went crazy. After getting through the technical sections high up in good shape, the course began to bite. “I was empty,” Minnaar revealed. “I really had to dig deep to get through that middle section.” ‘An inspiration’Describing the helmet at the post-race press conference, he explained that it had been based around former President Nelson Mandela. “Madiba is an inspiration for all of us South Africans,” he said. “As a country, we have been through a lot and he has definitely pulled us through some rough times. “ “I mean the Swiss ‘Mafia’, they are so fast and so good. It’s not easy taking them, so I am really happy.” Men Greg Minnaar (RSA) 3:58.058Mick Hannah (Aus) 3:58.454Jared Graves (Aus) 4:01.391Sam Blenkinsop (NZ) 4:01.804Matthew Simmonds (GBR) 4:01.997 Rachel Atherton (GBR) 4:28.043Emmaline Ragot (Fra) 4:36.675Tracey Hannah (Aus) 4:40.438Jill Kintner (USA) 4:41.468Caroline Buchanan (Aus) 4:41.655 Minnaar’s runThe South African superstar was the third last man down the mountain. He led at the first split, but was just down on Mick Hannah, who was in the hot seat, at the second split. The crowd was in a frenzy and the hometown boy was not going to let the opportunity of becoming a world champion in his home town pass him by.last_img read more

RJD to mark Nov. 8 as ‘black-day’

first_imgThe Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal will observe “black day” on November 8 to commemorate the first anniversary of demonetisation. It will organise rallies in all districts of Bihar that day and ask the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre what demonetisation had achieved for the country in the last one year. “They have to answer,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav told media persons on Monday. Small businesses were hit hard by the demonetisation and several had to close shop, he said.Party pollsThe party is set to complete the process of electing its State president by November 7. Former Minister Alok Mehta is the front runner for the post.Former Minister Shiv Chandra Ram too is in the race. But as Mr. Mehta is seen as being close to former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, his election, many in the party say, is “almost certain”.last_img read more

FNs toddlers death homicide coroners jury

first_imgAPTN National NewsA Regina coroner’s inquest jury came to a shocking conclusion as to the cause of death of a three-year-old First Nations child.APTN National News reporter Larissa Burnouf has this story.last_img