first_imgBEIJING, China: A day after watching his athlete cross the line ahead of the pack, again confirming his position as the greatest sprinter, manager Ricky Simms has lauded the work put in over the past few months by Usain Bolt and his team, as he labelled the Jamaican superstar as the ultimate champion. Speaking to The Gleaner, Simms said that the athlete had been working around the clock to get himself in the best shape possible ahead of the World Championships, while also noting the efforts of coach Glen Mills, executive manager and best friend Nugent Walker (NJ), and physio Emerald Edwards to get him in top condition before the start of the championships. Bolt, who struggled for form early in the season while American Justin Gatlin was dominating the sport, arrived in Beijing with a cloud of doubt hanging over his head and questions about whether or not he would be able to stop the in-form American and win his ninth gold medal at the World Championships. He, however, showed his authority, beating Gatlin to the line in the 100 metres final on Sunday, stopping the clock at 9.79 seconds, with the American taking second in 9.80 ahead of the 20-year-old pair of Trayvon Bromell (USA) and Canadian Andre De Grasse, who shared the bronze medal. It was another demonstration of Bolt’s ability to face his challenges with conviction and deliver when the stakes are highest. “Usain is Usain. He’s the ultimate champion. He shows up for the big ones, and he’s been working extremely hard for this,” shared Simms. “We’ve all been working very hard over the last month or so – myself, NJ, the coach himself and Eddie, his physio – to try to get him right.” Bolt showed glimpses that he was rediscovering his range when he twice clocked 9.87 in terrible conditions and within one hour at the Sainsbury’s London Anniversary Games, after reports began to seep through that he was almost back to his old self in training. The world, however, wanted to see it on the track, and though it wasn’t vintage Bolt in Sunday night’s massive win, it’s the Bolt that was needed – the one that thrives on competition, as Simms explained. “He was doing well in training, and like he said in London, we all knew that if he executed the race well, he was going to run fast. He improved since London, so we knew he could go faster if he needed to. However, he was race-rusty,” Simms said. “Obviously, the semi-final didn’t go to plan, but it was better he did it in the semi and not the final. But what can you say? He rises for the big challenge. “I think he’s just a supreme competitor. He loves running against strong guys. He took it down a little bit last year, and the media went a little crazy about him being injured and this and that. This year, he didn’t have an injury. It was more of a tightness – like driving your car with the handbrake up – so he was fit right through the year,” said Simms, who also manages other high-profile athletes such as British distance star Mo Farah. “All the other guys were running very well. Justin (Gatlin) was running well, and that made it more interesting for the public, and I’m glad he got it done,” said Simms. Bolt will now focus on defending his 200m title; and will also compete in the 4x100m at these championships. authoritylast_img read more

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has issued a proclamation declaring March 12, 2014, as National Decoration Day. It is to be observed as a national holiday throughout Liberia.According to a Foreign Ministry press release, the Proclamation is in consonance with an Act passed on October 24, 1916, by the National Legislature declaring the second Wednesday in March of each year to be known as Decoration Day; to be observed throughout Liberia as National Holiday.The release notes that the observance is in recognition of the nation’s past heroes and heroines who have lived and died in the interest of their country.The Proclamation stated: “It is befitting that a day be set aside to celebrate the memory of those blessed dead who have lived and died in the interest of their country, thereby keeping alive their deeds and invaluable contributions made to society and the state for the onward march to progress.”The proclamation further ordered that the National Ensign be flown at half –mast from all public buildings, military camps, and private residences from 12:01 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Introduced in the Republic of Liberia in 1916, Decoration Day was a national festival that enjoyed popular support among the people inhabiting the interior of Liberia, also known as the “country people,” who are never adverse to honoring their ancestors and to spending a day communing with their spirits.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgLukaku already has a chant in his honour but the song, to the tune of the Stone Roses’ “Made of Stone”, refers to the size of his penis, using a stereotype about black men that has led Kick It Out to call for action.“Kick It Out is aware of footage of alleged racist chanting by supporters of Manchester United that emerged on Wednesday,” said a spokesman for the group.“The lyrics used in the chant are offensive and discriminatory. Racist stereotypes are never acceptable in football or wider society, irrespective of any intention to show support for a player.“We have contacted Manchester United regarding the issue and will be working closely with them and the FA (Football Association) to ensure that it is addressed swiftly.”A United spokesman said: “We are seeking advice from the relevant bodies. Manchester United has a zero-tolerance (approach) towards all forms of discrimination.”Scott Patterson, a season-ticket holder who runs the The Republik of Mancunia blog, called the chant “drivel that belongs in the 1980s”.“It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age,” he posted.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester United’s striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring on September 17, 2017LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 19 – British anti-discrimination group Kick It Out on Tuesday called on Manchester United fans to stop a “racist” chant about striker Romelu Lukaku.The 24-year-old arrived from Everton in the summer for a fee that could reach £90 million ($121 million, 101 million euros) and has quickly become a popular figure among supporters, netting seven goals in as many games.last_img read more

first_imgThe former Tottenham and England midfielder, turned pundit, Alan Mullery joins Danny Kelly to look back on his career.last_img

first_imgArsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is a wanted man, with both Barcelona and Manchester United keen on the Belgian’s services. Gunners chief Arsene Wenger claimed on Thursday that the Red Devils have made a move for the 28-year-old, but added that there were other clubs interested in the stopper.And talkSPORT’s Spanish football expert Begona Perez agrees, telling Hawksbee and Jacobs that Barcelona are of them: “They are apparently chasing Thomas Vermaelen.“Barcelona signed Jeremy Mathieu from Valencia recently because they were short of centre-backs last season. We saw that when Gerard Pique had to play with Javier Mascherano. After watching Argentina in the World Cup, it seems a waste to play him [Mascherano] in defence.“Barcelona have Pique, Marc Bartra and Mathieu and they want another one. Vermaelen is the priority for Barcelona. One of the leading sports newspapers have claimed there is a director in London trying to negotiate with Arsenal.“We know the situation with Vermaelen, he is probably going to leave Arsenal. They would prefer to sell him to a foreign club so that gives Barcelona the advantage over Manchester United.”Another defender who has been linked with a move to the Nou Camp is Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, but Perez claims, should the Catalan giants sign Vermaelen, there’s no chance the Danish star will earn his dream move to Spain.“If Barcelona are going for Vermaelen, which is the case at the moment, then I don’t see any room for Agger,” she added, speaking to Hawksbee and Jacobs.“He was on the list, they had targeted a number of centre-backs. It’s a very tempting option to go to Barcelona for any player obviously but, if they get Vermaelen, there’s no way they would move for Agger.”Perez also goes on to wrap up the latest La Liga movers and shakers, including the latest on Angel di Maria, after PSG pulled out of a move for the Argentina World Cup star, and Atletico Madrid’s pursuit of Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa.last_img read more

first_img0Shares0000Cristiano Ronaldo knows Real Madrid’s season is on the line as they prepare to meet PSG in the Champions League © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSMADRID, Spain, Feb 12 – Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that Real Madrid’s season is now effectively all about their looming Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain as the Spanish giants trail off the pace in La Liga.“The tie…is one that could define the whole season,” the Portuguese forward told Real’s website after picking up a prize for best player in the world last season from the website “We’re going to come up against a great team with excellent players, whom we respect a lot.“But we’ve already shown that we have a very strong, united and experienced group in this competition.”Real host PSG at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday in the first leg of their last-16 tie, with the return set for March 6 in the French capital.Zinedine Zidane’s side have won the Champions League in each of the last two seasons, and it is eight years since Real were eliminated at this stage.Madrid are currently fourth in La Liga, 17 points behind leaders Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand.That is despite a big 5-2 win over Real Sociedad at the weekend, a game in which Ronaldo scored a hat-trick.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

first_img How Man United could line up for Newcastle clash – will Pogba start? possible xi West Ham could be without their creative influence for more than a year Tottenham v Brighton LIVE: talkSPORT commentary and team news for Boxing Day opener Latest Premier League news The creative midfielder was initially told there was a possibility he may be back in less than a year after rupturing cruciate ligaments in the build up to the 2018 World Cup.But, as first revealed by The Sun, the injury is now being described as a ‘cruciate plus’ – worse than first feared.Lanzini was hurt in training with Lionel Messi and co just a week or so before the tournament began in Russia. Lanzini is a key player for the Hammers and is seen as the creative hub at the heart of the team. smart causal who plays? How Arsenal could line up in Arteta’s first official game in charge – Ozil return? Tottenham predicted XI to face Brighton with Mourinho expected to make big changes Manuel Lanzini is set to miss the whole of the 2018/19 season, it has emerged.West Ham’s tricky Argentinian playmaker could be out for up to 15 months after the severity of his knee injury was revealed. NEW ERA Lanzini was seen as a key member of the Argentina World Cup squad before his untimely injury Brown’s half-time antics, eight-goal thrillers… relive these Boxing Day classics center_img gameday predicted 2 How Chelsea could line up against Southampton – what system will Lampard play? New boss Manuel Pellegrini may now be forced to delve into the transfer market as a result of the injury news, which will be seen as a massive blow to the new boss’ plans.As a fan of tricky, diminutive playmakers, many believed Pellegrini was planning to build his new-look West Ham side around the 25-year-old. WHERE ARE THEY?Your cruciate ligaments are found inside your knee joint and cross over to form a ‘X’ shape with the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).WHAT DO THEY DO?Cruciate ligaments control the back and forward movement of the knee. Your ACL specifically provides rotational stability to the knee and prevents your tibia from sliding out in front of the femur.WHAT HAS LANZINI DONE?The West Ham star has what is known as a grade three sprain of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). It is commonly referred to as a complete tear of the ligament.As a result, the knee joint is unstable. But a cruciate plus suggests there could be nerve damage at the very least. ALTERED ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CRUCIATE LIGAMENTS How Liverpool could line up at Leicester with midfielder set for lengthy absence crackers 2 Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade The club have already broken their transfer record to sign £24 million defender Issa Diop, plus Swansea City keeper Lukasz Fabianski and defender Ryan Fredericks from Fulham.After seemingly fixing the porous defence, Pellegrini is set to bolster the Hammers’ midfield and attacking options.Moves for Nice star Jean-Michael Seri and Felipe Anderson of Lazio have been mooted as the club look to build on a 13th-place finish in the Premier League last season.last_img read more

first_img Tags: Allan Ssekamate Ronaldo is an injury doubt for Juve’s CL quarter final first leg clash away to Ajax (Agency Photo)1- Real must develop manual for Zidane:Re-appointed Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane may be the club’s most successful manager in history but he too must operate according to the club’s policy manual. If it exists, that manual should entail that all managers, Zizou inclusive, must always choose the lineup that serves the club’s sporting interests best.This didn’t happen last Sunday as the three-time European champion fielded a team that was very nearly upended by bottom club Huesca. For instance, Zidane’s son Luca has no business keeping goal for the outgoing European champions. Zidane stands accused of nepotism if he fields Luca and Real fail to get maximum points.2- Everton to determine EPL top four:  Marco Silva’s Toffees are one of the division’s most inconsistent sides. On their day, they can match all comers. This has been evident in recent 2-0 wins over Chelsea and West Ham.But they can also be diabolical – which is why owner Farhad Moshiri’s £300m cash splurge is yet to yield dividends. That said, this month they have home fixtures against Champions League chasing Arsenal and Manchester United. The Toffees will also travel to Spurs in May. The eight-time English champions are therefore in a unique position to determine which teams qualify for Europe’s elite competition.3- Tottenham shoo-ins for Champions League: Been studying the remaining fixtures of Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea; the four clubs vying for two available Champions League slots. Spurs have a clear advantage because Manchester City is the only side likely to take all three points off them.Otherwise, they have four winnable home games against Crystal Palace, Huddersfield, West Ham and Everton. Maximum points from these games puts them in pole position to overhaul Arsenal who have away games at Everton, Wolves, Watford, Leicester City and Burnley. And we all know how dodgy the Gunners are on the road.4- Rodgers can guide Leicester to silverware: A Celtic fans’ banner that slammed manager Brendan Rodgers for abandoning “immortality for mediocrity” couldn’t have been so further off the mark. The former Swansea and Liverpool boss has inherited a Foxes side capable to punching their weight among the Top Six. An excellent Three Lions core that includes Harry Maguire, Ben Chillwell, James Madison and Jamie Vardy bodes well for next season.Throw in Belgian playmaker Youri Tielemans and Nigerian midfield workhorse Wilfred Ndidi and you have a team capable of challenging for silverware of some description. They are definitely a more talented lot than the 2016 title winning side. This young squad just needs further tweaking to spread the goal scoring burden and a bit of title winning experience.5- Ronaldo injury gives Ajax 50-50 chance: Cristiano Ronaldo’s thigh injury while on duty with Portugal means Juventus are no longer overwhelming favourites to eliminate an Ajax Amsterdam team that has only reached the Champions League knockout phases for the first time in two decades.Without CR7 and injured teammate Paulo Dybala, Juventus were extremely flat in defeating Empoli 1-0. A repeat performance at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam will see Frankie de Jong, David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech punish the Bianconeri.Comments last_img read more

first_imgThe National Basketball League has already reached the semi final stage of the playoffs. (PHOTO/File)KAMPALA – The Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) has on Wednesday, September 02nd, announced postponement of the National Basketball League (NBL) Semifinal and finals Playoffs.The semis were slatted to start on Friday October 4th 2019, but have now been pushed to a further date.This affects both the men’s and lady’s divisions.It has been confirmed that the postponement is because of the various international activities involving Ugandan teams and players who are in turn supposed to feature in the league’s playoffs.The international activities include 3×3 U23 FIBA World Cup that is already underway in Lanzhou, China where UCU Lady Canons have Sarah Ageno and Abey Priscilla on the team while JKL Lady Dolphins have Ritah Imanishimwe.The three are expected to return on October 8th and will be joined by the men’s team, which has two City Oilers players (Ivan Muhwezi and Tonny Drileba) and one UCU Canons player (Fayed Bbale), to travel for the World Beach Games (men and women) in Doha, Qatar. The latter tournament will run from October 12th -16th.City Oilers also have the Basketball Africa League (BAL) Qualifiers slated for October 15th-20th in Dar el Salam, Tanzania.JKL Lady Dolphins will be travelling to Dar el Salam for the Women’s Zone 5 tournament that runs from October 21st-26th.Between October 28th and November 5th, UCU will have two teams at the 3×3 University World Championship and this means the series involving the two sides cannot go on.Uganda will then host the FIBA 3X3 Africa Cup between November 7thand 11th in Kampala.Given the busy schedule, the federation has decided that November 15th is the most realistic date for the start of the semifinal playoffs.Federation president Nasser Sserunjogi revealed that the tight schedule only meant that adjustments had to be made.“The schedule is quite tight and it is going to be very hard for us to have these games consistently so we have thought it wise to start on November 15th, stated Sserunjogi.“We expect that by then all the teams and players will be available to give the fans the most entertaining basketball action.”Action will get underway with defending champions JKL Lady Dolphins entertaining KIU Rangers before UCU Canons face Betway Power in the last game of the night.Comments Tags: FubaFUBA NBL 2019toplast_img read more

first_imgSouth African tennis star Amanda Coetzer epitomised the saying: “Dynamite comes in small packages”. She stands only 1.58 metres tall, but her heart was one of the biggest on the WTA Tour, and her never-say-die attitude reaped big rewards in a career that began back in 1988 and lasted 16 years.Brand South Africa reporterIn an age when top tennis players became bigger and stronger and relied increasingly on the power game, Coetzer was a throwback to the glory days ruled by players like Billie Jean King, Chris Evert-Lloyd, Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin.Coetzer stands only 1.58 metres (5 feet 2 inches) tall, but she was all heart, known for being super-fit, for being a tenacious fighter, for chasing down every ball, and for giving the game her all.Although she failed to make a big impression early in her career, Coetzer improved her world ranking from 153 in 1988 to 63 in 1989. She fell back a little the following year to 75, but rose again to 67 in 1991. In that year she reached the final of a WTA event for the first time, losing to second-seed Julie Halard-Decugis in the Puerto Rican Open after disposing of the first and third seeds on her way to the title match.Racing up the rankingsIn 1992 Coetzer climbed 50 places in the world rankings to 17. She made the semi-finals of two big tournaments, in Boca Raton and at the Italian Open, her scalps including sixth-seed Jennifer Capriati in the American tournament and third-seed Gabriella Sabatini in Rome. She also claimed two doubles titles, one in Toronto and the other in Puerto Rico. Tennis Magazine named her the year’s Most Improved Female Player.Coetzer finally broke through in 1993, winning her first WTA Tour title at the Melbourne Open. She added another title in Tokyo, upsetting second-seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the semi-finals and beating hometown favourite Kimoko Date in the finals. She edged up to 15 in the world rankings, and was nominated for the tour’s sportsmanship award.The South African ace claimed another tournament victory in Prague in 1994, justifying her top seeding by advancing to the title without dropping a set, and added to her triumph by securing the doubles title with Linda Harvey Wild. At Indian Wells she beat third-seed Lindsay Davenport on her way to the finals, where she was stopped by German great Steffi Graf. Once again the little South African was nominated for the WTA Tour’s sportsmanship award.Beating a number oneAt Toronto in 1995 Coetzer made it through to the finals, where she was beaten by Monica Seles, but her path to the title decider included three huge wins, over top-seed Graf, fourth-seed Jana Novotna and fifth-seed Mary Pierce. Her win over Graf ended a run of 32 victories in succession for the German and marked Coetzer’s first win over a number one ranked player.Teaming with Innes Gorrochategui, she won doubles titles at Amelia Island and at the German Open in Munich. At the conclusion of the season the WTA Tour presented her with the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship award.Coetzer achieved another first early in 1996, getting through to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event for the first time at the Australian Open. She also reached the final of the tour event in Oklahoma City. Playing with Mary Pierce, she won the doubles event at the Nichirei tournament in Tokyo.1997 proved to be the best year of Coetzer’s career as she rose to a career-high third position in the world rankings. At the Australian Open she again beat Steffi Graf, ending her opponent’s winning streak at 45 matches and prompting the Australian press to nickname her “The Little Assassin.” She went on to reach the final four of the tournament for the second year in succession.Later in the year, Coetzer handed the German her worst defeat ever, a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing on home ground in Berlin. When Coetzer defeated Graf in the quarterfinals of the French Open she became one of only five players since 1987 to beat Graf three times in a year.Into the top 10The South African fighter then moved into the world’s top 10 for the first time when she won the WTA event in Budapest. She also won the doubles title with Alexandra Fusai.At Leipzig she defeated world number one Martina Hingis, only the third loss the Swiss star had suffered in 69 matches. This win made her one of only two players – the other was Lindsay Davenport – to beat both Hingis and Graf when they were ranked number one. For good measure, Coetzer added another tournament victory in Luxembourg.After her memorable year three awards followed for Coetzer, the most awards received by a single player in the history of the WTA Tour. She was named Most Improved Player, picked up the Diamond ACES award recognising player/fan interaction and, for the second time, laid claim to the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship award. She had travelled far to reach these heights, averaging 500 kilometres a day by the time she made it to the season-ending Chase Championships!Her world ranking fell in 1998, but she managed to land the biggest title of her career, winning at Hilton Head in an event that attracted the world’s best players – the first time in 19 years that a South African tennis player had won an event of such magnitude.Defeated number onesIn 1999 she was the only player to take a set off Australian Open champion Martina Hingis in Melbourne, bowing out in the fourth round of the Grand Slam event. Then, in Tokyo, she beat world number one Lindsay Davenport and former world number one Monica Seles on her way to the finals, where she lost to Hingis. Coetzer was also runner-up in Oklahoma City and reached the final four at Eastbourne, Stanford and San Diego.She made the finals at Antwerp and in Munich at the German Open in 2000, and made the semi-finals in New Haven and Oklahoma City. She achieved the same feat in Hamburg, where she accounted for world number three Venus Williams.Coetzer reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2001, her first last eight in a Grand Slam event since the 1998 US Open. In a dramatic match against Williams she eventually succumbed 8-6 in the third set of a closely contested tie.In February she won her eighth WTA title, defeating world number 10 Elena Dementieva in Acapulco. At Amelia Island she reached the finals where she lost to Amelie Mauresmo. In Hamburg, she made the final four, and the following week she recorded her five-hundredth career win, defeating Meghann Shaughnessy, who had beaten her the week before.In Luxembourg, she reached the semi-finals and then won her first doubles title in four years with Lori McNeil in Oklahoma City. The pair again tasted success in Bahia.A decade of excellenceShe slipped two places in the end-of-year world rankings in 2002 to twenty-first place as she failed to land a title. It was the first time in a decade that she ended the year outside the world’s top 20.However, in 2003 she landed the final victory of her career, capturing the Mexican Open for the second time, in the holiday playground of Acapulco.In total, Coetzer won nine singles and nine doubles titles and accumulated over $5.5-million in career earnings. She was also one of the more popular players on the WTA tour.She represented South Africa at three Olympic Games – Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney – and played on the South African Fed Cup team as its number one player.Her grit, determination and give-it-all attitude continue to made her one of the more popular players in the game.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more