first_img However, it wasn’t until Francis, his brother, Paul, the late David Noel and Bruce James formed the MVP and with the consent of the professor of speed, Dennis Johnson, formed an alliance with the University of Technology that has changed the face and the fortunes of Jamaican track and field. Athletes trained by Stephen have set world records and won 56 World Championships and 28 Olympic medals but his contribution is to be measured in more than just medals. On one hand, world records by Asafa Powell and gold medals won by Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Melaine Walker and Brigitte Foster-Hylton have made all Jamaicans proud. On the other, the MVP/UTech model has been copied as well as admired by other ambitious local clubs and institutions. Now, thanks in large part to the example provided by the MVP and UTech, there is a productive Jamaican alternative for those who want to combine athletics with academics. Stephen Francis can be blunt, but those close to him speak as much about his genius as his compassion and his playful sense of humour. At one memorable training session at the National Stadium East field, the coach had the entire training group rolling in laughter. On another, he cracked jokes like a stand-up comic as the group did exercises on the all purpose court in front of the Alfred Sangster Auditorium at the University of Technology. Few will see that side of him but thanks to the National Awards event earlier this week, they can look admiringly at his body of work and say, well done Stephen Francis. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. It’s a sign of how important success in track and field is to Jamaica that the sport’s operatives often get national awards. Just days ago, volunteer official Ian Forbes and coaches Stephen Francis and Maurice Wilson stood in the spotlight on National Heroes Day alongside hundreds who have served the country with distinction. All three deserve to stand in such company. Forbes has continued his family’s record of service in sport. His father, Headley, is a giant, and Ian has carried on brilliantly. In addition to his work at Jamaica College, he has served as a meet official, director of the JC Invitational and manager of national teams at the youth and senior level. Ian and Ray Harvey were especially good as they led the wonderful meet-management team that did Jamaica proud when it staged the 2002 World Junior Championship. Wilson has not only distinguished himself by coaching Holmwood Technical to 10 wins at Girls’ Championships but also by serving as technical leader to Jamaica’s most successful Olympic and World Championship teams and by teaching the next generation of fitness and sport practitioners at the G.C. Foster College for Physical Education and Sport. Now, his Sprintec Track Club has produced a 2017 World Championships medal winner in 400-metre hurdler Ristananna Tracey and a 2014 Commonwealth champion in Rasheed Dwyer. His work, both as teacher and coach, will continue to bear fruit. Before Francis arrived with his MVP Track Club family in 1999, 99.9 per cent of our champions were nurtured abroad. Patrick Robinson made the 1964 Olympic team while a student at the University of the West Indies. Generations later, the Jamalco Track Club guided Michael McDonald to world class in the 400 metres. Successful alliancelast_img read more

first_img On the field, South Africa is finally showing real signs of life. Twelve matches have now passed without defeat, and the Bafana Bafana strike-force – Siphiwe Thabalala, Surprise Moriri, Bernard Parker, Katlego Mphela and Siyabonga Nomvethe – are hitting the net at last. And coach Carlos Parreia has finally put the Benni McCarthy issue to bed. Love him or loathe him, there’s no denying that the fading star has long been a divisive factor in the Bafana camp. But the most pleasing aspect of the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup is how the event is uniting a nation that is still showing divisions 16 years after democracy. South Africans are learning the verses of their multi-lingual national anthem sung in languages other than their own and they are united in their determination to see their beloved Bafana – the most unfancied host nation in the history of the World Cup – succeed. Four years ago, a similar scenario played itself out in Germany – the hosts of the previous edition of the World Cup. Like South Africa, Germany had been through enormous social upheavals as a result of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the unification of East and West. But for one glorious month, the greatest sporting event on the planet provided the glue that united that nation and changed international perceptions of Germans – and their country – overnight. And so it will be over the next month as South Africa deservedly takes its place as the centre of the universe and is presented with an opportunity to showcase all that is good about this beautiful land and its extraordinary diversity. Let the party begin! Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010 8 June 2010 South Africa is now just days away from the party of a lifetime. The signs are there for all to see – the millions of flags, the enormous Word Cup-themed murals draped around buildings, the clatter of helicopters, the droning of vuvuzelas, the scramble for tickets, round-the-clock roadworks, and the orderly chaos as millions of people gear up for global football’s showpiece event. Fifa president Sepp Blatter last week stamped his approval by saying: “All the work has been done here”. last_img read more

first_imgHeading from the catwalks of Paris to the aisles of Hainan Airlines aircraft,  these chic new cabin uniforms have been turning the heads of fashionistas and airline watchers alike.The airline used Paris Couture Week and a show by fashion designer Laurence Xu  to unveil the  Chinese carrier’s fifth- generation uniforms it described as combining “elements of classical, time-honoured Oriental aesthetics and the silhouette of a modern Western suitThe uniforms are based on the Cheongsam, a stylish traditional Chinese dress for women usually worn on more formal occasions.They feature a collar overlaid with a pattern of auspicious clouds contrasted by alternating sea and mountains on the lower hem.This is designed to draw a Hainan aircraft that has just taken off, and the roc, a mythical bird denoting strength, as it lifts into flight.“The apron is designed like a tulip-shaped dress to emphasize, in equal measure, elegance, femininity, aesthetics and practicality,’’ the airline says. “The Western-style draping incorporates popular international fashion elements alongside a sense of high-quality professionalism.“The fusion of traditional Chinese elements and popular international fashion created an Oriental masterpiece that turned heads in Paris. “The new uniforms replace the fourth generation in use since 2010 and reflect a two-year collaboration with Xu that involved more than 1000 design blueprints and over 1000 samples of garments and accessories.Founded in 1993 by billionaire Chen Feng, Hainan is a full-service carrier mainly operating Boeing 737, Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 aircraft on a growing network of domestic and international routes.It is headquartered in Haikou, the biggest city on the Chinese tropical island of Hainan, and is China’s fourth biggest carrier, competing with state-owned rivals China, Eastern, China Southern and Air China.Hainan’s parent, HNA Group, is a diverse conglomerate with stakes in a number of carriers including Hong Kong Airlines, HK Express, Tianjin  Airlines, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Comair and Virgin Australia.last_img read more

first_img MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters have made progress against a wildfire that burned dangerously close to homes in Southern California while another blaze has exploded in size in a remote area at the northern end of the state.An approximately 3-square-mile (7.7-square-kilometer) threatening the communities of Murrieta and La Cresta is 20% contained early Friday.Some roads have reopened but mandatory evacuation orders for about 570 homes remain in place, along with a voluntary evacuation advisory for another 2,200.The fire broke out Wednesday, possibly from a lightning strike as thunderstorms moved through.In Northern California, a lightning-sparked fire in a remote area of Tehama County west of the city of Red Bluff has grown to more than 9 square miles (23.3 square kilometers), with no containment.Evacuations have been ordered for rural properties. AP, AP Posted: September 6, 2019 September 6, 2019center_img #TenajaFIRE [UPDATE] Containment overnight increased to 20% and the fire remains 2,000 acres. Clinton Keith Road is still closed. However, Los Gatos and Via Volcano are open. All evacuation orders and warnings remain in place. @RivCoReady @RSO @MurrietaFire— CAL FIRE Riverside (@CALFIRERRU) September 6, 2019 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News, Wildfires FacebookTwitter Containment increases on Southern California wildfirelast_img read more

first_imgDarjeeling: As rains continued in the Hills, there were reports of more landslides in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts.The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway service from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling has been suspended owing to the tracks being blocked with debris, rocks and trees from a landslide. Darjeeling and Kalimpong Hills have been witnessing incessant rainfall for the past few days triggering landslides. On Tuesday, a landslide on the National Highway 55 in between Tindharia and Ghayabari resulted in the suspension of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway services from NJP to Darjeeling. “We are trying to clear the debris, rocks and trees that have fallen on the tracks. As soon as the lines are clear the NJP-Darjeeling services will resume,” stated a DHR official. The Darjeeling to Kurseong section is however functioning normally. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe NH55 between Kurseong and Siliguri was also closed to vehicular traffic owing to this landslide. Earth movers were pressed into service to clear the debris. By evening part of the debris were cleared thereby allowing vehicles to ply. A landslide at the Ghayabari bypass road from Ghayabari caused the road to sink. A part of the road was washed away. In Darjeeling town, there was a landslide in front of Loreto Convent school. Debris and soil from the slide blocked the road to the school. Earth movers were pressed into service to clear the road. The vulnerable hill side was covered with tarpaulin sheets to stop seepage of water. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBlocked drains and Jhoras further aggravated the situation. After a visit to the landslide site, Anit Thapa, Chairman, Gorkhaland Territorial Administration stated: “We have requested the Municipality to give priority to cleaning up the drains and jhoras to ensure smooth flow of water.” He then visited the Ghoom Jorebungalow area. “There are multiple slides in the Ghoom Jorebungalow area. Houses and roads have been damaged. We have called for a report of the damages. The earth moving equipment have been kept on standby. We are on alert and keeping a close tab on the situation. The GTA will also provide tarpaulin sheets in case of shortage,” added Thapa. Meanwhile, in Upper Rongpo Bustee in Kalimpong the house of one Manju Tamang was fully damaged in a landslide. However, there was no report of any human casualty. The Indian Meteorological Department in a weather bulletin has issued orange warning (heavy rainfall to very heavy rainfall) for July 10 to July 12. As per the bulleting Kalimpong received 14 cm of rainfall and Darjeeling 10 cm of rainfall in the past 24 hours.last_img read more