first_imgBAFFERT EYES PREAKNESS WITH IMPROBABLE BARGAIN CLAIM GYPSY BLU TRIES MILE SUNDAY 27% 12 Aaron Gryder42 56% Weekend Watch: Highlighting  weekend action at Santa Anita Park starting May 11th, 2019XBTV Saturday:  What to Watch for at Santa Anita Park on May 11th, 2019A Day in the Life with Santa Anita Park’s:  Bugler Jay CohenShadow Sphinx worked 4 furlongs (Baltas) 5-10-19Pricing worked 5 furlongs (Proctor) 5-10-19Catapult (Inside) worked 6 furlongs (Sadler) 5-10-19Shes All Woman worked 4 furlongs (O’Neill) 5-10-19Bombard (Outside) &  Next Gen work 5 furlongs (Mandella) 5-08-19Morse Code works 4 furlongs (Baltas) 5-08-19Resident Liberal works 4 furlongs (Proctor) 5-08-19Le Ken works 4 furlongs (McAnally) 5-08-19Just a Smidge (Outside) &  Mucho Gusto work 5 furlongs (Baffert) 5-08-19FINISH LINES: Santa Anita Handicap winner  Gift Box worked six furlongs in company this morning for the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. Under John Sadler assistant trainer Juan Leyva, Gift Box was clocked in 1:13.60 while stablemate  Foxtail was given a time of 1:14.40. In all there were 142 recorded workouts Saturday, 32 on the training track . . . Trainer Gary Sherlock on winning the meet’s first two-year-old race Friday with Roses for Laura under Edgar Payeras: “I wasn’t surprised. She had an edge training at San Luis Rey.” A California-bred daughter of Time to Get Even, Roses for Laura rallied from fourth in the 4 ½ furlong dash, closed resolutely on the rail entering the stretch and won by three lengths at a $9.80 mutuel . . . With three wins yesterday, Doug O’Neill opened a 12-8 lead over Richard Baltas in the trainers’ race. Winning at a 35 percent clip, O’Neill is in quest of his fifth overall title at The Great Race Place. The Spring portion of the current meet currently has six riders scrapping for the lead, Rafael Bejarano in front of Flavien Prat and Tiago Pereira, 12-10, followed by Ruben Fuentes, Joe Talamo and Victor Espinoza–yes, that Victor Espinoza–with nine wins each. Statistician Jason Hom reports favorites are winning 35.71 percent of the time (40 out of 112 races), while on dirt it increases to 37.50 (24 of 64) but on turf it diminishes to 33.33 (16 of 48). Bridge jumpers are enjoying a safe haven, as odds-on favorites have finished in the money 92.59 percent of the time, in 25 of 27 races. Winning odds-on favorites are more than half that at 51.85 percent (14 of 27) . . . Six jockeys who have won the Kentucky Derby in the last eight years call Santa Anita home: Mario Gutierrez (I’ll Have Another, 2012, and Nyquist, 2016); Victor Espinoza (California Chrome, 2014 and American Pharoah, 2015); Mike Smith (Justify, 2018); and Flavien Prat (Country Home, 2019) . . . Staunch Golden State fan Dean Pederson on how the Warriors ousted Houston from the NBA playoffs last night without injured mega-star Kevin Durant in the lineup: “We had the best  team,” the trainer said, with the emphasis on team . . . Treat Mom to an unforgettable Mothers’ Day Sunday with Santa Anita’s Turf Terrace and FrontRunner brunch. Please visit for details. SANTA ANITA STATISTICS 3 25% 5 12% 3rd 17% 55% Money Won 2 1 Tiago Pereira55 3 $93,980 0 2nd 17% 10 13% 0 7 9 Kent Desormeaux23 26% 1 4 Drayden Van Dyke35 $481,413 ITM% 3 Ruben Fuentes58 18% 9% Victor Espinoza24 14% 68% $300,341 $107,150 50% 8 2 19% 4 $455,010 1st $120,216 10 (Current from April 12 through Friday, May 10) 3 Philip D’Amato27 1 Edwin Maldonado25 33% 30% Heriberto Figueroa24 Geovanni Franco28 3 1 Flavien Prat34 7 $197,593 3 38% 0 10 $424,264 6 7 5 2 George Papaprodromou11 $282,003 9 6 9 6 24% $468,905 68% $218,669 4 2 13% 1 19% Money Won 3 4 Tim Yakteen8 2nd 8 John Shirreffs12 3 57% 47% 2 22% 2 29% 16% Assael Espinoza22 Win% 3 3 5 TrainerMts Mario Gutierrez25 8 Mark Glatt30 4 1 GIFT BOX BREEZES FOR GRADE I GOLD CUP MAY 27 60% $619,046center_img 3 2 54% 64% 1st 55% 16% 50% 4 50% William Spawr10 52% 8 Joseph Talamo47 2 Richard Baltas31 Eswan Flores17 MOTHERS HAVE A DESERVING DAY TOMORROW 15% 25% 41% 1 50% 35% 4 $270,818 Jerry Hollendorfer22 $474,287 2 $435,381 38% 37% 7 2 J. Keith Desormeaux14 John Sadler24 52% 29% 11 $123,616 63% 25% 4 6 4 0 1 Doug O’Neill34 1 5 $111,020 45% $407,180 Steve Knapp16 50% $252,292 $257,546 19% 5 $103,753 57% 8 0 73% 20% 36% 7% 2 3 7 2 9 3 46% 55% 9 $72,975 2 3 8 1 21% Brice Blanc12 3rd $202,979 0 3 ITM% 9 JockeyMts $243,291 14% BAFFERT’S DERBY TRIO CHECKS OUT FINEBob Baffert is back on the beat at Santa Anita after missing out on his sixth Kentucky Derby victory last Saturday, finishing fourth, fifth and 15th with Improbable, Game Winner and Roadster via disqualification of Maximum Security from first to 17th.“Game Winner got a little bit roughed up, so we had him checked out, but he was fine,” Baffert said of last year’s champion two-year-old male. “That’s nothing new, though, because it’s standard procedure for me. All three horses are still in Kentucky.”Baffert wasn’t about to enter the fray on the controversy surrounding the DQ of Maximum Security, however, opting to paraphrase the homespun yarn of American cowboy and humorist of eight decades ago Will Rogers with, “All I know is what I read.“That’s all I know.”STREAKING GYPSY BLU STRETCHES OUT IN FRAN’S VALENTINEBargain claim Gypsy Blu goes for her fourth straight win and her second stakes victory in a row Sunday in the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes for fillies three and older.The mile grass test is one in the lucrative Golden State Series for California-bred or sired runners.“All indications are more ground is not going to bother her,” trainer Mark Glatt said of Gypsy Blu, who will be running beyond seven furlongs for the first time in her nine-race career.Haltered for $20,000 on Jan. 19 this year for Jim Hailey and Philip Wood, Gypsy Blu reeled off three consecutive triumphs, including the restricted Irish O’Brien Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs on turf March 31.“She could be a late-closing sprinter so I tend not to believe they can get the distance until they do it,” Glatt said, “but she sure trains like she’ll go farther. She’s a long-striding mare and we’ll hope for the best.”A five-year-old bay daughter of Papa Clem, Gypsy Blue has five wins from eight starts and is unbeaten in three starts on Santa Anita’s turf course.The Fran’s Valentine, race seven of nine with a 1 p.m. first post time: Cordiality, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Sapphire Kid, Evin Roman, 15-1; Pulpit Rider, Aaron Gryder, 12-1; Queen Bee to You, Ruben Fuentes, 4-1; Halo Darlin, Geovanni Franco, 15-1; Fiery Lady, Mike Smith, 4-1; Bella Luna, Drayden Van Dyke, 10-1; Algorhythmic, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 12-1; and Gypsy Blu, Flavien Prat, 5-2.TO LOVING MOMS, HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAYMy Mom won’t make Mothers’ Day this year.She died on April 29 at the age of 101.Mom possessed qualities all mothers should have. She was kind, caring, loving, devoted and didn’t have a mean bone in her body.She never held a real job and never drove a car. She was just an old-fashioned housewife who cleaned, washed, ironed and took care of her two sons. And she was the greatest cook, chicken soup to die for.Mom would travel occasionally with my father who was a stand-up comic, performing almost until the end of his life at 87, but she wasn’t really crazy about the hustle-bustle of being an entertainer’s wife.Meeting Milton Berle, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frankie Laine were no big deal to her.She was a fastidious homemaker, couldn’t stand a crumb on the floor, was vain about her looks, got her hair coiffed every week, had manis and pedis, wore fine clothes. Marilyn Monroe had nothing on her.Hair bleached blonde, Mom looked like a movie star, too, but had Plain Jane values. She took care of her mother when she was dying of cancer and looked after her three sisters in their waning years, each dying in inverse order of their age.My Dad loved playing the horses and got me hooked, enabling me to have a successful career writing about them. Mom never bet on the ponies, although she did love the slots, and once hit a jackpot for $10,000 in an Atlantic City casino.I never gave Mom bad news. When her second husband died five years ago, I didn’t tell her, fearing it would kill her, too. Her memory was declining by then and eventually she almost never brought up his name.She couldn’t walk the last four years of her life, was confined to a wheelchair in an assisted living facility, hated the food–it wasn’t that bad–but loved the cold water and chocolate ice cream.She’d play bingo every week, participants thrilled when they got 15 cents for winning a single line game. Getting paid 50 cents for a full card “blackout” was like hitting the lottery.Her quality of life bordering on zero, Mom often told me that she just “wanted to go,” but whether I was 16 or 60, whenever we parted, her last words to me were always, “Be careful.”Only days before she died, as I said goodbye, with her last conscious breath she barely whispered from her wheel chair, “Be careful.”I left in silence with no response, reflecting in the knowledge of a mother’s wisdom from an anonymous source: “A mother understands what a child does not say.”To loving Moms everywhere, happy Mother’s Day.SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT CARRYOVER OF $429,880.Santa Anita’s popular 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six went unsolved again on Friday, resulting in a sizeable Jackpot carryover into Saturday of $429,880.With $108,543 in “new” money wagered yesterday, the Rainbow Six Jackpot pool reached $513,572. A total of 33 consolation tickets had all six winners, each worth $1,785.30.With a nine-race card on tap today, the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Barbara Stakes, for fillies and mares three and up at a mile and one half on turf, headlines proceedings as the fifth race of the day.Approximate post time for the fourth race, leg one in the Rainbow Six, is 2:30 p.m. PTLATEST CONTENT FROM XBTV:Pleasant d’ Oro works 4 furlongs (Callaghan) 5-11-19Gift Box (Outside) and  Foxtail worked 6 furlongs (Sadler) 5-11-19Soi Phet worked 4 furlongs (Powell) 5-11-19Vantastic worked 4 Furlongs (Eurton) 5-11-19Preakness Memories:  Gary Stevens talks about Silver Charm in 1997.Bob Baffert talks with Zoe Cadman about his three Kentucky Derby runners following the first Saturday in May. 12 30% 7 40% $97,613 $352,035 Rafael Bejarano62 53% $472,048 Martin Garcia26 Win% $120,451 12 LUCRATIVE $429,880 IS AT END OF THE ‘RAINBOW’ 0 2 6 4 Richard Mandella12 Andrew Lerner7 $117,545 2 $68,262 38% 6 $86,793last_img read more

Roy Keane asks ‘what are you staring at’ after saying United should sign Kane

first_imgIreland legend Keane’s transfer advice caught the attention of the other members of the Sky Sports studio, which also included former United boss Jose Mourinho.And the former United captain quipped ‘what are you all staring at?’Keane had previously expressed his disdain at United and Liverpool players ‘hugging and kissing’ each other in the tunnel before kick-off.Players from both sides exchanged greetings as they waited to take to the field much to the annoyance of Keane.And Keane said: “You’re going to war. Hugging and kissing? Don’t even look at the opposition, you’re going to battle against them.”Liverpool remain six points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table despite dropping their first points of the season so far.MOST READ IN SPORTTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battle’I ACCEPT’McGregor accepts Silva fight at UFC catchweight of 176lbs in huge super-fightTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramPicturedA CUT ABOVEMike Tyson shows two-inch cut ‘picked up in training’ ahead of boxing returnExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubRashford put United ahead with a goal that infuriated Klopp as Divock Origi looked to have been fouled in the build up.However Martin Atkinson gave the goal after a VAR check – with VAR also disallowing a Sadio Mane equaliser before half time due to handball.Super sub Adam Lallana rescued a point for Liverpool when he arrived at the back post to tap in Andy Robertson’s cross in the closing stages. ROY KEANE believes Manchester United should go and sign Harry Kane after today’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool.The Red Devils looked set to hand Jurgen Klopp’s Reds their first defeat of the Premier League season before Adam Lallana’s late equaliser.1 Roy Keane thinks Man United should sign Harry KaneCredit: EPAMarcus Rashford gave the home side the lead at Old Trafford but Gary Neville and Graeme Souness in the Sky Sports studio both agreed that United needed to increase their attacking firepower.And Keane believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should sign Spurs’ talismanic striker Kane to solve his problems in attack.He said: “Go and get Kane from Spurs. Easy, just go and get him.”He’d score 20 goals a season for you with his eyes closed.””Go and get Kane from Spurs, it’s easy. What are you all staring at?” 😳Roy Keane’s simple answer to #MUFC’s striker situation was to go and sign Harry Kane. ✍️— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 20, 2019last_img read more

Champs Watch 17: Streaks in sky blue and green & black

first_imgCalabar High and Edwin Allen High turn into 2017 with growing Boys and Girls’ Championships title streaks on the line. Calabar have gone five straight and Edwin Allen three. However, while Michael Dyke’s Edwin Allen conglomerate looks unstoppable, Michael Clarke and Calabar face far greater resistance each year. Kingston College have nurtured a good-looking team with strength in Class One, Two, and Three, while Calabar seem a little weaker in the lower two classes on paper. Still, Calabar head coach, Clarke, is a formidable strategist and will have fully understood the task ahead. Already, his Class Two and Class Three forces look a bit better than expected. The last time a girls’ team won the Games Mistresses Trophy three times in a row, that streak reached nine, with Holmwood Technical looking like a juggernaut from 2003 to 2011. Ironically, the last time a boys’ team went five straight, it was Kingston College painting high school athletics purple and white from 2001 to 2006. Calabar stopped that streak, and Kingston College will want to return the favour to protect the longest-winning Championships run, their own 14-year domination, which started in 1962 and kept going until 1976. Dyke watched his friend Maurice Wilson guide Holmwood to nine wins in a row. While the soft-spoken Edwin Allen head coach probably won’t say, that is likely to be his minimum goal. What he has said is ominous. In a recent interview, he described his 2017 team as the best he has ever had. For the record, the biggest streak in Girls’ Championships history is the monumental 15 in-a-row by Vere Technical High. Hydel High School, first-timers at Champs in 2010, are now a powerhouse, but coach Corey Bennett is uncomfortable with the recent ISSA ruling to limit the number of events one athlete can do at Boys and Girls’ Championships. “At Hydel, you know, we don’t normally get the best of the best athletes coming, so the few athletes that we have that have some talent,” he explained, “we tend to try to teach them more than one discipline. “We try not to specialise them too early, and the ruling is basically forcing us to specialise”, he continued, “and that’s what I’m afraid of. “It is really tying our hands,” he concluded, “because if we knew this in August, with a little more preparation, we would have liked it then, but to tell us this in January for a March meet is almost ridiculous.” With Hydel and others like Vere grappling with that dilemma, perhaps St Jago High School and Holmwood will carry the fight to Edwin Allen. The true test of both streaks will begin on March 28. That’s when the 2017 edition of the world’s greatest high school meet gets under way at the National Stadium. – Hubert Lawrence has been attending Champs since 1980.last_img read more

Tornadoes kill at least 10 in Texas town

first_img“It was a whole family, and they were all together, probably like they were huddling,” said police Officer Ezekiel Navjas, who arrived Tuesday night just as crews were pulling from the wreckage the body of the girl, believed to be about 5 years old. “I’ve never seen nothing like this,” he said, shaking his head as he walked down a dirt road lined with homes cut in half like doll houses and mesquite treetops torn from their trunks. One of the dead was found in a house, and the other died after being taken to a San Antonio hospital, authorities said. More than 80 others were injured, and at least four remained in critical condition Wednesday. Across the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras, three people were killed and 300 homes were damaged. About 1,000 people sought refuge in shelters in Piedras Negras, where 37 people were killed in flash flooding three years ago. Neither Eagle Pass nor Piedras Negras had a siren warning system like those used to help people evacuate ahead of the same storm when it flooded streets and peeled roofs off homes in North Texas. No injuries were reported there. EAGLE PASS, Texas – All residents were accounted for Wednesday after crews scoured the mangled remains of houses and trailer homes in the wake of tornadoes that killed at least 10 people in this border community and its Mexican neighbor. The storm killed two other people in Louisiana and Arkansas. Twisters cut across a nearly 4-square-mile area in a rural community southeast of Eagle Pass on Tuesday night, destroying two empty elementary schools, a church, business and homes. Several mobile homes were still missing as searchers with dogs went lot to lot. Maverick County Judge Jose Aranda said all residents on the Texas side were accounted for, but that 50 to 200 families were left homeless. A family of five – a girl, her parents and two other relatives – were killed when the winds blew their mobile home across the street and slammed it into Rosita Valley Elementary School. Lightning was blamed for a death Wednesday as the huge weather system plowed through the Mississippi and Ohio valleys. The bolt started a fire near Shreveport, La., that killed a 101-year-old man, authorities and the man’s family said. A 12th person died in Arkansas when high winds swamped a boat on a lake, officials said. The sprawling front also spun off tornadoes Tuesday in Oklahoma and Colorado, caused flooding in Iowa and Nebraska, and piled snow more than a foot deep in the Rockies. About 350 residents from Eagle Pass were in shelters and were kept from their homes until rescuers completed their search of the area. Search teams made up of police, firefighters, Border Patrol agents and National Guard soldiers picked their way through homes, knocking on doors, calling out to residents and marking searched buildings with spray paint. Gov. Rick Perry arrived for a tour in the late afternoon, saying he was pleased with officials’ response. The state has asked the federal government for quick assistance and a disaster declaration, which would entitle it to federal aid. “It is stunning, the devastation,” he said. Eagle Pass resident Ricardo Tijerina, who rode out the twisters with his six children in a house near the school, said he saw the weather roll in and expected a typical spring storm. “I saw some clouds, but I never imagined it was going to be that bad,” said Tijerina. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Video: Man United teen scores quality hat-trick on debut

first_imgWayne Rooney is on the back pages for the wrong reason today – 28 September 2014 – but exactly 10 years ago he was being celebrated.Man United’s captain was sent off in the club’s 2-1 win against West Ham, however, following a £27m move from Everton in 2004, Rooney scored a fantastic hat-trick against Fenerbahce on his debut.It was a dream start to his career as United tore the Turkish side apart in a 6-2 Champions League win.And it was a sign of things to come from the 18-year-old Rooney, who has now scored 219 goals in 448 games, while his 176 Premier League goals means he is edging closer to Alan Shearer’s record of 260.last_img read more

Swansea City confirm new three-year deal for defender

first_imgSwansea defender Kyle Naughton has signed a new three-year contract.Naughton had 12 months left on his previous deal, but the new contract will now keep him at the Liberty Stadium until 2020.The 28-year-old started his career at Sheffield United and joined Swansea from Tottenham for £5million in January 2015.The former England Under-21 right-back has made 71 appearances for Swansea.His solitary goal came in the 2-0 win at Sunderland in May which secured the club’s Premier League status. 1 Kyle Naughton last_img read more

2017-2018 WEF Global Competitiveness Index results – a wake-up call to South Africa

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 27 September 2017 – Brand South Africa noted with concern South Africa’s declined performance in the 2017-2018 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index (WEF GCI). South Africa now ranks 61 out of 137 economies assessed in the annual survey.The South African flag flies at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on 17 January 2017. (Image: World Economic Forum)This is a regression of 14 positions from the 2016-2017 WEF GCI results. Following on two years where the country made strong progress in the global competitiveness rankings, this year’s results is a wake-up call to the nation.Speaking about the results, Brand South Africa’s CEO Dr Kingsley Makhubela said according to this WEF report, ‘South Africa’s declined competitiveness profile can be attributed to low GDP growth forecasts at just 1.0 percent in 2017 and 1.2 percent in 2018 – hit by persistently low international demand for its commodities’.“It is also concerning that the financial sector has been affected by uncertainty as can be seen in the dramatic drop in performance in this indicator, while historically low levels of business confidence have now clearly impacted on the competitiveness profile of the Nation Brand. We note decreasing competitiveness in Institutions, Macro-economic environment, Goods and market efficiency, and Financial market development. Meaning that both government and the private sector should take heed of the deteriorating competitiveness indicators.”“While we note the over-all drop in competitiveness of the South African economy, the country improved on Labour market efficiency by four positions (93/137), Infrastructure improved with three positions (61/137), and Health & Primary education with two positions (121/137).A WEF finding notes that South Africa’s infrastructure is the best developed in the region. (Image: SA Tourism)“This means that all is not lost, however, as a nation there are several lessons to take from the WEF report indicators. As an open and transparent democratic system, leaders and public officials have to work much harder on maintaining high ethical standards in their conduct especially as it pertains to the fight against corruption and wastefulness in the public sector. Having said that, the private sector – especially in the financial sector, should pay attention to the drop in performance in the sector’s competitiveness,” said Dr Makhubela.It is important to note that the executive opinion survey sample had drastically increased between 2016 and 2017 from 44 to 170 respectively. This means that a completely new sample informed the opinion survey conducted for the 2017 index. WEF notes that the year-on-year change in the sample constitutes a structural break in how the results are reflected. Additionally, unlike previous years, the South African Opinion Survey was solely conducted online.“Brand South Africa will share with stakeholders a much more detailed analysis of the findings and will be working with stakeholders to establish focused efforts and implement measures that address the challenges documented in the WEF report,” concluded Dr Makhubela.last_img read more

NGT relief for motorcycle unit

first_imgBased on recommendations of an inspection committee, the National Green Tribunal(NGT) has set aside an order directing Hero Motorcorp to connect its effluent discharge unit to a common effluent treatment plant.A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “We accept the recommendations and set aside the impugned order subject to the condition that the pollution control board must regularly monitor the unit for compliance.”Challenging a notice issued by the Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board, that directed the unit to connect its effluent discharge unit to a CETP, the unit had contended that it was a zero liquid discharge unit.Referring to the inspection report, the green panel observed that if the effluent discharge was more than the permitted limit, the unit will have to upgrade its unit.“In case, in the future, the waste water generation be more, the system will be upgraded to comply with the recommendations and the law” the Bench said.The report submitted by the inspection report stated, “A time bound action plan for reduction of waste water generation through water conservation measures shall be submitted and implemented by the unit to ensure that the total waste water does not exceed 270 KLD at the inlet of ETP or 320 KLD at the outlet of ETP.”last_img read more

July 5 to be a historic day with AAC in Odisha: Naveen

first_imgBhubaneswar, Jul 4 (PTI) Ahead of the opening ceremony of the 22nd Asian Athletic Championship here, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik described it as a historic day for the state. “Tomorrow marks a historic day for #Odisha. The #ACC 2017 will get going, signalling states emergence as a strong force in global sports arena,” Patnaik tweeted.The chief minister said he is looking forward to the grand opening ceremony and events.”Seek cooperation of all to make #AAC2017 the best in the history of @AsianAthletics,” Patnaik tweeted. The state capital is poised to host the championship with arrival of dignitaries like Sebastian Coe, president, International Association of Athletic Federations, Dahlan Al-Hamad, president, Asian Athletic Association, Adille Sumariwalla, president, Athletic Federation of India, C K Valson, secretary, AFI and Indias popular sportswoman P T Usha.The state government has already announced a half-day holiday tomorrow for the inaugural ceremony.About 800 athletes representing 44 countries along with more than 300 officials from various sports bodies will participate in the sporting event.The event is being held at the Kalinga Stadium here, where there will be about 42 track and field events. Olly, the official mascot has been welcomed at different places.In the synchronised march past of participants, sprinter Srabani Nanda will hold the tri-colour. All flag bearers will have a colourful look with Odishas Sambalpuri sarees, an official statement issued by the state government said.The Kalinga Stadium has been transformed to become a world class track and field facility, adhering to the norms of International Association of Athletic Federation, said sports and youth affairs secretary Vishal Dev.advertisementDev said utmost care has been taken for accommodation and transportation.There is complete preparedness for safety and rescue operations. About 500 volunteers have been mobilised from different colleges, medical and management institutes, besides sports specific volunteers, Dev said. PTI AAM DKB AH AHlast_img read more

Messi Reaches 100 CL Goals, Barcelona Beats Chelsea 3-0

first_imgBARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi joined Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League’s 100-goal club after scoring twice to lead Barcelona past Chelsea and into the Champions League quarterfinals for an 11th straight season on Wednesday.Messi also set up Ousmane Dembele in a 3-0 win at Camp Nou after he had scored Barcelona’s goal in the opening-leg 1-1 draw in London.Messi beat Thibaut Courtois with two strikes between the Chelsea goalkeeper’s legs from very tight angles on the side of the box. He struck the opener three minutes into the match and took Barcelona’s third goal in the 63rd.Ronaldo, with 117 goals, is the only other player to reach the century-mark in Europe’s elite club competition. Messi reached his 100th goal in 123 matches, while Real Madrid’s star needed 144 games.But the most dazzling moment from the Argentina forward, who returned from missing one match for the birth of his third son on Saturday, came when he helped Dembele score his first goal for Barcelona after he stole the ball from former Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas and darted past two would-be tacklers in the 20th.While Chelsea coach Antonio Conte lamented his players’ near misses — they hit the woodwork four times over the two legs — he lavished praise on Messi, whom he congratulated on the pitch following the final whistle.“I think when you have the opportunity to make a great compliment to Messi, it is right to recognize a super, super, super top player,” Conte said. “We are talking about an extraordinary player. The best in the world. This type of player is born once in 50 years.”Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, left, celebrates with Lionel Messi after scoring his side’s second goal during the Champions League round of sixteen second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)Barcelona remained unbeaten in 25 straight Champions League matches at Camp Nou, a run that dates back to 2013. The hosts also stayed in contention for a rare treble of titles. They lead the Spanish league and have reached the final of the Copa del Rey.Chelsea will now have to focus on finishing in the top four in the Premier League to return to tournament. It is currently in fifth place.Also on Wednesday, Bayern Munich won 3-1 at Besiktas to advance 8-1 on aggregate.Conte looked to repeat the team’s relative success at frustrating Barcelona’s attack from the first leg with its back line of five defenders.But Messi needed very little to poke a hole in Chelsea’s wall.Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer started an attack with a pass meant for Dembele that was twice deflected before Luis Suarez deftly flicked it back to Messi.The Argentine forward targeted the only gap available: the slot in-between the legs of Courtois.“We know that we can always count on him,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said. “It goes with his character and the responsibility he feels for the team.”That ability to know exactly what his teammates need was clear when Messi swooped in to steal the ball from Fabregas in midfield and charged toward the box. Instead of passing to Suarez, he let the striker draw the remaining defenders to him, and then passed across for the unmarked Dembele to drive a rising shot over Courtois.Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side’s third goal during the Champions League round of sixteen second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)It was Dembele’s first goal for Barcelona in his 12th appearance for the club and could represent a breakthrough for the 20-year-old France winger, who had been hesitant and error-prone in his previous games after recovering from two injuries since his move from Borussia Dortmund that could reach 147 million euros (about $173 million).Despite getting nothing from striker Olivier Giroud, Chelsea continued to press for a goal and came closest near the end of the first half.Willian and Eden Hazard both drew saves from goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen and defender Samuel Umtiti before Marcos Alonso then sent a free kick off the post in injury time.Dembele also contributed in defense when he hustled back to make a clean tackle of Alonso when he was preparing to shot from close early in the second half.Messi made sure of the victory when he received a pass from Suarez and sped around a group of three defenders before humbling Courtois with a second strike between the legs.Antonio Rudiger came closest to a consolation goal for Chelsea, but his header hit the crossbar in the 90th minute, adding more near misses to Willian’s two shots off the woodwork from the first leg.—By JOSEPH WILSON , Associated PressChelsea’s Victor Moses, center left, vies for the ball with Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets during the Champions League round of sixteen second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. 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