Dust still to settle after dramatic world swimming  championships

first_imgBy Peter RutherfordGWANGJU, South Korea (Reuters) – If the world swimming championships in Gwangju were just a taste of what is to come at the 2020 Olympics, then in the words of recently retired Australian sprinter James Magnussen — “Brace yourselves”.A meet that was supposed to serve as an indicator of form heading into next year’s Games in Tokyo, the championships delivered this and more. Much, much more.Champions were dethroned, new national heroes born and world records smashed. Swimmers pushed the limits of performance and the boundaries of sportsmanship. The scourge of doping reared its head once more.After winning six gold and two silver medals, it would be safe to say Caeleb Dressel will arrive in Tokyo with a huge target on his back. The U.S. sprint specialist became the first swimmer to win eight medals at a single world championships, taking down Olympic great Michael Phelps’s 10-year-old 100 meters butterfly world record for good measure.The 22-year-old became the spearhead of the U.S. challenge in Gwangju after freestyle queen Katie Ledecky succumbed to illness and, after surrendering her 400 title to rising Australian star Ariarne Titmus, pulled out of two more events.Ledecky recovered enough to defend her 800 title but health issues notwithstanding, a growing cast of rivals will perhaps feel emboldened after Gwangju, where Italian Simona Quadarella emerged as a threat in the 800 and won the 1,500. There was no shortage of swimming storylines. Britain’s Adam Peaty proved peerless in the 100 breaststroke once again, completing his ‘Project 56’ by becoming the first swimmer to breach 57 seconds.He also won gold in the 50 and another from Britain’s sensational 4×100 medley relay win on the final night of competition. “Looking good for next year and all ready for what comes with a bunch of four lads who are young but gathering experience,” said Peaty after the relay. “And yeah, I think we are going to smash it.”PODIUM PROTESTSBut performances in the pool were overshadowed by events on the podium as simmering anger over world governing body FINA’s handling of doping issues boiled over in spectacular fashion.China’s Sun Yang was allowed to compete in Gwangju despite the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealing a FINA doping panel’s decision to clear the 27-year-old of wrongdoing during a random drug test last September.Documents leaked to the media revealed the multiple world and Olympic champion questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed the vials containing his blood samples with a hammer.After Sun, who also served a doping suspension in 2014, won the 400 freestyle on Sunday, silver medalist Mack Horton refused to share the podium with him. Two days later, British bronze medalist Duncan Scott would not shake Sun’s hand or pose for a group photo with him after his victory in the 200, sparking an angry, aggressive response from the Chinese swimmer on the podium.FINA sent warning letters to all three swimmers and tweaked its code of conduct in response to the incidents, with Executive Director Cornel Marculescu confirming athletes could be stripped of their medals for similar behavior in future.Major sporting events rarely escape the ugly menace of doping and Gwangju was no different. Australian swimmer Shayna Jack, who withdrew from the team just before the world championships, confirmed she had tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test.Swimming Australia (SA) came under heavy fire for concealing the news given Jack’s team mate Horton was waging a public campaign against Sun over the Chinese swimmer’s doping history.Responding to accusations of hypocrisy and double standards, SA Chief Executive Leigh Russell said: ‘An Australian swimmer returning a positive result is both bitterly disappointing and embarrassing to our team, our sport and our country”. Australia will hope it can restore its battered reputation before next year’s Olympics.last_img read more

Beat writers predict outcome of Syracuse-Maryland men’s lacrosse quarterfinal game

first_img Published on May 20, 2016 at 10:31 pm No. 8 seed Syracuse (12-4, 2-2 Atlantic Coast) faces top-seeded Maryland (15-2, 5-0 Big Ten) at noon on Saturday in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals at Brown Stadium in Providence, Rhode Island.Here’s how our beat writers predict the matchup will unfold.Connor GrossmanSyracuse 13, Maryland 7Upset alertSyracuse is primed to keep its roll going, and it’ll do so on Saturday with another elite performance by Ben Williams at the faceoff X. Top-seeded Maryland has rotated between freshman Austin Henningsen and Will Bonaparte taking faceoffs, but neither will be able to counter a rested Williams, who will give SU’s deep offense ample opportunities to score. The Orange will avenge its NCAA tournament quarterfinal loss to Johns Hopkins last year and pack its bags for Philadelphia and another Final Four berth.Jon MettusSyracuse 11, Maryland 9Shell-shockedThe Orange sheds all sense of doubt brought on by its first half against Albany and outgains the Terrapins in possession and on the draw. Faceoff specialist Ben Williams, driven by his winless opening quarter a week earlier, helps Syracuse beat Maryland the way the Terps have toppled the Orange in the last two meetings. The Terrapins defense keeps it in the game, but SU’s spread out attack finally becomes too much.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPaul SchwedelsonMaryland 11, Syracuse 10Slow and steadyThe Terrapins are the No. 1 seed for a reason and their 14-game win streak won’t come to an end on Saturday. Maryland has balance throughout its entire team and the sixth-best defense in the nation won’t be over-matched by SU’s diverse offense. Henningsen has won 63.5 percent of his faceoffs this season and can be Ben Williams’ kryptonite in Providence. The Terps have reached the Final Four in four of the last five years and that dominant stretch continues with a fifth trip since 2011. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Soldiers to be disciplined

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The U.S.-led coalition’s operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said two junior officers who ordered the bodies burned would be reprimanded for showing a lack of cultural and religious understanding, but that the men had been unaware at the time of doing anything wrong. Kamiya also said two noncommissioned officers would be reprimanded for using the burning of the bodies to taunt the rebels. The two men also would face nonjudicial punishments, which could include a loss of pay or demotion in rank. “Our investigation found there was no intent to desecrate the remains but only to dispose of them for hygienic reasons,” Kamiya said. He added that the broadcasts about the burned remains, while “designed to incite fleeing Taliban to fight,” violated military policy. Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid, who attended the military’s news conference in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, said, “We have confidence in this investigation.” But Islamic clerics criticized the findings of the probe. KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Four U.S. soldiers face disciplinary action for burning the bodies of two Taliban rebels – a videotaped incident that sparked outrage in Afghanistan – but they will not be prosecuted because their actions were motivated by hygienic concerns, the military said Saturday. TV footage recorded Oct. 1 in a violent part of southern Afghanistan showed American soldiers setting fire to the bodies and then boasting about the act on loudspeakers to taunt insurgents suspected to be hiding in a nearby village. Islam bans cremation, and the video images were compared to photographs of U.S. troops abusing prisoners at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. Afghanistan’s government condemned the desecration. Muslim clerics warned of a violent anti-American backlash, though there have been no protests so far. American commanders immediately launched an inquiry and vowed that anyone found guilty would be severely punished, fearing the incident could undermine public support for the war against a stubborn insurgency four years after U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban. “These soldiers should be severely punished,” said Khair Mohammed, a senior cleric in Kandahar. “Foreign soldiers in Afghanistan must respect our religion. If they continue to do things like this, every Muslim will be against them.” A purported Taliban commander in Shah Wali Kot district, where the bodies were burned, said he was “outraged the Americans burned the bodies of our dead. “The Americans always claimed to respect human rights, our culture and religion, but now the whole world knows that these are all lies,” he told The Associated Press by satellite phone from an undisclosed location. The footage shows about five soldiers in light-colored military fatigues, which did not have any distinguishing marks, standing near a bonfire in which two bodies were laid side by side. Kamiya said the temperature at the time was 90 degrees, and the bodies had lain exposed on the ground for 24 hours and were rapidly decomposing. “This posed an increasing health concern for our soldiers,” Kamiya said. “The criminal investigation proved there was no violation of the rules of war.” The Geneva Convention forbids the burning of combatants except for hygienic purposes. The bodies were found atop a hill after a firefight, and Kamiya said soldiers, intending to stay on the hill for two or three days for strategic reasons, believed other Taliban had fled into the village below. The cameraman, freelance journalist Stephen Dupont, said he shot the footage while embedded with the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade. Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his own inquiry into the videotape. That probe has also been completed, but officials say it is not clear when its findings will be released. Though Afghan media have reported the alleged desecration, the videotape has not been broadcast in the country, which some observers believe is the main reason there have been no demonstrations. The last violent anti-American protests in Afghanistan were in May over a report by Newsweek – later retracted – that U.S. soldiers at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility abused Islam’s holy book, the Quran. 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

Gardaí investigating incident on Main Street Letterkenny

first_imgAn investigation is ongoing following an incident on Letterkenny Main Street.Gardaí have cordoned off an area between two pubs, where it is believed that a serious assault occurred in the early hours of Monday morning.More to follow.  Gardaí investigating incident on Main Street Letterkenny was last modified: April 29th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

Confident Groves squares up to Froch

first_imgGeorge Groves has insisted he will upset the odds and become world champion by dethroning Carl Froch when they clash in Manchester on 23 November.Tickets for the super-middleweight showdown at the 20,000-capacity Phones4U Arena sold out within 11 minutes of going on sale.Hammersmith’s unbeaten Commonwealth champion, 25, will be the underdog against the vastly experienced Froch – 11 years his senior.But Groves was in typically confident mood when the pair went face-to-face at a press conference on Tuesday.“It’s going to be a very exciting fight and I’m not surprised it has sold out,” said Groves.“This is going to be one of the biggest fights we’re going to see in the next few years.“This is my time, 100%. I can’t wait to get in there and show everyone that although I’m probably the underdog this is a fight I’m more than ready for and I’m going to be world champion.”Champion Froch has accused the challenger of showing a lack of respect and was also angry that Groves helped Denmark’s Mikkel Kessler prepare for his fight with the Nottingham man this year.Froch, who avenged a defeat against Kessler by winning that rematch, holds the WBA and IBF belts and believes he will retain them in emphatic style.“I’m in a totally different league to George Groves,” he claimed.“He’s not mixed at this level in his whole career. I need to do the business against this young pretender and do it in style.“I can’t see this fight going the distance. At some stage George Groves is going to have to stand in front of me and fight for survival.”See also:Groves and Froch meet face-to-face ahead of title showdownFroch predicts one-sided title defence against ‘young pretender’ GrovesGroves: Champion Froch is not as good as he thinks he 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

A’s Japan exhibition win livened up by unique Tokyo Dome atmosphere

first_imgClick HERE if you’re unable to view the gallery on your mobile device.TOKYO — It was only an exhibition game, but the atmosphere inside the Tokyo Dome made the first matchup between the A’s and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters feel like something much more special.Everything about the pregame batting practice in the A’s 5-1 victory over the Fighters Sunday seemed like an important game. The Japanese fans arrived early and marveled at the show put on by A’s sluggers Khris Davis and Matt Olson. …last_img

Lens vs Camera: Which is a Better Investment?

first_imgEvery year, high-end digital cinema cameras get released, effectively rendering their predecessors outdated. Should you invest in new lenses instead?It’s hard not to get swept up in the hype that surrounds new digital cinema camera announcements – especially at this time of year. With NAB just around the corner (where the majority of new camera announcements are made), we’re already starting to see some really big news dropping from the usual suspects. ARRI has announced their latest offering, The ALEXA Mini, while RED Digital Cinema recently starting teasing their new upgrade for DRAGON cameras, called Weapon. This is all well and good, as it’s important for our industry to constantly have the best tools on the market and for tech to be pushed forward at an exponential rate. However, for anyone investing in camera bodies, it can be a very frustrating time of the year. Image from Crystal Pyramid ProductionsMany cinematographers will attend NAB and immediately pre-order gear before they’veve even had a chance to try out the cameras or see proper test footage. It’s quite common for the first generation of any electronic product to have technical issues, and unfortunately, it’s usually the users that support these cameras early on that end up getting the short end of the stick. Not to mention that they often need to wait so long to get their gear that, by the time it actually comes in, there’s already a next generation camera around the corner that probably has better specs at a lower pricepoint.  For these reasons and more, many filmmakers, DPs, and other creative pros who are considering investing in camera gear are choosing not to. For many, renting cameras on a project to project basis has become the way to go, and for others a different investment has become preferable – Lenses. Below I have broken down 3 reasons why lenses are a far better investment today than camera bodies:1. They have more longevityA great piece of glass is timeless. You could take a vintage lens from 40 or 50 years ago, mount it to an ARRI ALEXA, and the results will be amazing – as long as the lens was kept in good condition. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for cameras. Many years ago, when film was still the standard, a DP could invest in a film camera (like at Arriflex SR2) and use that camera for years to come. At that time, technology didn’t move nearly as fast, and the camera was a much smaller part of the overall equation with regards to image quality. If a new film stock came out, that stock could be used in an old camera and that camera could potentially capture images that were on par with a brand new film camera. Unfortunately with digital, that is obviously not the case. The good news however, is that lenses do still have the longevity that film cameras once did. If you invest in a really high quality lens kit (let’s say Zeiss Super Speeds), those lenses are going to stay relevant for many years to come. Image from Shutterstock2. You can use them across multiple camerasOne of the greatest things about lenses is the fact that they are so adaptable, and therefore so valuable in any number of filmmaking scenarios. A camera is just a camera. It does what it does, until it either is outdated or breaks down and then it’s replaced. Lenses, on the other hand, are far more universal and can be used on any camera that you buy, rent, own, or are asked to shoot on. If you are a DP that owns an excellent lens kit, that’s going to be just as enticing to many producers as owning a RED camera would be. Many production companies and producers own camera gear too, so if you are brought onto a production that already has a RED DRAGON, for instance, you could sweeten the deal by offering to bring your Cooke Primes to set with you, which may very well help you land the gig and up your rate. Not to mention these lenses can be used on your own cameras at any point too, and will continue to work for years to come as new camera bodies continue to come and go.Image from Focal Point Photography3. They rent betterJust about everyone wants to invest in a RED or an ALEXA so that they can rent it out, either directly or through a rental house. The problem of course is that so many people are doing this now that rental houses are flooded with these cameras, and many shooters that have invested in expensive digital cinema cameras end up finding it extremely difficult to rent them out. The cameras end up collecting dust on a shelf somewhere. Lenses however, will always rent better. Far fewer people are investing in great glass, and lenses (as we saw in the previous point) are so adaptable that a single lens kit will be relevant to far more potential productions than a camera body would be. In other words, a production that’s looking to shoot on ALEXA isn’t going to want to rent your RED camera, but they very well might want to rent your Schneider PL Mount lenses… The same of course would be true of a production shooting on a Sony F55, Panavision VariCam, or any other number of PL mounted cameras. If you’re going to invest in a new lens soon, here are some helpful articles that might help decide which direction to go:9 Questions to Ask When Buying a New LensWhat is the Fastest Lens Possible?10 Things to Know About Shooting with Vintage LensesHow many obsolete camera bodies are sitting in your studio right now? Got any thoughts on the Lens vs Camera debate? Let’s discuss in the comments below.last_img read more