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Off Road Legends: A Conversation with Eastern Mountain Bike Legend Matt Marcus

first_imgOff Road Legends: A conversation with Matt MarcusMatt Marcus has been mountain biking since before they called it mountain biking. Right now, He’s is 600 miles into a bike adventure down the East Coast to the Florida Keys. He’s not counting on getting there until he’s there. After a long day’s ride, he called in to talk about his life and his favorite sport.“When Matt was really into mountain biking and early days of the scene, there was no internet. He lived it, but didn’t blog about it. His memory is really good and he has the mind of a great trial lawyer,” said fellow old-school Blue Ridge mountain bike legend Susan Haywood, of Marcus. “I would describe him as an early pioneer of East Coast mountain biking and racing. He lived in the D. C. area and worked as a bicycle messenger. He would travel every weekend to races or to ride in Canaan on the tough stuff. He was a weekend warrior that finally made the leap to move to Canaan. He eventually bought Blackwater Bikes in Davis and was the face of mountain biking in Canaan for many years.”Continued Haywood: “He was involved in WVMBA ( West Virginia Mountain Bike Association) and IMBA( International Mountain Bike Association) and was a strong advocate for trail access, especially at a time when trails were getting shut down. He wasn’t always the diplomat in these situations, but his strong passion for trails dictated his actions. And even though he was sometimes on the extreme end of the spectrum, it was what was needed to save trails.”BRO: What did you do before you discovered mountain biking?MM: I was a bike messenger in D.C. That’s when I first saw mountain bikes sold commercially—at a bike shop in Gerogetown. Another bike messenger had a Stumpjumper—one of the first mountain bikes that ever came out. My buddy was more of a BMX rider and I was a road rider at the time. We both got into it heavily. He ended up being a pro. He was really fast.I started racing up in West Virginia and ended up moving there in 1988. I bought Blackwater Bikes in 1990. Owned it for ten years. I worked there before I owned it and I’ve worked there on and off since I sold it. I might end up working there again.BRO: Coming from an urban/road biking background what attracted you to mountain biking?MM: Being able to ride in the woods on trails and up steep hills was alluring. My friend and I got into the mountain bike scene together. It was fun going to races with him because he would win a lot. Davis, West Virginia, was the first place we went to race truly gnarly off-road stuff. People would come from Georgia, New York, parts of New England, and Florida—all over the East coast.The first race I rode was in Rock Creek Park before they outlawed biking there. But it was pretty sketchy. It was an off-road bike messenger race so it was pretty funny.The first real mountain bike race I entered was 1984, The Canaan Mountain Series in Davis, WV. Laird Knight was the race promoter and started it in 1983. We were going through rivers and swamps. It was serious, hardcore, sick downhill stuff. You could probably ride it now on a downhill bike but then it was sketchy on a rigid bike. We rode everything rigid then. There was not much suspension at the time. The Canaan Mountain Series is one of the oldest continuously run mountain bike race in the world, definitely the oldest and longest still running on the east coast.BRO: If you could have an on-going theme song while you biked, what would it be?MM: “Jumping in the fire” by Harry Nilsson. That’s been running in my head all day.BRO: What was your first mountain bike?MM: Univega Alpina 1983 model.BRO: Do you have a name for your mountain bike?MM: (Laughs) no, I mean it’s named Cannondale Scalpel. Some people do though.BRO: What has been your proudest moment in the sport?MM: When my friend Nick Wait won the Junior National Championship in 2001 (fc). Another was when Sue Haywood got chose to represent the U.S. in the Olympics. It was a proud moment though it later went to court and she got it yanked from her. Watch the movie called off-road To Athens. It’s a big part of mountain bike history. It would take a whole other interview to tell you that one, buddy. Those are the two moments I’m most proud of because I was involved with both those athletes in terms of riding with them and getting them started in the sport.BRO: Is the sport worth the risk/danger?Well of course, yes, it’s worth the risk/danger. There are plenty of other things that are a hell of a lot more dangerous and people do them all the time. High School football; driving to Walmart is probably more dangerous than mountain biking.On this trip I’m on now, I left Durham, NC and hit part of the East coast greenway. It’s a 20-30 mile long rail trail and I never had to worry about my safety in terms of cars or trucks or anything. Those are the kinds of facilities that would be nice to have. If there were a cross-country rail trail, I would be on it in a heartbeat. Those are the kind of facilities that would make the sport of cycling stronger, in general.BRO: Where is your favorite place to ride a mountain bike in the U.S.?MM: West Virginia is what I’m most familiar with. Davis and Canaan Valley, that area. I love one of the newer trails in the area called Splash Dam. North/Central West Virginia is rocky, rooty, muddy, plateau. Its not as friendly to beginners. It’s more hardcore technical and rocky.Other place I’ve been that I love to ride? Moab, obviously, and there are some other really cool places around there. Gooseberry and Fruita. Steamboat Springs in Colorado is really great, too. There’s some really awesome riding down in Central and South America. I want to go to Guatemala. I did the death road in Bolivia…It’s not a mountain bike ride but it’s really cool. It starts at something like 16,000 ft. and ends at something like 2,000 feet.BRO: Can you tell me about the moonshiners?MM: Back when I owned the bike shop in the 90s, I came across this story on this sheet of paper about how back in the 1920s during Prohibition moonshiners made these bicycles with gearing that they used to run the moonshine over the mountains from Dryfork, W.V., in Randolph County. That’s the story and if I ever find it again I’ll send it to you. I don’t even know where it came from.But it wasn’t one group. Hundreds of people all over the world discovered mountain biking. It was just the guys out in California that finally took it to production. They’re the ones who pulled it off. It seems like there are more bike shops in California and Florida than anywhere else in the U.S. and its because of the climate and terrain.BRO: Where do you see the future of the sport going?MM: I think mountain biking has matured to the point where the technology is not going to go as fast anymore, maybe. But who knows because there’s always new stuff the manufacturers want to build. First there were 26in wheels then 29in and 650b and now people are riding these fat bikes in snow and sand. The sports going to keep evolving and changing and people will always want new and better gear. I don’t know where the future is going. All I know is the bicycle is one of the greatest inventions that man has ever made and it’s not going away.BRO: Why do you love mountain biking more than road biking?MM: Okay, this is basically the reason why I love mountain biking: if you screw up its your fault. It’s not a car’s fault. Your not in some road race with a sprinting pack that’s going to crash. Nine times out of ten if you wreck on a mountain bike, it is your own fault. All the responsibility rests on you but you also don’t have to worry about somebody else screwing you up, usually. It’s as safe as you want it to be. Its individual…But a friend of mine—a bear hit him. So you know, shit happens. The bear got up and shook it off. My buddy may have had some cracked ribs. I can’t remember the details but he definitely got hit by a bear or they hit each other. They were both going along pretty fast.last_img read more

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Peru Aims to Eradicate a Record 14,000 Hectares of Coca in 2012

first_img LIMA — Peru expects to break records this year in its war against drug trafficking. President Ollanta Humala’s administration is working toward the goal of eradiating 14,000 hectares of coca, from which cocaine is made, and seizing more than 30 tons of drugs this year. Coca eradication brigades (known by their Spanish acronym CORAH), operate only in the northern Upper Huallaga, one of 10 coca-growing zones in the country. These brigades eliminated just over 10,500 hectares of coca through the end of September. They also destroyed 918 clandestine drug-producing laboratories and seized more than 21 tons of cocaine and cocaine paste. Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza said Peru had already surpassed 2011 eradication levels. “By the end of the year we will reach our goal, which has never been achieved before, of eradicating 14,000 hectares. And the way things are going, it would not surprise me if we beat the goal,” he said at a Sept. 27 press conference. Slightly more than 10,200 hectares were eradicated in 2011, and 24 tons of cocaine and cocaine paste seized. UNODC reports 62,500 hectares of coca in Peru While the targets are in reach, the Peruvian government needs to contend with an illicit drug business that is constantly looking for new production methods, trafficking routes and asset laundering mechanisms to respond to eradication and interdiction efforts. “Drug trafficking has always shown itself to be very efficient. There is now less land needed to produce coca leaf, opening of more remote areas for production and a diversification of routes,” said Flavio Mirella, head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Peru. The UNODC presented its annual report on Peru in late September, reporting the presence of 62,500 hectares of coca. This represents an increase of slightly more than 2 percent from the previous report and the sixth consecutive year the agency has detected an increase in coca crops. Peru remains the second largest producer of coca, following Colombia with 64,000 hectares. Bolivia has 27,200 hectares of coca. Coca generates approximately $180 million annually for the Peruvian economy, with some 50,000 families involved in coca cultivation. Cocaine generates roughly $3 billion for the economy. This year’s report found a consolidation of Apurimac-Ene (VRAE) as the principal coca/cocaine zone. The VRAE claimed the top spot for the first time in 2010. It retained that title in the 2011 evaluation, with 19,925 hectares, an increase of 1 percent. The VRAE now represents 32 percent of the area cultivated with coca in Peru. It is also the most productive coca-growing region, with yield averaging 3.6 tons per hectare compared to the national average of 2.1 tons per hectare. Humala follows new policy on VRAE The Humala administration has decided, following in the footsteps of past governments, to avoid forced eradication in the VRAE. The government has said it fears the possibility of uncontrolled violence due to a number of factors, including the presence of the remaining columns of Shining Path guerrillas who provide protection to drug traffickers. The VRAE is in the heart of the historic zone where the Shining Path launched its war against the state in 1980. The Shining Path’s leaders were arrested in early 1990s and the outlawed party defeated as a political threat, but a small band remained in the VRAE and has slowly grown. The VRAE faction, which has broken with the jailed leaders, has around 400 armed fighters. They are responsible for killing 14 soldiers last year and 20 soldiers and police officers through the end of September. While beefing up the military and police presence in the zone, including the construction of new anti-terrorism bases, President Humala’s 2013 budget earmarks more than $1 billion for the VRAE to build transportation infrastructure, improve basic services and launched social welfare programs. The UNODC’s Mirella pointed out three other troubling spots requiring the government’s attention. Seven valleys, where coca was first detected in 2010, reported a 27.5 percent increase in 2011. The amount of land under cultivation is 834 hectares. Coca cultivation in border areas also concern U.N. agency In addition, the UNODC report noted sustained growth of coca crops along Peru’s northern borders with Brazil and Colombia. Coca cultivation in the zone, known commonly as the Putumayo, increased from 968 hectares in 2006 to 4,450 hectares last year. The increase in 2011 alone was 40.4 percent. “This shows a trend away from traditional centers to more remote areas. These areas are harder to control and the population is constantly in flux,” said Mirella. “We need to make sure that these areas are not consolidated, because it will be much more difficult physically and financially to address, and will likely be a source of conflict.” A final area that worries U.N. officials is the spread of coca in the Palcazu-Pichis-Pachitea zone in the jungle of the central Pasco region. Coca cultivation there jumped from 426 hectares in 2006 to 3,734 hectares last year. The problem here is that the zone had been a major source of illegal coca in the early 1990s, but gradually lost its importance. There was almost no coca there at the start of the past decade. What concerns Mirella is that coca growers from areas where eradication is occurring are moving to the zone and are consolidating areas deforested for cattle raising or other licit activities. Authorities have also discovered clandestine airstrips in the area used to ferry cocaine from Peru to Bolivia and the on to the Southern Cone, primarily Brazil. Police officers seized a Bolivian-registered plane in Oxapampa province, where this coca-growing zone is located, in mid-September. It was carrying 349 kilograms of cocaine. Reforms aim to choke off drug trafficking The Humala government has unveiled a series of reforms throughout the year to improve the state’s efforts in the drug fight. It has put the tax agency in charge of tracking and controlling chemical inputs used in illicit activities. This includes a long list of controlled substances use to extractive cocaine from the coca leaf, as well as chemicals, such as mercury, used in illegal gold mining. Peru’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office is also investing links between illegal gold mining, illegal logging and drug trafficking. Pedraza said providing a greater role to the tax agency is a key step, because it has the capacity to cross-reference imports and sales of chemicals. “We need to hit drug traffickers at every level, and following the money is the best way to do this,” he said. In late September, the administration established a new working group to measure the “factors” used in converting coca into cocaine. The goal is to create a standard that can be applied to the three cocaine-producing countries — Bolivia, Colombia and Peru — to determine volumes. The work will be coordinated with the UNODC and authorities hope it will clear up debate on cocaine production. Peruvian authorities earlier this year rejected reports that the country had surpassed Colombia as the largest cocaine producer/exporters. According to a report from mid-2012, Peru allegedly produced 325 metric tons of cocaine in 2011, followed by Bolivia with 265 tons and Colombia with 195 tons. Gen. Walter Sánchez, head of Peru’s anti-drug police, said his agency has not measured cocaine production in more than three years, because conversion factors were obsolete. “We have been inflicting major blows on drug trafficking,” said Sánchez. “We will break our record this year with eradication. Our objective is to stop cocaine production and the new study conversion factors will help us design better strategies.” By Dialogo October 09, 2012last_img read more

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IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Nationals qualifying starts tonight at Eagle

first_imgEAGLE, Neb. – Teams from across the country have traveled to America’s Home Track for this weekend’s IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Nationals.Friday, Sept. 1 and Saturday, Sept. 2 qualify­ing features at Eagle Raceway pay $700 to win while Saturday’s Jake Ita Memo­rial pays $1,000 to win and a minimum of $100 to start. The Sunday, Sept. 3 main event pays $2,500 to win and a minimum $1,250 to start.Twenty-seven IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars will start the big show on Sunday.The “B” feature purse spon­sored by IMCATV is $1,000 for the first non-qualifier (10th place fin­isher) and $500 to start. All other non-qualifiers re­ceive a minimum of $250 for Sunday with added non-qualifier sponsorship money.Non-qualifi­ers are guaranteed at least $450 for the entire weekend as long as they take a green flag each night.Adult grandstand admission is $13 on Friday, $15 on Satur­day and $18 on Sunday. Pit passes are $25 each night.Sprint Nationals is presented by Precise Racing Prod­ucts and NMC Cat Rental Store and will be broadcast by IMCATV. More information about the event is posted at the www.eagleraceway.com web­site.last_img read more

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Lallana set for Liverpool move

first_imgAdam Lallana looks set to follow Luke Shaw out of Southampton, with a move to Liverpool understood to be close. Teenage left-back Shaw completed his £25million-plus move to Manchester United on Friday morning and Press Association Sport understands he could swiftly be followed out of St Mary’s by his former captain. Lallana is believed to be in Liverpool for a medical ahead of a move to the Reds, who earlier this month raided Southampton for forward Rickie Lambert. Press Association Brendan Rodgers’ side saw several offers rejected for the England international this summer, but now appear to have struck a deal with Saints. It is understood the deal could go through as early as Friday, with Lallana due to have medical tests at Liverpool’s Melwood training ground in the afternoon. The move would end the midfielder’s 14-year association with Southampton, who he joined from Bournemouth in September 2000 aged 12. That deal included a 25 per cent sell-on clause, meaning the Cherries are set for a cash windfall from the reported £25m move. The England midfielder was identified as Rodgers’ primary target for the summer window and the club tried to get a deal done before the World Cup. However, because of the turmoil at St Mary’s after the departure of boss Mauricio Pochettino, the Saints were not prepared to let any players leave until they had appointed a replacement. Lambert was allowed to move as Southampton classed that as a special case with the striker returning to his boyhood club. With Ronald Koeman now in place at the south-coast club and Lallana returning home from Brazil after England’s disappointing tournament, things have progressed quickly. Lallana will become Liverpool’s third signing of the summer after Lambert and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Emre Can, who will officially join the club on July 1. Despite comments from Sevilla sporting director Monchi on Thursday suggesting a deal for left-back Alberto Moreno was dead, Liverpool still retain a hope of signing the defender as it is an area they desperately need to strengthen. The two sides were “miles apart” in their valuations with the Spanish club holding out for £20m for the 21-year-old and Liverpool only willing to offer about £16m. Moreno has distanced himself from a move but – with Rodgers needing reinforcements in order to be able to challenge both domestically and in the Champions League next season – there remains a chance the transfer could be revived. “I never said that I wanted to leave the team,” Moreno told Spanish newspaper ABC de Sevilla. “I am happy here, Sevilla is the club of my life. There are many rumours but I only know that on July 7 I report back for training again. “I am enjoying my holidays. We had a hard year and if I spent the summer thinking about these things (transfer speculation) then I can’t rest. “I am calm and my father and my agent will take care of my future.” Liverpool also retain an interest in Bayern Munich’s Switzerland forward Xherdan Shaqiri, although the capture of Lallana may see Rodgers look elsewhere for other options. With striker Luis Suarez facing a four-month ban after his biting incident at the World Cup, Rodgers could look at Lille’s 19-year-old Belgium forward Divock Origi. Lallana’s exit is another blow for Saints as he was the last of three players included in England’s World Cup squad remaining at the club. Southampton have also this summer seen Pochettino depart for Tottenham, although the appointment of high-profile Koeman allayed concerns at St Mary’s. Furthermore, executive director Les Reed pledged before appointing the Dutchman that money from transfers would be ploughed back into the squad. “We will only make decisions based on what’s right and best for the club, so if we do sell players then it’s guaranteed that any revenues we make will be reinvested in the team,” he said. “There’s a logistical job to be done there because we do want to bring players in and improve the team so it’s important that, whatever happens, when we do kick off on August 16 that we have improved the team and the depth and strength of the squad with the players that have come in, even if players may have gone out. “However, our intention is to keep all of our core players – I wouldn’t want people to think I’ve just opened the door for transfers, that’s not the case.” It is fair to say, though, that Liverpool flexed their muscle by bringing Lambert and now Lallana to Anfield. Reports suggest the Reds may not stop there with there, either, with Southampton’s Croatia defender Dejan Lovren also reported to be on their radar. last_img read more

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Claudio Ranieri relaxed despite defeat to Liverpool

first_imgLeicester manager Claudio Ranieri does not believe defeat at Liverpool will knock his side out of their stride. Press Association First-half substitute Christian Benteke scored the only goal just after the hour to inflict the Premier League leaders’ first loss in three months, with the Reds also preventing them scoring for the first time since May. Asked whether defeat would affect them, Ranieri said: “Why? We are very down because we wanted to win but not every time it is possible. “We made this one goal but after all the set-plays of Leicester it was difficult and close and not easy to defend but we did it, we had patience and that is good so we deserved the three points. “A lot of teams tried it before and it is not too easy so I am really pleased with what we did today.” The only blot on the day was another hamstring injury, this time to striker Divock Origi who was preferred to £32.5million summer signing Benteke from the start. “Origi did really well. I hope it is not too serious, we will see,” said Klopp. “Hamstring is the s*** word of the year for me. It is always hamstring, hamstring, hamstring – that is the intensity of the game and fixtures. “Benteke did really well in the last week in training but we decided on this starting line-up because of the things you saw from Divock in the first half-hour – we needed his speed. “Christian came in, it was not easy the first 10 minutes, and second half it was much better. “He fought intensively and worked hard for the team and he made his goal. He did perfect in the situation.” “If there is another team who plays better than you or maybe is more clear when there is a chance to score a goal then well done to them. “I am not happy but it is okay. Sooner or later we had to lose. I think Liverpool deserved to win. “At the beginning we were too anxious and nervous and we started to play so late, I don’t know why. “In the second half we conceded a goal which, if we are more attentive, we could close Benteke down better because it was three of my players against two of them and Benteke was alone. “Now it is important to recover energy but it is more mental because there is another big match, a big challenge (Manchester City at home on Tuesday).” Liverpool ended a run of four matches without victory and to do it against the league leaders, who had not been beaten away from home since March, gave manager Jurgen Klopp great pleasure. “It was deserved,” he said. “We played too complicated at Watford last week (losing 3-0). Today we did much better. “We knew if we stayed concentrated we would get our chances as it was not too intensive in the first half so we could do more in the second half. last_img read more

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National Secondary School Cricket League 2016-2017…

first_imgDefending Champions Chase opens account– Singh records first centuryDefending champions, Chase Academy,made a successful start of their title defence in the National Secondary School Cricket League 2016-2017 tournament.Sachin SinghSachin SinghThe side defeated St Rose’s High School by 183 runs in the opening round on Friday while the Bishop’s High School and St John’s Collage also registered wins in the Georgetown Zone of the tournament.Summarised scores of the three games are as follows:At GCC, Bourda, Chase Academy were asked to bat first and amassed 242-3 off 30 overs. National Under-15 captain, Sachin Singh,scored a classy 101, stroking 10 fours and two sixes. Also among the runs were Lester Lepidare, who made 44 before he was forced to retire hurt after suffering from cramps,and national Under-17 left-arm spinner, Asmead Nedd,who made an entertaining 34 not out. Bowling for St Rose’s High school, Alex Ramotar took 2-39.St Rose’s High reached 59-9 in 12.4 overs, with one batsman unable to bat because of an injury. Bowling for Chase Academy, Dwain Dick had 2-10, Shem Persaud 2-12 and Tyrese Trescut 2-16.At DCC, St John’s College got the better of St George’s College. St John’s College won the toss and asked St George’s College to take first strike. Their decision worked well as the routed St George’s College for a paltry 49 in 15 overs. Bowling for St John’s College, Johan Blair took 5-9.In Reply, St John’s College raced to 50-2 in just 6 overs with Darian Dickson scoring 24.In another game played at GCC, Bishop’s High School registered an easy victory, when the defeated the Business School by 111 runs. Batting first, Bishop’s High made 146-5 in their 30 overs. Troy Persaud was the main scorer with 74 not out, including nine fours and a six. Bowling for the Business School, Teelack Baliram had 2-14.In reply, the Business School could only muster 37 in 12.5 overs. Arian Persaud took 4-10, Daniel Singh took 3-7 and Kanpta Seepersaud had 3-1.The competition continues on Tuesday, with Queen’s College playing Richard Ismael Secondary at DCC,and Kingston High School coming up against School of the Nations at GCC,while Marian Academy will play St Mary’s High at Muslim Youth Organisation ground (MYO) and Chase Academy will face Bishop’s High at GNIC.last_img read more

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Cricket News Navdeep Saini stars, India hold nerve to win first T20I against Windies

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Three years ago, Fort Lauderhill had witnessed 489 runs in a single Twenty20 contest between West Indies and India. Evin Lewis and KL Rahul blasted centuries as West Indies won by one run in their defence of 245. In 2019, at the same venue, it was the turn of the bowlers to fight back. Navdeep Saini, who had struggled to get into the Delhi team but managed to make it only because Gautam Gambhir backed him, put up a brilliant performance. Saini took two wickets in his first over and bowled a wicket maiden in the final over as he took 3/17 to restrict West Indies to 95/9. In response, Sunil Narine and Keemo Paul bowled brilliantly and kept West Indies in the hunt but India managed to scrape through by four wickets in their chase of 96 to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. India chose to bowl on a dry pitch and they struck immediately when Washington Sundar got the wicket of John Campbell. In the next over, Evin Lewis, who has scored two tons against India, was flummoxed by a slower knuckleball from Bhuvneshwar to fall for 0. Nicholas Pooran struck some big blows but Saini made an immediate impact. His first wicket came courtesy a pacy short ball which Pooran top-edged to the keeper and in the very next ball, Shimron Hetmyer dragged a short ball outside off back onto the stumps. With India striking at regular intervals, West Indies found the going incredibly tough. Kieron Pollard was batting with confidence and he launched two sixes off Krunal Pandya. Pollard found no support at the other end and wickets tumbled at the other end. In the final over, with Pollard nearing his 15th fifty, Saini produced a brilliant over where he nailed the wide yorker brilliantly and managed to deny Pollard his fifty by opting for a smart review as West Indies floundered to 95/9.In response, Shikhar Dhawan was LBW to Sheldon Cottrell for 1 but Rohit Sharma looked in good touch. Kohli struggled to find his timing going on a sluggish wicket but Rohit kept the scoreboard ticking. Rohit blasted a six and four off Cottrell but in the quest for aggression holed out to long on for 24. Rishabh Pant, the first choice keeper for the entire West Indies tour, holed out to long leg first ball as India wobbled. Manish Pandey struck some glorious shots but when he and Kohli fell in quick succession, the game seemed evenly poised. Sluggishly, Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja made progress and they benefited from some loose West Indies fielding in the end. However, the target was too little to cause India any panic barring a major miracle and Sundar sealed the deal with a six as India started their tour of the West Indies in not such an ideal fashion. highlightscenter_img India won their fourth consecutive T20I against West Indies.Kieron Pollard missed out on his 15th fifty.Navdeep Saini registered superb figures of 3/17.last_img read more

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Update on the latest in sports:

first_imgIn other news concerning the coronavirus pandemic:— Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal were among the clubs who stepped up their preparations for the Premier League’s return by holding practice matches on Saturday. Man. U held an intrasquad match and Arsenal rolled past second-tier Charlton, 6-0. Clubs are attempting to build up players’ fitness before the league resumes on June 17 following a 100-day suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.— The pandemic caused a delay to the Spanish League season with 11 games remaining, but it also allowed Barcelona striker Luis Suárez to rejoin his team when the schedule resumes on June 13. Suárez had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Jan. 12 and hasn’t played since. The club said Saturday that he will be available for Barcelona’s first match in almost three months, at Mallorca.NBA-NEWSCoaches speak out on Floyd…More negotiations scheduled before season resumes “When you sit down and listen, you realize there’s a lot of injustices taking place across a broad spectrum. As a representative of our sport and just a citizen, it’s really time to listen.AMERICA PROTESTS-BRONCOSBroncos march for FloydUNDATED (AP) — Broncos coaches and players marched and spoke out against racism and police brutality at a protest in downtown Denver on Saturday.The players wore black shirts with the fist of power image and “Justice for George Floyd” emblazoned on the front. The words, “If you ain’t with us, you against us” were inscribed on the back. NASCAR looks to steer clear of protests over George FloydHAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — The only African American driver in NASCAR’s Cup series is expressing frustration that so many drivers were reluctant to speak out concerning the outrage over the death of George Floyd.Bubba Wallace said on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast that “a few drivers — a very few — have given their opinion on the day’s matter” and said he appreciated that. Wallace added that “the silence from the top drivers in our sport is beyond frustrating” … saying, “everybody thinks redneck, Confederate flag, racists”, and that he hates it because he believes that NASCAR can be so much more.Wallace said he encouraged other drivers to take up the cause in a sport with a checkered racial history. Fans have an affinity for displaying Confederate flags, and driver Kyle Larson was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing two months ago for casually uttering a racial slur during a virtual race.Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson reached out to Wallace to ask what he could do, saying that’s a big question for him right now. June 7, 2020 UNDATED (AP) — The first U.S. male gymnast to win a world championship gold medal has died.The family of Kurt Thomas says he died Friday at age 64. He had a stroke May 24, caused by a tear of the basilar artery in the brain stem.After competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Thomas won the floor exercise in the 1978 world championships for the first U.S. men’s title. He successfully defended the floor exercise title and won the horizontal bar in the 1979 worlds.Thomas lost a chance for Olympic gold when the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympics. He then turned professional, starred in the 1985 movie “Gymkata” and worked as a television commentator. UNDATED (AP) — A few-based NBA head coaches spoke out Saturday about their hopes the league visibility will be an asset again in the hope for actual social change following the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says he’s “embarrassed as a white person” that Floyd could die in such a “nonchalant” manner. Popovich says the best teaching moment was the look on the officer’s face. He added that white people must help lead the charge for change.Miami’s Erik Spoelstra (SPOHL’-struh) says he doesn’t think anyone is ready to move on, and we shouldn’t. Said Spoelstra: “If anything, many times before, so tragically, there would be a similar incident of social injustice like this and then two weeks later people forget about it. This will be an opportunity for the entire association to land in one spot … to keep this conversation going and use our platform to make sure that this doesn’t go away.”Orlando coach Steve Clifford also seems convinced that the league’s players and coaches will take some sort of action when the season resumes. Clifford said he thinks everybody’s priority and hope right now is that they can all be part of the change that’s so necessary in the count. He added that, “We’ll have a collective platform where everyone can collectively send a message condemning racism, racial injustice, calling for police accountability. There will be a platform and I think we’re all thinking that way.”The Players Association voted unanimously Friday to approve a plan in which 22 teams move into the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, Florida, next month. Those teams are currently sitting in a playoff slot or within six games of a postseason berth. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB PROPOSALAnalysis shows a lot of money at stakeNEW YORK (AP) — There’s a lot of money at stake as Major League Baseball and players continue to battle over plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season. Associated Press The season is set to resume July 31, with playoffs starting in mid-August and leading up to an NBA Finals that could stretch until Oct. 12.The NBA has told teams that playoff seeding will be based on winning percentage, and that any tiebreakers necessary after that will follow the usual procedures.Elsewhere in the NBA:— The Chicago Bulls’ new top basketball executive isn’t ready to make any announcements about the coaching staff. Arturas Karnisovas still has not met in person with head coach Jim Boylen. And that’s something he would like to do before going public with any decisions. Boylen’s future is the biggest issue hanging over the Bulls, whose season ended when the NBA’s Board of Governors approved a 22-team format to restart the pandemic-interrupted season next month in Orlando. The Bulls have missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons. Boylen has a 39-84 record in just under two years.NASCAR-RACIAL TENSIONS Head coach Kirk Ferentz made the announcement Saturday night and called it “a defining moment” for Iowa’s football program in a video posted on the team’s Twitter account. Ferentz said he saw difficult and heartbreaking posts on social media and appreciated the former players’ candor. He added that he has been reaching out to many of them individually to hear more about their experiences in their program.Dozens of former players took to social media in the past few days to detail the troubling issues they allege they saw and experienced while playing at Iowa.INDYCAR RESUMESDixon wins IndyCar openerFORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — IndyCar was finally able to begin a schedule delayed three months by the coronavirus. All wore face masks in accordance with coronavirus mitigation efforts. Most of the players’ masks were black with the phrase “I can’t breathe” in white lettering.Safety Kareem Jackson was instrumental in organizing the team’s appearance at Civic Center Park on the 10th day of demonstrations sparked by the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man in Minneapolis who died after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.COLLEGE FOOTBALL-IOWA-RACISM ALLEGATIONSIowa football assistant placed on leaveIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa football strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle has been placed on administrative leave after several black former players posted on social media about what they described as systemic racism in the program. VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEWSUNDATED (AP) — Some NFL players say they are scared about returning to practices and games during the coronavirus outbreak.But they also say they trust the health protocols the league’s medical staff is developing so that practices can resume, and games can return. Those safeguards will certainly include frequent tests for COVID-19.The offseason programs have all been conducted remotely since the NFL shuttered team facilities in March in response to the pandemic.Coaches have been allowed back into the buildings but players who aren’t recovering from injuries likely won’t be allowed back until training camps begin in July. Update on the latest in sports: Five-time season champion Scott Dixon took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway, his fourth win at the 1 ½-mile, high-banked oval. The 39-year-old New Zealander raced to his 47th career victory and matched A.J. Foyt’s record of 18 seasons with a win.Dixon sped off following a restart with three laps left. He surged ahead following a caution caused when young teammate Felix Rosenqvist crashed. Dixon finished 4.4 seconds ahead of Simon Pagenaud (PA’-zheh-noh).Defending IndyCar champion and polesitter Josef Newgarden finished third.GYMNASTICS-OBIT-THOMASKurt Thomas dies An analysis by The Associated Press has determined the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers would each save more than $100 million as part of management’s proposal when compared to the players’ plan.Set to earn $36 million each, Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole would get $25.3 million under the union’s plan and $5.6 million under the teams’ proposal.The Yankees would pay players $155 million under the union’s plan and $48 million under management’s proposal.MLB has proposed a six-tier sliding scale of cuts starting at 10% and rising to 90% for the amounts of salaries above $10 million, followed by prorating based on an 82-game season. Players proposed prorating for a 114-game regular season schedule stretching through October without any further salary reductions.Players agreed on March 26 to accept prorated shares of their salaries during a shortened season, part of a deal that guaranteed $170 million in advances and service time even if the season is scrapped.last_img read more

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Duke football’s Koppenhaver reflects on career that cancer nearly cut short

first_imgSharon Koppenhaver knew something wasn’t right with her 10-year-old son, Davis. While playing sports, he wouldn’t sweat and his face would turn gray instead of the typical red color. He began snoring loudly while sleeping and his voice changed before hitting puberty. He was more fatigued than usual and even fell asleep at halftime of his youth football game and in between games at a travel basketball tournament.Neither an allergist nor an asthma doctor could figure out the problem.But finally after a few weeks, Jeffrey Birns, an ears, nose and throat doctor, put a camera down Koppenhaver’s throat and found a golf ball-like tumor blocking 90 percent of his airway. “They said that if they would have found it two weeks later, I probably would have died in my sleep,” Koppenhaver said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe tumor, which was later found as cancerous, was removed five days after Birns found it in December 2006. It all happened so fast that it seemed like a blur for Koppenhaver, now a freshman tight end for No. 22 Duke (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast). Though he only has one catch in four games this season, he’s enthusiastic about his future with the team because of what he’s already overcome.When he was diagnosed, Koppenhaver played football, basketball and baseball. He was in the middle of his travel basketball season and played in four games at a tournament the day before the tumor was found.Looking back, doctors were surprised he didn’t collapse on the court.Davis’ cancer had rarely previously been found in a child’s throat before, which added to the uncertainty of the situation, Sharon Koppenhaver said. But throughout the week leading up to the surgery, the Koppenhavers decided to keep everything as normal as possible — something they learned from his father’s experience with breast cancer six years earlier.“You can’t dwell on the negatives,” Dave Koppenhaver, Davis’ father, said. “You can’t focus on woe is us, woe is me.”Though Sharon Koppenhaver wanted to stay at home in Southern California before the surgery, her husband, son and daughter all wanted to continue their typical Christmas tradition of visiting friends and relatives in Sacramento, California. They outvoted her, and Sharon Koppenhaver said it worked out for the better because being with family and friends took their minds off the tumor.The night before surgery, Koppenhaver slept over at his friend Brady White’s house. They played video games, watched college football bowl games and SportsCenter and ate snacks just like they had always done.They prayed, too.“As a close friend of his, I was going through the same kind of worries that he was,” White said. “I just wanted to be there for him, just have a good night with him and kind of get his mind off of things.”After the surgery was successful, Koppenhaver just wanted to get back on the court. As a 10-year-old, he didn’t fully understand everything that happened.But over time, Koppenhaver said it sunk in.“I realized that sports don’t define me,” Koppenhaver said. “If someone asked me what my best attributes were before that, I’d probably say athlete or competitor. But now, it’s completely different.”Off the field at Duke, he’s laid back and enjoyable to be around, fellow tight end David Reeves said, and his attitude impressed teammates in the first week of training camp.And while Koppenhaver’s role is minimal at this point in his career, tight end coach Zac Roper said you wouldn’t be able to tell from watching him practice, because he still brings the same energy level and attention to detail as the Blue Devils’ starters. When he was younger, Koppenhaver wouldn’t talk about his cancer experience much. He still doesn’t, but he occasionally brings it up with his parents.As a sophomore in high school, Koppenhaver dislocated his shoulder, which put his athletic career in question again. But after nearly dying years earlier, Koppenhaver got back on the field. “I remember saying, ‘Are we done now?’ meaning football. ‘Are we done with this?’” Sharon Koppenhaver said.“No, I can’t wait to get back out there,” Koppenhaver responded. “Mom, I’m not even supposed to be here.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 6, 2014 at 11:18 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschwedslast_img read more

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USC safety T.J. McDonald to remain at USC

first_imgUSC junior safety T.J. McDonald announced Wednesday that he will return to school for his senior season, forgoing the opportunity to declare for the NFL draft.McDonald, a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2011, had been projected as a possible second round pick in next April’s draft had he chose to declare.“We have an opportunity to do something great,” McDonald said in a video released by the school. “That opportunity doesn’t come around very often. I want to finish things out and be a part of something great.”A second-year starter for the Trojans last season, McDonald finished with 69 tackles and three interceptions, making the Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly All-American first teams. McDonald and his father, Tim, became the first father-son tandem in school history to be named All-Americans. Tim McDonald was an All-American for USC in 1985 and 1986 before a 13-year NFL career with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.In 2010, T.J. McDonald also led the team in tackles with 89.“We’re obviously very excited about T.J.’s decision to return next year,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said in a statement. “He’ll be a leading candidate for the Thorpe Award in 2012 and he has a chance to be a two-time All-American. Plus he will captain our team for a second straight year and graduate.”Fellow juniors left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry have announced intentions to declare for the draft, leaving quarterback Matt Barkley as the only prominent USC junior weighing whether to remain in school or turn pro.Barkley has until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.last_img read more