PNG weightlifting vision to win 5 gold medals in 2018

first_imgPresident, Sir John Dawanincura, says he believes this vision can be achieved.“With the Pacific Games, we had a vision to win 17-20 gold medals. We won 13. But our lifters did their best and the rest is history,” said Dawanincura.He said the country’s weightlifters will have a good lead up to 2018 with major international events such as the Commonwealth Senior, Junior and Youth Championships in India this October plus the 2015 World Championships later in the USA.“These events will be a stepping stone to 2018.We are aiming for five gold medals. We have the athletes here to do it.“That is our vision and we must always have a vision to work towards achieving what we want,” said Dawanincura.last_img read more

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Rio Olympics athletes’ village deemed uninhabitable two weeks before opening ceremony

first_imgChef de mission Kitty Chiller said the problems included “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring”, with the first Australian athletes to arrive, on July 21, living in hotels due to the state of the village. Chiller said some village apartments had water running down the walls and “a strong smell of gas,” while stairwells were unlit and floors were in need of a massive clean.New Zealand’s Olympic Committee encountered similar problems upon arrival in Rio a week ago. They themselves had to turn handymen to fix several issues, including plumbing. “There was more work than we anticipated,” chef de mission Rob Waddell said.”We are shifting into buildings where they are still working through some of the minor things like the plumbing, the shower curtains and taps. Given the scale of the size of the team, there is quite a bit of detail to work through and make sure everything is fixed and ready.”The first Australian athletes, boxers and canoeists, were scheduled to move into the village on Sunday. “From what we’ve seen,” an AOC spokesman said, “you wouldn’t put people in there yet.” Chiller, who would reassess the situation later on Sunday, said she had raised concerns on a daily basis with the organisers and the International Olympic Committee, and was “pushing hard for a solution”.Extra maintenance staff and more than 1000 cleaners had been engaged to fix the problems and clean the village, Chiller said, but the faults, particularly the plumbing issues, had not been resolved.Such issues are not uncommon in Brazil, where narrow pipes and poor plumbing mean residents throw toilet paper in bins rather than flush it away.Rio 2016 organisers did not respond to requests for comment but one official told Reuters they were aware of problems and were working to resolve them.”There are lights, beds, air conditioning, but we still lack a few details,” the source said on condition of anonymity.”There really are last-minute details to finish but it will be done this week.”Chiller said Great Britain has also encountered problems in the village, but Team GB’s communications director Scott Field downplayed those.An advance team from the UK had been in Rio for days but found only minor problems with plumbing and electrics.”We are confident that our accommodation is ready to receive athletes and will be to the highest standards within the Village,” Field said.”Whilst we have encountered some maintenance difficulties this is not uncommon with new build structures of this type and we have been working hard to overcome them.”Australia’s criticism is just the latest in a long list of critiques of Rio’s preparations: AOC boss John Coates once called Rio’s preparations the “worst ever”, while Chiller has been critical of security, especially following the recent gunpoint robbery of Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch.Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes fired back on Monday morning (NZ Time), saying the city’s athletes’ village was nicer than Sydney’s was in 2000.In a nod to the ongoing spat with the Australians, he added: “I almost feel like putting a kangaroo in front of their building to make them feel at home.”​The unfinished state of the athletes village confirms some of the worst fears held about Rio’s lack of preparedness for the Games.All Olympic cities end up in a last-minute flurry, but from accounts, Rio has left too much to too late.This builds on an impression formed by visitors to the World Cup of soccer in Brazil two years ago, that infrastructure would prove to be a big and perhaps insurmountable issue for the Olympic Games.The timing of this latest drama is unfortunate, to say the least. All eyes were turning to Rio on Sunday as the IOC convened to consider throwing Russia out of the Games – eventually deciding not to issue a blanket ban on Russian athletes, despite a damning report on wholesale and state-sponsored doping up to and including the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. In a small off-set, the AOC generally is satisfied with what it has seen so far of the level of security at the athletes’ village and in Rio generally.last_img read more

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AJ heavier than ever

first_imgThe IBF champion Joshua tipped the scales at 17st 12lbs 2oz, 10 pounds heavier than Klitschko, ahead of the Wembley fight, live on Sky Sports Box Office, with the vacant WBA ‘super’ title also at stake.Klitschko was greeted with boos when he made his entrance at Wembley Arena and the 41-year-old seemed to acknowledge the crowd by giving a peace sign after he weighed in at 17st 2lb 6oz.Joshua followed Klitschko onto the stage, sparking roars of support from thousands of fans, and raised his fist in a triumphant gesture as the weight was announced.The unbeaten 27-year-old will be facing the former unified champion in front of a 90,000 attendance, but reiterated his desire to make the fight look “easy”.”All I have to do is make this fight as easy as possible,” said Joshua. “With boxing, you seem to enjoy it afterwards.”When you’re competing, it’s tunnel vision. Even though there are so many beautiful people coming to watch, for now it has to be about tunnel vision.”His Ukrainian opponent has displayed unwavering confidence throughout the week and expects to reclaim two world titles this weekend.”I just have this feeling – this is my night,” Klitschko told Sky Sports.”It’s a big step for AJ. He hasn’t fought this type of quality of fighter yet. It’s going to be challenging for him – but challenging for me as well.”On the undercard, Scott Quigg weighed in at 8st 13lbs 7oz for his IBF final eliminator against Viorel Simion, who was also inside the featherweight limit at 8st 13lbs 6oz.Luke Campbell weighed in at 9st 8lbs 7oz for his WBA lightweight title eliminator, but Darleys Perez appeared to be over the 9st 9lb limit at the first time of asking.Ireland’s Katie Taylor is involved in another WBA final eliminator, in only her fifth fight, and was under the required lightweight mark at 9st 4lbs 8oz, with Nina Meinke making weight at 9st 6lbs 8oz.last_img read more

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Williams not at fault for crash

first_imgThe Palm Beach Gardens Police Department reviewed video surveillance footage of the intersection where Williams’ SUV was struck by another vehicle.The driver, Linda Barson, was injured and her husband, Jerome, died two weeks later.A police report initially alleged the seven-time grand slam champion was at fault for the incident, though she was not issued with any citations or traffic violations. There was also no evidence she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or distracted by an electronic device.However, fresh evidence cleared Williams, although the investigation is ongoing.”Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection to Ballenisles Drive,” the police statement said.”As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams’ vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision.”The traffic signal then cycled to green, at which time Barson continued westbound and entered the intersection. The front end of Barson’s vehicle collided the right front of Williams’ vehicle.”Williams is into the fourth round at Wimbledon, where she will face Croatian Ana Konjuh.last_img read more

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Team PNG youth return with higher goals

first_imgDespite returning without a medal this time round, the team was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games and have set higher future goals for themselves.“The main purpose for Team PNG was to expose our young athletes to a higher level of competition and a multi-sport Games environment, and each of them achieved that which is a great building block for the future,” said Team PNG Chef de Mission, Michael Henao.He said the opportunity gave them a high level Games experience which is a great build up for future senior events such as the 2018 Commonwealth Games, 2019 Pacific Games and the 2020 Olympics.Some of these young athletes will also have a chance to attend the Youth Olympic Games towards the end of 2018.Meantime, the team finished the Games with swimmers, Ryan Maskelyne and Ebony Tkatchenko really strong in their events with Maskelyne posting a Personal Best in the 100m breaststroke heats, and going into the finals with the fifth fastest time.Like her team mate, Tkatchenko, the youngest of Team PNG contingent, also missed out on a medal but drew much praise from her coach, Greg Fasala.“She has so much potential,” he said.Flag bearer, Mathew Stubbings’ aim of making a quarter finals finish in Tennis were dashed when he went down to his Indian opponent who was the number one ranked player in the tournament.Combining with Patricia Apisah for the mixed doubles, they could not repeat PNG’s medal feat from the last Games but were still pleased with their efforts.Sprinter, Lawrence Lamond ran the 200m dash and finished 7th in his heat with a time of 23.63 but it was not enough to get him into the semi-finals. His athletics teammate, Letisha Pukaikia, also ran the 200m and clocked 26.40 but her time too was not enough to get into the women’s semi-finals.Beach volleyballers, Damien Aisi and Tonnie Gima played St Lucia for 7th place and won in two straight sets (21-8 and 21-9) to restore some pride. It was a grand finish for the two young men who, like the rest of the team, had been digging deep all week.Henao congratulated the athletes on their efforts and encouraged them to use the experience to push them further in achieving their individual goals.In transit on his way to Kimbe, young sprinter, Lamond summed it up by saying “it was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. I know the standard of my international competition and how much I need to improve. I’m going to work even harder now.”Henao thanked sponsors for Team PNG and also appealed to the national government to provide funding for sports so that PNG can continue to excel at international events.last_img read more

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Do or die for Gurias, Wigmen

first_imgThe game will kick off at 3pm at the PNG Football Stadium, Port Moresby.“We need to cut down on our errors because teams score off our mistakes.“The Gurias have a different style of football. They have the speed and we have to contain that,” said Wigmen coach, Roderick Puname.“We just have to go back to basics. We have to make sure to defend, hold on to the ball and keep attacking,” said Gurias coach, Steven Nightingale.The winner of tomorrow’s game will go on to play the Lae Snax Tigers on September 9 in the grand final in Port Moresby.last_img read more

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Hamilton slashes Vettel’s lead to one point

first_imgLewis Hamilton won his home British Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row on Sunday while a penultimate-lap puncture slashed Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead to a single point.The Briton’s drive from pole to flag on an overcast afternoon was lonely, uneventful and dominant — in complete contrast to his Ferrari rival’s afternoon — with Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas finishing 14 seconds behind to secure the one-two.“The support has been incredible this weekend. I am so proud I could do this for you all,” said Hamilton, who threw himself into the fans for some ‘crowd surfing’ after the podium celebrations.“The team were faultless this weekend, Valtteri did an incredible job as well so it’s the perfect weekend for us.”Far behind in his wake, as Hamilton cruised to a 57th career win and soaked up the applause from an army of flag-waving fans, came sudden drama.Vettel, who had battled on worn tyres but looked like securing the final podium position until the blowout, finished seventh after an emergency pit stop with a shower of sparks from the wheel rim.“There was no sign of that happening,” said Vettel over the team radio. “There were vibrations but I had it for 20 laps and it didn’t get massively worse. The tyres didn’t look great but they never look great.”The German’s Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who had been second before also being hit with a late puncture that sent Bottas and Vettel ahead of him, took third.At the halfway stage of the 20-race season, Vettel has 177 points to Hamilton’s 176 with Bottas on 154.Hungary, a circuit where the Briton has won five times before, is next up.Hamilton became only the third driver, after his late compatriot Jim Clark and Frenchman Alain Prost, to win the British Grand Prix five times and the first to take four successive victories at Silverstone.Clark won four in a row in the 1960s but one was at Aintree and another at Brands Hatch.Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished fourth, ending a run of retirements, with Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo fifth after fighting through the field.Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault and Force India pairing Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were eighth and ninth with Brazilian Felipe Massa securing the final point for Williams.Jolyon Palmer’s miserable run continued, with Britain’s only other driver on the grid failing to make the start after his Renault broke down on the formation lap with a brake failure.That forced an aborted start, with the field doing another formation lap before the lights went out and Hamilton made a clean getaway.Vettel, brakes smoking, meanwhile lost a place to Verstappen.The Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat collided on lap two, with the Spaniard shunted out and the safety car making an appearance for three laps.Kvyat, who has been involved in a series of incidents of late, looked at fault and was given a drive-through penalty for rejoining the track in an unsafe fashion.With Hamilton pulling away, Vettel and Verstappen provided some fireworks with the Dutch teenager keeping the door firmly closed as they went wheel to wheel.“He wants to play bumper cars or something,” exclaimed Verstappen over the radio.last_img read more

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Hernandez keen to hammer home importance on Old Trafford return

first_imgWest Ham United forward Javier Hernandez is eager to showcase his talents on the return to his former stomping ground when the London side visit Manchester United in their opening fixture of the 2017-18 Premier League campaign on Saturday.The Mexico international, nicknamed Chicharito, enjoyed a productive four-year spell at United from 2010, scoring 59 goals in more than 150 appearances as the club won two league titles and reached the 2011 Champions League final.Following a season-long loan spell with Real Madrid, Hernandez moved to Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 before joining West Ham last month, and the 29-year-old is focused on putting on a good display during Saturday’s emotional return.“To start my new chapter in this second part of my English life and in the Premier League, it’s going to be something happy,” Hernandez told British media. “I have very good memories of those four years that I lived in Manchester…“Now I’m very glad to be back in England… I’m looking forward to try to show that happiness and confidence on the pitch.“It’s going to be emotional to be in my old house against my old club, of course. But I am with my new team, my new chapter and I want to do as best as I can. It’s an important moment for me.”Hernandez said that he was focused on helping West Ham achieve their goals rather than comparing the two clubs.“I prefer not to think about if it’s different or not (at West Ham),” Hernandez added. “I’m feeling the same way I did in my first day in England… because I love this game.“I want to deliver positive numbers and, hopefully, we can achieve the main aim of the club to be in the European places.”last_img read more

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Unsworth wants to become permanent Everton manager

first_imgEverton caretaker manager David Unsworth made no secret of his desire to be given the job on a permanent basis, but knows the only way to achieve his ambition is to get the team back on the winning track.The club sacked Ronald Koeman on Monday and handed Under-23 manager Unsworth the reins on a temporary basis on Tuesday.“It doesn’t matter how many games, I’ll stand there a proud man and give it everything I’ve got,” the 44-year-old Unsworth, who made 314 appearances for Everton, told a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup trip to Chelsea.The former defender said Koeman paid the price for failing to win – Everton have two league victories in nine games under the Dutchman this season.“The bottom line for any manager when they lose their job is did you win enough games and unfortunately we’re in a position where you’re going to say ‘no, we haven’t’,” Unsworth said.Unsworth, who filled in as caretaker for the final game of the 2015-16 season after Roberto Martinez was sacked, said he had no qualms about taking the interim role for a second time.“It’s a very easy decision to make… it’s not a difficult decision at all to stand as Everton manager,” he added. “If you’re an Evertonian, that makes you very proud.“I’ll repeat myself from the last time I sat here 18 months ago. Who wouldn’t want this job?“It is a top job for absolutely any football manager, myself included… an opportunity to hopefully get a run of games where performance levels go up and we produce some wins as well.“From that, performances and results will dictate any future for me as Everton manager. I want to manage and this is an amazing club to be manager of. I think the time has come to say that. I make no secret of it.”Unsworth refused to single out individuals responsible for the team’s slump.“The problem is the team hasn’t won enough games and we have to burden the responsibility together. It’s not down to individuals leaving, individuals not coming in, it’s a team game and we burden that together,” he said.Third-bottom Everton visit 14th-placed Leicester City, who last week sacked manager Craig Shakespeare, in the league on Sunday.last_img read more

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I am not a sexist, says England women’s coach Neville

first_imgEngland women’s coach Phil Neville has denied being sexist and is confident he is the right person for the job despite his lack of experience.The former Manchester United defender has been widely criticised since his appointment last week after comments he made on Twitter a few years ago came to light, one of which said he had “just battered the wife”.In his first interview since being named manager, Neville reiterated an apology he made last week, saying he was wrong to post the remarks on social media in 2011 and 2012.“That tweet was not sent out in terms of domestic violence but the words were not right then and not right now,” Neville said. “That disappoints me more than anything.“I had to apologise, I didn’t like the words used. I’m not a sexist. I’ve lived my life right.”Neville, 41, has also been criticised for his lack of experience of women’s football, but he said he had coached extensively at a high level.“The gap (between the men’s and women’s game) is closing and I would have thought there were not many candidates with my experience of elite players,” he said.“I have taken my coaching badges and can’t be more qualified than I am. I am a fast learner.”last_img read more

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