Hubert Lawrence | Medal sweeps and wild cards

first_img As in London, the restriction will give a medal to a non-Chinese player. There is a solution that resonates far more with the spirit of fair competition. The suggestion is that each country be allowed three players in the Olympic singles competition once they meet the requirements of the International Table Tennis Federation. Moreover, it would preserve the right to sweep, which is permitted in other Olympic sports and to display the work, the infrastructure and national will that international dominance requires. The use of a wild card for either the reigning Olympic champion or World Champion would add excitement to table tennis. An Olympic wild card for the reigning World Champion would probably work well in that athletics, too. It would be a right only a winner could earn. • Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980. It isn’t fair when the rules of sport seem to smash one team or country in particular. It has happened in several sports and appears to have happened in table tennis, where China is the superpower. It simply doesn’t seem fair. China is the most successful nation in Olympic table tennis, winning 41 medals (20 gold, 13 silver, 8 bronze). In 2008, when China hosted the Games in Beijing, their players did the unprecedented. Led by Ma Lin and Zhang Yining, the Chinese delighted the lively home crowds by winning gold, silver and bronze in both the men’s and women singles. In a display of mastery, China won the men’s and women’s team events as well. Fast forward to the London Olympic Games of 2012. The rules changed. For the first time since table tennis became an official Olympic sport. In 1988, no country could enter more than two players in the individual events. Imagine that in Olympic track and field. The historic one-two-two finish by Jamaica in the 2008 100 metres would have been impossible. With Jamaica’s selection system, Sherone Simpson would have been barred from Beijing on account of her third place finish in the 100m at the 2008 Jamaican National Senior Championships. The same thing would have happened to Warren Weir who completed a Jamaican medal sweep at the London Games in the 200 metres. Like Sherone in 2008, he finished third at the Nationals. Untenable in other Olympic sports, the restriction has beaten world number two, Fan Zhendong, out the upcoming Games in Rio de Janeiro. He may become the king of table tennis later in his career, but this year his endeavour is for naught. In his place is reigning Olympic champion, Zhang Jike, the current world number four. This 28-year-old is wonderfully good in big tournaments. Before shoulder injuries slowed him, he had also won World Championships in singles when many doubted him in 2011 and 2013. Presumably, the Chinese table tennis authorities have taken that into account when they choose him over Fan and world number three Xu Xin. As we have seen in athletics, where the so-called wild card safeguards the qualification of immediate past winners to its latest World Championships, the presence of the defending champion adds something to the competition. Upsets make even bigger headlines when it is the champion who has fallen. Conversely, repeat wins make champions into legends. Zhang’s presence in Rio is therefore welcome, but because Fan can only watch, it comes at great expense. Restrictionslast_img read more

Body of Girl, 3, Abandoned Near Redemption Hospital

first_imgResidents near Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town awoke yesterday morning to find the body of a little girl, believed to be three years old, abandoned near the hospital.  Inquiries by the Daily Observer did not reveal the parents of the deceased child and neither did any information surface about what might have caused her death.  “All we know is that some evil parent left this body here late in the night,” a mother of three, who would not give her name, said. “This is a sad story for this poor child.”  Another resident, a mother of four, who only gave her first name, Tetee, said, “It is no wonder we are being chased around by Ebola because our evil deeds are plenty.”  She said she could not understand how a parent could have the courage to “dump her child, whether alive or not, and disappear.”  Further investigations conducted around the area and into New Kru Town proper did not reveal anyone whose daughter had been reported missing and the nearby police depot could not comment on the incident.   As the morning wore on, many parents, particularly women, with tears in their eyes, streamed to the area to have a glance at the child.  Many wondered what might have happened, a question to which no one seemed to have an answer.  The child’s remains rested beside the east wall of the hospital, slightly covered by weeds and a cover-cloth, but could still be clearly seen by passersby.   It was not clear whether the child had been sick and its mother could not afford the cost of treatment, and when the child expired, perhaps decided to abandon it at the most likely place where she could have been helped.  Many mothers and some fathers said that such a tragedy had not happened in the community for a long time and they suspected that the economic difficulties in the country, increased by the presence of the deadly Ebola virus  could have heaped unbearable  pressure on whoever might have abandoned the dead child.  “This should send a clear message to our leaders that Liberia has reached a period in her existence that more needs to be done to and for parents,” said a father of four.  He added: “I’m not justifying the crime against this child but parents are being pressed too much.  This makes it clear that the Liberian family is in trouble.”  With the presence of many child advocacy groups in the country, including the Street Child of Liberia, (SCoL), a volunteer said, “It does not make sense for a parent to go that route in such a situation.”  A police officer from the New Kru Town Depot said the situation is a case for the homicide division of the Liberia National Police. He, however, suggested that it is also a case for the Ebola Response Team to handle.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Crystal Palace defender Hunt seals Rotherham loan switch

first_img1 Jack Hunt Crystal Palace full-back Jack Hunt has agreed a loan switch to Rotherham.The 24-year-old is still waiting for his Palace debut following a deadline-day move from Huddersfield in September 2013.He made 19 appearances for Nottingham Forest during the first half of this season and now it has been confirmed he is on the move again.And more Championship football awaits Hunt after signing for Rotherham, where he will link up with fellow Palace player Zeki Fryers who is also there on loan.The defender will stay with the club until May 2.last_img read more

Saints fans react to former captain’s regret over exit

first_imgLiverpool midfielder Adam Lallana admits he regrets the manner of his exit from Southampton, but maintains he never refused to play for the club in a bid to secure his move to Merseyside.The former Saints skipper, 26, spent 12 years with Saints, but was subject to three separate bids before finally moving to Anfield.Lallana returns to St Mary’s this weekend for the first time since his £23m switch, but insists speculation that he refused to play to push through a move is false, and hopes he is remembered on the south-coast for his time on the field and not departure.But what do Saints fans think of Lallana’s exit? See some of their reaction below…Saints fans, what do you think of the way Adam Lallana left the club and should he be booed when he returns to St Mary’s this weekend? Comment below… Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana admits he regrets the manner of his exit from Southampton, but maintains he never refused to play for the club in a bid to secure his exit to Merseyside. 1last_img read more

Edin Dzekorator, Cesc Fibreglass and the best DIY footballers

first_img Edin Dzekorator, Cesc Fibreglass and the best DIY footballers We asked for your #diyfootballers, you didn’t disappoint… 1last_img

Jurgen Klopp non-committal on future of ‘wonderful’ Liverpool midfielder

first_img Stoke City have had an offer accepted for Joe Allen 1 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits he is an admirer of Joe Allen but he refused to be drawn on the future of the midfielder.It has been reported that the club have accepted a £13million bid from Stoke for the Wales international.That means the decision now lies with Allen, who is in the last year of his contract at Anfield and is keen to have more pitch time having been reduced to mainly Europa League appearances last season.“There is nothing about this and all the transfer rumours,” said Klopp.“We cannot comment because we couldn’t do anything else all day so we shouldn’t start with this.“I feel good (about Joe). I like the guy and I really think he is a wonderful football player.“I knew this before the European Championships, I saw it during the Euros and I know it now.“I have said all I can say about this. It is all about respecting contracts, negotiating or not – whatever – and making a transfer or not.“But it is nothing to discuss in public but I’ve not seen him since the middle of May in Basle (when Liverpool lost the Europa League final to Sevilla).”Klopp was speaking following the Reds’ 2-0 friendly win over Huddersfield, summer arrival Marko Grujic scoring the opener to cap off another impressive performance in the midfield.Alberto Moreno netted a late penalty to round off the win, whilst Philippe Coutinho had earlier missed a spot-kick won after the lively Sadio Mane was taken down inside the box by the Terriers’ goalkeeper.last_img read more


first_imgThe National Emergency Committee held a press conference today to warn the public about the dangers of tonight’s storm.Schools across Donegal have been told that they can close tomorrow.The Department of Education today issued advice in light of the severe and potentially damaging winds affecting certain parts of the country as Storm Rachel reaches our shores.They say schools in the Status Red area should consider NOT opening. Currently, Met Eireann has issued such a warning for Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare, Limerick and Kerry until noon tomorrow.According to Met Eireann, wind gusts of 130 to 150km an hour are possible as well as high seas near the shore.In a statement today, the department said schools should consider not opening where a Status Red weather warning related to wind is forecast.The high winds could coincide with the periods during which students and staff would be expected to travel to and from school. The full guidance is available on the department’s website.The general guidance from the National Coordination Group on Severe Weather is that the public are asked to monitor Met Éireann forecasts for their area and to be aware of the weather conditions and to heed safety warnings.Donegal County Council has also warned people to be extra careful tonight and tomorrow.The travelling public are encouraged to monitor road conditions as well as transport operator services over national and local radio/tv, websites and social media for possible impacts. DONEGAL SCHOOLS TOLD THEY SHOULD CONSIDER NOT OPENING AS STATUS RED STORM CLOSES IN was last modified: January 15th, 2015 by StephenShare 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) Tags:donegalschoolsStorm Rachelwindslast_img read more

FD Webinar|Healing Our Heroes: Treatment Techniques to Support Family Resiliency – Part 2

first_imgHealing Our Heroes: Treatment Techniques to Support Family Resiliency – Part 2Date: July 14, 2016Time: 11:00 am-12:30 pm EasternLocation: Healing Our Heroes Part 2: Using & Practicing Treatment Techniques to Support Family Resiliency NaturallyFlickr[Fallen Comrade by Aubrey Arcangel, April 26, 2005, CC BY-ND 2.0]This session is being presented by Patricia Gerbarg, M.D. and Richard Brown, M.D. Patricia is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at NY Medical College and Richard is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University. They will be explaining how to use and practice techniques that will support the healing process for people who have endured extreme stress and trauma and strengthen their abilities to cope with future stress and reduce the effects of traumas. Join us on July 14th at 11:00 am Eastern!We offer 1.5 National Association of Social Worker CE credits and CE credits for licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in the state of Georgia for each of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2016 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

Epsom Derby: Prendergast optimistic that Madhmoon can cure family itch

first_img Quick guide Tuesday’s racing tips Reuse this content Read more news Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Hide TipsWolverhampton1.50 Alkaraama (nap) 2.20 Miss Liberty Belle 2.55 Billy Dylan 3.25 Junior Rip 4.00 Joe The Beau 4.35 Antioco Lady 5.05 RockesburyBrighton 2.00 Cool Strutter 2.35 Dudley’s Boy 3.05 Dark Poet 3.35 He’s Our Star 4.10 Gendarme 4.45 De Little Engine 5.15 Confrerie (nb)Nottingham2.10 Ottoman Court 2.45 Aegeus 3.15 Rambaldi 3.45 Nearooz 4.20 Thanks be 4.55 True Destiny 5.25 Requited Huntingdon5.40 Mystic Court 6.10 Last Enchantment 6.40 Net De Treve 7.10 Northern Bound 7.40 Zoltan Varga 8.10 For Good Measure 8.40 Saffron Wells Hexham5.50 Frightened Rabbit 6.20 Glinger Flame 6.50 Quick Brew 7.20 For Three 7.50 Mrs Vonn 8.20 Prince Dundee 8.50 Farlam King Since you’re here… Talking Horses: Frankel’s jockey Tom Queally seeks to end winnerless run Thank you for your feedback. Share on Facebook Prendergast, in common with all other spectators, is still musing over the possibility that Madhmoon may have been at a disadvantage in racing up the middle of the track that day, when the first two raced hard against the stands’ rail.“The horse is going very well, he’s in very good shape, he came out of Newmarket very well,” Prendergast reports. “It’s all systems go to run in the Derby. The way he finished I’d be surprised and disappointed if he didn’t get the extra half-mile.”Madhmoon is a 14-1 shot for Classic glory but Prendergast points out that the horse has a form to edge it over one rival who is now Derby favourite. “We’ve beaten Broome once and I don’t see why we can’t beat him again,” the trainer says, referring to a Group Two contest at Leopardstown in September. “We beat him by two and a half lengths. And Aidan O’Brien’s other horse that won at Chester, Sir Dragonet. The ground was bottomless, so what will he do if the ground is good to dry at Epsom?” Share via Email … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Show Horse racing Share on WhatsApp The Derby Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn “He was second in it several times,” noted Prendergast Jr, aged 86. “They always ran well in it but just never clicked on the day. And that was in the days when you had to get the boat over and travel all over England by box.”An especially frustrating Derby for Paddy Prendergast was the 1960 version, in which he saddled Alcaeus and Kythnos to be second and third behind the Lester Piggott-ridden St Paddy. Three years later Kevin took out his own licence.He has since had five Derby runners of his own, though none since 1996. “They all ran well but none of them got placed,” he says, adding that Madhmoon would have a more obvious chance than any colt he has sent to Epsom before.He was last seen running fourth in the 2,000 Guineas, often regarded as the best Derby trial, and it seems that the first three from that race are likely to be directed elsewhere. Topics If Madhmoon wins the Derby a week on Saturday, it will be a victory more than half a century in the making. The sturdy colt is trained in Ireland by Kevin Prendergast, whose father, Paddy, prepared winners of all the other English Classics but never quite managed to land the blue riband itself. Horse racing tips Share on Messenger Was this helpful?last_img read more