Awesome BMX action in Pietermaritzburg

first_img11 April 2011American Corben Sharrah rose to the occasion to win the grand final of the UCI BMX Supercross at Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, while young French rider Manon Valentino confirmed her status as the hottest property in female BMX racing by completing a rare double in the women’s division.A quietly spoken 19-year-old from Tucson, Arizona, Sharrah timed his charge to perfection, shifting up a gear in the semi-final to dominate the Frenchman Joris Daudet, who had until that stage been the men’s pacesetter.In the final, Sharrah got the hole-shot and as he led into the first berm he looked in total control.While the pack jostled behind him, resulting in classy Kiwi Marc Willers going down, Sharrah never let his control of the race slip, flying home to win from Australian Khalen “Wild Child” Young, with timetrial superfinal winner Daudet in third.Suited my style of riding’“This track really suited my style of riding,” said Sharrah, as he was mobbed by well wishers from Team USA. “I had a really good gate and won the big battle to get into the first turn first.“When I realised I was leading, it was all about staying calm and focused. That was the critical part for me.“It feels fantastic to win the first World Cup of the season,” he added.Dreadlocked French sensation Manon Valentino, aged 21, was ecstatic after completing a totally dominant win in the women’s main final. “This is totally amazing! What a comeback for me!” gushed the former junior world champion, whose first year as a senior was dogged by injury.In truth, she had won the final by the time she had turned into the second straight.Without peerFrom her quicksilver reaction off the start gate, to her athletic and fluid pace across the demanding 15-metre triple on the first straight, Valentino was without peer, and romped home to win by more than a second from Argentinean Gabriela Diaz, with Kiwi icon Sarah Walker earning the last spot on the podium.Australian ace Sam Willoughby was the shock omission from the main final line-up. He was one of four riders to crash out of the semi-finals in a pileup on the first berm that also accounted for gutsy Canadian Tory Nyhaug, Dutchman Jelle van Gorkom and Joshua Meyers of the USA.Two podium contenders fell by the wayside in a drama-laden second men’s quarter final, where on-form Frenchman Sylvain Andre and former world champion Donnie Robinson of the USA, who was being cheered on his comeback to the Supercross circuit, were both unseated in spills.SA hopeful oustedIn the men’s qualifying rounds the last local hopeful left in the men’s draw Gavin Lubbe was squeezed out of qualifying for the quarter finals. Needing only to repeat the two fourth places from his first two heats, he was sluggish off the starting line and completed his final heat in seventh, and was eliminated.“Yeah, it’s frustrating!” said Lubbe. “I was just late off the gate and was playing catch-up from then onwards.”Earlier in the day South Africa’s solitary female challenger Teagan O’Keeffe was sidelined after failing to make the cut for the women’s semi finals, despite strong vocal support from the packed stands.Pile-upsThe regular pile-ups kept the on-site medical team busy throughout the afternoon, with four serious injuries requiring hospital attention, one for a broken ankle and three for broken collarbones.The heady mix of on-track action and music under the blazing sun provided a compelling spectacle for the big crowd that packed into the new BMX venue at Alexandra Park, which will become a permanent BMX facility after the Supercross.R E S U L T SMen’s FinalCorben Sharrah (USA) 34.054Khalen Young (Aus) 34.815Joris Daudet (Fra) 35.095Raymon van der Biezen (Ned) 35.156Andres Jiminez Caicedo (Col) 35.620Robert de Wilde (Ned) 36.026David Herman (USA) 37.689Marc Williers (NZ) 1.13.216Women’s FinalManon Valentino (Fra) 33.714Maria Gabriela Diaz (Arg) 34.858Sarah Walker (NZ) 36.116Magalie Pottier (Fra) 43.085Caroline Buchanan (Aus) 43.726Vilma Rimsaite (Ltu) 49.473Stefany Hernandez (Ven) 1.04.473Lauren Reynolds (Aus) Did Not FinishSAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Minstrels take over Cape Town’s streets

first_img6 January 2014 About 40 000 minstrels – or Kaapse Klopse as they are popularly known – took over the streets of Cape Town on Saturday as part of the annual Tweede Nuwejaar (second New Year) street parade, one of the city’s largest and most historic cultural events. In an event lasting around 10 hours, the 75 colourful groups of musicians, dancers and troupe members danced their way from Zonnebloem to the city centre. Around 60 000 of the Cape Town’s residents and visitors cheeredon the performers on a sweltering day in the city’s centre. While the 200-year-old event is usually held on 2 January – the one day Cape slaves were given off every year – it was moved to Saturday this year at the request of the minstrels to allow more people to attend.Glamour A stage was set up at the Grand Parade, where entertainers selected by the minstrels to represent Cape Town’s rich cultural diversity performed before the formal programme began. The event attracts entire communities, including young children, all kitted out in glamorous outfits. “The various brightly clad teams carry a rainbow of umbrellas and some are armed with musical instruments, dazzling onlookers with toe-tapping songs and beautifully choreographed dances, preserving a custom that began in the mid- 1800s,” the city explains on its website. “The Tweede Nuwe Jaar Parade is so ingrained in local society that some performers have been taking part in the parade for over 30 years, and are not only joined by their children but even their grandchildren for this extravagant event.” The annual ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ parade and the Cape Minstrels were part of the rich cultural heritage of Cape Town, Grant Pascoe, Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing said in a statement on the city’s website. “It is more fitting than ever to ring in the New Year a second time, as we enter the 20th year of South Africa’s democracy. Embracing our cultural diversity is an integral part of our commitment to building an inclusive city.” City of Cape Town and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

LadyGaga as a Service: Bringing Apple and Google to Commerce 2.0

first_imgmike kirkwood A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#cloud#saas And, the authorization to ‘Buy Now’. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market This feature is available to any Apple affiliate, but we find it particularly effective coming from the artist embedded with the video and other endorsements.Tweeting, End to End, Facebook, FTWWe noticed that with a simple interaction, we can logon to Facebook and Twitter from LadyGaga.com and drop a status post, or “tweet” into Facebook or Twitter. Incredibly, inside iTunes, both services are available as well. The real story is that social networks, and commerce networks work together, end-to-end, and, for-the-win. In a twist of fate, in this version of digital music future the record labels win big. They do it by being close to both eyeballs (Google) and library (Apple), and bringing out the thing they know, the pop. LadyGaga is on a rollWith the help of Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Apple she will connect to more platforms than ever before, with fewer clicks and passwords. We wonder how this evolve further into other platforms. Will LadyGaga’s services continue to find new ways to leverage real-time services? We’re starting to envision personal mobile and location aware fan applications. Will the forces of cloud computing and commerce force Apple and Google be best-friends-forever in music? And, will we ever build a phone that doesn’t disrupt us while on the dance floor?And, for god’s sake, damn, Beyonce’ has her back.Top photo credit: Lady Gaga at CES 2010 Lady Gaga, along with her record company, is evolving the album in the form of software as a service. Considering the content of her hit new video, Telephone, it is fitting that she would use software to tackle the hard problem of getting paid by amazing fans.On her path to global dominance, the site, LadyGaga.com has innovated the next generation of brand management for artists. To do this, she creates a join between Google’s YouTube, Apple’s iTunes, Twitter, and Facebook. Way beyond having a an Twitter account, LadyGaga is hosting an interface party, and you’re invited. She’s a performer who is inventing ways to create the value of using multiple platforms to juice the network effects.Commerce 2.0Like it a lot? Take a souvenir home from the party for the low introductory price of $1.99 in your iTunes.Today, we noticed another cultural icon, VC Fred Wilson posted this question on his blog as to what will emerge as Commerce 2.0. iTunes is prominently offered for both buying the video (which is also free on the same page) and also the album. So, there is a bet here that people want to own it, or place value in their iTunes library to offer this connected service. This brings the user to a one-moment to buy scenario. Shown here, there is the familiar transition to iTunes from the LadyGaga site. In default mode, iTunes is set to require a validation step (a second click) to buy the media. The user can can be set easily to bypass this step and enable the user one-click to buy from the web in the future. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… “So the question is who will the YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter of commerce be? Maybe they exist today and will emerge as large scale web services soon. Or maybe they are still ideas in the minds of entrepreneurs and will be hatched in the coming years.It’s an area I am excited about and will be on the lookout for. Clearly I’m not the only one.”This is where we think LadyGaga.com’s promotion for Telephone stands out as an example of the new world economy. This world is connected by the best ad engines of Google. And it is directly connected to Apple’s amazing commerce engine. Apple, in the context of digital goods is showing how extremely well it is positioned to be the industry payment engine. Embedding YouTube: Get it Now, AnywhereWe witnessed YouTube transition from the Wild West to a control point for record labels. Now, a lot of the newest official artist videos flow straight to Vevo, the branded label friendly site that runs ads and controls the experience of the brand. YouTube is taking advantage of its place as a channeling service for video. In this case, the top, most requested inventory pays for the rest of the service. The higher the demand, the more attention it gets. LadyGaga.com, like many sites, uses embeddable YouTube. In addition to pointing to commerce services like iTunes, the video embeds curated links into other properties at Vevo. This provides the site custom promotion experience while leveraging the YouTube and Vevo distribution channel.last_img read more

Two arrests after north Columbia shots fired

first_imgPolice have made two arrests over some north Columbia gunshots on Sunday night.Daniel Ayers, 17, is accused of unlawful use of a weapon, and 18-year-old Le’Andre Mitchell (pictured) is charged with possession of a stolen firearm.Investigators say the gun shots on Silver Mill Drive near Rangeline and Brown School Road on Sunday at about 8 p.m. did not hurt anyone or damage anything. They also say they do not think the gun shots were random.(This story was last updated at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday.)last_img read more

How Much Did The NCAA Selection Committee Screw Your Team Over

In the long, drawn-out days between Selection Sunday and the beginning of the round of 64, college basketball fans have two pastimes: filling out their brackets and complaining about the NCAA Tournament selection committee’s decisions.This year was especially ripe for the latter, with grievances coming in from all corners of the college basketball universe. (Hint: When even the No. 1 overall seed — in this case, Kansas — has room for complaint, the committee might not have done its best work.) But how much does this stuff really matter? Can small changes to the committee’s decisions make a big difference to a team’s odds of going deep in the tourney?To figure this out, we used the same method that drives our March Madness predictions and randomized the bracket around the committee’s S-curve rankings — the actual 1-68 ranking of teams the committee uses to guide the seedings and overall placement of teams in the bracket. Because the committee doesn’t adhere strictly to the S-curve within each “seed line” — it has the leeway to place teams according to factors (like geography) that go beyond balancing each region’s strength — we can judge how much the committee’s decisions at the margins affected each team’s chances of advancing to various rounds. And because we’re keeping teams in the same S-curve slots as the committee’s, we can examine these differences without delving into alternate universe-type scenarios in which the crusty old voters valued the teams differently.Here are the teams whose odds to get to the Sweet 16 and Final Four were helped and hurt the most. As far as the championship is concerned, these tweaks don’t matter much; most teams’ odds of winning it all were affected by less than a percentage point. But in terms of advancing to prestige benchmarks like the Sweet 16 and Final Four, the draw can have a relatively large effect. By being in a favorable region, for instance, Oklahoma’s Final Four odds were boosted by 12.1 percentage points, while Villanova was dinged by 4.4 points because it was dropped into the same region with Kansas.And that’s just looking at the committee’s deviations from its own S-curve. What if the crusty old voters did value the teams (slightly) differently? In another simulation, we randomized the S-curve itself, giving a team the potential to move up or drop down into the top or bottom half of the next “seed line.” For instance, a No. 3 seed could have moved up into one of the bottom two slots on the S-curve for No. 2 seeds or just as easily dropped into one of the top two slots for No. 4 seeds. For each of those random draws, we simulated the bracket and then tracked how much each team’s odds changed in their most and least favorable draws.Here are the results when we model the S-curve this way: By Neil Paine and Jay Boice More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. For top teams, the difference between its 20th- and 80th-percentile draw was 10 to 15 percentage points of Final Four probability, all due to the whims of its position on the S-curve.Certainly, there are more factors determining how far a team goes in the NCAA Tournament than simply its starting point in the bracket. But in a wide-open field in which every edge counts, even small shifts in probability can add up.Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2016 March Madness Predictions. Embed Code read more

Does It Matter That The Sixers Best Players Have No Playoff Experience

The Philadelphia 76ers are going to make the playoffs — not that their best players know what that feels like. Teams with their level of inexperience don’t usually push past the first round. Can the Sixers break the mold?

Holmes signs autographs at Ohio Union

A Super Bowl MVP and former Buckeye football star met students for an autograph session on campus.Santonio Holmes, the former Ohio State wide receiver, signed autographs at the Ohio Union for students and fans Tuesday night.Holmes, the Super Bowl XLIII MVP, spent two hours signing autographs for his fans in the Archie Griffin Ballroom.Jessica Kachovec, a first-year from Cincinnati, attended one game every year growing up and remembers seeing Holmes play in the Horseshoe.“He’s an amazing player,” Kachovec said. “The only reason I watch Pittsburgh is because he plays for them.”Holmes, who played for the Buckeyes from 2002 to 2005, now plays wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.“He was the man,” said Scott Diamond, a third-year from Cleveland, about Holmes’ days as a Buckeye. “He’s definitely one of the best NFL players Ohio State has ever produced.”Sean Sirianni, a fourth-year and Pittsburgh native who was excited when the Steelers drafted Holmes, was looking forward to meeting him because of the OSU-Pittsburgh connection they share.Holmes was recently accused of throwing a glass of liquor at a woman in a nightclub in Orlando, Fla. that caused a laceration.Despite the incident, he was welcomed with great support at the OSU event.“I really hope it all turns out OK,” Diamond said. “I hope he plays well and people hopefully forget the off-field issues when he’s done playing.” read more

Commentary Women still fighting for equality in sports

On June 23, 1972, the United States government passed an education amendment that included Title IX. Within the amendment was a statement that clearly summarizes the purpose of Title IX and what it stands for: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Almost 40 years after the amendment was signed into law, women are still fighting for equal consideration in sports against their male counterparts. It is not always at the collegiate or professional levels either, where most of the media attention is focused. More often than not, it is in high schools where isolated incidents continue to take place. Last week, Our Lady of Sorrows Academy’s baseball team in Phoenix forfeited the state championship game it was scheduled to play against Mesa Preparatory Academy in Mesa, Ariz. because Mesa had a girl named Paige Sultzbach starting at second base. Our Lady of Sorrows is a member of a separatist branch of the Catholic Church and said that playing against a team with a girl would violate the school’s mission to teach boys and girls separately. I’m not here to start a religious debate, question the beliefs of any religion, or say what is the right or wrong thing to believe. My question is simply this: What’s the big deal? Sultzbach is obviously a good enough player to be a starter for a varsity team, where she is the only female member, that reached the state championship game. She even sat out two previous contests against Our Lady of Sorrows this season out of respect for the views of the school. As a passionate person, she was not about to sit out the state championship game though, and who could blame her? As a member of a team and a fierce competitor, there should be no reason a person, male or female, should be asked to sit out after they have worked all year to reach the biggest game of the season. Many people who have played a high school sport know that it is almost every player’s dream to play for a state championship in his or her respective sport. It is something I dreamed about many times growing up, but like many people, I was never fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live that dream. Sultzbach and her teammates had that opportunity, but it was taken away from them because she is a girl. I admire Sultzbach’s decision to play even though she knew it would cause her team to win a state championship by forfeit which she said was absolutely not the way she wanted it to be. Most people want to feel like it was earned because it means more that way. Sultzbach clearly earned the right to play baseball for her school and to play for a state championship, but Our Lady of Sorrows denied her that chance. And the fight for equality continues for another day. read more

Review Belgium – England

first_imgThomas Meunier and Eden Hazard scored in a deserved 2-0 victory for Belgium which earned its first ever World Cup medal.Here are the teams for #BELENG! #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/Wv14Z5zrXW— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 14, 2018Thomas Meunier, the man who missed the semi-final against France, scored in the 4th minute to give Belgium an early 1-0 lead. Danny Rose did not cover Meunier, allowing him to get at the end of a Nacer Chadli cross just a few meters away from goal. The game was nowhere near as closed as the first group stage encounter between the two. Despite good defensive positioning, both teams were finding space to create opportunities. De Bruyne had a shot blocked by Pickford, Lukaku failed to control a ball inside the box, while Loftus-Cheek and Maguire had a header each. Harry Kane was forgotten by Belgium’s defenders in the 24th minute, but he slipped in the last moment and fired his shot wide.James Rodriguez, Real MadridZidane hails ‘quality’ James Rodriguez after Real Madrid’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane reserved special praise for James Rodriguez after his starring role in Real Madrid’s 3-2 win over Levante.In the 35th minute, Aiderweireld had an overhead shot go over the bar following a corner kick. Soon after that, The Red Devils had a counter attack which slowed down once Chadli grabbed his hamstring. He couldn’t continue and was replaced by (somewhat surprisingly) Thomas Vermaelen. England had the initiative for around 15 minutes in the middle of the first half, but then Belgium regained control and had several attempts at goal blocked before Sandro Ricci blew the half-time whistle.Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford strengthened England’s attack at half-time, entering the pitch in place of Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling. In the 55th minute, De Druyne saw a free zone and sent a through ball to Lukaku, who would’ve had a one-on-one with Pickford if he had managed to receive the pass. However, for the second time in the match, he didn’t. The center forward wasn’t fully invested in the contest. Roberto Martinez saw that and replaced him with Dries Mertens in the 60th minute.In the 70th minute, Eric Dier and Jess Lingard played a great one-two pass which freed up Dier, who chipped the ball over Courtois. When everyone thought it was 1-1, Toby Aiderweireld came flying in and cleared the ball off the goal line. It was by far the best chance of the game for The Three Lions, who began increasing the pressure. In the 78th minute, Moussa Dembele came in for Youri Tielemans. Two minutes later, we saw the best counter attack of the entire championship which included two backheel passes and ended with Jordan Pickford making a one-handed save on Thomas Meunier’s volley. If he would’ve scored, it would’ve been the goal of the tournament.Eden Hazard finally got a goal from open play in the 82nd minute. Kevin De Bruyne pushed the ball between four defenders and gave it to Hazard, who avoided being in an offside position and was quicker than Phil Jones. It was routine afterwards, as he beat Pickford at the near post to make it 2-0 Belgium. Dele Alli substituted Ruben Loftus-Cheek following the goal. The Belgians calmly brought the game to a close, winning their first bronze medal in football history.last_img read more

Valverde is still unsure if he will remain in Barcelona

first_imgBarcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has everybody in the club uncertain because he still hasn’t given any hints about a contract extension.Being the Barcelona manager is always a really stressful job for anyone who decides to take it, especially during this era in which the club is going through a successful period and Ernesto Valverde is the latest to suffer the consequences of this job. Ever since Pep Guardiola started as the manager back in 2008, the position has been filled by some very interesting managers who have left for various circumstances and abruptly ended their relationship with the club. Pep himself gave everybody a heads up and he left as the most revered manager in the club’s history, after him, followed the late ‘Tito’ Vilanova who sadly lost his battle with cancer. That loss was a huge blow for the whole club because the Catalan manager was the ideal coach to keep the style alive, but the club had to bring in a new manager and they called Gerardo Martino who only lasted a season and didn’t win a single trophy. The Argentine manager had to part ways with the club due to an alarming lack of results, patience in clubs like Barcelona is not a luxury these institutions can afford and they quickly started looking for a new manager.CALLING ALL FANS! Who can sum up today’s win with a GIF? Any takers?#BarçaPSV?? pic.twitter.com/zchSDhgmaw— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018Luis Enrique’s abrupt exit.The board of directors in the Catalan club found a suitable replacement quickly in Luis Enrique, a former Barcelona player who had already managed Celta de Vigo with acceptable results for a club of its stature. This was a man who knew the Barcelona philosophy very well, but brought a fresh approach on the attack and was fortunate enough to have one of the best attacking trios in history formed by Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar. His spell was also short because of the temperamental personality that he had, problems with several players quickly began to emerge and his time in the club had an expiration date. But Luis Enrique’s time in his beloved club, brought the second treble in its history and he broke many records during his time. But even if the club wanted him to stay as the manager, Luis Enrique made up his mind and left once he had already won all the trophies he could with the Blaugrana. This is how once again, the Catalan club wasn’t able to keep a manager and started looking for another suitable replacement. They also found it in Ernesto Valverde, who is still the manager today and also won trophies during his first year at the club. When he arrived, the new boss agreed on a two-year contract because he knew that managers never last in this club.? Geraint Thomas, winner of the 2018 Tour de France, in the President Suñol suite with President Bartomeu during #BarçaPSV pic.twitter.com/dskz5ioGNQDavid Villa, FC BarcelonaTop 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 19, 2018After winning a historic La Liga and Copa del Rey for the Catalan club, Valverde’s problems came from the board of directors rather than the players. Actually, the boss has an excellent relationship with every member of the squad but the board didn’t like him getting eliminated in last year’s Champions League against AS Roma. Right after the shocking defeat, club President Josep Maria Bartomeu came out to criticize Valverde for the result and the manager didn’t appreciate him throwing all his technical staff under the bus like that. Now that the same people who came after him last season are trying to get him to sign a new contract, Valverde is right to leave them in suspense because he feels they were disloyal towards him in the most difficult moment for the club. But this behavior from the club’s president is not new, he has repeatedly committed mistakes that the Barcelona supporters don’t appreciate and they later accept only because the club keeps winning trophies with him as the chairman. But the fans might not accept this confrontation with Valverde, the manager who has done things right in the last season and the man who has Barcelona as the top title contenders in Europe right now. Ernesto’s contract ends next summer, there hasn’t been any movement in regards to an extension and people are starting to get nervous.? Hear what the boss and players had to say after #BarçaPSV?? #ForçaBarça? https://t.co/prPMF380an— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 18, 2018How far do you think Valverde will wait until he gives news about a contract extension with FC Barcelona? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more