SA disappointment in Osaka

first_img3 September 2007South Africa’s athletes have a lot of work to do before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, judging by a disappointing showing at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, where the team failed to land a single medal.The country’s biggest hope for a medal, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, ranked number one in the world in the 800 metres, struggled in the final of the race, finishing seventh as Kenya’s Alfred Yego won in a pedestrian 1:47.09. That time was the slowest winning time in a major championship since the Olympic Games in 1956.Mulaudzi was boxed in during the race, which seemed to affect his rhythm. Looking a little heavy in the legs, he failed to find a finishing sprint as he clocked 1:47.52. That was well off his season’s best time of 1:43.74 and over two seconds slower than his time in the semi-finals of 1:44.71.The slow pace definitely didn’t suit the South African as the first 400 metres was passed in 55 seconds; in his semi-final heat that mark was reached in 50 seconds.EncouragingThere was an encouraging performance from Robert Oosthuizen in the final of the javelin. The 20-year-old threw a career-best 84.52 metres with his first effort, which proved enough for him to claim sixth place.Oosthuizen was happy with his showing, saying he couldn’t have asked for more. His 84.52 effort improved his personal best by 1.19 metres and, considering his age, the chances are good of him bettering that effort by the time the Beijing Games come around a year from now.SA’s Head coach Wilf Daniels was pleased with Oosthuizen’s performance, describing it as the best of the championships for South Africa.Highest finishThe highest finish by a South African came in the men’s long jump in which Khotso Mokoena claimed fifth place with a distance of 8.19 metres. He reached the final with the best jump of the qualifiers, leaping 8.28 metres.While Mulaudzi disappointed in the 800 metres, the other major disappointment came in the men’s 400 metres hurdles.Three athletes lined up in the heats, but only Ter de Villiers – third in heat three – advanced to the semi-finals. Alwyn Myburgh reinjured a hamstring during his heat, while LJ van Zyl, ranked number two in the world heading into the World Championships, inexplicably was beaten into fifth place in his heat.The Commonwealth champion’s time of 49.71 was way below what he is capable of running. His personal best time is 48.05 and he had beaten all the leading athletes in the event during the course of the season.No medals … againMaking South Africa’s lack of a medal winning performance in Osaka all the more concerning is the fact that two year’s previously, at the World Championships in Helsinki, the Rainbow Nation also came away empty-handed.The country has far greater potential than the results indicate and the athletes themselves will, no doubt, be disappointed by their results. The fact is, in most instances, they failed to come even close to challenging for medals, producing results far below their personal expectations.The question that needs to be asked is: what is going to be done between now and the Olympic Games in Beijing to get the country’s athletes onto the podium?Another major championship without a medal would not only be disappointing but unacceptable. There is a year left to make things right. Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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SA still upbeat about the future

first_imgBoys play with home-made toy cars in Kliptown, a suburb of South Africa’s largest township, Soweto. The FutureFact 2007 survey revealed that more people are opting to live in townships. (Image: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more photos visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusThe latest FutureFact survey, conducted during June and July 2007, has revealed that most South Africans have a positive outlook on the future. In contrast to popular opinion – which holds that more and more South Africans are considering emigration, particularly to Australia – the survey found that most respondents believe there are opportunities for the taking in South Africa.Fieldwork was conducted by African Response, a black-owned and managed research agency, and tapped into the opinions of a probability sample of 2 500 people aged 16 and over, from across the country. Communities of fewer than 500 people were exempt from the survey.Respondents were asked to place themselves in one of four socio-economic classes – working/lower class, middle class, upper middle class and upper class – based on a number of factors such as the area where they live, the car they drive, the school their children attend, their position at work, and their role in the struggle for freedom.Some 36% classified themselves as lower/working class, with 42% placing themselves in the middle class bracket. Thirteen percent fell into the upper middle class and 2% into the upper class. Seven percent could not decide on a class for themselves.Respondents were questioned on a wide variety of factors such as their personal attitude to life, their idea of what determines a person’s class, their opinion of infrastructure in the community, attitudes and behaviour with regard to HIV/Aids, being a South African and living in South Africa, activities and interests, trust in government and leaders, and others.Better quality of life in SAOne of the major patterns of thought that emerged, according to researcher Jos Kuper, was that South Africans believe they have a better quality of life in this country than they would have elsewhere in the world. This was the opinion of 84% of lower/working class respondents and 90% of middle class and upper middle class respondents.Other trends reveal that people feel the focus on the negative is too great and that this should be turned into a more positive outlook. People also believe there are exciting opportunities in South Africa – this was expressed by 88% of working class and 92% of upper class respondents. The latter also felt satisfied with their lot in life, with 73% of middle class respondents but only 48% of working class respondents agreeing that they were happy with their lives.In contrast to previous FutureFact surveys, which found that many people, especially youth, wished to move from townships to the suburbs, the 2007 survey revealed a renewed sense of pride in township culture and an accompanying economic injection. Some 81% of respondents said they were more likely now to remain living in a township than a year ago, while 77% were happy where they were and 68% lived in the townships by choice.With regard to the recent electricity outages across South Africa, most respondents felt prepared to support energy-saving initiatives such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, even though they were a more expensive investment initially. Forty-six percent believe that nuclear power is an unavoidable alternative, while 58% would be prepared to buy electricity from renewable energy sources.Giving government a breakMost people (88%) believed, with 51% of these expressing a strong belief, in the statement that “while the government has made a lot of mistakes, it has done more good things for our country”.There is a attitude of greater ease in expressing democratic views and taking the government to task when necessary, with 83% of respondents of the opinion that it is healthy to criticise the government of any country, and 76% saying that compared to their situation a year ago they would be more likely now to openly criticise the government.People also agreed that, while there could be no denying there was corruption in the present government, compared to the previous dispensation it was at least more transparent.Only 46% said they would consider emigrating if they were dissatisfied with South Africa’s future leader. However, 60% of middle and upper class respondents said they were generally not interested in leaving, but 30% of the upper class and 19% of the middle class was giving it serious consideration, as was 17% of the working class.South Africa’s perceived position in AfricaThe majority of those consulted (76%) felt that South Africa has a position as the moral leader or conscience of the rest of Africa, 67% felt that South Africa should look after its own and not worry about the rest of Africa and 66% agreed that South Africa should send soldiers to attend to troubled areas elsewhere on the continent. Additionally, 68% felt that other African countries offer business opportunities for local companies.Although the survey was conducted well before the recent xenophobia-related violence that rocked South Africa in May 2008, attitudes towards immigration of nationals from other African countries, especially troubled ones, already hinted at what was to come. Some 81% of respondents felt that South Africa should “severely limit immigration into the country from troubled African countries”.Analysing future trendsThe findings will be presented at the FutureFact conference 2008, which takes place at the end of July 2008 with the theme of South Africa: The 29th Day – Have we reached our tipping point? The conference is described as placing its focus on the changing social, political and economic attitudes of the people of South Africa, uncovering key trends that impact business and identifying where they are likely to tip in the future.Among the keynote speakers are MediaClubSouthAfrica columnist Justice Malala, who is also GM of Avusa Magazines, and Azar Jammine, director and chief economist at economic consultancy Econometrix.Established in 1998, FutureFact is an ongoing research project that uses the skills of researchers, planners, analysts and futurists to compile its data. The project aims to uncover what motivates, guides, inspires and transforms South Africans, and is used by a number of major South African companies such as mobile phone provider MTN, national electricity supplier Eskom and government departments to assist with strategising.FutureFact surveys focus on key areas that affect South Africans such as unemployment, crime, HIV/Aids, lifestyle, media and others.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Useful linksFutureFactAfrican ResponseHomecoming Revolutionlast_img read more

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4,327 Kashmiris get a reprieve

first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday withdrew cases against 4,327 youths, mainly first-time stone-throwers involved in 744 cases of disturbing law and order in the past one year.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced the decision after a high-powered committee, headed by Director-General of Police S.P. Vaid, submitted its report to her in Jammu.Regular monitoringAn official spokesman said cases against these youths stood withdrawn. “The DGP has been asked to regularly monitor the progress in the matter and furnish a fortnightly report,” reads the communication from the Home Department to the DGP. An official spokesman said the decision “marks the revival of the process of withdrawal of cases started by Ms. Mufti immediately after taking over last year”.In the past, the Mufti government set a process of reviewing cases against youths involved in incidents from 2008 to 2014. “The process, unfortunately, got disrupted due to the continued violence and unrest in the latter part of last year,” the spokesman said.A total of 848 cases, involving 4,957 youths, had been withdrawn since last year. “She [the Chief Minister] is committed to withdrawing cases against youths found ‘not involved in heinous crimes’,” said the spokesman.The release of first-time stone-throwers was also recommended by the Government of India’s Special Representative on J&K, Dineshwar Sharma, who completed his first visit in the second week of November. He later made a presentation before the Union Home Ministry in Delhi.“The decision is a ray of hope for these young boys and their families. It is an opportunity for them to rebuild their lives,” Ms. Mufti said. She hoped the decision would help in creating “a positive and conciliatory atmosphere” in the State.last_img read more

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Mighty Sports faces Magnolia in tuneup ahead of Dubai tilt

first_imgUS judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Ateneo overwhelms UV to win 2018 PCCL title Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES “Though a win is a win, we still have a lot of work to do,” Tiu said after beating the Elite.“In a scale of 10, we’re still at level 5,” said Tiu, the younger brother of former Rain or Shine star Chris.  “We need to reach 7 or 8 before we leave for Dubai. The tournament there is very tough.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe Dubai tilt tips off on February 1 with Mighty Sports in for a grind against some of the toughest clubs from Jordan, Lebanon and UAE.Alex Wongchuking, who co-owns the team with younger brother Caesar, is looking forward to a much better finish this time after the team blew several opportunities in its first foray in the annual tournament two years ago. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “I’ll be happier if we can reach the semis this time,” said Wongchuking. “That’s our goal and I’m confident coach Charles, coach Jong (Uichico), coach Woody (Co) and coach Dean (Castano) can bring out the best from Lamar (Odom) and the rest of the team.”Justine Brownlee, the Barangay Ginebra resident import, is expected to lead Mighty Sports. Apart from Brownlee,  former NBA star Lamar Odom and Chinese Basketball Association veteran Randolph Morris will also beef up the squad.Odom, who won two titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010, has already joined the team after arriving in Manila on Wednesday.The team is also looking to get a lift from Fil-American prospects Jeremiah Gray and Roosevelt Adams and ex-pros Ty Tang, Joseph Yeo, Jett Manuel and Gab Banal as well as college stars Juan Gomez Di Liaño of University of the Philippines and College of St. Benilde’s Justin GutangADVERTISEMENTcenter_img MOST READ Mighty Sports coach Charles Tiu feels his team is still far from where it wants to be less than a week before plunging into action in the Dubai International Basketball Tournament.Mighty Sports is coming off a win over the Blackwater Elite in an exhibition game but Tiu wants to see more from his wards when it faces the Magnolia Hotshots in another tuneup set on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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