Blake: Williams’ success fast-tracked hurdles progress

first_imgPresident of the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA) believes that Danielle Williams’ success in Beijing has fast-tracked Jamaica’s progress in the women’s sprint hurdles and could lead to a more rapid transition from the last era of sprint hurdlers.In 2009, Brigitte Foster-Hylton won Jamaica’s first ever gold medal in the 100-metre hurdles at the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Berlin, Germany, while countrywoman Deloreen Ennis-London was third as Jamaica reaped one of its richest medal hauls ever at a global championships. However, three years later, both athletes had retired, leaving behind an enormous gap to be filled. According to Dr Blake, Williams’ success may have just filled that gap.more medals per capita”Three years ago when Foster-Hylton retired, we wondered where the next crop of hurdlers were coming from, but a number of camps have been developing hurdlers and we were developing a critical mass of hurdlers so it was going to come, but it came a little quicker than anyone expected,” said the JAAA president who spoke with The Gleaner on Monday shortly after The Queen’s School honoured Williams for her exploits at the World Championships in Beijing, China.Williams unexpectedly won gold in a personal best 12.57 seconds to help Jamaica win seven gold medals and finish second overall at the championships behind Kenya. Per capita, Jamaica won more medals than any of the other leading nations, Dr Blake had earlier told the gathering of more than 1,000 students and teachers and dignitaries, including Ministers Lisa Hanna, Natalie Neita-Headley, and chairman of the school board Dr Vin Lawrence.Blake revealed that while many did not expect Williams to win a medal, he believed she could have.”I was saying to people that Jamaica stood a good chance of getting a gold medal, and when I said it people looked at me quite strangely as if I was crazy, but I have to believe and have faith in my athletes and her win shows my faith was well placed,” he said.He said Williams’ win will be an inspiration for the other female hurdlers currently emerging on to the world stage for Jamaica.”I think this will give them the boost to work harder, train harder to prepare themselves. A lot of what goes into making a successful hurdler is the preparation that goes in, and seeing that success breeds success and people are going to want to train harder and I think that at the Olympics we could end up getting more than one medal in the event.”last_img read more

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Female voices from World Cup spark sexist backlash

first_imgSome fans desperately want to keep it that way and have vented their anger on Twitter and other social media.“Call me old-fashioned, but women commentators, no thank you,” wrote one after the BBC’s Vicki Sparks and a male colleague commentated on a live match for Britain’s public broadcaster.“BBC again trying to do the PC thing,” the user scoffed.Others charged that “women commentators just don’t work”, make fans “cringe”, help stations to “tick boxes” in gender equality, and that their “squeaky voices” ruin the experience.Former England captain John Terry posted on Instagram a photo of his TV set during the Morocco vs Portugal match in question with the caption “having to watch this game with no volume”.After many angry replies, he deleted the post and clarified that, after he had returned late at night from holidays in the Maldives, the audio on his set was not working.– ‘Losing it online’ –Similar sentiments have rained down on female TV pioneers such as Claudia Neumann of Germany’s ZDF, Aly Wagner of Fox in the US, Hanna Marklund of Sweden’s TV4 and Norwegian NRK’s Lise Klaveness.In Germany, ZDF sports chief Thomas Fuhrmann jumped to the defence of Neumann after she repeatedly became the target of fierce ridicule and gender-based attacks.“Of course we accept criticism, including of our commentators, but what is happening with Claudia Neumann is breaking all boundaries,” he said.“This is obviously about something fundamental — a woman commentating on a game at the men’s World Cup. Some people are completely losing it online, it’s beyond the pale.”Support for Neumann — who had previously taken the microphone for Euro 2016 and Champions League matches — also came from the German Olympic and Sports Confederation.The body proposed putting more women into “supposedly male disciplines” with an emphasis on high-profile events such as at the World Cup and Champions League matches.Bibiana Steinhaus — who became the first woman to referee Bundesliga men’s matches this year, and suffered a similar backlash — also expressed her solidarity.– ‘A men’s world’ –German journalism lecturer Jana Wiske wrote in Der Spiegel news weekly that the situation was not surprising, given that out of 419 German journalists at the World Cup, only 49 are women.“It’s still unusual to listen to a woman” give commentary on a game, she wrote. “Football is a men’s world, not only in Germany, so who can really be surprised by this humiliating criticism against the female commentator?”The often backward gender attitudes were on display elsewhere in the Cup, such as when a journalist for Germany’s Deutsche Welle was groped and kissed on the cheek by a fan while delivering a live segment to camera.DW condemned the assault on its Colombian journalist Julieth Gonzalez Theran, calling for “zero tolerance” on harassment to ensure female reporters can “do their jobs at major sporting events”.When it comes to bringing equality to the job of commentating on matches, Germany’s other major public TV network ARD announced that in the “medium-term”, it is also looking for a female commentator for men’s football matches.Its sports chief Axel Balkausky said that it was still difficult to attract more female commentators, given the sometimes hostile atmosphere.“We are working on it,” he told national news agency DPA, “but we see that, given the often absurd and negative reactions, a woman must be very secure as a commentator in order to be able to deal with such situations.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Its sports chief Axel Balkausky said that it was still difficult to attract more female commentators, given the sometimes hostile atmosphere.BERLIN, Germany, June 28 – Female sports journalists have made history with live commentaries on games broadcast from the World Cup — only to be vilified in torrents of sexist insults and ridicule on social media.While women presenters and experts have slowly gained a foothold in the TV studios of sports broadcasters, live commentary of football’s showpiece tournament had until now been very much a man’s game.last_img read more

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Allan Donald: White Lightning

first_imgKnown affectionately as “White Lightning”, he was feared and respected by batsmen the world over, and was one of the main reasons why South Africa’s return to international cricket was so successful.Early in his career, he captured 12 for 139 against India in Port Elizabeth in December 1992 to help the Proteas to victory on a pitch that was not recognised as conducive to fast bowling. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)Brand South Africa ReporterThe first Protea to capture 300 test wickets, Allan Donald was for some time the most successful Test bowler in South African cricketing history, and ranks among the best in the history of the game.His sensational strike rate says it all: he picked up a est wicket in just under every 47 balls, or every eight overs he delivered. By the time he announced his retirement from the Test arena in early 2002, he had taken 330 wickets at an average of 22.25 runs per wicket.Donald captured five wickets in an innings on 20 occasions and took 10 or more on three occasions. Known affectionately as “White Lightning”, he was feared and respected by batsmen the world over, and was one of the main reasons why South Africa’s return to international cricket was so successful.Stunning debutSouth Africa’s return from isolation began with the country’s first official one-day international, against India in November 1991. Donald made a stunning debut before more than 90 000 Indians at Eden Gardens, claiming 5 for 29 in an exhibition of fast bowling that made the rest of the world sit up and take notice. His international test career began against the West Indies five months later.Early in his career, he captured 12 for 139 against India in Port Elizabeth in December 1992 to help the Proteas to victory on a pitch that was not recognised as conducive to fast bowling. He later tallied 11 wickets in a one-off test against Zimbabwe in October 1995, knocking over eight wickets in the Zimbabwean second innings as South Africa again claimed victory.Donald didn’t always enjoy the same success in limited overs cricket, and was sometimes left out of the South African one-day team. He was controversially dropped from the team at the quarterfinal stage of the 1996 World Cup. South Africa, who had easily beaten all opposition up to that point, were defeated by the West Indies and exited the competition.Greater ControlIn the latter part of his career, Donald chose to shorten his run up. While this cost him some speed, it gave him greater control, and the loss of pace did little to curb his effectiveness. In fact, if anything, it helped him become a better and more effective bowler. The change probably also prolonged his career.Besides appearing for South Africa, Donald was also an extremely successful performer on the English county circuit, spearheading Warwickshire’s bowling attack during a period in which they dominated the English game under former Protea coach, Bob Woolmer. In fact, Donald played more cricket for Warwickshire than for his South African province, Free State, and he is married to an English woman, Tina, from Birmingham.After missing the 2000 limited-overs Super Challenge Series against Australia, the tour of Sri Lanka, the Singapore Challenge and the ICC Knockout Tournament, and serving out his contract with Warwickshire, Donald once again set his sights on playing for his country. That was excellent news for South African cricket, especially in a year that had been a difficult one with the match-fixing scandal involving three Proteas, including former captain Hansie Cronje. Donald’s return once again sharpened the South African bowling attack, which in his absence had lacked a cutting edge.Last TestBut charging in and bowling consistently in excess of 140 kilometres an hour took its toll on Donald’s body, and he pulled up injured in his final Test, against the Australians at the Wanderers in February 2002.Donald missed the entire one-day series against Australia because of that injury and returned to the South African team in August only at the Morocco Cup tournament that also featured Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was a triumphant return as, playing on wickets that offered little help to seamers, he finished at the top of the bowling averages in the competition, and also captured the second most wickets. His performances included a man of the match winning 4 for 43 against Pakistan in a crucial contest that South Africa won by just eight runs.Definitely back in favour after his performances in Morocco, Donald played in all three ODIs against Bangladesh in South Africa, and did a decent job as the Proteas crushed their opponents easily.In formIn the following series against Sri Lanka, a good one-day team, Donald performed superbly, capturing 10 wickets in the five-match series, second by just one wicket to Shaun Pollock. His average was a highly impressive 18.60.He also showed that although he might have lost some speed, he had certainly learnt many lessons along the path of his cricket career and could still remove the opposition’s top batsmen. In fact, eight of his 10 victims were specialist top-order batsmen. In the series-clinching victory in the fourth ODI in Kimberley Donald was exceptional, capturing 3 for 18 in his 10 overs.In South Africa’s final action before the World Cup Donald played in four of the five one-dayers against Pakistan. Again he enjoyed success against top-order batsmen and in two of his four outings he succeeded in stifling the Pakistani challenge with economic, wicket-taking spells.Unfortunately for “White Lightning” he struggled in the World Cup, failing to find his rhythm, something that was so pivotal to his success. He came in for severe criticism from the press and the much longed for winning swansong didn’t materialise as South Africa was eliminated without reaching the Super Six stage of the tournament.It was an ending unbefitting a great and passionate servant of South African cricket. It brought to an end the career of one of the greatest fast bowlers of his era, a man who could have achieved untold success had his international career not started at the relatively advanced age of 24.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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