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Franklin ready to defend his senior national table tennis title

first_imgDEFENDING Senior National Table Tennis Champion, Christopher Franklin, is ready to win his third consecutive title tomorrow – but it will be no easy task.Unlike the female competition, which will be without top players Trenace Lowe and Chelsea Edghill, the male battle should be a scorcher.Several top table tennis players will vie for the title. Although the likes of Joel Alleyne and Nigel Bryan should threaten, it would most likely come down to a battle between Franklin and former Caribbean U-21 champion Shemar Britton.The top two table tennis players are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Franklin is still an excellent player, but at 35, his best years are behind him. He has, however, shown longevity and his table tennis IQ is highly rated. His ability to slow down a game and manipulate his opponent’s plan is also a thing of beauty.Then there is Britton. At 21, he grew up respecting Franklin’s game play, but he has also created his own path. By winning the U-21 Caribbean championships two years ago, the youngster announced himself to the region.Christopher Franklin will look to defend his senior titleHe is now studying law at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, in Trinidad where he has become a more refined player. In 2019, he won both the Trinbago Open and the Reliability Maintenance Services Limited Super Singles, but his eyes are set on winning his first national title – as he looks to begin his reign.His game play is more energy-driven, with solid footwork, which allows him to remain unpredictable. He is also excellent in serves and third ball attacks.Although the pair are no strangers to each other, they have only met twice in tournaments. When Franklin was in his prime, Britton was still a young teen and when the latter blossomed, Franklin had taken a hiatus from the sport.When they did meet, it was the final of the 2018 Senior National Championships and Franklin was able to use his experience to come from two games down to defeat his young rival.At the Malteenoes Sports Club last December, in a Juniors-teaming-with-Seniors competition, Britton found himself in a similar position in the singles battle against Franklin, but he was able to keep his cool and register his first win against his rival.Now he has taken time away from school to play in the championships again and attempt to take his game to the next level, by defeating the best.Neither player admitted that the other is his main rival. According to Britton, there are several big names in the mix. “All the members of the current men’s national team are dangerous players. They are Christopher Franklin, Joel Alleyne and Nigel Bryan. Edinho Lewis and Orin Nickerson are also very capable of springing an upset.”He has also named spin king, Jonathan Sankar as a dark horse. “But my dark horse that I’ll be looking out for is Jonathan Sankar; he’s playing extremely well right now and his game is different from everyone else’s, seeing he’s a defensive player.”Although he is confident, the 21-year-old said he is putting his December win against Franklin behind him because “the match begins at 0-0 all over again.”For Franklin he will be taking it one game at a time.“I’m practising at least 3 times per week. I’m not sure who will be showing up to play, but whoever comes I will be ready. I’m confident in my ability to come away with the victory.”The Senior National Championships started yesterday at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with the U-21 and C Class. Those games are scheduled to continue today, while the B Class will start today, with the seniors (male and female) in action tomorrow.last_img read more

Tuning up for Big Ten Championship

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s cross country team gets its final tune-up before the Big Ten Championship meet this Saturday as they travel to West Salem, Wis., to participate in the Jim Drews Invitational hosted by UW-Lacrosse.The No. 2-ranked Badgers are coming off a 5th place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational Sept. 30.Junior Chris Solinsky finished first in the race, capturing the first victory of his collegiate career.Whether head coach Jerry Schumacher sends out his top runners will determine how UW performs this weekend at the Maple Grove Country Club.Unlike many of his fellow coaches, Coach Schumacher does not run many of his top runners in all of the meets the team participates in. At Notre Dame, Schumacher did not run defending national champion Simon Bairu, who won his previous meet at the Roy Griak Invitational.Regardless of whom Schumacher decides to send out Saturday, they will be getting one last chance to compete before the Big Ten Championship meet in two weeks.This meet could be the final test for the Badgers, another chance to get runners experience, or an opportunity to rest top runners.The only certainty is that, come Oct. 30, Schumacher will have his team ready to defend its Big Ten Conference title when they head back to Les Bolstad Golf Course in Minneapolis.On the women’s side, the Badgers will head to Terre Haute, Ind., Saturday to participate in the Brooks Pre-Nationals at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course.Coach Jim Stinzi’s crew hopes this weekend will be a preview for later in the season, as the LaVern Gibson course is where the national meet is held.The No. 27-ranked Badgers entered the polls for the first time this season after finishing in eighth place at the Notre Dame Invitational.Junior Katrina Rundhaug led the Badgers at the Notre Dame meet with a 16th-place finish and was followed by freshman Alicia Pabich, who finished in 34th place.Rundhaug leads the Badgers into Terre Haute, where she competed at the national meet last year. This is the last chance for the women to get ready for the Big Ten Conference meet in Minnesota in two weeks.The pre-national meet should give them another opportunity to prepare for the conference meet, where they will face No. 2 Michigan, No. 5 Illinois, No. 10 Minnesota and No. 17 Michigan State.last_img read more

NBA Draft: Teams wonder if Rakeem Christmas can match his dominant senior season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on June 25, 2015 at 4:40 am Contact Chris: cjlibona@syr.edu | @ChrisLibonati Kevin Givens could see the differences last season. Rakeem Christmas’ high school coach said the forward looked bigger in the shoulders, his mental demeanor changed and, as a result, he dominated in the post.The improvements earned Christmas several accolades — he was an All-American, first team All-Atlantic Coast Conference, ACC co-defensive player of the year and earned the ACC’s most improved player award — but couldn’t earn him a first-round peg in mock drafts.While his 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game as a senior established his post presence, it took two efficient performances in 5-on-5 scrimmages at the NBA Draft Combine to initially land at No. 39 in ESPN analyst Chad Ford’s mock draft in May.Heading into Thursday’s draft at Barclays Center, the combine results solidified Christmas as a draftee when he once may not have been. His wingspan was measured at more than 7 feet 5 inches, and he’ll be banking on general managers valuing his combine performance heavily rather than the first three years of his Syracuse career, when he averaged just 4.5 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game.“I think he performed at a really high level at the combine and opened a lot of eyes even further than opened during the season,” Jay Bilas said. “So I like him a lot and I think he’s a valuable pick in the early second round.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textDuring Christmas’ combine performance, he flashed a mid-range jump shot and in two scrimmages, averaged 19.5 points and six rebounds per game. Before the draft, Givens took calls from Washington, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Boston, all teams with second-round picks or late first-round picks.While Christmas is a skilled big man that can play on the block, teams still have to weigh how long it will take him to adjust at the NBA level. Taking four years to adjust in the NBA, like he did at SU, could cost him a roster spot.Of the players taken in the first half of the second round in the last two years — that’s where analysts expect him to land — just 10 out of 30 have played half of an NBA season. Only seven of such picks from the 2012 class played half of the 2014-15 season, which would have been their third season in the league.Teams will have to believe Christmas’ sudden improvements in post play and his mid-range game will translate, and that he can play man-to-man defense. His former in-conference competition has bought in.Former Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant said Christmas’ “feel for the game is really good,” and thinks he can contribute to a team while former Duke forward Jahlil Okafor called him one of the best ACC players last season.Unlike Bilas and the two of the best players in the ACC, Jonathan Givony of Draft Express does not necessarily think teams are sold on Christmas’ one-year improvement.“The fact that he’s going in the second round tells you they aren’t buying into it too much,” Givony said.And teams seem to still be trying to figure out why it took Christmas so long to improve. Givens said general managers asked him what the difference between Christmas as a freshman at Syracuse and now is. Givens said he replied, “‘Man, you’d have to be a psychologist to answer that one.’”While the combine displayed parts of Christmas’ game he hadn’t shown before, it also gave him a chance to show off one thing he can’t change: his wingspan. The combination of his productivity and size that fits into the stretch-four or center positions in the end is what might give him a shot in the NBA.“Any time you have a guy that is 6’10” with that kind of wingspan and that productivity,” Givony said, “I think that you’ve got to take a serious look at him.”Sports Editor Sam Blum and Asst. Sports Editor Matt Schneidman contributed reporting to this story. Commentslast_img read more

Maher says CBS players’ can “grind” out matches

first_imgThe Tipp school take on St Kieran’s of Kilkenny this evening in the Post-Primary All-Ireland Final in Semple Stadium. A win for CBS would secure only their second ever Croke Cup title in their history. Martin Maher is part of the management team at the school and he says his players’ difficult path to the final will stand to them today. Throw-in today is at 5 o’clock and Tipp FM will have full live coverage in association with John Healy Lawnmowers and Quads Thurles.last_img

Executive hires further strengthen SKS365’s operations

first_imgShare SKS365 names Massimiliano Mura as new legal and compliance lead March 5, 2020 SKS365, the international sports betting and gaming operator based in Italy which boasts €1.2bn in turnover through the brand Planetwin365 and almost 1000 shops, has continued its journey of strengthening its regulatory and market operations by announcing the appointment of two new executive hires. Alexander Martin will now be taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer, while Andrew Mclver assumes the role of Non-Executive Chairman of the Board. Both roles are ones which are deemed as fundamental to the next phase of growth and evolution of SKS365.Commenting on the news of the two new appointments, the SKS365 Malta Holding Board stated: “This is an exciting time for SKS365, where we see strength and momentum across all segments of the business and great opportunity for future growth.”Having previously held the role of Chief New Media Officer and Executive Board Member of Gauselmann AG between 2014 and 2018, Martin brings experience in both strategic leadership, as well as sports betting, online gaming and digital transformation in multinational companies. The SKS365 board discussed MArtin’s acquisition, adding: “We are delighted that Alexander Martin will join our company as CEO. [Martin] will be responsible for driving SKS365 through the next phase, building on the solid foundation and momentum achieved by the SKS employees under the current leadership team. “His expertise in retail, online, global strategy and leadership combined with his strong industry knowledge and energy, make him ideally suited to further accelerate SKS365’s growth.”Regarding his addition, Martin commented: “I feel very honored and proud to be offered this exciting and unique opportunity to lead this market leading brand. With the team of professionals, we will work to improve our excellent market position by growing our product and customer experience. I am delighted to factor all the experience that I gained in the field in a moment that is crucial for the company’s expansion.”The announcement of these two key appointments has reinvested the ongoing support and investment from shareholders to truly realize the ambitions of the SKS365 and Planetwin365 brands.While commenting on the news of his new non-executive position, Andrew McIver stated: “I have built my career in the gaming industry and I am delighted to say that this role will afford me the opportunity to work with Alexander and his management team and play an instrumental part in the growth of this business at an exciting time in its history.”Mclver is recognised as having a wealth of expertise in regulated sports betting and online gaming, and as a chartered accountant by training. Ce previously held the position of CEO at Jackpotjoy PLC, from 2016 to 2018, as well as at Sportingbet PLC prior to that from 2006 to 2013.The SKS Board concluded: “We are delighted to welcome Andrew McIver as non-Executive Chairman of the Board. Andrew is a highly successful and well-regarded business leader who brings an unparalleled breadth of experience in leadership roles in the gaming industry. “With his experience, expertise and vision, Andrew is uniquely qualified to support the management team to continue the exceptional growth of SKS365. We look forward to working with him.” StumbleUpon Related Articles SBC Digital Summit: “Semi-esports rise has blown my mind” – Sportingbet April 27, 2020 Leading CEOs to shape post-pandemic future for betting industry at SBC Digital Summit April 8, 2020 Share Submitlast_img read more

Why Clash Royale’s esports BAFTA win matters

first_imgIt’d be wrong to call Clash Royale’s BAFTA win “unprecedented”. Rather, it’s surprising, but not a victory without reason. Clash Royale was voted by its fans for the AMD Esports Audience Award.The internet went ballistic when the mobile game won the evening’s only esports award; the AMD Esports Audience Award. Clash Royale is only the latest in the game series, one of many brands that’s known for its app turnover rate and bearing the “cash cow” label-each traits that often spoil mobile games’ reputation. Still, any anger and confusion directed at the institution in charge went the wrong way. After all, the vote was put online, and Clash players likely flooded the polls. At the very least, this proves that Clash players, even in sheer numbers, are a force to be reckoned with.What esports endemics should truly take away from this, though, is that they aren’t keeping an eye on mobile gaming well enough-and they’re missing out in major ways.  While there’s certainly the question of exploitation that comes with high-turnover mobile gaming series, the fact that games like Clash Royale are so continuously successful has drawn the attention of forces greater than self-labeled “hardcore” gamers. Tencent, which owns League of Legends developer Riot, bought out Clash series developer Supercell for $8.6 billion – multiple times what the esports industry, as a whole, is worth right now.Recent games like the Clash of the Clans line tap into a need for real-time multiplayer competition on an accessible platform, with simple and quick gameplay that can become truly addictive. As a moneymaker, it’s not far off from mobile and PC rival Hearthstone, urging players to buy new cards to keep up with rivals. It’s not mandatory for either, but not doing so puts one at a disadvantage. For these reasons, it’s easy for even the most casual players to build up a thirst for competition, and that’s where Clash has recently done some heavy lifting. They felt the rumblings underneath the surface and started tweaking updates towards competitive play, and they’ve been extremely active in their own community in ways that many non-mobile games aren’t. Even if their first major competitive event was beyond cheesy, it doesn’t invalidate the time, effort and perhaps money that players and developers have put in. Beyond that, mobile esports organisations are choosing to play their hands in the game, meaning there’s a thought put towards the long-term potential of the game. Speaking of long-term potential, it’s become a recent focus of this and other prominent mobile games, such as Vainglory and Critical Ops. This specific shift in strategy means that there’s more esports opportunity than ever, since players are likely to stick around. It’s especially critical since mobile games are present in a wider variety of demographics, regarding both identity and location. PC games and consoles can do their best to adjust their affordability and accessibility, but there’s no way they can match the explosive virality of mobile games, especially not ones with such renown as Clash. The esports community and industry will now be introduced to these demographics on these games’ shoulders.Even if series such as Clash may never gain the full respect of non-mobile gamers, if their BAFTA win proves anything, it’s that they have the smashing financial success and player respect that other developers may only dream of achieving. This has abruptly put Clash in the spotlight, and instead of booing at the stage, perhaps it’s time to watch and learn how to create that same level of potential.last_img read more

Black Stars pre-match press conference

first_imgThe Black Stars will hold their pre-match press conference at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday, 7th September 2012.The event will be held at the Press Conference Room of the Accra Sports Stadium at 1600 GMT or 4pm.Some players and officials of the team will interact with the media ahead of Saturday’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi.Meanwhile, the Black Stars will hold their final training session at the stadium at 16:30 GMT.The media is invited to watch the training session but there will be no interviews after the final training session.last_img read more

Nantes lead calls for police to restart search for missing Sala plane

first_imgBut Guernsey Police confirmed that following an extensive operation covering approximately 1,700 square miles around the Channel Islands, no trace of the plane, pilot or passenger had been found.Harbour master captain David Barker said in a statement the search would therefore cease as “the chances of survival at this stage are extremely remote”.However, Sala’s family believe it is too soon to stop looking and were later backed by a statement made on social media by Nantes, Sala’s former club, who urged the search to continue for his loved ones’ sake. “FC Nantes learned of the abandonment of the search for the missing plane. They cannot stop,” the club said in a statement posted to their official Twitter account.”The Club and its supporters are demanding that the search to find Emiliano Sala continues, for his family and for his relatives.”Together, for Emi!”Le FC Nantes a appris l’abandon des recherches de l’avion disparu.Celles-ci ne peuvent s’arrêter. Le Club et ses supporters demandent avec force que les recherches pour retrouver @EmilianoSala1 continuent, pour sa famille et pour ses proches.Ensemble, pour Emi !#PrayForSala pic.twitter.com/YOjjnoxt9H— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) January 24, 2019Sala’s family voiced confusion over the decision to halt the search and hoped the authorities would place themselves in their shoes. “I’m very confused,” Sala’s sister Romina said to ESPN . “The only thing that I want is that my brother and the pilot be found.”We ask them [the authorities] to put themselves in our place, in the hearts of the relatives.”Please, don’t stop searching. I know that they are alive and they are waiting for us.”Sala’s father Horacio also urged Guernsey Police to reconsider their decision.”We are asking to please keep looking for him,” he said to TyC Sports.”We can’t believe that they are cancelling the search. I ask that [they] please continue the search. “It can’t be that a plane disappears and there is no trace of anything.”3.15pm Update.Please read the attached statement.Unless there is a significant development, there will be no further updates pic.twitter.com/jbEIFMB3zi— Guernsey Police (@GuernseyPolice) January 24, 2019Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman stated Sala made his own travel arrangements, while Mark McKay – an agent involved in brokering the player’s move to the Bluebirds – confirmed he organised the flight but denied the missing aircraft was owned by him or his family.Nantes supporters held vigils in the striker’s honour in the French city, while their scheduled Coupe de France fixture against Entente SSG was postponed. FC Nantes have joined Emiliano Sala’s family in urging police to reconsider calling off the search for the missing Cardiff City striker.Search and rescue efforts resumed for a third day early on Thursday after the Piper Malibu aircraft with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board went missing en route to the Welsh capital on Monday .last_img read more

Lakers have critical lineup decisions when facing West’s elite backcourts

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt requires special consideration from the Lakers, who by contrast boast their best players in the frontcourt. Especially when James is the primary ball-handler, as he was in the starting lineup against the Clippers in Tuesday’s season opener, the Lakers will rely on their guards to pick up tough defensive assignments.Alongside Danny Green, Avery Bradley, as an on-ball defender, seems to fit that particular bill as long as he’s healthy. Bradley said Wednesday he would relish the opportunity to finally try to mark Conley, who he played with at the end of last season in Memphis.“I tried to (defend him in practice), but he always wanted me on his team,” he said. “He’s a very good player, man.”Adding to the thought process is the impending return of veteran Rajon Rondo, who was a full participant in Thursday’s five-on-five scrimmages. Vogel thought Rondo, who has been dealing with calf soreness since midway through the preseason, looked “fresher than everyone else” after sitting out the opener. But he added the medical staff would determine if Rondo can return to the lineup on Friday against the Jazz once he feels how a full-tempo practice affects his body.Rondo, 33, could make starts as the team’s point guard once he’s healthy, Vogel said. Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img “I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think he’ll be in the starting lineup a lot. There’s potentially two ways we can go with that position, sometimes bringing Avery off the bench, sometimes bringing Rajon off the bench in terms of that position,” he said. “And a lot of it can be dictated by matchups and the free flow of the team and stuff like that, but I definitely envision a lot of games where he’ll be the starting point guard.”Rondo is a divisive player among fans to say the least. While he made 29 starts last season as the second-leading assist man for the Lakers (8.0 apg), he also struggled, particularly on defense. The Lakers’ defensive rating improved from 113.3 points allowed per 100 possessions when he was on the court to 105.4 when he was off it. He also had a negative net rating (minus-5.4) in the roughly 605 minutes he shared with James.Often cited by coaches as one of the league’s sharpest minds, Rondo seemed to indirectly reference his statistics with James without explicitly acknowledging that he had seen them.“The league is big on analytics now so I don’t know what the statistics are when LeBron and I are on the court at the same time, but that’s last year’s stats,” he said. “This year is obviously a different team, different feel. So we’ll see how it goes. You can’t predetermine anything. You got to see how the game flows and go from there.”Vogel has talked up Rondo’s game for weeks, saying during training camp that he believed Rondo could also be an off-ball shooting threat after hitting about 36 percent from 3-point range last season. He added Thursday that “I’ve always wanted to coach him specifically, but I’ve always asked for guys like him.” Tuesday’s loss to the Clippers also showcased some shortcomings among the Lakers’ playmakers after James, as the team had just 20 assists, and many players felt the ball was stagnant at points in the game.Related Articles Viewing from the sideline, Rondo said he believed he could help the team with its ball movement from side-to-side in half-court sets, but also improve the fast break. The Lakers had just five transition points (none in the first half) against the Clippers.Rondo said he’ll be open to starting or coming off the bench: “My preference is what Coach Vogel wants me to do. … I’ll be cool with that.”Still, the defensive needs of the Lakers could drive those decisions, and not just at point guard. Vogel also said center JaVale McGee, who started Tuesday, could be swapped out for Dwight Howard among the starters depending on the game or particular matchups.Rondo, like Bradley, is a former All-Defensive selection, but he last earned those honors in 2013. Vogel suggested that he might look at different tools for different nights around his stars.“Every time we prepare for a team, what lineups they’re bringing into our building or this matchup that will be a consideration in terms of who to start,” he said. “And especially early on in this season while we’re still learning about ourselves, haven’t locked into a full-time starting lineup, and the matchups for that night’s game will be a factor.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error EL SEGUNDO — LeBron James has seen the stat line from Mike Conley’s Utah Jazz debut: 1 for 16 from the field.Now, James is on high alert. He called it “the worst thing that could’ve happened” for the Lakers, who will have to guard both Conley and Donovan Mitchell (who scored 32 points) because he’s not buying that Conley will be buried in a shooting slump for long.“He missed I think eight of his right-hand floaters, which has been money for his whole career,” he said. “So I didn’t analyze that too much.”Conley and Mitchell, who averaged a combined 45 points per game last season, will visit Staples Center on Friday night as the first of many high-scoring guard duos the Lakers must figure out how to slow down this season.Think about the Western Conference for a moment, which is defined, in part, by high-powered guard tandems. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum (46.8 combined ppg last season) in Portland; Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell in Golden State (48.4 ppg); and a new Houston duo of former MVPs in James Harden and Russell Westbrook (59 ppg). Even on nights when they aren’t facing top-of-the-shelf gunning guards, the Lakers will have to deal with the likes of Sacramento (De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield), New Orleans (Jrue Holiday and J.J. Reddick) and Denver (Jamal Murray and Gary Harris), all of whom can put up points from the backcourt.last_img read more

Jaguars’ Jalen Ramsey (back) inactive vs. Broncos, ending streak of 51 straight games

first_imgThe two-time All-Pro defensive back got into a heated exchange with Jaguars coach Doug Marrone on the sidelines during the team’s 13-12 loss to the Texans in Week 2. Shortly afterward, Ramsey asked for a trade.However, Ramsey still played in Jacksonville’s matchup with the Titans in Week 3, recording nine total tackles in the 20-7 win.  Jalen Ramsey’s streak of having played in 51 straight NFL games is coming to an end, as the Jaguars cornerback won’t take the field in Week 4.Jacksonville announced Sunday that Ramsey will be listed as inactive vs. the Broncos. Multiple teams have remained interested in acquiring Ramsey, who was selected by the Jaguars No. 5 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.He has recorded nine interceptions and 45 pass breakups in 51 career games. Whether Jacksonville is willing to part ways with him remains to be seen. Redskins QB Dwayne Haskins replaces Case Keenum vs. Giants Kenny Stills injury update: Texans receiver (hamstring) questionable to return vs. Panthers Jalen Ramsey is inactive today against the Broncos.Full list of inactives ⤵ pic.twitter.com/Kwx5ekeWkF— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 29, 2019Ramsey missed practice this week because of illness, a back injury and the birth of his second child.His status for Jacksonville’s matchup against Denver remained up in the air until Sunday amid speculation that the Jaguars might deal him in the coming weeks. Related News Raiders’ Vontaze Burfict ejected for late helmet hit on Colts’ Jack Doylelast_img read more