Clive continues, Allan makes winning return

first_imgPSC Golf from Mulligans LakesideMonday, April 30, Mountain Shadow – StablefordWe played on Monday this week, as Tuesday was a holiday.  Mountain Shadow was the chosen venue, with the course in good order, although the greens are a mere shadow (sic) of their former pace, probably a blessing for most. Clive Hoseason and Keith Hudson.Near Pins were won by Jeff, Clive & Allan getting 2.Thursday, May 3, Treasure Hill – StablefordBack to our usual Thursday, with a quick return visit to Treasure Hill, where continued course renovations and maintenance will ensure a good course well into the future.Allan Cassin (11) got it together quickly after his return to Thailand with a good win, posting a solid 32 points, 1 ahead of Dave Edwards (17) who came home in an ambulance after a fine 20 points on the front 9.  The final podium position went to Brian Maddox (21) with 30 points, courtesy of a nice NTP and birdie conversion on 17, not so good on the 18th though.Near pins were won by Brian, as mentioned, while Dave got both on the Front 9, converting the 6th for a nice birdie 2.Note:  Mulligans Lakeside plays golf on Tuesday & Thursday, with ML hosting prompt presentations on both days.  Call 0890941841 for scheduling or enquiries.  Hope to see you there, cheers & good golfing! Another hot, hot day out on the course, with 90% of the players using a cart, a sign of the times I think.  Clive Hoseason (24) continued his recent good run of form, leading the way home with a modest total of 30 points, while second and third needed a count back, after both signed for 29 points; Keith Hudson (20) getting the nod over Jeff Wylie (5) with a back 9 of 18, compared to Jeff’s paltry 13.last_img read more

Hilde stays on to win

first_imgIPGC Golf from The HavenMonday, May 8, Pattavia – StablefordCSS 721st Bruce Hilde (16) 40pts2nd Drew Niblock (17) 40pts3rd Murray Edwards (19) 34pts 4th John Tallett (26) 34pts5th Dave Edwards (13) 34pts6th John Carlin (18) 33ptsBruce Hilde.With the week including a Bank Holiday on a Wednesday, the schedule was unusual starting out at Pattavia where the course was found to be playing far easier than many times recently.  The greens were playing at around 8 on the stimp-meter and the CSS remained at par for a change.Bruce Hilde, having waved goodbye on the previous outing, then spent the weekend at the range and seemed to have broken the habit of a lifetime and listened to someone as he returned to the group with a completely new approach and returned his best card since joining the group four years previously.  He still needed to win a count back to take the day’s top honours, which he did with a better 17 to 16 to leave his playing partner Drew Niblock in second place.Murray Edwards also had to win a count back with one of his playing partners, John Tallett, with a better 19 to 17 giving Murray third place and leaving John in fourth, with Dave Edwards also involved in the count back in fifth after he returned 16 over the last nine on the card.John Carlin had a very respectable three over in sixth place.There were no 2s in the first division but Bruce Hilde completed his cleanup for the day with the sole one in the second division to clear out the rollover pool.Wednesday, May 10, Treasure Hill (yellow tees) – StablefordCSS 72 NC1st Darryl Kellett (14) 31pts2nd Dave Edwards (13) 31pts3rd Shane Heavey (20) 29pts4th Hal Hart (18) 25pts5th Ray Smallwood (25) 25ptsDarryl Kellett.A trip to Treasure Hill, even playing from the yellow tees at just under 6,400 yards, is always a real challenge, with the CSS usually rising at least two and quite often being a non-counting event for upward revision.  But this day was both well attended as the value for money on a Bank Holiday put many of the gougers in the area to shame.  The scoring was no easier however and no surprise to find that when all the results were in, the day would be a non-counting once again.The best of the day were Darry Kellett and Dave Edwards at five over handicap and who needed to be separated by a count back, which Darry won with a better 12 to 9 over the last six after they had tied the nine on 17 apiece.Shane Heavey slipped almost literally into third place another two shots behind the leading pair while Hal Hart took fourth and Ray Smallwood fifth, the former winning a count back with a better 12 to 11 over the last six after tying the nine at 15 each.Apart from the difficulty of the course design it was in excellent condition allowing for the rain interruption earlier in the round.There were no 2s in the second division but Darryl Kellett stroked in a beauty on the short sixth hole to sweep the rollover pool clean in the first division.Friday, May 12, Phoenix (Lakes & Ocean) – StablefordCSS 721st Larry Gibb (21) 36pts2nd John Carlin (18) 34pts3rd Jon Batty (7) 34pts4th John Tallett (26) 33pts5th Mark Lang (6) 32pts6th Mark Cooper (11) 32ptsLarry Gibb.With ominous rain storms in the offing there were a few no-shows from the projected field but apart from a slight sprinkle prior to the start of the competition the day stayed fine and overcast, giving good conditions for golf and with the course having stood up well to the week’s heavy rain the scoring was very reasonable.Larry Gibb took a well appreciated win, as shown by the warm applause following the announcement of taking the top step of the podium, after he had returned a level handicap score to win by two.  There was a count back for second and third places, which John Carlin edged over Jon Batty with a better m19 to 14 after Jon had suffered an uncharacteristic drop off in form through the last six holes.John Tallett continues to be the nearly man as he took fourth place with yet another round in his buffer zone.Mark Lang won another count back, this one with Mark Cooper with a better 17 to 16 to take fifth spot and leave Mark the last step.It was interesting to note that most of the players have now understood how to play the redesigned 6th hole on the Lakes course, as evidenced by the top six cards returned, where the gross scores were one birdie three pars and two bogies which garnered 14 points.Murray Edwards cleared out the second division rollover pool in the 2s whilst Jon Batty and Mark Cooper celebrated sharing the first division pittance.last_img read more

Batty’s best yet

first_imgIn third place was the low marker on the day Mark Lang and he produced another quality round of golf finishing with net 76.  In second place was Wichai Tananusorn whose net 73 showed his golf form has returned after the distractions of his new life in Chiang Mai.  The winner was Jon Batty on net 72 who played the best golf of his life for thirteen holes.  On the fourteenth tee he stood three under par gross and an easy six iron shot on the 165 yard par three saw an uncharacteristic sh… (mustn’t say the word) which then tumbled him into a maelstrom of triple and double bogeys, losing ten shots to par on the final five holes.  Most golfers never reach that standard so don’t let it get you down Jon!There were no birdie ‘2’s and the consolation beer went to Alan Flynn when his non-winners’ card was drawn out by the cashier back at the Links in Soi Buakhao.Phoenix is never as tough as this and in another month maybe we can expect a breeze, dry fairways and properly tended greens on the Lakes nine. Time to dream.Two excel at EmeraldA hot and humid day, some mates wanting to play some golf on a challenging course at a “vfm” deal.  Say no more!  The Pattaya Golf Society visited The Emerald on Wednesday, 31st August to enjoy the day playing a stableford round from the white tees, on an empty course in good conditions.Only a slight breeze was evident from the start and the well grassed fairways and quick greens made good golf possible.  For many golfers however the accent at Emerald is on luck and a good shot is often punished by less than flat lies in the fairways and the game becomes so much tougher as a result.  So it was this day, as Brendan Gilsenan played one of his better rounds with the group finishing in third place with 38 points after an excellent back nine.  The winners were Wichai Tananusorn and Mike Firkin who both recorded 40 points to share the pot.  Mike also joined Kevin Timbrell and Simon Kendall in a share of the ‘2’s pot.Back in the Links Bar in Soi Buakhao, Mr Len, on behalf of the group, thanked Russell for all his help in hosting over the last eighteen months as this was to be his last day running the PGS “clubhouse” and we all wish the new management team, headed by Christian Boysen the best of luck in the days to come.  More of the same is in order for the PGS.Masa in controlOn a bright Friday, 2nd September the Pattaya Golf Society visited Mountain Shadow to play a stableford event on the course which was in fine condition.  Playing as usual from the blue tees it was even more of a challenge to find the tees well back.  In fact some were on the black tee boxes and members who had played there for many years found tee shots off the “new” markers a different prospect altogether.  Yes, it was long in the strong breeze.  Greens were splendidly consistent.Scores reflected the length of the course with Mr Len and Kiwi Alan Flynn sharing third place with a mere thirty points each.  Two ahead was American golfer Kevin LaBar on 32 and the winner was old friend Masa Takano with 33 points.  Mike Firkin recorded the only birdie ‘2’ of the day, on the fifteenth.At the presentation back at the Links in Soi Buakhao golfers shuffled around the debris of plasterers, decorators and air-con mechanics to enjoy a few beers and gossip as an almost seamless change of management continued with the redevelopment of the PGS base.  “It’ll be nice when it’s finished” was the general comment. IPGC Pattaya Golf Society at The Links BarThe Pattaya Golf Society held its monthly medal event at Phoenix on Monday, 29th August and the designated combination was the Lakes and Ocean nines.  The Lakes’ greens are still not good but better than they were for the “pros” a couple of weeks ago while the easier Ocean nine is on good condition.  Fairways are generally very good.Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club.Medal play requires a different mindset and those who can adapt to playing the course and not the handicap usually come out on top.Scores were high after a heavy storm punctuated the start with the first two groups starting, then marking, then returning to the safety of a drinks stop on hearing the clubhouse siren.  Another siren thirty minutes or so later sent the golfers out again on flooded fairways and soft greens.  Overhead the humidity was at 100% and with not even the hint of a breeze conditions were extremely uncomfortable.  Expect high scores?last_img read more

Pattaya Sports Round up – Friday June 17 – June 23,…

first_imgPattaya Archery Club meets between 10am and 12 midday every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at our dedicated shooting range within easy reach of Pattaya, near the new railway road.  Beginners of all ages are welcome, and equipment and coaching are free.  For more information call Eric, the club President , on 089 535 1193 or visit www.pattayaarcheryclub.comOcean Marina Yacht Club invites experienced sailors and learners for racing weekends and funsail/training weekends.  The club has 5 star clubhouse facilities and a fleet of 25′ racing yachts available. www.omycsailing.com, phone Kev Scott 087 825 0011.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th8:00 a.m. – noon & 2 – 6 p.m. (Sat & Sun – Also Monday to Friday) Horseback riding at the Horseshoe Point Riding Academy, the biggest equestrian center in South-East Asia.  Show jumping, hacking, trail, dressage and classical dressage.  Training courses from beginners to advanced riders with English speaking instructors.  Leisure trail riding, group and private classes.  All levels of riders welcome.  Over 100 horses and ponies available.  Located on 1,500 acres of beautiful tropical garden land just outside Pattaya.  Free shuttle service available.  For more information: phone (+66) 3873 – 5050 (ext. 4016-18), fax (+66) 3873 – 4973 or email: ridingschool@thehorseshoepoint.com8:30 am. -10:00 am. International Players Academy meets every Sat. morning for Jr. Intermediate level Tennis at Ambassador City Tennis Courts. Visitors are welcome, just bring your tennis racket, ages range from 10-16. For more details call CJ on 086 086 2121Indoor Lawn Bowls Free at Coco Club every Saturday for school or college aged children from 11.00am – 2.00pm, with Male – English and Female Thai tutors.  Parents can sit at the bar and watch.  New champions needed!  Call Sue on 087 135 8357 or pop in to the club at Baan Amphur – signposted behind Phoenix Golf.12:30 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Softball plays slow pitch recreational pick-ups games every Saturday at the soccer stadium right behind the National Indoor Stadium on Chayapreuk 2 Road.  New players always welcome regardless of skill level, experience, age or time away from the game.  For more information and directions see the softball page at the Pattaya Sports Club website www.pattayasports.org or contact Dirk Brijs at dirk_brijs @yahoo.com or 088-218-8148SundayBadminton players are invited to play 3 mornings a week at Mama Badminton Club on Soi Khao Noi, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday from 10am-12 noon. For more information, visit www.pattayasports.org/sports/badminton.The Amazing Sunday Golfers are a friendly group of average index who welcome new players.  Each Sunday they have friendly games on different courses with a meeting point at the course.  Contact Philippe at 082 546 0770 or email 2012tasg@gmail.com to be updated each week for the upcoming game.8:00 a.m. Diving with Mermaid’s Dive School.  Contact Mermaid’s Dive Center, tel. 038 232 219 – 20, email: mermaids@loxinfo.co.th3:00 p.m. Pattaya Jungle H3 meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month and departure is from the Lek Hotel on 2nd Rd at 3pm.  For more info please call Kai on 01 863 5095.Monday3.15 p.m. Pattaya Hash House Harriers: The club for drinking people with a running problem meets every Monday at 3:15 p.m. in Pattaya Third Road, in front of the Buffalo Bar close to soi Lengkee, and just down the road from the Boxing Roo. We depart at 3:30 p.m. sharp. More info at: www.pattayah3.com.TuesdayChess and Scrabble Club: every Tuesday 12pm – 5pm at Hoek-Van-Holland in Jomtien. Take Thappraya Road to intersection with Beach Road. Dong Tan Police sub-station is right there. Walk back towards Pattaya 10 meters along walking path. Hoek-Van-Holland is on the right, before the parking lot. Bring your own chess set and/or scrabble board. For more information please see website www.hoek-van-holland.com – Everyone welcome.The Pattaya Chess Club meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30 p.m. onwards at Brauhaus on 2nd Road between Soi 7 and Soi 8. Learners and anybody who would like to play chess are most welcome. Boards and clocks are provided.Pattaya Ladies Netball Club: 7.30 pm every Tuesday at Fairtex Sports Club.  All ages and abilities are welcome.  100 baht per person.  Please email pattayanetballclub@gmail.com to confirm or find us on Facebook – ‘Pattaya Ladies Tuesday Night Netball’Wednesday4.00 pm – Club Petanque Thailand plays Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.  The court is open for groups every day. New and bigger surface. Very good drainage as well as better lighting.  No membership fee. Find us at Soi Nernplabwan 100/2 Moo7, next to Sutawas Temple and small Banglamung Police station. Contact: 085 280 7182, fax 038 248 067, email: petanque.Th@gmail.com (English, French, German, Scandinavian); (Thai & Chinese: 080 618 2831.)Thursday4.00 p.m. Pattaya Cricket Club practice nets at Thai Polo Club. All ages and abilities welcome. Please contact Simon at chairman@pattayacricketclub.com or visit the club website for more information and ground location: www.pattayacricketclub.com.7:00 p.m.  Pattaya Panthers Rugby training every Thursday night at Horseshoe Point next to Siam Country Club. New players are always welcome – we are a very sociable team! Please contact Damian McCoy on Telephone 086 111 2816, Adrien Simon 095 705 0822 or send email to info@pattayapanthers.com. FridayDFiT, Dusit Thani Pattaya: Visitors using the group fitness membership can avail of the THB 2,000 offer for five visits to the gym after their membership has expired.  The offer includes unlimited use of DFiT facilities including tennis courts.  For more information, call 038-425611 ext. DFiT.2:00 p.m. Pattaya Sports Club Bowling at PS Bowl on the top floor of Tops Supermarket at the junction of Central and Second Roads. Contact La at PS after 1:30 p.m.Saturdaylast_img read more

Charlie Batch joins KDKA-TV as color analyst for Steelers preseason game broadcasts

first_imgCharlie BatchPITTSBURGH, PA – Former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Charlie Batch will join the KDKA-TV (CBS Pittsburgh) programming roster for the Steelers’ 2015 preseason broadcasts as color analyst alongside veteran play-by-play caller Bob Pompeani. Batch will also co-host both the pre- and post-game shows for the Steelers’ preseason broadcasts on KDKA-TV.The 2015 preseason will mark Batch’s first year as the network’s preseason color analyst.Batch will also co-host regular season pre-game shows with Pompeani, in addition to his duties as co-host of the Steelers Radio Network post-game show.Batch spent 11 years (2002-12) as a Steelers’ quarterback after his first four seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions (1998-2001). In his NFL career, the Eastern Michigan University product started 55-of-81 games played, threw for 11,085 yards with 61 touchdowns and 52 interceptions and holds two Super Bowl titles (XL and XLIII) and three AFC Championship game titles.The Steelers will play four of their five 2015 preseason games on KDKA-TV:Friday, August 14 – at Jacksonville Jaguars – 7:30 p.m.Sunday, August 23 – Green Bay Packers – 8:00 p.m.Saturday August 29 – at Buffalo Bills – 4:00 p.m.Thursday, September 3 – Carolina Panthers – 7:30 p.m.Fans can find Charlie’s full broadcast schedule at www.charliebatch.com.last_img read more

At The Finish Line…Where Only the Truth Matters

first_imgBILL NEAL•    The only name greater than Penn Hills in sports is Slippery Rock University and I hail from both and once again “The Rock” has fallen on the opposition.  After a 75-0 blitz of Millersville last week, Coach George Mihalik has his boys set for another Pa. State Athletic Conference Title.  You know what they say . . . Ron Hunt built the foundation at The Rock, Chuck Sanders carried The Rock like no other, Myron Brown took The Rock to unimaginable heights and The Rock wasn’t slippery until Bill Neal and Harry Baxter made it so!!!•    Once again for you late comers . . . a/k/a Fifth Avenue grads . . . here are the final inductees for the Class of 2015 Pittsburgh City League All-Sports Hall of Fame Inductions:  Larry Anderson (SH); Katelyn Brown; Larry Brown; Carmen Bruce; Edna Campbell; Ricky Cannon; Bill Clark; Joe DeFirore; Herb Douglas; Henry Ford; Wesley Garnett; John Gerdaino; Lynn Harris; Renee Henderson; Mark Hogan; Hosea Holder; Curtis Hefflin; Tony Liscio; Rod Rutherford; Ahmad Shereef; Arnie Sowell, Henri Chatman; Clarence Hopson; Carlita Jones; and Shawn Crosby.  The event is set for Saturday, October 17, 2015 at the Wyndham Hotel University Center in Oakland.  (Not Downtown.)  Cocktail Reception – 6:00 p.m.; Hors d’oeuvres spread and welcome – 7:00 p.m.; Awards presentation – 8:00 p.m.; Post-reception party (to be announced); Tickets $40 in advance, $50 at the door.  Only 250 seats available.  Call 412-628-4856 for information.•    While we’re at it, here are your 2015 Connie Hawkins Pro/Am Summer Basketball League Hall of Fame Inductees:  Stan the Man Mahann – Papa Banks – Mark McCloud – Chip Harris – Henri Chatman – Eric Carter – Shawn Harvey – Mike Booker – and Ringo Saunders – – – lest you forget, the Connie Hawkins League dominated Summer League Basketball in Western Pa. from 1975 to 1995 and was ranked in the top ten nationally by the Atlanta Constitution during that time.  In its 40 year run, the League was home to more than 200 professional players, hundreds of Division One players, multiple hundreds of college players and complimented by countless asphalt legends.  But most importantly helped place over 300 players in college.•    Pre-weekend prediction has Pitt not losing because they’re idle this week – the Pirates will take 2 out of 3 from the Cubs and the Steelers will not be bothered by St. Louis.  Certainly they have a good defense, but the black and gold has too many weapons on offense.•    By the way, did you catch the latest Ali documentary on BET this week?  Talk about the truth . . . none was ever better than the Greatest of All Time!< You Have Just Crossed the Finish Line >last_img read more

Column: Usain Bolt can’t end the greatest show in track yet

first_imgPlease don’t run away from us after this Olympics. Don’t even think about putting an end to the greatest show in track.The Olympics need you badly. The sport of track needs you desperately.On a beautiful night in Rio, the most beautiful sight at the Olympic Stadium had to be Bolt chasing down Justin Gatlin and pulling away to an unprecedented third straight Olympic gold in the race that crowns the fastest man on earth. “I told you guys I wanted to set myself apart from everybody else,” Bolt said. “This is the Olympics that I have to do it at, so I came here focused and ready to go and it was brilliant.”The golden shoes were a nice touch, but the gold medal was far more impressive. It was No. 7 over three Olympics for Bolt, and the odds are he will have two more before these Olympics come to a close.If that is truly the end, as Bolt has said it will be, he will go into the record books as the greatest sprinter ever. But Bolt has always been more than that, ever since he announced his dominance of the sport with three gold medals in his Olympic debut eight years ago in Beijing.The mere mention of his name Sunday night prompted roars in the stadium. The victory lap he took carrying a stuffed Olympic mascot was an added bonus, a chance for the crowd to stick around and show him some love.Several hundred of them stayed more than an hour after the race, chanting Bolt’s name and shrieking with excitement each time it appeared he might come out to acknowledge them.He’s the undisputed star of a sport that doesn’t produce stars anymore, a runner so popular in his native Jamaica that he is often compared to the iconic reggae master Bob Marley.And as a runner who has never tested positive for anything, he may be the only thing holding together a sport so decimated by doping that the entire country of Russia was banned from track and field at these Olympics.It’s hard to believe anything you see on the track anymore. That’s especially true in the 100, where Ben Johnson famously lost his gold medal in 1988 after a positive drug test, and where four of the five fastest men in the record books have also been caught doping.Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, left, celebrates winning the men’s 100-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Believe it, though, when you see the magnificence of a runner so smooth and fast that nothing that made him this spectacular could have come out of a bottle.He’s so good he didn’t flinch when afterward he was asked about being the greatest ever.“Yeah, that’s what I’m here to prove. That’s what I’m here to prove again and again. I just want to be among the greatest, so that’s why I am here.”Gatlin would have been heading toward a second Olympic gold in the 100 against anyone else, something that would not have pleased the crowd that booed him because of his doping suspension. This was a race viewed by many as good versus evil, though in track nothing is ever as simple as it looks.Bolt overcame his typically slow start to catch Gatlin just after the midway point of the race and pull away in what for him was a relatively slow time of 9.81 seconds. By the time he hit the finish line Bolt was pointing to his chest, where the only thing missing on his uniform was a Superman cape.Bolt would take a long, lingering victory lap around the stadium, finally stopping in one end to unlace his gold spikes and take selfies with fans. They wanted more, and he delivered once again, turning his yellow hat backward before kneeling down and doing his “To the World” pose.And over the loudspeakers, Marley’s “Jammin” echoed through the stadium.Theatrical, yes, but that’s Bolt. This is a guy, after all, who was last seen taking selfies as he danced the samba with a line of women at his press conference earlier in the week.He’s a showman extraordinaire and an athlete unparalleled. The combination is exquisite, with the only downside being the world only gets to see him this way once every four years.The only hope is that his retirement plans are as short as his races.___Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg@ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg,Please don’t run away from us after this Olympics. Don’t even think about putting an end to the greatest show in track.The Olympics need you badly. The sport of track needs you desperately.On a beautiful night in Rio, the most beautiful sight at the Olympic Stadium had to be Bolt chasing down Justin Gatlin and pulling away to an unprecedented third straight Olympic gold in the race that crowns the fastest man on earth. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men’s 100-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Bolt preened like the superstar he is, then ran yet another race to back it up. Then he preened some more, much to the delight of those who came to watch history. RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Not so fast, Usain Bolt. “I told you guys I wanted to set myself apart from everybody else,” Bolt said. “This is the Olympics that I have to do it at, so I came here focused and ready to go and it was brilliant.”The golden shoes were a nice touch, but the gold medal was far more impressive. It was No. 7 over three Olympics for Bolt, and the odds are he will have two more before these Olympics come to a close.If that is truly the end, as Bolt has said it will be, he will go into the record books as the greatest sprinter ever. But Bolt has always been more than that, ever since he announced his dominance of the sport with three gold medals in his Olympic debut eight years ago in Beijing.The mere mention of his name Sunday night prompted roars in the stadium. The victory lap he took carrying a stuffed Olympic mascot was an added bonus, a chance for the crowd to stick around and show him some love.Several hundred of them stayed more than an hour after the race, chanting Bolt’s name and shrieking with excitement each time it appeared he might come out to acknowledge them.He’s the undisputed star of a sport that doesn’t produce stars anymore, a runner so popular in his native Jamaica that he is often compared to the iconic reggae master Bob Marley.And as a runner who has never tested positive for anything, he may be the only thing holding together a sport so decimated by doping that the entire country of Russia was banned from track and field at these Olympics.It’s hard to believe anything you see on the track anymore. That’s especially true in the 100, where Ben Johnson famously lost his gold medal in 1988 after a positive drug test, and where four of the five fastest men in the record books have also been caught doping.Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, left, celebrates winning the men’s 100-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Believe it, though, when you see the magnificence of a runner so smooth and fast that nothing that made him this spectacular could have come out of a bottle.He’s so good he didn’t flinch when afterward he was asked about being the greatest ever.“Yeah, that’s what I’m here to prove. That’s what I’m here to prove again and again. I just want to be among the greatest, so that’s why I am here.”Gatlin would have been heading toward a second Olympic gold in the 100 against anyone else, something that would not have pleased the crowd that booed him because of his doping suspension. This was a race viewed by many as good versus evil, though in track nothing is ever as simple as it looks.Bolt overcame his typically slow start to catch Gatlin just after the midway point of the race and pull away in what for him was a relatively slow time of 9.81 seconds. By the time he hit the finish line Bolt was pointing to his chest, where the only thing missing on his uniform was a Superman cape.Bolt would take a long, lingering victory lap around the stadium, finally stopping in one end to unlace his gold spikes and take selfies with fans. They wanted more, and he delivered once again, turning his yellow hat backward before kneeling down and doing his “To the World” pose.And over the loudspeakers, Marley’s “Jammin” echoed through the stadium.Theatrical, yes, but that’s Bolt. This is a guy, after all, who was last seen taking selfies as he danced the samba with a line of women at his press conference earlier in the week.He’s a showman extraordinaire and an athlete unparalleled. The combination is exquisite, with the only downside being the world only gets to see him this way once every four years.The only hope is that his retirement plans are as short as his races.___Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg@ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg Bolt preened like the superstar he is, then ran yet another race to back it up. Then he preened some more, much to the delight of those who came to watch history.last_img read more

Penguins sign goalie Murray to 3-year extension

first_imgPITTSBURGH (AP) — Matt Murray’s breakout performance in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs earned the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender a hefty raise.The 22-year-old and the team agreed to a three-year extension beginning next season that will pay Murray $3.75 million per season.Murray helped the Penguins to the franchise’s fourth championship last spring after taking over for injured Marc-Andre Fleury then held onto the job once Fleury returned from a concussion. Murray went 15-6 with a 2.08 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in the postseason. He would have been a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The new deal will keep him in the fold through 2020.“Anybody in their right mind would want to be here,” Murray said. “It’s awesome and I’m really thrilled.” The team approached Murray about a month ago and wasted little time ironing out the details. General manager Jim Rutherford called it a good deal for both sides. Murray will receive a significant bump from the $600,000 he’ll make this year but also doesn’t leave the club cash strapped should things not pan out. Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray (30) stops a shot by San Jose Sharks’ Joonas Donskoi (27) during the third period in Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals on Thursday, June 9, 2016, in Pittsburgh. Gene J. Puskar AP Photo “It’s why you do the bridge contracts,” Rutherford said. “Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re not. We have a young goalie that’s had a very good career, he’s won a Stanley Cup, played extremely well and we feel has a bright future ahead and a long future ahead.”Murray has yet to play this season while recovering from a broken hand suffered while playing for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey. While there’s no timetable for his return, he practiced for a second consecutive day on Thursday. He called the fact he woke up on Thursday without any lingering pain from Wednesday “a good sign.”“I’m just trying to push myself in practice and see how it feels,” Murray said.The extension will likely push the Penguins to make a decision at some point on who exactly is their franchise goaltender. Fleury, 31, is the winningest goalie in franchise history and is in the second year of a four-year extension he signed in 2014 that has an average annual value of $5.75 million. Rutherford, however, is in no hurry to reach a crossroads.“Let’s let this play itself out first,” Rutherford said. “Let’s not just presume that Marc is automatically out. He’s been the franchise goalie here. He’s a terrific person. He’s a terrific player. That assumption (that he’ll be moved), we’re getting ahead ourself.”Fleury will start on Thursday night when Pittsburgh hosts San Jose in a rematch of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Fleury is 2-1-1 with a 2.94 goals against average so far this season.center_img “It’s why you do the bridge contracts,” Rutherford said. “Sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re not. We have a young goalie that’s had a very good career, he’s won a Stanley Cup, played extremely well and we feel has a bright future ahead and a long future ahead.”Murray has yet to play this season while recovering from a broken hand suffered while playing for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey. While there’s no timetable for his return, he practiced for a second consecutive day on Thursday. He called the fact he woke up on Thursday without any lingering pain from Wednesday “a good sign.”“I’m just trying to push myself in practice and see how it feels,” Murray said.The extension will likely push the Penguins to make a decision at some point on who exactly is their franchise goaltender. Fleury, 31, is the winningest goalie in franchise history and is in the second year of a four-year extension he signed in 2014 that has an average annual value of $5.75 million. Rutherford, however, is in no hurry to reach a crossroads.“Let’s let this play itself out first,” Rutherford said. “Let’s not just presume that Marc is automatically out. He’s been the franchise goalie here. He’s a terrific person. He’s a terrific player. That assumption (that he’ll be moved), we’re getting ahead ourself.”Fleury will start on Thursday night when Pittsburgh hosts San Jose in a rematch of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. Fleury is 2-1-1 with a 2.94 goals against average so far this season.,PITTSBURGH (AP) — Matt Murray’s breakout performance in last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs earned the Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender a hefty raise.The 22-year-old and the team agreed to a three-year extension beginning next season that will pay Murray $3.75 million per season.Murray helped the Penguins to the franchise’s fourth championship last spring after taking over for injured Marc-Andre Fleury then held onto the job once Fleury returned from a concussion. Murray went 15-6 with a 2.08 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in the postseason. He would have been a restricted free agent at the end of this season. The new deal will keep him in the fold through 2020.“Anybody in their right mind would want to be here,” Murray said. “It’s awesome and I’m really thrilled.” The team approached Murray about a month ago and wasted little time ironing out the details. General manager Jim Rutherford called it a good deal for both sides. Murray will receive a significant bump from the $600,000 he’ll make this year but also doesn’t leave the club cash strapped should things not pan out.last_img read more

James helps Cavs hold off Pacers, earn sweep into 2nd round

first_imgCleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James instructs teammates during the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James made a 3-pointer with 68 seconds left Sunday and the Cleveland Cavaliers hung on for a 106-102 series-clinching victory at Indiana.James finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds as he became the first player under the current playoff format to win 21 straight first-round games. He also set a league record with his 10th career playoff sweep.It sure wasn’t easy. After taking a 96-83 lead with 9:29 to go, the Cavs found themselves in a 102-100 deficit with 1:31 left.But James answered with the go-ahead 3-pointer and Cleveland sealed the win on James’ free throw with 1 second left.Lance Stephenson scored 22 points and Paul George added 15 but missed a 3-pointer that could have forced overtime in the closing seconds. It’s the first time the Pacers have lost a series 4-0 in their NBA history.Kyrie Irving added 28 points for the Cavs, who await the winner of the Bucks-Raptors series.Indiana got back into the game with a 7-0 spurt early in the in the fourth, then methodically continued chipping away at the lead until Thaddeus Young tied the score at 100 with a short jumper and broke the tie on a tip-in with 1:31 left.But James, whose teams were 51-0 when starting the fourth quarter with double-digit leads in the postseason, made sure the perfect record remained intact.Cleveland has won seven straight playoff games overall and 11 straight in the first round since James returned to his hometown team.It was another milestone day for James, who moved past Michael Cooper, Magic Johnson and James Worthy on the league’s list of consecutive first-round wins, and past Tim Duncan for most career sweeps, according to Elias Sports Bureau.James also went 13 off 25 from the field, tying Kobe Bryant for fourth on the career playoff list for field goals. Each have 2,014 baskets.Indiana has lost five straight postseason games and six of its last eight.TIP-INSCavaliers: Will make their 11th appearance in the conference semifinals. … Cleveland has swept all eight series in which it has taken a 3-0 lead. … Tristan Thompson grabbed 11 rebounds Sunday, giving him double digits in all four games. … Deron Williams scored 14 points and Kevin Love had 16 rebounds.Pacers: George finished with a series-low point total Sunday and was 3 of 9 on 3s after entering the game with a league-high 15 3s in the playoffs. … Teague scored 15 points and was the catalyst in the final spurt, including blocking one of James’ shots. He can become a free agent this summer. …Myles Turner had 20 points and nine rebounds, while Young had 13 points and 10 rebounds.UP NEXTCleveland gets some extra rest before finding out who it will play in the second round. Indiana embarks on a crucial offseason that could dictate the franchise’s future.___More AP NBA: apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketballlast_img read more

Torres: “Spain cannot think about defeat”

first_img 17/06/2014 CEST “We need to win, but we need to stay calm. One of the problems against Holland was we weren’t able to interpret what was going on and that’s something we’re usually good at. “The important thing is that we win, hopefully in our usual style, at the high level that allowed us to win the World Cup and the Euros,” he said. Rik Sharma The striker knows they have to improve after their 5-1 pounding by Holland.  Upd. at 23:23 “We think that the match is going to be like any matches against Chile – it’s going to be really intense. They take a lot of risks because that’s the way they are. “We’re not even thinking about the possibility of defeat.” Fernando Torres says Spain are not even considering the possibility of losing to Chile.  “And if we can’t win like that, we have to win any way we can, because otherwise we’ll have to go back home. All that’s important tomorrow is that Spain plays and wins.” “We feel a responsibility to defend our title, and there’s pressure, but it’s a shared pressure. We won as a team and if we lose, we lose as a team. If we win it’ll be the whole team – 23 players plus coaches and everyone else. “They’ve had good results with that so we have to fight from the beginning, but we have to be calm at the same time. We know a draw’s not enough. last_img read more