Williams edges Kvitova for 1st US Open semifinal since 2010

first_imgRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies “I know that I didn’t win matches against top players — top-10 or top-20 players,” Carreno Busta said, “but I am very happy with my tournament.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Neither woman played with a ton of subtlety, mainly trading stinging groundstrokes from the baseline on exchanges that grew in intensity as the 2-hour, 34-minute encounter went along.“I had my chances,” Kvitova said. “Kind of.”Williams, who revealed in 2011 she had been diagnosed with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, is the oldest women’s semifinalist in New York in the Open era, which dates to 1968.But this sort of throwback run is becoming almost routine again for Williams, who made it to the Australian Open final in January of this year, then the Wimbledon final in July. In 2002, she participated in three Grand Slam finals, losing each to her younger sister Serena.Stephens, ranked 83rd, has won 13 of her past 15 matches, all on hard courts, reaching the semifinals at three consecutive tournaments for the only time in her career.She had an operation in January, and while forced to stay away from her sport, she found a new appreciation for it. The time off also allowed her to enjoy other aspects of life.“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do all the things that I wanted to do. But I did get to hang out with my family and see my little cousin’s soccer games and go to weddings and baby showers and stuff. All the things that I thought before I was missing out on, (now) I really wasn’t,” said Stephens, whose late father, John Stephens, was the 1988 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for the New England Patriots, and whose mother, Sybil Smith, was Boston University’s first All-American in women’s swimming.“It was just kind of, like, eye-opening,” Stephens added. “When I wasn’t playing, like, of course I loved my time off, but when I got back to playing tennis, it was, like, this is where I want to be. This is what I love doing.”In the men’s quarterfinals, No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain and No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa each advanced to the final four at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.Anderson got past 17th-seeded Sam Querrey of the United States 7-6 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-3, 7-6 (7) in a match that ended shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. Much, much earlier, Carreno Busta of Spain had no trouble beating No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. It was Carreno Busta’s first match of the tournament against an opponent who was not a qualifier. Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles LATEST STORIEScenter_img Venus Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during her Women’s Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Nine of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFPNEW YORK — When her work was done, her first trip to the U.S. Open semifinals since 2010 secured, if just barely, Venus Williams sat in her sideline chair and beamed .Williams reached her third major semifinal of the season — something she last did 15 years ago — by edging two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) on Tuesday night to a soundtrack of thunderous partisan support under a closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson UFC rival Nate Diaz slams McGregor over boxing loss Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies MOST READ “Definitely felt like a special match. No easy moments, not easy to hold serve or break serve,” Williams said. “This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and, of course, it being a major.”The 37-year-old Williams, who won titles at Flushing Meadows way back in 2000 and 2001, trailed 3-1 in the third set before digging out of the hole with a little help: Kvitova’s eighth double-fault handed over the break that made it 3-all.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’And Kvitova’s ninth double-fault got Williams to match point in the tiebreaker.“Sometimes you have opportunities, and sometimes you take them and you don’t, but it’s not like you get opportunity after opportunity after opportunity in these sorts of matches,” Williams said. “You have to take the ones you have.” Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ She will face unseeded Sloane Stephens on Thursday in the first all-American women’s semifinal in New York since 2002. Stephens advanced earlier Tuesday with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (4) victory over 16th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. It is Stephens’ deepest run at any major since 2013 and the apex of a recovery from foot surgery in January.There could be another U.S. vs. U.S. semifinal on the other side of the draw: 15th-seeded Madison Keys and 20th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe play their quarterfinals Wednesday.“It’s been a great two weeks for American tennis. Seeing all the American players in the draw and all of them advancing so deep and competing so well,” Williams said. “It’s great to see this resurgence, and I hope it can continue.”Kvitova, seeded 13th, was hoping to prolong her comeback from a knife attack less than nine months ago by reaching the first U.S. Open semifinal of her career. She needed surgery on her racket-holding hand after she was cut by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic in December. She returned to the tour at the French Open in May, losing in the second round there and at Wimbledon.Kvitova has said she still does not have full strength in her left hand. But she was often at her powerful best against No. 9 Williams, especially in the last two sets, repeatedly delivering big, flat forehands.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Read more Williams edges Kvitova for 1st US Open semifinal since 2010

‘Defendant Authorized Me to Withdraw L$70K from LBDI’

first_imgJurors listening to the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) counterfeiting and theft trial, heard another stunning allegation yesterday when prosecution’s second witness claimed that defendant Margretta Dorbor authorized payment to herself of L$70,000.00 from the account of the Gardnersville People’s Savings Club.Witness Samuel Padmore, a teller, who admitted making the payment from his compartment, made the accusation when he testified at the Criminal Court ‘C,” at the Temple of Justice.At yesterday’s hearing, prosecution also laid out for jurors, what it believed to be evidence of the withdrawal slip allegedly prepared and signed by Dorbor for her to receive the money as a member of the savings club.However, the other element of evidence yet to be exhibited before the court is that of the US$20,000 counterfeit money, allegedly discovered under the desk of the defendant.Prosecution has presented three witnesses in the case which has lasted for four days.Dorbor is on trial for the commission of the crimes of theft of property, forgery and counterfeiting.She has denied the allegations levied against her.Continuing his testimony, Padmore explained that in 2010, while he was in his teller’s cubicle, defendant Dorbor brought to him a withdrawal slip for him to pay to her  L$70,000 from the Gardnersville People’s Savings Club.“Dorbor presented to me a withdrawal slip with an amount of L$70,000 on behalf of the Gardnerville People’s Savings Club, but I refused to honor it because the signatures on (the slip) did not correspond with those that were in the club’s bank book,” Padmore testified.“Knowing that the signatures were not corresponding, Dorbor chose to use another withdrawal slip.  This time, she promised that she would take all of the responsibilities if the transaction is discovered to be fraudulent.“It was at that time that I personally paid the money to defendant Dorbor,” he admitted.Surprisingly, Padmore testified as a state witness and still remains an employee of the bank, despite his admission that he paid L$70,000 to Dorbor, who was not a member of the Savings Club.“Was the defendant responsible to authorize payment?” the defense team asked Padmore on the stand.“Yes,” he replied.“What was defendant Dorbor’s role in the bank?” the defense team further questioned Padmore.  “She was responsible for the bank’s customer service,” he replied.Defendant Dorbor is not the legitimate owner of the account.Besides, the bank has a policy that prevents a teller from making direct payments above L$50,000 to a customer.But Padmore, in his testimony, claimed that it was Dorbor’s written commitment to take full responsibility for the transaction that caused him to ignore the policy and make the payment to her.“Because she made that commitment, I was not afraid to give the money to her,” prosecution’s second witness Padmore stated.He was quick to clarify that “We have a policy that also mandates a teller to pay money above L$50,000 to a customer, even if the signatures on the withdrawal slip are not corresponding, but that withdrawal can be done only if an employee of the bank agrees to take full responsibility for the transaction.”The prosecution is hoping to convince the jury that the testimony about the defendant authorizing their witness to make payment is another one of Dorbor’s lies.She could face up to five years imprisonment if the jury convicts her of second-degree felony.The prosecution is expected to produce more witnesses in the case when trial resumes the first week of March.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Exciting Mother and Daughter Pageant 2019 planned

first_imgThe 28th Annual Mother and Daughter Pageant, which is slated for May 11, is expected to be much bigger and better this year with the introduction of a red carpet show.The organiser, Dr Sulan Fung-Browne and founder Ingrid Fung along with representatives from MovieTowne Guyana and Nigel’s SupermarketThe red carpet affair, which is being made possible through a partnership between the organisers of the Mother and Daughter Pageant and MovieTowne Guyana, will be a pre-show to the actual pageant.The 2019 theme of the event is “The superpower of love” and as such, the event will be celebrating and tailored around “love”.Twenty-two pairs of mothers and daughters will be competing in three categories: The Always Senior, the Middle category and the Igloo Junior category.According to Dr Sulan Fung-Browne, who organised the pageant with her mother and founder of the event, Ingrid Fung, the aim this year is to incorporate public interest in pulling off a successful event.“We always like to orient our show around the theme of love. This year, I see through MovieTowne, a lot of adults are into the superheroes, Avengers and all these other things, so I have decided to talk to the people in the language they know because even though these superheroes, everybody has their own strengths, if you demonstrate love, it will be the best strength ever demonstrated. So the superpower of love is definitely the thing that we want to celebrate” Fung-Browne explained.Fung-Browne noted that Guyanese will finally have that Oscar/Grammy’s type of experience with the event that the Mother and Daughter Pageant is hoping to pull off.The new red carpet event and show will be hosted by popular radio and television personalities Feliz Robertson and Gordon Moseley.“It’s something that you definitely want to be a part of. We have noticed that the patrons dress to death for this show and so we want to put the spotlight on them for a change so before the show will be the red carpet from 6 to 8 where you can come, have your interviews, take your pictures, you hang out a little bit in the lobby and you have a fun time…don’t let us just look at the TV and see the Grammy’s and Oscars and wish that we could’ve been a part of it, you can be a part of it this year” Fung-Browne noted.Meanwhile, The New Nigel’s Supermarket, another partner, will be handing out massive prizes not only to the contestants, but also to the attendees.Additionally, Nigel’s Mommy and Me promotion is allowing the Guyanese public to win prizes for their mothers on Mother’s Day.In that promotion, persons are asked to write about what makes their mother special and to drop those letters in boxes located at their various branches countrywide.last_img read more

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Capital FM set for Obama Cup third edition

first_img0Shares0000The Capital FM Footbal team lifting the trophy after beating rivals Radio Africa 2-0 in the Lenovo Intel five-aside tourney in 2016.NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22- The Capital FM football team will grace the third edition of the annual Obama Cup set for January 27 at the at the Strathmore University Grounds in Madaraka.A total of 10 teams have already registered for the tournament with six more expected by Friday to complete a roaster of 16 teams which will battle it out for the Sh30,000 prize money. This will be the first engagement for the Best mix of music team since their Street Soccer Tournament triumph in April last year where they emerged champions and skipper Lassie Atrash has promised the team has not lost its spark.“It has been quite a while since we played but we have been training and are very ready for this tournament. As always we are going in to win and we will give our best. All the players are ready for the challenge and we know it is not going to be easy,” the Capital FM Production Assistant noted.The 16 teams will be drawn into four pools of four teams each with the top two teams progressing to the Main Cup Quarter Finals. The bottom two will drop down into a second tier Challenge Cup trophy.Winners of the tournament will walk home with Sh30,000, the second placed team Sh15,000 while the third placed team gets Sh10,000.Obama Cup is an annual tournament played in honour of Alan “Obama” Onyango, who met his untimely death in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the 23rd of January 2015.He played for Strathmore University FC and until his death was still a student of the institution, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology (BBIT).In 2015, Onyango’s teammates came together to organize Obama Cup to celebrate his life, network and enjoy the one thing they had in common – soccer.Last year, 10 teams drawn from academia, corporate sector and local communities took part in the tournament and Strathmore University FC emerged winners.This year’s tournament, sponsored by IT firm OTB Africa will be played under the theme “Tackling unemployment through sports”.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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first_imgGALLAGHERThe death has taken place of Philip Gallagher, of The Commins, Killybegs. Removal on Sunday at 12 noon to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Mountcharles, for Mass at 1pm. Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.MOORE The death has taken place at Altnagelvin Hospital of William Moore (Willie). Rateen, St Johnston. Funeral tomorrow, Sunday, in Monreagh Presbyterian Church at 2.30pm. Burial afterwards in the adjoining churchyard. Family flowers only, donations in lieu if desired to the Alzheiner’s Society – C/o Mrs Ruth Haye, 100 Spencer Road, Derry.MOOREJOHNSTONThe death has taken place at the Donegal Hospice of Alan Johnston, Burtonport and formerly of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Dublin. Removal from the hospice this (Saturday) afternoon at 3 o’clock going to his home in Burtonport. Funeral arrangements later. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to the North west Cancer Group or the Donegal Hospice.JOHNSTON (LONDON) The death has taken place in Hackney, East London of Anthony Johnston, formerly of Rossbeag, Portnoo. Removal from Shovlin’s Funeral Home, Sandfield, Ardara, today at 6.15pm going to St Conal’s Church. Kilclooney,  via Rossbeag and Portnoo, to arrive at 7.15pm. Funeral mass tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 11 o’clock, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.DAVISThe death has taken place at Nazareth House, Fahan of Annie Davis, Ballycrampsey, Malin. Remains reposing at her home. Funeral from there tomorrow, Sunday at 2pm for Service in Lagg Presbyterian Church. Burial afterwards in the adjoining burial ground. Family time please from 11pm to 10am. DONEGAL DEATH NOTICES FOR SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2012 was last modified: January 28th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2012DONEGAL DEATH NOTICES FOR SATURDAYJANUARY 28last_img read more



first_imgFOOTBALL: Letterkenny Rovers host Athlone Town later this evening in their FAI Cup 2nd round replay at Leckview Park. (KO 6pm) Eamon McConigley’s side earned a battling 0-0 draw with Athlone on Saturday, and their reward is yet another big cup tie at home. The performance last weekend, was the perfect way for Rovers to bounce back after their disappointment at the Aviva Stadium.Rovers epic FAI Intermediate Cup journey was derailed by a rampant Crumlin United side at the National Stadium, but such is the character of McConighley’s side – they bounced straight back last weekend in the FAI Senior Cup.Paul McVeigh produced a MOTM display for Rovers, but it was a tremendous collective effort from every player to ensure a positive result.Tonight, Rovers will need to produce the same against a side that boasts quality players in Daniel Purdy, March Chindea and David Cassidy. Jonathan Minnock and Shane Bradley are expected to miss out again, after missing Saturday’s clash, while Ryan Lonergan, who hobbled off after 23 minutes is rated 50/50.A big crowd is expected to get out and support Rovers this evening, in what is remarkably their 12th match in National Cup competitions this year.Rovers are desperate to get into the hat for next round of the FAI Senior Cup, which will take place in August and hope a large crowd turn up at Leckview Park tonight.LETTERKENNY ROVERS HOST ATHLONE TOWN IN FAI CUP REPLAY TONIGHT was last modified: May 24th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Athlone Town FCLetterkenny Rovers FCnewsSportlast_img read more


Arsenal ease past Vorskla, Celtic edging nearer to last 32

first_imgBoth Arsenal and Celtic were in action during the early kick-offs in the Europa League on Thursday night.And they were successful trips as the Gunners ran out comfortable winners against Vorskla Poltava while Brendan Rodgers’ men secured a priceless victory at Rosenborg. 4 Any inconvenience for Unai Emery and his players did not show as youngsters Emile Smith Rowe and Joe Willock scored either side of an Aaron Ramsey penalty to confirm a win in temperatures that dropped as low as minus 10 degrees.Arsenal fans go crazy for Smith RoweRosenborg 0-1 CelticCeltic’s quest to reach the knockout stages of the Europa League is in their own hands following a 1-0 win over Rosenborg in Trondheim. no dice Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Latest Football News Willock’s goal was his first senior strike for the Gunners REVEALED BEST OF Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade REVEALED 4 MONEY Below you can read the best of the action from the two games.Vorskla Poltava 0-3 ArsenalArsenal secured top spot in their Europa League group as a much-changed side coasted to a 3-0 Europa League victory against Vorskla Poltava in sub-zero Kiev.The Group E fixture was moved 185 miles east of Poltava to the capital’s Olympic Stadium, with parts of Ukraine under martial law as political tensions with Russia continue to rise.The call to relocate the game was made on Tuesday evening, with Vorskla particularly unhappy with UEFA’s decision and official confirmation that the match would take place at all not coming from the governing body until six hours before kick-off. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Arsenal’s kids put on a very professional display at a freezing Kiev The Hoops commanded the first half at the Lerkendal Stadium but did not take the lead until the 42nd minute when forward Scott Sinclair headed in a cross from winger James Forrest.There was little excitement after the break with Brendan Rodgers’ side less convincing yet they managed the club’s first away victory in the group stages of the competition.Celtic moved on to nine points and a draw in their final Group B fixture against Salzburg, who qualified with a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig, at Parkhead next month would be enough for the Scottish champions to secure European football after Christmas. Celtic only need a point in their final game to guarantee their place in the last 32 Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions 4 Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade 4 RANKED huge blow Sinclair scored the opening goal of the game ADVICE Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won last_img read more

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We do not owe Uganda Cranes’ players any money, claims FUFA

first_img Tags: AFCON 2019DR CongoEgyptFUFAtopUganda Cranes The Uganda Cranes players refused to train on Tuesday. (PHOTOS/file)Uganda Cranes players refused to take part in training on Tuesday, June 02nd, sighting none payment of allowances.The stand off came just two days before their second round fixture against Senegal, set to be played on Friday.The players came out and assured they will not resume any activities until they are paid, prompting the Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) to come out and clarify on the matterFUFA posted a detailed explanation of the situation on their website, explaining how much has already been paid to the Uganda Cranes players.“On the 2nd July 2019, The Uganda Cranes did not undergo training after players opted not to despite a training programme released by the technical team. Read a statement.“FUFA has since engaged the players and confirmed that a complaint about emoluments as their cause of action.“FUFA wishes to affirm that matters of the rights and obligations of the members of the Uganda Cranes at the AFCON 2019 inclusive of the allowances and bonuses of the team were discussed and agreed upon by the team and were put into a document called the Code of Conduct. Every member of the team signed the Code of Conduct before being allowed into the camp.”FUFA went ahead and broke down the ‘Code of conducted.’The alleged code of conduct.The federation also claim to have paid the players $420 for the camp in Uganda, $5100 for that Abu Dhabi camp, $4,000 for the win over DR Congo and $2000 after drawing with Zimbabwe.The Cranes were paid $4000, each, after defeating DR Congo in their opening match.According to the statement released by the Federation, they calim to have paid the team an extra $2780, per person for the international friendly against Ivory Coast, one that Uganda won 1-0 a few days to the tournament.The whole total amounts to $14,600 (App UGX 55m), they money FUFA claims to have paid each player as at Tuesday, June 02th, 2019.FUFA also came out and confirmed that they do not owe any player any money and claim to have explained the situation to them (players) who in turn opted to renegotiate the ‘Code of Conduct’ after qualifying to the round of 16 leading to the decision not to undergo training on Tuesday.It now remains to be seen whether the players will try on Wednesday as they need to keep in shape for the clash with the Lions of Teranga.Uganda finished second in Group A despite losing 0-2 to Egypt in the last game.The Cranes had earlier defeated DR Congo 2-0 and drawn 1-1 with Zimbabwe, ensuring a spot in the AFCON knockout stages for the first time in 41 years.The full round of 16 fixtures-Egypt Vs South Africa-Madagascar Vs DR Congo-Nigeria Vs Cameroon-Senegal Vs Uganda-Algeria Vs guinea-Morocco Vs Benin-Mali Vs Ivory Coast-Ghana vs TunisiaComments last_img read more

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Easier TB treatment ‘one step closer’

first_imgThe pre-clinical efficacy study just completed was strong confirmation of the potential of the CSIR’s drug delivery technology, Semete said. Due to logistics, cost and other considerations, this was problematic for South African patients, especially in rural areas, said Dr Boitumelo Semete, senior researcher in the drug delivery programme at the CSIR. The drugs also had a number of nasty side-effects, discouraging many patients from completing their treatment course and significantly reducing their chances of recovery. Researchers at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are one step closer to providing tuberculosis (TB) sufferers with a once-a-week medicinal regime rather than their current daily doses. Patient challenges 22 February 2010 “While there is still a long road ahead before we can take our technology to human clinical trials and eventually make the treatment available to patients, we have just reached a significant milestone along the way.” This meant that patients would only have to take the drugs once a week instead of daily, with fewer associated side-effects. It was also hoped that, with more effective delivery and improved bio-availability of the drug, the total treatment period would be significantly reduced. Nano-particles In order to improve patient compliance with TB treatment, Semete said, the CSIR team was developing a method to ensure that the antibiotic drugs were released and taken up in the affected cells over a longer period of time, using nano-particles. A pre-clinical efficacy study has demonstrated that TB drugs given once a week over a four-week period are just as effective as daily doses of the drug over the same period when the CSIR team’s drug delivery technology is used. In a statement last week, the CSIR said the biggest problem with the current TB therapy regimen was that the drugs had to be taken once a day for six to nine months in order to be effective. In terms of the World Health Organization’s Directly Observed Treatment short-course (DOTs) programme, the drugs also needed to be taken in the presence of a healthcare practitioner. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Five sports stars to receive National Orders

first_img17 April 2014Five South African sports stars were on Wednesday named by the Presidency among the list of people who will be honoured with National Orders on Freedom Day, 27 April, in an investiture ceremony at the Presidential Guest House in Pretoria.They are top athlete Caster Semenya, swimming star Cameron van der Burgh, Paralympic standout Fanie van der Merwe, wheelchair tennis ace Lucas Sithole, and footballing great Jomo Sono.Caster SemenyaSemenya will receive the Order of Ikhamanga in bronze. The Order recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.The Presidency described her nomination in a statement as follows: “For her outstanding contribution in the sporting field of middle distance track running. Her performance against all odds has made the country proud.”Semenya burst onto the international athletics scene at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin when she won gold in the 800 metres at the age of only 18. Her winning time was a sensational 1:55.45.Two years later, at the IAAF World Championships in Seoul, Semenya fought her way back from injury to claim silver in the 800 metres.The following year, at the London Olympic Games, she won another silver medal, to help South Africa finish 23rd on the medal table, significantly up from a tie for 70th in Beijing four years earlier.The Order of Ikhamanga in Silver will be bestowed on the four remaining sportspeople.Cameron van der BurghDescribing Cameron van der Burgh, the Presidency said: “For his display of dignity and grace in his performance on international stages as a swimmer, while firmly rooted in South Africa and training at home. He has shown determination and strength and has portrayed continuous excellence in the field of aquatic sport.”Van der Burgh’s promise was first shown on the world stage in 2007 when he won bronze in the 50m breaststroke at the Fina Aquatics World Championships in Melbourne.In 2008 and 2009, he was the overall winner of the Fina World Cup, the short course world series that takes place in various major cities around the world.In April 2009, he set his first long course world record in in the 50 metres, and that same year captured gold in the 50m at the Fina World Aquatic Championships in Rome. He also added a bronze medal in the 100 metres.His achievements in 2010 included gold in the 50m and 100 metres at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and victory in the 100m at the World Short Course Championships in Dubai.The highlight of his career thus far occurred at the 2012 London Olympics when he won gold in the 100m in a world record time of 58.46 seconds.Last year, he was crowned world champion in the 50m and also picked up a silver medal in the 100m at the Fina World Championships in Barcelona.Fanie van der Merwe“For his excellent contribution in the field of Paralympic athletics. He has pushed past physical impediments to shine as a man of courage,” the Presidency said of Fanie van der Merwe’s award.Van der Merwe competes under a T37 classification, which is one of a number of classes for athletes with cerebral palsy.He won gold in both the 100 and 200 metres at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, with his 200 metres victory coming in a world record time of 23.84 seconds.In 2011, he bettered that world record to 23.10 seconds at the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.At the Paralympics, in London, in 2012, he snatched gold in the 100 metres again, edging out China’s Liang Yongbin in a photo finish to win the final in a world record equalling time of 11.51 seconds.Unfortunately, in the 200 metres, Van der Merwe stumbled, lost his balance and then his title, despite running a still impressive 23.79 seconds.Lucas SitholeWheelchair tennis star Lucas Sithole was recognised by the Presidency thus: “For bearing witness to resilience. He pushes past his limitations to achieve the seemingly impossible and has made history in the process.”At the age of 12, Sithole lost both legs and his right arm when he fell under a train. Then, in 2005, when the sport was launched in South Africa, he was invited to a wheelchair tennis camp. He instantly took to the sport and by the following year he was representing his country.Since then, Sithole has continued to make strides upwards in the world of quads wheelchair tennis. In recent years, he has become one of the world’s elite players.In 2013, he made a massive jump, winning the British Open in July and following that up with victory in the US Open in September to capture his first Grand Slam title. In both tournaments he beat world number one David Wagner. He finished the year ranked second in the world.In January of this year, Sithole finished runner-up in the singles and doubles at the Australian Open.Jomo SonoDescribing Jomo Sono’s award, the Presidency said: “For his commitment and dedication as a footballer. His excellent contribution to the development of football and young talent is commendable.”Nicknamed “The Black Prince”, Sono was a wonderfully skilled player, able to beat defenders with individual skills or astute passes. He could control the game from the midfield and was able to fashion some eye-opening goals, some with guile and others with power.He first played for Orlando Pirates, but then headed to North America where he played for the New York Cosmos, Colorado Caribous, Atlanta Chiefs and Toronto Blizzards.After his retirement in 1982, Sono returned to South Africa and purchased the Highlands Park Club in Johannesburg, renaming it Jomo Cosmos, in honour of the team that brought him to the USA.Although the club is currently in the South African First Division, it has over the years enjoyed a number of successes, including winning the Telkom Knockout Cup three times and the Nedbank Cup once. Before the formation of the Premier Soccer League, it also won the National Soccer League title in 1987.Among the players who played for Sono at Cosmos before going on to earn themselves lucrative overseas contracts were Mark Fish, Philemon “Chippa” Masinga and Helman Mkhalele. He is known for having a good eye for talent.He also made a telling contribution to Bafana Bafana when he took charge of the national team as a caretaker coach after Philippe Troussier was fired just before the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations. With the team in disarray, a disaster was predicted by many. Instead, with Sono leading, Bafana made it all the way to the final, where they lost to Egypt.Four years later, he was again the caretaker coach when South Africa narrowly missed out on the second round of the Fifa World Cup, bowing out of the event on goal difference, but only on goals scored.last_img read more

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