The story seems to be the same every season at Kentucky: Lose star players to the NBA, replace them with another group of one-and-doners, compete for a national championship.The Wildcats changed the script this season: This year, the fabulous freshmen will be surrounded by other former McDonald’s All-Americans who played for the NCAA title just seven months ago — a team so deep and talented that coach John Calipari is considering a platoon system.Kentucky was the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason Top 25 released Oct. 31, becoming the fourth program to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.“It’s something for our kids to live up to,” Calipari said. “At the end of the day, you’ve got to play the games and figure it out.”Kentucky earned 52 first-place votes from the 65-member panel in landing its fourth preseason No. 1. The Wildcats also were No. 1 in 1995-96, when they won the national championship, and in 1980-81.Kentucky joins UCLA (1966-69, 1971-74), UNLV (1990-91) and North Carolina (2008-09) to be named No. 1 consecutive seasons since the AP preseason poll started in 1961-62.Arizona is ranked No. 2 and received five first-place votes after adding a strong recruiting class to a team that came within seconds of reaching the Final Four last season.Wisconsin, which returns most of last season’s Final Four team, has its highest preseason ranking ever at No. 3. The Badgers received eight first-place votes, but are 35 points behind Arizona in the poll.No. 4 Duke added a strong recruiting class headed by Jahlil Okafor and is ranked for the 137th straight week. Reloaded Kansas is No. 5, with North Carolina, Florida, Louisville, Virginia and Texas rounding out the top 10. Virginia is in the preseason top 10 for the first time since Ralph Sampson’s senior season in 1982-83, when it was No. 1.“I think there are probably seven teams that all could be No. 1 in the country,” Calipari said.Wichita State, a Final Four team two seasons ago, is No. 11, followed by Villanova, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Virginia Commonwealth, San Diego State, defending national champion Connecticut, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Ohio State.Rounding out the Top 25 are Nebraska, SMU, Syracuse, Michigan, Harvard and Utah.They’ll all be chasing Kentucky, at least at the start.The Wildcats were No. 1 heading into last season after Coach Cal pulled the strings on another best-in-the-nation recruiting class. They lived up to expectations, too, overcoming a midseason slump to reach the national championship game, where they lost 60-54 to UConn.But a funny thing happened during the offseason: Instead of all those freshman packing up for the NBA after one season, most decided to stick around.Kentucky lost forward Julius Randle and guard James Young to the NBA. In a bit of a surprise, twin guards Aaron and Andrew Harrison decided to return after their freshman seasons and junior 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein decided to stick around, too.With forwards Alex Poythress and Marcus Lee, along with 7-footer Dakari Johnson also coming back, the Wildcats were going to be in good shape regardless of what the recruiting class looked like.But, of course, this is Kentucky and more star recruits made their way to Lexington: forwards Karl-Anthony Towns and Trey Lyles, guards Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis.The Wildcats are 12 deep, talented and confident. “We are far ahead of last year,” Andrew Harrison said. But they’re far from the only team with a shot at the title.Arizona was a last-second shot away from reaching the Final Four last season, an impressive run considering versatile forward Brandon Ashley sat out the final 16 games with a foot injury. He’s healthy and leads a solid core of returning players that includes point guard T.J. McConnell and 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski.Coach Sean Miller also brought in another stellar class, headed by athletic forward Stanley Johnson.“We have the makings of a team that can go on and do some great things,” Miller said.So do the third-ranked Badgers. Actually, they already have. Wisconsin made a somewhat-unexpected run to the Final Four last season and will have one of the most experienced teams in the country.Leading them will be no-nonsense coach Bo Ryan and Frank Kaminsky, the 6-foot-10 senior who skipped a shot at the NBA for another chance at an NCAA title.“I don’t see our guys talking any differently or acting any differently on the practice floor simply because other people are mentioning that we might be pretty good,” Ryan said.The same thing is being said about the Kentucky Wildcats — just like last season.___By John Marshall, AP Basketball Writer. AP Sports Writers Genaro Armas and Gary Graves contributed to this storyTweetPinShare0 Shares
TweetPinShare0 Shares NEW YORK — Bryce Harper became the youngest unanimous Most Valuable Player winner in baseball history Thursday, capturing the National League award despite his Washington Nationals missing the playoffs.Josh Donaldson took the American League MVP, earning the honor after helping boost the Toronto Blue Jays back into the postseason for the first time since 1993.Harper turned 23 on Oct. 16, after the playoffs had already started. He got all 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year led the majors in slugging percentage and on-base average. The outfielder hit .330 with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs.Harper was the first player from a Washington franchise to win an MVP — no one on the original or expansion Senators or Nationals had done it.Harper was the fourth-youngest player overall to win an MVP, with Stan Musial, Johnny Bench and Vida Blue also 22 but not quite as old.Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was second in the voting and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto was third. Yoenis Cespedes, acquired by the Mets from Detroit at the July 31 trade deadline, finished 13th.Harper put aside his injury problems from recent seasons and put up huge numbers. The banged-up Nationals didn’t do nearly so well, starting the season as World Series favorites and finishing far out of contention.Harper missed a lot of games in 2013 after a pair of run-ins with walls, then was sidelined for much of 2014 following a headfirst slide that hurt his thumb.This year, Harper reported to spring training with one goal — the only number he focused on was games played.Harper finished with a .649 slugging percentage and a .460 on-base average. He went into the final day of the regular season with a chance to win the NL batting title — Miami’s Dee Gordon edged him — and scored a league-leading 118 runs.The three-time All-Star also continued to draw fans in the Washington area and beyond. His constantly changing hairstyles are always getting attention and the selfie he took in the outfielder before a game at Nationals Park this season boosted his popularity even more.His hitting, though, is what makes him so special.“You could see throughout the season what this guy meant to this ballclub. And don’t forget, this guy carried us throughout the whole season,” Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said Wednesday.“Every team that we played circled his name and said, ‘This guy’s not going to beat us.’ And with that said, he beat a lot of teams. So it was a remarkable season. As we said at this time last year, I thought that ‘Harp’ was just scratching the surface of what he can be.”Donaldson received 23 first-place votes. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout got the other first-place votes finished second for the third time — he won the award last year. Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain was third.Donaldson led the AL with 123 RBIs and topped the majors by scoring 122 runs. He hit 41 home runs and batted .297.Traded from Oakland to Toronto last offseason, Donaldson joined a power-packed lineup that included Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The Blue Jays battered their way to the AL East title and led the majors in runs and homers, with Donaldson leading the way.“I feel like I was able to take advantage of the opportunities put in front of me,” Donaldson said on the MLB Network telecast of the awards.Donaldson joined George Bell (1987) as the only Toronto players to win the MVP.(BEN WALKER, AP Baseball Writer)
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia (AP) — Switzerland is through to a knockout game against Sweden at the World Cup. Half of its starting defense isn’t.Switzerland qualified second in Group E behind Brazil despite twice losing the lead in a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on Wednesday night. The riveting game culminated with an injury-time penalty from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz that hit the crossbar and went in off Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer’s head.Despite the late drama, a draw was enough to send Switzerland through to the knockout stage.But the bad news for the Swiss: Yellow cards for captain Stephan Lichtsteiner and fellow defender Fabian Schaer — their second of the tournament — meant they’ll be suspended for the Sweden match in St. Petersburg.Their absence leaves two gaping holes to be filled at the back as Switzerland chases a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup for the first time since 1954.“This is certainly not an ideal scenario,” Switzerland midfielder Blerim Dzemaili said. “We don’t need to look at who’s not there, we need to look at who will be able to play. This is very disappointing.”Switzerland’s Valon Behrami, right, vies for a ball with Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz during the group E match between Switzerland and Costa Rica at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)Switzerland coach Vladimir Petkovic’s gamble to play the two key defenders while they were already on yellow cards backfired in a game where the team only needed a draw to progress. As it turned out, Switzerland could have lost to already-eliminated Costa Rica and still gone through because Brazil beat Serbia 2-0.Serbia had a chance to pass Switzerland for second place, but Brazil ended up dominating that match. Brazil will face Group F runner-up Mexico Monday and Switzerland plays Sweden Tuesday.“I think the team can cope (against Sweden),” Petkovic said. “It’s too bad for those two guys but it’s too late now to lament that and correct that.”Right back Lichtsteiner received his yellow for a studs-up tackle in the first half. Central defender Schaer got his late on, with seven minutes to go of normal time.Switzerland had led Costa Rica against the run of play in Nizhny Novgorod when Dzemaili slammed in the first goal from close range in the 31st minute.Dzemaili didn’t replicate the politically charged double-headed Albanian eagle hand-signal celebrations that Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri and Lichtsteiner all used in the game against Serbia that earned them combined fines of $25,000 from FIFA.Costa Rica decided they had had enough of being losers at this World Cup.Costa Rica’s Kendall Waston celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the group E match between Switzerland and Costa Rica, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Natasha Pisarenko)The Central Americans avoided being the only team to go home from Russia without a goal when defender Kendall Waston rose to head in a corner early in the second half to equalize at 1-1.Substitute Josip Drmic put Switzerland ahead again with a first-time shot from a cross in the 88th minute.Costa Rica, surprise quarterfinalists in Brazil four years ago, lifted themselves again.Moments after referee Clement Turpin of France consulted the video assistant referee and turned down a Costa Rica penalty claim, Los Ticos did get a spot-kick.Joel Campbell was hacked down on the left side of the penalty area by Denis Zakaria in injury time, giving Ruiz the chance to send Costa Rica home with the consolation of a point for a draw.He took it, via the back of goalie Sommer’s head. The goal was given as an own goal by Sommer. That brought the World Cup total to eight own goals, already two higher than the 1998 record.GROUP DYNAMICS:Brazil ultimately topped a group the five-time World Cup winner was expected to win. It didn’t come easy for after a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in its opening game. Costa Rica also frustrated Neymar and the Brazilians until two goals in injury-time. Brazil was solid against Serbia, with goals in each half by Paulinho and Thiago Silva seeing it through.Switzerland did enough to hold on to second place.KEY TO SUCCESS:Switzerland will undoubtedly miss right back Lichtsteiner and central defender Schaer for the game against Sweden, which proved it will be a handful with a 3-0 win earlier Wednesday over Mexico.Costa Rica’s Kendall Waston, 5th from left, scores his side’s opening goal during the group E match between Switzerland and Costa Rica, at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)Switzerland has the potential up front with the likes of Dzemaili and creative midfielders Shaqiri and Xhaka, but all the focus against Sweden will be now be on how to shore up the defense.Costa Rica was in danger of becoming the first team since Algeria and Honduras in 2010 to leave a World Cup without a goal. Waston, who plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer, made sure that didn’t happen.“Our group was very tough,” Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez said. “But that’s the way football is. I insist that we played against very good teams.”—By GERALD IMRAY , AP Sports WriterSwitzerland’s Josip Drmic celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the group E match between Switzerland and Costa Rica at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium in Nizhny Novgorod , Russia, Wednesday, June 27, 2018. Drmic scored once and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)TweetPinShare0 Shares
SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Defending champions Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France won the free dance on Saturday to win gold in the ice dance competition at the figure skating world championships.Papadakis and Cizeron, first after the rhythm dance, received 134.23 points for their free dance for a total of 222.65 and their fourth ice dance world title.Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov of Russia were second with 211.76 points followed by Madison Hubble and Zachary Donahue of the United States who moved up from fourth place to finish third with 210.40.The men’s free skate closes out the competition later Saturday. Defending champion Nathan Chen led after the short program and has a 12.53-point lead over two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France perform in the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France perform in the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France perform in the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France embrace after their performance in the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France, back to camera, hug Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue of the U.S. during the medal ceremony for the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France stand on the podium with their gold medals for the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France enter the ring to receive their gold medal for the ice dance free dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)TweetPinShare130130 Shares
NYON, Switzerland — UEFA has rejected an appeal by Paris Saint-Germain against Neymar’s three-match Champions League ban in a case that can now go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.UEFA says its appeals panel confirmed the ban on Neymar for “insulting match officials” after PSG was eliminated by Manchester United in March.After the match, Neymar published profane comments about video review officials who helped give United a stoppage-time penalty in the 3-1 victory.Neymar, who was injured and did not play, said the video assistant referees “do not understand football.”The UEFA ruling means Neymar will miss half of the six Champions League group games next season.PSG and Neymar have 10 days to file an appeal at CAS.TweetPinShare0 Shares
Continue Reading Previous AAEON brings industrial-grade reliability to your vending machinesNext Infineon: powerful IT security for the car of the future Going to Milan for Arduino Day is an exercise in history, both ancient and contemporary. I’ll leave the ancient aspect to history buffs, and focus on the star of the show, the Arduino open-source computer hardware and software environment. Arduino’s origins come from a small town in the Turin area, close to the city of Milan where the main activities were held. By Alix Paultre, Aspencore Media The Arduino project was born in 2003 at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in Ivrea, Italy, to provide a simple path for non-engineers to create complex devices with sensor input and actuator control. The name Arduino comes from a bar where some of the founders once met. There were kits and other packaged solutions, most notably the Basic Stamp Activity Kit, released in 1992. However, Arduino was (and is) lauded as an open-source environment where anyone can use and add to the knowledge and hardware base of the system.Aspencore’s Editorial Director, Bolaji Ojo (right) and Editor Alix Paultre at Arduino Day in Milan Accompanied by Aspencore’s Editorial Director, Bolaji Ojo, we spent the day looking at interesting ways people have used the Arduino environment to manifest their ideas. The array of people and organizations that are a part of the Arduino community range from multi-billion-dollar electronic distributors like Arrow and Mouser, to individuals making Arduino shields in their basement and writing code on kitchen tables.There were a lot of interesting exhibits, some created to serve the designer’s own needs, while others were shields or kits made to help others use Arduino to address their own projects. We were able to talk to some of these people at the event, and their projects ranged from robotic kits to remote sensor solutions for the plumbing in smart homes.One of the best aspects of being in Italy for Arduino Day was the opportunity to speak with some of the people who are at the heart of the effort and community. Although the ecosystem has gone global, its humble beginnings are part of why it became a success.In this video Arduino’s Massimo Banzi (Chairman and CTO) and Dr. Fabio Violante (CEO) talk to Alix Paultre about Arduino’s past, present, and future.In the following video an artist explains a novel musical instrument made using a tank of water with sensors that can detect motion in it. Any motion detected creates both a graphic representation of that motion on a screen as well as an accompanying audio tone, enabling a performer to make music by stirring their hands in the water.The event was also punctuated by several panels, where industry experts and pundits talked about Arduino and its impact on product development. In all, between the activities, the exhibits, and the talks, it was very obvious that not only is Arduino a significant part of the development community, its role can only grow as more and more people turn to it and its ecosystem to solve their application problems.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules, Tools & Software
Continue Reading Previous ANSI and VITA ratify cooling standard for VPX REDI modulesNext Lauterbach: TRACE32 extends the reach of Time Partition Testing Analog Devices introduced the AD7768-1, a low power, high-performance, 24-bit single channel sigma-delta (ƩΔ) A/D for precision conversion of both AC and DC signals. AD7768-1 enables power efficient instrumentation solutions for condition monitoring in predictive maintenance (vibration and power quality), audio test, acoustic, structural health and modular automated electrical test equipment. Healthcare applications such as clinical EEG/EMG/ECG are also enabled.The AD7768-1 provides a single configurable and reusable data acquisition footprint, establishing a new industry standard in combined AC and DC performance. This enables instrumentation and industrial system designers in reuse of core acquisition chain which can service multiple measurement variants, both in channel to channel isolated and non-isolated applications. A single converter serving the various equipment platforms, performance points and measurement ranges reduces the number of reference designs, reducing costs and time to market.The AD7768-1 includes a power scalable ƩΔ modulator and digital filter to enable synchronized, high-fidelity measurement of AC and DC signals in instrumentation. The high throughput and 110.8kHz input bandwidth of the AD7768-1 deliver test cost and time reduction, improving the quality and integrity of test measurements.The AD7768-1 offers extensive digital filtering capabilities, which can be selected to meet a wide range of system requirements catering to high accuracy frequency domain measurements and low latency DC input measurement. The ADC also provides an integrated pre-charge buffer on each analog input, greatly simplifying the design of external driver circuitry. A full buffer input on the reference delivers a high impedance input for any external reference.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components
Kontron is introducing CP3005-SA, a new generation of 3U CompactPCI CPU boards. The blade features 4-core or 6-core 8th-gen Intel processors or an Intel Xeon E-2176 processor. The Intel Xeon processor is specifically suitable for server applications and applications requiring error correcting code memory. Thanks to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics P630 graphics controller, the CP3005-SA CPU board ensures powerful display performance in graphics-intensive applications. Beyond these features, the latest member of the CompactPCI family presents a robust design according to VITA47 EAC3 and works even in the extended temperature range of -40 to +70°C. Based on the guaranteed product availability of at least ten years, the CP3005-SA CPU board is devised for long-term use.The new blade delivers optimized energy efficiency: 4-core or 6-core 8th-gen Intel processors achieve higher performance-per-watt values than their predecessors. Depending on the ambient temperature and CPU load, they dynamically adjust their thermal design power to avoid exceeding the maximum permissible temperature. The enhanced graphics performance of the new CP3005-SA is a unique feature. The integrated graphics controller Intel UHD Graphics P630 provides sufficient performance to support three independent graphics outputs. The Intel UHD Graphics P630 graphics card specifically supports the COM-based programming interfaces DirectX 12 for multimedia-intensive applications and the OpenGL 4.5 standard. 4K video facilitates UHD streaming and is the perfect solution for video applications like digital signage and monitoring systems.Up to 32 GigaByte SDRAM at speeds of 2666 DDR4 provide enough capacity even for applications with high storage requirements. Error Correcting Code is supported in conjunction with the Intel Xeon processor. A SATA flash memory module can be used as a memory unit for onboard and operating system data. Usually, 32 GByte are sufficient for this purpose, however, based on the new form factor M.2, 42 mm modules provide higher flash capacities of up to 1 terabyte. The flash modules can also be used as mass storage devices.Key features include multiple USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, three Gigabit-Ethernet ports with Wake-over-LAN (WOL) option, SATA 6 Gb/s and PCI Express. Optionally, the CP3005-SA can be expanded to 8HP using expansion cards with 1 slot/4HP width: users benefit from additional I/O options and slots for 2.5-inch mass storage, for XMC modules and additional M.2 modules with 80 mm length. The CP3005-SA CPU board is designed for challenging and harsh environments and its reliability makes it extremely attractive for a variety of markets.The CP3005-SA CompacPCI board comes standard with Kontron’s APPROTECT security solution. Based on the integrated security chip from Wibu-Systems in conjunction with an appropriate software framework it ensures protection of IP rights and fends off copy and reverse engineering attempts.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules Continue Reading Previous ADLINK: “quad” core i3 value processor on COM ExpressNext Which electronic calculators do you like?
Continue Reading Previous AAEON: AI Core XP4 and XP8 offer flexible AI solution with Intel Myriad XNext TQ: COM Express Compact module now with latest 8th gen Intel Core embedded processors Microchip announces the introduction of new single-port USB Smart Hub ICs to extend its family of USB automotive products, to give automotive manufacturers the ability to provide dependable and convenient connectivity while optimising system costs. The USB4912 and the USB4712 provide what is required for single-port implementations and can be used to add a single port under the radio, in the centre console or together with wireless charging implementations.Using the same patented methods as the multi-port family, the USB 2.0-compliant devices offer single-port Integrated Circuits (ICs) in smaller footprint packages, optimising a customer’s Bill of Materials (BoM) and lowering total system costs. Now with both single-and multi-port options which share the same software, designers can choose configurations and seamlessly implement solutions that fit their designs and get to market faster. These diverse USB solutions support smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, without compromising signal integrity.By using native USB drivers and mechanisms such as Microchip’s patented role-swapping technologies, multi-host reflector and FlexConnect, the USB4912 and the USB4712 Smart Hub ICs optimise design and easily integrate with infotainment head units, allowing a seamless connection with the smartphone ecosystem of software and applications. Each device includes an embedded 32-bit microcontroller (MCU) for the implementation of USB I/O bridging. Both devices support USB 2.0 Low Speed, Full Speed and Hi-Speed with a single USB 2.0 Hi-Speed upstream port for host connection. As a low-power, configurable, USB 2.0 hub controller, the USB4912 allows connectivity to be extended to GPIO, I2C, SPI and UART so that the USB Smart Hub becomes the centre for system connectivity and control. The USB4712 and USB4912 are offered in a 40-pin VQFN package, compliant with the USB 2.0 specification and have passed AEC-Q100, grade 3 testing.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components
By Philem Dipak Singh New Delhi, Jun 20 (PTI) The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) plans to have 1,000 IAAF license-holding coaches on its roster in the next five years in what it calls a “high-impact” initiative that will change the face of the sport at the grassroots level. The AFI began work on this project with nine Level 1 courses at five cities last month. Each course has a maximum of 24 participants and four such Level 1 courses — in Chennai, Ranchi, Gwalior and Patiala — have already been completed. Five more — in Chennai, Ranchi, Gwalior, Patiala and Guwahati — will be held in September-October. “We have less than 40 IAAF qualified coaches. We have been following our own system and most of the coaches, even at the elite level, are diploma holders from our national institutes (run by government) like the NIS Patiala,” national athletics deputy chief coach Radhakrishnan Nair told PTI. “We have been lacking a systematic approach and need to start from the scratch. We are expecting at least 200 coaches to pass from these courses this year. These courses will be conducted every year and we are aiming to produce 1000 IAAF Level 1 license holders in five years,” said Nair, who is currently the most qualified coach in the country. Nair, who is an IAAF Academy Course diploma holder, claimed that in five years’ time, every district in the country will have a qualified IAAF coaching license holder. “This initiative is going to have a big impact on Indian athletics in the coming years,” he said.advertisement There are three courses — Level 1, 2 and 3 — under the IAAF Coaches Education and Certification System. India currently has less than 40 coaches who have passed an IAAF CECS course. Out of these, around two dozen are Level 1 and 2 license holders while around 15 are Level 3 license holders. The IAAF level 1 license holder can become a coach of Under 12-15 age group athletes, while Level 2 coaches, who specialise in one among the fields of sprints and hurdles, middle/long distance running and race walks, jumps, throws and combined events, can train Under-20 athletes. Only Level 3 diploma holders are eligible to train elite athletes at national camps. Above these three basic levels of courses is the IAAF Academy Diploma course which is conducted only at the IAAF center in Singapore. Nair is the only one in the country to hold this diploma. Level 1 course, which runs 14 days, can be conducted in a country but it has to bear all the cost while the IAAF will only send course material. Level 2 course can also be conducted in a country on request to IAAF but only when there are enough level 1 license holders who have coaching experience of at least one year on field. The Level 3 course in conducted at the IAAF regional center in Jakarta. AFI has conducted the Level 1 course only twice till now — in 2000 and 2015 — and Nair cited the cost factor and the tradition of using the services of diploma holders from national institutions for training of athletes as the reasons behind this few qualified coaches. “We have only three IAAF qualified trainers in the country, including myself. So, we have to invite IAAF qualified trainers from abroad and their accommodation, flight tickets and his daily allowance will have to be taken care of by the federation. It is a huge cost,” he said. “We are charging Rs 25000 from each participant for the Level 1 course and they will be provided with three star accommodation, their airfare and fooding. The AFI is bearing the cost of foreign trainers.” For each Level 1 course, there will be one foreign trainer and one Indian trainer. Nair is among three Indian trainers who have done a special course in Monaco. “We are going to request the IAAF to allow us have Level 2 course in different event groups towards the end of next year. By that time we will have at least 200 Level 1 license holders who have coaching experience of one year and they can go for Level 2 course. “If we have enough Level 2 license holders, we can request the IAAF to allow us conduct Level 3 course in India instead of having it in Jakarta.” Ashwini Nachappa, Soma Biswas and Sahana Kumari and are among the former athletes who are taking part in the Level 1 course. “Till now, only physical education teachers and former athletes are eligible to take part in this Level 1 course. We will open it up so that sports medicine and biomechanics experts can also take up these IAAF courses,” AFI Communications Manager Divesh Bhal said. PTI PDS PM PM PMadvertisement
Football fever gripped Russia much before the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018 and it has only grown since the stars descended in the country to compete at the highest level and lay their hands on the most prestigious trophy in the world of sports.Russia has been successful so far in dishing out one of the most memorable World Cups in recent memory thanks to the action on the pitch and the amazing hospitality off it.Just one game in the group stage ended in a goalless draw as the 48-game round provided some incredible football from the 32 teams.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEAn average of 2.5 goals were scored per game with the ball finding the back of the net 122 times which certainly helped increase the viewership and interest in this edition as scepticism towards Russia made way for praise and respect for the host nation.President Vladimir Putin wanted to provide the highest level of organisation both for athletes and guests of the tournament and it can be said now that he has been successful in living up to his promises.World Cup 2018: Russian women play the beautiful game dressed as bridesThe whole country is dedicating all its attention towards playing the perfect hosts with even the Kremlin military regiment doing their bit to entertain the fans and tourists.The Kremlin’s military regiment surprised World Cup fans in Moscow on Saturday by marching through Red Square with two members showing off their football skills. A member of the Guard of Honour of the Presidential Regiment plays with a ball with a conductor of the Presidential Band (Reuters Photo)The regiment, which usually marches inside the Kremlin’s walls, changed its usual itinerary and crossed Red Square in front of a crowd of locals and foreign tourists.advertisementUndeterred by heavy rain, two members of the regiment in ceremonial uniform passed around a football ball on Red Square’s cobblestones while members of the cavalry followed marching guards. A member of the Guard of Honour of the Presidential Regiment plays with a ball during the Changing of the Guard ceremony in Red Square (Reuters Photo)Founded in 1936, the Kremlin regiment guards the Kremlin and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside its walls, among other tasks.Russia is hosting the football World Cup for the first time, holding matches in 11 cities including Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi.(With Reuters inputs)
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is optimistic of reviving his international career with Spain following the appointment of Luis Enrique as the national team’s new manager earlier this month.The 30-year-old was part of the victorious Spain teams at the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship but earned the most recent of his 41 caps for the nation in a friendly in November 2016.Mata was excluded from Spain’s squad for this year’s World Cup but is hopeful of turning his fortunes around under former Barcelona boss Enrique.”I was disappointed not to go (to the World Cup),” Mata told ESPN. “But then after that, I was hoping for them to win…”Now, things have changed. We have a new manager again, Luis Enrique… I’m again excited about the possibility of coming back. I obviously want to come back and try to play as many games as I can with the national team.”Mata believes the emergence of a new generation along with the presence of experienced players will propel Spain to new heights in the future.”I’m really excited about it and I think the future, it can be still bright for Spain, because we have young players coming that, as I said, they have the level to compete,” he added.”We have some senior players that we have been there for some years and we have the experience so I think it’s a good mix and hopefully it can be a good future for Spanish football.”Mata is one of few senior United players currently participating in the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, where manager Jose Mourinho’s team will face AC Milan in the International Champions Cup on Thursday.advertisement
Kidami Srikanth-led Indian badminton team got off to a solid start at Asian Games 2018 as they defeated Malaysia 3-0 in their opening match on Sunday.World No 8. Srikanth brushed aside Maldives’ Hussein Zayan Shaheed Zaki 21-4 21-5 in 18 minutes to give India a 1-0 lead.World No. 11 H S Prannoy then took 21 minutes to outclass Mohamed Sarim 21-8 21-6 and make it 2-0 in India’s favour.B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched the 2017 Singapore Open, then ended the challenge of Mohamed Ajfan Rasheed in just 22 minutes with a 21-7 21-8 demolition as India wrapped up the contest 3-0.First matchFirst victoryIndian Men’s Team cruise to a 3 – 0 victory against Maldives. They now advance to the quarter-finals.#AsianGames2018 #AceTheAsiad pic.twitter.com/UzswqJSe9NPBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) August 19, 2018The Indian men’s team will next face hosts Indonesia tomorrow in the quarterfinals.Indonesia, who received a first-round bye, boasts of good players such as Jonathan Christie and Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the singles, while their doubles line-up comprise World No. 1 Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and World No. 9 Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.The women’s team, led by Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu, will play formidable Japan in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the opening round.(With PTI inputs)
Akshay Kumar’s recent release Gold has been busy casting its spell at the box office with each passing day. Bollywood’s new-age Bharat Kumar is back with yet another film which is running high on patriotism. Gold revolves around India’s first Olympic win as an independent nation, and Reema Kagti’s directorial venture is unstoppable at the box-office.The sports drama has not only got a thumbs up from critics but has also been lauded by fans. The film, which released on Independence Day, crossed the Rs 70-crore mark within five days of its release, and is still continuing its winning streak at the box office. And Bakrid was no different.According to early estimates, Gold earned Rs 6 crore (approx) on Wednesday. The film is slowly inching towards the Rs 100-crore mark.Directed by Reema Kagti, Gold revolves around independent India’s first Olympic gold win – a feat achieved by the Indian men’s hockey team in 1948 at the 14th London Olympiad. Akshay plays the role of the manager of the team, Tapan Das.It was a clash of the titans this year, as Gold locked horns with the other Independence Day release, John Abraham-starrer Satyameva Jayate, which also opened to a phenomenal response at the box office. The film is facing stiff competition from John Abraham-starrer at the ticket windows.Gold, which marks the debut of television actress Mouni Roy, also starred Kunal Kapoor, Amit Sadh, Vineet Kumar Singh and Nikita Dutta in pivotal roles.MOVIE REVIEW: GOLDALSO READ: Gold true story – How independent India won its first Olympic goldadvertisementALSO WATCH: Akshay Kumar is the real ‘Khiladi’ of Bollywood
The schedule of the fifth season of the Indian Super League (ISL) was announced on Saturday which begins on September 29 in Kolkata with a clash between two-time champions ATK and two-time runners-up Kerala Blasters FC.The second day of the ISL season will pit last season’s runners-up Bengaluru FC against champions Chennaiyin FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, according to an ISL release.The ISL announced the fixtures till the mid-season break, featuring 59 games, and the fixtures for 2019 will be announced on a later date. The upcoming season will have three breaks, two for FIFA windows (October 8-16/November 12-20), and one, starting from December 17 for the Indian national team’s preparatory camp ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in UAE.The league has moved away from double headers on weekends this season, while the kick-off for all matches is at 7.30 p.m. (IST), the statement said.
India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on Monday declared fit by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).Bhuvneshwar, who missed the ongoing five-match Test series in England due to a back problem, was named in the India A squad in the ongoing Quadrangular series.”Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been declared fit and will be a part of the India A squad in the ongoing Quadrangular series,” the BCCI said in a statement.Bhuvneshwar had aggravated his lower back injury while playing the third India-England ODI match in the UK in July. He was subsequently ruled out of the India-England Test series and had to undergo recovery training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.UPDATE: Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been declared fit & will be a part of the India A squad in the ongoing Quadrangular series. He will feature in the side’s next fixture against South Africa A. pic.twitter.com/4TXF7jBU9iBCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) August 27, 2018Bhuvneshwar will play against South Africa A on August 29 in Bengaluru as Shreyas Iyer-led India A will battle it out for the third position in the Quadrangular series.India A are already out of the Quadrangular series as they could manage just nine points. They lost to South Africa A on Monday.India A Squad:Shreyas Iyer (captain), Ravikumar Samarth, Suryakumar Yadav, Hanuma Vihari, Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson, Mayank Markande, Krishnappa Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Shivam Mavi, K Khaleel Ahmed, Ambati Rayudu.
By Bharat Sharma Jakarta, Sep 3 (PTI) The deputy chef de mission of the Indian contingent, R K Sacheti, was flying back home on a business class ticket while the athletes who competed at the Asian Games were made to travel economy class. Most Indian athletes fly economy and they are okay with that as long as the officials do the same. “They are here because of us. Not the other way around. I am okay flying economy but not if these officials are given better seats,” said a member of the Indian volleyball team on board SQ 967 from Jakarta to Singapore. Sacheti, in his defence, said he used his air miles to upgrade to business. “We too are supposed to fly economy but I have used my air miles to upgrade,” the top official from Boxing Federation of India (BFI) reasoned. The sports ministry had objected to this controversial official’s presence as one of the four deputy CDMs at the Games that concluded yesterday. But IOA cleared him on its own expense. PTI BS KHSKHS
Steve Waugh feels the Australian players were living in a bubble and the internal system allowed them to go far from the reality of what “an average persons thinks” about sports and things related.Australian cricket and the fans were completely thrown off back in March this year when the ball-tampering incident, involving captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and youngster Cameron Bancroft, came to light.Bancroft was caught on camera tampering with the ball and after the end of the day’s play Smith and Bancroft confronted the media admitting that the ball-tampering was a planned incident with the “leadership group” of the team involved.Warner and Smith were banned for a year by Cricket Australia in the aftermath while Bancroft received a nine-month suspension.Waugh feels the way Smith came out in the press conference and admitted to the offence, it showed that “they just didn’t realise how big a mistake it was”.”They are in a bit of a bubble and they are protected, you know they are insulated from a lot of things. They’ve got a lot of people around the side that protect them and tell them how good they are and how everything’s fantastic and sometimes you can lose touch with reality and I think that was best summed up when Steve Smith said that ‘we won’t make that same mistake again and we’ll just get on with it’,” Waugh said to ESPNcricinfo at a Laureus event in Paris.”They just didn’t realise how big a mistake it was and what they’d actually done. So that, to me, just summed up that maybe they were out of touch with what the average person thinks,” Waugh added.advertisementWaugh also said that absence of stringent punishment for ball-tampering incidents in the past encouraged players to cross the line because nobody considered it an offence.Ahead of the incident, ball-tampering was a level two offence under the ICC Code of Conduct but since the happening in Cape Town, the offence has since been elevated to a level three category, which carries a ban of up to six Tests or 12 ODIs.”You know they push the boundaries a bit by throwing the ball into the rough on the ground, which they shouldn’t do and then it’s escalated from there. It’s a shame how it got to the point that it did but I guess the authorities let that happen.”There have been captains in the past who have been done for tampering with the ball and the penalties have been very lenient so there was no penalty for doing something wrong and it was always going to get to the case where it got out of control,” Waugh further said.Also read – David Warner walks off the filed after being sledged, returns to smash 259-ball 157The ban on Smith and Warner will end in March 2019 which enables them to get to the Australian national side for the World Cup and Ashes tour. Australian batting has been missing the spark and stability of Smith and Warner since their ban.However, Waugh feels dealing with the mental part of the incident will be more important. He said that the players will have to learn to cope with people talking about the ball-tampering incident.Also read – South Africa won’t use ball-tampering scandal to sledge Australia, says du Plessis”I know that Smith will be passionate, he’s still only young, he loves cricket and he’s got that drive to get back there. His biggest challenge will be to overcome people talking about it, because the rest of his life someone will probably mention it once a day. What happened?”So he’s going to have to mentally overcome that and find a way to sort of get past that but at the end of the day he’s an outstanding cricketer and averages 60 in Test cricket, second only to Bradman over a long period of time, and he loves cricket so I’m sure he’ll come back.”Warner is a tremendous cricketer. A lot of passion, still very young. It’s really up to those guys. They’ve got to have the passion, they’ve got to have the desire but I think it’s a great chance of redemption. The Australian public will forgive and move on and they have an opportunity to really be role models to kids going forward.”(With PTI inputs)
India will look bounce back at Adelaide when they take on Australia in a do-or-die second ODI on Tuesday in their bid to keep the three-match series alive.Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s inability to set the pace during middle overs will remain a major cause of concern for the Indian cricket team.Hardik Pandya’s sudden suspension on disciplinary grounds has badly affected the balance of the batting order, which was apparent during team’s 34-run defeat in the opening match despite vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s 22nd hundred in 50-over format.Dhoni’s 51 off 96 balls and failing to rotate the strike has brought to focus the rejigging that skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri will have to fret upon.With Dhoni being slotted at No 5 even though vice-captain Rohit wants the veteran to bat a notch higher but cues from India’s training session made it clear that the team is unlikely to tinker with the batting order.What time does the 2nd ODI between India vs Australia start?3rd Test starts at 08:50 AM IST on January 15, Tuesday at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide.What TV channel and live stream is the 3rd Test between India and Australia Live Streaming on?Sony SIX and Sony SIX HD in English commentary and Sony Ten 3 and Sony Ten 3 HD in Hindi Commentary. Sony Liv will live stream India vs Australia match.Sony has acquired most of the rights of overseas cricket series and that is why they are the official broadcasters of India vs Australia series down under.advertisementWhere will the 2nd ODI between India and Australia be played?The 2nd ODI between India and Australia will be played at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide from 08:50 AM IST.Where can I watch the India vs Australia 2nd ODI live?The match will be shown on Sony sports network and can also be streamed on SonyLIV.com. While the match is set to begin on 8:50 AM, Sony will start their pre-match show half an hour before the match as the experts discuss the series ahead of the toss and after it.Where can I check the online live updates of the India vs Australia 2nd ODI Test?You can follow our ball-by-ball-updates of the match between India vs Australia from our live blog on indiatoday.in/sports.Also Read | Virat Kohli obliges fans with autographs and selfies at Adelaide. What about MS Dhoni?Also Read | Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni hit the nets as India prepare for Adelaide ODIAlso Read | India treating next two matches vs Australia as knockouts, says Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals’ owners are all set to sell half of their stakes in order to give the franchise a much needed financial boost ahead of the 12th edition of Indian Premier League.It has been learnt that the current franchise owners have approached key BCCI officials and intimated their decision to sell around fifty percent of their stakes. Manoj Badale is the principal owner of Rajasthan Royals.”Yes, Rajasthan Royals are selling a major part of their stakes and the highest bidder will be getting it. What we have heard is that it is around fifty percent and some of the biggest business houses in the country are apparently interested in buying stakes,” a senior BCCI official privy to the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.While there are no confirmations as of now but a former IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants’ owner Sanjeev Goenka is keen on buying stakes. Goenka was however not available for any comments.Another big industrialist based out of western India with multiple business interests is also in the mix.’Goenka has always been interested in coming back’Goenka, who is also the principal owner of Indian Super League (ISL) team ATK, had bought the Pune franchise (Rising Pune Supergiants) for the two seasons when Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings were banned for their involvement in spot-fixing scandal.”Mr Goenka has always been interested in coming back after he had a fairly good but short stint in the IPL. His team made it to the finals in one of the years. Let’s wait and watch how it all pans out,” the official said.advertisementRoyals have been the champions of the first edition of Indian Premier League back in 2008 under the stewardship of the legendary Shane Warne.Their reputation, however, took a beating back in 2013 when three cricketers S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan, and Ajit Chandila were arrested on charges of spot-fixing and the franchise being subsequently banned for two years by the Supreme Court-appointed committee.Also Read | Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul future uncertain as Supreme Court adjourns BCCI-COA hearingAlso Read | Shane Watson’s sensational BBL hundred overshadowed by Brisbane power outageAlso See: