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Meb Keflezighi has won the Men’s New York Marathon which was run this Sunday, 1st of November 2009. At a time when the Marathon circuit is completely dominated by African athletes, Meb’s victory has come as a pleasant news for the host nation whose Alberto Salazar won the New York Marathon way back in 1982. Alberto Salazar won 3 straight New York Marathons in 1980, 1981 and 1982.

This was the first major Marathon title for the 34 year old American athlete who won the silver medal in Olympics 2004. He was close to winning the Marathon title in 2004 and 2005 when he stood 2nd and 3rd.

Meb completed the Marathon in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of 4-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya who stood 2nd and Jaouad Gharib of Morocco who stood 3rd. Another American, Ryan Hall stood 4th.

Keflezighi, who was born in the East African Nation of Eritrea received US Citizenship in 1998. 2 years ago, Meb suffered severe dehydration which threatened of ending his athletics career. However, he recovered with time and got back to training hard again and finally brought glory to his country by winning this Sunday.

The Women’s New York Marathon was won by Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia followed by Russia’s 41 year old Ludmila Petrova who stood 2nd.

In the Wheeler Races, 3-time defending champion Kurt Fearnley of Australia won the race for the 4th time. Edith Hunkeler of Switzerland won her fifth title in the Women’s Wheeler Race.

With less than an year to go for the XIXth Commonwealth Games, Delhi, the host city, is striving to put up a successful show. Come October 3rd 2010 and all eyes would be on Delhi and all of India to fulfill its promise of hosting a spectacular Commonwealth Games.

For the past 2 years, Delhi has virtually become a huge construction site with major infrastructure projects being executed all across the Indian Capital. The Airport is being revamped, the Delhi Metro project is being completed, roads and flyovers are being constructed everywhere and most importantly 12 venues which will be used for hosting the Commonwealth Games are being setup. This is a mammoth task for the Delhi Authorities and has become of part of life for the people of Delhi for the past 2 years. How Delhi fares in hosting the games successfully is anyone’s guess but one thing is for sure, the XIXth Commonwealth Games are set to experience a totally different feel in Delhi as compared to the developed metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Manchester where the games were played in 2006 and 2002.

Recently, there have been speculations that Delhi is running slow in terms of preparedness for the mega event. This came after officials of the Commonwealth Games Federation visited the city. Only 2 out of the 12 venues have been completed so far and the deadline for many infrastructural projects has been postponed. Delhi authorities are trying their best to keep such speculation under wraps with top Indian officials including the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Dr. P. Chidambaram and Sports Minister Mr. M.S. Gill, all giving statements to assure that the preparations are on track.

Another major concern for participating countries and the Indian authorities is the security arrangements during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. After last year’s horrific terrorist attack in Mumbai, India is being looked at as a country vulnerable to security lapses. Delhi authorities including the Delhi Police have presented a detailed plan on how security issues will be managed during the Commonwealth Games. This plan includes continuous surveillance with the help of IAF helicopters, watch towers, snipers, 4 level security checks and use of the latest technology for identification cards, cameras and centralized monitoring.

This is the 2nd major sporting event in many years for the city of Delhi and all of India for that matter, the first being the Asian Games in 1982. Delhi will welcome over 8500 athletes and officials from around 70 Commonwealth nations during the games. India is desperate to prove to the world that it can be a feasible venue for hosting major international events beyond cricket tournaments. The success of Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games will mean more visibility for this fast developing nation and will also encourage authorities to pitch for Olympics 2020.

Nick Adenhart’s sudden loss in a car accident has shaken the baseball community, his fans and all of United States of America. In a tragic hit and run case, 22 year old Nick, who was a rookie pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels, lost his life on early Thursday morning when his car was hit by a minivan being driven by a drunken driver. Condolences poured in when the news of Adenhart’s untimely death broke out – a tribute ceremony was organized with a baseball, a couple of bouquets and some grief writings from heart broken fans outside the Angels Stadium.

The crash happened when the car carrying Adenhart and three others was hit by a minivan coming from the west. The forceful collision threw Adenhart’s car out of the intersection and claimed all four lives. The minivan driver named Gallo tried to flee towards the east but was arrested near State College Blvd. Gallo already has multiple prior arrests for drunken driving, police asserted.

A baseball pitcher and right hander, Nick Adenhart was born in Silver Springs. When he was 15, he was one of the nation’s top high-school pitchers. Baseball America magazine named him “National Youth Player of the Year”. Soon after achieving this feat, tragically, Nick got an elbow injury and the doctors advised for a reconstructive surgery. Even then, the Los Angeles Angels (LAA) selected him with a letter of intent from the University of North Carolina after which the pitcher received his lengthy rehabilitation.

During his career, 61 of his 98 pitches were strikes and his smooth delivery was an asset for all of his teams. Even on the night before this untoward incident, Adenhart had pitched six scoreless innings against the Oakland A’s where his performance was appreciated.

This case of drunken driving has caused an irreparable harm to the baseball community and there need to be stricter regulations against such reckless drivers.

A poster among the bouquets kept at the memorial read, “No. 34, You are one more Angel in heaven”. Truly a tragic story.

Nick at his Cal League debut

Nick at his Cal League debut

Universal Orlando was the venue for drawing of the first ever Powerball Lottery in Florida. The drawing happened on Wednesday, 7th Jan, 2009 at 10:59 pm.

The winning numbers were : 52, 38, 31, 23, 33 alongwith Powerball number 24.

Florida is the latest entrant into the Powerball multi-state game. Ticket sales for the jackpot started on Sunday, 4th Jan, 2009 and the Powerball fever in Floridians was clear from the fact that 1.5 million tickets were sold on the same day.

Each ticket costs $1 only and the proceeds from the lottery will be used for promoting education in Florida through public schools. Those who are playing this very popular lottery game provide this good cause as a logic for their participation in addition to their chance of winning the jackpot money themselves (although calculated probabilty for that is 1 in 195 million appx.) 🙂

The Florida jackpot is estimated to be worth $ 105 million.

First an unintentional remark, then an under-pressure apology and now a likely time-off from ESPN college football for sometime. This is whats going on in the life of Former Notre Dame and South Carolina coach and “Hall of Fame” ESPN college-football analyst, Lou Holtz.

Lou Holtz had dropped an unnecessary remark about Rich Rodriguez, the University of Michigan coach, which spurred the whole controversy. When asked about the not so impressive start of Rich Rodriguez as the Michigan coach, Holtz had commented “Hitler was a great leader too”. This remark caught the attention of the media and soon spread wide and far.

Considering ESPN’s attitude towards any reference to “Hitler”, Lou Holtz later had to issue an on-air apology during the half time of the game between Georgia Tech and Clemson. Sometime back, ESPN had suspended a columnist called Jemele Hill who compared rooting for the Celtics with rooting for Hitler.

It is to be seen now whether Lou Holtz is also gets a time-off till the dust settles.

Some of Lou Holtz’s quotes:

  • “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song”
  • “A lifetime contract for a coach means if you’re ahead in the third quarter and moving the ball, they can’t fire you
  • “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired”
  • “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated”
  • “Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by”
  • How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser”
  • I can’t believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.
  • “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions”
  • “I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it”
  • “If he’s got golf clubs in his truck or a camper in his driveway, I don’t hire him”
  • “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today”
  • “If you burn your neighbors house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better”
  • “If you try to fight the course, it will beat you”
  • “If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals”
  • In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention”
  • “It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test”
  • “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it”
  • “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it”
  • “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated”
  • No one has ever drowned in sweat”
  • “On this team, we’re all united in a common goal: to keep my job”
  • “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity”
  • “The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it”
  • “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood
  • “When all is said and done, more is said than done”
  • “You’ll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him”
  • “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose”

2008 & 2009 Notre Dame Football Schedule:

2008:
6th September     SAN DIEGO STATE
13th September     MICHIGAN
20th September     AT MICHIGAN STATE
27th September     PURDUE
4th October    STANFORD
11th October     AT NORTH CAROLINA
18th October     OPEN DATE
25th October     AT WASHINGTON
1st November    PITTSBURGH
8th November     AT BOSTON COLLEGE
15th November     VS. NAVY (AT BALTIMORE, MD.)
22nd November     SYRACUSE
29th November     AT USC

2009:
5th September     NEVADA
12th September     AT MICHIGAN
19th September     MICHIGAN STATE
26th September    AT PURDUE
3rd October     WASHINGTON
10th October    OPEN DATE
17th October     USC
24th October     BOSTON COLLEGE
31st October     VS. WASHINGTON STATE (AT SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS)
7th November    NAVY
14th November     AT PITTSBURGH
21st November     CONNECTICUT
28th November     AT STANFORD

India Vs. Australia has been one of the biggest cricket rivalries of recent times. At least it is so for these two cricketing nations. This contest came into picture mainly after the 2003 World Cup final between India and Australia which India lost. Since then, there have been many contests, many controversies and many thrilling cricketing moments between the 2 countries. To take this contest forward, Australia is touring India for a four test match series which starts in September 2008.

Despite grave security concerns and a series of blasts across India in the recent past including New Delhi which is the venue for one of the matches, Australia confirmed that it will still go ahead with the four test tour of India as per schedule. Although with added security arrangements for the team members at all times, Cricket Australia (CA) decided to go ahead with the tour, unlike the tour of Pakistan earlier this year which was called off due to security issues.

The schedule of the tour which stretches over September, October and November, 2008 is as follows:

  • 27th-28th September, 2008: RCA Center of Excellence Vs. Australia at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
  • 2nd-5th October, 2008: Indian Board President’s XI Vs. Australia at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
  • 9th-13th October, 2008: 1st Test Match – India Vs. Australia at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
  • 17th-21st October, 2008: 2nd Test Match – India Vs. Australia at Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh
  • 29th October-2nd November, 2008: 3rd Test – India Vs. Australia at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
  • 6th-10th November, 2008: 4th Test – India Vs. Australia at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur

Australia has decided to play with a relatively inexperienced squad this time around with majority of the players having no experience of playing test cricket in India. On the other hand, the Indian team comprises of a list of veterans like Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid along with a few young players.

Australian Squad: Ricky Ponting (Captain), Michael Clarke (Vice Captain), Brad Haddin, Stuart Clark, Matthew Hayden, Phil Jaques, Michael Hussey, Doug Bollinger, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson, Jason Krejza, Peter Siddle, Shane Watson, Bryce McGain.

Indian Squad: Anil Kumble (Captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, R P Singh, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, S Badrinath, Munaf Patel.

With Saurav Ganguly announcing his retirement from test cricket after this test series, this set of matches will mark the final performance of India’s most successful captian at this level and all eyes would be on the Prince of Calcutta for his royal exit.

Economic Times – Saurav Ganguly To Retire After Australia Series