By Dialogo February 17, 2010 Chile, which has competed in fourteen Winter Olympic Games and never won a medal, aspires to ascend the Olympic podium in a few years in skiing, a sport with a “promising future” in the country, according to Luis Alberto Santa Cruz, president of the Chilean skiing federation. “At these Olympic Games (Vancouver-2010) we have three representatives, but in the near future we hope to have more, given the work that is going on with children and young people throughout the country,” Santa Cruz explained to AFP. “We’ve been working, and today we have around a thousand boys and girls between nine and fourteen years old training in various places. I believe that the future of skiing in Chile will be promising,” he emphasized. At the Whistler satellite location, where the Alpine skiing competitions are being held, Chile is represented by Jorge Mandru, Maiu Gayme, and the young Noelle Barahona, all of whom have experience at the previous Winter Olympics in Turin in 2006. According to the official, the three are competing in the downhill, Super-G, giant slalom, and combined events. Mandru and Gayme have already tried their luck in the downhill race and finished in 49th and 56th place, respectively. In both cases, they finished behind their results in Turin, although Santa Cruz explains that the conditions in the Italian city were very different from those at the Canadian site. “The two Games can’t be compared, since 55 competitors participated in Turin, and here there were 64, on a much more difficult course,” the federation president concluded. The best finish by a Chilean skier at the Winter Olympics was in the Japanese city of Nagano in 1998, where Thomas Grob finished eleventh in the combined event. Santa Cruz specified that there are high hopes in Vancouver for Barahona, a nineteen-year-old from Santiago, who has been training in Whistler for over a month and who was the youngest athlete at the Turin Games. He emphasized that in Chile “there’s a tradition of winter sports, above all Alpine skiing, since we have 5,000 km of snow-covered mountain ranges and good places to practice these sports.” Nevertheless, he indicated that in order to achieve a real leap forward, the material conditions in these centers need to be improved, as well as the transportation facilities that could make them accessible to the majority of those interested in the sport. He indicated that with the support of the Chilean Olympic Committee, the sports ministry, and private sponsorship, “it was possible to obtain resources for the preparation of these kids who are here in Vancouver, but we need a regular source for this assistance.” Chile’s efforts to develop this pursuit earned the country the right to host the Junior World Ski Championships, which will be held at Termas de Chillán, 1,600 meters above sea level and 490 km south of Santiago. Nevertheless, the Chilean official dismissed reports that have appeared on the Internet about the possibility that Chile could be a candidate to host the Winter Olympics. “That’s absolutely false. We have not been able to determine who put that page up on the Internet, but as president of the Chilean skiing federation, I categorically deny that Chile aspires to organize the Winter Olympic Games, or even to be a candidate for them,” he stressed.
Riding high amid an eight-game winning streak, the Wisconsin volleyball team can seemingly do nothing wrong.In a week that saw them sweep two Big Ten foes, extending their set winning streak to 17, three Badgers were awarded with Player of the Week honors.Sophomore Kelli Bates was named the Co-Player of the Week, junior Lauren Carlini was honored as the Setter of the Week and Tionna Williams was named Freshman of the Week.Head coach Kelly Sheffield reflected on the team’s successful week at his news conference Monday.“I think we had a pretty good week, individually, with some players,” Sheffield said. “I thought Kelli Bates had a monster week and I think her hard work is starting to pay off and show a little bit in her all-around game. Her and Taylor Morey have really been working hard at their ball control. They’ve been coming in early in the mornings, and I don’t think there was any coincidence that our last four matches have probably been our best passing matches of the season.”No. 11 Wisconsin (20-6, 12-4 Big Ten) is peaking at the right time and will look to push its unbeaten streak to nine as they travel to Champaign to take on No. 16 Illinois (18-9, 9-7).The Badgers and Fighting Illini faced off earlier this year, with Wisconsin winning 3-1 to secure its first Big Ten victory Sept. 30.Volleyball: Badgers drop Fighting Illini in four setsThe Wisconsin volleyball team can finally chalk up a conference victory in the win column. After losing three straight games Read…That match saw junior Romana Kriskova break out and lead the team with 15 kills, and the Badgers could use another solid performance from her as she has fallen under the radar in recent weeks.“I’m not worried about [Kriskova],” Sheffield said. “She hasn’t put up great numbers in the past few matches, but truthfully some of that might have to do with the coaches rather than her. I think when we get right down to it she is going to be somebody we will be able to count on.”The Badgers know they have a major opportunity in front of them this week as they play against two top-20 teams that they may face deep in the NCAA tournament. The opportunity to make a lasting impression on the selection committee is not lost on the team.“We’re excited about this week,” Sheffield said. “We’ve got two teams that are not just top-20 teams, but they’re two teams that you could be facing that second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, if we’re fortunate to still be playing, caliber of teams that you could be squared off against to try to make a run to the Final Four.”The Badgers take on the Fighting Illini 8 p.m. Wednesday and the match will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Instead, he has told his players to use their form of last year — in which they also set records for most points, wins and goals in the Premier League era — to launch another championship charge.“People say now we have to forget what we did last season. No way,” said Guardiola.“I don’t want to forget what we have done last season. I know exactly what we did to achieve that, and that is where we start from. That’s the basic principle.“Now, when I say something to them, they know exactly what we have to do.”City kick off the league campaign with one ‘title’ already in their trophy cabinet, after last weekend’s comfortable Community Shield victory over Chelsea.Although the competition hardly carries the weight of other trophies, it was an emphatic statement from City that they are ready to continue where they left off last season.“That’s the dream,” Guardiola said. “A win helps to win more. You don’t choose titles and it (Community Shield) was a final and we spoke about that.“They know we work a lot and I have spoken many times with them. I work a lot and I am good on that.“I have said many times I am not a special guy but I am so good at working, working, working a lot and they have to work too.“It is impossible to have the season all the time that is perfect.“We will have bad moments and we will have to work to overcome them because in the end the players react to what the club is, what the manager and the staff are.”– ‘Do our job’ –Despite last season’s stunning achievements, Guardiola was his usual guarded self when talking about City’s prospects for the year ahead, believing as many as five other teams could prevent him from becoming the first manager in a decade to retain the title.“We can do our job, yes, but maybe Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea can do their job better and win,” he said.“Forget how much Liverpool have spent because they may have spent a lot, but last season they were a good team as well.“Maybe Tottenham could not spend because of the stadium, but there is Chelsea with Jorginho, Kovacic and Kante in the middle, and Hazard, Willian, Pedro and Morata up front so you cannot say they are not contenders to win.“Or Manchester United. People ask how will they do, but I know a little bit about the manager and in that situation how good they handle that. Arsenal are other contenders too. That’s why it is nice.“But if we do our job, we will be there. We were the best last season, definitely, there is no doubt about it.“We can be excellent, but others can be too – there can be six contenders.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Pep Guardiola wants his Manchester City stars to build on last season’s success © AFP / Glyn KIRKMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Aug 12 – Pep Guardiola insists his Manchester City players should remember their all-conquering form of last season when their title defence kicks off with a testing visit to Arsenal on Sunday.The City manager has rejected the notion that his stars, who won the league title by a record 19 points three months ago, should forget about that glorious campaign and focus only on the months ahead.
From news services Samuel Peter and Jameel McCline were set to fight for the heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden tonight while boxing authorities investigate a report that McCline received large amounts of steroids and other banned substances in 2005 and 2006. “So far everything’s OK,” New York State Athletic Commission chairman Ron Scott Stevens told The Associated Press on Friday. McCline had his prefight physical Thursday, Stevens said. The boxers will be tested for performance-enhancing and illegal drugs about an hour before the fight today and right afterward, with results coming about five days later, he said. ETC.: More than 55 years after he became an unlikely heavyweight champion, the late Jersey Joe Walcott is finally getting his day in his hometown. Camden, N.J., has declared today “Jersey Joe Walcott Day,” and a 4-foot granite monument of the boxer will be unveiled. The monument stands in Jersey Joe Walcott Park. Golf Jesper Parnevik followed his career-best 61 with a 5-under-par 65 to take a four-shot lead midway through the Texas Open in San Antonio. The 42-year-old Swede had a 14-under 126 total, the lowest 36-hole score on the PGA Tour this year and just a stroke off the tour record of 125 held by Tiger Woods, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin. Parnevik is seeking his first victory since taking the 2001 Honda Classic for his fifth tour title. Sweden’s Mathias Gronberg was second after a 65. Two other Swedes – Fredrik Jacobson (65) and Richard S. Johnson (66) – were 9 under, and Justin Leonard, the 2000 and ’01 winner, was 8 under after a 67. ETC.: Lorena Ochoa shot 2-under 70 on the second day of the Longs Drugs Challenge in Danville, leaving her a stroke behind defending champion Karrie Webb (69) and Lorie Kane (69). … Loren Roberts capped a 4-under 66 with a 2-foot birdie for a two-shot lead over Scott Hoch at the midpoint of the Senior Players Championship in Timonium, Md. …Annika Sorenstam turned down her invitation to the Samsung World Championship, not wanting to cause hardship with any players who felt she might be taking their spot in the 20-player field. In an effort to upgrade the event, tournament organizers last week eliminated a criteria that had not been used in nine years – the option to exempt the U.S. Women’s Amateur champion – and replaced it with an exemption for an active Hall of Fame member. Tennis Top-ranked Justine Henin beat Elena Dementieva, 6-4, 6-4, and Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the semifinals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany. Henin will play Jelena Jankovic, who made the semifinals when defending champ Nadia Petrova retired in the second set because of a hip injury. Kuznetsova will play Tatiana Golovin, who beat qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-3, 6-4. Gymnastics Olympic silver medalist Morgan Hamm had surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, and expects to be healthy in time for next summer’s Beijing Olympics. Hamm, twin brother of Olympic gymnastics champion Paul Hamm, tore the muscle on the right side of his chest while training on high bar Tuesday. The muscle was reattached at Ohio State, and he will be in a sling for five to six weeks. He will start physical therapy Monday and be back training in five months. Motorsports It took Dario Franchitti less than a straightaway to know he was in foreign territory at Talladega Superspeedway. The reigning IndyCar Series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner saw the green flag wave for the start of the ARCA RE/MAX 250, his stock car debut, and immediately ran out of room on the high-banked oval. “You can’t pass on the left in this kind of racing like you can in IndyCar and people checked up in front of me on the start and I had nowhere to go,” Franchitti said, grinning. “That was my first learning experience and it continued all day.” The 34-year-old Scot, driving his first race for Chip Ganassi, managed to stay out of trouble throughout the 94-lap event and wound up 17th. ETC.: Reigning series champion Todd Bodine took the pole position for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, beating out three-time champion Jack Sprague in qualifying. Cycling Italian cyclist Luca Ascani could be banned for up to two years after backup tests confirmed he took a blood-boosting hormone at his national championships in June. He was suspended Aug. 2 by the Italian cycling federation pending a hearing. A date has not yet been set. College sports Washington State basketball player Taylor Rochestie will give up his scholarship his senior year so the Cougars can sign a highly touted recruit from Florida. Rochestie, a 6-foot-1 guard, is expected to start this season for the Cougars. He said he made the decision because his family can afford to pay the approximately $25,000 cost of going to the Pullman-based school. “When I first learned of this option to open up a scholarship by giving up mine, I thought it sounded great,” Rochestie said in a press release. “I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to be in a situation where I could help the team out.” Rochestie, a junior, will come off scholarship his senior season. That will free up a scholarship so the team can sign Marcus Capers, a 6-foot-4 guard from Montverde Academy near Orlando, Fla. ETC.: Michigan tennis player Brian Hung is the NCAA sportsman of the year. Hung, a native of Hong Kong, was the Wolverines’ captain last season. He was active at an Ann Arbor children’s hospital and mentored students in the local school system. The NCAA team sportsmanship award went to the Framingham State women’s soccer team. Against Bridgewater State last year, Framingham took a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute of the game. Several players said the goal entered the side netting and Coach Tucker Reynolds told his players to allow Bridgewater to score and tie the game. Bridgewater eventually won, 3-2, costing Framingham a postseason berth. “Five years from now, nobody is going to know or care what the score of the game was, but maybe somebody’s going to be talking to their child about ethics and sportsmanship because of that game,” Reynolds said. Deaths The Japan Sumo Association fired the trainer of a teenage novice who died after an alleged beating by fellow wrestlers. Police questioned stable master Tokitsukaze, 57, and the other trainees under his care after 17-year-old wrestler Tokitaizan collapsed following practice on June 26. Tokitaizan, whose real name was Takashi Saito, died later in a hospital. An autopsy showed his body had numerous bruises and wounds that did not appear consistent with those sustained in normal sumo training. Horse racing Diamond Stripes took the lead in midstretch and then survived a foul claim by runner-up Magna Graduate’s jockey to win the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup by a half-length. Jockey John Velazquez claimed Diamond Stripes and jockey Cornelio Velasquez interfered at the top of the stretch, but the stewards at the Meadowlands Racetrack found nothing wrong. The win in one of the last major preps for the Breeders’ Cup Championships later this month at nearby Monmouth Park may have earned Diamond Stripes a spot in either the Classic or the dirt mile. ETC.: Trainer Patrick Biancone was suspended for one year by Kentucky racing officials for violations of horse medication rules. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!