Archive for: ‘February 2019’

Stosur in no rush to appoint new coach

11/02/2019 Posted by admin

The 2011 U.

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S. Open champion conceded that the timing of her separation from Dave Taylor was “strange” but said she was in no rush to find a permanent replacement.

Stosur is working with Australia’s Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik during the U.S. Open, starting on Monday, but said she had not even thought about her long-terms plans.

“I didn’t have anything in place. It just happened last week,” Stosur told reporters at Flushing Meadows.

“She will help me here, and after this tournament I will kind of assess what I want to do, who maybe it can be, and go from there.

“But there is no one in particular at the moment.”

Stosur and Taylor worked together for nearly six years and formed a successful partnership, with Stosur reaching the French Open final in 2010 before breaking through to win her maiden grand slam in New York the following season.

The Australian went almost two years before winning any other tournaments but ended her drought in California earlier this month, beating Victoria Azarenka in the final at Carlsbad.

But just a week later, the 29-year-old announced she and Taylor were parting ways, even though the U.S. Open was approaching.

“I think we both were kind of feeling that we’d almost come to the end. Unfortunately, it happened to be last week,” Stosur explained.

I don’t think either of us would have wanted it to happen right then, and obviously with winning that tournament, makes it seem a little bit strange.

“But I think we both felt that it was time, and you know, if something’s time is up, then you’ve kind of got to call it a day.”

Despite the unusual timing of the split, the 11th seed said she was confident of a strong showing at the scene of her greatest success.

“It’s fantastic coming back here. I guess it’s the second year coming back to the site of where I have had my best tennis moment,” she said.

“So I think no matter what lead up you’ve had, however you feel, you can walk in here and think this is pretty cool and relive all those great memories and hopefully make them all happen again.”

(Reporting by Julian Linden; editing by Gene Cherry)

Eight in a row for the Maroons

11/02/2019 Posted by admin

It was already one of the longest winning streaks in Australian sport and Queensland has now made it a record eight State of Origin series in a row.

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The Maroons’ victory over New South Wales in a tight 12-10 contest at ANZ stadium in Sydney gives them a record that may never be beaten.

 

Murray Silby reports.

 

“Queensland have won their eighth consecutive series. It is a wonderful Australian sports achievement. The champions prevail, the dynasty continues, the maroon of Queensland, and they celebrate across the northern state, they celebrate across Australia the Queensland supporters.”

 

Channel Nine’s coverage signs off on another rugby league State of Origin series that continues to see Queensland’s annual rewrite of the record books.

 

In a game which stood on a knife edge for much of the contest, the Maroons jumped out of the gates quickest when Johnathan Thurston ducked around the Blues defence to dive over the line next to the posts before a game three record crowd of 83,813.

 

Forced to defend for large periods of the game, Queensland refused to let its crown go and a try to Justin Hodges just after the hour mark put the visitors on the brink of victory.

 

The match looked Queensland’s for the taking, leading 12 points to four after 70 minutes, but then a converted try to New South Wales’ Trent Merrin in the 71st minute pushed the Blues to within two points of the Maroons.

 

“Pearce, Cordner, Merrin, Merrin has broken free, he’s over, under the bar, Merrin has scored. // And that’s the result they needed.”

 

But that was to be as close as New South Wales would get, leaving Blues fans to wait at least one more year for State-of-Origin glory.

 

Man-of-the-match, Queensland’s Brent Tate told the ABC after the match, it was unity and experience that repeatedly gives the Maroons the edge over New South Wales.

 

“That was awesome. That was an Origin match from the old days mate, it was just to and fro. Both teams going at it and I knew if we could just hold them out, stay in front I knew we had the mateship and the experience to get us home and we did in the end.”

 

New South Wales captain Robbie Farah told Channel Nine the loss was devastating for his side.

 

“You know when you work so hard for something and you fall short, it’s um, yeah, it’s heart-breaking mate.”

 

WA still in the black but not for long

11/02/2019 Posted by admin

The West Australian economy has managed to stay in the black, but a deficit looms for the 2014/15 financial year.

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The $239 million surplus for the year ended June 30 is just $2 million shy of the pre-election estimate in February.

But it is down sharply from $649 million for the previous period because of lower revenues from payroll tax, public utilities, the GST carve-up and iron ore royalties.

Treasurer Troy Buswell said easing economic growth reflected the transition from an intense construction phase in WA to a production phase as new mines come online, needing fewer staff.

The unemployment rate is tipped to rise to 5.5 per cent this financial year, from 4.4 per cent.

“Our economy is supported by ongoing work on a number of large liquefied natural gas and iron ore projects,” Mr Buswell said.

“But the flow of new projects has eased and business investment in WA appears to have peaked, although still expected to stay at historically high levels.

“The government is attempting to achieve a difficult balance of investment in services and infrastructure to cope with spiralling demand from a growing population, while some traditionally strong revenue streams, like payroll tax and land tax, are not performing as strongly as previously expected.”

A $386 million surplus has been forecast for the current financial year, which Mr Buswell describes as a modest buffer against the state’s falling GST share and any commodity price falls.

An expected growth in revenue of 8.9 per cent in 2013/14 is attributed to an increase in the royalty rate for iron ore fines and drastic cost cutting in the public sector under the Liberal government’s $6.8 billion “Fiscal Action Plan”.

The state’s books are predicted to slide into the red by $147 million in 2014/15, which Mr Buswell largely blames on falling GST revenue, and would come despite an expected steady increase in LNG and iron ore exports.

If WA’s GST projections are to be believed, given they differ from those in the Commonwealth Budget Papers, the state’s share will plunge from 4.9 per cent this financial year to 0.9 per cent in 2016/17.

And with a record spend on infrastructure ahead, debt is poised to soar well beyond the state government’s previously hallowed $20 billion cap, rising to $28.3 billion in four years’ time, from $18.5 billion at the end of June.

The Mr Buswell may well be kept awake at night worrying about retaining WA’s AAA credit rating, with debt servicing costs set to soar from $46.6 million last financial year to $201.4 million in 2015/16.

The Power of Taste Compels You

11/02/2019 Posted by admin

But over time a handful of filmmakers (from Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan, to Frank Miller and Zack Snyder) have shown it’s a genre that can produce just as much pathos, plot development and multi-dimensional characters as any other.

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In any case, one celebrated director has had a gutful.

“It’s harder and harder to do (original adult material) in this climate of American film… which is mostly concerned with movies that are comic books, and remakes,” complains William Friedkin.

The icon of 1970s cinema said his own classics “The French Connection” (which won him an Oscar for best director) and “The Exorcist” would not be made today by movie studios.

“The audiences have changed,” he says. “They are conditioned by television and television is aimed at the lowest common denominator. Their expectations are lower.”

“When I started directing, (studios) were run by people who had made films. Today they’re former agents or lawyers and (the studios) are owned by gigantic corporations that have to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

You may not agree with everything Friedkin says, but a couple of points are accurate.

This year has seen a superhero glut (“Green Lantern,” “Thor,” “X-Men: First Class,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”). The films vary in quality, but all have made a significant mark at the box office.

The only thing outnumbering them are the remakes Hollywood is due to release. This week alone has seen two more announced, along with a sequel for a much-loved cult classic.

But once they’re out, chances are they won’t go as badly at the box office as the indy horror flick “Creature” (and check out the trailer, which has more blackouts than a Grateful Dead concert).

Inspired Isinbayeva brings Moscow to life

11/02/2019 Posted by admin

Without a global title since 2008, struggling for form and due to retire after this event, the 31-year-old fed off the energy produced by a finally near-full and raucous Luzhniki Stadium to triumph with a leap of 4.

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89 metres.

Ever the show-woman, Isinbayeva ended the night with an assault on her own world record, set in her pomp when she won the second of her Olympic titles in Beijing.

With chants of “Yelena” ringing in her ears, she fell short, but there was no trace of disappointment from her, the crowd or the organisers who finally got the memorable night they had craved.

There was plenty of drama elsewhere as LaShawn Merritt won the 400 metres as defending world and Olympic champion Kirani James hit the wall on the home straight.

The hundreds of yellow and blue-clad Ukraine fans, who had done their best to bring atmosphere to the stadium during the first few days, also got their reward when Ganna Melnichenko triumphed in the heptathlon.

Russia’s Elena Lashmanova won the 20km walk but only just, after she stopped with a lap of the track to go thinking the race was over.

Robert Harting claimed his third successive discus gold, Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman won the 800 metres and Milcah Chemos Cheywa took the women’s steeplechase but outside their own countries they will not get a look-in on Wednesday’s sports pages.

Most big athletics events advertise themselves with an image of a sprinter but the posters around Moscow have a pole vaulter as their centrepiece – and now the world knows why.

Twice Olympic and world champion, four-times world indoor champion and multiple world record holder, Isinbayeva has been an icon of the sport.

But after finishing sixth in the last world championships and third at the 2012 Olympics it seemed as if the glory days were behind her.

American Jenn Suhr and Yarisley Silva of Cuba, who had the five best vaults of the year, came to Moscow as favourites.

The home fans had other ideas, however, having finally decided to attend in numbers after nights of embarrassingly low crowds.

Tuesday felt different – they even mustered their first Mexican wave – and Isinbayeva, who knows better than anyone how to work a crowd, surfed the wave of goodwill.

With four athletes left, the bar went to 4.82 – beyond her best of the season. She cleared it on the second attempt, only for Olympic champion Suhr to follow her over to regain the lead on countback.

SOARED OVER

The bar was hoisted to 4.89 and, writing a script the organisers could only have dreamed of, Isinbayeva soared over at the first attempt.

Suhr and Silva could not match her, taking silver and bronze respectively, and the Russian tore off to climb into the crowd and hug her coach.

After the sideshow of the world record attempts there came a joyous lap of honour, complete with spectacular cartwheels and backflips, and she was still talking to TV crews 90 minutes after her victory.

Another Moscow fairy story turned out to have the last page torn out as heptathlete Brianne Theisen Eaton could not quite complete the combined events double two days after her new husband Ashton Eaton won the decathlon.

The Canadian did all she could in the final 800 metres when she needed to beat Melnichenko by four seconds but the Ukrainian sat on her shoulder throughout.

Melnichenko took gold with 6,586 points to Theisen Eaton’s 6,530 – both personal bests – and Dafne Schippers was third with a Dutch record 6,477.

In the absence of world record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha, Aman duly won the 800m world title with a well-timed charge.

Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman made all the running but had to settle for bronze as Nick Symmonds swept past him, only for Aman to overhaul the American to win his country’s first global gold at the distance in 1:43.31.

Cheywa led home Lydia Chepkurui for a Kenyan one-two in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

There was a dramatic conclusion to the women’s 20km walk when Olympic champion Lashmanova almost blew her chances when she thought she had crossed the finish shortly after entering the stadium but still had a lap to go.

Frantic waving from coaches and fans got the message over, though she was lucky to escape disqualification having broken into a jog, and she got going quickly enough to finish three seconds ahead of team mate Anisya Kirdyapkina.

China’s Liu Hong took bronze after another Russian, Vera Sokolova, was disqualified soon after entering the stadium.

(Editing by: Ed Osmond)