AC Milan striker’s agent speaks out on Chelsea transfer rumours

first_imgCarlos Bacca’s agent insists the AC Milan striker is not considering a switch to Chelsea.The Colombian has impressed for the Italian giants since moving from Sevilla in the summer.He took his tally for the season to ten goals on Wednesday with a brilliant rabona strike in the cup win over Carpi.His goalscoring form has alerted Chelsea, with Guus Hiddink in the market for a striker this month to provide support for Diego Costa.However, Bacca’s agent Sergio Barila has now ruled out the prospect of the 29-year-old moving to Stamford Bridge.“It is normal that one of the big teams in Europe are thinking of Bacca, as he is one of the best attackers currently playing,” he told Tutto Mercato.“Many teams have contacted us about Carlos and are willing to spend a lot of money for his transfer, but do not forget he is at one of the best clubs in the world.“And he is not thinking about leaving at the moment.” 1 Carlos Bacca last_img read more

Key pair ruled out of Arsenal v Spurs: ‘My heart can’t take another bottle job!’

first_img Petr Cech will not feature in the north London derby this weekend Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny will not recover in time to face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.Koscielny picked up an injury in the warm-up prior to Arsenal’s defeat to Swansea City at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night, while Cech pulled up with a muscle problem after running to defend a late corner.And, predictably, Arsenal fans cannot believe their misfortune as the title slips further out of their reach. Have a read of their reaction to the news that Cech and Koscileny will not feature in the north London derby… 1last_img read more

N’Golo Kante could make shock return for Leicester against Watford

first_imgN’Golo Kante could be fit for Leicester City’s clash with Watford on Saturday.The midfielder missed Tuesday’s draw with West Brom due to a hamstring problem and was expected to be out of the game at Vicarage Road tomorrow.However, the Frenchman completed training on Friday and now could be in line to return for the match with Watford.“N’Golo today made all the training session, it was good,” said Ranieri.“Then tomorrow I will decide. He could play [against Watford].” 1 N’Golo Kante [right] in action for Leicester City last_img read more

Can Musharraf claim his victory?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityOpposition parties that snubbed the vote claimed it was undemocratic and unconstitutional for the U.S.-backed general, who seized power in a 1999 coup, to run while still army chief. The Supreme Court is weighing that argument before permitting the release of official results, though analysts question whether it would dare deny him victory and potentially throw the country into chaos. In total, Musharraf won 671 votes, while the retired judge who was his main rival received just eight. Six ballots were invalid, election officials said. In all, 1,170 federal and provincial lawmakers were eligible to vote. Musharraf dismissed criticism that the boycott had undermined the legitimacy of the election. “Democracy means majority, whether there is opposition or no opposition,” Musharraf, dressed casually in a gray jacket, told reporters on the lawn of his official residence. “A majority – a vast majority – have voted for me and therefore that result is the result.” Speculation persists that if Musharraf is blocked, he might declare martial law, and the army chief appeared annoyed when asked if he would step down as president if the Supreme Court ruled against him. “Let the decision come and then we will decide,” he said. Musharraf’s key international backer, the United States, gave an upbeat response on the conduct of the election, although the State Department stressed that the results were unofficial until the court verdict. “Pakistan is an important partner and ally to the United States and we congratulate them for today’s election. We look forward to the electoral commission’s announcement and to working with all of Pakistan’s leaders on important bilateral, regional and counterterrorism issues,” Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said in Washington. The ruling party celebrated Saturday’s vote with fireworks and said it looked forward to parliamentary elections due by January, but their enthusiasm was not shared by a public cynical of Pakistan’s elitist politics and the military’s long domination of the country. “We have a saying that `He who owns the stick, owns the buffalo,”‘ said Ijaz Shah, a grocer relaxing on the lawns in front of the federal Parliament. “If the government really had support, there would have been thousands of people here to cheer it.” Musharraf’s popularity has plummeted since a failed bid to oust the country’s top judge in March and is struggling to contain a surge in Islamic militancy. He has promised to give up his powerful army post if he wins the election and restore civilian rule. The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the official results can be declared only after it rules on complaints lodged by Musharraf’s opponents on his eligibility. Hearings on those petitions will resume on Oct. 17. Musharraf’s current presidential term expires Nov. 15. Although the court this year has issued rulings that have shaken Musharraf’s dominance, analysts doubted it would overturn the result. “It will be extremely difficult for the Supreme Court to undo what has been done today, although that possibility remains,” said Rasul Bakhsh Rais, professor of political science at Lahore University of Management Sciences. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PAKISTAN: Court will decide if president, who won Saturday’s vote, is eligible to keep his job. By Matthew Pennington THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Gen. Pervez Musharraf won an overwhemingly majority in a presidential election boycotted by nearly the entire opposition Saturday, and attention shifted to Supreme Court deliberations on whether he can claim victory. last_img

Alliances lower Iraq toll

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls “Concerned Citizens” – both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he’s signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months. “I’ve never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we’ve made in Iraq. The only people who are going to win this counterinsurgency project are the people of Iraq. We’ve said that all along. And now they’re coming forward in masses,” Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad. Outgoing artillery thundered as he spoke. Lynch, who commands the 3rd Infantry Division, is a tireless cheerleader of the American effort in Iraq. But the death toll over the past two months appears to reinforce his optimism. The question, of course, is whether it will last. As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported 28 U.S. military deaths in October. The toll on U.S troops hasn’t been this low since March 2006, when 31 soldiers died. In September, 65 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq. Part of the trend can be seen in a volatile and violent band of lush agricultural land on Baghdad’s southern border. DEATHS: U.S. commanders say civilian cooperation and a boost in troop numbers are paying off. By Steven R. Hurst THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD – October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths, and American commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists. The commander of the battle zone – Lt. Col. Val Keaveny, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne) – said his unit has lost only one soldier in four months despite intensified operations against both Shiite and Sunni extremists, including powerful al-Qaida in Iraq cells. Keaveny attributes the startling decline to a decrease in attacks by militants who are being rounded up in big numbers on information provided by the citizen force – which has literally doubled the number of eyes and ears available to the military. The efforts to recruit local partners began taking shape earlier this year in the western province of Anbar, which had become the virtual heartland for Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida bands. The early successes in Anbar led to similar alliances in other parts of Iraq. “People are fed up with fear, intimidation and being brutalized. Once they hit that tipping point, they’re fed up, they come to realized we truly do provide them better hope for the future. What we’re seeing now is the beginning of a snowball,” said Keaveny, whose forces operate out of Forward Operating Base Kalsu, about 35 miles south of Baghdad. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


first_imgWidespread broadband is to be installed across the majority of Donegal as early as April, Eircom has revealed.The red parts of the map indicate the areas of Donegal which will get eFibre broadband between April and June while the green areas already have it.The country’s biggest telephone provider has revealed on its website that more than thirty telephone exchanges locally can expect to have eFibre broadband available between April/June.This will include a heavy concentration of telephone exchanges in South, West and North Donegal and in the Inishowen area. Parts of Letterkenny, Inishowen and Donegal Town are already eFibre enabled. Some parts of Donegal cannot get regular broadband yet and many other exchanges have low output.Some of the county’s exchanges have an ASDL2 system enabling current speeds of up to 24mb, whereas the exchanges that came on stream in the early broadband days have the older ASDL1 system with maximum download speeds of 8mb.The introduction of eFibre will see these speeds increase to a maximum 100mb download depending on proximity to an exchange or eFibre cabinet.Eircom’s latest interactive map shows a work schedule where the 34 Donegal exchanges can expect eFibre work to be completed between April and June of this year. Although unconfirmed, the map seems to indicate that Tory island will come under the eFibre broadband from Falcarragh.Meanwhile, Arranmore Island does not seem to be included in the upgrade according to the map, but bizarrely a check on Eircom’s website indicates that areas in Aphort and Leabgarrow on the island are eFibre enabled despite the island having no broadband availability.The community of Arranmore has been campaigning for better internet access for some years now. The island’s telephone system is connected to an exchange on the mainland that cannot accommodate broadband.In November last a London based islander said his plans to move his technology company to the island cannot happen because of the unavailability of broadband. DONEGAL TO GET WIDESPREAD eFIBRE BROADBAND AS EARLY AS APRIL was last modified: January 2nd, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AprildonegaleFibreEircomInishowenletterkennylast_img read more

Fancy signing one of these guys? Top 12 fringe players that could be available

first_img 2. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) – Walcott, after an impressive first half of the season in which he replaced Olivier Giroud up top, has fallen down the pecking order. The England international has found playing time hard to come by of late, leaving many in doubt over his long-term future at the Emirates. 12 It’s been a challenging campaign for some in the Premier League.While the likes of Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli and Dimitri Payet have enjoyed an exciting season, for others it hasn’t been quite so enjoyable.The long-term future of many at Arsenal has been called into question and a handful of pricey summer signings have failed to live up to expectations.So, with this in mind, talkSPORT has taken a look at the top fringe players who could be available in the summer – check out the best 12 by viewing the slideshow above. 12 12 12 9. Loic Remy (Chelsea) – The Frenchman has endured a miserable time at Stamford Bridge and could be one of the first players to push through a move at the end of the season, regardless of a new manager arriving. He’s made just three Premier League starts this term. 6. Memphis Depay (Manchester United) – Despite only signing for the Red Devils last summer, Depay’s future at Old Trafford is already unclear. The Dutch forward has failed to impress manager Van Gaal and his performances have similarly failed to excite the club’s supporters. 10. Kevin Mirallas (Everton) – Mirallas has fallen worryingly out of favour at Goodison Park this season, and was widely expected to leave in the January transfer window. Despite opting to stay put, the Belgium international could feel enough is enough in the summer. 12 8. Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) – The Ivorian has struggled with injury since arriving at the Etihad in January 2015, but his playing time has failed to improve upon his return to full fitness. Edin Dzeko and Stevan Joveti? were both forced to leave last summer, and Bony could follow suit. 12 4. Christian Benteke (Liverpool) – It’s been a fairly miserable affair for the Belgian on Merseyside, so far. He hasn’t caught the eye of his new manager Jurgen Klopp, with his snub in the League Cup final a sign of the German’s thoughts on his pricey striker. If the Reds decide to let him leave, he won’t come cheap, however. 12 12 11. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – The midfielder has not impressed at Villa Park this season, with his off-the-field antics frustrating the club’s coaching staff. Whether he drops to the Championship or opts for a move elsewhere remains to be seen. 12. Asmir Begovic (Chelsea) – check out 11 more of the best fringe players by clicking the arrow above, right – Begovic was handed far more playing time at the beginning of the season with Thibaut Courtois suffering injury, but once the Belgian returned to fitness, he was immediately forgotten. The former Stoke ‘keeper will have known his role would largely be that of a bench warmer prior to his move, yet this won’t make his situation any easier to bear. 12 5. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) – This season, the Ox’s development has been called into question, with there an argument that his career has suffered at the Emirates. While injury has played a key role in his lack of time on the pitch, when fully fit he doesn’t seem to have the trust of Arsène Wenger. 7. Nacer Chadli (Tottenham Hotspur) – Chadli has struggled to cement a regular role since his £7m move from Dutch club FC Twente in July 2013. With so many others flourishing under Mauricio Pochettino, a summer exit seems almost inevitable for the Belgian who doesn’t seem to fit into Spurs’ style of play. 12 12 12 3. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) – Despite being Arsenal’s top scorer this season, Wenger has recently lost faith in Giroud, preferring the returning Danny Welbeck to lead the attack. It’s not the first time the Frenchman has spent a period on the bench, but on this occasion, he may be forced to assess his future. 1. Ander Herrera (Manchester United) – Herrera has found life at Old Trafford challenging, despite his popularity with the club’s supporters. Under Louis van Gaal, the Spaniard has rarely been given a full 90 minutes and may now be running out of patience in Manchester.last_img read more

Debate organizers’ error is unspeakable

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsCHSSA claims that it’s unable to change the date of the tournament due to its bylaws and the difficulties of finding a new venue. However, CHSSA has also refused limited proposals such as ending debate rounds early on Saturday in order to hold a first-night seder. It has even refused to apologize for the error. My former debate coach at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Doug Lasken, attended a CHSSA board meeting in September, where he introduced a motion to conduct a two-week feasibility study of the logistics of changing the date. The concept for the motion originated with Rabbi Mark Diamond, president of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California. Rabbi Diamond had vetted the motion with David Long, Gov. Schwarzenegger’s secretary of education, who found it reasonable. When Lasken reviewed the motion with some of the CHSSA leadership, they asked him to add a provision stating that any findings of the two-week study would require approval by the CHSSA executive committee, and another stating that no monetary costs were to accrue to CHSSA as a result of any findings of the study. Lasken inserted both provisions. Not only was this very reasonable motion overwhelmingly voted down by the CHSSA board, but comments from board members were extremely hostile (e.g. “There’s so many religions out there, how are we supposed to keep track of them all?). It is unbelievable to me that responsible adults, most of them educators themselves, cannot see how insensitive this appears. Last year I graduated from Taft High School, and I am now a freshman attending UC Berkeley looking to study political science. I participated in speech and debate all four years of high school and served as my team’s president my sophomore year. Attending the CHSSA State Tournaments created some of the greatest moments of my high school experience. To think that my two younger sisters, who are current members of Taft’s team, will not be able to attend because of this conflict is quite disheartening. This does not solely affect Jewish debaters; it affects all debaters who have a Jewish coach or teammate. If Jewish coaches cannot attend the tournament due to their religious observance, their entire teams will be unlikely to attend as well, Jewish or not. Moreover, the tournament’s exclusion of certain people compromises the validity of the state championship titles because the winners will not have faced all potential competitors. CHSAA’s vision statement proclaims that, “Every student will develop interpersonal skills necessary for establishing understanding among members of a diverse society.” The adults in this organization should practice what they preach to students. By Brittany Gorin is a student at the University of California at Berkeley.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! `Debate is life; the rest is just prep time.” This is one of my favorite sayings, and I am sure many other high school debaters, past and present, would say the same. Debaters spend countless hours doing research, perfecting their speaking styles, and developing strategies with teammates. Debate becomes a way of life. Unfortunately this year, many Jewish high school debaters and their affected teammates will not be able to garner the rewards of their love of public speaking. The California High School Speech Association has scheduled this year’s State Tournament for April 18-20, Passover weekend. Mistakes are inevitable, and no one doubts that this one was inadvertent. However, CHSSA’s unwillingness to acknowledge the error and its outright refusal to consider taking any action to rectify it is a huge slap in the face to the Jewish community and to anyone who believes in the values of cultural respect. last_img

Bears look to future

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAKE FOREST, Ill. – A day later, after a gloomy end to an otherwise surprisingly good season, Nathan Vasher noticed the sunshine outside Halas Hall. Then, he predicted a bright future for the Chicago Bears. Their season ended Sunday with a 29-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC divisional playoffs. And now, the question is: Are they ready to take another step up the NFL’s hierarchy, or was this another one-year aberration? “It was very disappointing, but the sun did come out today and it was a bright day so we just look forward to next season, and we know that we started out on the right foot this year and we just try to continue to build on that,” Vasher, the Pro Bowl cornerback, said Monday. Making their first postseason appearance in four years, the Bears allowed a season-high 434 yards. They were unable to contain Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith or get to quarterback Jake Delhomme, whom they sacked eight times in a 13-3 victory in November. Smith caught two touchdown passes and finished with a career-high 218 yards. And Delhomme was sacked just once while passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns. That explains why Carolina is preparing for the NFC championship game in Seattle and the Bears are turning their attention toward next season. Chicago was an unexpected 11-5 in the regular season, reversing its 2004 record and winning the NFC North after a 1-3 start in coach Lovie Smith’s second season. The Bears won eight straight and scored their signature victory over a Carolina team that ultimately ended their season. And they reached the postseason despite losing Rex Grossman to a broken left ankle in the preseason, an injury that kept their starting quarterback out of the first 13 games. Now, the Bears hope things don’t fall apart the way they did following their previous playoff appearance. After going 13-3 in 2001 and earning a first-round bye, Chicago lost by 14 to Philadelphia. Then, injuries hit. The Bears plummeted to 4-12 the following year. Two more losing seasons followed, a fact that was not lost on middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. The 2001 team, like the current group, was relatively young. The oldest regular starter on a defense that was the NFL’s toughest to score on this season is 28-year-old Adewale Ogunleye. “We were young last time, too, and we ended up being 4-12 the next year,” Urlacher, the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year, said after Sunday’s loss. “I’d like to think we’ll be better next year. We have a lot of guys coming back. … We’re optimistic, but I’m not going to look at that right now.” Defensive coordinator Ron Rivera thought back to the atmosphere in the locker room after the Bears lost 23-0 to San Francisco in the NFC championship game following the 1984 season. There was anger, resolve. And a year later, there was a Super Bowl celebration. “These guys feel the same type of fervor,” said Rivera, a former linebacker. “They can’t wait until we get started for next season. … I think there are a lot of plusses we can take from this. I believe that guys do have a defiant attitude because of what happened, and we’ll be better for it.” With most of his players signed through next season, coach Lovie Smith does not expect major changes. Cornerback Jerry Azumah and right guard Terrence Metcalf are unrestricted free agents, but both might be expendable. Smith liked what he saw from Grossman, who added some versatility to a run-heavy offense when he returned late in the season. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian gave the Bears a deep threat the last few weeks after returning from a thumb injury. And the running game … behind an experienced offensive line … was solid the whole season. In his second season with the Bears and sixth in the league, Thomas Jones ran for a career-high 1,335 yards. And backup Adrian Peterson rushed for 391, averaging 5.1 per carry. “Thomas is definitely No. 1 in our rotation,” Smith said. Where does that leave Cedric Benson, the No. 4 pick in the draft? After sitting out the preseason in a contract holdout and missing six games with a sprained ligament in his right knee, Benson rushed for 272 yards in nine appearances. “The next year is normally a lot better than that rookie year, and I see it that way for Cedric,” Smith said. As for the Bears as a whole: “We’ll build on this effort,” Smith said. “We have our core players in place.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anitalast_img read more


first_imgFionnuala BrittonThe organisers of Saturday’s international track and field meeting in Letterkenny, being held to mark the official opening of the Danny McDaid Athletics Track at the Aura Leisure Centre, have confirmed that Fionnuala Britton will compete in the 3,000 metres.Britton, who won a bronze medal in the event at the European indoor championships earlier this year in Gothenburg, is the golden girl of Irish athletics at present.Looking ahead to Saturday’s spectacle, which gets underway with a juvenile programme from 3 pm to 4 pm, Letterkenny AC Chairman, Brendan McDaid, said a lot of time and effort has gone in to putting together a top class event which will hopefully see the fist sub four minute mile run in Donegal. “Work first began on this event back in September and since then, we’ve been focusing on May 18th. We are extremely happy to have secured up to 120 high class athletes,” the chairman said.“We see it as a unique opportunity for people of the area to come and watch the cream of athletics in action. We are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather and are hopeful that the first ever sub four minute mile will be recorded on Saturday evening,” he added.The following is a break-down of all events on what promises to be an action-packed day.Event by event Men 100mIn the men’s 100m, England’s Richard Kilty will be coming to take on the best of the Irish. Kilty, a former European U-23 medallist, nicknamed “The Teeside Tornado” holds a personal best of 10.15 seconds and has been showing some good early season form on the American circuit. Dean Adams, and Chris Russell, along with up and coming athletes Zak Irwin and National Indoor champion Keith Pike will make sure that Kilty doesn’t have it all his own way to show who is the fastest man on the Letterkenny home straight.Women 200mKelly Proper just last week broke the Irish record for the heptathlon in Italy. She will feature in the womens 200m, a distance in which she claimed the National Indoor title earlier in the year. Tir Chonaill’s Mary McLoone will look to challenge Proper on Donegal soil. Louise Holmes, Sarah Lavin & Laura Costello will add further class to the field. Lavin recently recorded a standard for the European Junior Championships in the 100m hurdles, and Costello recorded a standard for the European Youth Olympic Festival over 200m.Men 400m Brian Gregan, European finalist over 400m last year, and fastest European indoors this year, will be looking to set his stall out for the World Championships in Moscow in August. Gregan will be challenged over the one lap distance by England’s Luke Lennon Ford who has a PB of 45.23 seconds, which is world class running. This will be some battle and when the lanes even out coming off the final bend, it will be an epic battle to the finish line. However, it is far from a two horse race with four other Irish athletes with bests of 47 seconds, Curtis Woods, Dara Kervick, Jason Harvey and Eoin Mulhall, who will all be looking to steal the thunder.Women 800mWomens 800m running has shown a resurgence over the past 12 months with several Irish athletes making the breakthrough to international level. Laura Crowe will lead the field in this event, and with a PB of 2:05, will be looking to get down towards the 2 minute mark. Alanna Lally, who holds a qualification standard for the World Youths Championships for the 400m, will be looking to add the 800m standard, and along with Rachel O’Shea and Clare McSweeney, will further add to the improvement in Irish womens middle distance running, hoping to make it a fast 800m in Letterkenny.Men 800m Quoted by many as Ireland’s hottest athletic prospect, local boy Mark English will be looking to impress the home crowd in the 800m. English recently recorded a fine win over 400m in an impressive time of 47.56 seconds, winning the Irish Universities title last month. Having finished 5th in the World Junior Championships last Summer, Mark has already established himself as a world class athlete. Another young talent Shane Fitzsimons from Mullingar will be chasing qualification times for the European Junior Championships, and along with Mark Patterson and Darragh Greene will be looking to get under the 1:50 barrier for the 800m.Men MileThe feature event of the meeting will be the mens mile and the field is star studded with Irish and international athletes looking to join the illustrious sub 4 minute club. Showing Letterkenny’s talent at middle distance, local trio of Darren McBrearty, Danny Mooney and Ruairi Finnegan would love to have the honour of running the first sub 4 minute mile on Donegal soil. Derry’s Conor Bradley will also be looking to join his neighbours in this attempt. However, it is from well away from Donegal where the biggest threat will lie. Kenyan’s Jonathon Kiplimo and Hillary Kipkorir will pose a threat, as African distance runners do. Kiplimo recently won the mile race at the Penn Relays in a time of 3:57 so will bring good form in to the race. Belgium’s Jeroen D’Hoedt will also come with a personal best over 1500m of 3:36 and will be looking to go well under the 4 minute mile. Last weekend, D’Hoedt ran 2:22 for 1000m so he is also bringing good form to Letterkenny. There will also be a challenge from England with Anthony Whiteman and James Tartt. Whiteman, a two time Olympian, is the current world record holder for the masters mens mile, having ran 3:58 in Nashville last year. At 41 years old, he became the first man over 40 ever to run a sub 4 minute mile outdoors, with Ireland’s own Eamonn Coghlan having been the first man ever to record a sub 4 minute mile indoors. With such a star studded line up for the 1609m distance, we will hopefully see the first sub 4 minute mile ever recorded on Donegal soil.Men 3000mAnother athlete with a bright future, John Travers, who had a superb indoor season with a 7:58 clocking to qualify for his first major track championship, will be looking to kick off his outdoor season. London Olympian over the marathon, Mark Kenneally will step down a distance, and will ensure Travers is not alone in the 3000m, also having broken 8 minutes before with a PB of 7:59. Former European Junior Champion over 1500m Colin Costello, double Paralympic champion Michael McKillop, Letterkenny’s own Ciaran Doherty, and recent North Pole marathon winner, Gary Thornton, should all ensure a fast 3000m will be on the cards.Women 3000mDouble European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton will be the star of the show in the womens 3000m. Britton has shown her promise on the track, having competed in the London Olympics last year over 5000m & 10000m, and also having won a bronze medal at the European Indoors earlier this year over 3000m. She will open her outdoor season in Letterkenny, having recently returned from a period of altitude training. Siobhra O’Flaherty, another athlete with a qualification mark for the European Youth Olympic Festival, will be joined by Eimear O Brien and Teresa McGloin, making it a competitive race.Men 1 hour track raceThis rarely run event will see athletes running against the stopwatch to see how much distance they can run in one hour. John Treacy’s Irish record of 19625m stands since 1987 from Monaco, and it will be interesting to see how close Barry Minnock and Greg Roberts can get to this record. Minnock has a marathon personal best of 2:17 and will tackle the demanding event, and will need to call on all his reserves to hold off the international challenge from Kenya’s Freddy Sittuk. Sittuk recently finished 3rd in the Belfast marathon, and boasts a marathon PB of 2:14. He is currently staying in the North West with training partner Derry’s Greg Roberts, who leads the local charge over the 1 hour race.Women 1 hour track raceIn the womens’ event 1 hour track race, the winner will be assured of an Irish record, as the race has never been run by an Irish woman before. Olympian Maria McCambridge will be looking to see how far she can push this record, having dominated the Irish road racing scene over the past number of years, and the home crowd will be urging her on over the unique distance.Men 4 x 400m relayThe mens 4 x 400m relay event will provide a fitting finale to the evening of international athletics. The event will include athletes from many different clubs with international selections taking on the best of the Irish talent on display on the night. With two members of Ireland’s 5th placing world class performance at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia just a few weeks ago taking part in individual events, it may just serve up an exciting finish to the track and field programme.Men Shot PuttThe mens shot putt is shaping up to be one of the events of the meeting and spectators are in for a treat of world class throwing. Denmark’s Kim Christensen and Sweden’s Daniel Stahl hold personal bests of 20.39m and 18.76m respectively. Christensen competed in last Summer’s London Olympics and is known for his crowd antics, and Stahl recently won the European Cup of Winter Throwing in Castellon, Spain. They will be challenged by two of Ireland’s best throwers, multiple Irish champion Sean Breathnach from Galway and Clonliffe’s Tomas Rauktys. In the Junior competition, Finn Valley’s John Kelly will be looking to record another qualification mark for the World Youth Championships.Women Shot PuttNiamh Murphy comes in to the womens shot putt with a personal best of 13.04m, and once again Kelly Proper will compete in her third event of the evening, and shows her versatility by working on every aspect of her multi-eventing. This will serve a great opportunity for this, and Fiona Tuite will also be chasing another qualification mark for the World Youth Championships. Local girl Lisa Gibson will be looking to steal a victory for the home crowd and will use her familiarity with the shot circle in Letterkenny to her advantage.Men JavelinThere certainly will not be too many people keen to stand in the middle of the new Danny McDaid Athletics track when the javelin competition gets underway. It promises to be a hard fought battle between the best of Irish javelin throwers with several having thrown well over 60 metres. Matthew Martin and Aaron Crawford, will return from training in the UK for the competition, and they will face tough opposition from Adam Rice, Danny Mullan and Sean McBride. It will be interesting to see if Damian Crawford’s Strabane charges can take a victory from North Down, who also have decathlete Peter Glass competing. Crawford indeed will compete himself and holds a personal best of 70 metres, and may just show his young prospects how it can be done.Men High JumpKourosh Foroughi leads the field in the mens high jump with a personal best of 2.20m and he will be looking to begin his outdoor season with a good series of jumps. Several other athletes will be looking to get over 2 metres early in the season, with Jaime Murtagh, Andrew Heney & Adam McMullen. McMullen is completing the challenging double of the high jump and 100m, which shows his versatility. Local lads Derek & Aidan Gillespie, and Kevin Grant are also set to feature.Women Long JumpIrish record holder Kelly Proper will be looking to set her stall out early in the season, and with her recent successful debut over the heptathlon, it will be interesting to see if this has enhanced her jumping ability. Just as in the 200m, she will be challenged by Tirchonaill’s Mary McLoone, and along with Linzi Herron & Heather Carson, it will make for an interesting competition into the sand pit.Time Event Category Time Event Category3.00pm 60M Hrlds B13 G13 3.00pm H.J U17 B/G3.15pm 800M B14 G14 3.00pm Javelin U14 B/G3.25pm 600m B12 G12 3.00pm Shot U16 B/G3.35pm 80m B14 G14 3.30pm Turbo Javelin U12 B/G3.50pm 60M B12 G124.15PM 1 Hour Run Mixed5.30pm Opening Ceremony Speeches 5.30PM Field Events warm up6.00pm 100m M 6.00pm L.J. W6.10pm 3,000M Mixed 6.05pm H.J. M6.25pm 800M W6.35pm 400m M 6.10pm Shot M6.45pm 1 Mile M7.00pm 200m W 6.40pm Javelin M7.10pm 800M M7.20pm 3,000M M 7.05pm Shot W7.35pm 4 X 400M MTRACK STAR BRITTON TO RUN 3,000 METRES AT LETTERKENNY GALA EVENT was last modified: May 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Aura CentreDanny McDaidFionnuala Brittonlast_img read more