Kenya are the defending champions (file photo)NAIROBI – The Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) senior challenge cup tournament will not be played this year after they organizers could not secure a host.This was confirmed by CECAFA Secretary General Nicholas Musonye on Wednesday morning.“It is not possible to have the tournament played this year, said Musonyi“We have tried our best to secure a new host but none is willing to.“And also it will not be possible since the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup will be played in the same period.“We have moved to cancel and will try to stage the tournament next year.Africa’s oldest football competition has been irregular since its inception in 1926.The tourney was also not held in 1986, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2014, 2016 and now lately 2018.Kenya, the defending champions had been granted the hosting rights but turned down the opportunity two months ago citing limited funds among other logistical issues.It is believed that several other Nations including Uganda have been approached in the last few months but have all turned down the chance to host Africa’s oldest tournament.Uganda remains the most successful country in this tournament having won the event a record 14 times.Previous Winners CECAFA winners:–Uganda (1973, 1976, 1977, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015)-Kenya (1975, 1981, 1982, 1983, 2002, 2013, 2017) —-Ethiopia (1987, 2001, 2004, 2005) –-Tanzania (1974, 1994, 2010)-Malawi (1978, 1979, 1988)-Sudan (1980, 2006, 2007)-Zambia (1984, 1991)-Zimbabwe (1985)-Zanzibar (1995)-Rwanda (1999 *Rwanda B Team)Comments Tags: cecafaNicholas Musonyitop
Brisbane, Nov 18 (PTI) India are yet to shed their “poor travellers” tag but head coach Ravi Shastri feels that it’s unfair to pick on one particular side when most of the nations have fared poorly on away tours. India have lost two away Test series in 2018, against South Africa (1-2) and England (1-4). This was after both tours were seen as best chance for Virat Kohli’s men to set the poor overseas record straight. Asked how important it is for India to win the series in Australia, Shastri said:”You have got to learn from your mistakes. When you go overseas and when you look at teams that travel around now, there aren’t too many sides (that travel well). “Australia did for some time in the 90’s and during the turn of century. South Africa did it for a while and other than these two,in the last five-six years, you tell me which team has travelled well. Why pick on India?” questioned Shastri. Questioned whether he or skipper Kohli has spoken to the team as to why they lost in South Africa and England, Shastri said that it was all about “seizing big moments”. “We have spoken about seizing the big moments. If you look at the Test matches, the scoreline really doesn’t tell you the real story. There were some real tight Test matches and we lost some big moments badly, which cost us the series at the end of it. “It could have been an hour in a session over four days whether it was SA or England. Either as a batsman or a bowler and see what happens after that,” the coach said in his team’s defence.advertisementShastri refused to believe that Australian team has lost its aura after what all happened during the past few months. “I don’t think so. I think once you have a sporting culture in you, you will always have that. I have always believed that no team is weak at home. We might have three or four players not playing when a team comes to India God forbid but if anyone thinks it’s a weak team, you will be surprised. “Similarly, we are taking no prisoners and we want to go out and put our best foot forward, focussing on our game rather than focussing outside,” he sounded cautious. He is confident that his pacers will enjoy bowling on Australian pitches. “I think they (pacers) should enjoy bowling on these pitches if it’s like the pitches we have seen in the past. It’s important to stay fit as a unit.” Shastri broadly dropped a hint that injured Hardik Pandya’s absence robs them a chance to play an extra bowler. Even former Australian batsman Mike Hussey recently spoke about how Pandya’s absence can hurt India. “One player we will miss is Hardik Pandya, who has had an injury. He gave us that balance as a bowler as well as batsman, which allowed us to play that extra bowler. Even now we have got to think twice. Hopefully, he will get fit soon and if fast bowlers do well, we might not miss him then,” the former all-rounder said. Asked if this is the best chance for India’s fast bowlers, Shastri said it will depend on if they can maintain “sustained intensity” for a long period of time. “It doesn’t matter what line-up they play as long as they are consistent. In the past, we have had one or two bowlers doing well in spells, but bowling as a unit for three, four or five hours with sustained intensity, if that comes into play, no matter which batting line-up you are playing against, you will be tested,” he added. PTI KHS KHSKHS
SANTA CLARA, CA – DECEMBER 05: Oregon Ducks fans celebrate an impending victory against the Arizona Wildcats during the PAC-12 Championships at Levi’s Stadium on December 5, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)For some Oregon fans, last week’s loss in the College Football Playoff National Championship hurt a bit more than it did for others. One Ducks supporter, who made a bet on the game with his buddy, had to endure physical pain as a result of the Buckeyes’ victory.The fan in question, who made it clear that he still supports Oregon, was forced to get a huge Ohio State tattoo on his thigh. His friend posted a photo of the new ink, and he himself posted a sad face emoji.LADIES AND GENTLEMAN. HERE IS THE TATTOO. A man of his word @Debellonia88 pic.twitter.com/HWUah8BL5D— H (@Hlee3D) January 21, 2015— Sun Duck (@Debellonia88) January 21, 2015If the two schools ever meet in the playoff again, you can guarantee this guy will be looking to double down on his wager.[Deadspin]
zoom Netherlands-based container terminal operator APM Terminals has inaugurated today its semi-automated facility in Lázaro Cárdenas, Mexico.The terminal was officially inaugurated by the President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto and Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who is on his tour to America.“Markets with strong trade alliances tend to outperform global growth and Mexico alone has signed more than 45 free trade agreements, making it one of the world’s most important economies. Maersk is committed to Mexico, and across our Transport and Logistics brands, we employ more than 800 people locally,” said Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller-Maersk, parent company of APMT.The terminal is currently performing 30% above expectations in terms of container turnaround times in March, and is expected to improve operational efficiencies per container by 20%, APMT said.Back in 2011, APM Terminals won a 32-year concession to finance, design and maintain the first semi-automated terminal in Mexico and Latin America, located in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán.The facility occupies an area of 49 hectares, with a quay of 750 meters in length for ships and a depth of 16.5 meters. The terminal features two berths in 500 m of quay with 250m planned to be built boasting a static capacity of 21 mil TEUs and a dynamic capacity of 1.1 million of TEUs a year.By the final phase of the terminal buildout, which is scheduled to happen between 2027 and 2030, the terminal’s water depth will increase to 18 meters.By then, the terminal will have a capacity of 4.1 million TEUs, operated by 15 ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and 10 rail tracks, providing intermodal access.According to the company’s estimates, the total investment cost for the full project is expected to reach USD 900 million.The terminal officially started operations in February this year when it welcomed its first vessel, the 9,600 TEU Maersk Salalah.This is the company’s second terminal in Mexico after Yucatan.Mexico handled 5.66 million TEUs in 2016, behind only Brazil and Panama in Latin American port container traffic volume.
OSU sophomore Colin Zeng is a 5-time Big Ten Diver of the Week for the 2015-16 season. Credit: Courtesy of OSUCoach Justin Sochor took over an Ohio State men’s diving team in 2013 that was laden with juniors and seniors. That meant Sochor had one year of recruiting to revamp the Buckeyes after an exodus of talent.“I wasn’t trying to change an old team,” he said. “I was trying to build a new one.” Sochor said he wanted talented students who would make good teammates to represent the diving team, as well as the university, positively. He found that in sophomore diver Colin Zeng.Zeng, a Fujian, China, native, started to dive after his parents suggested it at a young age. He said he discovered early on that the diving training in China was very strenuous.“I didn’t do a lot of competition,” Zeng said. “It’s very intense. We (train) at least six hours a day, seven days a week.”Then, in 2010, Zeng came to the United States to focus on developing his diving skills even further. “I was at the training camp at Stanford,” Zeng said. “After I got my student visa, I started to focus more on competing.”According to DiveMeets, Zeng finished first in all of the competitions he competed in during high school. The sustained dominance made him a hot target for collegiate programs across the nation. This led him to start looking at colleges in his junior year, he said. OSU proved to be a good fit. Sochor agreed.“A lot of Colin’s traits were what I was looking for,” Sochor said. “He’s got a high skill level, he gets along with his teammates, and he is smart.”Zeng came to OSU looking to succeed in what the coach called one of the most prestigious conferences in the nation.“Physically, diving-wise, experience with his training, he will stack right up with the divers in the Big Ten,” Sochor said. “He is a potential champion, but so are they. There are a lot of potential champions in (the conference), and he’s on the same dance floor as them.”Zeng has proved that this year. A five-time Big Ten Diver of the Week award winner, Zeng has finished first in all but three events in the 2015-16 season. In the trio of events he didn’t win, he was close, claiming second place each time. OSU sophomore Colin Zeng dives during a meet. Credit: Courtesy of OSUHe said he looks to continue his success at the Big Ten Championships, in which he will compete in three events: the 1-meter, 3-meter and the platform. After that, the NCAA Championship in late March is on the docket for Zeng.Like any competitor, he said he wants to win, but rather than setting his sights on those sorts of accolades, his plan is to just become the best diver he can be.“I’m just trying to focus and get more consistent on my dives,” Zeng said.Despite his success athletically, Zeng places a great deal of emphasis on excelling in the classroom too, his coach said. “The majority of his focus is academics,” Sochor said. “Training just happens in the part of the day we can get him. Once he gets into that Big Ten meet, there is no more tutoring and study table hours… It’s all diving.”As the conference championships approach at the end of February, Zeng is fine-tuning his dives to make them as perfect as can be. The biggest thing, he said, is just becoming as comfortable and consistent as possible. Sochor said he thinks that his star diver is ready to go and show the Big Ten what he is all about.“Colin gets pretty mean when he is competing,” Sochor said. “He is not going to be easy to beat.”
Ohio State redshirt senior defensive end Nathan Williams trailed behind the pack of scarlet and gray-clad Buckeyes players as the team rushed onto the field for the opening game of the 2012 season. Williams said he was savoring the cheers of the 105,039 fans in attendance Saturday at Ohio Stadium for the No. 18 Buckeyes’ game against the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. It was Williams’ first chance to make the dash onto the field since OSU’s Sept. 3, 2011, home opener against the Akron Zips, which he exited with an injury that would eventually require season-ending microfracture surgery to repair his injured knee. In the year that followed the game against Akron, Williams’ life has consisted mostly of rehab and icing his injured left knee. Football, Williams said, was a job he loved to get up in the morning for, and it was taken from him last September. “For so many months, I was down and out,” Williams said, “and on a machine and icing. Countless ice bags I’ve made.” Projected by several OSU coaches to play between eight and 10 snaps in his return against the RedHawks, Williams reclaimed his livelihood in surprising fashion – he started, was on the field for about 30 plays and made two solo tackles in OSU’s 56-10 win. “It means a lot. I’m at a loss for words,” Williams said following his return. “I’m happy that the coaches believe in me and that these players have stuck by my side and Buckeye Nation stuck by my side. I appreciate everyone for that.” First-year OSU coach Urban Meyer was noncommittal about Williams’ status for Saturday’s game until Tuesday when the player passed tests in practice to get into the game. After beating the RedHawks, Meyer said Williams played more than he expected and lauded his performance. “I love Nate. I love the fact that he is a warrior, that he loves Ohio State. That he’s doing the best he can,” Meyer said. “And I like the fact that (Williams’ position coaches) had enough confidence to get him in the game.” It was more of the same from OSU co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, who said he wanted to ease Williams back into the flow of the game by limiting his time on the field. That plan changed after watching Williams get loose before kickoff, Fickell said, adding he could tell Williams had a chance to really make an impact. That intuition was realized by game’s end. “You see what kind of competitor he is,” Fickell said after the game. “From what I saw, he looked pretty good.” There’s still work to be done – Williams knows that. He failed to convince himself that he was the same player that tallied 92 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 11 sacks prior to the surgery that ended his 2011 season. On Miami’s first drive of the game, Williams missed a chance to sack RedHawks senior quarterback Zac Dysert, a player Meyer said has NFL potential. “If I would have got (Dysert), I would have considered that I’m back,” Williams said. “I’m kind of upset that I didn’t. My glove kind of slipped over top of him. There ain’t gonna be no more of that.” Williams said he saw an opportunity on the play and went for it, but defensive line coach Mike Vrabel disagreed during a Monday interview at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, saying there was no opportunity because Williams didn’t do his job. Perhaps evidence of lingering rust, Williams incorrectly abandoned his assignment to cover a Miami running back on the play, Vrabel said. However, Vrabel’s remarks came across as playful chides at Williams – he and members of the media laughed while delivering his criticisms with a smile. Vrabel said he was among those that were just glad Williams was a productive member of the team again. “Nathan, God love him, he can tell you whatever he wants,” Vrabel said. “I’m happy he was out there. He had some energy. He had some enthusiasm. (He) played with some toughness and, you know, I think it was a big confidence builder for him to be out there. He was pumped. He was excited that he could do it.” Considering the long hours of rehab and bagging ice cubes to tape to his surgically repaired knee, pumped might be an understatement. “Unparalleled” and “a dream come true” were the words Williams used to describe his feelings. “Getting another chance to be in this stadium and play for you guys – I wake up every morning looking forward to go to work just to make you guys happy,” he said, “so I’m not going to take it for granted.” OSU returns to action Saturday at Ohio Stadium with a game against Central Florida scheduled for noon.
The Michigan Wolverines football team takes the field for a game against OSU on Nov. 30 at Michigan Stadium. OSU won, 42-41.Credit: Lantern file photoAnyone who follows college football even a little knows that the Southeastern Conference dominates the landscape.But it wasn’t always that way.As I sat in my living room late Wednesday night after coming home from work, I turned on the TV, and after a few minutes of channel surfing (us men are so good at that, right, ladies?) I came across the 2004 Michigan-Michigan State football matchup and began to watch.In the game itself, No. 12 Michigan defeated unranked Michigan State in what is arguably one of the best games Michigan Stadium has ever seen. The Wolverines won in triple overtime, 45-37, behind 224 yards on the ground from then-freshman running back Mike Hart and 189 receiving yards from then-senior wide receiver Braylon Edwards.While those names might make some Buckeye fans cringe, the fact remains that they were good, if not great, ballplayers and they made Michigan a contender in the Big Ten. Then it hit me — the key to a successful Big Ten is the success of Michigan.Now, is it strictly just on the shoulders of the Wolverines to carry the Big Ten back to the promised land? Of course not.The successes of other traditional Big Ten powers like Ohio State, Penn State and more recently Michigan State are also key, as the Buckeyes and Spartans have carried the conference in recent years.But let’s go back to that 2004 season.Michigan went to the Rose Bowl and lost to Texas, despite being upset in its season finale by the Buckeyes in Columbus as the No. 7 team in the country.The SEC had just one team in the BCS that season, as Auburn won a low-scoring affair against Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl, 16-13.Not quite so dominating, right?So where did the tables turn on the Big Ten? How was the SEC able to separate itself?Well, let’s start with the next three seasons.A certain coach you might have heard of named Urban Meyer was hired at Florida late in 2004 to take over for a program that had started to reel under Ron Zook. Where did the struggling Zook find work? Illinois, the traditional Big Ten doormat.Just a season later, Meyer’s Gators were putting a beating on the Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS National Championship game, which began a string of seven straight years of SEC dominance in title games.Building on that, Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who was largely responsible for the turnaround of the Wisconsin program in the early ‘90s, retired following the 2005 season, leaving the door open for Bret Bielema.And we all know how that turned out. The Badgers would finish 2-4 in bowl games under Bielema.In 2007, Michigan dropped a game to Appalachian State which, let’s be honest, was the beginning of the end for Wolverine legend Lloyd Carr’s coaching career.So with Carr and Alvarez gone, and Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes dropping back-to-back blowouts in national championship games, the Big Ten took a dive into the deep end it has not yet come up from.The addition of Meyer to the Buckeye staff following the Tattoo-Gate fallout saved the OSU program, but unfortunately for Michigan, it has not had the same success in hiring a coach since Carr’s departure.The Rich Rodriguez experiment was a colossal failure and for a brief moment, it appeared the hiring of proclaimed “Michigan Man” Brady Hoke would resurrect the once proud program.For the 2011 season, it appeared Hoke had done just that as the Wolverines exploded to a 11-2 season which culminated in back-to-back wins over the Buckeyes and the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Sugar Bowl.But the wheels have fallen off quickly for the Wolverines and the Big Ten, as Michigan sits at 3-4 on the season, and is, quite frankly, struggling to make a bowl game. Combine that with the Shane Morris incident in which Hoke played the clearly injured quarterback following a ruthless hit from a Minnesota defender, and we have seen a once-dominant program reduced to a laughing stock.The recent downward spiral of the Michigan program led them to lower their student ticket prices Thursday down to $175 from $280 for seven home games for the 2015 season in an effort to increase attendance.While it might be fun for Buckeye fans to see their rival fall from the graces of college football’s best, it is quite frankly awful for the Big Ten conference.And as the Wolverines get ready to take on the Spartans this weekend, now 10 years later, one cannot help but wonder if the Michigan program, and the Big Ten conference, will ever be able to recover from the ranks of mediocrity.
Head coach Chris Holtmann watches from the sideline in the second half of the Ohio State-Robert Morris game on Nov. 10. Ohio State won 95-64. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorChris Holtmann didn’t have any control over his schedule for his first season coaching Ohio State. He was going to be coaching in the Phil Knight Invitational whether he was in Columbus or still coaching Butler. But unlike at Butler, he has to endure the possibility of six straight games against high-major opponents.In 12 days.Now that it’s here, Holtmann is staring down the greatest test he will have not just in his first year with the Buckeyes, but also in his entire coaching career to this point.“It’s completely unlike anything I’ve ever experienced,” he said. “It’s something we’re going to have to be mindful about with rest and sleep, and it will be interesting to see, too, the teams that come out of Portland and how they respond to this stretch once they come back.” The Buckeyes (4-0) have played well to this point and have played with more energy and consistency than they showed at any point last season. But that road ahead gets much tougher.On the schedule, Ohio State has No. 17 Gonzaga, Stanford or No. 7 Florida, Clemson, Wisconsin and Michigan. Holtmann’s squad also has a third game in Portland, Oregon, at the PK80 — the tournament celebrating Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday — against either Duke, Portland State, Texas or Butler.Holtmann has made it clear he isn’t putting any goals or expectations on this season. He said it again Tuesday before his team departs for the West Coast.“For us the end game right now for us is get better today,” Holtmann said. “That’s really the end game. We don’t have another end game other than get better today.”That might be coach-speak, but let’s consider the obvious.He arrived in June after an out-of-the-blue firing of former coach Thad Matta. He arrived with no recruits remaining in the 2018 recruiting class, so he immediately had to hit the trail. He didn’t have time to really get to know his players until official practice began in September.So given the circumstances, all Holtmann has been able to do is focus one day at a time.That being said, he’s still a coach, and a coach demands a certain level of play from his players. That bar can be set and raised with a strong showing in these next six days.“It’s a good opportunity,” senior forward Jae’Sean Tate said. “To compete against multiple teams in a span of 48 hours, it’s great, it’s exciting. We’re looking forward to it.”Just four games into the season, it might be a bit rash to call this stretch the greatest challenge he’ll face this year. But consider this: Ohio State will have played nearly a third of its schedule after this stretch, including two conference games with a multitude of opportunities for signature wins on its resume when it comes time to evaluate the Buckeyes in March.Yes, Holtmann needs to figure out his team’s 3-point shooting woes (28.4 percent), whether any issues that come with the dearth of depth at guard and address any potential injuries that might occur in the future. But in the present, there’s no greater opportunity for an early statement than the next two weeks.“I think, in a lot of ways, it was a no-brainer decision to be a part of an event like [the PK80] because of what it can reveal about your team in these moments,” Holtmann said.While most Ohio State fans will tune into coverage of the football game against Michigan this week, there’s no denying that fans badly want their basketball team to be competitive again.The Buckeyes don’t have to win all six of these upcoming games, but going .500 would turn some heads toward the program Holtmann is trying to resurrect in Columbus.