Reifer is new West Indies head coach

first_imgST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):New Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt has announced that Floyd Reifer has been appointed the new Head Coach of the West Indies Men’s team on interim basis until the conclusion of the ICC Cricket World Cup England & Wales 2019.Reifer replaces Richard Pybus.last_img

F1 great Niki Lauda dies at 70

first_imgBERLIN (AP):Formula One great Niki Lauda, who won two of his world titles after a horrific crash that left him with serious burns and went on to become a prominent figure in the aviation industry, has died. He was 70.Lauda’s family issued a statement saying the three-time world champion “passed away peacefully” on Monday, the Austria Press Agency reported.Walter Klepetko, a doctor, who performed a lung transplant on Lauda last year, said Tuesday: “Niki Lauda has died. I have to confirm that.”“His unique successes as a sportsman and entrepreneur are and remain unforgettable,” the family statement said. “His tireless drive, his straightforwardness and his courage remain an example and standard for us all. Away from the public gaze he was a loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. We will miss him very much.”Lauda won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1975 and 1977 with Ferrari and again in 1984 with McLaren.In 1976, he was badly burned when he crashed during the German Grand Prix, but he made an astonishingly fast return to racing just six weeks later. RETIREMENT Lauda remained closely involved with the F1 circuit after retiring as a driver in 1985, and in recent years served as the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes team.Formula One posted a message from its official Twitter account to acknowledge Lauda’s contribution to the sport.“Rest in peace Niki Lauda. Forever carried in our hearts, forever immortalised in our history,” the post said. “The motorsport community today mourns the devastating loss of a true legend.”Born on February 22, 1949 into a wealthy Vienna family, Nikolaus Andreas Lauda was expected to follow his father into the paper-manufacturing industry, but instead concentrated his business talents and determination on his dreams of becoming a racing driver.Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said “Niki, we will miss you.”“The whole country and the motor sports world are mourning a really great Austrian,” Kurz wrote on Twitter.Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen paid tribute to Lauda as “an idol and an ambitious fighter who never gave up.”Lauda financed his early career with the help of a string of loans, working his way through the ranks of Formula 3 and Formula 2. He made his Formula 1 debut for the March team at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix and picked up his first points in 1973 with a fifth-place finish for BRM in Belgium.Lauda joined Ferrari in ‘74, winning a Grand Prix for the first time that year in Spain. He won his first drivers’ title with five victories the following season.Facing tough competition from McLaren’s James Hunt — their rivalry featured in the Ron Howard-directed movie Rush — Lauda appeared on course to defend his title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nuerburgring during the German Grand Prix. Several drivers stopped to help pull him from the burning car, but the accident would scar him for life. The baseball cap Lauda almost always wore in public became a personal trademark.Lauda made his comeback just six weeks after the crash, finishing fourth at Monza after overcoming his initial fears.He recalled “shaking with fear” as he changed into second gear on the first day of practice and thinking, “I can’t drive.”The next day, Lauda said he “started very slowly trying to get all the feelings back, especially the confidence that I’m capable of driving these cars again.” The result, he said, boosted his confidence and after four or five races “I had basically overcome the problem of having an accident and everything went back to normal.”He won his second championship in 1977 before switching to Brabham and then retiring in 1979 to concentrate on setting up his airline, Lauda Air, declaring that he “didn’t want to drive around in circles anymore”.Lauda came out of retirement in 1982 after a big-money offer from McLaren, reportedly about $3 million a year.He finished fifth his first year back and 10th in 1983, but came back to win five races and edge teammate Alain Prost for his third title in 1984. He retired for good the following year, saying he needed more time to devote to his airline business. TIES WITH HAMILITON Lauda in later years formed a close bond with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who joined the team in 2013. He often backed Hamilton in public and provided advice and counsel to the British driver.Lauda twice underwent kidney transplants, receiving an organ donated by his brother in 1997 and, when that stopped functioning well, a kidney donated by his girlfriend in 2005.In August 2018, he underwent a lung transplant that the Vienna General Hospital said was made necessary by a “serious lung illness.” It didn’t give details.Lauda is survived by his second wife, Birgit, and their twin children Max and Mia. He had two adult sons, Lukas and Mathias, from his first marriage.last_img read more

Boxing board president hoping for minimal COVID-19 fallout

first_imgPresident of the Jamaica Boxing Board Stephen ‘Bomber’ Jones is hoping that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is not immense as he is looking to the possibility of Jamaica’s first Olympic boxing medal at the Tokyo Games. The Games, which were set to start in July, have been postponed because of the pandemic and are now been rescheduled for July 23 to August 8, 2021.There have been more than 3.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. More than 235,000 persons have died while over a million have recovered from the virus. With all the uncertainty surrounding the Olympic qualifiers, which have been postponed, Jones said that they are now in wait-and-see mode. He is, however, cautiously optimistic that if some sort of normality returns by September, all should be well. “Basically, all countries in this region have to wait until they get the go-ahead to have Olympic qualifiers. There were supposed to be two before the postponed Olympics, the first in Argentina, which was set for March, and a second in France for those who didn’t qualify in the first. Both of those have been postponed and we haven’t yet been given new dates,” Jones said. “With that being said, there still would have to be a qualification process months in advance for the Americas. If we are given a date, then the challenge will be for us to have our National Championships. The boxers that were qualified in January may have to, unfortunately, prove themselves again. The talent we are not short of, but mentally and physically, they will have to get back to a stage where they are internationally ready,” he added. “If September comes and we are able to have all activities, then I have no doubt we can get back to the stage where Jamaica will be fielding a good team for the Games.” When asked about the impact COVID-19 has had on the sport locally, Jones said boxing was gaining some traction again among the public and that the virus, if it persist, could break that momentum. “In terms of the sport locally, my biggest fear would be if this broke our spirit. We believe that boxing can have a positive effect on society. When you look at the Gloves-over-Guns programme, the grass-roots programme and the development in communities, everybody had bought into the sport and was working in a cohesive manner,” Jones said. The boxing board boss is hoping that whatever happens, those in love with the sport will remain on board. “Our finances, in terms of pushing the sport forward are largely dependent on partners that we are able to get on board. We still bank on the Sports Development Foundation and the Jamaica Olympic Association, who we expect will pick up where we left off. Also, we have some companies that were entrenched in the communities like Lasco and the Doctor’s Cave Foundation and others that we have been staying in touch with,” Jones said.last_img read more

Report: Coventry City 5-4 Bristol City

first_imgCoventry City, playing their first match at their alternative home, racked up a three-goal lead by half-time, but quickly fell to pieces as City came on strong in the second 45.Leon Clarke’s penalty, Callum Wilson’s curling finish and Billy Daniels’ perfectly-placed header were cancelled out in the space of 19 second half minutes.Sam Baldock scored twice, either side of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ deflected free kick, to restore parity. Immediately the Sky Blues raced up the other end to make it 4-3 through Wilson’s second, only for Marvin Elliott’s stunning strike to level things once more with five minutes left.The away supporters, who outnumbered their hosts’ backing in numbers and volume, must have been dreaming of another ‘Mansfield 5-4’ but it wasn’t to be.Instead, Daniels had the last word with a close range finish to wrap up the scoring in a truly remarkable encounter. Sean O’Driscoll made just one change to the line-up following the 2-0 midweek cup win in Gillingham, as Scott Wagstaff returned to the starting XI replacing the benched Jordan Wynter. The visitors could have opened the scoring just three minutes into the game. Liam Fontaine’s long ball forward allowed Baldock to race clear into the Sky Blues’ box, but just as the striker pulled the trigger Jordan Clarke made a crucial block. Coventry responded well. Frank Moussa teased his way beyond Brendan Moloney before picking out Conor Thomas darting into the box. His curling effort had the beating of Frank Fielding but Fontaine was on the line to clear the danger. City’s backline were caught napping again when Clarke’s clipped ball forward was latched on to by Wilson but with only Fielding to beat the striker showed a lack of composure firing into the keeper’s chest.Coventry’s pressure finally told on 27 minutes when John Fleck’s long ball forward again allowed Wilson to charge into the City box. Flint tripped the forward inside the area, Leaving the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Clarke kept his cool and fired the ball into the roof of the net for the opener. The home side continued to press and two goals in three minutes at the end of the half ensured Steven Pressley’s side had a healthy lead at the break. Another long ball forward by Fleck found Wilson, who this time found Flint backing off and he whipped the ball past Fielding into the far corner with aplomb.City nearly hit back instantly but keeper Joe Murphy raced off his line to deny a clean through Baldock with his legs.And the first-half rout continued when Moussa’s deep cross from the left found Daniels at the back post,  who expertly guided a header back across Fielding and into the net. O’Driscoll unsurprisingly made two changes at the interval with Derrick Williams and Ryan Taylor introduced. It saw a more attacking 3-5-2 formation adopted and to good effect. Emmanuel-Thomas teased Blair Adams on the right wing and fired a low cross towards the back post, which cannoned against the upright and Baldock was on hand to bundle home.Emmanuel-Thomas went from creator to goalscorer on the hour, albeit with a little help from the home team. Baldock rolled a 25-yard free kick into his path and the sweet left-foot shot ricocheted off the wall to bounce past a helpless Murphy.Now the travelling faithful had hope, and it looked to be realised on 74 minutes as a misplaced header from Andy Webster, the ex-City loan defender, was pounced on by Baldock. The skipper had already passed up one-on-one opportunities but made no mistake this time.The mass ranks of away supporters were still celebrating as a pumped ball forward was allowed to bounce in the area by Fontaine for Wilson to stab past Fielding at the second attempt.But City weren’t done. Now with Marlon Harewood on the pitch in place of the injured Taylor, they won a throw down the right. Emmanuel-Thomas launched it into the mixer and Elliott executed a sublime scissor kick to make it 4-4.With three minutes to go it could have gone either way.And it was the beleaguered home side who ended up with all three points.A cross to the back post was volleyed back across goal by Clarke and Daniels made no mistake, hooking the ball inside Fielding’s left-hand post.Baldock almost snatched a dramatic equaliser with the last kick but it wasn’t to be, bending wide of the upright.You have to feel sorry for the Coventry supporters who boycotted the game. Not just for the turmoil affecting their club – they also missed a corker at Sixfields.last_img read more

Olympic Cyclist Oli Beckingsale Launches 2016 Break The Cycle Kit

first_imgFormer Team GB athlete Beckingsale – who competed at the Olympic Games in 2000, 2004 and 2008, and the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006 – was at Ashton Gate’s Sports Bar & Grill on Thursday, June 9th for the launch event, as an ambassador of Break The Cycle.He said: “Good kit is incredibly important to a cyclist, especially when you have 110 miles to cover. “This year’s Break The Cycle kit has been designed to a high specification providing the ultimate in comfort and style. It was great working with the team at Bristol Sport to come up with the finished product.”Now in its sixth year, Break The Cycle is run by Bristol Rugby Community Foundation and raises vital funds to support the charity’s work with young people in and around Bristol.Ben Breeze, chief community officer at the Bristol Sport Foundation, said: “We are expecting over 200 cyclists to take part in this year’s Break The Cycle and I can’t wait to see them all pedalling along wearing the Break The Cycle rainbow colours.”Break The Cycle is a joint initiative with Gloucester Rugby Club and sees cyclists tackle a gruelling 110-mile course through Bristol, Bath and Gloucester.For more information or to place your order for the new Break The Cycle kit, please contact Sally Mabbutt at Bristol Rugby Community Foundation; smabbutt@bristolrugby.co.uklast_img read more

Luke Morahan Confirmed As Club’s Latest Signing

first_imgThe utility back – who can play wing, full back and centre – has three caps for the Wallabies, as well as starring for Australia Sevens.Morahan is an established Super Rugby performer, representing Queensland Reds and Western Force.“Luke is an impressive player with excellent technical abilities. He’s got a lot of raw pace and versatility and can play across the backline,” Head Coach Mark Tainton told bristolrugby.co.uk.“We were really encouraged by Luke’s attitude and enthusiasm throughout the recruitment process. He’s an international player who wants to play for Bristol Rugby and has really bought in to what we are trying to achieve.”The 26 year-old started for Australia at full-back in the 2016 November international test versus France.He said: “I’m excited about the opportunity to play in England, but also to be a part of the ambitious journey that Bristol Rugby is on. The Club’s management sold me the vision and how much rugby means to the people of the city.“It’s an exciting new challenge and one me and my family are looking forward to. I am confident that everything is in place at Bristol for us to be a successful Club.”last_img read more

Owen turns attention to Flyers second team

first_imgThe 30-year-old, who has made 156 appearances during his six-year BBL career, has decided to turn his attention to helping develop young basketball athletes at the Bristol Metropolitan Academy.Owen has also confirmed he will spend his eighth year with the club competing for the men’s second team, who last season won promotion into NBL Division three South after finishing top of Division four South West with a record of 17-3.”It’s been a really difficult decision for me to make,” Owen revealed to Bristol Flyers TV.“Throughout the years, Flyers have progressed from NBL Division one into the BBL and it’s been a huge part of my life.”It feels really strange at the moment, but I’m excited about the future and I know the club is in good hands.”To play in the BBL you need to give 100% commitment all of the time and that’s something that I can’t give anymore.”I feel like I’ve done my bit to help the club to where it is today and now it’s time for me to watch from the sidelines.”I always knew that there would be a time where I’d step away from Flyers at the BBL level, but Flyers II have made a really big impact so far and my goal is to now try and move them up into Division one, so that Bristol really will become one of the top clubs in the country.”A lot of young players can develop from playing at that level and it can really prepare them to make the step up to the BBL.”last_img read more

Preview: Bristol Bears vs Saracens

first_imgDan Thomas’ late try earned Pat Lam’s side a losing bonus-point at Twickenham last weekend, as Bath took the derby spoils, while Saracens overcame Newcastle Falcons at Allianz Park thanks to tries from Sean Maitland, Max Malins and Nick Tompkins. Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s clash.last_img