Hard luck Team Kootenay finishes out of the medal

first_imgIf Team Kootenay and Nelson’s Emma Hare didn’t have bad luck the squad would have no luck at all.Team Kootenay finished out of the medal at the B.C. Summer Games held recently in Surrey but may have done better if the skies didn’t open up during a preliminary round contest against Thompson/Okanagan.During the opening round contest Team Kootenay had a 9-0 lead after two innings before Mother Nature dumped rain on the game. During the game, Team Kootenay pulled off a triple play to end the inning.The game went into the books as a rain out costing Team Kootenay important points in the round robin draw.Team Kootenay’s second game against Fraser Valley was also a rain out before the interior squad took to the field for good, bouncing Team Cariboo 5-3. Team Kootenay overcame a 3-1 deficit, scoring four times in the sixth to grab the win.Cranbrook’s Tyler Carver picked up the win on the mound along with knocking in the winning run.In the final game of the tournament, too many errors cost Team Kootenay in a 7-1 loss to Vancouver Squamish.Fraser Valley defeated Vancouver Island Central Coast 7-0 in the gold medal game.Vancouver Squamish defeated Thompson/Okanagan for the bronze medal duringh the consolation final.last_img read more

Walker, Johnston star for revamped Rabbitohs

first_imgAfter blowing Manly away late in a runaway 38-18 win at Lottoland on Saturday afternoon, the two best pieces of news for Souths fans were the reinvigorated forward pack – which seemed to benefit from the return of George Burgess despite one costly error – and the immediate spark generated between fullback Alex Johnston, five-eighth Cody Walker, halfback Adam Reynolds and dummy-half pair Robbie Farah and Damien Cook. Johnston scored two tries and set up one while running 115 metres in an error-free afternoon, Reynolds set up a try and kicked beautifully, Farah scored one try (and almost had a second) and set up two. Cook added a ton of spark, darting for 73 metres, offloading three times and creating a line break. Walker though was without doubt the best of the lot and turned the match after the Rabbitohs fell behind early. Three line breaks, two line break assists, two try assists and a try amount to a fair reflection of his game-breaking afternoon.”I thought Cody was our best player today,” Reynolds said after the game.”He’s been one of our best players last year, he’s come onto the scene and hasn’t taken a backward step and continued to learn and grow. It’s a credit to him, he’s got a young family and he lives his lifestyle better than everyone else that I know, he’s a real family man and when he comes to football he’s a real footballer.”He takes pride about whatever he does. It’s taken him a while to get into first grade but he’s not missing a beat now, he’s taken his opportunity with both hands.”The form of Johnston – whose preferred position is fullback – was pleasing for both Reynolds and coach Michael Maguire.”Obviously Greggy (Inglis) the big fella’s not there and I thought ‘AJ’ did a good job today,” Reynolds said.”He’s pretty familiar with that role anyway, he’s been training there all pre-season and all the boys have got faith in him. He’s a talent, he’s a young kid and his will to learn is second to none.”Me and Cody and Robbie’s job is to take a bit of pressure off him. He’s a key member of our team and the more ball we get him in open space the better for him. He’s got a lot of speed to burn and his choices with the ball are excellent as well.”Maguire said he was pleased to see Johnston show the form he did.”He’s definitely got that in him and now it’s just building on that,” Maguire said.”He’s always wanted to have a crack at fullback. He’s a South Sydney kid that’s come through all the grades and it’s great to see him excelling like he did [on Saturday] and he’s just got to keep going.”Unlike last week when the loss of two outside backs to injury threw the bench rotation out, Saturday’s game gave a better indication of how Farah and Cook may combine as the season goes on. Cook replaced Farah after 35 minutes and played out the game. Farah returned after 65 minutes and both were on the field for the final 15 minutes.Maguire believed Farah and Cook combined intelligently.”Our two dummy halves in Damien Cook and Robbie Farah, I thought they played a really smart game and when you’ve got Cookie out there with Robbie, those combinations, we’ve just got to keep growing them,” Maguire said.”We played around with both, whether Robbie plays lock or Damien plays hooker, we do play around with that at training. Obviously with Cookie, his speed through the middle, they can double team out of dummy half so we’ve got opportunities like that through the middle.”last_img read more

Revealed: Top five clubs ranked by number of FA Cup semi-finals reached

first_img 1. Arsenal have reached a record 28 FA Cup semi-finals – Arsene Wenger’s side face Reading in what will be a record 28th FA Cup semi-final for the Gunners. The north London side have won 18 of their previous semi-finals and are targeting a record 12th final success in May. Joint 5th: Chelsea have also appeared in 21 FA Cup semi-finals. Click the arrow above to see which big rival of the Blues have reached three more semi-finals than the West London club… – The Blues have also progressed to the FA Cup semi finals on 21 occasions, winning 11, the last victory being a 5-1 thrashing of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2012. The FA Cup is back with both Wembley semi-finals this weekend.Saturday sees Arsenal face Championship side Reading before Aston Villa play for a place in the final when they come up against Liverpool on Sunday.But while the Royals are appearing in their first FA Cup semi-final since 1927, the other three clubs are last four veterans, each boasting more than 20 semi appearances apiece. Take a look at the slideshow above to see which clubs have played in the most FA Cup semi-finals. 6 3. Everton have appeared in 25 FA Cup semi-finals. Now find out which club is number two in the rankings! – Ahead of Liverpool, the Toffees have made 25 FA Cup semis, of which 13 have ended in victory. The last time the Toffees progressed to the final was back in 2009, under David Moyes, where they lost 2-1 to Chelsea. They last won the Cup in 1995, when they thrashed Spurs 4-1 in the last four (pictured above). 6 4. Liverpool have reached 24 FA Cup semi-finals. Click the arrow above to see which big rival of the Reds pips them to third… – Sunday’s cup tie against Aston Villa is the 24th time the Merseyside club have reached an FA Cup semi-final. The 2012 win over rivals Everton was the last time Liverpool reached the final, losing 2-1 to Chelsea. A win on Sunday would see the Anfield side reach an FA Cup final for a 15th time. 6 Joint 5th. Aston Villa have reached 21 FA Cup semi-finals. Click the yellow arrow above, right, to find out which club they share this honour with… – The Villans head to Wembley for their 21st semi-final on Sunday, against Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool. Can in form striker Christian Benteke help his side reach the final for the 11th time? 6 6 6 2. Manchester United have appeared in 27 FA Cup semi-finals. Who do you think is no.1? Click to find out if you’re right! – Ryan Giggs’ sensational solo goal against Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final is one of the tournament’s most famous moments, but just one of the 27 last four ties United have contested. The Red Devils have a good record when it comes to reaching an FA Cup final, winning 18 out of their 27 semi-finals, but the Old Trafford side are on an FA Cup drought, last winning the trophy in 2004. last_img read more

Bond measure would bolster local libraries

first_imgHalf of the funding from Proposition 81 would go to projects that were submitted under the previous library bond measure but were never approved for construction, Spahn said. Communities would have to submit new applications to receive portions of the second part of Proposition 81 funding. The applications could include existing projects as well as new ones, he said. In making a case for new libraries, Spahn’s group cited a 2003 study that found the state needs more than 500 new libraries, at a cost of about $4.4 billion. “In many communities, the growing populations of student-age children and seniors are outstripping the services libraries could provide,” he said. “Libraries offer a safe place for students. Libraries are trained in instructing students on how to do research for school projects and how to use the Internet. They also reduce illiteracy. Three million Californians can’t read or write,” Spahn added. But Proposition 81 critics argue that a bond is not the best way to pay for more libraries. “The problem is the politicians have refused to make libraries a priority,” Assemblyman Ray Haynes, R-Temecula, said in a joint statement with Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. “Today, state spending is $43 billion more than it was just seven short years ago,” the three stated in their ballot message opposing Proposition 81. “Could the state use just 2 percent of that money to pay for library improvements? “Yes, they could, but that means the politicians would have to take the money from their pet projects, like welfare, free health care, and reduced college tuition for illegal aliens, and give it to libraries.” But Spahn said using bonds to build public works projects such as libraries is more efficient than pay-as-you-go. “Over the course of 25 to 30 years, inflation eats away at a dollar,” he said. “We can build and renovate many libraries using $600 million in the next five years than we can spending $600 million over the next 25 to 30 years.” As of Tuesday, Proposition 81 was leading in the polls. A Public Policy Institute of California survey found that the measure was leading by a 51-41 percentage margin. Meanwhile, library officials in Whittier and Santa Fe Springs said new facilities are needed because their existing libraries are too small. Paymaneh Maghsoudi, director of library services for Whittier, said the library on Mar Vista has outgrown its capacity. “This library was built in 1957,” she said. “In 1957, it was only a warehouse for books, but now we offer so many services. We have a homework center and we have different programs for adults and children.” Santa Fe Springs City Manager Fred Latham said a new library in that city would allow for more meeting rooms. “Right now we do a lot of special programs in the library and, as a result, it’s disruptive of library use,” Latham said. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2$10 million from Proposition 81 for a new library that would also be about twice the size of an existing facility. It would be constructed on the site of the city’s community gardens. The total cost is estimated at $15 million, which also includes the value of the city- owned land. But officials are less certain they would get the funding – Santa Fe Springs’ library project ranks lower than Whittier’s library project. Les Spahn, manager for the Yes On Proposition 81 campaign, said organizers pushed to get the measure on the ballot because $350 million from a library bond issue passed by voters in 2000 has been used up, but the need remains for new libraries across the state. Whittier and Santa Fe Springs are among dozens of California cities that could receive funding for new libraries if voters Tuesday approve Proposition 81, a $600 million library bond issue. In Whittier, the proposition’s passage would almost certainly mean about $19.3 million for a new 71,000-square-foot library – nearly double the size of the one on Mar Vista Street. The new facility would be built where an Alpha Beta store once stood in Uptown Whittier. The total cost of the project is estimated at $29 million, which included the value of the land, which the city has already purchased. In Santa Fe Springs, officials are seeking last_img read more

Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Manchester United: Red Devils stars rated and slated

first_img Anthony Martial – 7 – One of the few United players to look up for the fight. He made two good chances for himself, but failed to find the back of the net. His excellent run led to Rooney’s goal. 14 Jesse Lingard – 5 – Worked hard, but never looked good enough to cause trouble to Spurs in the final third. 14 Chris Smalling – 5 – Another poor performance in his weak run of form. Seemed off the pace of the match, and struggled with both the technical and physical side of the game. Consistently wasted the ball when in possession. Substitute: Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 6 – Made a series of darting runs as United chased an equaliser, but failed to have a game-changing impact. Substitute: Marcus Rashford – 6 – Had one glorious chance to level the game in extra time, but put the ball wide. Had little time on the pitch to make much of an impact. 14 Phil Jones – 5 – Struggled all game long, with his poor positioning leading to both Spurs goals. Was constantly troubled by the Spurs attack. 14 Axel Tuanzebe – 4 – A poor performance from the youngster, though he can be forgiven as he was always going to struggle against Tottenham’s excellent midfield. 14 14 14 Wayne Rooney – 6 – Was hopelessly outmatched for Wanyama’s opening goal, the ball sailing over his head for the Spurs man to power home. Provided little in the middle of the park until scoring from close range. David de Gea – 6 – Click the right arrow to see the rest of the Manchester United player ratings – Could do nothing about either goal, with both due to questionable defending. Dealt with everything else in an acceptable manner. Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester United 2-1 in the last ever game at White Hart Lane.The result guarantees Spurs will finish second in the Premier League, and means United must focus entirely on winning the Europa League should they intend on qualifying for the Champions League.Victor Wanyama headed the hosts into an early lead, with Harry Kane making it 2-0 after half-time. Wayne Rooney pulled one back for the Red Devils by converting Anthony Martial’s cross, but there was no equalising goal to spoil Tottenham’s party.But, just how did Jose Mourinho’s men perform at the Lane? Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT’s Manchester United player ratings… 14 Daley Blind – 7 – A calm presence considering how easily Tottenham dominated. He was also solid in possession and never allowed himself to be overrun. Substitute: Ander Herrera – 5 – Made little impact when introduced, though he provided a physical and energetic presence to the United midfield which was previously lacking. 14 14 14 14 14 Michael Carrick – 6 – Struggled with the pace of the game as a defensive presence, but was calm in possession. Kept United ticking over with consistently good passing. 14 Juan Mata – 5 – Made no impact on the game before being taken off. Was completely ineffective as an attacking presence. Eric Bailly – 7 – The only bright spot in United’s defence. He was as solid as ever, and was constantly shouting at his teammates to urge them to improve. last_img read more

GAA NEWS: SEAN MACCUMHAILLS NOTES

first_imgMAC CUMHAILLS LOTTO WON AGAINThere was one winning entry in the lotto this week. The winning numbers were 5,6,9 and 23. Dermot O Neill and Eamon Mc Groarty win €1600. Congratulations from all at Mac Cumhaills. €2 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €100. €5 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €240. Contact any club committee member for details. The jackpot will be €1000 next week.IF YOU’RE NOT IN, YOU CAN’T WIN!!!!!!!SENIOR HURLING Our hurlers travelled to Burt last Wed night in a do or die game in the championship. And the lads delivered in style, beating Burt 2-15 to 2-09. A great result.THIRD TEAMThe third team travelled to Glenswilly in this first leg of the championship. Glenswilly got off to a flyer, scoring one goal and five points in the first five mins, but Mac Cumhaills found their feet, scoring five unanswered points to level the match at half time. Glenswilly started the second half with two quick points before Mac Cumhaills took control of the game and eventually ran out 1-16 to 1-11 winners. Well done to Boots and the lads.RESULTSSenior Hurlers 2-15 V Burt. 2-09Third Team 1-16 V Glenswilly 1-11Under 13 Girls 6-09 V Convoy 0-03. Under 16 Girls 2-13 V Glenfin 3-09. The girls finished top of their league.FIXTURES.Third Team V Glenswilly. Home. Sat. 2nd Leg.U13 Girls V Glenfin. Home. Wed. 6.00pm. League. Under 13 Footballers. Wed.Away to Ballyshannon. Friendly.Under 12 hurlers away.Under 16 hurlers home.Please keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will update any information as soon as we receiveUPCOMING EVENTS1st September. A Night At The Races. Starting at 9.30pm, this promises to be a great nights craic. All proceeds go to The Players Injury Fund.7th September. Mac Cumhaills 5k. Keep fit and have some fun.8th Sept. Dance the night away with our 80’s extravaganza.Admission only €5 and all drink €3.Please support any of these events if you can.FOR SALEWe have club bags for sale. €15. Ideal for school bags. Contact Alan Martin 0861723899SIGNS.Anyone wishing to take a sign in a prime location on a gable wall, please contact Alan Or Peter.MAC CUMHAILL’S BINGOMac Cumhaill’s Weekly Bingo is in The Villa Rose this week at 8.30pm. Everyone Welcome.CLUB MEETINGSClub meetings will be held on the Last Monday of every Month at the Clubhouse. Any person wishing to get involved in the club please come along or contact any member.The Clubhouse bar is now taking bookings for parties: Contact Simon at 085 1503092 for more informationGAA NEWS: SEAN MACCUMHAILLS NOTES was last modified: August 20th, 2012 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:Sean MacCumhaills noteslast_img read more

Why Man United are in danger of missing out on new transfer guru

first_img Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT IN DEMAND Monchi has carved a good reputation for himself in the transfer market and left Sevilla for Roma in 2017 1 smart causal Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Manchester United are in danger of missing out on Roma’s transfer guru Monchi because his family wants to return to Spain.The 49-year-old has been working as the club’s director of football since 2017.Prior to that, the Spaniard had forged his reputation at Sevilla in a similar role. Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January REVEALED REVEALED RANKED deals Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won silverware Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won gameday cracker boost Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade At the Liga side, Monchi was instrumental in signing Dani Alves and Ivan Rakitic, while he also developed the club’s youth stars such as Jose Antonio Reyes and Sergio Ramos.His work led to Roma hiring him and now Barcelona and Manchester United are tracking him, too.Both clubs want help negotiating the transfer market and Monchi is the man they want to hire.But, according to Italian publication Corriere dello Sport, Barcelona have the upper hand as Monchi’s family want to return to Spain.That has left Manchester United playing catch up in the race to hire him and it would reportedly take a huge offer to change that. Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder Most popular Man United news possible standings Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland last_img read more

Needy aid the needy – and themselves

first_imgWHITTIER – In a few months, Diego Hickey went from admitted thief to community angel. Unloading boxes of food to be distributed to needy families by the Interfaith Food Center in Whittier, Hickey says he enjoys volunteering “because it makes people happy.” The 18-year-old said he was booted out by his parents and ended up at the Whittier Area First Day Coalition’s transitional housing shelter. He soon joined First Day’s Community Angel Project, which allows shelter residents to do volunteer work at local nonprofit agencies and charity groups. “It’s a wonderful collaboration,” said Veronica Hernandez, director of the Interfaith Food Center. “They (First Day volunteers) make it easier for us and they get experience in warehouse work and in driving to pick up our food donations.” The 2-year-old Community Angel program was created by First Day Executive Director Ted Knoll, who said the program is aimed at helping the shelter’s 45 residents recover from homelessness by having them give back to the community. At the Interfaith Food Center, Community Angel volunteers like Hickey show up usually a couple of times a week. They unpack boxes of donated food and help distribute the items to about 1,000 area families. Shelter residents have also volunteered at a local overnight shelter program for the homeless, a thrift store that benefits a shelter for abused women, and have even helped decorate the city’s float entry for the Rose Parade, First Day officials said. Pat Bouchard, housing director for the First Day, said volunteers from her shelter are rewarded with the feeling of helping out others – and each one gets a free T-shirt. “It’s to reward them for their willingness to volunteer and show them we are proud of them,” he said. debbie.pfeiffer@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want 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

Video: 67 Minutes for Mandela

first_imgSouth Africans joined the rest of the world in celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday on 18 July 2009, while some people gave 67 minutes of their time to help their communities in support of the global Nelson Mandela Day initiative.Click arrow to play video.last_img

Team South Africa upbeat ahead of Commonwealth Games

first_img16 July 2014South Africa’s Commonwealth Games athletes, coaches and administrators were in confident mood on Tuesday as Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula wished them well at send-off functions in Pretoria and Johannesburg.The team, which is currently at a training camp in Johannesburg, leaves for Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday. The twentieth edition of the Commonwealth Games takes place from 23 July to 3 August.South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam, interviewed on the sidelines of the Johannesburg send-off, said: “We have set our target for 40 medals, and out of those 40 we want at least 15 gold, which would give us a very good position of around fifth on sixth on the medal table, and that’s what it is all about.“You can have all the medals, but if you don’t have gold medals you just don’t feature on the medal table,” Sam said.“For us, the medal table is what is important, and when you listen to the athletes and the coaches and the technical officials, I don’t think I have seen a higher confidence level than I have seen today. It is a good sign for us that we are ready for a good one.”‘Swimming is in good form’Questioned from where he expected the South African team’s medals to come, Sam said: “I’m looking at swimming. Swimming is in good form, and I am looking at lawn bowls. I am looking at wrestling, our wrestlers did very well in India. We are overdue in boxing. We are overdue in weightlifting, so, yes, we believe that there is enough spread of medals, anchored by swimming.”He was a little less buoyant about the prospects of track and field athletes, given the administrative problems that have haunted the sport in South Africa in recent times. “I am a little bit reluctant to say that athletics will also contribute, but I know that the athletes will give us their best.“I think what we need to do with athletics is to take the athletes from the Commonwealth Games and prepare them 120 percent for the Olympics, because what we really need to do is to have those two – swimming and athletics – anchoring the rest of the team,” Sam reckoned.Potential swimming medallistsGraham Hill, who was head coach of the South African swimming team in London, and who coaches golden boy Chad le Clos, identified some of the potential medallists from among the team, saying: ” The swimmers have got some good results in the past and we have Cameron van der Burgh up there with two events, we have Roland Schoeman in two events, we’ve got Chad le Clos in six events, we’ve got Sebastian Rosseau, Dylan Bosch, all highly ranked, Karin Prinsloo is a medal hope in the freestyle events, so we’re looking pretty good.Le Clos is facing a stiff challenge, as Hill explained: “He’s taken on a big programme. He’s in six individual events and three relays, so its nine races. It’s a tough programme. It’s something no one has attempted before, so it’s going to be great, and we’re testing it on the road to Rio.”Pushed to offer up how he thinks the swimmers could do, Hill said: “I would really be happy if we could come home with nine or 10 medals.”Delhi 2010In India, the swimming team fared well, winning seven of the South African team’s 12 gold medals, along with four silver and five bronze medals.The big guns in the South African team are undoubtedly Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh.Le Clos won the 200m butterfly and 400m individual medley at the 2010 Games, added a silver in the 4 x 100m medley relay, and bronze medal in the 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m freestyle. Van der Burgh did the double in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and was part of the silver medal-winning medal relay quartet. Le Clos and Van der Burgh later went on to win Olympic gold medals in London in 2012 in the 200m butterfly and 100m breaststroke respectively.Le Clos is a better swimmer than he was four years ago, while Van der Burgh remains the world’s leading breaststroke swimmer. They both face very tough opposition, as swimming is a particular strength among a number of Commonwealth countries, but should be able to add to their impressive medals collections.Legitimate threatSomeone who has emerged as a legitimate medal threat since Delhi is distance swimmer Myles Brown, who will contest the 400m and 1 500m, as well as the 200m freestyle relay. He has proved his ability time and time again on the Fina World Cup circuit and during 2013 he smashed Ryk Neethling’s South African record for the 1 500m by almost three seconds. However, it is in the 400m where he believes he has the best chance of success.Recently, on the Mare Nostrum circuit in Europe, Brown won gold over the 200m, 400m and 800m distances, picking up seven medals, six of them gold, in Monaco, Canet and Barcelona. His sole silver was in the 1 500m.While not identifying potential medal-winning performances from Karin Prinsloo, Hill said: “Karen started what has been a great year well in in Australia at the BHP Billiton Aquatic Series in Perth. She has got better and better and she has had a great summer in Europe now and she’s ready to go.”South African lawn bowlers stood out in Delhi, winning three gold medals in the women’s and men’s triples and the men’s pairs. Included in the line-up this time around are Gerry Baker, who won gold in the pairs with Shaun Addinall, and the trips gold medal winning team of Tracy-Lee Botha, Susan Nel and Susanna Steyn.Women’s javelinWhile a number of South African men will be eyeing medals in track and field competition, javelin thrower Sunette Viljoen will be aiming the first woman in the history of the Commonwealth Games to win three gold medals in succession. England’s Tessa Sanderson has three gold medals to her name, but they came in four Games: 1978, 1986 and 1990.To win gold again, though, Viljoen will have to see off the challenge of Australia’s Kimberley Mickle, who with a throw of 66.83 metres has the second best mark of 2014 in the world. Viljoen’s best so far is 64.77, which also trails another Australian, Kathryn Mitchell, who has twice bettered the South African star’s mark.The performance of 100m sprinter Simon Magakwe will be one to watch. He became the first South African to break the 10-second barrier in April, but up against a wave of outstanding Jamaican speedsters a medal would be a huge bonus for the South African champion.The country looked a good bet for a 4 x 100m relay medal, but the withdrawal of Anaso Jobodwana, a 200m finalist at the London Olympic Games, on Monday has undermined the team’s prospects. Jobodwana said he was not in form after undergoing hernia surgery earlier in the year.400m starAn interesting medal prospect is 400m runner Wayde van Niekerk, who smashed the South African record in New York City at the beginning of June, clocking a time of 44.38.Three Commonwealth Games’ athletes are ranked above him, world leader Kirani James of Grenada (43.74), Isaac Makwala of Botswana (44.01) and Deon Lendore of Trinidad and Tobago (44.36). James should rightfully be regarded as the gold medal favourite, but a medal of another colour is a definitely possibility for Van Niekerk.Cornel Fredericks owns the second fastest time over the 400m hurdles among Commonwealth Games’ athletes his year, having stopped the clocks after 48.58 seconds in June, just one-tenth of a second slower than Jamaican Roxroy Cato’s best. Fredericks is a medal contender and LJ van Zyl, a gold medal winner in Melbourne in 2006 and a silver medallist in Delhi in 2010, is another possible medallist.Middle distance prospectsSouth Africa boasts outstanding middle distance competitors in Andre Olivier (800m) and Johan Cronje (1 500m), but the problem they have is dealing with the strength of African middle distance running.Olivier showed his form to be good by finishing in second place over the two-lap race at the most recent Diamond League meeting this past weekend in Glasgow. However, he was well behind Kenyan world record holder David Rudisha, who, when he is on song, is in a different league to any other runner on the planet.Cronje, who surprised by winning a bronze medal at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, is also in good form. He finished fourth in the Diamond League meeting in 3:34.97, a decent time against strong competition, but Kenya’s Silas Kipligat, who won the event was more than two seconds clear of the South African.Top triathleteSomeone to keep an eye on is triathlete Richard Murray. He has been a star performer on the ITU World Triathlon Series, but in order to medal faces a double challenge from the outstanding Brownlee twins, Alistair and Jonathan, among others.Alistair won the ITU World Series event in Hamburg on the weekend, but is ranked below Murray in the world rankings, in eighth place, with the South African in fourth place, while Jonathan occupies second place. The Brownlees, though, are the men to beat with Alistair having won the London Olympics and Jonathan having claimed the bronze medal.CyclingLike the triathlon, cycling is a sport that is a strength of Commonwealth Games countries. South Africa has some outstanding talent, but would do well to claim a cycling medal. Perhaps the best medal prospect is track star Nolan Hoffman, who won silver in 2012 in the scratch race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.Bernard Esterhuizen, who won the one-kilometre time trial at the UCI Junior World Championships in Italy in 2010, is an intriguing talent. In recent times he has shone while competing in the USA, and in sprint events anything is possible.Sevens rugbyWith Rio de Janeiro set to feature rugby at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2016, the competition in Glasgow takes on more significance than in the past.The Blitzbokke should be in the hunt for a medal after finishing second on the the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series. They lost some form towards the end of the Series as injuries took their toll, but the break between the last tournament in London in early May and the start of the Commonwealth Games should have done the team the world of good.At their best, they should battle it out with New Zealand for the gold medal.last_img read more