Asian Games: China ready to dazzle again

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first_imgFor those who have still not got over the way New Delhi wowed the world at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, Friday is going to be a big surprise when Guangzhou showcases its culture, spirit and technical wizardry at the Asian Games opening ceremony.At 8:45 pm sharp local time (6:15 pm IST), on both sides of the Pearl River, the opening ceremony will begin and there is talk that this will be something even more pulsating than what Beijing had to show to the world at the Olympics in 2008.’Ever Onward’ has been the Asian Games slogan. In a literal sense, China will prove this on Friday as, for the first time, the opening ceremony will not be held inside a stadium but outdoors.Experts who have had a sneak preview of the show say that “nothing like this has ever happened before” as close to 14,000 athletes are expected to be paraded on the riverfront in boats.As if this is not enough, talk veers around to who will light the Games cauldron. As has been the case at the Olympics and Asian Games, lighting the cauldron is a big event. And who will do it is being debated. Apparently, six temporary stages have been erected on both banks of the river for the opening show. The grand show will also demonstrate the south China culture.Chen Weiya, chief director of the opening ceremony told the media that this opening ceremony will “break away from the confines of stadiums and use the city itself as background. You will see athletes parade into the ceremony on boats”.advertisementHuge LED screens will also be in place for people to see how China is ready to wow the world. Just to jog the readers’ memory, children have played a key role in opening ceremonies. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Nikki Webster had created a wave and in 2008 in Beijing, Lin Miaoke was the talking point.There is speculation that this time, too, the opening ceremony will feature talented children. In New Delhi, when traditional martial art forms were shown, people liked it. Wushu, a Chinese martial art, could be something big on Friday.That apart, explosive lighting, high-decibel fireworks and laser shows could turn out to be the talking point of the Asian Games.As far as the sporting events that begin a day later are concerned, China is set to retain the tag of the best country in Asia with a rich medal haul. As a nation which takes great pride in sporting excellence, the way China has emerged as a superpower is well known.What is even more surprising is they are keen to do well even in a sport like cricket, which they have taken to recently. Against such a backdrop, where Japan and Korea will also fight for overall supremacy, it will be interesting to see how India fares.After the highs of the Commonwealth Games (CWG), where India finished second in the medals tally behind Australia, it would be improper to think India will come up with a similar medal tally. At the last Asian Games in Doha, India finished with a tally of 53 medals (10 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze).This time around, even though India did well in the CWG, expecting the athletes to again peak in such a short time span would be asking too much. Perhaps, in sports where only skill counts, one can hope the athletes will maintain focus. However, to expect India to shoot down the same number of medals in shooting, or expect Saina Nehwal to be a sure shot for gold in badminton, is unrealistic.The focus will be on men’s hockey in a big way, though making predictions will be foolhardy. If the CWG showing came as a surprise, one again expects that in cue sports, kabaddi, chess and golf, India can do well. But certainly not in tennis, where the depth is suspect.last_img

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Govt hands out 450 scholarships for UG and GSA

first_imgMinistry of the Presidency’s Department of Public Service has handed out some four hundred and fifty full scholarships for students to attend the University of Guyana and the Guyana School of Agriculture to advance their education.The scholarships include payment for courses and stipends, which eases the burden of students being required to work whilst studying. However, recipients are expected to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.8 during the course of their study at their respective institution. ‘At the orientation ceremony held at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), Turkeyen, Advisor to the Education Minister, Vincent Alexander, urged the students to take full advantage of the opportunity being presented to them, while reminding them that certification and acquiring good jobs are just part of learning.“Education is a process of being able to assess your environment and to apply your skills and knowledge for navigating the environment; being able to recognise challenges and to confront them successfully,” he explained.Additionally, Alexander told the students that the citizens of Guyana are investing in the education of these scholarship recipients for the development of the country, and he encouraged them to make effective use of the knowledge they would receive.Permanent Secretary of the Department of Public Service, Reginald Brotherson, called upon the students to “look forward to what you can do for your country through the education that you will receive. Your training could create the jobs that are necessary that many others could also benefit. So we are looking at education in a transformative situation.”The scholarships, he said, indicate Government’s commitment to education, national development, and to creating a bright and prosperous nation.The Permanent Secretary noted that scholarships incur a cost to the State, but he said Government is committed to investing in education and training because it is convinced of the transformative power of education.Last year, the Ministry awarded about 310 scholarships, although only a small percentage of those recipients pursued studies at the GSA.The Ministry also offers grants to students pursuing studies at the Carnegie School of Home Economics and The Burrowes School of Art, among other institutions.last_img

3 suspected bandits nabbed in Ruby Backdam, 2 escaped

first_imgThe Police have reportedly arrested three suspected bandits in Ruby Backdam, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) on Sunday evening while two escaped.Based on reports received, a resident of Ruby Backdam was driving along the main access road heading home when he came under gunfire.He reportedly attempted to overtake two cars – a Carina 212 and a Toyota Premio when the occupants opened fire. The man managed to escape and immediately contacted the Police.A cousin of the traumatised man explained that the Police took close to an hour before they responded to the report. Nevertheless, he noted that as the Police were making their way into the Backdam, they reportedly intercepted one of the cars with five occupants.As the car came to a halt, two of the men exited and ran into the bushes. The Police reportedly discharged rounds in their direction, but they managed to escape. The other three occupants were arrested.The man explained that Police found a gun and ammunition in the motor car. He stated that the residents were fearful given the fact that two men remained at large. He recalled about two months ago, a businessman was shot and killed during the commissioning of a robbery and believed that the group of men were on a mission to commit other robberies in the area.Somdat Ramgobin, 46, also known as “Rakesh”, was killed in mid-May when bandits invaded his Parika Backdam home.It was reported that two men entered the premises – one brandishing a gun – and asked for “Rakesh”. The men then proceeded to call out to Ramgobin who responded, and was immediately attacked with a glass bottle and beaten to his head and body.The duo then demanded cash and were given some $600,000 by the now dead man. Unsatisfied, the men then demanded jewellery and after being told that there was none, they took Ramgobin to a bedroom in his house where they shot him to his chest.last_img

We will beat Atletico away, believes Wilshere

first_img0Shares0000Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is fouled by Atletico Madrid’s Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko © AFP / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 27 – Jack Wilshere says Arsenal can take confidence from their Europa League semi-final draw against Atletico Madrid, despite the frustration of conceding a late away goal.With the visitors on the back foot for much of Thursday’s first-leg contest at the Emirates Stadium following Sime Vrsaljko’s early dismissal, the Gunners dominated the game and looked set to take a lead to Madrid next week when Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front. But Antoine Griezmann capitalised on weak defending to convert a late equaliser and secure a 1-1 draw.Diego Simeone’s side have lost only twice at home since moving to the Wanda Metropolitano last summer, one of those a Champions League group game against Chelsea.Atletico have also gone 11 home games without conceding a goal, and Arsenal head to Spain needing two to win the game.But, ahead of what could be Arsene Wenger’s last European match in charge as he prepares for the end of his 22-year reign in the summer, Wilshere believes there is reason for Arsenal to be positive.“It was definitely not the result we wanted but the performance was good and we have got to take confidence from that and take that into the away fixture,” the midfielder said.“It is half-time. We cannot be too disappointed. We created a lot of chances. If we create chances and put them away then we have got a chance.”Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday but, with a top-four berth seemingly out of reach, Wenger will be focused on which players will feature in the Spanish capital four days later.Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin admitted Atletico are favourites to progress.“Atletico are a team that know how to make you suffer,” he said. “They know how to create chances and score goals.“It’s only 1-1, though, and the tie is still open. We know it will be hard playing in their stadium but there are positives that we can take.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

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