Richards seeks improvement

first_img CHANCE TO PROVE HIMSELF Kurt Roberts, who was a surprise winner in Shanghai, will get a chance to prove that this was no fluke with world champion Joe Kovacs and other heavyweights such as Tom Walsh and Reese Hoffa, who have both gone above 21m already this year as well as Ryan Whiting and Jordan Clarke, all guaranteeing a high-quality showdown and more than enough motivation for the Jamaican. Last year, Richards logged 20.06m and seventh place at this meet during a period where he only registered two throws that got to 21m in his first 10 meets. Still, besides his need to get back in top physical condition, there isn’t too much that the Jamaican should be worried about if last season is anything to go by, after five of his seven post-June throws landed beyond the 21m mark. EUGENE, Oregon: World championships bronze-medal winner and national record holder O’Dayne Richards will be looking for major improvement as he competes today in the men’s shot put at the two-day Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Richards is the only Jamaican in action on the opening day of what is expected to be an intriguing weekend of track and field in Eugene, with the women’s long jump and women’s discus events being the other two Diamond League events on the schedule for the day. The Jamaican will compete at 8:18 p.m. (10:18 p.m. Jamaica time). Richards, who twice threw 21.69m last season, including during the final at the World Championships in Beijing, China, was a shadow of himself during his season-opening series at the recent Shanghai Diamond League meet in China. The MVP star could only manage a 19.22m effort, which left him down the pile, but he will be hoping to get closer to the 21m mark as he continues to regain his strength and confidence following surgery a few weeks ago. Richards had a metal rod implanted in his shin bone through his knee after taking measures to correct a stress fracture in the shin. After his competition, the 27-year-old admitted that he was somewhat scared to push himself in the circle in Shanghai. He is aware that he has a lot of work to do if he is to get back to his best form in time for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It may still be too early to expect too much from the thrower, but he will certainly not be short on inspiration given the quality of the athletes gathered in Eugene for this event.last_img read more

Juventus hailed as ‘the lions of Wembley’

first_img0Shares0000Gianluigi Buffon led Juventus to a come-from-behind victory against Tottenham at Wembley to secure a last-eight Champions League spot © AFP / Glyn KIRKROME, Italy, Mar 8 – Juventus were hailed as “the lions of Wembley” by the Italian media on Thursday after the Serie A side’s stunning fightback against Tottenham to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.Massimiliano Allegri’s side were on the brink of elimination after Son Heung-Min’s first-half strike put Spurs ahead at their temporary home of Wembley on Wednesday. But, despite being completely outplayed in the opening period, Juventus got back in the game after the break and equalised through Gonzalo Higuain.That was the decisive moment as Tottenham suddenly went to pieces, allowing the Italian champions to score again two minutes and 49 seconds later as Paulo Dybala punished poor defending with a cool finish.All three Italian sports dailies sung from the same hymn book, with the headline in both the Gazzetto dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport acclaiming “the Lions of Wembley”, while for Tuttosport Juve were simply “Lions”.And the abiding image of a gripping game was the sight of their two aged roaring lions, 40-year-old keeper Gianluigi Buffon and 33-year-old Giorgio Chiellini, face to face, after the veteran central defender made a crucial tackle on Spurs striker Harry Kane.On Wednesday Tottenham discovered that Juve were not old but experienced — and never beaten until the final whistle.At home it has been Napoli who since the start of the season have looked most likely to win Serie A title, but if Juve win their game in hand against Atalanta next week it will put them at the top of the table ahead of the sprint to the line.Juve were made to suffer at Wembley, with the first half a trial for the Italians up against the speed and youth of their English hosts.But they never raised the white flag of surrender, despite a dugout deprived of any outright attackers in the absence of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi, and with stars like Blaise Matuidi, Higuain and Dybala not yet at peak fitness after recent returns from injury.But Argentinian duo Higuain and Dybala were the architects of Juve’s escape act, as was Allegri.“In the first leg I was criticised for my substitutions and today you are congratulating me for them? It’s the players who win matches. Me, I make mistakes and I sometimes try to repair them,” the coach said, tongue firmly in cheek.Seven of Allegri’s team had an even tougher assignment to attend on Thursday, the funeral of Davide Astori, the 31-year-old Fiorentina captain who died of a suspected heart attack last weekend.“We dedicate the win to him. He is on our minds on this day. I cried many times. He was a fantastic player. It was very difficult during the match because we had to think of the game and the outcome and it’s not easy. But he’s always in our heart,” said Chiellini.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more