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.
Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan is calling on Liberian students to put Liberia above personal interest as they develop their dreams and ambitions.Minister Ngafuan made the call while serving as a keynote speaker at the Tubman University’s First Career Day Fair in Maryland County on February 21. He said that while it is not bad to have personal ambition and dreams, the fact is Liberia remains the common denominator for all. Minister Ngafuan: “We should never pursue our personal ambition or objectives to the detriment of national ambition. Our dreams and visions should be in sync with the national vision; a vision for national development and prosperity, a vision for unity and reconciliation, a vision for peace and security within our borders, the sub-region and our entire world.”He explained it was important Liberians did not lose sight of the nation where they live; because if the vision of Liberia is not achieved, it would be difficult for anyone to achieve his/her individual ambition.He also urged students of the Tubman University and others across the country to utilize time properly because it is, “the most valuable asset you can have. Do not squander it”.“You have what many old people crave–time. The old crave the opportunity to reverse the hands of the clock and go back in time for the opportunity to correct past mistakes; mistakes that have led to depressing outcomes they cannot easily disentangle themselves from. Whether you end up in the Whitehouse or in the Dog House, whether you end up as a beggar or a giver, whether you end up as a success story or a sob story, time is still largely in your hands,” Minister Ngafuan added.Disclosing his secret of success to the students, Minister Ngafuan— who once served as a student leader of the University of Liberia— noted that hard work and God’s grace are the two things that make a man or woman successful in life. According to the Minister, these factors worked for him during his academic sojourn.“Maintain your focus and keep your eyes steady on your objective”, he said amidst rousing applause from the students.Making a biblical analysis of the reality of life, the Minister recounted the Apostle Peter’s walk on the water by faith. While taking part in this miracle his eyes were fixed on Jesus as he (Peter) proceeded toward him. He used the biblical reference to explain to the students that in spite of whatever difficulties they encounter in life, they must be attentive and hold steadfast to their dreams.“If your dream is to be a medical doctor, or a pilot, or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Governor of the Central Bank, or the future President of Tubman University, keep focused on that dream; regardless of whether you are going to bed today with an empty stomach,” he noted.Corruption and self interest are destructive customs in Liberia that many current students plan to engage in when they find themselves in public office.This brings a popular saying to mind that says, “Just as our predecessors handled Liberia with massive corruption, so will I; because I alone cannot change everything.”Minister Ngafuan’s cautioned students to oppose this belief that many upcoming Liberians hold, and if the advice is to be adhered to, the Minister and others with patriotic spirits and good morals must take the message to other universities including the state run University of Liberia. Tubman University is the only university in the south-eastern region granting degrees from the five colleges contained therein.It was formerly called the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology but became a full university in 2009 during the first term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.It currently runs under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth David-Russ, with instructors from Liberia and abroad, and has an enrollment of over 1,000. Its first graduation is expected in June of this year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)