Katarina Johnson-Thompson breaks British record to win heptathlon gold

first_imgSign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. A few short months ago Katarina Johnson-Thompson made a startling confession: despite being one of the best athletes on the planet she suffered from impostor syndrome. Now even she must know that she is the real deal.It was staggering enough to see her go toe-to-toe – and then topple – an all-time great in Nafi Thiam to claim a heptathlon gold medal in Doha. But it was the way she did it that really seared into both skin and soul. Over the two days of competition Johnson-Thompson never gave off a slightest whiff of weakness as she set four individual personal bests to keep Thiam at bay. And then, when victory was in the bag, she continued to push her body through the pain barrier on the final event, the 800m, to score 6,981 points – a tally that surpassed Jessica Ennis‑Hill’s British record of 6,955, which had stood as tall and imposing as an obelisk since London 2012.As Johnson-Thompson burst into tears after crossing the line she said all the injuries, heartbreaks and self-eviscerations during the last few years were worth it. “It makes it more special and sweet for sure,” she said beaming. “This is crazy for me.”Of course, this being Johnson-Thompson it was natural to fear some calamity or other would arise in the 800m, even when she had a 137‑point lead. A trip or a fall, perhaps, or even a random act of God. After all, at the Commonwealth Games last year she injured her calf with just 300m to go and had to do an impromptu triple jump – hop, skipping and jumping her way to victory. But this time there were no travails or torments, just another personal best of 2:07:26 and elation. Katarina Johnson-Thompson threw a personal best in the javelin. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters Since you’re here… Katerina Johnson-Thompson gives everything down the home straight in the 800m. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Twitter Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp The question was whether Thiam could respond in the javelin. A heavily-strapped arm to protect an injured elbow suggested otherwise, and the Belgian could only throw out to 48.04m – more than 10 metres below her best. Johnson-Thompson’s response? Another personal best of 43.93m.It meant Thiam had to finish nine seconds ahead of her in the 800m – and given that the Belgian’s personal best was eight seconds slower it was never going to happen. “I was always worried,” Johnson-Thompson joked afterwards. “I thought I was going to run out of the line in the 800m and I was going to get disqualified. I didn’t take anything for granted until I saw my name on the scoreboard. Dina Asher-Smith sets sights on being all-time great after Doha 200m triumph “Nafi is a phenomenal athlete, she has set the standard, she is one of the greats like Carolina Klüft. I witnessed 7,000 points first through her. She has raised the bar. I am glad I have been able to step up and be competitive.”No wonder she was elated. It is a long time since she burst into the public’s consciousness at London 2012, an eager young apprentice learning at the feet of Ennis-Hill. Most expected a smooth succession, the flame passing from one Briton to another, but instead Johnson-Thompson had to suffer a seven-year itch before getting her due rewards.Earlier in her career she would constantly visualise herself standing on the podium, the national anthem striking up and a gold medal round her neck, thinking that if she only believed enough it would happen. Athletics Incredibly, she had beaten Thiam, who won silver, by 304 points – the biggest margin of victory in the heptathlon at the world championships since 1987 – with Austria’s Verena Preiner claiming bronze.Johnson-Thompson had laid the groundwork on the opening day, setting personal bests in the 100m hurdles and shot put to lead Thiam by 96 points overnight. If the Briton was nervous going into the second day she disguised it like a master. She started with a massive long jump of 6.77m – her best in a heptathlon and well ahead of the Belgian’s 6.40m – to extend her lead to 216 points and never looked back. Share on LinkedIn Topics Share on Twitter Share via Email Read more If only. There were European and world indoor gold medals, and a Commonwealth Games triumph but when it really mattered injuries and ill-fortune got in the way. At the 2015 world championships she fouled three times in a row in the long jump while favourite. At the 2016 Rio Olympics a quadriceps injury flared up. Then, in front of her home crowd at the London 2017 world championships, she fluffed her lines in the high jump.It did not help either that she was up against Thiam. But she accepted the challenge, and pushed herself to be even better.“The low moments have helped me come back, to make the move to France, to take care of myself,” she said. “I am so happy with this.”She also grew up. For years Johnson-Thompson was a self‑confessed “mummy’s girl” who had most things done for her. But moving to Montpellier in early 2017 to join a renowned group that included Kevin Mayer, the world decathlon record holder, changed everything.“Moving to France has paid off,” Johnson-Thompson said. “It has been such a long road, I am glad I am coming into my best in these next two years.”When she first arrived, her coaches would call her “droopy” because she used to drop her head in competitions, while her trainer, Bertrand Valcin, kept telling her to smile more. On a glorious night in Doha, she fulfilled those orders to the letter. Support The Guardian Read more World Athletics Championships Katarina Johnson-Thompson Share on Messenger news Share on Facebook Pinterest Facebook Facebook World Athletics Championships: Johnson-Thompson wins heptathlon gold – as it happened Twitter Share on Pinterest Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Both the Heat and the Pacers Have Time to Rebound

As they approach the playoffs, the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat should be worried about their recent slumps, but probably no more than if these rough patches had arrived earlier in the season.In their last February game, the Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks — their third consecutive win — to improve to 44-13. They were a game and a half in front of Miami in the East, after the Heat’s sixth straight win that same night over the New York Knicks. Since then, Miami is 12-11, which is mediocre but better than Indiana’s weak 10-12 run, which the Pacers reached after beating the Bucks, again, Wednesday night. Indiana coach Frank Vogel had benched his starters, and his reserves pulled out a two-point win over the team with the worst record in the NBA.Up next for Indiana and Miami: each other. They play Friday in a game that two months ago looked like a preview of the Eastern Conference finals. Now it must feel more like a reprieve, a chance to face a struggling opponent.How far the East’s titans have fallen. But the historical record suggests that bad play in March and April, the last two months of the season, hurts teams’ playoff chances no more than earlier slumps do.Using Basketball-Reference.com’s Play Index, I searched for playoff teams that played an 82-game schedule since 1983-84, when the postseason expanded to 16 teams. That left me with 446 teams. (That’s 16 teams for each of the 28 seasons with a full schedule, except for two teams last year — the Boston Celtics and the Pacers — that missed one game.)I broke down these playoff teams’ regular seasons into two parts: the games through February and those in March and April. Then I ran a linear regression, seeking the relationship between each team’s playoff results and two variables: its overall regular-season performance, and whether it improved or declined in the last two months of the season. The result: Teams’ regular-season winning percentage was a highly significant indicator of postseason success. Every increase of one percentage point in regular-season winning percentage boosted postseason winning percentage by 1.4 percentage points (p<10^-15).But the timing of teams’ regular-season wins didn’t matter. There was no statistically significant relationship between a team’s winning percentage before March subtracted from its winning percentage in March and April, and how the team did in the playoffs (p>0.8).In other words, while the slumps aren’t yet distant memories for Indiana and Miami fans, they’re no more damaging to the teams’ playoff hopes than if the slumps had occurred in the season’s first 22 or 23 games.The basketball stats site Hickory-High.com similarly found no particular importance for the playoffs for a team’s March performance relative to its results the rest of the season.This doesn’t mean the East leaders’ slumps are irrelevant. If either team had won more games, it would have a big lead for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and a better chance at home-court advantage in the finals.Their late slumps also are unusual for teams as good as they are. Miami and Indiana have 53 and 54 wins, respectively, with a handful of games remaining. Just one playoff team in our sample with more than 50 wins had a losing record in March and April: the 54-win Detroit Pistons in 1996-97, who lost in the first round of the postseason. And just two teams with more than 50 wins were outscored in March and April. (Each one, the 2003-04 Sacramento Kings and the 2004-05 Seattle SuperSonics, won one playoff series.)It’s also notable that Miami and Indiana have slumped differently. Miami has been unlucky, losing close games while otherwise winning by big margins: The Heat have outscored opponents by about four points per game in March and April, not far off their season mark of 5.45.But Indiana has been lucky to win 10 of its last 22 games: The Pacers have been outscored by nearly five points per game, thanks to offensive woes outlined by my Grantland colleague Zach Lowe last week. That’s by far the biggest scoring deficit this late in the season for a 50-win playoff team in our sample. Perhaps the encouraging results of prior playoff teams don’t apply as far down the charts as Indiana has fallen.The table below shows the 50-win teams in 82-game seasons with the worst winning percentages in March and April, and how they did in the regular season and the playoffs. read more

Will Nick Foles Be The Eagles Jeff Hostetler Or Their Connor Cook

Elo’s dumbest (and smartest) picks of Week 14Average difference between points won by readers and by Elo in Week 14 matchups in FiveThirtyEight’s NFL prediction game The scoring system is nonlinear, so readers’ average points don’t necessarily match the number of points that would be given to the average reader prediction. YEARTEAMQUARTERBACKWINSBACKUP QBTEAM PLAYOFF RECORD HOU76%HOU64%SF 26, HOU 16+13.9– 2016OaklandDerek Carr12Connor Cook0-1 CIN71CIN71CHI 33, CIN 7-1.2– DAL61DAL67DAL 30, NYG 10+1.9– DEN50NYJ55NYJ 0, DEN 23-7.9– TB50DET57DET 24, TB 21+4.2– Source: ELIAS Sports Bureau, Pro-Football-Reference.com BUF72BUF69IND 7, BUF 13-3.9– 2005ChicagoKyle Orton10Rex Grossman0-1 There’s some hope here for Foles and the Eagles in the form of Jeff Hostetler, who stepped in and led the 1990 Giants to a Super Bowl victory after New York lost starting quarterback Phil Simms to a fractured foot in Week 15. Granted, that New York team rested heavily on their defense to claw them to glory — and last time we checked, the Eagles don’t have Lawrence Taylor. The Giants gave up the fewest points in the league that year and succeeded by not asking Hostetler to do too much.With this in mind, Philly should probably channel any remaining optimism toward its defense, which ranks fifth in the league in points allowed this season. Since he took over the defensive playcalling in 2016, Jim Schwartz has quickly turned his unit into one of the top defenses in the NFL: The Eagles ranked 18th in defensive EPA the season before Schwartz took over and rank fourth in the league through 13 games this year. The D could be the team’s best hope of making a deep run in January.The 2017 season might be remembered as “the year of the injured quarterback,” and in Week 14, it was Philadelphia’s turn feel the bite. The Eagles will be fine with Wentz as their franchise quarterback of the future, but in the present, Philly fans can only hope their team mimics the 1990 Giants and their defense comes through for them.FiveThirtyEight vs. The ReadersWeek 14 in our NFL predictions game — in which we invite you to outsmart our Elo algorithm — saw the readers suffer three heavy defeats. The Chiefs rebounded from four straight losses to beat the Raiders, which gave the readers a net loss of 10.4 points. Miami shocked New England on Monday night and won at home 27-20 to give the readers a loss of 11.5 points. And on Thursday night, the readers incorrectly predicted that the Saints would beat the Falcons, handing them a net loss of 11.7 points. There was only one victory over our Elo algorithm in which the readers scored double-digit points: San Francisco beat Houston 26-16, and because the readers had less confidence in the Texans than Elo did, the readers netted 13.9 points.Make sure you get your Week 15 predictions in early, and thanks for playing! 2015CincinnatiAndy Dalton10A.J. McCarron0-1 LAR52PHI52PHI 43, LAR 35+2.1– TEN53TEN57TEN 7, ARI 12-6.0– 1990ChicagoJim Harbaugh10Mike Tomczak1-1 SEA53SEA55SEA 24, JAX 30-4.2– PIT71PIT70BAL 38, PIT 39-3.1– Will Nick Foles keep Philly flying?Quarterbacks that won at least 10 games in a season for their playoff-bound teams but didn’t make a playoff start, since 1970 MIN53MIN58MIN 24, CAR 31-8.1– LAC69LAC68WAS 13, LAC 30-2.5– 2012MinnesotaChristian Ponder10Joe Webb0-1 OUR PREDICTION (ELO)READERS’ PREDICTION 1999BuffaloDoug Flutie10Rob Johnson0-1 KC67KC57OAK 15, KC 26-10.4– When Carson Wentz entered the blue sideline tent of doom on Sunday, he took close to 60 years of unfulfilled football dreams in Philadelphia with him. At that moment, the 10-2 Eagles had just taken a lead on the road against one of the NFC’s best teams. Shortly thereafter, the second-year quarterback limped down the tunnel at L.A. Memorial Coliseum, forcing backup quarterback Nick Foles to take over for the remainder of the game. In just a few minutes, the Eagles’ unexpected dream season was seemingly cut down by hard luck — something that comes with the territory in Philadelphia.We now know that Wentz tore the ACL in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season. It’s a huge blow to the Eagles’ Super Bowl hopes, and they’ll have to lean on someone other than Wentz and his MVP-caliber offense. The sophomore quarterback has been so good this season that the Eagles ranked third in the league in offensive expected points added — behind only the Patriots and Saints — and his 33 touchdown passes through 13 games are third-most in NFL history for quarterbacks in their first or second year, behind only future Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Kurt Warner.Fortunately for Doug Pederson’s men, the win over the Rams secured a playoff berth with three weeks to spare, and their remaining games against the Giants, Raiders and Cowboys should give Foles enough time to feel comfortable as the leader of a playoff team again. Foles is uniquely familiar with this position: In Week 5 of 2013, he was forced into action when starter Michael Vick suffered an injury. Foles became the unlikely savior that year, as he steered the Eagles to an 8-3 record for the remainder of the season and a wild-card berth. Along the way, he compiled an eye-popping passer rating of 119.2, the third best in NFL history, and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13.5, the second-best of all time.While there’s little doubt over whether Philly will bypass the wild-card round — one more regular-season win will secure a first-round bye for the Eagles — let’s not kid ourselves about their overall playoff chances: History is not on Philadelphia’s side. No one is expecting Foles to repeat his 2013 performance and keep the team’s run going. We’ve seen this scenario unfold before. In fact, a backup being thrown into the fire of playoff football is quickly becoming an annual NFL tradition. Last year, Connor Cook, a third-stringer, started his first game ever for the Raiders, who lost star Derek Carr (then backup Matt McGloin) as their dream season turned into a nightmare. And two seasons ago, Alabama-star-turned-professional-clipboard-holder A.J. McCarron started a wild-card game for Cincinnati in the wake of the Bengals losing Andy Dalton in Week 14.As expected, this usually doesn’t go well. Cook and McCarron both lost in the playoffs, posting passer ratings of 30 and 68.3, respectively. Neither has started a game since. In total, Wentz will be one of only eight quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to win 10 or more games for a future playoff team and not appear in the postseason, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Among the backups for these teams, only two won at least one playoff game. GB77GB76GB 27, CLE 21-3.2– 2017PhiladelphiaCarson Wentz11Nick Foles? Check out our latest NFL predictions. 1990N.Y. GiantsPhil Simms11Jeff Hostetler3-0 ATL56NO54NO 17, ATL 20-11.7– NE81NE87NE 20, MIA 27-11.5– PICKWIN PROB.PICKWIN PROB.RESULTREADERS’ NET PTS read more

Police Officer Arrested and Sent Home

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 24 Sept 2014 — Wasting no time, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force moments ago confirmed that the officer accused of brutality of a suspect in police custody, is arrested for suspicion of wounding. No identity is given on the officer charged for allegedly beating a 22 year old, reportedly handcuffed suspect about the head with a police radio, but he is out on bail and is on administrative leave.The release issued this evening by Press Liaison Officer, Audley Astwood will likely be welcomed news to the Blue Hills family, who yesterday were called to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center and who filed a complaint. Gashes about their son and brother’s head and face infuriating and frightening that family.Thousands of islanders have been following the shocking report and viewing photos of the alleged injuries online.The family exposed the news to media and has retained Ashwood Forbes as attorney. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp 47-year-old man makes fifth murder for TCI Historic Day: Hon. Dr. Rosita Butterfield with State Recognized Send off Nearly 100 Haitian migrants caught by TCI Police Marine division Recommended for you Related Items:police brutality, royal turks and caicos police forcelast_img read more

North Caicos Rake n Scrape festival back on

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #NorthCaicosRakeNScrapeFestival Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 31, 2017 – North Caicos – FYI – the North Caicos Rake N Scrape Festival is back on… happening tomorrow.  It was postponed from last week due to the rainy weather.  #MagneticMediaNews#NorthCaicosRakeNScrapeFestivallast_img