Archive for April, 2019

  • Lipnitskaya lights up team event

    Date: 2019.04.17 | Category: 南宁桑拿 | Response: 0

    The 15-year-old, the youngest skater in the competition, was backed by chants of ‘Julia, Julia’ and deafening cheers that drowned out her music.

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    “In practice I was warned the screams would be loud and the music would not be audible so I was prepared. But I did not think that it would be quite so loud,” Lipnitskaya told reporters.

    “Luckily it helped me.”

    Her first-place finish in the short programme helped give Russia a six-point lead over Canada in the team competition and showed her surprise victory at last month’s European Championships was no fluke.

    Opening to the sound of thunder and rain showers, the blue-clad Lipnitskaya was a whirlwind, dancing gracefully to composer Mark Minkov’s ‘You Don’t Give Up On Love’.

    If she can repeat her display in the individual event, she could become the first Russian to win the Olympic women’s title.

    Female Russian skaters rarely make the podium at the Winter Games.

    The country’s most successful female skater, Irina Slutskaya, won a silver in Salt Lake City in 2002 and a bronze in Turin four years later.

    NO ONE IN WINGS

    When she retired there seemed to be no one waiting in the wings. The sport suffered after the collapse of the former Soviet Union as many parents could not afford to finance the careers of their children and many coaches and athletes went abroad.

    That has now changed with not only Lipnitskaya but Adelina Sotnikova, 17, who won her first senior national title at the age of 12 and has bagged numerous medals on the world stage since, competing in Sochi.

    Lipnitskaya seems unfazed by the expectations.

    She seemed more jittery in front of the reporters, as she clutched flowers backstage, than she did on the ice where the teenager nailed a soaring triple-Lutz triple-toeloop combination and spun so fast she was almost a blur.

    “I have probably never felt as calm as I did tonight. I’m shocked myself,” said Lipnitskaya.

    An intense youngster immersed in the insular world of skating, she was already thinking ahead to how she could improve on a performance that earned her 72.90 points, a personal best this season.

    “I travelled a bit at the end of my final spin but I will correct it in the free skating,” said Lipnitskaya.

    When Japan’s twice former world champion Mao Asada finished, Lipnitskaya was more interested in hearing what jumps her rival landed than she was in fielding questions from reporters.

    Asada, 23, fell attempting a triple Axel, allowing Lipnitskaya and Italy’s Carolina Kostner to move ahead.

    “I was unbelievably nervous. I felt more pressure than I expected,” said the Japanese. “I’ve got to settle my nerves.”

    (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

  • Lipnitskaya steals spotlight

    Date: 2019.04.17 | Category: 南宁桑拿 | Response: 0

    Up against former world champions Mao Asada and Carolina Kostner, Lipnitskaya blew away her more illustrious rivals at the Sochi Games on Saturday with an electrifying short skate that rocked the Iceberg Skating Place.

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    Lipnitskaya, who is the youngest skater in the competition, proved that her surprise victory at last month’s European Championship was no fluke as she left her screaming team mates leaping for joy as she finished her rip-roaring routine.

    She nailed a soaring triple-Lutz triple-toeloop in combination and her spins were so fast, she disappeared into a blur that left the hollering fans dizzy with joy.

    “I’ve never seen anything like the atmosphere out there today. There wasn’t any silence for a single second,” the petite Lipnitskaya, who looked her age once she had stepped off the ice, told reporters.

    “It was so loud, I could barely hear my music. All I could hear were the shouts of ‘Ju-li-a’ and ‘Ru-ss-ia'”

    She eclipsed birthday girl Kostner with a score of 72.90. The Italian also produced a clean skate on her 27th birthday to earn 70.84, while Asada’s had trouble with her triple Axel.

    She fell on her hands and knees following the jump to finish a distant third with 64.07.

    A defiant Ashley Wagner, who almost missed out on a trip to Sochi following a meltdown at the U.S. nationals, theatrically flipped her head after making it through her programme without any major drama. She finished fourth.

    “It was tough going out there after a disappointing nationals so it was important for me to redeem myself,” Wagner said. “I got the triple-triple out there, so I’m pleased.”

    On a day when Russia also won the pairs free skate, the hosts opened up a six-point lead going into the final day of the team competition.

    Russia lead the inaugural Olympic team event with 47 points. Canada (41), the United States (34) Italy (31) and Japan (30) complete the top five with three segments remaining.

    France, China, Germany, Ukraine and Britain were all eliminated after failing to make the free-skate cut.

    Ksenia Stolbova and Fedor Klimov showed the depth of talent in Russian pairs skating as they kept up the winning momentum for the hosts.

    SWAPPING JACKETS

    The couple were substitutes for Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov, the world and European champions who are trying to preserve their energies for the individual pairs competition, and Stolbova and Klimov did not disappoint.

    From the moment they nailed a sky-high throw triple flip, the crowd were delirious as the duo whizzed around the ice, showcasing their gravity-defying lifts and nifty footwork to the soundtrack of ‘The Addams Family’.

    Their score of 135.09 was more than five points ahead of nearest rivals Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch of Canada.

    Russia have now won three of the five segments contested in the team battle and on Sunday 2006 Turin gold medallist Plushenko will be back to raise the decibels even higher as he targets a fourth medal at his fourth Olympics.

    Marina Zoueva was another Russian who was ecstatic on Sunday – but not because of her homeland’s success.

    She could not sit still because as coach to North American rivals Meryl Davis and Charlie White and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, she had to dash around swapping in and out of team jackets.

    As Virtue and Moir came off the ice, Zoueva was spotted hurriedly pulling on the Canadian jacket but she could not stick around long enough in the ‘kiss and cry’ area to see their score of 72.98 flash up.

    Hurriedly discarding the red and white Maple Leaf uniform, she pulled on the American version to give Davis and White a pep talk.

    It seemed to do the trick as Davis and White’s beautiful foxtrot and quickstep interpretation to a medley of songs from ‘My Fair Lady’ earned them a top score of 75.98 and lifted the U.S. into medal contention.

    Their expected toe-to-toe battle with 2010 Olympic champions Virtue and Moir failed to materialise as the Canadians paid the price for going out of sync in their side-by-side twizzles.

    Virtue looked crushed after her slip up led to the mistake.

    “I may have lost a bit of speed going into it,” she said.

    “It wasn’t a mental lapse, it wasn’t that I wasn’t focusing or picking up the right cues. I recovered quite well because I managed to stay on the same foot.”

    (Editing by Larry Fine)

  • Higuain helps Napoli shoot down spirited Milan

    Date: 2019.04.17 | Category: 南宁桑拿 | Response: 0

    The Argentine striker is second behind Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi in the Serie A scoring charts with 12 for the season.

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    Higuain’s glancing header 11 minutes after the break and tap-in eight minutes from time moved Rafael Benitez’s side up to 47 points in third place.

    Napoli are three behind Roma, who have a game in hand and await the Rome derby with Lazio on Sunday, but 12 behind leaders and champions Juventus.

    “I need to praise the team because with the midweek match against Roma (in the Italian Cup semi-finals) and this one tonight, against two good sides, we played with an intensity and quality I would like to see all season,” said Benitez.

    “Competing in the Champions League, the cup and the league all at the same time with a new team is not easy and I think that we still have a lot of room to grow.”

    The win was Napoli’s first in four Serie A games and well deserved despite Adel Taarabt opening the scoring with a superb solo goal seven minutes into his Milan debut.

    Gokhan Inler levelled four minutes later with a long range shot that fortuitously deflected over Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

    “The game started badly for us, but the team reacted strongly,” said goalscorer Higuain.

    “I am convinced we are on the right track. We have played well recently and not had the luck, but we’ve always showed character. I am happy we got the win against a great side.”

    Milan stay in 10th on 29 points after their first league defeat under Clarence Seedorf, who took over the side on January 16.

    Napoli are three points ahead of Fiorentina, who beat 12th-placed Atalanta 2-0 thanks to a stunning 16th-minute free kick from Slovenia international Josip Ilicic and a smart solo effort from Rafal Wolski four minutes from time.

    Udinese moved a point behind Atalanta in 13th after a 3-0 victory over Chievo.

    Antonio Di Natale scored his third goal in as many games nine minutes after the break, Bruno Fernandes added a second in the 74th minute and Ghana international Emmanuel Agyemang Badu hit the third with four minutes to go.

    (Editing by Clare Lovell)

  • Real go top after Atletico slump to shock defeat

    Date: 2019.04.17 | Category: 南宁桑拿 | Response: 0

    There was no way through for Atletico who lacked creativity and inspiration against an Almeria side that defended well.

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    Diego Simeone’s men were reduced to speculative shots while 13th-placed Almeria threatened on the counter attack as the game wore on, with Aleix Vidal hitting a post before Verza put the hosts ahead 10 minutes from the end.

    Dani Aranzubia was then dismissed for upending Jonathan Zongo in the penalty area and Verza scored from the spot with four minutes to go.

    “We faced a side that did what they had to do. In the first half we made chances to score,” Simeone told a news conference.

    “This is what happens in football and we are not going to make any excuses.”

    Gareth Bale marked his Real Madrid return after injury with the opening goal and the Wales winger then set up Benzema to give the home side a commanding lead, only to see Mario Gaspar reply for Villarreal before the break.

    Jese restored Real’s two-goal cushion and, after Giovani Dos Santos scored a fine free kick, Benzema made it 4-2 as Real showed no signs of missing the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Real and Atletico have 57 points from 23 games but Carlo Ancelotti’s side are top on goal difference. Barcelona, who visit Sevilla on Sunday, are three points behind.

    “We knew Villarreal would make it difficult for us and that’s what happened but it’s important to win at home and we’ve managed to do that,” Jese told reporters.

    SHARP BALE

    Bale robbed the ball off Jose Antonio Dorado and delicately lifted it over the onrushing Sergio Asenjo for the opening goal.

    After the stop-start season he has had, Bale looked sharp and he crossed with the outside of his left boot for Benzema to slide home the second from close range.

    Real lost Marcelo to injury before Mario fired Villarreal back into the contest as the home team sat back.

    Defender Fabio Coentrao also went off injured but Jese slotted expertly past Asenjo as Real regained control.

    Giovani’s free kick kept the game tense until Benzema’s second goal 14 minutes from the end.

    Atletico suffered their first defeat since October when they were defeated by Real Madrid in the first leg of their King’s Cup semi-final on Wednesday and the strain of that match seemed to take its toll on the team against Almeria.

    The visitors struggled to create and a couple of Diego shots from the edge of the penalty area that went narrowly wide was the best they could offer in the first half.

    Almeria posed little threat until Vidal’s effort hit the woodwork prompted a warning that Atletico failed to heed.

    Verza’s intended cross crept into the top corner for the opening goal before the same player clinched maximum points with his penalty.

    Earlier, eighth-placed Valencia thumped rock bottom Real Betis 5-0 with Alcacer scoring twice. Second from bottom Rayo Vallecano also defeated Malaga, who are in 14th spot, 4-1.

    (Editing by Tony Jimenez)

  • Long Way Home conveys the trauma of war

    Date: 2019.04.17 | Category: 南宁桑拿 | Response: 0

    The Long Way Home was received with an emotional standing ovation when the collaborative Sydney Theatre Company and Australian Defence Force production opened in Sydney on Saturday night.

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    The play features real soldiers alongside professional actors and is based on the personal experiences of men and women who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.

    It takes place on a stark set dominated by the silent, ghostly figures of the soldiers which haunt one ex-serviceman’s waking hours. Interspersed with the action on stage, large close-ups of the performers’ faces appear on screen as they tell their real-life stories.

    The Long Way Home is about damaged lives, post-traumatic stress and people broken in body and soul. It vividly depicts what war does to those on the frontline as well the shattering impact on their partners who struggle to pick up the pieces when their loved ones return home.

    But the play also conveys the mateship between soldiers and the humour that keeps diggers going, including moments of blackly comic relief that frequently target military culture and hierarchy.

    One of the central characters is played by Gary Wilson, who in real life suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was involved in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Kandahar in 2010 in which three Australian commandos and a US crewman died.

    Notable performances are also delivered by Corporals Tim Loch (Tom) and Craig Hancock (Nick), both of whom survived IED explosions in Afghanistan.

    You get the sense that apart from delivering lines, these men and women aren’t acting – this is the real deal. And that’s perhaps what gives the play such raw, wrenching power and makes it speak so directly to the audience.

    Not surprisingly, there were tears on both sides of the stage when the opening night crowd, including senior figures from the military and politics as well as artistic director Andrew Upton, rose to their feet at the end.

    As Australia marks 100 years since its involvement in World War I this year, The Long Way Home is a timely reminder of the price paid by those who have served in war.

    * The Long Way Home will show in Sydney until February 15 before travelling to Darwin, Brisbane, Wollongong, Townsville, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.