first_imgBEIJING, China: A year ago, he couldn’t walk. Yesterday, Fedrick Dacres ended the qualification round in the men’s discus at the IAAF World Championships at the Bird Nest in Beijing, China, as the number-one qualifier heading into the final. It’s a remarkable turnaround and one that takes sharper focus when the most optimistic of outlooks did not consider that the promising thrower would be able to compete here in Beijing, with Dacres and his team targeting a return to form next season ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Dacres suffered damage to the meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee and was forced to spend the better part of six months on the sidelines after surgery, with little hope of getting in shape in time for the World Championships. It was a tough period for the sociology student at the University of West Indies, who admitted to considering packing it all up and focusing on his studies when he was struggling with injuries. “When I did the surgery, I could not even walk. I thought I was a bright kid so I could find my way back to the book so I decided to be a scholar. I started healing and then I just stayed working towards recovering. If I couldn’t work my legs, I focused on the upper body and told myself that if my knees never come back 100 per cent, I can strengthen my upper body and become a thrower who relies on arm strength,” said Dacres. “This wasn’t in our plan. This was a supposed to be a year to prep for Rio. So to be here in good condition and maybe vying for a medal is a good feeling,” he added. “I’m not really a good starter, I can’t start well. So for me to come out here and get a big start like that, which got me into the final is a great feeling and I want to build on that now,” Dacres told The Gleaner. his impressive start Buoyed by his impressive start to his World Championships experience, Dacres, a champion at the World Youth and World Junior levels, said he is focusing on executing the instructions of his coach Julian Robinson. “I believe that this year it’s about who wants it more because no one is way ahead or dominating in this event, so I’m just here and I’m trying to make the best of it,” he added. “Mr Robinson is a guru, he does things differently, but it’s also all about trusting the big man. I’m a soldier, so I follow orders it has got me to a 65m opener and if I open with that, I feel I can do so much more.” The men’s discus final will take place tomorrow at 6:50 a.m. – A.L.last_img read more

first_imgThe main witness in the case against businessman Imran Khan, who last October allegedly attempted to kill Romario Baljeet, called “Short Boss”, was unable to identify the accused on Thursday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.When the matter was called before Senior Magistrate Leron Daly, Dornel Hopkinson, a friend of the Virtual Complainant, who was at Palm Court when the incident occurred, took to the stand to give his testimony.Romario BaljeetDuring the testimony, Special Prosecutor in the case, Latchmie Rahamat asked Hopkinson to look around the courtroom and identify the accused, and the witness smiled and replied he did not see him anywhere in the court.The Prosecutor, who looked stunned at the answer given by Hopkinson, rephrased the question and asked if he understood the question that was put to him.It was then Khan’s Attorney, Glen Hanoman objected to the Prosecutor rephrasing the question, since the witness answered.The Magistrate upheld the Attorney’s objection and as such, the Prosecutor had to move onto another question. The witness was then ordered to make his next court appearance on October 21, 2019 to complete giving his testimony.Businessman Khan, 31, of Austin Street, Campbellville, Georgetown, was not required to plead to the charge which stated that on October 28, 2018, at Main Street, Georgetown, he unlawfully and maliciously wounded Baljeet, with intent to murder him.Imran KhanAccording to reports on the day in question, at approximately 03:00h, as Baljeet and a friend were leaving a nightclub, they walked between Khan and another man. It was then Khan dealt the complainant two punches to his head and face, causing him to fall to the ground. The accused then took a glass bottle and a drinking glass and smashed them on Baljeet’s face, resulting in injuries and bleeding.Persons who were around were afraid to render assistance as the accused began to kick and punch Baljeet. Baljeet was later picked up in an unconscious state and taken to Woodlands Hospital, where he was treated and admitted. He was subsequently released, but was later readmitted.It was previously stated that Baljeet underwent two surgeries on his face and more were yet to be done.last_img read more

first_imgShare3TweetShareEmail3 SharesBy Voice of America News: Scott Bob report from Azaz, Syria. [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsMay 4, 2017; Al JazeeraIn a conflict like Syria’s, which has raged on for nearly a decade without an end in sight, any positive step is a thing to be celebrated. This week, a cautious agreement between aggressors established “de-escalation zones” where humanitarian aid may be more safely distributed and refugees are encouraged to return.A reporter from Al Jazeera was present at the talks in Astana where a leaked copy of the agreement was provided to AFP. He disclosed where “the locations of the ‘de-escalation zones’ are likely to be: Idlib and the Turkmen mountains, parts of Homs governorate, and areas on the outskirts of Damascus—including Ghouta—and in Deraa in the south.” The de-escalation zones do not contain any territory controlled by ISIS or Al-Qaeda affiliates.Under the agreement, the Syrian government and the Russians would cease flying over the zones for six months unless there are what Russian representative Alexander Lavrentyev described as “attempts to destabilize the situation.”The Syrian opposition has suspended their participation in the talks because they object to Iran’s being a signatory to the agreement, as “they are aggressors.” The opposition also objects that there is no guarantee of “the unity of the Syrian territory,” according to rebel spokesman Osama Abu Zeid.The tentative agreement is no guarantor of relief for Syrians; government forces have previously stopped aid from reaching civilians during a ceasefire, and most of the country’s medical infrastructure is destroyed or vastly diminished. Furthermore, the agreement does not yet contain any details about how the zones will be enforced.The U.S. State Department sent a representative to the talks, but is not a direct participant so far. The U.S. says it has “reason to be cautious.” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that the U.S. shares the opposition’s concerns about Iran’s role as a guarantor and about whether the government will really halt its attacks.Still, any positive step in this conflict-torn region is a reason for hope, however small. Nearly a half-million people have died in the conflict so far, without much progress toward a solution. Let’s hope that heroic NGOs, like the White Helmets and MSF who’ve been operating in the region, will have a chance to deliver aid while the small bubbles of calm last.—Erin RubinShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shareslast_img read more