By Lester Cavestany, Contributor INQUIRER.net Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). -- Olympic motto THERE is a growing online movement to support Marco Torres in his goal of being chosen as one of eight foreigners/expatriates in China who will carry the torch for the Olympic torch relay. I think that with the growing number of bloggers and Internet users in the Philippines, we can all help make this happen. Click here to vote for him. If you didn’t click the link above, you’re probably wondering why we should support Marco Torres. You’re probably asking, “I don’t know him so why should I support him?” Good question! For most of us, the simple answer, “Because our countryman needs our support so that he can best all the other hopeful expatriates in China,” would suffice. But there are those who need more explanations before they give their support. So read on and I hope that after reading this post, you would be more than willing to support Marco Torres. What’s it all about? The 2008 Beijing Olympics is just around the corner. One of the most powerful ceremonies of the Olympic Games is the lighting of the Olympic Flame during the opening ceremonies. This tradition has been in place since the ancient Olympics in Greece and it has its roots in Greek mythology. The ritual was given a new twist in the 1936 Berlin Olympics when Carl Diem introduced the torch relay. Carl Diem was in charge of the organizing committee of the 1936 Olympics in Germany. He came up with the idea of the torch relay as a way of promoting the Games. His idea was magnificent: Use the ancient Greek tradition of the torch relay as a way of creating interest in the Olympic Games in Berlin. And so in 1936, a torch was lit at the site of the temples of the Olympic gods in Athens, Greece. In true ancient fashion, a “priestess” used mirrors to focus the rays of the sun to light the torch. Then, she passed it on to a torchbearer who would begin the relay. The torch was carried on foot within cities, and by other means of transportation between several cities in seven countries. After the relay, the torch was used to light the Olympic Flame to kick off the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Berlin Olympics. After the success of its introduction, the succeeding Olympics carried on the tradition of the torch relay, with more cities and torchbearers getting involved. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the torch will be lit in March 2008 and will be carried by about 15,000 torchbearers from around the world in 28 cities of five continents and over 70 cities of China. The organizers are also planning to take the torch to the peak of Mt. Everest (aka Mt. Qomolangma). Finally, the last torchbearer will use the torch to light the flames on the opening day of the Beijing Olympiad on August 8, 2008. The Olympic spirit If you enjoy watching sports and if you’re a fan of sporting events, then you probably know what the Olympics is all about. It is definitely the biggest sporting event in the world. Today, there are two Olympics -- the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics. Growing up in the beautiful tropics of the Philippines, I am more familiar with the highlights of the Summer Olympics. I mean, who can forget the valiant efforts of Onyok Velasco in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics? He was so close to winning the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. But it wasn’t meant to be. Nevertheless, we still rejoiced at his silver medal victory and we gave him a hero’s welcome as soon as he landed on Philippine soil after the Olympics. Many of us caught the Olympic spirit after Onyok’s heroic attempt. And we are still hoping that someday soon, we will strike gold in the Olympics. Twelve years down the road, the Olympic spirit is still burning in our hearts. And Marco Torres is definitely stoking the fire. He is truly an Olympics fan. In another weblog, he recounts the trials and tribulations of getting tickets for The Games in Beijing. He also joined the Lenovo-sponsored contest called Olympic torchbearer nominee selection among foreigners living in China. The contest The Torchbearer contest is open to all foreigners in China who have lived there for at least a year. Each participant has to meet the criteria set by the organizing committee and they have to submit an essay on why they should be chosen as one of the eight foreign torchbearers. The profile of the contestants and their essays are posted online on the China Daily website and the public is encouraged to vote. (Only one vote per IP address will be counted) By the end of November, the judges’ panel will announce the eight winners based on the number of votes received and their evaluation of the participants. Every vote counts so please vote for Marco. After voting, spread the word. You can also forward this post to your friends so they too can be convinced to vote for their countryman. The Real contest And as we support Marco Torres in his dream of becoming an Olympic torchbearer, let’s also extend our prayers and support to our Filipino athletes and their hopes of Olympic glory. Could this be the year that the Philippines will bag our first Olympic gold? I certainly hope so. However, it has to be said that winning medals is definitely not the be-all and end-all of the Olympic Games. It’s obvious that our society puts a premium on winning and being the best. But this is not what the Olympics is all about. In fact, the Olympic Creed says that The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. As a school teacher, it brings me great joy to know that the value of participation is given its rightful place in a highly competitive event such as the Olympics. This is something we teach at our school too. We say to each student, “As long as you are participating and doing your best, then you’re already a winner!” With this in mind, I would like to congratulate Marco Torres for participating in this contest. I hope our kababayans will go online and support you all the way. I’m sure that the same online community that lambasted Malu Fernandez for bashing the OFWs will once again unite. But this time, we will unite for a more positive cause. We will rally behind Marco Torres for he is proudly representing not just the OFW’s, but the Filipino people! Half the battle is won. Now we just have to “Jedi Mind Trick” the judges. That’s something that we need to lift up to the Higher Power. Editor's note: You may visit Lester Cavestany's blog at www.lestercavestany.com
September 2007 Archives
By Tarra Quismundo Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--The cold wind burned their tanned faces and the chill water burdened their arms, but the thirst for the win pushed them to reach the finish line first. In unfamiliar weather, the 39-member Philippine Dragon Boat Federation clinched the gold medal in the 200-meter race against powerhouse rowers in the just-concluded 8th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Dragon Boat Championship at the Sydney International Regatta Center in Australia from September 19 to 23. The team, composed of rowers from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Army, Navy and Air Force, also placed second in the 500-meter event and took bronze in the 1,000-meter and 2,000-meter races, earning them four medals in all. "It was very cold... Some of us didn't even bring clothing for cold weather. And then they [team members] said there was ice in the water. But that didn't stop the team. OK na OK sa mga atleta natin eh. Kumbaga [It was really okay for our athletes. In short], they're hungry for the win," said team coach Nestor Ilagan shortly after arriving from Australia Tuesday night. "We didn't expect it but it was a surprise also to us. However, we did our everything, we did our homework, so to speak, and the team practiced a lot. It paid off," Ilagan said. The team had snagged medals in other international competitions before, but their latest victory may well be the sweetest as they managed to paddle past the world's strongest rowers from North America, Europe and Asia. "We defeated the powerhouse[s] in dragon boat, especially Germany, the United States and even Russia…Macau, Hong Kong, China, they were all there," added Ilagan. "We knew that the teams that compete in this competition are very strong. It's like the Olympics of dragon boating. So we were expecting that they brought the best of their countries," said the coach of the 17-nation meet. The Philippines' best, however, prevailed and even made record time in the 200-meter sprint, finishing the race in "below 42 [seconds]" said Ilagan. He however could not say for sure whose row time the Philippines bested as the record must first be confirmed by the IDBF. "It was really cold and windy, and there was big difference in the water. The water in Sydney was denser," said Ricky Sardena, 31, a PCG rower, accustomed to practicing in the warm waters of Manila Bay. "We're really happy about what happened in Sydney because it's the first time we got four medals in one competition," he added, recalling that the team only managed to get one in competitions in China and Germany. The team came home to cheers from supporters from the PCG, among them Sardena's wife, Mt. Everest summitteer Janet Belarmino, who brought their first-born, Himalaya, to welcome the returning champions, and fellow summitteer Noelle Wenceslao. Switching roles with her husband, who had welcomed the summitteers at the airport after their successful conquest of the world's tallest peak, Belarmino said: "Kami naman babawi ngayon kasi gusto namin sila bigyan ng suporta [Now it’s our turn because we want to give them support]."
FOR an event billed as "Knockout," UFC 76 didn't produce any, but it was sure exciting -- not least due to the stunning upsets. I caught it on Solar Sports, and up to now I'm shocked by former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightheavyweight champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell's split decision loss to Keith Jardine. It's the Iceman's second straight defeat, and what's even more remarkable is that Keith beat him in his own game, as the two men slugged it out and didn't make any attempt to take the fight to the ground. In fact, commentators Mike Goldberg, Joe Rogan and reigning UFC heavyweight champ Randy "The Natural" Couture jokingly wondered if the two were aware that you could grapple in the UFC heh :) Now you hear talks of Chuck possibly retiring. What a reversal of fortune this has been for the UFC's biggest star, who was thought to be unbeatable just a few months ago. Wanderlei Silva may have been the most disappointed by Chuck's loss, next only to The Iceman and UFC president Dana White, who has been trying for the past five years to set up a megafight between Liddell and then Pride FC middleweight champ Silva. Maybe it's just not meant to be. The other, maybe even bigger upset that night was the victory of Forrest Griffin over Brazilian Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, whom many actually consider the best lightheavyweight in the world. Forrest spoiled Shogun's UFC debut with a rear naked choke submission victory with just 15 seconds left in the third round, after dominating a fight that a lot of people thought Shogun would win handily. Now we hear that Wanderlei is supposedly calling out Forrest. Let's see what happens.
By Jasmine W. Payo Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--When Reuben Buchanan took on the job to manage a wakeboard cable park in Camarines Sur, the athletic Australian also assumed the responsibility of promoting the sport to the locals. He went as far as tapping unusual talents for the emergent water sport. “We found some breakdancers in CamSur who I thought would be good to groom as wakeboarding trainers and champions,” recalls Buchanan. “Right now they are the best Filipino wakeboarders we have.” Check out this YouTube video courtesy of waketrex. Wakeboarding -- a combination of surfing, water skiing and snow boarding -- recently found a sprawling home at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Pili, Camarines Sur in the Bicol region. Tasked to spread the word on this latest water sports craze is 30-year-old Buchanan, a wakeboarder for 11 years, who has returned to the Philippines with half-Filipina wife Sheril to manage the CWC operations. “We have a lot more training to do with them, but they are really good and are enjoying their job,” says Buchanan of the first batch of Filipino trainers and champions at CWC. “They’re doing what other young wakeboarders from other countries would pay to do.” Already, the water sport has been drawing the local A-list. “A lot of people visit our wakeboard complex just to hang out and watch the wakeboarders do air tricks and stunts with their friends and family,” notes Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., of the six-hectare site that includes a cable ski system, a beach volley venue, a campsite, a beach area and spa pavilions. The hip sport already has celebrities like Aga Muhlach, Jericho Rosales and Angel Locsin buckling their vests and strapping their bindings. Other enthusiasts have made the water sport part of their lifestyle, among them athletic couple Arthur and Martha King who have been immersed in wakeboarding even before the CWC opened in 2006. “I started six years ago,” says King, ranked 11th in the world in the wakeboarding Masters category. “I first tried it in the (United) States with my friends. We rented a boat and the wakeboards. After that, I pursued the sport. Luckily there’s a cable park in Batangas,” he adds. Continues the 32-year-old hotelier: “I like (wakeboarding) because it’s a bodybuilding sport. You get stronger every time. You always learn new tricks. It’s progressive. It’s not as boring compared to, I don’t know, maybe golf? You always want to push yourself to be better to do more extreme tricks.” Villafuerte, president of the Philippine Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, also shares this sport’s emotional highs: “Wakeboarding is really enjoyable and quite addicting. Imagine the feeling of being able to float on water. It’s really great to be able to stand on your board, go around the lake, do some basic tricks and moves.” He adds, “It’s a very relaxing sport and at the same time, a good form of exercise since your whole body is involved. You notice this with wakeboarders—most of them are physically fit.” Buchanan cites another reason to test the wakeboarding waters. “It’s very easy, easier than surfing or skateboarding. All you need to do is listen to your trainers and you’ll be able to wakeboard on your feet in no time,” notes this father of three-year-old Takiah who may be among the youngest wakeboarder in the world. “You can start with kneeboarding and that’s probably even easier than riding a bike. Some people will have five to 10 go’s before they’re able to stand up, but once they do, they get addicted to it.” A crash course is possible, says King, the first local champion in the Philippine Cable Wakeboard Nationals last year. “Everything you need to learn about wakeboarding, you learn CamSur Park. There are things you develop when you keep on riding.” Notes Villafuerte: “The basic thing you have to have is a sense of balance, which everybody can easily develop. That’s why anybody can wakeboard.” He adds: “Of course, like in any sport, you have to have the will to learn it. At least 95 percent of the people who try to learn in the CamSur wakeboard park actually manage to stand up. The remaining five percent are those who easily gave up after a few attempts.” Why, says Villafuerte, a 76-year-old Filipina even tried the sport. “[She was] able to stand up and go around the lake on her first attempt,” he recounts. “This only shows that wakeboarding is for everybody, boys and girls, young and old. All they have to do is be bold enough to try it.” Although the sport is deemed safe since riders wear protective gear like helmets and vests, Martha King however cautions newbies to know their limits in trying the flips, turns and other stunts that are part of the sport. “There’s no training, so you’re on your own,” she says. “I’ve torn my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). I wasn’t good in wakeboarding at that time and I tried the ramp already. I fell really bad and twisted my knee.” But there’s really nothing to fear if riders abide by the safety precautions, she adds. “When you fall, you can swim back to shore. There are those who fall and panic, but there are lifeguards.” Says Buchanan: “If you fall, you don’t fall on concrete so it doesn’t hurt as much. Once you hit the water, it’ll probably hurt for a few seconds and then you can go back and try again.” The expenses, surprisingly, won’t hurt the pocket either. “We definitely made wakeboarding a mass-based sport. It only costs P120 to ride in CamSur,” says Villafuerte. “The price includes the basic equipment and free training. It would cost you at least US$ 25 per hour to ride abroad. We made it very affordable that’s why it’s getting so popular.” Buchanan agrees: “The place, the facilities and wakeboarding fees are ridiculously affordable! It’s so affordable, people from other countries stay here for months.” Yet serious wakeboarders like the King couple have invested on their own equipment that cost from P10,000-P15,000. Arthur King, in fact, is hoping to crash in the top 10 world rankings in a few years. “Filipinos can definitely excel in it,” says Villafuerte. “Last year we had our first Philippine cable wakeboard nationals and 76 people participated, a very good turnout for a first ever national competition. This year, we will be having our second nationals (Oct. 26-28) and are expecting double the number from last year. With this enthusiasm and rapid growth of the sport in the Philippines, sooner or later we will have wakeboard world champions who are Pinoys.”
By Jasmine W. Payo Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--A DAY after the University of the Philippines gave coach Joe Lipa the pink slip, alumni groups were pushing for two of the temperamental coach's former wards, Eric Altamirano and Ronnie Magsanoc, to take his place. School officials said they will name the coach early to give him time to prepare for the next UAAP season, which coincides with UP's centennial celebration, but have yet to begin their search for Lipa's replacement. "I recommended for [Lipa's early] termination because of the centennial year," said Hercules Callanta, dean of the College of Human Kinetics, who wants the team to be competitive in the 2008 season. "The next coach will be hard pressed for a result. We want [the new coach] to have the luxury of time." The school, though, is still awaiting word from UP chancellor Sergio Cao regarding the status of Lipa. Although Callanta recommended that Lipa be replaced after a winless season, the decision will only be final once it is ratified by Cao. "Although the recommendation is already a big step, it still has to be ratified," said a school source. "The chancellor should have an action based on his own decision," said Callanta. "We just have to wait for his action." Callanta said the school doesn't have a list of candidates yet, although several names have already floated. "We haven't started anything," said Callanta. "No one is being eyed, no one is being sought after. All are speculations." But alumni groups are pressing for Magsanoc and Altamirano, both members of Lipa's 1986 championship squad, the only UP team to win a UAAP title. The name of Allan Gregorio was also floated but the Air21 assistant mentor respectfully asked that he be taken off whatever list because he is eyeing a PBL stint. The Maroons wrapped up the elimination round with a 0-14 record marked by horrendous blowout losses.
By Agence France-Presse TOKYO--Sumo's centuries-old tradition of barring women from entering the ring was momentarily breached Thursday after a woman suddenly threw herself onto the mound where the wrestlers fight. Television footage showed a middle-aged woman in blue jeans and a green T-shirt abruptly climbing onto the elevated mound between matches Wednesday at the autumn grand tournament in Tokyo. The mound encompasses the circle in which sumo wrestlers fight but the woman -- whose motive was unclear -- was dragged down by a stunned wrestler and others before she could reach the fighting circle. Although the entire square mound is technically considered the sumo ring, sumo authorities denied the ancient tradition -- which bars women from entering the "sacred" ring -- had been broken. "She put her foot on the mound and that can never be a desirable incident. Fortunately, however, she did not enter the fighting ring," a spokeswoman at the Japan Sumo Association said. "We do not consider that she entered the ring," the official said, adding the association had no plans to press charges against her. But sports tabloids dismissed the association's view and splashed photos of the woman on their front pages. "They certainly blocked her from entering the fighting ring and there was no hindrance to matches, but nonetheless a 1,400-year history was broken since a woman was on the ring," the Nikkan Sports wrote. The sumo association has gone to great lengths to preserve the tradition, even rejecting requests by powerful female politicians to present trophies to the winners of tournaments, making them send their male deputies instead. Sumo is linked to the Shinto faith, whose rituals strictly forbid any contact with blood, such as that shed by women during menstruation and childbirth. Women, considered to lack purity, were not even allowed to watch sumo until the late 19th century. The woman who broke into the mound was taken to a nearby police station but later released, reports said. Her identity and motive were unclear, although the Nikkan Sports said she was holding fliers with messages such as "Help. Evil spirits."
SO, what do you think of O.J. Simpson's arrest? Here's the uncensored audio tape of the alleged Las Vegas hotel room confrontation posted by TMZ.com. Again, this is uncensored, OK, so it's riddled with profanity. Don't click if you'll find that offensive. Here's the mug shot of O.J.'s mug shot courtesy of CelebTV.com. And here's another clip from Celeb.TV showing O.J. in handcuffs being escorted to jail by Las Vegas cops. By the way, this New York Times article quotes the ex-wife of one of the suspects saying that it's actually common for people around O.J. to tape his conversations.
By Inquirer CEBU CITY--Celebrated American trainer Freddie Roach raised both thumbs Monday after Manny Pacquiao cruised through his first 12-round session at the Rex “Wakee” Salud gym virtually unscathed and wanting for more. Pacquiao has now sparred 80 rounds in preparation for his mammoth rematch with Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera on Oct. 6 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. “It was OK, he did great,” said Roach. “He just stayed a little bit too long on the ropes.” Pacquiao sparred four rounds with Mexican Raymundo Beltran, three rounds with Aaron Melgarejo, three rounds with Mexican David Rodela and two rounds against welterweight Arniel Tinampay. “He looked in much better shape today than when he first sparred after his flu,” said conditioning trainer Dodie Boy Peñalosa, who has been tasked by trainer Buboy Fernandez to check on Pacquiao’s stamina. Meanwhile, Roach vehemently protested a report which came out in several websites Monday insinuating that he has a tape of Barrera’s workouts, and that he has commissioned a spy in the Mexican’s camp. “That’s a total lie,” said the two-time Trainer of the Year awardee. “Tell them it’s not true. Why should I do that? I don’t need a tape. We already know how to beat Barrera.” Salven L. Lagumbay, Contributor
By Agence France-Presse LONDON--British rally driver Colin McRae and two children -- including his five-year-old son -- were among the four passengers killed in a helicopter crash this weekend in Scotland, police said Sunday. Strathclyde Police confirmed that the 39-year-old driver, his son Johnny, and two family friends were killed in the incident in Lanark, Scotland, on Saturday afternoon. "We believe that the group were just returning from a visit to the nearby village of Quarter around 1605 hours (1505 GMT) yesterday, when it appears that the helicopter got into difficulty and crashed within the grounds of Mr McRae's family home," Chief Superintendent Tim Love said in a statement. "Our officers are working closely with the air accident investigation team who are presently at the scene. "Family liaison officers have been appointed and are with the families to help them through this distressing and difficult time." A police spokeswoman stressed that the bodies had not yet been formally identified. "Regarding the helicopter crash in Jerviswood, Lanark, yesterday, Saturday 15 September 2007, it has now been confirmed that there were four people, two adults and two young children, on board," the statement read. "Although a post mortem has still to take place, the four involved are believed to be: Mr Colin McRae (39) of Jerviswood House and his son Johnny Gavin McRae, aged 5." The two others were named as six-year-old Ben Porcelli, of Lanark, and Graeme Duncan, 37, who lived in France. McRae, the first Briton to win the world rally championship, was married to wife Alison and the couple had two children, Hollie and Johnny. Colin Steele McRae, a licensed pilot who owned a helicopter, was born in Lanark on August 5, 1968.
By June Navarro Inquirer ILOILO CITY--Many have tried but no one has come close to approximating the promise shown by former Asian sprint queen Lydia De Vega-Mercado at an early age. But track officials here believe they have found a De Vega-Mercado-in-the-making after a Filipino-Canadian from Bacolod City powered to two impressive wins in the second day of the Philippine Olympic Festival Visayas Qualifying leg. Jami Dawn Henares, 15, overwhelmed the field in the 400 meters, clocking a minute and .01 second, then snared another gold in the 200m with a time of 27.2 that caught the attention of Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association technical personnel. The honor student at Destiny Christian Academy could have been the first triple gold medalist of the games had the charming 5-foot-6 lass ruled the 100m dash the other day. “I didn’t start well because I wasn’t listening to the starting gun,” said Henares, who lost to Jenelyn Progio of Capiz by a hairline but avenged that defeat in the 200m. Progio timed 13.435 against Henares’ (13.436) in the 100m. After ruling the century dash, the 18-year-old Progio went on to bag two more golds in the 100m and 400m hurdles. “I train her along with La Salle’s (Bacolod) track and field men’s varsity team,” said Frankie Echavarria, Henares’ personal coach. In all, Capiz took five more golds in athletics. Joannu Fegarido ruled the boys’ 200m dash, Sharjon Delgado dominated the boys’ 400m hurdles, Hanny Jean Delfin won the 10,000m and Joan Grace Fenitro prevailed in the girls’ shotput for Capiz. Iloilo struck hard in taekwondo, collecting a total of 19 gold medals, and kept its head high in football, coming back from two goals down to force a 2-2 draw against Cebu. Christian John Gersanib (finweight), Kevin Cabariban (welter), Keva Labrador (fin), Ryka Bernardo (fly), Ivanna Marie Mabunay (welter), Mario Nepomuceno (bantam), Jon Adjijil (feather), Gabriel Arnigo (fin), Carole Bullon (fin), Rieth Pangham (bantam), Lyn June Salibius (light) scored wins in the juniors division. Providing the gold for Iloilo in the grade school division were Louvett Uy Deong, Ron Alde Dedoroy, Lester Barcenilla, Nicole Vidallon and Ayanna Benita Galotera.
SO, did you catch UFC 75? History was made in London as the Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ Quinton "Rampage" Jackson squared off against Pride FC middleweight kingpin Dan "Hollywood" Henderson (despite the difference in naming conventions, both are champs in the 205-pound division). Jackson scored a unanimous decision to become the first undisputed mixed martial arts champ. That made me really happy because I was rooting for Rampage, who has to be the funniest guy in MMA heh :) Here's a clip of his post-fight interview courtesy of SPIKE Powered by IFILM. Another guy I was rooting for, light heavyweight Houston "The Assassin" Alexander, proved he was for real by knocking out Italian Alessio Sakara in the first round. Yup, Houston showed that his first round KO win over Keith Jardine in UFC 71, which was The Assassin's UFC debut, was no fluke. Unfortunately, Mirko Cro Cop suffered another upset loss -- his second straight defeat in the UFC -- when Cheick Kongo scored a unanimous decision. Cro Cop, what's happening to you? Read this article for the complete results.
By Recah Trinidad Inquirer LOS ANGELES, California--Assured of a crack at a world crown, tireless Bert Batawang took a glimpse at his would-be opponent on a borrowed laptop computer and was pleasantly jolted at what he saw: there was nothing truly superior or extraordinary in the fighting style of IBF light flyweight champion Ulises Solis of Mexico. Batawang, 35, had actually expected to see a sharper, more menacing Solis who last Aug. 4 stopped Rodel Mayol of the Philippines in a title bout in Chicago. “Malaki tsansa (We have a big chance),” Batawang bared after a lunch of steaming Thai chicken noodle soup following another tough grind that saw him through a punishing 20-round regimen at the Wild Card gym here. Batawang’s original Sept. 16 championship fight with Solis was postponed indefinitely after the Mexican injured his shoulder. But the IBF, upon hearing the title crack was being offered to another fighter, declared Batawang mandatory challenger and ordered Solis to defend against the veteran Filipino campaigner before Oct. 25. It was not an exactly soft and shallow champion they saw on the YouTube feed, but there definitely was no depth displayed, according to Jeremiah Quijano, Batawang’s soft-spoken trainer. Quijano said Solis fought “like an amateur” who often punched and pushed. Of course, the boxer-trainer tandem agreed they have got to watch the short, sneaky right hook that toppled and stopped Mayol in the eighth round. Batawang, finding no available sparmates, worked with the heavy bag and the mitts to sharpen his punches based on what they saw on video. He returns to the Tracy Wireless store off Vermont Ave. to view more Solis fights and plot better defense. “They can go tell him to fight tomorrow and he’d be ready,” trainer Quijano declared in Filipino.
THAT was the interesting question posed by a caller on Canada's "In this Corner with Russ Anber" boxing show. View the YouTube video clip to find out Anber's answer. How about you, do you agree? Pancho Villa's real name, by the way, was Francisco Guilledo. Here's a video of his June 18, 1923 fight with Jimmy Wilde for the vacant world championship, courtesy of the same YouTube user who uploaded the previous clip.
WHEW, talk about extreme sports :) Check out these cool video clips of women strutting their stuff in the Professional Kiteboard Riders Association World Tour 2007. Here's the clip from the Fuerteventura, Brazil stop. And here's the one from Portimao, Portugal. Videos courtesy of the YouTube channel of Extreme Elements TV. As a bonus :) here's the lovely Susi introducing Extreme Elements TV.
By Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Unheralded Filipino FIDE Master Virgilio Vuelban stole the thunder from the grandmasters recently by topping the tough Rome International Chess Festival in the Italian capital. Vuelban, 35, who has an ELO rating of 2332, beat two GMs in tallying 5.5 points on five wins and a draw in the six-round Swiss tourney. Among Vuelban’s victims were top seed Russian GM Oleg Korneev and Bulgarian GM Milko Povchev. Just last Saturday, International Master Rolly Martinez earned his first GM norm when he finished fourth in the 27th Chess Festival in Bratto, Italy. He pooled 6.5 points. Martinez, the solo overnight leader, dropped his ninth and final match to eventual champion GM Vladimir Burmakin of Russia. Marlon Bernardino, Contributor Final Standings 5.5 points -- FM Virgilio Vuelban (RP); 5.0 -- GM Igors Rausis (Czech Republic), IM Milan Mrdja (Croatia); 4.5 -- GM Oleg Korneev (Russia), GM Igor Naumkin (Russia), IM Bogomil Andonov (Bulgaria), GM Milko Povchev (Bulgaria)
By Marlon Bernardino Inquirer MANILA, Philippines--Filipino International Master Rolly Martinez yielded to Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Burmakin in the ninth round and settled for fourth place in the 27th International Chess Festival in Bratto, Italy, Saturday. Martinez lost after 40 moves of the Nimzo Indian Defense and was stuck at 6.5 points, dropping into a tie for 3rd to 8th places with GM Vladimir Epishin of Russia, GM Sergei Tiviakov (Netherlands), Jacob Aagaard (Scotland) and GM Alberto David (Luxembourg). If any consolation, the Milan-based Martinez got his first GM result and 600 euros. Burmakin took the title and the 1,500 euros that goes with it by edging Croatian GM Miso Cebalo in the tie break, 46.5-44.5 points. They tallied 7.0 points apiece in nine outings. Epishin, who drew with German GM Igor Khenkin, took third with a better tie break of 49 points than Martinez’s 47. Another Filipino entry, IM Roland Salvador, drew with IM Martha Fierro Baquero of Ecuador to finished with 5.5 points along with 16 others in the event that drew 120 players.
By Greg Heakes Agence France-Presse LAS VEGAS, Nevada--Luis Scola scored 27 points and collected nine rebounds as Argentina beat Brazil 91-80 to became the first team from the FIBA Americas Championship to punch their ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Carlos Delfino also had 13 points, three steals and four assists for Argentina in the semi-final matchup in front of a crowd of about 2,000 at the Thomas and Mack Center arena. "It has been a long week," said Argentina head coach Sergio Hernandez. "I am very excited. Our third quarter today was our best." The Brazil/Argentina game was the first of two semifinal games Saturday at the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament. Taking the court later in the day is the United States and Puerto Rico. Saturday's first semifinal was a rematch of Wednesday's second-round thriller won 86-79 in overtime by Argentina, who are missing most of their best players in Las Vegas. But the depleted Argentina squad benefited from a rest day on Friday after playing eight consecutive games through the first two rounds of the 10-team tournament. "We need that day of rest because our only other day off was the first day of the tournament," Hernandez said. Argentina, the defending Olympic champions, reached the Sunday's gold-medal game despite missing four of its NBA stars, guard Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), forward Andres Nocioni (Chicago Bulls), centre Fabrico Oberto (San Antonio) and forward Walter Hermann (Charlotte Bobcats). Hernandez said even Argentina basketball fans didn't believe they could pull this one off. "Six months ago when players started saying they were not going to play many people in Argentina were upset," Hernandez said. "They didn't believe this team could qualify for the Olympics. But we believed we could do it." Delfino, who plays for the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, came into the tournament with a sore knee after injuring it during a recent tournament in Puerto Rico. "This group of players did a great job of coming together as a team," Delfino said. "We had good chemistry both on and off the court." Argentina shot 30-of-56 from the field (54 percent), including eight-of-16 from three-point range. Argentina took the lead for good late in the third quarter after trailing by eight points at halftime. They rallied behind Scola to grab a 65-56 lead at the end of the third. Tiago Splitter, who plays for Tao Ceramica in Spain, collected 15 points and nine rebounds for the Brazil while Leandro Barbosa added 16 points in the loss. Brazil jumped out to an early 14-8 lead in the opening five minutes but their offence took a hit when Nene Hilario, a member of the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, went out four minutes into the game with a leg injury. Leandro Barbosa, who had a career year for the Phoenix Suns this past season, led the way with seven points in the first quarter and finished with 16 points on six-of-12 shooting from the field. Although Argentina won the Olympic crown in Athens in 2004, they were prevented from medaling in the Japan World Championships thanks to a 96-81 US win in the bronze medal game.