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Alonso & McLaren’s troubled F1 car finally shows progress

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first_imgPresidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Swing Out Sister back to PH this April The two-time world champion is having the most frustrating season of his long career. Problems with the McLaren’s Honda engine kept him from finishing the first three races, and that only got more embarrassing when his car broke down in the formation lap of the last grand prix in Russia.Things didn’t appear close to improving back home.Despite McLaren and Honda having two weeks to find some desperately needed fixes, Alonso’s car spouted smoke and gushed fluid in a breakdown on the very first lap of practice on Friday.That debacle came a day after Alonso gave McLaren an ultimatum of six months to give him a car with a chance of winning a championship.So forecasts were high that the Spaniard would endure more torment come qualifying.ADVERTISEMENT Alonso had his best day behind the wheel of his trouble-prone McLaren on Saturday (Sunday Manila time) in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, finally giving his Formula One team some relief and his home Spanish fans a reason to cheer.Alonso finished 1.9 seconds slower than pole winner Lewis Hamilton, but he defied expectations by beating out all the other teams that can’t compete with Hamilton’s Mercedes and challengers Ferrari and Red Bull.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnSPORTSBreak new groundAlonso called seventh place a “gift,” considering his previous best qualification was 12th place in Australia.“We knew we needed to put the perfect lap together,” he said. “Today was the one of those days when everything went well.” Instead, Alonso went from surprise to surprise, making the cut from the first session that eliminated the slowest five drivers, then surviving the second cut to reach the remaining 10 drivers for the first time this season. He topped it off by clocking a better lap than Force India pair Sergio Perez and Esteban Icon and Williams’ Felipe Massa.Hamilton took note of Alonso’s improvement, saying “It’s fantastic for McLaren and Honda to get into the top 10. It shows progress.”Alonso marked a cautiously optimistic tone about the race on Sunday, when his car will have a much tougher test of its more than questionable reliability.“Obviously, I don’t have 100 percent confidence. But I am pretty sure we keep learning from the things that are happening to the car,” Alonso said. “I have a good feeling for tomorrow.”He spoke alongside team director Eric Boullier and Honda F1 boss Yusuke Hasegawa, both looking relieved to not have to again explain why their cars have taken a step back. The season’s start is in risk of damaging the reputation of the once proud McLaren, which has 12 driver titles and eight constructor titles to its name.Alonso’s last race win, his 32nd, came here at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2013 while driving for Ferrari. With its rougher surface and tricky curves, the track gives slower cars like his McLaren a fighting chance.If his car holds up, Alonso said he will need to use every bit of his veteran wiles to keep McLaren in the points. He marked the importance of a good start in order to protect his position.“The points is the main target,” he said. “Seventh place maybe seems too good.”Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, Alonso will then take a break from F1 to try his luck at the Indianapolis 500.The decision to switch competitions will mean he misses F1’s Monaco GP this month, but Alonso said he had “zero” regrets since Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull are still out of reach. “I will race the Indy 500, one of the biggest races in the world,” Alonso said. “There will be six cars (in F1) that will be unbeatable for the next few races. To fight for seventh place in Monaco? No thanks.” Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Thousands in Madrid demand end to bullfighting in Spain For Ina, portraying a zombie is like an ‘out-of-body experience’ Ex-Bulacan town vice mayor, village chief shot dead China reports 17 new cases in viral pneumonia outbreak Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Gerald: Just because I’ve been bashed doesn’t mean I’d stop working MOST READ LATEST STORIES End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend View comments Yanson buses to keep operating despite legal battle Mclaren driver Fernando Alonso of Spain steers his car during the qualifying session for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at the Barcelona Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, Spain. The Spanish Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. APMONTMELO, Spain — It’s only seventh place in qualifying, and Fernando Alonso will take it.Take it, and cling to it, in hope that his season has hit bottom and is looking up.ADVERTISEMENT Trump’s impeachment defense, prosecutors dig inlast_img

Toeing the line…

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first_img…for survivalMoses Nagamootoo’s been described as an “experienced” politician. We’ve for decades been regularly regaled about his “50 years in politics”. He must’ve plunged into politics directly from the womb! But it’s clear he hit his head in that plunge! How else do you explain his political behaviour after those fifty years?After all, in all those years, he was facing the SAME political opponent — the PNC. Didn’t he study them? Doesn’t he have a frame of reference to base his judgments about them? What was it that convinced him the PNC had changed their stripes when he went into a coalition with them — the five one-man parties? His weight? Surely Nagamootoo, literary man that he is, had read of the elephant and the mosquito? But just in case you, dear reader, mightn’t, here it is:“A mosquito saw an elephant crossing a bridge and asked for a ride. The mosquito said, “Hello, mate! What if I sit on your back and give you some company as you cross the bridge?”  The elephant said nothing. The mosquito sat on the elephant’s back. He felt very proud that he could persuade the elephant to let him be a co-rider.As they were crossing the bridge, the mosquito cried out, “Watch out brother, two of us are very heavy, make sure the bridge does not collapse!”  The elephant said nothing.  As they crossed over through the bridge, the mosquito said, “See, how I guided you safely through?”  The elephant said nothing.Finally, the mosquito got off the elephant’s back and buzzed, “Here is my business card. If you need any help in the future, just call me on my cell phone.” The elephant thought that he heard some whisper somewhere. But he dismissed this as a daydream and marched on…”The PNC wouldn’t have given any credence to Nagamootoo and Ramjattan if they were the last persons on Earth. In case they hadn’t read the sorry tale above, wasn’t Nagamootoo there when Burnham and the PNC dumped the UF like a used tissue full of snot? Seems not…he must’ve been daydreaming about being Jagan’s heir!!So here it is, he now has to sing for his supper (and sirens) – and doesn’t even get consulted on the lyrics!!  Oh, what a shame!All his life, Nagamootoo’s been struggling for respectability: you just have to read his thinly-disguised biography, “Henree’s Cure,” to know how deep the wounds were.To get that law degree at his advanced age couldn’t have been easy. Is he going to make a mockery of that by going along with the travesty of the unilateral GECOM appointment?It’s a shad, shad situation!! …of the dictatorshipOne of the features of the Burnhamite PNC dictatorship was Burnham’s insistence on covering his excesses with legal fig leaves. Unlike most of the Latin American banana republic types that surrounded him, Burnham harked to the lessons gleaned from his up-close observations of the British mode of rule: You do whatever the heck you want, but you pass legislation to cover your actions. That’s what “positivist” law is all about, isn’t it?So followers of Burnham, like Trotman (and Pressie, his fellow Nassau Accord signatory), insist on observing “the forms” – and to hell with the spirit of the laws!! Understand what’s going down with the GECOM Chair now? Anyhow, the Trini former Energy Minister (and our former Speaker) both expressed alarm at the powers kept in the hands of Minister Trotman in the LEGISLATION governing the new Petroleum Commission.Well, sirs, welcome to the world of realpolitik, PNC style!! The world — and EITI — expects a Petroleum Commission; and by golly, Guyana now has one.Who reads the (controlling) fine print??…on principlesThe action of Joe Singh and Chris Ram to cut links with the Government to signal their disgust with the GECOM farce must be commended.But after all they’ve done to show they’re unhyphenated “Guyanese”, the racially directed attacks must hurt.last_img

Ellen Dedicates Cassava Processing Center

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first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has praised the European Union(EU) for its continuous contribution to Liberia’s recovery efforts.According to an Executive Mansion release, Madam Sirleaf made the comments when she dedicated a modern cassava processing center in Kormah Town, Clay Ashland, Montserrado County on Friday, August 7, 2015.She expressed satisfaction and said she was very impressive. “I am very impressed. What this project has done today means, it has set an example all over that we mean business,” President Sirleaf indicated.Madam Sirleaf thanked the EU for its continued financial assistance to Liberia and for all they have done within the various sectors in Liberia.President Sirleaf thanked the people of Kormah for their support to the country’s agricultural sector and for complementing government’s efforts to ensure that enough food is available on the Liberian market at an affordable price.The President made particular mention of the resilience and determination of the people of Kormah Town for raising over two million Liberia dollars through village savings. She encouraged them to ensure that relations between the European Union and Liberia remain strong.Responding, the head of Cooperation at the European Union, Stefan Ellero, reiterated their commitment to the development of the country and thanked the Liberian leader for creating the enabling environment; adding, “Successful projects like this needs to be implemented in different communities across Liberia.”Mr. Ellero also thanked Welthungerhilfe (WHH), ACF and RUAF for implementing the project adding, “It was rewarding.”For her part, head of Project UPANI, Mrs. Irene Sleven, who put the total cost of the project at US$27,000, including equipment, thanked the people of Kormah Town for the cooperation shown during the execution of the project.In separate remarks, Clay Ashland’s city mayor, Mrs. Alveria Morris-Raynes, Town Chief, J. Momo Johnson, and Kormah Town’s chairlady, Mrs. Sando Johnson said they were thankful to President Sirleaf and partners for affording them the opportunity to work and earn something; noting that they have raised over two million Liberian dollars through their village saving initiative.The project under the theme: “Enhancing Food Security and Nutrition in and around Monrovia and Tubmanburg,” was funded by the European Union and implemented by Welthungerhilfe (WHH), in partnership with ACF and RUAF.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img

No alcohol in streets, public places at World Cup – Qatar

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first_img0Shares0000Drinking alcohol is not illegal in Qatar and alcohol is available in hotels, while expats who live in the Gulf emirate can buy drink after applying for a licence © AFP/File / Karim JaafarDOHA, Qatar, Nov 9 – Alcohol will be banned from streets and public places and if Qatari officials get their way even stadiums during the 2022 World Cup, the head of the country’s tournament organising committee said on Tuesday.The comments by Hassan Al-Thawadi will further alarm football traditionalists already unhappy that the tournament will be moved to the winter because of fierce summer temperatures in Qatar. A ban on alcohol inside stadiums there has long been speculation about what the conservative Muslim country would do on the tricky issue of alcohol for the World Cup could bring organisers into conflict with FIFA and powerful sponsors.“There will be no alcohol consumption on the streets, squares and public places and that is final,” Al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said in an interview printed on the website of Arabic language newspaper Al-Sharq.“We are against the provision of alcohol in stadiums and their surroundings.”There will not be a total alcohol ban, but drinking will be permitted only in “far-away places”, said Al-Thawadi, without going into details.Drinking alcohol is not illegal in Qatar and alcohol is available in hotels, while expats who live in the Gulf emirate can buy drink after applying for a licence.Public drinking however is prohibited and bringing alcohol into the country is also forbidden.The official said Qatar would resist attempts to change the country’s laws for the tournament, as has happened with previous World Cup hosts.“I did not get into a discussion with FIFA on this matter and there has been great pressure from FIFA on Russia (2018 hosts) to change its laws,” he said.“But our position is clear we will legalise according to Qatari law and commensurate with the customs and traditions.”This could potentially lead to problems with football’s governing body FIFA and major sponsors, including beer giant Budweiser.In the run-up to the tournament in Brazil in 2014, it was widely reported that FIFA demanded alcohol be served at stadiums, which was against Brazilian law at the time.The South American hosts finally relented.As well as the impact on cultural traditions there has been growing concern in Qatar about the link between alcohol and the behaviour of fans, especially following clashes at the Euros in France earlier this year, most notably between English and Russian fans.Organisers have already stated they feared alcohol helped contribute to some of the violence seen in France.Al-Thawadi said earlier this year that drunken fans during the 2022 World Cup would be treated “gently”.It has been estimated by organisers that up to one million fans could descend on Qatar for the 2022 tournament.Many of these could stay in hotels, specially designed campsites and cruise ships.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

Restaurant creator, WWII pilot dies at 84

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first_imgThat eventually led to the opening of the Polynesian- themed Reef Restaurant in 1958, when the idea of a concept restaurant was still rather new and bold. Shortly after, Tallichet opened Ports O’ Call in San Pedro and a food dynasty was in the making. Under the banner of Specialty Restaurants Corp., Tallichet would go on to become a pioneer in the industry, opening more than 100 eateries nationwide with themes ranging from World War II combat aeronautics – often in locales with views of airports like the Proud Bird in Westchester and the former 94th Aero Squadron in Torrance – to South Seas islands like Shanghai Red’s in Marina del Rey. Tallichet’s accomplishments were outpaced only by his dreams, it seems. “I remember he wanted to create an aviation theme park,” John recalls. “As a kid growing up, I would see all these plans on the walls for shopping areas and villages that never got built.” “He was always excited about the next deal,” says son Bill Tallichet, who is now general manager of The Reef. In the 1960s, Tallichet envisioned a revolving restaurant atop the International Tower in Long Beach. At another time, he actually leased land in Florida for a park that was later scrapped. “My dad was a creative thinker,” John said. “He always saw things differently.” Many area residents still fondly recall the heyday of Ports O’ Call Village with its high-end niche shops. The village’s namesake restaurant is still a big draw on San Pedro’s waterfront, now the focus of redevelopment plans. The outdoor shopping village with a New England motif was built on a landfill, sweeping away all signs of the old Southern Pacific Railroad wharf that had been built on the waterfront during the previous century. John, who now runs Specialty Restaurants Corp., says he remembers his father always with a yellow legal pad in his hands either dreaming up a new ideas or reminding himself what needed to be done next. Tallichet’s success as a businessman allowed him to indulge his other passion, flying. Tallichet was the founder of Military Aircraft Restoration Co. By John’s estimation, at one time his father had about 40 working airplanes and another 100 or so in different stages of rehabilitation. Tallichet provided many of the Corsairs that were used in the television show, “Black Sheep Squadron.” Bill remembers his wheelchair-bound dad on the telephone with a friend making plans to fly his B-17 back to Cleveland just days before he died. While the flying was adventurous, both sons say it also allowed Tallichet to exercise his business talents as well as his passions. “He loved the art of negotiation,” John said. “So, while there was the adventure of flying, there’s also a lot of horse trading that goes on with these old planes and he loved that.” “His passion was doing business,” Bill remembers. “He’d get more passionate about saving $100 buying a car.” Tallichet is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter, Catherine of Wyoming; and three sons, William of San Pedro, John of Newport Beach and James of Wyoming. Funeral services were private, but a celebration of Tallichet’s life will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Nov. 17 at Orange Hill Restaurant, 6410 E. Chapman Ave., Orange. The family asks that any memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or online at www.cancer.org. greg.mellen@presstelegram.com. Staff writer Donna Littlejohn contributed to this article.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “He’d say he got a slow start, but once he got going he made up for it,” John Tallichet said of his father, who lived in Orange. After serving in World War II, where he flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on more than 20 combat missions in Europe, Tallichet began working for Hilton Hotels, eventually becoming general manager of the Lafayette Hotel in downtown Long Beach in 1955. It was there that Tallichet met Cecilia, who became his first wife and the mother of his four children. Several years before, he had visited a remote restaurant in the Midwest that drew large crowds because of its backwoods theme. That gave Tallichet the idea of creating restaurants that featured not only good food, but exotic or historic atmospheres. David Tallichet Jr.’s head was often in the clouds, literally and figuratively. As an aviator and former combat pilot, he flew World War II-era aircraft until the final months of his life. As a businessman, he was constantly dreaming up new concepts and schemes for themed restaurants nationwide, including his first, The Reef Restaurant in Long Beach in 1958. That was followed in 1963 by the Proud Bird, which sits under the final approach path to Los Angeles International Airport, and Ports O’ Call Village in San Pedro, which opened in 1964. Tallichet, who was born in Texas, died Oct. 31 after a battle with prostate cancer. He was 84. last_img

West Ham 2-3 Tottenham: Spurs survive late pressure to claim all three points

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first_img Tottenham's Christian Eriksen celebrates the third goal 1 Tottenham survived a late West Ham onslaught to emerge with a 3-2 win from a ding-dong derby.Harry Kane scored twice in four first-half minutes and Spurs appeared to be cruising when Christian Eriksen added a third.But Javier Hernandez pulled one back before Serge Aurier marked his full Spurs league debut with a needless red card.That left the visitors a man down with 20 minutes to go, and when Cheikhou Kouyate halved the deficit they must have feared another dose of West Ham woe.The Hammers had, of course, inflicted near-fatal blows to Tottenham’s title hopes in the previous two corresponding fixtures.And while it was a little too early in the season for that they certainly looked in the mood to administer a bloody nose to their rivals – but this time Spurs just held out.West Ham had made the brighter start with summer signings Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic going close.However, Tottenham withstood the early pressure and Kane was spared the embarrassment of missing a tap-in from a yard out by an offside flag.West Ham’s problems really began on the half hour when Michail Antonio, only recently back from a hamstring operation, pulled up injured.Andy Carroll replaced the winger and had an immediate impact – but not in the manner he would have wanted.The striker’s misplaced pass infield – inside his own half – went straight to Eriksen who immediately sent Dele Alli scurrying clear down the right.Alli swung in a perfect cross behind a West Ham backline caught horribly square, and Kane applied the finish with a glancing header past Joe Hart.Four minutes later Spurs, and Kane, had a second. This time Jan Vertonghen raided down the left and fed Alli, whose effort was saved by Hart but fell to the feet of Kane to roll into an empty net.Eriksen helped himself to the third 15 minutes after the interval after Kane had thumped the foot of Hart’s far post with a free-kick.Yet West Ham, to their credit, kept probing and pulled one back when Jose Fonte flicked Aaron Cresswell’s corner onto the head of Hernandez, who steered it past Hugo Lloris for his third goal of the season.And when Aurier’s match came to a premature end after he scythed down Carroll to earn a second booking, Spurs were suddenly a bag of nerves.They were seriously wobbling in the 86th minute when Kouyate’s bullet header from Arthur Masuaku’s cross hit the net.Carroll then claimed he was shoved as he leapt for a stoppage-time header, but referee Michael Oliver thought otherwise and Spurs had the points.last_img

VIDEO: talkSPORT’s Jason Cundy celebrates Michy Batshuayi’s winner for Chelsea

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first_img1 Chelsea fans are still probably feeling the after effects of last night’s win in Madrid.The Blues claimed a dramatic last gasp 2-1 win in their Champions League group stage fixture against Atletico Madrid.And talkSPORT’s very own Jason Cundy could not contain his delight as he watched Michy Batshuayi hit a late winner for his beloved Chelsea.The Sports Bar host, Andy Goldstein, managed to film a live reaction as Cundy danced around the office in pure delight!  WATCH! It looks like @jasoncundy05 enjoyed @mbatshuayi's winner last night… 😂 #CFC pic.twitter.com/RxD51UtOf8— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) September 28, 2017center_img The Blues fan could not contain his delight as the Belgian bulged the Atletico Madrid net last_img

Murray Davidson ‘proud’ to hit Saints appearance milestone

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first_imgWright paid tribute to Davidson’s mental strength after fighting back from injury, but admitted the “mischievous” character had left him to suffer sleepless nights over the years.“Murray has been brilliant,” said Wright. “He has probably been in my office more than any other player, not that he is a bad lad, he just gets up to a lot of mischief.“He’s been a really good servant to the club and the fact he has got to 300 when you think of the serious injuries he’s had is testament to his mental strength.” St Johnstone midfielder Murray Davidson said he was looking forward to a “proud moment” when he makes his 300th appearance for the club.The 30-year-old is set to make reach the milestone this weekend when the Saints face Queen of the South in the League Cup second round.Davidson has become a integral figure in Tommy Wright’s line-up since moving to Perth from Livingston in 2009.The Scot has been a regular source of goals from midfield, and has shrugged off a serious knee injury to edge towards the appearance landmark. He said: “To be honest, it has crept up on me, I wasn’t aware it was my 300th game until yesterday.“Obviously, it is a proud moment because there is only a select number who have done it.“My main focus tomorrow though is about the team and getting to the next round of the cup.”Saints boss Tommy Wright hailed Davidson’s impact on his side, with the midfielder helping St Johnstone to establish themselves as regular top six contenders in recent years.last_img

Photo library: Tourism and leisure 19

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first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Tourism & Leisure contact sheet (1.1MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) North West province: Refreshments at a hotel in the Sun City entertainment complex.Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image North West province: Hotel at the Sun City entertainment complex. Photo: Hannelie Coetzee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res imageTOURISM AND LEISURE 19:{loadposition tourism}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about using the image library? Email Mary Alexander at marya@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.last_img

Team South Africa gets rhino mascot

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first_imgThe cheerful rhino Chukuru will spearheadTeam SA’s bid for Olympic glory.(Image: Road to London 2012) The South African public voted Chukuruas their favourite in the mascot race.(Image: Sascoc)MEDIA CONTACTS • Mark KeohaneSascoc spokesperson+27 11 483 3788RELATED ARTICLES• Olympic community gathers in SA• Supporting SA’s sports stars• SA producer gets Olympics for Korea• Laureus honour for Blade Runner• Playing the dreamMediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterTeam South Africa’s mascot for the 2012 London Olympic Games is Chukuru, a rhino.The animal was introduced to the nation at a function in Johannesburg, during which Team SA’s official kit was shown off on the catwalk by some of the country’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, including swimmers Cameron van der Burgh and Natalie du Toit, javelin champion Zanele Situ, and long jumper Khotso Mokoena.The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) announced that the gear would be made by Erke, one of China’s leading sportswear manufacturers.According to Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy, the organisation approached local manufacturers first but were unable to come to an arrangement with them.The Erke deal is reported to be worth US$4-million (R30-million), and includes tracksuits, golf shirts, t-shirts, sandals, caps, backpacks, towels and more.All items bear the protea, South Africa’s national flower and the main symbol of the Sascoc logo.“Our athletes must feel not only comfortable and at home in their kit but also extremely proud and honoured whether they wear it in or out of competition,” said Reddy.The athletic models were impressed with the quality of the Erke product, saying that it’s light, breathable and comfortable.The rhino Chukuru, with five other finalists, took part in a week-long countrywide voting process to decide the nation’s favourite.It will inspire Team SA in all multi-coded sporting events from the Olympics onwards. These include the 2013 World Games in Columbia, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, the 2015 All Africa Games, and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Sascoc says it plans to create a national identity for events such as these, and this strategy includes having the same mascot for international tournaments, to bring the country together behind Team SA.Highlighting the plight of real rhinosThe name chukuru is a Southern African word for rhinoceros, in the Setswana language.The Sascoc mascot features the five colours of the Olympic rings around its horn, but fittingly these are also the colours of the South African flag.The cheerful animal was designed by the Johannesburg-based Mortimer Harvey advertising agency, and saw off competition from over 100 entries to make it to the final six and then claim top spot, winning by a margin of 233 over its closest rival.“We knew, straight away that this was a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said designer Vanessa de Castro. “It was a chance to create something that would represent our Olympic team and the hopes and pride of the entire country. It doesn’t get better than that.”Codesigner Prudence Tshikalange was elated, saying that the design team was “honoured and humbled”.Mortimer Harvey also hopes that the national sporting mascot will raise awareness about the poaching crisis affecting real-life rhinos.With almost 160 animals already killed for their horns in South Africa alone in the first quarter of 2012, and reports of even rhino exhibits being vandalised for the horns, there is a growing worldwide call for toughter action against and harsher punshment for poachers.last_img