IAAF CEO Olivier Gers said although the federation is disappointed at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association’s (JAAA) decision to abstain from voting on new reforms for anti-doping controls in the sport, it will not impose any sanctions on the body, and, he wants to greater develop the relationship between the two bodies and also Jamaica’s athletes. Gers, who was the guest speaker for last night’s RJR Sports Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards ceremony, said that the association has nothing to fear regarding sanctions for its decision. “There’s no change (in the relationship), there won’t be any repercussions, and there won’t be any impact,” Gers said. “Don’t get me wrong, we were disappointed because of the amazing ranking and amazing weight that Jamaica has in our sport, so I think President (Sebastian) Coe and all of us on the council were disappointed not to get the full support of Jamaica, but it doesn’t mean that there will be any repercussions. We’re working together already, we’ve been talking since then, and we’ll be working to hear Dr (Warren) Blake’s (JAAA President) concerns.” Gers said that Jamaica has what he describes as a rich track and field heritage and said that the nation’s input in the sport’s affairs is important to the IAAF. He also noted that the federation wants to learn from what the nation has done, to make the sport better in other areas of the world. He continued by saying that Usain Bolt is one of the sport’s greatest finds and that he hopes he will remain involved in it after Bolt’s planned retirement later this year. “Hopefully, he won’t be too far (away from the sport), and we’ll get his passion and his talents on the administration side of what we do,” Gers told The Gleaner. “We need his fame and his dedication to the sport, but in a different fashion, because he’s an amazing trendsetter and marketer of himself so I’m looking forward to working with him in that fashion.” He said that he hopes that younger athletes would follow Bolt’s pattern of marketing himself socially. “How he markets himself through social media and other tools that exist today that didn’t always exist, that was an innate talent of Usain,” he said. “His incredible charisma, talent and his unique relationship with the fans is something we hope we can teach younger talent. We are in the business of sport and the business of entertainment, and we have to remember that we are competing with other sports as well.” Gers said that he would love to have Bolt as an ambassador at the IAAF after his retirement. “That would be great,” he said with a grin. “We haven’t had a chance to talk to him about it because we’re letting him focus on his season and letting him focus on all the milestones he has set for himself in 2017.”
South African and foreign fans get thevuvuzela noise going at the Fifa Fan Festin Soweto.(Image: Nosimilo Ramela)MEDIA CONTACTS• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 email@example.com • Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World CupLocal Organising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 firstname.lastname@example.org RELATED ARTICLES• SA fan to break attendance record• 2010 World Cup, New York style• Exciting start to World Cup• World Cup begins on a high note• The vuvuzela: Bafana’s 12th manNosimilo RamelaWhile over 90 000 football fans were having the time of their lives as South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup kicked off at the iconic Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg on Friday, eight kilometres away, in the heart of Soweto township, another 40 000 were getting into the tournament spirit with the Fifa Fan Fest.Elkah Stadium in Moroka, Soweto, is one of the two Fan Fests venues in Johannesburg; the other is to the north of the city, in the upmarket Sandton area. On Friday locals and foreign visitors braved the winter cold to enjoy the atmosphere as they watched first the colourful opening ceremony on the huge screen, and then the intense clash between South Africa and Mexico.“This is history in the making. I wouldn’t miss it for anything,” said Sindiswa Mgoza from Pimville, Soweto. “Watching it at a fan fest with thousands of fellow South Africans and football lovers from all over the world makes it even more special.“We are sharing our cultures and making history – and what better place to do that than in Soweto, where freedom fighters such as Mandela once lived.”The streets of Soweto were a blaze of green and yellow as crowds wearing South African football jerseys sang, waved the national flag and blew on noisy vuvuzela trumpets as they made their way to the festival. The stadium opened at 10am, with a stage for live performances from local and international artists, the huge screen, and plenty to eat and drink.Marquees set up throughout the stadium offered visitors traditional South African food such as steamed bread and tripe, pap ‘n vleis (stiff porridge and meat) and boerewors rolls. Security was tight, with a large contingent of officers keeping order all day and through the night.People came with their families, carrying blankets for children and camp chairs for the elderly. Many came early to get the prime spot in front of the screen. “We arrived here at 11:30am,” said Mathato Molefe from Jabulani, Soweto. “We didn’t want to rush, and get stuck coming in, as we came with our elderly mother and kids.”Molefe and her family were all wearing South African football jerseys, hats, scarves, and jackets with the national colours, carrying vuvuzelas and South African flags. “We are very proud of our country, and are excited to see the first African World Cup being played in our own back yard.”William Hamilton from England came to the fan fest with friends from Australia, the US and South Africa. “We just had to come and watch the opening game in Soweto,” he said. “This is a historical event and this township and its people are a major part of this country’s history. Being here for us is like being at the centre of the making of history.”Hamilton said he and his friends were loving Soweto. “The people here are really amazing. They know how to have fun. The dancing and singing has really put us in the spirit of an African World Cup.”Getting into the jiveA few hours before the kickoff, as people slowly filled up the stadium, local artist Chommee opened the entertainment with her dancers jiving to her hit songs such as Jive Sexy and Fly the Flag, while the crowd danced and sang along.When Somali-Canadian artist K’naan took the stage to sing his anthemic Wavin’ Flag the queues at the food stalls evaporated as everyone headed to the stage. The crowds went into wild cheers and flags flew high as everyone held hands and sang along – many with tears in their eyes – just 10 minutes before the game began.“This song brought all of us to tears,” said Nosihle Mthembu. “K’naan gave such an emotional performance. I’m sure there wasn’t a dry tear in the entire stadium, in fact in all of Soweto. I’m sure they could hear him and us from every corner.”Let the games beginThe air was thick with anticipation as the whistle blew to start the first game of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The tension was palpable, people screaming and gasping, as the game picked up and the two teams tried for goal. There were passionate celebrations when South African striker Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the first goal of the tournament, putting his country in the lead.“We are well on our way now,” said Thabiso Mokoena. “Tshabalala has just rewarded every South African for all their efforts putting this World Cup together, and for all of us cheering fans, who have come out in numbers to blow our vuvuzelas and wave our flags.”Though the game ended in a 1-1 draw, there was still a sense of victory for the successful launch of South Africa’s – and Africa’s – first Fifa World Cup, with an amazing opening ceremony and a cracking opening goal. “At the end of the day we scored the first goal; we opened this tournament with an electric goal,” said Mokoena.The families made their way home after the game, while the youngsters stayed to enjoy the festivities as local DJs played through to midnight – and the beer queues grew longer.
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“I guess we just got reminded that the season is not yet over, and losing thrice doesn’t mean we’re done,” said La Salle team captain Desiree Cheng, who drilled in 17 points on a remarkable 70-percent kill rate.La Salle committed just 10 errors the entire game, a world of difference from 37 errors it made in losing to University of the Philippines last week.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“We entered the [UP] match with no pride and not realizing the name printed in front of our uniforms,” said Cheng.UST, which was a point from sweeping Ateneo in its last outing before losing in five sets, took its ire out on Adamson University, 25-15, 25-12, 25-16. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Unlike in that loss to the league-leading Lady Eagles, UST didn’t rely too much on explosive scorer Sisi Rondina and rookie Eya Laure this time.Instead, rookie playmaker Fe Galanza gave lefty hitters Caitlyn Viray and Dimdim Pacres a lot of looks at the ball and both responded with 14 and 12 points, respectively.Rondina, playing decoy perfectly, scored 10 points after wasting a 35-point output against Ateneo. Laure led the Tigresses with 17.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Ababa takes clubhouse lead with a 70 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDefending champion La Salle and University of Santo Tomas wasted no time bouncing back from stinging defeats, hammering out straight-sets victories on Wednesday in UAAP women’s volleyball at Filoil Flying V Centre.The three-time defending champion didn’t take chances against a young National University side that pushed the Lady Spikers to five sets in the first round, methodically dismantling the Lady Bulldogs this time, 25-20, 25-18, 25-10.ADVERTISEMENT Google Philippines names new country director Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View comments