LONDON, England: How does a girl from the banks of the Mississippi River come to be on the verge of representing Jamaica – of all events, in the 3,000 metres steeplechase at next month’s IAAF World Championships? A Jamaican in the steeplechase isn’t a totally unusual occurrence, but the bright-eyed Aisha Praught likens her Hollywood-style twist of fate to one of her favourite movies. “It’s like you grew up watching the movie Cool Runnings and I’m here now doing my own weird thing,” she laughed. The 25-year-old Oregon-based distance runner told The Gleaner that meeting her Jamaican father for the first time, two years ago in Berlin, played a big role in her decision to represent the Caribbean island that she has always felt deeply connected to. “I’m really excited, this will be my first appearance at the World Championships and I’m looking forward to having a spot on the line. Anybody on the line has a shot at doing something great so I’m excited about that,” said Praught, who was born in Wisconsin but grew up in Illinois, USA. Now, with a few weeks to go before Jamaica, known for its sprinters, enters athletes in the men’s 5,000m and women’s 800m in Beijing, Praught, who started out a sprinter, is hoping that she can help to drive new interest in the middle-to-long distances. “I think there is a wealth of distance-running talent that Jamaica has not realised yet. When I was in Jamaica at the trials, I was looking at the body types … it’s (distance running) probably not the cool thing to do, but I was really encouraged at the championships,” said Praught. “I spoke to a lot of them and I hope that more people will get involved and maybe that we can put it on a bigger level and some of the young Jamaicans can be inspired and try it.” “I think that I could potentially make a bigger impact that way and I hope to inspire someone, even just to get another pair of eyes on the event, get maybe a couple of kids curious. Maybe they have been running around and they are not the fastest, but they can outlast everyone else, maybe they will turn to the sport and distance running,” added Praught, who is already planning to return to Jamaica after the World Championships. The athlete who made her first trip to the island to compete at the National Senior Championships a few weeks ago, where she won the 1,500m in 4 :15.92, admitted that she never really considered representing the island until meeting her father a couple years ago. “I grew up knowing I was Jamaican, but I really didn’t know my father until I was an adult. I sort of just grew up with the knowledge that he was there, but I didn’t meet him until the summer of 2013 when I was in Europe, and he lives in Berlin. Our meeting was really life-changing; just looking into his eyes for the first time was really incredible,” Praught shared. “It’s like there was no time, like we always knew each other.” “It sort of felt serendipitous, it was like, all of a sudden, that was my identity. It was such a warm and welcoming feeling; it felt real and genuine and I felt like a part of myself that had been missing was suddenly there, and it just felt right,” she said of her subsequent decision to represent Jamaica. excited Now, Praught, who competed at the recent IAAF Diamond League meet in Monaco where she was the pace-setter for the women’s 3000m steeplechase, can hardly contain her excitement at the chance of wearing Jamaica’s gold singlet in Beijing next month. “I am so excited and a lot of my friends – I am pretty close with a lot of the American female steeplechasers and it has been the big topic. They are like ‘As soon as you get the kit, you have to send us some pictures,” Praught exclaimed. “Everyone is a little jealous, Jamaica is the coolest team in athletics and putting on that vest is going to feel amazing. I picture it every day and I can’t wait to see it.” Praught will be the first Jamaican entrant in the 3,000m steeplechase at the World Championships since Mardrea Hyman at the 2011 edition in Daegu. Hyman failed to finish in Daegu, as well as the 2008 Olympic Games, her last two major championships. Korine Hinds also represented Jamaica in the event up to the Daegu World Championships. – Andre Lowe
DONEGAL anti-austerity campaigners have travelled to Dublin in a bid to persuade a man to end his hunger strike.Tony Rochford is outside the Oireachtas and entering Day 18 of his hunger strike in protest at the Home Tax.Former IRA hunger striker Tommy McKearny has agreed to advise Tony about the effects his protest will have on his health. Joe Murphy from Donegal Action Against Austerity told Donegal Daily: “We need support to build a campaign to save Tony.“We travelled to Dublin yesterday to talk to Tony and try to talk him out of his hunger strike but to no avail.“We do not condone what Tony is doing but we understand his frustration at the government because of his determination to follow through on his hunger strike we feel we most give him all the support we can.”Mr Rochford has already lost more than two stone and there are already concerns about his health. He has vowed to fast to the death.SupportSaid Mr Murphy: We are calling on people to take part in a solidarity fast this Saturday July 6th from 12pm until Sunday July 7th 12pm which will take place at Market Square in Letterkenny.“We would urge people to attend and Support Tony and the people that will be fasting, even if you can not fast yourself. Support for Tony is very important.”Tony Rochford has been on hunger strike since June 17th. He is protesting against the unfair property tax and the effects that it has had on the self-employed and the general public in this country. Said Joe Murphy: “Like many Tony is in negative equity and has struggled to pay his mortgage. While unemployed Tony used his and his wife’s savings to pay their mortgage.“Now Tony finds himself in a situation where he is unable to get a tax clearance cert in order to work. He has tried to be a good citizen and suck up stoically his bad luck shared with thousands of people of his generation but a property tax levied on a house in which he has no equity is the final straw. At a time when he can’t pay his full mortgage an additional tax makes his finances less sustainable and by not being allowed to work the consequences will see his family lose their home and any hope for their future.”DONEGAL CAMPAIGNERS BID TO END PROTESTOR’S HUNGER STRIKE was last modified: July 5th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL CAMPAIGNERS BID TO END PROTESTOR’S HUNGER STRIKE
Transfers January transfer news & rumours: Juve set price for Man Utd target Dybala Goal Last updated 1 year ago 01:55 12/28/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(7) Getty Images Transfers Premier League Bundesliga Serie A Primera División Ligue 1 Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond as we head into the winter window JUVENTUS SET DYBALA PRICEJuventus have set a price of €150 million for star striker Paulo Dybala according to a report in Corriere della Sera .The striker, who has found himself on the bench for Juventus as of late, is unlikely to be moved in January and the Serie A champions do not appear willing to accept the rumoured €68m Manchester United wishes to pay. LIVERPOOL AGREE RECORD VVD DEAL Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Liverpool have reached an agreement with Southampton for the transfer of Virgil van Dijk, who will join the Anfield club on January 1.Quiet negotiations had been moving quickly in recent days and the deal was tied up on Wednesday evening.The centre-back stands to make around £180,000 per week and gets his wish to work with Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.Man City and Chelsea retained a strong interest in the Netherlands international but were ultimately been beaten by Liverpool’s record-breaking offer (for a defender) of £75 million.PL CLUBS EYEING CARRASCOPremier League sides have been alerted after Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone gave the go-ahead for the club to sell winger Yannick Carrasco, according to AS .Both Manchester United and Chelsea have been heavily linked with the Belgium international in recent months, with Carrasco’s contract boasting an £86 million release clause.Both Nicolas Gaitan and Luciano Vietto are also understood to be on the transfer list.SCHURRLE EYES LOAN DEALDortmund winger Andre Schurrle is considering a January loan move with fellow Bundesliga side Stuttgart interested, according to RuhrNachrichten.de .With Marco Reus nearing a return, and Schurrle already behind Christian Pulisic and Andriy Yarmolenko, the Germany international wants to ensure he has playing time ahead of the 2018 World Cup. ROMA LOOK AT VIDAL LOANRoma are interested in taking Barcelona full-back Aleix Vidal on loan, according to Corriere dello Sport .The Serie A side’s director of football, Monchi, knows Vidal from their time at Sevilla and during the January window hopes to conclude a deal with an option to purchase the player.ARSENAL AND LIVERPOOL BATTLE FOR LOZANOArsenal and Liverpool are both set to make a move to sign Mexican sensation Hirving Lozano from PSV, according to the Daily Star .The 22-year-old winger joined the Eindhoven club from Pachuca in the summer after rejecting Manchester City and has been a revelation in the Eredivisie with 11 goals in 16 games.He has been attracting Europe’s top sides with his starring role for Phillip Cocu’s side and the two English clubs are expected to make a push for him.OZIL TOPS FIVE-MAN BARCA WISHLISTArsenal star Mesut Ozil tops a list of five players Ernesto Valverde wants to bring to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window, claims the Express. Out of contract in June, Ozil is highly coveted at Camp Nou, and could be available for a bargain price should Arsenal wish to cut their losses and avoid losing him on a free transfer. But the Germany international is just one of the names linked with Barca, alongside Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, CSKA Moscow youngster Aleksandr Golovin and Schalke duo Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka.ARSENAL SEE BENATIA BID REJECTEDArsenal have seen their efforts to sign Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia frustrated after a bid worth £35 million was rejected, reports the Sun .The former Bayern Munich man has slotted into the hole left by Leonardo Bonucci’s departure to Milan, and his performances have not gone unnoticed in north LondonBut the Gunners may see their chase come to nothing as Juve appear set on retaining Benatia’s services.MINA SET TO COMPLETE BARCA MOVEBarcelona are set to finally land long-term defensive target Yerry Mina in the January transfer window, according to Sport .The Colombian, a champion in Brazil with Palmeiras, is already under a first option at Camp Nou. And Barca are hoping to begin talks over Mina as soon as Javier Mascherano’s transfer to China is finalised.CONTE CONFIRMS VIDAL INTERESTChelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed he would be delighted to work with Arturo Vidal again .The pair came together to great effect at Juventus, and Vidal has now been linked with a reunion with his former boss at Stamford Bridge.ATLETICO WANT VIDAL IN GRIEZMANN DEALAtletico Madrid are set to demand Aleix Vidal form part of any deal that brings Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona, reports Don Balon .The Catalans have long been in pursuit of the striker, even prompting Atletico to make a formal complaint. But with speculation continuing to loom over the Spanish capital, Vidal would be acceptable compensation for losing one of the Colchoneros’ key players.LUCAS MOURA LINKED WITH CHELSEALucas Moura has emerged as a potential transfer target for Chelsea this January, reports Buzz Sport .The Brazilian has been frozen out of Paris Saint-Germain’s plans, and is keen to seal a move away. And he would be an interesting choice for the Blues should Willian choose to move to China.MONTREAL PURSUING HUTCHINSONThe Montreal Impact are looking to sign Canada international Atiba Hutchinson from Besiktas, according to Kartal Bakisi .Hutchinson, 34, would bolster the Impact’s options in central midfield after the retirement of Patrice Bernier and expiration of Hernan Bernardello’s contract.LAZIO READY TO SELL LIVERPOOL TARGETLazio are willing to sell Stefan de Vrij in the January transfer window after failing to agree a new contract with the Dutch defender, reports Calciomercato.com .De Vrij is out of contract at the end of the season, and he has been linked with a move to Liverpool and Lazio’s Serie A rivals Juventus.Reports value De Vrij at €30 million and if that figure is met in the New Year then Lazio will let the centre-half leave before next summer.FEKIR TO COST ARSENAL £60MArsenal will have to pay around £60 million if they want to sign Lyon star Nabil Fekir at the end of the season, claims the Daily Star .Fekir has been linked with a string of Europe’s leading clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester City, while are Arsenal are keen as they assess potential replacements for Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.Lyon have ruled out selling Fekir in the January transfer window, with Arsenal aware they will have to fork out a club record €60m to sign the forward once the season is over. 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