By Mike CollettMANCHESTER United manager Louis van Gaal would rather be taking his under-performing team anywhere but bitter rivals Liverpool on Sunday (4.05pm) as speculation continues over his future at Old Trafford.Van Gaal’s trials and tribulations are continuing to dominate the back pages with United slipping to sixth after conceding a last-minute equaliser to draw 3-3 at Newcastle United on Tuesday, a result the Dutchman said felt like a defeat.In contrast, Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal 24 hours later felt more like a win to boss Jurgen Klopp after Joe Allen’s 90th minute equaliser stopped Arsene Wenger’s table-toppers in their tracks.Liverpool’s rivalry with United is one of the most intense in English football and even after the thrilling draw with Arsenal Klopp was already thinking about United’s visit to Anfield.“It was a great game of football,” he said, “and ultimately, we will talk about this game, maybe not for too long, because on Sunday we play Manchester United, but it will not be easy to forget it,” he said.Van Gaal’s mood was far less upbeat, ruing the loss of two important points, and then insulting a journalist at the end of his post-match news conference.“We had to win and we didn’t do it, we are very disappointed but can only blame ourselves,” he said.The biggest problem facing Liverpool might be their own crippling injury concerns rather than United’s indifferent form which has seen them win twice in eight league matches.Liverpool, in ninth place, have 11 players in the treatment room, although they showed real resilience to gain a point against Arsenal.Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino meanwhile has said he is keen to emulate his performance in Wednesday’s draw with Arsenal on a more consistent basis.The 24-year-old Brazil international gave Liverpool the lead twice within the opening 20 minutes against the Gunners, including a stunning strike from outside the box.Firmino’s only other goal came in the Merseyside club’s 4-1 thumping of Manchester City in November, when he was also named man of the match.“I hope I can play like that against all teams, not only the big teams,” Firmino told the club’s website (www.liverpoolfc.com).“Manchester United are a big team and I know how big this derby is here… If we do as well as we did up front against Arsenal against them, we have a good chance to win on Sunday.” Arsenal, who top the table with 43 points after 21 games, ahead of Leicester City on goal difference, travel to Stoke City tomorrow (6.15pm) and could start the match in second place if Leicester win at bottom side Aston Villa on Saturday (7.30pm).Leicester ended a run of three league matches without a goal with a late Robert Huth header giving them a 1-0 win at fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.Spurs, who are now seven points behind the leaders, host relegation-threatened Sunderland in Saturday’s early kick-off (2.45pm) with Sunderland buoyed by a 4-2 win at Swansea City on Wednesday with former Spurs favourite Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick.
Walsh gave the nine-year-old his head early in the race to take the lead and he would never give it up despite Sub Lieutenant closing the gap as the finishing line arrived.The 7/4 favourite was still tanking along coming down the hill and, despite having never won over as far over fences, kept up the gallop well.A couple more beautiful leaps up the home straight sealed victory with Walsh only having to keep the former Arkle winner up to his business to beat the 8/1 runner-up.Rank outsider Aso ran a superb race for Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch to finish third at 40/1.Walsh had won aboard Mullins’ Yorkhill in the opening JLT Novices’ Chase, and he said: “I was a passenger. I got him back at the first fence down the back, but he attacked and jumped and he stayed.”The jump at the last was special. He’s a cracking little horse and he’s so consistent, he must be a joy to own, he’s a little tiger. He wants soft ground at two miles which is why we went two and a half miles on better ground.”It’s been a tough year for Willie but he’s taken it great, I’ve worked for him since I was 17 so could eulogise about him all day.”Part-owner Colm O’Connell said: “It’s my birthday today, so this is wonderful”We’ve only got three horses with Willie. He’s the horse of a lifetime, defeat last year in the Queen Mother to Sprinter Sacre hurt, but we’re back with a bang now.”Ruby is a genius because he lets him do his own thing, he doesn’t panic. Our job is to pay the bills, they told us he’d stay and that was it. It all makes sense now.”Mullins said: “He was very keen, I was a little worried with his huge jump at the first but he got him settled. When he saw a line of fences he just went for them, but he sort of settled in front. For him, that’s settled.”He’s an absolute iron horse, he’s like that on the gallops every day, he wears his heart on his sleeve and I wonder how he can do it without wearing himself out.”He’s so hard on himself, so I’m trying to train him not to do that, this fellow has the button pressed the whole way, I don’t know how he keeps the energy and keeps wanting to do it.”Every time he needed a good jump he got one and I thought it would take something out of the others to catch him. He saved his best jump until last.””I was confident he’d stay, after the third-last I knew it was bar a fall, I was always confident he’d stay. Anyone horse who wins over two-four at Auteuil at four should have no problems here.”As for the King George I don’t know if you’d want him doing that over three miles. His owners certainly enjoy it, they all have their scarves and everyone in Cork has one.”
Uefa have opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic after a supporter ran on to the pitch and attempted to kick Paris St Germain striker Kylian Mbappe during their 5-0 home defeat in the Champions League on Tuesday.The fan ran towards the French forward as the Scottish side prepared to kick-off after the third goal, before being caught by stewards and escorted from the pitch.PSG have also been charged by Uefa for acts of damage after seats were broken at Celtic Park in the group stage match. Both cases will be dealt with by the Uefa Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on Oct. 19.Celtic have been fined 11 times in less than six years over fan behaviour issues, including a 20,000 pounds fine in July over an illicit banner in the crowd against Irish club Linfield in a Champions League qualifying match.
Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netReaching personal milestones in his 500th career game, Arwind Santos is grateful he’s able to join some of the league’s greats in San Miguel’s 94-91 win over Mahindra on Sunday.“Masaya ako dahil umabot ako sa ganoon. Hindi ko naman akalain na makukuha ko yun,” he said. “Kumbaga, kahit wala ka na sa mundo, nakaukit na yan sa istorya ng PBA.”ADVERTISEMENT Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PLAY LIST 01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award01:30’Excited’ Terrence Romeo out to cherish first PBA finals appearance02:08‘Andas wall’ prevents blocking of Black Nazarene image01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine (I’m happy that I reached that point. I didn’t expect that I’ll achieve it. Even if you’re not already in this world, it’s already etched in the story of the PBA.)Rejecting six shots, the former league MVP moved 10th in all-time blocks with 631 blocks, moving past Billy Robinson (627).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTS We are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliHe also hauled down his 3,002nd defensive rebound to become the 14th player in history to have at least 3,000 defensive rebounds.Matching these feats, Santos couldn’t help but look back at his idols growing up. Senators to proceed with review of VFA Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter We are young Fajardo on surviving Mahindra: ‘You can’t take them for granted’ As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise View comments Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes “I look up to coach Glenn Capacio, at his height, he’s small but he guards imports. Also Marlou Aquino, Benjie Paras, guys who are really known to block shots, as well as Jerry Codinera,” he said. “In the NBA, Dikembe Mutombo is my idol at that time.”As happy as he is to reach these milestones, Santos’ focus remains on the team, as he hopes that sooner or later, San Miguel will figure out their struggles to dominate the field again this 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.“May mga laro kami na parang yung ugali namin, parang ina-underestimate namin yung kalaban kasi alam namin kaya naming talunin eh. Parang minamadali namin, first quarter akala namin agad-agad bibigay sila,” he said. “Sabi nga ni coach Leo kanina, ‘Alam ko kaya nyo, pero hindi basta-basta matatalo ng ganyan-ganyan kagaya ng nilalaro nyo.’ Kailangan pa rin naming ibigay ang lahat, at kailangan nandoon pa rin yung respeto sa bawat isa.”(There’s games where we tend to underestimate the opponent because we know we can beat them. We’re rushing the games and think that they’ll fold in the first quarter. Like what coach Leo told us, ‘I know you can, but we can’t beat them easily with the way you’re playing.’ We still have to give our best and remain respectful of our opponents.)ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ PH among economies most vulnerable to virus EDITORS’ PICK
Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Garcia went long moments without throwing a punch, seemingly content to wait for Thurman to attack then try to counter, but Thurman always seem to land one or two good punches in the closing seconds of each round.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Bellew stuns heavyweight Haye with 11th-round stoppage Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member Beggar dead in Quezon hit-and-run incident Taal Volcano continues to emit steam, ash from weak explosions 2 ‘bookies’ bet collectors held in Quezon PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS) PLAY LIST 03:24PH’s James Palicte boxing light welterweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)01:26Lawmakers hail fighting Senator Pacquiao’s victory over Thurman01:26Lawmakers hail fighting Senator Pacquiao’s victory over Thurman01:40Filipinos 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 NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 04: Keith Thurman celebrates his split decision win against Danny Garcia after their WBA/WBC Welterweight unification Championship bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on March 4, 2017 in New York City. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFPWBA champ Keith Thurman defeated Danny Garcia by a split decision Saturday night to claim the WBC welterweight belt in a unification clash between a pair of unbeaten champions.Thurman successfully defended his title for the third time, winning a tactical defensive struggle by scores of 116-112, and 115-113 on two of the judges’ scorecards. The other judge had it 115-113 for Garcia.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos China counts sharp rise in coronavirus cases, 2 in Beijing Saturday’s matchup between the 28-year-old Americans was only the third time in history that two undefeated fighters fought to unify welterweight world titles and the first since Oscar de la Hoya faced Felix Trinidad in 1999.Thurman is the first fighter in the division to hold multiple titles since Floyd Mayweather held the WBA, WBC and WBO belts after defeating Manny Pacquiao in 2015.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThere were no knockdowns as the 12-round fight at the Barclays Center turned into a strategic battle.Thurman was the aggressor, scoring early then staying out of trouble in the final rounds for the victory.
Day one leader Jared Wolfe pounced on the field once again to secure the day three lead at the BMW Jamaica Classic at Cinnamon Hill in Montego Bay yesterday.The American carded another impressive eight under par 64 to be the overall leader at 16 under.Wolfe was particularly devastating with his putter, carving out nine birdies, including consecutive birdies on holes 16, 17 and 18.It wasn’t a perfect round this time for the Murray State University grad, as he bogeyed hole number 11.”I had to calm the nerves and refocus for this round today, and I must say, that really helped me to play well. I had a few breaks after sinking some crucial par putts, so all is well so far and I am looking to finish well.”Trailing Wolfe by six shots are American Carlos Sainz Jr and Mexican Jose de Jesus Rodriquez, who are both 10 under par. Sainz Jr shot a four under par 68 in his second round while Rodriquez had a seven under par 65.COURSE RECORDThe round of the day, however, belonged to American Jarred Garcia, who shot a course record nine under par 63. His remarkable round included five birdies and two eagles.The American is tied for eighth with a score of 136 heading into the third round.”I had a chip in eagle on hole 9 and everything just started to go well for me. I told my caddie that I wanted to clean up the mistakes today, and I did just that, so I am pleased at this point.”It was a different story for the Jamaicans as none made the cut, which was set at two under. Orville Christie had the best round of the day for the locals, carding a one under par 71 to add to his opening-round 76.Fabian Campbell had a disastrous day following up his opening round 73 with a nine over par 81.Sean Morris carded 80, Sebert Walker Jr, 83, Jonathan Newnham, 84, and Zandre Roye, 85. The third round, which began late yesterday evening, will be completed this morning.
David Griffin, New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations, holds up placards after it was announced that the Pelicans had won the first pick during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 14, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nuccio DiNuzzo)CHICAGO — Zion Williamson has never been to New Orleans.That may be changing very soon.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books Barrett and Reddish don’t know where they’re heading.Williamson now has a pretty good idea.Aided by a lucky tie that came from Cavaliers executive Jeff Cohen — the one Cohen wore for all three of Cleveland’s lottery wins, and one Griffin insisted he get to use this year — along with an angel pin that belonged to his grandmother and the winning ping-pong ball combination of 7-4-12-13, Griffin is already off to a flying start in New Orleans.And maybe Davis will be more interested in staying now.“I don’t think it’ll play into it hugely,” Griffin said. “If he was open-minded to believing that we could build a winner around him, he’s more open-minded to it. … We’re going to build something that we hope everyone wants to be part of and I believed very strongly Anthony’s going to want to be part of that whether we win this or not. I think when you have elite talent, that tends to attract other truly elite talent.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Griffin was with Cleveland when the Cavaliers won the lottery in 2011, 2013 and 2014. And now it’s the Pelicans, his new employer, which has struck lottery gold. They defied the odds to do it; the Pelicans entered the lottery with a 6% chance of winning the No. 1 pick for the June 20 draft.So now, instead of going into a summer where they may have traded Davis — the player New Orleans got when it won the lottery in 2012, the player who was openly disgruntled this season — the Pelicans have a chance at becoming much better, and fast.“This just jump-starts the process,” Griffin said. “It’ll be harder for me to mess it up than it would have been before this.”Memphis will choose second, New York third and the Los Angeles Lakers will pick fourth. The Pelicans, Grizzlies and Lakers all moved up to get a top-four spot; New York, Phoenix and Cleveland had the best odds of winning the lottery at 14% each, and none of those clubs even got a top-two pick.The lottery had a new format this year, one that the league hoped would even the playing field in a number of ways and didn’t make all-out tanking a more enticing option to teams looking to maximize their chance at securing the No. 1 pick.ADVERTISEMENT LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card LATEST STORIES Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN View comments NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption PLAY LIST 02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu The Pelicans bucked seriously long odds Tuesday night, winning the NBA draft lottery and the right to have the first chance at selecting the former Duke star next month — and potentially pairing him with Anthony Davis, in what would immediately become one of the league’s most intriguing frontcourt duos.“I don’t believe the universe makes mistakes,” said David Griffin, who is barely a month into his tenure as New Orleans’ executive vice president of basketball operations. “I just think we have something special going on.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsGriffin doesn’t play the lottery, unless the jackpot is one of those billion-dollar-type enormous ones.Maybe he should. The ping-pong balls seem to bounce his way a lot. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast Endgame The Knicks, Suns and Cavs didn’t have much interest in winning this season, with none winning more than 19 games. The ping-pong balls apparently weren’t interested in having them win the lottery, either.“I don’t think you should ever not play to win basketball games,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “I don’t see where it would help you.”Cleveland will pick fifth, followed by Phoenix, Chicago and Atlanta. Washington has the No. 9 pick, Atlanta goes again at 10 and Minnesota is at No. 11. Charlotte is next up, followed by Miami at 13 and Boston at 14. That pick was conveyed to the Celtics by Sacramento as part of an earlier trade.The Hawks felt they were big winners, too, after getting two top-10 picks.“There are always good players,” said Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, the No. 19 pick in last year’s draft and part of Atlanta’s contingent at the lottery. “Every team just has to go out and find them.”UCF center Tacko Fall, the 7-foot-6 draft hopeful, played against Williamson in the second round of the NCAA tournament — a 77-76 Duke victory that went down to the very last moment, a game where Williamson scored 32 points. Fall was asked Tuesday who he would take with the No. 1 pick in this draft, and he did not hesitate for even a second before answering.“Zion,” Fall said. “He’s a once-in-a-generation player. I’d seen him on TV a lot, but when you play against this kid, you just see it. He’s different.”Murray State’s Ja Morant, projected by many as a strong candidate to be chosen No. 2 overall, was among the players in the audience viewing the proceedings.“I don’t have any reaction,” Morant said. “I was just excited to be here and be in the position that I’m in and just to see how it all played out. Honestly, I don’t know what number or where I’ll land. Obviously, whatever team drafts me, I’ll be happy to go there and bring it every night.”Williamson was one of three now-former Duke starters at the lottery — R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish were among the invited players as well. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption
The situation within Guyana’s prison system appears to be getting from bad to worse despite the assurances given by top security and ministerial officials that more will be done to make the country safer and more secure by improving the quality of law enforcement and beefing up the conditions and security of various penitentiaries across the country.On Monday, Guyanese were informed that three more men managed to escape from the Lusignan Prison by scaling a fence there. Officials again assured the public that the men would be caught and the prison officers had everything under control.Later that same day, prisoners began a riot in protest over the reportedly “inhumane” conditions that they are forced to endure at the Lusignan Prison. This newspaper, like other sections of the media, was told that the rioters also cited the type and quality of food being offered to the prisoners. Chaos broke out, and the prison officers went into “riot mode” using pellets, tear gas, and other methods to calm the prisoners and restore order.Both Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and the acting Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels visited the scene of the unrest. It was also reported that the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James is working along with the Prison Service to resolve some of the problems there.Over the next few days, the executive will no doubt attempt to give a plausible explanation for what took place at Lusignan. Guyanese can expect the same type of tone and rhetoric from officials within the prison system akin to what was said after the Camp Street Prison fire and unrest, which left 17 dead and over 20 injured.It is most unfortunate that there have been little or no real improvements in the Prison Service despite the assurances given from all sides that more would be done. It is even more unfortunate that the Lusignan unrest occurred on the same day when there was a security breach and the escape of prisoners. What is also appalling is the fact that a Commission of Inquiry was established by the executive following the 2017 events, but half of the recommendations contained in the final report remain unimplemented, according to well-placed sources.Also the smuggling of contraband, narcotics and other illegal items into the prisons has not declined, but has taken on a shameful if not shocking story line of its own with prison officers themselves being discovered with the booty or facilitating the trafficking of these items.If Minister Ramjattan is interested in his tenure and the reputation of the Government, he should also consider transferring top prison officials and perhaps even asking for the resignation of the current head of the establishment to allow for the appointment of newer and more independent leadership.A robust civil society effort must be led which will see stakeholders from all sides of the divide conducting more routine searches and raids of the prison facilities. Government must also look at the integrity of the officers serving within the prison system and the relationships that exist between wardens and hardened criminals. Both parties must be read the riot act, and special emphasis must be placed on shaking up the establishment in order to make way for Government, Police and intelligence informants to enter the system and work as undercover agents or double agents in order to understand how the smuggling of contraband takes place.If any other disaster breaks out, Minister Ramjattan may find it necessary to tender his own resignation. Integrity would demand it, because it would appear that he is unable to grasp the importance of his portfolio and the fact that he will be judged by the number of policy initiatives that would have been successfully piloted and implemented within the Prison Service which in turn lead to measurable benefits and reform.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) should retable the spate of reforms, which was presented by PPP/C parliamentarian Clement Rohee when he served as Home Affairs Minister, only to be rejected by this very same Administration utilising its one-seat majority while in opposition.
Work on the USM bypass road from Ogle, East Coast Demerara to Great Diamond, East Bank Demerara is expected to get underway once the services of a Project Monitoring Consultant (PMC) have been procured.Indian High Commissioner, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, during a press conference held at his office on Thursday, made this disclosure.Indian High Commissioner Venkatachalam MahalingamExport-Import Bank of India, which is providing the loan, had made provision for a consultant in its loan agreement. “We have signed an LoC (Letter of Credit) with Guyana for the $50M road project between Ogle and Diamond. We are in the process of identifying the project monitoring consultancy agency; and then, once that is done, there will be a probing of tender and then the road will be built,” the High Commissioner explained.“The timeframe to appoint a PMC should be in a few months. Companies from India have already applied,” the High Commissioner said.Mahalingam noted there had been optimism that work would get underway before the end of 2017.It is understood that the loan agreement stipulates that the contractor must come from India. Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, had previously provided assurances that the agreement would allow for the creation of local jobs. He had stated that it would also see services being provided by locals in areas ranging from sub-contracting for the building of the road to providing labour.At present, there is only one major thoroughfare connecting the East Bank Demerara to Georgetown. During peak periods, commuters find themselves in massive traffic congestion on the East Bank Demerara road. The new roadway would also complement communities on the East Bank of Demerara, including Perseverance, Mocha, Providence, Eccles, Peter’s Hall and the North/South Ruimveldt communities. It is also expected that the bypass, conventionalized under the previous Administration, would provide an ease in the city, as commuters can use the bypass to navigate the outer limits of the city, reducing travel time and avoiding the traffic jams.PumpsMahalingam has also spoken of a US$4M agreement administered under the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Drainage and Irrigation Agency (NDIA) to provide mobile pumps. “In February, Guyana and India signed an agreement for US$4M to buy mobile pumps. And companies have already (displayed interest) in participating in this tender. Once they do that, it will be the same (process of putting out) the tender, and the process will take some time. Once the tender process is completed, and depending on who’s selected, the company will supply the pumps,” he said.Ocean-Going FerryHe noted that there is also collaboration between the two governments for the provision of an ocean-going ferry. “The LOC has been signed. That is for US$18M — US$10M for the LoC and US$8M as a grant. Exim bank is looking at it,” Mahalingam explained.
That’s why, despite its modest size, the research was generating excitement. Nearly all other work has compared disparate groups of patients. The researchers at Creighton University in Omaha focused on 1,179 seemingly healthy women with an average age of 67. The women were divided into three groups: 446 got calcium and vitamin D3 supplements, a similar number got calcium alone, and 288 took dummy pills. The researchers intended to check mainly for the effects of calcium on bone health. Their interest in cancer risk was secondary. But the lower cancer risk stood out. Only 13 women, or 3 percent, developed cancer over four years of calcium and vitamin D supplements. With calcium alone, 17 women, or 4 percent, got cancer. With dummy pills, cancer appeared in 20 women, or 7 percent. That shows a 60 percent lower cancer risk over four years in the group taking both supplements than in patients taking placebos.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! OMAHA, Neb. – Building hope for one pill to prevent many cancers, vitamin D cut the risk of several types of cancer by 60 percent overall for older women in the most rigorous study yet. The new research strengthens the case made by some specialists that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventive and most people should get more of it. Experts remain split, though, on how much to take. “The findings … are a breakthrough of great medical and public health importance,” declared Cedric Garland, a prominent vitamin researcher at the University of California-San Diego. “No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact.” While the most reliable yet, the study has drawbacks. It was designed mainly to monitor how calcium and vitamin D improve bone health, and the number of cancer cases overall was small, showing up in just 50 patients. “It’s a very small study,” said Dr. Edward Giovannucci, who researches nutrition and cancer at the Harvard School of Public Health. “I don’t think it’s the last word.” In either case, the study takes an important step in extending several decades of research that began with observations that cancer rates among similar groups of people were lower in southern latitudes than in northern ones. Scientists reasoned that had to do with more direct sunlight in southern regions. The skin makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight’s ultraviolet rays. This study used that same form of the vitamin, known as D3 or cholecalciferol. Multivitamins usually carry a much weaker variant known as D2, but D3 is available in stand-alone dietary supplements. Earlier research has shown that vitamin D helps regulate cell growth, a fundamental biological process that goes haywire in cancer. Most other supplements have tended to target specific types of disease in early testing, like selenium or vitamin E for prostate cancer. This research, reported today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is the first in which researchers significantly boosted – and measured – blood levels of vitamin D and then followed identical groups of patients from start to finish.