Former Olympic champion high hurdler Sally Pearson calls time on career

first_imgWorld and former Olympic champion high hurdler Sally Pearson, Australia’s most successful track athlete of her generation, gave up on her bid for a swansong at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and retired on Tuesday.The Queenslander, who won Olympic 100 metres hurdles gold at the 2012 London Games and the world title in 2011 and 2017, succumbed to the series of injuries that have blighted her career in recent years.”I have prided myself on always being on the start line ready to win. I no longer believe I can achieve this,” the 32-year-old said in a news release.”It is therefore with much regret that I have come to the conclusion that it is time to retire from this phase of my life and move on to the next.”Pearson grew up on the Gold Coast and was initially an international prospect in both the hurdles and the flat 100 metres sprint.She got big her breakthrough with the hurdles silver medal at the 2008 Olympics and was named IAAF female athlete of the year after securing her first world title at Daegu in 2011.She dominated the 100 metres hurdles in the year running up to the London Olympics and swept to victory in 12.37 seconds, a Games record, to firmly establish herself among the world’s elite.One of a trio of American challengers to her supremacy, Brianna Rollins, kept her to a silver at the 2013 worlds and a horrific injury sustained at the Rome Diamond League meeting in 2015 prevented her from competing to get it back.After the fall in Rome, Pearson feared she might have to have her lower arm amputated with doctor’s describing the injury as a “bone explosion” in her wrist.advertisementShe battled back from that injury but was bedevilled by calf and Achilles problems and ultimately prevented from defending her Olympic title in Rio by a torn hamstring.In a testimony to her mental toughness, she was back on the big stage at the 2017 world championships in London, where she reclaimed the title in 12.59 seconds.More injuries followed, though, with an Achilles issue cruelly robbing her of the chance to race at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in her home city.Another hamstring injury put in doubt her world title defence in Doha later this year and on Tuesday she finally gave up on her dream of running at the Tokyo Olympics next year.last_img read more

NFL Coaches Yell At Refs Because It Freakin Works

In the first quarter of a scoreless 2016 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos faced third-and-6 from their own 44-yard line. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas ran a 15-yard out, breaking toward the Broncos’ sideline. He did not catch Manning’s wobbly throw, but there was contact on the play, and Denver’s players and coaching staff appealed to the official for a pass interference call on Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan. They got one, and the Broncos got a first down, scoring the game’s opening touchdown four plays later.On the ensuing drive, the Patriots faced third-and-3 at their own 27-yard line. Rob Gronkowski ran a wheel route up the Broncos’ sideline with T.J. Ward in coverage. As the Patriots tight end turned to look back for the ball, the defender made contact and shoved him, preventing a catch. Both Gronk and Tom Brady yelled for a penalty. The flag did not come, and the Patriots were forced to punt.Similar plays led to different outcomes that benefited the team on the sideline closest to the on-field action. Most NFL refs would likely say they are immune any sideline bias. “If I make a call because a coach is screaming at me on one side of the field and it’s wrong, that’s a bad day for me,” former NFL official Scott Green told us. (The NFL declined to comment.)But as it turns out, a sideline bias in the NFL is real, and it’s spectacular. To prove it, we looked at the rates at which refs call the NFL’s most severe penalties, including defensive pass interference, aggressive infractions like personal fouls and unnecessary roughness, and offensive holding calls, based on where the offensive team ran its play.1Some of this research was published in March in Economic Inquiry.For three common penalties, the direction of the play — that is, whether it’s run toward the offensive or defensive team’s sideline — makes a significant difference. In other words, refs make more defensive pass interference calls on the offensive team’s sideline but more offensive holding calls on the defensive team’s sideline. What’s more, these differences aren’t uniform across the field — the effect only shows up on plays run, roughly, between the 32-yard lines, the same space where coaches and players are allowed to stand during play.The following graphs show the penalty rates per 1,000 plays for defensive pass interference and aggressive defensive penalties, which include unnecessary roughness, personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct, and horse-collar tackles.2The data includes regular-season games between 2010 and 2014, and uses coin-toss information provided by Football Outsiders and play-by-play data from Armchair Analysis. To estimate penalty rates, we used a model of penalty outcomes that depends on yard line and which sideline (offensive or defensive team’s) the play was closer to. Additional methodological details can be found here. So what could be causing this phenomenon?Refs are faced with a near-impossible task. They make judgment calls in real time, relying on just their eyes and their experience. Deprived of the advantages, like instant replay, that we enjoy from the couch, refs have less information to help them resist the normal subconscious urge to draw on external cues for assistance in making borderline calls. In psychology terms, this process is called cue learning. It’s why we laugh longer in the presence of other humans laughing,4Which, in turn, is the reason that many TV comedies use a laugh track. why we eat more in the presence of overweight company, and why our judgment of persuasive speeches is influenced by the audience’s reaction.The most common cue in sports is crowd noise, and because crowd noise almost always supports the home team, the way the fans sway the referees is the No. 1 driver of home-field advantage in sports. And one notable experiment suggests that how loud a crowd is helps refs decide whether an interaction should be penalized. A pair of German researchers showed actual referees old video clips of possible soccer infractions, with crowd noise played at high or low volume. Refs looking at the exact same interactions were more likely to hand out a yellow card when they heard a lot of crowd noise than when the volume was low.It follows, then, that screaming and hat-throwing football personnel may also have an effect on referee choices. In football, this sideline bias even seems to supersede refs’ tendency to support the home team: The differences in the penalty rates from sideline to sideline are several times larger than the differences in penalty rates between the home and away teams.That bias can affect the outcome even when officials have time to confer. In a 2015 playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford threw a third-and-1 pass to Brandon Pettigrew. Officials initially called defensive pass interference on the Cowboys’ Anthony Hitchens.But the flag occurred right in front of the Cowboys sideline. This led to some confusion. It also led to a helmetless Dez Bryant yelling at the official.After conferring with each other, the officials picked up the flag, a decision that Mike Pereira, Fox Sports’ rules analyst and the NFL’s former vice president of officiating, said was incorrect. Brian Burke of Advanced Football Analytics calculates that when the official picked up the flag, the Lions’ chances of winning that game dropped by 12 percentage points.Dallas won 24-20.Check out our latest NFL playoff predictions. Refs throw flags for defensive infractions at significantly higher rates when plays are run in the direction of the offensive team’s sideline; near midfield, defensive penalties are called about 50 percent more often on the offensive team’s sideline than the defensive team’s. Close to the end zone, where the sidelines are supposed to be free of coaches and players, these differences are negligible.For offensive flags, that association is reversed, at least on holding penalties.3Offensive pass interference calls didn’t vary by proximity to either team’s sideline. Here’s the rate of holding calls made on outside run plays, which shows how the defensive team’s sideline can help draw flags on the offense. Around midfield, offensive holding gets called about 35 percent more often on plays run at the defensive team’s sideline. read more

Landscapes Recreated

first_imgPriyanka Govil is an artist who invests her creative energies into painting landscapes. But interestingly her works are not about landscapes as landscapes or landscapes in art history. Her work, basically reflects various natural and man-made things around her. Showing human tendency towards nature has become her major concern lately. In the conventional sense her works are not landscapes. But each time one looks at her works, one could see the places that exist somewhere in nature. They could be mental projections of the viewer or they could be the collective memories of her journeys.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In her up-coming exhibition, at Art Konsult, her work will emphasis on importance of natural elements and intervention of man-made elements in a natural space. The fascination towards open spaces is a key point in her works. She considers these works as transformation stages where she merges landscapes with objects or shapes; treating them as part of a positive space. She treats them as cultural images representing social surroundings.The use of surface texture plays another signature role in her work.  In the landscapes and with the use of various other elements, she prefers to reduce the subjective elements to minimum details like adding lights to a particular section, just to suggest their presence. And these depictions become her way of telling stories.last_img read more

Get Ready for Buy Buttons in Google Search Results

first_imgMay 18, 2015 1 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img You want it. You search for it. You buy it.Simple, right? Everyone’s default search engine, Google, wants to make the process at least one step faster. In the coming weeks, the tech giant will be launching “buy” buttons on its search-results pages, according to a Wall Street Journal report.When a person searches Google for a particular product, he or she might see a button within the results pages to buy said product directly. Click on the button and the person will be directed to another Google product page to complete the transaction. Related: What Adults Can Learn From Teenage Ecommerce EntrepreneursThe buttons will appear only within sponsored results toward the top of the page and be available first to mobile users, the Journal said. So, Google is transcending search and getting into ecommerce, like Amazon. Perhaps. When contacted by Entrepreneur, a Google spokesperson said the company has “no comment to offer at this time.”For more, check out the Journal’s story. Related: 9 Tips to Make Your Ecommerce Business Wildly Successful Register Now »last_img read more

Now open Club Med Les Arcs Panorama in the French Alps

first_imgTags: Club Med, Openings & Renovations Share Tuesday, December 18, 2018 THE FRENCH ALPS — Over 900 guests from 29 countries helped celebrate the grand opening of Club Med’s newest mountain resort, Les Arcs Panorama, in the French Alps last Friday.After 18 months of construction, the 4-Trident, 433-room premium resort debuted on Dec. 14 at an altitude of 1,750 metres, featuring panoramic views of the Tarentaise valley and surrounding peaks. It is now considered one of the largest mountain resorts in the world.Henri Giscard d’Estaing, President of Club Med, told esteemed guests that Les Arcs Panorama reflects what Club Med does best.“With elected members and partners from the Alps, worldwide partners, shareholders and journalists by our side, I am especially proud to celebrate the opening of this impressive new flagship,” he said. “This new location is a testament to our commitment to mountain destinations and our desire to play a leading role in the development of the Alpine tourist heritage.”The resort will be a year-round destination, open in both winter and summer, and is located 20 minutes from the Bourg-Saint-Maurice train station, and 2.5 hours from the Lyon and Geneva international airports. Highlights include a range of childcare facilities for infants and children between four months and 17 years, a vast selection of sports, well-being experiences, and direct access to the region’s 425 kilometres of ski slopes.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckLes Arcs Panorama will be followed by the December 2019 opening of the new Alpe d’Huez Club Med resort, which will be upgraded from 3-Trident to 4-Trident after a complete renovation and extension. Then, in December 2020, the company will open its first mountain resort in Canada, Club Med Québec Charlevoix, Club Med’s first location in North America open all year round. Posted bycenter_img Now open: Club Med Les Arcs Panorama in the French Alps Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more