Posts Tagged ‘travel insurance’

Porsche Take Top Three Place in First Qualifying Round of Le Mans

Porsche has spreadeagled the field in this year’s qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hour event.

After the first qualifying session the German manufacturer provisionally holds the first three positions on the grid.

Neel Jani in the #18 919 Hybrid has set the fastest lap with a blistering 3 minutes 16.887 seconds.- the fastest ever around the current circuit.

“I was the first one in our car in qualifying,” said Jani. “Of course, we had to tick off the list the five mandatory night laps. My itnitial lap was good, but not perfect because it wasn’t entirely clear.

“That it was still the fastest lap of the day and a qualifying record is very pleasing.

“But I know this wasn’t the maximum. And we have to wait to see what happens in the other qualifying sessions.”

Tino Bernhard, car #17, was almost a second slower than his teammate, with Nick tankdy a further second and a half behind in car #19.

Bernhard’s co-driver, Aussie Mark Webber, predicted the times would continue to drop.

“Qualifying was the first time that we had run properly in the night with dry conditions. So all the drivers were able to get a feeling for the track and the cars.

“We didn’t push too much for qualifying, because here in Le Mans it is not so important to start from pole position. We focused on the race, because that’s what matters.”

Trailing the Porsches was Audi’s Loic Duvalin car #8, an R18 e-tron quattro.

Both Toyota entries were nearly seven seconds behind the pace-setters in seventh and eigth. Nissan’s team of three placed 12th, 21st and 31st after the first two-hour session.

British Welterweight Contender KOed by Petite Mother in Bar

Adam Little image: Twitter

British professional boxer Adam Little has been KOed by a 22 year-old girl during an argument at a Lanacashire bar in Kirkham.

Little, who has been trained by boxing great Ricky Hatton and has won 12 bouts on his way to becoming the contender for the British welterweight championship, was knocked to the floor by petite and single mother, Kiah Kuzan,  on New Year’s Eve.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and had to undergo dental surgery worth $1600.

In court Kuzan admitted assaulting the welterweight champion. She was ordered to pay his dental costs and received an eight-week jail sentence, suspended for one year.

Kurzan image: Twitter

Kurzan image: Twitter

Kuzan told the court the incident took place inside The Stables Bar in Kirkhams town centre after an altercation with Little in the men’s toilets.

Kuzan was angry her partner had been ejected from the premises. She began screaming at Little before punching him in the face.

Kuzan’s council Michael Ball told the court his client never intended to injure the pro fighter.

“She had no intention of injuring him in this way,” Mr Ball was reported as saying by the Mail Online.

“As a professional boxer of some repute he may have had some previous damage to his teeth anyway.”

Little will be fighting for the welterweight title little later this year.

Taishan Dong Pulverizes Hapless Opponent

Dong with friends image:

Heavyweight boxing giant Taishan Dong has moved to 5-0, 3 KOs with a devastating knockout of his most recent opponent.

American Lance Gauch (5-9, 3 KOs) was poleaxed by Dong in California on Friday. Referee Ray Corona didn’t even bother with a count and waved Dong away.

The hapless American conceded more than 30 cm in height to his seven-foot opponent. He appeared to be on the back foot from the opening bell.

Dong sized up his opponent, pushing him backwards with dangerous combinations.

When the opportunity presented itself, Dong landed a right that put our Gauch’s lights.

Reports say Gauch was left for 10 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and taken to a nearby hospital.

Dong has had his fights carefully chosen by his Oscar De La Hoya ‘Golden Boy Promotions’ managers. The company bought him to America and are hoping to establish him as a serious heavyweight contender. Doing so will allow them to crack into the Chinese sporting market.

“Mr De La Hoya wanted to open the Chinese market,” said Dong to Fox Sports earlier this year,” because he believes in me. He knows I can become a champ.”

Dong has knocked out his first two opponents. His next two went the distance (four rounds).

“Nowadays I am more patient and can overcome any challenges that arise during the fight,” said Dong to Fox Sports. “I will give the best of myself. I will try to understand my opponent’s strategy from the beginning and therefore defeat him.

“My maximum potential has not been revealed yet. That is why I train hard, in order to become a world champion.”

Titans’ Woes Continue

The woes of the Gold Coast Titans just continue.

It has now come to light that Titans management were only  hours away from moving their Friday night game against the Broncos to another stadium. Despite absorbing millions of dollars in sponsorships, donations, and now buy-outs by the NRL, the club continues to haemorrhage money. The threat to move the game from its home at Robina Cbus Super Stadium was yet another attempt at penny-pinching.

Negotiations between the titans and Stadiums Queensland hit a stalemate on the Tuesday before the game. Any agreements need to be finalised by this time as transport, police, catering, and a slew of other support services need to be notified in order to ready their staff.

In frantic last-minute discussions the two parties reached a short-term agreement allowing the game to proceed. But the Titans’ home ground is far from secure.

Prior to the club going into voluntary receivership in February, it was paying $2 million a year toplay 1its 12 home-games at the Robina stadium.

That, Titans management argue, is too much.

The cost of hiring the stadium is the club’s second largest cost behind the salaries of players and staff. According to management it contributed significantly to the financial struggles that saw the club into voluntary administration.

Graham Annesley, head of the Titans and Head of Club Services, Tony Carwford, are expected to thrash out a longer-term agreement with stadiums Queensland in the coming week. Upon this agreement hang the jobs of hundreds of support staff and loyalty of fans.

A spokesperson for Stadiums Queensland told reporters that one method of reducing stadium cost was to limit seating.

This was tried by Clive Palmer when he owned the now defunct Gold Coast United A-League football team. It was meant with a huge supporter backlash as fans were unable to see their team play.

Moving the team to another stadium will likewise present many loyal fans with problems of attending their match.

Considering the sponsorship, donations, and buy-out they have received, one has to wonder: What the Titans are doing with their money?

King Calls for Mandatory State-Funded MRIs for Boxers

Injured boxer Image:

Queensland boxer Shannon King took to the canvas on the weekend against talented super middle-weight Liam Hutchinson. The two fought at the Mansfield tavern on Saturday, the first sanctioned boxing match since the death of Toowoomba fighter Braydon Smith.

King is a boxing trainer, coach of Reds rugby star Quade Cooper, veteran fighter, gym owner and long-time advocate for mandatory, government-funded MRI scans for combat athletes.

Professional fighters are required to have regular scans in South Australia, but no such checks are required in Queensland. Individuals may decide to get the scans done, but they then face a hefty $250 bill.

“We need bulk billed MRIs for fighters,” said Smith. “It is $250 for each MRI, so promoters can’t afford that.

“If a promoter has ten fights, that’s 20 fighters and $5,000 – and who can afford that?

“If you are a professional athlete in a combat sport you should be able to access an MRI every six months for free from the government.”

At the same time king said, “Football is more dangerous than boxing. Since I have trained Quade (Cooper) he has had a shoulder reconstruction, a broken collarbone, and he was knocked out in a Test in England.

“In that same time I have had five boxing fights and all I have had is 12 stitches.”

On wonders then if King believes all footballers should have access to free MRIs as well?

Wrestler Dies During Match


Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, known as Hijo del Perro Aguayo, has died during a heavyweight wrestling match.

Ramirez fell unconscious, slumping against the ringside ropes, after a flying kick to the head by former WWE star Oscar Gutierrez, known as Rey Mysterio. The match continued for a further two minute before the referee and other wrestlers noticed something was wrong.

Aguayo was driven to a ostpital close by, but died at 1:30am.

The state prosecutor’s office is investigating the death as a possible manslaughter.

Joaquin Roldan, director of the AAA Wrestling Federation, said thorgh his Twitter account: “I have no words for this terrible news. My sincerest condolences for te Aguayo Ramirez family.”

Even though only 35 years-old, Aguayo had wrestled for 20 years. He was the son of the legendary Pedro ‘Perro’ Aguayo and led the group known as ‘Los Perros de Mal’ (the bad dogs).

Aguayo had won numerous titles including a national pairs championship with his father, and a trios national heavyweight title with his father and Consejo Mundial Lucha Libre.

He was enormously popular with fans in Mexico, Japan, and the US; and respected within wrestling circles by all.

The Dark Origins of the Nike Logo


Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan has become one of the most memorable and successful advertising tagline in history. But Dan Wieden, of Portland’s advertising firm Wieden & Kennedy, has admitted its genesis was anything but wholesome.

Wieden & Kennedy were approached by Nike in the 1900s. The shoe company was in a decade long battle with rival Reebok for control of the US footwear market.

Nike had targeted its branding towards the female market. Its success was buoyed by the popularity of jogging during that time, but widespread appeal was still lacking.

The night prior to presenting the new campaign, to Nike boss Phil Knight, Wieden still had no idea about the tagline to be used to tie the campaign together. He, and his firm had suggested, and rejected, countless ideas.

And then Wieden – for no apparent reason – thought of Gary Gilmore.

Gilmore was one of society’s outcasts. He’d endured a violent upbringing and had been in and out of institutions and prisons all his life. His rap sheet contained all manner of violent crimes and robberies.

After being released from his latest stint behind bars, in Indiana, Gilmore moved to live with distant relatives in Utah. But it wasn’t long before he returned to his life of crime.

In July 1976 he robbed and murdered petrol station attendant Max Hensen. The next evening he murdered motel manager Bennie Bushnell.

The police quickly apprehended him. He was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death.

Gary Gilmore. Image:

Gary Gilmore. Image:

When given a choice Gilmore chose to die by firing squad rather than hanging.

During 1972 and 1976 various US states were abolishing capital punishment. And there was a great deal of public opposition to Gilmore’s impending execution. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Gilmore’s mother were vocal opponents. They worked to have his sentence commuted to life in prison.

Gilmore himself told them to “butt out”.

After a last meal of steak and potatoes, milk and coffee – the steak and potatoes were left untouched – Gilmore was strapped into a chair in front of a firing squad.

Before the hoodwas brought down over his face Gilmore was asked if he had any last words. To which he famously replied: “Let’s do it!”

Wieden isn’t sure why he thought about Gilmore’s final words at that moment. He was trying to come up with a pithy way of appealing to all women interested in fitness – from those beginning a walking regimen to world record holders. But Gilmore’s words just popped into his head.

“Gary had killed some people in Utah,” Wieden told reporters, “which is not a good place to kill people because they kill you right back. He was convicted and sentenced to die by firing squad.

“So they brought him out, put him in the chair … and before they put the sack over his head they asked him if he had any last words. And he said, ‘Let’s do it’.

“I remember when I read that, I was like, ‘That’s amazing! How, in the face of that much uncertainty, do you push through that?’

“I didn’t like the ‘let’s’ thing. I just changed that because otherwise I would have to give him credit. Now I don’t really have to.”

The ‘Just Do It’ tagline featured alongside the 80 year-old runner Walt Stack in 1988. It jettisoned Nike sales from US $877 million to $9.2 billion in a decade.

Boxer’s Death Sparks fresh Calls for combat Sports Ban


The death of Toowoomba boxer Braydon Smith has sent shockwaves through the sporting community.

Known as the great White because of his blonde hair and pale complexion, the 23 year-old law student died after losing his match to Filipino champion John Moralde.

Smith was the crowd favourite at the Rumours International in Toowoommba. But his opponent showed his strength and skill early.

Smith had no answer for Moralde’s vicious upper cuts. Moralde was able to land several of his power-punches early in the bout, sapping Smith’s energy.

“I knew from the first round how tough he was,” said Smith at the post-fight interview. “He was a lot stronger than I expected, but I landed a lot of big shots on him.

“A loss is a loss, but I’ll take good experience from it. I learned a lot about myself tonight. I know now I can go 10 rounds with a quality opponent.”

Apart from facial bruising and a swollen cheekbone Smith seemed fine. He was happy to pose for photographs with his girlfriend, Kirstie Nicholls, and fight fans.

He was given (and passed) the mandatory post-fight inspection by the ringside doctor.

However, thirty minutes later Smith was admitting to searing headaches. Soon after, he collapsed.

He was rushed to hospital where he was placed in an induced coma.

Tragically, on Monday afternoon Brayd’s parents made the heartbreaking decision to switch off his life support.

He died soon after.

Vargas Ends Tomlinson’s Title Hopes


Mexican wrecking machine Francisco Vargas has demolished the hopes of Will Tomlinson, knocking the plucky Australian fighter out 90 seconds into the eighth round of the junior-lightweight bout.

Tomlinson, 28, from Melbourne wasn’t allowed to find his rhythm by the Mexican, who now remains undefeated in 23 fights.

Tomlinson struggled throughout the bout on Friday, despite appearing to be in the best shape of his career.

From the moment the two boxers frst approached each other it was Vargas setting the tone of the fight.

Tomlinson was unable to run through ‘El Bandido’ who was able to not only counter the Aussies’ aggressive tactics, but make him pay for them.

Tomlinson showed incredible heart. But in the end it wasn’t enough against the former Olympic champion.

In a post-match interview Vargas intimated he would like to fight Miura-Dib for the WBC belt.

Dib has said he welcomed the challenge, saying he’d be pleased to host his first title defence against the talented Mexican.

Enter – Taishan Dong


China is making its presence felt in all areas of global endeavour. Now it is the turn of professional boxing to sit up and take notice.

Meet Taishan Dong: He’s 20 years-old, 7 feet tall, and weighs a trim 129.7 kilograms – all of it muscle. He has carved a swathe through the heavyweight ranks in his own country and now moved to the US to train with and fight the best in the world.

The US boxing franchise snapped, Golden Boy promotions, snapped up Dong. He’s had two fights for two victories, both of them Kos. And he’s only going to get better.

This weekend he fights Roy McCrary (3-2, 2Kos). His height, reach, power and methodical approach to fighting have punters believing he’ll extend his winning streak.

“I don’t get nervous before a boxing match,” he told reporters. “I focus and ponder on the strategy to follow, what I need to do in order to beat my opponent. I chose boxing because it’s a challenge for me, and I love challenges.”

The challenge, one would think, is all for McCrary. Dong only needs to protect his body as most fighters either can’t reach his face or have so little power in their punches by the time they do it makes headhunting the Chinese giant pointless.

Dong has attracted many admirers, both at home in China and abroad. Among them is boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya, one of the first to show interest in cracking the Chinese market for fighters.

Generating widespread interest in boxing throughout China would yield incalculable revenue. Pay-per-view rights, sponsorship deals, marketing opportunities follow the success of athletes. And Dong, it is predicted, is on the road to success.