Archive for June, 2019 | Monthly archive page

Mole Creek area back on watch and act alert, Western Creek and Chudleigh Lakes may be high risk

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Related:- Say thanks to our firefighters | message wall

EARLIER:A TOTAL fire ban has been declared for the North and North-West as the Tasmania Fire Service attempts to control 80 vegetation fires burning around the state.

Chief Officer Gavin Freeman said the North and parts of the North-West would be subject to very high fire danger, and said any further fires would stretch the service’s resources too much.

He said the fire risk was not as high on the West Coast, but demands on resources meant it was necessary to impose a total fire ban across the entire North-West Coast.

Chief Officer Freeman said bushwalkers should consider the risks before making trips to the West Coast due to a vegetation fire at Zeehan.

“Make sure it’s well assessed and you know where you’re going, and really if you don’t need to be there, don’t be there at all,” he said.

He said there were a number of fires dotted around the state, with a fire at Musselroe Bay in the North-East generating a large amount of smoke.

Chief Officer Freeman said firefighters from the TFS, the Parks and Wildlife service and Forestry Tasmania were being moved “rapidly” around the state to combat the fires.

He said a lightning strike last week had helped to create the unusually high number of active fires.

“The last time we had this many fires was 2013, when we had about 50 fires burning throughout the state at the one time,” Chief Officer Freeman said.

Chief Officer Freeman said smoke would continue to linger over parts of the state on Tuesday.

He said people with respiratory problems should heed advice from the Department of Health and Human Services and stay indoors wherever possible.

The Parks and Wildlife Service has closed the Sandy Cape Track, the Western Explorer Road and the Tarkine Wilderness Track on the West Coast, a number of walks in the Cradle Mountain area, and campgrounds and tracks near Mount Wedge in the South-West.

The Overland Track remains open but bushwalkers are asked not to stray far from marked tracks.

Chief Officer Freeman said it was important for people to be vigilant of fire risk, and monitor 老域名fire.tas.gov备案老域名 for updates.

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Australian Open 2016: Fixing tennis, and how badly is it broken?

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Long-time mutterings about the prevalence of match-fixing are now firmly back out in the public domain. Photo: IStockWhen the match-fixing bomb was dropped from a hemisphere away on Australian Open eve, the strongest reverberations were inevitably destined for Melbourne Park. On the morning of the first day of the grand slam year, as officials scrambled to finalise their united response to the BBC/Buzzfeed allegations, there was talk of little else.

Not outside, where the game was still the focus, but among those aware of the full report, or alerted by social and digital media that something scandalous was afoot. By the time ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode led a solemn delegation of the sport’s most senior officials into the bright lights of the interview theatrette soon after noon, the media crowd was almost spilling out the door.

Yet while Kermode kept stressing that in its investigations, the Tennis Integrity Unit has to find “evidence as opposed to information, suspicion, or hearsay”, one did not need to have read all 9000 online words to be left with the impression that something is on the nose. The fact that substantial new information appeared to be slightly lacking, and names certainly were, does not mean there will not be a stain left on the game.

On the players, for starters. Eight of the great unnamed are apparently playing here this fortnight. So take a guess. Any guess. A core group of 16 is under the most suspicion.

Part of Kermode’s response was that the reports “mainly refer to events from about 10 years ago” – which is true, given how much time and space was devoted to the detail of the notorious 2007 match in Sopot between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello – and his promise that “we will investigate any new information, and we always do”.

No charges arose from the Sopot scandal, despite a year-long investigation the ATP boss said failed to unearth sufficient evidence. But the admission that “investigators hit a brick wall and it just wasn’t possible to determine who the guilty party was in relation to this match” acknowledges that there was one.

There are others. There must be. ATP figures show that there are nearly 21,000 active professional players and over 2100 officials involved in over 1500 tournaments, and so, like in anything, there will always be a percentage of bad eggs. The issue is, how big/small/smelly? Back in 2007, Andy Murray was among the players who spoke out about the vulnerability of the circuit’s paupers to the temptation of a healthy payday, but also of the difficulties of proving who had succumbed.

The question of whether there are sufficient resources allocated to driving match-fixers from the game is one worth asking, given that the Tennis Integrity Unit has a full-time staff of just five and relies so heavily on information from players and betting companies. Officials insist that whatever help has been requested has been forthcoming, but this is a wealthy international sport, and whatever is needed must be spent on catching those who fall prey to the gambling syndicates and are tempted to transgress. One suspects that, in the future, a few more dollars will be found.

In fact, it is tempting to say you can bet on it, for the sideline issue is that of tournaments welcoming betting companies as corporate backers, including Betway as the sponsor of the Davis and Fed cups, and William Hill as a new Australian Open partner.

Yes, as Kermode was at pains to stress, sports betting is a legal activity. Intelligence-sharing is essential, but can still be done without official ties to the tournaments themselves. Would it change anything in a practical sense? Probably not. And although tennis clearly wants a cut of the betting billions, any official association is just a very bad look.

So long-time mutterings about the prevalence of match-fixing are now firmly back out in the public domain.While not terribly much seemed new or revelatory, the Tennis Integrity Unit has taken a bit of a beating for its alleged toothlessness, and there was plenty else that was food for thought.

The ATP meanwhile, is staunch in its assertions that corruption is neither widespread nor systematic, but that a threat exists which is being taken extremely seriously. Kermode acknowledges such stories are “clearly damaging to the reputation of our sport”, and on a frantic Monday morning that hijacked the start to the Australian Open there was a simple tweet from Murray sharing the link to the Buzzfeed version of a story that had everyone talking. The fact there will be more to come? That will be short odds-on.

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Rob Horne eyes vacant NSW Waratahs centre position

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Rob Horne has hinted on a return to the Waratah’s vacant centre berth this season after the departure of veteran back Adam Ashley-Cooper.

The 26-year-old started his career in the midfield before making the move to the wing two years ago under former head coach Michael Cheika, making the role his own at the 2015 Rugby World Cup until a shoulder injury halted his progress.

Now fresh from an extended break following his international exertions, Horne is ready to battle it out for a playing position on the front line.

New wing recruits Zac Guildford and Reece Robinson have adapted well so far and assistant-turned-head coach Daryl Gibson has been toying around with the idea of shifting regular fullback Israel Folau to outside centre, giving Horne stiff competition for a starting place on the team sheet.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Horne said, “I’ve been working a fair bit in the centres this preseason but I’ll play wherever Daryl decides that it’s best for the team.

“It’s hard to say until we start playing. A lot of the guys are shifting between different positions and seeing what combinations work.

“Each position has its own intricacies and you learn from experience. Any player that shifts position- there will be a period of learning but all our outside backs are interchangeable and everyone can play different positions so I think that’s key in the modern game and how sides play to win, you have to be able to shift because the game’s so fast you find yourself in different positions all the time.”

The departure of players such as Ashley-Cooper, Sekope Kepu and Jacques Potgieter from the 2014 title winning squad has been a focal point this season, while the loss of Cheika’s services will worry certain sections of the Waratahs fan base, who have taken to the attacking-minded side.

And while Horne admits the title win two years ago may be difficult to replicate, he says the team have not changed their identity or training philosophy.

“We’re enjoying the work together and Daryl brings a different approach to the game, a different set of eyes and background to it,” he said.

“We’ve laid a foundation of work ethic in the past three years and all our supporters know how we play and enjoy that. That base level stuff is not going to change but how we go about it may change a little bit.”

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Australian Open 2016: Omar Jasika, Daria Gavrilova head a day with not much to oi about

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Full Nick Kyrgios package wins first roundHewitt v Aussies. Then Larkham. Now Duckworth

The outside courts in an Australian Open’s infancy are no place for outsiders. Andrew Ilie a decade ago and Marinko Matosevic more recently are but two locals who’ve ranted and roared and occasionally ripped clothing to the delight of fans clad in green and gold, brandishing flags and blow-up kangaroos and singing in solid strine but rarely in tune.

Day one of last year’s Open lacked a betting scandal, but at least the odds of seeing an Australian playing tennis were decent. As the temperature climbed on Monday afternoon, spotting a local in action while armed with only a ground pass was akin to landing a 50-1 shot – of 100 players on show court two and beyond, just two had an “Aus” next to their names.

Finding a winner among a packed field is all the more rewarding, and the outpouring of emotion when 18-year-old Melbourne boy Omar Jasika sealed a stirring 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 win on his debut grand slam just before 8.30pm was worthy of the great local hero tales of Opens past.

Many who’d forked out $39 for a ground pass had zeroed in on Nick Kyrgios’ name in the Hisense Arena evening session. Their long and sweaty wait was punctuated by a breezy win for Kei Nishikori and a couple of upsets – Qiang Wang against Sloane Stephens and former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki dumped by Yulia Putintseva.

Those who craved a new hero took block on court seven. Front and centre were the “Omar Army” (complete with hashtag and personalised t-shirts), and of course the Fanatics, declaring their love for Jasika with a zeal and volume as striking as the silence that accompanied every point won by Illya Marchenko, a Ukrainian who must have longed for home.

Short, fair-haired, left-handed and generally antithetical to his mate Kyrgios (save for the silver stud in his left ear), Jasika had shaped as an unlikely day one hero. By the time he broke Marchenko in the fourth set’s seventh game, the home support had rattled the visitor to the point of exasperation.

Family and close mates were in Jasika’s corner too, revelling in an occasion to remember. Their boy boasted a strong apprenticeship, peaking with the rare double of junior singles and doubles titles at last year’s US Open. A wildcard secured his grand slam debut, but Jasika was under no illusions about the difficulty of transitioning to the big boys’ tour.

Last year he played in China, America, Canada, Korea and Japan, but also in Traralgon and Alice Springs. Even with blanket support, Melbourne Park against a top-100 opponent was a whole new ball game. He took it in his ever-lengthening stride.

He hadn’t been burdened with chasing Australia’s first win of AO2016, a feat achieved by another import, Daria Gavrilova, who disposed of Lucie Hradecka 7-6, 6-4 in the opening Margaret Court Arena match of the tournament.

A relationship with Luke Saville lured Gavrilova from Moscow to Melbourne, where she is coached by Nicole Pratt. Dual Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova awaits. “Oh, another Czech,” she said, rolling her eyes. “She hits a big ball too.”

Overt patriotism is a dead-set certainty at a tennis major, and with such sparse home-grown fare on offer the tennis fan takes what he or she can get. When Ajla Tomljanovic hit her first ball against Kateryna Bondarenko around 5.15pm, she was greeted as if her name was Goolagong. “Let’s go Tommy” and “come on Aussie” rang out for the 22-year-old native of Zagreb, who became “Aussie Ajla” in mid-2014 when coached by Sam Stosur’s mentor David Taylor. The bond is yet to fully set; Tomljanovic is a resident but not yet a citizen, playing as an Australian in the majors but a Croatian at other WTA tour events.

Against the experienced Bondarenko, a 29-year-old who took three years off the tour to start a family, she toiled admirably before succumbing 7-6, 6-3. Kyrgios’ pending appointment with Pablo Carreno Busta prevented him from urging his rumoured love interest to greater heights.

Thirteen Australians will take the court on day two, but Jasika has already set a high bar for adulation. As he closed out the match and hugged his coach and family at courtside, the chants rang out. “If you love Omar, stand up!” No-one was sitting down.

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Santos Women’s Tour: Lizzie Williams wins penultimate stage in scorcher

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Big win: Lizzie Williams took out stage three of the Santos Women’s Tour. Photo: Elesa KurtzIn scorching conditions, Lizzie Williams soloed to a gritty win in stage three of the Santos Women’s Tour on Monday that posed no threat to her Orica-AIS teammate Katrin Garfoot’s overall lead.

Williams won the 100.8km circuit race at Lyndoch by 19 seconds from Garfoot, who won the sprint for second ahead of NSW’s Lauren Kitchen (HiTec Products) and four others who were strung out, while the peloton came in at 4 minutes 28 seconds.

“It was hot out there,” said Williams, from Victoria, also lauding her NSW teammate Amanda Spratt, the national road champion who was with the leaders after a solo move she made was brought back by their rivals, while Williams and Garfoot sat on.

“We had strong girls out there and we knew we could get the numbers.

“‘Spratty’ was just a workhorse out there, dangling off the front like a rabbit.

“It allowed me to be able to sit on the whole time and that’s why ultimately I had the energy to go with about four kilometres to go, and that’s teamwork.”

Garfoot, who continues to lead the tour overall going into Tuesday night’s fourth and final stage in Adelaide’s Victoria Park, also praised Spratt’s daring but useful move.

Garfoot said that after Spratt was caught on the last climb: “I got told to go for it on the climb but that didn’t really work, so we waited until it came back together.

“It was cat and mouse out there, everyone of course covered me and not the others so Lizzie got away to take out the win.”

While Garfoot is still leading overall, she is still on the same time as Kitchen, Shelley Olds (Cylance) and Danielle King (Wiggle High5).

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