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Let’s start here at home. After Tomas Walsh won bronze in the men’s shot put, the New Zealand Herald headlined its story with “Walsh becomes first Kiwi to medal in Olympic field event”.

That’s unless you count Valerie Adams just a week ago. Or, in fact, Yvette Williams, New Zealand’s first ever woman Olympic gold medallist, and long jump world record holder from February 1954 to September 1955. Walsh is the first New Zealand man to win a medal in the Olympic field events. The Herald corrected their mistake quickly.

The Chicago Tribune has been widely criticised for a tweet, in which they referred to three-time Olympian Corey Cogdell-Unrein not by her name or her achievements, but as the “wife of a Bears’ lineman”.

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The newspaper later apologised, saying Cogdell-Unrein is “awesome on her own” and that they “focused too hard on trying to emphasize the local connection [she] has to Chicago”.

The Tribune wasn’t the only one to get in trouble on Twitter. After Netherlands cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten crashed in the road race, she tweeted to say she had some injuries and fractures but would be fine. “Most of all super disappointed after best race of my career.”

In a now-deleted Tweet, “Martin A Betancourt” replied “first lesson in bicycling, keep your bike steady… whether fast or slow”. That prompted choruses of “mate, she’s an Olympic cyclist. She probably already knows”.

American swimmer Michael Phelps is retiring with 28 medals, the most decorated Olympian of all time. So he’s pretty good headline fodder. Still, you’d think Katie Ledecky – herself a five-time medallist – smashing her own record in the 800 metres freestyle could get her top billing.

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Cambridge University analysed millions of words relating to men and women, and how they’re described at the Olympics.

“Language around women in sport focuses disproportionately on the appearance, clothes and personal lives of women,” they found, “highlighting a greater emphasis on aesthetics over athletics.”

It also found that the words used for men’s sport include more dominant words, like “mastermind”, “win” and “battle,” where women “strive” and “participate”.

That’s nothing on the BBC commentator who referred to a women’s judo final as a “catfight”.

(Here at RNZ, we also called a woman gymnast’s moves “sassy,” so we are not above criticism.)

The US’ Dana Vollmer won two gold medals in the pool at the Olympics – and just 17 months after giving birth to her son. The toll pregnancy and childbirth take on a woman’s body, and coming back from that to perform at the highest level, means that is a relevant thing to mention – just maybe not in every single headline. In the Sevens final, the Sky Sport commentator also referred to one of New Zealand’s players as “the only mother in the team”.

Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu broke the world record when she won the 400 metre individual medley. In a possible attempt to praise her coach and husband, Shane Tusup, NBC‘s Dan Hicks referred to him as “the man responsible” for her performance.

As South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen threw for the gold medal in the javelin (she won silver), the commentator was less interested in her performance and more on how it would make her coach feel. “She’s got a silver medal, but now he’s got a chance for gold. Now, can Viljoen take this home to South Africa? It’d make a very happy man in Terseus Liebenberg, you can be sure.”

Spare a thought for the US’ Gabby Douglas. She didn’t have a great Games, winning the gold medal in the team event, but failing to defend her 2012 all-around title. She received criticism for not placing her hand on her heart during the anthem, her hair and for failing to smile enough. She’s even been called “crabby Gabby”.

Beach volleyball has always been a controversial Olympic sport. In 2012, then-London Mayor Boris Johnson talked about “semi-naked women playing volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto… glistening like wet otters”.

At Rio, the talking point was around Egyptian athlete Doaa Elghobashy wearing a long-sleeved uniform and hijab.

The internet was quick to point out Elghobashy chooses to wear the hijab. She told AP “I have worn the hijab for 10 years… It doesn’t keep me away from the things I love to do, and beach volleyball is one of them.”

Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui has been one of the stars of Rio, thanks, in part, to her incredibly meme-worthy reaction to finding out she had won a bronze medal.

But the swimmer also won hearts when she apologised for not swimming well enough. Her reason? She had her period. “It’s because my period came yesterday, so I felt particularly tired.”

“Someone accused Fu of lying, asking how she could have gone in the water on her period,” the BBC reports Weibo user Dvingnew as writing. Her statement has opened a door to an important conversation.

A shout-out to Andy Murray though. The tennis player was speaking to the BBC’s John Inversdale who said, “You’re the first person ever to win two Olympic tennis gold medals. That’s an extraordinary feat isn’t it?”

Murray replied, “Well, to defend the singles title. I think Venus and Serena have won about four each, But haven’t defended the singles title before, so yeah, it’s obviously not an easy thing to do.”

* This story has been edited as it incorrectly suggested Beatrice Faumuina won gold in an Olympics at Athens in 1997. She did win gold at the Athletics World Championships in Athens that year.

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Cricket

Starblazers Stay On Course for Title Defense

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Natasha McLean’s unbeaten 72 helped UDECOTT North Starblazers to their second consecutive victory in as many days, keeping them on course for a possible successful title defense.

Natasha McLean drives one past Gaitri Seetahal

Coming up against LCB Sharks at the National Cricket Center, Couva, last night, Starblazers were sent in to bat and got off to a flyer immediately. The opening pair of skipper Lee-Ann Kirby and Rachel Vincent took advantage of some loose balls by the Sharks to catapult their score to well over 10 runs an over by the 4th over. The sharks pulled things back a bit by the 10th, after removing Kirby in the 6th over for 15 and Jodian Morgan before she could face a ball, but Vincent was soon joined by McLean and the two helped to take their team’s total to 155 at the end of their 20 overs. The score is the highest of the tournament thus far after they successfully chased 153 set by Trident Sports Phoenix the night before.

McLean’s unbeaten 72 came off of 47 balls, while Vincent contributed 42 off 41 balls.

In reply, Sharks lost three early wickets with Felicia Walters (5), Kamara Ragoobar (2) and Shari John (0), all falling inside the powerplay. It gave their middle order a bit too much work to do and they eventually lost by 21 runs despite fighting innings from WI wicket-keeper bat Shemaine Campbell and Jamaican, Chinelle Henry  who both contributed 43 runs each. Jodian Morgan and Alice Collins were the pick of the Starblazers bowling, grabbing 2 wickets a piece.

LCB Sharks ICC Americas player Achini Perera

In the other match played last night, TECU Titans recorded their first win of the tournament, beating Trident Sports Phoenix by 60 runs. Their first match against LCB Sharks was called off due to a wet outfield.

Titans skipper, Britney Cooper led from the front, smashing 76 off 43 balls before she was bowled by Stephanie Ragoonath. WI all-rounder, Deandra Dottin chipped in with a quickfire 27 from 13 balls. Karishma Ramharack was the pick of the Trident Sports Phoenix bowlers, grabbing 3/28 off 3.3 overs.

In reply, Trident Sports never looked to be in it at any point, losing wickets at regular intervals, thanks to tight bowling from Rosemary Samaroo who grabbed three wickets for just 5 runs in her four overs. Reniece Boyce scored a patient 27 off 27 deliveries for Trident Sports Phoenix bu she received no support form the other end and her side was eventually bowled out for 89 runs in 18.4 overs, to hand TECU Titans victory by a 60 run margin.

SUMMARIZE SCORECARDS:

Trident Sports Phoenix vs TECU Titans

Tridents won the toss and elected to field

Tecu South Titans won by 60 runs

Player of the match: Britney Cooper

TECU Titans

149 all out (19.3 overs)

Reniece Boyce- 27 off 27 balls b Grimmond

Rosalie Dolabille 13 off 14 balls run out (Deandra Dottin)

Karishma Ramharack 3.3-28-3

Stacy-Ann King 4-27-2

Shanmatee Nowrang 3-20-1

Trident Sports Phoenix

89 all out (18.4 overs)

Britney Copper 76 b Ragoonath

D. Dottin 27 b Ramjharack

Rosemary Samaroo 4-5-3

Patrina Walcott- 3-12-2

Deandra Dottin 2-10-1

LCB Sharks won the toss and elected to Field First

UDECOTT Starblazers won by 21 runs

Player of the match: Natasha McLean was named

UDECOTT Starblazers:

155 for 6  (20 overs)

Lee-Ann Kirby 15 c Bissoon b Mohammed

Rachel Vincent 42 c Perera b Ragoobar

Natasha McLean 72 n.o

Anisa Mohammed 1/20 (4 overs)

Kamara Ragoobar 2/29 (4 overs)

Leandra Ramdeen 2/18 (4 overs)

LCB Sharks 134/7 in 20 overs

Starblazers vs Sharks

LCB Central Sharks

Shemaine Campbell 43 st McLean b Collins

Chinelle Henry 43 n.o

Akaze Thompson 21 c Samaroo b Collins

Alice Collins 2/23 (4 overs)

Jodian Morgan 2/19 (4 overs)

Professional Engineer by training. Played Volleyball and Rugby at Colleges level between 1973 and 1975 and Volleyball at national league level from 1975-1985. 

Held senior managerial positions at Nipdec, BWIA West Indies Airways, EMBD and Udecott over the past 25 years. Recently acted as FIDIC Engineer for the completion of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Happy to be able to participate and contribute to the development of Women’s cricket in Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies. 

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Rachel Vincent Blasts Starblazers Home

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Follow CWESN on Facebook or Twitter for live score updates during matches as well as everything happening with the Courts Women’s T20 Grandslam Franchise Tournament

The Courts Women’s T20 Grandslam Franchise Tournament blasted off last night with action between UDECOTT Starblazers and Trident Sports Phoenix at the National Cricket Center (NCC) Couva. The other scheduled match between LCB Sharks and TECU Titans was called off however due to a wet outfield at the FCB Clarke Road Ground. Both teams will share points from that match.

Spectators who turned out to watch the match at NCC were not disappointed though as they were treated to some exciting cricket that saw scores in excess of 150. Starblazers won the toss and elected to field first in a decision that would pay off in the end as they eventually won the match by seven wickets.

Led by WI all-rounder Stacy Ann King, Phoenix struggled to get a good start, losing three wickets by the 5th over. But King and WI wicket-keeper batswoman, Reniece Boyce consolidated to steady the ship for their side. Boyce was stumped in the 14th over off the bowling of Alice Collins for 18, but King continued on to lead her side to a formidable total of 153 at the end of their 20 overs. She was not out on 78 from 61 balls.


Starblazers skipper, Lee-Ann Kirby was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 4/21 from her four over allotment.

The total seemed to be a formidable one, but T&T senior batswoman, Rachel Vincent was up to the task. Vincent smashed 83 from 63 balls to lead her team to victory with 5 balls to spare. She was named player of the match for her match winning performance.

Speaking after the game, Kirby commended her team for coming out and executing their game plan as they look to defend their title. “We just need to work hard, practice, be more relaxed and stay positive in our matches.” she said. Kirby also thanked the sponsors and fans for their support and urged more people to come out to the matches.

For her team’s part, King lamented the poor fielding she believes was responsible for their loss, but believes her team can bounce back today as her players have the potential to be match winners.

“To be selected to a franchise team you have to have something about you. The players have the potential so its a matter of all of us correcting the wrongs we did today (yesterday) and looking forward to tomorrow (today).”

Matches continue today with UDECOTT Starblazers meeting LCB Sharks at NCC, while TECU Titans will play Trident Sports Phoenix at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. Both matches start at 7pm. Entrance is free.

Summarized Scorecard:

Udecott North Starblazers Won By 7 wickets 

Udecott North Starblazers won toss and decided to field 

Trident Sports Phoenix Udecott North Starblazers 

Tridents Sports Pheonix

Stacy King 78* off 61 balls

Shamilia Connell 20 off 19 balls St McClean b L. Kirby

Reniece Boyce 18 off 21 balls St McClean b Alice Collins 

Bowlers- Udecott

L. Kirby 4-21-4

Alice Collins 4-17-1

Udecott north Starblazers

R. Vincent 83* off 63 balls

J. Morgan 30 off 15 balls c Smartt b King

S. Gajnabi 16* off 13

Bowlers- Trindents

S. Ragoonath 4-20-1

S. Connell 3-18-1

S. Ramharack 4- 35-1

Man of the Match: Rachel Vincent 

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Cricket

Shania Abdool Thrilled about WI Call

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At 18-years old, Shania Abdool is no stranger to cricket, but being called up to a West Indies Women training camp in her debut senior year was something she didn’t expect, even given her recent fine run of form. “It’s quite pleasing to have been called up to the WI training squad, it’s a really amazing opportunity,” said Abdool.

Shania Abdool batting during the recently held CWI T20 Blaze

Abdool had a stellar year with the bat, helping T&T to the U19 Regional title as well as her School Zone – South, to the Secondary Schools Cricket League title. She also had a standout season with her club, Players Sports Club and impressed with the bat during the CWI Women’s Regional Championships this year.

Her inclusion in the training camp therefore, is just reward for a very successful season. Twenty players are currently encamped in Antigua, with Abdool being one of three having their maiden experience.The others are Aria Fortune of Grenada and Sheneta Grimmond.

The West Indies Women are currently preparing for the first stand alone ICC Women’s World T20 Tournament which the WI will be hosting in November. A mix of new and senior players were called, with Shemaine Campbell, who had a standout CWI T20 Blaze tournament being included. Players with previous WI stints such as Natasha McClean and Chinelle Henry were also included.

Shemaine Campbell plays a shot

Speaking with CWESN, the 18-year old, Abdool who hails from Princess Town in Trinidad says she sees the call up as just another opportunity to represent her country and make her family and friends proud. And, despite her age, she believes she has what it takes to make the West Indies Women’s team, and is prepared to do the work to get there.

“My cricket is definitely going to improve and getting this opportunity makes me want to work harder to achieve my goals,” she said. Those goals include actually making the team of course and Abdool hopes that the hard work, dedication and trust in God which have gotten her this far, will be enough to get her there.

The players currently encamped in Antigua are as follows:

Merissa Aguilleira, Deandra Dottin, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Shakera Selman, Shamilia Connell, Shemaine Campbell, Shania Abdool, Sheneta Grimmond, Afy Fletcher, Chedean Nation, Shabika Gajnabi, Ariel Fortune, Chinelle Henry, Natasha McClean, Anisa Mohammed, Britney Cooper, Karishma Ramharack, Quiana Joseph, Akeira Peters

The camp which started on July 2 will conclude on July 16. The majority of the players will then travel to Trinidad and Tobago to participate in the upcoming Courts Franchise Tournament beginning on July 18.

 

 

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