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African 4x100m bronze medalist Flings Owusu-Agyapong ran the fastest 60m time in the world at the Gotham Cup in New York last Friday, 16th January. Her performance also equaled Vida Anim’s national record for the distance.Flings, 26, opened her season in grand style crossing the finish line in a sizzling personal best of 7.18 ahead of Ashley Kelly 7.55(SB) and Karene King 7.59 (SB). Despite the heavy activity of the weekend, Flings’ mark remains the second fastest time in the world in 2015.Her time is only bettered by American sprinter Jasmine Todd who clocked 7.15 secs, a day after Flings’ performance.Flings said it is a dream come true to have equaled the national record.“It feels great to have equaled that record,” she said adding that, “I’ve been eyeing that for a long time so to be able to do that is an amazing thing for me. Vida is an amazing sprinter and really fast so it makes me feel like I’m on the right track to running what I feel I’m capable of.”Flings’ performance follows a very impressive season in 2014 where Team Ghana equaled its highest medal haul of six medals at the African Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Morocco.As well as an African Championship 4x100m relay silver and bronze medals in 2012 and 2010 respectively, the New York-based athlete competed at the 2014 World Indoor Championship and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.She credited her coaches and the Ghana Athletics Association for her impressive performance.“Last season didn’t go the way I wanted it to, so after the last meet I spoke with Prof Dodoo. As a former world class athlete, I knew there was a lot of valuable information I could gain from him. Some of the areas we touched on included areas of my race that needed improvement, injury reduction and we also spoke about my training and things they felt I could be doing more of, and doing better. This included running longer distances in practice to improve my speed endurance for the end of the race.” “When I got home, I sat down with my coach Dave Hegland and his assistant coach Frank Rizzo and we talked about the season, specific races and overall how the summer went for me. We then spoke about the different things I had learned this summer, both from myself and the leaders I worked with this summer. “There are a lot of little things that people don’t realize can affect the way I train and compete, but I have an amazing team of coaches as well as a very supportive National Association (GAA) to lean on. I’m looking forward to a great season!She will be looking forward to meeting the Ghana Athletics Association’s selection criteria for the 2015 All Africa Games and the World Championships in Beijing when the outdoor season begins.Meanwhile, her compatriot Janet Amponsah is also ranked 3rd in the world, this time in the 55m after running a personal best 6.95s. The Texas based scholar is ranked behind Cierra White of the USA who has run 6.85 and 6.91 this season.
29 Apr 2014 England Golf fielding four strong teams in Fairhaven Nations Cup England Golf has named four strong teams, each comprising two boys and a girl, including internationals, to compete for the Nations Cup at the Fairhaven Trophies at Fairhaven Golf Club, Lancashire, on 2nd – 4th May. Team One will include Sophie Keech (Parkstone, Dorset), Marco Penge (Goodwood, Sussex) and Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire). Team Two will be Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe, Lancashire), Matty Lamb (Hexham, Northumberland) and Jack Storey (Alnmouth, Northumberland). Team Three will comprise Eloise Healey (West Lancs, Lancashire), Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick, Yorkshire) and Billy Spooner (Boston, Lincolnshire) while Team Four will combine Hollie Muse (West Lancs, Lancashire), Jamie Li (Bath, Somerset) and Oliver Farrell (Evesham, Worcestershire). In Team One: Sophie Keech, 17, (image © Leaderboard Photography) won the 2013 English girls’ championship, to add to her English schools’ and South West girls’ titles. She was a member of England’s winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals. Penge, 15, will be the defending champion at Fairhaven after beating Scotland’s Bradley Neil in a four-hole playoff for the title last year. So far this year Penge has finished runner-up in the Darwin Salver and tied third in the McEvoy Trophy while he is the reigning English under 15 and under 16 champion. Moore, 16, finished runner-up in the recent McEvoy Trophy while in 2013 he won the European Young Masters, was runner-up to Penge in the under 16 championship and reached the semi-finals of the British Boys. In Team Two: Sophie Lamb, 16, is the defending girls’ champion at Fairhaven. She was leading points scorer in England’s winning team at the 2013 Girls’ Home Internationals and represented GB&I in the junior Vagliano Trophy. Matty Lamb, 16, is an under 16 international who won the Scottish under 14 title in 2012 and finished runner-up in the English version. He won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters last year and finished fifth in the recent McEvoy Trophy. Storey, 18, another under 16 cap, was England under 16 champion in 2012 and stepped up to boy international last year. Finished equal sixth in this year’s McEvoy Trophy. In Team Three: Eloise Healey, 16, won the 2013 English schools’ U16 girls’ title and had top five finishes in last season’s Scottish U16 girls’ and the Fairhaven Trophies. Thomson, 18, has also been capped at under 16 level and finished third in last year’s Fairhaven Trophy. He is a past North of England under 16 champion and tied third in the recent Darwin Salver. Spooner, 16, is also an under 16 cap, having finished tied second to Penge in last year’s English Under 16 Championship, runner-up in the Canadian Junior Challenge and fourth in the North of England Under 16 Championship. In Team Four: Hollie Muse, 14, won the 2013 Royal Birkdale ladies’ scratch trophy and the girls’ U14 title at the North of England U16 championship. She was the 2012 English U13 girls’ champion. Li, 17, who lost a playoff for last year’s English Under 18 Championship, is also an under 16 cap. He finished equal fourth in the 2013 Daily Telegraph Junior Championship and tied sixth in the recent McEvoy Trophy. Farrell, 17, has finished fifth and third in the past two Junior County Champions Tournament and was tied eighth in this year’s McEvoy Trophy. The Nations Cup is contested over the first two rounds of the 72-hole Fairhaven Trophies with all three scores to count on each day. England are past winners of the Nations Cup but finished third behind winners Scotland last year.
LeVeon Bell (AP Photo/File)PITTSBURGH (AP) — Le’Veon Bell’s patience on the football field sets him apart.In a game built on chaos, the star running back rarely hurries or makes hasty decisions.His ability to put his hand on the back of an offensive lineman while waiting for the hole to open — much like a child sticking close to a parent in a crowded store — helps him make the remarkably difficult at times look remarkably easy.His career at a crossroads partly of his own making, Bell will have to rely on that patience now more than ever after the two-time All-Pro declined to sign his one-year, $14.4 million franchise tender with the Pittsburgh Steelers by Tuesday’s deadline, making him ineligible to play for the AFC North leaders or anyone else this season.The unprecedented move sets Bell up for the potentially big-time payday he has long been searching when he becomes a free agent in the spring, provided there’s a team willing to splurge on one of the league’s more talented if mercurial players.While TV cameras set up outside the team’s practice facility on Tuesday to catch Bell if he decided to show up for work for the first time in nearly 10 months, the 26-year-old never pulled up to the gates, ending — for now — one of the more unusual labor standoffs between a team and a player in the era of free agency.Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin seemed resigned to Bell’s decision shortly before the 4 p.m. deadline, saying simply “so be it” when asked about the possibility of Bell not returning to the team that selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft and helped mold him into one of the league’s most dynamic threats.“Even when we don’t understand it, we’re sensitive to it, so we’re not shocked when things happen from a business standpoint, no,” Tomlin said.The Steelers (6-2-1), who have won five straight to sprint to the top of the division heading into a visit to Jacksonville on Sunday, will turn to second-year back James Conner and reserves Stevan Ridley and rookie Jaylen Samuels to help shoulder the load with Bell out of the picture.Conner, third in the NFL with 771 yards rushing, remained in the concussion protocol on Tuesday after leaving last Thursday’s blowout win against Carolina but could practice as early as Wednesday.All season Tomlin stressed he was focused on the players in the locker room and not the ones outside it. He hardly seemed bothered by the idea of Pittsburgh’s quest for a postseason berth continuing without Bell.“That train has left the station,” Tomlin said. “We’re comfortable with how we function, the people at our disposal, the division of labor and our ability to ready ourselves for the challenges.”The Steelers drafted Bell with the 48th overall pick five years ago, won over by his youth, size and versatility. Along with wide receiver Antonio Brown, Bell became the linchpin in which the Steelers rebuilt themselves on the fly as the franchise’s identity shifted from away from the defense that fueled three Super Bowl appearances in six years from 2005-2010 toward an offense that ranked among the most explosive in the league.The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths.Bell is one of only three players in recent NFL history to be franchise tagged in consecutive seasons. The first two — linebacker Karlos Dansby and quarterback Kirk Cousins — played all 16 games during their second seasons under the tag then went and cashed in elsewhere in free agency.As his profile rose, Bell insisted he wasn’t merely a running back, pointing to his success as a receiver — he finished 10th in the league with 85 catches in 2017 — as proof that he should be paid far above his peers.When Bell and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a new deal last summer, he said “both sides worked extremely hard” in an attempt to get something done. When it didn’t happen, he skipped training camp again, just as he did in 2017. His teammates stressed it was no big deal, confident Bell would show up in time for the regular-season opener.Only he didn’t. And when preparations for Pittsburgh’s Week 1 trip to Cleveland began without Bell, several Steelers — particularly the offensive line — vented their frustrations publicly.The anger eased as the weeks passed and Conner thrived in Bell’s absence while Bell remained in Florida, where encounters captured on social media found him riding a Jet Ski or hitting the club. He returned to Pittsburgh last week and even played some pickup basketball at a fitness center.It’s as close to breaking a sweat with the Steelers as Bell will get.Though the team could use the franchise or transition tag on Bell next spring, it’s more likely he’ll just walk away.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
NFL … The Raiders traded for arguably the best pass-catcher in football this month, but they lost their best pass-catcher from a year ago.Jared Cook will be a New Orleans Saint, as Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters at the annual league meeting Tuesday morning, “My understanding is he’s signed. We’re excited to have him.”Sean Payton on TE Jared Cook: “My understanding is he’s signed (with the Saints). We’re excited to have him.”— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) March 26, 2019
14 March 2014Cricket South Africa (CSA) launched its state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the University of Pretoria Sports Complex on Thursday evening.The centre will be used by all national teams, including the Proteas test, ODI and T20 squads, the national women’s team, the national under-19 squad, and the national squads for disabled and differently abled cricket. It will also be used for various transformation initiatives.Development programme dream“We always dream of having a comparable, if not the best, development programme in the world,” CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said at the launch.“With all sporting codes evolving as rapidly as we have experienced over the past decade, CSA is determined to invest in the future so that we remain a world leader in developing our players to their full potential.“We only have to look at the enormous changes cricket has undergone both on and off the field since we re-entered the international arena 22 years ago,” Lorgat said. “This includes the fast-paced T20 format and the implications that each format has on the other.“When AB de Villiers reached one of his many test centuries with three successive reverse sweeps it was incredible, but of course unachievable in years gone by.”The motivation for the CoE, Lorgat said, was about growing the game in South Africa. “Our vision remains two-fold: to make South Africa a nation of winners and to make cricket a truly national sport.“The CoE is key to both these aims as we continue working hard to keep pace with the growth of the game. It will spearhead excellence and transformation by always being at the forefront of the development of the game.”‘Equal of any other in the world’CSA general manager Corrie van Zyl commented: “With the facilities that the University of Pretoria have already established and the new ones we have developed through this investment, I can say with confidence that we have a facility that is the equal of any other in the world.“It is a dream come true for cricket in this country,” Van Zyl said. “But it is a living dream because it is one that we must continue to drive forward. At the moment we have an outstanding test team, a champion under-19 team, a women’s team that continues to make big strides forward and two Proteas limited overs squads that enjoy great respect across the whole world.“In other words our cricket is in a very healthy state. But we have seen from the experiences of others how easy it is to fall from the top and how difficult it is to stay at the top. The CoE is a key component in our commitment to successfully remain at the forefront.”SAinfo reporter
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RELATED ARTICLES On-Site Storage Is the Great EqualizerBatteries for Off-Grid HomesTesla Will Sell Home Batteries Are Solar-Plus-Battery Systems Coming to a Neighborhood Near You? Will a Merged Tesla-SolarCity Put a Solar-Powered Battery in Every Home? A path forwardWhile PV-plus-storage system costs continue to decline, they still remain relatively high for many residential uses on account of soft costs related to permitting and regulatory barriers. However, as utilities and permitting jurisdictions gain familiarity with residential storage systems, we anticipate that the residential storage market will grow at an increasing rate in the U.S.The work presented in this paper is an important step to help technology manufacturers, installers, and other stakeholders identify cost-reduction opportunities while also informing decision makers about regulatory, policy, and market characteristics that impede solar-plus-storage deployment. Technology costs are changing rapidly, and this cost benchmarking lays the foundation for ongoing tracking of improvements in real-world systems. The findings showed that declining costs for such systems, combined with retail price hikes for grid electricity, would make grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems economically optimal for customers in many parts of the country by 2030. Furthermore, solar-plus-battery systems can offer other important benefits to customers, such as backup power for critical loads in the event of a grid outage and cost savings via peak-demand shaving and time-of-use shifting. However, at the time, RMI’s study did not detail the exact nature of energy storage costs. By KRISTEN ARDANI and DAVID LABRADORThe residential solar-plus-storage market has certainly received a lot of attention in recent months. With the release of new, lower-cost products and implementation of utility time-of-use and demand-charge rate structures, the overall economics of photovoltaics (PV)-plus-storage systems continue to improve — but questions remain as to what’s ultimately needed to achieve widespread deployment.To better understand this market evolution, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) explored the services and value that battery energy storage can provide, and is collaborating with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on further research that examines the costs — and value — of PV-plus-storage systems.The first in a planned series of reports on this topic, Installed Cost Benchmarks and Deployment Barriers for Residential Solar Photovoltaics with Energy Storage: Q1 2016, provides the most detailed component- and system-level cost breakdowns for residential PV-plus-storage systems to date and quantifies previously unknown soft costs for the first time. The report also shares insights on market barriers to adoption. All economic viability is localThe component-level breakdown shows that hardware costs constitute just half the total price of the small-battery system and roughly 60% of the large-battery resiliency system. And the rest of the costs depend on where the system is installed: locality-specific costs and processes like permitting, interconnection, net metering, and fire codes can vary widely, affecting not only project costs but project timelines as well.Some of the biggest variables affecting the financial viability of grid-connected solar-plus-storage projects are the local utility rates, incentives, and ancillary benefit valuations. Often, the utility rate structure (e.g., whether it uses peak-demand pricing, time-of-use rates, and the like) is the primary factor determining the financial viability of adding storage to a PV system. Getting down to casesApplying these methods, we looked at two primary cases: one that we refer to as the small-battery (3-kW/6-kWh) case, and another that we refer to as the large-battery (5-kW/20-kWh) case. For each, we test sensitivities around two sets of alternatives: DC- or AC-coupling configurations, and retrofit or new installations. The distinction between DC and AC coupling determines whether the battery stores power directly from the PV panels or first converts it to AC power, which allows AC charging from both the PV panels and the grid.The small-battery case is designed for a typical customer’s self-consumption of electricity, including peak-demand shaving and time-of-use shifting, whereas the large-battery case is designed to support greater backup energy requirements for improved resiliency to outages.Here’s what we found: the benchmarked price of the small-battery case — which uses a 5.6-kW PV array and a 3-kW/6-kWh lithium-ion battery — is about twice as high as the price of a stand-alone, grid-connected 5.6-kW PV system (see the bar graph in Image #2, below). The DC-coupled system price ($27,703) is $1,865 lower than the AC-coupled system price ($29,568) for a new PV-plus-storage installation. The price premium for AC-coupled systems is mainly due to the hardware and labor costs associated with the additional grid-tied inverter required for AC coupling.However, installed price is not the only consideration when comparing AC- and DC-coupled systems: AC-coupled systems are more efficient in applications where PV energy is generally used at the time of generation, and DC-coupled systems tend to be more efficient in applications where PV energy is stored and used later.We also compared the small-battery case shown in that chart with the large-battery case that’s designed to increase resiliency by providing longer periods of backup power during grid outages. The larger system uses a 5.6-kW PV array with a higher-capacity 5-kW/20-kWh lithium-ion battery (see Image #3 below).The DC-coupled price of this resiliency system is $45,237, which is 63 percent more than the DC-coupled price of the small-battery system. With AC coupling, the price of the resiliency system is $47,171, which is 60% more than the price of the small-battery system. But in exchange for the increased cost of the larger system, a household could potentially cover critical loads for roughly four times longer than with the small system, other things being equal. Helping wildfires spreadBack in April 2015, RMI and partners including Global X and HOMER Energy published a study, The Economics of Load Defection, that examined how grid-connected solar-plus-battery systems will compete with traditional electric service. © 2017 Rocky Mountain Institute. Published with permission. Originally posted on RMI Outlet. Kristen Ardani is a solar program lead for Solar Soft Costs and Tech to Market at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). David Labrador is a writer / editor at RMI. Figuring out how to compare apples to applesTo break down the installed costs of PV-plus-storage systems today, RMI and NREL first analyzed data across a variety of existing studies from sources including Lazard and GTM, in addition to our own experience in the RMI Innovation Center.One challenge to analyzing component costs and system prices for PV-plus-storage installations is choosing an appropriate metric. Unlike stand-alone PV, energy storage lacks a standard set of widely accepted benchmarking metrics, such as dollars-per-watt of installed capacity or levelized cost of energy.Energy storage costs can vary both by the total energy capacity of the system — expressed in $/kilowatt-hour (kWh) — and the rate at which it charges or discharges — expressed in $/kilowatt (kW). Some consumers may prefer to optimize their system for longer-duration discharge, while others may have high peak demand and want to optimize their storage solution for power (kW) rather than energy capacity (kWh). Given the diversity of household preferences and load profiles, using a single metric can artificially distort reported costs — making it difficult to compare across varying systems. Therefore, we used the total installed price as our primary metric, rather than using a metric normalized to system size.To analyze component costs and system prices for PV-plus-storage installed in the first quarter of 2016, we adapted NREL’s component- and system-level bottom-up cost-modeling approach for stand-alone PV. Our methodology includes accounting for all component and project-development costs incurred when installing residential systems, and it models the cash purchase price for such systems, excluding the investment tax credit (ITC).
An expedition by the Dogra Scouts has recovered parts of an Indian Air Force AN-12 transport aircraft that crashed in the icy mountains of Himachal Pradesh 51 years ago, killing all 102 people on board, the Army said on Sunday.The Western Command launched an operation on July 26 to recover the mortal remains of over 90 missing soldiers, who were on board the AN-12 BL-534 aircraft which went missing over the Rohtang Pass in Kullu district on February 7, 1968.After 13 days of rigorous search and recovery operation in the Dhaka Glacier at an altitude of 5,240 m, the team recovered parts of the aircraft like the aero engine, fuselage, electric circuits, propeller, fuel tank unit, air brake assembly and a cockpit door, it said in a statement. Personal belongings of the passengers were also recovered.The search area, including the location of recoveries, has been mapped for future reference, the Army said. The expedition was joined by a team of the Indian Air Force on August 6 to augment the operation.The glacier had high levels of snow accumulation due to old avalanches, precipitous gradients, avalanche-prone slopes and open crevasses along the course which made movement of the team extremely difficult and energy sapping.The aircraft went missing on its way back to the Chandigarh Air Force base.Since the crash, there were rumours that the aircraft might have strayed into the enemy territory and might have been forced to land in the enemy territory with all passengers being taken as prisoners of war.However, the mystery of the missing airplane was finally solved as a mountaineering expedition in 2003 stumbled on the debris of the plane near the Dhaka Glacier, and found the identity card of a soldier who was on board the missing aircraft.Fresh hopeThis discovery gave a fresh ray of hope to the families of the missing passengers that the bodies would be recovered for performing the last rites.Since then, numerous search missions have been launched to recover the bodies of the missing soldiers. However, only five bodies have been found till date.