ATCH: Can Quins win it for OShea? Road

#1 von riluowanying123 , 21.09.2018 17:14

RIO DE JANEIRO -- At the Riocentro Pavilion 3, the only sound in the table tennis arena was a steady tapping as the two competitors in the gold medal match struggled for points.On one side of the table was Xue Juan. On the other, Li Qian. Both Chinese Paralympians in wheelchairs. Their match was one of two to decide a gold medal on Monday that featured athletes from China only.After Xue defeated Li, and Zhang Bian beat Gu Gai in the later match, each winner quietly acknowledged the victory, wheeled to the middle of the table and shook the hand of her countrywoman.There were no screaming fans, and little celebration. But in Rio, the scene has become routine, across the menu of sports. China is dominating the Paralympics.After competition ended on Tuesday, China held a huge lead at the top of the board with 147 total medals (63 golds) through six days of competition. The next closest country, the United Kingdom, had 75 medals in all.The Ukraine (72) was next with the United States (61) in fourth and host Brazil (43) in fifth.China has topped the medal board in the last three Summer Paralympics, beginning at the 2004 Athens Games.This year, China has more than 300 athletes, a physical representation of the countrys commitment to keeping its spot as a Paralympic powerhouse, but it can also be seen as a strategy: More athletes competing means more opportunities to collect medals.This was evident soon after China stepped foot on Brazilian soil. Last Friday, China won 14 medals in swimming, including two all-China podiums in mens 50- and 100-meter butterfly races. The victories have not stopped.Some athletes, however, have been raising questions about Chinas dominance in Rio.Philip Craven, the International Paralympic Committee president, was asked at a news conference on Monday about complaints that Brazilian competitors had been making about potential cheating by Chinese athletes.We had a very informal, short board meeting this morning of the IPC and that issue was brought up to us and it is something that we will look into in the future, not to do necessarily with doping, we always look into that anyway, but with regard to what particularly the Brazilian athletes are thinking and saying, Craven said.A spokesman for the IPC later said Craven was referring primarily to whether some Chinese athletes had been classified properly. Russia was banned from Rio for systematic doping, raising suspicion about cheating generally.The Paralympic Games, which date back to an English competition in 1948 and became the Paralympics in 1960, were once an event in which the United States routinely topped the medal count.The U.S. finished first in medals for nine consecutive Paralympics from 1964 to 1996. China, meanwhile, did not begin sending athletes to the Paralympics until the 1984 Games.The 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games were awarded in 2001 to Beijing over four other cities. Three years later, at the 2004 Athens Games, China not only cracked the top five in total medals for the first time but also placed first.Penny Briscoe, the British chef de mission in Rio, said the value in winning a bid to host the Summer Games cannot be underestimated in relation to the development of sport for the Paralympics.Briscoe recalled jumping and screaming alone in her house when London was announced as the host city for 2012. Even though the UK was the home of the Paralympic Movement, and had already seen success in the past, winning the bid to host the Summer Games led to an increased focus on the Paralympics.It was massive and such a morale boost, Briscoe said in a phone interview. It gave everyone maybe more sense of purpose than any other four years.Matt Cramer, director of high performance for United States Paralympics, said the U.S. often has different challenges than some of the other high profile names atop the Paralympic leaderboard.One thing is that we are creative but we are also very smart with our resources, because we get no federal funding, Cramer said in a phone interview.As a result, the American Paralympic program invests in initiatives, both long and short term, that are aimed at identifying and developing the athletes who show potential.We gauge success in the most simplistic way -- we look at an athlete that is in the system and has shown a positive trajectory that will hopefully lead to medal, Cramer said. But we dont just hope and cross our fingers, we really invest in them.China, too, has invested in long term plans for success in the Paralympics. In 2007, the huge China Disability Sports Training Centre was opened in Beijing.Britain also invests a lot in its Paralympic program, though Briscoe said it can be difficult to compare other countries to China because of the sheer size of its disabled population. In 2012, the Beijing Review reported that Chinas disabled population was about 85 million. According to the United Nations, the entire population of Germany entering 2016 was about 80 million.Regardless of the number of athletes competing for each nation, it is still up to the individual athlete to win.In the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on Tuesday, China was at it again.Yang Bozun and Zhang Xiaotong claimed gold medals and world records in the 100-meter mens and womens breaststroke finals for blind competitors. Neither was the top finisher in qualifiers.By the end of the night, China had won eight medals and broken five world records.After her race, Zhang was asked about the secret to Chinas success at the Paralympic Games.It is because we train very hard in China and it is a whole teamwork for the entire China team, Zhang said through a translator.Whatever it is seems to be paying off.---This story has been corrected to show that the table tennis was played in Riocentro Pavilion 3, not Riocentro Pavilion 2. . It might not have mattered. While the Dodgers are preparing for the playoffs, the Padres showed their future has promise behind two rookies. . JOHNS, N. . It might not have mattered. While the Dodgers are preparing for the playoffs, the Padres showed their future has promise behind two rookies. . The team said Saturday that Lopez was hurt during its 121-120 overtime loss at Philadelphia on Friday. The Nets said they would issue another update next week after consultation with their doctors. . He said Tuesday thats a big reason why he is now the new coach of the Tennessee Titans. Whisenhunt said he hit it off quickly with Ruston Webster when interviewing for the job Friday night.Dewi Morris shares his five key talking points ahead of the Challenge Cup final between Harlequins and Montpellier. Harlequins arrive in Lyon with a large Montpellier side standing between them and the trophy. The threat of the Top 14 side is obvious, with a recent eight-game winning streak taking them to the top two in their domestic competition.However, there are plenty of English stars in the Harlequins side, can they repel the streamrolling Frenchmen? Dewi Morris looks at five key talking points... Coaches cornerTo me Harlequins have revolutionised the English game under Conor OShea, and they will want to send him off with a trophy to thank him for his service. On the same note, OShea himself will want to prove his credentials on the big stage before he heads for Italy. In boxing they say styles make fights, and that saying will resonate in France this weekend. Dewi Morris The Irishman has already brought Challenge Cup silverware to the London club in what has been a quite successful period for Quins, but he certainly has his work cut out for him on Friday.In the room next to him will be Jake White, who voiced his desire to coach England when he was in the UK for Montpelliers match against Quins at the Stoop in November, and dont forget he won the World Cup with the Springboks in 2007. Can Harlequins win the European Challenge Cup to add to Conor OSheas silverware at the London club? White has lured a host of South Africans over to France and will have promised them long-term success along with euros, and with Montpellier chasing two trophies at the business end of the season, White will be hoping to deliver on at least one front.Honours even Harlequins beat Montpellier in November The Round 1 meeting between these sides in the group stages of the tournament ended in a 41-18 hiding for Montpellier, but the Top 14 side returned the favour with a 42-9 victory at Altrad Stadium in January.Theres not much to separate the sides this season, and to make it even more difficult to figure out who has the mental edge going into this game, both sides arrive on the back of heavy losses in their domestic leagues.Quins were humbled by Exeter Chiefs to the tune of 62-24 in the final round of the Premiership, while Montpellier were treated to a 36-10 loss to La Rochelle to bring an end to their eight-game winning streak. Will Greenwood previews the Challenge Cup final between Harlequins and Montpellier It would be fair to say that both sides had one eye on this weekends clash when theyy lost those fixtures, but the fact is neither will be bringing any immediate momentum into Fridays kick-off.ddddddddddddSmash v PanacheIn boxing they say styles make fights, and that saying will resonate in France this weekend. On the one side youve got the French team who will use their South Africans to smash, bang and wallop everything, while Quins will be trying to move the ball around as much as possible.Montpellier have a growling pack filled with grit, and Harlequins have the quick hands and running game that can punish opposition defences when they fracture under pressure. Jamie Roberts looks ahead to Harlequins game against Montpellier Four of the Montpellier tight five are bruising South Africans who will be tough to stop with ball in hand, but if Quins are smart they will keep the ball away from the contact area and force the likes of the Du Plessis brothers and Paul Willemse to run around the park for as long as possible.Tiring out the Montpellier forwards will be high on OSheas agenda.Nick Evans v Demetri CatrakilisI cant see Harlequins turning over this Montpellier side, but if they do manage it, the saving grace will be Nick Evans.Just as Racing 92 have a former All Black fly-half tasked with spearheading their challenge for European glory, Harlequins are pinning their hopes on a big performance from - in my opinion - one of the best ever overseas signings in the Premiership. Demetri Catrakilis has his work cut out against Nick Evans Opposite Evans is Demetri Catrakilis, another of Whites South Africans who moved to France from the Stormers. He has been fighting Francois Trinh-Duc for the No 10 jersey all season, which has benefited the squad.Evans up against Trinh-Duc would have been an interesting tussle, but one thing to remember is that Trinh-Duc has been injured for some time, and has missed the big winning run that Montpellier went on this year. Champions Cup: Pundit predictions Sky Sports pundits give their predictions for Saracens v Racing 92 Catrakilis will be more than trusted by White to do the job but he will likely be overshadowed by the sheer wealth of experience that Evans boasts. Will that be enough to get Harlequins up on the podium?Kicking to the backHarlequins have in Mike Brown a world leader in taking the high ball, and someone who is happy to run the ball back at opposition defences - he is a genuine threat in space.Montpellier have opted for Benjamin Fall, who is an interesting selection at full-back. The Frenchman will also be happy to run the ball back at the Quins line if they kick poorly, but White wont want to venture too far from the kind of rugby that wins finals. Make no mistake, despite the ambition of the individual players and the generally accepted ways of the Top 14, the Montpellier boys will kick plenty. However, when the back three do choose to run, Harlequins will need to switch on. Likewise if Brown is able to break through the middle and unleash his wingers out wide it could be a long night for the Montpellier side.Intelligent kicking out of hand, from the back three as well as the fly-halves, will be a requirement rather than a desire.Watch Harlequins v Montpellier live on Sky Sports 2 from 7.3pm on Friday. Catch all the action for £6.99 with a NOW TV day pass. Also See: Sky Live: Quins v Montpellier WATCH: Can Quins win it for OShea? 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