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Qualified for Rio! – But Jamaica’s first internationally certified badminton umpire needs money for history-making trip

first_img His son, Joshua, is accredited at Level One, and that means they are the first father-son umpires in the history of the sport. Clarke said he has approached individuals and organisations for assistance, but with time running out, he is yet to get any money. “I have to find money for airfare and visa to China and Brazil at a cost of approximately US$5,000. The organisers will provide accommodation. I have approached some people and organisations, but no confirmation as yet,” Clarke explained. “It is important to secure bookings by month end.” FATHER-SON UMPIRES Jamaica’s first and only Badminton World Federation (BWF) umpire, Joseph Clarke, is in need of US$5,000 (approximately $600,000) to officiate at the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Clarke said that to become Jamaica’s first badminton umpire at the Olympic Games, he must officiate at the Thomas and Huber World Championship in China this year. “I have two assignments this year. First one is the Thomas and Huber World Championships in China in May. This would be a first for a Jamaican in the final. It is a prerequisite to get to the Olympics,” Clarke told The Gleaner. “If I don’t make it, it could be another 10 years for another Jamaican,” he reasoned. He has been involved in the sport for more than 35 years as a player, coach, administrator and official. RAISING THE STANDARD OF THE SPORT He has been working hard on raising the standard of the sport in Jamaica and formed the National Association of Badminton Umpires and Court Officials in November 1997, after he returned from Guatemala. Two months before, he had earned Pan Am accreditation status as an umpire, thus becoming Jamaica’s first internationally certified umpire. In 1999, he became the nation’s first Pan Am-certified umpire, then three years later, he became Jamaica’s first and the Caribbean’s second-ever BWF-accredited umpire. He is a founding member of Racketeers Badminton Club that hosts an annual tournament here, and is currently a JBA vice-president. He is a past president of the local body as well as past president of the regional body, CAREBACO. Also, he once served as first vice-president of the Central American and Caribbean Badminton Association. Clarke said he would be disappointed if things did not work out for him to travel to China and ultimately the Rio Games. “It is a big thing to officiate at the Olympics. They (organisers) want global representation, so this is Jamaica’s chance. If we are to miss out, Trevor McCain is the closest to me in ranking. He is a Pan Am-certified umpire, but that is only the second of four levels needed,” he noted. “I’m trying to raise the money for both events, but nothing confirmed. However, I remain hopeful of securing the necessary funds to make both trips,” Clarke stressed.last_img read more

Crash snarls commute on 4 freeways

first_imgSTUDIO CITY – Janice Adams had almost begun her commute across the San Fernando Valley when she saw news reports Tuesday of a semitrailer sprawled across the 101 Freeway. But unlike thousands of drivers trapped for hours by the crash, she managed to skirt the logjam. “Oh, my goodness, it was backed up … thank God, I had another route,” said Adams, 48, of Los Angeles, who works in Woodland Hills. “I dodged a bullet.” Many didn’t. Rush-hour commuters were tied up by two early morning crashes on U.S. 101 near Coldwater Canyon Avenue, caused by a drunk driver, CHP officers said. The result was a big rig sprawled across the median, blocking six lanes on both sides of the freeway, snarling traffic into Ventura County from about 4:30 a.m. “It was like a shotgun effect,” Officer B. Denike of the California Highway Patrol said of the congestion that clogged the 101, 134, 170 and 405 freeways. “At one point, the (101) freeway was completely stopped.” Nine freeway signs as far away as the Foothill Freeway flashed “Accident on Coldwater: Traffic Jammed,” as thousands of drivers scrambled to take alternate freeways and cross-town streets. It took until just past noon for transportation officials to completely clear all lanes, according to the California Department of Transportation. Each workday, some 293,000 commuters use the 101 Freeway. “There are so many operators in the Valley, so many commuters, if we have a major incident, it’s going to affect surrounding highways and surface streets,” said Denike, an accident investigator at the West Valley station. “There’s nothing we can do about it.” A traffic SigAlert was issued when a Toyota heading eastbound on the 101 hit the central divider west of Coldwater, spun out and stopped sideways in the No. 3 truck lane, Denike said. A minute later, a Freightliner truck smashed into the car, lost control and veered into the center divider, coming to rest atop the median. Three drivers, including a truck passenger, sustained minor injuries. The driver of the Toyota Corolla was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, Denike said. The identity of the man, about 35 years of age, was not released. It took two industrial tow trucks to remove the big rig from the median. With some drivers arriving an hour late to work, transit advocates said the answer was the cross-Valley Orange Line busway, which now stops every four minutes at each stop. “The truth is, most people in that SigAlert would not think: Maybe I should take the bus,” said Kymberleigh Richards of Southern California Transit Advocates. “They think: Maybe I should use a different freeway, moving the congestion over. “You put all these people in their own little car, at the same time and they start cursing at each other.” [email protected] (818) 713-3730 Trains and buses For information about train and bus routes, call 800-COMMUTE, or go to www.metro.net. For real-time traffic information, go to rtmap.metro.net/html/index.html 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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