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first_imgMONACO (AP):A ninth Monte Carlo Masters title is getting closer for Rafael Nadal with most of his rivals out of the way – including Roger Federer, who again misses out on one of the few trophies not already in his glittering collection.But Federer – a four-time runner-up on the French Riviera – was not too disappointed, considering that his priority was to come back safely after more than two months out following knee surgery.Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 yesterday to set up a third semi-final here against Andy Murray. Federer lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, despite being two points from victory when 5-4 up in the decider, with Tsonga 15-30 down on his serve.This was Federer’s first tournament play since arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for torn cartilage on February 3, and defeat was softened by relief at avoiding any relapse.”It was good to play back-to-back, yesterday and today, good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today,” Federer said. “It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted.”With top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka – the French Open champion – also out, Federer himself picked Nadal when asked about the favourite.Nadal leads Murray 16-6 in career meetings and 6-1 on clay. For the other two semi-finalists, Nadal is 11-2 up on Gael Monfils – 4-0 on clay – and 8-4 on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, having beaten him here in the semi-finals three years ago. Nadal went on to lose the 2013 final to Djokovic, who was stunned in the second round this year by Czech Jiri Vesely, an unheralded Czech player ranked 55th.In a one-sided contest between former champions, Nadal broke Wawrinka four times and made the semi-finals for the 11th time.Murray took out Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 for the second time this year.The Briton thinks patience will be the key factor against the nine-time French Open champion.last_img read more

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first_img The Physical Education Department of The Mico University College has received sport supplies from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through its ‘Smile for All the World’ programme. “This donation represents the collaboration between Mico and JICA in assisting us to build sustainability in our sports programme. This is a critical area that is driving the education curriculum in Jamaica,” he said. President of the university, Asburn Pinnock, thanked JICA for the generous donation. Story Highlights The Physical Education Department of The Mico University College has received sport supplies from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), through its ‘Smile for All the World’ programme.The assortment of netballs, footballs and volleyballs were handed over during a ceremony, held on March 26, at The Mico University College, in Kingston.President of the university, Asburn Pinnock, thanked JICA for the generous donation.“This donation represents the collaboration between Mico and JICA in assisting us to build sustainability in our sports programme. This is a critical area that is driving the education curriculum in Jamaica,” he said.Meanwhile, Resident Representative for JICA, Jamaica Office, Tobita Kenji, said the programme is evidence of the continued friendship and goodwill between Jamaica and Japan.He expressed the hope that the supplies will assist in improving the performance of amateur athletes in these disciplines.The ‘Smile for All the World’ programme in Japan distributes goods related to sports, culture, education, social services and more all over the world through JICA volunteers. These goods are primarily donated to developing countries.According to the Japanese Embassy, 36 volunteers are involved in activities throughout the island. They are assigned to public agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) under the Ministries of Education, Youth and Information; Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Local Government and Community Development; Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Tourism; Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Transport and Mining.Since 1989, a total of 425 JICA volunteers have worked in various areas of the island.Established in 1974, JICA has been implementing Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through cooperation, such as loan, grant and technical cooperation, which include the JICA volunteer programme, training in Japan as well as technical cooperation projects.last_img read more

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first_imgThe star-studded line up for Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief has now been revealed.Hosted by comedy duo Mel and Sue, the show will see celebrities sing their hearts out and dance their socks off, as they take to the stage to recreate legendary musical numbers.Celebrity performers include TV Presenter Alison Hammond, Actor Danny Boy Pratchard, Comedians Pete Firman and Ellie Taylor and Radio DJ’s Rickie Haywood Williams and Melvin Odoom.Each week, celebrities will take to the stage to perform in front of a different panel of guest star judges including Julian Clary, Tameka Empson, Miranda Hart, Rufus Hound, Russell Kane and Adil Ray as Citizen Khan. Judges already announced are Jo Brand, Jason Manford, Paul O’Grady, Frank Skinner, Jennifer Saunders and Claudia Winkleman.Rickie and Melvin will perform a sensational medley of Will Smith’s biggest music hits.Rickie said, “I literally cannot wait to perform on Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief! Melvin and I have always fancied ourselves as pop stars so surely this is the next best thing!”Melvin added, “I’m so excited to get on the dance floor again after my time on Strictly and this time around I get to sing and perform with my best friend – what more could you ask for?”Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief is a four-part series and starts on Saturday 4th March at 6:45pm on BBC One.To follow all the action visit rednoseday.com/lets-sing-and-dance.last_img read more

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