BEIJING, China:Gold medal hopeful Elaine Thompson says she is excited and focused on doing well at what is her first appearance at the World Championships, noting ahead of the 200m final that she is growing in confidence after each round.Thompson added that she has made a special effort not to let the occasion get to her, and though she has impressed in her two races to date, the sprinter isn’t ready to count her eggs before they hatch as she prepares for the biggest race of her young career and focuses on properly executing her races.”I am excited! It’s, of course, my first World Championships individual 200m appearance. It’s been a good experience, and all I’ve been doing is following my coach’s instructions to advance to the final,” she said.Thompson was again impressive in her semi-final win, shutting off the engine with 50 or so metres to go, stopping the clock at 22.13 seconds making her the second-fastest qualifier going into today’s final. She got the better of American Candyce McGrone, 22.26, and Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova-Collio, 22.32.”It was okay, a comfortable run. I didn’t want to blow out so fast, just wanted to get to the final,” said Thompson, who seems primed to dip below the 22-second barrier when she gets going in the final.”I’m excited, but let the day speak for itself. It would mean a lot to me to get on the podium, I have been watching these guys since I was small, so it would mean a whole lot,” said Thompson. “It’s a big day, so let’s see what happens.”Two other Jamaicans contesting the final are Veronica Campbell-Brown and Sherone Simpson.The women’s 200m final takes place at 8 a.m. today.- A.L.
The second period, however, belonged to Dembele, who capped an excellent individual display with two goals after the Frenchman’s sensational run had also earlier set up Coutinho.Villarreal managed a consolation when Pablo Fornals’ shot deflected in off Nicola Sansone but any fears Ernesto Valverde’s side would feel the effects of Sunday’s ‘Clasico’ proved unfounded.The league leaders moved 15 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top while Villarreal stay sixth.Barca drew last weekend against Real Madrid, despite playing the entire second half with 10 men, and they now need only avoid defeat in matches away at Levante and home to Real Sociedad to complete the campaign as invincibles.It would be the first time a team has finished a 38-game La Liga season unbeaten and the first in any format since Real avoided defeat in a division of only 10 teams in 1932.“In the end we have scored two great goals, we are happy about this and we keep the run going,” Valverde said.Already crowned champions and winners of the Copa del Rey, Barca were controversially denied a guard of honour by Real but Villarreal were happy to perform the ‘pasillo’ as the hosts walked out before kick-off.Valverde left some key players out, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic all missing from the starting line-up.Messi, however, was included despite calls for the Argentinian now to be rested ahead of this summer’s World Cup.It meant a start for Dembele, who took his chance to impress with the stand-out performance of the night.Dembele has endured a difficult debut season since joining for 147 million euros from Borussia Dortmund last year but Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said this week he is not for sale, and the 20-year-old delivered the perfect response.“He is a player that has a lot of talent,” Valverde said. “He is fast, he has this spark. All players need a process of adaptation and when you are young you still have to learn. Next year Dembele will be with us.”His run that set up Coutinho’s opener in the 11th minute was arguably the moment of the match as he picked up the ball 10 yards inside Villarreal’s half before driving past three defenders and unleashing a shot.Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo palmed the ball away but only to Coutinho, who was left with a tap-in.Paulinho doubled Barca’s lead five minutes later after a brilliant Iniesta pass allowed Lucas Digne to slide the ball across goal. Paulinho finished at the back post.Iniesta was at the heart of the home side’s third too, this time a chipped ball playing in the darting Messi, who side-footed home on the volley.Villarreal pulled one back after half-time when Fornals’ shot clipped the shoulder of Sansone to wrong-foot Jasper Cillessen.But Dembele grabbed a late brace, his first an easy finish after a brilliant run by Rakitic down the right, his second coming after he sped away from Villarreal’s defence, and lifted the ball over the helpess Asenjo.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000French forward Ousmane Dembele (L) was the provider for Philippe Coutinho before hitting two, second-half, goals of his own at Camp Nou© AFP Pau BarrenaBARCELONA, Spain, United Kingdom, May 9 – Ousmane Dembele scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Villarreal 5-1 on Wednesday and edged closer to their first ever unbeaten season in La Liga.Lionel Messi volleyed in a sumptuous pass from Andres Iniesta at Camp Nou to put Barca three up at half-time after Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho had scored one apiece in the first 16 minutes.
FROM a narrow perspective, the Skid Row sweeps of the past year look pretty successful. Crime has fallen about 40 percent in the area, and fewer street encampments mar the sidewalks and empty lots around the gentrifying downtown Los Angeles. A broader look, however, shows that the sweeps – sanitized as the “Safer Cities Initiative” – have done exactly what sweeps do: dispersed thousands of homeless people from a central location while driving them into other parts of the city. A UCLA study makes that point very well. Researchers found that in the wake of the sweeps, nearby neighborhoods got an influx in transients. And when crime fell in Skid Row, it rose in those same nearby neighborhoods. Coincidence? Of course not. It’s exactly what one might expect when you assign 50 cops to one area, but don’t increase homeless services. Too bad those who might do something don’t care. The homeless in downtown have been neglected for decades. It was only when monied and politically connected developers started making plans for lofts, high-rises, entertainment complexes and hotels did the city’s political class suddenly find compassion for Skid Row’s downtrodden inhabitants. And it turned out that their compassion lasted only as long as it took to move the shopping carts and scruffy throngs somewhere else. To be sure, at some point the neighborhoods that have become satellite Skid Rows will develop political power and bend City Hall’s ear about their problem. Then, the sweeps will resume, as officials move the problem around, but never solve anything. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!