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.
“I used to think of it this way when dealing with organized crime way back in the early 1980s: If we can be as well organized as they were, we could defeat them,” Giuliani said. “You’ve got the kinds of sheriff’s departments and the support of the governor and that gives you the capacity to be much more organized than they are. It’s not going to happen in a week or two, a month or two, or a year or two. “The real key to this is a long-term commitment to this kind of a strategy.” Bratton and Villaraigosa announced a plan last month to fight gang-related crime, which increased last year by 14 percent in Los Angeles and 44 percent in the San Fernando Valley. Their campaign includes a list of Most Wanted gang members, one of whom was apprehended last week in Central America. LAPD officials plan today to announce the arrest of a second suspect. The LAPD plan came on the heels of legislation introduced in January by Feinstein and a bipartisan coalition of 19 other senators that would toughen federal penalties for gang-related crime. It also would provide $1 billion for gang enforcement, prevention and intervention programs over five years. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said one of Baca’s ideas is to create a Gang Assessment Center, similar to the Joint Regional Center for Terrorism, which serves as a data clearinghouse for local, state and federal agencies working to prevent terrorism. “The Gang Assessment Center is a central facility that would have all the data connected to gangs that would be at the fingertips of the people involving in fighting the gang crisis in Los Angeles County,” Whitmore said. “Because you would have all the information in one central location, resources could be moved into areas that needed attention in real time throughout the county.” firstname.lastname@example.org (213) 974-8985160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “This is why the state is getting involved in a very serious way to bring all the resources together.” He noted that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has introduced a bill that would provide $1 billion to fight gangs and suggested the creation of “fusion centers” that could serve as data clearinghouses for law enforcement agencies to coordinate strategy. The sheriff, governor and Giuliani – who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination – met Monday with law-enforcement officials from neighboring counties. They discussed efforts by Giuliani and Bratton that led to a drop in crime in New York City. While Giuliani was mayor, Schwarzenegger said, crime in the nation’s largest city dropped 60 percent, and homicides dropped 70 percent. Giuliani said a coordinated response is needed to resolve the gang problem. MONTEREY PARK – Declaring Los Angeles County’s gang crisis an urgent priority, Sheriff Lee Baca, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani pledged Monday to earmark money and develop strategies to quell a surge in violence. Speaking after a summit at sheriff’s headquarters, Schwarzenegger said local, state and federal governments need to coordinate their disparate efforts to combat gangs. “This is a problem that exists all over the state of California,” Schwarzenegger said. “I’ve spoken to various different mayors all over California and they all face the same problems. “I think Mayor (Antonio) Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief (William) Bratton are doing an extraordinary job here in L.A. to fight gang violence. But they will be the first ones to tell you they can’t do it alone. They need help. So we want to provide that help.