Chelsea are among the clubs chasing Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer, according to the Express. The Blues and Tottenham are said to have joined Liverpool and Manchester United in a battle to sign the 23-year-old, who featured for Germany at this year’s World Cup.Chelsea are also said to be keen to sign Barcelona’s former United defender Gerard Pique.The Daily Star have picked up on a report on Spanish website Fichajes which claimed the Blues are considering offering £24m for the 27-year-old when the transfer window reopens in January.Pique has therefore been touted as a possible long-term replacement for Chelsea captain John Terry, while United have been linked with a bid to re-sign him.The Star have also linked Chelsea with Stephan Lichtsteine and say their supposed pursuit of the defender has been boosted because Juventus are lining up a replacement.Meanwhile, QPR’s on-loan right-back Mauricio Isla has dismissed speculation he could return to Juve.The Chile international has had a difficult start for Rangers since arriving on a season-long loan and there were reports in the Italian media that the deal could be cut short.But Isla told the Evening Standard: “That was never going to happen.“People talk but I’ve never spoken about it. I’ve not spoken to a single director at Juventus since I came to England.“It is important for me to stay here a long while because I need to get match fitness back after the cruciate knee ligament injury I had.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
A new record was set by a Caltech team using the Keck telescopes on Hawaii: they detected a galaxy nearly as old as the universe. The consensus age for the universe is 13.6 billion years. The light from this galaxy, they claim, is over 13 billion years old – “a mere 500 million years after the Big Bang” itself was supposed to have brought the universe into being. The discovery was reported by the BBC News based on a paper in the Astrophysical Journal.1 Some astronomers are questioning the accuracy of the report and its use of gravitational lensing to see the distorted light from the distant galaxy, but agree the work was done carefully. This exceeds the previous redshift record (z = 6.96) into the 8 to 10 range. The authors found six candidates and proposed that at least two of them are real, and may lie at redshifts close to or beyond z=10. They assumed metallicities of 1/20 solar abundance. This means that heavy elements (metals) would have had to be products of a prior generation of hydrogen stars. The authors also believed that their candidate galaxies were representative of a large abundance of similar low-luminosity galaxies that were present in that epoch.1Stark, Ellis et al, “A Keck Survey for Gravitationally Lensed Lyman-Alpha Emitters in the Redshift Range 8.5 < z < 10.4: New Constraints on the Contribution of Low-Luminosity Sources to Cosmic Reionization,” The Astrophysical Journal, 663:10-28, 2007 July 1.These measurements are indirect and tentative. Confirmation must await observations from the refurbished Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope, and refinements of the gravitational lensing technique. There is also a fuzzy line between observation and theory in cases such as these. Even using their own assumptions, however, the situation is paralleled by that in biology: more maturity and complexity as far back as they can see.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Africa’s most valuable nation brand, South Africa, continues to search its soul and look towards enhancing its international reputation and increasing its brand equity as it aims to stay relevant and strong in the current competitive economic environment, where only nations with a strong dose of credibility and competitiveness can survive.
17 March 2014Many of the world’s leading surfers, including South African superstar Jordy Smith, will be in action at the ASP Prime Mr Price Pro when it returns to Willard Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast from 30 June to 6 July.A favourite stop among the world’s touring professional surfers, this year’s event will see 96 competitors from 18 countries compete for a lucrative R2.7-million ($250000) prize-purse and critical ratings points for those hoping to qualify for the elite ASP World Championship Tour in 2015.Crowd-pullerCalifornian Dane Reynolds, widely regarded as the one of the world’s most exciting surfers, has confirmed his entry into this year’s event where he is sure to be a crowd-puller with his aerial mastery and go-for-broke approach.Leading localsLocals will have plenty to cheer about with perennial world title contender Jordy Smith and experienced World Tour campaigner Travis Logie, the top two South Africans, featuring in this year’s classy line-up.With two podium finishes under his belt at the Mr Price Pro, Logie is always a title contender, but he is well aware of the intense competition that the event attracts.‘Up there with the best’“The level is up there with the best of them,” Logie, who recently sent shockwaves through the surfing world when he eclipsed Hawaiian John John Florence at the Quiksilver Pro in Australia, said in a statement last week.“The Mr Price Pro is definitely one of the toughest ASP Prime events as so many of the top surfers love surfing in Ballito. I really want to win the event as I’ve come so close so many times that every year I become more determined to win it.”‘He can blow minds’Logie and Reynolds share the same apparel sponsor, Quiksilver, and he agreed that “Reynolds is arguably the best surfer in the world. He can blow minds in any type of surf and is fun to watch because he’s so unpredictable. It’s really going to be exciting to see Dane back in SA.”Many of South Africa’s rising stars, such as Beyrick De Vries from Umhlanga, will be looking to make their mark on home soil, while at the same time they will be aiming to gain some ground on the world stage.Beach festivalRenowned as one of the biggest beach festivals on the African continent, the Mr Price Pro Ballito saw over 100 000 fans soak up the non-stop entertainment over the seven days in 2013. This year’s Festival is expected to see record numbers once again, with more cultural, retail, lifestyle and sports entertainment in store.While the surfers ride the ocean waves by day, spectators will again be rocked by sound waves at night when Mr Price and the KwaDukuza Municipality present free music concerts at Salt Rock on 3 and 4 July.On 1 and 2 July, the event will also feature a Food and Wine festival, adding an exciting, extra element to the lifestyle event that proved to be so successful last year.CharityThe RedCap Foundation has been selected as the event’s Corporate Social Investment programme as it has been actively involved in the region since 2010, with the Foundation’s health and education programmes impacting low income communities in KwaDukuza.SAinfo reporter
28 May 2014Cherise Stander, wife of the late Burry Stander, will be aiming to draw inspiration from his achievements at the Cascades MTB Park when she contests the UCI Mountain Bike (MTB) Marathon World Championships in Pietermaritzburg on 29 June.The Team RECM rider, a stage winner on the 2012 Route de France, has had a tough start to the year by her own admission, but has set her sights on the forthcoming global spectacle.She has been hard at work, preparing for the tough 74km route that will take riders through the Cascades MTB Park and around the surrounding landscape of Pietermaritzburg.‘I am training hard’“It’s been a bit of a bumpy start to the year,” Stander said, “but at the moment I am training hard and focused on the event. I have been focusing on trying to get my strength up, so I have been doing a bit of work in the gym and also focusing on power intervals.”With it being her first MTB Marathon World Championships, she admitted it would be a learning experience: “I really have absolutely no idea what to expect from this race and the main goal is to get through the race and finish,” she said.Winter conditionsThe winter conditions in Pietermaritzburg are often cold and dry and Stander believes that she is more suited to the warmer conditions. However, with the South African Championships providing a dress rehearsal for the UCI event three weeks before it takes place, she has an opportunity to assess whether conditions will be favourable for her or not.“KZN gets really cold in June and I am usually a bit better in the heat, but, having said that, racing in your home country is always an advantage. We will be racing the course at SA champs on 7 June, so I will have a better idea if the course suits me after that,” she explained.Vivid memoriesHaving supported her late husband Burry at the Cascades MTB Park on many occasions previously, she has some vivid memories of him competing at the venue and taking on the best in the world with distinction. Stander hopes to draw on some of those memories for inspiration.“The Cascades MTB Park is a place that is very close to me and it definitely will be motivation,” she said.“I have some amazing memories of Burry fighting his heart out there, so I will definitely be thinking of him and his never-say-die attitude when I’m tired.”She added: “I am really looking forward to not having to travel so far. It is also great that all my family and friends will be able to watch the best in the world compete against each other.”PreparationsStander’s preparation for the World Championships have included time off the bike to work on her strength. She is hoping it pays off when Pietermaritzburg plays host to the latest in a long line of major cycling events that have taken place in and around the KwaZulu-Natal capital.“I’m getting there! It’s a bumpy road, but I’m making progress slowly but surely, and with the Hilton Classic the week before the World Champs, I will be prepared,” Stander concluded.SAinfo reporter