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Janelle Mae Frayna: New Philippine chess grandmaster

Janelle Mae Frayna


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores

The country’s talents never fail to excel. Times of turmoil and uncertainty are balanced. Knowing that Filipinos are great people. Don’t let this news pass you.  Hear it from Rappler:

Frayna is 20 years old and a psychology student at Far Eastern University. Learn more about the first Filipina chess grandmaster

The News

MANILA, Philippines – A few years ago, Jayson Gonzales noticed one of his players read every book he lent to members of the FEU women’s chess team. So, he took her aside, gave her special instruction and honed her skills for something higher.

Last Sunday, Janelle Mae Frayna became the country’s first woman grandmaster after she drew her ninth round game against Mongolia in the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Although Frayna’s final norm for her woman’s grandmaster title will have to pass through FIDE, the ruling body for world chess, Gonzales is confident the last norm is in bag. “We have earned more than enough,” said Gonzales in an email to Rappler.com.

The Experience

Nobody thought Frayna, who was in sight of the world junior championship a few weeks ago only to lose two of her last 3 games, would regain her bearings quickly in time for the Olympiad.

But doubters did not reckon that the 20-year-old Frayna, who is known for her focus, could recharge her batteries in time for the Olympiad.

Second Round

In the second round, Frayna’s mettle was tested as Georgian grandmaster Naza Dzagnidze sacrificed a piece for two pawns to stir up an attack. In the tense position that followed, Frayna answered her foe blow-for-blow, repulsing her attack and sending the game to a truce. That draw helped sustain the momentum of the Philippines’ 3-1 upset of fourth-seeded Georgia.

Seventh Round

In the seventh round against Hungary, Frayna mishandled a superior position against the former Vietnamese world junior champion Hoang Thanh Trang and lost. But she recovered from the defeat and scored 1.5 points, including her draw against Mongolia, in her next two games.

Her triumph is certain to create more interest in chess among women in the Philippines.

Victory Celebrated

“This is very good news,” said Mila Emperado, who has run the successful Milo Checkmate Clinics for the past 26 years. “Girls now enroll in our classes because they like the game.”

Emperado is a member of the first Philippine women’s team to a Chess Olympiad. The others are then top board Herminia Cartel, Andrea Lizares and Carmelita Alvarez, both of whom are lawyers.

Girme Fontanilla, the country’s first Woman International Master, said Frayna’s performance was “great.”

Frayna, whose parents are government employees in Legazpi City, Albay, is also pursuing her cum laude degree in psychology at Far Eastern University at the end of this year.

Background

After she gets her psychology degree, Frayna will have a long campaign to improve her game and hopefully break the stranglehold of the Vietnamese in the Asian Zonal tournament. Vietnam has ruled Southeast Asian women’s chess for close two decades.

Frayna may help give them a run for their money for years to come.




Reference: http://www.rappler.com/sports/by-sport/other-sports/146021-janelle-mae-frayna-chess-grandmaster

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Philippine shooters made it big at Australasia 2016 Tournament

Australasia 2016


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Philippine shooters dominated the recently-concluded Australasia 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia. The guys just made it big. The Filipino top shooters garnered a total of 56 gold medals, 15 silver medals, and 7 bronze medals at the four-day tournament, rising to the top among 480 competitors from 20 countries.

The Star Shooter

According to Philippine Practical Shooting Association (PPSA) President Jack Enrile, champion shooters Jethro Dionisio and Jeufro “Jag” Lejano will bring home three gold medals with three trophies each, out of the 56 gold medals won by the 101-strong shooting team.

Team Effort

Forty out of the 56 gold medals were from team awards, based on aggregated scores from individual performances.
“PPSA and the entire nation is thankful to all the members of the Philippine shooting team. Once again you made all Filipinos proud,” Enrile said.



 

Reference: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/09/03/16/ph-shooters-dominate-australasia-2016-tourney

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Filipino Sportsmanship Gone?: Hurdler Eric Cray Must be Cheered up not Bashed as he sets eyes on finals

Eric-cray


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Southeast Asian Games goldmedalist Eric Cray aims to bring the Philippines its first gold medal on his bid to make it to the finals of the 400m hurdles in his first ever Olympic stint at Rio de Janeiro. 49.40 seconds in the 400m hurdles during the 2015 SEA Games was a big win. The Fil-AM athlete is 27-year-old and was born in Olongapo City but grew up in the United States.

“Hopefully, I get a good Rio showing to I can make it to the finals. I feel real good,” Cray said after travelling 17 hours to Rio. Cray will only need to cope with the three-hour difference between time zones unlike other Filipino athletes who came from Philippines which is 13 hours ahead of Brazil.

“The trip was pretty long, and I’d be racing like 50 or 49 seconds,” he said. Cray said he was excited about a couple of other things — and they don’t include seeing the world’s “fastest man,” Usain Bolt. “I’ve seen him in a lot of meets. I’ve been used to it so it’s not gonna be too exciting for me. I’m not gonna be too excited to see him,” he said. “But definitely I want to see some NBA players.” The Filipinos are indeed proud of Cray who never forget his roots and it does not matter if he win or lose. He’s already a winner in the eyes of the Filipino majority who are composed of mixed bloods contrary to some racial discrimination comments via social media.




Reference: http://cnnphilippines.com/sports/2016/08/06/Rio-2016-Hurdler-Eric-Cray-sets-eyes-on-finals.html

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Man on heatstroke rescued by Pokemon Go Player

Pokemon


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Being aware of the surroundings despite looking for Pikachu of the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go, made a player from Davao City rescued the life of a man initially diagnosed to have suffered heatstroke. Bon Vallite, 29, was playing the game outside a hotel compound when he saw Dondie Mark Gadon vomiting blood and was very weak.

“So it turned out, instead of finding my first Picachu character in Pokemon Go, I find a man looking for help while he was flimsy and later vomited blood,” Vallite said.

Vallite, a first aider from Sultan Kudarat then conducted first aide procedures on the man, then identified as Dondie Mark Gadon from Tagum City. “I gave him water, laid his back to the wall because he is bending downwards to breath comfortable as he keeps on vomiting and since I have bottled water with me, I put some to his face to normalize his pressure”, Vallite described his rescue moves.

Vallite asked a security guard nearby to call emergency number 911. An ambulance then came a few minutes after and Gadon was brought to the Metro Davao Medical and Research Center. Initial assessment showed Gadon had a heatstroke. Pokemon Go, was just launched in the Philippines recently by Niantic, Inc. Players are cautioned to be aware of their surroundings at all times while using the application right at the beginning of the game. However, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)warned motorists not to play the game while driving – just like not texting while behind the wheels.




Reference: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/576649/news/regions/pokemon-go-player-saves-life-of-man-suffering-from-heatstroke

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Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz got silver for Philippines in Rio Olympics

Hidilyn-Diaz-0808


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Hidilyn Diaz put a stop on the country’s 20-year dry spell in the Olympics after bagging the silver medal in the 53-kilogram class of the weightlifting competition at the Riocentro Pavilion. Filipinos delegates in the gallery were already celebrating her third-best, bronze-clinching total of 200 kg when China’s erstwhile front runner Li Yajun failed in her third and final attempt to lift 126 kg in the clean and jerk and scratched out of the contest. It was Li, who actually tied the Olympic record in the snatch, but failed in all three tries at 126.

After realizing that Li had failed in her attempts, the three-time Olympian Diaz cannot hold it any longer and jumped in joy then raised her arms in triumph. She’s the country’s first medalist in weightlifting that made her coach proud. Diaz’s total lift was only 12 kg lighter than that of the gold medalist Hsu Shu-ching of Chinese Taipei who got 212. The silver is already as good as gold this early. South Korea’s Yoon Jin-hee is the bronze medalist with a total lift of 199 kg. Diaz felt the presence of God while weight lifting. She’s only 25-year-old and from Zamboanga City.

The silver medal under the government’s incentive program for medalists in the Olympics can easily be worth P5 million a cash bonuses accumulation.




Reference: http://sports.inquirer.net/218596/filipino-weightlifter-hidilyn-diaz-wins-silver-in-rio

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Manny Pacquiao returned to sports but this time in Philippine Basketball Cup

pba-alaska-vs-mahindra-


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Now, it’s getting confusing with Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao’s news features with headlines announcing his return to the sports arena – but to the surprise of many this time it’s with the Philippine Basketball Association’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum by Smart. Just 3 minutes before playing time, Mahindra Enforcer fittingly came back from 16 points down and brought Alaska Aces into disbelied, 101-95, in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup recently.

The Enforcer had clean slate with a 4-0 record, having the capability now to defeat champion teams such as Alaska, San Miguel Beer, and the Star Hotshots, including semifinalist Globalport.

Cooach Chris Gavina was just happy with the team’s resiliency that night, despite the injury of starting guard LA Revilla, that made him unable to play. It was due to his broken nose.

Import James White was leading, scoring 14 of his 32 points in a huge 36-point fourth quarter for Mahindra. White, missed only two of his 15 field goals but had 15 rebounds, sparking their winning 13-2 kick off with only 2:39 time remaining. Aldrech Ramos added 14 points and 5 rebounds, while Niño Canaleta added 13 markers and 4 boards.

Coach Gavina gave the credit to his team players saying; rookie swingman Keith Agovida finished with 11 points. It was his stealing stints that led to White’s game-sealing run, then he followed up by assisting White’s ensuing 3-point play. Agovida in fact scored to tie the game before Michael Digregorio shoved the Enforcer ahead for good, 97-95 at 1:18 remaining. Agovida completed a breakaway layup that followed the the 4-point cushion with 43 seconds to go.

Mahindra was down only two points late in the first when Pacquiao checked in but with his presence the lead ballooned to 16 early in the second quarter. Mahindra then rallied in the second half, and then finished the game victoriously beating Alaska Aces.




Reference: http://www.rappler.com/sports/by-sport/basketball/pba/141865-pacquiao-return-mahindra-come-from-behind-stun-alaska

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Woman to beat: 28-year-old world record can go on if not because of Keni Harrison

Keni Harrison


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Record breakers comes once in a while but when they do, they could sweep the whole world with total disbelief – not believing their own eyes in witnessing record-breaking stunts, just like what happened when Keni Harrison took center stage at the Anniversary Games held in London. Read the story below:

BBC reported: American Keni Harrison broke a 28-year-old world record in the 100m hurdles, clocking 12.20 seconds at the London Anniversary Games. Harrison, 23, was already the fastest woman in the world this year, but will not be at next month’s Olympics after finishing only sixth in the US trials. The previous world record of 12.21 had stood since 1988 and was held by Yordanka Donkova of Bulgaria. Britain’s Tiffany Porter came sixth and Jessica Ennis-Hill last. Bolt powers to 200m victory Anniversary Games – day two’s schedule “After not making the Olympic team I wanted to come out here and show what I could have done,” an emotional Harrison told BBC Sport. “The US team is the hardest to make, our country wants the top three from the trials and I was not that person. The pressure got to me on the day. I wish I could re-do that day. “I came out here with a lot of vengeance. I knew I had it in me. “I’ve still got a lot left in me, I’m definitely going to try and drop that time this season.” Harrison has run six of the seven fastest times this year, and two of the four fastest ever. Defending Olympic champion Sally Pearson will also miss out in Rio after tearing a hamstring last month.

It added: Four-time Olympic champion and BBC Sport pundit Michael Johnson said he had “never seen a race like that”. He added: “That record stood for 28 years, and could stand for another 28 years. “She was almost a hurdle ahead of a world-class field. So much can go wrong in a hurdles race but she was flawless. “I am so happy for her because it would have been a long difficult summer with her not going to Rio, but that world record makes up for it.”

Season’s best gives Ennis-Hill confidence
Ennis-Hill, who will defend her Olympic heptathlon title in Rio, ran a season’s best 12.76 in her heat but had to settle for eighth in the final after clattering a hurdle. “I’m so happy to run a season’s best and it makes me confident with Rio next,” said Ennis-Hill. “I would’ve liked to have gone quicker in the final, but just smacked a hurdle really bad and lost all momentum and that was it.” Ennis-Hill’s second run was still quicker than her prior season’s best of 13.10, while her earlier performance was the second best time of her career, slower only than her 12.54 set en route to London 2012 gold. Porter recorded a season’s best time of 12.70.




Reference: http://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/36870016

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Russia must be banned from joining Rio Olympics over Doping

Rio Olympics


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
British International Olympic Committee member Adam Pengilly recommended Russia to be banned from Rio 2016. Adam is the 38 year old two-time Olympian who believes that Russia should be punished over its doping crisis which is still ongoing. They committed heinous crimes to resort on those illegal measures to win. Although Adam conceded as one of four British IOC members, it was in a reluctant manner because he also do not want to infiltrate the clean Russian athletes. So to be fair, Russia should be barred from joining the Olympics before they can clean up their team members. His bravery in raising the doping problem was noted since 2013 and that made him credible in speaking about what to do with it.

BBC wrote:
No place for doping in sport – Putin
Russia waits to learn Paralympic fate
Retests uncover 45 new doping failures
Russia could face a blanket ban after a damning report compiled by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren claimed it operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

The IOC is exploring “legal options” before deciding whether to implement “a collective ban” on all Russian competitors for the global showpiece, which starts on 5 August. A decision by its executive board could come on Sunday. “The Russian doping system has meant there are many more athletes around the world that have suffered in the past and will continue to suffer in the future if we don’t do everything we can to get rid of the scourge of doping,” said Pengilly. Russia will find out in August if it is to be banned from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has “opened suspension proceedings” following the publication of the McLaren report earlier this week. “Clean athletes, the Olympic Games and the wider Olympic movement have been mocked,” Pengilly said. “However, Russia is an important sporting nation – we want and need them fully involved in the future, but only when they can do it cleanly. “Therefore, I firmly believe that we should offer support and assistance to the Russian Federation so they can escape from this ugly culture and cycle. “This support should be on how to change culture and create effective sporting programmes to win cleanly, which I still believe is absolutely possible, as well as support to establish an effective anti-doping programme.”

It added: ‘Collective punishment unacceptable’ Former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev said he was “saddened” by the “unacceptable” prospect of a total ban on Russian competitors. Gorbachev, the last General Secretary of the Soviet Union, has written an open letter to the IOC. In it, he said: “I support the fight against prohibited substances in sport. It is evil that must be eradicated. Those athletes who are proven to have doped should be banned from competitions. “I am deeply worried by the fact there also were Russian citizens among officials and athletes who used doping and falsification for the sake of ‘victory at any price’. “At the same time, I am concerned and deeply saddened by the possibility that in case all Russian athletes are banned from competing in the Olympic Games, the innocent will be punished together with the guilty. “The principle of collective punishment is unacceptable for me. I am convinced that it contradicts the very culture of the Olympic movement based on universal values, humanism and principles of law.”




Reference: http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/36871747

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