Do Canto and Haji Harun win SriLankan Airlines Half Marathon titles in Melbourne

Sport360 staff 19:10 16/10/2019
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Australia’s Thomas Do Canto raced against the clock and fatigue to cross the finish line first in the Sri Lankan Airlines Half Marathon, part of the 42nd Melbourne Marathon Festival held in the Australian city.

Do Canto, who finished the gruelling 21.1 km course in 1hr 4 min and 29 seconds, outran compatriot Nic Harman who crossed over in a time of 1:04:31 to beat Brady Threlfall into third place.

Makda Haji Harun powered ahead in the women’s event, winning in a breezy 1:11:15 to break the tape first ahead of Tara Palm (1:11:25) and Laura Reid who finished in 1:12:35 on a day which saw a record turnout of 37,185 runners in the series of events making up Australia’s biggest road running festival.

Meanwhile Kenyans Isaac Birir and Naomi Jepkogei Maiyo made it a Kenyan sweep of the men’s and women’s full marathon title, no doubt inspired by the recent world record breaking heroics of countryman and ace long distance runner Eliud Kipchoge, who became the first man to run the marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria.

Birir finished ahead of the field in 2:16:31, while fellow Kenyan William Chebon was second in 2:17:59 and Australia’s Reece Edwards third in 2:19:00.

Maiyo, who is based in the northern Kenyan town of Iten, surged ahead of the field to finish in 2: 35:34 while Australian Nera Jareb caught fellow Aussie Marnie Ponton after 30km and managed to hold her off to run 2:36.42. Ponton rounded out the winner’s podium on 02:37:21.

“Today marks the biggest Marathon in the event’s 42-year history, in fact it will now be recorded in the history books as the largest ever marathon staged in Australia, with four out of the five events sold out to the public including the Full Melbourne Marathon, the Sri Lankan Airlines 21.1km Half Marathon, the ASICS 10km and Westin 5km run,” said Festival Director Marcus Gale.

“Our numbers increased even further with an estimated 37,000 people cheering from the sidelines as participants completed their journey inside the MCG.

“This year’s Melbourne Marathon participants raised in excess of A$1,200,000 for a huge number of deserving causes across the country including our official charity partner, Cerebral Palsy Education Centre and associate charities JMB Foundation, Australian Red Cross, Beyond Blue and the Heart Foundation,” he said.

Saminda Perera, Senior Manager Marketing of SriLankan Airlines, congratulated the winners and said that the airline would continue to support such causes in an effort to encourage sporting excellence.

“Hearty congratulations to all winners and participants of the biggest Melbourne Marathon Festival ever. We at SriLankan Airlines recognise and celebrate excellence in all fields and will continue to support healthy competition in all sporting venues.”

SriLankan Airlines’ association with Australia and the city of Melbourne has been strengthened since the introduction of it daily direct flights to Colombo from Melbourne, which were launched in 2017. The service on the airline’s state-of-the-art Airbus A330-300 aircraft, has proved to be a big hit for Australians and others looking to reach the Emerald Isle and also easily access cities across the Indian subcontinent, Indian Ocean islands and destinations in the Middle East, East and Southeast Asia.

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Insomnia Dubai to be the biggest & greenest gaming festival

Sport360 staff 15:29 07/10/2019
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Insomnia Dubai is set to be the biggest and greenest gaming festival in partnership with Dubai-based events company, Global Event Management (GEM).

The three-day gaming event will be held from October 17 to 19 and will be a single-use plastic free event, as organisers get set to roll out a series of green initiatives, right in the heart of the city at Meydan Grandstand.

The Insomnia team is very passionate about environmental sustainability, hence they are determined to contribute to eradicating plastic pollution locally, regionally and then globally.

Everyone who attends Insomnia Dubai Gaming Festival will be given fabric wristbands, instead of plastic ones, when gaining entry to the event. Additionally, all food and beverages will be served in eco-friendly containers, with eco-friendly cutlery.

Insomnia 1

Gamers will be able to purchase reusable water bottles, while water will be supplied in 18-litre reusable containers from water dispensers, which can be found at all food and beverage trucks and outlets, with free refills also available.

Visitors who wish to bring their own bottles will have the option to fill them at a cost of just AED 5.

James Magee, CEO of GEM Events and organizer of Insomnia Dubai said, “We feel the ‘single-use plastic free’ movement is extremely important, which is why we’re taking the step to lead by example with our gaming festival that targets a younger demographic and families.”

He further added: “It can take 450 years just for a plastic bottle to degrade, and with 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic pollution (500 times the number of stars in our galaxy). There’s a real worldwide issue with our consumer habits. We need to work together to form a culture where single use plastics are avoided, and with more and more companies making efforts to be plastic free, it will soon become the norm for us”.

Insomnia 2

Single-use plastic, or disposable plastic, such as plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles, and most food packaging, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.

According to the Plastic Free Challenge, roughly 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year and half of it is disposable, but only 13% of plastic items are recycled.

The event is just an effort from Insomnia Dubai to encourage the local gaming community to move towards environmentally sustainable products and services.

Josh, Ethan and Tobi of YouTube gaming superstars The Sidemen, along with original Pokémon theme singer Jason Paige, all-round industry icon Tommy Tallarico, and YouTube gaming sensation Fasoleyya have all been confirmed as special guests and will be meeting fans for the three days of Insomnia Dubai Gaming Festival.

Tickets for Insomnia Dubai Gaming Festival are available from Virgin and Platinumlist. For more information, keep an eye on insomniadubai.com or check out Insomnia Dubai on Facebook and Instagram for all upcoming announcements.

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Dustin Martin is the jewel in Richmond’s crown as Tigers roar to another AFL title

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We see the tattoos. His shaved hair. His hard man persona. His crocodile menace. People want to know about every facet of his life because he is an Australian rules football superstar. But he just wants to remain anonymous outside of his chosen domain.

In Castlemaine, Victoria, from where Richmond star Dustin Martin springs, there are plenty of distractions but AFL is the alpha and the omega. It’s religion. Music. You don’t go ten pin bowling in Melbourne. Nor develop a taste for French new-age cinema. What you do is go to the field and you play footie.

The game is everything to the people. You open the sports section of a newspaper around Melbourne and eight of the ten pages are devoted to footie. The chances are that you’ll also see a picture of Martin plastered across the pages if the Tigers are in action.

He is their master and inspiration.

Inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground last Saturday, over 100,000 watched the Grand Final, Australia’s version of the Super Bowl, where Richmond were bidding for their second Premiership in three years.

GWS, competing in their first decider, did their best to keep Martin under MI5-like security surveillance for the 80 minutes, but great players always find a way to flourish.

Martin kicked four goals, racked up 22 disposals including four inside 50s, and directly set up two majors for his team-mates.

But even those healthy statistics don’t do justice to Martin’s dazzling impact in an 89-point hammering of GWS.

The 28-year-old went on to seal his second Norm Smith Medal – awarded to the best player in the final – becoming just the fourth person in history to win the honour twice, adding to his two premiership medals and a Brownlow from back in 2017.

Given his searing form of two years ago, it was always going to be difficult for Martin to equal his Brownlow-winning standards, let alone surpass them.

The numbers say he won less ball (26.1 disposals in contrast to 29.8) than the 2017 season, but was equally productive in attack (32 goals in comparison to 37 majors), which is why he remains such a menace to any opponent.

When pressed about his individual achievements, the Tigers ace always deflects attention away from himself and praises the team. He doesn’t like being a central figure off the pitch, instead wanting his skills to do the talking.

He is notoriously private about his life, with Australian tabloids itching to do what tabloids do and push aside the boundaries between public and private life.

There are often stories about his father Shane, who was deported to New Zealand in 2016 under Australia’s Immigration Act on the grounds of bad character. Shane was reportedly a top-ranking member of Australia’s Rebels motorcycle gang.

‘Dusty’ though doesn’t come without his own controversies either.

In 2012, he slept in and missed training after taking prescription sleeping medication and received a two-week suspension.

The following year, while celebrating a goal against Carlton, he made a controversial jailhouse gesture, by crossing his wrists as if to signal handcuffs, and received a fine, which was later suspended.

In 2015, he gave a two-finger salute to cheerleaders from rival club Collingwood after scoring a goal in a resounding 91-point win.

Since making those mistakes, like young, immature players often do, he has changed his ways and started to show career best form.

When he was drafted from Castlemaine in 2009, Martin told recruiters he was born to play football. And he was born to light up the grand stage. His team-mates will clear the space and he has that natural swagger to produce the magic, whether it’s shooting for goal or dishing the ball off for a colleague to take the score.

But he could have easily been lost to the game. If he had been drafted to the Gold Coast back in 2009, or to another poorly resourced club, they may have lost hope in him because of his steely attitude.

What a shame it would have been for one of the game’s key protagonists to have been just a cautionary tale.

Richmond, however, had faith in him. They kept with him. They smoothed out those rougher edges. They stood up for him. They taught him all the small things – how to train properly, how to eat, how to recover and how to become a champion.

Now, 250 goals and 224 appearances later, he is at the epicenter of the yellow and blacks’ success and stands comfortably among the top players in the game.

A second Premiership medal sits on his mantelpiece now but, earlier this year, the prospect of reaching a Grand Final seemed like an unrealistic dream. Ravaged by injuries, Richmond were beaten by 67 points by Geelong in round 12 and went into the bye week with six defeats in 13 matches.

But as the weeks passed and momentum gathered, Martin and the Tigers roared back to life to win 10 games in a row and reach the final. Against Brisbane, Martin hummed with godliness, kicking six goals from nine attempts. The bite was back.

As the celebrations drag long into the week, Richmond continue to establish themselves as the competition’s formidable force. Saturday’s win over GWS will only add to their confidence and ambitions ahead of the 2020 season.

For Martin, the best is yet to come as he approaches the twilight of his glittering career.

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