Monthly Archives: December 2018

Delhi pain drives Andrew Moloney’s golden fight

Posted on 16/12/2018 by

Andrew Maloney would not be denied in the gold medal bout. Photo: James Brickwood Maloney, a superb technician, won two of the three rounds. Photo: James Brickwood

For the past two years, Andrew Moloney has woken up, stared at his phone and seen nothing but the logo for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The Victorian left Delhi devastated at his quarter-final defeat, to Northern Ireland’s impressive Paddy Barnes, but hungry to make amends four years late. Under the dome of the imposing Hydro, on the banks of the River Clyde, Moloney would do just that.

Moloney has impressed everyone with his discipline and control in the ring and needed all of his smarts to take the flyweight gold medal after a torrid bout with Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem.

Waseem wasn’t impressed with the result, letting fly with a series of expletives in the mixed zone as he sailed past media like a tornado of angst, but the verdict was never in doubt. Moloney took the unanimous decision and the gold was his at last.

Moloney is a far more polished fighter in Scotland than he was in India. And his victory capped off a wonderful first session of finals for the Australians, with Shelley Watts walloping her way to an historic gold earlier in the day.

Under the impeccable coaching of Kevin Smith and Don Abnett, Moloney kept his cool and timed his raids well to set up a two-round lead as the free-throwing Waseem, who had come to fight, couldn’t match the Australian technician.

With nothing to lose, Waseem took round three but by then the bird had flown. Moloney had seen Watts stand atop the podium and from then, was never going to be denied.

“After I saw her (Watts) and just before I walked in the ring they had the national anthem on. There was no way I was going to go out second best,” Moloney said.

The personal trainer said he hadn’t thought about whether to turn pro or press on towards Rio, admitting he hadn’t once looked past the goal of winning gold in Glasgow. Every time he checked his phone, he had a reminder right in front of his eyes.

“It’s all I’ve thought about for the past four years. I’ve had the Glasgow background on my phone for the past two years. All I wanted was the gold medal here. I’ll go home and relax then think about it,” Moloney said.

Moloney said the Australian trio fighting for gold – super heavyweight Joe Goodall being the other – had formed a tight bond before the finals before preparing for their respective bouts.

“We all gave each other encouragement and said let’s go and get three gold medals today. But boxing is a very individual sport. Everyone prepares differently and gets in their own head space,” he said.

After not winning a medal of any colour in Delhi, Australian boxing has enjoyed a strong tournament in Scotland. Daniel Lewis would have been another strong chance for gold if a bad cut hadn’t ruined his tournament.

While the tournament lacks the standard bearers from Russia and the Ukraine, the Games remains an important stepping stone for Australian fighters. Jarrod Fletcher and Daniel Geale are just two world-class pros to have emerged from the tournament over the years.

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Miao Miao defends Chinese players representing other countries

Posted on 16/12/2018 by

Miao Miao and Jian Fang Lay won a set in their gold medal match. Photo: James BrickwoodAustralia’s Miao Miao has defended the spread of Chinese-born players to the national teams of other countries after collecting a silver medal in the women’s doubles alongside veteran Jian Lay.

The Australian duo fell 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 to Singapore’s Tianwei Feng and Mengyu Yu in Saturday’s gold medal match on the final day of table tennis competition at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Sports Complex

On Friday, the nine-time Australian men’s singles champion William Henzell had criticised Singapore for loading their team with Chinese-born players after crashing out of the Commonwealth Games quarter-finals, arguing it was “not in the spirit of the Games”.

The silver-medal winning Australian women’s doubles pair were both born in China, relocating to Australia in the 1990s, and Miao disagreed with the stance taken by Henzell.

The 33-year-old said the diaspora of Chinese-born players representing other countries was explained by the overwhelming strength of the sport in her nation of origin, and believes they deserved the chance to feature internationally if they could not break into the Chinese team.

“There are lots of good players and not many chances to play at international level, so if they have a chance to play for another country I think it’s good for them,” Miao said. “They’re training so many years and they want to show their results in the competition. So if they have a chance, why not?

“I think maybe some players are not so happy with it. But in China there are millions of people playing table tennis and to be in the Chinese national team, it’s only a few players. Everyone is training so hard, so they should have a chance to present themselves.”

Miao spent four years living in Poland, and played for the Polish national team, before moving to Australia in 1997 and representing her adopted country at four Olympics and now four Commonwealth Games.

Her partner Lay, also in her fourth Commonwealth Games at the age of 41, arrived in 1994, while their Singaporean conquerors on Saturday were also both born in China.

“In Australia and the Oceania countries, less people play table tennis compared to China. In China there are too many, so the competition is very high,” Miao said. “Some people say it’s as hard to win the Chinese national championships as the world championships, which is true.”

Miao and Lay, who had earlier taken bronze in the women’s team event, won the second game in the gold medal playoff but were overpowered in four games.

It was no shame to go down to the Singaporean pairing, though. For Feng, the singles champion here, it was a third gold medal of these Games while for singles silver medallist Yu it was a second gold in Glasgow.

Feng is ranked fifth in the world, and Yu 18th, and they were always going to be the most difficult of assignments for the Australians.

“We are really happy with our result,” Miao said. “The Singapore players are really tough. They are top players in the world, they’ve been training for years and years and they are professional players. They have lots of opportunities to train overseas and compete at the international level which we do not as much.

“We just tried to play our best, and we’re happy with that.”

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Nothing but stubble: Aussie takes gold … for his beard

Posted on 16/12/2018 by

To the victor, the spoils. Australian giant Damon Kelly may not have been able to defend his superheavyweight gold medal but leaves Glasgow with the title of the best beard in the Commonwealth Games.

Venerable website, which runs a fine tooth comb over the best facial hair in the sporting world, rated Kelly on top after his wild, generous beard helped him power to a bronze medal in the weightlifting, hoisting a total of 388kg into the air.

His beard has become a cult attraction in the Athlete’s Village and he has been stopped numerous times on the street for photos with visitors and impressed Glaswegians alike. It only seems fitting that it now has received official recognition, with beardwatch putting him at number one in their ‘Top 10 Beards of the Commonwealth Games’.

Kelly beat out luminaries such as cycling great Sir Bradley Wiggins, who has traded his signature burns for a neat and compact advanced stubble, Australian parasports icon Kurt Fearnley and Kiwi Rugby Sevens skipper DJ Forbes, who like Kelly combined a full beard with a shaved head.

But Kelly came out on top, an honour he would say rates highly in the pantheon of his sporting career, which included the Commonwealth gold in Delhi.

“It’s got to be up there. It’s been a hard seven or eight months of not shaving. There’s been lots of food in the beard but it’s been worth it to get all the comments,” Kelly said.

“There were some tough periods. It got itchy and I started getting a mouth full of beard with every meal. There were times when I was going to trim it but I stuck strong.”

And hasn’t it been worth the perserverance. The beard was in full flight at the Clyde Auditorium as he confronted the kind of weight that makes mortal men weak at the knees. The question is: Where to now?

“I think I’ll trim it. My wife (Sharon) wants it trimmed back. But I’ll ensure I have a good base there for my next assault, maybe Rio.”

Australian discus thrower Julian Wruck and English hipsterlete Martyn Rooney (400m) also featured strongly. But neither could come close to the man mountain from Brisbane, who powered through an uncomfortable Queensland summer to take top billing.

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Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews’ relationship counselling drive off to slow start

Posted on 16/12/2018 by

Kevin Andrews’ love revolution is a slow burner.

Almost all the free relationship counselling vouchers under the Social Services Minister’s scheme to introduce more harmony in Australians’ love lives are still up for grabs.

With a limit of 100,000 vouchers available to couples, a spokeswoman for Mr Andrews urged people to register as ”soon as possible” when the scheme launched on July 1.

So far, only about 1400 couples have taken the federal government up on the offer, leaving about 98,600 vouchers going spare for sessions on parenting, conflict resolution and financial management.

Mr Andrews – who is a fan of regular marriage counselling – has labelled the initial take-up ”very encouraging”.

”I believe as more people hear about this program, more couples will take advantage of the offer,” he said.

While the $200 vouchers are open to all committed couples over the age of 18, regardless of their marital status or sexuality, most people who have registered so far are between 25 and 34 years old and are engaged.

The scheme is currently undergoing a one-year trial and the government is set to roll out a broader advertising campaign for the vouchers, spruiking them through bridal expos, marriage celebrants, churches, Centrelink and Medicare centres.

Relationships Australia spokeswoman Susan Visser said she was noticing couples starting to come in for counselling because of the vouchers.

Ms Visser said while Australia had ”come a long way” over the past decade, there was still a stigma around counselling.

”We haven’t quite got to the stage where it’s seen as a normal thing, so that should you be having problems in your relationship or want to enhance the relationship, you go for counselling,” she said.

Mr Andrews has argued his policy will ultimately save the government money by preventing costly divorces. The $20 million cost of the trial has been found from savings within his portfolio.

Couples can register for a voucher online at the Department of Social Services website, choose from a list of approved providers and make an appointment.

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Stem cell trial hope for osteoarthritis sufferers

Posted on 16/12/2018 by

A scientist at the Melbourne Stem Cell Centre with a patient’s liposuction sample. Photo: Michael Clayton-JonesLast Wednesday, Lisa Lark, 54, underwent liposuction – not to lose weight but so her body fat could be filtered for stem cells as part of a clinical trial to slow the progress of osteoarthritis.

The trial, run by the Melbourne Stem Cell Centre, could result in the need for expensive and complex joint replacement surgery to be deferred significantly for 10 to 15 years.

The next step will see Ms Lark’s stem cells being injected into her hip, which has been deteriorating for the past five years and has become increasingly painful.

It is hoped the stem cells will encourage cartilage growth, or at least slow the degradation.

If Ms Lark were to have a hip replacement in the near future, she would require a second replacement later in life – and second replacements are more complex and prone to greater complications.

”I felt like I wanted to give it a go,” she said of the trial.

Her participation, as a hip patient, is a one-off, in that the greater part of the trial is focused on patients with arthritic knees.

Principal clinical investigator Dr Julien Freitag is looking for 80 patients with moderate osteoarthritis to take part in the trial, which builds on a South Korean study that showed conclusive improvement in cartilage volume when using pure high-concentration stem cell injections.

”We are looking to replicate the South Korean study and also to expand upon it,” the sports doctor said. ”Their conclusion was that multiple injections might achieve better results.”

A separate study will look at the impact of stem cell injections in cases where knees have suffered a cartilage lesion as a result of trauma.

”We know that isolated cartilage lesion will lead to development of osteoarthritis. This study is looking at whether treating that lesion will show prevention of osteoarthritis,” Dr Freitag said.

The disease tends to develop in knees four to 10 years after trauma.

It was previously believed that bone marrow was the prime source of stem cells. However, it has since been discovered they exist throughout the body, where they assist in regeneration and healing. ”It turns out that fat cells are a good source, and they are easier to harvest,” Dr Freitag said.

Figures from the National Joint Replacement Registry show the number of knee replacement surgeries has surged since 2003, when just over 28,000 knee replacements were carried out. Last year, more than 50,000 knee replacements were carried out, more than 10,000 of those in Victoria.

For more information, contact the Melbourne Stem Cell Centre on (03) 9270 8000 or email: [email protected]老域名.au.

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