Roger Federer has pulled out of the Rio Olympics and will miss the rest of the season, including the U.S. Open, because he needs “more extensive rehabilitation” to prolong his career after knee surgery earlier this year.Last month he described how “one stupid move” sparked a chain of bad luck – which resulted in left knee surgery in February and sitting out the French Open with a back injury – culminating in this week’s decision to end his wretched season.“I’m extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season,” the record 17-time grand slam champion said on his Facebook page.“Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year.“The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover. It is tough to miss the rest of the year.”For much of his career, the former world number one had been blessed with a body that seemed bullet-proof against the aches, pains and injuries suffered by most top athletes.But one false move by the man known for his gliding footwork, while running a bath for his twin daughters following his Australian Open semi-final loss, means he would have gone a whole season without a title for the first time since 2000.Now aged 34, the announcement also probably ended the 2012 silver medallist’s hopes of ever winning an Olympic singles title.“The silver lining is that this experience has made me realise how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries,” said Federer, who won an Olympic doubles gold with Stan Wawrinka in 2008.“The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and… the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.”KNEE TROUBLEUntil May this year, Federer had appeared in 65 successive grand slam tournaments and the last time he was absent from one of the four majors was at the 1999 U.S. Open.When he reached the last four at Wimbledon, which included winning a five-set thriller in the quarter-finals against Marin Cilic, it appeared as if Federer’s injury woes were finally behind him and his absence from the French Open was a one off.However, he was clearly rattled when he landed heavily on his left knee after rolling his ankle during the fifth set of his semi-final defeat by Candaian Milos Raonic at Wimbledon.Although Federer, who was left sprawled face down on the turf following the fall, got up to complete the match, he was worried about the long term effects on his knee.“I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth, I’m going to be fine… I hope I didn’t hurt myself,” the world number three said at the time.“Is it (the pain) a three-day thing, is it a 24-hour thing or is it more? I don’t know at this point.“With the body that’s been playing up this year, I just hope I’m going to be fine.”It seems his worst fears were realised this week as he called time on his season after appearing in only seven tournaments and with a 21-7 win-loss record.
A none-governmental organization, the Mineke Foundation, held its first annual Kid’s Club spelling bee competition over the weekend. The exercise produced three winners who received cash awards of US$255.Elton J.Vah won the kid’s Club when he correctly spelt all the words that were assigned to him and walked away with a cash prize of US$100.Elton kept a serious expression throughout the competition until he finally brokered a smile when the judges announced that he had won the contest. Payne N. Gibson emerged as the runner up to Elton, for only two misspelled words in the final round, while Lovetta C. Jefferson the only female contender that reached the final took the third place. Payne received a cash award of US$75, while Lovetta walked away with US$50. Eight other participants including the three finalists each received a gift of school materials.The Assistant Minister for Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the Ministry of Education, Yukhiko Amnon, frowned on the poor attendance of parents at the competition. She said the spelling bee competition was a good initiative to keep their kids busy, especially during the school break.Min. Amnon commended the Mineke Foundation for its “good work,” and promised the ECD’s full support of its endeavors while urging community leaders to follow the good example to motivate students by introducing various competitive academic exercises.“We are open to help build the spirit of ECD in communities, but we need commitment from community leaders,” she said.For her part, the Coordinator of Mineke Foundation, Bukola Ayoola, observed that if a man spells a word, it is of no interest, but when a child spells great words, that becomes of great interest.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is wanted by Crystal Palace.The Daily Express says the Lancashire minnows are understood to be preparing to offer him a record- busting new deal to keep him out of Palace’s clutches.But if Palace chairman Steve Parish can persuade him to return south he could be installed by next weekend.Parish is desperate for some continuity after two managers in as many years.And the loyal Dyche fits the bill perfectly.