Press Association Barry Geraghty steered Minella Foru to a lucrative victory in the ultra-competitive Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown. Folsom Blue got rolling late to deny Gilgamboa third place. Prolific mare Ballychorus was still in with every chance when falling at the final fence, bringing down the fancied Sumos Novios, who looked beaten at the time. Minella Foru’s victory completed a double on the day for Harty following Copy That’s success under Kennedy in the previous race. It was a third winner of the afternoon for McManus at the track. Harty said: “The ground was a bit slower than he wants, but his class came through in the finish, although I wouldn’t like him to be going another furlong. “We have been planning this for a while. He was unlucky to be touched off at Fairyhouse the last day, but it’s probably worked out in our favour. “He’s never gone three miles before but he travelled well and Barry gave him a peach of a ride. He said that he would leave it late, but I didn’t think he would leave it that late! “I would not be averse to letting him take his chance in novice chases given that he has that experience. “It’s a lovely race to win and my biggest win in prize-money terms over fences. It’s been a great couple of days with three winners from three runners.” Carrying the colours of JP McManus, Eddie Harty’s six-year-old was a 7-1 shot for the three-mile contest, with the leading owner also responsible for heavily-backed favourite Gilgamboa, among others. Those who joined in the gamble on 4-1 market leader Gilgamboa will have been happy enough rounding the home turn, with crack conditional Jack Kennedy sitting confidently in the lead. However, he was claimed by both Ucello Conti and Minella Foru after the final fence and it was the latter who found most for pressure to score by a length and a half.
by Tim DahlbergAP Sports ColumnistThe verdict is finally in on Lance Armstrong, and it’s worse than anyone thought.His appearance with Oprah was a disaster in so many ways that you wonder how he ever thought she would be the first step on his path to salvation. Armstrong went before her to save his skin and keep a few of his millions, only to be further exposed as a narcissistic, calculating, bike riding sorry excuse for a human being.Not only was he—and seemingly still is—a bald faced liar, but also a cold fish who thought nothing of crushing his victims, then dancing on the remains. Even Oprah couldn’t humanize him, and when the two-night televised extravaganza was mercifully over, the only logical conclusion is that he is a man with little redeeming value, cancer survivor and yellow wristbands notwithstanding.“I don’t like that guy,” Armstrong said at one point about himself, a feeling shared by almost anyone who watched.The verdict is still out on Manti Te’o, who in just the space of a few hours went from a Heisman-contending star linebacker to an Internet punch line. Today’s news cycle is so swift that the damage was already done by the time Te’o sat down for a lengthy interview Friday night to paint himself as a victim of a bizarrely cruel hoax.The online speculation before that was that Te’o might have invented a dead girlfriend as part of a campaign to win the Heisman. The reality seems to be that he was simply incredibly naive and caught up in something he couldn’t somehow bring himself to understand.I mean, we’ve all had our imaginary playmates, but for most of us we quit talking to them about the age of 8. We certainly didn’t stay up all night for weeks at a time listening to them breathe on the phone.Te’o is the one who should be on Oprah for some counseling and a group hug. Imagine the ratings coup when the tough linebacker with the trusting face confesses his vulnerabilities in a teary prime-time special.No one wants to hug Armstrong, that’s for sure. Not even Oprah, though she did appear concerned when he told her he lost $75 million on one day when all his sponsors bailed when the truth they surely already knew became public fodder. Predictably, though, Oprah didn’t follow up on how many millions Armstrong still has in the bank—some estimate his accounts still hold $100 million, all funded by his many lies.Meanwhile, the verdict on those of us who report all of this is mixed.Are we all enablers, so eager to beat the next guy on a story that we simply accept the most improbable claims as fact? Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles while racing against riders who were doped and we were supposed to believe he wasn’t? Many writers overlooked that, just like they ignored pesky details about Te’o’s dead girlfriend, such as the fact there was no record anywhere that Lennay Kekua existed, died, or was injured in a terrible car accident.Then there’s the way we’re caught up in a world of instant news that is consumed so vociferously that we can barely keep up trying to feed the beast.Consider this about the way the Te’o story evolved. After the irreverent—and highly entertaining at times—website Deadspin broke the story about his imaginary friend, there followed a media orgy of trying to first make sense of the story and then advance it. The Notre Dame athletic director helped out by crying at his news conference defending Te’o, providing even more fodderThis was followed Friday with another breathless scoop—the fake girlfriend told Te’o that she had to fake being dead because some fake drug dealers were out looking for her.By then things had gotten so bizarre that the player who beat Te’o out for the Heisman weighed in on it. Johnny Football, the Texas A&M quarterback also known as Johnny Manziel, declared that even his “mind was blown.”All along, productivity in offices around the country slowed to a crawl as jokes were traded across Twitter and Facebook about fake dead girlfriends. Things went so far that a minor league baseball team declared a promotion day in honor or Te’o, with an offer of a fake bobblehead of the girlfriend and empty seats next to paying customers for their imaginary friends.Unlike Armstrong, Te’o has not been accused of being anything more than being duped—having imaginary friends is not a crime—but the bizarro factor is so off the charts that his life will never be the same again.In his first interview off camera with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, he denied any wrongdoing and said when people know all the facts they’ll know there is no way he could have staged any of it. I tend to believe that, if only because this is a grown man who still seems so childlike that he was so scared to tell his father about the whole thing that his best friend—this one real—had to be there with him.We’re so used to people lying to us that no one is going to be believed anymore. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens stood trial for it, Tiger Woods lived a lie by trying to get us to believe he was something he wasn’t, and Pete Rose lied when he said he didn’t bet on baseball.No one lied like Armstrong, though. Lied for years every time he opened his mouth, never hesitating to unleash his fury on anyone who dared question the lies. He trashed reputations and ruined so many lives he has trouble remembering them all, while amassing a fortune built on his lies along the way.So when he told Oprah that “I can’t lie to you” in answering one question, you immediately knew a lie was comingBecause, unlike with Te’o, everything Armstrong did was terribly real. DISGRACED CHAMPION—In this July 5, 2004 photo, US Postal Service team leader Lance Armstrong sits by the registration bus before the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)
Advertisement arcNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2knbnWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4h7( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 1robWould you ever consider trying this?😱nrvvqCan your students do this? 🌚2iy9Roller skating! Powered by Firework For the first time in history, a female athlete has been chosen to kick-off the torch relay for this year’s Olympic Games. The Greek Olympic committee on Thursday, announced that they had picked Anna Korakaki, the shooter who won gold in the Rio Olympics four years ago, to be the first woman torchbearer of the competition following the flame-lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia on March 12. The Olympia is regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Olympics games. Advertisement Picture Credit: Olympic.orgThe flame-lighting ceremony which is being carefully choreographed, will see Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou posing as the ancient Greek High Priestess, who will light the flame using a bowl-shaped mirror to focus the heat of the sun’s rays on her torch. She will then pass it on to Korakaki, which will be an iconic moment in the history of the tournament.The torch relay will then begin its tour of Greece which is scheduled for a week, before the flame is presented to the organizing members of the Tokyo Games at a ceremony in Athens. Significantly, the final torchbearer of this summer’s Olympics will also be a woman; Greece’s Katerina Stefanidi, who won the pole vault gold medal at Rio has been given this prestigious task.Advertisement In an interview, the president of Greece’s national Olympic committee, Spyros Capralos said that both Korakaki and Stefanidi’s selection was a “historic” moment.In the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Anna Korakaki bagged a gold and a bronze medal in the 25m pistol and 10m air pistol event respectively and was also named the world champion in 2018. One of the most prolific athletes of her generation, Korakaki at the tender age of 20, became the first Greek woman to win two Olympic medals in the same competition.Advertisement Meanwhile, pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi also won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games with a superb leap of 4.85 meters. She is the current World Outdoor (2017), European Outdoor (2018), Diamond League (2018) champion, and has won a total of ten medals in all five major international athletics championships. You may also like:Shooter Deepak Kumar books himself a Tokyo 2020 berth with bronze medal win at Asian C’shipsSee how shooting legend Abhinav Bindra is helping refugees prepare for the Olympics Advertisement