It is Champs 1976 and grand showdowns loomed in more ways than one.Everald Samuels’, St Andrew Technical High School’s meteoric rise loomed large.Samuels seemed destined to upstage the reigning 100 metres champion, Balford ‘Bally’ Reid of Kingston College (KC).It was an era when KC harboured the notion that although red, the stadium track was its domain.Samuels and Calabar High had different plans.And so it was also a year when the long reign of KC as Boys’ athletics champions was under severe threat.KC had been victorius for 14 consecutive years, stretching from 1962 to 1975.A year earlier, Bally Reid had set a new mark of 10.4 seconds (hand-timed). But in 1976, Samuels, the high-kneed wonder boy, emerged out of the Bumper Hall-based school hitherto devoid of a reputation in the sprints.On Friday, the first of the two-day event, 40 years ago, both Reid and Samuels cruised through the heats of the 100 metres.Tensions were lifted to fever pitch, however, as the dominant duo drew the same semi-finals race.The stage was set in an arena that was not for the faint of heart.There was silence at the start of the race and noise in between. When it was done, there was a thunderous hush in the section of the bleachers painted ‘purple’.Samuels not only conquered the mighty ‘Bally Reid’, he also equalled the record of 10.4 seconds set by Reid the previous year.A new star was born, underlining the beginning of the end of the long dynasty of the redoubtable KC as Calabar, perennial rivals, rebounded with colour and ferocity for the first time in 15 years to secure the Mortimer Geddes Trophy.Samuels, though, was not done.He was even more dominant in the 200 metres, becoming the first schoolboy athlete to run under 21 seconds (hand-timed).His record 20.9 seconds stood until it was broken by Clarendon College’s Norman Mills in 1979.
Moscow: Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station. Named Fedor, for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research with identification number Skybot F850, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia. Fedor blasted off in a Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz is set to dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USSoyuz ships are normally manned on such trips, but on Thursday no humans are travelling in order to test a new emergency rescue system. Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor was strapped into a specially adapted pilot’s seat, with a small Russian flag in his hand. “Let’s go. Let’s go,” the robot was heard as ‘saying’ during launch, apparently repeating the famous phrase by first man in space Yury Gagarin. The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands 1.80 metres (5 foot 11 inches) tall and weighs 160 kilograms (353 pounds). Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsFedor has Instagram and Twitter accounts that describe it as learning new skills such as opening a bottle of water. In the station, it will trial those manual skills in very low gravity. “That’s connecting and disconnecting electric cables, using standard items from a screwdriver and a spanner to a fire extinguisher,” the Russian space agency’s director for prospective programmes and science, Alexander Bloshenko, said in televised comments ahead of the launch. “The first stage of in-flight experiments went according to the flight plan,” the robot’s account tweeted after reaching orbit. Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth carry out tasks while they are strapped into an exoskeleton. Such robots will eventually carry out dangerous operations such as space walks, Bloshenko told RIA Novosti state news agency. On the website of one of the state backers of the project, the Foundation of Advanced Research Projects, Fedor is described as potentially useful on Earth for working in high radiation environments, de-mining and tricky rescue missions. On board, the robot will perform tasks supervised by Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, who joined the ISS last month, and will wear an exoskeleton in a series of experiments scheduled for later this month.