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Beijing 2022: Chinese women look ahead after making history in monobob’s Olympic debut

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Huai Mingming spoke to reporters in the same way she raced down the specially-designed ice track at the National Sliding Center on Monday: with an air of self-possession and infallible perseverance, with an unwavering and unrelenting commitment to excellence and reliability.

The 26-year-old, who, along with compatriot Ying Qing, became the first Chinese women ever to compete at the Olympic’s inaugural monobob event, is not used to being in the spotlight. But when she is, she tends to be brutally honest about her failings and flaws.

“I did a poor job on the start today and didn’t quite perform to the level I normally do in training,” observed Huai, who finished a respectable sixth with a four-run combined time of 4 minutes 22.58 seconds. American veteran Kaillie Humphries powered to victory ahead of teammate Elana Meyers Taylor, while Canada’s Christine de Bruin won bronze.

Unlike in the traditional bobsleigh showdowns, where two or four athletes either push or pilot a sled down the track, monobob features only one athlete, who is tasked with multiple jobs during the whole process. The women’s-only event requires all competitors to use the same type of sled, leveling the playing field for those who have typically found it harder to access high-tech gear.

Huai Mingming of China waves to the crowd after her slide in the women’s monobob bobsleigh event at Beijing 2022 at the National Sliding Center in Yanqing, Beijing, China, February 14, 2022. /CFP

While the priority has shifted from technology to athletic skill, Huai admitted it has been a steep learning curve but believed the experience will benefit her career.

“I usually practice two-woman bobsleigh in training, so I struggled a lot today when I had to push the sled alone,” she said. “I’m going to focus on improving my muscle strength and trying to gain more weight.”

“The best thing about high level foreign athletes is their ability to adapt and adjust. Although they are not as familiar with the course as our Chinese racers, they can always adapt to the course in the shortest possible time. This is an area where I need to strengthen my skills in the future,” she added.

Ying Qing of China takes part in a training session of the two-woman bobsleigh event at Beijing 2022 at the National Sliding Center in Yanqing, Beijing, China, February 15, 2022. /CFP

Huai is a fast learner and has made tremendous progress in recent years. In March 2019, she only managed 10th at the World Championships in Whistler, Canada. In January this year, she had her best monobob result at the World Series event, finishing fourth in Sigulda, Latvia.

While securing a sixth-place finish in monobob at her first Olympics is surely another personal milestone, Huai has set her sights on the two-woman event on Friday. “I will adjust my mood and condition as soon as possible to have a better performance in my next event and leave no regrets,” she declared.

Ying Qing of China competes during the women’s monobob bobsleigh event at Beijing 2022 at the National Sliding Center in Yanqing, Beijing, China, February 13, 2022. /CFP

This point is echoed by Huai’s teammate Ying, who finished ninth in monobob, but leaves no doubt that she will emerge from these Games a better racer.

“I’m extremely delighted to make my Olympic debut. Competing at home in Beijing gives me a great sense of security and makes me feel proud to be Chinese,” beamed the 25-year-old. “I made some technical mistakes today, so I’ll have to take stock of them and try to bring out my full potential next time.”

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Fishers continue protest over unpaid dues

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The protests, by local fishers that kicked off on Friday at Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO)’s Addu harbor, are still ongoing.

Maldives Police Service confirms a total of 80 fishermen are still at the harbor, who have warned to shut the factory down if senior officials fail to respond to them.

Some protesters have warned to interrupt the factory’s kitchen operations as well.

Addu City Hulhudhoo’s council member Hussain Faizurrahman confirms the fishers were protesting about the money MIFCO owed them.

He also added since the protests are proceeding at a MIFCO-managed venue, it was not creating any difficulties for the general public of the city.

Owing to significant delays in outstanding payments to fishers, the Bodu Kanneli Masvering Union (BKMU) – a union representing yellowfin tuna fishers – organized a protest earlier on June 12, making multiple demands from the government.

The BKMU-led protests in early June were called-off the following day’s midnight, after the government agreed to slice fuel prices for fishers.

The state made its last disbursement on June 13, which was a payment of MVR 46 million out of the MVR 80 million government owed to fishers, and promised to settle the remainder soon.

MIFCO confirmed to ‘Sun’ there have been no significant accruals to the pending total, adding it was because fisheries activities had slowed down currently.

The company however, did not confirm how much it owed to fishers in pending total now.

Source(s): sun.mv

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New local markets to be established in collaboration with Government

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Mayor of Male’ City Council Adam Azim has stated that new local markets, including fish markets, will be established with the assistance of the government. The mayor highlighted that the collaboration of the government will significantly benefit the Council and the government as well as the residents.

Speaking at a programme aired on PSM News, Mayor Azim disclosed that works to develop and advance the fish market were ongoing under the Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure when he began his tenure. He reiterated the Council’s commitment to provide all the necessary support to the government pertaining to the developmental initiative.

Furthermore, Mayor Azim stated that the two land plots allocated for the establishment of a temporary market were insufficient for the existing market cells. Hence, an additional land plot has been designated and handed over to the ministry as well.

The government has decided to develop the local fish market such that it is a seven-storey market. It additionally announced that the establishment of the permanent market will commence upon completion of the development of the temporary market. This development aims to address space constraints effectively, with provisions for dedicated parking areas to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.

The transfer of market services to operate under one roof is an ambitious vision of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, with substantial progress reported by the government on various aspects of the project.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Companies show interest in developing Fuvahmulah Tourism Zone: RACL

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Managing Director of Regional Airports Company Limited (RACL) Ahmed Mubeen has said that two companies have shown interest in developing rooms in the Fuvahmulah Tourism Zone.

An agreement was signed in April this year to develop a tourism zone in Fuvahmulah City. The new RACL management aims to make the company profitable without relying on government financial support. To achieve this, a master plan has been created for the company’s operations, and the company’s responsibilities have been expanded to include more business ventures.

As part of this initiative, RACL has signed an agreement with the Fuvahmulah City Council to develop a tourism zone that includes Fuvahmulah Airport and the surrounding beach area. The project plans to build 400 rooms and provide various recreational activities for tourists.

Speaking to PSM News, Mubeen said that two companies are already interested in developing the rooms in the tourism zone. He said that they are currently securing the necessary permits from the government and making other preparations to commence work.

The Fuvahmulah City Council highlighted the company’s efforts of to develop the tourism zone would greatly benefit the city. It said that the development is expected to create more jobs in the densely populated area and open up additional opportunities for private businesses.

RACL, which manages eight airports, is collaborating with local island councils to expand its business ventures. It includes opportunities in tourism, agriculture, and revenue-generating advertising in airport areas. In addition, RACL is exploring opportunities to sell jet fuel in partnership with the government and private businesses.

Source(s): PsmNews

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