Breaking Barriers inspiring Aboriginal youth in western Sydney

Young Indigenous men have highest suicide rate in world
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(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
‘We aren’t scary, we are people’Local police have developed a close relationship with the Mount Druitt Indigenous community and will often alert elders like Mr Hamilton if they notice local youths “going down the wrong track”.The relaxed relationship between the young attendees and police officers was reflected in the calls of some boys who yelled out, “Bye Aunty Jules” to Sergeant Julie Underwood as they left the pool deck.”I think that’s absolutely fabulous; they do treat you like you’re the big aunt,” she said. Photo:
Breaking Barriers aims to improve the health, fitness and confidence of local Indigenous youths. It was started three years ago as a spinoff from Clean Slate Without Prejudice, a boxing program for kids in Redfern. Photo:
Sergeant Julie Underwood with (from left) Kelemete Anderson, Ethan Lewis and Dominic Whitton. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Breaking Barriers is a fitness and mentorship program overseen by Indigenous elders and Mount Druitt police who hope to inspire young Aboriginal people to avoid a life of crime. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
While Sergeant Underwood usually attends the morning sessions in civilian clothes, she will occasionally come dressed in her uniform to remind the kids of her day job.”Unfortunately, a lot of the kids have beliefs with police in relation to older members in their family or in their family circle,” she said.”We’re trying to break that down to say we’re not that bad, we aren’t scary, we are people. It takes away that stigma.”Reducing Aboriginal youth crimeAccording to the most recent report of youth detention by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 54 per cent of all those in detention were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.Mr Hamilton said the community elders were determined to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth in the juvenile justice system. When 15-year-old Carly Bates attended her first session at Breaking Barriers, an Aboriginal youth program in western Sydney, she had low confidence and feared the police.Two years later, her attitude towards authorities has turned around.”At first it was really scary when they said the police were involved and we didn’t know what to do,” Carly said.”But the police say they’re here to help us, and if we’re scared to go to them. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“Our motto is: Choices we make will affect our tomorrow.”The real reason we do it is to make sure our kids understand that a life of crime is not what they need in their life.”We talk to them about making better choices.”That’s the message getting through to 11-year-old Jamal Wallace, who gave Sergeant Underwood a wave as he walked past.”[The police are] good leaders for the young kids,” Jamal said.”They’re good and teaching us not to be bad.” We also have all our aunties and uncles here that we can go to whenever we want.”

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Carly Bates says the mentors at Breaking Barriers have helped her become more confident. Photo:
The kids race each other across the pool during a fitness session. Breaking Barriers not only creates a social space for the local community through weekly fitness sessions, but it aims to make the young attendees comfortable with talking to authorities.”There’s always a stigma between Aboriginal people and the police that they don’t get along,” Darryl Hamilton, Aboriginal elder and mentor at the program, said.”We’re trying to break those barriers down and make sure our kids are comfortable around police officers instead of being scared by police or not having trust in police.”The group meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning at Emerton Leisure Centre.At one session, about 30 primary and high school students were in the swimming pool balancing on coloured noodles and being put through their paces by a fitness instructor.Afterwards the students were served a healthy breakfast before heading to school.
(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh) 702 ABC Sydney

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Amanda Hoh

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August 12, 2016 10:44:19

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Young Aboriginal youths are mentored by Mount Druitt police and Indigenous elders.

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Students break record for world’s largest science lesson

Students explore future careers in science and technology at ANU
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(612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe) this is what makes our state great.”I urge you to keep up the science lessons.”

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You can imagine taking the class roll took some time. External Link:

Students work on the world record attempt in Brisbane
A total of 2,895 students from years five to 10 came together for the lesson.Teacher Anne Brant taught them how magnetic fields worked using the humble paperclip.The record was previously held by students in Durban, South Africa, where 2,102 students attended a lesson.Queensland’s Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garnett, said it was great to see how excited the students were to learn about science.”Most teachers would say teaching a class of 30 is a challenge, so teaching 3,000 students is a big challenge.”These children can now look back on their careers and life and say that they were part of a world championship-beating event.”That’s pretty special.”

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Chief Scientist Geoff Garnett says the students will remember the record-breaking day. Photo:
Shambhavi Mishra and Johannes Faller took part in the record attempt. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Students Shambhavi Mishra and Johannes Faller said the lesson was conducted without a hitch.”All aspects of science are important in life and we’re so glad we got to help the primary school kids learn more about science too,” Shambhavi said. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“It’s amazing to think we’ve been part of a world record-breaking event,” Johannes added.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the world record proved Queensland was strong in the science field.”We had children represented here today from Cairns, Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast … Thousands of Queensland students have used their love of learning to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever practical science lesson.
(612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe) 612 ABC Brisbane

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Jessica Hinchliffe

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August 12, 2016 13:33:24

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Students celebrate becoming record holders for the world’s largest science lesson.
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‘Overwhelmed, proud’ Fiji celebrates historic Olympic win

Fiji storms to sevens gold, claiming first-ever Olympic medal
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By Pacific affairs reporter Liam Fox

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August 12, 2016 14:14:55

Video: Fiji fans go wild as country wins first gold for rugby 7s

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Around 400 people packed into Dratabu’s community hall to watch the game. There have been scenes of jubilation in Fiji after the country won its first Olympic medal — a gold in the inaugural men’s rugby sevens competition.Two of the country’s players, Samisoni Viri and Kitione Taliga, are from Dratabu village near Nadi.Around 400 people packed into Dratabu’s community hall. Never have we stood so tall as a nation,” Mr Bainimarama said in a statement.Not only is it Fiji’s first medal, but also the first time a small Pacific nation has won Olympic gold, and the win is being celebrated around the region.It also comes six months after Cyclone Winston killed 44 people and caused extensive damage to large parts of Fiji. (ABC News: Liam Fox) (Reuters: Alessandro Bianchi)
Dratabu chief Ratu Meli Saukuru said people were immensely proud of Viriviri, Taliga and the rest of the Fijian team.”We are really proud and feel so great this morning and we are overwhelmed,” he said.Viriviri’s mother Vikaili Rabale said having two locals in the team made the victory especially sweet.”The village is so proud and happy and all waiting for their return and we’re going to host a big party for them,” she said. Photo:
The Dratabu chief said people were immensely proud of the team. Photo:
Fiji smashed Great Britain 43 to 7 to win the gold medal. (ABC News: Jamie Fox)
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said the gold medal win was a wonderful moment in Fiji’s history.”Never before has the Fijian spirit soared so high as it does today. Photo:
It is the first time a small Pacific nation has won Olympic gold. (ABC News: Liam Fox)
Teachers brought children from nearby schools to watch the match.The crowd was ecstatic and grown men cried as Fiji smashed Great Britain 43-7 to win the gold medal.

Swimmers who beat Campbell sisters make Olympic history

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Cate Campbell misses medals in stunning Rio upset
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Campbell concedes she succumbed to nerves in Rio final

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Manuel and Oleksiak both touched the wall in 52.70 seconds. (Getty Images: Richard Heathcote)
‘This medal is not just for me’Oleksiak was overjoyed as she saw the final score.”It’s amazing to tie for gold, I never thought I’d win,” Oleksiak said.”I’m only 16, so it’s pretty insane to win a gold medal in your first Olympics.”She [Manuel] deserves it as much as me.”

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Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual swimming event. The two swimmers who edged out Australia’s Campbell sisters to tie for gold in the women’s 100 metre freestyle finals have both made Olympic history.Simone Manuel, 20, became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in a women’s individual swimming event, while Canada’s Penny Oleksiak, 16, became the first athlete born in the 21st century to claim Olympic gold in an individual event.In the suspenseful race, Manuel and Oleksiak both touched the wall in 52.70 seconds, as the crowd gasped at the times flashing up on the scoreboard.For both Oleksiak and Manuel, Rio is their first Olympic Games, and the two women were inseparable at the finish.Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom, who took the bronze with a time of 52.99, was astonished.”I think that was a big shock for everyone in the final,” Sjostrom said.”Everyone had to watch the result many times before we understood what happened … (AP: Natacha Pisarenko)
Manuel was overcome with tears as she celebrated her victory with Oleksiak.”This medal is not just for me, it’s for some of the African-Americans that have come before me and have been inspirations to me,” Manuel said.”I think it means a lot, especially what’s going on in the world today with some of the issues with police brutality. (AP: Lee Jin-man)
Oleksiak and Manuel’s victory was the second time the women’s 100m freestyle has ended with a double gold.The first was at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, when Americans Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer tied at 55.92 seconds.It came after the timing was reduced from a thousandth of a second to a hundredth, following a controversial dead-heat in the 1972 men’s 400 metre individual medley when Sweden’s Gunnar Larsson was awarded the gold ahead of Tim McKee of the US.At the 2000 Sydney Games, another 21.98 second dead-heat saw Anthony Ervin of the United States and team mate Gary Hall Jr each awarded the 50m freestyle gold.Reuters Photo:
Bronte Campbell finished fourth, while Cate faded at the finish to sixth. I think that this win kind of helps bring hope and change to some of the issues that are going on.”Oleksiak was only seventh at the turn, but powered back on the final 50 metres with a frenzied, head-down final, 15 metres to the wall.She has now collected four medals from Rio — the most by a Canadian at a summer Games — winning a 4x100m freestyle bronze on the opening day of the competition, followed by a 100m butterfly silver and another bronze in the 4x200m freestyle.There was disappointment for the Campbell sisters, with world champion Bronte finishing fourth and world record holder Cate leading in world record time at the turn, but fading at the finish to sixth.”I’ve always said that I didn’t need a gold medal to have self-worth and I guess that that’s being put to the test at the moment,” Cate said. the biggest surprise so far in this competition,” Sjostrom said.
(AP: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press) Updated

August 12, 2016 17:05:24

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Simone Manuel (left) and Penny Oleksiak (right) tied for the gold medal.

Grandpa goes viral after gymnastic move on Rio train

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Lucia Stein

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August 14, 2016 12:06:27

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Mr Barker’s grandfather demonstrating some significant upper body strength with a flag pole lift. (Twitter: Britton Barker)
Mans a legend. A Texas grandfather has been labelled the “coolest papa out there” on social media after photos of his impressive flag pole lift on a train in Rio de Janeiro were shared by his grandson on Twitter.Wayne McEntire, 68, was riding on a train with his grandson, Britton Barker, when a commuter offered him a seat in a designated section for elderly passengers. External Link:

Britton Barker tweets photo of his grandfather's flag pole lift
But Mr Barker’s grandfather respectfully declined, instead walking a few steps down the carriage and demonstrating his upper body strength with a flag pole lift.Mr McEntire’s spontaneous display has since gone viral after it was shared on Twitter by his grandson, who had his camera ready filming his ride back from the Olympic Games.”Oops accidentally made Papa Twitter famous,” Mr Barker tweeted after seeing the online reaction to his grandfather’s public display.Mr Barker told the ABC he did not expect the response it had received.”I was pleasantly surprised at 5:00am when I got woken up by the buzzing from all of the notifications and I realised it had gone viral,” he said.The original tweet has received more than 66,000 retweets and drawn a number of responses online.”My new life goal is to be like your grandpa. #FortheGold

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Tweet: I'm not at all surprised that papa is twitter famous. External Link:

Tweet: OH MY GOD. BEST GRANDPA. External Link:

Britton barker tweets his Grandfather offering to give his grandmother an autograph

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Tweet: Why isn't he in the Olympics competing? How do I make this happen?”, one user asked.”Hands down coolest Papa out there,” another said.Mr Barker said his grandfather performed tricks like that all the time.”While I didn’t know exactly what he was doing, I knew it was sure to put a smile on my face,” he said.This is Mr McEntire’s fifth Olympics, after first visiting the 1984 LA Games with his daughter and wife.He also attended the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games to watch his good friend Brandon Slay take the gold for the US in wrestling.

Maths, story and dance: an Indigenous approach

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Maths, story and dance: an Indigenous approach to teaching

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Anna Salleh

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August 15, 2016 05:18:28

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Understanding a child’s culture is important when teaching maths (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
For one thing, you’re getting the kids to ‘be’ the mathematics themselves.”She says Dr Matthews’ approach has enormous potential in the classroom, and this potential was already starting to show — and not just for Indigenous children.Maths for allAccording to Professor Tom Cooper, the head of the YuMi Deadly Centre for maths education at the Queensland University of Technology, the principles involved in Dr Matthews’ approach to maths as storytelling are “very powerful”.”It’s the basis of our teaching now,” he said.The YuMi Deadly maths program aims to improve maths education for disadvantaged students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, by adapting to the specific needs of the children. In another equation, children grouped together to create a cloud that moved over country, and then some of them dropped off as the rain.”The subtraction was the loss of rain from the cloud,” said Dr Matthews, who now now heads up the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).Dr Matthews is heartened to see children linking their Aboriginal identity to maths given the racism he himself experienced at school.”I was the only Aboriginal kid in the class.”Ironically, it was this tough school experience that led Dr Matthews to bury himself in the geeky but “safe” world of maths. We have evidence that it has improved NAPLAN.”And it is not just the obviously disadvantaged that can benefit. I remember sitting there one day and thinking ‘Why is this so easy?'”Dr Matthews excelled at maths, and headed off to university, eventually gaining a PhD in applied mathematics.He decided to help his people learn maths when he observed how often maths is relied on to make environmental decisions affecting Aboriginal land.”We need the capacity to engage in this decision making and to review the scientific papers,” he says.And so Dr Matthews set out to develop a new way of teaching maths at school. Photo:
Children using the YuMi Deadly Maths program use their bodies to represent different numbers (Tabitha Jos/Kingston State School)
Professor Cooper says movement is also a key feature of the program.”All mathematics must be taught with the body,” he said.”So if we’re teaching distance, then we run distances. If we’re teaching numbers, everyone lies on the ground and makes numbers with their body.”He said the results of the program spoke for themselves.”So many schools tell us that it’s changed the way they teach and improved dramatically the learning they have … Want more science from across the ABC? A group of two children, acting as brolgas, flew together, and then linked up with another group of two, and then two more groups of two to become a group of eight. A new method using culture-based storytelling to teach maths to Aboriginal children is reaping results.Aboriginal school children on average lag two years behind their non-Indigenous peers when it comes to maths, but according to one expert we can bridge the gap by paying better attention to culture.”Maths and science are very much seen, from an Aboriginal point of view, as a white fella thing,” said Dr Christopher Matthews, of Griffith University, who is just one of a handful of Aboriginal people to earn a PhD in mathematics.Dr Matthews is from the Quandamooka people of Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), but grew up in Toowoomba. Video: Children make up dance about brolgas to illustrate equation

(ABC News)
Or to illustrate 7-3 = 4, a group of seven kangaroos went out one day when three were hunted, leaving four behind. Photo:
Chris Matthews has done a lot of soul searching about the relationship between maths and culture (NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group)
Teaching maths as storytelling and danceDr Matthews realised you could help children struggling with maths by linking it to their own stories about the world.”Maths involves creating symbols and putting them together to represent the real world,” he said.Most students only experience maths in the abstract form without getting to relate it to something meaningful to them, Dr Matthews said.”As people we all want to understand the world around us and we do that through our own cultural lens.”But fundamentally, we are looking at ways of understanding the world and that’s pretty much what science and maths is.”

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Children are encouraged to make up stories, sometimes in the form of dance, to learn mathematical concepts (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
Brolgas, kangaroos and storm cloudsDr Matthews’ approach to teaching maths involves Aboriginal children making up stories about equations — sometimes in the form of dance.The numbers in the equations become characters who take certain actions resulting in a particular outcome.The actions either bring things together (addition and multiplication) or take them apart (subtraction and division).For example, Aboriginal children turned the equation 4×2 = 8 into a dance about flying brolgas. “I actually got caught cheating on my two-times table when I was in grade two,” he laughs.However, that attitude changed when he discovered algebra.”It was like an epiphany. Resources …YouTube: Tom Cooper from YuMi Deadly Centre at QUT explains the Matthews approachYuMi Deadly Maths a hit in Hughenden for students at different levelsMake it CountNational Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)NAPLAN: Would you pass the test? “I get anxious.”It is no surprise to him that many children find maths as storytelling a preferable approach.”We all carry our own cultural understandings and I think if you allow kids to be creative within that they can actually bring that to the table.” Hear more about Dr Christopher Matthews and his approach to teaching mathematics on RN Life Matters. Professor Cooper said some elite schools had taken on the program.”It may simply be people who don’t learn well by sitting in rows and being given symbols — people who learn better by acting out,” he said.Dr Matthews believes his early failure in primary school was because his maths teacher demanded rote learning and quick recall.”My brain just doesn’t work like that,” he said. You must always start your teaching from something that interests them,” Professor Cooper said.Children must be encouraged to make up their own symbols, he says, and relate them to stories about their own world, before being expected to acquire more generic symbols used in the world of mathematics. It really opened their eyes to the potential of mathematics,” she said.”I think it’s a fantastic whole new way of looking at how mathematics can be taught. Since 2010, a total of 250 schools have adopted the program.”You’ve got to look at your kids and you’ve got to get to know their culture. Subscribe to our weekly email newsletterLike us on FacebookFollow us on Twitter Photo:
Children painted up ready to dance (Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers)
Mathematics educator Caty Morris, of ATSIMA, helped Dr Matthews evaluate the maths as dance trial and says it transformed the children’s view of maths.”They realised that maths was more than all those equations on the blackboard in the classroom.

Usain Bolt’s five steps to greatness

(AP Photo: Lee Jin-man) Updated

August 15, 2016 16:51:52

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Usain Bolt’s Rio win confirms his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has seen.

(Reuters: Eddie Keogh)
Gatlin thrillerBolt headed to the Beijing World Championships in August 2015 with signs that his crown might be slipping.Injuries had appeared to have left him looking vulnerable for the first time in seven years, and long-time rival Gatlin was the man in form with the season’s fastest time.For many, the thought of Gatlin — twice convicted of doping offences — unseating Bolt was an uncomfortable proposition.World athletics chief Lord Sebastian Coe said the prospect made him “queasy”.Yet when he needed it most, Bolt was able to find an extra gear, winning in 9.79 ahead of Gatlin, second in 9.80.Rio romp

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Usain Bolt wins the men’s 100 metres final, ahead of Justin Gatlin, at the Rio Olympic Games. (Stu Forster: Getty Images)
Bolt arrived at the August 2008 Beijing Olympics as the newly minted world record holder, having clocked a blistering 9.72 seconds at a meeting in New York in May.When it came to the competition in China he was simply unstoppable, setting a world record in the 100m of 9.69 before breaking Michael Johnson’s world record of 19.32 to win the 200m.Bolt and Jamaica threw in a world record in the 4x100m relay for good measure.Berlin record-breakerAt the Berlin World Championships in 2009, Bolt defied logic by improving upon his astounding performance in Beijing the previous year, bettering his world records in both the 100m and 200m.He sliced more than a tenth of a second his previous world best, scorching across the line in 9.58 to take gold. Leading up to his unprecedented third consecutive victory in the 100 metres final at the Olympics, five moments have defined Usain Bolt’s career.The win saw the 29-year-old Jamaican legend, competing in his final Olympics, roar into Olympic history to confirm his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has seen.Beijing brilliance

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Usain Bolt won the men’s 200m final and broke the world record at the Beijing Olympic Games. External Link:

World Records – 200m Men Final Berlin 2009
Four days later he followed it up with a scintillating display in the 200m, clocking 19.19.Both records have remained intact in the seven years since.Double-treble in LondonBolt arrived in London chasing an improbable “double-treble”, aiming to successfully defend all three of his Olympic titles won in Beijing.The first leg was achieved with victory in the 100m, where he and training partner Yohan Blake finished well clear of a field containing Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay.Bolt’s time of 9.63 remains the fastest ever run at an Olympics.The 200m saw a Jamaican clean sweep of the podium, with Bolt winning in 19.32 ahead of Blake and Warren Weir.The treble was duly completed in the 4x100m relay in a world record 36.84. (AP: Matt Slocum)
Despite a patchy season hampered by injuries to his troublesome left hamstring, Bolt was able to draw on his phenomenal ability to raise himself for the big occasion in Rio.With the crowd roaring his every move — and booing his rival Gatlin — the champion stormed over in 9.81 to become the first man to win three consecutive 100m titles.AFP Photo:
Usain Bolt poses with his gold medal after winning the men’s 200m at the London Olympic Games.
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From bullets to bull-rider: Iraqi-born Aussie cowboy on the ride of his life

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(ABC News) By the national rural and regional correspondent Dominique Schwartz

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August 15, 2016 16:59:48

Video: 17-year-old Iraqi-born bull-rider Haider Al Hasnawi at the Mount Isa Rodeo.
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In cowboy hat, spurs and tasselled rodeo chaps, Haider Al Hasnawi does not fit any stereotype of a young Muslim man.The 17-year-old from Katherine in the Northern Territory is probably Australia’s first Iraqi-born bull-rider.”I just love it… You’ve got to have strength and balance and you’ve got to be positive about everything.”

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Haider Al Hasnawi competing in the junior bull-riding competition at the Mount Isa rodeo. (Supplied: Stephen Mowbray)
Haider first jumped on a bull at the Noonamah Rodeo outside Darwin two years ago, and was instantly hooked.Last year he was runner-up in the Northern Cowboys Association’s junior bull-rider category and competed in the national titles in Dalby.Haider said it was a dangerous sport, but after growing up in Nasiriyah in south-eastern Iraq, he took a relative view.”A bull can kill you, so can a gunshot,” he said.Nasiriyah was at the centre of one of the fiercest battles between Iraqi and American marines during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.”It is a scary thing… you can be playing out on the street and out of nowhere, there are gunshots and bombs and straight away, you know, you have to take cover,” he said.Haider, his mother and three brothers moved to Australia in 2009, finally reuniting with Haider’s father who first arrived 20 years ago.’As long as I’m riding a bull, I’m happy’Swapping bullets for bull-riding was not the safe future Haider’s mother had imagined for her son.”Mum, she’s a bit worried and that, like a normal mother but real supportive and Dad, he’s not so worried, but he lets me do it as well,” Haider said.He said he gets nervous before a ride, but that his experiences in Iraq have probably helped forge a mental toughness.Once on a bull, it is all about living in the moment, and trying to stay on for the eight seconds needed to score.”You can’t think about too much or you’ll get bucked off,” he said.”You’ve got to have your eyes on the bull and go where he goes and hold on for your life.”The bulls got the better of Haider at Mount Isa this time round.But next weekend, he will be at the NT’s Pine Creek rodeo, trying his luck again.”As long as I’m riding a bull, I’m happy,” he said. Lots of training. just the adrenalin rush, the atmosphere, there’s no better feeling than being on the back of a bull,” he said at the Mount Isa Rodeo in outback Queensland over the weekend.The fencing worker drove 1,400 kilometres in a borrowed car to compete at Australia’s richest and biggest rodeo.”It’s not just walk in and jump on,” he said in a broad Australian accent.”There’s a lot to it.
Top End rodeo cowboys on two very different journeys

Welcome the next generation of coders and engineers

Backyard astronomer's photos spark NASA interest
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August 16, 2016 10:48:20

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Shalise Leesfield designed a computer game for her friend who has cerebral palsy. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
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(702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“She can easily pick up a tool, strap it around her hands and she can easily tap the blocks,” Shalise said.”I spent my whole holidays painting the blocks.”It’s been really fun. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
“It can go anywhere you don’t want to go or that isn’t safe for you to go like space science or deactivating bombs,” Etolye said.”I think I want to be a bio engineer — a big part of it is prosthetics.”Challenging the Three Little Pigs

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Hannah Foote (right) and Abby Leong with their design for the Three Little Pigs architecture challenge. Photo:
Mindstraps allows the user to strap the hammers to their hand and hit blocks that will trigger virtual blocks in the game. Photo:
Etoyle Blaquiere explains the robotics behind her bionic hand to other students. It’s my first time doing something like this and I’ve really loved it.”Shalise was among dozens of students showcasing their inventions at the Young Creators Conference at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum for Science Week.The show and tell event had students display their projects designed in school STEM programs using engineering, computer programming and design skills.Automating roll callStanding beside Shalise was year nine student Christopher Palin who was named this year’s Young Information and Computer Technology (ICT) Explorer for New South Wales. When Shalise Leesfield found out her friend Ella was unable to play the computer game Minecraft due to having cerebral palsy, she set out to make a version of her own.Knowing Ella was unable to grip a computer mouse, Shalise invented copper-wired wooden hammers which, when connected to metal blocks, allowed her friend to build a virtual game world.The year four student from St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie also programmed the game, which she called Mindstraps. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
A few groups at the conference were competing in an architectural challenge to build sustainable “wolf repellent” houses.Hannah Foote from Inaburra School had a design much more elaborate than any straw, stick or brick house in the original fairytale.Her team designed a wolf alarm in the form of a welcome mat that buzzes when someone or something stands on it.”There’s no way of being discreet and getting in the house,” she said.Coding the way forwardMorgan Owen and John Fichera have been learning the language of computer coding and HTML since they were in kindergarten. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
Now in year four, the International Grammar School students programmed a potted plant and feather to move when it detected sound.They also coded a toy bumble bee on wheels to follow a specific route.For the purpose of the showcase, the track was made from post-it notes. Photo:
Morgan Owen (right) and John Fichera programmed objects to follow a track and respond to sounds. (702 ABC Sydney: Amanda Hoh)
He designed an automated roll call system using RFID, or radio frequency identification, with student swipe cards.”‘I’ve already started talking to the school and I’m getting a great response from the teachers to get this implemented,” he said.The bionic handEtolye Blaquiere and her team from Wenona School 3D printed their hands and built flex sensors into the prosthetics so it mimics the movement of the person wearing a connected glove. Photo:
Year 9 student Christopher Palin is already in discussion with his teachers to implement his roll call technology.

The best proposals at the Rio Games

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Brazilian rugby player gets surprise on-field wedding proposal from girlfriend
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August 16, 2016 12:33:16

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Brazil’s rugby sevens player Isadora Cerullo with her partner Marjorie Enya (AP: Themba Hadebe)
(AP Photo: Michael Sohn)
China’s He Zi had just received her silver medal for the 3 metre springboard diving event, when her boyfriend of six years, Qin Kai, got down on one knee and proposed. The crowd erupted into cheers.Ah, love.Walking it in

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Tom Bosworth tweeted a picture of the proposal (Tom Bosworth: Twitter)
British race walker Tom Bosworth proposed to his boyfriend Harry Dineley on Copacabana Beach. (Reuters: Alessandro Bianchi)
Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo was surprised with an on-field wedding proposal from partner of two years, 28-year-old Marjorie Enya.According to reports from the BBC, Enya, who is a manager at the venue, grabbed a microphone and gave an emotional speech before embracing her partner. Men’s water polo player Tyler Martin really laid it on the line during the women’s quarter-final match.We think this proposal was aimed at female water polo star Ash Southern, but we can’t be sure if it’s just a little bit of team banter.We’re waiting to hear the official word on this one.UPDATE: A spokeswoman has told ABC there was no official proposal.”This wasn’t a real proposal – Tyler and Ash are just mates and it was a bit of fun between the two teams,” she said. (Reuters: Laszlo Balogh)
Well, there’s nothing like a bit of zinc to share your undying love for someone. It is the place where Olympians strive for a gold, silver or bronze medal, but for some, it’s the perfect place to hand over another symbolic item.We take a look at marriage proposals to and from Olympic stars that have stolen the show at the Rio Games.Taking the plunge

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China’s silver medalist He   Zi, left, receives a marriage proposal by China’s diver Qin Kai. External Link:

USATF tweet

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Verona Wildcat T&F tweet
Making a splash? You guys! Photo:
Harry Dineley tweeted shortly after the proposal (Harry Dineley: Twitter)
Love really jumps hurdlesWilliam Claye, fresh from winning silver in the triple jump, proposed to hurdler Queen Harrison in front on an ecstatic crowd.While Harrison did not qualify for the Rio Games, she was in the city to support her boyfriend and Team USA. Photo:
Australia’s men’s water polo player Tyler Martin with zinc on his body. While Zi, 25, looked a little shocked, she motioned a thumbs up to the cameras to let them know she had accepted the proposal from the fellow diver.No pressure to say yes, or anything.A huge hit

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Rugby player Isadora Cerullo (BRA) kisses her new fiance Marjorie, who proposed after the medal ceremony. While he placed sixth in the 20km walking event last week, he came in first place where it mattered with Dineley tweeting “Ok then” alongside a picture of the engagement ring.

Joan Webb just turned 90 and is about to graduate with a PhD

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Ms Webb says the people she taught in the aged care facilities inspired her. They were really brilliant people, an inspiration to me.”The idea of having her classes become mere poetry reading sessions did not appeal to Ms Webb, and she was determined to make sure that did not happen.”I kept raking through new stuff that I might introduce that might grab them and appeal to them, and I really was wondering which way to go,” Ms Webb said.”The one thing you can do while you’re laying there in your bed or sitting in a wheelchair is to use your creative thoughts and turn those into, I found, the most wonderful poetry.” I said ‘I like cheek’,” Ms Webb said.”Once you broke down that barrier, they did the most amazing work imaginable. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)
The title of Ms Webb’s PhD thesis — “I only look forward to Mondays”, Facilitating creative writing groups: Ageism, action and empowerment — came from a resident’s comment to her about how much the resident enjoyed the weekly writing sessions.Ms Webb said she had a “whale of a time” studying, and would not have done it if it had been “some miserable thing I had to get through”.She talks about her study as something that “controls” her, and a certain feeling of becoming addicted to the study after a period of time.”It’s very easy to sit in an armchair, switch the tele on and throw your life away like that,” Ms Webb said.”As you do it [study] and as you have this control, you get fascinated by the subject, and in the end you can’t put it down and you just want to go on and on.”Creative thoughts turned into poetryWhen Ms Webb started poetry classes in the aged care facilities, she said the residents had been very quiet and did not contribute much to the sessions.”I wondered if they even understood what I was talking about,” Ms Webb said.A poem written by “one elderly lady with a marvellous sense of humour” managed to have a flow-on effect to the rest of the class.”She said ‘No, I can’t share it with you, it’s too cheeky’. A 90-year-old Launceston woman will graduate with a PhD from the University of Tasmania this weekend.Joan Webb, a qualified teacher, started her Masters in 2011 and finished it over two years, then went on to start her PhD in 2013.She was initially unwilling to begin the last leg of study, but running classes at two aged care facilities soon changed her mind.After teaching at a school for seniors in Launceston, Ms Webb decided to dedicate a short amount of time each week to visiting people who were not able to attend a school situation.”I then went for what I thought would be a short time to two aged care facilities in the area, and I found it most demanding and fascinating and a wonderful experience,” Ms Webb said.”There are people in high care who have lost a massive amount of their physical capacity, and still have the most amazing ideas and creativity within them.”Ms Webb started teaching classes in creative writing at the aged care facilities in 2013, then moved into poetry because the shorter format was easier to get through with the residents.Alongside her years of teaching in the United Kingdom and Tasmania, she counted this experience as among some of the best things she had done.”It was the most exciting experience probably of my whole life,” Ms Webb said.
ABC Northern Tasmania

By

Fred Hooper

Updated

August 16, 2016 14:41:11

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Joan Webb says it is easy to become fascinated by university study. (ABC Northern Tasmania: Fred Hooper)
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Launceston 7250

Holocaust survivors celebrate 70 years of marriage

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By

Margaret Burin

Updated

August 17, 2016 10:22:36
(ABC News: Margaret Burin)
Having virtually grown up in labour camps, the teenagers were both wasting away when their eyes first locked in the Czestochowa camp in Poland. “I lost my mind,” Sigi says. I saw a pair of beautiful eyes and I heard bells ringing.” It was New Year’s Eve 1944, 18 days before the camp was liberated by the Red Army. “We’ve achieved a lot,” Sig says. (ABC News: Margaret Burin)

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Sigi and Hanka Siegreich had their official wedding party on their 50th wedding anniversary. Their great-grandson’s school, Bialik College, is currently collecting 1.5 million buttons to honour the children who were murdered under the Nazi regime. Sigi is donating 180 buttons to the project this month, to represent the family he lost in the Holocaust.The doting couple, aged 91 and 93, have already had their gravestones prepared, side by side, for when they leave this world. “At that time, the people in the camp were terrible,” she says. He says he had been sabotaging the factory line — making bullets too small for the gun barrels. Amazingly, their witnesses were fellow inmates at the labour camp, who had also witnessed their 1945 marriage signing. More than 70 years after Sigi and Hanka Siegreich laid eyes on each other in a Nazi slave-labour camp, the couple still make each other weak at the knees. Hanka says she risked her life to keep him alive — smuggling him small pieces of her bread ration and a blanket that she had made to keep him warm on -15 degree nights. “We are free.” The next day they were married. This time she was smiling and had her arms out. The camp was being liberated. Before returning to his barracks he gave her a kiss on the cheek. That was that, the rest was history.”Unlike Hanka and Sigi, only a handful of their classmates survived the Holocaust. “He was very gentle.”Over the coming days this new love was tested. When he received word that the Gestapo were looking for him, he found a hiding spot in a nearby abandoned construction site. “When I saw her, the whole world was turning around me. (ABC News: Margaret Burin)
“I remember the first kiss,” Hanka says as she puts her hand on her face.That is exactly what she did on that first day, because she says, she wanted to hold onto it forever.Sigi had stood out in an environment where the inhumane conditions had left most people shells of their former selves. “There was a pair of beautiful eyes looking at me, with a smile like I never saw in my life.” He approached her and they talked. “I had no interest in girls, because I was a skeleton,” Sigi says. “We’ve got so many grandchildren and great grandchildren.”She charmed me. Then one night, she came for a second visit. (Supplied )
The year after Hanka gave birth to the first of their two daughters, Evelyne, the first baby born to Holocaust survivors in Sigi’s home town of Katowice after the war.Having moved to Australia in 1971, it wasn’t until their 50th wedding anniversary that the couple had a proper wedding, in their daughter’s Melbourne backyard. Tiny symbols of young lives lost A Melbourne Jewish school is on a mission to collect 1.5 million buttons to pay tribute to each child murdered under the Nazi regime. Photo:
Sigi and Hanka Siegreich with their daughter Evelyne in 1946. The inscription also commemorates their immediate family who were never given a grave. (Supplied)

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Sigi holds an old photo of himself and friend Adam Frydman, a fellow camp inmate and witness of his marriage to Hanka. Sigi had been working in the munitions workshop making bullets for the Nazi German army. “We are inviting the souls of our exterminated family to rest in our grave.” He says only Hanka knew where he was hiding.”She was the only person I could trust my life with,” he says. Photo:
Holocaust survivors Sigi and Hanka Siegreich have been married for 71 years. “They’re gone,” she told him. Photo:
Melbourne couple Sigi, 93, and Hanka, 91, say after all of these years they are still very much in love.

Cossie-wearing teachers survive Mt Kosciuszko charity trek

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We did that very easily.”

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The climbers say the most challenging part was the final ascent. (Supplied)
While they fell short of their $100,000 target, Sydney teacher Ben Anderson said they were still pleased they were able to make it to the top.”We prepared ourselves very, very well, our bodies and our minds were in the zone, we were ready to go,” he said.”But the most challenging part was perhaps the final ascent up to the top of Mount Kosciuszko, that’s where the wind picked up a little bit.”Mr Anderson said it was a chilly minus 4 degrees at the summit, which is where they really did feel the cold.He said they also got some weird looks from others on the mountain who did not know their story.”We were walking past people who were just shaking their heads and they were bewildered and amused and confused,” Mr Anderson said.”They didn’t know what the hell was going on so it was just a really, really awesome culminating sort of experience.” The men were trained by “The Iceman” Wim Hof, who holds 26 world records for extreme challenges in the cold including standing in ice for two hours, swimming underneath thick ice, and climbing Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts.Mr Anderson said the training they did for months beforehand certainly paid off and they have not had any lingering health issues.”It’s a really common question for people to ask, have you thawed out yet or is there any frost bite,” he said.”Absolutely so far from it, it’s remarkable what the body is able to do and I reckon this guy Wim Hof is onto something… Photo:
The men were trained by Wim Hof, who holds world records for extreme challenges. A group of men who set out to climb Mount Kosciuszko in nothing but their cossies have made it back to tell the tale.The five mates, most of them teachers, climbed to the summit of Kosciuszko in July to raise money for childhood depression for Beyond Blue. (Supplied)
‘You can do some pretty cool things if you work hard’Mr Anderson said their story has had a real impact on students in their schools where they shared their story.He said the inspiration to take on the challenge was a result of seeing depression and anxiety on a daily basis.”The impact on the kids is really, really good and that’s probably the main reason why we did it just to show what is actually possible,” he said.”You can do some pretty cool things if you work hard and if you train and you’re resilient and you push through barriers.”That was kind of the point, acting as somewhat of a model for for the kids.”
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(Supplied) By Gloria Kalache

Updated

August 17, 2016 11:24:59

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The five men climbed Mt Kosciuszko in their cossies to raise money for mental health.
Cossie-wearing teachers trek up Mt Kosciuszko for childhood depression

Dolphin pods play in Port Adelaide harbour

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(Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary: Cristina Vicente) 891 ABC Adelaide

By

Brett Williamson

Updated

August 17, 2016 12:06:49

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Large numbers of dolphins are flocking to inner Port Adelaide for a winter break.

Visitors to Port Adelaide have been treated to a sea spectacular with up to 60 dolphins spotted frolicking just off the docks in recent weeks.Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary volunteers and park rangers first noticed what was thought to be a concentration of animals in the area last year.A recent count confirmed the dolphins returned for the winter months this year. Photo:
Cristina Vicente keeps an eye out for dolphins at Port Adelaide. External Link:

Tweet: Dolphin tail walks in front of boat
“It seems like during winter they move more into the inner port,” sanctuary senior conservation officer Cristina Vicente said.Ms Vicente said the dolphins were grouping in the beach shallows between the Diver Derrick and Birkenhead bridges and near the Hart’s Mill corner.She said they were not sure why the dolphins gathered in this particular area, but it made for quite a special experience for visitors.”There are a few theories but we need to know a bit more about how the fish move and the water temperatures,” Ms Vicente said.Rare experience for researchersMs Vicente said it was extremely rare for wild pods of dolphins to gather in such a built-up area.”I think this is unique worldwide.”I don’t know of any other place in the world where you have such easy access to see wild dolphins.”Local researchers can stand on nearby jetties to observe the pods behaviours; an experience that would normally be difficult to manage. (891 ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)
“Researchers in other parts of the world have to embark on a vessel for up to eight hours to be able to witness things like resting, feeding, mating and mums feeding their calves,” Ms Vicente said.”Here you can just walk around the edges of the waters and witness this amazing behaviour.”Dolphins in the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, which covers an 118-square-kilometre area just off the coast, are primarily the Indo-Pacific bottlenose species.
Man-made island results in booming crèche for pelicans
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Gulf St Vincent a 'supermarket' for migratory birds on 40,000km trip
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Aussie photographer’s punt pays off with viral Bolt snap

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(Cameron Spencer: Getty Images) The photo of Usain Bolt shared around the world. 612 ABC Brisbane

By

Jessica Hinchliffe

Updated

August 17, 2016 14:01:26

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Winners are grinners …
I wanted to get a nice shot of him in action and it wasn’t until I looked at the back of my camera when I realised he was smiling.”As a photographer you want to try and do something different and I took the punt and it worked out.”‘I was lucky the result was what it was’Spencer said he could tell Bolt stopped to enjoy the last 20 metres knowing he had the race won.”I think he was smiling at the other guys in the race but it happened to be in my direction,” he said.”The cheeky grin is such a reflection of his personality as he’s such a larger-than-life character and an entertainer who loves to show off to the crowd.”Getty Images had 11 photographers covering the race, which allowed Spencer to take a risk by shooting a slower image.”The chief photo manager told me there was 600 photographers at the 100 metres that evening; there were many lenses pointing at him,” he said. who knows, someone might take a better picture tonight.”I’m going to enjoy the feedback I’m getting at the moment while people are liking what they’re seeing.” that would be nice for the pool room.”Everyone loves shooting Bolt as he’s a rock star of the Olympics and I think anytime you get a picture like that it’s pretty awesome.”Rio is Spencer’s fifth Olympics, having covered three summer and two winter games during his career.”There’s world interest in Olympics,” he said.”I say to people that it’s the hardest I ever work, but I have four years to recover from it.”The reward is always getting the great imagery and I think everyone is on an adrenalin rush when we’re here.”I think people will continue to see it on websites, publications, magazines and things like that … External Link:

Cameron Spencer tweets Bolt photo
“I was lucky the result was what it was as I had only had minutes to prepare.”Photo to go straight to the pool roomThe image has since been shared around the world on social media and has been seen by Bolt.”I’ve heard he’s seen it and he likes it,” Spencer said.”We’re trying to get him a print and get one signed for him and one for myself … The Aussie photographer who took the now viral image of Usain Bolt smiling during his 100m semi-final at the Olympic Games admits he “took a punt and it worked”.Getty Images photographer Cameron Spencer is the man behind the image, which many sport commentators have said was one of the greatest moments captured in Rio.Spencer was shooting the high jump when he decided to run across the field and capture the Jamaican sprinter’s semi-final.”Fortunately Bolt was running in the second semi and I decided to shoot a slow pan shot of him running past,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane’s Terri Begley.”I stopped on the 70 metre line and waited for him to come by; no-one expected him to slow down and give a big smile to my direction.”I couldn’t believe it.
Bolt eyes 200m world record in race to immortality