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Who is Jamaica’s female Athlete of the Year?

first_img Stiff competition Despite all that, the Lennox Graham-coached The Queen’s School graduate will have a tough time hurdling past Fraser-Pryce to get the Jamaican Athlete of the Year award. The little rocket lost just once over 100 metres, in a jetlagged slog in Shanghai, but clicked off wins everywhere else. She ran sub-11 times consistently and swished under 10.8 seconds three times. That gave her a career total of 10 at that speed. By comparison, the legendary Merlene Ottey had four sub-10.8 clockings in all her fine career. That’s how good Fraser-Pryce was in 2015. In Beijing, she missed her season’s best of 10.74 seconds by a mere 0.02, despite slowing down to raise an arm to mark her third World title in the 100. That allowed the fast-finishing Schippers to catch up a bit, but the win was never in question. By then, her reliable rocket start and smooth, but urgent acceleration had done the damage. Will the award givers prefer the brilliant emergence of Williams to the season-long consistent quality displayed by Fraser-Pryce? The deliberations will begin shortly, but it’s great that Jamaica has two female World Champions to choose from. Together with Thompson, Jackson, first-time 100-metre finalist Natasha Morrison, first-time 400 hurdles finalist Janieve Russell and repeat triple-jump finalist Kimberly Williams, Fraser-Pryce and Danielle Williams lead us into the Olympic year with cause for optimism. – Hubert Lawrence has made notes at track side since 1980. Late-season marathons aside, the 2015 athletics campaign is practically over. It ended brilliantly for Jamaica, with the country’s second best medal performance at a World Championships or an Olympic Games. Now it’s time to begin to choose the Jamaican Athletes of the Year. In Beijing, for the 15th World Championships, our established stars delivered. Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Hansle Parchment all found their way to the medal podium. They weren’t alone. Debutants like Elaine Thompson, Shericka Jackson and O’Dayne Richards also walked away from the Bird’s Nest with individual medals. The best of the new names, however, was Danielle Williams. With Thompson losing a magnificent 200-metre final to flying Dutch woman Dafne Schippers on the line, Williams matched Fraser-Pryce by winning an individual event. She kept her head and her footing in the 100-metre hurdles while others lost theirs and sped to personal best times of 12.58 and 12.57 seconds in the semi and the final. She went to Beijing with the World University Games title safely tucked away and moved up to fourth fastest on the Jamaican all-time list. Brigitte Foster-Hylton, our first World 100 hurdles champion, and World Championship bronze medal winners Michelle Freeman and Delloreen Ennis, are the only Jamaican women with faster times.last_img read more


Russia’s World Cup arena without a pitch

first_img0Shares0000For a while last year, construction workers played football on the waste ground outside rather than work on building Samara’s World Cup stadium. © AFP / Mladen ANTONOVMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Mar 31 – The grass for Russia’s perpetually delayed World Cup stadium in the provincial city of Samara is still growing in Germany.The monumental structure’s fancy glass roof has been abandoned in favour of a more spartan metal version. And the December 2017 construction deadline has been pushed back for the umpteenth time.The troubles of Samara Arena have come to symbolise the pitfalls of bringing the June 14 to July 15 football showpiece to the sleepiest corners of Russia.“There is a huge amount of work to be done,” FIFA competitions chief Colin Smith said during a March 21 inspection.“Obviously we would expect further progress than this.”– ‘Stairway to the Cosmos’ –Few doubt that Russia can get its act together and have the Volga River stadium up and working by the time its first scheduled match between Costa Rica and Serbia rolls around on June 17.But how Samara ended up without a pitch to play on less than three months before kickoff is a murky business that cost the governor his job.The contract to build a space-themed arena that looked like a flying saucer was awarded to an established regional company a good four years ago.Organisers even came up with a lofty motto for the 45,000 seater: “A Stairway to the Cosmos”.The transparent dome was supposed to stetch down to the ground through an intricate mesh of beams that lit up the city skyline at night.It was a project the likes of which no small Russian city had seen — and one meant to fit the $225 million budget fixed for all stadiums.Samara authorities complicated matters further by packing money-spinning stores and real estate space into the design that made the arena 40 percent larger than needed.Workers had downed their tools by the time it became clear in mid-2016 that all this would cost at least $300 million.Less than half of the stadium was finished and FIFA began taking notice.How much the entire thing has cost now — and who is paying for it — is not entirely clear.The local news site 63.ru put the price at $315 million after the translucent dome was replaced with a metal one and other corners were cut.Delays caused by a new architectural plan and construction approval pushed back the completion date from December to March and then the end of April.The first test game is now scheduled for April 28 — if the pitch arrives in time.– ‘We need to wait’ –Russia’s agriculture ministry gave Samara special permission to buy the German grass to avoid the problems plaguing other Russian arenas.The pitch is ready but there is nowhere to lay it. The surface on which it is meant to be rolled out is not completed.Problems were only compounded when a massive flat hothouse designed to keep the soil warm collapsed in February under the weight of snow.The ground froze over for nearly a month.“We don’t yet have a pitch and obviously we need to wait for some warmer weather conditions in order to get this pitch installed,” FIFA’s Smith said.He was wearing a parka and standing in a field of snow outside the frozen stadium at the time.Temperatures are due to nudge a degree to two above freezing next week as one of Russia’s coldest winters in years begins to let up.Organisers want to stage two or three matches at each new stadium before the World Cup to see how it all holds up.“A lot depends on the weather,” Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Friday.“We want to hold our first test match on April 28. For the time being, we have no plans to postpone it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more


Revenue Retention Analysis What to Look For

first_imgThis blog post is about how to interpret the data and results of a billings/revenue retention analysis, and focuses on trends and patterns that you should look for. It is part of a series of posts that serve as a step-by-step guide on conducting the analysis from start to finish. Beyond the insights you will gain, conducting the analysis will be helpful for most expansion stage companies hoping to raise expansion capital. Many venture capital firms will perform this analysis at some point during the due diligence process. Presenting this data upfront will save them time and likely impress their management teams with your “metrics-driven approach” to management.Once you have calculated and visualized the total spend over time, average customer bill over time, and billings growth for each customer cohort, there are a number of trends and patterns that we should look out for. In this post, I will focus on the total billings by cohort data and chart, and what they can tell us.The total billings by cohort chart tells us how much total billings increase or decrease over time. Ideally, billings will remain steady or increase over time, which means that a cohort is a perpetuity, or better yet, a perpetuity with growth. If billings are increasing over time, this means that upsells are more than counterbalancing attrition in that cohort. If, on the other hand, billings are decreasing over time, you should try to figure out if they decrease at a steady rate, or if there is a point at which the drop-off is steeper. If you find steep drop-off points, it is probably worth investigating why billings decline as much as they do.One basic pattern to look for is whether customer cohorts start at a higher or lower total billings amount than the preceding cohort. If they do, it indicates that the company is either signing up more customers over time, they are paying more on average, or potentially both. Typically, if bookings are increasing over time, each subsequent cohort should start at a higher billing amount than the previous one.Beyond that, it is important to see if there are common trends in many or all of the cohorts. For example, if there is a dramatic decline in the billings in month 2 of all or most of the cohorts, it may indicate that the company is selling to customers that do no find a lot of value in the product, that there may be problems with the product, or that the customer on-boarding process needs to be improved. Finding trends like this can uncover an issue that needs to be investigated and addressed.After finding common trends in the cohorts, try to identify anomalous cohorts — either over-performing or under-performing (relative to the others). Finding over-performing cohorts and investigating what, if anything, the company did differently in that period (improved customer service, finding better target segments to focus on and sell to, etc.) should help the company identify initiatives to repeat or continue. Similarly, identifying under-performing cohorts and figuring out why they are under-performing gives the company an opportunity to improve the revenue retention of those cohorts and not make the same mistake in the future.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more