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The Central Line, the red line on London Underground maps, runs across central London.

The line starts from Epping in the north-east and terminates at a) Ealing Broadway in the west and b) West Ruislip in the north-west. The Central line covers a distance of 74km (46 miles) and serves 49 tube stations.

Listed below are some of the 49 tube stations that most tourists are likely to use when they visit London.

Stratford station is the stop where the Olympic Village (London Olympics 2012) is located. You need to change here for the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and stop at Pudding Mill Lane (1 stop from Stratford station) where the Olympic Stadium is located.

Liverpool Street station is one of the main railway stations in London. This is the station where visitors take the train to Stanstead Airport.

Other attractions near Liverpool Street station include the Gherkin Building, Toynbee Hall and the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

Bank station is close to several tourist attractions including Mansion House (the official residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London), the Bank of England, The Royal Exchange, Leadenhall Market and the Lloyd’s Building.

Lloyds Building is the home of the insurance institution, Lloyds of London, the world’s leading insurance market.

St Paul’s station is a short walk to St Paul’s Cathedral, the second largest cathedral in the world after St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

Other tourist attractions near St Paul’s station include the Museum of London, Millennium Pedestrian Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. From the Tate Modern you can take a relaxing walk along the river bank and enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds of London.

Near Chancery Lane station are the Inns of Court, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Yeomanry Museum and the London Silver Vaults (the home to the world’s largest retail collection of fine antique silver).

Stop at Holborn station for Lincoln’s Inn, the British Museum, Sir John Soane’s Museum, The Hunterian Museum, the London School of Economics and the Royal College of Surgeons.

During the year Law students are required to dine “in Hall” of Lincoln’s Inn a certain number of times before they qualify to be “called to the Bar”.

You get off at Tottenham Court Road station if you are visiting the British Museum, the Dominion Theatre and the Central YMCA. Most of the West End theatres and London Chinatown are located in the south of Tottenham Court Road station.

Tottenham Court Road shops are renowned for the sale of electrical goods like televisions and computers.

Oxford Circus station is the centre of the busiest shopping district in London. This is where Oxford Street (running in east-west direction) meets Regent Street (running in north-south direction). Both Oxford Street and Regent Street are very busy shopping streets and that is why most people prefer to stop at Oxford Circus when they come to the West End to shop.

Bond Street station is one stop west of Oxford Street station. Shops in Bond Street stock elegant and expensive designer clothes and accessories. Celebrities from all over the world are often seen shopping in Bond Street.

New Bond Street and South Moulton Street, both streets renowned for elegant and expensive jewellery and watches, are only a short distance away from Bond Street station.

Selfridges Department Store is just a couple of minutes walk from the station.

Marble Arch station is located at the west end of Oxford Street. Opposite Marble Arch station is Park Lane, famous for its 5 star hotels such as the Dorchester Hotel, InterContinental Hotel and Hilton Park Lane. If you walk halfway down Park Lane, you will see the Animal in War Memorial. This memorial is to commemorate the contributions made by animals that serve alongside troops during the war.

Hyde Park is located to the west of Marble Arch station and the Speakers Corner is only less than 5 minutes walk away.

Lancaster Gate station is where you get off if you are visiting the Hyde Park Italian Gardens, the Serpentine, Diana, Princess of Wales Fountain and the Bayswater Road Artists Gallery.

Queensway station is the stop if you are visiting Kensington Palace. You can also start your “Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Walk” from Kensington Gardens across the station. This is a 7 mile walk across 4 Royal Parks, 3 Royal Palaces and several popular London landmarks. You just follow the Diana Memorial Walk plaques that are embedded along the route.

Fashionable Notting Hill Gate is renowned for the Notting Hill Gate Carnival. This event is held here annually during the August Bank Holiday and is organised by the Caribbean community. This is a very popular event and each year hundreds of thousands of people converge here to join in the celebrations.

Portobello Road Market is also internationally known and is busiest on Saturdays.

Holland Park is a lovely park with its famous Orangery, Kyoto Garden and open air theatre.

Holland House, originally known as Cope Castle, is now a ruin, having been destroyed by bombs during World War II.

Next to Shepherd’s Bush station is the Westfield Shopping Centre with more than 300 shops under one roof and is currently the largest urban shopping complex in Europe.

White City station. Here you can visit the BBC Television Centre and join its tours. Nearby is Loftus Road Stadium, home of Queens Park Rangers Football Club and the London Wasps Rugby Club.

Apart from Stratford station (zone 3) and Holland Park, Shepherd’s Bush and White City stations (zone 2), all the other Central line stations listed above are in zone 1. So if you are not planning to visit these stations, you only need to buy a 1-day Travelcard for zone 1. That will give you unlimited travel for a day in zone 1 by bus as well as by tube.

Zambian 400 meters-hurdles legend Samuel Matete was born on July 27, 1968 in Chingola in Zambia. Samuel Matete is notably one of the world’s foremost 400 meters hurdlers of all time. For young Matete, legendary Uganda hurdler John Akii-Bua was his foremost sports idol. Matete still holds the African record of 47.10 seconds in the 400mh event, one he set in the German city of Zurich on August 7, 1991. At this Weltklasse Zurich (World Class Zurich), an annual athletics meeting in Switzerland which is part of the IAAF Golden League, and is sometimes referred to as the One-Day Olympics, Matete undeniably made his most memorable athletics mark. In his home country, Matete originally trained under rudimentary conditions, including setting up handcrafted wooden hurdles. Only three other people, all from the USA, have officially ever ran faster personal bests than Samuel Matete. These are: Bryan Bronson in 47.03 seconds (set in New Orleans in Louisiana on June 21, 1998), Edwin Moses in 47.02 seconds (set in Koblenz in Germany on August 31, 1983), and Kevin Young in an astounding world record and so far the only official time below 47 seconds, of 46.78 seconds (on August 6, 1992 in Barcelona, at the Olympic Games, in the finals).

The only other Africa runners with faster personal bests than Akii-Bua are El Hadj Amadou Dia Ba of Senegal. He ran the intermediate hurdles in 47.23 seconds at the Olympics of 1988 that were held in Seoul in South Korea. Here, aged 29, Dia Ba was in the finals beaten to second place by 29 year-old American Andre Phillips (47.19s, an Olympic record), and aging 33 year-old world record holder Edwin Corley Moses settled for the bronze in a time of 47.56 seconds. The performance in this Olympic final was astounding: Andre Phillips established an Olympic record and Edwin Moses (despite his bronze medal placing) had ran faster than he had at two previous Olympics at which he had won gold! Courtesy of Dia Ba, this final evidenced the breaking of Akii-Bua’s intermediate hurdles’ African record. In addition to Samuel Matete, the only other Africa runner with a personal-best timing faster than Akii-Bua’s is Llewellyn George Herbert of South Africa with a timing of 47.81s in a third place bronze-medal finish in the Finals at the Olympics of 2000 that were held in Sydney.

In 1964 John Akii-Bua, a 15 year-old with an elementary academic education, left school. For the next two years Akii settled on helping shepherd his big family’s 120-herd of cattle. Akii had long learned how to milk and how to employ the cattle to plow. Akii tells Kenny Moore in implying that as a youth he grew up to be a tough and athletic herdsboy: “I milked them [cattle], I plowed with them, everything. In 1956, when I was very young, lions took sheep and goats from our farm, even cattle. But none came when I tended them. I did have a close look at some very big pythons. And we have wild monkeys. They can tease you and throw things. They make you run away” (Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972).

Akii’s devotion to family labor duties became even the more significant because his father–county Chief Bua, a prominent county administrator, died in 1965. Akii was only 16 years old then, and he estimated that at the time of his father’s demise, he was one among forty-four siblings (16 sisters and 27 brothers). Akii’s father had five wives, but had earlier on divorced three. The family, which dwelled in the same compound, was semi-nomadic in sociodemographic character, occasionally moving from county to county. Akii-Bua is listed as born on December 3, 1949 (to mother Imat Solome Bua) in Abako sub-county village in Moroto County in Lango District in Uganda. Among the other areas the family settled in and out of were Dokolo, Kwania, and Oyam. The common listing of Akii-Bua’s birth seems to be fairly accurate, but some of his family implies that he was born earlier than 1949. In the Uganda newspaper “Observer,” the article “John Akii-Bua is A Forgotten Hero” dated March 28 2010, Denis H.Obua implies that Akii-Bua was born three or four years earlier than 1949. Suffice it to say. not many decades ago, dates of birth of many African children were not recorded or remembered.

Soon after Akii’s father died, one of Akii’s older brothers picked himself to be a cashier in his bar. He was the cashier until he joined the police in 1966. Akii passed his basic police training in 1967. Before joining the Uganda police, Akii’s only memory of athletic competition was domestic: his father would set up basic group-age sibling competitions over various distances for trophies of candy (sweets). Akii tells Kenny Moore, “I don’t think I ever won. I had to beg sweets from my brothers” (“Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972).

Along with being introduced to active competition, Akii became inspired by Uganda athletes Ogwang, Etolu, and Opaka. Lawrence Ogwang (born in November 1932) is recognized as Uganda’s first major competitive athlete; he represented Uganda at the Olympics of 1956 that were held in Melbourne in Australia and took 20th place in the triple jump (14.72m), and eliminated in the earlier rounds in the long jump after being 27th with a jump of 6.62m. Lawrence Ogwang is a relative of Akii-Bua and he is sometimes listed as his brother.

High-jumper Patrick Etolu, born in Soroti District on March 17, 1935 is notable for finishing second at the 1954 British Empire Commonwealth Games, fourth in the same event and Games in 1958, and ninth in the same event and Games in 1962. In the summer Olympic Games of 1956 held in Melbourne, Patrick Etolu emerged 12th with a jumping height of 1.96 meters. Tito Opaka was a high-hurdler.

Akii started running competitively when he joined the police. The window into his athletic potential was initially shaped by the police drill which routinely started at 5:30am with physical training and three miles of cross-country running. Akii’s stretching flexibility was notable, the cause for his selection into high-hurdling. Uganda’s Jerom (Jerome, Jorem?) Ochana, a superior policeman and Africa’s 440 yard-hurdles record holder, was conveniently there to train Akii. One of the coaching ordeals involved Ochana placing a high-jump bar a couple of feet above the hurdle to shape Akii into learning to keep his head and body low. Akii recounts the ordeal to Kenny Moore: “Can you see this scar on my forehead? Ochana…made me listen. I used to bleed a lot in our exercises, knocking the hurdles with my knees and ankles, keeping my head down” (“Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972).

In the first week of November 1962, at a track meet in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), a tune-up for the forthcoming British Empire Commonwealth Games to soon be held in Perth in Australia, Ochana secured the 440 yard-hurdles victory in 52.3 seconds. Ochana went on to win in the same event at the East and Central African Championships that were held in the city of Kisumu in Kenya. Ochana was in Tokyo in 1964 for the Olympics. In the third of five first round heats that allowed the three top finishers and next one fastest to advance to the semi-final round, 29 year-old Ochana was eliminated when he finished 4th in 52.4 seconds, on October 14th. In the end, Ochana achieved a 19th overall ranking.

John Akii-Bua, soon after winning in four police championship events in 1967, became significantly recognized and was thereafter placed under Briton Malcolm Arnold the new national coach. Akii still holds Uganda’s decathlon record of 6933 points set in 1971 in Kampala. Starting from the mid-1970’s, less and less attention, and fewer and fewer resources were allotted to the development of field events in Uganda. The presence of Ugandan decathlon athletes waned.

Akii won in the 110 meters-hurdles finals at the East and Central African Championships (an annual event originally primarily involving track and field stars from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia) held in Kampala in 1969. With the influence of the coach Malcolm Arnold, Akii-Bua became convinced that he would reap more rewards as a 400 meters-hurdler. In the finals of the 400mh at the Commonwealth Games (Edinburgh, Scotland, 16th to 25th July 1970) Akii-Bua struggled with a back strain and hernia injury, was trailing last at the final 100 meters, but still raced in fast to come in fourth in 51.14 seconds. John Sherwood (England) was the gold medalist (50.03s), Bill Koskei of Uganda (but soon to return to and compete for his native Kenya) second (50.15s), and Kipkemboi Charles Yego of Kenya third (50.19s).

Akii-Bua was not in the top-10 All-Time World Rankings of 1970. But in just the following year, he became ranked third behind Ralph Mann and Jean-Claude Nallet. In 1972 and 1973, his leading world performances placed Akii comfortably at no.1. Akii was less active and prominent in 1974 whereby he became ranked no.8. But Akii resurged to no. 2 in 1975, behind Alan Pascoe of Great Britain and ahead of Jim Bolding (USA) and Ralph Mann.

In 1972 the performance of Commonwealth Games’ silver medalist William Koskei (who had formerly ran for Uganda), at the summer Olympics held in Munich in West Germany from August 26, 1972 to September 11, 1972, was very much looked forward to. Although not ranked among the World’s top ten 400m hurdlers in 1971 or even 1972, Koskei was still regarded as an Olympic medal hope. Koskei, together with Akii-Bua of Uganda reigned as Africa’s top hurdlers. The August 28, 1972 issue of “Sports Illustrated” issue of 28th August 1972 predictably listed Ralph Mann, William Koskei, and Akii-Bua as the premier medal prospects.

At the Olympic Games Koskei, though running in advantageous lane 4, was eliminated in the first round. His 4th place finishing in Heat 2, in 50.58s would not allow him to move on to the next round. At the Olympics in 1972, Uganda’s John Akii-Bua would win in a world record of 47.82 seconds, becoming the first man to ever officially run the 400m hurdles in less than 48 seconds. Ralph Mann won silver by several yards behind Akii, Hemery racing in a very close third. Even after 40 years, Uganda seems to indefinitely celebrate Akii-Bua’s Olympic medal triumph, the only Olympic gold that the country has ever garnered. President Idi Amin, Uganda’s dictator from 1971 to 1979, would soon reward policeman Akii by promoting him to Assistant Inspector of Police (Police Lieutenant), giving him a house (from the many dispossessed from east Asians expelled from or who had fled Uganda), naming a prominent lengthy road in Kampala (Stanley Road–that had been named after American explorer Henry Morton Stanley) “Akii-Bua Road.” Since then, many sports establishments have ben named in Akii’s name.

It is intriguing to more thoroughly follow both the road to Akii’s greatest sports triumphs and the thereafter.

Akii-Bua fascinated his international competition by his unique hurdling and training methods. In the Los Angeles article “Akii-Bua Has Method for Hurdles” in “The Spokesman Review” (June 18, 1972 on page 29): “John Akii-Bua approaches the intermediate hurdles race with abandon and for that reason he’s being picked by many as the next Olympic champion in the 400 meter event.” Akii was known to run unconventionally, not confined to the conventional method of planning to interchange 13 to 15 strides between each hurdle. For example, Ralph Mann, the American champion, had an established plan of running 13 strides between the first five hurdles, change gears to 14 strides over the next two, and then switch to 15 steps over the next three hurdles. In the “Spokesman Review” piece, Akii-Bua is quoted as saying:

“I like to run 14 steps between the hurdles but when I run and get to the hurdle in 13 steps, I say ‘okay’ and I jump it… I just run hard between the hurdles and go over them when I get there… [at the forthcoming Olympics] I will try to run 13 steps between the hurdles but I will still jump them when they come up to me.”

Some years later, legendary American Edwin Moses, the greatest intermediate hurdler of all time would fascinate the world with his long flowing strides that would allow him to stride 13 steps in between all the hurdles. Akii was also touted for being advantaged with his ambidextrous ability to hurdle easily with either his right or left leg.

Previously, at the U.S.-Russian-World All-Star track meet held in July of 1971 in Berkeley at the University of California Edwards Stadium, Akii-Bua won in the intermediate hurdles in an impressive 50.1 seconds, on July 3. Ralph Mann was not among the competitors. Jim Seymour (USA), now at the University of Washington and a would-be USA hurdler in the 1972 forthcoming Olympics, came in second in 50.5 seconds. In July 1971 in Durham in North Carolina, Akii-Bua had won in the 400 meters-hurdles at the Africa vs. USA meet. Akii-Bua proved he was not a fluke by clearly beating African rival Koskei, alongside the rest of the contingent of Africans and Americans, and winning in an impressive personal best of 49.05 seconds. American and number one ranked champion Ralph Mann did not show up. He was competing in Europe.

In July 1972, closer to the Olympics, Akii-Bua won the event at the Compton Invitational in Los Angeles in a good time of 49.6 seconds. After the time was announced, Akii-Bua remarked in astonishment that the time was too fast, given that he had hardly done any hurdling training in the past three months. He had not wanted to run that fast that early in the season and make himself vulnerable to injury and burnout. It is to be taken into consideration that prior to 1980, men’s 400 meters-hurdles timings below 50 seconds were considered very good or excellent. And at this time, Akii’s official best time was 49 seconds. A few months before the Olympics, Akii felt that his 169 pounds on a 6’2″ frame was too light and he wished to build up strength and weight to 180 pounds in time for the Olympics.

Sports enthusiasts in Uganda were generally of the opinion that though Akii-Bua was capable of winning an Olympic medal, he did not train hard enough and was not dedicated and focused enough. He often came across as carefree. Some of his times, especially at home were not satisfactory. He was also beaten into second place by European hurdlers, such as Greek Cypriot Stavros Tziortzis and Soviet Union’s Yevgeny Gavrilenko, in a couple of occasions in European meets. There was during that era also the prevailing universal attitude that hurdling was too technical and scientific an event for black Africans, this worsened by Africans’ mediocre training facilities.

Further, despite Akii-Bua’s impressive performances, he had ascended to international recognition rather quickly. He started running the intermediate hurdles late in 1969. His fourth place finishing in the 400 meters-hurdles finals at the Commonwealth Games in 1970, was followed by his establishment of an African record, including wins in several international meets in the United States and Europe in 1971 and early 1972. In a way, Akii-Bua was still relatively unknown on the world athletics scene. Though not by his choice, he had not competed against some of the premier world intermediate hurdlers such as Ralph Mann and David Hemery. In sum, Akii was not regarded by many as a major medal prospect at the forthcoming Olympics that would take place in Germany in 1972. And even if he did eventually win, this would likely be considered a fluke!

Contradicting the prevailing opinion on Akii-Bua prior to the Olympics was the revelation that in fact Akii-Bua had eyed the Olympic gold medal and breaking the 400m hurdles world record quite seriously! He aimed to win in a big way! It turns out that Akii’s regimen of training included a lot of cross-country and hill running in Uganda rainy conditions because a dry track was not always readily available to him. His hurdling training was grueling, involving him strapping a jacket weighted with 25-35 pounds of lead to his back and running the hurdles (heightened to 42 inches high as compared to the conventional 36 inches) for 1500 meters at least six times a week. This is mentioned by legendary Jesse Owens in the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” of September 4, 1972 in the article: “Akii-Bua’s Win Impressive.” The 400mh world record, held by David Hemery, was 48.1 seconds. Akii had never officially ran the intermediate hurdles distance in less than 49 seconds. Yet, weeks prior to the Olympics, he was very confident of running the distance in 47 seconds if the weather would be ideal (“John Akii-Bua, an Athlete Who’s Just too Good to Lose” by Doug Gilbert in “The Montreal Gazette-May 18, 1977).

It was at the end of August of 1972 that the Olympics 1972 400mh round one heats (five sets) were held. The rule was for the first leading three athlete in each heat (altogether 15 athletes), together with the next one fastest athlete to make it the 16 semi-finalists. Feelings about Akii-Bua’s performance were mixed, some skeptical. Akii won in heat 4, but his winning time of 50.35 seconds was the slowest winning time among the five heats. Akii-Bua probably simply relaxed himself during the run, being confident that he was through to the semi-finals. Winners in the other heats were Dieter Buttner (West Germany) in Heat One in 49.78 seconds; Dave Hemery (Great Britain) in Heat Two in 49.72 seconds; Christian Rudolph (East Germany) in Heat Three in 50 seconds; and Yevgeny Gavrilenko (Soviet Union) in Heat Five in 49.73 seconds.

In the first of two semi-finals, Akii-Bua not only ran significantly faster than he had done in the first round but proved that he was a top contender for the gold medal. Media communications in Uganda and the rest of the world were far less developed in the 1970’s than those of this Internet and mobile phone age. Most Ugandans, relying on radio and piecemeal newspaper and television networks were in the dark about the impressive progress of Akii. Importantly, Semi-Final Round One witnessed Akii-Bua win in 49.25 seconds (his next best personal performance in comparison with his African record of 49.00 seconds), and decisively trouncing gold-medal hopes Ralph Mann (49.53 seconds) the American national champion and record holder and Dave Hemery (49.66 seconds) the Olympic champion and world-record holder. It was the first time that Akii had faced this quality of competition; until then he had not achieved the chance to race with those two big names that would likely be his biggest nemeses at the Olympics. Was Semi-Finals Heat One a preview of what the finals would be? Both Ralph Mann and Akii-Bua had in this semi-final been assigned to unfavorable Lanes One and Two respectively; while Hemery was assigned to advantageous Lane 5 (which same lane he was assigned to in all three rounds–the Heats, the Semi-Final, and the Final)!

It is significant that while Akii’s heat in Round One had been the slowest among the five, Akii had not only clocked the best time in the semi-finals, but had also been the only one that had won in both qualifying heats. The fourth placed in this semi-final was Rainer Schubert of West Germany (49.80 seconds). The first four in each semi-final heat would advance to the final. Competitors in Semi-Finals Heat Two were quite fast, but not as impressive as the first one. Two First-Round winners, Christian Rudolph and Dieter Buttner, did not finish. The winners, to advance to the finals, were Jim Seymour (USA, 49.33 seconds), Gavrilenko (Soviet Union, 49.34 seconds), Yury Zorin (Soviet Union, 49.60 seconds), and Tziortzis (Greece, 50.06 seconds).

The finals of the Olympic intermediate hurdles were set for September 2, 1972 a date only days before what would become known as the Munich Massacre executed on the Israeli team by “Black September” militants on September 5, 1972. Akii-Bua, a 6′ 2″, 175 pound, athletically built, dark and smooth complexioned youth sporting a bright red Uganda uniform with the inscription number “911” beamed and singularly stood out amongst his European-descended competition. Also, whether by design or shear bad luck of drawing, Akii was in all three rounds assigned to either inner-Lanes One or Two—the sharpest and most difficult lanes to navigate around. For the finals (after being assigned Lane Two in both the preliminary round and the semi-finals), Akii was assigned Lane One, of all lanes! Maybe his previous inner-lane assignments gave Akii the short-term experience and practice of knowing how to navigate through to a gold medal win, albeit being placed in unfavorable Lane One. Nowadays, it is customary to allow the winners in the preliminary rounds to decide to which lanes they will be assigned in the forthcoming rounds. Logically, the winners in each round choose the middle lanes, while the runners-up and ones who ran slower end up having to chose from the “disadvantageous” outermost and inner lanes!

The prelude to the 400mh finals is one of the most colorful in Olympic history, as fourth-positioned USA marathoning finalist at the same Olympics Kenny Moore (in “Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972) reminds us: “…Akii-Bua was amazing. As…other finalists in the…hurdles stared blankly…at Munich’s dried-blood-red track, grimly adjusting their blocks and minds for the coming ordeal, Akii danced in his lane, waving and grinning at friends in the crowd.”

Nevertheless, Akii-Bua was not totally unnerved. He was sleepless, the night before the finals, “…haunted by visions of Hemery winning” (David Corn in “Notes on a Scandal: John Akii-Bua and his Journey from Munich Gold to tragedy” in “The Guardian,” August 6, 2008).

The day arrived! The finals witnessed Hemery, a perfectionist at timing and jumping the hurdles take the lead at a faster pace in the first 200 meters than had been the case when he won gold in world-record time in the previous Olympics held in Mexico City. Most of the cameras were concentrated on Hemery. But long-legged Akii was steadily catching up and overtaking the competition that he could clearly see in front of him. It became apparent that Akii was in the lead soon after the final turn and that Hemery was slowing down. Hemery looked helplessly to his left as Akii, three lanes down powered through. Akii still felt strong and, the finishing line was close, and Akii was confident that the gold would be his! Even after hitting the last hurdle, Akii closed onto the finishing line in what was then regarded as an astonishing new world record 47.82 seconds!

Not until American Angelo Taylor, 24 years later in the Olympics of 1996 held in Atlanta (Georgia) would a 400 meter-hurdler running in the innermost lane win gold. While Taylor won in 47.50 seconds, a displacement of Akii’s world best of 47.82s gold medal win in the inner lane, his photo finish race required many minutes to pass before the ultimate winner between he and Saudi Arabian Hadj Soua’an Al-Somaily (47.53s) in lane 4 was decided. This happened on 27th September, 2000.

“Akii-Bua fascinated the fans by show-boating after his victory. He leaped over imaginary hurdles, went into dances, and waved and grinned at admirers” (William Grimsley-“In Pole Vaulting, Rowing U.S. Handed Big Olympics Setback” Tuscaloosa News, September 3, 1972). Akii-Bua’s victory, let alone attendance at the Olympics in Munchen may not have happened. Many African nations, had threatened to massively walk out of the games in protest of the admission of white-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Rhodesia became disqualified.

The outcome of the finals is further dramatically illustrated by Kenny Moore (“Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972):

“…after he had won the race in world-record time…kept on going past the finish, barely slowing while his victims slumped and dry-heaved…. The organizing committee had not allowed time for victory laps but the crowd was on its feet, calling, and Akii heard….bounding over a hurdle and then he floated down the backstretch, clearing each hurdle again, a crimson and black impala leaping joyfully over imaginary barriers where there were no real ones, creating one of the few moments of exultation in the Olympics. And after the Games had ended, on notes of violence and regret and disgust, it seemed that Akii-Bua most symbolized what they might have been. He seemed a man eminently worth knowing.”

Sam Wollaston in another “Guardian” article (August 11, 2008) “The Weekend’s TV,” writes that Akii “…on the night before his Olympic victory…drank a whole bottle of champagne, provided by his [British] coach [Malcolm Arnold]. To help him sleep.”

Malcolm Arnold, a secondary school teacher and part-time athletics coach left Bristol for Uganda in 1968 where he would head coach the Uganda track-and-field team for five years. After Akii’s successes, Arnold became a national coach in the United Kingdom and is credited with successes of such athletes as hurdler Colin Jackson. Partly because Akii’s background of deprivation and meager training facilities, Arnold now in his 70’s still considers Akii as his foremost trainee. Just before the race, Arnold had advised Akii to concentrate on running his race and going for the gold instead of worrying about the pace of the other competitors and the pace of first 200 meters.

Kenny Moore (in “Sports Illustrated”: ‘A Play of Light’, November 20, 1972), from an exchange while riding leisurely with Akii in Kampala the Uganda capital, describes him neatly:

“…he gave an impression of greater bulk than when seen running. His features are fine, almost delicate, and his complexion very smooth. His eyes are small, allowing his face to be dominated by perfect white teeth.”

The 400mh is considered to be the most trying track event: it involves combining skill, timing, strength, and stamina. Because during that and preceding eras native African hurdlers were not expected to perform so astonishingly well, many are still (erroneously) transfixed into thinking that Akii-Bua was the first African Olympic gold medalist.

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Some sports require simply showing up. If you have a field and a ball, all you need is people to create a game of soccer. Anything can be used as goals and even the field can be various sizes. To play softball, however, a lot of gear is required. Softball equipment includes bats, balls, visors, slitting pants, batting gloves, and countless other necessary instruments.

In addition to the softball equipment, finding a diamond with the correct dimensions and proper markings is not nearly as easy as simply looking for a wide open patch of grass. A proper softball field should have foul lines drawn, a pitchers circle easily noted, a batters box, home plate, bases, a fence, foul poles and so forth.

While not every detail needs to be perfect, certainly basic softball equipment is necessary. Having a glove, a bat, and cleats are essential for fielding, hitting, and running. Unlike soccer, which you can play with four or six people, you really need three or four batters plus a pitcher, catcher, a couple infielders and a couple outfielders to properly play softball.

Again, soccer differs in this. Scoring is usually low and easy to remember, and besides substitutions and cards, which come rarely, there are no vitally important stats. Not knowing how many free kicks or throw in's that a team has really is not a big deal.

At least one softball player on each team needs to have catching gear. This is the most intricate type of softball equipment. Because the catcher crouches between home plate and the umpire, and below the batter, they are in the line of fire. Catchers need full body protection to avoid major injuries. Catchers require a facemask, chest protector, and shin guards in addition to a catcher's glove.

Umpires also have their own softball equipment. The home plate ump needs to have similar protection as the catcher. All umpires need to have a device that helps them keep track of the count and number of outs in the inning. Umpires also require a uniform including a hat and tools of the trade like lineup cards, a brush to wipe off home plate, and a rulebook.

Both soccer and softball are very fun sports. Soccer takes a lot less effort to throw a game together. Softball needs a variety of equipment, a fairly large group of people, and a diamond specifically designed for the sport. However, if you have the proper softball equipment, and an eager group of friends, it can be a ton of fun and a great way to exercise.

Most Cincinnati fans lost track of one of their favorite players last August, when All-Star Brandon Phillips finished the season on the West Coast. The Gold Glove second baseman had become a much-beloved figure at Great American Ballpark in the eleven years he spent with the Reds, who traded him to the Atlanta Braves just before Spring Training last year.

Because he remained in the National League, as well as in the same time zone, Cincinnati fans were able to track Phillips while he played for the Braves. Then when he was shipped three thousand miles away, his loyal followers in the Queen City were usually in bed by the time his new team took the field.

The Angels acquainted him for the pennant race, but his stay in Los Angeles appears very short-lived. Phillips is a free agent, and the Angels have shown no interest in bringing him back.

They are, however, apparently open to acquisiting another former Cincinnati fan favorite, the guy who served for six years as the double play partner of Phillips. Zack Cozart, who made the All-Star team as the shortstop of the Reds, is now on the free agent market.

His name has been linked to the Angels, who would probably use him as a third baseman. Los Angeles has a need at third next to shortstop is Andrelton Simmons, who is one of the slickest defensive middle infielders in all of baseball.

Simmons appears to be the only infielder returning from last year's eighty win club, which is undergoing multiple changes because of their much publicized acquisition of Japanese star Shoehi Ohtani. His desire is to be a starting pitcher as well as an everyday player, so the Angels intend to use him as the designated hitter on the days he is not on the mound.

Slugger Albert Pujols, therefore, is expected to move from the primary DH to the regular first baseman, and the recent trade for Ian Kinsler means Los Angeles will also have a new face at second. Adding Cozart at the hot corner would boost any defense that might be negated by aging stars like Pujols and Kinsler.

Improved defense is not the only upgrade Cozart, a perennial contender for the Gold Glove at short, would provide for the Angels. He is coming off a career year at the plate, having hit 24 home runs and batted .297.

Although injuries have limited his speed and stuben base totals, Cozart could have an option for the leadoff spot in the Los Angeles batting order. His on base percentage of .385 is fifty points higher than any of the Angels not named Mike Trout, a perennial Most Valuable Player who is obviously going to hit in the middle of the order.

The Angels missed overtaking the Minnesota Twins for the second Wild Card slot last year by just a few games, and the deals they have already made this winter should improve them by at least a few victories. Adding Cozart would probably put Los Angeles at close to ninety wins, enough to pass the Twins if not overtaking the Houston Astros for the American League West Division crown.

Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie – Being a professional athlete means you are at the top of the game, from little league, to high school, to college, to the minor leagues and then… if your lucky and impress the right scouts and managers… you may get your shot at the big leagues. There are a tremendous amount of talented players who get stuck in the minors. Some don’t get the big hits they need or have the 100+ mile per hour fastball it takes to get a shot at the big time, let alone set foot on the field of any major league stadium. The competitive nature of professional sports seems to focus on the development of young players to build their franchises. With the average age of major league players being in the mid 20s, most professional playing careers last into the early thirties. Only a handful of professional players are fortunate to have careers last into their 40s.

While injuries are the primary reason careers end prematurely, very few players can compete on the highest level required to stay in the majors. However, there is one relentless player who continues to play at the highest level, Julio Franco. At age 48, he continues to defy the clock with his remarkable physical condition and passion for the game.

Franco is entering his 23rd season of professional baseball; he is the designated hitter for the New York Mets. No, he is not a coach, but an important part of the Mets team whose goal is to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. As the DH, he will not play everyday, but when Mets manager Willie Randolph calls on him, he has to be ready. That means being in game-playing shape and having the mental fortitude to be ready at a moment’s notice. Having watched Franco workout with his teammates at Tradition Field, he is in remarkable condition, and still swings an amazingly strong bat. In fact, one would have a hard time differentiating him from some of the younger players on the field. He certainly doesn’t look like the old man on the team, and he says he “still has fun, enjoys coming out to the ballpark, everyday.” Although he does not have the power that he had when he broke in with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980, he still has enormous energy and enthusiasm playing alongside his Mets teammates.

Randolph sees Franco as a leader in the clubhouse. When asked what he says to the younger players, “I set the example by working hard everyday, when they see me doing the things I do, it makes them work harder.”

Franco made history last season. On April 20, 2006, while pinch hitting for the New York Mets, Franco at age 47 became the oldest player in Major League Baseball history to hit a homerun, a two-run shot in the eighth inning at San Diego’s Petco Park. Some other records he owns are being the oldest player (by more than four years) to hit a grand slam, the oldest to have a multi-homerun game, and the oldest to steal two bases in one game. Old man? Not quite yet! Prior to that amazing feat, the oldest player to homer was Jack Quinn, who at 46 went deep in a game in 1930. The old record had stood for 76 years; the new one may well last another 50.

“I want to play for at least another five years,” he said. If this happens, Franco will be playing at age 55. That would put him in some elite company of players who have played beyond the age of 50. While most of us look forward to retiring after long careers, Franco said, “I want to be playing for as long as I can or until I lose the interest.” This looks like it might be a while, based on his youthful spirit at this year’s spring training camp. He says that God gave him the gift to play baseball, and he credits his spiritual values as another reason for his success.

Of course, it is quite possible that Franco may not reach the record as the oldest player to have played major league baseball. That record is held by Satchel Paige, who in 1965 graced the big league diamond at age 59.

But Franco’s impact on the game and records he holds will be around for a long time.

Beyond playing in the US, Franco has played in many foreign countries (Japan, Korea, Mexico and the Dominican Republic). “Japan is by far the most competitive place to play. The pitching is very dominant.” Whatever league he has played in, Franco has left his mark. In the majors, Franco has played for the Phillies, Indians, Rangers, White Sox, Braves and Mets.

Franco mentioned that today’s players are bigger, stronger and faster than the players from when he began his career. To stand next to him, he is an imposing figure, even at 48. His body is solid, and his appearance youthful. Franco follows a strict diet “…by eating all natural foods, and foods with no preservatives.” He stays away from unnatural foods and takes several vitamins daily, in addition to flax seed and soy milk. Franco also said that he has been lucky to have avoided a serious injury that could have jeopardized his career and that maintaining a consistent workout schedule has helped him to stay in top condition.

Whatever the future holds for Julio Franco, he has accomplished records that are sure to hold for sometime. With such a strong will and determination to remain healthy in body and spirit, he will not compromise his spiritual beliefs. He continues to be an example to baseball fans that age is not a factor when playing the American pastime.

Joe Namath came out of the University of Alabama to become the darling of the AFL as the quarterback of the New York Jets. During his career, despite a number of injuries, he would develop into one of the better quarterbacks in the league and eventually get elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

It can be argued that there was no more important football player in the American Football League than Joe Namath. He was brash and garnered a lot of press. He also provided a lot of legitimacy to the young league based on his talent. Predicting a Super Bowl II victory for his Jets over the Colts of the more established National Football League was just icing on the cake.

Namath has not only gone down as one of the best is either league, he is also fondly remembered and always associated with the franchise he starred for, the New York Jets.

During his career, Namath threw passes to a number of receivers. Some of those players were household names and some were just your average ordinary every day pro football player. Which one was his favorite though? Who caught the most touchdown passes from Broadway Joe?

Don Maynard caught more touchdown passes thrown by Joe Namath than any other player. To be honest, it is not even really close as Maynard hauled in 42 of Namath’s TDs and the second place player on the list only came in at 27.

Other than Maynard, who was a great player, Namath always lacked having that superstar receiver that other great quarterbacks can rely on over the course of their entire career.

Tarot cards have been in existence for a very long time. The cards usually come with different illustrations. For example, there are those that come with angels, cats, astrological symbols, dolphins, and even dragons.

Types of tarot cards

The decks are usually of different types with the main types being:

Tarot of the Marseilles : also known as Marseilles deck, this is the oldest and most famous tarot card in existence. The card started being used in France during the 16th century. The card's Major Arcana has highly evocative imagery in primary colors; however, the Minor Arcana only displays the Roman numerals.

Thoth card : it contains imagery from different sources such as Egyptian mythology. The imagery displayed brings a number of concepts together. For example, it brings together Qabalah, astrology, and numerology concepts.

Rider-Waite deck : it was published in 1909 and it's considered as a symbolic instrument.

How to read the cards

There are two main ways of reading the cards: question and open reading.

In question reading, you ask the card questions and it guides you. For ideal results, you should ask an open question so that the card can guide you. For example, if you are having problems with your mother-in-law, you can ask the card to give you ways on how to get along with her.

You should also ensure that your question is focused. While the question should be focused, you should avoid being too detailed. For example, you can ask the card to guide you in scheduling your time and that of your kids.

You should not ask the card to guide you on how to coordinate your football and schedule time for your family. This is because this is too detailed and you will not receive ideal solutions.

To increase the chances of getting positive results you should ensure that you ask positive questions.

Open reading addresses the larger aspects of your life rather than a specific problem that you might be going through. In most cases, this type of reading is used when you are entering a specific phase in your life. For example, the reading is used when you are getting married, graduating or starting a family.

Conclusion

This is what you need to know about tarot card reading. To get perfect results, you should approach a professional tarot reader. If you do not have money to hire a tarot reader, you should be on the watch out for free services that are usually offered from time to time.

While board games can take a number of approaches for their themes and settings, one area that often gets overlooked are professional sports. Many people do not think of adapting a game which already exists into a board game setting. On top of that, however, professional sporting events which are not as popular as, say, football or baseball tend to get overlooked even more. It is probably safe to venture that most people would never even think of the rodeo circuit as producing some great potential for board games. Yet, rodeo board games can provide some of the strongest thrills one can find in the board game community.

One might be confused on how a game based around the riding, roping, or wrestling a steer might translate well into a board game, but it takes much the same approach as a board game about auto racing might. Racing a car around a track is a far different cry from sitting around a table and rolling dice and playing cards, yet both racing and rodeo provide the same type of thrill that can be snapped into well with a board game.

Rodeo Time is one of these board games which makes the most out of what the rodeo circuit has to offer. It is a game which is open to all ages, allowing young children the chance to play alongside older grandparents, including everyone in between. The game simulates such events as calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and even bull riding. A rodeo typically includes all of these events, sometimes even a few more such as full grown steer roping, instead of just trying to rope the calves.

This game is played with a combination of dice and cards, giving an element of random luck that helps younger players deal with the challenges which might be presented. Rolling three dice onto the game board will help players when riding the bulls, but they must be careful. If they roll poorly, they will be bucked off and score a zero for that event! Additionally, the cards will help any player score well in the timed events, such as roping, but drawing or playing the wrong card can add some terrible time penalties to the score! Only by playing their luck and being shrewd will a player score the best in all of their categories.

Championship Rodeo is another board game which gives players the chance to compete in the professional rodeo market without leaving the comfort of their own homes. This game simulates what it is like for the player to be a part of the rodeo circuit, sending them around the board to compete in different rodeos and do well. If a player performances well enough at all the different rodeos around the circuit, they will not only win prize money and trophies, but will qualify to enter the finals of the World Championship Rodeo. The player will continue on to compete in this rodeo and if they score well enough, they will be named the Rodeo World Champion!

Rodeo Opoly is another game of this type related to Rodeos. This game has been published by a firm called Late For The Sky. The game is similar to the well-known Monopoly game. However, the theme here is Rodeos. So, you have to buy rodeo properties, and collect something called 'scores'. You can trade these scores for gold rings. And the number of gold rings you have determines the amount of rent you can collect for your properties. All in all, a fun game for persons with interest in horses.

Rules and regulations have been placed into football to make it a fun enjoyable sport for all generations. Many rules within football are there to make the game flow simply and others are there to prevent injuries.

In this article you will find the basic rules and regulations of football that allow the sport to be played safely and correctly.

Equipment:

The basic equipment needed to participate in a football match consists of the team shirt, shorts, shinguards with socks and studded boots or trainers depending on the surface. The goalkeeper is also permitted gloves and a different coloured jersey for identification purposes.

The Football Pitch:

Football is a game with two teams of eleven players and is played over the course of 90 minutes. This period is split into two 45 minute halves. The objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition. Football can be played on a natural or artificial surface such as astroturf. However, the shape of the field must be rectangular, with the dimensions of 90-120 metres long by 45-90 metres wide.

Referee:

The referee along with his two linesmen is the one who enforces most of the rules in football. The referee’s tasks include keeping the time for the match in play, awarding free kicks and penalties when needed and dealing with anything requiring a ruling. The referee can also choose to allow play to proceed in case of a foul providing there is an advantage to be gained by the team which the foul has been committed on.

Offside Rule:

The offside rule within football is hard to understand as it can occur when a player is closer to the opponent’s goal than the last opposition outfield player. However to commit an offside offence is to have the ball played forward towards to you while in that position.

Misconduct:

Misconduct within football is taken very seriously by the referee and if a player has committed a serious offence the referee can punish them by giving them a:

  • Yellow Card – A caution given to a player. If two of these cards are shown to the same player it means a red card is issued.
  • Red Card – Showing a red card to a player means they are expelled from the match. A straight red card can be shown for extreme offences such as a serious foul, violent conduct, spitting, deliberate hand-ball and insulting language.