View comments PBA IMAGESTrevis Jackson knows the reality of playing for an unheralded team like Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare.“We understand at times that we’re underdogs,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I’m very proud of my team. I’m just proud that we keep fighting. The most important thing is we don’t quit. It’s all that matters. If you don’t quit, you always have a chance. And that’s what I like about this team,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings MOST READ Bulanadi uncorks 26 as Che’Lu-San Sebastian snaps skid UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Though his efforts failed to keep his side’s two-game winning streak alive, it was enough to pique the interest of Falcons coach Franz Pumaren.“I don’t think we faced St. Clare. Our opponent was Jackson,” the bench tactician said. “The way he played, he played like a veteran. I think he’s PBA-ready. He’s matured enough compared to our players.”The 22-year-old Jackson, meanwhile, is just humbled by the praise from a coach in the caliber of Pumaren. “That’s probably one of the biggest compliments I’ve gotten since being here.”“My whole dream and what gets me to wake up every morning is because I came here with aspirations of playing in the PBA,” said the Sacramento State alumnus. “Now, I just need to show them that I might not played a lot back home but I can play. I just need to prove that, and that’s why I’m taking these games as an opportunity to do it.”Though Jackson has his sights set on entering the 2018 PBA Draft, he knows that he has to keep his focus on the task at hand which is to help Gamboa-St. Clare compete and gain the respect of its opponents.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES But that doesn’t mean the Fil-Am guard is ready to accept how opponents look down at them as he uses those criticisms as fuel to help the Coffee Lovers compete in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.“We use that as an advantage. We don’t mind coming in as underdogs because that just means that when we’re ultra-aggressive, we have a chance to catch you off-guard. We play the game how we need to play. Coach gives us our gameplan and we go out there and execute,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkThrough the past three games, Jackson has established himself as the go-to-guy for Gamboa-St. Clare, averaging 19.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.He continued that tear on Thursday, firing 29 points for the Coffee Lovers’ 92-85 defeat to Akari-Adamson. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson
0Shares0000Staying put: Willian looks set to stay at Chelsea after the sacking of Antonio Conte © AFP / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Aug 13 – Chelsea winger Willian has admitted there is “no chance” he would have remained at the club had former manager Antonio Conte not been replaced by Maurizio Sarri last month.Conte was dismissed just four weeks before the start of the season despite winning the Premier League in his debut campaign and the FA Cup last season. However, the Italian paid for fallouts with a number of senior players and failing to qualify for the Champions League when he was finally dismissed after months of speculation over his future.Willian was also linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge with Chelsea rejecting a bid from Barcelona over the summer.But he looks set to stay in London with the transfer deadline for Premier League clubs now having passed, meaning the Blues are unlikely to entertain any further bids from foreign clubs.“No chance. No,” the Brazilian told ESPN when asked if he would still be at the club had Conte remained in charge after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Huddersfield on Sarri’s Premier League debut.“I’m here because I want to play for Chelsea. I will only leave if Chelsea want me to go.”Sarri has warned it will take time to master the brand of free-flowing attacking football he implemented at Napoli.But his desire to play on the front foot has already endeared him to Willian after two seasons under Conte’s rigorous tactical approach that prioritised making Chelsea hard to beat.That approach was rarely successful against Arsenal, who Chelsea host at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Conte won just one of eight meetings against their London rivals, but Willian expects a different outcome thanks to Sarri’s approach.“We have a great game to play against Arsenal and we want to win again,” he added.“I think we have a good chance to turn the results around against them because now we have a different way to play football.“The manager tells us to play, to enjoy ourselves on the pitch, with responsibility. Now we have a different style, that’s why we can create problems for Arsenal.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
The youngsters from New Nation PrimarySchool will be part of Coca-Cola’sflag-bearer and ball crew.(Image: Bongani Nkosi) After touring 53 African countries to stir up excitement about the World Cup, the Fifa trophy is headed to its final destination, South Africa, in time for the long-awaited kick-off in June.The coveted solid-gold cup, last won by Italy in 2006, will arrive in South Africa on 5 May for a whistle-stop journey through about 38 cities and towns across the country’s nine provinces.Coca-Cola, one of the official 2010 Fifa World Cup sponsors, will lead the tour that starts in the Western Cape on 7 May. At each event authorities will allow up to 800 people to view and photograph the booty.“This is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience as not all South Africans will be able to get tickets to watch matches, but everyone will have an opportunity to participate in the tour,” said Onwell Msomi, Coca-Cola’s general manager of the 2010 project team in South Africa. “Our emphasis is on reaching those South Africans who often miss out on this type of events.”“[The tour] will unite the nation and generate extra enthusiasm among all South Africans in the last 30 days before the World Cup kicks off,” he said.The trophy’s 130 000km journey across the continent and the rest of the world will end in Gauteng, the province that will host final World Cup match, early in June in time for the kick off on the 11th .“We have committed to take the trophy on an epic journey of South Africa,” said Coca-Cola South Africa president William Egbe.Taking the trophy around South Africa will contribute substantially to the excitement that’s already gripped the country, said former Bafana Bafana player Sipho Ndzuzo. “Everyone will be closer to the trophy and South Africans will then see that they have a role to play in the World Cup,” Ndzuzo added.“We used to see it on television, now we will see it here in Africa.”‘Showing the world what Africa is about’Egbe believes that being prepared for the tournament goes beyond the measure of stadium readiness, it’s also about the continent’s excitement for the tournament. He’s banking on Africa’s flair to make this the best World Cup ever.“We Africans are known to be exuberant in how we celebrate life, now the world will get a taste of how we celebrate football,” Egbe said. “We’ll guarantee our visitors a warm welcome and excitement in the stadiums.”Coca-Cola is satisfied with South Africa’s preparations, he added. “The reality is that not only is South Africa ready, it will be ready to make this a spectacular World Cup.“Football in Africa is an integral part of how we express ourselves,” said Egbe.Nurturing young starsAlthough it will take many years before World Cup comes to Africa again, this year’s tournament should not be seen as the end of a long journey in grooming football stars on the continent, Egbe believes.It is the “beginning of a much longer journey” in nurturing Africa’s footballers. “There’s no question that the development of soccer at grassroots level is fundamental …” he said.In this regard the company prides itself in its Copa Coca-Cola Football Stars competition, which has drawn young players from around the world, giving them an opportunity to hone their football skills, build team spirit and develop vital life skills.The actual Copa Coca-Cola tournament will take place in South Africa before the start of the World Cup. It’s not just about glory, Coca-Cola said, but also “about respecting diversity and forging friendships with players from vastly different backgrounds and cultures”.“Copa Coca-Cola is something that’s dear to us in terms of youth development,” said Msomi.Thanks to the beverage giant about 786 South African youngsters will also get hands-on experience in the stadiums during matches as flag bearers and ball crew members. The teenagers, who will have to have some knowledge of the game, will carry the giant national flags of each team and collect balls that are kicked off the pitch.Mbulelo Mbayimbayi, a 14-year-old from New Nation Primary School in Johannesburg, is thrilled to be one of the flag-bearers. “There will be a large crowd at the stadiums and it will be fun,” he said.“I would love to carry the flag of my home country, South Africa, or the flag of Brazil because I love Ronaldinho.”
31 August 2010Get up 15 minutes early. Start a conversation with someone new. Go for a walk during lunchtime … as part of its “Legacy” campaign, Brand SA has called on South Africans this Friday to “fly the flag for our ability to see things differently, to see challenges where others see obstacles, and no matter what, to make a plan.”Brand South Africa’s Legacy campaign aims to leverage the momentum of the 2010 Fifa World Cup by providing platforms for South Africans to keep achieving and showcasing their “South Africanness” to the world, while entrenching the principles of pride, patriotism and solid citizenship that have been established over the past year.SA Legacy campaign explainedEach Friday for the next five weeks, “South Africans will celebrate all the things that make us who we are,” Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola told journalists at the launch of the campaign in Johannesburg last week.Each Friday has a different theme, this Friday’s being a call to Do Things Differently, for example:Instead of sending an e-mail, pick up the phone.Call an old friend.Celebrate those who have made a difference in your community, and join them.Put a suggestion box up where people can share their ideas on how to do things differently.Do Things Differently – posterThe 2010 Fifa World Cup™ “marked a massive change in the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us,” Brand South Africa said in a statement.“This Friday, do something differently, and acknowledge how each of us made the world see our country in a new light.”SAinfo reporterSA Legacy campaign: programmeWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
23 July 2014Bryan Habana, the Springboks’ all-time leading try scorer, was placed on standby for the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday after a decision by his French club, Toulon, to release him for the Games.This time of the year is usually a rest period for French Top 14 players and Habana, the scorer of 55 test tries, was previously refused permission to join the Blitzbokke. Now Toulon and the French Rugby Federation have decided to make an exception.Injury replacementSince the Springbok flyer’s release came only after the deadline for the submission of Commonwealth Games squads, Habana will not join the team in Glasgow. However, should an injury occur, he would be cleared to play.Habana and Schalk Brits, who plays for English club, Saracens, were originally named in the South African squad, but had to withdraw after their leagues refused to release them.Another recently enforced change to the make-up of the squad saw Mark Richards being drafted in after Cheslin Kolbe withdrew because of a knee injury. Kolbe’s place was due to be taken by Warrick Gelant, but he also suffered an injury.Olympic debutWith Rio de Janeiro set to mark the Olympic debut of Sevens rugby, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games will be an early dress rehearsal for one of sport’s biggest events.While IRB Sevens World Series champions, New Zealand, who finished the season with four titles in five tournaments, will be regarded as favourites to lift gold in Scotland, the Blitzbokke will also be in the running for victory.They won two events during the 2013/14 World Series season, but saw their title chase derailed by a rash of injuries late in the season. They, nonetheless, finished second in the final standings and, having had time to allow some players to recover from injuries, will be serious title contenders.Success against New ZealandThe Blitzbokke have also proved in the past that they have what it takes to handle New Zealand, especially in title-deciding clashes. When they won the Las Vegas Sevens at the beginning of the year, it was their fifth successive win over the Kiwis in Cup finals.Four years ago, at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, the South African Sevens team won the bronze medal. After going unbeaten in pool play, with wins over Wales, Tonga and India, the Blitzbokke edged Scotland 10-7 in the quarter-finals.They fell 7-17 to Australia in an upset in the semi-finals, but went on to defeat England 17-14 for third place. New Zealand beat Australia 24-17 to claim gold.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The weather is beautiful for the 2015 Farm Science Review and the combines are rolling in the fields.“Things are going really well in the fields. We are combining both corn and soybeans and both look pretty good. The spring was wet but it was pretty good for us. Our corn is averaging 180 to 195 for 100-day corn and that is pretty good. Moisture is running 18% to 22% so it is pretty dry,” said Matt Sullivan, with the Farm Science Review. “We had one field come in at 15% and we didn’t even have to turn the drier on for that batch. For soybeans we are looking at around 45 bushels with moisture right there at about 13%. I didin’t think yields were going to be that good.”Along with the harvest, there is plenty of other activity to see in the fields.“We have UAVs flying and you can see what the drone is seeing live on a television. We have tillage, deep tillage, vertical till and 11 corn combines, the most we’ve ever had. We have tiling again and we are putting all types of drainage and land control structures,” Sullivan said. “The schedule looks great this year with about anything people need to know to improve their ponds, woodlands and grasslands. If you want an app search for FSR 2015. Whatever you need in agriculture, it’s here.”Here are some photo highlights from the event. A panel of OSU Extension experts discussed water quality Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor came to speak at the Tuesday lunch event at the FSR OSU president Michael Drake OSU CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron Equipment used in the Trotter Field Demonstrations FSR visitors riding the dusty trail to the soybean harvest on Tuesday. Tom Clayton of Hardin County (near) and Bob Barkley of Waldo look at the John Deere soybean head following a harvest demo. Joe Essman of Otway scouting the soybeans starring in the Trotter Field Demonstrations. New Holland representatives looking on at their machine following the soybean harvest. A Claas combine on trucks also made an appearance on Tuesday. A demonstration of the unique spraying capabilities made possible in the “Farm of the Future.” Cover crops and their value continue to be a focus at Farm Science Review. A double tank setup by Ag Spray Equipment. The old and the new come together at Farm Science Review. The Massey-Ferguson in the foreground owned by Charles Cutshaw of Georgetown, KY. Wheel dolly on display Fendt 933 “Black Beauty” owned by Donn Scheufler of Wooster. Darby Eades of the Benjamin Logan FFA Chapter helping out in the John Deere booth. FFA members are sometimes given the opportunity to work alongside various companies throughout the three days of Farm Science Review. Gleaner’s new 3300 Command Series Corn Head on display. There’s no shortage of yellow at the JCB stand. The Gwynne Conservation Area continues to offer exhibitors a look at proper care of the environment. Representatives of The Ohio State University Extension are on hand to answer any questions regarding conservation. The renowned soil pit at the Gwynne offers another glimpse at the soil profile around London, Ohio. Zachary Charville of Erie County, a student at Ohio State, is marking his third year as a student FSR worker. An innovative “Easy Fix” rubber matting system on display Mark Miller of Holmes County (right) and David Zook of Millersburg (left) look at a robotic milking system from DeLaval. Student representatives from OSU’s 1/4 Scale Tractor Design Team talk about their creation with passersby. An APV AW Roller H&S bringing some larger equipment options to the table. Visitors can see the recently-introduced hay equipment from Kubota. John Deere’s L300 Series Large Square Baler on display. The John Deere 9620 RX 4-Track is a popular sight for many review goers. A view from the cab shows the tractor’s impressive height. Brandon Uhl with Automation Zone holds his phone with an automated bin management display for the grain storage facility at the FSR on his phone and computer at the display. Charles Rump, Cobe Gilbert, Brandon Benton, and Jon Roberts from Southern Hills Career Tech Center in ag mechanics take a break in the field. Austin Knepp, 18 months old, checks out the corn yields There were some lofty stalks in the Ohio tall corn stalk contest this year Farm Credit is supporting the Ohio Pork Producers for virtual field trips to hog farms Eric Romich with OSU Extension talked about solar energy on farms Harold Watters, left John Hixon was inducted into the FSR Hall of Fame Auctioneer Johnny Regula shakes down bidders at Titan Tire to raise funds for The Ohio FFA Foundation. Titan Tire held an action at the 2015 Farm Science Review. The sale raised almost $30,000 for the Ohio FFA Foundation.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Though my metal, rusting Adam-12 themed lunchbox of yesteryear was a far cry from the insulated designer lunchboxes my children use today, the challenges remain largely the same. Times have changed, but for a host of reasons, schools continue to struggle to provide high-quality, low-cost nutritious meals that finicky students actually want to eat — though it is not for lack of trying.Certainly a legacy of the Obama Administration will be Michelle’s oft-discussed school lunch requirements and I know plenty of hard working school cafeteria folks that really try on a daily basis only to be labeled with the notorious “lunch lady” moniker. But all of the many efforts that have taken place from my childhood until now have done little to slow the endless amounts of homemade PB&J or lunchmeat sandwiches and pudding cups carried to school each day.Another challenge in places like Ohio with strong farm roots and diverse agricultural production is to connect the local food producers with the needs of the school system. An effort to address both challenges was highlighted last month in Ohio’s largest school district when Columbus City Schools kicked off a monthly effort to showcase Ohio grown, raised or processed food.On Jan. 25, Columbus school cafeterias served more than 52,000 students with a meal including turkey from Bowman and Landes family farm in New Carlisle, gravy and dressing from Sandridge Foods in Medina, apples from Bauman Orchards in Rittman, milk from United Dairy in Martins Ferry, and a salad mix from Waterfields, a hydroponic facility in Cincinnati. The event was called “Ohio Days: My Plate, My State.”“Our new effort will provide healthier, locally sourced meals to our students, with the meats, the grains, the fruits, the vegetables and the milk all coming from Ohio farms and producers,” said Daniel Good, Columbus City Schools Superintendent. “We’re excited about bringing this opportunity to all 110 of our cafeterias.”Ohio Days is a joint project of the City of Columbus, Ohio State University Extension’s Farm to School program, and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Farm to School is a national program, which in Ohio is led by OSU Extension, and partners with numerous agencies, organizations and industry groups, including the Ohio Department of Agriculture.“ODA stands ready to help any district across Ohio implement programs as successful and impactful as this one from Columbus City Schools,” said David T. Daniels, ODA Director. “Students benefit from fresh, local lunches and Ohio Proud companies benefit from increased business, ultimately adding to agriculture and food production’s enormous impact as the state’s number one industry.”Columbus City Schools, with the help of the Ohio Department of Agriculture and OSU Extension, have identified more than 20 companies with the capacity to meet the district’s need for local apples, turkey, chicken and beef products, shredded cheese, milk, corn tortillas, whole grain tortilla chips, lettuce, beans, carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, squash and peaches. Ohio’s Farm to School program has partnerships in all 88 counties.“With Columbus ordering such large quantities, it’s our hope that smaller districts, that otherwise would not be able to place orders with these local companies, will have an avenue to source Ohio grown and processed foods for their students,” Daniels said. “It’s also exciting for students to learn where their food really comes from, a farm not too far from home.”The Farm to School program has a number of success stories around the state highlighted on their website. Here are some of them: Sandusky City SchoolsSandusky City Schools was among the first schools in Ohio to become active in the Farm to School program and now features local fruit and vegetables when in season. Middle and high school students have salad bars featuring local ingredients. Every day, fresh fruits are offered in all schools for breakfast and lunch. Apples are local all year. The school feeds 3,500 students and has great working relationships with Tender Shoot Farm and Eshelman’s Orchard. Arps DairyArps Dairy in Defiance County has been serving milk in northwest Ohio schools for 80 years. Arps Dairy gets milks supplied from multiple community dairies and during the school season produces 3.5 million half pints of milk with the majority being delivered to schools in Defiance, Putnam, Henry and Paulding counties and beyond. Drivers are on a first-name basis with school cooks in the area. They can process the milk from farm to store (or school) in 24 hours. They also work with field trips to area dairies for the students to learn about the milk they are drinking. Fremont City SchoolsThe district currently funds a fresh fruit or veggie snack each to every elementary child. Fremont City Schools also benefited from a $29,000 Farm to School “planning grant” from the USDA in 2014 used to further the health and wellness efforts. This included serving more local foods in the cafeteria, growing vegetables in gardens and vertical containers, and planting fruit trees. During that year, the district surveyed students in grades 5 through 12 and parents about school meal program participation and satisfaction. The survey results were used to make some menu changes and include more choices in the school meals. The enrollment at Fremont from preschool through grade 12 is more than 4,000. They serve over 3,000 lunches a day, at nine schools in the district.With success stories like these, more students are finding better reasons in the cafeteria at school to leave those lunchboxes at home and support Ohio agriculture in the process.For more information on the Farm to School program, contact Carol Smathers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614-688-1801.
Need to create an image mask for color grades, special effects, or other applications? You can do so directly in Adobe Premiere Pro.Top image via Shutterstock.Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to create image masks directly within the program, which can save you time when editing video projects. The following step-by-step tutorial will show you how it’s done. 1. Set your workspace to the “Editing” layout.Once your timeline with the shots that need masking is open, go to “Window” and select “Workspaces,” and then choose “Editing.” Once you’ve done that, you should be able to select the “Effect Controls” tab in the upper left-hand window if it isn’t already open.2. Move the clip up one track and make sure any video tracks beneath it are empty.Creating a mask on a clip is similar to cutting a hole in it, which makes anything beneath it visible. If you make sure nothing is visible beneath your clip, there will be less room for error as you begin to learn the various functions of an image mask. 3. Position the playhead over the clip that needs masking and then click to highlight it.You should now be able to see the shot you are working with in the Program Monitor. By highlighting the clip, you ensure that the work you are doing affects only this clip and not anything else.4. Open the “Opacity” controls in the “Effect Controls” tab in the window on the upper left and create an opacity mask.Once you open the Opacity twirl-down controls, you will see three icons directly beneath the Opacity heading: an ellipse, a four-point polygon mask, and a pen tool. These are the three options for creating a custom mask. For now, click the pen tool. In this example, I am masking out the reflection in the mirror, so I put a point at each corner of the mirror. Once you click the first point you created to close the shape, you will see the mask surrounded by empty space.5. Invert the mask using the newly activated mask controls under the Opacity twirl down menu.Click the check box a few rows down labeled “Inverted,” which makes the interior of the mask black, allowing you to see the original footage surrounding it. You can manipulate aspects such as the amount of the feathered edge, the mask size, and the initial placement of the mask in this step to customize how your mask blends in to the shot. You can highlight “Mask (1)” to show you the mask you created in case you are not currently seeing the blue outline of your mask.6. Choose the footage you want to appear within your mask, and place it beneath the clip you just adjusted.Place the clip with the footage that you want to appear inside of your mask on Video Track 1 directly beneath your masked clip. You should now be able to see the footage in the area that you cut out in the previous steps. You can adjust the alignment of the footage on Video Track 1 by highlighting the clip and manipulating its position with the x and y coordinates in the “Motion” tab in “Effects Controls.”Potential masks to experiment with.In Premiere Pro, you do not have to create masks only within the Opacity effect controls. Although that is a powerful and widespread use of masking, more practical uses of a mask involve effect controls such as Lumetri Color to apply color to a specific region of the image. Masks can also help control a color qualifier in a secondary color-grading process to more accurately isolate your sampling. You can also use masks to create video in which the same actor appears twice (or more) within the same frame. The next step is to apply animation to the image masks you create by tracking objects within the image. After this, the magic of special effects really takes shape — all inside Premiere Pro.Do you know other masking tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments.
Life remained paralysed on Saturday, a day after ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm Fani, ripped through eight districts of Odisha.Initial reports suggested 20 people had died due to collapse of walls, trees and electric poles. The Office of Special Relief Commissioner, however, had no official information to validate the death toll.Lakhs of people have been affected, and the State government has launched massive rescue and restoration operations. After clearing road blockades along National and State highways, personnel from the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and National Disaster Response Force have started moving to villages.As communication networks are not in place, the extent of damage could not be ascertained. Energy infrastructure has suffered a massive damage in the region. Failure of mobile connectivity has added to the chaos.The Office of Special Relief Commissioner, however, said the first priority was to admit injured people to hospitals and restore power.
An agonising wait of four years and six postponements later, the 34th National Games finally got off with a colourful opening ceremony at the Birsa Munda Athletics Stadium in Ranchi on Saturday.Organisational chaos and mismanagement took some sheen off the opening ceremony but singer Sukhwinder Singh and Bollywood artists Vivek Oberoi and Ameesha Patel’s riveting performances ensured that the spectators were enthralled at the three-hour programme.A spectacular laser show towards the end of the opening ceremony brought the spectators on to their feet in the Mega Sports Complex in the outskirts of the city.The timing of the February 12-26 National Games clashing with the much-awaited Cricket World Cup in the sub-continent proved to be a dampener as the premier multi-discipline competition of the country failed to generate a keen media interest nationwide.As announced earlier, star son of Ranchi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni could not take part in the opening ceremony due to Team India commitments, though performances by Bollywood and local artists, laser shows and spectacular fireworks at the end filled in the void.Amid vociferous chants of Jai Jharkhand, the state’s chief minister Arjun Munda made a sincere appeal to forget about the torrid build-up to the National Games which was in jeopardy having missed deadlines after deadlines.”Chhodo Kal ki batein, kal ki baat purani. Naye daur mein likhenge milkar nayi kahaani Hum hindustani, hum hindustani,” Munda sang the popular song in his speech that saw loud cheers from the crowd.Indian Olympic Association President Suresh Kalmadi was at his usual hyperbole, saying, “10,000 athletes and officials are taking part here. This is world’s best infrastructure.This is going to be the biggest National Games ever. I’m very happy that you have got all the good facilities.”The three-hour opening ceremony began with aerobatics ahead of the formal programme as chief guest Governor of Jharkhand M O H Farook, Kalmadi, Munda and Jharkhand Olympic Association president arrived at the near-packed venue that has a 35,000 seating capacity.With the National Anthem played in the background, floral welcome was showered on the chief guests as the Governor declared the Games open as tricolour balloons were released in the sky while white pigeons were set free.The first hour of the ceremony was all about the march-past of the athletes and speeches by the dignitaries including that of Munda, Kalmadi and Jharkhand Olympic Association President R K Anand, among others. .Jharkhand’s teen sensation and Commonwealth Games archery gold medalist Deepika Kumari started the relay run with the torch from one end of the stadium and passed it on to international pugilist Aruna Mishra.Former Indian women’s hockey captain Sumrai Tete took the torch from Mishra before finally handing it to Olympian hockey player Sylvanus Dung dung.Dung Dung, who was part of the Indian Olympic hockey team that won gold in 1980 Moscow Games, ignited the giant torch as fire crackers lit up the sky.The ‘baby archer’ Deepika, who shot into the limelight at the Commonwealth Games, took the Games oath on behalf of the athletes.There were also folk dances from Jharkhand-Maanbhum Chhau, Paika, Jhumar, Mudar, Kurukh, Karsa portraying the rich cultural heritage of the tribal-dominated eastern state of India.advertisement- With PTI inputs