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New start blocks too small for my feet, Usain Bolt says …after running 100m in 9.79 sec



Usain Bolt scorched to his third 100m victory on his European touras part of his warm-up for the Jamaican Olympic trials, but was left bemoaning a change to the starting blocks which he says slows him down.

Bolt, who stands 1.96m (6’5″) tall and boasts a whopping UK size 13 shoe size, said his feet were just too big for the altered blocks, provided at all Diamond League meets and next summer’s Olympics by Swiss timing company Omega.

That said, it did not stop him reeling back in compatriot Asafa Powell in the last 20 metres of the race, winning in 9.79 seconds.

“The race was okay as a whole,” the 25-year-old world record holder in the 100 and 200m said. “My execution wasn’t perfect, but I can’t complain.”

The reigning double Olympic sprint champion also played down his having to graft for victory against Powell, who clocked 9.85sec, his 77th sub-10sec time.

Bolt, who boasts a whopping UK size 13 shoe size, said his feet were just too big for the altered blocks

“People forget Asafa’s a 9.8sec runner, he runs 9.8 all the time, so it’s not a surprise,” he said.

“It’s good for someone to push me and I can show I still got it, I normally come from the back to win.”

Bolt added: “When I came out of the blocks, I reacted good, but the execution from the blocks to 30 metres was not good because I was not comfortable.

“Asafa got into his running way quicker than me and got the top speed.

“I had to work a little harder to get into my stride, but the good thing is I’ve still got it and I passed him, so I’m happy.

“I need to get consistency in my race. My start is letting me down slightly, but overall it was okay and I’m on the right track for the Olympics.

“I’m not in the shape where I can say nobody can beat me, so I’m working to get into that shape so I can feel more confident when I run.”

Bolt kicked off his European tour with a sluggish 10.04sec in Ostrava, the slowest time in his senior career, blamed on lack of sleep and the cold, blustery conditions.

But he rebounded with a 9.76sec in Rome last week to set himself up nicely for the Jamaican trials, never easy when the competition counts not only Powell but the likes of tyro Yohan Blake in its midst.

“I don’t send messages to people,” he chuckled after his victory on Thursday. “It’s always for the crowd who’ve come out to watch me run fast.

“I’m always confident. I’m never worried about losing and I’m not worried about any one person.”

There was one complaint from Bolt, however, and that was with the starting blocks, which will be the same for all Diamond League meets and the Olympics, but not the Jamaican trials.

“The blocks have changed from last season. They’re new models. Personally I think they need to go back to the old blocks. I’m not very pleased with the new blocks they have, they’re a little short for me,” he said.

“I’ve been kind of guessing my steps because my foot is kind of big.

“I guessed in Rome and got it right, I guessed here and I didn’t get it that good so they need to go back to the old blocks so I can execute right.”

Bolt explained that the blocks were smaller than they usually were, and the plates where sprinters place their feet were “a little bit longer than usual”.

“I’m hoping there’re not the same blocks as we’re using here” for the London Olympics, he said, although Omega have already been confirmed as the official timekeepers in the British capital.

“Hopefully, they’ll change them or adjust them. I’m not too hot about them right now.”

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Senate Committee Screens Yakubu For INEC Chair Today



Senate Committee Screens Yakubu For INEC Chair Today

Mahmood Yakubu

The Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will screen Mahmood Yakubu today following his re-appointment as Chairman of the Commission for a second and final term.

The Chairman of the committee, Kabiru Gaya, disclosed this to journalists on Wednesday after the panel submitted the report of the 2021 budget estimates of the commission to the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

The Senate received President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter seeking Yakubu’s confirmation on Tuesday.

Also Read: 2023: Buhari Reappoints Mahmood Yakubu As INEC Chairman

He had on October 27 announced his decision to reappoint the former INEC boss.

The president’s letter was forwarded to the committee on INEC for screening which Senator Gaya said will be carried out expeditiously.

“Precisely the re-nominated Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu is to face our committee by 2:00 pm for the required drilling, the outcome of which will determine the report to be submitted to the Senate on Tuesday,” he said.

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No Plan To Review 2021 Spending Estimates: Minister



No Plan To Review 2021 Spending Estimates, Says Ahmed

Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has expressed that there is no plan to review the spending estimates of the 2021 budget.

She has also allayed the fears of federal civil servants that the country’s entering into recession might stall the salary payments of workers.

She made this known while speaking with journalists after the weekly virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House.

Also Read: Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister

Ahmed said even the consequential adjustment in the 2020 budget wholly addressed salary matters.

Recall that the proposed 2021 budget is currently being reviewed by members of the National Assembly.

“On the 2021 budget, we are not planning to retrieve the budget or to reverse the budget beyond the work of appropriation that the National Assembly is currently doing in consultation with us,” she said.


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#EndSARS: UK Parliament Does Not Speak For British Govt – FG



#EndSARS: UK Parliament Does Not Speak For British Govt – FG

Geoffrey Onyeama

The federal government of Nigeria has stated that it has reached out to the United Kingdom to explain its side of the story over the #EndSARS crisis.

This follows a petition being considered by the United Kingdom to sanction officials of the Nigerian government over alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protests in the country.

However, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, explained to State House Correspondents on Wednesday that Nigeria has reached out to the UK govt.

He explained that FG has presented its own side of the story to the UK govt to aid its deliberations on the matter.

This he stated after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that a balanced view is important in such matters.

Also Read: #EndSARS Protest: Those who have murdered Nigerians will not benefit from trade or travel to the UK – Lyn Brown

He said: “Yes, we have reached out to the UK government. The meeting that took place were Parliamentarians and they do not speak for the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom and they have also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that has happened.

“So, we have been in touch with them and engaging with them. Of course, as in any democracy, the members of parliament are able to also able to air their views.

“But what is important, is that a balanced picture is made available to them before they take any decision.”

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