Brigid Kosgei broke the world record at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday to complete a sensational weekend of road running.
She won the IAAF Gold Label road race in two hours 14 minutes and four seconds (2:14:04).
Kosgei’s run came a little more than 24 hours after fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to cover 26.2 miles within two hours, clocking 1:59:41 in Vienna.
Unlike Kipchoge’s performance though, Kosgei’s mark was set in an official race on a record-eligible course, even though it will still await the usual ratification procedure.
Kosgei, who won in Chicago last year in 2:18:35 and improved her personal bet (PB) to 2:18:20 to win in London earlier this year, set out at a blisteringly fast pace.
She covered the first five kilometres (km) in 15:28.
Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh was dragged through the section in a swift 15:36, with Gelete Burka a further 27 seconds in arrears.
The Kenyan’s pace dropped slightly after that initial enthusiasm, but the 25-year-old settled into regular 16-minute splits for each five-kilometre segment.
She went through 10km in 31:28, 2:12:26 marathon pace, and 15km in 47:26.
At that point she was almost a minute ahead of Yeshaneh, who herself was on schedule for a 2:16:00 finish at that point.
Kosgei’s half-way split of 1:06:59 suggested a finishing time of about 2:14:00.
Fewer than five kilometres later, her lead over Yeshaneh had grown to two minutes, reaching 25km in 1:19:33.
As she continued to run behind two male pacemakers, Kosgei added another minute to her lead, thanks to a 15:45 split between 25km and 30km.
Another sub-16-minute five-kilometre segment followed, this time 15:56.
Her 35km split (1:51:14) still indicated a finishing time about a minute inside Paula Radcliffe’s world record of 2:15:25, set 16 years ago.
Given the speed she was going and how far into the race she was, she looked relatively comfortable too.
Nearly four-and-a-half minutes behind, Yeshaneh had a 33-second margin over Burka but both women were also on course for a personal best.
The race, though, was all about Kosgei’s world record attempt and she showed no signs of fading in the closing stages.
The pace makers peeled away before the final two miles as Kosgei forged on alone.
With about 20 seconds left of running, she couldn’t help but smile as she realised the magnitude of what she was about to achieve.
Moments later, she crossed the line in 2:14:04 to take 81 seconds off the longest-standing marathon world record —- men’s or women’s —- in the post-war era.
Lawrence Cherono, winner of this year’s Boston Marathon, won a close men’s contest in 2:05:45.
Ethiopia’s Dejene Debela was second in 2:05:46 and Asefa Mengstu was third in 2:05:48.(NAN)
(Edited by Olawale Alabi)
IMF revises down global economy forecast amid mounting COVID-19 fallout, warning of record debt levels
Global output is projected to decline by 4.9 percent in 2020, 1.9 percentage points below the IMF’s April forecast, followed by a growth at 5.4 percent in 2021, indicating a grimmer economic outlook as the pandemic continues to ripple across the globe.
“Compared to our April World Economic Outlook forecast, we are now projecting a deeper recession in 2020 and a slower recovery in 2021,” IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a virtual news conference, noting that these projections imply a cumulative loss to the global economy over two years of over 12 trillion United States dollars from the crisis.
“The downgrade from April reflects worse than anticipated outcomes in the first half of this year, an expectation of more persistent social distancing into the second half of this year, and damage to supply potential,” Gopinath said.
SYNCHRONIZED DEEP DOWNTURN
The multilateral lender is projecting a synchronized deep downturn in 2020 for both advanced economies, and emerging market and developing economies, noting that over 95 percent of countries are projected to have negative per capita income growth this year.
Advanced economies are projected to contract 8 percent this year, 1.9 percentage points lower than the forecast in the April WEO, according to the updated report.
The United States economy is expected to shrink 8 percent, the Euro Area is on track to contract 10.2 percent, and the Japanese economy could decline 5.8 percent.
Emerging markets and developing economies, meanwhile, are projected to shrink by 3 percent this year, 2 percentage points below the April WEO forecast, the report showed.
Brazil and Mexico are projected to contract by 9.1 and 10.5 percent respectively, while India’s economy could see a contraction of 4.5 percent. China is expected to grow by 1 percent, the only major economy that could see growth this year.
The latest report also showed that global growth is projected at 5.4 percent in 2021, which would leave 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) some 6.5 percentage points lower than in the pre-COVID-19 projections made in January 2020.
“The unprecedented global sweep of this crisis hampers recovery prospects for export-dependent economies and jeopardizes the prospects for income convergence between developing and advanced economies,” Gopinath said.
The IMF chief economist also noted a high degree of uncertainty surrounds this forecast, with both upside and downside risks to the outlook. On the upside, better news on vaccines and treatments, as well as additional policy support, could lead to a quicker resumption of economic activity, she said.
On the downside, further waves of infections could reverse increased mobility and spending, and rapidly tighten financial conditions, triggering debt distress, she said, adding that geopolitical and trade tensions could damage fragile global relationships at a time when trade is projected to collapse by around 12 percent.
In its latest Global Economic Prospects released early this month, the World Bank Group said the global economy is on track to shrink by 5.2 percent in 2020 amid the pandemic. A downside scenario could lead the global economy to shrink by as much as 8 percent this year.
RECORD DEBT LEVELS
Sizable fiscal and financial sector countermeasures deployed in several countries since the start of the crisis have forestalled worse near-term losses, according to the updated WEO report, which noted that fiscal measures amounting to about 11 trillion dollars have been announced worldwide.
“It’s important for us to recognize that when confronted with a deep downtown of this kind, something we’ve never seen before the magnitude and the breadth of this downtown, that policies should respond aggressively to prevent that even worse outcome from happening,” Malhar Nabar, division chief of the World Economic Studies Division in the IMF’s Research Department, told Xinhua in a video interview Wednesday.
Nabar, however, noted it could be an issue going forward. “It’s true that with the elevated debt levels and if financial conditions were to tighten again,” it could create some problems for some economies, especially emerging markets and developing economies, and “tip them into a very difficult situation.”
Warning that the crisis will also generate medium-term challenges, Gopinath said that public debt this year is projected to reach the highest level in recorded history in relation to GDP, in both advanced and emerging markets and developing economies.
“Countries will need sound fiscal frameworks for medium-term consolidation, through cutting back on wasteful spending, widening the tax base, minimizing tax avoidance, and greater progressivity in taxation in some countries,” she said.
Nabar said the IMF has been very aggressively calling for international support from the international community to be directed to some of the more vulnerable economies, which will face rising crisis costs and should be provided with the support in the form of debt relief, grants and concessional financing.
The updated WEO report also pointed out that the “disconnect” between real and financial markets raises concerns of excessive risk taking and is a significant vulnerability.
Nabar told Xinhua that the improvement in financial conditions reflected strong policy support in response to the crisis. “With major central banks acting very quickly to cut interest rates … to increase asset purchases, to provide liquidity support in various ways, all of this has translated into a rebound in financial sentiment,” he said.
Nabar, however, said it’s very hard to predict which way financial markets can turn “with the huge uncertainty that we have in this current environment.”
MULTILATERAL COOPERATION ESSENTIAL
Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies, and several countries have started to recover, Gopinath told reporters.
“However, in the absence of a medical solution, the strength of the recovery is highly uncertain and the impact across sectors and countries highly uneven,” she said.
Stressing that this is a crisis like no other, the IMF said in the report that “strong multilateral cooperation remains essential on multiple fronts.”
“Liquidity assistance is urgently needed for countries confronting health crises and external funding shortfalls, including through debt relief and financing through the global financial safety net,” the report said.
“Beyond the pandemic, policymakers must cooperate to resolve trade and technology tensions that endanger an eventual recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” according to the report.
Nabar told Xinhua that the global economy will come out of this deep slump, but looking ahead to the recovery, it will be very important to ensure that “there are as few obstacles as possible in the recovery path.”
By that, he means, factors that can generate uncertainty, can weigh on business confidence, and have a negative impact on productivity “because it forces businesses to make decisions based on anticipation of difficulties in sourcing parts and components.”
“We are calling for countries to address the economic grievances that are behind the tension that we see, to address the gaps in the multilateral rules-based trading system, to adapt it to the changing global economy,” Nabar said.
He urged countries to ensure that the benefits of trade that “we’ve all seen for the last several years” continue to support the recovery going forward.
Kaduna :Women groups stage stand-still-peaceful rally against rape
Some women groups in Kaduna on Thursday staged stand still peaceful rally to end rape in the country.
The rally was organised by the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in collaboration Jammiyyar Matan Arewa and other women organisations in the state.
Mrs Zainab Atoba, President, Federation of women Lawyers (FIDA), Kaduna branch said the rally was aimed at saying “enough is enough of all forms of girl-child abuses and abuses of other children that are facing rape cases on daily basis across the country”.
Atoba said that the rate of violence against women and children in the society was getting out of hand, hence the need to quickly address it to save lives of women and children in communities.
She said that the rally was to raise more awareness on the dangers of rape in the society that is affecting lives of innocent children and women, including elderly women and widows.
She pointed out that most of the rape victims faced psychological trauma and other health challenges.
According to her, the gathering was to say No to rape in the society, as almost every minute, there is report of rape of a child in the country.
“This is not really good for women and children in the country, ” she said.
The president said the women were calling on Government to consider castrating rapists or sentence them to death as deterrent.
She called on religious leaders, traditional title holders and other stakeholders to support the battle against rape and other abuses against children.
Similarly, the National President of Jamiyyar Matan Arewa, Rabi Saulawa emphasised the need to educate parents and guardians to always monitor the movement of their children.
Saulawa noted that there was need to engage traditional rulers and clerics in sensitizing the public on the dangers of rape in the society.
Also in her remark, the National President of Interfaith Dialogue, Kaduna Women Wing, Hajiya Aisha Kazaure, expressed worries over increased abuse of children and women in the society due to lack of commitment in punishing offenders.
Kazaure called for the review of Nigeria’s laws dealing with issues of child abuses and rape in the society.
She applauded the organisers of the peaceful rally saying, it should be a continuous process.
Meanwhile, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani, an interfaith specialist, has called on Civil Society Organisations to embark on advocacy visit to necessary stakeholders in the state to push for review of laws on rape and sexual abuse
She urged women across the country to join the campaign against all forms of child abuses and domestic violence in their communities.
Tijjani who spoke in an interview with newsmen, stressed the need to co-opt all necessary stakeholders such as UNICEF, WHO, federal and state ministry’s of women affairs, security forces and para-military in the fight.
She said daily report of violence which included sexual assault, battery, rape, defilement, trafficking, forced marriage, abuse and host of other vices against women and children must be tamed.
“There is need for Government to start castrating rapists so as to make life better for children in both rural and urban centers,” she said.(NAN)
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup host: FIFA confirms submission of 3 bids to Council
The world football governing body, FIFA has confirmed the submission of the three host bids for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to the FIFA Council for the selection of host on June 25.
This is contained in a statement on the federation’s website on Wednesday.
”Following a detailed assessment of the bid books and visits to the bidding countries, today, FIFA confirmed that three bids will be submitted to the FIFA Council in order for it to select the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 host(s) at its meeting to be held online on June 25, 2020.
”The three qualifying bids are: joint submission by Football Federation Australia and New Zealand Football; submission by the Colombian Football Association and submission by the Japan Football Association, ” the statement read.
“One year after the record-breaking eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, the FIFA Council will decide on the host(s) for the ninth edition of the tournament in 2023, which we hope will be even bigger and better.
The quality of the bids is testimony to the tremendous momentum women’s football has generated.
“We are looking forward to building on this to take women’s football to the next level at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023,” said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Brazilian Football Association had on June 8, informed FIFA of its decision to withdraw its bid.
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be the first edition to feature 32 teams.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Women group calls for enforcement of stringent laws against rape, GBV
A Muslim Humanitarian group, Sisters of Jannah (SOJ), has urged the Federal Government to adopt stringent measures to check the rising cases of rape and violence against women in the society.
The National President of the group, Mrs Ramatu Aliyu, made the appeal in a visual news conference in Abuja on Monday.
She said that the organisation, out of concern for increase incident of rape cases, had resolved to be a voice for the voiceless females, whose lives had been horrendously cut short by rapists.
Aliyu said international statistics revealed that over half of the total population of women received unwanted sexual attention at some point in their lives.
“The most innocent segment of society have not been spared, as young children are also targeted by the perpetrators of rape, who are devoid of conscience, she said..
Aliyu said that girls suffer sexual exploitation and molestation, adding that the endemic nature of sexual crimes and violence against females was shocking and callous.
” This must be urgently addressed, hence this call to action at every strand of society; including our homes, schools, all levels of government, humanitarian organisations and places of worship.
” We call for stricter laws on rape and violence against women and children. We call for training and investment in resources for law enforcement.
” We call for collective effort in preventing these crimes, as exposing such incidents via word of mouth and all forms of media also go a long way.
” As such, we are publicly declaring our stance against rape and violence against females.
“To this end, we have organised a lecture on rape as part of the various topics to be addressed in our upcoming online marriage seminar slated to hold between June 19 and 20.
” We are also sensitising our members by publishing self-defence techniques to help keep ourselves safe, but these will only go so far so we desperately need robust protection of the government on this matter, ” Aliyu said.
She disclosed that the organisation had established counselling unit dedicated to supporting women in distress with a view to encouraging survivors and families of the demised to seek professional help in dealing with the trauma.
She noted that the crimes not only affect a specific ethnic group, region of the country, religious sect or class of society.
Aliyu, therefore, enjoined all members of the public to show solidarity by condemning the acts openly.
” We all must support victims and survivors rather than insinuate blame of any kind on them, because absolutely nothing can excuse or justify such crimes.
” Similarly, we are mourning Uwaila Omozuwa, a 23-year-old student, raped and murdered as she studied in a place of worship, and for many more others that have been violently destroyed by heartless perpetrators in our country, ” she said.