Chelsea won 2-1 at Southampton on Tuesday to extend their unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League six wins and six draws to 12 games. But they have already lost four at home, a fifth would represent their most Stamford Bridge defeats since 1995-96. On Wednesday, Stoke beat Newcastle 1-0 with a late goal from Xherdan Shaqiri to move into seventh place.EVERTON VSWEST HAMEverton are unbeaten in their past eight Barclays Premier League away games but at Goodison Park they have won just four; they need to win three of their remaining five home games to avoid setting a new low for home successes. On Wednesday, West Ham beat Tottenham 1-0 with a Michail Antonio goal to move into sixth place.NEWCASTLE VSBOURNEMOUTH,Bournemouth beat English south-coast neighbours Southampton 2-0 at home on Tuesday with the Cherries keeping consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season. The Cherries have met Newcastle just three times in the league and lost all three. In their only previous visit to St James’ in the league, in September 1989, they lost 2-1 and when the teams met at Bournemouth earlier this season they lost 1-0.SOUTHAMPTON VSSUNDERLAND,Saints have won seven and lost five of their 14 home games. If they win each of their remaining five games at St Mary’s they will set a club record of 12 home Premier League victories. Their previous best was 11, set in 2000-01 and again last season. Sunderland have already conceded a massive 37 away goals in 14 away games, just two fewer than their record in the Premier League (39 conceded in the 1999-00 campaign).SWANSEA VSNORWICHThe Swans have won just four home games; their previous fewest home league wins is six (in 2012-13 and 2013-14) and they have just five games in which to avoid setting a new club record in the Premier League. Norwich, meanwhile, have lost 10 and drawn two of their 14 away games but when the teams met at Carrow Road in November, the home side won 1-0 with a goal from Jonny Howson.CRYSTAL PALACE VSLIVERPOOLCrystal Palace have now gone 11 games in the Barclays Premier League without a win; their last victory was in December at Stoke, while they last won at home against Southampton, also in the last month of last year. But Palace have won their last three league games, home and away, against Liverpool and are unbeaten in the last four.
KOLKATA, India (CMC): Irrepressible West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell played a small cameo with the bat, grabbed four wickets and bowled a remarkable final over as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shot to the top of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a tense seven-run victory over Kings XI Punjab here yesterday. The Jamaican lashed 16 from 10 balls at the death as KKR rallied to 164 for three off their 20 overs, after they were sent in at Eden Gardens. KKR were propelled though by openers Robin Uthappa, who stroked 70, and Gautam Gambhir, who gathered 54. In reply, Kings XI’s run chase was crippled by pacer Russell’s opening burst, which reduced them to 13 for three in the fourth over; and despite Australian Glenn Maxwell’s superb top score of 68, the visitors could only reach 157 for nine. Kings XI required 12 runs from the final over but Russell, voted Man of the Match, proved outstanding in conceding just four runs, effecting a run out and grabbing another wicket to finish with four for 20 from his four overs. With the victory, KKR joined new boys Gujarat Lions on 12 points, but topped the standings courtesy of a superior net run rate. Uthappa lashed six fours and two sixes off 49 balls in posting 101 off 81 deliveries for the first wicket with Gambhir, before adding 36 for the second wicket with Yusuf Pathan, who finished on 19 not out. Russell arrived in the 17th over to help give KKR a flourish at the end, belting a four and a six in putting on 27 for the third wicket, before falling to the final delivery of the innings. The 28-year-old then gave KKR a fine start, claiming Marcus Stoinis without scoring off the fourth ball of the innings, with a single run on the board. In his next over, Russell had Manan Vohra caught at deep backward square without scoring as Kings XI tumbled at the top. Maxwell and Wriddhiman Saha (24) put on 40 for the fourth wicket and added a further 67 for the fifth wicket with David Miller (13). However, Maxwell fell in the 16th over with 45 runs needed from 27 balls and Russell returned in the 18th over to remove the dangerous Miller and swing the advantage KKR’s way. In the final over, Russell ran out Axar Patel for 21 after Gurkeerat Singh drove the second delivery back to him and he turned and hit the stumps, with the batsmen at the non-striker backing up too far. Gurkeerat Singh was then run out off the next delivery, attempting a second run to the deep, and Russell picked up his fourth wicket when he trapped Swapnil Singh lbw with a full length delivery, to the first ball he faced. ADDING ON RUNS
Neighbouring communities Maverley-Hughenden and Waterhouse FC battled to a 1-1 draw in their first meeting in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at the Waterhouse Stadium yesterday. Phillip Peddie handed Maverley-Hughenden the lead when he slotted into an unprotected goal in the 10th minute. However, Waterhouse fought back and got the equaliser from substitute Kemar Beckford in the 54th minute. The point lifted Maverley-Hughenden to nine from eight games while Waterhouse moved to seven points in the 12-team league. The visitors, with their massive support as they made the short trek over, celebrated early when Peddie benefited from a play created by striker Nicholas Scott. The latter beat Waterhouse goalkeeper George Brown and the ball fell kindly to Peddie. Beckford came off the bench and scored shortly after he entered the pitch. THIRD GOAL UWI FC 4 Boys’ Town 0 Waterhouse 1 Maverley-Hughenden 1 Jamalco 1 Tivoli Gardens 2 Portmore United 1 FC Reno 1 Yesterday’s results Peddie, who was scoring his third goal in the last three consecutive games, was happy that his team did not lose to their neighbours. “We are getting there as a team. We did not win today but it is on the road, so we picked up a good point,” Peddie, who missed his team’s first three games and the pre-season because he was away in the United States, told The Gleaner. Maverley-Hughenden’s head coach, Lijyasu Simms, expressed disappointment in his team’s sixth draw in eight games. “I am disappointed as we deserved three points today. We are creating chances but not putting them away,” Simms said after the game. Waterhouse’s coach, Michael Francis, was satisfied with the result. “We played a disciplined game and stayed behind the ball. It’s important that we did not lose,” said Francis. The game between Montego Bay United and Arnett Gardens, which was scheduled for Wes Pow Park in St James, was postponed due to a waterlogged field. “The new match date will be communicated,” a release from the Professional Football Association of Jamaica stated.
The final submissions in the whereabouts hearing of West Indies cricketer Andre Russell will be delivered today at the Jamaica Conference Centre, starting at 10.a.m.The hearing, which commenced on September 19, has overrun its course due to unforeseen delays; however, both parties were able to sufficiently submit their cases over the five-days hearing (although day three was postponed due to the absence of a panel member), and after what has been considered lengthy inquiry, Russell’s lead counsel, Patrick Foster and his Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) counterpart, Laxton Robinson, will submit their final arguments to the three man panel of Hugh Faulkner, Dr Majorie Vassell and Dixeth Palmer.JADCO is accusing Russell of failing to file his whereabouts on three occasions during a 12-month period. However, over the course of the hearing Russell’s team insisted that his busy international schedule made it difficult for him to fulfil his obligation with the anti-doping agency and maintained that the player did all he could to try and meet the requirements and deadlines.FILING FAILURESRussell lawyers’ main argument has been based on the last two of the cricketer’s three filing failures, both of which came in the July – September quarter. The alleged filing failures are for January 1, 2015, July 1, 2015, and July 25, 2015.Robinson has argued that the 28-year-old was tardy and negligent in submitting his whereabouts information to the national anti-doping body, and that JADCO readily provides assistance to those that need it; claiming also that the all-rounder made no attempt to access this information.The hearing also heard testimonies from JADCO’s executive director Carey Brown, Nadia Vassell and Tajae Smith, as well as Judith Lue and Russell himself.Russell faces a two-year ban from cricket if found guilty.- L.S.
Raymond Graham Gleaner Writer When the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Athletics Championships gets underway on Tuesday, March 28, there will be several adjustments to the five-days programme after principals voted in overwhelming support of five ___ At an ISSA meeting at the Terra Nova Hotel, the principals, who make up the membership of the organisation ratified the five proposed changes that were recommended by the technical committee of championships. All 105 principals present at the meeting reportedly voted in favour of the changes which will see the boys 400m hurdles now being contested in Class One and Class Two; only girls from classes one and two girls will be allowed to compete in the 3000m and the 2000m steeplechase and athletes will only be allowed to do two individual events and two relays, except in field events where athletes can do three individual events ands and one relay. Also girls competing in the heptathlon can only do one other individual event while boys contesting the decathlon will not be allowed to do any other event. Additional, only classes one and two boys can compete in the 5000m and 3000m steeplechase. Keith Wellington, Vice President of ISSA and Principal of St Elizabeth Technical was very pleased with the outcome. “As a member of the executive I am very pleased to know that the principals gave their full support in voting for the new proposals as this is really for the protection for the students athletes,” Wellington told The Gleaner.
Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Boris Johnson ‘humbled’ after majority win, says Parliament ‘must change’ PLAY LIST 01:56Boris Johnson ‘humbled’ after majority win, says Parliament ‘must change’01:42Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite ONE Championship already claimed it was the largest sports media property in Asia before the latest round of investment, with video programming seen in 128 countries and live shows attracting large crowds throughout the Eastern hemisphere. The promotion received capital last year from Heliconia Capital Management, which is owned by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.Sityodtong is a Harvard-educated entrepreneur and a lifelong martial artist who left a lucrative career as a hedge fund manager to start ONE Championship as a showcase for homegrown Asian martial artists. He is looking forward to utilizing Sequoia’s expertise on business expansion while he plots his still-young promotion’s next moves.“It’s been a whirlwind,” Sityodtong said. “Just six years ago, this was a PowerPoint presentation, and now we arguably have the most blue chip shareholder base for any sports property out here in Asia.”The UFC, the sport’s richest and most prominent promotion, is striving to increase its presence in Asia with shows in Singapore, Japan and China this year. UFC fights are watched avidly across Asia, and the promotion has a healthy number of fighters under contract with Asian ethnicity, but Sityodtong claims ONE Championship already has “a massive lead over the UFC” in the fight for Asian fans.“We’re very focused on Asia, with Asian content that really resonates,” Sityodtong said. “So it’s very different scale. It would be like ONE Championship coming to America with Asian heroes and trying to ignite American audiences without any Americans on a show. It’s hard to do so.”ADVERTISEMENT Sityodtong told The Associated Press on Wednesday that ONE Championship plans to stage up to 30 events in 2018 and will financially compete to sign the world’s best fighters, all while concentrating on its primary goal of being Asia’s dominant MMA brand. To that mission, Sityodtong intends to expand the Singapore-based promotion’s reach next year into Japan, South Korea and eventually India.“Already we’re the largest martial arts organization in the history of Asia,” Sityodtong said. “All the pieces suggest that we have a big, big runway of growth ahead of us and that we’re just scratching the surface of our potential.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The growth is already visible: In the final five months of 2017 alone, ONE Championship has 11 scheduled shows spread among Macau, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.After doing 18 events this year, Sityodtong projects 24 to 30 shows for 2018. The increase will include aggressive expansion into China, where ONE Championship is already staging events this year in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at Mall of Asia Arena last April 21. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netONE Championship has secured a major equity investment from venture capital firm Sequoia India and investment firm Mission Holdings, positioning the ascendant mixed martial arts promotion to increase its presence throughout Asia.The investment means ONE Championship has raised over $100 million in total capital less than six years after its first show, according to Chatri Sityodtong, the promotion’s chairman and CEO.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Helicopter carrying WWE exec makes emergency ocean landing MOST READ Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ONE Championship’s talent pool is Asian-focused, but not exclusive. Its champions include Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon Vera, Wisconsin-born welterweight Ben Askren, Brazilian light heavyweight Roger Gracie — and Angela Lee , the Canada-born, Hawaii-raised atomweight who has become one of the promotion’s most popular fighters.While ONE Championship’s roster of fighters probably doesn’t measure up to the UFC’s group on pure overall talent, Sityodtong’s promotion is about much more than blood and belts. Although he has the money to bid for top free-agent fighters alongside the UFC and Bellator, Sityodtong is more interested in creating a product that suits ONE Championship’s conception of the Asian audience’s sensibilities.“The UFC has done a wonderful job in the Western hemisphere and deserve their success, but they focus primarily on the fighting, on the violence, on controversy, on disrespect,” Sityodtong said. “You know, Conor McGregor, in your face, F-this, F-that. We’ve chosen to focus on Asian values, and that kind of stuff just doesn’t fly. ONE Championship is a true celebration of martial arts, which is Asia’s greatest cultural treasure, and we want to honor the Asian values of humility, kindness, integrity, strength and discipline. So it’s a very different approach.”Sityodtong believes that cultivated, clean-cut image has the side benefit of attracting corporate sponsors and deep-pocketed partners — including Sequoia India, a branch of the famed U.S. venture capital firm that invested in Apple, Google, PayPal, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, WhatsApp and countless other foundational technology companies.“ONE Championship has been a pioneer and major driving force of the martial arts industry in Asia, with surging popularity across major countries,” said Shailendra J Singh, the managing director of Sequoia Capital (India). “It has played an incredible role in nurturing local talent and developing local stars, led by a wonderful, mission-oriented team. We are delighted to join the team in their pursuit of developing the leading martial arts franchise for Asia’s 4.4 billion people.” LATEST STORIES View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLAPU-LAPU CITY — Amid their busy schedules, celebrities like Jake Cuenca and Gerald Anderson has never stopped training for triathlon events like the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines.More than anything, what keeps this actors going is their goal to keep a healthy lifestyle.ADVERTISEMENT LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Jake Cuenca and Gerald Anderson tell the press on what they get from joining triathlon races. pic.twitter.com/uP4DLLTFAN— Randolph B. Leongson (@RLeongsonINQ) August 5, 2017 This will be Cuenca and Anderson’s second relay event, the first in Cebu, after they joined the Subic Bay staging last March.Both are part of Derosa-Corsa teams in the all-male relay events, where they are designated to do the 90-kilometer bike course for their respective squads. as they are set to traverse from Mactan Newtown, the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, through the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), Plaza Independencia, the Cebu South Coastal Road Tunnel, to the turnaround at kilometer 29 in Talisay City before heading back to CICC.While they are going out there to have some fun and put their hard work to the test, Cuenca, Anderson and all the other celebrities in the race are also in it to win it.Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.net“We’re taking about an event that we really want to win. We really want to show up here and perform,” said Cuenca.ADVERTISEMENT View comments LATEST STORIES Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube With family waiting at the finish line, Tara Borlain cruises to last IronKids win Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano MOST READ McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “We already felt the pressure when we came into the hotel because there are a lot who joined, so we’re really going to enjoy this because this is such a big event,” added Anderson.Other celebrities participating in the Ironman 70.3 race are Matteo Guidicelli, Paul Jake Castillo, Bubbles Paraiso, Dyan Castillejo and Kim Atienza.Piolo Pascual (bike), Enchong Dee (swim), Gretchen Fullido (swim), and Kim Chiu (run) will also hit the roads for the relay events.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “We’ve been doing this for a year and a half and we’ve been getting good results,” said Cuenca on Saturday ahead of the race here. “We try to work around our schedule. But then, in between tapings, we do trainings. So it’s really a sacrifice.”“It changes lives because the dedication and sacrifices that you have to make just to train for the sport, it really changes you in a good way,” said Anderson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend
Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies “Sometimes you’ll feel that you’re not doing enough and if you get to that point just look at the mirror,” said James. “At the end of the day you’re the one who’ll control your destiny.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next GALLERY: LeBron James trains Gilas Pilipinas MOST READ Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu LATEST STORIES Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio 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 respite Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasay View comments LeBron James is arguably the greatest basketball player of his generation with a resume of godlike proportions that include four MVPS, three NBA titles, and countless All-NBA nods.And it’s not just his 6-foot-8, 250-pound frame that has helped him achieve such sporting legacy, but also a belief in one’s self that no other force on earth could ever shatter.ADVERTISEMENT “For me, it’s all about believing in yourself, uncertainties will come to your mind but you cannot stop believing especially if you put in the work,” said James during his private session with the Gilas players and members of the media for his Strive for Greatness tour.“If you put in the work then I believe it takes care of itself.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’INQUIRER PHOTO/ Sherwin VardeleonJames have been the subject of heavy scrutiny since his decision to skip college and go straight to the NBA from St. Vincent St. Mary and his controversial move to Miami from Cleveland catapulted him to super villain territory.Still, James triumphed and won two titles and two MVP trophies with the Heat before he returned to Cleveland to steer the Cavaliers’ to the city’s first championship since the Browns ruled the NFL in 1964. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees
Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Lucky 13: Lyceum clinches Final Four seat, remains unbeaten MOST READ 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 Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES View comments In ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ Comedy and Drama Collide OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Mos Burger to open in Manila; teases with a pop-up Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Harvey slammed South Texas with torrential rain that flooded parts of Houston and nearby cities, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. Watt initially hoped to raise $100,000 but blew through that goal on his way to $37 million.Brady says he has a lot of friends in Houston. “I think everybody was pretty touched by what happened,” he said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogThe Patriots play the Texans on Sunday in New England. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots reacts before a preseason game with the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium on August 31, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash/Getty Images/AFPFOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (AP) — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has donated $100,000 to the Hurricane Harvey relief fund started by Texans pass-rusher J.J. Watt, and New England coach Bill Belichick has pitched in $50,000.Watt called the donations “incredibly kind gestures (that) … show what type of people they are.”ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours DAY6 is for everybody How to help the Taal evacuees
North Korea’s Hwang Chung Gum and South Korea’s Won Yun-jong arrive during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — In an extraordinary show of unexpected unity, North and South Korea sat side by side Friday night under exploding fireworks that represented peace, not destruction, as the 2018 Winter Olympics opened on a Korean Peninsula riven by generations of anger, suspicion and bloodshed.The sister of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in — and appeared genuinely pleased — while they watched an elaborate show of light, sound and human performance. Minutes later came a moment stunning in its optics and its implications: the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, sitting a row ahead of Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the North’s nominal head of state, all watching the games begin — officials from two nations that many worry have been on the brink of nuclear conflict.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ LATEST STORIES Grizzlies coach Bickerstaff gets $25,000 fine from NBA On Saturday morning, the North’s official news agency, KCNA, issued a report about the Olympics opening that was notable in its lack of the loaded language it usually uses when writing about the South and the United States, which it characterizes as Seoul’s overlord.“The 23rd Winter Olympics opened in Phyongchang of south Korea,” KCNA wrote in English, using an alternate spelling for the Olympic city and, notably, the lower-case “south” — a style it uses to show it does not endorse the names “South Korea” and “North Korea.”On Friday night, a huge crowd gathered in the freezing Olympics Stadium as performances displayed the sweep of Korean history and culture. The march of athletes from the world’s many nations saw them girded against a frigid Korean night with temperatures that dipped below freezing and biting winds.One notable visual came with the appearance of the Russian delegation, which marched in unable to carry its flag because of doping-related sanctions by the International Olympic Committee. Normally dressed in blazing red, they paraded in wearing grey and white jackets and seemed — uncommonly for that delegation — quite sedate.Members of a delegation from North Korea, part of an Olympics partnership between the two Korean rivals, watched from high in the stadium a performance called “The Land of Peace” and as past South Korean athletes paraded a large southern flag. The North Koreans, dressed in identical garb, cheered in careful coordination.The North has sent nearly 500 people to the Pyeongchang Games including officials, athletes, artists and cheerleaders after the Koreas agreed to a series of conciliatory gestures to mark the games. More than 2,900 athletes from 92 countries will compete here, making it the biggest Winter Olympics to date.Pyeongchang was not supposed to share the spotlight with Pyongyang. This was not supposed to be, as some in Seoul grumble, the “Pyongyang Games,” a play on the North Korean capital’s phonetic similarity to Pyeongchang.After two failed Olympic bids that emphasized the high-sounding notion that the games could help make peace with North Korea, Pyeongchang finally sold its successful try in 2011 on the decidedly capitalistic goal of boosting winter sports tourism in Asia.But North Korea has a habit of not letting itself be ignored when it comes to its southern rival.Its agents blew up a South Korean airliner ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics in an attempt to dissuade visitors; then it boycotted its rival’s Olympic debut on the world stage. A few years later, the discovery of the huge progress Pyongyang had been surreptitiously making on its nuclear programs plunged the Korean Peninsula into crisis. It has only deepened over the years as the North closes in on the ability to field an arsenal of nukes that can hit U.S. cities. View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Not long after, North and South Korean athletes entered Olympic Stadium together, waving flags showing a unified Korea — the long-time dream, in theory at least, of many Koreans both North and South. It was the rivals’ first joint Olympic march since 2007. International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach then handed the podium to Moon, who declared the Olympics officially open.The ceremony’s signature moment delivered another flash of unity and deft political stage-managing, too. Two athletes from the joint Koreas women’s hockey team climbed stairs to the cauldron with the Olympic torch. At the last moment, though, they handed off the flame to former Olympic champion figure skater Yuna Kim, arguably South Korea’s most famous person. She actually lit the cauldron as the home crowd roared.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 folkMoon, in a statement, said athletes from North and South will “work together for victory.” And Bach lauded the joint march of the two Koreas as a “powerful message.”“We are all touched by this wonderful gesture. We all join and support you in your message of peace,” Bach said. After years of frustration, billions of dollars and a nagging national debate about their worth, the opening ceremonies took place before a world watching the moment not only for its athletic significance and global spectacle, but for clues about what the peninsula’s political future could hold.There is a palpable excitement in this isolated, rugged mountain town, as one of the poorest, coldest and most disgruntled parts of an otherwise prosperous South Korea kicks off two weeks of winter sports, spectacle and, from the looks of things, some inter-Korean reconciliation.After a chaotic year of nuclear war threats and nuclear and missile tests from the North, the opening ceremony proved to be an evening of striking visual moments.The significance of Pence and the North Koreans sitting in the same box seemed to run counter to the mission he was supposed to undertake. He’d been dispatched from Washington for the Olympics in part, he said, to make sure the world didn’t forget that North Korea was a misbehaving and dangerous neighbor in the community of nations.What did seem clear was that, deliberately or not, the North Korean government had managed to edge its way onto center stage during the South’s biggest global moment in years.ADVERTISEMENT And so, with a little help from a liberal South Korean president eager to engage Pyongyang, the 2018 Pyeongchang Games open.They do so with as much focus on the North, which has zero real medal contenders, as the South, which in the three decades since its last Olympics has built a solid winter program as it went from economic backwater and military dictatorship to Asia’s fourth-biggest economy and a bulwark of liberal democracy.Could Pyeongchang’s initial pitch — that it could contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula — actually become reality? The opening ceremony offered at least some hints about that, and maybe more. What’s certain is that these Games, more so than any in recent memory, are about far more than sports.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track 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 Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.