Published: 17:44 EST, 5 November 2017 | Updated: 17:45 EST, 5 November 2017
NEW YORK (AP) – Meb Keflezighi left it all on the course in his final New York City Marathon, blowing kisses and giving the thumbs-up to the adoring crowds in Central Park before collapsing at the finish line.
Wearing his signature "MEB" bib, the 42-year-old Keflezighi led the pack early and finished 11th on Sunday in his 26th and final marathon in the city where he made his 2002 debut.
Race officials, his wife and young daughters lifted him off the pavement after a 26.2-mile effort that lasted 2 hours, 15 minutes, 29 seconds.
Meb Keflezighi of the United States approaches the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
"It was a beautiful victory lap to be up in the front," said Keflezighi, whose goal was to finish in the top 10. "Emotions get to you."
More than 70 friends and family were on hand to witness the final bow of the only runner to win an Olympic medal and the New York and Boston marathons. Keflezighi became a U.S. citizen in 1998, a decade after his family left war-torn Eritrea.
In 2009, he became the first American man since Alberto Salazar in 1982 to win the NYC marathon. On Sunday, his friend Shalane Flanagan of Boston became the first American woman in 40 years to win the event.
"What a day for America," Keflezighi said. "I heard she won at 24 (miles). I think I did a jump with both hands in the air."
NYC marathon race director Peter Ciaccia called this "the Mebathon." He surpassed the great Grete Waitz of Norway with his 11th appearance here. Throughout his career, Keflezighi has produced eight top-10 finishes in New York.
Five days after the bike path terror attack killed eight people near the World Trade Center, more than 50,000 runners from 125 countries and all 50 states ran through the various ethnic neighborhoods of the five boroughs.
Keflezighi was ahead at Mile 7. He wound up about five minutes behind winner Geoffrey Kamworor of Kenya.
Keflezighi's dramatic victory at the 2014 Boston Marathon came a year after the deadly bombings there. He triumphantly broke the tape with the names of three victims and a slain police officer written on his bib, finishing in a personal-best time of 2:08:37.
"He was part of healing Boston after the bombings," Flanagan said. "His performance meant the world to me and to the people who helped raise me. So today, I thought, just be like Meb."
Keflezighi was brought to tears this week upon hearing he'd receive the Abebe Bikila Award. It's for outstanding contribution to the sport of distance running, handed out by the New York Road Runners.
"Growing up without television, electricity or running water, probably the first athlete I ever heard about was Abebe Bikila," he said. "The second athlete was Pele."
Keflezighi and his family immigrated to Italy and then San Diego to escape Eritrea's war of independence from Ethiopia. Bikila, a two-time Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia, set a world record while running barefoot in the 1960 Rome Games.
"Sports were something, when I didn't speak a word of English, it got me the thumbs-up," said Keflezighi about his teen track performances in the U.S. "It's self-esteem, that you belong to something."
A four-time NCAA title winner primarily in the 5K and 10K at UCLA, he vowed his first NYC marathon would be his last after hitting the wall in mile 21. But Keflezighi's long-distance career took off when he won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the first U.S. man since Frank Shorter in 1976 to win a medal in the marathon.
He broke his hip at the U.S. Olympic trials in 2007 in Central Park, a race where friend and training partner Ryan Shay collapsed and died of a heart attack. He followed that sadness with a 2009 NYC Marathon win.
Keflezighi is one of 10 children who maximized their potential in the United States, becoming doctors, lawyers, nurses and engineers.
"My dad first taught me that hard work beats everything and never judge a book by its cover," he said. "You do the best you can do, get the best out of yourself. Sports, Nelson Mandela says, unites us more than anything else."
Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won gold at the first women's marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, says Keflezighi has left a "unique legacy."
"Meb is Meb. There's nobody quite like him," she said. "It's been a joy getting to know him through our sport. If this is in fact his last marathon, he'll continue to be very involved in the sport at every level."
The face of American long-distance running, who became more familiar through Skechers shoe commercials, says he'll coach, run as a pacer and work with youth through his MEB Foundation.
"The marathon, you can't act it," he said. "From Mile 1 all the way, you have to get there somehow. That's what life is. I hope I've been a good ambassador of the sport."
People come to help Meb Keflezighi of the United States after he collapsed at the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Meb Keflezighi, of the United States, runs with the men's elite field during the New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
People come to help Meb Keflezighi of the United States, third from left, after collapsed at the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Meb Keflezighi of the United States crosses the finish line of the New York City Marathon in New York, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.
Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.
Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.
It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.
The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”
“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.
“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”
Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.
Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.
For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.
Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.
A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.
Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane
Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane
At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.
When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.
Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.
While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.
But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.
And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.
And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836
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