Patel Decision Restricts Feticide ProsecutionsIndianaLawyer by Dave Stafford-August 10, 2016 Lawyers who succeeded in persuading the Indiana Court of Appeals to reverse a Granger woman’s feticide conviction for taking drugs that resulted in an induced abortion hailed the decision they say restricts the misapplication of state law.“I think it sends a very strong message to prosecutors,” said Indianapolis attorney Linda Pence, who drafted an amicus brief for the Innocence Network in Purvi Patel’s appeal and years earlier represented Bei Bei Shuai of Indianapolis in a similar case. “I think it does kind of put these kinds of prosecutions behind us. I’m just thrilled to death with this, because that’s the right outcome.”patel-purvi-mug PatelSt. Joseph County Prosecutor Kenneth P. Cotter, whose office prosecuted Patel after charges were brought by former Prosecutor Michael Dvorak, said it would be unethical for a prosecutor to bring a feticide charge in a case such as Patel’s in light of the Court of Appeals ruling. “I don’t have the luxury of being able to charge something our courts are saying are not crimes,” Cotter said. “I don’t think any prosecutor ever would.”Cotter said he hasn’t decided yet whether to seek an appeal, but he appreciated the policy determination the court made that clarified the Legislature’s intent. “If this stands, then we now have a framework in which to operate.”Patel’s case was bolstered by more than two dozen friends of the court whose positions were submitted in briefs on her behalf.“It generated a lot of interest, and that just shows why prosecutions like this are a bad idea,” said Greenfield attorney Kathrine Jack, who wrote an amicus brief in Patel’s case for the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, health and bioethics experts, and women’s rights and reproductive justice organizations.Pence said that like Shuai, Patel became pregnant under difficult circumstances and, while in great distress, chose to end her pregnancy. Patel ordered RU-486 and another drug from an online pharmacy, took them and delivered a baby at about 25 to 30 weeks. She disposed of the baby in a Dumpster near a Mishawaka restaurant where she worked, then went to the hospital for treatment of severe bleeding. Hospital staff called police, and Patel was charged with Class B felony feticide and Class A felony neglect of a dependent. A jury convicted her, and she was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.A Court of Appeals panel last month reversed the feticide conviction, reduced the Class A felony neglect conviction to a Class D felony, and remanded for resentencing accordingly. Patel already has served one year and four months in the Indiana Women’s Prison.“(W)e hold that the legislature did not intend for the feticide statute to apply to illegal abortions or to be used to prosecute women for their own abortions,” Judge Terry Crone wrote for the panel in a 42-page opinion in Purvi Patel v. State of Indiana, 71A04-1504-CR-166.“Since the legislature enacted the feticide statute in 1979, it has been used to prosecute third parties who knowingly terminate pregnancies by using violence against the expectant mother without her consent. This is the first case that we are aware of in which the State has used the feticide statute to prosecute a pregnant woman (or anyone else) for performing an illegal abortion, as that term is commonly understood,” Crone wrote.The judges found this case to be an “abrupt departure” from other cases, including Kendrick v. State, 947 N.E.2d 509 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), in which the state used the feticide statute to prosecute a bank robber who shot a pregnant teller in the abdomen, leading to the death of her twins.“The State’s about-face in this proceeding is unsettling, as well as untenable under Baird,” Crone wrote. The Indiana Supreme Court in Baird v. State, 604 N.E.2d 1170 (Ind. 1992), disagreed with a contention that the feticide statute is used to punish people who perform illegal abortions, not those who kill a pregnant woman with no intent to harm the fetus.“Assuming the opinion stands, I think it’s a step forward because of all the public health reasons that are cited in our brief,” Jack said. “Women who are having any kind of medical issue in their pregnancy should be able to seek treatment without fearing arrest. Here we have a woman who went into a hospital bleeding, seeking medical care, and it ended up in a criminal probe. We don’t want women to be afraid to go to the doctor or hospital for any reason.”The office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller would represent Cotter if the prosecutor asks for a rehearing or petitions the Indiana Supreme Court to grant transfer. “The Attorney General’s Office will review the Court’s opinion in the Patel v. State case and confer with its clients and decide on next legal steps, if any, by the appropriate deadlines,” spokesman Bryan Corbin said in a statement after the ruling.Patel’s attorneys, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law professor Joel Schumm and Stanford Law School professor Lawrence Marshall, declined to comment.Jack said she also was pleased with the decision’s language regarding the neglect charge the COA reduced. Crone cited Herron v. State, 729 N.E.2d 1008, 1010 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), which held that an unborn child isn’t considered a dependent under the neglect statute.While the state presented sufficient evidence to find Patel was aware the baby was born alive and that she endangered the baby by failing to provide medical care, the state could not prove her failure to provide care resulted in the death of the baby that weighed less than one-and-a-half pounds.“The State chides Patel for ‘deliberately induc[ing] the premature delivery of her baby’ with no ‘medical supervision and in a setting where there would be no … medical help available for the child,” Crone wrote. “But these conditions are invalid under Herron, in which we stated that the plain language of the neglect statute ‘contemplates only acts that place one who is a dependent at the time of the conduct at issue in a dangerous situation — not acts that place a future dependent in a dangerous situation.”“We’re pleased that the appellate court upheld the jury determination that she neglected the child,” Cotter said. He said the evidence leading the jury to conclude the child was alive when born was based on solid science.While the COA decision makes a future feticide prosecution of a pregnant mother unlikely, Cotter said he would never second-guess his predecessor’s decision to file the charge against Patel. “I had zero problem going forward with the charges,” he said.Pence said if lawmakers wish to charge women who induce abortions, they may do so by passing laws criminalizing that conduct after an argument on the merits. “But don’t take these statutes that were created without any of these prosecutions (of pregnant women) in mind and then misconstrue that statute. … Everything isn’t supposed to wind up in the criminal system.”•FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
“Why is it increasing? Because there was the Chinese New Year [holiday] and tourist arrivals usually increase [during this period],” she added.Read also: Indonesian tourism suffers estimated US$500 million in losses due to COVID-19: Minister LuhutThe statistics agency data showed that the number of Malaysian tourists fell 10.6 percent year-on-year (yoy) to 206,532 arrivals in January, around 16 percent of the total visits, the highest among other countries of origin.Chinese tourists trailed behind Malaysians at 181,281 arrivals, a slight rise of 1.46 percent yoy, a far cry compared with the 73 percent annual growth recorded in January 2019. The novel coronavirus spread, first reported in China, has started to hit Indonesia’s tourism sector as the country has recorded slower growth in tourist arrivals following bans applied to visitors from China.Statistics Indonesia (BPS) revealed on Monday that tourist arrivals amounted to 1.27 million in January, around 5.85 percent higher than the 1.20 million recorded in the same month in 2019. However, the growth is much lower than the around 9.5 percent increase in arrivals during January 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.“The coronavirus impact can only be significantly seen in the last week of [January]. Some countries saw a decline [in tourist arrivals], like China, Malaysia and Singapore, but in total, they still record an increase,” said BPS deputy for statistics distribution and service Yunita Rusanti in Jakarta. Indonesia has closed its borders for those traveling to and from China in a bid to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like illness. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday morning the first two COVID-19 positive cases on Indonesia’s soil after a Japanese tourist allegedly spread the virus during a visit to Jakarta. The government has announced a stimulus package worth Rp 10.3 trillion (US$742 million) to support the country’s economic growth. The package will include aid for staple goods programs and housing loans and payment subsidies for the bottom 30 percent of people in the income bracket to maintain consumer spending.Consumer spending contributes more than a half of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP).The government will also grant Rp 3.3 trillion to 33 regional authorities to compensate for tax revenue losses from the tax exemptions given to hotels and restaurants for the next six months, give Rp 298.5 billion in incentives to airlines and travel agents to attract foreign tourists to Indonesia and another Rp 443.39 billion in discounts for domestic tourists visiting 10 tourist destinations. Topics : COVID-19 has infected more than 88,000 people in some 60 countries and killed around 3,000 people.Indonesia has set a target of welcoming 17 million tourists this year. Last year, a total of 16.1 million tourists visited the country, a far cry from the 2019 target of 18 million.Read also: Govt to pay Rp 72 billion to influencers to boost tourism amid coronavirus outbreakThe BPS also revealed that passengers on international flights increased by 12.13 percent yoy in January to 1.68 million, higher than the 11.27 percent annual growth recorded in the first month of 2019.Meanwhile, the occupancy rate of star-rated hotels stood at 49.17 percent in January, a decline of 2.3 percentage points compared with the occupancy rate in the same month last year of 51.47 percent.The average length of stay at star-rated hotels was 1.88 days in January, 0.17 days shorter compared with the same month in 2019. Indonesia Tourism Intellectuals Association (ICPI) chairman Azril Azahari cast doubts on the fiscal incentives, adding that he would much rather see the government use the funds to improve the current weaknesses in the tourism sector to prepare for 2021’s arrivals and promote quality rather than quantity in tourism.Read also: Let’s not kid ourselves. Indonesia is unlikely to be COVID-19-free. And that’s not our biggest problem.Indonesia still ranks 80th for security and safety, 98th for tourist service infrastructure, 102nd in health and hygiene and 135th for environmental sustainability, ranking lower than Singapore and Malaysia both in the competitiveness index and the four sub-indexes in the 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).”Under such conditions, no matter what [the government] does to promote tourism through low prices, when the public says no, it’s still a no,” Azril said.He also urged the government to remain transparent on the COVID-19 outbreak developments, citing Saudi Arabia’s decision to include Indonesia among 23 countries in a temporary ban on all umrah pilgrims as an example of how foreign countries are increasingly wary of the virus spread in Indonesia.
Stockland has unveiled 11 of its new display homes at the $590 million Newport community on the Redcliffe Peninsula.THE BASICSNEWPORTDeveloper: StocklandPrice: From $263,200 for 312sq mLocation: Spinnaker Boulevard, NewportThe Newport display village is coming to life with 11 of the 30 display homes complete and ready for inspection.ELEVEN stunning display homes have been unveiled at Stockland’s waterside community on the Redcliffe Peninsula.The homes feature the latest generation of designs from some of Australia’s biggest, most recognised builders, including Metricon, Coral, Clarendon, Porter Davis, and McDonald Jones. Once fully complete next month (July), the display village will feature 30 display homes.Stockland regional manager David Laner said the completion of the first display homes was a significant milestone for Newport and something that new home buyers in the Newport community were excited about.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoNewport display home.“Newport is the perfect location for customers who want to combine the unique, relaxed lifestyle of bayside living with the convenience of nearby retail, schools and an easy commute to the Brisbane CBD,” Mr Laner said. “All of these new homes make the absolute most of the community’s bayside and waterfront location with their seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor living and entertaining.”Newport is a $590 million community, which will eventually comprise more than 2,000 new homes.New sites have recently been released, priced from $263,200 to $310,200 for 312sq m to 425sq m. Newport display home.“The community is incredibly popular, with land releases selling out quickly from the outset, and we have lots of buyers who can’t wait to start building their new home,” Mr Laner said.“With this in mind, we’re looking forward to seeing how buyers will be influenced and inspired by the innovative trends showcased in these display homes when it comes to building their own dream homes.”Newport is within walking distance of Kippa-Ring train station and a short drive from shops, schools, cafes and restaurants. The community is proposed to feature a retail and dining precinct, future retirement village, future foreshore parks and a proposed 23ha non-tidal lake with high mast access to Moreton Bay.
Courtois played on after requiring treatment for a head knock following a first-half collision with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, before being replaced after further treatment and departing Stamford Bridge for precautionary scans in hospital. A Chelsea statement issued on Monday read: “Chelsea Football Club can confirm Thibaut Courtois went to hospital during our Premier League game against Arsenal yesterday (Sunday) for precautionary tests on a head injury. Those tests came back all clear. “Thibaut was treated for a minor cut to his ear and was released from hospital last night. He is expected to report for international duty (with Belgium) later this week.” Headway, the brain injury charity, has questioned the application of the Premier League’s regulations following the decision to allow Courtois to play on. The Premier League is understood to be happy the rules were correctly applied. Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said on the charity’s website: “The new rules introduced this season were designed to ensure no risks to players’ health were taken. “They clearly state that ‘If there is any suspicion of the player having sustained a concussion, they must be removed from the field of play, and not allowed to return.’ “This incident calls into question whether these rules are working effectively. “It is hard to understand how a concussion was not suspected following the sickening clash.” Courtois was taken off only after liquid appeared to be coming from his ear. McCabe acknowledged the difficulty of making an assessment from television, but questioned why a “safety-first approach” was not applied. He added: “Bleeding from one or both ears is one of the symptoms to look out for that requires an immediate visit or return to hospital following a head injury. “The fact that the bleeding only became apparent 15 minutes after the injury also demonstrates the evolving nature of concussion and highlights why a safety-first approach must be taken with all head injuries.” Chelsea’s first-team squad were afforded a day off by manager Jose Mourinho on Monday as many of the players prepared to join up with their national teams after the Blues extended their advantage at the top of the Premier League to five points from Manchester City. Only goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, defender John Terry and striker Didier Drogba, who is currently nursing an ankle injury, will stay behind for training, with all three having retired from international duty. Eden Hazard leaves for Belgium duty, alongside Courtois, on a high after a mixed start to the season. The playmaker, who is expected to sign a new contract shortly to commit to Chelsea, was below par against Aston Villa, but sparkled on occasion against the Gunners, particularly in the run which led to the penalty which he converted himself. Hazard, who was the target of some heavy tackling in the contest, is content to be fouled if it benefits the team. And he believes with Cesc Fabregas over a set-piece, a goal is always possible. “When I get the ball I need to go forward and win free-kicks, win penalties,” the 23-year-old Hazard told Chelsea TV. “If they want to play like this it’s not my problem. They have two against me, okay, but I can create a lot of space for other players. “We can score every game with Fabregas from a free-kick or corner.” Chelsea have dropped two points in their opening seven games – in drawing at Manchester City – and are top of their Champions League Group. Hazard knows there is no margin for error, though. He added: “We have a strong team. We need to concentrate all the time, 100 per cent. “We know we have bad moments in one season, but we need to be focused all the time.” Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has been cleared to play on after undergoing precautionary tests following the head injury he sustained during Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League win over Arsenal. Press Association
More than 350 participants successfully finished the first women’s race in the organization of the company “dm” that was held on Wilson’s Promenade in Sarajevo. Thus, the capital city of BiH joined the list of European cities where this popular race is being held in the organization of the dm.Experienced runners took part in the 1st dm race for women in BiH, as well as women that are recreationally running. The winner was Biljana Cvijanovic, who ran 3.5 kilometers with the time 11:45:90. On the second place was Alma Hrnjic, who finished the race with the time 12:15:60, and the third place went to Adela Comor who finished the race with the time 12:57:17.Regardless of their placement, all participants received a gift from the company dm and their partners: Catrice, Ebelin, Ella, Essence, Nivea, Rauch, Violeta, and Wilkinson.This event took place in a sign of socially responsible activism, and dm decided to give additional support to the process of popularization of running and promotion of athletics and handed over a donation of 3.000 BAM to athletic club Novi Grad on this occasion.“We are very pleased with the response to the first women’s race that we organized with the aim of promoting healthy and active lifestyle among women. We chose the 3.5km challenge for the beginning, and we believe that many participants recognized it as an attractive path for their Sunday activities. I believe that we spent a couple of hours in a good and quality way, and we are planning to make the women’s race a tradition and an unavoidable event for all ladies that are engaged in running,” said Ajla Hadzic, the Marketing Manager of the dm company.“I am happy to see that athletics is becoming a recognizable sport for renowned companies because their influence can give a significant contribution to the progress of “little” sports. This donation will help in the further work of our club and we are very grateful for this gift. These funds will be directed to the supply of training equipment that will be used by our members. This is a recognition that we are doing a good job and motivation for further progress, and we promise that we will try to be the best club possible,” said Elmir Cerimagic, the President of the athletic club Novi Grad.(Source: klix.ba)
A local man is accused of killing a woman just after he left jail late last year on a domestic battery charge.West Palm Beach Police say they charged 55-year-old Leon Fitzgerald Thomas with second-degree murder on Friday.On October 26, 2019, police took a 911 call from a woman who had been unable to contact the victim for several days.Police went to the woman’s home, where they found her body wrapped in a tarp and comforter in a bedroom.Courtesy: Palm Beach Sheriff’s OfficeThe body had ice packs around it. Investigators also found pools of blood throughout the house.Thomas told police that he had a heated argument with the woman and pushed her head into the wall.According to the arrest report, the medical examiner determined that the woman suffered blunt force injuries to her head and neck.The suspect had bonded out of the Palm Beach County Jail on October 25, following his arrest domestic battery in a separate case.Authorities have not released the woman’s name and age.
A Cambridgeshire golf centre is getting down to the business of being the best – with the help of England Golf.The Kingsway Golf Centre in Melbourn, just south of Cambridge, aims to be the best ‘learn to play’ centre in the area and has drawn up an action plan, inspired by lessons learned at an England Golf Business Growth Forum for clubs.The forums, held across the country, helped golf clubs take a fresh look at their opportunities, identify goals for growth and trial new approaches.Following their success, England Golf is now running 20 Business Growth Hubs this month and in November, which are free to affiliated clubs. They have an interactive format to learn, share and network and this year’s themes focus on how to futureproof your club, grow your business and grow your membership.Clubs can be represented by three to four decision makers and the hubs are free of charge as part of England Golf’s support to clubs.James Watts, the Kingsway general manager, commented after attending his forum: “I couldn’t write notes fast enough!” He returned to Kingsway to work with colleagues and Marc Smith, England Golf’s Cambridgeshire County Development Officer, to draw up the action plan.The aim is to increase the number of visitors to the centre and encourage them to return, frequently, to enjoy the nine-hole course, nine-hole pitch and putt course, footgolf, 40 bay driving range, American Golf store and café bar.“There are two other pay and play centres in the area so it’s a competitive market,” said Watts. “The Business Growth Forum was very useful. It’s given us a very good understanding of where our business is working well and not so well. It’s been very beneficial.”Their first step was to survey customers and staff to identify the centre’s strengths and areas where improvements could be made. Then, a three-year business plan was drawn up.“Before, everything was working, but not as well as it could be,” said Watts. “Now we have the business plan everyone on the staff knows what direction we are pulling in.”The centre has put a fresh emphasis on improving customer service by starting a new staff training scheme leading to NVQ qualifications.The centre has better knowledge of who to target as potential customers after studying their local demographic. “We were surprised by the number of young, up and coming people with good jobs and stable incomes living within 30 minutes’ drive of the centre,” said Watts.Head PGA professional, Chris Hattersley, is closely involved in new plans to develop the teaching academy, with the particular aim of attracting more women and juniors to coaching sessions.The centre is also building on its successes. The customer survey revealed that the driving range was the most highly rated feature so Kingsway invested in 21,000 new range balls to enhance its appeal even further.In addition, new avenues are also being explored, such as children’s parties featuring the popular footgolf.Marc Smith commented: “Kingsway have achieved so much in a short time since the forum. They have been so dynamic and open to using all the support England Golf can offer.” 12 Oct 2016 Golf centre makes it their business to be the best
By The Nelson Daily SportsThe Diamonds proved to be too strong for the rest of the field at the Soccer Quest Christmas Co-Ed Indoor Tournament Wednesday afternoon at the Cedar Street Facility.The Diamonds defeated The Midget Pinkies 5-2 to claim the top prize at the eight-team holiday indoor tournament.The Diamonds, consisting mostly of players home from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island for the Christmas holiday, plowed through the round robin draw going undefeated.So the Diamonds were the favourites to continue the trend in the final against The Midget Pinkies in the finale.However, The Midget Pinkies, paced by the Stewart Family Members and Reed Bambrick kept the score close and had numerous scoring chances.But The Midget Pinkies were denied around the net, as most teams were during the two-day event, by goalkeeper Jan Williams in the Diamonds net.In the consolation final KRS Red edged Byron’s Army 10-8.The Soccer Quest Christmas Co-Ed Indoor Tournament increased to eight teams this year and consisted of players between the ages of 14 and 44 years as well as members of the Kootenay Regional Soccer program.The next Soccer Quest adult tournament will take place on March 26/27 and it will be a Masters 30 plus ladies and 35 plus men’s events. Teams from Kamloops and Penticton are already registered.Soccer Quest youth winter programs start Monday with registration now ongoing.By The Nelson Daily [email protected]
A fisherman was cleared of fishing without a licence after a judge ruled the authority which provides the licence was unclear.Jason Steele, of Lower Cabry, Quigley’s Point, was accused of fishing without a licence on Lough Swilly on September 21, 2015. He denied the charges before him at Carndonagh District Court.Fishery officer Seamus Bradley told the court he received a report of illegal oyster fishing on Lough Swilly so at 12.45pm on September 21 he launched the patrol boat from Rathmullan.Mr Bradley said himself and fishery officer James Doherty checked a number of boats for licences and undersized oysters.He explained how they boarded a boat fishing vessel, belonging to Mr Steele, which was fishing for oysters on Russell’s Bed.“I asked him if he had a licence to fish for native oysters on Lough Swilly, he replied no so I cautioned him. I observed 20-25kgs of oysters on board.”Mr Bradley said he seized the oysters and returned them to the oyster’s beds. He explained thatMr. Steele’s boat was 30 foot long with a large mechanical dredge on the back that is used for fishing for oysters.The court heard that the licence holder for the boat, Gareth Duncan, was not on the boat but had been on board when they had boarded the boat previously.Mr Steele told the court that he and Mr Duncan have been fishing for oysters that day but Gary felt sick so he went down the river on another boat to go home. Mr Steele said he was with his uncle as they were travelling in the one vehicle together to go home.When he was boarded by fishery officers, Mr Steele had Mr Duncan’s license, a sea fishing licence and a certificate of registration on board, however, he did not produce anything as he was not asked to.He said he fished for oysters on the Swilly before the season opened on Lough Foyle and himself and Mr Duncan shared the profits.Prosecuting solicitor for the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority Denis O’Mahoney asked Mr Steele if he had a licence for fishing on the Foyle, which he had.Mr Duncan told the court that he rang the fishery office in Ballyshannon to change over his licence to Mr Steele’s boat. However, Mr. O’Mahoney said his licence was for a three-foot hand dredge, not the large mechanical dredge, which was on Mr Steele’s boat.However Steele’s solicitor, Ciaran MacLochlainn said it was not specific on the licence that it related to a particular dredge.“I would say we are not guilty of the offence we are charged with,” said Mr MacLochlainn.“Mr. Steele was entitled to dredge for oysters on Lough Swilly on foot of the licence which was issued to Mr. Duncan – it doesn’t say on the licence what size the dredge is to be.“The fishery officers have boarded his boat before when Mr. Duncan was on board and they had no problem, there was no mention of the dredge.”However Mr. O’Mahoney said it was ‘quite clear’ that Mr. Duncan applied for a licence to cover athree foot hand dredge.“He knows fine well what licence he applied for – Mr. Steele had no licence for a dredge and Mr. Duncan’s licence didn’t cover that dredge. I accept that the licence could be clearer but there is about 20 fishermen in the county who have these licences so the fishery officers would have intimate knowledge of the vessels and their dredges,” he added.Judge Paul Kelly said it wasn’t clear at all from the licence what type of dredge it covered. He said he believed the onus was on the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority, who issues the dredge, to say that this licence was for a three foot hand dredge, for example.Judge Kelly said the obligation for the licence holder to be on board the vessel was unclear in the legalisation. He said he had to give Mr. Steele the ‘benefit of the doubt’ as the licence was unclear.He suggested that the authority that issued the licences should address these issues if there are so few issued every year.Fisherman given ‘benefit of doubt’ in row over dredges was last modified: March 8th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
28 January 2014South African wheelchair tennis star Lucas Sithole claimed runners-up finishes in both the quad singles and doubles at the Australian Open, becoming the first African to reach the final of both events at the first Grand Slam of the year.Sithole faced world number one David Wagner in the final for the singles title, with both men sporting two wins out of three in the round robin part of the competition ahead of the title decider.Singles finalThe South African started strongly and convincingly claimed the first set 6-3. Wagner, though, responded immediately by running out to a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Sithole broke back to level matters at 3-3.Wagner again pulled ahead at 5-3, but once more Sithole levelled at 5-5 before Wagner claimed the next two games to take the set 7-5.In the deciding third set, Wagner broke Sithole early and went on to win it 6-3 to finish a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 winner. It was his third Australian Open title.Wagner also teamed with Andrew Lapthorne to defeat Sithole and Dylan Alcott in the final of the quad doubles, winning 6-4, 6-4.‘Another milestone achieved’Sithole’s coach Holger Losch, who was named Coach of the Year at the South African Sports Awards for his work with wheelchair tennis players, said in a statement on Monday: “We are proud of Lucas for reaching his second Grand Slam final. It is another milestone achieved and the experience he gained is extremely valuable.“Lucas had a very successful Australian tour, winning both the Apia Sydney International Open and the Melbourne Open earlier in January this year.“We are excited to see what the year holds for our top South African aces Lucas Sithole, Kgothatso Montjane and Evans Maripa.“I would also like to thank our game sponsor Airports Company South Africa, who without their support, these achievements would not have been possible.”‘An inspiring performance’Spokesperson for Airports Company South Africa, Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, the game sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA), said: “Airports Company South Africa congratulates Lucas on an inspiring performance.“The company is especially proud to see how its partnership with WTSA has developed and grown talent over the nine-year period since it started sponsoring the sport.“WTSA is developing world-class players and has put South Africa on the global map of wheelchair sporting talent.”SAinfo reporter