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  • Buys aiming to follow Stander’s lead

    first_img23 July 2013South African Olympic cyclist Philip Buys is out to prove a point at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships starting in Pietermaritzburg on 26 August – and to give a performance that does justice to the late Burry Stander.The 24-year-old Team Scott Factory rider headed to Spain for the fourth round of the UCI World Cup last week, looking to fine-tune his form before flying home to prepare for the World Championships at a training camp in Cape Town before heading to Pietermaritzburg a week before the event.For Durban-born Buys, who recently won the Cycling South African national MTB series title, the 2013 Cross Country World Championships is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity“I will never again get a chance to compete in a World Cross Country Champs on home soil, and racing on a track that I know well, I want to take full advantage of this opportunity,” he said in a statement ahead of his departure for Europe.“Every track is difficult in its own way, but the Cascades track seems to suit my style. I race it at every opportunity, and the more you race it the more comfortable you feel on it,” he added.Since the London Olympic Games, Buys has steadily climbed up the UCI rankings, and now finds himself ranked around 20th in the world, bringing with it a preferential seeding at major international races.“It’s quite different! When you start at the front everyone seems kind of shaky, while when you are seeded 70th and some way back, you have five seconds or so before you even cross the start line,” he said.PodiumIllness hampered his recent World Cup campaign, but he managed a podium in one of the Eliminator races. That has helped focus his training and preparations for the World Championships.“I’ve got the power. I know that and the Eliminator proves that. Now I am working on my fitness. Since the Absa Cape Epic I have been focusing more on training and recovery and actually racing less.”With a top 20 seeding, Buys is looking to finish the World Championships with a top 15 or top 10 result, and says he is driven in a significant way by his desire to sustain the legacy of the late Burry Stander.‘No excuses’“Burry did so much for this sport in South Africa. He set the standard and proved that as a South African you have no excuses not to beat the best in the world,” Buys explained.“With Burry’s passing the responsibility shifts to us to uphold his standards, and to go further and to take his achievements and go beyond that. That is a huge and positive motivation for me now.”Buys will also carry forward his experiences at the Olympics as he seeks to make the most of high profile and high pressure opportunities in the future.“As big as the Olympics were for me, I learnt a lot from that experience. I attach the same level of importance to these World Champs, and I know a lot more about what I have to do to perform at that level now. For me representing my country is a huge honour,” he said.Home town fans and supportersBuys has prioritised the UCI MTB and Trials World Championships and wants to wring full value out of the opportunity to race in front of his home town fans and supporters.“Travelling is always difficult. Your fitness levels drop and you can get sick travelling, so having this event at home is such a great opportunity. I know and like the course, and it will just take a few days to get it properly dialled in.“Then it is just about controlling myself. Your energy levels tend to be high during the taper phase,” he revealed.The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 to 25 August.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

  • Dhoni plays down role of Tendulkar against SA

    first_imgIndia captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni downplayed the role of batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar on Monday ahead of a three-Test series against South Africa.Much of the media hype before the first Test from Thursday at Centurion Park centres on the showdown between Tendulkar, seeking his 50th Test ton, and South Africa pace ace Dale Steyn.But Dhoni said that the clashes between the Tests sides ranked first and second in the world with India on top were all about teamwork. “Cricket is a team sport and not about individuals. We place more importance on the process and how we are preparing for the Tests,” the 29-yearold right-hand batsman stressed.”We know how much talent there is in the Indian squad. Preparing well and adapting well … these are the areas we are concentrating on right now,” he added. Dhoni was upbeat about the wickets amid reports South Africa are preparing pace-andbounce- friendly ones to aid their seamers at the expense of the Indian spinners.”Most of our cricketers are used to playing here, whether it is the shorter forms of the game or Test cricket. We will assess the wickets and decide how we need to play,” he said.The skipper said the Indian attack had impressed at home and abroad on wickets that were not always supportive with the bowlers adapting quickly and successfully to trigger victories.He also dismissed statistics showing India have won only one of nine previous Tests in South Africa, stressing the series was not about history or past achievements. South Africa received a double boost Monday when captain Graeme Smith and fellow batsman Hashim Amla were cleared to play in the first Test after recovering from injury.advertisementSmith broke the ring finger on his leg hand in a one- day game against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates last month and Amla hurt his wrist fielding in a Test against the same country.”Graeme’s hand is good. Doctors have cleared him and he’s ready to go. He’s confident and looking forward to this week’s preparation. We just hope that we can get out there and prepare,” South Africa said coach Corrie van Zyl. “Hashim seems to be fine and started his preparations last week.” Meanwhile, the Test series has already spiced up with the van Zyl reminding the visitors of their poor record in the Rainbow nation and said that getting used to pace and bouncy conditions would not be easy for the Indians.He, however, said they are not “underestimating” the world’s top Test side. ” India are an experienced team with much depth regarding their batting and bowling, but the record books never lie,” he said.”However, playing in South Africa under very different conditions is something else and that’s one of the reasons they came a bit earlier to get used to the conditions,” he said.- With Agency inputslast_img read more

  • Monsoon hair rescue

    first_imgThe rains have a way of messing up even the most diligently styled hair. It’s uncanny how the monsoon showers come with their share of mane trouble -beautifully blowdried locks give way to frizzy strands and unruly waves, while freshly washed hair can get painfully limp and boring in no time. No, it’s not your local hairdresser’s fault, and you don’t need to toss that faithful hair iron into the bin. However, it is time to take matters in your own hands and help your hair get back in shape. As it pours down harder on the Capital, Femail speaks to three hair experts on the best tips to take your hair from woe to wow!OUT ON A LIMP If your tresses feel like you’ve dipped them in an oil spill, you’re not alone. Flat, oily-looking hair is one of the biggest banes of humid weather. You could wash your hair one day, but more often than not, it will end up looking limp the next. Explains the New Yorkbased celebrity hair stylist Henry De La Paz, who has spent the last 15 years perfecting his craft of hairdressing, “The reason why this happens is that during hot and muggy weather, you perspire from the scalp. The sweat and oil get secreted onto the surface area of the head, and spread through the hair shaft.”He further adds, “Since the oil secretion doesn’t dry up because of moisture in the air, your mane starts to look greasy and falls flat.” Add to this the fact that your hair is also made up of water. Explains celebrity hairstylist and Schwarzkopf Professional India Brand Ambassador Rod Anker, “Hair is actually made up of 90 per cent water. Due to the large surface area of the hair shaft, the water from the air gets further attracted and absorbed in, making it limp and heavier than it should be.”advertisementSince the root of the problem lies in the scalp, start off by making sure it is clean. While washing it every alternate day will bring back its bounce and volume, it’s essential to take care over the kind of shampoo you use. “Use a good deep-cleansing shampoo, but make sure to alternate it with a regular shampoo. This is because deep-cleansing shampoos are stronger than regular ones, with a higher pH balance that is specifically meant to remove stubborn residue in the scalp. However, overuse can also strip your hair of natural oils,” states Shailesh Moolya, National Hair Trainer, Lakme Salons. When selecting a product, keep in mind that anything that is higher (or lower, for that matter) than pH 5 – which is the normal level of your hair’s natural oils – will spoil your mane by stripping off the essential oils and loosening the hair shaft, thus making it brittle.Also, remember to apply the shampoo to your scalp and not the entire length of it as “This will dry out the strands and you’ll end up applying more product on it. This, in turn, will make it limp,” states Henry. As for conditioner, apply it only to the ends for best results, followed by a mild styling product that will help prevent the moisture getting in.WHAT THE FRIZZ! For girls with curls that have started resembling a bird’s nest, it’s time for some serious hair therapy. Frizzy hair is the main cause for a blownup do, and the reason why it frizzes up is because of the hair cuticles getting exposed. Explains Shailesh, “The outer layer of a hair strand is made up of multiple layers called cuticles that overlap each other like shingles. When hair curls up, some cuticles expand and get shattered and begin to stand out, making it look frizzy.” Imagine the scales of a fish and the way they overlap each other – when straight, they appear smooth but if you bend them, they appear jagged.Start with a natural remedy to control cuticles. Henry recommends massaging non-refined coconut oil as it has a lot of protein that helps strengthen hair, and in time acts like a soft, natural keratin. Make sure to leave it in the scalp for at least 15 minutes before shampooing it out. You can even topically apply egg yolk, curd and honey for a temporary fix. Taking care of your diet is important too; take more of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids that are great for skin, hair and nails, with foods like fish, spinach, tofu, sunflower seeds, broccoli, dairy products and eggs.advertisementAnother trick is to create a barrier between the moisture and hair before stepping out. As Rod suggests, “Use a styling product or hair spray that acts as a volumiser and forms a protective layer for the hair. If you have naturally curly hair, leave it slightly damp before heading out. Since your mane will already be moist, it’ll take longer to dry up and won’t absorb much moisture from the air.” You can also apply a few drops of a curl control product and gently crunch it up in the palm of your hand to help give a more defined style to your curls.Smoothening treatments are another option that will tide you through the season for at least 3-4 months. While keratin treatments are best before the onset of summer, shampoos and conditioners that contain the softening protein are readily available in the market. However, it should be used in moderation, “As too much protein or cholesterol-based products will eventually dry your hair out,” warns Henry, while adding, “Get the treatment no more than once a year otherwise your hair will begin to break.”STYLE STATEMENT A good haircut can help wonders in giving your face the perfect frame without too much effort. For straight hair, Henry recommends long layers and slight face framing for movement and a bit of bounce. As for curly hair, this is the ideal time to start growing your layers out, “Because you want more weight at the bottom to hold down your hair. Fancy styles and layers will only add more frizz,” states Henry. Another big no-no for frizzy hair is getting it cut with thinning shears or a razor as these methods only thin the cuticles in half and rip them, resulting in even more frizz. As for styling, keep it fuss-free.”Given the weather, it’s better to sport something that has limited chance of looking bad,” says Rod. He suggests braids, a sleek pony tail or a funky bun as compared to blow-drying your hair straight as that will definitely get frizzy over time. You can even opt for sexy beach waves, with Shailesh’s clever tip – get your hair ironed straight before heading out because by the time you hit the event, your hair will wave up on its own and give good movement to the hair. As Henry rounds it off, “Go for a sleek, pulled back style so that you’re not constantly worried about your hair going out of shape.” Amen to that.last_img read more