MINISTER of Education, Rupert Roopnaraine emphasised the great role that sport plays in breaking social barriers during the speech he made just before declaring the Inter-Guiana ‘Goodwill’ Games officially open last evening at the National Track and Field Centre at Leonora.Before an audience of Guyanese and Surinamese athletes and officials Minister Roopnaraine said that sport provides a great avenue for people to look beyond the social boundaries,The Suriname delegation at the IGG opening ceremony last nightespecially racial ones, and focus more on the abilities that persons possess.“I can think of nothing better than sports to deal with our ethnic issue, ethnic division and such things. You know when you are on a cricket team or a soccer team you don’t look to see who is of what race, you look to see how well he can defend his position, how well he can bat, bowl and those issues. So sport remains a major area in which we can deal with ethnic issues and ethnic difficulties.” Roopnaraine said.Also making remarks at the ceremony was Suriname’s Director of Sports, Luciano Mentowikromo, who started off by commending the Department of Sports for the tremendous effort that has been put into hosting the event, with athletes from Suriname and Guyana taking part this year.Mentowikromo also spoke of how the event works to bring the youths of the countries together in unity, and helps to develop themselves as athletes.Guyana’s Compton Ceasar (left) making his way to the finish line in the boys’ 100mUsually called the Inter-Guiana Games and held among athletes from Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana, the event goes without French Guiana this year. This follows no hosting of the Games last year.During his speech Mentowikromo touched on his regret that French Guiana could not be here.Nonetheless, Mentowikromo is convinced that this year’s hosting will be successful and will continue in the objectives of sportsmanship and fun. This year the athletes of the two countries will compete in seven sport disciplines, namely athletics, basketball, volleyball, swimming, badminton, table tennis and futsal.Guyana’s Kenisha Phillips takes the IGG girls’ 100m in stunning style at the Leonora National Track Field Centre (Delano Williams photos)Following the brief opening ceremony the athletics competition began where Guyana bagged a number of wins.
The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team extended its win-streak to 10 games and is off to the best start in school history, as it defeated Minnesota 63-53 Saturday at the Kohl Center.The Badgers (25-2, 13-1 Big Ten) were victorious with senior forward Frank Kaminsky leading the way once again. The National Player of the Year candidate finished with 21 points on 9-13 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 36 minutes of play.For the first time in awhile, Wisconsin was held in check to start the game. Minnesota (16-12 overall, 5-10) prevented UW from jumping out to a hot start, which the Badgers have become accustomed to doing as of late.The Badgers and Gophers continually traded baskets to start the game, as UW was unable to build a lead greater than three points for the first nine minutes of the first half.Kaminsky led the way to start the game, scoring 12 points on 5-6 shooting in the first 10 minutes of the first half.Wisconsin had built their lead to seven points when Kaminsky exited the game for the first time with 9:28 remaining.With the All-American out of the game, UW struggled to take care of the ball and allowed Minnesota to crawl back into the game. Over the course of the next 2:34, the Gophers trimmed the Badger lead down from seven to one.At that point, Kaminsky checked back in and, despite the senior not scoring for the remainder of the period, Wisconsin finished the first half strong, going into the locker room with a 35-27 lead.“It was just one of those games where we got the lead and never looked back and tried to grind it out,” Kaminsky said.Sophomore guard Bronson Koenig joined Kaminsky as the only two Badgers to score in double figures in the first half, recording 10 points on 3-6 shooting from the field and 2-4 from three-point range.Despite the first-half performances by Kaminsky and Koenig, the highlight of the first 20 minutes was when redshirt senior guard Josh Gasser hit a layup in the post with 1:15 remaining.That layup gave Gasser 1,000 points for his Wisconsin career and made him the 41st Badger to reach that milestone.“It’s great,” Gasser said. “In a month or two when the season is over and I look back at everything that’s gone on, I’ll be proud if it. But right now, we got bigger fish to fry.”Gasser joined Michael Finley as the only two players from Wisconsin to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 250 assists in their careers.In the second half, the Badgers never wavered, as they held a double-digit lead throughout the frame and only saw the lead get to single digits once with 1:37 remaining in the game. But by that time, the game was well out of reach for Minnesota.“Wisconsin does a great job of not beating themselves by not fouling and not turning the ball over,” Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said.Over the course of the entire 40 minutes Sunday, the Badgers committed just seven fouls, with no player committing more than two, and limited Minnesota to just one free throw attempt, which they missed.“When you are a coach you get frustrated with fouls and turnovers,” Pitino said. “They don’t do it, and that is why they win.”Defensively, Wisconsin put in one of their best performances of the season. They forced Minnesota into 11 turnovers and blocked nine Minnesota shots.A big reason as to why Wisconsin was able to be so successful defensively was its efforts in not letting Minnesota guard Andre Hollins have a significant impact on the game.Hollins, who came into the game as the Gopher’s leading scorer, was limited to just two points on 1-8 shooting with Gasser on him for the majority of the afternoon.“I felt extremely prepared with what he was going to do and what Minnesota was going to do offensively,” Gasser said. “Especially in the first half, I felt like I was one step ahead of what was coming. It’s tough. It’s not an easy task. Because I felt locked in.”Minnesota’s leading scorers were Nate Mason, DeAndre Mathieu and Carlos Morris, who each finished with 11 points.For Wisconsin, Koenig finished with a career-high 17 points on 4-10 shooting and sophomore forward Nigel Hayes recorded nine points and seven rebounds.Junior forward Sam Dekker struggled from the field, scoring just five points on 1-8 shooting, but he did record three blocks.As a team, Wisconsin shot 23-49 (47 percent) from the field and 10-25 (40 percent) from behind the arc.With the end of the regular season in sight, Wisconsin now faces their toughest stretch yet, having road games against Maryland and Ohio State and the final home game against Michigan State over the course of the next two weeks.The Badgers will see this tough stretch as a final tune-up before they enter postseason play.“It’ll be a good test for us,” Kaminsky said. “We are excited for the challenge and we will do whatever we can to come out on top.”Wisconsin will travel Tuesday to College Park where they will take on Maryland for the first and only time this season. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.