BTN interview: Shahab Shayan, senior manager, international operations, Dubai Tourism | Focus

first_img– Advertisement – OlderRevelton Suites have once again won the World Travel Awards “On top of that, we are trying to make sure safeguards for residents and for visitors coming to the destination are being met. “There are frameworks from the World Travel & Tourism Council, called Safe Travels, as well as the Dubai Assured programme, both of which are being adhered to across the emirate. “All customer touchpoints, across hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls have seen the regulations enforced – all public spots.“Checks are carried out on a bi-weekly basis; we send inspectors in to make sure all necessary protocols are being implemented.”This was due to be a banner year for Dubai, with the emirate hoping to welcome 20 million international guests for the first time.While the figure will not now be achieved, a domestic boom has made up for some of the short-fall, with plans in place to ensure growth returns in 2021.Shayan explains: “We have seen a big domestic boom in tourism since we reopened in July. “We had around 750 hotels open in Dubai pre-pandemic, in February this year, and we currently have around 600 open. “There has been some international visitation, and we are looking at a positive feeling moving forward.“At this stage we are not able to put a figure on how many guests we will welcome this year, with hotels opening and closing, it has been a more complex situation than normal.“However, we hope to have some numbers out by the end of the year.”While the market looks likely to remain subdued in the short-term, investment has continued to flow into the emirate, suggesting confidence in a long-term return. Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk recently became the latest in a long line of hotels to open this year, while properties set to come onto the market in coming months will allow the emirate to reach previously untapped segments. Shayan continues: “There are new properties opening, which does show the strength of the industry here in Dubai. “We have the Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk which has recently opened, while there is also the Rove La Mer Beach. “The latter is an affordable hotel, aimed at families who want to be right next to the beach, but do not want to pay Palm Jumeirah prices – really for those in the know. “There is also the Riu Dubai, a four-star beach resort, the first of its type here in Dubai – with around 400-keys. “These are all very exciting openings and show our strength in the long term.”Of course, there would be little point opening new rooms if travellers were unable to get to the emirate. Flag-carrier Emirates has been instrumental in the success of Dubai as a tourism destination over the past three decades, and there has been no change this year.“Emirates remains one of our key strategic partners and they really have been since the emergence of Dubai on the world hospitality map,” says Shayan. “They have done a fantastic job throughout the pandemic, initially by providing insurance for travellers, which has now been extended until the end of the year.“They have also gone back to two thirds of their network, and they are now flying to over 90 destinations. “Emirates has also given residents who want to come back to Dubai a chance to do so, and this has been getting some very positive feedback.”The carrier most recently returned to a series of European cities, while it has also been at the forefront of Covid-19 testing. Over the summer months, when demand is traditionally low, even without a global pandemic raging, Dubai has also worked to develop new markets.New types of visa are now on offer, both to those looking to ‘work-from-home’ in Dubai, or considering somewhere to retire.Both are part of a wider plan to grow the emirate in new directions, explains Shayan: “As a destination we always need to look at how we can evolve, looking at different angles of how we can introduce different people to what is on offer here.“There is a big belief at Dubai Tourism that this is a city for all, and we try to showcase that through products we have, as well as through the initiatives we launch.”He adds: “The two new visas are an example of that. “The retirement visa is pretty straightforward, it is aimed at people who have been to Dubai before, who have spent some time here and are looking for a destination which has sun, sea and sand. “They know their retirement funds are doing well, there is no complicated paperwork, and it is an easy step forward. “Secondly, I think the work visa is one of most exciting things we have done during the pandemic. “In this new day-and-age, with people working from home, what better place to work from than by the pool here in Dubai?“We have the perfect eco-system to support this market, and we have had major success in terms of enquiries on this – people asking how they can make the move.“This is a nice alternative to people who might have travelled to Dubai, who can now spend some time here longer-term.” As attention turns to next year, and a possible Covid-19 vaccine brings hope to the global hospitality market, Dubai is well placed to return to growth. The rescheduled Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a focal point for the year, while there is optimism Covid-19 regulations might eventually be relaxed. Shayan continues: “Expo 2020 Dubai will now take place in October next year, running into March 2022. “There are a lot of fantastic people working on the project and they are looking into how best we can showcase the experience of an event of this kind in the post-pandemic world.“I think, with the expo itself, it is really meant to be an event for all.“A lot of people initially thought it was for a business market, but this is not the case – it is very much aimed at the public, offering a chance to come and learn. “The team, right now, are examining how they can come back stronger, to reassure everybody things are going to be managed well.”In closing, Shayan says Dubai is now once again very much open for business: “Dubai is really open for all, and with the different protocols and measures we have put in place we are very confident we are ready to welcome people safely. “The message is very much that we are ready.”More InformationDubai is considered the Middle East’s Leading Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards. Find out more about visiting on the official website. Combined, these measures have allowed the city to curtail the growth of the pandemic, and led to the return of something like normal life. As Shahab Shayan, senior manager for international operations at Dubai Tourism, tells Breaking Travel News: “We reopened on July 7th, and since then we have made sure there are strict guidelines and protocols in place, and that they are followed. “We have used the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, which are essentially to test, test and test – so far, we have carried out around 14 million tests here in the United Arab Emirates. – Advertisement –center_img With an economy dependent on international tourism, it was no surprise to see Dubai reopen its doors to travellers in July. The commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates counts on the sector for over ten per cent of gross domestic product, or upward of US$30 billion, each year.- Advertisement – However, what was not inevitable, was the success the emirate has welcomed over the following months.A strict testing regime at Dubai International Airport sees all guests checked for Covid-19 on arrival, limiting imported cases.At the same time, comprehensive protocols govern the day-to-day actions of both residents and guests across the emirate.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Malditas’ WC stint bleak

first_imgYou go for a Pinoy vs Pinoy world title fight? Truck driver killed in Davao del Sur road accident Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Green group flags ‘overkill’ use of plastic banderitas in Manila Sto. Niño feast Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Jo Koy draws ire for cutting through Cebu City traffic with ‘wang-wang’ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames LATEST STORIEScenter_img The fifth placer will take Asia’s last spot in the World Cup.Either way, it will be a tall order for the Malditas as the Koreans (No. 16) and Vietnamese (No. 35) are both ranked ahead of the Filipinos (No. 72) by the international football federation (Fifa).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“It’s not yet over for us,” said Benlarbi. “We will go out and try to play without pressure.” —CEDELF P. TUPAS Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina P16.5-M worth of aid provided for Taal Volcano eruption victims — NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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 MOST READ The Philippines bungled its best chance to reach the Women’s World Cup for the first time, yielding to Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand, 1-3, on Friday in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Amman, Jordan.But Malditas French coach Rabah Benlarbi remained defiant, saying the squad still has a chance to qualify via the fifth place playoff where it will play the winner of the Vietnam-South Korea clash in Group B.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Harvard students present findings after visit to North West

first_imgA high profile panel of experts from across the island of Ireland will visit Ulster University’s Magee Campus today as part of the ‘Atlas for a City Region’ Harvard Studio Pin-Up with students of the Ivy League US university. The panel, which will include Irish Planning Institute President Joe Corr as well as Catherine McEvoy Principal Planning Officer with the Department for Infrastructure NI, will critique proposals and ideas presented by students from Harvard University who are currently visiting the North West Region as part of the project looking at future scenarios for the city region in a post Brexit scenario. The Atlas for a City Region is a project being undertaken by Harvard Graduate School of Design jointly commissioned by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council under the auspices of the North West Strategic Growth Partnership. This project has been borne out of the unique cross border collaborative approach adopted by both Councils with a view to driving growth and prosperity in the region. 12 Harvard students of landscape architecture, urban design and planning are currently visiting the region to engage with its landscapes and future challenges after Brexit, and considering long term challenges such as climate change. They are accompanied by Professors Niall Kirkwood and Gareth Doherty. Through site visits, meetings with key stakeholders, and their own experiences on the ground, these students will be addressing a myriad of topics dealing with borders and identity, agriculture, mobility, housing, not to mention Brexit and climate change. The event, which is being supported by the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) will see students pitching their proposals to the panel of experts who will critique with a view to strengthening the proposals.Cllr Seamus O’Domhnaill Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council believes that having this expert panel contributing to the Project and critiquing the proposals and ideas being developed by the students is extremely valuable saying “we have an opportunity to bring a fresh and creative perspective and new thinking to the future development of this region. Having this calibre of experts visiting the region and engaging in a meaningful way to help shape how we maximize the potential of future opportunities and respond to emerging challenges is positive not just for the students but for the entire region”.Cllr John Boyle Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council said “despite the uncertainty currently surrounding Brexit, we in the North West City Region are determined to continue to work collectively to build resilience, drive growth and carve out a prosperous future for the betterment of everyone in our community.  Engaging with experts from both sides of the border and bringing in the fresh thinking and unique perspectives of the Harvard students is an important step forward in helping us shape the future of this cross border region”.  The students will also engage with their peers from Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and Ulster University and other young people from across the region at a student-led workshop in Letterkenny Institute of Technology early in the day.Later this evening a joint reception will be hosted by both the Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council and the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council in the Guildhall in Derry where students will also have an opportunity to engage with a range of key stakeholders from both Councils and supporting organisations including LYIT and Ulster University.The Harvard students are using Brooke Park Gate Lodge as their studio for their stay in Derry.Harvard students present findings after visit to North West was last modified: March 27th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare 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) Tags:Brexitharvard universitynorth west city regionlast_img read more

‘Big bang’ for SA telecoms

first_img20 September 2004South Africa’s telecommunications industry has been shaken up by what industry pundits are calling the most significant development in the country’s telecommunications history.The “big bang” liberalisation, expected to kick in February 2005, will shake the monopoly of Telkom, SA’s only national fixed-line operator – and could spell cheaper phone calls for consumers and create new opportunities in the Internet industry.A key change to the current regulations is that value-added network service providers will be permitted to carry Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). As a result, consumers will be able to make international calls for significantly less than a Telkom call.According to Business Day, operators will also no longer be forced to lease their networks from Telkom at its monopoly market rates, and are likely to set up their own wireless-based networks or use satellite services.Cellular operators Vodacom, MTN and Cell C will also be free to lease their network backbone from other providers.Ringing the changes, Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri told a parliamentary media briefing in September that Telkom would have to pursue business opportunities more aggressively to retain profits in an industry that is set to become “very robust” and “very competitive”.“[The current environment] has caused mobile operators to be totally reliant on what Telkom charges them for provision of such fixed lines to interconnect”, Matsepe-Casaburri said. “It is one of the contributors to prevailing high costs.”According to Business Day, businesses that run private networks for their own communication needs will be able to resell any spare capacity. This is expected to create optimal use of South Africa’s infrastructure and increase telecommunications access to other users.The industry has hailed the changes as a bold step and “excellent news for consumers”.It is expected that local calls in the future will be free – providing a great benefit to the poor and to the economy as a whole.SouthAfrica. info reporterlast_img read more

Spurs overcome 23-point deficit to beat Thunder

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Spurs rallied behind their usual formula of hounding defense and 3-point shooting.Davis Bertans hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter, tying it at 78 with 38 seconds remaining with his final 3 of the run. The 3-pointer also closed a 58-35 run after the Spurs trailed 43-20.The Thunder closed the first quarter on an 18-2 run. The Spurs had a season-low 15 points in the opening period.TIP-INSThunder: Oklahoma City entered the game leading the league in steals (10.4) and opponent turnovers (19.0). The Thunder have never finished in the top five in either category since leaving Seattle. … Westbrook, Anthony and George have split game-high scoring honors throughout the season. George has led six times and Westbrook and Anthony have done so on five occasions each. … Nick Collinson did not play for the 14th time this season. The 15-year veteran played five minutes in his only appearance of the season.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion LeBron’s 39 lead Cavs to OT win against Clippers Spurs: Kawhi Leonard, who has not played this season, remained out with right quadriceps tendinopathy. There is no timeline on his return. … Tony Parker worked out with Spurs shooting guru Chip Engelland during morning workouts as he rehabilitates from quadriceps surgery. … Kyle Anderson stayed in the lineup after getting hit in the jaw while battling for a rebound under the Thunder’s basket with three minutes remaining in the game. … San Antonio’s previous low in the opening quarter was 17 points at Dallas on Nov. 14. UP NEXTThunder: Visit New Orleans on Monday night in their first game against the Pelicans after sweeping last season’s series.Spurs: Host Atlanta on Monday night before embarking on a two-game trip. QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Aldridge put back of Green’s missed 3-pointer gave the Spurs a 102-99 lead with 24.2 seconds remaining.The Thunder missed two 3-pointers on the ensuing possession, but Carmelo Anthony tracked down a second offensive rebound and made a 25-footer with his foot on the 3-point line to cut the lead to 102-101.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGasol made two free throws, and Russell Westbrook stumbled to the court and threw up an airball on a 3-point attempt.Anthony had 20 points to lead the Thunder. Westbrook was held to 15 points after scoring 10 in the opening period. He was 5 for 22 from the field. Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan, right, reacts as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reacts to a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 104-101. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)SAN ANTONIO — LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a 23-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-101 on Friday night.Danny Green added 17 points, and Pau Gasol had 14 points to help San Antonio end Oklahoma City’s three-game winning streak.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA View commentslast_img read more

Prime Minister Lauds JDF for Role in Advancing HOPE Programme

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for its role in advancing the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme.This, he said, through the JDF’s new Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) recruitment and training modality, which he noted represents an alternative in the selection process for future soldiers as well as a channel for spreading the military’s core values.“Securing our nation must be a multi-pronged strategy (and) we must recognize the different elements that are important for national security, nation building and development. The JNSC is one such manifestation of this strategy,” the Prime Minister stated.He was speaking at the passing out ceremony for recruits of the JNSC’s Intake 1701 at the JDF’s training camp in Moneague, St. Ann on Saturday, September 23.Mr. Holness said it was incumbent on the society to empower its young men and women to assume their role as valuable contributors to Jamaica, noting that “the social issues that we are grappling with (inclusive of) crime, corruption, domestic violence and indiscipline impact our economic development.”Against this background, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to empower persons, particularly the youth, to overcome these challenges, pointing out that the JNSC was aimed at helping them “to create a better future for themselves and their families and, indeed, the entire Jamaica.”Mr. Holness, who praised the graduates for making the right decision to join the programme, pointed out that they were now equipped with the requisite skills to pursue careers in either the JDF or other areas of interest.“By making the decision to enlist, you have created endless possibilities for yourselves. It is a….moment for you (to) be proud of your achievements,” he stated.Mr. Holness, who has portfolio responsibility for the JDF, further told the graduates that as “newly minted soldiers”, they were now standard bearers of the JNSC ethos.“You are now instilled with those core values of the JDF. I encourage you to keep these values as your personal mantra as they will shape your decisions, your careers, and your overall success in life,” he added.The 234 graduates, who were recruited three months ago, are the first batch of trainees under the JNSC programme, which is the outcome of the Government’s proposed diversification and expansion of the JDF role in the Administration’s pursuit of generating increased social and economic growth and strengthened national security. Story Highlights This, he said, through the JDF’s new Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) recruitment and training modality, which he noted represents an alternative in the selection process for future soldiers as well as a channel for spreading the military’s core values. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) for its role in advancing the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme. “Securing our nation must be a multi-pronged strategy (and) we must recognize the different elements that are important for national security, nation building and development. The JNSC is one such manifestation of this strategy,” the Prime Minister stated.last_img read more

Ohio State mens lacrosse putting undefeated mark to the test against Penn

Coming off a dominating 18-8 win against first-year program Marquette, the No. 13 Ohio State men’s lacrosse team takes its unbeaten streak into Happy Valley on Saturday at 1 p.m. to take on the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions. At 3-0, the Buckeyes hope to keep up the success that they have found early in the year. Freshman attacker Carter Brown and sophomore midfielder Jesse King recorded a combined 13 points against the Golden Eagles and sparked OSU’s offense which had been stagnant the week before against Jacksonville in a 9-6 win. For his four goals and three assists, Brown was named the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week. The freshman, though, saw the improvement of the team as a whole, not just his individual statistics. “Our offense was clicking in the second quarter especially,” Brown said. “We were just making the easy play and I just got some easy goals.” King, too, said he felt the team improved on offense after a tough week of practice. “Honestly, this week we worked out a lot on working the ball on the outside,” King said. “Our chemistry is coming together, and this week it just clicked.” But the Buckeyes will likely have a tougher challenge this week against Penn State in State College, Pa. The Nittany Lions have already defeated No. 10 Denver on the year and took No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime in their only loss of the season. Last year, Penn State handed OSU its second loss of the season in a 5-2 victory March 3 at Ohio Stadium. In spite of a schedule featuring five games against top-11 opponents in March, some members of the team are staying positive. OSU coach Nick Myers sees how far his players have come so far this year, but understands there are improvements to be made. “We’ve got a lot of work to continue to do,” Myers said. “It’s February … We’re not the team that we wanted to be yet, but we’re taking steps in the right direction.” The game could also be a potential precursor for what is to come, with reports swirling that a Big Ten conference for lacrosse could be on the horizon. “There’s been some positive conversation,” Myers said about the potential new conference. “This Penn State-Ohio State rivalry has been special for years now. I think that will only get more traction if the Big Ten conference continues to move in the right direction.” King, who was a part of the team that lost to Penn State in Columbus last year, is excited to get another shot at the Nittany Lions. “I’m excited, they’re going to be a great game,” King said. “It’s always fun playing against Penn State.” read more

Expectation of excellence apparent for Ohio State baseball

Then-freshman outfielder Tim Wetzel (31) takes an at bat during a game against Illinois May 26, 2011, at Bill Davis Stadium. OSU lost, 5-4.Lantern file photoA feeling of rejuvenation came over the Woody Hayes Athletic Center as the pitching staff of the Ohio State baseball team took the turf to begin practice.After earning the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament last year, only to miss out on the NCAA Tournament, the team is looking to take care of some unfinished business.Redshirt-junior pitcher and first baseman Josh Dezse, a third-team Louisville Slugger preseason All-American selection, said the team is aiming to get back in the spotlight this year.“We didn’t have a bunch of little goals,” Dezse said. “Our main goal is to go out and represent Ohio State in the National Tournament this year.”The program has enjoyed a resurgence under Greg Beals, who was named head coach in June 2010. The Buckeyes’ record has increased each year under his leadership and, even after coming so close to winning the Big Ten last year, Beals said he expects they should be an improved club this season.“Our goals, right now, are just to keep getting better. This is a younger team, but a talented team,” Beals said. “Our mentality is to win today.”The youth he is referring to can be largely found in the pitching staff. The team lost all three members of its starting rotation from last season. Losing that many innings from the rotation could be worrisome to most teams, but pitching coach Mike Stafford didn’t seem bothered by it.“We have a whole mess looking like they’re ready for some competition,” Stafford said.Freshmen pitchers Zach Farmer, Travis Lakins, Tanner Tully and Adam Niemeyer were specifically mentioned by Stafford as some of the young guns who are ready to bring some heat.Junior catcher Aaron Gretz said he doesn’t think the players’ inexperience will be a problem at all.“I think we’re going to have as good or an even better pitching staff than last year,” Gretz said. “Talent-wise I think they’re right there to being one of the top in the nation.”While the rotation will start out with some new faces, the bullpen brings some star power late into games, specifically in junior pitcher and closer Trace Dempsey. Dempsey, who joins Dezse on the third team All-American list, finished last season with a Big Ten-best 17 saves. As long as the starters keep opposing offenses at bay and Dempsey continues to show an ability to come in and slam the door at the end of the game, opponents could have a very difficult time scoring runs this season.The offense looks to put a lot of runs on the scoreboard at Bill Davis Stadium. Sophomore infielders Jacob Bosiokovic and Troy Kuhn, and junior outfielder Pat Porter, return after finishing in the top five in batting average last season. They also receive a boost from Dezse, who missed all of last season with a stress reaction in his back.With the team set to begin play in just over three weeks, it is time to stop talking about goals and start chasing them.“There’s no magical potion that you sprinkle on. It’s just good old blood, sweat and tears,” Beals said. “We have an expectation level … Ohio State has an expectation level of excellence. Combine the two of those and I think it broods for success.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to begin play in Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 14 against Connecticut as part of the Snowbird Classic. read more

Womens Basketball Ohio State preparing to take on juggernaut Maryland in Big

Ohio State redshirt junior guard Sierra Calhoun attempts a shot during the Buckeyes’ game against Minnesota in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament on March 3, 2018. Ohio State won 90-88 to advance to the championship. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorINDIANAPOLIS — The Ohio State women’s basketball team claimed an outright Big Ten regular-season championship and now it has its sights on winning the conference tournament for the first time since 2011.In order to achieve that goal, the Buckeyes would have to knock off Maryland, which has won the past three Big Ten championship games by a combined margin of 29 points. The two teams met in the championship in 2015, and the Terrapins won 77-74.On Jan. 22 in College Park, Maryland, Ohio State fell 99-69 to Maryland in its largest loss of the season despite all five starters scoring in double-figures. The top-seeded Buckeyes will have their shot at revenge in the Big Ten championship when they take on the second-seeded Terrapins at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis at 7 p.m. Sunday.Projected StartersOhio State:G — Kelsey Mitchell — Senior, 5-foot-8, 24.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.3 apgG — Linnae Harper — Redshirt senior, 5-foot-8, 14.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 2.5 apgG — Sierra Calhoun — Redshirt junior, 6-foot, 11.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.3 apgF — Alexa Hart — Senior, 6-foot-3, 5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.9 apgF — Stephanie Mavunga — Redshirt senior, 6-foot-3, 16.5 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 0.7 apgMaryland: G — Channise Lewis — Freshman, 5-foot-8, 5.4 ppg, 2 rpg, 4.8 apgG — Kristen Confroy — Senior, 5-foot-9, 9.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.8 apgG/F — Eleanna Christinaki — Junior, 6-foot, 12.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.5 apgG — Kaila Charles — Sophomore, 6-foot-1, 18.2 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.2 apgF — Stephanie Jones — Sophomore, 6-foot-2, 11.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.9 apgScouting MarylandIn the first meeting between Ohio State and Maryland this season, the Terrapins had their way. They shot 54.9 percent from the field and hit 11-of-18 3-pointers to bury the Buckeyes, who fell behind by double-digits less than five minutes into the game and never recovered.In that game, junior guard/forward Eleanna Christinaki and guard Kalia Charles powered the Terrapins just as they have in most games. Christinaki dropped 26 points, went 6-for-11 from deep and grabbed eight rebounds while Charles had a game-high 32 points, making 12-of-16 shots from the field and 7-of-8 free throws.The combination of defense, rebounding and a diverse scoring attack gave the Buckeyes major problems and figures to be a substantial challenge again.The Terrapins hold opponents to 38.8 percent shooting from the field and hit 39 percent of their 3-pointers. They start senior guard Kristen Confroy, who averages the fourth-most points of the projected starters, but shoots a Big-Ten best of 44.2 percent from beyond the arc.Though Maryland does not have any interior player as dominant as Ohio State redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga — who picked up the first 20-point, 20-rebound game in Big Ten tournament history on Saturday — it maintains the second-best rebounding margin in the conference of plus-eight rebounds. The Terrapins showed that edge with a 47-32 rebounding advantage in the season’s first matchup against the Buckeyes.Maryland (plus-17.1) and Ohio State (plus-14.1)  have the top scoring margins in the Big Ten, having blown out many teams this season. But they ended the season with different trajectories.On Jan. 26, Maryland sat in first in the conference by two games after Ohio State lost three-straight games, including the 30-point defeat by the Terrapins. But the Buckeyes won eight of their final nine regular-season games and won the first two games of the conference tournament as well. Maryland, however, lost three of its final four regular-season games to Purdue, Minnesota and Michigan to slip into second place and give Ohio State an opportunity to pounce on the regular-season title. It lost the three games by a combined margin of 35 points.Regardless of how the Terrapins finished, they pose more challenges to the Buckeyes than any other team in the Big Ten. If Ohio State can control the pace, keep Maryland off the offensive glass and keep Charles and Christinaki from getting hot, it has a chance to claim the championship. But that is a tall task for a team sans a starter that fell to the Terrapins by 30 points less than two months ago.Still not tired?The day before the Buckeyes opened the Big Ten tournament with a win against Rutgers, senior guard Asia Doss learned she would not play due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the regular-season finale. The loss of her squeezed Ohio State’s already-lacking depth even more.In the quarterfinals, the Buckeyes took an early lead — and some key players got into foul trouble — which allowed them to give ample rest, playing seven core players between 18 and 33 minutes. But the next day against Minnesota, guards Kelsey Mitchell, Sierra Calhoun and Linnae Harper and forward Stephanie Mavunga played at least 34 minutes. Mitchell did not sit out a single minute.With less than 24 hours between the end of that contest and the tip-off of the Buckeyes’ game against Maryland, fatigue would seem to be a struggle. But Mitchell and Mavunga don’t see that as an option.“Well, if we want to win, and I think everybody wants to do that, we’re going to be okay,” Mitchell said. “We don’t have a choice.”Mavunga quickly chimed in: “Coach McGuff said we’ll rest on Monday.”Mitchell went so far as to say she enjoys the feeling of playing multiple games in subsequent days, which reminds her of AAU games with higher stakes.“It feels good, like it feels good to be able to play games back to back and you don’t know who is going to win,” she said. read more

Womens Hockey No 4 Ohio State faces second straight ranked opponent in

Ohio State freshman defenseman Madison Bizal makes a move against a Minnesota State defender on Oct. 12. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State freshman goaltender Andrea Braendli made headlines for the second straight week after she was named WCHA Goaltender of the Week for her performance against No. 3 Minnesota. Braendli and the No. 4 Ohio State women’s hockey team took on the Gophers in a top-five matchup last week. After losing the first game 3-0, the Buckeyes came away with a strong road victory by a score of 3-2 in Game 2. Now, Ohio State (6-2-0, 3-1-0-0 WCHA) will attempt to ride that wave of momentum this week when it continues its road stretch and travels to Canton, New York, to face No. 10 St. Lawrence (3-4-1). “That’s what you need to do, you need to build momentum and learn from some of the mistakes we made throughout the weekend,” Ohio State head coach Nadine Muzerall said. “We need to build off the good we created. Taking three points from a No. 3 team in the country was huge at their rank nonetheless.” While the Saints are not as highly ranked as Minnesota, the Buckeyes will still be faced with another tough opponent. The Saints are fresh off a win against No. 2 Clarkson, the defending national champion and the team that beat Ohio State in the Frozen Four last season. “What’s nice is there is parity in the country right now,” Muzerall said. “Every team is putting up a good battle and is making the league and the NCAA fun to watch. We just need to focus on the things that we do very well and drive a little more offensively and then buckle down defensively and be more intelligent.” The team defensively has little to worry about with Braendli stepping in and making a name for herself only five games into her college career, winning WCHA Rookie of the Week two weeks ago and now Goaltender of the Week. In her five games played, Braendli leads the WCHA with a .950 save percentage. “It’s really awesome having someone as solid as her backing the net,” redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne said. “She got the chance to play and capitalized on the opportunity. She’s done amazing and we’re lucky to have her.” Offensively, Ohio State has a little bit of work to do. St. Lawrence allows 1.88 goals per game, and the key to victory for the Buckeyes will be a fast and aggressive offense to create scoring opportunities. But St. Lawrence scores the fifth-fewest goals per game in the NCAA at 1.50 per game. Ohio State sophomore forward Emma Maltais has as many points as the Saint have goals all season.“Defensively, St. Lawrence is a very good team,” Dunne said. “The challenge is on us to create offense and to score off the opportunities we make and continue to capitalize on the chances we get.”The Buckeyes travel to play against St. Lawrence at 6 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday. read more