Ex-UB football player hopes he set world box jump record

Personal trainer Chris Spell, left, and architect Herb Guenther authenticate one of the two jumps Spell made April 19 at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record box jump of attempt of 63.6 inches. He cleared 64 inches on each of the jumps. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

Chris Spell is on a dual track toward two lofty goals.

Play football in the NFL.

Set the world record for the highest standing jump.

Spell will try out next weekend for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, a step that could bring him closer to his biggest goal.

He’s much closer to a Guinness World Record listing.

“I wanted to time the tryout with this box jump record, to kind of springboard my career,” said Spell, a former University at Buffalo football player who has spent the last several months training intensively for both.

Last weekend, the 23-year-old Westchester County native twice leaped more than 64 inches high, atop a collection of mats stacked in the Turf Room at Catalyst Fitness in Cheektowaga.

The world record is 63.6 inches, set in May 2016 by Evan Ungar in Oakville, Ont.

Spell arranged to have both of his jumps videotaped, and observed by three sworn witnesses: a member of the Air Force and two police officers. Clarence architect Herb Guenther measured and confirmed each of the heights.

That Guinness-sanctioned arrangement allowed him to save several thousand dollars it would have cost to bring in world record company representatives to handle those duties, said Spell, who works in a Buffalo youth soccer program.

He expects to hear from Guinness this week if either of his two successful jumps is official.

One measured 64.5 inches; the other, 64.625 inches — nearly 5 feet, 4 inches high.

A crowd gathered behind cones to watch both attempts, and erupted in cheers after Spell stuck the landing on each one.

“He’s in here almost every day,” Catalyst branch manager Antoinette Todaro said. “He’s in good shape.”

It was the second stab the nearly 5-foot-10 Spell took at the record. Several weeks ago, Guinness officials told him the mats in an earlier attempt had too much give, and suggested he better stabilize them.

Spell began box jumping in earnest last August, when he discovered he could do it well.

“People were impressed by what I was doing in the gym,” he said, “and I wondered what the record was. I decided to look on Guinness World Record and it was 63.6 inches. I was getting 61 inches comfortably back then, and I was like, ‘Wait a minute, that’s pretty close. It would be really cool to say I’m the best in the world at something.’ So I started training.”

Cleaner eating — adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to a protein-rich diet — and six-day-a-week workouts have steeled him in his efforts. Spell focuses on legs twice a week, once doing squats, deadlifts and other strengthening exercises, the other drop-down jumps and box jumping drills.

Spell played football at Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt Manor, N.Y., then at Hartwick College in Oneonta, before transferring to UB and walking onto the Division 1 football program. The wide receiver — who never caught a pass in a game but was a regular on special teams — played on scholarship his last semester before graduating in late 2017 with a bachelor’s in sociology.

During his school pro day in 2018, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.48 seconds and broad jumped 10 feet, 10 inches.

Spell credited UB football coach Lance Leipold and strength and conditioning coach Ryan Cidzik for inspiring him to get into the physical condition he hopes will give him a shot at both of his goals.

“All of my training from University of Buffalo really helped even outside of the weight room,” he said.

If pro football doesn’t work out, he and his high school sweetheart, Anna Kelley, a hospitality major at SUNY Buffalo State, plan to return to Westchester County after she graduates next year. Spell, now a certified personal trainer, looks to teach other young athletes how to improve their physical performance.

“I’m super excited about this record,” he said, “but football is my true love, and that’s where my training and my head and all my effort is going to go to after I officially get this.”

He also may look to set other world records. The most obvious? The running vertical jump, which now stands at 73 inches.

[“source=buffalonews”]

The impossible Cricket World Cup selection puzzle that looms

Steve Smith and David Warner are fully expected to be included in the 15-man World Cup squad.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for selectors to find the weak links in Australia’s ODI line-up as they stew over who to tap on the shoulder when Steve Smith and David Warner return.

The two, whose year-long suspensions expire later this month, are fully expected to be included in the 15-man World Cup squad that must be submitted by April 23.

Australia travel to the UAE for a five-match ODI series after Wednesday’s decider against India.

[“source=foxsports”]

World’s No 1 bridge player suspended after failing a drugs test

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’

Bridge is not known for doping violations and Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, insists the drugs Geir Helgemo took were ‘not performance enhancing’. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

The world No 1 bridge player has been suspended after failing a drugs test.

Geir Helgemo, who is Norwegian but represents Monaco in bridge events, tested positive for synthetic testosterone and the female fertility drug clomifene at a World Bridge Series event in Orlando in September.

After accepting he had breached anti-doping rules, Helgemo was suspended by the World Bridge Federation (WBF) until 20 November. He also had all titles, medals and points from the 2018 World Bridge Series revoked.

Kari-Anne Opsal, president of the Norwegian Bridge Federation, said the drugs were “not performance enhancing”. In a statement on the federation’s website, she said: “Geir Helgemo … has previously played for the Norwegian national team and is our biggest star. Many within the bridge community know Geir and respect him.

“It is his responsibility not to take substances that are on the doping list, even though in this instance they are not performance enhancing in bridge. I feel for Geir in this situation and hope he will come back stronger after his ban ends.”

The World Bridge Federation (WBF) is recognised by the International Olympic Committee and as such abides by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

[“source=theguardian”]

5 fascinating facts about world’s highest Chenab rail bridge!

World’s highest Chenab rail bridge is expected to be complete by December this year. The construction of the 359 m high bridge began in 2004. This bridge will be 35 m higher than the Eiffel Tower.

Chenab Bridge

Representative Image  |  Photo Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Indian Railways is constructing the world’s tallest railway bridge over Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. This bridge which will be Railways’ finest engineering marvel and is being built at a height of 359 metres above the river. It may be noted that this bridge will be 30-35 m higher than the Eiffel Tower.

This bridge will form the crucial link between Katra and Banihal which is a key part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project. The work on the installation of the main arch between two sides of the bridge has already begun, said an engineering member of the Railway Board recently. The construction of the bridge began in 2004. However, the work was stopped in 2008-09 on the account of rail passengers’ safety due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area.

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Here are 5 fascinating facts about the bridge that you should know.

1. This arch bridge will be 1.315-km-long and is being constructed at a height of 359 metres above Chenab river waters. The bridge will have railway stations at both its terminal ends.

2. Railways is planning to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. In case, the wind speed exceeds 90 Kmph, the signal on the railway track will turn red and any train movement will be stopped. As per officials, the bridge can withstand winds up to 260 Kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.

3. Since the bridge is being built in a terrorism-prone region, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working the Railways to ensure that this Rs 12,000-crore bridge is able to withstand any major blast. Special 63 mm-thick blast proof steel is being used in the construction of this bridge.

4. The concrete pillars of this bridge are also designed in a way that it can withstand blasts/explosions. The bridge is designed by consultants from Finland and Germany.

5. Aside from blasts, the arch bridge is also being designed in a way that it can withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8 on the Richter Scale. It may be noted that even though the bridge falls under zone 4, it is being built to handle earthquake with an intensity of zone 5 which is the highest intensity zone in the country.

Worth mentioning here is that Railways is also constructing three big tunnels- T2 (5.9 KM), T3 (9.369 km) and T14 (13 km), on the other side of the river. According to officials, over 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by May this year.

A ropeway is being installed as well on the bridge as well for inspection and maintenance purpose. The Railway had to construct 22 km of roads in order to reach the bridge site. According to reports, footpaths and cycle trails will also be constructed adjacent to the railway bridge.

Take a look at the pictures here:

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

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[“source=timesnownews”]