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”]

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Corp shares slumped more than 10 percent on debut, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the telecoms operator and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei.

The poor start for the unit of investment giant SoftBank Group Corp was uncommon in the Japanese IPO market. Of 82 IPOs so far this year, SoftBank was only the seventh to open below the IPO price. Among recent major IPOs, Japan Display was the only one to flop, suffering a fall in its 2014 debut.

“Retail investors are dumping shares after seeing the opening below IPO price, also affected by a service outage,” a market analyst at a brokerage said, declining to be named because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“But I don’t expect the shares will fall much further given their dividend yield and expectations for being included in stock indexes,” he said.

Following its $23.5 billion initial public offering, shares of SoftBank Corp fell as far as JPY 1,344 five minutes into trade, or 10.4 percent lower than its IPO price of JPY1,500. The broader Tokyo market was up 0.1 percent.

SoftBank Corp shares were most heavily traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, accounting for about a third of the total turnover volume.

At 10:48 a.m. (0148 GMT), the shares were at JPY 1,384, after opening at JPY 1,463. SoftBank Group was up 0.5 percent.

SoftBank Corp CEO Ken Miyauchi will hold a news conference at 0630 GMT.

The IPO was just shy of the world record $25 billion 2014 listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, a SoftBank Group portfolio company.

During the IPO period, Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network provider by subscriber numbers suffered a rare nationwide service outage, which it said would not affect earnings or dividends.

Adding to investor worries, SoftBank Corp’s relationship with Huawei Technologies Co came under scrutiny as governments around the world moved to shut out the Chinese firm amid worries its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.

SoftBank Corp, which has the most exposure to Huawei among Japanese telecoms firms, plans to replace Huawei-provided 4G network equipment with other suppliers’ hardware, two sources said, in a process likely to be time-consuming and expensive.

IPOs are popular among Japanese retail investors, many of whom see them as sure profit bets given their tendency to open much higher than offering prices.

In SoftBank Corp’s case, an added attraction was its promise of a dividend payout of 85 percent, much higher than those of rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp.

The IPO attracted about twice as many retail orders as the number of shares offered, sources at lead underwriters said last week. A smaller portion of shares offered to overseas intuitional investors was three times oversubscribed.

[“source=cnbc”]

Sony Reports Record Profits on Sales on Image Sensors

Sony Reports Record Profits on Sales on Image Sensors

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Success of Spider-Man: Homecoming has fuelled hopes of a rise in earnings
  • Profit increased 2.8 times to JPY 157.61 billion
  • The profit surge comes mainly from Sony’s image sensor business

Japan’s Sony on Tuesday reported its highest-ever first-quarter operating profit, taking the electronics giant one step toward its highest annual profit in two decades on the back of robust sales of image sensors.

In a vote of confidence for Sony’s turnaround under Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai, the firm’s shares have risen by around 40 percent this year to nine-year highs.

The box-office success of its Spider-Man: Homecoming (Review) film has also fuelled hopes of a rise in earnings for Sony’s pictures business, which is working through a restructuring plan.

Profit increased 2.8 times to JPY 157.61 billion ($1.43 billion or roughly Rs. 9,164 crores) in April-June, exceeding the previous first-quarter record of JPY 121.3 billion set in 2007.

The result compared with a Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate of JPY 129.14 billion drawn from 10 analyst views.

The profit surge comes mainly as Sony’s image sensor business returned to stability having recovered from earthquake damage sustained a year ago, the company said.

Sony’s semiconductor division, which includes image sensors, posted an operating profit of 55.4 billion yen, reversing the year-earlier loss of JPY 43.5 billion, as operations at a key plant fully resumed to meet brisk demand for image sensors for smartphones.

The consumer electronics business was also profitable as it focused on high-end television sets and smartphones without seeking to increase in scale.

Together, strong performance across Sony’s divisions is pushing profit to golden-era levels. Nevertheless, analysts said the firm is yet to find long-term drivers of growth.

With the future in mind, Sony is using its newly recovered financial strength to venture into acquisitions. On Monday, it said it had bought most of the distributor of the English-language versions of Dragon Ball Z and One Piece animations.

The firm maintained its profit forecast of JPY 500 billion for the year ending March.

While that is below the market’s average forecast of JPY 562.19 billion, it would still be the highest since the company made JPY 526 billion in the year ended March 1998, when it enjoyed strong sales of its first PlayStation games console and other electronics. It also benefited from box-office hit Men in Black.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

US markets lower after tech reversal from record highs

Businessman sleeping with bear with down trend graph

US markets closed lower on Thursday after technology sector rolled over.

The Nasdaq composite closed 0.6% lower at 2,475.42 and fell more than 1% earlier in the session. The S&P 500 also closed lower at 6,382.19, slipping 0.1% as tech stocks dropped 0.8 % to lead decliners.

The tech sector had notched an intraday record earlier in the session, along with the Nasdaq and the S&P.

Tech faced pressure as investors took profits off the table following strong earnings from companies in the space.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, outperformed, closing 85.54 points higher at 21,796.55 level and notching intraday and closing records.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims came in at 244,000, slightly above the expected 240,000. Durable goods orders, meanwhile, rose 6.5% in June.

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[“Source-indiainfoline”]