“The CAF Executive Committee at its meeting on Friday, 30 November 2018 in Accra decided on the case of Sierra Leone in the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Sierra Leone is disqualified from the qualifiers and all its matches are annulled,” CAF said in its statement on Monday.With one round of qualification matches left, the decision leave Kenya top of Group F with seven points, one ahead of second placed Ghana and six ahead of Ethiopia.Stars and Ghana are both through and their meeting in march next year will be merely to see who tops the group.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars players celebrate Eric Johannah’s goal against Ethiopia in a 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on October 14, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – National football team Harambee Stars have qualified for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) made it official on Monday that Sierra Leone have been disqualified from the qualifiers.An Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting in Accra, Ghana on Friday made the decision with Sierra Leone yet to drag itself off their ban by FIFA over government interference.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see the numbers that turned out for the first session,” said Blair Cohn, the director of race operations. “We expected about 80 and instead had 210 sign up.” Week in and week out, about 150 runners turned out and about half that group didn’t miss a single training session. “This was the biggest group I’ve ever trained,” Mackel said. “We did our best to try to make sure people were taken care of.” Mackel had the help of a Gary Smith — a trainer also schooled in the art of Chi Running — and a couple other assistants. “Chi Running helps reduce injuries,” Mackel said. “It brings in the aspects of Tai Chi as far as relaxation on the course.” San Pedro’s Nina Bryson said she welcomed that style of running coupled with Mackel’s enthusiasm. An admitted newcomer to the world of running, she used the creation of the Beach Runners as an excuse to finally get in shape. “I always wanted to be a runner, but I never had the drive to do it,” she said. “I’d never run more than 3 1/2 miles let alone a half marathon.” Bryson, 34, quickly picked up the proper form and fell in line with the rest of the group. “I wasn’t the best, but I wasn’t the worst either,” Bryson said. On the other end of the spectrum was Matt Krause, a 33-year-old from San Clemente. He’s aiming at a berth in the Boston Marathon and needs to cover the 26.2-mile course this Sunday in 3 hours, 10 minutes. “The Beach Runners helped a lot,” said Krause, who ran a 3:48 in his first marathon in February. “The training helped me with my form and now I’m able to sense my body better. “I think I have a really good shot at it now.” Other than finishing tops among his four other officemates, DeSouza hopes that his involvement with the Beach Runners has led him to a less altruistic goal. “Steve had a good idea for us,” DeSouza said. “He said somebody should take a picture of us at the finish line so we can hang it up in the lobby with the words, ‘Ask us about our running program.’ It would be a way to get our patients involved.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! These would be the Beach Runners, the official training group of the International City Bank Marathon that kicks off each weekend since late May with a long run from the Queen Mary. “I’m 42 years old now,” DeSouza said. “I’m just trying to stay healthy, which is something I tell my patients to do. The Beach Runners makes it easy.” At least for the past five months, the term ??practice” has taken on a new meaning for Dr. Joe DeSouza and four others at his Los Alamitos office. The general practitioner and his staff have tended to his patients during that stretch per usual, but it’s been the Saturdays that sets them and about 200 others apart. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The training for DeSouza and the Beach Runners culminates with Sunday’s Long Beach marathon. It will be his third go at the half marathon. “He’s a competitive guy even if he says he’s not,” said Alicia Gasser, who works in the office’s billing department. “I don’t know if it will be a good thing to beat the boss, but I’d like to.” Gasser has been a regular with the Beach Runners as have co-workers Kathleen May, Barbara Scatoloni and Cecilia DeSouza, who is also Joe’s wife. They can thank Steve Mackel for the opportunity to share their running exploits each day in the office, which employs 40 people. Mackel approached race organizers earlier this year to create a training program that would fit novices and advanced runners alike. Instead of a 10-or 12-week program, Mackel wanted a five-month regimen to get participants in shape for the rigors of either a full or half marathon.