Rus­sian copy cats

The Sunday Independent - - Sport -

work­ing on power.”

Duma won the 42km Sum­mer Stanger race and fin­ished fifth in the Mar­itzburg City Marathon dur­ing his build-up to next Sun­day’s big one.

“Train­ing with peo­ple like Mthembu has re­ally helped me,” he said.

“Th­ese are peo­ple I call my idols, I’ve been look­ing up to them, and their knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence has re­ally been valu­able. That’s why I’m con­fi­dent go­ing in to this year’s Com­rades Marathon.

“My eat­ing pro­gramme has also played a piv­otal role in my proper prepa­ra­tions. I’ve been very care­ful about the type of food I eat.”

THE Mor­dovia Arena in Saransk, many, many miles east of Moscow, has a dis­tinc­tive and, for South Africans, ex­tremely fa­mil­iar look. It will host four World Cup group games. Given that the sta­dium cost about $300 mil­lion to build, that works out to about $75m per game, a lot of money for a foot­ball match, but then again, er, it’s Fifa. Fifa have tried to sell the fact that sta­dium is not a copy of Soc­cer City, even though it looks a hell of a lot like Soc­cer City, just smaller.“The sta­dium has been de­signed in the shape of an oval. Its bright range of colours, com­bin­ing or­ange, red and white, hon­ours the dis­tinc­tive colour pal­ette of Mor­dovia’s arts and crafts,” ac­cord­ing to Fifa’s web­site. Ri­i­i­ig­ght. Rus­sia have a “World Cup Direc­torate” which, erm, di­rects all things World Cup and it claims the sim­i­lar­i­ties (call it “copy and paste”) is just an “ac­ci­den­tal co­in­ci­dence”.“The fi­nal ver­sion of vi­su­al­i­sa­tion is con­nected to a greater de­gree with the sym­bols of the Re­pub­lic of Mor­dovia, which in our coun­try is called ‘so­lar’,”the direc­torate ex­plained.“In ad­di­tion, the sun to Mor­do­vian peo­ple em­bod­ies the source of life, joy [and] a [new] be­gin­ning.” It would have been eas­ier to say,“we like that Soc­cer City de­sign and we’ll copy it, thanks”.

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