By K J M Varma Beijing, Aug 6 (PTI) Asian powerhouse China today announced its 845-member strong delegation of athletes, including 19 Olympic champions, who will take part in the 2018 Asian Games to be held in Indonesia next weekend. The Chinese delegation, which also includes 38 foreign coaches from 15 countries in 22 events, has signed up to compete in 376 disciplines of 38 sports out of the 40 on offer at the 18th Asiad, which opens on August 18 in Jakarta and runs through September 2 in the Indonesian capital. In the last Asian Games, which were held in the South Korean city of Incheon in 2014, China had sent its largest ever contingent of the 897-athlete for any Games overseas. At the 2014 Asian Games, China was the top medal winner with 151 gold, 109 silver and 85 bronze. Among all the Chinese athletes in the delegation, a majority, 631, will make their international debut in Jakarta, echoing the sports-governing body’s call to embrace the continental meet as a high-exposure test for the country’s young talents ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the state-run China Daily reported today. Star athletes, such as three-time Olympic champion swimmer Sun Yang, men’s 100m sprint national record holder Su Bingtian and Olympic gold medalist volleyball player Zhu Ting, will lead the Chinese delegation to fight for Asian dominance in mainstream events, including swimming, track and field and collective ball games against rivals Japan, South Korea, Iran and Qatar, the report said. The only two sports China will not compete in at the games in Jakarta are Kabaddi and weightlifting. Last year also it had not participated in kabbadi.advertisement China is facing a one-year suspension imposed October last by the International Weightlifting Federation for doping violations at the 2008 Summer Olympics. PTI KJV SMJSMJ
TORONTO – Blayne Lastman, the son of former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman, announced Thursday that he will not be seeking the city’s top job, ending weeks of speculation that he would try to follow in his father’s footsteps.In an early morning statement, Blayne Lastman said he decided not to run for mayor in the Oct. 22 municipal election after “careful consideration and consultation” with his family.“The last week has been an emotional roller-coaster,” Lastman said in the statement. “While I am overwhelmed by the support I have received, my decision not to run is in the best interest of my family, my business and of course, the great City of Toronto.”Lastman is best known for running the Bad Boy furniture and appliance empire his father started in 1955. He was expected to appear at city hall on Thursday and announce his candidacy, a day before the deadline to enter the race.His father served as mayor of North York, Ont., for more than 20 years before becoming the first mayor of the amalgamated city of Toronto in 1998.Lastman said he will now offer his full support to current Mayor John Tory, who is running for a second term in office.“The mayor’s job is not one that can be taken lightly,” Lastman said. “Our city faces many concerns including crime and gridlock. I am well aware of the commitment that John Tory has made to the city and I offer him my full support.”In the elder Lastman’s post-mayoral days, he could be seen in Bad Boy commercials alongside Blayne, who re-launched the chain in 1991, shouting its notorious slogan with an “OK” sign and an exaggerated wink: “Who’s better than Bad Boy? Noooooobody!”The 85-year-old Mel Lastman left politics in 2003 after serving six years as Toronto’s mayor. One of his defining moments came in 1999 when he called in the army after a fierce winter storm paralysed the city.So far, 21 candidates have entered the mayoral race, including Tory.