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UFC 253: Kiwi middleweight champion Israel Adesanya labelled 'human trash' by Paulo Costa after X-rated move

Kiwi middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has been labelled 'human trash' by his opponent Paulo Costa following an obscene gesture in his UFC 253 TKO victory on Sunday. Adesanya completely dominated his previously unbeaten opponent before catching him with a left hook to the side of the head to begin the end of proceedings. He mounted a man he'd described as "one of those dogs that barks behind the fence" in the lead-up to their fight and began raining down heavy shots. After referee Jason Herzog intervened to wave off the fight, Adesanya appeared to grab Costa by the back and thrusted his hips forward aggressively. Advertisement Costa reacted to Adesanya's actions in a social media post. "I come here to talk about the actions that the human trash did after our fight," Costa said during a video posted to his Instagram. "I didn't see when I was there [in] the cage but I saw now. I disapprove 100 percent. To me, this is [personal] now. Nobody will stop me. Nobody can stop me." Costa requested a rematch, even suggesting that he was injured prior to the fight. "I want my rematch. You know I am waiting for you. Something happened before the fight, I'm not [making] excuses here to my people, to my fans but I will be 100 percent to fight him and to make him pay. That's my word. Save my words." Adesanya was quick to respond on social media, saying: "I can stop you...again :) Dislike." However, Costa is unlikely to get a rematch because of how one-sided the fight was and the long list of fighters keen to take Adesanya's belt off him. It was a masterclass from the 20-0 Adesanya against a hulk who was supposed to be his biggest challenge in the division. From the outset Adesanya kept the challenger at a distance and picked him apart with constant kicks landing clean on Costa's lead leg. At the end of the opening round the outside of Costa's left leg was bright red. Advertisement As the second round got underway, Adesanya went straight back to work on the leg with Costa simply unable to close the gap and get at the champ. A high left kick landed on the temple of Costa and cut him open before an Adesanya left hook grazed Costa's head and dropped him to the canvas before ground and pound brought the bout to an end. "I still have to watch it again, little bit sloppy, but I'm a dog and I do what I do," Adesanya said. "I still don't like him. I don't know him personally, I don't wish he dies or anything, he's alive, I let him be alive. "This is the game we play, this is violence and I told you guys that it was going to be violent and I said it, it's going to be violent and it's going to end fast and that's what I did." It makes it four UFC title wins for Adesanya, moving him into second all-time, and also second all-time on the longest UFC win streaks with nine. Advertisement "The best, and most sophisticated striker in the sport!! Holy f*** that was amazing!! Congrats to the champ!!" UFC commentator Joe Rogan wrote. Israel Adesanya punches Paulo Costa in their middleweight championship bout during UFC 253. Photo / Getty Adesanya will now await the winner of an October 24 showdown between Aussie Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier. The champ revealed after the fight he had messaged Cannonier telling him to take care of business against the former champ because he wanted to fight him next, not Whittaker. "I already DM'd Jared Cannonier. He's a hell of a dude. I love his energy. He's a beautiful man," Adesanya said. "I said you destroy Robert Whittaker and you're next. "He's the one I want to fight next. He deserves it. If he beats Robert Whittaker handily and dominates him, he's next." - with news.com.a Advertisement Israel Adesanya retains his UFC middleweight belt, wiping the floor with Brazilian Paulo Costa. Video / UFC
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Cricket: Bay Oval gets Boxing Day test

Bay Oval in Tauranga will host a Boxing Day cricket test for the first time this summer, when the Black Caps play Pakistan. Bay Oval in Mt Maunganui. Photo: PHOTOSPORT The summer schedule for the Black Caps has 21 games all up, including four tests two against Pakistan and two against the West Indies. The Bay Oval test will be the eighth Boxing Day Test in New Zealand and the first since 2018. Last summer the Black Caps played Australia in a Boxing Day test in Melbourne - the first time that had happened in over 30 years. The Black Caps begin their home season with a three match T20 series against the West Indies - the first game is in Auckland on November 20th. They then play two tests against the Windies in Hamilton and Wellington. There are also three T20's against Pakistan before two more tests - the Boxing Day one at Mt Maunganui and Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The Black Caps will also play five T20 games against Australia in February and March and then three one dayers and three T20's against Bangladesh subject to getting government approval for the teams to come which New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White is confident will be forthcoming. "I'm thrilled to be making this announcement today, given the uncertainty and difficulties over the past six or seven months....we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process," he said. "Hosting these tours is incredibly important to us for two reasons: international cricket brings in revenue that funds the entire game of cricket in New Zealand and, also, it's crucial that we look after the fans of the game and sport in general, especially during these difficult times." White also said ticket prices would be almost halved. "It might sound counter-intuitive to be lowering ticket prices at a time of great additional cost and expense to the game, but we think it's the right thing to do". The White Ferns will host England in February and March and New Zealand Cricket is also negotiating for the Australian women's side to tour here. v West Indies Nov 27th - Eden Park - Black Caps v West Indies T20. Nov 29th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v West Indies T20 Nov 30th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v West Indies T20 Dec 3rd-7th - Seddon Park - Black Caps v West Indies - First Test Dec 11th-15th - Basin Reserve - Black Caps v West Indies - Second Test v Pakistan Dec 18th - Eden Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 20th - Seddon Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 22nd - McLean Park - Black Caps v Pakistan - T20 Dec 26th -30th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v Pakistan - First Test Jan 3rd-7th - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Pakistan - Second Test. v Australia Feb 22nd - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 Feb 25th - University of Otago Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 March 3rd - Sky Stadium, Wellington - Black Caps v Australia - T20 March 7th - Bay Oval - Black Caps v Australia - T20 v Bangladesh March 13th - University of Otago Oval - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 17th - Hagley Oval - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 20th - Basin Reserve - Black Caps v Bangladesh - One Dayer March 23rd - McLean Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20 March 26th - Eden Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20 March 28th - Sedden Park - Black Caps v Bangladesh - T20.
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America's Cup challenger INEOS Team UK offers first glimpse of new boat

The second race boat built by America's Cup challenger INEOS Team UK is bound for New Zealand. The 75-foot race boat (code named RB2) will take four days, with two stopovers, onboard a 1987 Ukrainian Antonov cargo plane to get to Auckland. Once the race boat arrives at the newly constructed INEOS Team UK base in the Viaduct the final fit out will be completed ready for her launch and maiden sail next month. Holders Team New Zealand and challenger American Magic are already testing in Waitemata Harbour but the Italian Luna Rossa Challenger of Record is likely to face two months with no sailing, having wound up its European summer sailing campaign in Sardinia on August 28. Advertisement Four times Olympic Gold medallist, America's Cup winner, INEOS Team UK Team Principal and skipper Sir Ben Ainslie is currently in two-week mandatory quarantine and counting down the days until sailing operations begin. "As a challenger you're always playing catch up on the race boat design from the Defender who gets to define the rules," he said. "That's the game we chose to compete in, so we had to give ourselves maximum design and build time in the UK, which meant the Antonov was the only transport option. It's testament to the huge effort by the whole team to get RB2 built and delivered to New Zealand on schedule. We can't wait to get her out sailing." RB2 leaving the INEOS Team UK base in Portsmouth. Photo / Harry KH INEOS Team UK Project Director Dave Endean has overseen the build and safe transportation of RB2 to New Zealand. "It's been a huge operation to get to this point and a real team effort.", said Dave Endean. "The logistics of moving an entire America's Cup team, including two AC75 boats, to New Zealand are not insignificant and it has taken a lot of time and hard work from the entire team to make it happen. It was an important milestone to get our race boat on the Antonov cargo plane today and I, and the rest of our team left in the UK, can't wait to join the team in New Zealand now and get sailing in the Auckland Harbour." Ainslie is promising a vastly different second generation AC75 to their first boat 'Britannia.' Earlier this month, Ainslie told NZME from his base in Portsmouth that all the team's boats will be significantly different. Advertisement "I was talking to Grant Dalton (Team NZ CEO) the other day and he was saying even with the New Zealand boat and Italian boats, which are similar, they are making some big changes and you would expect that in a new class and development class like this, there will be some really big differences," he said. "There will be some big differences in performance for sure when we first line up against each other and the key will be how quickly the teams develop and keep developing through the competition." Ainslie believes the two months leading up to the Christmas Cup regatta featuring all four teams will be more intense than usual in the America's Cup cycle due to the uncertainty and unknown created by the Covid-19 pandemic. The cancellation of the Cagliari and Portsmouth regattas has added another level of intrigue and Ainslie's excited. "There's so much more intrigue because no one's lined up in a brand new class of boat. It's going to be a really intense period for all the teams and really exciting to see how people line up and how they develop and which teams develop through the competition, so it's going to be a lot to take in in the next six months in the America's Cup world," he said.
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Today's sports news: What you need to know

Latest - English Premier League champions Liverpool maintained their 100% start to the season with a 3-1 win against Arsenal at Anfield on Monday leaving them level on nine points with pacesetters Everton and Leicester City. Sadio Mane Photo: PHOTOSPORT Arsenal took the lead, totally against the run of play, in the 25th minute with Alexandre Lacazette scoring. However Liverpool responded three minutes later through Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson just before the break. New Liverpool signing Diogo Jota, the Portuguese forward signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers, marked his debut from the bench with the goal in the 88th minute that made sure of the win. The Gunners, who won their first two games, have now gone 28 games without a win away from home against 'Big Six' opposition. Aston Villa moved into the top four after they strolled to a 3-0 win at Fulham thanks to goals from Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Tyrone Mings in a lopsided contest. The result left Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight last season, fourth on a maximum six points from two games while promoted Fulham are bottom with no points after a third successive defeat. -Reuters Boks remain in doubt for Rugby Championship The Springboks are "desperate" to play in the Rugby Championship this year, but there remain a number of hurdles before they will commit to the competition, according to director of rugby Rassie Erasmus. Rassie Erasmus Photo: Photosport The Southern Hemisphere competition will be staged in Australia from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12, but the defending champion Springboks face being woefully under-prepared, which Erasmus believes could make participation dangerous for the players. "We desperately want to play, it will be terrible to go a year without the Springboks playing," Erasmus said. "But we have had one of the toughest lockdowns in the world and our players were indoors for months. In other countries players could train or at least go to the park to exercise, we did not have that. "So if you look at the science, we have to get five or six matches into the players for their own welfare and to make it safe for them, and we are working out how to do that. Players probably need 500 minutes (of game-time) to be safe." South Africa's domestic competition will only start on Oct. 10 with players having been largely inactive since March. Erasmus reveals the Boks are also facing resistance from English clubs over the release of players in time for the start of the Rugby Championship. -Reuters Serie A continues to lose money Italy's top flight football league has lost almost $900 million in revenues due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the head of Italy's Serie A said, warning the industry was in dire straits. To contain COVID-19 contagion, Italy's government has rejected a proposal to allow more spectators at sporting events, including lifting the current limit of 1,000 spectators at Serie A football matches to fill a quarter of stadium capacity. Matchday revenues account for around 11% of Serie A clubs' $4.5 billion aggregated yearly revenues, whose bulk is made up by broadcasting right sales. But this source of income is also shrinking because broadcasters around the world respond to lower advertising revenues by cutting spending on media right deals. In an effort to cushion the impact of the pandemic on debt-laden clubs, Serie A is considering selling a minority stake in a newly created company handling the League's broadcasting rights for 10 seasons. -Reuters Montana overcomes potential kidnapping Four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana and his wife thwarted a kidnapping attempt over the weekend when a woman entered their house in Malibu, California and grabbed their grandchild. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Montana flagged down a patrol to report that the stranger fled the house without his grandchild when she was confronted. The police said that the 64-year-old and his wife, Jennifer, 62, confronted the woman and pried their grandchild from the woman's arms, at which point she fled, adding that the woman was in custody. No one was injured in the incident. "Thank you to everyone who has reached out," Montana, an NFL Hall of Fame inductee, posted on Twitter. "Scary situation, but thankful that everybody is doing well. We appreciate respect for our privacy at this time." -Reuters Kyrgios takes a crack at Wilander Seven-time grand slam champion Mats Wilander has come under fire from Nick Kyrgios after the Swede suggested Andy Murray should consider whether he has the right to accept wild cards into majors at the expense of emerging young players. Wilander's comments came after three-time grand slam champion Murray's first- round defeat by Stan Wawrinka at the French Open in which he won only six games. It was former world No.1 Murray's joint-worst loss at a grand slam and came on his return to the French Open after a three-year absence, during which he has had two hip surgeries. "I think Murray needs to stop thinking of himself and start thinking about who he was. Does he have a right to be out there taking wild cards from the young players?" Wilander said. Australian Kyrgios, who has skipped the French Open because of the coronavirus pandemic, quickly jumped to the defence of the 33-year-old British player on Twitter. "Just read what Wilander said about andy--murray... shut up Mats, no one cares. Muzz, just know that however long you stay, we all appreciate and enjoy your tennis and banter. -Reuters Saudi Arabia to host womens golf for the first time. Saudi Arabia will host professional golf tournaments for women for the first time ever in November at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in Jeddah. The Saudi Ladies International will be the first Ladies European Tour event to take place in the country, with a purse of $1.5. It will be followed by the Saudi Ladies Team International, in which professionals will team up with amateurs and compete for a purse of $750,000. The events will be Saudi Arabia's third and fourth professional tournaments in the past two years, having staged the Saudi International men's event in 2019 and 2020. -Reuters
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UFC 253: Kiwi middleweight champion Israel Adesanya's big payout after beating Paulo Costa

Kiwi UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya walked away with a reported $1.05m after his title defence against Brazilian Paulo Costa. Adesanya made easy work of Costa with a second round TKO victory at UFC 253 at Fight Island in Abu Dabhi on Sunday. Just for showing up, the 31-year-old earned a guaranteed $915,000, which was reportedly a 10 per cent increase from his previous title defence againt Yoel Romero – and it will likely increase as his stocks continue to rise in the UFC. Aside from the base salary, Adesanya also earned $61,000 for promotional work in the lead up to the fight and claimed a 'Fight of the Night' bonus to the tune of another $76,200. Advertisement Adesanya dominated the fight, handing Costa his first loss of his professional career. And it took him just under nine minutes to do so. After the fight, he alluded to his financial windfall on Twitter, joking about buying a new Rolls Royce. *me gets a new Rolls Royce drop top coupe*Police: How much did that set ya back kid?Me: Oh this...it COSTA lot.🙂 — Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) September 28, 2020 According to UFC president Dana White, Adesanya's bout broke several records, with the pre-fight stare-down becoming the most-watched in the organisation's history. The pay-per-view buys for the event, which hasn't been revealed, are also expected to be substantial. Despite the relatively straightforward victory, the latest win will likely be Adesanya's biggest of his career when it comes to earning him more global name-recognition and commercial opportunities. Aside from the UFC payouts, Adesanya also has several sponsorships on the go. He recently signed a deal with Puma and was on the cover of the UFC's latest video game. Adesanya has also been outspoken about the UFC's pay structure when it comes to fighters who don't make weight and called for a harsher penalty to be imposed on those fighters, who he labeled "cheats". Adesanya's City Kickboxing teammate Shane Young was knocked out on the same card over the weekend by Ludovit Klein, who was four pounds (1.81kg) over the 146-pound (66.2kg) featherweight limit. Israel Adesanya celebrates after defeating Paulo Costa. Photo / Getty Young earned 30 per cent of Klein's purse but Adesanya believes it wasn't enough and wants fighters who miss weight to receive a bigger penalty. Advertisement "It's just cheating," Adesanya said after defeating Costa. "I'm telling you, if you fine someone 90 per cent of your purse if you miss weight, I guarantee you no matter how much money you're making, no one is going to go through this whole camp, through this whole s***, and be willing to give 90 per cent of their pay to the other guy. "They will take every second to make the weight. "Even if you're making $5 million, if 90 per cent of that goes to your opponent I guarantee you people will make weight." Adesanya said Klein and Zubaira Tukhugov – who also missed weight by four pounds for his lightweight loss to Hakeem Dawodu – were unprofessional. "We [City Kickboxing] have guys like Carlos Ulberg and Blood Diamond who aren't even in the UFC yet and they were ready, they were already close to their weight, they're professionals," Adesanya said. Advertisement "So if you can't hack it, go home because we have killers who are ready to go." UFC president Dana White said Adesanya was "not wrong" but explained that any rule changes will have to come from the relevant commissions. "That's not our place, that's the commission that handles that," White said. "But he's not wrong, take 80 or 90 per cent of any body's money they're going to show up the right way."
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Covid-19: Poorer countries to get 120 million $5 coronavirus tests, WHO says

Some 120 million rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus will be made available to low- and middle-income countries at a maximum of $5 per unit, the World Health Organisation says. Photo: 123RF WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the manufacturers Abbott and SD Biosensor had agreed with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to "make 120 million of these new, highly portable and easy-to-use rapid Covid-19 diagnostic tests available over a period of six months". He told a news conference in Geneva the tests were currently priced at a maximum of $5 each but were expected to become cheaper. "This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have laboratory facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out tests," Tedros said. "This is a vital addition to the testing capacity and especially important in areas of high transmission." In other international Covid-19 developments: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, there have been almost one million confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the world. But the number is likely to be an underestimate as testing rates in many countries remain low, with virus-related deaths not being recorded. The number of new COVID-19 cases in the United States has risen for two weeks in a row in 27 out of 50 states, with North Carolina and New Mexico both reporting increases above 50 percent last week, according to a Reuters analysis. Quebec, the Canadian province hardest hit by the novel coronavirus, reported another sharp increase in daily infections on Monday, amid media reports that Premier Francois Legault would announce new restrictions for Montreal and capital Quebec City The British government tightened restrictions on socialising in parts of northeast England in response to high and increasing Covid-19 infection rates in the region. From Wednesday, residents in seven areas including urban centres such as Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Durham will be barred from socialising indoors with people from outside their household or strictly defined social bubble. - Reuters, BBC
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Rafa cruises into second round at Roland Garros

Claycourt master Rafael Nadal started his quest for a record-extending 13th French Open title with a straightforward 6-4 6-4 6-2 first-round win against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov. Rafa Nadal Photo: PHOTOSPORT The Spaniard, looking to equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, is used to slow starts at Roland Garros and this year's debut was no different. On the revamped court Philippe Chatrier, whose roof stayed open throughout, Nadal converted all of his five break points to set up a meeting with American Mackenzie McDonald. The second seed, who had complained about the new balls being too heavy, did not appear too bothered in front of some 200 fans, wrapping up the match with a service winner. Austria's Dominic Thiem showed no sign of a hangover from his U.S. Open triumph as he began his campaign with an impressive straight sets win over Marin Cilic. Third seed Thiem, beaten by Rafa Nadal in the last two French Open finals, was handed a tough first round against the Croatian former U.S. Open champion, but was straight into the groove under the roof on Court Phillipe Chatrier. France won one of it's stars with eighth seed Gael Monfils beaten by Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in four sets. In the women's draw sixth seed Serena Williams battled sluggish conditions to defeat fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6, 6-0 to open her campaign. Playing against an opponent she defeated at the same stage at the U.S. Open less than a month ago, Williams found herself trailing twice in the opening set at the Court Philippe Chatrier but rallied each time to force a tiebreaker. Williams, who has won three of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles at Roland Garros, raised her level in the tiebreaker and did not look back from there, handing the 102nd-ranked Ahn a bagel in the second set. The 39-year-old had to dig deep to find a way to win points in the cold and heavy conditions and needed five match points to seal the victory and set up a second round meeting against Tsvetana Pironkova, who earlier beat Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-3. 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain narrowly avoided a first-round exit when she battled for three hours to beat Slovenia's Tamara Zidansek 7-5 4-6 8-6. Other first round winners in the women's draw included Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Petra Kvitova. -Reuters
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Big names missing from England Roses to meet Silver Ferns

England's biggest netball stars will be missing from the side that meets the Silver Ferns late next month for the first international Tests since Covid-19 disrupted the sport. Jo Harten Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz Head Coach of the Roses, Jess Thirlby has named 16 players who will travel to New Zealand to face the Silver Ferns in three Tests in Hamilton for the Taini Jamison Trophy. The England side are set to arrive on 8 October, after which the team will quarantine for two weeks before facing the world champions on 28 October, 30 October and 1 November. But the Roses, who are currently ranked third in the world, might struggle. None of the Roses who currently play in the Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) league in Australia, including the likes of Helen Housby, Jo Harten and Geva Mentor, will be partaking in the series. Nor will Natalie Haythornthwaite, and defenders Layla Guscoth and Stacey Francis after a condensed SSN season which also meant living in a quarantine 'hub' for an extended period. The SSN league, which started late due to the pandemic, has its grand final on 18th October, which could potentially tie up a couple of the English players. Thirlby said while they would miss them it was important they got the opportunity to rest both mentally and physically after an intense season. Serena Guthrie, who had great success in both the New Zealand and Australian domestic leagues, is a world class player and is likely to be named captain for the series. The well-travelled Jade Clarke is by far England's most capped player with 176 Tests, while Kadeen Corbin adds experience to the shooting end with 70 caps. Southern Steel fans will get a sneak peek of their recently signed import George Fisher, who is a tall target in the shooting circle. Defender Fran Williams has shown huge potential for some time and will relish solid court time along with fellow defender Jodie Gibson. Thirlby said the series was a massive opportunity for the team after what had been an extremely difficult period. "After both the Vitality Netball Superleague and the international season were disrupted due to COVID-19, we weren't sure whether we were going to get an opportunity like this in 2020. "I am so proud of how well the Vitality Roses athletes and staff have handled training in a different environment and of how they have come together in uncertain times. I know they're all excited to get out there now and to get playing." Thirlby said it was a great opportunity to blood some new talent in the lead up to a home Commonwealth Games. "We've got a great pool of talent heading out to face the Silver Ferns, including some rising stars like Imogen Allison who is yet to gain her first senior cap, plus some household names such as Serena Guthrie who could achieve her 100th cap during the series and Jade Clarke who is the most capped England player." Thirlby said they were thankful for New Zealand hosting them. "It can't be underestimated what an achievement it is for both nations to enable this opportunity to happen, not only for both nations but for the visibility of international netball and female sport during such challenging times." England Roses squad Jade Clarke Halimat Adio Imogen Allison Serena Guthrie Sophie Drakeford-Lewis Yasmin Parsons Vicki Oyesola Amy Carter Gabriella Marshall Razia Quashie George Fisher Fran Williams Jodie Gibson Eleanor Cardwell Laura Malcolm Kadeen Corbin
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Dreamworld operator Ardent Leisure fined $3.6m for Thunder River Rapids Ride deaths

Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure has been fined A$3.6 million over the deaths of four people, including New Zealander Cindy Low, on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016. Flowers outside Dreamworld in Queensland, where four people died. Photo: AFP Ardent Leisure pleaded guilty to three breaches of workplace health and safety laws. The maximum penalty for each breach is A$1.5 million - A$4.5 million in total. Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died when their raft collided with an empty raft and flipped in October 2016. Earlier today, the Southport Magistrates Court heard emotional victims impact statements from the family of victims, including a teenager who saw her mother and two uncles killed on the Dreamworld ride four years ago. Ebony Turner was 12 when she witnessed the deadly accident on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016. The teenager has been accompanied by Kim Dorsett, who is her grandmother and the mother of ride victims Kate Godchild and Luke Dorsett. Dorsett's partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low also died when their raft collided with an empty raft and flipped. Dorsett gave a victim impact statement at the theme park's sentencing at Southport Magistrates Court this morning. She recounted the moment when she saw her granddaughter Ebony at the police station after being told about the tragedy. "Ebony had survived the accident and was hysterical trying to tell of the events that had taken place that afternoon," Ms Dorsett told the court. "'I couldn't find Mummy. "These words have become a recurring nightmare, words that will be with me until I too take my last breath." Dorsett stopped several times to reach for tissues during her emotional address, which she had travelled from Canberra with Ebony to deliver in person. She described her daily struggles with PTSD, loss of memory and organisational skills, and a life now lived in a "lonely village of grief". Victims watch proceedings via video link A number of the victims' family members have been watching proceedings via video link, including Low's brother, Michael Cook, and her husband, Matthew Low. Queensland's independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, has charged Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure with three counts of Failure to Comply with Health and Safety Duty, Category 2, under the Queensland Health and Safety Act. The maximum penalty for each breach is $1.5 million - equating to $4.5 million in total. In July, Ardent Leisure appeared briefly in the Southport Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to all three charges. A coronial inquest into the four deaths made findings of a series of failures at the park, including safety and maintenance systems that the coroner described as "rudimentary at best" and "frighteningly unsophisticated". Work Health and Safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle recommended Magistrate Pamela Dowse heavily penalise Ardent Leisure, and that a conviction be recorded. "The failures of the defendant were not momentary," Guilfoyle said. "The failures did not occur solely on the day of the incident, they were failures well before then, which led ultimately to what transpired. "This is a rare case in which a penalty close to the available maximum is appropriate." 'Ardent apologises for the terrible tragedy' Ardent Leisure's legal representative, Bruce Hodgkinson SC told the court the company did not dispute the facts presented by Guilfoyle, opening his submissions with an apology. "Ardent apologises for the terrible tragedy which occurred," Hodgkinson told the court. "Ardent apologises unreservedly to the family and friends of Roozi Araghi, Luke Dorsett, Kate Goodchild and Cindy Low for the past failures of Dreamworld as identified by this prosecution. "Ardent expresses its deepest sympathies to the immediate and extended families for their enormous loss and ongoing suffering. "Ardent also apologises to all those who have been so deeply impacted by this tragedy: first responders, bystanders, Queensland police and ambulance services, Dreamworld staff and many other people involved who have been affected." Hodgkinson said since the tragedy, Ardent Leisure had been working with cross-industry experts to bring Dreamworld's safety and systems up to world standards. He told the court this included comprehensive engineering reviews, situational emergency training on a planned and ad-hoc basis for staff, and the development of new safety regulations for theme parks with the Queensland Government. "In addition to working with the regulator, Dreamworld has consulted extensively with industry and broad experience, both in the theme park industry and in the aviation, mining and oil and gas industries," Hodgkinson said. "They are industries that have had a lot of scrutiny, both internal and external, in the relation to development of safety mechanisms. "Those have been drawn upon to ensure that the park, on an ongoing basis, has been made safe and has been brought up to world safety standards." 'Largest workplace fine in Queensland history' In a statement issued after the fine, Ardent Leisure chairman Gary Weiss and CEO John Osborne said they accepted the court's decision to impose "the largest fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy". "Ardent accepts responsibility for this tragedy without qualification or reservation," their statement said. "The majority of families, first responders and others impacted by the tragedy have received compensation. "The Ardent board has, and continues to, press for the expeditious resolution of the remaining claims noting that, in the case of compensation for minors, the court's approval is required before compensation can be finalised. "The construction of the Memorial Garden announced in February was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this project will recommence in the next few months following consultation with immediate family members." - ABC
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