Overtime!: July 2008
League of Legends Guide

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rogers Cup: Jankovic eliminates Wozniak.

The Rogers Cup tournament presented this week at the Uniprix stadium has already given great matches to the fans. A french-Canadian has advanced to the third round but this time it is not Aleksandra Wozniak.

Wozniak was completely dominated by the No. 2 player in the world, Jelena Jankovic, in two quick sets of 6-0 and 6-4. Jankovic's level of play, especially during the first set, was simply extraordinary.

In another match presented yesterday, Maria Sharapova (3) defeated Marta Domachowska in three sets of 7-5, 5-7 and 6-2. But only a few hours after her match, Sharapova retired herself from the competition because of her lingering shoulder injury. The injury is bothering the russian player for months now. She will pass a MRI today to evaluate her chances of being able play in the Olympic tournament and the U.S. Open.

As for another local player, Stephanie Dubois has given the crowd something to cheer about yesterday. In her second round match, Dubois who is ranked 122nd on the WTA tour, defeated Maria Kirilenko (13) in three sets of 6-2, 2-6 and 7-6 (7-4). If the weather allows it, Dubois will now face Jelena Jankovic in her third round match scheduled today.

(Picture: Stephanie Dubois, Canadian Press.)


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Monday, July 28, 2008

A second top 20 finish for Patrick Carpentier.

Patrick Carpentier is gaining valuable experience this season in the NASCAR Nextel series. After a difficult start of season, the pilot from Joliette, Quebec registered his second top 20 finish of the season when he finished in 18th place yesterday at the Brickyard.

Carpentier is more competitive as the season unfolds. He was forced to retire from only a couple of races as he generally finishes his races. After yesterday's results, Patrick Carpentier is now ranked in 36th place.

In addition to his increasing performances, Carpentier is now getting some respect around from the other drivers of the series. His cool and clean driving style allows him to stay away from crashes and from controversy.

When asked about his impressions on his NASCAR experience, Patrick's eyes illuminates. He was aware that he needed some time to learn the basics of stock-car racing, so he did not expect great results this season. But since last month, the experience is even more enjoyable with his pole position and the decent finishes. He wishes to be a part of the series for a long time as he really enjoys himself in the Nextel series.

To increase his experience level a bit quicker, Patrick also participated in a couple of Nationwide series events this season. This next weekend, the series goes to Montreal on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit for the NAPA 200.

The fans gathered around the circuit will have plenty to cheer about. Of course, Patrick Carpentier will be the crowd favorite. Last year, Carpentier finished in second place in the first edition of the NAPA 400. The result launched his NASCAR career.

The crowd will also have another favorite as they will see Jacques Villeneuve in action this weekend. Just like Carpentier, Villeneuve wishes to launch his NASCAR career with a good result in Montreal.

It will be the first time that these two drivers go head-to-head in competition. Who will finish on top? We will have an answer on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit this weekend.

(Picture: Patrick Carpentier, Getty Images.)


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Rogers Cup: Shaping up an exciting US Open.

The 2008 Rogers Cup played at York University in Toronto is to be concluded this weekend. Roger Federer and a few other seeded players slipped in the early rounds.

Roger Federer lost his first match at the Rogers Cup to Gilles Simon of France in three sets. Simon is having a great run, inspired by this victory as he will now play Marin Cilic in his quarterfinal match. Yesterday, Cilic defeated Andy Roddick in three sets of 6-4, 4-6 and 6-4 to advance.

Federer's lead over Rafael Nadal has never been that slim. Before the beginning of the competition, Federer had just over 700 points on his closest rival. That advantage will diminish even more after this week. Rafael Nadal is still in the draw, and plays Richard Gasquet in quarterfinals.

With a close race for the number one spot like the one we are having right now between Nadal and Federer, the US Open tournament coming up later this summer will decide of the order of things. Each match and each round, especially for Federer matches,will bear an extra suspense that has not been common for the last Grand Slam tournament of the season in recent years. And all the pressure to perform will be on Roger Federer again.

Will Roger Federer manage to keep his number one rank again this year? Will Nadal beat him in 2008 once the race is over? We are in for a treat at Flushing Meadows.

(Picture: Andy Roddick, Getty Images.)


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Monday, July 21, 2008

A breakout week for Aleksandra Wozniak.

Yesterday for the final of the Bank of the West tournament held at the Stanford University campus, Aleksandra Wozniak completed a dream week by defeating Marion Bartoli in two sets of 7-5 and 6-3.

The title won by the 20-year old player from Blainville, Quebec is her first one in career. In fact, Wozniak is only the fifth Canadian woman and the very first Quebec native to win a WTA title. Jill Heterington in 1988 was the last Canadian woman to win a WTA title.

Aleksandra Wozniak had an awesome week. After playing three qualifying matches to access the main draw, she defeated four top 30 players on her way to the title.

During the first round, she defeated Francesca Schiavone in two sets. Then, Wozniak won a place into the semifinals with a victory over Sybille Bammer in three hard fought sets. A match with the number five player in the world Serena Williams made all of us think that her magnificent run was over. But against all odds, Wozniak won the first set by 6-4 and was leading the second set by 3-1 when Serena was forced to retire because of a knee injury. During the final, Marion Bartoli ranked 15th in the world wasn't able to defeat a dominating and focused Wozniak.

The 225 points awarded to the tournament champion combined with her 3rd round at Roland-Garros and 2nd round result at Wimbledon propells Aleksandra Wozniak around the 45th rank. She achieved her objective for this year as she was hoping to be ranked around the 50th place at the end of the season.

Aleksandra will stay in California this week as she participates in another tournament. Tuesday, she will play Flavia Pennetta in her first round match. Once her tournament will be over, she will come back to Montreal to play the Rogers Cup next week in front of her own fans. We can bet that she will receive a warm welcome from the fans gathered at the Uniprix stadium.

Congratulations Aleksandra!

(Picture: Aleksandra Wozniak, Canadian Press.)


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

German Grand Prix: Imperial Hamilton.

The German Grand Prix final results can be reduced to a single event that shaped the finishing order of the race.

Timo Glock's suspension failure in the last corner of the circuit produced a big crash and brought the safety car on the track while grouping the cars together. Only a handful of cars did not went to the pits while the safety car was on the track. Among them, race leader Lewis Hamilton and Nelson Piquet Jr who went to the pits only a single lap before the incident.

At the restart, only a few of us were aware that Piquet was on a single stop strategy. The strategy worked like a charm for the rookie driver who led the race with only a few laps to go. But Hamilton's car was too good for the competition. The British driver took back the lead by overtaking Piquet Jr rather easily. Piquet Jr finished in second place and offered Renault their first podium finish of the season. The combination of a great strategy and a bit of luck helped the young Brazilian driver.

For Ferrari, it is a race to forget. Felipe Massa did okay all day long and brought in some valuable points with a third place. For Kimi Raikkonen, it was a different story. The defending champion struggled all weekend long and finished in sixth position.

German Grand prix top ten finish:

Winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2-Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault) +5.5 seconds
3-Felipe Massa (Ferrari) +9.3 seconds
4-Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) +9.8 seconds
5-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) +12.4 seconds
6-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +14.4 seconds
7-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) +22.6 seconds
8-Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) +33.2 seconds
9-Jarno Trulli (Toyota) +37.1 seconds
10-Nico Rosberg (Williams) +37.6 seconds

Drivers championship after 10/18 races:

1-Lewis Hamilton 58 points
2-Felipe Massa 54 points
3-Kimi Raikkonen 51 points
4-Robert Kubica 48 points
5-Nick Heidfeld 41 points
6-Heikki Kovalainen 28 points
7-Jarno Trulli 20 points
8-Mark Webber 18 points
9-Fernando Alonso 13 points
10-Rubens Barrichello 11 points
11-Nelson Piquet Jr 10 points
12-Nico Rosberg 8 points
13-Kazuki Nakajima 8 points
14-David Coulthard 6 points
15-Sebastian Vettel 6 points
16-Timo Glock 5 points
17-Jenson Button 3 points
18-Sebastien Bourdais 2 points

Constructors championship:

1-Ferrari 105 points
2-BMW-Sauber 89 points
3-McLaren 86 points
4-Toyota 25 points
5-Red Bull 24 points
6-Renault 23 points
7-Williams 16 points
8-Honda 14 points
9-Toro Rosso 8 points

(Picture: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren.)


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

German Grand Prix: Second consecutive pole for McLaren

The German Grand Prix qualifying session was presented earlier today on the Hockenheim circuit. The points leaders who are tied at the halfway point of the season, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen battled for the pole.

After the third and final leg of the session, Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren-Mercedes had registered the best time of the leading trio. The British driver edged the Ferrari driven by Felipe Massa by less than two tenths of a second. The second McLaren-Mercedes driven by Heikki Kovalainen will start from the third position.

Kimi Raikkonen was very competitive in the early portions of the session but will have to start from the sixth position. We can speculate and guess that his Ferrari had more fuel on board.

As for the underdogs, Jarno Trulli in his Toyota placed fourth while the Red Bull racing machines are both positioned in the top ten.

Top ten on the grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix:

Pole: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:15.666
2-Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:15.859
3-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:16.143
4-Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:16.191
5-Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:16.385
6-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:16.389
7-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) 1:16.521
8-Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:17.014
9-Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) 1:17.244
10-David Coulthard (Red Bull) 1:17.503

(Picture: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren.)


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

2009 Winter classic.

Yesterday, the National Hockey League has unveiled the 2008-2009 regular season calendar along with some informations on the next winter classic.

The next edition of the winter classic will be held on January 1st 2009 in Chicago. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Stanley Cup champions Detroit Red Wings for this special outdoor game. The game will be presented at the Wrigley field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

It will be an opportunity and a great event for the Chicago Blackhawks. The team lacked visibility in the last few years and the winter classic will put some spotlight on this ''original six'' franchise. With young talents like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews in their roster, the Blackhawks are competitive again after being relegated to the bottom of the standings for too long.

The Detroit Red Wings is a great choice of opponent for the Blackhawks. The Wings are also an ''original six'' team and with the immense talent pool of the Red Wings roster (Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Hossa and Lidstrom only to name those four) will insure a great spectacle for the fans that will be attending the game at Wrigley field.

Last January for the winter classic, the Pittsburgh Penguins played the Buffalo Sabres at the Ralph Wilson stadium in Buffalo.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get the good gear at L.A. Police Gear.

A wide variety of equipment for any outdoorsman is available at www.lapolicegear.com.

From items like DEL flashlights, tactical gear or Belleville boots. To 5.11 Tactical eyewear, handcuffs or shotgun bags, L.A. Police Gear has a very wide range of products in every of those categories and more.

The site is very easy to browse and adequatly categorized so you can find what you are looking for in a matter of seconds.

Many of the items displayed on the website can be used for trekking, camping, fishing or hunting. So if you are looking to complete your gear with high quality products, a visit at www.lapolicegear.com can satisfy your need.

This post was sponsored by www.lapolicegear.com

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Brett Favre saga: A tormented fan.

Brett Favre announced his retirement thru a press conference a few months ago but has now asked the NFL to put him back on the active players list last week.

The legendary quarterback wishes to play at least for one more season. His dramatic last play in career which resulted in an interception during the fifth quarter of this year's NFC Championship is probably still haunting him. Favre feels that he still can be competitive in the NFL and I personally do believe so too.

With the retirement of Favre announced in march, the Green Bay Packers were free to complete their rejuvenation program initiated a few seasons ago. Aaron Rodgers logically became the number one quarterback of the team. With Favre now wanting back, the Packers' General Manager Ted Thompson told the press this weekend that they are interested in him but only as a backup for Aaron Rodgers.

Yesterday, around 200 fans gathered at Lambeau field were shouting to the Packers ''We want Brett''. Among the core of fans, Adam and Erick Rolfson launched a website at www.bringbackbrettfavre.com. On the website, the fans are asked to vote and leave their opinions about the return of Favre. The crowd could grow bigger as they promised to be back in front of Lambeau field every sunday until Favre is back with the Pack.

I have been a Packers fan since before the Brett Favre era. The team had difficulties and was far from being a contender. Favre's arrival with the team some twenty years ago allowed Green Bay to leave the bottom of it's division to shortly after being into the playoffs on a regular basis. His strong arm, leadership, and toughness made of him my favorite athlete in pro sport.

Should the dispute between the two parties remain as it is, we will most likely see Favre land somewhere in the NFL as the number one quarterback for next season.

As a fan, I am tormented and will then be torn in two. I will still root for the Packers but will surely watch Favre's season. But worse case scenario: if they ever face each other next season, who will I go with? The man or the team?

I am a tormented fan.

(Picture: Brett Favre.)


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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Santos puts Alcine away.

The WBA super-middleweight champion Joachim Alcine and the 11 203 fans gathered at the Uniprix stadium in Montreal yesterday were KOed by a crushing left from Daniel Santos.

At the sixth round of a bout scheduled for twelve rounds, Santos (32-3-1, 23 KOs) sent a decisive left hook to the head of a wide open WBA champion. The attack was swift and precise just as Alcine (30-1-0 19 KOs) was recovering from a missed attempt.

Joachim Alcine was never able to stand up before the count of ten and referee Marlon B. Wright stopped the fight. Daniel Santos becomes the new WBA super-middleweight champion, his third world championship title.

As for the home crowd, the damage from Santos' left hook left them silenced and shocked. Their champion is no longer undefeated. It is by no means the end for Joachim Alcine but surely a step back in his pro career.

The result of the fight cannot be considered an upset and was by no means decided on a lucky punch. I had a legitimate fear and knew that Daniel Santos was really able to strip Joachim Alcine of his title.

(Picture: Joachim Alcine, Canadian Press.)


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Friday, July 11, 2008

Alcine-Santos: Ready to rumble.

Tonight at the Uniprix stadium in Montreal, Joachim Alcine and Daniel Santos will dispute the WBA super-middleweight title.

Both fighters respected the weight limit without any problem yesterday. Don King animated the official weight in with his colored comments. The internationally known promoter said to be excited by tonight's main event as he recognizes that two top quality fighters will clash tonight.

King also had good words for Montreal as he mixed his comments with some french expressions like ''Merci Quebec, Viva Montreal and merci beaucoup.'' After the weight in, he went to the Percival Molson stadium to watch the CFL regular season game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Montreal Alouettes.

As for both fighters, they said to be in top shape and ready to dispute a long and tough fight. Both Alcine and Santos are convinced to be WBA super-middleweight champion once the evening is over.

Personnally, I will follow tonight's match with high interest. Sadly, I will not be able to be at the Uniprix stadium but I will watch the fight on television tonight.

(Picture: Daniel Santos, Joachim Alcine and Don King, Canadian Press.)


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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Joachim Alcine is ready for his title defense.

Friday night at the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Joachim Alcine (30-0-0, 19 KOs) will put his perfect record on the line and will defend his WBA super middleweight championship against Daniel Santos (31-3-1, 22 KOs).

Alcine won the WBA championship last july when he defeated Travis Simms in Bridgeport Connecticut. One year later, the hardest fight of his career is just around the corner. Both Joachim Alcine and Daniel Santos have said to be confident to walk out of the Uniprix stadium as the WBA super middleweight champion.

Santos is the mandatory opponent for the title as he is ranked as the No1 contender for Alcine's title. He has already two title reigns in his record. In 2000, Santos won the WBO middleweight championship and from 2002 to 2005 he was the WBO super middleweight champ.

This will be the second title defense for Alcine. Both corners expect a very disputed fight and possibly a ''fight of the year'' nomination. The fans that will be massed at the Uniprix stadium in Montreal Friday are in for a treat.

If I were to pick a winner, my heart goes with Joachim Alcine. But this opponent is too good to be taken lightly. I also as a boxing fan expect a great fight while I am really nervous for the champ's reign. The smallest of mistake or decrease of the intensity will be dramatic. Daniel Santos is a worthy challenger able to strip the belt from the champ.

(Picture: Joachim Alcine.)


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Sunday, July 06, 2008

British Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton surfs thru at Silverstone.

Rainy conditions on the Silverstone track animated the 2008 British Grand Prix. Many drivers had a hard time keeping their car on the track. The rain accumulated in certain portions of the track sent many of them off track.

Very early into the race, Lewis Hamilton took the first place and increased his lead at will. He managed to avoid the most of trouble by not exceeding the car's limits. Hamilton even lapped both Ferrari drivers during the race. At the finish line, only Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello were on the lead lap, but over a minute behind Hamilton.

Among those who entertained the fans with wild spins we find both Ferrari drivers. Felipe Massa alone spun off track at least three times during the course of the race. Kimi Raikkonen had also his share of problems but managed to finish in the points.

Robert Kubica also finished his race when he lost control of his car, victim of the elements. With only a few points today the BMW-Sauber pilot would be leading the drivers championship at the halfway mark. Rubens Barrichello made the race of his season under the rain as he dragged his Honda into third place.

As things cannot be more undecided, three drivers are tied for first place in the drivers championship at the halfway point of this 2008 season. To predict about who will take the title this year is a difficult task at this point. None of the drivers involved in the championship can claim of having a perfect season. The one that will score points with the more consistency until the end of the season will take home the drivers championship.

British Grand Prix top ten:

Winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2-Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) +68.5 seconds
3-Rubens Barrichello (Honda) +82.2 seconds
4-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) -1 lap
5-Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) -1 lap
6-Fernando Alonso (Renault) -1 lap
7-Jarno Trulli (Toyota) -1 lap
8-Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) -1 lap
9-Nico Rosberg (Williams) -1 lap
10-Mark Webber (Red Bull) -1 lap

Drivers championship after 9/18 races:

1-Lewis Hamilton 48 points
1-Felipe Massa
48 points
1-Kimi Raikkonen
48 points
4-Robert Kubica 46 points
5-Nick Heidfeld 36 points
6-Heikki Kovalainen 24 points
7-Jarno Trulli 20 points
8-Mark Webber 18 points
9-Fernando Alonso 13 points
10-Rubems Barrichello 11 points
11-Nico Rosberg 8 points
12-Kazuki Nakajima 8 points
13-David Coulthard 6 points
14-Timo Glock 5 points
15-Sebastian Vettel 5 points
16-Jenson Button 3 points
17-Sebastien Bourdais 2 points
18-Nelson Piquet Jr 2 points

Constructors championship:

1-Ferrari 96 points
2-BMW-Sauber 82 points
3-McLaren 72 points
4-Toyota 25 points
5-Red Bull 24 points
6-Williams 16 points
7-Renault 15 points
8-Honda 14 points
9-Toro Rosso 7 points

(Picture: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren.)


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Saturday, July 05, 2008

British Grand Prix: First career pole for Kovalainen.

Tomorrow's Grand Prix on the Silverstone track promises a lot of unexpected results. There is some rain forecasted for tomorrow and the starting grid for the race is as ecclectic as it can get.

The McLaren-Mercedes had slipped in the constructors championship during the last few races. Lewis Hamilton has not scored points in the last two races. This weekend, the car looked to be the fastest of the plateau. But Lewis Hamilton missed a great opportunity to start from the pole as he pushed the limits of his car a little too much during the final qualifying stage. At the opposite, Heikki Kovalainen was brilliant and he registered the fastest time. A first pole position in career for him.

Mark Webber in his Red Bull shocked the racing fans only a few seconds before the end of qualifying when he registered the fastest time. But Kovalainen was just behind him and took back the pole a few seconds later. Webber will start in second place, a very good starting position for the Red Bull.

Silverstone top ten on the grid:

Pole: Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:21.049
2-Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:21.554
3-Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:21706
4-Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:21.835
5-Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) 1:21.873
6-Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:22.029
7-Nelson Piquet Jr (Renault) 1:22.491
8-Sebastien Vettel (Toro Rosso) 1:23.251
9-Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:23.305
10-Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) --------

(Picture: Heikki Kovalainen, Getty Images.)


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Friday, July 04, 2008

Bob Gainey buys respect.

Montreal Canadiens' General Manager Bob Gainey made a popular decision as he has signed a three year contract with the heavy forward Georges Laraque.

Laraque is really coming back home as he originates from the Montreal area in Laval, Quebec. At 6' 3'' and 240 pounds, Laraque is a tough man to handle in a fight. His reputation is well known among the players across the NHL. His very presence on the roster will make some opponents think twice before laying out a cheap shot.

With the acquisition, Bob Gainey also wants to give more room to work for his goaltenders. Last season, too many players charged Montreal's net at will. Carey Price and Jaroslav Halak will be able to work with less contact and obstruction from the opponents.

When asked about his impressions, Laraque said to be very pleased. He declared that being a free agent, he wished for such an offer from the Montreal Canadiens. A three year deal worth $4.5 Millions at home in Montreal is a perfect fit for him.

Adding the fact that the club will celebrate it's 100th anniversary this next season and will host the All-Star game, Georges will be pleased and will most probably have a great season. His arrival with the Canadiens created quite a lot of reactions among the population. The majority of hockey fans, including myself, are thrilled with Gainey's decision.

(Picture: Georges Laraque, Getty Images.)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

If you can't beat them, join them!

Yesterday, Marian Hossa, one of the most talented player of the NHL without a contract accepted an offer from the Detroit Red Wings. A one year deal worth $7.45 Millions.

Just a few weeks ago, Hossa was playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins and was trying to defeat the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final. We all know the rest of the story: the Wings won the series in six games.

So instead of trying again next time and lead the Penguins to a Stanley Cup championship, Hossa decided to join the Wings that will try to repeat their fantastic season during the upcoming 2008-2009 season.

In 701 matches in career, Marian Hossa scored 299 goals and totals 648 points.

(Picture: Marian Hossa, Getty Images.)


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