Poor FKF organization wrecks Kenya’s hopes

For the umpteenth time, Kenya football fans were subjected to yet another humiliation. This time it was against Botswana in a 2016 Olympics qualifier. Kenya went down 0-3 in the first leg match played in Gaborone. All three goals were scored in the second half.

Team Kenya arrived in Botswana on the same day as the match. This was after a 4 hour flight from Nairobi to Gaborone. After arriving in Gaborone, they had to then travel by bus to Lobatse city.

It comes as no surprise therefore that the team was fatigued due to the travel. They were also likely still suffering the effects of jet lag. And on top of this, the team did not have a chance to hold any training sessions in Lobatse in order to acclimatize, get a feel of the pitch or even just stretch their legs.

All these factors contributed to their poor performance, especially the fatigue. Team Kenya valiantly held off  Botswana in the first half. But fatigue eventually took its toll and Kenya succumbed, conceding three rapid fire goals in the second half. When players are fatigued not only can they not play to their physical potential, but they also cannot play with concentration. And frustrations tend to rise, which may explain why Timonah Wanyonyi was red carded for a retaliation, which compounded matters for Kenya because it left them with 10 men. Wanyonyi will now miss the return leg further denting Kenya’s hopes as he is one of the best players on the team.

Poor FKF Organization

The blame for this debacle lies squarely with the FKF team of Sam Nyamweya, Robert Asembo and others. They had several months to plan travel arrangements but it is not clear what they were doing. They spend so much time fighting for their own interests that they forget to do basic organizational duties.

Reports from local media suggest that, Football Kenya Federation had made frantic efforts to have the match postponed after failing to get acquire a transit visa that would have enabled the team to pass through South Africa to Gaborone. According to Botswana media, the Botswana FA declined to change the dates because FKF’s request was put in late. Botswana Football Association president, Tebogo Sebego, said the request by Kenya came too late to be considered.

“We were unable to postpone the game due to logistical reasons. Our stakeholders were already invited. “The Kenyan Federation pleaded with us to postpone the match on Wednesday, and it was too late. “If they had told us on time, we could have considered their request,” Sebego said.
But why would Botswana do Kenya any favours when they are trying to eliminate them?

How many more times will Kenya be derailed?

This lack of attention to detail has derailed Kenya so many times. Last year Kenya was eliminated by Lesotho from the 2015 AFCON qualifiers because the team was poorly prepared. Most notably, the team members  were pleading for friendly matches in order to gel. But their pleas fell on deaf ears.

When Kenya was eliminated by Lesotho, coach Adel Amrouche was scapegoated by Nyamweya and fired. So furious is Amrouche today that when his name came up as a potential candidate for the AFC Leopards coaching job, he quickly dismissed it saying he wants absolutely nothing to do with football in Kenya.

One has to feel sorry for new coach Bobby Williamson. He was able to generate respectable results as Uganda Cranes coach. But he did not know what he was getting into when he decided to switch to Harambee stars,

With the qualifiers for the 2017 AFCON looming, it is unlikely that FKF will come up with better organization. Kenya last qualified for AFCON over 10 years ago and each failure has been largely due to poor organization.


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Lettre à Mr. Le Directeur General (Lyrics and Translation)

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Most music fans though Franco and Tabu Ley were bitter enemies. Imagine their surprise when the two embarked on a joint project in 1983 which preduced a number of albums. The songs were produced by a combination of Afrisa and OK Jazz musicians plus guitarist Michelino Mavatiku Visi. One such album was labeled Choc Choc Choc. It contained the classic song Lettre à Mr. Le Directeur Général.

The song attacked the General Managers and Bureaucrats who were in charge of Zairean parastatals. But it was also seen by many an indirect criticism of president Mobutu sese Seko since he appointed these incompetent general managers.

The Instrumental features sublime guitar riffs from Franco and Michelino
As well as the effervescent saxophone of Matalanza


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Caroline Rotich wins 2015 Boston Marathon

rotich-boston-15

The Boston marathon women’s was a close one and was only decided in the final strides. It came down to a battle between . This time the duel was Caroline  Rotich of Kenya and Mare Dibaba of Ethiopia.

Dibaba seemed to have the upper hand and appeared headed for victory, but Rotich found another gear and was able to pull away in the last strides, putting four seconds on Dibaba in what seemed like the last inches. Rotich won in 2:24:55 . Dibaba was four seconds back in 2:24:59, and her compatriot Deba third in 2:25:09.

“I swung wide,” Rotich said of her move on the final corner, “and I thought, ‘we’re so far away, I can’t see the finish line’. So I fell back, but then I saw the finish line, and I came back and had to give all the strength I had to reach the finish line.” said Rotich after the race.

Rotich said she had been training in Sante Fe, New Mexico under cold and rainy conditions to prepare for the conditions on Boston.

The 30 year old Rotich first ran the Boston Marathon in 2011, finishing fourth, She is relatively unkown. Her previous win was at the Prague marathon in 2013.

Rotich grew up in Nyahururu, town, the same town that has produced such great runners as Sammy Wanjiru and John Ngugi. She spent her formative running years in Japan, attending Sendai Ikuei Gakuen. Wanjiru attended the same school.


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Carvin Nkanata sets world best and Kenya 200m record

nkanata-medal

Sensational sprinter Carvin Nkanata ran the world’s fastest 200m thus far in 2015. He accomplished this at a track meet in Clermont Florida. With a time of 20.14 , Nkanata also broke his own Kenya 200m record. In 2014, Nkanata had broken the previous Kenya record that was held set by Joseph Gikonyo when he won the 200m at the 1990 Africa athletics championships.

This marks the first time in Kenya’s history that a Kenyan sits at the top of the sprinting top lists for any given season. Granted it is still very early in the season. And granted that some may claim he has peaked too early. But it is still a significant accomplishment for a country that many has dismissed as incapapable of producing a world class short sprinter.

This comes as good news for Kenyan fans on several notes. First off, Nkanata had originally been excluded from the Kenya squad. Now he will likely be included. Head coach Sammy Rono said Nkanata, who reached the semi-finals at the 2013 Commonwealth Games in 20.65, should be included in Kenya’s team


Nkanata at the 2014 African championships

Secondly the careers of most Kenyan sprinters who attend American colleges on scholarships typically end soon after college due to a lack of sufficient running opportunities. Nkanata it appears is determined to keep going even after his college career is finished.

Last season was Nkanata’s first time representing Kenya. He anchored Kenya’s 4 X 200m to a respectable 5th place at the world relays. He reached the semi-finals of the Commonwealth games and won a bronze medal at the African championships. In the process he set a new Kenya record at 20.17. He has now shaved an additional 0.03 seconds of that record. The sky is the limit for him.


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Aquarelle by Koffi Olomide (Lyrics and Translation)

frappe

The song Aquarelle (Watercolor) is track number 8 from Koffi Olomide’s album Force de Frappe (strikeforce) that was released in February 2001. The song was composed by Jordan Kusa. Vocals by Koffi, Jordan Kusa, Fally Ipupa and Gipson


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Building a stadium in Eldoret doesn’t make the slightest sense

eldoret-stadium

Sports cabinet secretary Hassan Wario. Wario recently revealed that plans are at advanced stage for the government to build two stadia as promised in the Jubilee manifesto.

“We have already engaged consultants who are finalizing their report on the stadia in Mombasa (low altitude) and Eldoret (high altitude) and will soon be revealing the roadmap for their construction. Building these facilities is a high capital investment that requires concerted efforts from all.”

Let me begin by saying it is commendable that the government has decided to start making plans for the construction of new stadia. It is about time. Most Kenyan stadia were built by the colonialists. And this includes most of the major rugby and hockey. Ever since independence in 1963, only two new stadia have been built: Nyayo in 1983 and Kasarani in 1986. Meanwhile our neighbours in Ethiopia and Zambia have been elegant new stadia that puts any Kenyan bid to host the Africa nations cup to shame.

Having said that, it must be pointed out that the decision to build a stadium in Eldoret is impractical, is illogical and will result in yet another white elephant. It would make more economic sense to build a stadium in a town or regions that hosts multiple high profile sporting events such as Kisumu City. Let us examine the reasons.

Stadia must be self sustaining

It costs hundreds of millions of shillings to maintain a stadium once it is constructed. Maintenance costs for one stadium, go into millions of shillings every year. The money for maintenance typically comes from fees charged to teams that use the grounds to host matches or train. Nairobi City stadium for example charges Ksh 10,000 per day for each team that once to train there.

However Eldoret has no high profile teams. There is no team from Eldoret county that plays in either the Kenya premier league nor the second tier FKF league. Teams from Eldoret will simply not have the financial means to hire the new stadium. Contrast this with the case in Kisumu county which has two teams in the Kenya premier league and yet more teams in the second tier. Indeed teams from the entire western  region such as Shabana, Kakamega homeboyz and Western Stima often play their home matches in Kisumu. Some teams from Nairobi such as Gor Mahia also use Kisumu as their home ground for some matches including international matches. When Gor Mahia won the Africa cup in 1987, their played their second round home leg against El Merreikh of Sudan in Kisumu.

Aside from football, there are high profile rugby and hockey teams resident in Kisumu. Major tournaments like the Dala sevens are played in Kisumu.

This match between Western Stima and Sofapaka was played in Kisumu. Western Stima of kakamega are among the teams who play home matches in Kisumu

Some may say that athletics not football is the reason to build a stadium in Eldoret. However the financial proceeds from athletics cannot pay for the maintenance of a stadium. To begin with, entry to an athletics meet is usually free and the maximum number of athletics meets held in Eldoret each year is two or three.

If a stadium cannot pay for itself, then either the government will have to pay for maintenance or the stadium will fall into a state of disrepair due to lack of maintenance. The latter is more likely and is the fate that typically befalls most stadia. When stadiums fall into a state of disrepair, the government eventually has to spend large amounts of money to repair it at some point. The way to prevent this is to build a stadium in a region where the stadium can be self sustaining financially.


The existing stadium in Eldoret fell into a state of disrepair due to lack of use

High Altitude stadiums are impractical

The primary reason given by the sports minister regarding why a stadium must be built in Eldoret is that the country needs stadium at high altitude. In fact the opposite is true. The high altitude of Eldoret is what makes it a bad location for a new stadium.

Global organizations such as FIFA and the International Rugby Board (IRB) have expressed strong reservations about hosting tournaments at high altitude. In fact in 2007, FIFA went as far as banning the use of stadia that have an elevation of 2500m above sea level for international matches. In their report they cited health concerns to players and the fact that the high altitude often favoured the home team. FIFA eventually lifted the ban in 2008 but they still have strong reservations against playing international matches at high altitude. Note that Eldoret town has an elavation which varies between 2100m at the airport to 2700m in some parts of town. This is precisely the scenario FIFA wants to avoid.

When it comes to the IRB, they have made it clear that they prefer sea level locations. In fact if Kenya ever wants to bid to host a leg of the IRB sevens, they will need a stadium at sea level. For example, the South Africa sevens has been held at Stellenbosch, George, Durban, Port Elizabeth and now Cape Town, which are all low altitude cities mostly near the coast. IRB will not condone holding the IRB sevens in higher altitude cities like Johanesburg even if it can attract larger crowds

This does not mean that Eldoret is disqualified from hosting international matches. But what it means is that if Kenya ever presents a bid to host a tournament such as the FIFA under 17 tournament or the IRB under 19 tournament or the Africa cup of nations and they present Eldoret as part of the bid, they will likely not win because FIFA, IRB and indeed the Confederation of Africa Football strongly prefer low altitude locations.

Teams usually have difficulty acclimating to high altitude. This means they will often resort to defensive football that involves very little running. No tournament wants to be spoiled with defensive football.

The sports ministry will likely claim that a high altitude stadium is needed for athletics and not football or rugby. But guess what? Even the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) prefers low altitude locations for athletics meets.  High altitude hinders distance runners from running at a fast pace which causes boring races. For example, a 10,000m race that is run in Eldoret will probably be won in 28 minutes, which is a full 120 seconds slower than the world record. Who wants to watch such a boring race?

What do Track Athletes really need?

Eldoret is the hub of Kenyan athletics. In fact Eldoret is a hub of international athletics because world class athletes like Mo Farh, Paula Radcliff and Nick Wills often come to train in Eldoret due to its high altitude and because the stiff competition from locals helps sharpen them.

But track athletes often do not train in a stadium. They train by running on footpaths, up and down hills, on dusty roads and in wide open fields. Running in difficult terrain helps exercise numerous muscle groups and athletes who train in difficult terrain find it much easier to run on a track in actual competitions. It also prepares the athletes for unconventional races such as cross country and road races.

Secondly, distance runners often train in very large groups. Running in large groups helps simulate real race conditions such as marathons which can have as many as 50 runners. The large groups also engender intense competition which pushes the runners to work harder. However running in large groups of 20 or more cannot happen inside a stadium.

And finally, athletes will simply not pay to train in a stadium when they have the option of running out in the open. This is especially true for young athletes with limited financial resources. Having athletes pay for use would be a good way to pay for the maintenance of the track.

Therefore, rather than build a stadium in Eldoret, the government would be better serves to build a training center for young athletes such as the one that was constructed by Lornah Kiplagat. She at least understands what athletes actually need. And this is why there have been pleas to offer leadership positions to former sportsmen. At least they know what is needed. The bureaucrats who currently are in charge of the sports ministry never played sports, often know very little about sports and as such are in no position to advice the government about matters concerning sports.


Track athletes need training camps more than they need a stadium

The money that the government would spend maintaining the Eldoret stadium would be better spent on creating training centers. Since the Lornah Kiplagat center already exists in Eldoret then perhaps build a training center in other places such as Kericho, Gusii and Nyahururu.

The trend is now towards trackless stadiums

FIFA, IRB and CAF much prefer to build stadia that do not have running tracks. Eliminating a running track creates an intense and exciting atmosphere in the stadium because the fans are much closer. The fan experience is better because the sight-lines are excellent. Most Kenyan rugby fans will tell you that they prefer to watch the Safari sevens at the RFUEA grounds instead of Nyayo or Kasarani because the running tracks puts them too far away from the action.  As such building a track-less stadium will enhance Kenya’s chances of ever winning a bid to host an international stadium.


Fans prefer to be closer to the action. A running track hinders that

 

From a financial perspective, a trackless stadium makes since because the sports that typically pay of the maintenance of a stadium are rugby and football. These are the true crowd pullers. And the number of athletics meets that are held in a given country are so few that each country only needs one or two stadiums that have tracks. This is why the running track at the Olympic stadium in London was removed once the Olympics were over. Instead, new terraces were constructed over the track. The Brits realized that they will likely never need such a large stadium for athletics again because athletics crowds are way too small and athletics meets are few and far between.

The point is that building a new stadium with a running track around it does not make sense because Kenya already has numerous stadia with running tracks that are never used or are rarely used.  Eldoret itself already has the Kipchoge Keino stadium which is sufficient for athletics. Yet even Eldoret hosts very few track events. For this reason, it would be better to build a stadium in a region where sports like football, rugby, cricket and hockey are actively pursued on a weekly basis.

 Legacy

The current government must ask itself whether they want to be known as the government that created yet another white elephant project. If a stadium is indeed built in Eldoret, the locals will initially be elated. But once they see the stadium fall into disrepair due to lack of use, they will start to question if the money would have been better spent on other projects.

The decision to build the stadium in Eldoret is likely a political one. It does not make sense logically. History appears to be repeating itself. There have been numerous white elephant projects such as the Eldoret airport.   In 1992, Kenya was awarded hosting rights for the 1996 Africa nations cup. The one stipulation from CAF was that the government would have to build another stadium outside Nairobi. The Moi-government initially supported the hosting bid but eventually dropped its support. Politics played a part in that the KFF chairman at the time was Job Omino who was an opposition MP. The Moi-government did not want an opposition party to get credit with hosting the tournament. As such they refused to build the new stadium. CAF withdrew the hosting rights from Kenya and Kenya was banned for four years. Most football fans remember this event bitterly because politics intervened and prevent common sense. All things considered: financial, practical and legacy wise, Kisumu would be a much better location for a new stadium. The current government must ask itself if they want to be known for yet another politically motivated white elephant or whether they will do what is right .

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The concept of Nzonzing in Congolese Music

champions

Introduction to the concept of Nzonzing

Verkys and Youlou pioneers of Nzonzing

http://kenyapage.net/commentary/wp-admin/post.php?post=4460&action=edit&message=10

Pepe Kalle and the rise of Empire Bakuba


Na Lifelo Bisengo Bizali by Simaro

The rise of Les Ya Tupas


Koffi Olomide and Ba La Joie


Nzonzing within Zaiko Langa Langa

Manuaku loses his place in Zaiko

Nyoka Longo with Le Tout Neige

Dindo Yogo: Mimi la Congolaise

Franco Tabu Ley, Michelino: Le groupe Lisanga ya ba nganga

 

Simaro releases Maya as Papa Noel releases Bon Samaritan

Josky, Dalienst, Serge Lemvo produce Ayes Pitie

Aime Kiwakana releases Loboko Zoba

Madilu revolts creating “Les Champions du Zaire”

The overall effect of Nzonzing


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Daughter of Ntesa Dalienst to produce album with Fally Ipupa

Christelle Ntesa Lova, a daughter of former TPOK Jazz vocalist Ntesa Dalienst Zitani is set to make her debut album. The album will be produce by Fally Ipupa and will feature musicians from Fally’s group. The album will be produced under the label “F VicTeam” that is owned by Fally.

Fally is proving to be a patron who is willing to produce other musicians and provide them opportunities in the same manner that legends like Franco did and Verkys did.

Christelle Ntesa is intent on keeping the memory of her father and ensuring nobody forgets her father who passed away of a brain tumour in 1994. Below is a video of Christelle reprising “Bina Na Ngai na respect” which is arguably her fathers’ greatest hit.

Ntesa Dalienst Biography
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AFCON 2017: Will Kenya repeat the same mistakes

For the 2017 Africa Nations cup, Kenya has been handed a difficult qualifying path. They must navigate a difficult group E that includes Congo-Brazzaville, Zambia and Guinea Bissau. The top two teams will automatically qualify for the 16 team tournament that will be held in Gabon.

For the 2015 AFCON, Kenya was given a relatively easy qualification path. They simply needed to beat Comoros and Lesotho after which they would be grouped with Gabon, Burkina Faso and Angola, all of which are beatable teams.

But poor preparations doomed Kenya and they lost to lowly Lesotho which is ranked several places behind Kenya. Lesotho outplayed Kenya and even when they played in Nairobi, they appeared more composed and purposeful than Kenya.

Prior to the qualifications, top Kenyan players like Dennis Oliech and Victor Wanyama called for adequate preparations including top quality friendlies. No  such thing happened. Instead the Kenyan team was sent holidaying in Brazil to watch the world cup.

This time once again, the players are asking for adequate preparations and friendlies. David Owino who plays for Zambian champions Zesco United has underscored the need for adequate preparations.

“I play alongside six Zambia internationals. They are a good team. We need to prepare early enough and feature in formidable friendly games to stand a chance,” he said to the Nation.

Allan Wanga who plays for Sudanese champions El Merreikh echoes Owino’s sentiments.
“On paper, it looks like a difficult group but if we prepare well, we should be able to qualify,” said Wanga to the Standard.

Victor Wanyama whose calls for friendlies last time went unheeded has given a more comprehensive statement.

“The draw in which Kenya is grouped is not easy at all because teams like Zambia and Congo are regulars at Afcon meaning first the federation should ensure all the issues surrounding football in Kenya are sorted amicably then preparations must be intense and we’ll coordinated.”

“Kenyan fans have been yearning to see the team qualify but all this needs proper planning and top friendly matches to ensure we are well prepared since we cannot underrate or think any team will be a walk in the park “Wanyama told supersport.com.

“As the captain and a footballer my dream is to play in the Afcon and so are My team mates I believe this time round we have to work hard and qualify to give our fans something to smile about but the federation has to provide the conducive atmosphere,” he added.

Wanyama is not kidding. Zambia are vastly experienced and even won the tournament in 2012. Congo-Brazzaville reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 AFCON. They have previously reached the semi-finals. By contrast, Kenya has never gone beyond the group stage.

Guinea Bissau may be 131st in the FIFA rankings, but they are among the low ranked teams that have beaten Kenya in competitive games over the past 5 years.

Last time, FKF chairman complaied about a lack of resources to fund the national team. This time he has no excuse given that FKF recently signed a sponsorship deal that far exceeds the one they had with EABL. The new sponsorship deal with MP Silva is worth Ksh 270 million over 5 years.


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Tylor Ongwae: Best season ever by a Kenyan in NCAA

Tyler Ongwae’s college career at the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM)  has come to a close. He has played four seasons in NCAA college basketball, two for Ranger College and two for the University of Louisiana Monroe.

In his senior season (2014-2015), Ongwae accomplished what is clearly the best performance by a Kenyan player in NCAA division one basketball. Look at the stats

Regular season stats

Ongwae started all 38 games this season and led the ULM Warhawks in scoring by averaging 14.4 points per game. He also led the team in free throw percentage with 83.6%. He went to the free throw line for 127 attempts, the highest in his team. He gathered the most offensive rebounds on the team with 93 and his rebound average was 6.6, second on the team.

Ongwae averaged 3.8 assists per game which was the second highest on the team. This is quite impressive for a person playing the small forward position. He had 37 total steals throughout the season which is almost 1 steal per game, also second highest on the team,.

In summary, Ongwae was either first or second on the team in each of the major offensive and defensive categories and was clearly the most valuable player on the team.

Team Record

Ongwae led the ULM to a 14-6 record. ULM has not qualified for the NCAA tournament since 1996 and Ongwae took them to the verge of qualifying. However a one point loss to Georgia State in the semi-finals of the Sunbelt Conference tournament put paid to those efforts.

Having missed out on the NCAA tournament, ULM were invited to the College basketball Invitational (CBI). In the opening match, Ongwae scored 26 points as ULM beat Eastern Michigan 71-67. In the quarter-finals, Ongwae scored 27 points as ULM edged Mercer University 71-69. In the semis , Ongwae tallied 22 points as ULM beat Vermont 71-65. In the CBI finals, it was heartbreak for ULM once again. Ongwae scored 15 points but ULM lost 63-62 to Loyola.

UILM finished with a 21-12 overall record. This was their 11th 20-win season in school history and the first since 2001-02. The 21 wins are the most since 1992-93. It is also the Warhawks’ 39th winning season in school history and the first since 2006-07.

Tylor Ongwae was named to the All-Conference first-team Ongwae became the first-ever ULM student-athlete to earn All-SBC first-team accolades. Ongwae was also named to the all -Louisiana second team.

This is no doubt the best over performance a by a Kenyan in NCAA division one basktball. Prior to this, the most accomplished performance by a Kenyan in college basketball was by Peter Kiganya who averaged 19.8 points per game while playing for Abilene Christian University. However Kiganya played in division 2. Also Kiganya left Kenya to play in the USA as a vastly experienced player who had already played several seasons in the kenyan leagues unlike Ongwae who came to the NCAA almost immediately after finishing form 4 and was thus much younger.

Where does Ongwae go next?

Ongwae stated three years ago that his goal was to make it to the NBA. That is an extremely tall order. But with the statistics he put up this season, he is worth a look. He may not be drafted but he should at least earn an invite to an NBA camp upon which it will be up to him to him to impress the team scouts.

The last time a player from ULM was drafted to the NBA was in 2000 when forward Mike Smith was drafted by the Washington Wizards and ended up playing with Michael Jordan who had returned from retirement. Mike Smith was a room-mate of yours truly.

Even if Ongwae, does not get drafted to the NBA, he should still have a succesful and fruitful basketball career playing in Europe or South America. Kiganya played most of his professional career in Argentina and Uruguay. Other players of Kenyan descent who currently play in Europe are Omondi Amoke and Robert Nyakundi. Former Maseno product JP Nyadaro plays professional basketball in Canada.


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