IOC stands firm on Tokyo Games despite coronavirus concerns

first_imgBy Karolos Grohmann LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) yesterday gave further unequivocal backing to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, urging athletes to prepare “full steam” despite the coronavirus threat.“We are preparing for a successful Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020,” IOC head Thomas Bach said at an executive board meeting to discuss the July 24 – August 9 sporting extravaganza.Earlier yesterday, Japan’s Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto had said that details within Tokyo’s contract with the IOC “could be interpreted as allowing a postponement” until the end of the year. That host city contract states that one of several triggers which would allow the IOC to withdraw the Games from Tokyo would be if “the Games are not celebrated during the year 2020”.Hashimoto said, however, that Japan’s government and Tokyo were still committed to the Games beginning on July 24, and the IOC has repeatedly swatted aside any suggestions of a postponement.The Olympic body said again yesterday there was no Plan B, and that the Games would take place in their allotted time slot. WREAK HAVOCAny change to dates would instantly wreak havoc on most sports programmes, with competition calendars planned several years ago to accommodate the Tokyo timings.Finding a new date in 2020 at this stage, which would firstly need the green light from the IOC, would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the 33 sports federations present in Tokyo. Bach, a 66-year-old lawyer and former Olympic fencing champion, has an iron grip on IOC decision-making and is known for sticking to his guns in adversity.“I would like to encourage all the athletes to continue their preparation for the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020 with great confidence and full steam,” the German told reporters in Lausanne. “From our side, we will continue to support the athletes and the National Olympic Committees.”Multiple sports events around the world have been cancelled during the epidemic, which has killed more than 3 000 persons in China and spread to more than 60 nations including Japan where infections are near 1 000 and 12 people have died.SMALLER CROWDSCrowds will be smaller and receptions have been scrapped at the Tokyo 2020 torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece, next week as the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) introduced measures to protect against the coronavirus, it said yesterday.Despite concerns over possible health risks to spectators and participants at the Games, the Olympic body is unwilling to publicly discuss any other option, such as cancellation or postponement.“No,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said when asked if the Olympic body had discussed possible options if the situation deteriorates.“There is no international travel ban and all the advice that we are getting is that the Games can and will go ahead,” Adams said. “At this precise time we are expecting the Games to begin on the 24th of July.” The IOC board said a joint task force had been created two weeks ago, involving the IOC, the Tokyo Games organisers, the city, the government, and the World Health Organisation to help deal with the coronavirus ahead of the Olympics.“The IOC EB appreciates and supports the measures being taken, which constitute an important part of Tokyo’s plans to host safe and secure Games,” the task force said in a statement.Tokyo has pumped in more than $12 billion to organise the event, while billions more were spent on related projects. Tokyo Games organisers are due to deliver a report via video conference to the executive board today.last_img read more

Badgers wrestle Hoosiers to submission in 26-9 win

first_imgAfter dropping consecutive dual matches against two of the Big Ten’s best just a week ago, the No. 20 Wisconsin wrestling team righted the ship in a solid 26-9 defeat of Indiana Friday night at home.The Badgers (7-4, 4-2 Big Ten) took seven of the 10 individual contests, including two comeback victories in the final seconds of the third period.Head coach Barry Davis was pleased to see his team executing under pressure after his team’s two-match conference slide.“For our guys it was about getting on track, we need to keep doing what we’re doing,” Davis said. “Be offensive, beating your ties, getting into your positions and finding ways to win. That’s what [Connor] Medbery did tonight as well as Frank Cousins in tight matches.”With a 10-6 lead heading into the 165-pound match, Cousins, a redshirt sophomore, was unable to amass any offense in the first period and could not earn a point for an escape in the second.After allowing an escape in the third period to break the scoreless tie, Cousins needed two takedowns in the final 90 seconds to keep a comfortable team lead. He was able to twist his opponent down by the leg for his first takedown and won the match with another takedown with 13 seconds remaining in the period.“After I got the first takedown, he escaped,” Cousins said. “The second takedown, I just kind of let go, relaxed, and it was offense, offense, offense … and then eventually got to one of my holds and took him down.”Medbery, a redshirt freshman, also completed a last-minute win thanks to an emphatic takedown with 30 seconds left in the final period against No. 13 Adam Chalfant. The No. 10 heavyweight in the nation, Medbery is 10-0 this year in dual matches and has defeated five ranked conference opponents this season.The last-second reversal of fortunes executed by Medbery came from preparation in practice, thanks to drills by Davis that put the team in pressure situations and forces the wrestlers to apply quick offense.“We put them in situations where they’re down a point with 30 [seconds] to go,” Davis said. “What’s your go-to move, how are you going to find a way to score, so you prepare for those things because they’re going to happen in duals and especially in tournaments.”Wisconsin never conceded its lead after redshirt junior Tyler Graff won 22-7 by technical fall in the 133-pound match. The Olympic qualifier and No. 5 ranked wrestler in the 133-class recorded 11 takedowns on the day in one of the team’s three extra point wins.Fifth-year senior Cole Schmitt also helped the team by winning his third consecutive match, defeating Indiana’s Preston Keiffer. After a scoreless first period, Schmitt wore down his opponent and forced the match’s only takedown late in the second period in an eventual 4-0 win.The New Glarus native used his strength to overpower his opponent even after gaining no points in the match’s first three minutes.“I know that I’m going to tire him out by the end of the match, so if it’s 0-0 first period, I don’t care,” Schmitt said. “I’ll just keep going and get the next point.”Schmitt said he’s been a better wrestler in his three-match winning streak because of losing the pound or two that had been hindering his strength.“I had to get my weight under control,” Schmitt said. “It’s not quite where it should have been the last few weeks; I’ve just been more disciplined … my conditioning feels so much better. I feel like I can go 15 minutes if I have to.”Wisconsin also saw victories from fifth-year senior Tom Kelliher at 141 pounds, redshirt junior Scott Liegel in a 12-3 major decision at 174 pounds and a Jackson Hein victory in a forfeit at 197 pounds.The Badgers showed themselves in greater physical condition than the Hoosiers throughout late-match situations, a promising sign for a team that still has two big duals remaining against conference opponents.“We’re in great shape,” Davis said. “Guys don’t wait that long. Guys like Frank, just get it earlier – that’s the pace you should do the whole time. Our shape is good, let’s use it more to our advantage.”In Wisconsin’s largest margin of victory in a Big Ten win this season, the group may be peaking at the right time for Davis.“It’s about getting better,” Davis said. “When you’re worried about getting better, winning takes care of itself … When we do that, we’ll be fine.”last_img read more

A blood-curdling night is promised at West Donegal theatre

first_imgTo promote the life-saving work of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, two emigrants from Transylvania living in the Donegal Gaeltacht, have volunteered to give blood as part of a special Halloween event at the Amharclann theatre in Bunbeg entitled ‘Dracula agus a chairde.’The event, cabaret in style with various ‘blood-curdling’ on and off-stage entertainment, including open coffins, takes place Friday evening, Nov. 1 at the Gaoth Dobhair theatre.In Dublin-born author Bram Stoker’s classic novel, ‘Dracula,’ published in 1897, Transylvania is home to the arch-vampire. Pól McCool, one of theatre organisers, said, “It is highly commendable that people from this particular region of Romania who have made their new homes in Ireland have volunteered their blood to help the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.“The Amharclann is a theatre in the true sense of community, much needed in a rural area such as Gaoth Dobhair, and we welcome such initiatives as this.”Interestingly, especially as the event is taking place in an Irish-speaking region, some literary scholars say the name ‘Dracula’ may have originated from an old Irish folk tale called ‘Dún Dreach-Fhola’ (castle of blood).One of the two blood donors, Columbia Vaileanu, a web-designer and digital marketer for Gaoth Dobhair based ‘Ireland Writing Retreat,’ is originally from a rural area of Transylvania and became an Irish citizen in recent years. She lives now in the village of Bun na Leaca on the ‘Wild Atlantic Way.’“This is one simple way I can contribute to Ireland, a country that has granted me citizenship and a new opportunity to succeed in life,” she said. ‘The blood transfusion service has helped save the lives of thousands of people, Irish and other nationalities, both locally and nationally. It deserves as much support as we can give it.”Lucian Podariu, also from Transylvania, who operates a veterinary practice in Bunbeg, also felt it was the least he could do to help.“As a person working in the medical field, albeit it for animals, I know very well the importance of having a strong healthy blood supply available, especially for emergencies. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service does a wonderful job and we should all do our best to support it.”The ‘Dracula and Friends’ cabaret event features a number of different acts including an on-screen multi-media presentation by Sean Hillen, international journalist and author of book-in-a coffin, ‘Digging For Dracula,’ on the theme ‘Legend versus Truth’ linked to Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. There will also be a surprise skit linking the Long-Toothed Count to a well-known hit song by the rock music group ‘Queen,’ as well as what is termed an ‘UnDead’ vampire comedy play entitled ‘Tá sé/ Níl sé’ (He is/He Isn’t) adapted by Tomás Mac Giolla Bhrighde, featuring the local acting group, Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair.In addition, the lobby of the Amharclann theatre will be transformed into a vampire’s den, decorated with cobwebs, lanterns and real full-size coffins for people to stand (or lie in) for photographs, with eerie music, as well as make-up artists who will transform children and adults into vampires.Special vampire food and drinks will also be offered including ‘Vampire Fang’ and ‘Freaky Fingers’ novelty snacks and, of course, Bloody Marys, and intriguing blood-red non-alcoholic drinks. There will also be special awards for best-dressed children and adults.For tickets and further information, contact Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair at 074-953- 2687. A blood-curdling night is promised at West Donegal theatre was last modified: October 24th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

49ers’ Jordan Matthews heads to France to see wife in World Cup

first_imgSANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Jordan Matthews is heading for a storybook destination now that 49ers minicamp is complete. He’s off to France, where his wife, Cheyna, is playing for Jamaica in its first-ever Women’s World Cup.“We’re in this crazy phase right now,” Matthews said after Wednesday’s practice. “She’s watched me play on this (NFL) stage, and now she’s playing on the biggest soccer stage in the world.”It’s a fabulous phase that Matthews’ former Philadelphia Eagles teammate, Zach Ertz, …last_img

Fossil Worm: Does It Help Solve Cambrian Explosion Puzzle?

first_imgA soft embryo of a Cambrian worm, exquisitely preserved, makes Graham Budd (U. of Uppsala, Sweden) ask some hard questions about it and other recently-discovered embryo fossils in the Jan. 15 issue of Nature:1These fossils raise several questions, to say the least.  First, how could they possibly be preserved?  Second, why are they concentrated in a period (600-500 million years ago) that is already unfairly overstocked with exceptionally preserved fossils, such as those of the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies?  Third, do they tell us anything about animal evolution?He spends most of his article on the third question, but seems to end up with more questions than answers about the “miraculous preservation of these embryos.”The BBC News has a report and pictures of the embryos.Ask yourself how soft tissues could be exquisitely mineralized and preserved for 600 million years, when many later fossils have been reworked by storms, glaciers, moving continents and asteroid impacts.  More interesting than the data that seem to fit the reigning myth are the anomalies that do not.  This find does nothing to help evolutionists in their Cambrian explosion predicament (08/21/2002).  Graham Budd has been pushed by the disconnect between his expectations and the facts to the ultimate no-no in science: invoking miracles.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Usain Bolt wins 200m at IAAF Grand Prix

first_imgA bout of flu failed to prevent world record holder Usain Bolt from cruising to an easy victory over European champion Christophe Lemaitre in the 200 meters at the Areva Diamond League athletics meeting here.The Jamaican sprinter clocked 20.03 seconds, well adrift of his record of 19.19 set at the 2009 world championships in Berlin, but enough to outclass Lemaitre of France, who finished second in 20.21.”It was just one of those days,” Bolt said. “I was not feeling good because of a flu, but at the end of the day, I decided to run and could win.”Bolt came out of the curve with the lead and eased off in the last 50 meters.”Overall it was an OK race,” Bolt said. “I ran the first part very hard. Then I just came into the straight, made sureI was leading, and I kind of backed off a little bit.” The start in the 200 was delayed by 15 minutes because of a technical problem with the timing.That hitch however did not affect Bolt’s mood. The triple Olympic champion pointed his index finger at the camera as the stadium’s speaker blasted ‘Everybody needs somebody to love’ by the Blues Brothers. “It was a little bit too long,” Bolt said of the delay.”It’s never good to stand out and just wait. The wind picked up, it started to get cold. For me, it wasn’t a good thing. I’m just happy I got through it injury free.”After the meet was over, Bolt jogged a bit and was massaged by a physio on a table just behind the finish line while sending some text messages. “The flu is going away, I’ll be all right,” he said.advertisementBolt has been working on his technique lately and will defend his world titles next month in Daegu, South Korea.In the 110 hurdles, Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba dipped his chest to beat U.S. champion David Oliver in a photo finish.Robles led from the start but Oliver made a strong comeback at the halfway stage to put pressure on the Cuban hurdler as both crossed the line in 13.09.World champion Caster Semenya of South Africa won the women’s 800 in 2:00.18.”It’s a little bit upsetting,” Semenya said about her time. “I cannot worry about the time, the most important thing about Daegu is to win, getting back to the podium.””I will compete also in China at the World University Games, that will be my time trials before Daegu.”Semenya, who is trying to rediscover her form after missing 11 months of competition because of a gender controversy, was at the back of the pack after the first lap, but she quickly made up ground to lead after 600 meters, pulling away in the home stretch. Halima Hachlaf of Morocco took second in 2:00.60.Meanwhile, Christina Obergfoell, Yargelis Savigne, Zuzana Hejnova and Meseret Defar set world-leading marks this season in the women’s events.Olympic bronze medalist Obergfoell of Germany won the javelin event with a throw of 68.01 meters at her first attempt, while world champion Savigne of Cuba leapt 14.99 to beat Ukraine’s Olha Saladukha in the triple jump.”I knew I can achieve a good mark but did not expect 68 meters,” Obergfoell said. “So I am more than satisfied. I think 68 will be enough for a medal in Daegu and that is also my goal.”Hejnova of the Czech Republic ran 53.29 in the 400 hurdles in which Olympic and world champion Melaine Walker of Jamaica only finished fifth in 55.06.Defar eased to victory in the 5,000 with a time of 14:29.52 to beat fellow Ethiopian Sentayehu Ejigu who came in second.Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago stunned Jamaican sprinters Kerron Stewart and Veronica Campbell-Brown in the women’s 100. Baptiste ran 10.91 to edge Campbell-Brown into second with 10.95 and Olympic runner-up Stewart into third with 11.04.Christopher Brown of the Bahamas overtook Belgian runner Jonathan Borlee in the home stretch to win the men’s 400 in 44.94.American Jeremy Wariner, who took Olympic gold in 2004 and silver in 2008, finished fourth in 45.50 while South African amputee Oscar Pistorius was fifth in 45.84, failing to reach the 45.25 time that would automatically qualify him for the worlds.The Areva Meeting is the eighth leg in the Diamond League circuit. The next leg is the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Sunday.- With inputs from PTIlast_img read more

Indian women’s football team handed special trophy in COTIF Cup

first_imgImpressed with the Indian women’s football team’s performance in the COTIF Cup in Valencia, the tournament’s president handed the players a special third-placed trophy.India played four matches in the COTIF Cup, out of which they won two (3-1 against Mauritania and 7-0 against Bolivia) and lost as many (0-2 against both Villarreal and Spain U-19).This is the team’s best finish in the tournament, and it also won the Fair Play award.”Our performances were much better this time, and the organisers of the tournament took note of that,” said India head coach Maymol Rocky.”Even the two matches that we lost against Villarreal and Spain were close encounters, and they really appreciated the improvement we’ve shown in the last one year.”The improvement in performances since the 2018 edition impressed COTIF president Eliseu Gmez Tormos so much that he ended up doing something that was never done before.”The organisation has valued the immense progress made by the Indian women’s team over the last year. They have been a combative side with a warrior spirit that has made the fans here at COTIF fall in love with them,” said Tormos.”For all this, we have given them the prize for the national team that has behaved in the most sporting manner in the event, and I hope that they can come back here next year and repeat their performance once again in 2020. For all that India has offered us, and for being a revelation this year, I would like to thank them,” he stated.advertisementThe COTIF president also congratulated the Indian coach personally after the tournament.”We were awarded the fair play trophy, but there was no specific prize for the third-placed teams. However, the day after the last match, the local organisers presented us with a trophy, and the COTIF President also came over to congratulate us on the massive improvement we have shown,” Rocky said.Also Read | Want to see Sunil Chhetri leading India in FIFA World Cup: Virat KohliAlso Read | FIFA asks for update on Indian football roadmap, AIFF says solution in 2-3 yrsAlso Seelast_img read more

19 days agoChelsea boss Lampard says Hudson-Odoi deserved his start

first_imgChelsea boss Lampard says Hudson-Odoi deserved his startby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard says Callum Hudson-Odoi deserved his place for their defeat of Southampton.Hudson-Odoi was making his first league start of the seasonLampard said, “He did well. It was a great assist for Tammy’s goal, a great ball. His work-rate was good, he stayed tight to the midfield and released himself to the full-back. It was all the things I want from the wingers. “He could have got a goal, he got in behind a few times where he can be lethal. That’s where I want him.”He can get better. He has had a serious injury so fitness has been a bit of an issue, and looking after him. Now he’s showing he’s getting towards proper match fitness.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

5 days agoTottenham midfielder Dele Alli: Watford point a relief

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli: Watford point a reliefby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham midfielder Dele Alli admitted “relief” after their 1-1 draw with Watford.Abdoulaye Doucoure had given the Hornets the lead and they had a penalty appeal controversially turned down by the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen appeared to foul Gerard Deulofeu.Alli equalised after controlling the ball with his shoulder and the goal stood despite the wrong message being displayed on the big screen.The goalscorer said: “Of course it’s a relief. There were two times he [the referee] stopped it when he was making the decisions. We weren’t sure why.”I was sure it didn’t hit my hand but then you start thinking, ‘did it?’ I tried to make sure it didn’t touch it so I could get the strike away.”We know we have a world-class team so it’s about showing what we can do when things don’t go our way. It’s important we turn it around. We know how good we are, we just have to start showing it on the pitch.” last_img read more