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Japanese PM Suga says world should see safe Olympics staged – CTV News

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TOKYO —
The world needs to see that Japan can stage a safe Olympics, the country’s prime minister told sports officials Tuesday ahead of the Tokyo Games.

Tens of thousands of athletes, officials, games staff and media are arriving in Japan amid a local state of emergency and widespread opposition from the general public.

Events start Wednesday — in softball and women’s soccer — two days ahead of the formal opening ceremony of an Olympics already postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The world is faced with great difficulties,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told International Olympic Committee members in a closed-door meeting at a five-star hotel in Tokyo, adding “we can bring success to the delivery of the Games.”

“Such fact has to be communicated from Japan to the rest of the world,” Suga said through an interpreter. “We will protect the health and security of the Japanese public.”

He acknowledged Japan’s path through the pandemic toward the Olympics had gone “sometimes backward at times.”

“But vaccination has started and after a long tunnel an exit is now in our sight,” Suga said.

The prime minister’s office said Monday more than 21% of Japan’s 126 million population has been inoculated.

Health experts in Japan have questioned allowing so many international visitors for the games, which end on Aug. 8. There will be no local or foreign fans at events. The Paralympics will follow in late August.

Praising vaccine manufacturers for working on a dedicated Olympic rollout, IOC President Thomas Bach singled out Pfizer BioNTech for “a truly essential contribution.”

This cooperation meant “85% of Olympic Village residents and 100% of IOC members present here have been either vaccinated or are immune” to COVID-19, Bach said.

About 75 of the 101 IOC members were in the room for their first in-person meeting since January 2020. Their previous two meetings, including to re-elect Bach in March, were held remotely.

The IOC declined to say if any members who are not vaccinated had been asked to stay away. One member missing the meeting, Ryu Seung-min of South Korea, tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving on a flight Saturday.

Bach has been met with anti-Olympic chants from protesters on visits in Japan since arriving two weeks ago, including at a state welcome party with Suga on Sunday.

The IOC leader praised his hosts Tuesday, saying “billions of people around the world will follow and appreciate the Olympic Games.”

“They will admire the Japanese people for what they achieved,” Bach said, insisting the games will send a message of peace, solidarity and resilience.

Cancelling the Olympics was never an option, Bach said, because “the IOC never abandons the athletes.”

Staging the games will also secure more than US$3 billion in revenue from broadcasters worldwide. It helps fund the Switzerland-based IOC, which shares hundreds of millions of dollars among the 206 national teams and also with governing bodies of Olympic sports.

Bach said the IOC is contributing $1.7 billion to Tokyo organizers of the Olympics and the Paralympics.

IOC decisions taken Tuesday, rubber-stamping proposals sent from the Bach-chaired executive board:

  • The sport of ski mountaineering was added to the program for the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo. It involves skiing and hiking up and down mountain terrain. Five medal events should be created in sprint and individual races for men and women, and a mixed gender relay.
  • The Olympic motto “Faster Higher Stronger” was updated to include the word “Together.” The formal Latin motto will now be “Citius, Altius, Fortius — Communis.”
  • The IOC formally recognized the governing bodies of six sports: lacrosse, cheerleading, kickboxing, muay Thai, sambo and ice stock sport.
  • Spending by the IOC was $55 million more than its revenue in 2020, when most income from the postponed Tokyo Olympics could not be declared. A “strong, solid” financial position was reported with the IOC’s fund balances — of assets exceeding liabilities — at almost $2.5 billion.

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Record-holding Canadian sprinter, Olympic medallist Angela Bailey dies at 59 – CTV News

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MISSISSAUGA, ONT. —
Angela Bailey, the Canadian women’s record holder in the 100-metre sprint and an Olympic 4×100 relay silver medal winner, has died after battling cancer under complicated conditions. She was 59 years old.

Bailey’s 1987 Canadian women’s 100-metre sprint record time of 10.98 seconds still stands today. She was also part of the women’s silver medal-winning 4×100 metres relay team at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

Athletics Canada confirmed Bailey’s July 31 death in a statement Monday and offered condolences to her family and loved ones.

“I was very sad to hear of Angela’s passing. I remember her as a talented and determined athlete,” Athletics Canada board chair Helen Manning said. “The Athletics Canada family sends their thoughts and sympathy to her family at this sad time.”

Bailey’s medal-winning relay team members, Marita Payne, Angella Taylor-Issajenko and France Gareau, also paid tribute to her in a statement.

“We are in shock and deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our teammate, Angela Bailey,” said the statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to Angela’s family and close friends. She was a tremendous competitor on the track and we will always cherish the memories we made together. Rest peacefully our friend.”

Doug Clement, a former Olympic team doctor and a middle-distance track coach in the 1980s when Bailey was competing, said he recalled seeing and speaking with her at events.

“She stood out as a strong personality,” he said from Vancouver. “She stood out as the sort of person who was athletically and academically gifted. I would say she stood out as being a very vital person, a strong competitor.”

Bailey also won three silver medals in 4×100 relays at the Commonwealth Games in 1978, 1982 and 1986.

She set the Canadian 100m record in July 1987 in Hungary and earlier that year also won bronze in the 60m at the World Indoor Championships.

Bailey also holds Canada’s indoor track record for the 200m at 23.32 seconds.

She also competed in the 4×100 relay and 100m events at the 1988 Games in Seoul.

Bailey was part of the 1980 Canadian team that did not compete in the Moscow Games because of an international boycott.

Bailey earned a law degree from Queen’s University in 1996 and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2003.

She was inducted into the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Athletics Ontario Hall of Fame in 2014.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 2, 2021.

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Canada's soccer captain consoled her American club teammate after the USWNT lost its shot at Olympic gold – Insider

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  • The US Women’s National Team lost to Canada in their Tokyo Olympics semifinal match.
  • Canada is now guaranteed a gold or silver medal, while the USWNT can secure bronze at best.
  • Canadian star Christine Sinclair consoled her club teammate, USWNT’s Lindsey Horan, after the upset.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Canada’s women’s national soccer team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in its history at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, besting the US Women’s National Team for the first time in upwards of 20 years.

But at the conclusion of the semifinal match, Canadian team captain Christine Sinclair didn’t immediately begin celebrating with her squad. Instead, Sinclair — the all-time leading goal scorer (man or woman) in the history of international soccer — made her way across the field to USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan. The two are teammates on the Portland Thorns, and Sinclair wrapped Horan in a tight hug.

Canada's Christine Sinclair hugs Lindsey Horan of the US Women's National Team.

Canada’s Christine Sinclair hugs Lindsey Horan of the US Women’s National Team.

Naomi Baker/Getty Images


Sinclair, who’s 38 and serves as the Thorns captain, appears in photos to give an animated pep talk to a visibly distraught Horan. The 27-year-old is a star in her own right, but she struggled when her national team needed her most.

Though Horan has won a World Cup for the United States, she has now gone to the Olympics and fallen short of the gold twice in a row.

Christine Sinclair comforts Lindsey Horan.

Canada’s Christine Sinclair comforts USWNT star Lindsey Horan.

REUTERS/Edgar Su


The USWNT still has a shot at a bronze medal, though — they’ll take on Australia for a spot on the podium Thursday at 4 a.m. ET. If they win, Horan will be one of many American stars on the team to earn their first Olympics hardware, since the USWNT unexpectedly walked away empty-handed from Rio in 2016.

Sinclair, meanwhile, is guaranteed her best-ever result in Tokyo after participating in four Olympic Games over her career. She’s twice earned bronze medals — in London and Brazil — but now she’ll take home either silver or gold, depending on the result of Thursday’s match against Sweden.

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In pursuit of 5th Olympic medal, Andre De Grasse eases into 200m semifinals – CBC.ca

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Andre De Grasse remains on track to repeat his triple-medal Olympic performance from 2016.

The decorated Canadian sprinter easily advanced to the 200-metre semifinals on Tuesday in Tokyo, placing third in his heat in a time of 20.56 seconds.

Amid temperatures that reached at least 36 C plus humidity, De Grasse appeared to hold back some, a possible change in strategy after claiming the best qualifying time in the 100m heats on the weekend.

Besides the harsh conditions, De Grasse also battled through another false start in his heat — the fifth he’s been involved in at these Olympics in four races.

WATCH | De Grasse cruises into 200m semis:

Andre De Grasse of Markham, Ont., finished third in his heat with a time of 20.56 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 men’s 200-metre semifinals. 8:44

The Markham, Ont., native ran a personal-best 9.89 to take bronze in the men’s 100m on Sunday. It was his fourth Olympic medal after becoming the first Canadian to ever win three on the track at the 2016 Rio Games, when he took silver in the 200m behind Usain Bolt, along with bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

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He is the only contender from the 100m attempting the double in Tokyo.

Fellow Canadian Aaron Brown also advanced on Tuesday, winning his heat in 20.38 seconds.

Brown, 29, chose to give up the 100m in Tokyo so he could focus on his stronger distance, the 200m, with fresher legs.

“It feels good. Glad to get my feet wet finally, join in on the action. We’ve seen some great performances already, so glad to be safely through. Didn’t want to gas it too much but the main thing was just to qualify,” Brown said after the race.

WATCH | Brown takes top spot in heat:

Toronto’s Aaron Brown won his heat with a time of 20.38 seconds to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 men’s 200-metre semifinals. 5:01

The decision appears to be paying off in the early going for the Toronto native and current Canadian champion.

“I really think that I gave myself the best chance to be on the podium in the 200 by forgoing the 100. Not trying to spread myself too thin like I did [at 2019 worlds in] Doha. I’ll double in the future, so it’s not like I’m done with the 100 forever, but I really want to give myself the best chance here,” Brown said.

At the 2016 Olympics, Brown placed 16th in the 200m and 31st in the 100m.

The top three runners in each of the seven heats, plus the next three fastest, advanced to the semifinals later Tuesday. The final is scheduled to be run Wednesday evening in Tokyo.

After placing sixth in his heat, Canada’s Brendon Rodney failed to advance with a time of 21.60 seconds.

WATCH | De Grasse claims 100m bronze in Tokyo:

Canadian Andre De Grasse claimed 100m bronze in a second-straight Olympic Games, while Italian Lamont Jacobs won gold and American Fred Kerley took silver. 5:55

The 200m is De Grasse’s top event. Whereas the 100m was viewed as a wide-open field and played out that way, American Noah Lyles is the runaway favourite in the 200m with De Grasse, 26, his top competition.

Lyles ran a 20.18 on Tuesday.

The Canadian set a national record in the distance in Rio, blazing past the finish line in 19.80 seconds. He’s ranked second in the discipline by World Athletics, behind Lyles whose personal best is 19.50.

Brown, whose personal best is 19.95, is ranked sixth. He won bronze alongside De Grasse in the Rio relay.

American Erriyon Knighton, 17, cruised to a 20.55 to win his heat and instantly entered the podium conversation. Kenny Bednarek, also of the U.S., posted the best time in heats at 20.01.

Canada’s Constantine advances

Canada’s Kyra Constantine is into the women’s 400m semifinals.

Running in a heat with Bahrainian star Shaunae Miller-Uibo on Tuesday in Tokyo, Constantine burst out of the blocks, but slowed down late, falling to fifth in her heat. She crossed the line with a time of 51.69 seconds.

“I tried my best to execute [my race plan]. My first 200 was great. My second could have been executed a little better,” she said moments after the race.

Still, it was enough to advance with one of the six fastest times outside the top three athletes in each heat. The semifinals are set for Tuesday evening ahead of the final on Thursday.

The 23-year-old from Toronto, making her Olympic debut, owns a personal best of 50.87, set in June as the third-fastest time in the world this year.

“Honestly, coming in, I felt so overwhelmed with the love and support from my family and friends and I just wanted to come out here and do my best — not only for myself, but for them,” Constantine said.

Miller-Uibo won the heat in 50.50 seconds. The Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino posted the best qualifying time at 50.06 seconds.

Canada’s Natassha McDonald placed last in her heat, failing to qualify with a time of 53.54 despite a strong start to her race.

Meanwhile, Canadian Liz Gleadle won’t advance to the women’s javelin final after throwing 58.19 metres in qualifying on Tuesday.

Gleadle, a 32-year-old from Vancouver, placed 11th in her group. The top 12 finishers combined between the two groups, or anyone with a distance of 63 metres, moved on to Friday’s final. 

No other Canadians were competing.

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