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Sunday, November 29, 2020
Alizadeh's Olympic Qualifiers Postponed
World Rowing has postponed the Americas Continental Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta for Tokyo 2020 over coronavirus concerns.

The event was provisionally planned to be held in late January in Rio de Janeiro, but that will no longer be the case, leaving Bermuda Olympic hopeful Dara Alizadeh looking for the rescheduled event.

Coronavirus cases remain high in Brazil and only the United States has recorded more deaths.

World Health Organization and World Rowing infection-prevention measures designed to ensure a minimal-risk regatta cannot be assured at this stage, which led to the postponement, World Rowing said.

A new date "between late February and late March 2021" is now under consideration.

However, "the environment is constantly changing", World Rowing's statement added.

More than 172,000 COVID-19 deaths and 6.29 million cases have been reported in Brazil.

The African Continental Qualification Regatta is the only regional qualifier for Tokyo 2020 to have gone ahead so far as it was staged in Tunisia in 2019.

The Asia and Oceania regatta is currently scheduled for April 2021, but a location is yet to be announced.

The European event is currently scheduled for April 5 to 7 in Varese in Italy before the Final Qualification Regatta, set for May 16 to 18 in Lucerne in Switzerland.
Friday, November 27, 2020
James and Aliu Finish 4th in Battle of the Blades

Olympic pairs multi-medalist Meagan Duhamel and former NHL player Wojtek Wolski added to their trophy cases and, more importantly, earned $100,000 for charity by winning Season 6 of Battle of the Blades.

Vanessa James and her partner Akim Aliu finished fourth.

James and Aliu, made competition history by landing the first-ever throw triples.

Fourth-place pair James and Aliu received $25,000 for The Time To Dream Foundation, which aims to make youth sports, including the game of hockey, more diverse, inclusive, affordable, and accessible to all.

Thursday, November 26, 2020
CGF Update Members on 2026 Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) are continuing discussions with Australia, Canada, and Sri Lanka over potential bids for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

An update was provided to members at a virtual CGF General Assembly today by David Leather, chief executive of CGF Partnerships.

Bermuda was represented by the Bermuda Olympic Association President Judy Simons, Vice President Brenda Dale, and Branwen Smith-King Secretary-General.

Hamilton 2026 had been the frontrunner earlier this year, with the Bid Committee and Commonwealth Sport Canada "working exclusively" with the CGF on staging the Games in 2026, but failed to secure Government support.

The Ontario Government said it would only back a bid to stage in the Games in 2027 or later, citing its focus on the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Canada will co-host with Mexico and the United States.

Toronto, the biggest city in Ontario, is poised to stage World Cup matches.

Leather said the Ontario Government has informed the CGF it is setting up a cross-departmental working group to consider the Governmental issues and possible implications for hosting the Games.

Part of the consideration will be on the impact of potentially hosting matches at the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

The CGF is expected to continue dialogue with the Ontario Government.

An Adelaide bid for the 2026 Games was firmly ruled out by the South Australian Government last month.

The CGF and Commonwealth Games Australia are claimed to be working on developing a hosting proposition for an alternative Australian state, which would include evaluation of the benefits and costs of holding the Games.

Sri Lanka emerged as a contender earlier this month, with its National Olympic Committee saying it had sought Government guidance about expenditure.

Sri Lankan city Hambantota bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games but lost to Gold Coast in Australia by 43 votes to 27.

It is unclear whether this potential Sri Lankan bid would focus on Hambantota or another part of the country, potentially it's capital Colombo.

Leather said the CGF had shared information with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka over the potential budget and sports programme to help the development of their proposals.

A fourth Commonwealth Games Association reportedly expressed an interest today in hosting the Games, but the nation of the member was not revealed.

The CGF said their immediate focus was on selecting a host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with the aim of bringing the process to a conclusion as soon as possible next year.

Interest has been received from potential hosts for the 2030 Commonwealth Games and beyond, it was claimed.

The next Commonwealth Games is scheduled to take place in Birmingham in 2022.

An update was provided to CGAs today on progress towards the Games, which is set to take place from July 28 to August 8.

Organizers admitted they had been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, but stressed the Games remained “on time and on a budget”.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
IOC Presdient Visits Olympic Village & Stadium

The IOC President’s visit to Tokyo continued with a tour of the Olympic Village and the Olympic Stadium, in the company of Olympians from Japan and other countries around the world.

President Bach has already described Tokyo as the best-ever prepared Olympic city. Before touring the facilities, he met the visiting Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

The Prime Minister and the IOC President discussed and agreed on the important role of sport, both during the coronavirus crisis and in the recovery from the crisis. They also discussed the unifying mission of the IOC and the Olympic Games and agreed on the need for the political neutrality of the IOC and the Games. Prime Minister Morrison once again reiterated the full support of the Australian government for the candidature of Queensland for the 2032 Olympic Games.

After the meeting, President Bach headed for the impressive water-side Olympic Village, which is designed to house more than 9,000 athletes and up to 17,000 residents in total during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Meeting three-time Olympian and Japanese triathlon champion Ueda Ai, Paralympian badminton player Satomi Sarina and Chida Kenta, a fencer and JOC Athletes’ Commission Vice-Chair, they were able to see one of the apartments where athletes will stay during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Standing on the balcony, President Bach praised the accommodation and told his fellow visitors, “There is good space and a lot of light, and the view of the nearby iconic Rainbow Bridge is spectacular. This is the place to be.” Later, the three accompanied the IOC President to the dining hall, which has a capacity of 5,000.

Next stop was the magnificent Olympic Stadium, where the President had the opportunity to walk on the running track. After the visit, President Bach described the venue as “inspirational and authentic”. He went on, “This fantastic stadium is already atmospheric even when it is empty, nine months before the Opening Ceremony.” The stadium was designed by Kengo Kuma, who was also on the jury for the construction of Olympic House in Lausanne.

President Bach finished the day with a rendezvous with the Olympic flame in the Japan Olympic Museum. He was joined by a number of athletes from Japan and some Olympic scholarship-holders from around the world. Ono Shohei, a judoka, and Kimura Keiichi, a Paralympian swimmer, who are both Japanese, were joined by scholarship-holders Elvismar Rodriguez from Venezuela, also a judoka, and Carlos Yulo, an artistic gymnast from the Philippines.

The Olympians and Paralympians posed for photos with the flame at the Museum, which is housed in the headquarters of the Japan Sport Association and the Japanese Olympic Committee. The Olympic Torch Relay will begin again next year on March 25th, with the torch making its way to Tokyo where it will light the Olympic cauldron in the Olympic Stadium on July 23rd to signal the official start of the Games.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020
IFAB Support Proposals to Hold Concussion Substitute Trials

The International Football Association Board's (IFAB) Football and Technical Advisory Panels have supported proposals to trial additional substitutions for players with head injuries.

Last month, the IFAB Concussion Expert Group recommended extra substitutions for concussed players be trialed, having discussed "additional permanent substitution" protocols, timelines for trials and potential test environments.

In a videoconference meeting chaired by IFAB director and Football Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford, the Football and Technical Advisory Panels agreed that trials should start as soon as possible.

The Panels suggested that IFAB approve the proposals at its upcoming Annual Business Meeting on December 16, when it will also set the agenda for its Annual General Meeting on March 6.

A five-substitute option is currently in use around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with this set to remain in place as the global health crisis continues.

Football is coming under increasing pressure to do more to protect players from head injuries, with UEFA earlier this year approving guidelines to limit heading in youth football to mirror US Soccer regulations.

A Glasgow University study into dementia and football found former players were more than three times more likely to die of the disease than the general public, and high-profile players including Alan Shearer - the English Premier League's all-time leading scorer - have discussed their concerns over the sport's relationship with head injuries.

Concussion substitutions already exist in sports ranging from rugby union to cricket.

While clearly a positive in terms of player welfare, there is some concern that a system allowing concussion replacements could be manipulated to allow teams to make additional tactical changes under the guise of a concussion replacement.
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