Postponing the Olympic Games: it’s complicated

first_imgThe Tokyo Olympics appears to be creeping towards a postponement, an unprecedented and costly exercise that involves ripping up years of planning. As International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach told Germany’s SWR: “Postponing the Olympic Games is not like moving a football game to next Saturday.”Here are just some of the challenges:  One potential clash is the World Athletics Championships, currently scheduled for August 2021 in the United States — a lucrative pay-day for athletes and TV networks.Swimming is also scheduled to hold its World Championships in Japan from July 16 to August 1, 2021.Adding to the crowded schedule is football’s European Championships, already postponed from 2020 to 2021.Olympic legend Carl Lewis has put the case for holding the Summer Games in 2022 alongside that year’s Winter Games in Beijing, creating a “celebratory Olympic year”. Venues There are 43 Olympic sites — some temporary, some purpose-built, others repurposed for the Tokyo 2020 Games — and all of them present difficulties in the event of a postponement.The IOC highlighted this as one of the main concerns, warning: “A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available anymore.”For example, one of the main selling points of the brand new 68,000-seater Olympic Stadium was that it would hold “cultural and sporting events” after the Games were over. Any such event would now need to be moved if it clashes with a rescheduled Games.And it’s not just sporting venues. Organizers have block-booked the enormous Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center to host the thousands of international journalists covering the Games.This is one of Asia’s premier venues for hosting large-scale conferences, and is booked many months in advance. Finding a suitable slot or persuading others to move could also be a challenge. Hotels Among the “many, many” challenges the IOC mentioned, it highlighted that “the situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle”.In fact, one of the concerns before the coronavirus hit was a possible dearth of hotel rooms. One idea was to park a cruise ship offshore for emergency accommodation — now surely a non-starter given the experience with cruise ships and the virus.Hotel rooms have been block-booked in advance for many months. Many have paid a large deposit in advance and could face losing this, in addition to having to re-book quickly for a postponed date.The hotel industry would also face huge uncertainty if the Games are delayed, adding to the headache already posed by a catastrophic drop in tourism. Athletes’ village A major question mark hangs over the athletes’ village, which occupies some prime real estate overlooking Tokyo Bay with a view of the city skyline and its famous Rainbow Bridge.It will have 21 towers of between 14 and 18 floors with a total capacity of 18,000 beds during the Olympics and 8,000 for the Paralympics.The plan was to renovate and convert the village into thousands of luxury condos, which are being sold off or put up for rent.According to the website of the Harumi Flag developers, some 4,145 units were to be put up for sale. Viewings and sales of a first batch of 940 apartments began in summer 2019 and the vast majority have already been snapped up, according to Japanese media.Postponement would mean delaying the renovation process and huge uncertainty for those who have already signed contracts — including whether force majeure clauses would be triggered.center_img Competition scheduling As specialist website Inside the Games put it, the Olympics “gravitate around… a four-year cycle. If you wake up and the sun is in a completely different place, there are going to be consequences”.Much depends on the length of any postponement but shoehorning an Olympics into what is already a packed sporting calendar in 2021, for example, will be a logistical nightmare for both athletes, administrators and broadcasters. Any silver linings? A postponement by a few months to later in 2020 might solve what had previously been the biggest concern over the Tokyo Olympics: the sweltering heat of the Japanese summer.It could even be conceivable to move the marathon back to Tokyo after it was shifted to the northern city of Sapporo amid fears over athletes’ safety in the summer heat and humidity of the Japanese capital.However, going ahead in the autumn would also put the Olympics in prime typhoon season — as the Rugby World Cup found out to its cost last year.A delay could also give sporting federations more time to prepare qualifying events, addressing one of the main concerns voiced by athletes. Topics :last_img read more

Lockdowns averted 3 million deaths in 11 European nations: Study

first_imgThe researchers estimated that cumulatively between 12 and 15 million people had been infected in the period — or between 3.2 and four percent of the population of the 11 nations.This fluctuated significantly between countries, with only 710,000 people in Germany thought to have caught the virus, or 0.85 percent of the population. That compares with Belgium, with the highest infection rate of the countries at eight percent, and Spain, where some 5.5 percent of the population, or 2.6 million people, were estimated to have been infected.  Lockdowns prevented around 3.1 million deaths in 11 European countries, according to a new modeling study published Monday, as most nations tiptoe out of the strict measures to halt the spread of the new coronavirus.Research by Imperial College London, whose scientists are advising the British government on the virus, found that restrictions such as stay-at-home orders had worked to bring the epidemic under control. Using European Center of Disease Control data on deaths in 11 nations in the period up to May 4, they compared the number of observed deaths in the countries against those predicted by their model if no restrictions had been imposed. They estimated that approximately 3.1 million deaths had been averted by the policies.Researchers also calculated that the interventions had caused the reproduction number — how many people someone with the virus infects — to drop by an average of 82 percent, to below 1.0.”Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions, and lockdown in particular, have had a large effect on reducing transmission,” the authors said in the study, published in Nature Research.”Continued intervention should be considered to keep transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control.” Topics : ‘Large health benefits’ The authors said that since interventions such as restrictions on public events and school closures were imposed in quick succession, it is difficult to tease out the effect of each one separately. But they found that lockdown measures taken as a whole did have an identifiable and “substantial” effect, reducing transmission by an estimated 81 percent.   The 11 nations were: Germany, France, Italy, Britain, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. The authors acknowledged that one limitation of their model was that it assumes each measure had the same effect on all countries, whereas in reality “there was variation in how effective lockdown was in different countries”.In a separate study, also published in Nature, researchers from UC Berkeley used a different method — econometric modeling used to assess how policies affect economic growth — to evaluate containment policies in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States. Researchers used data on daily infection rates and the timings of hundreds of localized interventions up until April 6. They then compared infection growth rates before and after those policies were implemented. By comparing this to a scenario in which no policies had been put in place, they estimated that the interventions may have prevented or delayed around 62 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the six countries.They said this corresponded to averting around 530 million total infections.last_img read more

Masks prevented major coronavirus outbreak at hair salon: Study

first_imgStylist A ignored medical advice to self isolate after her test on May 18.A second hair stylist (stylist B), who had been exposed to the first, developed symptoms on May 15 and also continued working until May 20, when stylist A got her result. Stylist B tested positive two days later.At this point, the salon closed for three days for disinfection while Greene County health officials performed contact tracing, identifying a total of 139 clients seen by the two infected stylists. The rest of the staff were also quarantined for two weeks.During their interactions with clients, both stylists had worn masks: stylist A had worn a double-layered cotton face covering, while stylist B had worn either a double-layered cotton face covering or a surgical mask.But even when stylist A had symptoms, the two stylists interacted with each other while neither was masked in intervals between clients.All 139 clients were monitored for symptoms for the next two weeks, and testing was offered to all of them, to be performed five days after their exposure.None of the 67 who were tested were found to be positive, and none of those who refused testing reported symptoms over the next 14 days when they were sent daily text messages inquiring after their health.The customers were roughly gender balanced, and their ages ranged from 21 to 93, with the mean average 52. The overwhelming majority wore masks for the entire duration of their appointments, which ranged in duration between 15 minutes and 45 minutes. The clients mostly wore cloth masks or surgical masks, while about five percent wearing N95 respirators.Scientists believe that although large droplets emitted by people when they cough or sneeze are primarily responsible for spreading COVID-19, smaller droplets released during ordinary speech are also potentially dangerous.This is particularly important because people might spread the virus unknowingly in the two to three days before they develop symptoms, or a carrier in rare cases may never develop symptoms.The authors of the CDC report concluded: “Widespread adoption of policies requiring face coverings in public settings should be considered to reduce the impact and magnitude of additional waves of COVID-19.” Two US hair stylists who wore masks while infected with the coronavirus did not pass on COVID-19 to nearly 140 clients they saw over the course of several days, a study said Tuesday.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the report, said the findings added weight to universal face covering policies as a means of slowing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.On May 12, a hair stylist (stylist A) developed respiratory symptoms at a salon in Springfield, Missouri and continued working with clients until May 20, when she received a positive test for the new coronavirus.center_img Topics :last_img read more

AN to be sold by June

first_imgWITHIN the next six months Australia’s federal government intends to sell most of Australian National to the private sector, along with its 45% equity stake in National Rail Corp. Only the interstate trunk routes will remain in public ownership, to be managed under an open access regime by a ’national track company’ yet to be established.Announcing the plan on November 22, Federal Minister for Transport & Development John Sharp said AN’s losses for the year to June 30 1997 were expected to reach A$250m. The government would assume responsibility for debts and superannuation costs totalling A$1·36bn, and the total cost of preparing AN for sale was likely to reach A$2bn.A report by former rail executive John Brew (RBR 97 p35), recommended carving AN into separate businesses before selling them off or closing them down. The government is taking advice on the form of the sale, and expects to invite bids very shortly. Macquarie Bank has emerged as a key player in the sale, and is already packaging bids.AN provides freight services on three gauges within South Australia and Tasmania, and operates workshops at Port Augusta, Adelaide and Launceston. There are also three passenger routes: the Indian Pacific, Ghan and Overland. Despite large deficits, Sharp described the government as ’committed to their development as tourist attractions in their own right.’ He was also optimistic about freight, claiming that privatisation would create the ’right environment’ for construction of the long-planned link between Alice Springs and Darwin (p7).A bill introduced in Victoria with support from both major parties would see two new organisations carved out of the Public Transport Corp. V/Line Freight Corp would carry intrastate rail freight, and Victorian Rail Track Corp would be responsible for all non-suburban infrastructure including the train control function. oCAPTION: Two of the 120 NR class diesel locos being built for National Rail Corp were rolled out of A Goninan & Co’s Newcastle works on November 28 (above) for inspection by Australian Prime Minister John Howard (left)last_img read more

Garnhart, Soppe score at Dubuque

first_imgBy Jerry MackeyDUBUQUE, Iowa (May 6) – Sunday’s Merfeld Brothers Auto IMCA Modifieds feature at Dubuque Speedway was another nail biter as several drivers took their turns at the front.Bryce Garnhart battled with Austin Moyer for much of the 20-lap main event before crossing un­der the checkers ahead of Moyer. Last week’s winner Jason Schueller turned in another fine run in taking third. Defending IMCA national champion Tyler Soppe scored the feature win in the 18-lap GSI Colli­sion Specialists Northern Sportmod main event.Soppe fought to the front from a fourth row start to score the win ahead of early leader Justin Becker. Scott Busch followed up last week’s win with a third place finish.last_img read more

Coronavirus: Joshua-Pulev fight to be postponed indefinitely

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title fight with Kubrat Pulev is set to be postponed by several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 38-year-old Pulev is the mandatory challenger for Joshua’s IBF title, but he believes it is “impossible” that the fight, which was scheduled to take place on June 20 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, will go ahead as planned. The 62,000 capacity stadium was no longer available after European football’s governing body UEFA postponed the European Championship to 2021, meaning any rescheduled Premier League fixtures could now run into the summer. “It is impossible for the fight to take place on June 20, although I am ready,” Bulgarian Pulev said. “The match will take place a few months later, perhaps towards the end of the year.” Pulev, a former European amateur super-heavyweight champion, challenged for the IBF world heavyweight title in 2014, losing to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg on a fifth-round knockout. Joshua last fought in London in September, 2018 when he beat Alexander Povetkin by round-seven stoppage at Wembley Stadium. The flu-like virus that originated in China late last year has killed nearly 10,000 people and infected more than 235,000 globally. It has forced the cancellation or postponement of numerous sporting and other events. Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn had previously suggested the event would go ahead but admitted he had a contingency plan if the pandemic worsened. “A requirement for Anthony in his next fight, a necessity for him, was to box in the UK,” Hearn said. “June 20 is a long time away, it’s still in our plans. “We have been speaking to Tottenham and making sure that we’re all on the same page. For the Joshua fight, there are already potential plans to move that fight back to July. We do have a potential date for that, but right now we’re hoping June 20 can remain the date. “At the moment it’s still in place. Obviously with the news of the Euros being cancelled and the possible extension of the Premier League season, Spurs may need that stadium in June.”Tags: Anthony JoshuaKubrat PulevTottenham Hotspur Stadiumlast_img read more

Liverpool prepare for Jurgen Klopp shake-up

first_img Press Association With Jurgen Klopp poised to take over at Liverpool the expectation is he will bring his tactic of high-tempo ‘gegenpressing’ – pressurising an opponent in numbers as soon as possession is lost – to Anfield. Fitness is a key component in Klopp’s system but aligned to technical ability. He wants players to run hard but be able to immediately take advantage of errors such pressing creates. Those players who appear best suited to that include: Danny Ings, Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen, Nathaniel Clyne, Mamadou Sakho, Alberto Moreno. WORK TO DO Technical ability alone will not be enough to survive in a Klopp world where double training sessions are far from infrequent. There are a number of players who may have to up their game, but being of a young age will be an advantage to most: Philippe Coutinho, Divock Origi, Jordon Ibe, Joe Gomez, Adam Lallana, Jordan Rossiter. STRUGGLING It would not be a surprise to see some members of the squad struggle to adapt to new methods. These are likely to be the the less technical players who have age or physicality against them: Kolo Toure, Dejan Lovren, Lucas, Emre Can, Martin Skrtel. REPLACEMENTS Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group believe Klopp will get more out of the existing squad than Brendan Rodgers did and early suggestions are the German is happy to work with the players he will inherit. However, he will inevitably need some new additions during his first year in charge and it would be no surprise to see him return to former club Borussia Dortmund to cherry-pick those who served him well in the past. Liverpool could do with upgrades throughout their spine, such as: Roman Weidenfeller (goalkeeper), Neven Subotic (centre-back), Sven Bender (defensive midfielder). The likes of midfielders Ilkay Gundogan and, in particular, Marco Reus may still be out of reach though. center_img Here Press Association Sport assesses how the current squad might fare in Klopp’s system. READY last_img read more

Cricket News ‘Needs to be aligned with team values’ – On Smith and Warner’s return

first_imgThere’s been a lot of talk around Australian cricket over the last few months about how the dressing-room would welcome back the former leaders following their suspension. Coach Justin Langer elaborated on the bonhomie and camaraderie between the returning duo in dramatic fashion saying, “It is like two brothers coming back home. Brothers leave home for different reasons in families. So nice to have them back in there. They’ve been received really well. We had a good night together last night. It’s great to have them back in the team.”Langer also believed that the duo’s “hunger for playing well and to make a lot of runs” will bode well for the team going forward and also about how he hoped the team could continue building on the present culture and continue making “Australians proud”.”They’ve gone through a really tough time. A 12-month suspension is unprecedented really. As a coach, when you got two guys with their runs and experience coming back into a team that’s doing well, that’s pretty exciting,” he said.Warner and Smith will be joining their respective IPL franchises as the mega franchise-based T20 league is scheduled to start on March 23 when Chennai Super Kings take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. Expressing their views on the upcoming tournament, Smith and Warner went on saying, “I love playing in India. The IPL’s a terrific tournament and the elbow’s tracking really well. I have been batting for the last two weeks, and yeah able to play all shots,” he said.”I love going there and playing that tournament. It’s a great feel, great buzz, and good energy and India always put on a good show,” Warner added. Langer too felt that the IPL would allow his two key players to get back into the “rhythm of high-class cricket” and about being confident that they’ll both get plenty out of it and be prepared for their eventual comebacks to the team in England. New Delhi: After serving a year-long ban post sandpaper incident in South Africa, both Steve Smith and David Warner have been asked to be in the scheme of things as the duo spent some time in Dubai where both Australia and Pakistan will be playing a bilateral series. Steve Smith and David Warner have revealed to have felt like “they’d never left” after getting to spend some time with the Australian squad. With less than two weeks to go for their year-long bans to come to an end, both former captains insisted on the players have been very “welcoming” and “accepting”.”It’s been awesome. It’s like we didn’t really leave. The boys were very accepting of us coming in, with open arms and a lot of big hugs and cuddles and no it’s been great,” said Warner.Smith and Warner will be available for selection from March 29 and are expected to be brought back into the mix in England for the World Cup and the Ashes. Though the team struggled to find the rhythm post their suspension, a 3-2 victory on Indian soil would have surely given them a much-needed boost. “It seems like there’s really good energy around the group at the moment coming off the back of what was a really terrific win in India. The spirits are really high and the boys have had a few down days, and slowly getting ready obviously for the upcoming series against Pakistan. But, it’s been great to be back around the group,” he said.”It’s about making sure that we are aligned with the team values moving forward. I’ve obviously been out for 12 months and there’s been a big change, which is great, and it’s about us accepting that playing what our roles should be in the team moving forward,” said Warner. Smith seconded his views saying the focus of the meetings were about, “the values that are sort of instilled in the team at the moment and making sure we are on the right path looking forward to what’s coming up – a huge World Cup and an Ashes series in England. It’s pretty exciting times ahead for the team and just making sure everyone’s on the right path and heading in the same direction.” For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Smith and Warner back in the scheme of things for Australia.Both will be available for selection post-March 29. The duo is expected to play a crucial part in the upcoming Indian Premier League. highlightslast_img read more

GAPLF Raw National Championships to lift off this Sunday

first_imgTHE Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation will have their Raw National Championships on Sunday (August 25) at the auditorium of St Stanislaus College on Brickdam. At the competition the athletes will be lifting with little or no additional equipment during their lifts. Participating athletes for Flight A are required to be at the venue for 08:00hrs in order to be weighed. Weigh-in will go no later than 09:30hrs, so athletes are urged to be there on time. The competition will begin at 10:00hrs and the entrance fee is $1 000.Persons who are interested in competing for Raw Nationals are required to submit their applications and pay their fees.The forms and cash can be submitted to Championship Secretary, Martin Webster. A screenshot of the filled-out registration form, along with the deposit slip to the GAPLF Bank Account #6552194, will be accepted as well.last_img read more

Polo: Blue Jacket Award Highlights Georgian Cup Centenary Celebration

first_imgBlue Jacket award winners pose with the Managing Director of First Bank Plc, Dr. Ademola Kazeem Adeduntan (centre), after their decoration, at the Gala Night of the Georgian Cup Centenary Polo Tournament in Kaduna Others include, Senator Hadi Sirika, Ibrahim Mohammed, Jamilu Mohammed, Babangida Hassan and the President of Kaduna Polo Club, Suleman Abubakar who has won the cup four times with three different teams. The Blue Jacket recipients were particularly elated about the award, urging Kaduna Polo Club to make the award ceremony an annual event as an encouragement that would propel upcoming and future generations to aspire to the top in their polo careers.In recognition of the centenary anniversary of the mythical Georgian Cup, Kaduna polo boss, Abubakar said: “I am proud and humbled to celebrate this wonderful landmark which would not have been possible without the efforts of our esteem sponsors like First Bank, and others, the polo fraternity and the public that supports us.“Through the last 100 years, what has remained consistent is the high standard of polo that we have witnessed being played at the club and the commitment of everybody involved. You have all exceeded expectations and have played a crucial role in our success.“I look forward to many more exciting years of polo and on building the mutual trust and friendship among the polo fraternity that we share,” Abubakar enthused in his closing remarks.Excitement started building for the awards a year ago when the countdown to the centenary of the oldest polo cup in the world was announced by Kaduna Polo Club.That countdown frenzy got to its peak early October, when five of Nigeria’s strongest high- teams and a record 35 medium and low-goal teams fortified with the best of Nigerian talents and their foreign counterparts stormed the foremost Murtala Mohammed Square in Kaduna for the historic celebration.From the glitters of the Georgian Cup Legend Award Gala, the magnificent Georgian Cup touch down by a helicopter on the final day, to the historic debut of  Jos  Malcomines, and the determined push by Lintex /Agad to clinch the 400 year-old polo title on first attempt.After nine days of epic battles, the thrills of the centenary was evenly shared by the winners, Kaduna Polo Club and the decorated Georgian Cup legends, with Rubicon and EL-Amin polo teams letting out the loudest roars.Rubicon because Senator Hadi Sirika and his Big Boys battled through a tense six chukkas final to secure a last minute victory against daring Lintex Agad to win the Georgian Cup Centenary edition, for their third Georgian Cup title.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The biggest off the pitch highlight of the celebration of the centenary of the oldest polo cup in the world, Georgian Cup, was the Legends Award Gala that paraded impressive awardees who were unanimously thrilled by the honours from both the Kaduna Polo Club and title sponsors, First Bank Plc.They were recognized for their immense contribution to the myth and the popularity of the Georgian Cup.Those decorated with the Blue Jackets on the night of legends include Nigeria’s top rated professional, Bello Buba who has won the Georgian Cup a record 18 times, Bala Shehu Shagari, Amani Idi, Mohammad Babangida, Kashim Bukar, Adamu Yaro and Dawule Baba.last_img read more