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Month: December 2020

Hong Kong wants to stage the judo event to address Olympic qualification concerns

The Hong Kong Judo Association (HKJA) is hoping to hold an event that will count towards Olympic qualification after raising concerns over the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on its athletes’ chances of securing a place at Tokyo 2020. Olympic Judo fans can book Olympic Judo Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively at reduced prices.

HKJA chairman Wong Po-kee told the South China Morning Post the organization is planning to stage a competition in February or March using a “safety bubble”, pending Government approval.

The bubble, part of the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) COVID-19 protocol, would grant international athletes traveling for the event an exemption against two-week quarantine measures in place in the country.

Hong Kong wants to stage the judo event to address Olympic qualification concerns
Hong Kong wants to stage the judo event to address Olympic qualification concerns

“The biggest problem remains is that if we invite overseas competitors to Hong Kong, they will face minimum two-week quarantine under the current health practice,” said Wong. 

“If we cannot lift that quarantine requirement, I am sure we cannot have an international tournament.

“If the Government can accept this safety feature and lift the quarantine requirement for overseas arrivals, we may be able to work out a fruitful plan.”

Travel restrictions imposed across the world in response to the pandemic have led to increasing concern in numerous sports over how athletes can qualify for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Wong said it would be difficult for Hong Kong judoka to compete in the tournaments which count towards the IJF rankings, used to determine Olympic quota places, as most are set to take place in Europe.

Leung Po-sum, ninth in the women’s under-57 kilogram rankings, is Hong Kong’s main hope of sealing a Tokyo 2020 judo berth, and Wong said the HKJA was hoping she would be able to take part in competitions in Europe to boost her chances of qualification.

Hong Kong wants to stage the judo event to address Olympic qualification concerns
Hong Kong wants to stage the judo event to address Olympic qualification concerns

“We are planning to send Leung to Europe next year but it’s very difficult to get out of Hong Kong these days under the quarantine requirements, both for Hong Kong and overseas countries,” said Wong.

“If she cannot compete anymore, she may be overtaken by other judokas from the region. 

“Having a qualifying event in Hong Kong will help safeguard her position.”

Under the IJF’s revised process for Tokyo 2020, athletes have until June 28 next year to earn qualification points.

The IJF was forced to push back its deadline in the wake of the decision to postpone Tokyo 2020 to 2021.

The coronavirus pandemic curtailed dozens of judo events and led to the early abandonment of the 2020 World Tour season.

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Tokyo Olympics remain a priority for Huni despite turning professional

Young boxer Justis Huni is looking to win a gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics for Australia insists on his promoter, as Huni prepares to be one of the few professional boxers at the Games. Olympic Boxing fans can book Olympic Boxing Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively at reduced prices.

Huni, a bronze medalist at the 2019 International Boxing Association (AIBA) World Championships in Yekaterinburg in Russia, qualified for Tokyo 2020 earlier this year.

Fighting in the super-heavyweight division, Huni was second at the Asia and Oceania qualification tournament, behind Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov – the world champion.

Tokyo Olympics remain a priority for Huni despite turning professional
Tokyo Olympics remain a priority for Huni despite turning professional

Huni, 21, is additionally a former AIBA youth world champion.

Due to a change to eligibility rules ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympics, professional boxers can compete at the Games, and Huni has taken advantage of this by turning pro.

Since making his professional debut in October, Huni has defeated both Faiga Opelu and Arsene Fosso by technical knockout and is the new Australian heavyweight champion.

Promoter Dean Lonergan believes that Huni will shine at the Olympics, calling it a “massive opportunity” for the boxer.

“I see that as an acceleration of his fame levels because all Australian sports media will be assembled at those Games and by that stage, the Justis Huni train will be up and running and every available sports journalist will go to every single fight that he has in those Games because he’s a red hot gold medal prospect,” Lonergan said, as reported by ABC.

“I see it as nothing but positive.”

It is planned for Huni to have four more bouts on the professional circuit before the Games, including fights with former world title challenger Alex Leapai in May and former Australian heavyweight champion Lucas Browne in early July, according to Lonergan, who has lofty ambitions for his fighter.

Tokyo Olympics remain a priority for Huni despite turning professional
Tokyo Olympics remain a priority for Huni despite turning professional

“We want to create history,” said Lonergan.

“There’s nothing more history-making than winning an Olympic gold medal and a world title in the same year.”

Huni is not the only professional boxer set to compete at Tokyo 2020, with the Philippines’ Eumir Felix Marcial who has qualified in the under-75-kilogram division recently making his professional debut, and others have turned to the pro ranks following the postponement of the Olympics.

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IJF’s Marinescu says Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year almost a certainty

It is almost a certainty that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will take place next summer, according to the International Judo Federation’s (IJF) chief media and marketing officer, Vlad Marinescu.

Speaking during today’s virtual IJF JudoFest, Marinescu said: “The likelihood of the Olympic Games taking place is almost a certainty.

“The only big question mark is ‘will there be spectators?’

“Not ‘Will the Olympic Games happen?'”

Marinescu said the pandemic protocols at the IJF’s only World Judo Tour event of this year, the Budapest Grand Slam held from October 23 to 25, were now being widely shared as a model of how to stage sporting events safely.

IJF's Marinescu says Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year almost a certainty
IJF’s Marinescu says Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year almost a certainty

“We did a launch in Budapest under a very strict protocol that allowed us to enable the safety of the athletes participating at the highest level.

“Which now I am pleased to tell you are the protocol that has been shared not only inside the judo community and for all judo events but also to help the entire Olympic Movement and other sports federations and governments around the world to see how we were able to do it.

“Having the values of judo and the discipline of our judoka helped a lot with ensuring that our bubbles were safe and protected.”

Former United States judoka Jimmy Pedro, who won the world under-73kg title in 1999 and took Olympic bronze in 2004 and 1996, described how operations at the judo center he runs in Wakefield in Massachusetts had managed to continue through a combination of virtual lessons and safety measures introduced to actual training.

“We had 240 judo students at our Academy before COVID hit,” Pedro recalled.

“We run the school as a business, so we had to keep the students coming back to us.”

He explained that bespoke learning had taken place on Zoom calls, while measures had been taken once lockdown had eased sufficiently for youngsters to come into the center for training.

IJF's Marinescu says Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year almost a certainty
IJF’s Marinescu says Tokyo Olympics going ahead next year almost a certainty

These included mats being separated into 2×2 metres boxes to enable social distancing,

General mixing has not been allowed, all interactions are discouraged, and the training areas are cleaned and sanitised between sessions.

Germany’s Martyna Trajdos, a bronze medallist in the under-63kg class at this year’s European Championships, praised the safety measures that had been put in place during that event, which was staged in Prague from November 19 to 21.

“I was very impressed with the safety around the Championships,” she said.

“We were tested several times and so many good protocols were in place.

“I think the risk was less big than going to the supermarket…”

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Americas Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualifier is given provisional March dates

New dates in March have been identified for the Americas Olympic and Paralympic Continental Qualification Regatta in Rio de Janeiro.

The Tokyo 2020 qualification event, which has twice been delayed, is now set to take place between March 4 and 6, if the health situation allows. Olympic Roeing fans can book Olympic Rowing Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively at reduced prices.

Confirmation on whether or not it can go ahead is set to come from World Rowing on January 11.

Americas Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualifier is given provisional March dates
Americas Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualifier is given provisional March dates

The Organizing Committee in the host city of the last Olympics and Paralympics is currently planning to stage the regatta following World Rowing coronavirus guidelines, which the global governing body developed following World Health Organization advice.

Travel and quarantine restrictions facing the athletes who would be involved will also be considered.

The regatta was initially scheduled for April 2 to 5 this year but was delayed after the Olympics and Paralympics were postponed by 12 months due to the global health crisis.

January 2021 was then targeted, but further postponement followed when it became clear that was not possible.

At present, a last-chance global Olympic qualification regatta is set for May 16 to 18 in Lucerne in Switzerland.

Americas Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualifier is given provisional March dates
Americas Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualifier is given provisional March dates

Gavirate in Italy is due to stage the final Paralympic qualification event from May 6 to 8.

Brazil has recorded more than 188,000 COVID-19 deaths – more than any country bar the United States – and case rates remain high, with a seven-day rolling average of over 45,000.

Rio de Janeiro has been hit particularly hard and has been described as the new epicenter of the pandemic in Brazil.

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Moroccan taekwondo athletes fly to France for a training camp ahead of Tokyo Olympic 2020

Morocco’s taekwondo players are stepping up their preparations for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games with a training camp in France over the festive period.

Achraf Mahboubi, Nada Laaraj, and Oumaima El Bouchti are attending the camp which is due to run until January 23, as reported by Morocco World News. Olympic taekwondo fans can book Olympic taekwondo Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively at reduced prices.

Organized by Morocco’s Royal Taekwondo Federation, the French trip is their first training session outside of their home country as preparation builds towards the Olympics which have been delayed by one year due to the global health crisis.

Moroccan taekwondo athletes fly to France for a training camp ahead of Tokyo Olympic 2020
Moroccan taekwondo athletes fly to France for a training camp ahead of Tokyo Olympic 2020

Morocco’s fighters were forced to train at home for much of the coronavirus pandemic before the Moroccan Government began to ease restrictions.

Training camps have been held at the Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane with the latest taking place from November 11 to December 9.

Mahboubi, Laaraj, and El Bouchti then had just one week of rest before flying out to France.

The trio secured their places at Tokyo 2020 in February when they competed at the African qualification tournament held in Rabat in Morocco.

Mahboubi will compete in the -80 kilograms category, while Nada Laaraj will contest the -57kg division, and Oumaima El Bouchti will take part in the -49kg class.

“Four years ago, I remember watching the Olympics on television as a kid,” said Mahboubi.

Moroccan taekwondo athletes fly to France for a training camp ahead of Tokyo Olympic 2020
Moroccan taekwondo athletes fly to France for a training camp ahead of Tokyo Olympic 2020

“(By qualifying) I achieved the dream of athletes from all over the world.”

Moroccan athletes have taken part in taekwondo competitions in the past five successive Olympics but have yet to bring home a medal.

Hafida El Ouacef was the last Moroccan fighter to clinch a medal when she earned bronze at Barcelona 1992.

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Olympic 2020: Budget for Tokyo Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies set to increase

Planners of the overdue Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are allegedly considering outlay more money on the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Rendering to Japanese news agency Kyodo Newscast, the Organizing Committee is preparating to boost the budget by ¥3.5 billion (£25.5 million/$33.7 million/€27.7 million).

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Should planners go ahead with the upsurge, the kitty for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Set to be theatrical at the new National Stadium, will stand at ¥16.5 billion (£121 million/$159.7 million/€131.6 million). A Board conference is due to be held tomorrow with the budget increase predictable to be on the agenda.

Kyodo News understands the move is being considered following the influence of the one-year postponement of Tokyo Olympic due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Rites were originally budgeted to cost ¥9.1 billion (£64 million/$82 million/€72 million) when the Japanese capital city revealed its plans during the bidding process.

This was then increased by nearly 43 per cent in February last year to take the total to around ¥13 billion (£91 million/$117 million/€103 million). Next the outbreak of coronavirus, the Olympics and Paralympics were suspended until 2021.

Organizers originally expected to spend around $13 billion (£9.7 billion/€10.8 billion) on staging the Games, but it was announced earlier this month that the postponement would cost $2.8 billion (£2 billion/€2.3 billion). The Tokyo City Government will allegedly pay $1.1 billion (£820 million/€900 million), with the Organizing Committee causal $1 billion (£740 million/€820 million).

The residual $700 million (£520 million/€575 million) would be enclosed by the Japanese Government. Tokyo Olympic and the International Olympic Committee have announced 50 cost-cutting events since the delay. Which they right will save $288 million (£217 million/€241 million).

Organizers are also looking to spend $960 million (£720 million/€801 million) on COVID-19 countermeasures as it bids to stage a successful Games. Mansai Nomura, the well-known Japanese kyogen actor, will be the principal executive creative director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

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Nomura is best known for his performances on stage and in the film as an actor but has also produced and directed performances both in Japan and overseas. Takashi Yamazaki is the decision-making original director for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic 2020 Games.

Hiroshi will have the same part for the Paralympic Games. Sasaki supervised the Flag Handover Ceremony at the 2016 Olympic Games. Where Japan’s then Prime Minister Shinzō Abe seemed dressed as Mario of Nintendo console game celebrity. The Olympics are now owing to take place from July 23 to August 8, shadowed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

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Olympic Boxing: Ireland’s Olympic boxing hopefuls suffer body blow as IABA event is postponed

Next month’s Irish Athletic Boxing Association Elite Championships have been suspended. Landing a “body blow” to boxers hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Officials from IABA have been in talks with Paul McDermott from Sport. Ireland as well as Peter Hogan and James Lavelle from the Department of Tourism, Culture. Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media over the prospect of a return to full contact training and competition.

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However, it was confirmed the IABA Elite Championships planned. To take place in January would essential to be rearranged due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision will be a setback to Ireland’s Tokyo Olympic hopefuls who will be looking to step up. Their preparations for the Olympic qualifier in London in April.

Olympic Boxing: Rendering to IABA,

Rendering to IABA, it was made clear that there was a high probability of a post-Christmas. Spike in coronavirus cases and no number of provisions or protocols would be sufficient. To mitigate the anticipated restriction levels next month.

“It is with a tremendously heavy heart that we must bring this news which comes as another body. Blow to unprofessional boxing, following what has been debatably the toughest period. The game has borne in living memory,” the IABA statement read.

However, we wanted to present our members with this information in as timely. A fashion as possible and in go letting our boxers/coaches to alter their training over. The Christmas period until more clarity is provided.

Again, we are doing our best to fight the good fight for Irish boxing. But overriding circumstances and problems caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic are completely beyond our control. For More Click Here.

“That supposed, we will last to champion the cause of boxing until we get back in the ring.”

Olympic Boxing: IABA Said

The IABA supposed Hogan, the chair of Ireland’s Return to Sports Expert Group. Fully supported the organization’s bid to run the Elite Championships as soon as possible. It was also agreed additional talks would take place early next month to hold the event ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Republic of Ireland has recorded 76,185 cases and more than 2,000 deaths to coronavirus. The IABA supposed Hogan was confident the Irish Government would be traveling additional alterations to the current restrictions. Which could assist sporting organizations to return to meaningful training and potentially. Let for the return of rivalry at certain levels.

Brendan Irvine is currently the only Irish boxer to have secured their place at Tokyo Olympic. Which has been stimulated to next year due to the global health disaster. Ireland has won 16 Olympic medals in boxing, counting golds for Michael Carruth at Barcelona 1992 and Katie Taylor at London 2012.

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