Sports News Roundup: Former Japanese Olympian Murofushi urges swift decision-making at pandemic-hit Games; Olympics-Tennis-Djokovic confirms he will compete at Tokyo Games and more
South African Oosthuizen, the winner in 2010, made six birdies in a flawless 64 to finish on six under par, one shot ahead of American Spieth, champion in 2017. Olympics-Risk of COVID spread is 'zero', IOC chief says, amid rising cases International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Thursday there was "zero" risk of Games participants infecting Japanese residents with COVID-19, as cases hit a six-month high in the host city.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Former Japanese Olympian Murofushi urges swift decision-making at pandemic-hit Games
Japanese Olympic gold medallist turned chief of the Japan Sports Agency, Koji Murofushi, said on Friday that Olympics organizers needed flexibility and swift decision-making in reacting to the spread in COVID-19 infections with the Games only a week away. Murofushi, who won a gold medal in the hammer throw at the 2004 Athens Olympics and a bronze medal in 2012, had been sports director for the Tokyo Games, postponed by a year due to the pandemic, until being named chief of the sports agency, a government department, in September.
Olympics-Tennis-Djokovic confirms he will compete at Tokyo Games
World number one Novak Djokovic confirmed he will compete at the Tokyo Olympics as the Serb remains on course to achieve the Golden Slam in tennis. Djokovic completed the third leg towards achieving the Golden Slam last weekend when he added the Wimbledon title to his Australian Open and Roland Garros' triumphs in 2021.
Olympics-Bach warns athletes against 'political demonstrations' on podiums
Athletes should not make "political demonstrations" or express their private views on the medal podium at the Tokyo Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Friday. The IOC this month relaxed its Rule 50, which had previously forbidden athletes from any protests but now allows them to make gestures on the field, provided they do so without disruption and with respect for fellow competitors.
Church in honor of Maradona opens its doors in Mexico
A pair of large vases bearing soccer balls stand at the entrance to Mexico's first Maradonian church and an image of Diego Maradona wearing a charro hat welcomes worshippers. Inside the church, the Catholic Stations of the Cross are recreated with photos of Maradona from his childhood to emblematic meetings with the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Pope Francis.
Virus outbreaks at Olympic hotels sow frustration, stoke infection fears
Coronavirus outbreaks involving Olympic teams in Japan have turned small-town hotels into facilities on the frontline of the pandemic battle, charged with implementing complex health measures to protect elite athletes and a fearful public. Infections https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/coronavirus-incidents-tokyo-olympics-2021-07-15 have hit at least seven teams arriving in Japan barely a week out from the July 23 opening ceremony and after host city, Tokyo reported its highest daily tally of new COVID-19 infections since late January.
Soccer-England's Saka urges social media companies to step up fight against abuse
England's Bukayo Saka said popular social media platforms are not doing enough to prevent online racist abuse after he was on the receiving end following his missed penalty in Sunday's European Championship final against Italy. Substitutes Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Saka all missed spot-kicks in the 3-2 shootout loss to Italy, and Saka - who was reduced to tears after the final - penned an apology to the fans as the country's 55-year trophy drought was extended.
Cycling-Pogacar closes in on Tour title, doping suspicions hit race
Tadej Pogacar claimed another landmark victory in the 18th stage of the Tour de France to edge closer to retaining his title as a cloud of doping suspicions hung over the world's greatest cycling race on Thursday. Before the start of the stage, the French prosecutor's office said it had opened a preliminary investigation into the Bahrain Victorious team after police searched the outfit's accommodation and bus on Wednesday.
Golf-DeChambeau apologises for Cobra driver comments
Bryson DeChambeau has apologised for "very unprofessional" comments about his Cobra driver in the wake of his poor start to the British Open after the equipment manufacturer said the American was behaving like "an 8-year-old that gets mad at you". DeChambeau, who has packed on roughly 30 pounds of muscle and become the longest hitter on the PGA Tour, said his driver "sucks" after he found just four of 14 fairways in his one-over-par start at Royal St. George's on Thursday.
Former champions Louis Oosthuizen and Jordan Spieth sparkled in the morning sunshine to set the pace in the first round of the 149th British Open at Royal St George's on Thursday. South African Oosthuizen, the winner in 2010, made six birdies in a flawless 64 to finish on six under par, one shot ahead of American Spieth, champion in 2017.
Olympics-Risk of COVID spread is 'zero', IOC chief says, amid rising cases
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said on Thursday there was "zero" risk of Games participants infecting Japanese residents with COVID-19, as cases hit a six-month high in the host city. Bach said Olympics athletes and delegations had undergone more than 8,000 coronavirus tests, resulting in three positive results. "Risk for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero," he added.
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