Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva were named athletes of the year for 2004 at the IAAF Grand Prix finals here. \nThe duo, both 22, succeeded last year's winners Hicham El-Guerrouj of Morocco and South Africa's Hestrie Cloete. \nBekele had an astonishing season winning the Olympic Games 10,000m and suffered his only defeat in the final of the 5,000m in Athens where he lost to El Guerrouj. \nBefore the Games, Bekele had set two new world records in the space of eight days. \nOn May 31, at Hengelo in the Netherlands, he smashed the 5,000m mark in 12min 37.35sec and then, on June 8 at Ostrava in the Czech Republic, he lowered the 10,000m record to 26min 20.31sec. \nOn top of that, Bekele won a third successive world cross-country title. \nIsinbayeva, dubbed the "Sergei Bubka of the women's polevault," took Olympic gold and recorded eight records, setting the new mark of 4.92m in Brussels on Sept. 3. \nEl Guerrouj and Britain's Kelly Holmes were honored for Performance of the Year. \nThe Moroccan clinched double gold in Athens in the 1,500m and 5,000m, his first Olympic titles, while Holmes also went home with two golds in the 800m and 1,500m.
Japan is the home of judo, but a brutal win-at-all-costs mentality, corporal punishment and pressure to lose weight are driving large numbers of children to quit, raising fears for the sport’s future in its traditional powerhouse. Underlining the scale of the problem, the All Japan Judo Federation canceled a prestigious nationwide tournament for children as young as 10, saying that they were being pushed too hard. A group dedicated to those injured or killed while practicing the martial art says 121 judo-related deaths were reported in Japanese schools between 1983 and 2016. Japan dominates the Olympics judo medal table, but federation president Yasuhiro
Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim on Tuesday praised US professional basketball player Enes Kanter Freedom for his advocacy of human rights. “An honor to meet @EnesFreedom, with admiration for his courage and commitment in advocating human rights,” Hsiao wrote in a post on Twitter that included a photograph of her posing with Freedom. “Looking forward to welcoming him to Taiwan in the future.” Hsiao did not give any information about her meeting with Freedom, who is currently a free agent. However, Legislator Hung Sun-han wrote on Facebook that Hsiao had invited Freedom to dinner at Twin Oaks, the former residence of Taiwan’s
RE-EVALUATION: ‘I hope that everyone is able to compete and as long as they are finding a way to do that then I am happy,’ US swimmer Alex Walsh said of the policy Swimming is to establish an “open category” to allow transgender athletes to compete as part of a new policy that would effectively ban them from women’s races. “I do not want any athlete to be told they cannot compete at the highest level,” Husain al-Musallam, president of governing body FINA, told an extraordinary congress of his organization. “I understand why transgender athletes want to compete in the gender of their choice ... but we should not favor one athlete over another,” he said. “I will set up a working group that will establish an open category at some of our biggest events.” He
World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev on Thursday lost to Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open, while second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas advanced to the last four. Medvedev was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Bautista Agut, who avenged his defeat by the Russian in last week’s quarter-finals in Halle, Germany. “I had to play very good to beat Daniil. He’s the number one, the last champion here in Mallorca. He just beat me a few days ago. I played a really complete match,” Bautista Agut said. Bautista Agut broke Medvedev once in the first set and twice in the second as he