Sat, Dec 24, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Olympics

Main village completed

The main Olympic Village for the Turin Winter Games was completed on Thursday, 50 days before the opening ceremony. "The athletes will be hosted in the best conditions and will be able to live the Olympic experience with tranquillity," said Turin organizing committee chief Valentino Castellani. The 39 multicolored buildings were built over the past two years around a former central market and will host about 2,600 people. The Turin complex, spread over about 83,0002m, is the largest of three Olympic villages for the Feb. 10-26 games. A village in Bardonecchia -- which will host 700 people involved in nearby biathlon, snowboard and freestyle skiing competitions -- already has been completed. A larger village in the Sestriere resort, with 2,000 spots for the Alpine skiing events, appears to be behind schedule.

■ Cricket

Nike secures deal in India

US-based sporting goods company Nike Inc has won a five-year sponsorship contract from the Indian cricket board for 1.97 billion rupees (US$43 million), officials said in Bombay yesterday. Under the contract, Indian cricket players will sport Nike logos on their uniforms in less prominent places, said Ratnakar Shetty, the executive secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. If a player is a right handed batsman, his uniform will carry a Nike logo on the right arm, and not the left arm that faces the bowler and the camera most of the time, Shetty said. On the left arm, he will have a logo of the Sahara Group, an Indian company that remains the team's main sponsor. Similarly, a left-handed batsman will sport a Nike log on the left arm, he said. The five-year contract takes effect from Jan. 1.

■ Olympics

Flame creates excitement

It is as tall as a 20-story building and weighs more than a 70-seat airplane. The cauldron that will hold the Olympic flame for the 16 days of the Turin Olympics is certainly innovative -- and quite large. The imposing structure, images of which were presented on Wednesday, is being labeled the tallest in Olympic history at nearly 60m. It weighs 154 tonnes. Designed by the Turin-based design firm Pininfarina SpA, renowned engineer of Fiats and Ferraris, production of the cauldron cost US$1.77 million. It is composed of five thin steel tubes representing the five Olympic rings that are twisted around a sixth, central tube near the top. It is painted white. The cauldron will arrive at the Olympic stadium at the end of this month in three parts and be put in place by Jan. 20. Besides the question of who will light the cauldron at the Feb. 10 opening ceremony, organizers are also keeping secret how it will be ignited.

■ Football

PBL gets TV contract

Kerry Packer's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd (PBL) told the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney yester that it has entered into a conditional deal to broadcast Australian rules football games for the 2007-2011 seasons. The deal is worth A$780 million (482.15 million euros), league chairman Ron Evans said. PBL said the terms of the deal with the AFL are confidential. Evans said Nine's broadcast rivals, Seven Network Ltd and Ten Network Holdings Ltd, have up to 14 days to match PBL'S offer. The Nine network is the current rights holder and can sell games to pay TV station Foxtel. PBL and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp both own 25 percent of Foxtel with phone company Telstra Corp owning the remaining 50 percent.

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