Sky Brown chooses Britain
Ten-year-old sensation Sky Brown, who had been a medal hope for Japan at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, yesterday opted to qualify under the British flag. The YouTube star, born to a Japanese mother and a British father, said that Britain offered a more relaxed approach. “I chose to compete for Britain because they told me: ‘Have fun, there’s no pressure,’ and I feel like that’s the best way for me to skate my best,” Brown said. “We would have liked Sky to skate for Japan, but it’s her choice and we wish her luck,” Japan Roller Sports Federation skateboarding committee chairman Takehisa Miyazawa said. “Japan has good depth in women’s skateboarding,” he said, pointing to teenagers Sakura Yosozumi and Kisa Nakamura.
Race director Whiting dies
Race director Charlie Whiting has died from a pulmonary embolism three days before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He was 66. Governing body FIA issued a statement saying Whiting died yesterday morning in Melbourne. Whiting began his career in 1977 working at the Hesketh team and later moved to Bernie Eccelstone’s Brabham team in the 1980s. He joined FIA in 1988 and became a race director in 1997. Whiting was active in making F1 safer and was widely acknowledged as a calming influence.
No vote on world league
FIFA has backed away from a vote on a planned “Worldwide Nations League” tournament after its task force reported that it was unable to find consensus on a format. The FIFA Council had been expected to decide in Miami this week whether to introduce the tournament, but the task force concluded that a vote should not take place. However, the council is to vote today on whether to hold a “pilot” edition of a 24-team Club World Cup in 2021. That plan is opposed by UEFA and Europe’s professional leagues, which do not want to start any new competitions until at least 2025. The council is also to discuss plans for expanding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to 48 teams with possible additional hosts.
Abuse unit established
Minister for Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan on Wednesday announced the formation of an investigative unit to combat harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport, among other measures. An investigation by Canadian Broadcasting Corp last month found widespread abuse across the amateur sport system, with at least 222 coaches having been convicted of sexual offenses in the past 20 years in cases involving more than 600 underage victims. Duncan introduced measures to protect athletes, including the threat to withhold funding, and announced a third-party investigative unit that would be available to national sport organizations. She also introduced a national toll-free help line staffed by professionals that would be available to victims and witnesses of abuse, discrimination or harassment. The investigative unit and help line were operational as of Tuesday, Duncan said. She has warned sports federations that to get funding from the government, they need to act swiftly on complaints while putting mechanisms in place to protect athletes or risk having that funding pulled.
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven