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Tough Rules Set For Tokyo Olympics

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Tokyo the capital city of Japan is at the moment the most busy destination for athletes as they jet in ahead of the forthcoming Olympics.

According to the itenerary the Olympics open on July 23 followed by the Paralympic on August 24.

Organisers say say 15,400 athletes are expected for the Olympics and Paralympics.

Including athletes, the total number expected for both events, factoring in media, broadcasters, Olympic Family, sponsors and others is about 93,000.

With the deadly Covid-19 pandemic everywhere on the globe, the Tokyo Olympics will take place under strict guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus that has killed 3.82million people globally.

All those entering Japan for the Olympics will be required to follow complex testing rules – before leaving home and after arriving.

They must also agree to have their location monitored by GPS, download several apps, sign a pledge to follow the rules, maintain social distancing, stay off public transportation for the first 14 days and keep organizers informed of your whereabouts.

“We expect everybody to follow the rules. But we also have to be aware there could be infractions,” said Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey, also speaking remotely.

“Yes, we expect you to play by the rules, but if you don’t there will be sanctions that could be coming your way.”

Ducrey said the range of punishments could go from a warning, to temporary or permanent expulsion from the Olympics, to withdrawal of accreditation or a fine.

Officials also suggested the Japanese government has the power of deportation, and individual sports federations and national Olympic committees may have their own penalties.

Dubi declined to offer specifics about possible financial penalties. He said that would be determined by a disciplinary commission.

But he said rules would apply “before, during and after” athletes compete.

“It is to reinforce the message, which is: The Playbooks are there to be followed. No transgressions,” Dubi said.

Athletes are also being required to sign waivers, typical of the Olympics. This time an added clause relieves the IOC of responsibly from any fallout from COVID-19.

Dubi suggested athletes or national federations would have insurance coverage for most eventualities.

“Then there are a number of cases for which the risks cannot be covered and this is then the responsibility of the participants,” Dubi said. He said this was standard practice in the sports industry.

The International Olympic Committee says more that 80% of those staying in the Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated.

This contrasts with about 5% of the Japanese population that has been vaccinated in a slow rollout that is just now speeding up.

The Japanese medical community has largely opposed holding these Olympics in Tokyo, arguing the risks are too great.

The government’s main medical adviser Dr. Shigeru Omi has said it’s “abnormal” to hold the Olympics during a pandemic.

Tokyo and other regions of the country remain under a state of emergency that expires on Sunday.

Reports in Japan suggest the government is likely to lift the state of emergency but still impose rules on restaurant hours and other businesses that draw crowds.

Fans from abroad have been banned from Tokyo and organizers say a decision on having any local fans at Olympic venues will be announced by the end of the month.

Japan has officially spent $15.4 billion on organizing the Olympics, although government audits say the figure is much larger.

Jeff Shell, who heads NBCUniversal, said this week these Olympics might be the most profitable ever, despite the pandemic.

NBC, the American rights holder, is the single largest source of IOC income, representing about 40% of total income.

It paid the IOC about $4.4 billion for four Olympics from 2014 through 2020, and $7.75 billion more for six games – 2022 through 2032.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020

Olympic Athletes Taking Knee For Black Lives Matter

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Athletes from across the globe taking a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, such Athlete protest was once forbidden at the Olympics.

Women’s soccer players from Great Britain and Chile kicked off the games by taking a knee to protest the racial discrimination that Black players on England’s national team faced after losing the UEFA European Championship earlier this month.

The Japanese women’s soccer team later did the same, a rare act of protest by a Japanese team. Costa Rican gymnast Luciana Alvarado took a knee and put her first in the air after finishing her floor routine on Sunday.

“This global stage with a global audience is a rare opportunity,” said Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport and a professor at the University of Central Florida.

The pickup in demonstrations follows the International Olympic Committee’s recent decision to relax decades-old restrictions on athlete expression meant to maintain neutrality at the games.

The amended guidelines in Rule 50 of the Olympic charter now allow athletes to engage in demonstrations at select times and sites as long as those actions do not constitute or signal “discrimination, hatred, hostility or the potential for violence.”

The latest actions highlight a longtime paradox for athletes: They are held up as heroes until they use their platforms to make political statements.

That has started to change thanks to National Football League quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was sidelined from his job after taking a knee to protest police brutality during the U.S. national anthem at a 2016 game.

But even now, athletes aren’t immune to the consequences of speaking out. American gymnastics star Simone Biles and Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka both faced criticism for bringing mental health to the fore during this year’s Olympic games.

Osaka also took a thrashing on social media after losing a match at the Olympics on Tuesday, with some questioning why she represented Japan as the final torchbearer in the games’ opening ceremony.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS 2020

China Surprises US, Australia in Women’s 4×200-Meter Relay

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China surprised the U.S. and Australia with a world-record performance in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay on Thursday.

Katie Ledecky took the anchor leg for the Americans in third place, nearly 2 seconds behind the Chinese and also trailing the Aussies.

Ledecky passed Australia’s Leah Neale and closed the gap significant on China’s Li Bingjie, but couldn’t quite catch her at the end.

Li touched in 7 minutes, 40.33 seconds, denying both Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus another gold medal.

After winning both the 200 and 400 free individual titles, Titmus led off for Australia in the relay.

The Americans claimed silver in 7:40.73, while Australia took the bronze in 7:41.29.

It was the first swimming world record of the Tokyo Games — in fact, all three medalists broke the previous mark of 7:41.50 set by the Aussies at the 2019 world championships.

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Sports

Serbian Micho Reappointed To Head Uganda Cranes

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A serbian national Milutin Sredojević Micho that once propelled Uganda Cranes to their first AFCON qualification after 38 years of waiting in 2017 has been reappointed to head the Cranes.

He also helped Uganda to attain it’s best ever FIFA ranking to the 62nd position.

The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) announced Tuesday that Micho has been named the new head coach of Uganda Cranes on a three-year renewable contract effective 1st August 2021.

“He will address the media on Tuesday 3rd August 2021.” FUFA announced.

According to details, the Head coach has a contractual mandate to name his backroom staff.

“After exactly 4 years of AFRICAN FOOTBALL studies on Universities of life and football at ORLANDO PIRATES, ZAMALEK and ZAMBIA, going back to my AFRICAN FOOTBALL HOME,” Micho posted on his twitter account.

The Cranes managerial role became vacant after FUFA sacked Northern Irishman Jonathan Mckinstry after a string of dismal performances.

Micho was first appointed as the national team manager in 2013 where he lasted four years until his departure in 2017.

The 51 year old was a fan favourite before he left for South African side Orlando Pirates where he spent two years.

It was from there that he switched to Egyptian giants Zamalek before joining the Zambian national team,the Chipolopolo in 2020.

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