(ATR) IOC President Thomas Bach traveled outside Switzerland for the second time in a week to attend the UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy.
Bach watched Anna Van der Breggen of the Netherlands win the women’s race on Saturday and Julian Alaphilippe of France win the men’s event on Sunday.
“It’s a great experience to finally see live sports again,” Bach said.
“Everybody was waiting for these moments, especially the athletes, which is why I’m so pleased to be here. The IOC wants safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 for all the athletes and spectators, and cycling has delivered a tremendous example of how to organize a complex and very safe sports event.”
International Cycling Union president David Lappartient accompanied Bach, who also met with Italian IOC members Ivo Ferriani and Giovanni Malagò as well as ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.
Earlier last week, Bach had traveled to Slovenia for a memorial service for Janez Kocijančič, the European Olympic Committees president who died suddenly on June 1.
Prior to that, Bach’s only known trip outside Switzerland since the pandemic began was a meeting in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron in July.
IFSC Adds Communications Partner
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) enlists Mitchell Stafford Management (MSM) to assist its communications team ahead of the sport’s Olympic debut in Tokyo.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with the IFSC at such an important time in the sport’s history,” said MSM CEO Andrew Mitchell. “The Federation has come a long way in a short period and our job is to help them get over the finish line with a flourish next year at Tokyo 2020.”
IFSC President Marco Scolaris said: “Being allowed to travel to Lausanne and meet the MSM team in person, I was impressed by the energy which animated them. I am sure that working together will enhance the opportunities for our sport and our athletes to climb up to the place they deserve in the world of sport.”
The IFSC’s top athletes returned to action in August after a 170 day hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. The next competitions on the calendar are four continental championships that will also serve as Olympic qualifiers, beginning in November in Moscow.
A First for Badminton World Federation
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) held its first virtual press conference with world media on Tuesday.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer, BWF Deputy President Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul and BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund answered a range of questions at the event, which was called in conjunction with the confirmation that the three Asian events of the 2020 World Tour would be held in a bubble in Bangkok, Thailand in January 2021 instead of November 2020.
“In our normal tournament structure, we have 300 to 400 players coming from 40 to 60 countries,” said Lund, explaining the reasoning behind the decision.
“The big challenge here is that we need them getting out of their countries, and then getting in to the host countries, with quarantine restrictions and so on, which are being dealt differently in different places. That creates a complexity in getting that many people together in one location. That’s what we are trying to bridge by creating this cluster in Thailand, where we can play a number of tournaments in the same location.”
Lund noted that a lot of effort had gone into planning the resumption of the circuit, which is scheduled to restart on October 13-18 with the DANISA Denmark Open.
World Taekwondo Prepares for Virtual Meeting
The first virtual General Assembly for World Taekwondo will be held on October 6.
The federation says that as part of its long-term commitment to gender balance in the decision-making process, member national associations have been encouraged to register one male and one female representative for the meeting.
ASOIF President Francesco Ricci Bitti will join the meeting as a guest of honor to present the 2020 ASOIF Governance Report, which showed World Taekwondo has made significant improvement in that area.
Written by Gerard Farek
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