Tag Archives: organisers

Acquatics Centre transformation underway

Acquatics Centre transformation going swimmingly as seating is removed

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UPDATED:

01:10 GMT, 18 December 2012

It was the arena where Ellie Simmonds sped her way to two golds and where Michael Phelps swam to his 22nd Olympic medal.

But now the Aquatics Centre is transforming, as construction workers start to dismantle the seating on either side of the pool.

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

Downsizing: The transformation of the Aquatics Centre has begun (and below)

During the games it had the capacity to hold 17,500 spectators, but now the two temporary wings on the structure are to be removed, leaving room for 2,500.

Designed by Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Architecture prize winner, the centre was created in a way that would allow for the additional seating to be removed easily once it was no longer needed.

Diggers

Stripped bare

History: The building took three years to make and was designed by Zaha Hadid

The construction, which took three years to build, has moveable floors and can adjust depth to match ability in all three of its pools.

It will be run by Greenwich Leisure Limited and is anticipated to attract around 800,000 visitors from the local area per year.

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

Come on in: The new venue will be made 'welcoming'

The organisers have been determined to make the venue welcoming and family-friendly, adding a cafe and a creche for visitors.

They have also agreed to employ local workers, with over 250 jobs available once the centre opens in 2013.

The future of the Olympic stadium has yet to be decided.

England plan 2014 World Cup base close to Copacabana beach

Hodgson choice is Rio base for World Cup – providing they qualify for Brazil

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UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 4 December 2012

England are planning for a World Cup in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain, and close to Copacabana beach, after Roy Hodgson’s fact-finding trip to Brazil.

There is work for Hodgson’s team to do on the pitch to reach the World Cup finals in 2014 but, if they qualify, they want to be based at the heart of the party in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil base: Roy Hodgson is planning to base England near the Copacabana beach for the 2014 World Cup - should they qualify

Brazil base: Roy Hodgson is planning to base England near the Copacabana beach for the 2014 World Cup – should they qualify

The England manager has examined and approved the facilities at the Physical Education School in the wealthy neighbourhood of Urca near Sugarloaf Mountain, but must wait for the local organising committee to finalise the details.

Training grounds will be paired with hotels by the organisers and FIFA are expected to pounce on Rio’s swankiest pads for their own executives.

Meanwhile, England must acquire a few more qualifying points, starting with away games in San Marino and Montenegro in March, before they can plan too far ahead.

Phillip Yau Wing Choi dead: Second fatality at Macau Grand Prix

Second fatality rocks Macau as Hong Kong racer Yau Wing Choi is killed in qualifying

PUBLISHED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

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UPDATED:

14:16 GMT, 16 November 2012

This weekend's motor sport action in Macau has been marred by a second fatality in less than 24 hours after a local touring car driver was killed in qualifying at the Asian street circuit.

Phillip Yau Wing Choi, from Hong Kong, succumbed to injuries suffered in a crash at Mandarin Bend in qualifying for the Macau Touring Car Cup, a support race to this weekend's Macau Grand Prix.

The incident comes a day after Portuguese motorcycle rider Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira died after a crash at Fisherman's Bend at the Guia circuit.

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

Tragedy: Carreira died from injuries sustained in his crash on Thursday

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee regrets to announce that Phillip Tau Wing Choi… has succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon,' read a statement by race organisers.

'The incident occurred at Mandarin Bend at 13.11. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.

'After the incident, two fully-equipped rescue cars were at the scene, followed by the extrication car. The position of the racing car required cutting in order to facilitate extrication. At 13.19, the competitor was removed from the car, and at 13:20 Mr Yau was transported by ambulance to hospital where he was admitted at 13.24.

'Continuous CPR was performed however he succumbed to his injuries at 13.51.

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team. The Committee expresses its sincere condolences.'

The annual Macau meeting attracts competitors from all over the world to compete in a range of categories, and is the blue riband event of both the Formula Three and World Touring Car Championships.

Luis Carreira dies ahead of Macau Grand Prix

Carreira dies ahead of Macau Grand Prix in latest tragedy to rock motorsport

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UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 15 November 2012

Motorsport has been rocked by the death of another biker – Luis Carreira – ahead of the Macau Grand Prix.

The tragedy comes a year after MotoGP legend Marco Simoncelli died in a horrific crash at the race in Malaysia.

Superbikes Carreira, the 35-year-old Portuguese, crashed on Fisherman's Bend during qualifying today at the Guia circuit. No other riders were involved in the accident.

Tragedy: Luis Carreira died in qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix

Tragedy: Luis Carreira died in qualifying at the Macau Grand Prix

Race organisers said two doctors went to the rider's aid and he was then taken to a hospital but was declared dead about 20 minutes after arriving.

A statement from the Macau Grand Prix committee read: 'We regret to announce that Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira, competitor No 33, from Portugal, in the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix – 46th edition, has succumbed to injuries sustained in a racing accident during the qualifying session this afternoon.

'No other rider was involved in the incident, which occurred at Fisherman’s Bend at 15.58. The qualifying session was immediately red flagged.

Death: Carreira died after being rushed to hospital

Death: Carreira died after being rushed to hospital

'The medical services, a fast intervention vehicle, fully equipped, and an ambulance with two doctors in attendance, which were located at the side of the accident immediately went to the rider’s aid, and as a result of the doctors’ diagnosis, Mr Carreira was immediately evacuated by ambulance to the Hospital, where he was admitted at 16.08.

'Continuous CPR was performed, however he succumbed to his injuries at 16.28.

'The Macau Grand Prix Committee has contacted the family and the members of the team, and the Committee expresses its sincere condolences.

'The qualifying session was abandoned at 16.30.'

Carreira raced for the Bennimoto Raider-Cetelem team.

Lee Westwood shoots 61 to share HSBC Champions lead

Westwood shoots super 61 at Shenzhen to share HSBC Champions lead with Louis

PUBLISHED:

11:15 GMT, 3 November 2012

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 3 November 2012

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods may have angered officials by not participating in the HSBC Champions, but Lee Westwood more than made up for their absence on a thrilling third day at Mission Hills.

The no-shows of the sport's two biggest names were not well received by sponsors or organisers alike, but Westwood and a strong supporting cast did their best to prove there is a depth of talent on the tour.

The world No 4's scintillating 11-under-par 61 helped him take a share of the lead, while overnight pacesetter Louis Oosthuizen added a late touch of drama when he missed a chance to go back out in front on the last.

Storming into contention: Lee Westwood shot a superb 60 to share the lead with Louis oosthuizen

Storming into contention: Lee Westwood shot a superb 60 to share the lead with Louis oosthuizen

Beyond the lead duo, who are locked together on 18 under, Brandt Snedeker went within inches of achieving golf's magical 59 when he missed a 15-footer for birdie on the final hole, with the American instead having to be satisfied with a course-record 60 – a shot better off than Westwood.

But although Snedeker shot the lowest, Westwood was the day's biggest winner. The 39-year-old had an unblemished third round of 11 birdies and soared up the leaderboard from 12th to joint first, with he and Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, three shots clear of nearest challenger Phil Mickelson.

The Ryder Cup star set his stall out with birdies at the first three holes and he did not look back. His putting was in good fettle – he landed a tricky 10-footer on the ninth to emphasise such – and he looked in control all the way round.

Oosthuizen had led by five going into Saturday, but a sluggish display with the putter cost him dear.

Good day's work: Westwood was more than happy with his third round at Mission Hills

Good day's work: Westwood was more than happy with his third round at Mission Hills

He had several near misses on his way around – showing signs of decline when he slid one wide from five feet – and things were summed up by his penultimate shot of the day when a 15-footer on the last would have given him a one-shot lead heading into Sunday. He missed by an inch.

The same fate befell Snedeker, who looked set to go sub-60 when he approached the 18th, only to pull up just short.

Earlier in the day, Ernie Els had briefly snagged a share of the lead on his way back to the clubhouse, but undid his hard work when he found the water on the 15th, taking a double bogey.

He finished with a 69 and sleeps on 14 under, along with Bill Haas and Ian Poulter.

So close: Brandt Snedeker just missed out on a 59 in the third round of the HSBC Champions

So close: Brandt Snedeker just missed out on a 59 in the third round of the HSBC Champions

Snedeker is a shot further back but seemingly the man with the momentum to mount a last-day assault. His overnight mood could have been even better too.

'I was disappointed not to shoot 59,' he said. 'In a career you might only get a couple of chances to do it. When I made eagle at the 15th the idea of shooting 59 came to me but I knew I needed to make birdie at the last three holes.'

Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar is a shot further back after an impressive nine-under round, with Martin Kaymer, Carl Pettersson, Scott Piercy and Adam Scott alongside him on 12 under overall.

In a highly competitive field, Luke Donald and Jason Dufner are next on 11 under, although it was not such a good day for everyone, as Dustin Johnson slipped from nine under to three over thanks to a horror 12-over round, with a quadruple-bogey nine on the 15th the lowlight.

Tour de France could start in Britain in 2014

Tour de France could return to Britain in 2014 with Edinburgh start

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 24 October 2012

The Tour de France is poised to return to Britain as soon as 2014, with a bid to bring the race to British roads believed to be close to winning the approval of organisers ASO.

Brian Cookson, the British Cycling president, who was in Paris for Wednesday’s presentation of the 2013 route, said that he was optimistic the Tour would come to Britain soon, with '2015 the most likely but 2014 possible.'

Its last visit was in 2007, when two days of racing in London and Kent were witnessed by over 2 million people.

Success story: London was praised when it hosted the Tour de France

Success story: London was praised when it hosted the Tour de France

The latest project is far more ambitious, with a Grand Dpart in Edinburgh followed by up to four road stages taking the peloton south, through England and Wales, and ending up as close to the south coast — and France — as possible.

The proposal will see Yorkshire, which has been in competition with Scotland to host the Grand Dpart, included as part of a British bid that would take the Tour within an hour’s drive of 30 million people.

'The Scottish-led bid is in the advanced planning stages, and it is a very positive and well thought of bid,' said Cookson.

'The funding is more or less in place and it is likely to happen. ASO have said they are likely to make up their minds in the next few weeks. Although they haven’t given us an exact time scale yet, we believe the Tour de France will be coming back to Britain very soon indeed; 2015 is the most likely but 2014 is possible.'

Cookson expressed disappointment at the lack of dialogue with the competing Yorkshire bid.

Capital calling: Edinburgh could host the Grand Depart in the future

Capital calling: Edinburgh could host the Grand Depart in the future

'We have not been involved, simply becasue they didn’t ask us,' he said. 'You would normally expct there to be a more meaningful dialogue with a possible host city or area than we have had with Yorkshire. We have asked.'

He admitted that the London start in 2007 — 'widely acknowledged as the best ever,' said Cookson — made the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, determined to return.

'“We saw at the Olympics this year what kind of response the Great British public can produce,' said Cookson. 'There is not the slightest doubt that Great Britian will put on a really good show and that ASO want to get back here when the time is right. It will be sooner rather than later.

'Although there a re a few more ducks to be put in a row the Scottish-based bid could be more than three stages because it is obviously further from Scotland down to the south coast. I have to be a bit cagey about it as this juncture but the idea is that the route will go within an hour’s drive of 30 million people on mainland Britain.'

London 2012 Olympics came under budget

Government confirm stunning Games cost 377m LESS than they budgeted for

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UPDATED:

12:50 GMT, 23 October 2012

The cost of the London 2012 Games has come in at 377million under budget, according to Government figures released on Tuesday.

The overall cost of the Games is forecast at 8,921billion from a budget of 9,298bn.

With some contracts still to be wound up after the end of the Games, ministers are describing the underspend as a 'prudent' estimate.

Olympic spirit: The Government have revealed the Games came in under budget

Olympic spirit: The Government have revealed the Games came in under budget

Sports minister Hugh Robertson described the feat of managing the complex programme within budget as 'a tremendous success'.

He said: 'The work of the construction and delivery teams, from the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority) and Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games), has set a very high standard and I have no doubt that London 2012 has set a new benchmark for the management of Olympic and Paralympic Games in future.'

Go figure: Hugh Robertson

Go figure: Hugh Robertson

Talks are also still ongoing between the London 2012 organisers and G4S to get the security firm to pay back money for the fiasco over its failure to provide enough security guards for the Games.

Robertson said: 'There are projected savings of at least 377m so the predictions that I made this summer that we could bring this project in at under 9bn has almost certainly been met.

'The 377m figure is conservative because there are lumps of contingency that are still attached to the outstanding work. The central expectation has to be in line with the rest of the project that not all of that will be needed.

'Locog (the London 2012 organisers) also have to conclude, and we have to sign off, the negotiations with G4S over the size of the amount of money that will be paid back to the public purse – so if you were to add to that 377m, anything that will not be used but is held against outstanding work and anything that might come back from G4S, it is entirely reasonable to expect that figure to rise.'

Some 103 million of contingency is being held to cover the remaining risks in the programme. These include the retrofit of the Olympic Village to get it ready for use when it reopens after the Games.

There are also around 2,000 contracts with the ODA, the Olympic builders and London 2012 which still have to be closed out.

In addition, 480m of uncommitted contingency still remains within the budget.

The
ODA's construction and transport programme has come in at 6.714bn,
according to the estimates. This is a drop of 47m on the previous
estimated figure.

The
savings made by the ODA are now at 1.032bn. Overall savings have been
made through 'really tough project management' by London 2012, ODA and
the Government, according to Robertson.

Lord Coe, meanwhile, made a direct pitch to coalition ministers today for help shoring up the UK's Olympic legacy.

The peer, who is expected to be
confirmed as the new chairman of the British Olympic Association next
month, attended Cabinet at No 10 to make sure ministers are 'engaged in
the way they need to be'.

Golden Mo-ments: The Games gave the while nation a massive lift this summer

Golden Mo-ments: The Games gave the while nation a massive lift this summer

Prime Minister David Cameron made the former Tory MP a 'legacy ambassador' to boost UK sport in the wake of the successful Olympic and Paralympics.

Education Secretary Michael Gove told the peer the London 2012 bounce has already led to an increase in the number of students applying to be PE teachers.

The Prime Minister's spokesman said it was 'always part of the planning' that the Games would be used to improve participation in sport and change attitudes to disability.

He said: 'Lord Coe said the legacy challenge was, in many ways, the biggest challenge of the Games project. He said he was delighted the Government had picked up this issue so quickly. A lot has already happened but we need to continue to work at it to make sure there is an effective legacy.

'It was an opportunity for him to hear the thoughts of the Cabinet.

'Clearly, this is an issue that cuts across many departments and already lots of departments are working on aspects. One issue is participation in sport.'

Lord Coe will report progress to the Prime Minister four times a year.

Mont-de-Marsan 6 Gloucester 11: Andy Hazell sees red for assault after "eye gouge"

Mont-de-Marsan 6 Gloucester 11: Hazell sees red for assault after 'eye gouge'

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 12 October 2012

Sent off: Andy Hazell faces a lengthy ban

Sent off: Andy Hazell faces a lengthy ban

Former England flanker Andy Hazell was sent off as Gloucester launched their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign with victory in an ill-tempered clash at Stade Guy Boniface.

Hazell received a red card midway through the second period after he aimed a flurry of punches at an opponent on the floor and used his knee.

Hazell's back-row colleague Matt Cox was sin-binned for an off-the-ball challenge in the same incident that meant Gloucester were temporarily reduced to 13 men.

But the Aviva Premiership club prevailed thanks to wing Ian Clark's 30th-minute try, while Tim Taylor and Billy Twelvetrees booted second-half penalties.

Full-back Jean Baptiste Claverie kicked two penalties for the home side, yet Gloucester deserved their Pool One triumph that sets them up for next Thursday's Kingsholm appointment with Bordeaux-Begles.

Mont-de-Marsan, bottom of the French Top 14, did not help themselves as their former Scotland international lock Scott Murray and substitute hooker Ephraim Taukafa collected yellow cards in each half.

And with torrential rain making handling a hazard for both teams, Gloucester will be relieved to head home with four Pool One points in the bag.

Wing Charlie Sharples looked lively on his first game back after four weeks' sidelined recovering from shoulder trouble, while Gloucester skipper Mike Tindall also showed some neat touches.

But Gloucester's star performers proved to be the young and inexperienced front-row unit of Yann Thomas, Koree Britton and Shaun Knight, who dominated the scrums throughout.

Gloucester rugby director Nigel Davies said the Premiership club was likely to lodge an official complaint with tournament organisers over alleged foul play carried out on Hazell.

Davies told the Gloucester Citizen that Hazell's eye was 'severely sore and very red'.

'We'll speak to the citing commissioner, and there will be something done there,' Davies said.

'We can't condone what was done from a Gloucester view, but that was a reaction to what went on before.

'We will take our punishment, but I think they (Mont-de-Marsan) need to take their punishment too.

'We'll look at the video, and from what I've seen already I'm sure we will make a complaint.

'The doctor's had a look at Andy's eye. It was severely sore and very red.

'And we took some pictures of that, because that was damning evidence in its own right.

'He's disappointed with himself, but I think there were three incidents before that with the same player and he's caught him off the ball again, and unfortunately Andy snapped.'

River Plate fans unveil 8km long banner in world record bid

River Plate fans unveil huge 8km banner (but good luck getting it in to the ground!)

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UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 8 October 2012

Show of support: Fans with their banner

Show of support: Fans with their banner

River Plate fans have unveiled
a 7.8 kilometre banner they claim is the longest in the world and fit
for the Guinness Book of Records.

The
red and white banner measuring 7,829.74 metres was paraded by thousands
of fans from the site of River's former ground in the Palermo district
of the capital to the Monumental, their giant World Cup stadium in Nunez
opened in 1938.

The fans' timing coincides with the team's improved form in their last two matches in which they have scored nine goals and conceded none, including Sunday's 5-0 rout of Godoy Cruz at the Monumental.

Organisers said more than 50,000 people took part in the procession along Alcorta Avenue that lasted nearly three hours.

Fans then watched a match at the Monumental between the River reserves and their Under 20 team, who are South American champions.

Sunday's victory was River's first at home this season after two draws and two defeats following their promotion back to the first division. They are in mid-table with 15 points from 10 matches.

The immensely popular River were relegated for the first time in June 2011 after a decade of poor management.

They renew their league rivalry with the equally well-supported Boca Juniors in the 'Superclasico', the biggest club match on the Argentine calendar, in their next home match in three weeks time.

Flying the flag: River Plate fans march with the huge banner in Buenos Aires on Monday

Flying the flag: River Plate fans march with the huge banner in Buenos Aires on Monday

Back on form: River Plate have scored nine goals and conceded none in their last two matches

Back on form: River Plate have scored nine goals and conceded none in their last two matches

FIFA deny playing World Cup matches in midday heat will put players" health at risk

FIFA deny playing World Cup matches in midday heat will put players' health at risk

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UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 28 September 2012

FIFA insist they are not putting
television demands ahead of players' health by having World Cup matches
in Brazil kick-off in the midday heat.

Several matches at the 2014 finals
will start in the early afternoon, some at 1pm, which will suit European
TV audiences who due to the time difference will be able to tune in
during the peak time early evening.

Some of the venues in Brazil, particularly in the tropical north, experience high temperatures during the day.

Work in progress: The Beira Rio Stadium, one of the venues of the 2014 World Cup

Work in progress: The Beira Rio Stadium, one of the venues of the 2014 World Cup

But FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has launched an outspoken defence.

He told a news conference: 'I can't even imagine why and how you could think we are making decisions thinking about the television and not thinking about the health of the players.

'Whatever we do is never right [for the media]. The match schedule was wrong, the kick-off times are wrong.

'The first thing we need is a good World Cup and to have a good World Cup we must make sure we have the best of football and to have the best of football, we need the best teams and the best game.

'Every decision we make takes into consideration the health of the players.'

Valcke pointed out that the huge distances in Brazil, and local organisers wanting the top teams to move around different parts of the country, made it more difficult.

Brazil nuts: England will face playing in midday heat... if they qualify

Brazil nuts: England will face playing in midday heat… if they qualify

He added: 'We have made a decision to play in all Brazil because that was the request of Brazil.

'You have a country which is not a small country, it is a continent, where it can be two degrees and 26 degrees at the same time on the same day.

'Then you have to take these teams around the country because it was also a decision not to play in just in one region of the country but to travel all around the country to give all Brazilians the chance to enjoy England, Germany, Italy – whoever is qualified from the top teams and have a full picture of the World Cup.'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter added the heat would not be a problem and compared it to past World Cups in Latin America.

He said: 'The history of football has shown that great players can play in all conditions. In Mexico in 1970 and 1986, we played at high noon, at 2,400 metres and the quality of the game did not suffer.

'You know that in difficult conditions, you can stop the game, you can cool down, and have drinks. You will remember 25 years ago, the referees said it was forbidden to drink water during the matches, and now all that has been changed because we want to take care of the health of the players.'

The schedule appears to favour Brazil in terms of kick-off times but Valcke insisted this was just a question of luck.

'The match schedule has not been organised just for Brazil to win this World Cup, but it is true they are lucky and playing in very good conditions,' he said.