Skip to content
Oct 25 20

Ticket refund process for Tokyo 2020 expected to begin next month

by ZwemZa

The refund process for Tokyo 2020 tickets is set to begin next month ©Tokyo 2020

Tokyo 2020 are reportedly set to open applications for Olympic ticket refunds next month following the rescheduling of the Games.

Organisers confirmed in July they would issue refunds to ticketholders for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Around 4.48 million tickets for the Olympics have already been sold as well as 970,000 for the Paralympics, through the official ticketing website and various lotteries.

According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, the refund process is expected to begin shortly.

It is expected that fans with Olympic tickets can apply for refunds next month.

Ticketholders for the Paralympic Games would then apply in December.

Tickets for the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games are valid for the rescheduled events next year in the Japanese capital.

Refunds are expected to be sought by buyers who are now unable to attend because of the postponement of the Games.

The rescheduled Olympic Games is due to take place from July 23 and August 8 next year, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

Ticket sales were forecast to provide ¥90 billion (£657 million/$857 million/€727 million) in revenue.

The sale of tickets for the Games are currently suspended.

Uncertainty remains over whether fans will be permitted to attend the Games because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee have expressed hope spectators will be able to attend, and fans are included in planning for the rescheduled Games.

Attendance of spectators is one of the main topics being discussed by a three-party council, consisting of the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 and which is helping to devise coronavirus countermeasures for the Games.

Several Japanese sporting events have taken place in recent months with spectators permitted, albeit with limited numbers.

The return of spectators has sparked hope that next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games will not be held behind closed doors.

Oct 25 20

Former Brisbane swim coach jailed over sexual assault of five young girls over 19-year period

by ZwemZa

Brendan Terry (file image) – AAP

A former Brisbane swimming coach found guilty of sexually abusing young girls has been jailed for seven and a half years, with the judge describing his actions as “predatory, brazen and persistent”.

Brendan John Terry, 57, was sentenced in the District Court in Brisbane on Friday after he was convicted of 22 offences of indecent dealing and one count of rape.

The crimes were committed over a 19-year period dating back to the 1980s and involved girls aged between eight and 15 years of age.

The court was told Terry walked in one of his victims while she was getting undressed in the change room just before a training session.

It heard he forced his penis into the child’s mouth and that when she gagged and cried he grabbed her by the head and made her do it again while telling her: “This is what you’ve done to me.”

After the incident, the girl took part in a training session with Terry at the pool.

‘He is a predator’

One of the women read her victim impact statement to the court.

“Terry’s first touch changed the trajectory of my entire life,” she said.

“He took my worth and basic human right. When I said no and he kept going, my words no longer had worth.

“He is a predator and always will be.”

In sentencing, Judge Catherine Muir said the former coach had breached the trust placed in him by the women and their families.

“It has had a devastating impact on all these women and their families,” she said.

Judge Muir said it was powerful to hear first-hand the impact of Terry’s offending.

“The statement was full of pain, anguish and regret … but also full of insight in relation to other victims,” Judge Muir said.

Speaking directly to Terry, she said: “Your conduct is reprehensible.”

Terry has already spent four and a half months in custody.

He will be eligible for parole in June 2023.

ABC News

Oct 25 20

Olympic chief says Games cannot be ‘marketplace of demonstrations’

by ZwemZa

IOC president Thomas Bach warned against political protests at the Games (Marco BERTORELLO, AFP)

Olympic chief Thomas Bach warned against allowing the Games to “descend into a marketplace of demonstrations” on Saturday after criticism of a rule banning protests by athletes.

The International Olympic Committee president has come under fire for the ruling, announced in a year which has seen widespread support by athletes for the Black Lives Matter movement.

But Bach, who won a team fencing gold medal at the 1976 Olympics, said he had learned first-hand about the “political impotence of sport” when West Germany boycotted the 1980 Games over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

“The athletes personify the values of excellence, solidarity and peace. They express this inclusiveness and mutual respect also by being politically neutral on the field of play and during the ceremonies,” Bach wrote in British newspaper The Guardian.

“At times, this focus on sport needs to be reconciled with the freedom of speech that all athletes also enjoy at the Olympic Games. This is the reason there are rules for the field of play and the ceremonies protecting this spirit of sport.

“The unifying power of the Games can only unfold if everyone shows respect for and solidarity to one another. Otherwise, the Games will descend into a marketplace of demonstrations of all kinds, dividing and not uniting the world.”

Earlier this month, World Athletics chief and newly enshrined IOC member Sebastian Coe backed athletes’ right to “take the knee” on the Olympic podium, as long as it was done with “complete respect” for other competitors.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines when he began kneeling during the US national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality against Black Americans and other minorities.

He was ostracised by the league and criticised by US President Donald Trump, but in June the NFL sanctioned “peaceful protests” and world football’s governing body FIFA has urged leagues to use “common sense” when deciding whether to discipline political activism.

In June, US athletes and 1968 Mexico Games icon John Carlos, famously kicked out of the event for raising his fist in a black power salute, called on the IOC to scrap the ban on protests.

“Athletes will no longer be silenced,” they wrote.

Last month, hundreds of human rights and civil society groups urged the IOC to strip China of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics following its clampdown in Hong Kong and mass internment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

AFP
Oct 25 20

Gold for Dune Coetzee and a FINA Qualification Time for Matthew Sates in Maritzburg

by ZwemZa

Matthew Sates (Facebook)

The South African National Short Course Swimming Championships got underway Saturday at the Jolliffe Swim Centre, home of the Seals ASC in Pietermaritzburg with the 400m freestyle events.

Full Results

There was plenty of young talent to showcase their form and top honors of the day in the women’s category went to 18 year old Dune Coetzee, who beat Tatjana Schoenmaker to the gold medal in the 400m freestyle, touching the wall in 4:07.95 to Schoenmaker’s 4:09.33, with the bronze medal in the event going to Aimme Canny in 4:09.90.

“It was a tough race, I tried to save my legs a little bit in the first half and then just go on the last 100m and I think that definitely worked.

“I’m very excited that this is my first SA races and I’m here to enjoy what I am doing and to see where I am at with my training.” said Dune Coetzee following the race.

Matthew Sates was over the moon with his FINA Qualification Time of 3:43.55, when he scooped the gold medal in his respective 400m freestyle race ahead of Dante Nortje in 3:47.97 and Ayrton Sweeney in 3:50.30.

“I’m just trying to race again, and get the feel of what it is like to compete again. You go a lot faster when you are concentrating on the race and I am very happy with this win”, said Sates.

The SA National Short Course Swimming Championships will continue tomorrow with the heats starting at 09h30 and the finals beginning at 15h30.

FINA World Championships Qualification Times Following Day 01:

  • Matthew Sates – 400m freestyle – 3:43.55

Qualifying times for the 15th FINA World Championships (25m):

Men’s Standard Women’s Standard
21.40 50 m Freestyle 24.60
47.23 100 m Freestyle 53.78
1.44.88 200 m Freestyle 1.55.60
3.44.09 400 m Freestyle 4.06.95
/////////////// 800 m Freestyle 8.35.69
14.49.29 1500 m Freestyle ////////////////
23.79 50 m Backstroke 26.81
51.30 100 m Backstroke 58.08
1.52.66 200 m Backstroke 2.07.19
26.57 50 m Breaststroke 30.69
57.63 100 m Breaststroke 1.06.18
2.06.23 200 m Breaststroke 2.24.30
23.08 50 m Butterfly 26.14
51.35 100 m Butterfly 58.22
1.54.10 200 m Butterfly 2.09.76
53.57 100 m Ind. Medley 1.01.21
1.55.25 200 m Ind. Medley 2.11.51
4.09.19 400 m Ind. Medley 4.37.54

Supplied by Swimming South Africa

Oct 24 20

Hancock Prospecting increase direct funding to Australian swimmers in the lead up to Tokyo 2021

by ZwemZa

Australia’s best swimmers have been supported since 2013 by Swimming Australia Patron, Mrs Gina Rinehart

Swimming Australia is delighted to confirm that Hancock Prospecting has increased its direct swimmer financial support, ahead of the Tokyo 2021 Games.

This increased funding has three pools, each offering a significant and distinct benefit to swimmers, as they prepare during unprecedented times:

  1. Patron’s Tokyo Enhancement Payment – each categorised swimmer will receive a once off bonus payment, in addition to their quarterly Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Support Scheme payments, to further incentivise training and preparation, during these challenging times, ahead of the Tokyo 2021 Games.
  2. Hancock Prospecting Virtual Prize Money Pool – a once off pool of prize money will be made available for all swimmers competing in the virtual swimming series that has been organised in replacement of the Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Championships. This prize money rewards important performances during a time where standard competition opportunities have been reduced due to the pandemic. Further details here.
  3. Hancock Prospecting Quarterly Swimmers Support Scheme Payments Extended – due to benchmark events not being completed until the end of September 2021, rather than the funding cycle ending on June 30 like other years, payments are guaranteed until 30 September 2021 giving athletes funding certainty during their peak competition period.

Having long supported swimming at a state level in Western Australia for nearly thirty years, Mrs Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting began investing in swimming at a national level after the London 2012 Games – a time where support was especially critical to Swimming Australia.

Outgoing President of Swimming Australia John Bertrand AO said “Gina Rinehart’s support has been a game changer for swimming, helping us transform the sport after London when we were in need of a resurgence.

“Most critical and lasting to this was the innovation she has driven for athlete funding. The vehicle we set up as a result of her support in 2013, named the Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Support Scheme, which recognises that elite swimmers are often training two to three times a day, six days a week and that for many athletes they were also trying to support themselves with casual work around this, while also trying to complete university degrees. Quarterly payments could give swimmers the certainty they need to give 100%+ effort on their training.

“Additionally, Gina has always pushed us and challenged our thinking to ensure that we are always striving to be the best on the world stage. Her passion for our sport, high performance workings and her astute observations has meant that no stone is ever left unturned when looking for opportunities for our athletes to be performing at their best.

“Gina Rinehart recognised in our swimmers their drive and commitment to work as hard as they can to reach their dream of representing their country, and she wanted to give them the best possible platform to succeed in this. I know that Gina works to the philosophy that if you are willing to work as hard as you possibly can, you will achieve, and this is aligned to the culture we have in the Australian Swim Team and its training environments.

“Gina is constantly looking for ways for our athletes to improve and her funding has enabled us to fund two additional world-class CLOGGs systems in West Australia and New South Wales to assist us in further honing the technical skills of starts, relay changeovers and turns.”

This approach to athlete support is replicated across the other sports that Mrs Rinehart is Patron of at a national level – Rowing, Volleyball and Artistic Swimming – making her the largest non-Government supporter of Olympic and Paralympic sports in Australia’s history. In recognition of this leadership and support, Mrs Rinehart was awarded the Australian Olympic Committee’s Order of Merit in 2014.

Moving away from the direct sponsorship of Swimming Australia from the end of 2020, Hancock Prospecting will be increasing its direct support to Australian swimmers by way of the Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Support Scheme, (including for their annual dinner gala awards event). Mrs Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting remain committed to the sport and its athletes, and it is this commitment which has been seen over the course of the partnership, with Mrs. Rinehart taking her patron duties most seriously, and enthusiastically, attending major swim events.

Olympic Gold Medallist Mack Horton said: “I’d like to express our immense thanks and appreciation to Mrs Rinehart. We really are fortunate to have a great Australian backing us again as our Patron and supporter.

“Her interest in and enthusiasm towards us as swimmers is incredible, and very genuine. She has been our biggest supporter for many years now and we love having her as part of the Australia Swim Team.”

Olympian Mitch Larkin added: “It’s great to see our Patron attend our competitions, and arrange to see us outside of these events too. She even flew with us to the outback before the last Olympics, as many in the Olympic team hadn’t been there before, and she wanted to give us the opportunity to see more of the country we are so proud to represent overseas. Mrs Rinehart’s enthusiasm and leadership example is outstanding, so I think all swimmers gain from having her as Patron.“

Oct 23 20

Tokyo 2020 organisers issue advice to spectators after security tests

by ZwemZa

A man wearing a mask walks by the Olympic rings in front of Tokyo’s New National Stadium in July. Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto said during a Tuesday news conference, ‘I think we have to hold the Games at any cost.’ (Eugene Hoshiko/The Associated Press)

Spectators and officials have been urged to “pack less” to avoid any delays when arriving at venues during next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Tokyo 2020 organisers have issued the warning after carrying out three days of tests, where they trialed a number of security and COVID-19 countermeasures, according to Reuters.

A decision has yet to be made on whether fans will be allowed to attend venues due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But organisers are formulating a plan to ensure a safe and successful staging of the Games with the Olympics scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5.

The Tokyo Big Sight – the venue for the International Broadcasting Centre and Main Press Centre at Tokyo 2020 – hosted the three-day trials where organisers are said to have assessed various technologies to check spectators’ body temperatures.

Among those includes thermology cameras, non-contact infrared thermometers and thermometer strips, Reuters reported.

Attached to volunteers’ wrists, the strips contain heat-sensitive liquid crystals which are able to identify if they have a fever.

It is understood organisers also checked to see how smoothly spectators can pass through the inspection area and looked at how social distancing in queues could be imposed.

Forgetting to wear a mask and trying to bring an aerosol can through security are believed to be among 40 different scenarios volunteers presented security staff during the trials.

Tsuyoshi Iwashita, security director of Tokyo 2020, said more tests would be needed once COVID-19 countermeasures are ratified.

“Pack less, wait less,” said Iwashita.

“We don’t want to delay the excitement, so please come with very little luggage.

“For the testing of security measures, probably this is the last one.

“As for COVID-19, when we finalise the measures, we want to check these processes.

“To do so, we will set up further types of testing occasions.”

A coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, is assessing possible scenarios and measures that could allow the Games to run as scheduled in 2021.

Policies are expected to be announced before the end of the year.

Earlier this week, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed the reopening dates for two Tokyo 2020 venues.

Ariake Tennis Park is set to open to sports federations from October 25 to November 2 before public use will be granted from November 8 to February 28.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, which will host table tennis at the Games, will only be open to sports federations who will be able to use the main arena and the sub arena from December 21 to March 31.

Oct 23 20

IOC President Bach does not expect countries to “opt out” of Tokyo 2020

by ZwemZa

Thomas Bach

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach does not expect any country to “opt out” of next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bach made the comments in an Instagram chat with German javelin thrower Johannes Vetter.

He also suggested all athletes would be able to compete at Tokyo 2020, even if they come from a country with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

“Athletes do not bear responsibility for the virus,” Bach said.

“If they test negative and follow the safety regulations, they should have the opportunity to participate.

“I also do not expect countries to opt out.

“All 206 National Olympic Committees affiliated with the IOC are determined and full of anticipation.”

The Olympics have been postponed to July 23 to August 8, set to be followed by the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers have to plan for the Games against the backdrop of the global health crisis, with many countries now reintroducing lockdown measures to combat a second wave of the virus.

A coronavirus countermeasures taskforce, formed of officials from the Japanese Government, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Tokyo 2020, is assessing possible scenarios and measures that could allow the Games to run as scheduled in 2021.

Discussion points during the latest meeting included whether International Federations will seek to establish rules on testing methods or whether uniform regulations will be implemented.

Policies, which are expected to be announced before the end of the year, are likely to include a mechanism for lifting the entry ban on foreign tourists, which is currently in place for 159 countries and regions.

Measures may include a health-checking app, mandatory testing and health insurance and exclusive health centres for tourists.

Organisers are now also considering an independent coronavirus testing and treatment facility within the Athletes’ Village, Kyodo News reported.

Bach, who has remained confident Tokyo 2020 will take place next year, is expected to visit Japan next month to meet Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

Japan has reported more than 94,500 coronavirus cases and 1,685 deaths, but is deemed to have kept the virus under control compared with other countries.

Oct 22 20

Swimming Australia farewells John Bertrand AO

by ZwemZa

Swimming Australia has paid tribute to outgoing President John Bertrand AO as he departs the role at this week’s Annual General Meeting after seven years at the helm.

The America’s Cup winning skipper and Olympic bronze medallist joined the organisation following the London Olympics and has worked tirelessly since that time to grow the sport at home and abroad and support its athletes.

John Bertrand, President Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell praised Bertrand for the commitment he gave to the role.

“It takes great commitment, passion and care to take on the job of President in a sporting organisation and can often be a thankless task,” she said.

“John fervently stepped into the role in the midst of many changes and uncertainty and embraced everything that came his way with such enthusiasm.

“His quest for constant improvement and eagerness to always look outside the box is one of his greatest traits. You could say that his eternal search for the next ‘winged keel’ has been weaved into all that he has done and achieved at Swimming Australia.”

Russell also thanked Bertrand for his leadership and passion throughout his tenure as President.

“I think many would agree that John is possibly Australia’s most patriotic sporting President and we thank him for the leadership he brought to the organisation,” she said.

“We also thank his wonderful wife Rasa – as with any role in sport, volunteer or otherwise, it’s also about the people behind the people and we have relished having Rasa as part of our swimming family.

“I speak for everyone at Swimming Australia when I say, we wish John all the best in whatever comes next for him and we look forward to seeing him cheering loudly in the stands at our next quest for gold.”

Bertrand said the role had been a huge honour for him.

“It has been a real honour for me to have led Swimming Australia over the last 7 years,” he said.

“Hopefully my legacy has been for our people to reach beyond what is considered best practice. But instead to fly higher, further, faster.

“I am proud to have made a contribution to such an iconic sport”.

Bertrand will officially finish his role this Thursday following the AGM. A new President will be confirmed following the November Board meeting.

Swimming Australia

Oct 22 20

Adam Peaty: Lockdown training could help me win Tokyo Olympics gold

by ZwemZa

Olympic gold medallist Adam Peaty says he can go even faster and will target a new 100m world record at next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo

Adam Peaty says the unique circumstances of 2020 with lockdown training and competition in the bubble of Budapest at the International Swimming League could actually be the trigger for yet another world record as he looks to defend his 100m breaststroke gold at the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

Peaty, 25, is in Hungary for six weeks until November 22 racing for London Roar, in what is his first action since March.

“I’m very grateful we can race but it doesn’t come without its difficulties when you’re in a bubble,” he said. “You’re in your hotel room quite a lot but it’s what it takes and I’ve got five matches left to get going.

“The first match was good, I was really impressed by it and it’s exactly what the sport needs. All you do is swim, train, swim, sleep, swim. Everything’s about swimming.”

It also means Peaty is now basing his Olympic plans on the assumption that Tokyo 2021 will be a lockdown Games too, with another bio-bubble for athletes.

He said: “100 per cent, no question about it. I can’t see it going ahead without extreme procedures being in place like this. There’s too many lives at risk, especially in Tokyo where the population density is so high and with an ageing population as well – it’s too much of a big risk.

“I’m already preparing to be in full lockdown in a bubble and then get to my performance that way. If we prepare for the worst then if anything else better comes along, we’re already winning.”

He’s bullish about the prospect of smashing his own 100m world record of 56.88 set at the World Championships in Gwangju last year.

“I do believe that wasn’t my final or my best form in South Korea,” he said. “There’s always something you can improve on to go faster. I know there’s a few tenths in there at least because South Korea was quite challenging in terms of the food, environment and my headspace back then. I know I can get faster. It’s just when and where and hopefully that when and where is at the Olympics.”

Peaty is, however, again ruling out any notion that he might also attempt the 200m in Tokyo.

“Some of the Russian and Australian boys who are world leaders are up to 20kg lighter,” he said. “That’s 60 strokes where I’m carrying an extra 15kg. That will help in the 100m and allows me to have more strength and power. Simply if you want to push the boundaries of where the human body can go in the 100m, you stay at this weight.”

Peaty feels attempting the 200m would be a risk and says simply “that’s not good enough”.

All this after a 2020 of lockdown training, shifting goals and a postponed Olympics after a training pool was craned into his back garden.

Yet Peaty thinks that the pandemic may actually have helped him.

“It does mess with your mind a little bit but I saw it as an opportunity to improve. I did a lot of cycling and weights in my gym and put a lot of weight on which is helping now because I’ve lost that but kept the strength.”

Another thing may have helped. Fatherhood. Peaty became a dad last month to baby George with his partner Eiri. He says it’s calmed him down and given him a little bit more perspective.

“It was the greatest moment of my life when I saw him come out,” he said. “I did shed a tear. I shed a tear too when I had to leave. But I am making sure that I do call every single day for a least an hour and read him a book before he goes to bed.”

Peaty says his baby son means he sees the world in a different way but the Olympic champion still remains totally focused on succeeding next year.

“I live and breath performance except when I’m with my family,” he said. “It’s almost like you have two personalities. You have your performance mindset and your home mindset. Ninety per cent of the time it’s a performance mindset and it’s obsessive.

“An addiction to that goal of becoming faster and better which is unhealthy sometimes, but a lot of the time it does get the job done.”

He’s predicting a good Games in the pool too for Team GB because he thinks they go to Japan with depth for the first time, and with other medal hopefuls now looking to Peaty as a world-beating role model.

“The culture has completely changed because we’ve had a shift of age. So I am now one of the veterans, one of the most experienced on the team. They look up to what you do and your attitude. There’s no easy way round being the best athlete in the world and a lot of athletes are catching onto that and in turn their performances are getting better.”

Peaty has reiterated his desire for leisure centres to remain open for swimming pool access in the UK – despite tier three coronavirus restrictions across northern England.

Peaty says pool infections are extremely low and insists people rely on the leisure centres for their mental and physical health.

The 2016 Rio gold medal winner wants public access to swimming to remain, despite the toughest government restrictions, so that people get their daily dose of fitness.

“I know as a swimmer what they put in the pools because it literally tears my skin away. When there’s chlorine and special safeguards you can put in place you have to ask the question, is closing the leisure centres which are already struggling, actually going to do anything?”

By Jeremy Langdon | SkySports

%d bloggers like this: